Our family of five has wanted to sail on the Breeze since sailing on her sister ship, the Carnival Magic, for a NYE cruise a few years ago. We drove down to the Port of Galveston for spring break with our three school-age children, ages ... Read More
Our family of five has wanted to sail on the Breeze since sailing on her sister ship, the Carnival Magic, for a NYE cruise a few years ago. We drove down to the Port of Galveston for spring break with our three school-age children, ages 13, 10 and 7.
Embarkation was very quick. I dropped off my husband and kids with our luggage at the porters, then parked the car at the Port of Galveston lot and took the shuttle over to meet them. They had waited for me in line at embarkation, and it went very quickly once I arrived. I would definitely recommend arriving after lunch, within your chosen arrival time. This made it go much faster for us!
We had no trouble with fog sailing out of Galveston, and we left right on schedule. We did encounter some fog after we'd already left the port, but it didn't effect us at all, aside from hearing the fog horn going off a time or two.
We had two connecting balcony staterooms on deck 8 forward, one with a king bed, and the other with three twins. The rooms seemed small at first, but we had plenty of space for everything that travels with a family of five, and having two bathrooms (toilets!) was a wonderful thing! Our stateroom attendant introduced himself to us, and gave us his card. He had me fill out a sheet about when I wanted to have our room serviced, in the morning, evening or both. I had heard about this before, but our last two spring break cruises (on the Elation and then the Vista), we were never asked which we prefer, and we had our room serviced twice. So, this was our first experience with the one-time service. It wasn't terrible, and I understand why they do it, but there is a little magic lost receiving the towel animal at 10am, and no Fun Times and chocolates left on your bed at night. Like I said, it's nothing to whine about, but I did miss it a smidge. Our stewards were very friendly, and did a nice job keeping up our rooms. They cleaned and left the towel animals, but did nothing above and beyond like our previous stewards have done, like putting hats and sunglasses on the kids' towel animals, or incorporating the kids' stuffed animals into the presentation. I ended up doing this during the day because my youngest still very much enjoys the surprise.
We ate in the MDR three of the seven nights, and the service was wonderful. With so many other things we'd like to do on board, we just couldn't justify spending an hour and a half on a meal every night, but the nights we were there is was very nice. We happened to be in the MDR on the first sea day night (elegant night), and a legit fight broke out. It was...interesting... to watch. I felt badly for the passengers seated nearby the action, but the Carnival staff handled it well, and removed those involved as quickly as they could.
When we weren't eating in the MDR, we were usually up on the Lido eating from the deli (we ordered from the deli a LOT!! love the tomato and mozzarella sandwich and fries...mmmm...those deli fries...), Pizza Pirate, and we ate once or twice from the actual buffet. My boys had Guy's burgers a few times, too. We had lunch at the Italian restaurant once, and it was very good, however, one woman on the wait staff was a bit rude to us because we didn't turn in the order forms for our table all at the same time. : / oops. We ate at Bonsai Sushi once, too. The couple seated next to us order a giant boat sampler and it was so cool! I wish my kids were more adventurous so we could have tried that! Maybe in a few years... We had Sea Day brunch twice, and the Green Eggs and Ham breakfast on our last morning. Highly recommend both. All in all, the food was good.
My husband bought coffee every morning at the Java Blue Cafe, right at 7am when they opened. We went through 3 loyalty cards! He always got an iced latte, but I tried a variety of coffees, mostly lattes and mochas, and they were all effective (I have found the Lido deck coffee to not "work" on me? Maybe it's weak, or the cups are too small for me. Not sure. But the lattes woke me up!). The staff at the coffee shop is always – always! – so busy, but they are also some of the sweetest ladies on board. Our kids tried the milkshakes and frappes there, too. 3 out of 3 would recommend!
As for on board experiences, we tried to do as much as we could from the morning show to the evening comedy, and my kids really enjoy interacting with the staff. Speaking of the staff, we cruised with Lee Mason as our CD and he is so. much. fun!!! You can tell he really enjoys his job; he brings so much energy and enthusiasm to every event. The other members of the Fun Squad were also fantastic, noteably Las, Lindsey and Ryan. This was really a dream team, dedicated to making it a very fun week for their guests.
We played Bingo (my 10-year-old's aka "Bingo Boy" favorite), saw 4-5 different comedians preform (always a winner), and highly recommend checking out the Lip Synch Battle throughout the week and concluding with the showdown at the end of the week. So fun!
We arrived early for Hasboro the Game Show because my 10-year-old was determined to play, and luckily he was chosen in round one and got to be part of the team that played Yatzee Bowling. His team didn't win, but he was happy to have finally been able to get up on stage (on our last two cruises he missed out, so third time was a charm!). We also went to a bunch of trivia's – my 13-year-old won one fo the trivia in Red Frog Pub (LOL! Ryan couldn't give him the huge tube of beer as his prize, so he found a ship on a stick for him. Thanks so much, Ryan!).
My two youngest two spent a lot of time in the pool and on the waterslides. I hear the orange one is very fast and fun! And, as always we spent a lot of time in the Sports Square playing mini golf, pool, and ping pong. This year the boys tried the ropes course for the first time and it was a definite highlight! My youngest now only wants to sail on ships with a ropes course, he loved it that much.
I had a great time hanging out by the aft pool. The kids would play in the pool, or head up to the waterslides, and I was able to sit and relax with a book or a magazine (and a drink!). LOVE it. Would go back and do that today if I could!
I also want to mention that Carnival has a staff member watching the pools. Like a Life Guard, but not called out as a life guard. I believe their shirts read Staff Member. But a Staff Member was standing in the water, watching the pool the entire time. There was also a Staff Member at the mid ship pool. I was glad to see this.
Our ports were Cozumel, Belize and Mahogany Bay. We've been on this exact cruise before, so we knew what to expect. We always love a visit to Mr. Sanchos in Cozumel, and we had a great day there.
In Belize we did the Snorkeling the Wonders of the Barrier Reef excursion through Carnival. I had read many great reviews about this excursion, and I was really excited for the snorkeling. However, it was an incredibly disappointing experience, start to finish. I would not recommend it until there is word that Carnival has gotten the vendor to improve the dependability of their watercraft. On our trip to the island we were marooned at sea for about 30 minutes because of an engine break down, then on our return trip, we had to putter back to the ship in the lowest gear because of another faulty engine. We took 3 different boats to and from Rendezvous Cay on this excursion, and 2 of 3 broke down. I'm not exaggerating when I say most of our time in Belize was spent on faulty watercraft. So frustrating, and such a waste of time! What little time we did get to snorkel the Barrier Reef was super cool. But buyer beware with that excursion!
In Mahogany Bay we wanted an easy beach day, so I pre-purchased two of the Relax on the Beach with Kayak packages for our family of five. We all five rode the magic chairs over to the beach, then upon arrival we were set up with our two clams shells, four loungers and two tables between them. The package also came with four floating mats. We ate and drank at Fat Tuesday's (the quesadillas were so good!), and four of us went kayaking. It was a perfect day for us, and we'd probably do the same thing all over again on our next visit. I think the Breeze may have been the only ship in port this day because the beach wasn't crowded at all.
We sailed with a lot of families from Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas and Arkansas – the majority of us on spring break. Only one group of college age travelers that stood out, but not in a terrible or obnoxious way, and my husband and I enjoyed watching them throughout the week.
Overall it was a fantastic week on the Breeze, and we are already looking forward to next spring break's cruise! Read Less