Carnival Breeze 2019 Review
Sat 8/24 - 8/31
TL:DR - Second Carnival Cruise and most likely the last. Just enjoy Royal Caribbean more. Loved Guy’s BBQ and Burgers and Blue Iguana Burritos. Did Not like Drink Limit, Amber Cove, Ship Layout. No Major impacts from Hurricane Dorian, except for missing San Juan.
Family of Four - Myself (41), My Wife (30+). Daughters 2 and 4. Our second Carnival Cruise. We have also sailed Celebrity 3 times and Royal Caribbean twice. This is our second cruise with the Girls. Their first cruise was on the Oasis of the Seas in 2018.
Thursday 8/22 - Fly Spirit out of Philly to Orlando. Normal Spirit flight. Landed and drove to Embassy Suites Lake Buena Vista Resort. Checked in with no problems. Nice room and hotel.
Friday 8/23 - Spend the day at the Hotel Pool and Water play area. Great Pool and Splash pad with Slide for Kids. We rented a Cabana for $50 right next to the pool. We got a deal, usually $75 but when we went to buy told them we were going on a cruise and got a discount. Cabana came with 8 Soft Drinks or Water, 2 Couches, and a small TV. At night, they play movies outside by the pool and we had a perfect view of the screen from the Cabana. Overall, I would recommend the Hotel, however, it is showing some signs of age and could use a refresh. Staff and food were great.
Saturday 8/24 - After, I dropped the Wife and Kids off at the Cruise Terminal with the Luggage. I rented the rental car and took the shuttle back.
Tip - The Rental Car Terminal is small and hectic. I recommend dropping as much luggage and people off first at the Terminal and then dropping car off. Made for an easier and quicker return. It took about 30 minutes to get back the cruise terminal.
Highlights and Observations -
I am not going to do a Day by Day review. Just some High and Low points
Embarkation Day -
Check In and Security was as expected. A little chaotic and hot. But, we were on the Ship in less than an hour.
Disembarkation Day -
We were off the boat by 9 am. We took the rental shuttle back to the Car Rental Terminal, and were head to Orlando
by 9:30. Pretty easy.
First Stop on the boat
To avoid the crowds on the Lido Deck and Pool, we went to Guy’s Pig & Anchor BBQ. Highly recommend, good food and nice view from Deck 5.
Balcony Room 6425
Overlooking Guy’s Pig and Anchor. Standard Balcony with the Bed closer to the Balcony. Couch and a pull down bed. The girls loved the bunk bed. Beds were comfortable. Our stateroom attendant was everything you could ask for. The room was cleaned multiple times a day. Always had a towel animal.
Cruise Director -
MarQ was great. Very Personable with the kids.
Forgot his name. Needs to work on his mic skills. Between the announcements on the loudspeaker and in person, I could barely understand anything is was saying.
Hurricane Dorian -
Due to the Hurricane, we had to skip San Juan, PR. A bit of a bummer, but nothing we could do about. Besides that, the weather was great the entire cruise. Carnival kept us updated constantly with the Weather forecast and any possible changes due to the Hurricane.
Grand Turk times changed due to Dorian. Originally, we were going to be in Grand Turk in the Afternoon, then it changed to 8AM to 4 PM. Then one last change, to leave a 2 PM.
A lot people complained, but again, the Weather is the weather and Carnival's job is to keep the Ship, Crew and passengers safe.
Ship was reasonably clean. Bathrooms got messy at times, I blame the passengers more than the crew.
A little bit of Sewer smell here and there.
Coming from Royal Caribbean Ships, I was surprised at the lack of emphasis on hand washing. Just a couple hand sanitizers walking into the MDR and maybe the Buffet. On Royal, you are almost to the point of being annoying, encouraged to Wash your hands. Washy Washy.
We got off the boat and walked towards Jack’s Shack. The water and the view of the boat are great. The beach especially near the pier is crowded and not the cleanist. We stopped by Margaritaville Pool to take a dip and wash the sand off. Nice pool and what you would expect from Margaritaville. I would not say the Grand Turk is a skip for me, as it's a nice beach day the further away you get from the pier. However, I would not pick a cruise just to go back.
In my opinion, a dud. The pool is alright. But other than that, hard pass for me. The same shops as in every port. Long walk down the pier with zero shade. I will not book a cruise with Amber Cove as a stop.
One of my favorite ports of call. We did the Carnival Excursion to Meagan’s Bay. Love Meagan’s Bay. Incredible views, crystal clear water, clean beaches, was not too crowded. Definitely recommend.
Skipped due to Hurricane
The Ship - Breeze
Kids and Adults both loved the water works and slides. Great addition to the boat
Alchemy Bar - Great drinks, Fun and Lively Bartenders. Spent a lot of time here
RedFrog Pub - Loved the Beers and drinks. The setting is great being able to walk back and forth to the Alchemy Bar.
RedFrog Rum Bar - Great Rum Drinks. Try the Red’s Rum Treasure
BlueIguana Tequila Bar - Pretty Good Margaritas.
All of the other bars were good. Decent selections of Beers. No just Bud and Bud Light. A few IPA and Stouts.
MDR - Average Nothing better Nothing Worse than expected. Great Service but the Food is Mediocre at best.
Buffet - No impressed with the food or selection. Felt limited and no much variety. Breakfast and Lunch seemed to be the same every day.
Seaday Brunch - First Seaday it was great. Great Service and good food. The second Seaday, very slow service and average food.
Cucina del Capitano - Only did the Lunch Pasta bar. Really good both times. Service a bit slow on the second day.
Mongolian Wok - Wife liked it, but insane lines
Blue Iguana - Great Burritos, especially Breakfast
Pizza Pirate - Decent Pizza 24 hours a day
Guy’s Burger Joint - One of the best burgers I have ever had. Worth the Hype
Shows and other Activities -
Saw 88 Keys - High Energy fun.
The Music was pretty good - Seasharps were great in the Alchemy Bar and through the Ship. The Country Duo were pretty good. The Violin player was great and interacted awesomely with my daughters
Kids Activities -
The main reason we did Carnival was for the 2-5 year old in the Camp Ocean. Royal starts at 3 years old
Camp Ocean - Staff was great. Both kids were in the Penguins Room (2-5 Year Olds) My oldest enjoyed Camp Ocean and always wanted to go back. My youngest was not a fan. I felt like there was not as much structure/ activities with the kids as on the Oasis. Mostly, it was kids choice. We used the Night Owls a couple nights, which cost $7 per hour after 10 PM
Dr. Seuss -
Dr. Seuss Parade was fun. Started in the Limelight Lounge and made its way to the Main Theater. After that, a reading of Horton Hears a Who lead by MarQ. Great Times
Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast - Wife and oldest went. They enjoyed it. Not sure why you could not book through the Carnival App. Had to call to book and no one answered. We managed to get on the waitlist and got it. Could be a little smoother.
Towel Animal Story Time - A Lot of Fun. Towel Animals as Puppets for the Kids. Great Time
Build a Bear - Great way to spend money. The kids enjoyed it and loved the two animals.
Major Dislikes -
Drink Package - 15 Drinks a day is not a lot for some people. I am 6-6 275lbs and i can drink. I would not mind the limit, if they allowed you to buy drinks afterwards. It's a hard cap, once you hit 15 you are done. The logic is that no one can drink that much without problems. So, I asked the Bartender will Carnival stop me from buying more than 15 drinks, if I did not have the package. He stated that there is no limit to buy drinks, if you pay as you go. Hmmm….
Picture Package - Carnival Photo Staff takes great pictures. However, you have to pay $20 per picture with a small discount if you buy more than 5. Why does Carnival not offer an All Inclusive Picture Package? Royal and Celebrity do. I paid around $300 last year and around 150 pictures (Digital and Print). On Carnival, I bought 5 pictures for $100 and got a metal print of two of them.
The Boat -
The boats layout was awkward. Felt like I was constantly walking through the Casino to get to anything. Dealing with the Smoke. Trying to go to Deck 3 for the MDR took planning since you can't get there from the Aft of the Ship or the Mid Ship Elevators. You have to go to the Atrium.
The Bathrooms -
Not very many. Not marked well. Weird Locations. If you are in the MDR on the 3rd floor and need to use the restroom, you need to either go out the MDR, through the Atrium towards the Theater and find the one restroom on the Port Side. Or you can go out, the back door of the MDR, up to the 4th floor and down the Starboard side to find a bathroom. With a 2 and a 4 year old, that gets old really quick.
From the Alchemy Bar and Redfrog Pub, you either have to go to the restroom near the Casino or the back of the boat.
None of the Restrooms have signs that you can see as you walk down the hallway. It's on a sign on the door, that can only be seen as you walk by.
Other Passengers -
Most were great. However, a small percentage can make things difficult.
The Breeze is a nice ship with great staff, but not with out its flaws. I would skip Amber Cove and Grand Turk. St. Thomas is a great port of call.
Overall, A very good cruise but a lot of small things that keep it from being a great cruise. Also, solidified my belief that we prefer Royal Caribbean over Carnival. Just my personal opinion.
I will try to answer any questions or comments.