1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Carnival Breeze
I chose this cruise for my wife and I so we could decompress after a very long year. We moved from our home in Southern California to North Texas just over a year ago and it has been a lot of work to get ready, move and get settled. It was also her birthday that week, so we decided to give it a go. The Carnival Breeze is a relatively new ship having set sail in 2012. We had sailed Carnival twice before and the price was certainly attractive, but we were not sure what to expect. Our previous Carnival cruises had all been short and on older ships. We were exited to try some of the best Carnival had to offer. Sailing out of Galveston was a real plus because it was just a 5 hour drive to port to gain access to some of the best Carribbean beaches in the Carribbean. Our cruse was billed as an Exotic Western Caribbean cruise to Cozumel, Belize and Honduras (Mahogany Bay). We decided to drive down the day before and stay overnight in Galveston. Our online checkin was easy. We had been upgraded to a Jr. Suite so we were looking forward to priority boarding. We joined a Facebook group for the cruise and learned about Faster to the Fun. We also learned we had the same benefits being that we were in a suite. I would recommend getting a priority boarding whenever possible. We were prepared for long lines and did experience them on occasion but we avoided the worst with priority boarding and priority tender. We parked at a private lot called EZ Cruise. The shuttle to the port took far longer than expected. It seems they were still removing passengers from the terminal when we arrived around 10:30 am for our priority boarding. We had hoped to begin boarding around 11. The computer system was down early, causing a lot of delays and the ship did not begin boarding until almost noon. When the time came, we were whisked away past a very large room full of others waiting their turn. The photographers were out in numbers for that boarding photo. We stopped for one and they had some trouble getting their system to find our stateroom. Even with that delay we were onboard quickly and able to drop our bags in our stateroom early. We headed out to check out the ship and grab a quick bite to eat. We were pleasently surprised by how empty the ship felt. We were told this cruise would be sold out, but having priority clearly made a huge difference. We were on board and having lunch by noon. I tried the Mongolian Wok. It was quite good. That area became the omlet station for breakfast. We enjoyed a leisurely lunch and stroll about the ship before heading back to our stateroom to check out the balcony and the large suite amenities. We got our Hub App set up and registered for Chat and started checking out the Fun Times (what's happening on the Hub App) and selecting our favorites. We then took another stroll about the ship, exploring the spa area and adult area before heading to muster drill. Muster was uneventful but it was the first time we noticed the crowds. Elevators are slow when everyone is on the lower decks and trying to get somewhere else. We took the stairs. We eventually wound up at the lido deck tequila bar where we had a meetup scheduled. We had a couple of drinks, met a few people and watched the ship sail away from port. We noticed that you really couldn't see what was going on for the sail away party unless you were on deck 11 looking down at the lido deck or watching on the screen, but we were enjoying watching the Dolphins play with the ships coming in and out of port. They would swim and jump along the bow wake of the ships, seemingly leading them to their destination. We returned to our cabin where our luggage arrived. I did a little unpacking and slid my large roller bag under the bed. My wife likes to live out of her suitcase. Fast forward to dinner where we headed to our dining area, the Blush and our table. The table was set for eight but only four of us came to dinner most nights. We never saw one of the couples. Carnival did a good job of pairing us with people that had similar backgrounds which made the visits over dinner nice. We were quite disappointed though in the food and the service. One entree in particular was simply inedible. When I told our server, he brought me an evaluation form. I never heard from anyone about my poor review of the food. He offered to bring me something else but the service was already so slow, I didn't want to bother. This is a simple three course meal they are serving now, so it shouldn't take so long. We noticed many were eating their main course when we were being served our appetizer course. We also noticed that we did have a dedicated waiter but the rest of the wait staff was shared. We never saw the head server. I had to get up and get my own water a couple of times because we just could not get the service. The entree I returned was a honey glazed pork loin that isn't very complicated but it was served overcooked but only lukewarm. The pasta dish my wife had was very good and I had other dishes later in the cruise that were better. On formal night you have a choice of lobster or prime rib. I chose both and they were good, but the wait staff never came by with Au Jus or horseradish. Further, the portion sizes were very small. One of the smallest lobster tails I have ever seen. I know you can have more, but again, the service was slow and we didn't have all night to eat dinner on any night. We had things we wanted to do. The deserts were mediocre at best. The chocolate melting cake was excellent but I ended up having that three times because the other choices were not appealing. The ice cream served with the cake had previously melted partially and was refrozen so it was full of ice crystals. It had melted in the small cup it was served in and simply put back in the freezer for the next guest. It was very obvious and most restaurants would not have served it. Very disappointing main dining room experience the entire cruise. We decided to don our bathing suits and head up the adult area where we soaked in the hot tub for awhile. I was really surprised that there was no bar service on the deck. There was a bar, but if you wanted a drink you had to go and get it. This was not just an anomaly as it occurred the one other time we visited this area as well. Everywhere else you go on the ship, including the dining room, they are plying you with alcohol at every turn. Not here. We even experienced a time on the lido deck where we told the server we didn't want anothe drink but he set one down in front of us anyway and tried to talk us into keep them. I could not order a beer without being reminded I could get a bucket and they had a beer tower they were pushing as well. We left the hot tub and turned in for the night. It was late. The next few days of the cruise went by quickly. Too quickly. The ship really didn't feel crowded except for the muster drill day and we really enjoyed walking in and sitting down at the comedy show before dinner then enjoying the stage show after dinner. The entertainment was OK and I was once again reminded of a cheap Vegas experience. The production shows were definitely elaborate and the technology used on the shop was excellent, but the talent and arrangement fell a bit short. Who puts a piano in the center of the stage block the view for the entire first 10 rows and leaves it there for the entire first number. By the time the dancing starts, the piano needs to be out of the way. Common sense. Nobody could believe they would leave the piano there when we selected our seats. The 80s deck party was great, but once again marred by some pretty odd behavior. There was billed an 80s DJ before the deck party, but the band was setting up and tuning live during the DJ session. It's very strange to hear that going on while listening to tracks. Then the DJ started playing very obscure 80s rap. Everyone was looking around trying to figure out what was going on. Once the deck party started, it was done well. The lead guitar was amazing and the vocals were passable. Unless you were on the lower deck though, you were not going to get a drink served to you. We were on deck 11 (above the Lido deck) looking straight across at the band. No drink service. At all. It seems you are either in an area where there are servers and they push the drinks on you, or you see nobody. We took advantage of the movies on the deck a few times and enjoyed the big lido screen just above the pool. It was really pretty fun to sit out under the stars and watch a movie from a chaise lounge. Reminded us of the drive in movies when we were younger. The only problem though is that it was out on the open deck, between two bars. The rum bar and the tequila bar. There were loud and boisterous guests one night, just having a good time of their own. Whose to blame them. But you could not hear the dialog of the movie at times. Another night we tried to sit in a different area only to hear the blender from the bar making far too much noise during the movie. We loved that they popped fresh popcorn, although don't forget to add salt. That's good for those who can't do salt because it is popped without any seasoning. The ports were very nice. We did a relaxing beach excursion at every port. We really enjoyed starfish island in part because the tender went directly to and from the island without going to the dock. No lines waiting for a tender! There was food and a bar and wonderful beach. Who could ask for more. If you were going snorkeling first, they took you out to do that and then brought you back to the island. Very peaceful. There was an Elvis impersonator at the bar who was amusing and fun and the food was very good. We enjoyed the water and watched some dolphins play in the deeper water very nearby. This was in Belize. In Roatan we took a bus to a resort at the other side of th island and enjoyed the beach there before heading to the resort pool. This was an all inclusive so they had a number of servers roaming around offering you (not pushing you) drinks. This was our best experience of the trip. The vendors that are there along the beach are a bit pushy but you can avoid them by staying in your chaise lounge behind the roped off area our going out in the the water. We avoided them by going to the pool where they are not allowed either. Our best surprise was probably the lido marketplace food court. Well designed. Lots of choices. Guys burgers were very good, but I'd equate them to a Smashburger or maybe a cut above 5 guys. The burrito and taco place was excellent. Custom burritos with fresh salsa and many choices of hot sauce. They have had a habanero salsa. They'll also do breakfast burritos in the morning. The pizza was decent and freshly made, but not excellent. The desert area had plenty to choose from, including fresh fruit. I wish they had fresh cut fruit available throughout the day. We never felt crowded and were always able to find a table. The best we've seen to date on any ship. After the final sea day we reflected back on the cruise and regretted having to leave. We had experienced an art auction for the fist time where we purchased some artwork for our new home. We experienced some new ports and just enjoyed the time away from it all. The cruise clearly met our expectations, but it did not really exceed them. We were not surprise for wowed by Carnival but we did really enjoy our vacation. We were priority and decided to do self service with our luggage. We were off the ship quickly and on our way home by 9:30am . No hassle at all. If you are looking to get away from it all and just get some downtime and have some fun, I would recommend this ship and this itinerary. If you are looking for a great vacation experience, including great service, I'd advise looking elsewhere or you'll be disappointed.

Breeze to Belize for rest and relaxation after a long and stressful year

Carnival Breeze Cruise Review by cyclenut

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
I chose this cruise for my wife and I so we could decompress after a very long year. We moved from our home in Southern California to North Texas just over a year ago and it has been a lot of work to get ready, move and get settled. It was also her birthday that week, so we decided to give it a go. The Carnival Breeze is a relatively new ship having set sail in 2012. We had sailed Carnival twice before and the price was certainly attractive, but we were not sure what to expect. Our previous Carnival cruises had all been short and on older ships. We were exited to try some of the best Carnival had to offer. Sailing out of Galveston was a real plus because it was just a 5 hour drive to port to gain access to some of the best Carribbean beaches in the Carribbean. Our cruse was billed as an Exotic Western Caribbean cruise to Cozumel, Belize and Honduras (Mahogany Bay). We decided to drive down the day before and stay overnight in Galveston.

Our online checkin was easy. We had been upgraded to a Jr. Suite so we were looking forward to priority boarding. We joined a Facebook group for the cruise and learned about Faster to the Fun. We also learned we had the same benefits being that we were in a suite. I would recommend getting a priority boarding whenever possible. We were prepared for long lines and did experience them on occasion but we avoided the worst with priority boarding and priority tender.

We parked at a private lot called EZ Cruise. The shuttle to the port took far longer than expected. It seems they were still removing passengers from the terminal when we arrived around 10:30 am for our priority boarding. We had hoped to begin boarding around 11. The computer system was down early, causing a lot of delays and the ship did not begin boarding until almost noon. When the time came, we were whisked away past a very large room full of others waiting their turn. The photographers were out in numbers for that boarding photo. We stopped for one and they had some trouble getting their system to find our stateroom. Even with that delay we were onboard quickly and able to drop our bags in our stateroom early. We headed out to check out the ship and grab a quick bite to eat.

We were pleasently surprised by how empty the ship felt. We were told this cruise would be sold out, but having priority clearly made a huge difference. We were on board and having lunch by noon. I tried the Mongolian Wok. It was quite good. That area became the omlet station for breakfast. We enjoyed a leisurely lunch and stroll about the ship before heading back to our stateroom to check out the balcony and the large suite amenities. We got our Hub App set up and registered for Chat and started checking out the Fun Times (what's happening on the Hub App) and selecting our favorites. We then took another stroll about the ship, exploring the spa area and adult area before heading to muster drill.

Muster was uneventful but it was the first time we noticed the crowds. Elevators are slow when everyone is on the lower decks and trying to get somewhere else. We took the stairs. We eventually wound up at the lido deck tequila bar where we had a meetup scheduled. We had a couple of drinks, met a few people and watched the ship sail away from port. We noticed that you really couldn't see what was going on for the sail away party unless you were on deck 11 looking down at the lido deck or watching on the screen, but we were enjoying watching the Dolphins play with the ships coming in and out of port. They would swim and jump along the bow wake of the ships, seemingly leading them to their destination.

We returned to our cabin where our luggage arrived. I did a little unpacking and slid my large roller bag under the bed. My wife likes to live out of her suitcase.

Fast forward to dinner where we headed to our dining area, the Blush and our table. The table was set for eight but only four of us came to dinner most nights. We never saw one of the couples. Carnival did a good job of pairing us with people that had similar backgrounds which made the visits over dinner nice. We were quite disappointed though in the food and the service. One entree in particular was simply inedible. When I told our server, he brought me an evaluation form. I never heard from anyone about my poor review of the food. He offered to bring me something else but the service was already so slow, I didn't want to bother. This is a simple three course meal they are serving now, so it shouldn't take so long. We noticed many were eating their main course when we were being served our appetizer course. We also noticed that we did have a dedicated waiter but the rest of the wait staff was shared. We never saw the head server. I had to get up and get my own water a couple of times because we just could not get the service. The entree I returned was a honey glazed pork loin that isn't very complicated but it was served overcooked but only lukewarm. The pasta dish my wife had was very good and I had other dishes later in the cruise that were better. On formal night you have a choice of lobster or prime rib. I chose both and they were good, but the wait staff never came by with Au Jus or horseradish. Further, the portion sizes were very small. One of the smallest lobster tails I have ever seen. I know you can have more, but again, the service was slow and we didn't have all night to eat dinner on any night. We had things we wanted to do. The deserts were mediocre at best. The chocolate melting cake was excellent but I ended up having that three times because the other choices were not appealing. The ice cream served with the cake had previously melted partially and was refrozen so it was full of ice crystals. It had melted in the small cup it was served in and simply put back in the freezer for the next guest. It was very obvious and most restaurants would not have served it. Very disappointing main dining room experience the entire cruise.

We decided to don our bathing suits and head up the adult area where we soaked in the hot tub for awhile. I was really surprised that there was no bar service on the deck. There was a bar, but if you wanted a drink you had to go and get it. This was not just an anomaly as it occurred the one other time we visited this area as well. Everywhere else you go on the ship, including the dining room, they are plying you with alcohol at every turn. Not here. We even experienced a time on the lido deck where we told the server we didn't want anothe drink but he set one down in front of us anyway and tried to talk us into keep them. I could not order a beer without being reminded I could get a bucket and they had a beer tower they were pushing as well. We left the hot tub and turned in for the night. It was late.

The next few days of the cruise went by quickly. Too quickly. The ship really didn't feel crowded except for the muster drill day and we really enjoyed walking in and sitting down at the comedy show before dinner then enjoying the stage show after dinner. The entertainment was OK and I was once again reminded of a cheap Vegas experience. The production shows were definitely elaborate and the technology used on the shop was excellent, but the talent and arrangement fell a bit short. Who puts a piano in the center of the stage block the view for the entire first 10 rows and leaves it there for the entire first number. By the time the dancing starts, the piano needs to be out of the way. Common sense. Nobody could believe they would leave the piano there when we selected our seats. The 80s deck party was great, but once again marred by some pretty odd behavior. There was billed an 80s DJ before the deck party, but the band was setting up and tuning live during the DJ session. It's very strange to hear that going on while listening to tracks. Then the DJ started playing very obscure 80s rap. Everyone was looking around trying to figure out what was going on. Once the deck party started, it was done well. The lead guitar was amazing and the vocals were passable. Unless you were on the lower deck though, you were not going to get a drink served to you. We were on deck 11 (above the Lido deck) looking straight across at the band. No drink service. At all. It seems you are either in an area where there are servers and they push the drinks on you, or you see nobody.

We took advantage of the movies on the deck a few times and enjoyed the big lido screen just above the pool. It was really pretty fun to sit out under the stars and watch a movie from a chaise lounge. Reminded us of the drive in movies when we were younger. The only problem though is that it was out on the open deck, between two bars. The rum bar and the tequila bar. There were loud and boisterous guests one night, just having a good time of their own. Whose to blame them. But you could not hear the dialog of the movie at times. Another night we tried to sit in a different area only to hear the blender from the bar making far too much noise during the movie. We loved that they popped fresh popcorn, although don't forget to add salt. That's good for those who can't do salt because it is popped without any seasoning.

The ports were very nice. We did a relaxing beach excursion at every port. We really enjoyed starfish island in part because the tender went directly to and from the island without going to the dock. No lines waiting for a tender! There was food and a bar and wonderful beach. Who could ask for more. If you were going snorkeling first, they took you out to do that and then brought you back to the island. Very peaceful. There was an Elvis impersonator at the bar who was amusing and fun and the food was very good. We enjoyed the water and watched some dolphins play in the deeper water very nearby. This was in Belize. In Roatan we took a bus to a resort at the other side of th island and enjoyed the beach there before heading to the resort pool. This was an all inclusive so they had a number of servers roaming around offering you (not pushing you) drinks. This was our best experience of the trip. The vendors that are there along the beach are a bit pushy but you can avoid them by staying in your chaise lounge behind the roped off area our going out in the the water. We avoided them by going to the pool where they are not allowed either.

Our best surprise was probably the lido marketplace food court. Well designed. Lots of choices. Guys burgers were very good, but I'd equate them to a Smashburger or maybe a cut above 5 guys. The burrito and taco place was excellent. Custom burritos with fresh salsa and many choices of hot sauce. They have had a habanero salsa. They'll also do breakfast burritos in the morning. The pizza was decent and freshly made, but not excellent. The desert area had plenty to choose from, including fresh fruit. I wish they had fresh cut fruit available throughout the day. We never felt crowded and were always able to find a table. The best we've seen to date on any ship.

After the final sea day we reflected back on the cruise and regretted having to leave. We had experienced an art auction for the fist time where we purchased some artwork for our new home. We experienced some new ports and just enjoyed the time away from it all. The cruise clearly met our expectations, but it did not really exceed them. We were not surprise for wowed by Carnival but we did really enjoy our vacation. We were priority and decided to do self service with our luggage. We were off the ship quickly and on our way home by 9:30am . No hassle at all. If you are looking to get away from it all and just get some downtime and have some fun, I would recommend this ship and this itinerary. If you are looking for a great vacation experience, including great service, I'd advise looking elsewhere or you'll be disappointed.
cyclenut’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Carnival Breeze price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Junior Suite
Cabin JS 7235
Carnival called us a few weeks before the cruise and offered this upgrade to a junior suite for a reasonable price. We decided to give it a try. Suites come with priority boarding and tender from the ship, which worked out great. We also received two large bottles of water, which we drank, in addition to our two large bottles for being returning guests, which we also drank. The room was clearly larger than most. We had a king configuration. There was a sofabed on the opposite wall and a small arm chair against the wall of the balcony with a small table to share between the couch and chair. The TV was wall mounted and even though it was tilted to one side, you could not see the entire screen from the left side of the King bed. There were plenty of light switches and lighting throughout the cabin. You could turn on or off the cabin lights from the bed and there were reading lamps as well. There is a small vanity next to the bed that included the mirror and lighting as well. The hair dryer is in a drawer in the vanity and attached. You cannot take it to the bathroom.

The bathroom is large with a jetted tub (a small one) and two sinks. Plenty of room for two to get ready for the evening (or the day). There was plenty of counter space and storage area for bathroom essentials.

There are actuall two closets with sliding doors but they are not very deep. I was unable to hang my suit on the hanger and close the doors. There are also shelves in the close to put clothes. The room includes two robes in the closet.

There is room to store luggage under the bed and a small mini fridge under the TV. There is a safe in the vanity are that was large enough for an iPad as well as several other items.

The balcony was also larger with room for a chaise lounge plus two deck chairs and a small aluminum table. The door to the outside only swings to 90 degrees. We prefer a sliding door to a swinging one. The balcony was somewhat private but you are getting close to the bridge so they can see down to your balcony if you're on the right side. If you are standing on the left side, the guests walking outside on deck 5 can look up. If you are looking for complete privacy, you won't find that in this balcony. If you just want to enjoy the views away from the crowds, this is perfect.
Deck 9 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Belize City
    Really enjoyed Starfish Island. This was probably the best value of all of our excursions. Tender from the ship directly to the island and back again. No lines. Really. Just a very relaxing day on the island. It was too short though. We left for the island early in the day and were to be back on the ship by about 1pm. That left time to go ashore but we didn't want to be in the final rush to get a tender.
    We would definitely do this one again.
    View All 12,467 Belize City Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Belize City Cruise Port Review
  • Private Resort Day Pass
    We had a small group and our own private cottage with a chef prepared meal and all inclusive bar. They offered snorkeling, which really wasn't worth the effort. The beach was nice but it was a very rocky entry to the water. Water shoes are recommended. They had a pool but it was small and nothing really special. You could pay for a massage. The food was good and the drinks were plentiful if you wanted them to be. It was nice having the cottage to use the restroom and the beach was pretty quiet without a lot of crowds.

    This was one of our more expensive excursions and while it was nice, I might not choose it again.
    View All 179 Private Resort Day Pass Reviews
  • Galveston
    We stayed in Galveston the night before the cruise at Townplace Inn and Suites. The rooms had great views and we really liked the drive along the ocean. We had dinner at a very popular place called The Spot. What a great find. It was crowded and parking can be difficult but it was worth it.

    We prepaid for parking at EZ Cruise. I would recommend skipping the shuttle and walking. The best bet is to drop of the luggage and family, park and walk back then reverse the process when you return.
    View All 659 Galveston Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Galveston Cruise Port Review
  • Roatan
    Excellent beach even though there were pushy vendors. Great food and good bar service topped off with an excellent resort pool. Best excursion of our cruise.
    View All 12,467 Roatan Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Roatan Cruise Port Review