9 Venice Carnival Breeze Cruise Reviews

We are an active couple in our 60's who do one or two cruises a year. The last two/three years we have found the Celebrity Solstice class ships particularly to our liking (Especially the "Aqua Class") We haven't done a ... Read More
We are an active couple in our 60's who do one or two cruises a year. The last two/three years we have found the Celebrity Solstice class ships particularly to our liking (Especially the "Aqua Class") We haven't done a Carnival cruise since 1998 as our very first cruise was on the Carnival Ecstasy (The infamous fire cruise of "98). We picked this particular cruise for its itinerary, the time of year, the new ship and the value. We also were wondering how the newest Carnival product would stack up against the competition. We were optimistic but had low expectations. Except for one area we would give the Carnival Breeze good grades and would not hesitate to recommend it to fellow cruisers but with some cautionary thoughts. The Specifics: Boarding process: In Venice it was slick as a whistle and was on the ship and in the stateroom within 30 minutes of arriving at the terminal. One hint in Venice is to share a dedicated water Taxi from your hotel (Look on Critic's "Roll Call" for people to share the Taxi and the cost.) to the port. It drops you off within easy walking distance and they handle the luggage right where the Taxi let's you off. Very painless. Stateroom; We had a Cloud 9 Spa Balcony Cabin on Deck 12 and it was fine. bed was comfortable, plenty of storage and bathroom was a good size. The shower was not quite up to "Aqua class" standards but was still fine. This stateroom got you unlimited access to the Spa facilities which were every equal of Celebrities. Since it was on the same floor as the stateroom it was very easy to use. The "Spa" people were friendly and didn't push products or services. There were specials thru out the cruise. If you get a massage, ask for "Kerry" as she is a delight and her swedish massage was to die for. I had 4 on this 12 day cruise when I would usually only have 1 or 2 a cruise. My wife was very understanding. Food: Judgement on food is always a personal issue so what we like you may not. However, I would give the main dinning rooms on the breeze good marks. The menu's where varied with things that were always available and the day's "Specials" The food was presented nicely and was tasty. I had a great steak on "Steak Night" and the Lobster tails where especially tasty. Of course carnival also has the Chocolate Melting Cake which is a standard all its own. We did anytime dining and never had to wait for a table. On the Breeze, like most new ships, it has many food outlets other than the main dinning room and the buffet. So the variety is good and you should always be able to fine something to your liking. We especially liked the BBQ outlet (Sea days only), Guy's hamburgers and the Tandori Kitchen. My wife and I did do the Chef;s kitchen and had dinner in the galley. It was fun and unique so we would reccomend if the budget would allow ($75 per person). Fellow Passengers: This was a 12 day cruise over Labor day. Although there were some families with children, there were not many. I would say the average age was younger than most cruises but it was a relative tame crowd. This cruise had American's in the majority but there were large British, European (I met my first Russian) Canadian and Australian contingents (Boy that has to be a long flight from Australia to Venice) I would say the extremes in rowdiness and old age were missing which I personally found to my liking. So I liked this crowd even more than Celebrity which I would say tends to be an older crowd. But I think this all depends more on when you cruise than which cruise line it is. Ports: Venice, Dubrovnik,Sicily, Naples, Sardinia, Rome, Florence, Monaco and Barcelona .....What's not to like. The Ship: Clean, modern with lots of great places to relax and enjoy the cruise. I did not see to many chair hogs but that could be due to new Carnival Policy. Ship did not seem overly crowed with 4,000 passengers on. Crew: Personable and seemed to try and please. Laundry: I think the Breeze had the best setup of all the ships. Laundry rooms were spread throughout the ship and you could use your sail and sign card for money. Beats bringing a roll of quarters. Casino: Smoke free so you didn't tread going through it when you wanted to GO from front to back of ship. So new design I think is a winner for Carnival. So what is the negative? Entertainment: Again I think this is a personal taste issue so what I like you may not. The main production shows where high energy with excellent singers and dancers. But the main productions shows are designed for a younger demographic than us as we only recognized half the songs and the volume was way up there. Also Carnival 2.0 has swapped high tech electronics for live orchestras in the production shows. And they continually rotate the 4 shows over the two week cruise so there were nights when there was nothing new to go see. Also the entertainment throughout the ship was hit or miss and again geared to a younger age bracket. So again in summary, the quality was good but it was aimed to a younger crowd. You know some like Andre Bocelli while others like Lady Gaga. Carnival Tours; We did two ship arranged tours and two with non ship vendors arranged with the help of "Critics" roll call. All went well. Carnivals tour guides were knowledgeable and we had a great time on those tours. Embarkation: Did Carnival transfer to airport in Barcelona and it was quick, painless and well worth the money (About $25 per person). You tag you luggage, put it outside your stateroom the last night by 11PM and you pick it up at the Airport. No trying to find it at the cruise terminal or lugging it through customs. We will do Carnival transfers next time for sure. So there you go, The Carnival Breeze" provided a great cruise and we will gladly use Carnival again. But the cautionary advice is to know what you are seeking in a cruise and understand the Calendar. I suspect if we had done the same cruise in July or early August or sail the Caribbean over Spring Break we might not be so positive about the whole experience. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
This was our first cruise holiday so we took our time choosing the location and ship and were not disappointed. After flying into Venice early, we stayed in a local hotel for three nights before boarding the Breeze. Dropping off our ... Read More
This was our first cruise holiday so we took our time choosing the location and ship and were not disappointed. After flying into Venice early, we stayed in a local hotel for three nights before boarding the Breeze. Dropping off our luggage was simple as we had already attached to tags provided by the cruise line. We checked in and found our room which was a balcony cabin on the 7th floor at the aft of the ship on the Port side. The room was clean and spacious for the two of us and was still new as this was only the fourth time I think the ship had sailed. The facilities in the canin were just as you would expect, we didn't intend staying for too long in the cabin anyway, we wanted to enjoy ourselves! Once our cases turned up outside our cabin, we unpacked and then explored. The ship is huge with 14 floors, so it took us a while to find out and remember where everything was located on-board. As we walked out to explore for the first time, we were met in the corridor by Joseph, who was responsible for servicing our cabin, we introduced ourselves to each other and every time we met up with him in the corridor, he was always smiling and greeted us by our first names. He sorted out our cabin at least twice a day, always fresh linen on the bed, fresh towels and a new towel sculpture every night on the bed when we returned to retire, and a couple of chocolates. We are seasoned travelers and know when we are being looked after - we were looked after well. One evening, a couple a few rooms down from us decided to have a shouting match in the corridor, waking everyone up nearby at 03:00, security were called and soon calmed them down. We decided to order some room service and decided to try the on screen menu ordering service through the interactive TV. Within 10 minutes our (Free) order was delivered - fantastic service. We had chosen the Anytime dining service, so were able to go into the Breeze restaurant on the 3rd floor at any time. We found ourselves a favorite Head Waiter - Sudyindee, who was great and looked after us fabulously, we asked to be seated in her area every night after that as were not disappointed. We often asked her what she recommended and were not disappointed. Sometimes we just wanted a glass of wine or a bar type drink, so would ask for the bar waiter, who was quickly by our side, taking our order and swiftly serving it. If we wanted a bottle of wine, this too was brought to us quickly. We did complain about our glasses of Rose wine one evening, it was very "Tart" not pleasant at all, but there was no hesitation in changing it for fresh glasses - and we were not charged for the drinks. Excellent Service. There was a different selection of starter every evening, different main course and different sweet course as well as the same daily menu each day, so we were able to try something different each day. We found the chicken dishes to be dry and over cooked, but the steaks were delicious and cooked to our request. We ate once in the Italian restaurant which is $12 extra per head, again, the steak we ordered was delicious, the house red wine which was served from a barrel - a Chianti Reserve - was excellent, it was by Birthday and they even provided me with a birthday cake, sang Happy Birthday in Italian and didn't charge us for the wine. Breakfast and lunch was usually taken on deck 10 in the buffet dining area, there are lots of different choices and the queues were never large. One complaint, they were often running out of mugs in the beverage section, people were often running between sections to find a mug, - come on Breeze Crew, get more mugs ordered as everything else in this section worked like clock work! There is a waiter service restaurant where you can go if you have more time - not always possible if you have an excursion booked, the food here was excellent and the service up to the usual high standard, with smiling happy waiters looking after your every need. We went to all the different entertainment areas, the evening shows were great, the 4 girls and 4 boys are really fit, they work extremely hard during each of the shows, and sing and dance their hearts out - well done! The comedy club was also great entertainment, we only went to the evening shows - they are not child friendly!!!!! We sat at the piano bar a couple of times and enjoyed the drinks, the singing and piano playing and the banter as well The English pub we felt was a bit more toned down and too relaxing for us, we often sat at the bar in the main atrium and soaked up the atmosphere, as its always busy here with 3 levels, the dance floor, the photo gallery and then the shopping floor. The shops are only open when at sea, they had $10 stalls with cheap watches, silk ties, handbags and scarves, as well as the more expensive designer jewelry and watches. There is a sweet shop, duty free drinks and cigarettes as well as clothes and gifts. Towards the end of the cruise there was a bargain table sale, bracelets for between $15 and $40 one night then watch sets retailing at $99 for just $20, the pushing and shoving was unbelievable but the bracelets and watches made great presents! There are plenty of sun loungers in the various areas, we stayed mainly at the small pool at the aft on deck 10 but its always busy and gets full up quickly. there are a couple of other quiet areas to sun bathe as well as the adults only area, which is small and cosy at the front of the ship, with plenty of sun beds on the promenade deck on both sides. The main pool area was too noisy for us so we didn't stay there. It has a huge movie screen with something showing all through the day. There is also a water slide area nearby, but there were not many kids on our cruise, so it was never busy. The crazy golf, basketball court and outdoor exercise equipment was never too busy either so you could always have a try whenever you wanted to. It was really very quiet on-board when we were in port. We went on 5 excursions (Not booked on-board) but when we decided to have a rest and stay on-board there were plenty of sunbeds available as you would expect. The cruise director - Butch, did an excellent job keeping people informed and entertained. There were not too many broadcasts over the ships information system so we didn't find it obtrusive at all. There were a couple of times when the emergency broadcast system was used, that's when they go through the speaker systems in the room and on the TV. This happened when the ship was blown off its mooring in Venice, when the emergency drill took place for all passengers and when the crew carried out a lifeboat drill. All acceptable. It's worth noting that you are not allowed to take an iron on board, if you do it will be confiscated and you'll get it back at the end of the cruise. Their are laundry rooms on every other floor, but they are always busy, only available when the ship is at sea and totally insufficient for the number of cabins on two floors! Same with the ironing rooms, on every other floor. If you want to wear a dinner jacket for the times when everyone dresses up for dinner at sea, you can do, a lot of people do and a lot of people don't. Most ladies take and wear very pretty dresses and some people just wear their every day wear. If you want to - take it, you won't be out of place if you do. We ended up spending about $1,000 on-board during the 12 days on drinks, gifts, additional restaurant prices and enforced gratuities. It seems a bit steep paying an enforced gratuity on every drink ordered and again on the enforced gratuity - I just hope it does get to the staff. Overall, I'd give the cruise, the crew, the food, the experience and the entertainment 9/10 and would definitely go on this cruise ship again. I hope our next cruise in March 2014 is as enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
Overview: Carnival more than met our expectations on this cruise. This was only our third cruise (all with Carnival), and we were excited to check out the new Breeze during its inaugural season. We had a fantastic time, and would ... Read More
Overview: Carnival more than met our expectations on this cruise. This was only our third cruise (all with Carnival), and we were excited to check out the new Breeze during its inaugural season. We had a fantastic time, and would recommend this ship for a fun time. Booking: We booked on-line ourselves, without using any travel agents. We booked "early saver," and benefitted from two price reductions, leaving us with over $1,100 in onboard credit (which we easily used up). Travel to port: We arrived in Venice two nights before the cruise so we could spend more time there and not worry about possible delayed flights, late luggage, etc. Stayed in a great boutique hotel. On day of embarkation, it was a bit of a hassle to get us and our luggage to the ship, using the water bus and people mover. We also had to haul our luggage ourselves to what seemed like a warehouse -- not close to the ship -- even though we were VIP. But there were no lines at the luggage dropoff point, so that went smoothly. Embarkation: We had VIP embarkation because we had an Ocean Suite. The lines weren't long for either group. Our agent seemed new and inexperienced and he had trouble processing our credit card (he said the computers were down), so we had to get our sign and sail cards and then later visit Guest Services to complete the registration process. The security lines were very back-logged, but we picked the shorter line and got through without waiting too much. Our stateroom was ready as soon as we boarded, and our luggage arrived very quickly. Incident on day of embarkation: A freak rain and wind storm hit Venice on our day of embarkation. You can find videos of what happened on YouTube. In short, the winds snapped our docking lines, our ship broke loose, as did the river cruise ship next to us. We hit each other a few times, and the local authorities had to send tug boats in to help. Carnival handled it well, making frequent announcements about the status of the incident and the resolution. After a few hours, everything was back to normal. The Captain issued a letter the next day explaining in more detail what happened (we never got it, due to inattentive cabin steward -- see below). I don't hold this freak incident against Carnival at all. They handled the emergency well. Cabin: Our Ocean Suite (7363) was fantastic. The stateroom was spacious, well appointed, and lovely. The king bed was so comfy. Slept like a baby the entire cruise. Never felt the ocean (mid-ship location is perfect). We were close to the elevator bank, stairwell, and laundry room. The walk-in closets exceeded expectations. And the bathroom was more like a hotel room's, with marble counters, double sinks, jacuzzi tub/shower combo, with sliding shower doors (I hate curtains). Big balcony had chaise, 2 chairs, table, and plenty of privacy. Cabin attendant: Our room steward never came to introduce himself to us. He never called us by name. We embarked on a Sunday, and didn't receive bars of soap until Wednesday. The other "freebie" toiletries didn't arrive until Tuesday. Ice bucket was filled some days, not on others. We did get clean towels and bed made and/or turned down each day, with cute towel animals most nights. I rated the service a 4 instead of a 5 because of the room steward. We basically felt ignored by him. (Contrast the rating for the dining staff, below; they were more attentive.) Spa: We took the "tour" on embarkation day. It was more of an attempt to sell us treatments as opposed to touring the facilities. I booked one massage that day, because it was raining and it seemed like a good use of time. The bamboo massage was excellent, but when it ended, the staff tried to sell me all kinds of expensive products that I didn't need or want to hear about. It put a damper on the relaxing experience to get a hard sell on products. I didn't use the spa after that. Dining: We had "your time dining" and ate dinner in the main dining room every night, usually around 9 pm or later. The food was mostly good -- sometimes excellent (the lobster!!) -- and sometimes disappointing. But we were never unhappy. The service was always excellent and fast. I don't like the nightly "show" put on by the servers, but most of the other diners seemed to. The staff were very responsive to our needs, and were especially accommodating to our late arrivals with large groups of people (we made lots of CC and Facebook friends in advance of the cruise). For lunches, we loved Guy's Burgers, the BBQ (only on sea days), and the Blue Iguana cantina (fabulous chicken and pork tacos). Breakfasts on the Lido deck buffet were always hectic and crowded, but the food was good. They ran out of coffee cups too often, and the design of the beverage stations ensured lines. They shouldn't have the drinks squished into corners, because it really limits access. The Punchliner brunches had really excellent food, although the "shows" were just a blip on the screen since they were so short. Entertainment: We didn't see any of the musical shows; we ate dinner so late that we missed them all. The adult comedy shows were great, although seating was tight (standing room only for the late showings). Cruise director: We were expecting to have John Heald, Carnival's senior cruise director, as our CD. Unfortunately, he had to have surgery in August so they assigned Butch to be our CD. Butch was fine, but I'm such a fan of John that I was disappointed. John came on the ship towards the very end of the cruise and I got to meet him in person. That was fun. Pools: Two pools, plenty of jacuzzis, and no issues with deck chairs after Carnival implemented its "no chair hogging" policy. We used the Serenity Deck and loved relaxing on sea days (which were few). Not too many kids on this sailing (since school in the US had already started), so maybe that's why the pools didn't seem too crowded (they aren't huge). Exercise room: It was large, modern, and well appointed. I didn't use it! Other features: The dual water slide was a blast. Sorry I didn't have more time to use it, but the ports were the main focus of this cruise. The ropes course was also great fun. Lots of things for kids to do; we don't have any kids but I kept thinking how much fun my nieces and nephews would have on the sports deck. Doctor: Unfortunately, my husband got sick during the cruise and had occasion to visit the medical office. He got good service, without having to wait, and at a reasonable cost (about $150 per visit, which we hope to submit to our health insurance company at home). Casino: We live in California and go to Vegas when we want to gamble. The odds are better there, and they give you free drinks when you gamble. So we avoided the ship's casino. When we walked through it, it seemed smoky (I hate smoke). Internet access: Even though we were on vacation, hubby and I had to keep up with emails from work, so we signed up for the pricey 1000-minute Internet package. The connection was really good for most of the cruise, although the log-off process is cumbersome with an iPhone or iPad (and caused us to burn many minutes to disconnect). We ended up having to buy 2 more packages as the cruise went on. Would love to see unlimited access package on future cruises. Port excursions: These ports were the main reason we chose this sailing. Every one was fantastic. We didn't do any Carnival excursions; we did four Rome In Limo tours (Messina, Naples, Rome, Florence), and did all the other ports on our own. Rome In Limo is the BEST!! (I did a separate review of them on another page on CC, so I won't repeat that info here.) With over 4,000 passengers on this ship, we expected a mess trying to get off and on the ship at the various ports. To the contrary, it was a breeze. We never had to wait a second to exit, and at best, had to wait about one minute in line to get back on. (And even though Carnival screens your bags upon return, they don't seem to care if you are carrying on wine or alcohol after visiting the ports in Europe. We brought on wine and limoncello in several ports.) Debarkation: We arrived in Barcelona at the crack of dawn on our final day. I had no desire to get off the ship early, so we did self-assist (i.e., carried our own luggage off). Until around 9 am, there were no lines to get off. We waited until after that (so we could sleep in), and had to wait about 30 minutes to debark. It was worth the wait to sleep in. We didn't have to go through customs or anything, and headed straight to the taxi line. Ugh! Thousands of people in line! It took a long time to catch a taxi to our hotel. Summary: I LOVED THIS CRUISE. We had a great time. We got more than our money's worth. The ship is new and beautiful, the dining options are good and plentiful, the entertainment is fun, and the European ports are magical. It wasn't 100% perfect, but nothing ever is. We had so much fun with our friends, new and old, and have fantastic memories of our Breeze cruise. In reading some of the other reviews, I can't help but wonder if the complainers are simply unhappy people. If you can't thoroughly enjoy yourself while vacationing on a brand new ship in Europe, then maybe the problem is not with the cruise! Enjoy!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
Just got off the Carnival Breeze 12-day Mediterranean cruise from Venice to Barcelona and we had the best time ever! The ship is beautiful and the quality of the food, cabins, entertainment and overall experience was outstanding. To ... Read More
Just got off the Carnival Breeze 12-day Mediterranean cruise from Venice to Barcelona and we had the best time ever! The ship is beautiful and the quality of the food, cabins, entertainment and overall experience was outstanding. To break it downn, here are the key likes (and only one dislike): Embarkation - was very smooth and painless. We had flown into Venice the night before and stayed at the Hilton Molino Stucky (exceleent hotel, BTW, highly recommended). We found some fellow cruisers through CC to share a private water taxi from the hotel to the cruise port. When we reached, uniformed porters were waiting to take our bags and we were immediately directed to the terminal. Inside, there were 2 lines, VIP to the left and all others to the right. The VIP line was super fast and we cleared security and had our sign and sail cards within 15 minutes. This was way better than previous boarding experiences in Seattle and Miami. Ship - the Breeze is gorgeous! We were on the Valor in April which we really liked but had found the decor a touch gaudy. The Breeze is much more chic and refined, more use of hard woods everywhere and soothing, non-neon colors. Very elegant. Lots of elevators everywhere and beautiful corridors with Caribbean themes. Cabin - we were in a Grand Suite which was fantastic! On Deck 7 (Empress) and super quiet with passenger decks above and below. Huge suite (345 sq ft) with a large balcony (85 sq ft). The cabin appointments were great. We had a king bed, huge sitting area with suede-fabric sofas and chaise lounge plus another chair. We had a massive 52" TV that was positioned between the bed and sitting area and could be swiveled depending on where you wanted to watch TV. Also had a very large dressing area with 2 massive closets and a dressing table. The bathroom was the best with double marble topped sinks, ample storage space and huge whirlpool tub. Excellent hot water and good pressurized shower. This was the first ship bathroom I've had that was comparable to a land based hotel bathroom. The balcony was huge with two sitting chairs and little table plus a lounger. Well worth having the GS on a 12-day cruise! Our room steward Reidi did a good job looking after us, but in fairness, we are pretty neat to start with. He was diligent about keeping our ice bucket filled twice daily which we really needed in view of the very hot weather. Public Areas -- these were wonderful. I loved Deck 5 where most of the bars and lounges were. My favorite was the area before the casino, where you had the coffee bar, the Taste Bar that served little tapas style portions of the dishes being served in the various eateries that day and the Ocean Plaza. This is an indoor-outdoor area (you go through automatic sliding doors to access the outdoor area) where you can sit and order drinks, eat. Etc. They also have the Fat Jimmy's C-side BBQ there on sea days. Another favorite area was the Breeze Atrium. They have an area where singers perform nightly and its great fun to sit and watch. Food -- excellent! We were impressed by the Valor's food in April and the Breeze maintains that high standard. The MDR had consistently high quality entrees. Even on days where we didn't like some of the selections, we were always able to pick something we liked. The food was of uniformly high quality and some of the selections were truly outstanding (the teriyaki salmon is to die for). Great desserts too! Also, the quality of the coffee served is a big improvement over the Valor. We were prepared to pay extra for espressos and cappuccinos but found we did not need to do so. We also really enjoyed the Punchliner Comedy brunch served on sea days in the Sapphire mid ship dining room. Great Eggs Benedict, Chicken Alla Diavolo, and salted caramel cheesecake! Lunch in the Lido was OK. I really like the design of the Lido, very light and airy. The lunch buffets were good, but being big lovers of Indian food, we mostly had the Tandoori selection at lunch which was excellent. Did not try the Mongolian Wok this time. For breakfast, we either did the brunch on sea days or room service on port days. Service -- outstanding. We had fixed late (8:15) dining in the aft Blush dining room. Our servers were Stanislava (Tania), Magdalena (Magda) and Branimir. They wre most attentive and really went out of their way to ensure we had a good time. Combined with our bar waitress Monica, it made for great dinners! Our room steward was good and really, all the staff we encountered were so pleasant and friendly. One thing -- the Guest Services desk is way understaffed, which makes for long lines there. If you need something, be prepared to wait and wait! Entertainment -- we liked it a lot. There were 4 production shows -- Motorcity, Brits, Divas and Latin Nights. They rotate the shows throughout the cruise. We skipped Motorcity but saw the rest. Brits was OK, but the music was too young for my mom and tool old for me. Divas and Latin Nights were great! Lots of hi-tech effects and great sound. We did not attend any of the comedy shows. We did enjoy listening to live music and they had 2 bands -- Dima's (2-piece) who played in the Breeze Bar Atrium nightly and Eddie C and the Cool Breeze Band (6-piece) that played in the Ocean Plaza nightly. Dima's played songs of my mom's era while Eddie C had more fast and contemporary stuff. Being such a port-intensive cruise, entertainment was not a high priority for us as we had super early starts (7:30 or so) on most port days and were out for 10-12 hours. But this may be more of an issue on Caribbean cruises where the ports are less of a focus than the ship itself. Ports -- we overnighted in Venice, then visited Dubrovnik, Messina, Naples, Olbia, Rome, Florence and Monaco and finished in Barcelona. With the exception of Olbia where there wasn't much to do, the other ports were truly amazing. We skipped the overpriced Carnival big bus tours and went instead on small group tours (max of 8 people) with fellow cruisers we had contacted through CC. It was much cheaper and we got to see sooo much more! We used Share a Shore Excursion in Italy for our Italian excursions and can highly recommend them. New vans and excellent drivers and guides with impeccable English. For Monaco we used a private guide recommended by Rick Steves and loved her! For Barcelona, we used Spain Day Tours and loved them too. Getting on and off the ship at all the ports was flawless with no waits. On Board Activities -- not much to say here. As this was such a port intensive cruise, we used the sea days to sleep in and chill out, read, etc. I believe there were lots of activities organized, but we pretty much ignored all of them. Disembarkation -- this was the only flaw we experienced. For us, we had a late debarkation zone. Unfortunately, debarkation ran very late. As a result, we were supposed to disembark between 8-8:45 am but did not actually make it off the ship till 9:15 am! We had a tour waiting for us and it was so embarrassing to be so late. In future, we will only do self-assisted disembarkation as I don't think any cruise ship can handle such large numbers. Value for Money -- fabulous! The suite was priced very reasonable compared to other lines. We had a great cruise with premium ports. In sum, we felt like we got a luxe cruise at a very decent price. We highly recommend the Carnival Breeze! Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
We sailed on the inaugural cruise of the Breeze June 3rd, 2012. While I am a fan of Carnival, I cannot give this cruise very high marks.. We found the food in the main dining anything but good. The buffet was not much better. The ship was ... Read More
We sailed on the inaugural cruise of the Breeze June 3rd, 2012. While I am a fan of Carnival, I cannot give this cruise very high marks.. We found the food in the main dining anything but good. The buffet was not much better. The ship was soiled within hours of its embarkation and remained that way for much of the entire cruise... While we really like the new look for Carnival, the colors seemed maybe too light for the kind of traffic a ship of this size it getting. In short, the carpet was dirty appearing the entire time even though the staff was continually trying to clean it. We also missed our last port at Marseilles due to Carnival not being able to dock in Livorno a few days earlier, which threw the remainder of our cruise schedule in limbo.. In essence, Carnival ported at Livorno the next day so we ended up with an extra sea day and no Marseilles port. Several people ended up with something resembling a cold with upper respiratory infections, and some said it was a type of flu that many including the staff were all suffering. In short, it was not one of our better cruises. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
This was our second European cruise, the first being two years ago on Princess to the Baltics. We have sailed in the Caribbean with Carnival and in Alaska with Princess. The Carnival Breeze was the best ship of all 7 cruise ships... ... Read More
This was our second European cruise, the first being two years ago on Princess to the Baltics. We have sailed in the Caribbean with Carnival and in Alaska with Princess. The Carnival Breeze was the best ship of all 7 cruise ships... The ship itself, while full with over 3000 guests, never felt crowded. We were able to get a dinner table with anytime dining without more than a 5 minute wait regardless of the time we came down for dinner. There was rarely a wait for the on board activities nor difficulty in finding seats for the comedians or Ovation theater shows. As one would expect, the ship is immaculate. It is very easy to navigate around the ship. The elevators were quite efficient, though we mostly took the stairs. Our inside cabin mid ship on the 7th level was adequate for our purposes(once the air conditioning was fixed on the fourth day). The bathroom facilities were comparable to others we have used on ship. The tv was okay though most of the non ship channels came in and out at random times. The movies were quite old with very few newer movies and no first run movies. We would have appreciated ESPN in the room as it was available in the sports bar. The beds were firm but comfortable. The food was the best we have encountered. We ate in the main dining room (Sapphire) 11/12 evenings and with only one or two exceptions found the meals quite satisfactory and superior to meals on other ships. We especially liked the Pasta Buffet for lunch in the specialty Italian restaurant. Guy's burgers were okay...a little disappointing though quite popular. The Lido Buffet was adequate and never seemed that crowded with the exception of a few mornings. The service with one exception was superb. All the stewards and restaurant personnel were extremely efficient, professional, and friendly. As to be expected, some of the restaurant personnel were geographically challenged when trying to find the assigned seating, but that was quite minor. The restaurant servers were as good as any in a fine restaurant. The room stewards were just as efficient and professional. Our one complaint was the failure to fix our air conditioning after three complaints (2 to the room steward and one by phone to guest services). Thanks to Olga, on the fourth attempt we were able to thaw out. Carnival gave us a gracious credit for the inconvenience. We also had a cut phone line on the first night, but that was repaired on the second day. However, Carnival needs to add personnel to the Guest Services desk as they were overwhelmed and the waits were often interminable. One other quick note is the public areas can be quite cool regardless of the temperature outside. The sports deck was amazing with a ropes course, full court basketball/soccer, miniature golf,water slides, etc. There was rarely a wait or difficulty utilizing. However, it was disappointing to our 17 year old that the court was closed after 5:30...We could not figure out any reason for this. The fitness center had plenty of machines available. Serenity (adults only area) was quite welcome and again the Jacuzzis were readily available though seating on sea days was problematic. The fifth floor Jacuzzis were the least busy. The 3D/4D theater was available after port excursions but at $8 per viewing per person we did not utilize. The entertainment was better than any other cruise ship. Of particular note were the two entertainers, a singer/impressionist and pianist, who were only on the ship for two shows each. The production shows are significantly more sophisticated than those on other ships. The comedians were quite good(though the British ones require some knowledge of British slang). We particularly enjoyed the comedian from New Orleans. At this point, I need to signal out the John and Calvin shows. The two have a comedic chemistry that is reminiscent of some of the classic comedic duos(and I am not exaggerating). The itinerary, which was a once in a season one(because it left from Venice and included Athens and Izmir) was terrific with the lone disappointment being the loss of 1 1/2 days of port calls. We lost a half day in Monaco (with which we had hoped to spend part of the day in Nice) and the full day in Marseilles (with which we had hoped to explore Aix en Provence). We did receive some credits for the loss of port time, but we were very disappointed at losing Nice and Provence. One other personal note, we could have done without Olbia and certainly would have appreciated a stop in Naples/Capri or an additional stop in Sicily as a preference. At this point, I want to signal out what made the cruise even more spectacular...the Cruise Critic Members who participated in the roll calls. Through the roll call message boards we were able to meet a number of terrific people, many of whom organized the port excursions at significantly less cost than the Carnival ones. These Cruise Critic members are what made the cruise experience even more special... Embarkation was a bit of a hassle as the computers went down and the wait was about one hour from arrival to boarding. The debarkation was not much better as most people apparently did not leave when there "number" was called, resulting in quite a cattle call at around 8:30 as well as a huge taxi line in Barcelona. Overall, a great experience and I would highly recommend the Carnival Breeze experience. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
Here are a couple of notes before I begin my review. First, I have sailed many times with Carnival, and am likely to do so in the future. Second, I have been on the first Carnival ship to get the FunShip 2.0 upgrade - the Carnival Liberty. ... Read More
Here are a couple of notes before I begin my review. First, I have sailed many times with Carnival, and am likely to do so in the future. Second, I have been on the first Carnival ship to get the FunShip 2.0 upgrade - the Carnival Liberty. Third, I traveled with my older children so there will be a few notes for this as well. It is interesting that much of the time I was comparing this ship with the Carnival Liberty. I would have to say, that the FunShip 2.0 experience wasn't really fantastic on that ship either. Maybe I was expecting more? Not sure but I wanted to feel like it was a newer, better Carnival and not just throwing a little makeup on the same old thing. To that point - I guess the biggest thing is I believe we definitely want "more fun". The activities were certainly limited, which I can understand on the big port days but what about the days at sea? There was really no difference between these and the older FunShips. Some specifics... Poolside: Typically is always good for some fun, great music, socializing, quirky contests of some sort. Really none of that on this cruise. Maybe it is more typical on Caribbean cruises. It would be nice if there was one place to go on the ship and know something was always going on. Not here. Movies: These were a nice addition - but I kid you not - one movie that we watched on the screen was literally cut off and ended about 15 minutes before the real end of the movie. No explanation, just yet another advertisement from Carnival which you will get sick of seeing if you go. I think you have to be on the ship to understand. Advertisements! Competitions between Blue Iguana and Red Frog: Since both bars are across from each other poolside, the Carnival Liberty would have little contests between the two. Just to generate excitement and maybe getting a drink one place versus the other. No competitions on Breeze - guess that is reserved for Liberty. Competitions mean a discount on this or that drink, with tallies to who wins. Something fun. Sports Bar: Luckily for us the UEFA Cup soccer games were going on during our trip. However, only one place was available to watch them, and this area was full of smoke. Now I don't mind smoky areas, but it was a little much. Oh well. Public Announcements: "I hate to use the public address system, and I told you I wouldn't, but..." I heard that tons of times. The whole Livorno stop getting messed up (read later) definitely important. A lot of the other ones were just rubbish and unimportant. When I am on a cruise, I don't like the cattle calls to everyone. You have a guide in your room that says what is going on. I don't need announcements about the daily art auction or a shop opening. Well now to throw some good things into the review, which is also important. Food: The mongolian wok is fantastic. Definitely more flavorful that most of the other wok grills I have been to on other ships. Tandoori was nice too - at the back of the ship and often missed. As already stated, the pasta bar upstairs was good for lunchtime as well. Don't miss the BBQ on the fifth floor, that is only open during "days at sea" for lunch. Otherwise it is closed! Dining room food was OK. Not bad, but not something to rave about either. Guy Fieri burgers were 5 times better on Liberty than Breeze. I speculate it is American Beef (Liberty out of Miami) versus whatever beef they had on Breeze. Staff: Very attentive, excellent. Nice and cordial. The gym personnel were great too, and always there for questions or tips. Spa was excellent as well. As mentioned, the poor Guest Services people were always slammed busy, and there weren't enough of them. Decor: Definitely in the right direction. Pinks and Purples of Carnival are gone. Question some of the lighter carpet colors though... they will get darker though as more people walk on them. Kids: My kids really enjoyed their respective kids clubs. There were not a ton of kids onboard, but according to them (and when they got back at night) they had a really good time. Entertainment: Very good. The dancers/singers did the same show multiple times, so you could pick and choose. I think they had a total of five shows throughout the cruise. Some days they did three shows spaced out in time starting at 5pm... they did bring on some UK comedians. Our cruise was 95%+ US residents. You could definitely hear the UK residents though because they laughed when the rest of us had no clue what was being said. "the woman weighed 13 stones" and other phrases that we just couldn't connect to what it meant. I think they were funny but I am not sure... As already mentioned in another review Carnival really screwed up our port schedule. They said "we booked this port a YEAR ago but they don't have a spot for us tomorrow". Hmm. I think if I booked anything a year in advance where people were counting on me I would follow up at least a few times as the date got closer. But they told us Carnival Corporate is working on it so it shouldn't be a problem anymore. Oh well. Marseilles stop was scraped, and Monaco was cut a half day short. We got "an extra day at sea" but I wish they would have hung out a little closer to the shore (the sea was really rough that day!) I think it was said in another review - skip Olbia stop. Waste of time. The rest of the stops were really good though. Would I take the Carnival Breeze again? Sure - especially since things actually went pretty well considering we were the "first paying guests" on the ship. Once other cruise directors get in there and feedback comes back, they can really fix up the small issues that are being pointed out. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
We took the inaugural voyage from Venice having chosen it for its visits to both east and west Mediterranean ports (one of the few) and that it sails from Venice (what a view) and arrives in Barcelona (a great city to stay for a few ... Read More
We took the inaugural voyage from Venice having chosen it for its visits to both east and west Mediterranean ports (one of the few) and that it sails from Venice (what a view) and arrives in Barcelona (a great city to stay for a few days). The pros are that you only unpack once and get delivered to amazing ports almost every day. Our aft balcony cabin on level 9 was very comfortable and quiet and our steward serviced the cabin often without being obtrusive in any way. The sundeck (aft) was were we spent most of our lazy time but we were unable to get into the serenity area at any time and find a place to lie down, it seemed as if the same people commandeered it everyday. The pizza, Indian and lido buffet were all good for casual eating. Mostly the embarkation was smooth and always getting back on was quick and straightforward. Some of the staff tried very hard to please. We chose 'your time dining' which was good for its flexibility but meant that the dining staff were not the same so service levels were sometimes compromised. Also couples dining seemed to be lumped together although at individual tables we were very close to each other and difficult not to overhear conversations. The supplement restaurants were good but still not great. On the cons side 'cruise casual' is a term used to hide a way to casual approach to entertaining and delighting your guests. On the 12 night cruise there was only one semi-formal night and my husband is still cranky that he had to drag a suit all the way from Australia and then not wear it. Dress standards for the dining room were not enforced so there was everything from dressy to way too casual. The food was very average and this was disappointing. The wine list however had a number of very reasonable choices which we really enjoyed. After dinner was the greatest challenge as once you had seen the 30 minute cabaret acts x 4 shows, wandered around, got the occasional drink there was little to do. One night we ended up doing a jigsaw in the library. People do not supervise their children enough, particularly at night so youngsters are often roaming around being noisy and disrespectful of adults and their time during the evening. All that said nothing can take away the excitement of being on the inaugural voyage and sailing out of Venice with people waving and boats tooting to the giant Carnival Breeze. The best ports were Dubrovnik, Athens, Monte Carlo, Messina & Barcelona. Due to a stuff up with the port bookings we missed out on the south of France which was a huge disappointment and the $50 credit per person was no compensation. The long sea days are boring and worse when you are sailing to nowhere waiting to dock because of an error in paperwork! The obscene cost of this in terms of fuel wasted, etc still makes me feel sick. I won't be choosing to sail with Carnival again, I think they cater well to families or couples who want a very casual relaxing break. We expected more in terms of service and food. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
I have just finished what I through was going to be an enjoyable cruise, however things did not turn out that way. It all began with some incredibly terrible service that I had received from someone in the customer contact center at ... Read More
I have just finished what I through was going to be an enjoyable cruise, however things did not turn out that way. It all began with some incredibly terrible service that I had received from someone in the customer contact center at Carnival from a woman named Belinda. Belinda wrote an email that in my opinion was rude and uncalled for and because of her my vacation began on a low note. If I had written that email at my work I would have been fired. I had high hopes for this cruise, as the Breeze is a new ship and I expected carnival to do something special for the sailing, they didn't. This is my second cruise with carnival and after my first experience I really shouldn't have given them a second try, but I hoped that my experience on the valor was due to the ship on not the company and I really did like the itinerary, but boy was I wrong. First off the embarkation process was a nightmare, none of the computers worked; we were herded like cattle around from one line to another. This was all shocking to me because we were in a Costa terminal, which is owned by Carnival, so I expected a smooth embarkation, you really could see the frustration in everyone's eyes, again not a good start. For a new ship, there are some design flaws that, to me bring down the value of the ship and the cruise. The ship was large and I would agree that I did not feel claustrophobic at any time on the ship, expect when I wanted to go swimming. There are only 2 pools on this ship for 4000 guests which were totally over run with kids, I cannot believe that there was no adults only swimming pool. I spoke to guests that were on the 6th floor balcony and they had many complaints. I spoke to a couple that had their room above the liquid dance club, this couple did not sleep the entire 12 days of the cruise, they did complain however the ship was full and could not be moved, their vacation was ruined. Also spoke to a number of people we had balcony room on the starboard side of the ship who complained because their room was above Fat Jeff's C-BBQ and smoking area. They could barely use their balconies because of the amount of smoke that was blowing in their faces. These areas should be at the back of the ship that way no one is inconvenienced. I would also say that even though the ship is brand new, in some spots it looks like it was just retrofitted to look new. One of the ladies I spoke to thought that it was an old ship, I do not agree with her, but still this ship should have no rust anywhere, at least not on its first sailing. The food I would say is adequate at best, except for the cutina del Capitano, a specialty restaurant that cost $12. The food there was excellent and there was a lot, so that I would recommend. I would say that there really was no variety in the Lido Marketplace, There was only 3 or 4 main course options, and at times nothing interested me. The majority of the time I ate at the sapphire restaurant, our waitress, Stanislava and her team was excellent. She always recommends food options, and each time she nailed it. One several occasions you would hear, man I should have listened to Stanislava. So I would recommend if you are taking this ship to sit in her section. If you are looking for food between 9:30 -- 12 then be prepared to wait in line. The only thing open between that time is the pizza place and it takes 15 min to make a pizza the size of a personal pizza. I once waited 20 min to get half of a personal pizza. I have never been so angry, what is carnival thinking about when they decided pizza is the best food option to have open all the time. It takes such a long time to make a pizza that it becomes so frustrating. On other ships they had a sandwich shop opened which makes more sense as it takes a minute to make a sandwich. So my advise is to horde some food from the buffet or just don't be hungry The Entertainment or lack of entertainment on the ship is where everything fell apart; the shows were just awful especially Divas. The singing and dancing were terrible, it had no flow; I would have walked out if I wasn't sitting in the middle of the row, so I learned my lesson and always sat at the end of a row or stood by the door. It did come in handy as I left 5 of the 7 shows I watched, only the marriage and the talent show was worth watching both of which were run by John the cruise Director. Speaking of the cruise director he was a hit or miss and be prepared because he loves to use the onboard speaker system. He teamed up very well with the assistant cruise director Calvyn however most of the time they acted like an old married couple, which became nauseating. John was also belittling Calvyn and constantly made jokes regarding him being gay. I am not gay and I was offended by this because it made him seem like he was less of a person, it was disgusting. At the beginning of the cruise I asked my friend what she thought the easiest job on the ship was. It was very apparent that it was being part of the entertainment staff. They were no where to be seen for most of the cruise and looked like only 1 or 2 where ever working and only in hour increments. There were no pool side contests, no ice carving, no games, nothing. Karaoke only happened on certain nights and no superstar live( karaoke accompanied by a band) because of technical difficulties, which was the theme of the cruise. Now I ask you how do instruments have technical difficulties, especially since you can see the band playing else where. The one thing that I did like was watching a movie outside on the pool deck, however the movies are from the 90's and they would stop about 2/3 through the movie. If I hadn't seen the move before I would have been up in arms. They classified Carnival Cruises as the Funships, but I feel that they are geared for people who are ready for bed at 10:00 or those who like to read. There is nothing to do on the ship after 10:00 unless you are going to spend money. I found myself bored all the time, thank god I brought my computer with a number of movies or else I would have gone crazy. The TV channels always cut out and they only showed sporting events in the bars. The only channels that worked constantly were carnival advertisement channels. We called to ask why they weren't in the room and they gave a lame excuse that the licensing was no expensive for them instead of telling us that there is more of a chance of people buying drinks at the bar instead of in the staterooms. They also showed movies on the lido deck, however they never showed the whole movie. One of the movies ended at least 15min early went to a commercial, then a new movie startyed showed for 20min and then shut down. If I hadn't watched these movies before I would have been outraged. The worst thing about the movies is that they were all old, no recent movies. There is a big push to spend money on drinks on board and believe me those costs add up. I watch more of Devin Young selling watches then anything else. Based on all of this my recomondation is to avoid Carnival at all costs unles syou do not want to have any fun. As I said I found the cruise to be very boring. My favourite days are usually the sea days as it gives you a chance to recharge your batteries and be entertained in the sun, on this ship and all of carnival's ship I find that there isn't much of entertainment. I have a list of complaints a mile long, too much to write in this review, the weird thing is that I tried as hard as I could to give slack since it was a new ship, but new ships comeout all the time and there should be no way a cruise should be this bad. I have been on RCI's Navigator of the Seas and they got me hooked on cruising, from now on I will stick with them, at least then I will know I will have a good time. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
Carnival Breeze Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.0
Family 5.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 2.0 3.6
Service 5.0 4.2
Value For Money 5.0 4.0
Rates 4.0 4.0

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