The reason we took this cruise is because I played in the Carnival PokerPro NLH Poker Tournament.
This was our 18th cruise on Carnival; our 3rd cruise on the Breeze; our 2nd cruise in a Cove Balcony (my wife has discovered that she likes to be close to the water); and our first cruise out of Galveston, TX (and our last – more on that later). We have been to the destinations many times on Carnival and other cruise lines.
We used Carnival’s transportation from IAH to the ship. We had to wait more than 45-minutes for the bus to show up.
Once we arrived at the ship the embarkation process went smoothly and quickly – we are Platinum with Carnival so we get “special” treatment.
2305, a Cove Balcony. Nothing special about it. I did notice that our “Platinum” gifts (free water, drink coupons, and etc) were not in the cabin but did slowly arrive over the next 2-days.
The Breeze is one of my wife’s favorite Carnival ships. It was fine. No complaints on how the ship looked or smelled.
Carnival’s evening entertainment is still dependent mainly on lots of stand-up comedy shows and a simple song/dance show of 6 of the 7 nights. The evening entertainment does not compare with cruise lines like Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Princess, or Norwegian – other cruise lines that we cruise on frequently.
Food in the Main Dining Room was good! So were the non-buffet options BUT the buffet food was horrible and so was the cleanliness. We just came off the _______ of the Seas and found the food better on the Breeze.
We expect every aspect of our cruise vacation to be great so I won’t talk about the “great” things only the areas where we had issues or concerns.
Our cabin steward greeted us promptly. He introduced himself then asked, “Would you like ‘early’ cabin service or ‘late’ cabin service?” Everyone knows that Carnival has been slowly cutting back on several things and the number of cabin stewards is one of them. That means that the cabin stewards have more cabins to clean now. Usually they will give you a choice of ‘early, ‘late, or ‘both’ but not this guy. Once per day room service is fine with me so I chose ‘early’. Then he handed me a paper to sign regarding my cabin service choice. Never seen that before. BUT ‘early’ service meant noon to 12:30pm to our cabin steward.
My wife always asks the room steward (regardless of the cruise line) to make sure that there are wash clothes (face towels) and those little bars of soap available. We had wash clothes but had to leave a note asking for addition bars of soap. Also, our cabin steward didn’t fill up the shampoo and body gel in the shower – we had to ask him to do it.
When you are Platinum or Diamond (rewards club) you receive several ‘perks’, most of them are usually waiting for you in your cabin on embarkation day. Ours arrived over the course of 2 days but we received them all.
When you are Platinum receive 3 “free” bags of laundry per 7-day cruise. Normally there are laundry bags in the cabin…there was one laundry bag in our cabin and getting a second one required me to finally complain to management.
Once I complained to John Heald (Mr. Carnival) housekeeping suddenly took interest in us (and our loyalty to Carnival). Management spoke with us and promptly corrected each problem. We had lots of little bars of soap, earlier service (and twice per day), laundry bags, soap/shampoo in the shower - they even gave us a ‘free’ gift – which was unexpected but very appreciated.
The only problem was that we got charged $15 for one of the two bags of laundry we ended up using. I didn’t notice that until we were on the flight home. Oh well, $15 won’t cause me to miss any meals.
We had originally signed-up for ‘late dining’ and received confirmation that it was accepted BUT we got ‘Your Time Dining’ instead. So much for priority dining times for Platinum cruisers. But that’s okay we made YTD work. This was going to be where I was just going to talk about problems but I must mention our incredible MDR wait staff: Richard, Maynard, and Ketut. They were as good, if not better, than any group I can remember.
The buffet in the Lido was HORRIBLE plus they still have a smiling team member standing there rationing out the bacon.
Very long lines for Sea Day Brunch, YTD, comedy shows, and other things. This has been getting worse with Carnival. This is a problem that is easily solvable but Carnival cares less about the cruisers these days and more about their bottom line. Other cruise lines with larger ships do a much better job.
We are platinum so we get special debarkation perks but once we got inside the terminal in Galveston it was long, slow moving lines! We will never cruise out of Galveston, TX again!
The cabin was fine, plenty of room for two people. My wife likes to be close to the water