To start, let me say, my husband and I did the Destiny Sept. 20, 1998, now renamed the Sunshine. Food was not good on Destiny, entertainment so-so, but cruise director was awesome! We didn't have children, so it was fine, we had fun. ... Read More
To start, let me say, my husband and I did the Destiny Sept. 20, 1998, now renamed the Sunshine. Food was not good on Destiny, entertainment so-so, but cruise director was awesome! We didn't have children, so it was fine, we had fun. Now fast forward 17 years, we have a 13 year old, who is very familiar to cruising...we thought Carnival had become more family friendly by all their ads, and pics they show of the Breeze...Wrong!! I remember on the Destiny, they had live steel band by pool at least 4-6 hours a day...which is what one would expect on a "Caribbean" Cruise....I love dance music just like the next person, but when I picture a Caribbean Cruise, I think...Bahama Mama, Caribbean steel band, the Limbo, Congo line, a million games for your kid to be entertained with....Let me stop you right there, if this is what you picture as well....Carnival Breeze is NOT for you!! I know caribbean music, as it's what I was raised on, my Mom was from Kingston, Jamaica. I literally heard 1 legit caribbean song the last sea day. Never once did they do the limbo, 1 time, I heard "hot, hot, hot", and 1 or 2 times Congo line. That was it....the rest was dance music like in a nightclub. Or a guitarist playing music that was like "put me to sleep"....awful!! Soooo disappointed...And just for the record, that wasn't now and then...I was by the pool every single day, as I don't usually get off in the ports. Literally the 1 day they started playing half decent music was the 2nd to last day, the last sea day....unbelievable!! 8 day cruise and you gotta wait 6 days to hear half decent music by pool. And I don't blame DJ Blendz. I believe they are told what to play, or not play, as I spoke to him one night about it at the disco...and he totally agreed. But obviously, his hands were tied. This wasn't my only complaint. They do nothing, and I mean NOTHING for kids by the pool...1 time they did a hula hoop contest, the very 1st day we were in port....5-15 minutes...never again, not once. We did NCL Getaway last April, and to be honest, it was awesome, but I did think they lacked music by the pool as well which I love, because I love to dance...so I resorted to Carnival, because I remember great games, music, etc....by pool. However, I was sooo disappointed. My daughter would come up to me and say "trivia, or learning about acupuncture"...that was what was on the itinerary!! Now, Carnival may say there's a kid's club itinerary, and that's true....Just to state from the beginning, we always bring a teen friend with us to keep an eye on our daughter, or do stuff with her as she's an only child, and kids' clubs usually more like daycare. So we did the same this time, we did know that the 12-14 age group only had a counselor there here and there, so we gave her permission to be dropped off by our friend and go for a couple hours, but was not allowed to leave..not even for the restroom, (even though that age group is allowed to). So one night, our friend leaves to drop her off...we realize she left her sweatshirt...which I knew she wanted, so I decided to walk by on the way to dinner with my husband. WOW!!....when I got to part of the deck where the club was at....it was like pandemonium...kids everywhere acting like animals, one boy had another in a headlock, another was slapping girls behind their head...cursing, water was spilled all over floor, table, not an adult in sight....then there's this black, dark room, like you would see in a club...VIP room...where you know what goes on..BUT THIS IS FOR 12-14 YEAR OLDS!!!! OH MY GOODNESS!!! WHAT IS CARNIVAL THINKING???? That's rape waiting to happen!! I was soooo shocked, so I went to a Security guard down the hall told him what was going on....all he did was assure me that it's fine, they go by once an hour and make sure everything is ok!! WOW!! And he did call housekeeping to clean up the water.....to my shock, that was it! So I got on a house phone and called the front desk, told them whole story and situation...and again...to my ABSOLUTE SHOCK...they did nothing and thought nothing of it, except to say that " a counselor was due there at 8:00p.m, he must be running late".....WOW!! Sorry to keep saying that ....but I was in utter shock....I was there almost 45 minutes...no counselor...teenage boys look at my innocent daughter like she was their next target, with no clue....we told her to get her things and that she wouldn't be allowed back in there at all.....So we were hoping that like our cruise in 1998 they would have plenty of poolside activities...as stated earlier...not even close to reality. Poolside is basically for drunk guys to pick up drunk girls. We did go to the disco several times, they allow smoking...very, very tiny, people in there...were totally drunk...it was like the lowest class dance place you could choose...however, that's the only place they play half decent music maybe 2 hours a night...sad!! As an avid dancer, and one of the main reasons I went on the cruise...extremely disappointed. NO Shade whatsoever by the pool for your 411. I was sooo burnt by day 3, we went to try and get 2nd floor, cushioned, shaded seats....guess what???? ALL SMOKING, both sides...So choose: sunburn or smoke...we chose sunburn:/
Let's talk about cabins. I always book a balcony. This time I decided to book spa balcony. Spa is beautiful, I will say that much. But the cabin.....the smallest, narrowest balcony cabin I ever been in on any cruise line....Shocked to say the least again, even shower was triangle shape as it was too small to fit rectangular shape. We were room 12023 and our friends 12025. Tiny!!! I paid almost $3500 for cabin for 4 and that's because April 25th was way cheaper...in July, same cabin like $5200:/ Not worth it at all!! Steward very good, but other than that I have nothing good to say about cruise unfortunately.
Cruise director, Matt, funny...but nothing like one from Destiny in '98. That guy had daily ship dancing by pool, limbo, congo, contests...every minute!! This one...trivia, more trivia, and a contest I think last sea day...hairy chest competition and Ms. Carnival...that was it. The food in Sapphire Dining room.....the worst I've ever had...I cruise alot, I literally thought Disney, although great for kids, had worst food...great presentation both of them...but Carnival's was worse:/ I love to cook and am a total foodie, my brother actually travels and critiques or builds up resorts for a living...we were raised traveling and cruising, so I can tell you I have a little experience what to expect...and how utterly disappointed I am. The entertainment was awful...and very much amateurish. They had a show from the 1960's...singing "Georgie Girl"...nothing against the '60's or the song....but a Carnival new ship....'60's....so boring...we were in 2nd row to stage...and were all soooo Bored.... we walked out:/ It seemed like we were watching a High School Show...Entertainment on NCL Getaway Top Notch, it was like Broadway Quality. I think instead of Carnival Vista, their new upcoming ship...we are going back to NCL Escape , their new upcoming ship instead...I went to the front desk day before getting off ship to adjust the tip that they automatically add to your bill, $12 per person per day....the guy was soooo rude, telling me " well you ate", I was like ...excuse me, I ate almost always by the pool, because either way the food was awful, he proceeded to try and talk me into leaving the tip by saying..."well they picked up your plate, didn't they?" SOOOO RUDE....I was in shock!! I thing after spending $3500 for the cabin, minimum $1000 for shore excursions, and over $2000 on board....I would've have gotten way more than disappointment. I truly investigate and read reviews, and dig, as I'm a past travel agent....I read nothing that told me what onboard life was like...so I wanted to be the 1st to tell you, if you are single and want to get drunk and hook up? This is the ship for you. If you are a family and want poolside entertainment, to feel like you are on a caribbean cruise instead of in a South Beach Nightclub by the pool, and want great cabins, food, and entertainment....save yourself the $6000 + I've just wasted....book NCL, the Getaway now, or the Escape coming up soon. And No, I'm not a travel agent now and I do not work for NCL, but I am a stay at home mom who saved for this trip for awhile, and now coming back to thousands I have to pay off for a trip that disappointed my whole family. With every credit card payment....it will be a reminder....NEVER EVER....take Carnival again.
Warning to all families. Hope this little review will be helpful, wish I would've had this before I threw away almost $7,000.00....****Oh and one thing I forgot to mention...totally noteworthy...on NCL, when wanting to purchase the 50,000 pics they take of you...you literally hold your room card up to a tv screen, it picks up room you are in and gives you a folder #...you find this folder #, and it's all your pics in order, from beginning to end. Carnival...I went to look at my photos day before last, I asked how to find them, they said....look for them...I was like ..."what, there's 4 rooms here ...a whole deck of pics??..." Yup, that's what he meant...no joke, they said 'what day was it, what background, what were u wearing??"...Really, I do not pay attention to any of those things on vacation to say the least, they would have sold probably another $200 worth if I hadn't wasted 6 hours between 2 days looking and finally giving up...I said to the photo employee what I just told you, how they would make so much more $ if they did it like NCL, and how you are losing so much money...He said to me, "I'm not losing so much $, Carnival is..." Just another typical reflection of Carnival Employees I found on this ship....SAD!! Orlando, one of the entertainment staff, very nice guy...however, his hands are tied...they have to do whatever Carnival tells them to in regards to entertainment, Save your hard earned money families...BOOK NCL! They have outdoor eating, alot is even included. Don't get me wrong, they do need to put constant caribbean music by pool as well, and nightly dancing in SPICE H20, but at least you won't encounter all these other problems we had...not sure if he's still there, but we had a guy named Joel, I thing assistant Cruise Director....Awesome, hands on!! Read Less