This was our very first cruise. We sailed out of Galveston on the Carnival Breeze. We sailed with our daughter and our two grandkids, aged 9 and 11. I confess I was a bit nervous about parking and getting onto the ship, but Carnival had a very easy and efficient process. The parking people also made it easy for us. We had a rather late check in time, but I am sort of glad we did. Our morning was leisurely, and we were able to get into our cabins right away.
The kids were worried about Camp Ocean at first, but after the first day, they were loving it. My daughter loved that they were independent enough to go there on their own, and responsible enough to come back to the cabin on time.
The food was fine, but mostly nothing special. I was surprised to learn that the food served in the dining room was identical to the food in the buffet. The buffet also had additional offerings. The pastries were NOT good – usually dry and tasteless – but everything else was acceptable ot better. The big difference was service. Our dining room wait staff was superb. Big Texas shout out to Nyoman, Udaya, and Wipa for outstanding service. They remembered our preferences and were very good with the kids.
I'd like to also make a shout out to our bartender,Tazia, in the Piano Bar. She was friendly, personable, and hard working in the extreme. The Piano bar was our late evening get-away spot.
The cabin ws more spacious than I expected. There were two bathrooms (only one with a commode), and that turned out to be a very nice amenity. After two ocean-based excursions, we were able to wash our swimsuits in the tub, as well as shower at the same time. This feature would really be great for families.
The best shows, for us oldies, were Flicks and Motor City. Country Roads just left us thinking, “meh.” We also saw the lip sync battle because Camp Ocean (our grandkids) got to perform on stage.
Entertainment was always available, but there were also quiet spaces, usually on the promenade deck or the Library Lounge.
My biggest surprise was Belize. It was a tender port, meaning that you had to ride a tender boat to get to shore. Carnival had that figured out, and the process was very efficient and painless. But, oh my, Belize City was very poor. Our excursion was a “city tour” and air boat ride. The airboat ride was great, but the city tour just highlighted the poverty of the region. I expected quaint Colonial buildings and such, but that wasn't the reality. It's no wonder our tour guides thanked us so many times for coming. We did our bit for the local economy and bought chocolate and rum as gifts for friends.
In Cozumel we swam with the dolphins. I confess I had mixed feelings about this, but it was a fabulous excursion. At the end of the day, those dolphins put food on a lot of Mexican tables, so I'm OK with it. The grandkids loved it, and learned a lot about sea creatures. Cozumel was much more prosperous than Belize. Shopping was great, but probably no real bargain. Once we were back on the ship, there was an announcement. Would Mr. So-and-so, and Mr. Whatsis please call guest services. The announcement was made 3 times. Finally just Mr. Whatsis was paged. Turns out that Mr. So-and-so had to be taken on board via golf cart due to inebriation, and Mr. Whatsis never did show up and was left in Cozumel. Whoops! I imagine that was a very expensive mistake. So yes, they can and will leave you if you don't get back to the ship on time.
All in all, I enjoyed it. We made a lot of memories with the grandkids, which was the whole point. Carnival, I'm a fan.