My family and I had 3 balcony cabins (9235, 9231, and 9227) on the Breeze last week that we paid a quite a bit of money for, considering what we typically pay for a balcony on Carnival.
1. Embarkation was a Breeze - no pun intended
2. Food - I am by no means a "foodie" but I paid a couple days to buy food at the Red Frog Pub and the sushi restaurant for the following reasons. The food quality on the Lido deck was horrible- a sloppy mess of a display and the food looked like something you would "throw out in the yard to feed the farm animals". The pre-made sandwiches as opposed to the made to order ones of the past was disappointing and even the pizza was mediocre at best on this ship. The dining room basically has the same ole menu for the past 20 years and let's not forget the absolutely tasteless desserts.
3. Internet - no complimentary or at least minute packaged internet service just for airline check in on the last day of the cruise (once again this used to work for me in the past).
4. Entertainment - what happened to the orchestra/band in the main auditorium for major productions? The playlist used in more recent years "waters down" the shows. Comedy is subjective so you'll have to be the judge of that yourself. Shows were typical.
5. Platinum gift - Carnival should be embarrassed to give it's platinum and diamond guests that cheap little lanyard that isn't even as nice as the ones they were selling for $6.95 on embarkation day. This is by far the cheapest "gift" they have given and although it's a "gift", I would rather they cut it out completely than to receive a dollar store trinket as a thank you for being a loyal customer. Please, if they can save themselves a few dollars by not insulting guests with something like a sub-par lanyard, just stop this now! Maybe it's just me and I am being ungrateful but you can't give out relatively decent gifts for years to your platinum and diamond customers who spend thousands of dollars with you, and then switch to a cheap little piece of junk, and expect not to raise a few eyebrows.
6. Serenity deck was nice, nothing special.
7. Ports of Call
a. Amber Cove - stayed right in the port are and had a great time. Water slide was fast and fun, Next time I think I'll leave that to the "kids" as it was a bit too much for me lol My family paid $20 for the zip line and did it a couple times. we ordered bottled beverages and I don't think we ordered any food.
b. St. Thomas - had a great day at Coki beach. Rented chairs and umbrellas ($20 for 2 chairs and 1 umbrella).
c. San Juan - walked around and shopped in old San Juan. Wanted to see the "umbrella" street but we were told that the umbrellas were taken down as the street was the idea of the wife of the much hated governor.
d. Grand Turk - stayed at the pool area at Margaritta ville. It was fun for a while before it turned really "rachet" and seedy with all the twerking and grinding etc. going on. It was definitely not a kid friendly scene and there were plenty of kids there to which some of the "adults" who thought they were in a strip club, totally ignored.
8. On the plus side, our cabin steward, Brian and guest services manager, Mirella were both, accommodating, helpful and very professional. Kudos to them.
9. Debarkation was a Breeze as well.
Now for my real complaint! We paid good money for 3 balcony cabins for this 7 day cruise. Unfortunately, we lost 2.5 days of balcony use due to maintenance and extremely strong paint smells. This really amounts to poor planning by the Carnival team and my family and I had to suffer the consequences. Guest services called us one night and asked if it was OK if they performed some maintenance on our balconies on the next port day. We agreed to this as we were going to be in port and figured they'd be done by the time we got back on the ship. Needless to say, that was not the case and we couldn't use the balcony that evening and the next day they were at it again. It seemed that the first day, they primed the balcony and the next day they did the actual painting. On the second day of our non-balcony usage, when we got back on the ship, the crew was still on the balcony and when they left, a couple hours later, the paint smell was so strong that we couldn't even open the balcony door for the entire night. We pay for a balcony so we can enjoy the fresh ocean air and not only do we spend a great deal of time sitting on the balcony ready during the day, we sleep with the door open at night. We lost precious time enjoying our balconies and I find it really bad business that the only compensation my family and I received (after consistently calling and voicing our concerns) was a free dinner. If we didn't care about using the balcony, we could have saved quite a bit of money by booking 3 interior cabins instead of 3 balconies.
This is probably the first time in years that I gave a mostly negative review. I always have fun with my family and this cruise didn't change that. These are just my observations and hopefully it will give you a little insight and help you with your planning process.
Cabin was just average but the maintenance that prevented me from enjoying the balcony for 2.5 days made it not worth the money. Brian, our cabin steward kept it clean and our ice bucket filled.