Review!! Carnival Breeze 4/15/2018, E Caribbean

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#1
239 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
First off thanks to everyone that has posted reviews and comments on cruise critic. I have found this site to be an invaluable source of information for our last several cruises, excursions, port reviews and places to stay. I just love researching things before we sail.

A bit about us. My wife and I have been married for 35 years so this was our 35th wedding anniversary cruise. This will also be the 19th cruise that we have been on. We have sailed on Carnival many times, Celebrity, HAL, Princess, Royal C, NCL & American Hawaii cruise line which was way back when. We got hooked on Carnival when the kids were young as it was the obvious choice for the family. Now our kids are grown, and they continue to cruise and also like Carnival. Is it my favorite? It depends on different factors. However, If I had to say which is the best of all of them? It would be Celebrity. I think their food & ships are above all the others we have sailed on. In researching what cruise like to take I just couldn’t find a Celebrity ship that worked for this trip. It seems their ships are all over the world and the few they have in the Caribbean those itineraries just didn’t work out. We chose the Carnival Breeze this cruise for a few reasons. One, we live in Scottsdale, Arizona, so flying to Galveston is easy as we have lots of SW Airlines points. Yes, there is the 50 minute drive from Hobby Houston to Galveston, but it’s still faster than going all the way to Ft Lauderdale. Although we love sailing out of there and Miami. Another reason is we wanted to try a Carnival 2.0 ship. We have been on the Magic twice in the past. Once in Europe and once doing the W. Caribbean. Loved that ship. But, it didn’t have Guy’s and or Iguana restaurant when we sailed on her. Also, we have done the Cozumel, Roatan, Belize trip a few times and we wanted to hit Key West again. We were there on a cruise about 3 years ago and loved hanging out. Since this is a special occasion we also booked a Cloud 9 Balcony room in cabin 12007.

Off we go. We woke up Saturday am at about 5:15 for our 8:30 flight to Houston. When we travel somewhere we always pack the morning of the trip. Typically, we will get up about 90 minutes before we leave for the airport, shower, pack and out the door. I guess what makes it easy for us Is we have travel lists. Heading to Mexico…we have a list….beach in California…we have a list..cruise, we have a list. We were out the door by 6:30 and heading to Sky harbor airport. I found $4 a day parking at Sundance travel so that was the first stop, park the car and onto the shuttle. Since it was a Saturday am, traffic was light at the airport and we breezed through security with our TSA Pre-check. I run most of my Real Estate business and all our other living expenses on the SW Airlines Visa so we fly free everywhere and my wife has the companion pass. The flight to Dallas for our connection turned out to be a bumpy one( In case you are wondering there were no direct flights to Hobby, strange but true). A storm front had just gone through Phoenix the day before and we had constant 20-25 mph winds for a day or so. I guess we were flying through that weather. The last half of the flight the flight attendants were told to sit down, but actually it wasn’t that bad.

We had a short connection at Dallas and then Landed at Houston Hobby a little later then scheduled, at about 3:40 pm. We had a rental car with budget and the process of renting the car was smooth as silk. A quick drive down the 45 and we were in Galveston. ......more soon
#2
1,972 Posts
Joined Feb 2014
Following. On the Breeze in March 2019, but out of Port Canaveral, FL. We will be celebrating our 49th Anniversary. The following year in 2020 we have the Magic booked for our 50th Anniversary. Hoping our whole family books also for that one—-5 children and spouses and 14 grandchildren!


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#4
239 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
....continuing review

We headed directly to the prestigious RoadWay Inn hotel in Galveston. Ok, it’s not that great of a hotel. But for $102 plus tax, it was clean and convenient. The location was good as it was close to the cruise terminal and not to far from the beach area and restaurants. Since this is our second cruise out of Galveston, the first being on the Magic a few years ago, we sort of knew our way around. After checking in we drove down the main drag along the beach and stopped at the Brickyard restaurant for a few adult beverages. The beer was cold and my wife’s margarita was delicious. The view from the bar to the beach was nice too. It was not very warm in Galveston as the temperature was around 62, but we had jackets with us so all was good. We had dinner reservations at Gaido’s for 7:30 so after we left the Brickyard it was straight to dinner. We chose this place as we ate there a few years ago and had a great meal. It did not disappoint this time either. Oysters, shrimp bisque and red snapper was shared between the two of us. What a great dinner. With full belly’s we headed back to the hotel for some relaxing and reading and then bed.

Here is a little more background. Our youngest of two sons just got married on April 6th and they happened to be on the Breeze the week before us. So we made a plan that when they were ready to get off the ship I would pick them up in our rental and then we would hang at the Starbucks by the cruise terminal until they needed to head back to Houston Hobby for their flight back to Phoenix. We checked out of our hotel at about 8am and drove to the Starbucks and parked. No issue finding a place to park but the inside was a zoo. We stood for about 15 minutes and finally snagged a table to sit at. Since the kids decided to get off the ship last they actually didn’t get off until about 9:45 and it took them another 30 to get through customs. We enjoyed out coffee and kindals and were very anxious to see them and get on board. Once they were out of the terminal I picked them up and brought them back to the Starbucks. We still enjoyed over an hour with the honeymooners and we got to hear all about their cruise. They had a great time. In case you are wondering, when they flew to Houston a week ago on Saturday they had Island Breeze shuttle take them from the airport to their hotel in Galveston. Now that it was time for them to head to Hobby for their flight, they took our rental car and turned it in at Budget. My car rental was $42 including the tax for a standard. We will take Island Breeze back to Hobby when our cruise is done. Ok, so the kids left the Starbucks with the rental car at about 11:30 and it was now time for us to wait for our 12-12:30 embarkation time.



Embarkation: We left Starbucks at about 11:45 for the seven minute walk to the terminal. We wheeled our two suitcases down the sidewalk, found a porter who was taking luggage and then proceeded into the terminal at about 11:55. Although we were 5 minutes early for our time slot they waved us right in. This was one of the smoothest and fastest boardings ever. We went to the check in area, showed our boarding passes and passports and then went through security. Since I had two bottles of Prosseco in my backpack the security guard had me pull them out and he tested to make sure the bottles were unopened. We bought the Prosseco the evening before, since you can't buy alcohol until noon. We literally were on the ship by 12:10 and eating lunch by 12:25. We were expecting long lines through the terminal but were happily surprised how fast and efficient it was. to be continued...
#6
Central Texas
141 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
Following as we’ll be her in a few weeks.


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#7
Louisville, KY
600 Posts
Joined Nov 2013
[quote=Devo1459;55902174]....continuing review

" In case you are wondering, when they flew to Houston a week ago on Saturday they had Island Breeze shuttle take them from the airport to their hotel in Galveston. Now that it was time for them to head to Hobby for their flight, they took our rental car and turned it in at Budget. My car rental was $42 including the tax for a standard. We will take Island Breeze back to Hobby when our cruise is done."
Brilliant plan!! I was wondering if you were going to park the rental car for the week or turn it in before getting on the Breeze.
The rental car situation from the airports to Galveston and back drives me crazy! I would pay up to $50 more to do a one way rental but not the price they want! It makes no sense. For every one way rental, there would be someone to rent it going the other way back to Houston. Geeze Louise!
By the way loving your review and congratulations to your youngest son and daughter in law!!
#8
Central Illinois
133,884 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
Nice start, looking forward to the rest.
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Bob

Past Cruises

Celebrity: Mercury
RCCL: Adventure, Allure, Brilliance, Enchantment, Explorer, Freedom, Independence, Jewel, Legend, Liberty, Majesty, Mariner, Monarch, Navigator, Oasis, Radiance, Rhapsody, Serenade, Sovereign, Vision, Voyager
#9
1,972 Posts
Joined Feb 2014
Loving following along.


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Carnival Destiny 12/9/2001
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Carnival Victory 9/6/2004
Carnival Triumph 1/6/2007
RCCL Independence of the Seas February 2014
RCCL Oasis of the Seas February 2015
NCL Getaway January 2017
NCL Getaway January 2018
Carnival Breeze March 2, 2019
Carnival Magic April 11, 2020
#10
Odenton, MD
672 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Following!
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#11
Scottsdale, Arizona
353 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Hi. We live in Scottsdale Az as well, right around the Saguaro high school area. The wife Linda and I are booked on the Carnival Breeze next May 2019 sailing out of Port Canaveral Fl so looking forward to reading more of your review. Thanks.
#12
615 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
We live in Glendale and will be on the breeze in may. We are flying southwest both ways on direct flights to and from hobby. They only have a few. Look forward to your review.
#13
239 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Its weird my son when he flew out with his wife the week before had a direct flight to Hobby but the next Sat there were none unless we wanted to get in late, which we did not.

We live in Grayhawk in N Scottsdale and I grew up near Saguaro and went to high school there.
#14
Humble, Texas
330 Posts
Joined Jan 2017
I am enjoying your review. I will be on the Breeze, July 15th. Ready to read more!
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#15
239 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Now that we are on the ship its time for a cold one at the Tequila bar. The Lido deck and pool area was starting to get loud and busy. Great people watching. Having the cheers program but this being Galveston we had to pay for our drinks, but its vacation...who cares. Next a little food. Off to the Lido deck cafe and some chow. Surprisingly the lines were super small and we found a nice table by the window to catch our breath. Having finished our lunch it was time to go exploring. Don't you just love checking out new ships? I always love getting on a ship for the first time and exploring. Ok, who am I kidding, I love being on a ship no matter what. I mean seriously that’s why we all lurk on Cruise Critic anyway…right?
Once on the ship we headed to Lido for a cold one at the Tequila bar and then into the buffet for some food. It actually was not very crowded at all. We grabbed some chow, found a nice table by the window and relaxed. Having finished our lunch it was time for some more exploring, I always love getting on a ship for the first time and exploring. Ok, who am I kidding, I love being on a ship no matter what. I mean seriously that’s why we all lurk on Cruise Critic anyway…right?

Time to go to the cabin and unload our backpack and other carry on. Note: We did not have FTTF as it was sold out. Actually not sure I would have bought it for $80 anyway. We have purchased it in the past but, considering how fast we boarded we certainly did not need it. As this was a special occasion cruise, we booked a cabin in the Cloud 9 spa section. We had a balcony cabin. Cabin # 12007, starboard side. We were actually the 4th room from the front. Upon arriving at the cabin (1:40) we noticed it was not quite done. A little trash to unload and vacuum and then it would be ready. Back to explore for a bit and then we would check on the room again. Now this part is funny after the fact. Upon returning to the cabin it was ready and looked great. Our Steward Karam was there and introduced himself. He was very friendly too. I asked for a big ice bucket for the champagne, ice for the small bucket and told him we want room service twice a day. I tipped him $20 right from the start and he was fantastic. I then noticed the safe didn’t work. It seemed to be locked open. It really wasn’t it turned out we were just being dumb. So off to the guest services we go and here comes the funny part. Sorta!! We walk out the cabin, the door slams shut and I realize our phones, sail & sign cards, everything are in the cabin. Oh oh. 19 cruises, 1st time for that one. I had only had 2 beers at this time too. What the heck??? No Karem to be found it turns out he is on break. Down to guest services now for the safe and some key help. Long story short the line at the front desk was short and they were great. They gave me a door key only card and we were good to go. We used the door key only to put in the slot inside the cabin to keep the lights on. It stayed in the slot the whole rest of the cruise. Next stop to check out the spa and more of the ship........
#16
239 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
The muster drill was next.Approx 3:15 and we all were herded like cows down to the Spot light lounge.Our station was on deck 5. Forward. For some reason this muster seemed to take a little longer than any others in the past.Our muster station was missing about 12 guests so I guess that was the hold up verifying if people were there or not.Once the horns and sirens went off at the end of the drill it was back to our room to see if our luggage came.Still not there, but never fear off to check some stuff out on the ship.It was a very chilly am in Galveston when we woke up but approaching sail away it had warmed up pretty good and the sun was out.The RC ship was next to us in port and they got out before we did.Soon after she went past us our ships lines were taken off and we started to push away from the dock.Yippie.The wife and I headed to deck 11 forward and there is a door there that leads to a viewing area at the front of the ship. How did I know about this?Well past cruises and I read it on Cruise Critic!!!We had an excellent view of the front and if we walked to the left or right we could see fully to the side too.Man, that water in Galveston is brown.We hung out on the front until we were making the final turn for the gulf.Back to the room and YES, we have luggage. We unpacked, in record time of course, so now it's time to relax for the next 7 days. Since we had spa cabins it was time to hit the spa and see what awaits us.We were both excited to try the therapy pool, the heated loungers and the wet steam rooms.They did not disappoint.I loved sitting on the heated loungers and just relaxing.The relaxation room had chilled flavored waters with either lemon or orange.It was a great way to hydrate. They had a dry steam room which we never used. My wife like the aroma steam and spent most of the time in there. The Therapy pool was almost always a good temperature, maybe 100. Not to warm and lots of violent bubble action. Also, I never showered in our cabin.I always wore my robe to the spa( yes my swim suit was underneath) and then showered in one of the large showers there. There was shampoo and bath wash and lots and lots of fluffy towels to use all throughout the spa area.I kept my face razor in my robe pocket at all times and typically shaved later afternoon. For those that ever book on deck 12, starboard side if you go all the way forward there is a side door that leads into the gym. If you try to find it from the gym area it’s a little tricky as its part of the wall and mirrors but you can find it as there is a door handle there. I never saw anyone else but us use it. A quick pass through the gym and you are in the spa area and thenit'sone flight up to all the therapy rooms.
#17
239 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Now that we were refreshed, it was time to put on some casual clothes, grab a cocktail and head out to listen to some of the ship board music.The Polaris trio was a violin group that was playing all week and they were great to listen to. In case you are wondering we had Any Time Dining. When we booked we were on the wait list for it but it showed up on our booking within 2 weeks. But wait!! Tonight we were heading to the Steakhouse to celebrate our 35 years, even though it was really on the second night.The reservation was at 8 and we arrived a few minutes early.They were happy to seat us and we had a great table for two next to the window.I don’t remember the name of our waitress but she was from Romania and she was awesome. Very friendly, at our every need and fun to talk to. First selection, the wine.Yes, it's true on the first night they have a free bottle of wine if you dine with them.Also, everything on their wine list is 50% off the list price.They have some fantastic reserve bottles you can choose. We opted for the Far Niente Cab 2014 and it was priced at $180. Half off price $90. A smoking deal in any restaurant. It did not disappoint either.Our waitress did the whole decanting routine and we felt like royalty. For dinner my wife ordered the baked onion soup, baby green spinach salad and the Lobster tail.I went with the lobster bisque soup, caeser salad and the Surf and Turf which was lobster and a smaller filet.Both the lobster and the steak were cooked to perfection and very good quality.We have some awesome steak restaurants in Scottsdale and the meat was dang near as good.The $35 a person is a great value.We would do it more often but it such a feed bag that once a trip is enough. I really like doing the Steakhouse early in the cruise, by the 5th or 6th night I fill up way faster. Probably because I am eating every 2 hours. For dessert we ordered the Chef’s presentation.If you have not done it…Do It.It'spretty fun to watch.He comes out with a huge chilled board and makes all sorts of creations with flavoredsauces, cookies, candies, cakes and ice cream.It was very yummy and way too much, but we managed to eat most of it. Interesting fact. If you eat in the Steakhouse the first night you can buy as many additional bottles of wine at 50% off and take them to your room. They don't uncork them either. Also, she told us if we came back the second night we could also get the wines at 50% off during dinner. I never read about that anywhere. I think we finished dinner up at about 10pm and off to the Piano bar for a bit music and then back over to the Breeze bar to listen to a little bit more music and then it was off to the cabin for some sleep.
#18
239 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Monday – A day at Sea.




The rest of this review won't be as detailed, but I will hit all the highlights of what our days looked like. I think we got out of bed by about 7:30 which is late for us and headed down to the Coffee Café and got a specialty coffee with our Cheers cards.Yippie, the Cheers cards are now working!!! Then it was up to Serenity deck to grab a half shell lounger. I was very surprised this morning how at the main Lido pool and the Serenity area there was NO chair saving going on. We easily found a clam shell lounger and proceed to turn into lounge lizards. Bar service was plentiful and we never needed to get up except to go to the bathroom. Welove the serenity area. Its only adults, the PA speaker you can't hear at all, there is a bar right behind you on the starboard side, the spa is one deck down and the bathroom and our cabin is super close by. Lunch time we tried our first Guys burger ever. Ummm, yea it was good, but not fantastic. Give me cold beers and cheeseburger restaurant here in town anytime. It is fun to choose the type of burger you want and then load up your toppings. I did not care for the spicy fries. Come on!!! Bring back the regular french fries that used to be on Carnival. Those rocked!!! We did grab a few deserts, but my wife and I always laugh at Carnival's deserts. You stare at them and think OMG that looks so good, then you bite into and it's like not that great. Swirls ice cream!!! The bomb!!! So good....so good. Early afternoon we abandoned out lounger and my wife headed to the room for some reading and napping. I went off to red frog pub on the Lido deck pool side to drink a beer or two and make some new friends. By 3:30 pm I headed back to the room laid down on the bed and boom I was out for about 25 minutes. An awesome power nap. My wife had napped too and we decided to hit the spa. We spent about an hour there in the therapy rooms and pool, showered, shaved and then relaxed reading on the balcony. Tonight was elegant night. I had a suit and tie and my wife had a very glamorous dress. We looked great!! Our pre-dinner routine was hit the breeze bar, listen to some music and then head into dinner. About 7:15 we walked to the dinning area right behind the breeze bar deck 3. This is anytime dining. The lady handed us a pager and we waited about 15 minutes for a table for 2. This is the only night we had to wait. Probably because it was elegant night. Our waiter was good, a little hard to understand though. Dinner was good, not great! We had the prime rib and lobster. Nothing like the steakhouse dinner but still fun. Carnival Melting Cake, oh ya baby. After dinner we headed back to the show lounge to catch the adult show. We got there at 8:55 for the 9:30 show got some great seats and by 9:10 it was standing room only. Forgot the name of the comedian, I believe his last name was Love? It was a 35 minute show and we had some good laughs. After that we headed to the breeze bar area for a nightcap, some music and then off to bed. I actually read on the balcony for about 10 minutes but my eyelids won the battle and it was sleep time. Tomorrow, Freeport.
#20
Corpus Christi Texas
115 Posts
Joined Apr 2017
Following. DW and I will be on breeze in 13 days may 6 can’t wait. We too have a spa balcony. Really enjoy your descriptions of that. We were on the breeze last year but not in spa area.

Great review so far. I appreciate it.


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2004 Celebration - Cozumel and Playa del Carmen 5 days
2007 Enchantment of the Seas - Jamaica and Cayman 5 days
2013 Magic - Key west and Bahamas 7 days
2014 Magic - Hodnuras, Belize and Cozumel 7days
2014 Triumph - Cozumel 4 days
2015 Triumph - Cozumel, Progresso 5 days
2016 Freedom - Cozumel, Cayman and Jamaica 7 days
2017 May 7 Breeze - Jamaica, Cayman and Cozumel 7 days
2017 August 10 Triumph - out of New Orleans to Cozumel 4 days