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Ship Pros: Having been on an older, non-refurbished Carnival ship (Victory, in 2011), I was happy to see that the Breeze had a new, less tacky design. Different areas of the ship had fun and appropriate theming, such as the Piano Bar, Bonsai sushi restaurant, and Limelight Lounge, to name just a few. Ship Cons: Space is a huge issue. Chair hogs were in full effect for the entire duration, and it didn't appear that much was done about it. The Limelight Lounge gets packed, and unfortunately people also chair hog/reserve seats there as a result. People waiting to enter the Limelight Lounge for an upcoming show flow into the Piano Bar, which is seemingly cut in half by a hallway and set of doors. Dining Pros: I was totally content with my dining experiences. Our group was assigned the early (6pm) dining time in Sapphire, which I believe is the smaller of the two main dining rooms. (I like Sapphire better than Blush because I think Blush's orange lighting is harsh.) Our dining staff consisted of Amine, Lukman, and Joseph, who were all very friendly but clearly had a lot of tables, as service could be a tad slower on some nights.; still, we greatly enjoyed our wait staff. I enjoy trying a little bit of everything, so I took a tapas-style approach to dinner: a couple of appetizers and a salad, and a half serving of an entree. This worked out well for me, and I enjoyed my meal every night. Other dining options I checked out were Bonsai Sushi (for-fee), which I really, really loved; Pizza Pirate, which I think is better during the day than late at night (but still better than any other cruise pizza I've had); BlueIguana Cantina, which had excellent build-your-own-burrito options (the taco options were strangely less robust despite being housed in the same area); Guy's Burger Joint, which was a group favorite; and the Lido Marketplace, the buffet-style area that I honestly didn't visit very much but seemed fine. Room service was quick and tasty, and the requested continental breakfast items were always delivered on time. Dining Cons: The hours that different dining places are open seem to be a common grievance in reviews, and I would have to agree. Some places were only open for a couple of hours (e.g. Tandoor, Mongolian Wok). I'm not a person who needs to be noshing 24-7, but having the option to eat a later breakfast or a later lunch, for example, would have been nice. I didn't eat eggs during the trip but several people in my group said the eggs tasted strange and has a weird consistency caused by the addition of baking soda. Entertainment & Activities Pros: Mike was a great cruise director. The main pool area always seemed to be buzzing. (Unfortunately, due to chair hogs, my group rarely hung out in either of the pool areas.) The comedians were funny and always attracted large crowds. My group loved Scott at the Piano Bar (as well as the bartenders there - we agreed they are the best bartenders anywhere on the ship!). Unfortunately we missed the Love & Marriage Game, Hasbro Live, and Quest, so I can't comment on those. Entertainment & Activities Cons: The entertainment is probably this ship's weakest point, in my opinion. Having cruised before, I had seen some pretty decent shows, and the Breeze just didn't live up to anywhere near my expectations. There was a just-okay juggler, a pretty terrible comedy-magic duo, and the Carnival performances we saw were downright bad. I'm sure the performers are perfectly nice people, and they did the best they could with what they were given, but I would skip these shows if I were to sail the Breeze again. Also, I'm disappointed to report that I found myself bored on sea days - only a few rounds of trivia were offered in addition to the for-fee things cruise lines are always trying to sell you (spa treatments, art, jewelry, etc.). Service Pros: We liked Wan, our room steward, and our wait staff at Sapphire (Amine, Lukman, and Joseph). The bartenders at The Piano Bar are the best on the ship. Food service staff at the Lido Marketplace and other areas (Guy's Burger Joint, Bonsai, BlueIguana, etc.) were mostly very friendly and attentive. Service Cons: The late night guys at Pizza Pirate were a little less than friendly, likely due to being one of the only options available for late night revelers (read: hangry drunk people). The room service staff always seemed rushed and I don't remember any of the four I encountered as smiling during our interactions. The bar staff that walk around outside weren't especially friendly, but they weren't horrible. Overall, I didn't really have any issues with the service on the Breeze, but I do think the staff was just a tiny bit less friendly than I've experienced in the past; it didn't really impact my trip but it is worth mentioning. Ports & Shore Excursions: One of the main reasons I chose this itinerary was the ports: Grand Turk; La Romana, Dominican Republic; Curacao; and Aruba. I had never visited any of these ports and was excited to see them. Here are my thoughts: Grand Turk: We got off the ship and just hung out. We were at the beach area in front of Margaritaville for a while, then we moved over to Jack's Shack and stayed there until it was time to head back to the ship. La Romana, Dominican Republic: Our group split up. Four people headed to Altos de Chavon and into downtown La Romana, where they had Dominican food and did a little bit of shopping. My boyfriend and I did a Carnival-sponsored excursion called "Cenote Swim and Zipline at Scape Park." We really enjoyed the excursion and had a blast - I would recommend it to adrenaline junkies looking for something to do in a not-yet-established cruise port. Curacao: We found that Curacao had the most aggressive locals. We had to do a lot of haggling to get a decent taxi rate, but finally we were taken to Pirate Bay, which we later discovered was private. We had a great authentic (and unfortunately extremely expensive even by US standards) Caribbean lunch and then went to town, where we watched the sun set from the Queen Emma floating bridge. It was a great time! Aruba: We booked a third-party snorkeling excursion with Jolly Pirates. We absolutely loved it. The excursion was over and we were back on MooMba Beach by 1:30pm. The water was great but there was slimy, hair-like seaweed on the ocean floor, so beware! We loved our time in Aruba. Overall Thoughts: There are a few things that could be improved, of course, but my attitude about cruising is that I'm on vacation, and those minor things shouldn't make or break my trip. The cruise was a journey and for several people in my group, their first time cruising. Everyone had a great time, and I would gladly sail the Breeze again. I'd be more mindful of the cabin and would try to fit more of the ship in, because I feel like I missed some of the great offerings. Sail with an open mind, remember not to sweat the small stuff, and you'll have an excellent time, be it on the Breeze or any other cruise ship! I wanted to post an honest but positive review because I think a lot of reviews that are posted are overly critical and written by people looking to complain about something so few people are afforded - the opportunity to visit new lands, meet new people, and enjoy time away from the drudgery of everyday life!

Wonderful Time Sailing the Southern Caribbean on the Breeze

Carnival Breeze Cruise Review by sbarn013

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Ship Pros:

Having been on an older, non-refurbished Carnival ship (Victory, in 2011), I was happy to see that the Breeze had a new, less tacky design. Different areas of the ship had fun and appropriate theming, such as the Piano Bar, Bonsai sushi restaurant, and Limelight Lounge, to name just a few.

Ship Cons:

Space is a huge issue. Chair hogs were in full effect for the entire duration, and it didn't appear that much was done about it. The Limelight Lounge gets packed, and unfortunately people also chair hog/reserve seats there as a result. People waiting to enter the Limelight Lounge for an upcoming show flow into the Piano Bar, which is seemingly cut in half by a hallway and set of doors.

Dining Pros:

I was totally content with my dining experiences. Our group was assigned the early (6pm) dining time in Sapphire, which I believe is the smaller of the two main dining rooms. (I like Sapphire better than Blush because I think Blush's orange lighting is harsh.) Our dining staff consisted of Amine, Lukman, and Joseph, who were all very friendly but clearly had a lot of tables, as service could be a tad slower on some nights.; still, we greatly enjoyed our wait staff. I enjoy trying a little bit of everything, so I took a tapas-style approach to dinner: a couple of appetizers and a salad, and a half serving of an entree. This worked out well for me, and I enjoyed my meal every night. Other dining options I checked out were Bonsai Sushi (for-fee), which I really, really loved; Pizza Pirate, which I think is better during the day than late at night (but still better than any other cruise pizza I've had); BlueIguana Cantina, which had excellent build-your-own-burrito options (the taco options were strangely less robust despite being housed in the same area); Guy's Burger Joint, which was a group favorite; and the Lido Marketplace, the buffet-style area that I honestly didn't visit very much but seemed fine. Room service was quick and tasty, and the requested continental breakfast items were always delivered on time.

Dining Cons:

The hours that different dining places are open seem to be a common grievance in reviews, and I would have to agree. Some places were only open for a couple of hours (e.g. Tandoor, Mongolian Wok). I'm not a person who needs to be noshing 24-7, but having the option to eat a later breakfast or a later lunch, for example, would have been nice. I didn't eat eggs during the trip but several people in my group said the eggs tasted strange and has a weird consistency caused by the addition of baking soda.

Entertainment & Activities Pros:

Mike was a great cruise director. The main pool area always seemed to be buzzing. (Unfortunately, due to chair hogs, my group rarely hung out in either of the pool areas.) The comedians were funny and always attracted large crowds. My group loved Scott at the Piano Bar (as well as the bartenders there - we agreed they are the best bartenders anywhere on the ship!). Unfortunately we missed the Love & Marriage Game, Hasbro Live, and Quest, so I can't comment on those.

Entertainment & Activities Cons:

The entertainment is probably this ship's weakest point, in my opinion. Having cruised before, I had seen some pretty decent shows, and the Breeze just didn't live up to anywhere near my expectations. There was a just-okay juggler, a pretty terrible comedy-magic duo, and the Carnival performances we saw were downright bad. I'm sure the performers are perfectly nice people, and they did the best they could with what they were given, but I would skip these shows if I were to sail the Breeze again. Also, I'm disappointed to report that I found myself bored on sea days - only a few rounds of trivia were offered in addition to the for-fee things cruise lines are always trying to sell you (spa treatments, art, jewelry, etc.).

Service Pros:

We liked Wan, our room steward, and our wait staff at Sapphire (Amine, Lukman, and Joseph). The bartenders at The Piano Bar are the best on the ship. Food service staff at the Lido Marketplace and other areas (Guy's Burger Joint, Bonsai, BlueIguana, etc.) were mostly very friendly and attentive.

Service Cons:

The late night guys at Pizza Pirate were a little less than friendly, likely due to being one of the only options available for late night revelers (read: hangry drunk people). The room service staff always seemed rushed and I don't remember any of the four I encountered as smiling during our interactions. The bar staff that walk around outside weren't especially friendly, but they weren't horrible. Overall, I didn't really have any issues with the service on the Breeze, but I do think the staff was just a tiny bit less friendly than I've experienced in the past; it didn't really impact my trip but it is worth mentioning.

Ports & Shore Excursions:

One of the main reasons I chose this itinerary was the ports: Grand Turk; La Romana, Dominican Republic; Curacao; and Aruba. I had never visited any of these ports and was excited to see them. Here are my thoughts:

Grand Turk: We got off the ship and just hung out. We were at the beach area in front of Margaritaville for a while, then we moved over to Jack's Shack and stayed there until it was time to head back to the ship.

La Romana, Dominican Republic: Our group split up. Four people headed to Altos de Chavon and into downtown La Romana, where they had Dominican food and did a little bit of shopping. My boyfriend and I did a Carnival-sponsored excursion called "Cenote Swim and Zipline at Scape Park." We really enjoyed the excursion and had a blast - I would recommend it to adrenaline junkies looking for something to do in a not-yet-established cruise port.

Curacao: We found that Curacao had the most aggressive locals. We had to do a lot of haggling to get a decent taxi rate, but finally we were taken to Pirate Bay, which we later discovered was private. We had a great authentic (and unfortunately extremely expensive even by US standards) Caribbean lunch and then went to town, where we watched the sun set from the Queen Emma floating bridge. It was a great time!

Aruba: We booked a third-party snorkeling excursion with Jolly Pirates. We absolutely loved it. The excursion was over and we were back on MooMba Beach by 1:30pm. The water was great but there was slimy, hair-like seaweed on the ocean floor, so beware! We loved our time in Aruba.

Overall Thoughts:

There are a few things that could be improved, of course, but my attitude about cruising is that I'm on vacation, and those minor things shouldn't make or break my trip. The cruise was a journey and for several people in my group, their first time cruising. Everyone had a great time, and I would gladly sail the Breeze again. I'd be more mindful of the cabin and would try to fit more of the ship in, because I feel like I missed some of the great offerings. Sail with an open mind, remember not to sweat the small stuff, and you'll have an excellent time, be it on the Breeze or any other cruise ship! I wanted to post an honest but positive review because I think a lot of reviews that are posted are overly critical and written by people looking to complain about something so few people are afforded - the opportunity to visit new lands, meet new people, and enjoy time away from the drudgery of everyday life!
sbarn013’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
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Cabin Review

Interior
Cabin 4B 2438
Pros: Our cabin was small, obviously, but very comfortable and a great value because we spent more time outside of the cabin than in it. I prefer sleeping in total darkness, so interior cabins are both practical and economical. Wan, our cabin steward, was friendly and cleaned our room twice daily. He also made sure we always had ice.

Cons: I wasn't a fan of the cabin's location - being so low and towards the aft meant our room loudly vibrated for roughly 20 minutes every time we entered or left a port. Even deep sleepers will notice, so it's something to keep in mind. Also, (and this might have been a one-off thing) we asked our room steward to empty our fridge on the first night, as we brought on a 12-pack of soda. He said we would need to empty it ourselves and just keep the for-purchase items on the shelf, because he didn't have anywhere to put them. I thought this was really strange and it resulted in just a tad less space available for us to use for other items. Not a big deal, and we weren't charged for anything that we removed from the fridge since we didn't use it.

Cabin - Overall Thoughts: A perfectly suitable cabin for anyone who uses their room solely for sleeping or prefers saving money for other expenses (e.g. an excursion). Interior cabins are great for people who like sleeping in pitch black. I'd recommend Deck 2 but would suggest trying to book forward or midship, if possible, and avoiding the loud vibrations associated with the aft.
Deck 2 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Snorkeling
    We booked a snorkeling excursion with Jolly Pirates. The instructions for getting to MooMba Beach were clear and we made it in plenty of time. The crew were all friendly and funny, and knowledgeable about Aruba. We were taken to three areas for snorkeling and given a delicious lunch (as well as an open bar which had juice, water, and rum drinks). We were taken back to MooMba Beach and had a great time relaxing in the warm, beautiful water.
    View All 163 Snorkeling Reviews
  • Curacao
    Taxis are expensive, and the locals are aggressive - the woman at the information desk right off the walkway was rude to our group (someone in our group has made dinner reservations at a nearby resort, and the woman said such a resort didn't exist), and everyone seemed determined to send us to the most tourist-y and expensive areas. We finally haggled and got lunch at a great local spot before checking out downtown. The floating bridge was an awesome experience, and I'd love to see more of Curacao.
    View All 1,250 Curacao Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Curacao Cruise Port Review
  • Grand Turk
    Lots to do even if you don't have plans - Jack's Shack, Margaritaville, and the free beach all provide ample space and entertainment to cruises. Our group spent the most time at Jack's Shack and loved it.
    View All 2,115 Grand Turk Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Grand Turk Cruise Port Review
  • Zip-Lining
    Loved our Cenote Swim and Zipline at Scape Park. The folks actually helping everyone with the ziplining were as friendly as can be, and funny and really entertaining. The Scape Park staff (the ones at the photo area and souvenir shop) were very rude. Other than that, the excursion was very organized, a lot of fun, and I would highly recommend it.
    View All 12 Zip-Lining Reviews
  • Miami
    The port was fine and efficient. We arrived towards the end of our check-in window and were promptly escorted to the right area. Waiting time was minimal/standard. It seemed pretty organized. Our porter was friendly at first but became very aggressive after a seemingly minor incident. (A member of our group tipped a couple of dollars for his luggage, and the porter apparently asked him if that was meant to cover the whole group. Our friend misheard the question and said, "Yes." At that point the porter became extremely aggressive and rude. I then gave him a $20 and said it was for our group, at which time he became a little less sour.) It was organized but the porter wasn't great after the tipping mishap - beware aggressive porters!
    View All 2,424 Miami Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Miami Cruise Port Review