1,309 Carnival Breeze Cruise Reviews

We just arrived home and wanted to write my review while it is fresh. We traveled with our 14 and 16 year old kids. We had a terrific time! I thought Carnival did a great job and was impressed. We've been on cruises before ... Read More
We just arrived home and wanted to write my review while it is fresh. We traveled with our 14 and 16 year old kids. We had a terrific time! I thought Carnival did a great job and was impressed. We've been on cruises before (Carnival, RCCL, and NCL) although it has been about 10 years. The last several years we've done all inclusive resorts in Jaimaica, Maya Riveria, and Punta Cana. Overall food is comparable. If you expect buffet quality food then you'll be fine. Although hats off to Carnival for Guy Ferelli burgers/fries, pizza, burrito's, and taco's as this was fantastic and made the cruise! My kids lived on the burger and fries and swears they were the best they've ever had! We chose "your time dining" option and tried to eat dinner together in the Dining Room every night. That said the food in the dining room was just OK. Most nights average cruise food, but wasn't loving the "American" menu. In the past, we always looked forward to the cruise dinners and trying specialty dishes, but The "American" menu is a little boring; Chicken, Flat Iron Steak (would avoid this, was terrible), pork chops, and something I couldn't remember. The salad dressing is very watered down, so if you like dressing, be sure to ask for extra. In addition, if you want a real steak there is a $20 up charge. Which I wasn't going to pay another $20 a night for a decent steak. There was one exception on the 2nd formal night did have a dual spare ribs and fillet option that was fantastic. Now on to dessert. I love chocolate and the Carnival Melting cake is amazing, but after the 3rd night in a row you want another chocolate option. I did try pie one evening and again was not impressed. Then I tried the key lime mousse, this was good, but really would've liked another chocolate option that was as good as the melting cake. We tried the Italian restaurant at lunch and was not impressed at all so we did not go back for dinner. We didn't try the steakhouse as just too much going on to plan ahead. Entertainment, we loved the punch line Comedy shows and thought they did a terrific job, we enjoyed the Main entertainment shows also. We also loved the movie nights on the big screen. The movies are all newer releases, Divergent, Other Woman, Planet of the Apes 2, Captain America...etc (FYI, the popcorn was a huge let down. Not sure how you mess up popcorn, but it was terrible. We even brought popcorn seasoning from home and that didn't help). They did provide blankets which was nice. The pools were crowded, but we went over Spring Break and knew it would be. I really didn't mind and there was plenty of hot tubs to use. Carnival did enforce the towels on chairs around main pool. If you were gone for 40 minutes they would take your stuff. Now that said I did notice as the week went on that people figured out how to get around it. So Carnival staff would place stickers with a time on it when they noticed and empty chair. The normal lounge lizards would go around removing the stickers. People, if you are with a group and half the group is children, then you don't need to hold chairs for everyone all day long!! I saw many groups of 6-10 that would hold 6-10 chairs all day at main pool, even though no more then 2 ladies were in chairs at one time. Be considerate of others! We were always able to find a chair, but if you didn't get up at dawn then you were along the side of the boat on decks 11 or 12, not ideal location, but it was what it was. The water slides, kids water park, ropes course, and put put were great. There was always plenty to do. We were never bored. The fitness room was exceptional. The cabin and service was great. We stayed in an L shaped balcony on deck 7 (cabin 7454) and put our kids in an interior room across the hall from us. We loved the room. It was perfect for us and the balcony was extra long so we had a lounger and 3 chairs. All 4 family members could comfortably enjoy balcony at same time. We loved the room! Cabin was always clean and our room steward was exceptional! The casino was ok, but was really smoky so we tried to avoid as much as possible. We did the cheers and bubbles program, one important note was they make you wait 5 minutes before you can get another drink. To me this was silly for the soda. So you request a soda and they give you one glass which is 1 soda can. You have to wait 5 minutes before you can request another. This was a little ridiculous. Ports: Grand Turks we missed this island due to windy conditions so we had an extra sea day. The day was beautiful and we heard other ships docked that day at Grand Turks so really not sure the true reason. We were disappointed as we were really looking forward to this port. (Add insult to injury we received a $15 credit back for port taxes.) La Romana we did the dune buggy excursion through Carnival and loved it! We had a blast. We came prepared with our bandannas and goggles as advised through other reviews and they were definitely needed. Very very dusty!! We came back covered in dirt and mud and loved it. We made sure to go through every puddle we could find. We also came prepared with candy for the kids, but beware. One minute your driving through town and tossing candy, next thing you know they stop us and were mobbed by kids that appeared out of no where grabbing at you for the candy. Just make sure you don't have anything of importance they could take on you. This could be a little scary if you had young children, so if you take young children don't pass out candy and you won't be mobbed. Curaçao, we didn't plan excursion and walked around the town exploring. Next time might plan an excursion for more to do. Aruba was fabulous! We walked through town and shopped for a couple hours then took a cab to Palm Beach for $14 for all of us. He then asked what time to pick us up and came back on time to take us back to the ship for another $14. We'll worth it. We went to the Radisson resort on Palm Beach and rented chairs and umbrella for $55 for the day. Terrific location. Lots of water activities and reasonably priced food/bars along beach. We rented paddle board for an hour for $20. Was a lot of fun. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Sorry, it's been months since I've been on the site. I definitely wanted to leave a review of the Breeze because I have to say, the Carnival Breeze is hands down my favorite ship. I've cruised 36 times. I must say I have ... Read More
Sorry, it's been months since I've been on the site. I definitely wanted to leave a review of the Breeze because I have to say, the Carnival Breeze is hands down my favorite ship. I've cruised 36 times. I must say I have had more fun on this ship than any other but the amenities and size means crowded. Let's start with the two only negative aspects, The Port of Miami and too many people in many venues. The Port of Miami is the worst embarkation process (even with "Faster to the Fun Privileges) in the State of Florida. You may get on the ship at one parking area and be dropped off to hoof it or wait for an overcrowded shuttle when you are returned to another. The other issue, crowds. Are there places to hide from the crowds and get away on this ship?...yes - therefore I was able to relax and enjoy. Some of the lesser crowded venues include the Red Frog Pub, the porch outside of it, and the deck below Promenade. Get a balcony for a respite also. Casino was way too crowded. Was not expanded enough for a ship of this size. Finding a table to play on, or a machine was a challenge. Again, visit during slack tide to avoid this issue. Stay on the ship while in a port you've already visited and enjoy some of the amenities with much fewer people on board. Comedy Club you will have to stand in line for a half hour or more to get a seat. Get there early or be prepared to stand or be turned away. The lines for anytime dining were long; get a set time to avoid this. The BBQ line, the Mongolian WOK line and the Pizza line were also very long. Plan your trips during less busy times. Eat at the Sushi restaurant, the Steakhouse and the Red Frog Pub. It's worth the surcharge. Food was very good in the Dining Room also. Skip the Italian restaurant at dinner; not worth the surcharge. Get a free sample of the Italian restaurant during lunch where the pasta dishes are available without surcharge. The water park is fantastic; grand-kid loved it and Camp Ocean (formerly Camp Carnival) and the 4D Thrill Theater. Adults and older kids may find the Thrill Theater cheesy, but the youngers; 10 and under, will love it. I go on cruises to relax and too many people can create a challenge to that goal. This ship however provides places to hide and with proper planning and awareness of the issues, you can avoid being too frustrated and have a great time. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We really enjoyed our balcony on the Breeze, the food was great, the service was great, overall a 4 star out of 5. On previous cruises there was a show in the theater every night, now there are 2 or 3 in the week. And they are of the ... Read More
We really enjoyed our balcony on the Breeze, the food was great, the service was great, overall a 4 star out of 5. On previous cruises there was a show in the theater every night, now there are 2 or 3 in the week. And they are of the pre-recorded animation based variety, in addition the comedians are no longer in the large room for the pg rated performance. In the large room are bingo and audience participation diversions, I feel better suited for the afternoon crowds. The 2 complaints are the large number of children running around all hours of the night, it seems they are underfoot running from place to place and the poor or non-existent WIFI service. There are programs and dances for the kids but they are either disinterested or have a very short attention span. If the parents aren't willing to impose a curfew then the management should, the US shopping malls impose age based restrictions in the evening. I believe they should be kept out of the casino and other adult areas. I was unable to get on any site with the wifi service on my phone or tablet, when I tried the computer HUB area, the screen always searched, never bringing up any page. I tried to call guest services several times, no one every answered. When I went to guest services to complain, they just shook their heads and said no one can get on, too many people trying to use the service. Don't expect anyone to answer the phone at Shore Excursions or guest services, I never received any answer of the day or night. Don't expect to be able to keep in touch via WIFI or at the internet cafe, what worked on previous cruises does not work now. It appears that Carnival has cut back on many of the services that I feel are important, I would have liked to rated my trip a 5 star but it just barely rates a 4 star beacause of the reduced services and shows offered. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Just returned from my Miami cruise, my 15th. a few comments on the Breeze. First night steakhouse...advertises free wine first night, well that's per table and they set you with other couples, wine was no good anyway...day of arrival ... Read More
Just returned from my Miami cruise, my 15th. a few comments on the Breeze. First night steakhouse...advertises free wine first night, well that's per table and they set you with other couples, wine was no good anyway...day of arrival was a zoo, so crowded it was unbelievable, decided to eat pizza which was tasteless but it was served at the back of the ship that stinks from the Indian food served beside it....many complaints. Things got better but there were never any deck chairs available as slobs left there towels on chairs all day to reserve while they were no where around...many complaints....this ship has many areas for smokers and the smoke flows throughout the ship...worse than the ships in the 70's...the shows sux...there are 4 females in the often repeated shows.... Now for the good and sometimes great....The band Dejavu is fantastic...Matt the cruise director makes everything fun....the food at the buffet is better than the dining room but the service in the dining room is fantastic...both food and wine....oh, and by the way...don't buy the pricey drink package as Carnival has decided to price the better wine and some drinks above the$10 max allowed.....chincy! Back to the good....room service is good, room steward efficient but added charges to my room that I'm still fighting....over $160?????.....The ports are typical, average to all ships.....overall, I try to forget the bad and remember the good, so....I have another trip booked with Carnival that will be one of my last.....I sailed a Princess last fall that cost a little more but the entertainment was much better, the food was similar and overall a better trip.....any questions? fb vann branch Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
First time Carnival I go for the”Ds”- Destination, Date/Duration and Deal. This time I went for the destinations Aruba and Curacau. I had to choose between CCL and HAL. Since I travelled with my six-year-old daughter The ... Read More
First time Carnival I go for the”Ds”- Destination, Date/Duration and Deal. This time I went for the destinations Aruba and Curacau. I had to choose between CCL and HAL. Since I travelled with my six-year-old daughter The Carnival Breeze seemed to be the best option. The Breeze is a great ship if you're travelling with kids. Cabin stewards and restaurant staff seem to love the little ones. There are plenty of things to do like the rope coarse, muiniature golf, several pools and the water park on board that is unbeaten in the industry right now. Cabin Since we didn't want a cabin way down in the ship the only option was to take a chance on a cabin back-to back with the lifts. The odd design of these cabins, with bunk beds and lots of empty floor space is due to the fact that they are ment to cater for the needs of a cruiser in a wheel chair. There was no noise to worry about, so it turned out to be the best cabin I've ever had. and the cabin was, can you believe it, too big. I asked for an armchair to fill out some of the space, and it came after a few days. Other than this delay the service was perfect. The crew working around the cabins were really nice. This extra large inside cabin has an excellent location on the nineth floor mid ship. Just behind the stairs there is direct access to the buffet reataurant and the outdoor eateries near the main pool with the big screen that is used for the night time cinema. The kid's club is another flight of stairs up. Food Compared to my previous experiences of cruise lines like NCL and MSC I would say that Carnival is slightly behind in quality and service. We may all have different demands, but for us it was good enough. There is a lot more to the food then just a general impression. A part from the buffet restaurant with its ajunct eateries we went to the MDR. Since I'm a freestyle fan I went for the option without set time, but it was limited to one of the two floors and a sertain enterance. In order to make it to the early show one had a rather short time slot to catch right when the restaurant opened. The two sides of the MDR were staffed by waiters from opposite sides of the globe. There was a clear tendancy that the Asian waiters were faster than the Eastern European waiters, so I tried to get a table on the port side of the ship. Some times the menues came with some interesting challenges like frog's legs or crocodile. Even if this was interesting, the big deal for me when it came to the food was the lunch. In contrast to the evenings the diversity of lunch options was fantastic. Apart from a la carte there was a food court style buffet with oriental and western food. Unfortunately it was rather crowded. By the pools there were other options like hamburgers, tex mex and Indian food. On sea days it got even better. Outdoor grill, and the fabulous sea day brunch. The big deal for my six-year -old was the unlimited soft serve ice cream. Entertainment The shows were avarage or below average. A good alternative was outdoor cinema with supplied pop corn. The comedy club was a big dissappointment. Angry men with abusive language and vulgar topics tried to be funny. The interactive piano bar next door was a much better option. Children I rated the kid's club below average simply because my kid enjoyed it less than the clubs on other ships. The main complaint was about the elimination games that left her outside the action. Ports Aruba was a delight. We walked off the ship right into the bus station. After a few minutes a bus took us north-west to some nice beaches. Curacao was my reasom for the season. I spent the whole day with my old friends, but it was my third visit to the island, and it's a really nice place to visit. Grand Turk is a surrealistic place seemingly in the middle of nowhere. First of all you dock at the beach itself. After a while another cruise ship came along and its waves flushed us away to the exted that for a moment I thought that I had lost my child. A very artificial torist village is built up right behind the beach, and it seemed to appeal to a large number of people. The option to walk in the opposite direction of the sandy beach was most rewarding with a beautiful coastline and plenty of huge shells to pick up. Summery It is quiet likely that I'll take another Carnival cruise if the circumstances are right. It's not my first choice, but it's if I can get a good deal then Carnival is good enough. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
We have cruised 17 times and only once with Carnival. We were a bit hesitant when we booked with Carnival but we did it because we liked the 8 day cruise with only three stops Aruba, Curacau and Grand Turk The boarding process could use ... Read More
We have cruised 17 times and only once with Carnival. We were a bit hesitant when we booked with Carnival but we did it because we liked the 8 day cruise with only three stops Aruba, Curacau and Grand Turk The boarding process could use some work as it was crowded and confusing and took around an hour. We even took their advise and waited until 12:30 to arrive. Big Mistake! Wait later. Those that got there earlier waited longer. Not a good start to the cruise. Once on board things improved dramatically. We had a spa balcony room on the 12th floor and it was accessible upon arrival. Bags showed up within a couple of hours. Nice room with a good size bathroom and decent balcony. We are used to sliding doors to the balcony so we can open them and listen To the ocean but these are doors that close automatically but it was a minor issue. Not too difficult to find your way around the ship. Lots of working elevators Cloud 9 SPA was decent but doesn't compare to others offered by NCL and RC. As for the Serenity the Adults only area - don't waste your time trying to find a place as every piece of furniture had a flip flop or a bag or a towel on to reserve the spot. Only got to spend an hour up there one afternoon during the stop at Grand Turk FOOD - we had early seating at 6:00 PM and ended up at a table for 10. So it was us and 4 other couples and I must say we all. Hit it off so well that we were the last ones to leave the dining room most evening. As for the food if was Ok - really nothing spectacular or memorable and it really didn't change much from night to night. I tried four different times to get reservations at the steakhouse and could never get one. It worked out fine because we were enjoying the company of our new cruise friends. The burgers were amazing at Guy Fieri's - always a line but well worth the wait. The barbeque was good as well SHOWS- nothing much here. Not of the same caliber as NCL and RC or Princess. Comedians were not very good either. ENTERTAINMENT- We did enjoy the Piano Bar quite a bit. The later in the evening the funnier it became. The cruise team did a decent job. We were a bit disappointed that the dance club was rarely opened and when it was it was late late late in the evening. ISLANDS - we love Aruba and a tour of the island with a stop at the beach for a couple of hours was perfect. We booked the evening sunset cocktail cruise excursion thinking it was be romantic and peaceful only to discover once aboard it was very casual with lots and lots of drinks included. Curacau is a beatiful island as well with lots to do within walking distance of the ship Grand Turk in our opinion is really the Carnival private island. Not much to do except drink or lay on the beach which was ok by us. You can see the entire island from the top of the ship OVERALL - we were quite surprised with the service and the friendly people on board. We really had an enjoyable time and would consider booking with Carnival again especially if we new that our new cruise friends were booking with them as well.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Carnival Breeze February 28 – March 8, 2015, 8 night Eastern Caribbean First off I will say that we loved our cruise on the Breathtakingly Beautiful Breezy Breeze! This is our 13th cruise, 3rd with Carnival (others on NCL, Princess ... Read More
Carnival Breeze February 28 – March 8, 2015, 8 night Eastern Caribbean First off I will say that we loved our cruise on the Breathtakingly Beautiful Breezy Breeze! This is our 13th cruise, 3rd with Carnival (others on NCL, Princess & Royal Caribbean). Booked less than one month out, which I consider last minute as we have never done that before. We had it narrowed down to 4 different cruises on 3 different cruise lines. The extra night and the great reviews on the Breeze helped us make our choice. We took the least expensive inside cabin guarantee. Again, a guarantee is something I have never been brave enough to do, so when I saw our cabin assignment, I was a little concerned that it was next to an elevator bank, but it presented no problems with noise. This review is long and detailed, but it is some helpful hints that were useful for us and hopefully for some of you also in your cruise planning. Embarkation: We attached our Carnival luggage tags which I had covered in clear packing tape, before we left the hotel. We also packed up all our allowed beverages (we brought 2 bottles of wine and some water) in our rolling carry-on. Very excited seeing our first views of the Beautiful Breeze which is the largest ship we have ever sailed. After waiting outside for a short while, we were allowed inside and processed with a ticket for group #1. We were called to board the ship about 11:30am (after the VIP loyalty levels and the FTTF). We entered via the Atrium which is very new looking and lovely. We immediately noticed how elegantly the ship is decorated. We enjoyed our first delicious lunch before the crowds arrived. We continued on exploring the ship inside and decided to check to see if our cabin was ready about 1ish. I went to guest services to have a hole punched in my card to attach to my lanyard. You can also purchase lanyards in the gift shop. Time to peruse my first Fun Times newsletter and mark my choices of activities (be sure to bring a highlighter from home – it really helps). I think a highlighter would be a great gift for Carnival to give to all the passengers! There is so much going on each day, but I found the Fun Times a bit hard to navigate as stuff is all over the place. Cabin: Our cabin was inside 9448, which is turned sideways (as I write this I think of Dr. Seuss as it is the kid’s theme on this ship ) so that you enter to the bed area rather than the hall/bathroom/closet. We loved the aft location being one deck below Lido for quick access to morning coffee, weather checks, sunsets, the aft pool and snacks whenever. The cabin was very nice and roomy for inside (comparable with insides on the other cruise lines we’ve been on in in the last 10 years), with plenty of storage for all your clothes and extras. There are 3 separate closets: one with all shelves, and two with one top shelf and a rod with hangers. There is a built in dresser with 4 small drawers with the top drawer housing the blow dryer (which is somewhat weak for my long hair, but I don’t like to waste so much luggage room on a full size hair dryer). The vanity area has 2 outlets, so I bring a small extension cord for more outlets if needed. I only wish they had an additional light in this area by the mirror for styling hair. There are also 2 more large shelves up above in the vanity area. And the safe is in a shelf here also. There is a small refrigerator that comes stocked with expensive drinks, which we never use. Wine does not fit very well in there. We laid down our white wine to chill and left the red on the counter. Asked our room steward for ice the first day and it was always filled the entire week. Nightstand tables are a bit narrow, but have nice lights for reading. I always bring small flashlights and an alarm clock. I also bring a lightweight over-the-door shoe holder to stow miscellaneous items and flip flops, which hung nicely over the closet door. Of course, your empty luggage fits under the bed. The bathroom was roomy with a large counter on both sides of the sink and 3 shelves on each side for toiletries. The shower was nice and equipped with pump shampoo and body wash (I used the shampoo with my own conditioner). There is also a pull out clothesline in the shower to hang your wet bathing suits. The inside bathroom door has 3 hooks. The cabin itself only has one hook on the wall. I wish all cruise lines would add more hooks on the cabin walls (I have read here that some people use the 3M hooks that are removable). Towels were fluffy and our room steward, Juan & company did a great job of cleaning and replacing towels when needed 2x daily. If you want to reuse your towels for energy saving, just leave them on the rack, rather than on the floor for replacement. And of course, some towels did tricks and turned themselves into various animals to delight us with chocolates each night! The TV has a variety of channels: lots of ship/cruise info, tours, news, movies, kids, etc. We especially like the channels that have a cam view of the Lido area and the forward bow to check the weather conditions, as we are inside. We also like the channel that has the map of the ship’s progress and weather conditions. We didn’t need it, but there is a way to set parental controls on the TV also. In addition, you can check the menus of the day and your sign & sail account charges. Before long it was time for muster drill, which we were happy to know that you don’t have to wear your life jackets to the drill anymore. But be sure to find them in your cabin and know that you have one for everyone in your party. It was pouring rain all afternoon and had just let up, but the Sailaway party was moved to the Atrium. We felt bad for the first time cruisers as their first virgin Sailaway up on deck is always so special! We had Matt Mitcham as our CD and thought he was great. We continued up on deck in the light drizzle for more Sailaway before heading back to the aft pool bar to informally meet up with some of the Cruise Critic group and have our first official cocktail!! Food: Fantastic! We were assigned second seating 8:15pm in the Blush Dining Room, which worked out fine for us. We had a table for ten with just two other couples, but thoroughly enjoyed their company and the great service by our waiter Albertius and his helpers from Indonesia. We had the new American Table Menu which was great and not having been on a Carnival Cruise in about 12 years, we really can’t compare it to the previous menus. I have heard talk, but we had tablecloths and cloth napkins. The water carafes were on the table, but mostly the staff poured those also for us. Bread was on the table, except formal night, when they served it for us. There was an excellent variety of appetizers, including cold and hot soups, salads; entrees (meats, fish and vegetarian) and sides. They also had themed dishes based on the port of call which we loved. There were 2 formal nights on the 8 night cruise. The first was on the first sea day and offered the lobster and shrimp entrée, of which I happily consumed two! Desserts were also a wide variety, with a pie offered every night that my husband especially liked ala mode. He also ordered the banana split off the children’s menu often. We didn’t dine at any of the for a fee restaurants (Bonsai Sushi, Cucina del Capitano, Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse, Red Frog Pub Grub) so I can’t comment on them. Check your Fun Times daily for all the dining hours and offerings available. And don’t forget you always have the option of room service – although I have never used it myself. We thoroughly enjoyed most all the food and I am always baffled by people who say there was no variety or quality to the food. Hogwash – if they eat that good, I would love to be a guest in their home for dinner anytime! You can’t please all of the people all of the time…but the best part is that on a cruise, you can choose something else if an item is not to your liking. The MDR staff was always offering additional items if they even saw you had the slightest interest in them. Double appetizers, entrees, desserts – no problem. Try that in a land based restaurant. All I know is that I can’t eat like this in Chicago restaurants for the minimal price it is costing me on a cruise. And I love the idea of trying something new. Out of the hundreds of items I may have sampled during the week, here are the few items I didn’t care for: crab cake - flavor was ok, but consistency was like a crab salad, not a crunchy crab cake I am used to; plantains on the Caribbean buffet were like hockey pucks the day we had them; lobster bisque was just not the flavor I am used to. Some of our favorites in the MDR were: the vegetable spring rolls, chilled soups, hot soups, beef skewer appetizer, shrimp appetizers, stuffed mushrooms, all the flatbread appetizers, Caesar salad, filet mignon and short rib, flat iron steaks with the chimichurri sauce on the side for dipping, grilled salmon filet with citrus pepper rub, lobster and shrimp, prime rib, Mahi-Mahi, Caribbean chicken dish, corn meal crusted chicken breast, ratatouille side dish (had it several times-would love this recipe!), mac-n-cheese with bacon, and herbed garlic French fries. Fun to try the frog legs, rabbit, and alligator appetizers. Desserts: crème brule, bitter and blanc, bread pudding, hazelnut tiramisu, warm chocolate melting cake, key lime mousse, and fruit pies and many more I can’t remember without the menus in front of me. The Marketplace Buffet: I like that they are trying to break up the idea of a buffet into separate areas and mini restaurants for variety and freshness, and crowd control. It just makes it a little more difficult to find things until you get used to the layout. Be sure to look up at the signs above the various buffets as they indicate which area you are in and they may change daily for special menus such as Caribbean (loved the jerk chicken and beef stew-I want that recipe!), French, Sea Dogs etc. I just wish that they would list the buffet menu theme of the day in the Fun Times. So there are two separate buffet areas: one that has more basic American Comfort Food dishes and the other that changes more frequently, including one of them that always had a carving station roasted meat available. Salad bars are fresh and plentiful. One area has a Deli which offers delicious, fresh sandwiches made to order and hot dogs – we especially liked the Rueben; and the Mozzarella, arugula & peppers on a grilled ciabatta (craving that right now!) One area has the Mongolian Wok for delicious made to order stir fry. We found more than enough choices in the Buffet and could always find a place to sit. We enjoyed the view from the high boys that faced the sea in the area that had faux trees and Caribbean music playing, or we went to the aft pool area. We ate dinner every night in the MDR, but saw thru the week that some of the same menu items from the MDR were offered in the dinner buffet. In the buffet you will also find desserts in several areas, with one larger sweet spot. And one afternoon they had a Chocolate Extravaganza! And you always have soft serve ice cream or froyo 24/7. We thought the coffee was fine for us, but more hardcore coffee drinkers were enjoying the for a fee coffee on deck 5 at the Plaza Café that smelled similar to Starbucks. Other than that you have lemonade and ice tea (or mix for an Arnold Palmer), hot tea, hot chocolate, and white and chocolate milk on the buffet. We also made our own iced coffee a couple of days adding some soft serve along with the ice in our own larger insulated mugs. The staff in the buffet is great and was constantly cleaning/clearing tables. We also noticed that when people walked thru in bathing suits, they were asked to not do that again and put on a shirt or cover up, which I like that idea. The only thing is that perhaps they could have a soft serve machine outside by that beverage station or right inside the doors from the pool as I saw many children would walk thru with wet, bare feet and I think this could be easily solved. Other food choices: For Lunch, you have the amazing Guy’s Burgers with the highly addictive fresh cut fries, which is on the Lido Deck by the Beach pool area mid ship. Always a line, but it moves fast. The hours are short. On the other side, you will find the equally amazing Blue Iguana Cantina made to order Burritos and Tacos – really delicious. Only wish they also offered quesadillas for a meat free option. Back by the aft pool, you have the Pizza Pirate with 24 hour pizza available. Quite often a line and usually, there are no pizzas available for grab & go. You have to wait, but they cook fast because they are crispy thin crust. Loved the 4 cheese and the mushroom, husband liked the pepperoni which seemed the most popular. Back here on the other side is the Indian Tandoor. Very delicious choices, but some were a little too spicy for me. The skewered meat was excellent. The only thing I didn’t care for here was the roasted corn, because it was served as a cold dish? On Sea Days or as they call it C-days you have the option of the Fat Jimmy’s BBQ on Deck 5. A lot of people didn’t realize it was there until later in the cruise, so try it on your first sea day. It is buffet style and with very delicious slow cooked BBQ. We thought it was great, but a few others we spoke with didn’t care for it. Be sure to have your sunscreen on and a drink in your hand as you wait in line, because it is in the full sun. On Deck 5 you will also find The Taste Bar with some limited items and either indoor seating in the Ocean Plaza or a lovely area to sit outside at tables with umbrellas. Another lunch option with no fee (dinner has a fee) is the Cucina del Capitano Italian restaurant that offers made to order pasta dishes. This restaurant seems really underused because of it’s out of the way location - you will find a sign and a staircase up in the aft section of the buffet on the starboard side. Sometimes you will also find the Sea Dogs cart open up on Deck 12 by the mini golf area. Breakfast: On the sea days they offer a brunch in the Blush dining room 8:30-1:00pm. We attended the first sea day and had steak and eggs and eggs benedict, which were very good and enjoyed meeting new people and sitting by the window with a view of the sea. On port days, they offer breakfast in the Blush MDR from 7:30-9:30am, not sure how the menu is different from the Brunch as we did not attend. Lido Marketplace buffet offers a large variety of breakfast items, but stays pretty much the same daily. Scrambled eggs, hard boiled eggs, eggs benedict, bacon, sausage, potatoes, pancakes, waffles, French toast, lunchmeat, cheeses, yogurt, cold cereal, oatmeal, grits, toast, bagels, pastries, fresh fruits, and more. I think the only other thing I think I might like for variety would be like an egg casserole or a quiche, but we found plenty of delicious choices. There is also a made to order omelet station, which also offers made to order fried eggs if you desire. Always a line, but delicious fresh omelets worth waiting for. Juices are also offered at breakfast time with a really good tropical choice. Another amazing venue for breakfast is the Blue Iguana for Breakfast burritos made to order or Huevos Rancheros. The Taste Bar on 5 offers a continental breakfast and is next to the Plaza Café$. Alcoholic Drinks: We did not buy any drink packages, as we would not get our money’s worth unless it was included as a cabin perk when booking. The per drink prices are a bit high, but comparable with other cruise lines. We realize this is one way they make their money back to keep cruise prices lower. We did enjoy several cocktails (with umbrellas ) which we felt were very good and not weak on the alcohol. When we had wine with dinner, the beverage service was very good in the MDR. We also like that Carnival allows one bottle of wine per person on board at embarkation. I was able to enjoy a glass every evening in my cabin as I was getting ready for dinner. And when visiting ports of call, we enjoy the local beers which are inexpensive. Entertainment: Oh so many choices that you just have to realize on a ship this size you can’t do it all. Just find what works for your schedule each day to keep you amused and relaxed and not stressed trying to fit it all in (okay, now I’m talking to myself!). The timing of everything means that with a set dining time, you won’t get to do everything you want on any given night. We are the kind of people that don’t plop in one area for very long. We love to keep moving and see as much as possible. Don’t get me wrong, we like to relax but even with sunscreen we don’t want to spend hours outside. We especially enjoyed the various daytime trivia games in the Ocean Plaza which last about 30 minutes. The Hasbro game show was quite entertaining. Before dinner several evenings we also liked the Red Frog Pub Trivia games and the Thirsty Frog Beer on tap in there. Of the musical/dance type shows, we saw the Motown and the Latin Nights. We felt both were entertaining enough and we like the shorter shows. We aren’t looking for Broadway productions on a cruise ship. We also enjoyed the Juggler and the Hypnotist. We found the early, family comedy shows ok, but the “adult” comedy show we saw was highly offensive to us with f-bombs every other word. We understand that it is called adult, but we thought that meant more advanced, intellectual humor with some profanity, not just profanity in place of humor. So we chose not see any more of those adult shows. Apparently they are quite popular. We even found the intro video by George Lopez offensive. This was a negative Carnival “surprise” to us. Moving on…we danced to the music of the Mambo Kings in the atrium; and thoroughly enjoyed the popcorn and Dive-In movie on Lido deck. Poolside we really enjoyed the solo guitar music of both Matt & Amy – very relaxing. We went to the Serenity Deck for Caribbean music one evening, but although he was very good, it wasn’t what we consider Caribbean music. We are “old school” cruisers and really like our Caribbean music and especially calypso. I spied a calypso drum in the Red Frog Pub and asked if it was a decoration or used and was told that there was a staff member who played it but they were currently not on the ship. Again, we must be in the minority of cruisers that favor this music, but I think it really belongs on a Caribbean Cruise. Sadly, didn’t hear “Yellow Bird” all week, but heard the electric slide numerous times (OK, I know it gets a lot of people up dancing and happy and participating and that’s really what’s important). We passed through the piano bar several evenings and it was quite popular as was the karaoke. We don’t do the real late night stuff so can’t comment on any of that. Walked through the Liquid Nightclub one evening early, so it was still quite tame in there at that point. We aren’t gamblers so no casino or bingo for us. Although, since you pass through the casino to get to other places, I will say that the walkway was wide and it was bright in there compared to other ships, but smoky as usual. We also had an official Cruise Critic Meet & Greet with our roll call on the second sea day in the Liquid Nightclub. It was well attended and fun to meet other CCers. I was a little surprised that Carnival doesn’t send in any staff to greet us (as we have had on other cruise lines). However they did provide the venue and bartenders for us to purchase drinks. The last sea day we participated in the CC cabin crawl and scavenger hunt which was great fun with a terrific group of people and an opportunity to see other cabin categories on the ship. Beyond thrilled to win the coveted “ship on a stick”! Thanks to all who organized the events. Other Activities: Although it was sunny, our cruise was especially windy the first few days, so the water slides and the ropes course were closed. When they opened we had to try the water slides which were great fun, (yes, adults do partake) but the one slide ends abruptly (the Drainpipe?) and you have to take a stairway down, which was new to me. My husband said the other one, the Twister was really fast and fun. The water park area there was thoroughly being enjoyed by the children and was open even when the slides were closed due to wind. The last sea day, we found the ropes course opened and quickly headed there. Be sure to have closed toed shoes for this. They put you in a safety harness and off you go to various challenges. Great fun and good for testing the balance of us older kids. Right below is the mini-golf which was very popular. Other sports scattered about were basketball, ping pong, foosball, indoor and outdoor workout areas, walking/running tracks, large chess game and I’m sure more I missed. The Dr. Seuss theme seems really quite fun for the kids. We did attend part of the Dr. Seuss parade/birthday party, just because I love Dr. Seuss, even though we didn’t have kids with us. I saw that that offer a Dr. Seuss character breakfast one day for a fee. Pools: I guess that it is impossible to have pool areas large enough for this many guests on a ship, but they seem rather small and like there should have been one more adult only pool somewhere. Anyway, they were heavily used and the first sea day, the chair hogs were in full force…until day 2, when hurray, Carnival has decided to have their staff enforce the 40 minute rule and leave notes on unoccupied chairs. Yea, finally, others can get a chase. We spoke with many guests who were delighted by this also. There are a lot of chase lounges on this ship as long as you don’t have to be next to the pool. Deck 5 also has many, along with hot tubs and showers if you need to cool off. The mid ship Lido pool has some cool shaded gazebo areas with benches in the water area which is nice. All the usual music, fun and games go on here with 2 bars adjacent and the large screen playing various videos. The levels above also have seating including some nice shaded couches. I love how many shaded areas are on this ship for when you’ve had enough sun but still want to enjoy the outside. The aft pool is quieter, but equally crowded, with 2 hot tubs. The area above has some great comfy couches and chairs. We thoroughly enjoyed the hot tubs (including the ones on deck 5 that extend outward from the ship) first thing in the morning several days at 8am before they looked like lobster pots! Then up on Deck 15 forward you have the delightful, adult only Serenity deck with large comfy shell beds, chaises, hammocks, hot tub and a bar. The first part of our cruise it was brutally windy up there, but enjoyable later on (of course, if you nabbed a shell it could block the wind). One negative thing happened on the last sea day and luckily it was already later in the afternoon. I don’t usually swim much in cruise ship pools as they are usually too crowded, but I decided to venture in the main pool the last sea day afternoon…shortly after I entered it was evacuated because *GROSS ALERT* a human feces was seen floating (no joke) . Shortly before that I had seen a family with a toddler swimming with a diaper/pull up which is not allowed. I don’t know if that was the offender or someone else, but here is when I get on my soapbox and say that if you bring young children on board, you need to agree to the rules. The entire pool was roped off, drained and sanitized by many employees in boots before it could be refilled. I applaud Carnival for taking these measures as with any chance of Norovirus, E.coli, etc., it needs to be handled. But, possibly because one family broke the rules, the swimming pool was closed for the hundreds of others who may have still wanted to enjoy this activity. Luckily, it was later in the day and was refilled and open by the next morning which was half a day before the port of Nassau. I know it abruptly ended my relaxing afternoon as I along with others immediately went back to my cabin to shower. No, it did not ruin my cruise. S**T happens! Ports: We have been to all of these ports before, so we were looking for a more relaxed, inexpensive experience this time. They are all beautiful places with lots of activities to offer, we were just in budget mode this cruise. Debarkation: They no longer give you a paper print out of your Sail & Sign account on the last day. So since you can view it on the TV, I took a photo of each page of the account for both my husband and myself on the TV screen, so that I would have the info and totals in case there was any dispute on my final charge. We chose to book one of the Carnival Tours that would take us and our luggage from the Port of Miami to Ft. Lauderdale Airport. We had a later flight out and this tour would use up some time and serve as our transfer. They gave us special luggage tags for the tour and we had our luggage packed and outside of our cabin the night before by 11PM. We met in the Ovation Theatre at 8AM and were soon escorted off the ship to claim our luggage and preceded quickly through customs to meet our bus outside and have our luggage stowed on board. We chose the South Beach Experience which gave us a quick guided tour of South Beach (about 45 minutes) and then gave us about 2 hours and 15 minutes on our own to explore the area and enjoy all the colorful art deco architecture. We had just eaten breakfast on the ship so we weren’t hungry, but there were numerous lovely open air restaurants/cafes all along Ocean Blvd. to eat if you desire. We also spent some time walking on the beach and people watching. Due to windy weather, the water was not swimmable and we were glad we had gym shoes on because the beach near the water was littered with little colorful, but dangerous Portuguese man of war that had washed ashore. We had a meeting place for the bus to return and pick us up. The bus dropped us off at FLL about 1PM. This worked out great for us. In conclusion, we had a fantastic week+ sailing the Breeze and were glad that we had chosen this cruise. We would definitely sail her again and Carnival. I can see that this ship would also be good for families. The week we sailed had families on board of course, and we found this week most of the kids seemed really well behaved and enjoying their cruises as much as us. One staff member said that the following week, there would be 1500 kids aboard, as I assumed it would be spring breaks starting for families. So we were glad that we had what was probably the last week before the numerous spring breaks begin around the country. I love kids, but now that I am traveling without them, I prefer them in smaller numbers. As always, I am thankful to the Cruise Critic community for all the advice and info when I am researching everything cruise related. I always find my answers here. Thanks for another terrific cruise!   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
I will keep this review relevant to what our experience was like and hopefully it will help with some pertinent information. This was our 5th cruise and 3rd to the Caribbean, our second with Carnival. We got a fantastic deal including ... Read More
I will keep this review relevant to what our experience was like and hopefully it will help with some pertinent information. This was our 5th cruise and 3rd to the Caribbean, our second with Carnival. We got a fantastic deal including flights and hotel from a very cold UK to Miami through the TA in eskimoville. Flights with American ok but basic and lacking in alcohol and service. Airport customs/border people in Miami and Heathrow were their normal obstruculous selves. Hotel in Miami, Crowne Plaza, ideal and clean and excellent service. Hotel shuttle to port was easy as was boarding the Breeze. A 40 minute wait in the hangar but it was expected so no dramas. Adjoining cabins with our travel companions on deck 6, balconies, so we opened partition and made it a double length space/sundowner bar/coffee shop!! We were right above the red frog pub so there was entertainment at our doorstep.The pub had a good atmosphere and Sholar was a good waiter in there. Cabins were excellent, clean and spacious. Activities were there if you wanted them as were onboard facilities, although the drinks prices were exhorbitant as usual, 15% tip to take a bottle top off is a good moneymaker!!! As Mr Schwump has said the lounger lizards were ridiculous on this ship. Towels on a bed all day and no one using them, especially in the Serenity section. Again, the staff couldnt be bothered to sort this out and this seemed the general glitch throughout the ship. We ate in the Sapphire dining room first but our table staff were a lethargic, couldnt care less bunch so we changed to the Blush dining room after 3 nights. We got a more attentive and fun staff here and Natalya from the Ukraine was a standout. Food was good but pretty basic and a bit repetitive. We ate at the Captains kitchen Italian restaurant on the last night and I felt it was worth the $15 cover charge. Food and ambience were excellent. You can eat here for free at lunchtimes. Daytime eating was ok but not good service from staff at most times and a lack of open food venues on sea days. Guys burgers, the pizza place and the wrap/taco stand were excellent. Entertainment was so so with daytime stuff very loud and unoriginal. The comedians were poor in my opinion, jaded and repetitive with no idea how to keep a crowd up on a high. The main shows were reported to be ok but again they were repeated over the cruise nights with a lot of quiz nights and loads of bingo. The casino was always full and a great place to people watch. We didnt use any ship excursions and did our own thing. Aruba was beautiful and relaxing, great beaches and bars and people. Curacao a bit different to what we expected but nice in its own way. Grand Turk was basic but had lovely beaches and snorkelling, Margaritaville was a rip off as others have stated. Since when do beach bars have a 15% compulsory gratuity? We wont be back. Getting off was a doddle too. Straight off ourselves and off to the hire car place. We had a day in south beach before a very good flight home. To summarise, it was a fun holiday because of our company, we had a hoot, the ship was clean, spacious and did what it was supposed to and contributed to an enjoyable winter break. The staff could do with a bit more zest but thats a management problem to solve. We were pleasantly surprised at how full the bars were all over the ship despite the price of drinks and tips, it did give the cruise a good party atmosphere. That said I may try Celebrity, HAL or another line for our next cruise. As they say "you gotta spread the love baby!!"   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
We have cruised Disney, RCCL, NCL and Carnival in the past. It has been many years since we were on Carnival and were a little hesitant but were pleasantly surprised in general. The officers were essentially invisible to us passengers but ... Read More
We have cruised Disney, RCCL, NCL and Carnival in the past. It has been many years since we were on Carnival and were a little hesitant but were pleasantly surprised in general. The officers were essentially invisible to us passengers but the crew were universally friendly and helpful. We arrived at the Miami airport at about midnight the night before embarkation and found the Holiday Inn Express had oversold and didn't have anything for us?!!? They were able to find a room at another property fairly nearby, but it wasn't optimal. We took taxis from the airport because their shuttle stopped at 10 PM (they didn't advertise this on their website!). The free breakfast in the morning was ok and we took a shuttle to the port of Miami late morning. It was not difficult to find out where to go to check in for the cruise. However, the lines were very long and after 30 minutes or so in line we sat down and waited for our zone to board the ship. it took probably another 30 minutes or so. Not a big deal, but had I known about Faster to the Fun I probably would have purchased that just to avoid the crowds and the wait. Many of the issues about the ship have already been stated so I'll keep it brief. There aren't enough deck chairs. You need to have reserved them by 8 AM, otherwise you'll be out of luck. If Carnival wanted to do something about this, they could... just prohibit people from putting their stuff out on deck, going back to sleep and showing up a few hours later when they want. We weren't pleased about this, but other cruise lines haven't figured out how to have enough places for people to enjoy the sun on sea days, either. The food on board was on par with other cruise lines. Guy's burgers were awesome, Tandoor was ok, Taste Bar was excellent as was the deli inside the buffet. The Mexican burrito bar was good, but they didn't have chips and salsa. Wouldn't they sell more beer if they had a chips and salsa bar? We tried the wings and sliders in the pub--just ok. The sliders tasted a little strange. Wings were good. We found the service in Blush, one of the MDR as good as other cruises. It does take them some time to feed all those people and my picky eater kids were able to find something each night. Food was in general good, but not outstanding--just as I expected. The steakhouse had VERY good service, but found the food was not really worth the upcharge. We enjoyed the Italian restaurant for free at lunch. Stay away from the lasagna. It was the only thing I tasted that I really wish I hadn't. The rest of lunch there was yummy! Desserts really weren't sweet enough for my palate, but they went well with coffee. C-side BBQ was worth the wait! Bingo was inefficient and rushed. Every other cruise line does this better. The prizes were embarrassingly small compared to the number of people playing. The dive in movies with blankets and popcorn on lido deck was really cool. We watched several movies in the evening. Great sound system and nice screen. The clientele on this ship was very similar to the other cruise lines mentioned above and no inappropriate behavior was noticed. Kids had fun bonding in Circle-C with some of the other passengers. Only about 70 kids from age 2-5 on our cruise, so it wasn't like Disney. Kids were almost all well behaved. I found the WiFi spotty and even though I paid for premium connections, it was still really slow. I had hoped to download a couple movies from iTunes for the plane ride home but was unable due to poor connection quality. The Carnival app was nice because we could chat with each other, but the bummer is that cruisers below the age of 13 were unable to have their own chat accounts. So, we had to give the kids one of our phones so we could stay in contact. One of our daughters was 11 and they bumped her up to Circle C so she could be with her sister. We just had to fill out a form. This was valuable to us and much appreciated. I think it's case by case, but NCL, on our last cruise, wouldn't even consider it. Again, I thought the crew was just fine. The comedians were boring and I liked The Brits! I didn't go see much else in terms of entertainment. Water slides were fresh water and we liked that--very fun! I'm going to write about disembarkation specifically because we couldn't find anything super helpful prior to this vacation... Now, we were worried because we had a flight from Miami to LAX departing at 10:55 AM, which is earlier than Carnival recommends. So, we were pleased when they started allowing people to leave the ship at 7:06 AM. We had already eaten and then right away took our own bags off the ship on deck 3. We walked right off. There was no line. We had arranged a private car to take us to the airport. We scheduled the car at 8:30, so we ended up waiting for him! If you are planning to get a taxi right away off the ship, you may be disappointed--and the later it got, the worse the taxi situation. While waiting for our car, I was specifically watching the taxi line and there were 20-30 people waiting in a taxi line but there were no taxis at all. A few came off and on. So, if you have an early flight, I recommend booking your own airport transport and doing self-assist getting your own bags off the ship. Customs did not slow us down. The MIA airport is a small nightmare but we went to self check in, tagged our own bags and it wasn't too bad despite the overall chaos. TSA pre-check avoided 45 minutes in line at security and we were at the gate way ahead of our boarding time. I would have regretted taking the later flight in the afternoon. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Arrival  My wife and I traveled on the Carnival Breeze on an 8-day Southern Caribbean cruise on Feb. 14, 2015. This was our 2nd Carnival cruise and 7th overall. We’re in our 50’s, married 28 years with no kids. We flew from ... Read More
Arrival  My wife and I traveled on the Carnival Breeze on an 8-day Southern Caribbean cruise on Feb. 14, 2015. This was our 2nd Carnival cruise and 7th overall. We’re in our 50’s, married 28 years with no kids. We flew from Cincinnati to Miami on Friday evening ahead of our Saturday embarkation. We stayed at the Runway Inn near the Miami airport. It had been listed in a USA Today article as a local hotel that offered shuttles from the airport and to the cruise terminal. I looked at their reviews on Trip Advisor, and while not glowing, they looked okay. Our total was $145 with taxes. The Miami International Boat show was in town so rates were high everywhere. Some people on TA had complained about a long wait for the shuttle. We lucked out and it was waiting right there when we exited baggage claim. It was about a 10 minute ride to the hotel. The hotel is located just across the street from the airport but it wasn’t noisy at all. Check in was smooth and we got our key right away. One downside; there isn’t an elevator and we had to lug our stuff to the 2nd floor. Our room was clean and comfortable. It was by no means deluxe and was in need of some maintenance attention for chipped wall texture, scuff marks and paint touch up. It was perfectly serviceable as a place to crash for a night before our cruise. Overall the décor of the hotel was a bit dated but again clean and perfectly workable. There aren’t many choices for eating nearby. There was a Honduran restaurant across the street and a Burger King several blocks down. They offer a continental breakfast in a room off the lobby. Again, it wasn’t a sumptuous spread but tided us over until we boarded the ship. I needed some deodorant that I’d forgotten so we were directed to a convenience store about 2 blocks away that had what we needed. The shuttle to the port left at 10am and we arrived at the cruise terminal by 10:30, well ahead of when Carnival told us to arrive. We were quickly checked in and did very little waiting in line. We had our Sign and Sail card and all our documents by 11a and sat down in the lounge area to wait. We were assigned group 9 when boarding began. We waited about 30-40 minutes before we were called and queued up to get on board. We sat foot on deck 3 just before noon. Our Cabin/Interior Public Spaces We were assigned cabin 1274, portside just forward of amidships on deck 1, as low as you can go. However you get the least motion that low and it’s easy on and off on port days. The muster drill was on deck 3 so no long elevator waits after that. Our interior cabin was standard size arranged as a king. It was plenty of room for us and we had way more storage space than we needed. There was only 1 electrical outlet with 2 sockets so I’m glad we brought a power strip. It was in our suitcase and was not confiscated as I’ve read others have been. It was in plain sight all week with no problems. The room comes with a stocked minibar including beer, pop and liquor, none of which we touched. This left room for a few beers of our own. The safe is electronic and uses a 4 digit number you create, no card needed as we experienced on the Valor. The room lights do need a card so bring an old gift card or something to leave in there. We made the mistake of at first using our S&S card. One morning I left early and took my card out of the slot, leaving my wife with no lights when she woke up. Lesson learned! Our room steward was a very nice young man named Larsen who was from the Philipines. His associate was named I Made (ee MAH-day) from Indonesia. They did an excellent job and kept our cabin tidy and well supplied. They were not always in your face but always said hello when we saw them and exchanged pleasantries. I’m not partial to someone who is overly familiar and tries to be your new best friend. These guys hit just the right balance. The only other Carnival ship we’ve sailed on was the Valor in 2013. Overall we liked the Breeze much better. We didn’t like the overly patriotic, borderline jingoistic, decorating scheme of the Valor. The Breeze had a more appropriate, Caribbean feel to it. On the Valor I kept waiting for a 4th of July Parade to break out. The Breeze was island-y without being Tiki Bar kitschy. The public spaces were similar to the Valor, 3 level atrium with bar and the bottom, shops and casino on the top level on deck 5. One thing I liked was the “Fun Hub” internet access areas which were scattered in multiple locations (I can think of at least 3) in this space. I only used it on our last full day on board to get caught up with home before disembarkation. I could access it at one of their terminals or through my phone. Five bucks a day for social media only access or $16 a day for email and website access too. There was another level which offered the same as the $16 package but had higher speed, I think. The Fun Hub app was useful too. Instead of having to carry a copy of the Fun Times with you, all the info on what, when and where could be pulled up via the app. We went to the Punchliner Comedy Club twice. The first comedian we saw was good. One night the comedian was Chas somebody. It was the adult show, which we had no objection to. We did object to his stale, unfunny material. He did a joke about Viagra and the 4 hour erection. How old is that? He did fart jokes! He was so puerile and unoriginal we got up and left. We were frequent users of the Casino. We’d just been in Vegas at Christmas so I was prepared for a letdown but the slot machines were pretty new and it was well appointed. I played a lot of Fun 21, a blackjack variant that seems like you win more while actually giving an advantage to the house over regular blackjack. All the dealers I encountered there were friendly and fun. There was a regular crowd of players there so you got to know each other. My wife was up and down on the slots coming out behind. Fortunately I was up on the table games so it was about a wash for us. We went to a couple of the shows. The Diva show was very good. The featured singers did a great job! We tried the Brit show but it used a lot of animation that my wife didn’t like. We also saw the Edge. Not the U2 guitarist but a comedy juggler. He was good but a little irritating with it overly boisterous and wacky presentation. The Love and Marriage show, hosted by Matt the Cruise Director, was funny too. We thought Matt was a great CD and kept things lively whenever he was part of the goings on. As good as Matt was, I thought the rest of his staff ranged from dull to invisible. The only others I saw ever doing anything were Chris and Cruz. Their personas during a show we saw were drab. Chris mumbled a lot and failed to project any kind of energy or enthusiasm. He also introduced the comedians at the Punchliner. Again, no pizzazz or excitement in his presentation at all. On other cruises the assistant Cruise Director was a big presence and was almost as good as the CD himself or herself. On the Breeze, they’re lucky that Matt is as good as he is because he’s carrying the entire load! Food We chose the Your Time dining option. We’ve never done a fixed seating and have always chosen this or its equivalent on other cruise lines. We were assigned to the Sapphire dining room on deck 3. We usually ask for a table for 2 and have always been accommodated. We're not foodies by any means. We prefer good, simple meals that are well done with good service. The American Table fell short, in my opinion. So much so that we ate in the buffet 3 times on our 8-day cruise. The selections were not bad. There were always 1 or 2 things that would appeal to us, not counting the 4 standard entrees that are always available (chicken, salmon, steak and something else which escapes me...). The problem was, the service was so slow and indifferent that we felt it wasn't worth sitting through for a so-so selection. There were 2 occasions where no one took our drink order. We had to ask for iced tea and there wait a long time for it. Forget about getting a refill most of the time. One time it was almost a half hour from the time we sat down until our first course appeared. Most night’s dinner took 1.5 to 2 hours. That's way too long for 2 people with relatively simple fare. The other irritation was, having to wait so long to get a table. Twice we waited 20 to 30 minutes for a table. In past experiences, on Carnival and Princess, we've waited no more that 5 or 10 minutes if at all. Once we were given a pager and told it would be a 45-minute wait and we just gave the pager back and went to Guy's hamburgers. On 2 different nights we were put at a table for 2 that was effectively a table for 6. Three 2 tops were placed within 3-4 inches of one another so you couldn't NOT engage with the other people sitting right next to you. In both cases the people were enjoyable company but I really don't like making small talk with people I don't know for 2 hours. The wait staff in most cases seemed flustered and confused. Twice we followed the hostess from table to table until she could locate the one that was ours. I don't understand how hard it can be to number tables and find them on a layout of the dining room. The waiters seemed very disorganized and confused in most cases. It really seemed like they were struggling to figure things out. As such, I didn't find them all that friendly and convivial. On our last night in the MDR, we had a great team. Rajesh, Seno and Marcus did a fantastic job and the meal was great. Had all the service been this good we would have found the American Table to be a much better experience. As it was, I was not impressed. We ate breakfast and 3 dinners in the buffet. Breakfast was basic continental stuff, cereal, toast, bagels as well as a grilled selection with bacon, scrambled eggs, ham or sausage and breakfast potatoes and baked beans. They also had cheeses and cold cuts. There was an omelet and made to order egg station. I thought the breakfast was good and we never had a problem finding a seat. The buffet dinner was a little underwhelming. It was not the most expansive selection I’ve seen but what there was was good. There was a good salad selection as well as a few things that mirrored the MDR offerings. There was always a carving station with ham, pork loin, roast beef, etc. I had more good dinners in the buffet that I did in the MDR. My biggest complaint about the buffet was you couldn’t get a drink order if you wanted a Coke. It seemed you would have had to go out to a bar and get it yourself. On the Valor, as well as the Princess ships, there were waiters in the buffet taking your drink orders. On the Breeze, everything drinks wise was self service. We ate a lot of lunches at the Pizza Pirate, near the stern pool. Not bad pizza and was generally quick and easy. We really liked Guy’s Burger Joint. It was great! We ate at one of his places in Las Vegas and liked it so I was looking forward to having it on our cruise. I was not disappointed. The guys at the grill gave you a hamburger or cheeseburger and fries and you applied the toppings yourself. The line moved quickly and it was very good. Without a doubt, my favorite food on the ship! On the last sea day we ate at Jimmy’s C-Side BBQ. It gets crowded; we waited about 20 minutes in line. It was good, about what you’d expect when Applebee’s or any chain restaurant tries to do BBQ. Yankees will like it, Southerners will be grievously disappointed. Drinks We are not big drinkers of alcohol so we passed on the all you can drink (up to 15 per day) card. I bought 2 buckets of beer, and my wife had a couple of pretty drinks. She really enjoyed the Hurricane Wave made by Kristina at the Serenity Bar. I did most of my business with Mirko also at the Serenity Bar who was a very nice guy. Beer (Coors Light) was usually $5.50 but was $20 for 4 when you bought a bucket. The Froo-Froo drinks were $8 or $10 I think. Shots of well liquor were $5 or $6 and call brands started at $8 I believe. We did purchase the Bottomless Bubbles soda/pop program. It was $50-something each. We also bought the insulated Carnival cup which really wasn’t very well insulated. Next time I’d bring my own from home and save $7 apiece and have a more effective container. With the soft drink sticker on your card you were supposed to sign for each drink. Some of the bartenders made you do this and others didn’t. My wife mentioned that it would be nice if you had the soft drink program that you be allowed to drink the Cokes from the mini-bar in your room free of charges. It’s exactly the same as what the bar would give you. I’m not a coffee drinker so Coke is my morning caffeine choice. I do not understand why Carnival uses soft drinks in aluminum cans instead of a soda gun like every bar and restaurant uses. It would have to be cheaper to dispense and more efficient to move and store than pallets of Coke must be. Unless it’s an accounting thing, I don’t get the Coke in cans. My biggest disappointment was the bourbon selection at all the ship’s bars. I think plain ol’ white label Jim Beam is the only bourbon I saw. (And no, Jack Daniel’s isn’t bourbon. It’s made in Tennessee.) With the current bourbon craze you’d think they’d have at least a couple of premium brands. Even something as ubiquitous as Woodford Reserve would have been welcome. There was lots of Scotch, several brandies, rum and tequila galore but only Jim Beam represented the amber elixir of life. I’m glad I snuck a small quantity of Elijah Craig and Basil Hayden on board! Exterior Spaces With 4 sea days on an 8 day cruise we made a lot of use of the exterior spaces. Another thing we liked about the Breeze over the Valor is the Promenade deck (deck 5) goes all the way around the ship. A sign tell you that 2.5 laps equal a mile. I don’t like that little walking track thing that circles the funnel on deck 12. Too crowded and people moving at all different speeds. The worst thing about the Promenade deck is you occasionally have to dodge a sleeping passenger whose lounger is in the middle of your path. Otherwise it’s wide open and very easy walking, with no stairs. Also on sea days, you want to avoid the hours that Jimmy’s C-Side BBQ are open since it’s very crowded then. I think the pool in the amidships pool is called the Beach Pool. It is party central with music, either live or via a DJ is played there a lot of the time. The water slide is adjacent. There are also movies, the rum and tequila bars are there. It is a busy, boisterous place. We are dull people who enjoy quiet activities, so we stayed away from there. Most of our time was either at the Serenity area or at the deck 11 stern just about the Tides pool. The much decried “chair hogging” game was in full force. On our first sea day I went to Serenity about 9a and everything was claimed. We walked all around and at the port side stern of deck 11 there was some space. I found 2 unclaimed loungers and carried them back and squeezed them in. The only downside was this is the smoking lounge of the ship. But as windy as it was we weren’t bothered by smoke at all. I stepped over to the area of deck 11 protected by the superstructure of the ship and enjoyed a fine cigar on several occasions. This is a good area (and the same deck, starboard side is smoke free) as it’s in the sun all day. By our 3rd sea day I got smart and woke up early enough (6:30a) to claim a spot in the adults only Serenity area. They have cushioned loungers, giant hammocks, mini-cabanas as well as padded couches and chairs here. Best of all, no kids! They were very good at keeping kids out. On our last sea day I saw a couple of 12 year olds mosey through but that was it. They were also move vigilant about marking your chair if you left it. They’d put a sticker on your towel with the time. You had 45 minutes go come back and remove it or they’d take your stuff to the deck attendant area and you’d lose you spot. We saw this happen a couple of times and people were NOT happy about it. I was told that, even though this is the policy on the entire ship, they only enforce it on the Serenity deck during peak times. I don’t like the chair hogs, especially people who claim chairs in multiple locations for their convenience. But is someone gets up at 5am to claim a spot and doesn’t show up until after breakfast, no big deal. If they wait until after lunch then that’s a problem. In addition to the kid free benefit, the Serenity area has a bar and 2 hot tubs. It’s a little odd that it’s adjacent to the water slide area but you don’t really hear any noise from it and you can just barely hear the music from the Beach Pool. At times they had low-key music playing up there. There is glass all around the Serenity area which is good and bad. It keeps your hat and towel from blowing away but is so effective that it can get hot up there in certain very well protected spots. We really enjoyed being up here. It was like a tiny oasis in a sea of hoopla! As I said, we’re dull people. Ports We chose this cruise mostly because of the abundance of sea days. We’ve been to Aruba a couple of times and to Curacao once, never to Grand Turk. I don’t mean to sound blasé but we’ve had all the island tours we care to take. Jostling around in a van with strangers for 4 hours isn’t our idea of fun. We elected just to take a cab to the beach and in the case of Grand Turk; we scheduled a snorkeling trip with a local operator. Aruba On our first trip to Aruba we went to Eagle Beach. On our second trip we went to Palm Beach. Both were nice but Palm Beach has a lot more action; bars, jet ski rentals and crowds (did I mention we’re dull?) so we opted for Eagle Beach. Looking on Cruise Critic someone had suggested a couple of hotels or restaurants near Eagle Beach that had chairs and umbrellas to rent so we had a couple of ideas where we wanted to go. Leaving the ship we started to look for a taxi. One driver came up to us offering an island tour and we told him that we only wanted to go to the beach. He said he could take us to Eagle Beach for $15 total. I asked if he could recommend a place with chairs, umbrellas and a bar and he said he knew just the place. His name was Carl and he was a very nice guy. He took us to the Divi all-inclusive resort. I was a little reluctant because I’d read of people paying $75 or $100 a person to spend the day at an AI. He said not to worry; we’d only pay for drinks or food. He used to work there so he was familiar with the staff and the property. He told us to keep an eye out for a female security guard and since all the beaches are public they can’t make you move but can tell you not to use their chairs. He said if she told us that just put our towels next to the chair and there was nothing they could do. As I have issues with authority I was fine with this plan. We saw the guard who seemed very content in the shady spot she’d staked out. We found a spot under a thatched palapa with 2 chairs that was some distance from where the guard was keeping vigil. We spent the whole day in them with no problems. Since the Divi was all inclusive, the bar couldn’t accept payment. You had to go to the reception desk and buy vouchers for drinks or food. I bought 4 drink vouchers, good for either beer or pop, for $20. That got us through the day just fine. The local beer is Balashi and is not bad. Amstel Bright, a Corona-like light tropical beer is also good. They said lunch was $30 each but we passed. Eagle Beach is very nice with a wide, flat stretch of sand and a gently sloping waterline. There was some moderate wave action when we were there but perfectly enjoyable. You can walk a quarter mile to the left, toward town, from here and probably a mile or 2 to the right, toward the lighthouse at the far end of Aruba. There are several low-rise hotels, 2 stories or so, in this section. The high rises, like the Riu and others are further north. Having arrived at 10a, we asked Carl to pick us up at 3p. He was right on time and transit back to town was also $15. American money seems to be widely accepted. We got back onboard and ate a late lunch. While my wife sat in the sun some more, I went back into Orangestaad to buy some contraband. The Casa de Habanos is located on the ground level of the giant pink structure in the middle of town. Since this is the State owned chain of cigar stores that Cuba operates it’s the only place I feel comfortable buying Cuban cigars. So many cigars sold in touristy areas are really cheap, inferior Mexican or Dominican cigars with a fake label. I picked up some premium smokes and some of my favorite cheap, machine made Cubans, Jose Piedra. A box of 5 for $15 is the best cigar buy you can make! Carl the cab driver had recommended a Chinese grocery store, Kong Hing as the best place to buy liquor. I found a bottle of Havana Club rum but at $25 I passed. I like rum okay but I can’t tell the difference between HC and Bacardi or Ron Rico so it wasn’t worth the hassle. I found a nice little air-conditioned bar serving ice cold Amstel Bright that had good WiFi service and sent a couple of emails and got back on the ship. Curacao We had the same plan in Curacao. I’d looked online and found that the closest beach to Willemstad was the Sea Aquarium Beach. Some of the other beaches on the island sounded nice but cab fares were $40-$60 and up, one-way. The Breeze docked at the Mega Pier, which is across the inlet from the main area of town, the Punda. There’s a fairly new cruise terminal there and a nice walking area with shops and restaurants that leads to the Queen Emma swinging pontoon bridge. We crossed the bridge and looked around the Punda a little. I love the floating market where people come across from Venezuela with fresh seafood, fruits and vegetables every day, selling stuff right out of their boats. The waterfront buildings are very colorful and have a European look about there. There are a lot of touristy shops here as well as stores that are frequented by locals. Curacao’s government buildings are in this area too. We caught a cab that we shared with another family, and paid $5 per adult, $20 total, down to Sea Aquarium, aka Mambo beach. It was about a 15-minute ride. This beach has all kinds of shops, bars, restaurants, ice cream parlor, etc. It seems like Curacao’s Coney Island, minus the rides. The drawback is it’s pretty crowded. We got there early enough so we were able to get 2 chairs under a palapa for $3.00 each. Within 30 minutes there were none left and people were spreading their towels out on the sand. Prices weren’t bad for refreshments. A beer was $4.00 and a soft drink $3.00. I got a hot dog for $3.50. A sit down restaurant with outside tables had sandwiches in the $10.00 range. The beach was about 300-500 yards long and there was a breakwater a couple hundred feet offshore so the water was very calm compared to other beaches. It was a very different experience than Eagle Beach in Aruba but had a lot of conveniences. After a few hours there we teamed up with some other Breeze passengers and split a cab back to the ship with them. Again, the fare was just $5.00 each. Grand Turk Grand Turk was the one island on the itinerary that we’d never visited. I read online there there’s not much to see here. No historical buildings and other than the statue that marks where John Glenn was brought to after he splashed down in Friendship 7, not much in the way of attractions. The Turks and Caicos are renowned as a great diving destination so this seemed like the best spot to arrange a snorkel trip. Looking online I found that Papa J’s Tours had good reviews and we booked a snorkeling excursion that would go to 2 different sites for $55.00 each. This was cheaper than what Carnival offered and the boat held a max of 12 people rather than the 50 or more on the snorkel trips offered by the cruise line. As it turned out, bad weather on previous days had caused the conditions to be subpar so our trip wasn’t very good. We did see some stingrays, which was kind of cool. I was disappointed because I was really looking forward to some super clear water and abundant marine life. We went back to the ship and ate lunch. My wife again repaired to the Sanctuary for some sun and I went back ashore. Grand Turk is essentially the equivalent to a cruise line’s private island like Princess Cay, Half Moon Bay, Labadee, and so on. It’s a beach with a nice shopping area and a giant Jimmy Buffett Margaritaville. The Margaritaville complex is huge. It’s like a resort without the hotel rooms. The pool is giant, the bar and restaurant was packed. There was a surfing pool. There was a DJ playing loud music for the mostly drunken revelers. It looked like an 8-hour spring break for adults. The beer was expensive and the WiFi connection didn’t work so I walked about a hundred yards down the beach to the Barefoot Cabana where beer was cheaper and the WiFi signal strong. I had a Turks Head Lager, which was not bad. Like I always say, Think Globally….Drink Locally. Summary We had a great time on board the Breeze. Our timing for vacation was perfect. It was subzeo weather at home with a ton of snow. The ideal time to visit the tropics! Here’s what I’d give pluses to: Décor Cabin and cabin steward Layout of the ship, ease of finding your way around Serenity deck Guy’s Hamburgers Fun Hub and app Embarkation process Matt the Cruise Director Here’s what I’d rate as disappointments: American Table in Main Dining Room Cruise Director’s staff Lack of drink service at evening buffet Even with the disappointments, we had a great time and were happy to have dodged some gawd-awful weather back home!   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
B2B Oasis of the Seas (RC) Feb 7th - Feb 14th (7 days)  The Breeze (Carnival) Feb 14th - Feb 22nd (8 days) 8 of us flew from Canada to Fort Lauderdale the day before our first leg of this B2B. Our 13 year old son does not travel well, ... Read More
B2B Oasis of the Seas (RC) Feb 7th - Feb 14th (7 days)  The Breeze (Carnival) Feb 14th - Feb 22nd (8 days) 8 of us flew from Canada to Fort Lauderdale the day before our first leg of this B2B. Our 13 year old son does not travel well, and he was sick on all three flights. We booked all of our transportation through the same company, we called them from airport, and by the time we gathered our luggage they were there to pick us up. We booked 2 hotel rooms at Holiday Inn and Suites, Sawgrass Mills. One for 5 of us, and the other for 3 of us. When the 5 of us opened our room, we found a gutted room. No carpet, no furniture, no sink even...just a safe in the middle of the room. The other room was fine. Because it was a Friday and we were in Fort Lauderdale, they had been booked full for months. They apologized profusely. They had just purchased the hotel, and were still renovating and working out the kinks. Our son laid on the couch in the lobby as they called around to other hotels, hoping to find a vacant room for us. After quite some time they finally found a hotel with 2 rooms available for us...at their expense. They also gave us $20.00 for the cab ride. We had to call the company that was transporting us the next day to The Port, to change our pick up location. We waited almost 1.5 hrs for a cab to show up and take us to other hotel, again, because it was a Friday night. In that time we saw 3 other couples come in to find out there were no reservations for them in the system and they were turned away. One couple had rented a car, to drive to Miami the next morning for their cruise, and knew months ago that there were no vacancies in Miami on a Friday night. They had resolved to sleep in the rented vehicle. I can't remember the name of the hotel we were sent to, but it was definitely a high end hotel. We were given the only 2 rooms left, which turned out to be a huge conference room, with a kitchenette and a meeting room with a table for 16, and very large bathroom, but only one queen size bed...for 5 of us. Our son didn't care, he had finally found a bed after being sick from 6am when we got on the plane, to which was now midnight. My cousin and her families room was 1 queen and a small pull out couch. The hotel that sent us there didn't mention how many occupants would be in the room...but it didn't matter anyways, since these were the only 2 rooms available. Hubby and I stayed with our son in the big conference room, and the five others stayed in room with bed and pull out couch. Embarkation and Cabins on The Oasis : We got to The Port at about 11:30am. We were told to show up at 2:30 for our boarding time, but had to be out of hotel by 11:00 anyways. The lines moved quickly, and very efficiently. The staff were inviting, and despite the previous evenings adventures we were already loving this cruise before we even got on the ship. We were all very hungry by the time we got on The Oasis. We went strait to The Buffet since that's where it seemed everyone else was headed. I will write more about the buffet below. We had our luggage delivered very quickly. On The Oasis we had two cabins between the 8 of us. One was A Family Balcony cabin which had a queen bed, and large pull out couch, and a bunk bed off to the side, built into the wall which couldn't be put up and down. The bed and pull out couch could be separated by a thick curtain. There was plenty of storage space and closets in this particular cabin. The balcony was quite large, and all 5 of us could be out there comfortably. We were impressed, altho it looked nothing like the pictures posted on RC website. We were on deck 11. Cabin 11172. Other 3 family members were just down the hall in a Balcony cabin, 11208. Embarkation and Cabins on The Breeze : Our Transportation showed up at Fort Lauderdale Port about 20 minutes after we debarked from Oasis. We were there far earlier than we had planned. We did not have to wait long in lines, nor did we have to wait long for our zone to be called. The staff were friendly and accommodating. Again, we headed strait to the buffet hoping it was better than the buffet on Oasis and it was. This time we had three balcony cabins side by side, with two of the cabins having a joining door. With the partitions removed, our balcony was huge ! These balcony cabins were larger than the balcony cabin my cousins family had on The Oasis. Not by much, but there was definitely more wiggle room at the end of the bed. Bathrooms were bigger as well. We were on Deck 9 in cabins 9212, 9216, and 9220. It was one deck below lido, a short walk to stairs that took us very close to lido and buffet. Muster Oasis vs Breeze : Both were painless. We couldn't believe how quickly The Oasis got everyone to their stations...and there were so many of them. Staff was everywhere directing everyone where to go. It was done and over with before we knew it. The Breeze was similar, and they had staff spread out all over to demonstrate the drill, with some humour involved. Food Oasis vs Breeze : The Oasis : We were not impressed with the buffet on The Oasis but figured it was because we had just spent a week in Montego Bay at a resort with a grand buffet. The 4 kids said they liked the buffet better on this ship. As the week went on, we were less and less impressed with the buffet, but it didn't matter, because the MDR definitely made up for it. Breakfast was better than lunch. The kids ate dinner there once, I believe it was sushi, and Chinese that night. Every night they had a theme to their dinner buffet, from BBQ to Italian. The rest of us didn't eat there for dinner because we were so pleased with the menu and service in MDR. We didn't end up booking in any of the specialty restaurants, again, mainly because we were so pleased with The MDR. We had chosen "my time dining" but still had to choose a time every night, which we didn't have to do on "my time dining" on The Breeze. We never waited more than 2 minutes to be seated on The Oasis. We all must have ordered 2 escargot every night, and they were on the menu every night. They were very very good. Lobster was offered on both elegant nights and it too was very very good. I am a pescatarian, and there was always several choices for me. We had the same wait staff for all but 2 of the dinners. Our 13 year old had a hot chocolate and tea before he even got seated. They were very accommodating. I don't think the 8 of us had one complaint during our dining on Oasis aside from blaming their MDR for not being able to fit into any of our clothes for the second half of our B2B. Lol. Every dessert I had was better than the last. Between the 8 of us, we probably tried most of the menu, and everyone had their favourites. Some that come to mind are The Lobster Bisque (we all raved about this soup...it was that good.) The Escargot was so good that I think we all ordered 2 of these apps after having tried them the first night. Far better than the ones on The Breeze, and The Escargot was on the menu every night, on the The Breeze only 2 nights and one of those nights it was Baked Escargot that wasn't the same. Shrimp Cocktail was on the table almost every evening as well, and they were bigger, and seemed fresher than the ones on The Breeze. The cocktail sauce was sweeter as well. One of my favourite starters was The French Onion Soup and Creamed Wild Mushrooms. Hubby loved The Caprese Salad, Crab Cake, older kids liked Scallops in Cheese, and The Creamed Mushroom Soup was excellent. My favourite main course was The Eggplant Parmigiana, and I can't wait to have it again. Everyone loved The Braised Beef Duo, which was a short rib and a beef shoulder. My cousin said The Lamb was cooked to perfection. Hubby loved The Fillet of Beef Tenderloin. The Fish Seafood Plate was very good, came with cod, scallops and shrimp. One night there was some very big shrimps in a garlic sauce...it was also memorable. On another night I had a Fishermans Plate with lobster and garlic shrimps, and it was also very good. All of the desserts looked wonderful, and we tried many of them. The Sticky Bread and Butter Pudding was my favourite, and again, one of those things I can't wait to try again on our next RC cruise. I loved The Creme Brûlée on both ships, but RCs was sweeter, and one night it was Banana Creme Brûlée, which is my favourite. I enjoyed The Rum Baba Yeast Cake with Vanilla. I didn't like The Grand Marnier Soufflé at all, but that's not Carnivals fault, I just didn't like that type of eggy dessert, and had never tried it before. The carrot cake was yummy, and The Key Lime Pie was one of the best I have ever tried. I guess I was expecting a bit more out of The Baked Alaska, and I know I tried it one evening, but I can't even remember it, so it must not have been that good to me. Older kids loved The Moist Rum Chocolate Cake. My cousins hubby had ice cream every evening, and different flavoured sherbets that he said were very good. Hubby and older son always ordered The International Cheese Plate, and enjoyed them as well. We had pizza almost every evening on The Oasis...it wasn't great, but it wasn't bad either...if you were willing to wait, you could have them cook you up one with your choice of toppings, if not, there were always 4 or 5 different ones ready. There was a little sandwich/donut/coffee shop which was free. The donuts were interesting, I never tried the sandwiches, but from what I remember, everyone wanted pizza instead. There were so many places to eat on The Oasis, some free, some for a charge. I believe 25 different places to be exact. We ate mid afternoon salads at one spot called Park Cafe in Central Park and sat at an outdoor bar close by almost every day. They offer breakfast as well, but we tried it once, and never went back. They had egg wraps and panini sandwiches, cereal and fruit, but non of us found it was very good. The salads were made to order, and were very good. You could also get hot and cold sandwiches there, chips and nachos. In hindsight, I wish we had tried at least one of the pay for restaurants, but again, MDR won us over. A few of us tried Johnny Rockets, which was about $6.00, but included whatever else you wanted, such as onion rings and fries. I had the veggie burger, and it was not good. Our 13 year old was looking very forward to these burgers, he was very disappointed. A milkshake cost an additional $6.00, which my son said was the only thing that tasted good. Everyone but me had a few chilli dogs on The Boardwalk...and said they were pretty good. Son bought an ice cream in the ice cream shop where they also had cupcakes. There was a decorating class going on when we were there. Son said the ice cream was better than the free ice cream, but at a cost, I only let him get ice cream from there once. We totally took advantage of room service. One of my favourite things was the Caesar Salad...the dressing in packets was very good, and I liked that I could put as little or as much as I wanted and that the lettuce wasn't sitting in dressing until it arrived. The room service pizza wasn't the same as the pizza place, it was awful. The Breeze : On The Breeze we found the opposite...the buffet had more choices, and those choices were better, and warmer when suppose to be, and colder when suppose to be. You can make an amazing salad at The Market Place. We all liked the speed and choices available at The Omelette Station, the french toast and pancakes were much better on this ship, as was the presentation. The Sweet Spots had excellent dessert choices that changed for every meal. On one of the last days, when the rest of my family went to check out the SeaDay BBQ, I went down to the buffet and found The Chocolate Extravaganza ...every station was serving up cakes and donuts dripping with chocolate that you could hold under a chocolate fountain...they had these banana chocolate wontons...I still dream about them ! That was my most pleasant surprise on The Breeze. Had no idea it was going on. Everyone else...did not like the BBQ at all. Guys burgers was a hit with the whole family...(me included as I just asked for cheese and bun, and filled it up with veggies and pickles and condiments)...and I had my share of fries as well. 13 year old probably ate there 2 times a day to make up for the burgers he couldn't stomach on The Oasis. We all enjoyed the pizza at Pizza Pirates, and was perfect for a late night snack, where you could also get lasagne, meatball subs and salad. We found ourselves there late into the evenings on more than 1 occasion. Again, our 13 year old ate there several times throughout the cruise. So much so, that they would start preparing his as soon as they saw him if there was a line up. Room Service was used at least once daily, usually breakfast. We usually waited about 25 minutes, as we never put our cards out, and would just order when we woke up from the TV. The grilled cheese sandwich was very good. I liked ordering the chocolate cake and cookies a few times for balcony time. We also had tea every morning, hubby likes honey in his tea, and when we forgot to add that when ordering, they would call up to cabin and ask if we wanted honey this time. We thought that was a nice touch. Son loved waking up to hot chocolate and toast and fruit every morning. Of course we still headed down to the buffet after what we dubbed...our pre-breakfast breakfast. The most memorable meal of all was the first evening in The Steakhouse. The first evening they give the table a free bottle of wine. We booked on line a few weeks before the cruise, and they confirmed our booking, but could not confirm the time. It was Valentine's Day...and being the first night of the cruise they could not seat us until 9:30. 6 of the 8 of us went. Everyone should try The Steakhouse. My lobster was excellent, hubby had a humongous steak. We all enjoyed everything. The house wine went well with our meals. The escargot was delicious, loved the french onion soup...I had an apple in a puff pastry for dessert. The staff went well out of their way to mix a drink for my cousins daughter who was suffering from bad cramps, by warming some liqueurs for her. The chefs sent out little apps for us in between courses, mini burgers for the men, and the best tomato soup I have ever tried for the ladies. The breads and spreads were so good. We left there stuffed. We did not go to The Italian Restaurant, but the kids went to Bonsai Sushi, and said they were surprised at how much they got with their order. They said it wasn't the best sushi they had ever had but it wasn't the worst either. They enjoyed their meal there. We did "my time dining" on The Breeze. This meant, dine when you are ready. We were usually told 30 - 40 minutes, and were given a buzzer to let us know when our table was ready. We never waited more than 15 minutes and with the bar and plenty of seats, the wait was not an issue. The MDR was a different story. The service was slow. We were served by so many different people, we didn't know who was who. Our 13 year old seemed almost invisible to the waiters. It took forever, almost every evening for him to get his hot chocolate and a hot tea. The food wasn't nearly as good as The Oasis MDR, but there were some meals that were much better than others. On the last night I ordered a dish with pasta and seafood, called Seafood Newburg, and it was not only the worst tasting meal on the cruise, it was the worst tasting meal I have ever had. The noodles were not cooked on the inside, but were mushy like glue on the outside. On the plus side, the rhubarb pie was amazing ! I also had the warm chocolate melting cake once, probably the first night as I always look forward to it. Non of us really liked The American Table, altho we thought we would. One thing to mention here is lobster was only available the first elegant night on The Breeze. You could order lobster from The Steakhouse for an extra charge of $20.00. On The Breeze some of our meals were very good. I liked The Mushroom Cream Soup, and Little Necks Clam Chowder ( I believe everyone enjoyed this chowder). My favourite meal of the cruise was The Teriyaki Salmon, and hubby loved The Baked Meatballs so much that he ordered two more. The guys all ordered Duel Filet Mignon and short ribs...and they all agreed it was their favourite meal on this cruise. Baked Onion Soup was very good, but not quite as good as on RC. 13 year old loves The Alligator Fritters, and Frog Legs. Some family members tried The Braised Rabbit and said it was something they would order again next cruise. We all had Fried Shrimp which most of us enjoyed more than The Oasis fried shrimp. My cousin loved The Roasted Pumpkin Soup. Their dessert choices were few in comparison to Oasis, and not nearly as good, but my favourites were Bitter and Blanc (one of my favourite desserts from both cruises)...and The Banana White Chocolate Bread Pudding tasted amazing ! Older son tried Butter Popcorn Pot De Creme, just because it seemed so different. It was, and altho he said it was interesting, he would never order it again. I enjoyed The Creme Brûlée on both ships, very similar, with RCs being a bit sweeter, perhaps too sweet, and if I had to chose between the two, I would probably pick Carnivals, altho I liked the banana slices on The Creme Brûlée on one of the evenings on Oasis. My absolute favourite on The Breeze was The Rhubarb Pie. I'm still dreaming of it ! In fact, all their pies were very good, I tried The Apple Pie and the kids all ordered The Cherry Pie. Didn't get to The Tacos again this cruise, altho I passed by it several times a day. Everyone has that "thing they planned to do but never got to it" on a cruise...and that was mine. Who Comes Out On Top : Oasis wins this one, because of the MDR, and the vast amount of choices to dine. Carnival pulled up closer simply because of The Steakhouse, and the fact that their buffet blew Oasis away. (According to the adults anyways) Drinks/Packages Oasis vs Breeze The Oasis offered several different drink packages. They were affordable, and fit our needs. Hubby got The Select Package, which included beer, wine, non alcoholic cocktails fountain soda and 20% off bottles of wine. It cost $35.00/day. I got The Premium Package that included fancy cocktails, wine, spirits, beer, bottled water, soda and 20% off bottled wine. This cost $49.00/day. There was an ultimate package which offered everything including premium coffees, teas and fresh squeezed orange juice for $55.00/day. Drinks were unlimited. We knew we would be drinking and relaxing, and know we got our money's worth and then lots more. I tried so many different drinks, and so many were so tasty. The Breeze drink package policy is different than Oasis. If one person in a cabin wants to purchase the drink package, everyone in that cabin must buy the drink package. It is a one size fits all, at one set price, and there is a limit of 15 drinks per 24 hr period. The package was $49.95/day. We had $470.00 dollars OBC, so decided a big chunk of our spending money would be spent on drinks, and we were not planning on spending money at The Spa, or much at The Shops, that this would be most practical for us. Who Comes Out On Top : Thats a No Brainer...Oasis wins hands down, for price, options and no limits... Bars/Entertainment Oasis Vs Breeze : There were so many bars on Oasis, 7 days was not enough, each bar had its own personality, and vibe. We spent a lot of time on The Rising Tide Bar, going up and down to the different decks. It wasn't a big bar, seats maybe 35 tops, but we always had a table and seat...guess the novelty wears off quick on most, but it didn't for us. The bartender made the best drinks on the Oasis. We spent a lot of time in On Air Bar...where they held the Karaoke. My hubby sings, and he entertained everyone, and winning The Superstar Karaoke Contest. He was given a very nice trophy. The piano bar was called Schooner Bar...kind of a let down, however the entertainer in that bar could sing better than the one on The Breeze. Hubby sang along with the singer a few evenings. He was offered singing gigs on the cruise. There was a bar called Globe and Atlas that had a solo guitar/singer. There were always a lot of people in that bar. There was a Jazz bar on Deck 4, a place called Boleros on Deck 5 that played mostly Latin music. There was The Champagne Bar, with the most comfy seats EVER...very nice and relaxing. We went to the dance clubs, Blaze, and Dazzles, one with a live band that played mostly 80's tunes, and the other playing the most recent dance tunes. There was a cigar bar, and so many outside bars, including a very nice one in Central Park. Everywhere you turned there seemed to be another bar, not only that, it didn't have to be a bar and you could still get any drink you wanted. At the pizza place you could get drinks, at the coffee/sandwich spot you could get drinks. We met many nice cruisers each evening. The bars on The Breeze were not as plentiful, but they were well placed, and spread out. We probably spent more of our bar time in Red Frog Pub playing darts, and this silly ring swinging table game. It was never packed, but had an excellent bartender and waitress that were there every night that we popped in there. Hubby did not like the way the karaoke system was set up, the sound was bad without a monitor. He sang with The Band as often as Live Karaoke was held which wasn't often enough, or long enough to fit all the singers in. The Liquid Lounge was usually pretty quiet...with only a handful of dancers on the floor no matter what time of the night. We never stayed for more than one drink at a time. We liked the bar on The Serenity Deck, and Red Frog, and Blue Iguana on Lido, and we really tried to like The Piano Bar...we had heard Ben was the best in the Fleet...but the passing around of hats that thousands of other cruisers have had on their heads wasn't our thing and he never seemed to even get 1/4 of a song in before it was switched. The routine was the same every night... The entertainment on Oasis was excellent, and we enjoyed all the shows. We missed the first half of Cats due to hubby making the finals in The Superstar Karaoke, but what we did see was very entertaining. Come Fly With Me was my favourite, and our 14 year old couldn't stop talking about how neat the light show was during the performance. Frozen In Time was The Ice Show, and it was short, which was nice because it was right after we saw Cats. The only show we missed was Oasis of Dreams, again, because hubby had placed in The Finals and we had to go to that and the next time it was scheduled the ocean was too rough for the divers in The Aquatheater. The comedians were funny, but not nearly as entertaining as the ones on The Breeze. We saw 2 very different comedy routines on Oasis. They were held in far too small a room for the amount of people in line wanting to attend. We also went to a "Majority Rules Game Show"which really wasn't that fun. We missed quite a bit of the entertainment on The Breeze, due to our drawn out dinners in The MDR, but we did catch Divas which was very entertaining. Hasbro The Game Show was another one of those meant to do, but never did. We missed it on The Sunshine as well. What we enjoyed most on The Breeze was The Comedians...Al Ernst, Jason Blanchard, Chas Elstner and Lester Bibbs were all very good. The comedians on The Breeze were far better than the ones on Oasis. We went to Battle of The Sexes, which was not very entertaining, as one of the hosts was hard to understand with his accent and had to keep asking the other host what was written on his paper. It didn't help that the "coach" for the men's team didn't listen to the answers from them and instead came up with his own weird answers. After that they had some sort of "Love and Marriage Game" and we laughed so much. We also went to The Adult Game Show The Quest" and had a blast. It was a lot of fun. Matt (The Cruise Director) was always very entertaining. I wish we had seen Motor City, from what we heard, it was very good too. There was a hypnotist names Asad, and somehow we missed him. Wise words to a cruiser...always check your Fun Times or Cruise Compass, and check it twice. Altho we missed him, we heard many cruisers talking about how enjoyable he was. What we also liked about The Breeze entertainers, is that they were always seen out and about after their shows, dancing in the atrium with other musicians and getting the crowds dancing. There were many photo opportunities with all the entertainers. They would be seen chatting with cruisers after their shows. Who Comes Out On Top : Oasis, but The Breeze is a very close second simply because of the comedy shows. I don't feel it fair to compare the two when we missed a lot of what The Breeze had for entertainment, including Motor City, Latin Nights and The Brits. We also missed The Comedy Juggler, but we heard he was not vey good at juggling and he wasn't very good at comedy either. Staff/Cruise Directors and Fellow Cruisers Oasis vs Breeze : We found the staff in The MDR exceeded our expectations in every way on Oasis. Our daughter-in-law was motion sick for the first few days of the cruise, and the wait staff made up little plates for our son to take to her. The chef served my cousins daughter as rare a steak as he could as that's how she prefers them. Our room attendant took care of our needs and at the same time didn't bother our daughter-in-law while she dealt with her motion sickness. Cabin was kept very clean, and we have no complaints. Bartenders and wait staff on Oasis were very friendly, and very good at their jobs. We never waited long for a drink, no matter where we were. Staff was always accommodating, and in a pleasant, upbeat mood. We can't say enough praises about our Cabin Attendant on The Breeze. John was amazing. He worked so hard, and he was always seen, and knew all our names. He played a few songs for us on hubby's guitar. He was especially attentive to our 13 year old son. Made him feel like this was "his cruise" and that made us all happy. He is one of the ones you will never forget, no matter how many cruises you will go on. Most of the employees on The Breeze, particularly the ones in The Lido Market Place were busy cleaning up constantly. Hubby and I witnessed one incident where a child was dining alone, and licking the salt and pepper shakers, and putting them in his ears and rubbing them on his neck. When he left the table, we let one of the employees know, and he took them away, just to put them down on another table. Drew Devine was our Cruise Director on Oasis. He seemed to be everywhere announcing every show and every event, and he hosted The Belly Flop Contest. But we never saw him out and about mingling with the guests, that's not saying he wasn't, but we never saw him. Matt Mitchum from The Breeze on the other hand was always mingling with the cruisers, he was out giving free hugs, and selling t-shirts on lido, he hosted many of the shows, was very personable, funny, entertaining, and very good at his job. We would hear him first thing in the morning on the intercom, and see him all over the ship into the late hours. He is also one of those you will always remember. We didn't meet a rude person on The Oasis. Most people were very pleasant, and we met many cruisers over the course of the week. On The Breeze, there were rude people at every turn. These rude people either left all their class at home, or never had any to begin with. Waiting in line with my son for The 3D Thrill Theatre...30 minutes before the first show, which only fits 28 people at a time, and we were 6th in line. 3 minutes before they start letting the first 28 people in, a mans wife, 3 kids and 3 friends that the kids had met all budded in line, pushing the rest of us back, and 10 seconds later another guy lets 2 of his buddy's in line ahead of us too. A person behind me complained to the employee, but she did nothing. Would not have mattered anyways, because once you get through the first door, there is a little waiting area, and whoever gets closest to the door gets to sit in the front, which are the only seats worth sitting in, and the seats are all level, and the screen practically sits on the floor, and all you see for the bottom half of the screen is people's heads. Will write more about Thrill Theatre. There were so many people who budded in line, who would save lounge chairs for hours at a time, who would push their way through lines. In The Comedy Club we had 3 people plop their butts right down on the table in front of us where were would be putting our drinks. We had to actually complain, and the announcer simply asked that no one sit on the tables. We got rude looks and snide comments from these cruisers for the rest of the cruise. On the last port day we spent some time on the beach in Grand Turk, but it was overcast, so we all headed back to the ship and decided to have a few drinks and use one of the hot tubs. We found an unoccupied one near the pizza place. All 8 family members had to immediately leave the hot tub when a mother, father and their baby enters the hot tub. The baby had a diaper on, and band aids on its face and leg. Their was crumbs and jam all over his face. My hubby complained, and was told they would go talk to the parents. We all grabbed pizza before heading back to our cabins, which took 5 minutes or so, and when my husband peeked his head back out to look at hot tub, that family was still in there. The rudeness was endless. Who Comes Out On Top : The Breeze...altho we met many rude cruisers on The Breeze, we also met some great people, friendly people, happy people. Everyone was nice on Oasis, but the people on The Breeze seemed to really enjoy meeting each other, and chatting. Matt also helps The Breeze come out on top here...he was "Made" to be A Cruise Director on Carnival. Our Cabin Attendant on The Breeze gets an AAA+++ from all of us. Ports Oasis vs Breeze : On Oasis we visited : Nassau, Bahamas : We were in Nassau at 7:00am until 2:00am. We walked around the shops and stores, found a coffee shop, and 7 of us headed to the beach by Atlantis. The cab ride was $20.00 for the 7 of us. It was 9:00am, and it felt so early to be at the beach. When my cousin and I were looking for a washroom we somehow walked past the security guards at the gate to Atlantis Resort. They didn't notice us and we didn't notice them. We found the washroom and walked around the resort for awhile. It wasn't until we heard one of the kids yelling to us from way down the beach that we were not suppose to be there, that we realized. The day in Nassau was short, but on the plus side, the beach was just starting to get busy when we left. Our cab back to Oasis was also $20.00 for the 7 of us. The rest of the day was spent exploring the ship, or I should say, some of the ship. Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas : We ported at 10:00am and didn't have to be back on ship until 7:00pm. We went to some of the shops, and then took a cab to a beach...7 of us again, daughter-in-law stayed on the ship. The cab cost us $16.00 for the 7 of us. It started at $30.00, but my cousin will always get a deal, or move on to the next cab. The beach was a bit of a drive. We all ascended onto this all inclusive resort, and a beach that really wasn't that nice. It cost $7.00 to rent a lounge chair, I was the only one to get one. I also bought a very thin cheap tourist towel for $15.00. I was glad when we all decided to head back to the ship hours before we had to be back. The cab driver agreed to $20.00 for the 7 of us, but her open buggy fit at least 20, and she refused to leave until she was full with cruisers heading back to port. So we waited about 15 minutes and then headed back. Will not be a port that sticks out in my mind. Phillipsburg, St Maarten : We walked to the beach after buying some cold coconut water. It was going to be a hot day.This was our favourite port out of the 6 we visited. What a beautiful place, with wonderful locals. We had such a good time listening to the bands, dancing, finding deals in the shops, drinking tasty drinks that were actually cheaper if you had alcohol in them. One of the bands let my hubby sing. Only a few of us actually made it down to The Beach, but they came back up shortly after. We saw the smallest bar in the world. My cousins daughters brother and wife were vacationing in St Maarten and they met us for drinks and a visit. We all had a blast that day. 13 year old and daughter-in-law stayed on the ship, and said the ship was empty. Son practised his mini-putt. On The Breeze we visited : Aruba : we got to Aruba at 9:00am, and didn't have to be back on the ship until 10:00pm. It took 2 Sea Days to get here. We took cab to the beach that the locals recommended. I can't remember the names of any of the beaches we went to. This beach went on forever, and the sand was nice. There was a lot of activity going on in the water, with jet skis and peddle boats, and tube rides. The water was nice and warm as the day was too. It's windy in Aruba tho, and the sand blasts were not all that fun. After waiting about a half hour for a couple to leave from under a shaded hut, I quickly grabbed all our belongings to get some shade. Everyone else spent quite a bit of time in the water. We had a lunch at an outdoor beach bar, and it was very good, even tho it too got dusted with sand. It was a beautiful place to visit, but I could never live in Aruba. We headed back to the port before 5:00pm. Curacao : We all decided that we had done enough beach time, hubby was burned and didn't want any sun. We wandered around the shops, and had to wait for the bridge to swing back to go over to the other shops. It was a rocky day in the ocean and the wind and the swaying bridge made us look and feel like schools of fish being swayed back and forth. Our son found some neat things in the shops, and was able to haggle. We decided to head back to the ship, and by taking one wrong turn we found ourselves directly behind an unsafe part of town. We could see the ship from where we were, and had 3 men with us, but the "feel" from one block to the next left us all feeling like we should get back to the ship and out of this area immediately. Grand Turk : We were there at 9:00am and had to be back on the ship at 5:00pm. The island is 7.5 miles long. They had many very over-priced shops, cruisers looked, but I didn't see many buying anything. The beach was right there, and we found a decent spot. It was overcast this day. I don't think we stayed on the beach much over an hour. The beach was crowded, and the drinks and munchies were expensive. We headed back to the ship and found a hot tub at the back of the ship and spent the afternoon sipping drinks. We had full intentions of doing excursions on most of the islands. We spent a grand amount of time researching them and deciding which ones we would like to try, and where. In the end it just seemed that the islands we went to on this B2B were all about The Ocean Beaches ! We were on this cruise to spend time together as a family, and have some fun. Beach Days seemed the perfect relaxing thing to do. Everyone including seasoned cruisers and the locals recommended the beaches we went to. Who Comes Out On Top : Oasis, because we loved St Maarten. We have no desire to visit Grand Turk again. Loved Aruba, just didn't like the sand blowing. Getting on and off the ships was very quick, except in Nassau, Bahamas, where security check was slow. Activities : Oasis vs Breeze Oasis : The Oasis is so big, and had so much going on at all times of the day, and night. Our 13 year old spent a great deal of time playing mini-putt. The older kids tried out The Flow Rider, so did hubby. 13 year old and hubby climbed that massive rock climbing wall. The both of them just go up and up and up. We watched The Belly Flop Contest, was fun. Just hanging out on all the different types of loungers with icy cocktails on Serenity was an "activity" that my cousin and I really enjoyed on Oasis, while the others were out exploring the ship. They had so many different types of seminars, and classes...from The Basics of Blackjack, Identifying Gems, Look 10 Yrs Younger Today, Pain Free Feet, Wrinkle Free Me, Introduction to Acupuncture, Wine Pairing, Art Appreciation, Cupcake Decorating, you name it, there was a seminar about it. We didn't attend any other than a diamond shopping seminar which was quite informative. If you are into "shopping" and "higher end" shopping, then Oasis is the cruise for you. From Kate Spade to Michael Kors, Regalia to Invicta, where we never noticed a good deal, and their stock seemed to be someone "dated" We had a family mini-putt tournament one evening, the course was fun, but not as challenging as the mini-putt on The Breeze. We liked The Boardwalk, but didn't go through there more than twice. The majority of our afternoons were spent on decks, and Central Park, and Promenade. Non of us tried The Zip Line, it looked kinda wimpy, and it was only open select hours and there was always a line up. There were hot tubs everywhere ! Some were open all night. It was nice the way they lit up the decks. We don't gamble, but the casino was always very busy. We liked The Touch Screens found all over the ship which could tell you everything from what was going on at that moment, how to get there from where you were on the ship to how many diners were in any given restaurant at that time. It helped us a great deal when navigating throughout the ship. There were always seats available no matter where you chose to go, except for where they held the comedians shows and a few of the "Adults Only Game Shows," at Comedy LIVE, which had line-ups and couldn't accommodate the cruisers wanting to attend. Our 13 year old never signed up for the kids program. He always had plenty to do, and seemed busy and on the go most of the time. When asked what family members favourite things to do, hubby, my cousin and I all said The Rising Tide Bar was our favourite thing to do. It only held maybe 35 people, so the staff operating it had plenty of time to chat with us about their cruise life and family back home. We met several cruisers, both seasoned, and new to cruising. The bartender on The Rising Tide was behind the bar no matter what time of day or evening (and there were both day and evening, many days and evenings...lol) he made the best drinks on the ship, hands down. Cousins hubby acted as our personal Cruise Director, always knowing where everything was happening. The older kids, 17, 21 and 26, spent evenings dancing, hot tubs, and socializing. Our 13 year old liked playing mini-putt, room service, our large balcony, and Come Fly With Me. The Breeze : The Breeze had a lot going on too, it just seemed we missed quite a bit of it. Again, it was most likely because our time spent in MDR was sometimes a very long evening. We would see the comedian, then have to leave and get in line again for the next comedian. The Punchliner Comedy Club had plenty of room to accommodate its patrons, and still a few of the patrons thought the best seat in the house was on the tables in front of us where we would be putting our drinks. These people didn't move when we asked them, so cousins hubby went and complained to announcer. He said something over the mic asking people to please not sit on the tables, and they finally moved. We were subject to dirty looks from them for the remainder of the cruise. When not at port, we spent time on Serenity, and locating all the "secret decks." We spent time at the lido bars, and more time on our balcony than on Oasis. We had all three balconies with the partitions removed. We had another family mini-putt tournament, and enjoyed this course better than the one on Oasis. We liked Ocean Plaza, and the seats. They had karaoke with the band, however it was never long enough to accommodate everyone who wanted to participate. On The Breeze, the adults all said the comedians were the best part of the cruise. Our 13 year old ate A LOT of Guys Burgers, and Pizza. He enjoyed The Thrill Theatre, and room service. The older kids spent time doing a bit of everything, spent a lot of time on The Lido, watched a few Dive In Movies. They too enjoyed pizza every night, and Guys Burgers. Daughter-in-law was the only one who spent time at The Spa, and she went during a special on a manicure and they did a wonderful job. My cousin and I went to Tea Time on The Breeze. We had been told this was a not to miss event. Maybe it's because I was expecting more that I was disappointed, but it was nice I guess. A couple sat with us, and they were from Canada too. We were served our choice of tea and little sandwiches, 3 or 4 different types, and then a small tray of desserts is wheeled around. Who Comes Out On Top : 7 out of 8 of us said Oasis, 13 year old said Breeze hands down, because the cabin attendant made him feel like this was "his holiday" and treated him very well, and he also loved room service on The Breeze.The adults on the other hand felt there was so much to do on Oasis, so much to see. However, The Breeze isn't that far behind because when asked about our cruise, one of the first things we bring up are how funny the comedians are, and our wonderful dining experience in The Steakhouse on The Breeze. Where We Spent Our Money : Oasis vs Breeze Oasis : Hubby's Select Beverage Package cost $281.75 US, ($366.28 Can) with the rate of exchange the day we checked out at $1.00 US costing us Canadians $1.30. My Premium Package cost $394.45 US, ($512.79 Can) We spent a total of $ $676.20 ($897.07 Can) We wasted $17.08 US ($22.20 Can) at Johnny Rockets, hubby had some laundry pressed which cost $17.79 ($23.12 Can) 13 year old spent $20.00 US ($26.00 Can) at arcade (where half the games were out of order) and $2.88 US ($3.74 Can) on an ice cream from Cups and Scoops on Boardwalk. We were surprised to find on our Account Statement that we only left $12.00 US ($15.60 Can) in tips for drinks, but given that 15% gratuities is added into the cost of the drink packages, and we also pay 15% in gratuities for the cruise itself, we neither felt we were being cheap, nor did the waiters pay us any less attention for not receiving previous tips on drinks served to us. Our bill totalled 711.31 US ($930.96 Can) as we also received $34.64 US ($45.03 Can)credits in cruise tax. If we shopped...which was a big part of The Oasis, we surely could have spent a lot of money. We noticed a lot of people browsing Kate Spade, Michael Kors, Guess, etc, but not a lot of buyers. The liquor sales were offering free samples, and there were amazing deals, and I noticed cruisers spending more money on that than anything else. They had the typical buy 4 at $10.00 each, the 5th is free type deals. I actually found the watches and jewelry on The Breeze nicer for some reason. There were no extra charges on Oasis to do things, aside from lessons on The FlowRider which were $75.00 US for an hr. Our bill only includes 3 of the 5 of us in the cabin, hubby, 13 yr old and myself. The older kids did not buy drink packages, and opted instead to buy their bottles from the gift shop. I believe the bottles of vodka they bought were $75.00 US ($97.50 Can) and 1 of them bought the Royal Replenish Package at $19.00 ($24.70 Can) they also bought several drinks in the bars. We used room service at least twice a day and always gave $2.00 or 3.00 tips. We never dined at any of the specialty restaurants, and because we never went on any excursions on either cruise, the most we paid per person to get to a beach was $4.00. The most expensive item purchased was a $15.00 US towel in St Thomas, which fell apart after the first wash. The Breeze : Our drink packages were $49.95/person/day. We opted not to get it the first day since we were dining in The Steakhouse with a free bottle of wine, and had also brought a bottle of wine with us which we drank that evening. Hubby's and I both had to buy the package at $57.44/person/day ($74.67 Can)/person/day. For 7 days (since we didn't get the package on the first day) that amounts to $402.08 US, ($522.70 Can)/person. We spent $804.16 US, or ($1,045.40 Can) for the 2 drink packages which were limited to 15/person/day. Hubby and I spent $90.00 US ($117.00 Can) in Steakhouse with tip, and worth every cent considering we received a free bottle of wine. Hubby's got his haircut for $35.00 US ($45.50 Can) 13 year old spent $7.95 ($10.34 Can) twice before he told us he could buy the Thrill Theatre pass for $13.95, which gave him unlimited access to the 15 or so minute shows. Hubby and I went once each also. 13 year old spent $15.00 US, ($19.50 Can) at arcade. We did laundry on The Breeze spending about $15.00 US ($19.50 Can) We bought $40.00 US ($52.00 Can) on costume jewelry at the buy 4 get 1 free sales. I bought $70.00 US ($91.00 Can) in bracelets from Gold By The Inch, and hubby bought a chain for $90.00 US ($117.00 Can) and he received a matching bracelet for free. He had bought a chain on The Sunshine 14 month prior, and it was tarnished, and when he brought it back they gave him a brand new chain. This helped in his decision to buy this one. Again, we never spent more than $4.00 on a ride to the beach. Hubby bought a nice shirt in curaçao at one of the local shops for $15.00 US ($19.50 Can) I bought a few little toys at $5.00 US ($6.50 Can) and we ate a lunch in Aruba, which cost 3 of us $30.00 US ($39.00 Can) we used room service probably twice a day and always gave $2.00 or $3.00 tips. Who Comes Out On Top : Oasis, we were able to customize our drink packages, with both my hubby and I spending $676.20 US ($897.07 Can) on unlimited drink packages. On The Breeze our drink packages were $804.16 US ($1,045.40 Can) and were limited to 15 in any 24 hr period. Our drink packages were $127.96 US ($148.33 Can) cheaper on The Oasis. We were able to spend more on The Breeze because what they had in the shops was more affordable, and as far as the costume jewelry, looked nicer. The Breeze also had some very very nice used Rolex Watches, that many cruisers were admiring, however, I didn't see any buyers. We found the perfumes and make-up on both cruises to be over-priced. The Math : Oasis vs The Breeze We had to sit down and do the math on this one, since we had heard so many cruisers say to us after telling them we had just got off Oasis, that they would love to try a big ship like Oasis but could never afford it...we heard this time and time again. To be fair, we had to break it down into cost / day / person since Oasis was a 7 day cruise and Breeze was an 8 day cruise. The Oasis : 7 day cruise The Family Balcony Cabin for 5 : Deck 11 Cabin # 11172 F8 Cost $5,279.16 US ($6,598.95 Can) for our 7 day cruise. Each occupants cruise cost $1,055.83 US ($1,267.00 Can) which equals $150.83 US ($181.00 Can) /person/day. The rate of exchange used from US to Canadian Funds was 20% on the dollar, since that was the exchange rate when we paid the majority of the cruise fare. By the time our cruises came around our rate of exchange was at just over 30% on the dollar. The Balcony for 3 : Deck 11 Forward Cabin # 11208 Cost $4,216.00 ($5,059.20 Can) for 7 day cruise, which equals $1,405.33 US ($1,686.40 Can) / person which equals $200.76 US ($240.91 Can) /person/day. The Breeze : 8 day cruise The Balcony for 3 : On Deck 9 Forward, Cabin 9216, Cabin 9220 Cost $3,399.30 US ($4,079.16 Can) but we got $220.00 in 3 different price drops which made the cruise cost $3,179.30 US ($3,815.16 Can) we added $288.00 US for the three of us in gratuities for a total of $3,467.30 US ($4,160.76 Can) Each persons cruise cost $1,155.77 US ($1,386.92 Can) or $144.47 US ($173.37 Can)/day/person. We also had $470.00 US On Board Credit, which equalled $156.67 US each, or $19.58/per day The Balcony for 2 : On Deck 9 Forward Cabin # 9220 Cost $2,836.20 US ($3,403.44 Can) but we got $489.88 in price drops which made the cruise cost $2,346.32 US ($2,815.58 Can) we added $168.00 US in gratuities for the two for a total of $2,514.32 US ($3,017.18 Can) Each persons cruise cost $1,257.16 US ($1,508.59 Can) or $157.15 US ($188.57 Can)/day/person. There was no On Board Credit and the price of the cabin in this category kept getting higher and higher as the cruise got closer, as the cabin for 3 had several price drops which resulted in a lot of OBC. To sum it up, The Oasis was a bit more as expected, but not by much. A Balcony on The Oasis on Deck 11 for 3 cost $56.29 US ($67.54 Can) more per day/person than A Balcony on Deck 9 on The Breeze. Sharing A Family Balcony Cabin on Oasis between the 5 saved us considerable amounts of money compared to splitting the cabins into 2 Balcony Cabins for 2 in one and 3 in the other. The cabin was large enough, had a lot of storage, and a thick curtain to separate the large pull out couch and bed, and bunk beds off to the side in its own cubby which were very comfy. There was an extra long desk as well, and the balcony was large in comparison to the balcony my cousin and her family had. Interesting to note, it was $12.00 US cheaper per person per day to stay in a Forward Cabin, over a Mid Cabin and my cousins Balcony Cabin was right next to the first Cabin classified as Mid, and they saved $252.00 US by choosing that cabin. Who Comes Out On Top : Oasis (but our 13 year old says The Breeze) Being drinkers when we vacation was a big factor in Oasis coming out on top. We liked that not everyone in the cabin had to buy the drink package. We liked that there were several different drink packages to choose from. We liked that there was no limit to the drink package, and we liked that it came out being considerably cheaper than The Breeze as well. We didn't mind that our cost per day on Oasis was a bit more, simply because the MDR was that excellent, the shows were very entertaining, and we didn't feel nickel and dimed the way we did on The Breeze. Carnival seems to be doing away with so many "extras" as of late, there was no amenities basket at all, and our free drink coupon has now been replaced with a free bottle of water...because, according to Carnival, cruisers would rather have the water. Our cabin attendant told us they will be discontinuing the little chocolates soon as well. We thought The Thrill Theatre was over-priced, in fact we couldn't understand why it wasn't included for free. It really wasn't worth $7.95 and even our 13 year old said he went to fill time, but if he were using his "own money" he probably would have only checked it out once. We did see lobster on the menu twice but one of the nights it was just included in one of the dishes, with shrimp I believe. Escargot only made its appearance once, and on one occasion it was not traditional escargot. On Oasis we had them every night, and they were very good. Lobster was on the menu twice on Oasis, and they were bigger, if not by much...and when I say bigger, I don't necessarily mean big, as they seem to be shrinking as time goes by. Some evenings were so slow in MDR on The Breeze, and we didn't like the way our 13 year old was ignored, and as much as he didn't like the MDR, our cabin attendant made up for, and it was him that made our vacation one to remember for our 13 year old. He really went out of the way for him, treated him extra special. I'm not sure if he does that for all kids, and young teens on his deck, but he turned our 13 year old into a cruiser for life. The Breeze also had The Steakhouse, and we all totally recommend that all Carnival cruisers should spend an evening there. We seriously will book 2 evenings in The Steakhouse next time, as we all enjoyed it that much. There were so many choices when it came to things to do on Oasis, so many bars, so many clubs, The Boardwalk always seemed to have so many different activities for the little kids going on. Serenity on Oasis was huge, and beautiful with several different areas and types of loungers, and set up totally away from Sports Square, unlike Serenity on The Breeze...which is so close to The Slides and Sports Park that there is no serenity at all. What we enjoyed most about The Breeze was the friendliness of most of the cruisers. You really got the feel that these cruisers embraced their vacations, and let lose and had some fun on what was most likely their week off for the year. What we disliked most about The Breeze, was as many nice cruisers as there were, there were just as many rude ones. We liked the price drops on The Breeze, and The OBC, which was time consuming to research every week/every day but well worth it, and it paid for one of our drink packages. We liked Matt, we liked the comedians, and some of us liked The Buffet much better on The Breeze. The Breeze also has Guys Burgers, which is a hit with the whole family...The Oasis has Johnny Rockets...and it was a hit with no one. The Pizza Pirates was better than the pizza on Oasis. The art was far more interesting on Oasis. The photographers were more professional on The Oasis and they had better packages to chose from. On The Oasis, the employees were upbeat, and smiling. We could see a lot of disgruntled employees on The Breeze. What We Missed : Oasis : Oasis of Dreams, the diving show in The AquaTheatre. Behind The Scenes Tour... Trying out at least one of the specialty restaurants. The Breeze : The Taco Bar Behind The Scenes Tour Hasbro The GameShow Will we cruise again on Royal Caribbean ? Most definitely, in fact we are researching cruises right now, but we will book another Family Cabin to keep it affordable. Will we cruise again on Carnival ? Most definitely, but it probably won't be The Breeze. We just enjoyed our cruise so much more on The Sunshine. Maybe it's because it was brand new at the time, being the second sailing out of New Orleans, maybe it was because it was our first Carnival Cruise. We all know we will sail her again someday. When all is said and done...we can't wait to cruise again soon. We hope this review was helpful.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Embarkation went without a hitch and our luggage arrived by 2:30pm to our stateroom. The Cruise Director Matt and all cruise staff were excellent. Our dining room staff were excellent, ILco, Jester and Nonilon made a good team. The menu ... Read More
Embarkation went without a hitch and our luggage arrived by 2:30pm to our stateroom. The Cruise Director Matt and all cruise staff were excellent. Our dining room staff were excellent, ILco, Jester and Nonilon made a good team. The menu changed to the American table, the quality was average but well presented. Our 20+ year old children accompanied us and utilized many areas of the boat. We all took in the shows which were quite entertaining. We also took in a Punchliners comedy act. They played volleyball, dodge ball and soccer on the Sports deck. Hung out with new friends at the Red Frog Rum Bar and at ports of call. The cruise took us to Aruba, Curacao and Grand Turk, all new ports for us. The two pools get murky by mid day. I did not use them. Not the staffs fault as they are cleaned nightly. The reserving of unattended lounges was over the top and impossible for deck staff to control. If you have to get a Lido or aft lounge then get out to pools before 730am. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
We went on a 6 day cruise with 10 of us, 6 which had never cruised before! We had adjacent balcony rooms and had our room staff open the dividers for us. Every morning we would all meet out on our balcony for coffee and plan our strategy ... Read More
We went on a 6 day cruise with 10 of us, 6 which had never cruised before! We had adjacent balcony rooms and had our room staff open the dividers for us. Every morning we would all meet out on our balcony for coffee and plan our strategy for the day. The food was wonderful and I am extremely picky and never had any problems. Guys burgers were the best I have ever had! We had dinner at the steak house and the Italian restaurant and both were well worth the extra money. I really enjoyed my time on the Breeze, but longed for the smaller more intimate friendly atmosphere we had two years ago on the Fantasy. Bigger is not always better. Beautiful ship, very clean and lots to do but very big Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
It is a long review so I will zoom it up so you can pick what interests you the most: Food: The food on this ship was awesome Guy fiery is probably the best burger and fries on sea, great thin-crusts at Pizza-pirate, Jimmy S-side BBQ was ... Read More
It is a long review so I will zoom it up so you can pick what interests you the most: Food: The food on this ship was awesome Guy fiery is probably the best burger and fries on sea, great thin-crusts at Pizza-pirate, Jimmy S-side BBQ was beyond awesome, Tandoor was excellent real Indian food and Mongolian wok was great. They have added a little fee-options which are awesome and very cheap for ex. at Bonsai Sushi you can get spicy tuna roll (8 p) for 4 $, at the red fro bar you can get c-wings for just 3,33 $. The Fahrenheit steakhouse (35 $ fee) was excellent I highly recommend it you can actually skip the salad for extra starter I recommend that so you can try more options, you can get salad anywhere on the ship so skip it there. I do recommend the lobster bisque, crab cake or onion soup for starter and filet mignion as a main, for desert try the chocolate sampler it is to die for - best desert I ever tasted, they come in little cups (4-5) start with the heaviest one and end on the lightest and it will feel like a disco for your taste buds. The steak could have been a little more juicy but the bernaise fixed that (the 3-peppercorn sauce was not good) We wen't to the Italian restaurant, after reading a lot of bad reviews about it I was not very excited to go there but my hubby wanted to so we wen't there and it came as a big surprise it was actually very good and only a 15$ fee. For a first time in many years I felt like I should have taken cruise pants with me on board, the food was awesome expect for main dining room the quality of food there was very poor although for the first time I did get lobster that was properly cooked and my steak was always cooked to order the food is bland, simple, not exiting at all and the same menu year after year. The quality there is like in a bad diner just with nice table cloths. We actually skipped 3 nights at the main dining, that was a first time I do that on a cruise. Entertainment: A lot of entertainment on board, although the music in the lido where the main pool was to loud you could not sit at the margarita bar and have a chat it was not possible to hear anything. The comedy show was not good maybe it was because it was at 8 so there where kids there and he had to be careful of what he said. There was a lot of fun trivia but they do forget there are a lot of international guests on the ship f.ex guess that tv-theme song, they could have tv-shows that have been a success worldwide. Waterworks where great for both adult and kids. If you have kids go to the Dr.Seuss brunch it looked awesome for people with kids Shore excursions: They offer now best price guaranty, got a great deal on a snorkel tour 79$ pp. But in the end of the tour they asked us to tip 15-20% of the tour price ticket per person, we usually tip 10-15 $ for both of us in shore excursions, and I have noticed people usually do that -not 15-20% of price ticket. If you calculate that to the price ticket the price is 90-95 $ p.p. One thing bothered me a lot, the tour operator let everyone sign a disclaimer saying it is a confirmation that you are healthy enough to go on the tour.I did not see anyone read it just sign and go. Being a lawyer I could not do that so I read it from a-z and it is actually disclaimer that you can not sue the company in any case at all, and if you die in the tour your family can not sue them at all even though the fault is 100% there's. In other words the captain can be drunk as hell, sail you off in a known shark attack area sail off leave you there to die and your family is not even able to sue the company for damages. Disclaimer like that would never even be considered legal in Europe. I felt very uncomfortable signing this it was either sign and go or be left at the dock, no one said if you will get refunded or not if you decide not to go because of the disclaimer. I asked for copy of that and they did not feel comfortable giving me a copy I could see that. After this tour I remembered why we haven't been on a tour with the ship for many years, snorkeling with over 100 persons is not fun, there are feet everywhere and no space :-) Embarkation and disembarkation: Probably one of the smoothest one, but be sure to be there early :-) Cabins: Our cabin where near the elevators in the Atrium and we could hear the music loudly in our cabin. It came as a surprise that they don't have a slide door where the cabins are to block the noise since it is a new ship. This is a new design, I prefer deck 6-7 because you can't feel the ship move as much them lower your cabin is, but in this ship on deck 5 there are sunbeds almost all around the ship so stay on deck 7-8. This did not bother us because the sun was usually on the other side so there was not a lot of people on our side. It came as a surprise how small the TV is, in new Princess ships they have 42" screens but in this ship it was the same size as always. They have stopped giving you the samplers in the bathroom so don't count on the small tube of toothpaste. Service: The service is poorer every year, it was even hard to find a bartender in the aft.pool area. We had a guest in a wheelchair it was hard for her to get service, of course we did go to the bar for her but she should get service they do put 15% service fee on the tab so they should give this service. Once I wen't to the bar and asked if there is a waiter in the area (we where sitting on a table and had been waiting for a while) and that we have been waiting for a service for a while she just said " if you need service I am here" I had to explain that we have a guest in a wheelchair that wanted to order and ask for some specific things. It should not be like that. For me it is ridiculous that I have to explain WHY I need service. This ship had though the best guest service on sea (in my opinion) Access: Not good ship for people in wheelchairs, the do not take care of space for wheelchairs for ex. in some areas people move there sunbeds and make area non-wheelchair accessible the staff should ask people to be aware of not blocking ways or have signs asking people not to block the gangway. Overall it was a good ship improvement on service and main dining room would make it a great ship. They could as well put the volume down in the main pool being only between 30-40 I felt old because it was so loud there. I am not saying music can't be loud but like i said before you could not chat are even hear our own thoughts there - it was that bad. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
My husband and I went on our first last week. We sailed on The Breeze with some good friends, and seasoned cruisers. We loved the ship. Although we had nothing to compare it to, it was a beautiful ship. We ate in the main dining room every ... Read More
My husband and I went on our first last week. We sailed on The Breeze with some good friends, and seasoned cruisers. We loved the ship. Although we had nothing to compare it to, it was a beautiful ship. We ate in the main dining room every night except the nights we ate at Farenheit 555 Steak house. It was very good, staff of course was excellent. The first night on board we ate at the italian restuarant. That was our favorite by far. We realized half way through the cruise that you can eat at the italian restuarant for lunch for free. They serve lasagna for lunch, that they don't have at dinner that was AMAZING!!!! Shredded beef, spinach, very tasty. Lunch is your choice of three different pasta's, then sauce, veggies, meat. it comes with a yummy bread. The main dining room served good food. Our waiter was German. The wait staff was great. We had the same wait staff every night which was nice as we got to know them. I was a little concerned regarding the dress code i had heard and read about in the main dining room. We dressed in business casual and were fine. The Blue Iguana was very good. We had breakfast burritos a few mornings and burritos for lunch a few times. Guys burgers were delicious as well as the fries. There were more than enough dining choices on the Lido deck. Plenty of healthy choices as well as naughty ones :) They yogurt machine was by far my favorite!!!! Be sure you try the taste bar in the Ocean Plaza. It is closed on port days. Opens at 530 on sea days. They played corn hole in the Ocean Plaza daily around the time the taste bar was open. That was fun to watch. We were fortunate enough to be on a bloggers cruise. John Heald sailed with us. Great guy, love his accent. Matt was our cruise director and certainly didn't miss his calling in life. Very fun. Kudos to Carnival for supporting Riley's Childrens hospital. They raised $15,000 on the bloggers cruise through raffels, etc. What a great way to support such a great cause. I talked to Matt regarding how carnival decideds who to sponsor. Matt told me that they had supported the Koman foundation for several years, and have now committed to Riley's for the next five years. We enjoyed the entertainment. We saw The Brits as well as Motown. Both done very professionally. Voices were great, costumes exceptional. Very impressed. We saw the family comedy twice, both comedians were great. I don't remember there names. One was from Georgia, the other from Canada. I liked the lenght of all the shows. They were 30-40 mins. Perfect. There was plenty to do on the ship, or of course you could do nothing. We loved the ropes course and mini golf. the guys did the water slide and said it was a good one. Thrill theater was fun. could have been a little longer. My only recommendation would be for riper fruit. the melon was often flavorless. Not much pineapple, but what there was, was yummy. Maybe add some blueberries. Fruit is an iffy thing even at home this time of year. Cheers to Carnival. It was a great vacation, and I would definelty sail with them again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Start off by saying we were extremely excited to board the breeze. Boarding process went well on the ship in great time, priority boarding is awesome!! Ships decour is by far the best of any carnival ship I have been on. But there are some ... Read More
Start off by saying we were extremely excited to board the breeze. Boarding process went well on the ship in great time, priority boarding is awesome!! Ships decour is by far the best of any carnival ship I have been on. But there are some cons, trying to find a chair to lay out on, on sea days is next to impossible. Food in the main dining room was decent nothing special I really thought it would be better. After cruising on the Dream twice and Conquest the food on these ships was substantially better, and no where near as good as Royal Caribbeans (allure of the seas). Last but not least, the shows were terrible and the cruise director and his staff treated you, just as another weeks worth of tourists not overly concerned if people are having fun. This is the first time I have ever experienced this on any ship. After being on the Carnival Conquest in August, the staff on that ship was amazing, I really cant say the same here. Overall I would give the ship itself a 8 out of 10 The entertainment staff 4 out of 10 The Dining room staff 9 out of 10 Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
We just got back from our 8 day and had a great time. The embarkation was fine and we didn't wait too long. We boarded about 12:30am and our room was ready. Our cabin steward "Gusti" was great and always greeted us by name. ... Read More
We just got back from our 8 day and had a great time. The embarkation was fine and we didn't wait too long. We boarded about 12:30am and our room was ready. Our cabin steward "Gusti" was great and always greeted us by name. The mid ship 7th floor was a good location between decks making it easy for the 5 floor casino and 10 floor Lido deck. Noonan was the Cruise Director on this sailing and I thought he did a pretty good job. Always added some fun to everything. The crew on the ship was excellent. They were always cleaning something and were quick to pick up food plates and trays. Pools and hot tubs were nice along with the slides, rope course, mini golf etc. The kids Ocean Camp was pretty good too and always entertained our 10 year old daughter. The Sapphire dinning had good food and our wait staff Yves, Nina and Wayan were excellent (ask for table 104 by the window). They always greeted by name, remembered our drinks and my daughters rice and chicken nuggets.. lol. The food in general was pretty good with Guys Hamburgers, Blue Iguana Tacos and the Marketplace buffets. Now the negatives. The entertainment was so so. The shows in the Ovation Theater were a little dull. The singing and dancing was average. The juggler that was scheduled one night didn't show. The Good Lookings band was average. Bobby and Lyl the guitar acts were really good. The piano guy was fair but not very entertaining. The Dive In movies by the pool were actually pretty good. The food shuts down and 10pm. If you are hungry after 10, you are pretty much screwed. The have the Pizza Pirate in the aft but the service is extremely slow and often are waiting in a line for slices that took forever. Thank God for the 24 hour soft serve ice cream. The ice machine was too close to the beverage dispenser so if your getting ice, you have blocked the drink section too. Disemarking was fine and orderly. Overall not a bad trip. Just have to make the best with what you can on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
I booked this cruise about 5 weeks before the departure date. I had to use a weeks vacation by year end. Pros: Great value I had a single room interior for about $451 after the $38 room credit. Food quality and variety in in the dining ... Read More
I booked this cruise about 5 weeks before the departure date. I had to use a weeks vacation by year end. Pros: Great value I had a single room interior for about $451 after the $38 room credit. Food quality and variety in in the dining room and lunch options was top notch. Carnival food is excellent !!! (better quality and variety than what I had on RCL Allure back in 10/14) I had the anytime dining, other than first night there were really no lines to speak of. Room was very comfortable. Entertainment was very good, including the nightly shows, very nice Christmas show, comedians were excellent , karaoke was fun as on all cruises. Games around pool were fun. Movies at night on big outside screen were nice. I saw Planet of Apes. Gym facilities and outside sports were good. Nightclub was nice. Overall very nice cruise. Cons: Although as said it was a very nice cruise, there are something's that need improvement. This cruise had a huge amount of kids and there is no kids pool. The first day kids were jumping in and out and splashing everyone including people sitting on front lounge chairs. Carnival had no supervision around the pool, I mentioned this to guest services and the next day they had security there.Once the weather improved more adults were in pool so this kind of stopped the jumping. This ship does need a kids pool. As Cruise Critic noted in their review, there is always a line for pizza especially late night.They never seem to have enough pizza made. (RCL Allure always had 5 different pizzas ready) Carnival needs to improve this service. BBQ lunch on sea days line was horrible, I must of had 100 people in front me, I did not wait. They need another station.. I would like to see more Caribbean music or even a Caribbean band playing at the pool during the day. They play a variety, but they played too much hard beat beat club music. I rather that in the club at night.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
The embarkation process really sucked. You pass through security and then you go into the great hall and wait for someone to arbitrarily give you a zone card, we never did get a zone card and had to force our way into line behind a group ... Read More
The embarkation process really sucked. You pass through security and then you go into the great hall and wait for someone to arbitrarily give you a zone card, we never did get a zone card and had to force our way into line behind a group of aggressive Americans who obviously knew the system better than us. If we had waited around for this stupid zone card thing then we would have been last to board. They should give you a number as soon as you get through security , just like a deli, would have been less frustrating. The ship is huge with lots to do and see and eat. If you do not find something to your liking on this ship then you are a real Stiff and have no one to blame but your self. We where with a group of 20 and found the public areas to be very accommodating and well served. The News Years party was amazing with thousands of guests filling the main decks, free champagne for all was a great touch. The Cruise director Matt Mitchum really made the public functions rock, this guy is so talented, he got the crowds to sing and dance along. The service at the main seating was slower than usual but it did give time to discuss the day with our family. The one thing I really liked was that Carnival was Enforcing its 45 minutes or lose it deck chair policy. If you leave your chairs unattended for more than 45 minutes then they take the ``save - zee `` stuff off and give the chair to people who will actually occupy them. I just loved it when some goof ball family would leave there stuff on a chair at 6:30am and come back at 10:30am thinking it was still there for them, only to find another family there. ``hey where's our stuff`` , ``we where since 6:30am`` , Get lost goofs. I loved it. Bravo Carnival for enforcing the policy and it is the main reason I am a return cruiser. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We never cruised on Carnival before, but since this time was during Christmas break and prices skyrocket, suddenly Carnival was the most viable option, so we gave it a try. I expected a good, middle of the road experience and for the most ... Read More
We never cruised on Carnival before, but since this time was during Christmas break and prices skyrocket, suddenly Carnival was the most viable option, so we gave it a try. I expected a good, middle of the road experience and for the most part my expectations were met, in some areas exceeded. The Breeze is newer and in very good shape, all areas were clean and there were plenty of pleasant spaces to hang out. The pools are simply too small for a ship this size. While the slides were well used, the splash-around area below them was not. They’d be better off with a third pool here. With 5000 passengers on board, deck chairs were hard to come by, with the usual all day chair hogs-empty chairs most of the time with towels draped across them. I expected that. In addition to pools there is a mini golf area that was very well used but not too challenging, and a ropes course. I only found this ropes course open once during the entire cruise, no idea what the problem was. I used the gym, which was adequate with a fair number of cardio machines. Oddly, the abdominal machines were cordoned off with yellow "do not cross" tape on and off during the cruise, though they were in working order. There was never a gym attendant, so I could never find out why they were off limits sometimes. Service-Room stewards and food service staff were cheerful, efficient and helpful. Bartenders seemed to be deeply disinterested, and let’s just say the spa staff was “icy” and leave it at that. Food- I expected so-so, banquet hall quality food in the main dining room and buffet, and that’s what we got. But other venues exceeded expectations…Guy’s burgers and fries were good, service fast, and the serve yourself toppings were extensive. The Tandoor had very good curries, though other offerings weren’t up to par, and the 24 hour pizza stand had a prosciutto and arugula white pizza that was a standout. Always freshly prepared, pizza sometimes required a wait but it was way better than most cruise ship pizza. Weak performers included the burrito stand, which had a salsa bar that was just too bland and always kind of a mess, and Jimmy C’s Barbeque, which was supposed to be open on all three sea days but was only open once and much too crowded to deal with. We ate at the steakhouse one night and the food and service were both excellent, and worth the $35 pp charge. The Italian restaurant ($15 pp) was good but could use more variety. The pasta tended to rely on heavy cream sauces. It’s the tropics; how about some kind of seafood in a light white wine and garlic sauce over pasta? Not here. Lastly, we did Chef’s table, a $75 per person splurge where they seat a dozen diners in the main galley, with the head chef as host. He’s enthusiastic and talented, and we were treated to 8 or 9 tasting dishes, all excellent and imaginatively presented. The 3 hour meal included a tour of the galley at the height of the dinner rush. It gives me real respect for the logistics of getting food out the door to 5,000 people each evening, but it was a little unfortunate that none of the flair exhibited in our tasting courses was translated into the main dining room food. To be fair, cruise lines that pull that off are far more expensive and have far fewer mouths to feed. Spa- The spa offers a thermal suite, with a series of steam rooms and heated loungers, along with a very nice thalossotherapy pool (basically a first rate hot tub). This is complimentary to Spa stateroom guests but a small number of passes are sold to regular passengers so I got one (About$140 for 8 days). I went here every day and if you like this sort of thing, it’s one of the best I’ve seen on a cruise ship. The only minor quibble was that they need ice water somewhere in the suite, but this area was well above my expectations and not too crowded. On the other hand my daughter’s manicure/pedicure/facial was rather poorly done, in both her and my wife’s opinion. Entertainment- We were not very ambitious this cruise, and didn't even go to one main stage show. They didn't sound very interesting. We did go to a family friendly comedy show, and the guy was pretty funny. IT must be a lot harder to be funny when you have to tell jokes that are suitable for kids as well as adults. The comedy shows in general were always packed, why don't they move this to a bigger venue? Children's program- Our 13 year old just couldn't muster any interest in the activities offered at the Circle C teen's room. I'm not sure if she thought they were lame or if she was just being a shy middle school kid. Maybe they need to offer more activities that are on deck rather than in the activity room, so kids this age can just "stop by" without calling attention to themselves and could feel less intimidated. People-Pretty much as I expected, this was a diverse and mostly friendly crowd, with a wide range of ages and heavy on families since it was Christmas week. Carnival is known for a party atmosphere and it looks like people who were looking for a more raucous time could find it. We go cruising for the weather and a good chill-out, so I can’t comment much on the bar scene or the casino. I noticed behavior tended to deteriorate as the week went on; smokers doing so in non-smoking areas, parents putting diapered babies in the pools and whirlpools, and I never saw staff dealing with it. There didn’t seem to be crew members assigned to monitoring these things like I have seen on other ships but for the most part no big issues. So as I said, overall expectations were met and then some, with few disappointments. By taking a budget cruise line and adding on extras like the spa and extra tariff restaurants, we were able to upgrade the experience a little and we had a good time.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We found the Breeze to be a good ship. The food exceeded our expectations, the balcony cabin was fairly large with adequate storage for two people. The room stewards were very good as was the wait staff in the dining room and in the ... Read More
We found the Breeze to be a good ship. The food exceeded our expectations, the balcony cabin was fairly large with adequate storage for two people. The room stewards were very good as was the wait staff in the dining room and in the specialty restaurants. We enjoyed Jamaica and thought Grand Turk was a waste of time. All in all, for the price, Carnival provided a good product. Finally, getting on and off the ship was not good. Very onerous with long lines. Carnival could learn from RCCL and Celebrity cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Let me start by saying that we have never cruised Carnival until this cruise and this time last year said we never would. We had heard too many poor comments from others. Reviews and pictures just didn't entice us to go. We have ... Read More
Let me start by saying that we have never cruised Carnival until this cruise and this time last year said we never would. We had heard too many poor comments from others. Reviews and pictures just didn't entice us to go. We have sailed before on Norwegian and Royal Caribbean. We started looking at cruises for this vacation and quickly were surprised at how many cool itineraries were available with Carnival and not the other lines. We kept researching more and decided we might as well try Carnival on the basis of price and itinerary. We were very concerned and nervous about our experience up until we even boarded. Let me try to be as objective as possible because some things we did not like, other may and vice versa. We have learned that every ship and cruise has a different purpose and market. We've learned that so much of the cruise experience has to do with your expectation and purpose of this vacation. In this case, we wanted a good time with our kids and the Carnival Breeze did not disappoint. From the moment we were waiting in the terminal to board we noticed this wasn't going to be like our Norwegian or RC experiences. Music was blasting in the terminal with music that wasn't our cup of tea. Nevertheless, we were going to get on the boat with a positive mindset. Pros: Our cove balcony stateroom was by far the nicest room we've ever had. It was very nicely decorated with pleasant colors. The room was very clean throughout the cruise. Our room steward was very nice and constantly kept our room clean. We loved the wide hallways and nicely decorated hallway areas. The overall color scheme of the ship is very nice. It is not elegant but is not tacky. The lanai is a great attribute of this ship with plenty of seating and hot tubs that were actually not busy (unlike what we anticipated). The food selections from formal dining room to burgers, burritos and italian were great. The quality of food exceeded our expectation as well as the wait staff. The waterworks area and ropes course were the highlight for our family. If it wasn't for those two things we would have had a negative experience overall. Cons: Though this ship is just a little over 2 years old, it was noticeably showing wear and tear. The crew were keeping the ship clean and doing paint jobs even while we were on the ship however there were still noticeable rust spots throughout the ship, stains on carpet and worn out carpet in several areas. Much of the tiles in the main gathering areas looked stained. The shows were also very disappointing to us. The shows were professionally produced but the singers and dancers thought they were strippers. I don't understand how they think that men gyrating to motown music is appealing. We were not impressed. The main thing to us that was a significant con was how loud they kept playing the music poolside. The type of music is a personal choice (though we couldn't stand the rap and hip hop) it would have been bearable if it weren't so loud. The aft pool was supposed to be quieter but they had music thumping in that area as well. Even in the hallways pop/rock music was playing. There was hardly a place with just simple instrumental or no music at all. (The lanai area was basically the only place quiet and was very peaceful). Even the Serenity area you could hear the poolside music. Poolside entertainment consisted of women dancing lewdly and lap dancing on the male judges for Miss Carnival Breeze. The MC encouraging the women to "shake their chests". It was completely ridiculous considering this was all within eye shot of the waterslide area. There was no decency or class. Overall, our family had a very good memorable time because of the ports of call (Grand Turk, Dominican Republic, Curacao, Aruba), the hospitality of all the staff, great food, waterslides and ropes course. We are glad we experienced Carnival first hand and in no way would consider their quality less than other main line cruises. In fact, there were several subtle things that they are great at doing by creating a warm casual relaxed atmosphere. Chocolates at night in the room (which neither RC nor Norwegian do), and variety of included food choices. However, the poolside atmosphere/noise level and nighttime entertainment would make us think twice about booking another Carnival cruise. If the ports were great and not offered on other lines, we would use them. If another line had the same itinerary, we would use another line on the basis that Carnival lacks knowing when to draw the line between family entertainment/atmosphere and an adult/party atmosphere. That line is severely blurred it appears. Understandably, our concerns may be the very reason some keep cruising with Carnival. That is why there are so many cruiselines out there to cater to different groups. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
This was my second time sailing on the Breeze and my 15th Carnival cruise overall. I do enjoy other cruise lines, but I think Carnival is great when sailing with children. We went on the 8-day Southern Caribbean sailing over Halloween and ... Read More
This was my second time sailing on the Breeze and my 15th Carnival cruise overall. I do enjoy other cruise lines, but I think Carnival is great when sailing with children. We went on the 8-day Southern Caribbean sailing over Halloween and had a fantastic time. There is no way you will be bored on this ship! We flew into MIA the day before and stayed at the Hampton Inn Brickell in Downtown Miami. There is a lot of construction going on in this area which made for a longer and more expensive cab ride from the airport. The hotel is great for a pre-cruise stay and was convenient to shopping and the free monorail which we took down to Bayside. Embarkation unfortunately gets a big FAIL from me. I have embarked plenty of times from this same port and have never experienced such disorganization and chaos. The Platinum lounge was packed full of people waiting and they had one lady come out and call your name-no microphone or loudspeaker, so you could not hear a thing. This caused people to congregate near the check in desk so they could hear their names being called, making it very crowded and chaotic. If they anticipate a large number of people in the platinum lounge they should get more workers checking people in and also a PA system so you can hear! We missed the initial priority boarding, but were on the ship by 12:30. Muster drill was painless in the main theater. Bags were delivered within 2 hours of boarding the ship. I booked a forward balcony room on deck 9 after the smoking ban was implemented. Unfortunately, people were smoking everywhere on their balconies and no one did a thing, even after I reported this to Guest Services. Sorry, but if I spend the money on a balcony, I expect it to be smoke-free after the ban. Neighbors also left balcony lights on all night which was annoying, too. The room itself was fine, except for the bed, which was one of the most uncomfortable I have ever experienced. I would wake up with my upper extremities numb, which has never happened to me (anywhere). The bed was set up as a queen, but the area in the middle where they push the two beds together was a gaping hole and very uncomfortable if you ended up there. You could even feel the springs in the bed. Unacceptable for a ship that is only 2 years old. Carnival needs to go back to their old mattress supplier! The rest of the room was fine-shower had good water pressure with plenty of hot water, interactive TV was nice, plenty of storage, etc. Location was great-one floor up to the Lido deck. Room steward was great, too! I had my child with me who participated in Camp Carnival – he absolutely loved it there and always wanted to go! He was in the 2-5 age group and I found most of the counselors very kind. They put on a great Halloween trick-or treating treasure hunt and costume contest. There were not a ton of kids on this sailing, but a lot of the kids dressed up and it was very fun! We used the water park, mini-golf, and pools and had a blast. My son was a little scared of the dump bucket-sometimes it was on and sometimes it was off. He ate dinner with Camp Carnival twice and also stayed at camp when we docked at La Romana, as I did not feel comfortable taking him off the ship there. I had no concerns with his safety while on the ship and trusted they would take excellent care of him, which they did. We participated in the new Seuss at Sea program-the parade and book reading in the theater were really fun. They sell Dr Seuss books (fair price) and stuffed animals (ridiculously overpriced) in the gift shop. We did the Seuss Breakfast-mixed feelings on that one. While it was fun with character meet and greets, the food was essentially the same brunch food with food coloring or sprinkles added. They refused to let me use my free drink coupon there, which I was annoyed with. I can’t say it was worth the $5 per person. I will not do it again. Weather was fantastic the entire cruise, up until we hit a cold front the last sea day afternoon. They should really fix the port times for this particular itinerary. First was Grand Turk from 7-2. What?? Too bad they could not extend the hours there for a beautiful beach day. You had to be on the ship at 1:30 and this really cut into the day. Next up was La Romana from 8-4. I read mixed reviews on this port. Initially I booked a day pass to Dreams all-inclusive, but decided to go with a group of friends to Be Live all-inclusive on Bayhibe beach. I’ll pass next time and enjoy the empty ship. Next was Curacao from 1-11. We did a great tour with Irie Tours-highly recommend them. We ate in the steakhouse that night, but from what I heard, Curacao shuts down at night so it is pointless to stay that late. Last port was Aruba from 8-4. They should switch times for Aruba and Curacao, or allow more time in Aruba. I love Aruba and have vacationed there before-tons of stuff to do and nightlife as well. Additionally, we dealt with Daylight Savings Time on our particular sailing, and I think the ship handled this poorly. Instead of giving us an extra hour in Aruba (Thursday) which would have been much appreciated, they turned the clocks back one hour that Thursday night. Two sea days headed back to Miami, including Halloween on Friday night. Our group dressed up and so did a lot of other passengers. I was impressed with some of the costumes people brought aboard! I did not purchase any Carnival shore excursions, as none interested me and they were very overpriced. It is very easy to pick up an independent tour or hire a taxi while in port. I really did not attend any of the evening shows/entertainment as I had my child with me and he was in bed early most nights. We ate in the dining room 3 nights, Steakhouse one night (fantastic and worth every penny), buffet or Guy’s Burgers other evenings. I really enjoyed the Blue Iguana Cantina (try the breakfast burritos) and Guy’s Burgers. I never had a problem finding something good to eat. I ordered room service a few times for my son and they were always prompt. Service overall was fine-no issues there. There didn’t seem to be as many chair-hogs on the ship, either. Serenity was nice, but wish there was a pool to cool off in up there. I actually would have bought a few of the pictures we took, but the way they photo-shop or print out the pictures made us look waxy and fake. Getting off the ship was a snap-we were Zone 1 and were off the ship and through customs by 9AM. Took SAS shuttle to FLL without any problems. Overall, this sailing was fantastic and I can’t wait to sail on the Vista! The Breeze is Carnival’s best ship, in my opinion. You won’t be disappointed!   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Let me start this out by saying we've been on numerous Carnival vacations and this was most likely our last. The quality of food, the entertainment, and the smell of sewage was the last straw. Oh yea, did I say we selected this cruise ... Read More
Let me start this out by saying we've been on numerous Carnival vacations and this was most likely our last. The quality of food, the entertainment, and the smell of sewage was the last straw. Oh yea, did I say we selected this cruise because of the itinary which included Dominica, Grand Turk, Curaso, and Aruba. Because of the hurricane near Bermuda the Captain decided that we wern't going to Dominica. Instead of adding another port visit, they added a couple hours to two of our other ports, refunded $14 in port taxes, and called it a day. If I knew Dominica wasn't part of the trip, we would have cancelled the trip. I know, it's a gamble to travel during hurricane season, but I thought if they cancelled one port, they would add another. Guess I was wrong! The embarkation and Debarkation went really smooth. The Cruise Director was one of the best I've ever seen (Matt). The crew, even though it was obvious they were cut in about half, kept a smile on their faces and did a great job. My hats off to all of them. Other obvious cuts were the food. This was the worst food ever! They offer pay steak and italian fare, but we shouldn't have to pay for the upgrade to get a good meal. I ordered a whole lobster from the main dining room ($20) and it was HORRIBLE. Freezer burnt, salty, soggy, no taste, etc. Never again! For a new ship, this was a major disappointment when it came to the port visit mess up. After 12+ cruises, it's time to say - Good bye Carnival. I'll spend a few more bucks and give RCC a try. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
First off let me say I had a great time. You make the cruise your way. We traveled with friends and had adjoining rooms. We opened the partition between the balcony's and had one big balcony. This is our third cruise and the first ... Read More
First off let me say I had a great time. You make the cruise your way. We traveled with friends and had adjoining rooms. We opened the partition between the balcony's and had one big balcony. This is our third cruise and the first that made us Gold Status. I was expecting a little more for reaching Gold than we received. I thought it would be a big deal but it was not. The Breeze is a great ship. Lots of things to do, all the bells and whistles. I nicely decorated ship. Not over done. Our room staff was great as usual. The dining staff was OK. The rest of the Bar staff and ship staff was a lot less than what we have experienced in the past two cruises. The Freedom had the Big Screen outside and was always playing something and always had music. The breeze had many times when there was nothing playing and no music. Unless you wanted sun and the overcrowded pool, there was no reason to stay there. The Blue Iguana Taco Bar was great and the staff was exceptional. Guys Burger made all four of us sick. Way to much grease. The two bars there were just OK. Again service was a issue. During movie nights it took 20 mins to get popcorn. I am guessing because it was free. The stage shows were average. Nothing to write home about. The food in the main dining room had its moments that were very good food. Most of the time was again just average. The layout of the dining room was different than all the other ships we were on. It had a smaller main room and then walls dividing other areas up away from the main room. We were in one of those walled off areas. When they did their shows and singing, we would get up and walk around the walls to see what was going on. It made us feel like we were not part of the main dining room. There were times when there were to be parties up on the Lido deck that were so very disorganized. A Latin party that no was dancing and no one leading them. Just a DJ playing music. I listened to the music for a few minutes and left. There was one port stop that I have to mention. It puts this all in prospective. Our First stop was St. Maarten. After we got off the ship and Norwegian Getaway pulled into port next to us. When we were coming back to the Ship, Carnival had two gangways and one Tent setup with no body in it, just 4 chairs and a table. The Norwegian ship had 4 Tents, water, towels, music playing and staff all over the place. three staff members were out in front welcoming everyone back and dancing to the music, that made even us dance coming back. Carnival again just had gangways backed up getting back on the ship. The service and lack of party's never got any better. Again, I love cruising and I still had a great time. It just looked like other ships were having more fun. I guess I will have to try the others to find out for myself. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
Carnival Breeze Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.0
Family 5.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 2.0 3.6
Service 5.0 4.2
Value For Money 5.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.0

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