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We chose this ship/itinerary because the dates aligned with winter breaks, was after Christmas, and left from the port closest to our hometown. We have also had good experiences with Carnival Caribbean cruises in the past on the Conquest, Imagination, and Triumph. We found the ship itself to have GREAT AMENITIES and a great VARIETY OF SPACES. We traveled with a group of 14 (staying in multiple other rooms throughout the ship) from ages 9-80, including 3 kids/tweens age 13-and under, and four 20-somethings. Ship spaces/activities utilized: Pool area, WaterWorks, SportSquare (mini golf, etc), Sky Course, trivia, Hasbro Game Show, Playlist Productions, casino, RedFrog pub, Limelight Lounge (magic show), outdoor nightclub, fitness center, piano bar, atrium live music Ship Amenities/Spaces: The kids, tweens, and adults all utilized (and loved!) the SportSquare with mini golf and other gaming activities. We also really enjoyed the "Sky Course" where you complete an obstacle course while suspended in the air. This ship has a full size basketball court vs. half-size on some other ships. It always had a steady flow of people. The younger kids were especially enthusiastic about the slides and water play area on this ship, as they felt some other cruise ships had been lacking in this area. We enjoyed spending time in the RedFrog Pub. The layout really had a bar/pub feel where you could get away from some the the main area crowds in the late afternoons/early evenings. You could tell the LAYOUT HAD BEEN OPTIMIZED over older ship layouts to improve guest experience. For example, there are 3 levels of outside pool/deck space, including one level between the other 2 that is almost entirely shaded. We had less trouble finding sun chairs to accommodate a group on this ship that we have on some others in the past. The atrium layout also has multiple levels with bar-like seating to people-watch and listen to band. Cabin: We found our cabin (Ocean View Deck 1) to be spacious and loved having the additional bathroom. There was also generous storage space for a cruise ship room. Dining: We ate breakfast on Lido Deck daily, and had dinner in the main dining room (Blush) each night. We loved the variety of lunch options in addition to the normal Lido Buffet: Burgers, Wok, Pizza, Mexican. We especially LOVED the taco bar by the pool deck! We used room service once for an early morning excursion day, and they delivered on time--early even! Entertainment: Our group thoroughly enjoyed the HASBRO GAME SHOW, with multiple members saying it was the ENTERTAINMENT HIGHLIGHT of the trip! Several group members went to the magic show in the limelight lounge and raved about that, too! We liked the piano bar, although we would have appreciated a little more music and a little less chatting. Be forewarned that the environment turns a bit raunchy around 11pm (even by college 20-something standards) if that's not your cup of tea. The 20-somethings enjoyed the vibe of the OUTDOOR CLUB area. It offered nice variety from the usual 18+ indoor nightclub. This crowd tended to be more younger-20s and was quite active the night we went. We went to all the NIGHTLY PRODUCTIONS except for one and overall found their QUALITY to be a bit LACKING. I can't quite put my finger on it, but the shows left something to be desired, in comparison to past cruise entertainment offerings (even on Carnival--Triumph and Conquest). We found the productions' scheduling to be a bit strange--at 8:15 and 10:15 instead of the usual 6pm and 8pm offerings we have had on other ships. To accommodate the late dinner (8:15) seating, you were relegated to the 10:15 show start time. Our group would have appreciated a 6:15 show nightly. On the last night, the shows were at 7pm and 9pm (I believe), which we found odd. It was the only night with shows scheduled at a different time than the other nights, so our group wasn't able to attend. In fact, the ENTERTAINMENT was SCHEDULED AT STRANGE TIMES throughout the whole cruise. There was no night-time magic show. The only one was at 4pm or so, and was absolutely packed. High-entertainment value activities seemed to be clustered in scheduling, so that multiple events would be scheduled at noon, and around 2:30-3. Then there would be "dead time" from 3:30 or 4 until dinner. Several high-entertainment events were scheduled in the 7:30-9ish time window, so those with a late dinner seating could not be accommodated at all. We would have appreciated more staggering of similar types of events so that interested crowds could bounce around and make them all. We would have appreciated better entertainment scheduling accommodations for the late dinner seating. Service: Overall, we found the SERVICE on this ship to be a bit LACKING. It was definitely adequate. But it wasn't the same "cruise exceptional" that we have experienced on other cruises, even on Carnival. The service was simply "standard," and certainly not noteworthy. Debarkation was hindered by fog, and we had to stay in Galveston an extra day and cut out the Belize port. We were overall IMPRESSED WITH Carnival's level of CUSTOMER SERVICE in handling this setback. Carnival did a great job communicating throughout, offered a free drink to each guest plus a reasonable amount of onboard credit (maybe $30-$50?), and did not charge for the "Cheers" drinking program for the one day. Room tidying service was only offered once per day, which we found strange, as all cruises in the past had tidying service once in the morning and then turndown service at night. With some quizzical looks and prodding, some more concerned members of our group were able to receive the 2x daily service. This wait staff was adequate but hesitant to engage in any level of personal interaction beyond standard service. They didn't interact with the kids in any meaningful way. Perhaps the staffing was cut, and they were just spread thin. Again, the service was by no means poor; it just wasn't at the level we have come to expect from cruising. We did trivia several days. And while we loved the trivia itself, the "emcee" of all trivia was abysmal. He added nothing to the entertainment value, was sort of a "wet blanket" in that he was incredibly dry and showed no enthusiasm for the games or competition. He detracted from the overall experience in general. Excursions: Cozumel--Dolphin Discovery "Royal Swim" This was a "bucket list" item for some members of our group. We had done dolphin experiences before, so the experience was exactly what we expected. It included transportation to and from the site, and our particular excursion included food from the buffet. The food was fine--not awesome, but nothing to complain about either. The dolphin experience itself was wonderful. Be aware that not all experiences are the same. We chose the "Royal Swim," which is the most immersive and comprehensive of all dolphin experiences offered because it includes the "foot push" where 2 dolphins "superman" you out of the water. There were plenty of picture-perfect moments (dolphin kisses!). However, you could tell the scheduling at the site was a little off, as our whole group pet the manatee in the water (with three different trainers rotating through our group) for approximately the same amount of time as we spent with the dolphins. It was obvious we were in a holding pattern for dolphins/trainers/a specific pool to become available even though we had scheduled through the cruise ship in advance. So we didn't get the amount of free time in the park to use the pool as we would have liked. Be aware that purchasing photos here is on the expensive side. I believe it was $35 per photo? Or alternatively, $50 per person for a disc with all photos from the experience. Absolutely no outside cameras or photos from observers. So if you want photos for a family of four, you're looking at another $150, at least. Costa Maya--Maya Chan Inclusive Resort Can't say enough good about this place! Our whole group of varied ages loved it! Our only complaint is that we didn't have enough time to spend here. Be forewarned that if your beach goal is crystal clear turquoise blue water with manufactured pristine white sand beaches, then this is not the site for you. BUT if you want an all-inclusive, with an authentic vibe, that is somewhat secluded, then this is ABSOLUTELY the place for you! The staff went out of their way to accommodate us and make us feel welcome. There were plenty of things to do--kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, floating rafts, footballs, and sand toys for the kids. There were plenty of shaded areas for those looking to stay out of the sun. There were restrooms on site and freshwater showers. COMMUNICATION for booking was fantastic via email. An English speaker met us near the cruise ship port to coordinate transportation, and another English speaker greeted us on arrival to the beach resort itself. We had a pre-reserved area waiting for us on arrival, with plenty of seating to accommodate our large group. We loved that this beach was less commercialized than some others in that it managed to maintain an AUTHENTIC, off-the-beaten-path vibe. There were other guests here, but not so many as to feel crowded, and we loved the relative seclusion. The FOOD here is absolutely fantastic. They have a taco bar with chicken, beef, pork, fish, and all the toppings. Our whole group raved about the food. Drinks from the bar flowed generously. We felt that we got more than our $60 per person money's worth. The ride here from port is about 20 minutes and is indeed a bit bumpy (they let you know this information ahead of time), but it really is worth it. There is some floating seaweed/greenery, but staff raked it off the beach multiple times during our stay.

Great ship amenities, service not the same

Carnival Breeze Cruise Review by KSand24

12 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2016
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean View
We chose this ship/itinerary because the dates aligned with winter breaks, was after Christmas, and left from the port closest to our hometown. We have also had good experiences with Carnival Caribbean cruises in the past on the Conquest, Imagination, and Triumph.

We found the ship itself to have GREAT AMENITIES and a great VARIETY OF SPACES. We traveled with a group of 14 (staying in multiple other rooms throughout the ship) from ages 9-80, including 3 kids/tweens age 13-and under, and four 20-somethings.

Ship spaces/activities utilized: Pool area, WaterWorks, SportSquare (mini golf, etc), Sky Course, trivia, Hasbro Game Show, Playlist Productions, casino, RedFrog pub, Limelight Lounge (magic show), outdoor nightclub, fitness center, piano bar, atrium live music

Ship Amenities/Spaces:

The kids, tweens, and adults all utilized (and loved!) the SportSquare with mini golf and other gaming activities. We also really enjoyed the "Sky Course" where you complete an obstacle course while suspended in the air. This ship has a full size basketball court vs. half-size on some other ships. It always had a steady flow of people. The younger kids were especially enthusiastic about the slides and water play area on this ship, as they felt some other cruise ships had been lacking in this area.

We enjoyed spending time in the RedFrog Pub. The layout really had a bar/pub feel where you could get away from some the the main area crowds in the late afternoons/early evenings.

You could tell the LAYOUT HAD BEEN OPTIMIZED over older ship layouts to improve guest experience. For example, there are 3 levels of outside pool/deck space, including one level between the other 2 that is almost entirely shaded. We had less trouble finding sun chairs to accommodate a group on this ship that we have on some others in the past. The atrium layout also has multiple levels with bar-like seating to people-watch and listen to band.

Cabin:

We found our cabin (Ocean View Deck 1) to be spacious and loved having the additional bathroom. There was also generous storage space for a cruise ship room.

Dining:

We ate breakfast on Lido Deck daily, and had dinner in the main dining room (Blush) each night. We loved the variety of lunch options in addition to the normal Lido Buffet: Burgers, Wok, Pizza, Mexican. We especially LOVED the taco bar by the pool deck! We used room service once for an early morning excursion day, and they delivered on time--early even!

Entertainment:

Our group thoroughly enjoyed the HASBRO GAME SHOW, with multiple members saying it was the ENTERTAINMENT HIGHLIGHT of the trip! Several group members went to the magic show in the limelight lounge and raved about that, too!

We liked the piano bar, although we would have appreciated a little more music and a little less chatting. Be forewarned that the environment turns a bit raunchy around 11pm (even by college 20-something standards) if that's not your cup of tea.

The 20-somethings enjoyed the vibe of the OUTDOOR CLUB area. It offered nice variety from the usual 18+ indoor nightclub. This crowd tended to be more younger-20s and was quite active the night we went.

We went to all the NIGHTLY PRODUCTIONS except for one and overall found their QUALITY to be a bit LACKING. I can't quite put my finger on it, but the shows left something to be desired, in comparison to past cruise entertainment offerings (even on Carnival--Triumph and Conquest).

We found the productions' scheduling to be a bit strange--at 8:15 and 10:15 instead of the usual 6pm and 8pm offerings we have had on other ships. To accommodate the late dinner (8:15) seating, you were relegated to the 10:15 show start time. Our group would have appreciated a 6:15 show nightly. On the last night, the shows were at 7pm and 9pm (I believe), which we found odd. It was the only night with shows scheduled at a different time than the other nights, so our group wasn't able to attend.

In fact, the ENTERTAINMENT was SCHEDULED AT STRANGE TIMES throughout the whole cruise. There was no night-time magic show. The only one was at 4pm or so, and was absolutely packed. High-entertainment value activities seemed to be clustered in scheduling, so that multiple events would be scheduled at noon, and around 2:30-3. Then there would be "dead time" from 3:30 or 4 until dinner. Several high-entertainment events were scheduled in the 7:30-9ish time window, so those with a late dinner seating could not be accommodated at all. We would have appreciated more staggering of similar types of events so that interested crowds could bounce around and make them all. We would have appreciated better entertainment scheduling accommodations for the late dinner seating.

Service:

Overall, we found the SERVICE on this ship to be a bit LACKING. It was definitely adequate. But it wasn't the same "cruise exceptional" that we have experienced on other cruises, even on Carnival. The service was simply "standard," and certainly not noteworthy.

Debarkation was hindered by fog, and we had to stay in Galveston an extra day and cut out the Belize port. We were overall IMPRESSED WITH Carnival's level of CUSTOMER SERVICE in handling this setback. Carnival did a great job communicating throughout, offered a free drink to each guest plus a reasonable amount of onboard credit (maybe $30-$50?), and did not charge for the "Cheers" drinking program for the one day.

Room tidying service was only offered once per day, which we found strange, as all cruises in the past had tidying service once in the morning and then turndown service at night. With some quizzical looks and prodding, some more concerned members of our group were able to receive the 2x daily service.

This wait staff was adequate but hesitant to engage in any level of personal interaction beyond standard service. They didn't interact with the kids in any meaningful way. Perhaps the staffing was cut, and they were just spread thin. Again, the service was by no means poor; it just wasn't at the level we have come to expect from cruising.

We did trivia several days. And while we loved the trivia itself, the "emcee" of all trivia was abysmal. He added nothing to the entertainment value, was sort of a "wet blanket" in that he was incredibly dry and showed no enthusiasm for the games or competition. He detracted from the overall experience in general.

Excursions:

Cozumel--Dolphin Discovery "Royal Swim"

This was a "bucket list" item for some members of our group. We had done dolphin experiences before, so the experience was exactly what we expected. It included transportation to and from the site, and our particular excursion included food from the buffet. The food was fine--not awesome, but nothing to complain about either.

The dolphin experience itself was wonderful. Be aware that not all experiences are the same. We chose the "Royal Swim," which is the most immersive and comprehensive of all dolphin experiences offered because it includes the "foot push" where 2 dolphins "superman" you out of the water. There were plenty of picture-perfect moments (dolphin kisses!).

However, you could tell the scheduling at the site was a little off, as our whole group pet the manatee in the water (with three different trainers rotating through our group) for approximately the same amount of time as we spent with the dolphins. It was obvious we were in a holding pattern for dolphins/trainers/a specific pool to become available even though we had scheduled through the cruise ship in advance. So we didn't get the amount of free time in the park to use the pool as we would have liked.

Be aware that purchasing photos here is on the expensive side. I believe it was $35 per photo? Or alternatively, $50 per person for a disc with all photos from the experience. Absolutely no outside cameras or photos from observers. So if you want photos for a family of four, you're looking at another $150, at least.

Costa Maya--Maya Chan Inclusive Resort

Can't say enough good about this place! Our whole group of varied ages loved it! Our only complaint is that we didn't have enough time to spend here. Be forewarned that if your beach goal is crystal clear turquoise blue water with manufactured pristine white sand beaches, then this is not the site for you.

BUT if you want an all-inclusive, with an authentic vibe, that is somewhat secluded, then this is ABSOLUTELY the place for you! The staff went out of their way to accommodate us and make us feel welcome. There were plenty of things to do--kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, floating rafts, footballs, and sand toys for the kids. There were plenty of shaded areas for those looking to stay out of the sun. There were restrooms on site and freshwater showers.

COMMUNICATION for booking was fantastic via email. An English speaker met us near the cruise ship port to coordinate transportation, and another English speaker greeted us on arrival to the beach resort itself. We had a pre-reserved area waiting for us on arrival, with plenty of seating to accommodate our large group.

We loved that this beach was less commercialized than some others in that it managed to maintain an AUTHENTIC, off-the-beaten-path vibe. There were other guests here, but not so many as to feel crowded, and we loved the relative seclusion.

The FOOD here is absolutely fantastic. They have a taco bar with chicken, beef, pork, fish, and all the toppings. Our whole group raved about the food. Drinks from the bar flowed generously. We felt that we got more than our $60 per person money's worth.

The ride here from port is about 20 minutes and is indeed a bit bumpy (they let you know this information ahead of time), but it really is worth it. There is some floating seaweed/greenery, but staff raked it off the beach multiple times during our stay.
KSand24’s Full Rating Summary
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Dining
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Ocean View
Cabin 6M 1329
We found this room to be standard-to-spacious by ocean view standards. It has a normal cruise bathroom and an additional washroom with sink and shower/tub combo. We loved having the additional shower and sink to get ready. The storage space seemed to be above average for a room of this size with more closet space/shelving than we expected. We had the connecting room (1325) as well. This room is in close proximity to the elevators, which we were initially concerned about, but we didn't notice any added noise or disruptions.
Deck 2 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Beach
    Can't say enough good about this place! Our whole group of varied ages loved it! Our only complaint is that we didn't have enough time to spend here. Be forewarned that if your beach goal is crystal clear turquoise blue water with manufactured pristine white sand beaches, then this is not the site for you.

    BUT if you want an all-inclusive, with an authentic vibe, that is somewhat secluded, then this is ABSOLUTELY the place for you! The staff went out of their way to accommodate us and make us feel welcome. There were plenty of things to do--kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, floating rafts, footballs, and sand toys for the kids. There were plenty of shaded areas for those looking to stay out of the sun. There were restrooms on site and freshwater showers.

    COMMUNICATION for booking was fantastic via email. An English speaker met us near the cruise ship port to coordinate transportation, and another English speaker greeted us on arrival to the beach resort itself. We had a pre-reserved area waiting for us on arrival, with plenty of seating to accommodate our large group.

    We loved that this beach was less commercialized than some others in that it managed to maintain an AUTHENTIC, off-the-beaten-path vibe. There were other guests here, but not so many as to feel crowded, and we loved the relative seclusion.

    The FOOD here is absolutely fantastic. They have a taco bar with chicken, beef, pork, fish, and all the toppings. Our whole group raved about the food. Drinks from the bar flowed generously. We felt that we got more than our $60 per person money's worth.

    The ride here from port is about 20 minutes and is indeed a bit bumpy (they let you know this information ahead of time), but it really is worth it. There is some floating seaweed/greenery, but staff raked it off the beach multiple times during our stay.
    View All 339 Beach Reviews
  • Dolphin Swim & Encounter
    This was a "bucket list" item for some members of our group. We had done dolphin experiences before, so the experience was exactly what we expected. It included transportation to and from the site, and our particular excursion included food from the buffet. The food was fine--not awesome, but nothing to complain about either.

    The dolphin experience itself was wonderful. Be aware that not all experiences are the same. We chose the "Royal Swim," which is the most immersive and comprehensive of all dolphin experiences offered because it includes the "foot push" where 2 dolphins "superman" you out of the water. There were plenty of picture-perfect moments (dolphin kisses!).

    However, you could tell the scheduling at the site was a little off, as our whole group pet the manatee in the water (with three different trainers rotating through our group) for approximately the same amount of time as we spent with the dolphins. It was obvious we were in a holding pattern for dolphins/trainers/a specific pool to become available even though we had scheduled through the cruise ship in advance. So we didn't get the amount of free time in the park to use the pool as we would have liked.

    Be aware that purchasing photos here is on the expensive side. I believe it was $35 per photo? Or alternatively, $50 per person for a disc with all photos from the experience. Absolutely no outside cameras or photos from observers. So if you want photos for a family of four, you're looking at another $150, at least.
    View All 415 Dolphin Swim & Encounter Reviews
  • Galveston
    We were impressed with the parking lot shuttle service; shuttles came by frequently.

    We had to delay boarding due to fog, which was beyond the cruise line's control, of course. There isn't just a whole lot to do in the immediate Galveston area, so we killed time by going to a movie on the mainland. Once boarding did actually begin, there weren't any pre-scheduled times (due to the delay), so it was an absolute madhouse.
    View All 668 Galveston Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Galveston Cruise Port Review