We sailed on the Carnival Breeze for spring break in April 2016. (This was our 13th cruise overall, 6th on Carnival, and 2nd on the Breeze.)
Embarkation – The port workers were strictly enforcing the entrance time on your boarding pass, so no bother showing up at anytime before that. Our passes were for the 10-10:30am check in. We were all checked in and waiting to board by 11am, but it wasn’t until around noon that we were able to board with our zone 3 stamp we had been given. Rooms were supposed to be ready by 12:30-1pm, but when we went to check at 1pm, they still weren’t ready, but we dropped our stuff off anyway.
Room – This time we had an inside spa cabin on deck 11. It was small, but it’s what we expected and had read about prior to getting onboard. We liked the location of being on deck 11 and got our daily workout in going up and down the stairs avoiding elevators to go to the main theater and dinner. We had two closets with not enough hangers. The shower seemed larger than we remembered as neither of us were attacked by the shower curtain. Water pressure was also good in the shower. Safe worked fine. Mini fridge was there, but we never even opened it. Suitcases fit right under the bed as usual. For gold status, we were supposed to receive free bottles of water, but never did until we asked the room steward to look into it on day two. Our room was service quickly twice a day always while we were at breakfast and then again at dinner. Towel animals were cute as always.
Spa area – We did check out the spa area since we were in a spa room and had access to it. No one else was there during the 30 minutes we were there, so if you like to get away from everyone then the spa is for you. There was a nice lounge area, large hot tub, hot rooms, and steam room, but it just wasn’t our thing. We probably wouldn’t pay extra to have it again.
Deck Chairs – People are out early claiming their spots with towels and other personal items. At no point did we ever see anyone enforcing a rule for people leaving belonging behind for a long period of time without being there. If you’re looking for shade, those spots go first, followed by the prime sunning areas on the lido on deck 10. Deck 11 has some nice shade areas, but it’s also the smoking area. The serenity area also fills up quickly on sea days. The easiest place to always find a chair in the sun or shade is deck 5. Our advice is to claim your seat on your way to breakfast, especially if you want a deck chair on 10, 11 or 12.
Previous sailing - We previously sailed on the Breeze in December 2013 and did notice a few things that could be improved upon this time around. There was significant wear to the cushions on deck chairs in the serenity area which looked like they needed to be completely replaced as well as areas where the deck and carpets were worn down. Once they fix these minor issues up she’ll be as good as new!
Food – Seems to be the same quality as last time we were on board. If you’re looking for gourmet food, Carnival is not the cruise line for you. If you don’t mind simple and sometimes bland food, then step on up. The portions in the main dining room seemed a little smaller than last time, and for the first time ever, we heard people being told no when trying to order additional lobsters, and escargot wasn’t on the menu any of the 6 nights, but is available at the steakhouse. The buffet food is hit and miss, but if you skip out on the main dining room for dinner, no worries, because at least half of the items on the main dining room menu are also served on the buffet at night.
For lunch, there are so many options, which I think helps keep the lines down overall : Pizza, Indian, Deli, Asian Wok, Guys Burgers, Burritos/Tacos, comfort food buffet, and specialty cuisine buffet, as well as Italian restaurant which is free at lunch. If you time things right, you’ll never have to wait in line very long at all. Our favorite buffet area stops are the Guy’s Burgers and Blue Iguana Burritos. The longest and slowest line is always at the Asian Wok – where there are two cooks who are each cooking individual dishes for three people at a time, so of course it is going to take some time. Pizza can also get backed up at prime feeding times. The main buffet area does have strict hours and some people seem to get annoyed with that, but I think is reasonable since they have to take down breakfast and set up for lunch and take down lunch and set up for dinner. I think this also helps with overall cleanliness too. Breakfast is the same at the buffets, so it doesn’t matter which line you go to. The longest line is always for omelets, other than that there isn’t much of a wait at breakfast.
Bar service - always fast and friendly!
Entertainment & Activities – There is so much to do on board this ship. Even after bring on the Breeze twice, we still haven't done everything there is to do! The cruise director Mike was ok, but since we had Butch last time, anything but Butch is a disappointment for us. The rest of the entertainment and fun crew were good seemed to enjoy what they do, which was good. Trivia pretty much happens hourly and is a good way to win trophies or medals if you’re into that. The shows in the main theater were good. We thought the best was Motor City. The comedy shows were ok, but they’re always hit and miss depending on who the comedians are. They do clear the comedy room out after each show and make people wait in a line to get back in now, so that was a different. As long as you arrive 15 minutes early, you can always find a seat for the comedy. For the main theater, you could always find a seat no matter what, but if you want the best views or a seat at the end of a row, then you should arrive 10-15 minutes early. The piano bar was also good evening entertainment. The dance club gets going about 11:30pm-midnight ish, before that it is pretty much dead. Live music around the ship was hit or miss. Other entertainment like the ropes course, mini golf, and waterslides/waterworks area is also good fun. We used the waterslides over and over again with no line on port days , on sea days in the afternoon there was always a line.
Other passengers - It was a typical spring break crowd. The majority of people on board seemed to be families with children along with couples in their 20s-50s. For our sailing there was just over 1300 people under 18 on board, most of which we never saw, so good job Camp Ocean!
Ports of Call: Ocho Rios Jamaica, Grand Cayman, & Cozumel Mexico.
Excursion suggestions - Dunn River Falls in Jamaica, swim with the sting rays in Grand Cayman, & visit the ruins in Mexico.
Shopping - The best port area shopping is in Cozumel Mexico.
Disembarkation - This is fast especially if you do the self disembark and take your luggage off yourself. Otherwise, don’t leave until your zone number is called. The luggage system has been upgraded in the last few years at the port of Miami and now comes out on moving belts like at an airport. Only the luggage for the zones called is available. The biggest slow down with disembarkation is people with their customs/immigration forms not completely filled out and people who overall are just not paying attention. The taxi line is short if you get out right away before 9am, but gets long after that.