Carnival Breeze review: April 13-21, 2013

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#1
Tulsa, OK
5,174 Posts
Joined May 2009
I'm a little late getting this started, but I always need time to settle back into daily life. Plus, I need time to gather together my thoughts.

We were on the Breeze last month, April 13-21, on the 8-day cruise to St Thomas, Antigua, Tortola, & Nassau. We booked this cruise almost 2 years prior to sailing, so we had a long time to wait. Fortunately, I had 3 other cruises to hold me over until then.

BACKGROUND: My 13th cruise, Mom's 9th, Dad's 5th, parents had 1 with Princess, all others with Carnival. For this cruise, my parents were celebrating a milestone anniversary, and my Mom celebrating a milestone birthday. I'm their youngest son, but grown up. We have totally loved the Dream, so with Breeze being a sister ship, it seemed like a good choice. The itinerary seemed like a nice one too. Debating for years & several sailings between doing Carnival or Princess or someone else, we always seem to wind up choosing Carnival. The price is always so much better, plus Carnival does always seem to have a nice, casual, fun-loving atmosphere, which we totally love. This cruise definitely provided that. Plenty of people and plenty of families having a lot of fun (and not the wild, drunken kind of "fun").

OVERALL IMPRESSION OF THE BREEZE: The ship truly does have so much to offer. This is not everyone's cup of tea, as some people would prefer to have less going on & just relax. But it works for me. There was certainly no shortage of things to do outdoors during the day. We had to work a little harder when it comes to the nighttime activities. It can be easy to get bored at night on the ship. The decor is quite different from past ships, but I like both equally. I'm not bothered by the Vegas, flashy style of past ships. The Breeze is not perfect. They took some things away or changed some things for the worse. To deny that would be to lie to you, and this would not be an objective review. Most comments or reviews about this ship have either been that it's the greatest thing mankind has ever made or that it's the most horrible thing ever. It's neither. There are some bad things & plenty of good things. I'll try to be fair in this review, even though that typically makes more people mad. My overall impression is that I do still prefer the Dream. She is still my favorite ship. I would also return to the Magic before returning to the Breeze, just because of the extra entertainment on the Magic.

OUR SAILING: We had over 4700 people on board. In other words, just about every single bed (if not every bed) was filled. You could definitely see it. The lido buffet inside area would get very congested, especially with the setup. They have a lot of things sectioned off. More walls & dividers than previous ships, which creates for more bottlenecks. However, despite the number of people, the food lines were not very long at all. With the huge number of options available, it spreads out the crowds. Our first sea day did have very long lines for everything for some reason, but that might have been everyone wanting to try everything. You can't keep up that eating pace, so the rest of the cruise had short lines.

DAYTIME ACTIVITIES: Waterslides are my thing! Breeze has an awesome waterpark! Even though Dream is still my favorite ship, Breeze's waterpark is slightly better than Dream's. Breeze's waterpark is identical to Magic's. 2 large waterslides, a couple tiny kiddie slides, splash factory, a dump bucket. The slides did have long lines all week, even sometimes at 5:00-6:00. It was a lot of fun for kids and for adults who think they're kids (me). The ropes course was my Dad's favorite thing. He really enjoyed that. Long lines for that too. It isn't always open. They have to shut it down if it's a little windy, which is common on sea days. I did the ropes course on Magic, which is identical, and I enjoyed it. It closed around 5:00. The pools were usually quite packed. No room for swimming. Not a big deal to me, but some people don't like that. For music by the pool, it was mostly a DJ playing music. But there would be a guy playing guitar and singing that would be out there from time to time. He was set up either by the Blue Iguana bar or the Red Frog bar. Active people and families with kids will certainly enjoy all the daytime activities.

NIGHTTIME SHOWS: I mentioned that some people might and do get bored on this ship at night. There's not a whole lot going on. They did 3 playlist production shows. These are the shows that are getting heavily criticized. No live music, only 30 minutes long, 8 or fewer performers that have to both sing & dance. One was good, one was okay, and one was pretty bad. Lower turnout, lots of people walking out, no standing ovations. The old shows would always get a standing ovation, and were always packed. Many people like that this is something new, as they are burnt out on the old shows. The problem is that they currently have only 4 shows in total. When this spreads to all ships, it will be the same identical shows on all ships. That will get old even faster for frequent cruisers. Even people who enjoyed these shows would admit that this is a huge step down. But with the extra stuff you get on the newest ship, you also get some things taken away. It comes with the territory, and we were prepared for it. Those shows were on 3 of the 8 nights. We also had the welcome aboard show, a comedy juggler one night, a ventriloquist one night, and 2 deck parties. On the deck party nights, we had the band that plays in the oceans plaza up on the stage playing a set. I think this was an unusual last-second fill-in kind of show. On the other deck party night, they did the Hasbro Game thing. We checked out one of them. It was okay. Fellow guests on the stage playing giant bored games. Some funny or cute moments.

OTHER NIGHTTIME ACTIVITIES: The piano bar guy, Ron Pass, was quite good. Unfortunately for future cruisers, he's leaving Carnival pretty soon. The band in the oceans plaza was good. The lead singer was on the Magic last year, as part of their showband. In other words, the showbands (not used for shows anymore on a few of the ships) were moved to the oceans plaza to replace the cover bands. A soloist in the Red Frog Pub, plus the atrium music. Not much live music for a ship this size. The comedy club was good, but the room is way too small to support the demand!!! The 4D Thrill Theater is what I used to fill in a lot of the dead time at night. I might have gotten bored without it. It costs $15 for a weekly pass, but it was worth it. They rotated between 4 shows, all of which were 15-20 minutes, showing every half hour. There are 24 seats in the small theater. The shows are quite entertaining. Ice Age was my favorite. Those 4D shows were the most memorable part of all the nighttime shows or activities for this ship. The 2 deck parties were a lot of fun. I didn't quite understand the use of Red Frog & Blue Iguana to distinguish the 2 parties, probably because I don't drink much. But that doesn't really matter. I always enjoy the deck parties, and although they seem quite identical, they were both fun. No Mexican buffet at either though. They did away with that. Just nachos & dips at one of them. So don't save room in your stomach like you used to.

FOOD: The biggest factor for most people. I am not a foodie. So I'm probably not the best judge here. We didn't do any extra pay places. Guys burgers was good, better than the standard burgers of the past, but it wasn't a huge deal to me. I'm not a burger person. The Blue Iguana cantina was a much bigger deal to me. I got a couple breakfast burritos & lunch burritos there. I really enjoyed those. (Yes, I know that many other ships have burrito bars which are pretty much the exact same thing for lunch.) I did not do the lanai BBQ here (not enough stomach space), but I did it on Dream & Magic, and enjoyed those. The pasta bar is very very good! We did that at embarkation, quite empty that day. The regular lunch buffet was very good. The breakfast buffet is decent, but I usually get an omelet & fruit. Omelet lines were very long, as there are only a couple stations. Smaller ships have more omelet stations. I did the comedy brunch once, and didn't see the comedy, which most people say is no big deal. No breakfast or lunch in the MDR on sea days, just the brunch, with the same menu every day. It's a good menu, nice to do it once. The MDR for dinner was as good as ever for me, for my tastes. My mom has noticed some things removed from the menu over the last couple years, but I haven't. What I like is still there. I ordered 2 lobsters on the elegant night and finished both.
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Past cruises: Celebration 9-4-2003, Celebration 9-11-2004, Elation 12-12-2005, Valor 4-22-2007, Conquest 4-26-2009,
..................Holiday's final sailing 11-2-2009, Carnival Dream 4-17-2010
..................Carnival Triumph 11-8-2010, Carnival Miracle 4-4-2011, Carnival Dream 11-5-2011, Carnival Magic 3-18-2012,
..................Carnival Triumph 12-3-2012, Carnival Breeze 4-13-2013, Carnival Dream 1-25-2014,
..................Carnival Splendor 11-1-2014 (San Juan to Miami)

Upcoming cruises: Carnival Breeze 11-3-2018 (14-day Journeys)

k2 is in reference to the mountain known as K2, not a reference to the drug. Mountain highs are greater than any drug high!
#2
Yellowknife, Canada
1,013 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
Nice review - thanks for sharing your thoughts. We're going on the Breeze to do a B2B on Nov.3rd - can't wait !!
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Carnival Pride Sept. '07 Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, Cabo San Lucas
Carnival Miracle Jan. '09 St.Marten, St.Kitt's,Tortola
Carnival Freedom Oct. '10 Key West,Grand Cayman,Ocho Rios
Carnival Freedom Oct. '10 San Juan,St.Thomas,Antigua,Tortola,Nassau
Carnival Miracle Nov.'11 St. Maarten, St. Kitts, St. Lucia
Carnival Liberty Oct.'12 Cozumel, Belize, Mahogany Bay, Roatan, Grand Cayman
Carnival Liberty Oct.'12 Half Moon Cay, St.Thomas, San Juan, GrandTurk
Carnival Breeze Nov.'13 Grand Turk, Dominican Rep, Curacao, Aruba
Carnival Breeze Nov.'13 Grand Turk, Ocho Rios, Nassau
Carnival Pride Repo Mar.'15 Grand Cayman, Limon Costa Rica, Colon Panama, Aruba, Bonaire, St.Maarten
Carnival Vista Dec.'16Grand Turk, Aruba, Bonaire, LaRomana
#3
Tulsa, OK
5,174 Posts
Joined May 2009
Because of the milestones for my parents, they decided on a cove balcony for this cruise. We have never booked a balcony before, but we did wind up with one on the Conquest. From deck 11 on Conquest, it was nice, but we didn't use it much. But this one, down on Deck 2, was so much nicer!!! It was so great being so close to the water, and watching the water rushing by. We didn't use it a huge amount, but quite a bit more than our last one, and we enjoyed it a lot more. For anyone who doesn't know, on the Breeze, Dream, & Magic, there is an outdoor walkway that sticks out on Deck 5 called the lanai. It blocks the view of the water from higher balconies, especially on Decks 6 & 7. The cove balconies are much better than those balconies. On top of the better view and more privacy, the cove balconies are also about 10 sq.ft. larger than the higher standard balconies.

I had the sofa bed, and it was quite hard. My parents also mentioned their beds being hard. That does seem to be the new standard for Carnival. Gone are their soft, comfy beds that give you the best night's sleep. I struggled to get some good sleep the first 2 or 3 nights. These rooms are slightly different from the standard setup of past ships. There's a little bit of storage space that's been taken away. But there was still enough for the 3 of us. We were definitely very pleased with the room. Our room steward did a good job. I never met him/her, but we almost always had ice in our cooler, and everything got done.

Looking out from our balcony as we were coming into St. Thomas:






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Past cruises: Celebration 9-4-2003, Celebration 9-11-2004, Elation 12-12-2005, Valor 4-22-2007, Conquest 4-26-2009,
..................Holiday's final sailing 11-2-2009, Carnival Dream 4-17-2010
..................Carnival Triumph 11-8-2010, Carnival Miracle 4-4-2011, Carnival Dream 11-5-2011, Carnival Magic 3-18-2012,
..................Carnival Triumph 12-3-2012, Carnival Breeze 4-13-2013, Carnival Dream 1-25-2014,
..................Carnival Splendor 11-1-2014 (San Juan to Miami)

Upcoming cruises: Carnival Breeze 11-3-2018 (14-day Journeys)

k2 is in reference to the mountain known as K2, not a reference to the drug. Mountain highs are greater than any drug high!
#4
Philadelphia,PA 19135
4,874 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
very nice review. It has been a while since my last cruise. The evening entertainment was one of the highlights of our cruise. I am sorry to hear of the change.

thanks for sharing.
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Leftovers in their less visible form are called memories. Stored in the refrigerator of the mind and the cupboard of the heart. — Robert Fulghum
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#5
Tulsa, OK
5,174 Posts
Joined May 2009
We did park at the port in Miami. $20 a day for $160 total is steep, but we just didn't feel safe with the other parking locations. It didn't break us. For those driving to the port, be careful. The roads are extremely tricky around there, and it's very easy to take a wrong turn or miss an exit or get turned around.

We arrived at the terminal at around 10:00am. Check-in went smooth in the platinum area. There were tons of platinum/diamond/FTTF people. Platinum & Diamond are supposed to be able to board the ship before FTTF, but the port of Miami kept with the reports of just mixing them all together. It ultimately didn't matter that much, as we were all getting on the ship early, around or before 11:00. We took our carry-on items straight to our room, and it was ready. That is definitely one of the best platinum/fttf benefits of all! It was so nice to take a quick look at our awesome cove balcony early on.

We then headed upstairs for lunch. Passing through the buffet inside area on our way to the pasta bar, I noticed all the extra walls put up in there that I mentioned already. It creates more bottlenecks. And people, please be very careful walking through there. Whatever the floors are made of (or how they clean it) is very slippery. There was a guest later on who had a horribly bad fall. Although I do not know if it was because of the slippery floors, it might have been. The pasta bar was great as always.

Getting close to noon now, I headed outside, & I could see some very dark clouds over Miami. Sure enough, within about 30 minutes, it was pouring down rain on the ship. We took advantage of that time to unpack our luggage, as our checked bags had already arrived. (Thankfully, they didn't have to get rained on out there!) I also took advantage of that time by walking all over the ship and getting some nice pics of the inside public venues.

About noon:




The waterpark, with the dump bucket dropping the water. Rain on the way:






Dining room:
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Past cruises: Celebration 9-4-2003, Celebration 9-11-2004, Elation 12-12-2005, Valor 4-22-2007, Conquest 4-26-2009,
..................Holiday's final sailing 11-2-2009, Carnival Dream 4-17-2010
..................Carnival Triumph 11-8-2010, Carnival Miracle 4-4-2011, Carnival Dream 11-5-2011, Carnival Magic 3-18-2012,
..................Carnival Triumph 12-3-2012, Carnival Breeze 4-13-2013, Carnival Dream 1-25-2014,
..................Carnival Splendor 11-1-2014 (San Juan to Miami)

Upcoming cruises: Carnival Breeze 11-3-2018 (14-day Journeys)

k2 is in reference to the mountain known as K2, not a reference to the drug. Mountain highs are greater than any drug high!
#6
Tulsa, OK
5,174 Posts
Joined May 2009
Oceans Plaza:


Liquid Night Club (the dance club). I only went in there at night a couple times during the trip:


Nice entrances to the dance club:


Piano bar:


Limelight Lounge (where they did the comedy club):


The atrium lobby area:
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Past cruises: Celebration 9-4-2003, Celebration 9-11-2004, Elation 12-12-2005, Valor 4-22-2007, Conquest 4-26-2009,
..................Holiday's final sailing 11-2-2009, Carnival Dream 4-17-2010
..................Carnival Triumph 11-8-2010, Carnival Miracle 4-4-2011, Carnival Dream 11-5-2011, Carnival Magic 3-18-2012,
..................Carnival Triumph 12-3-2012, Carnival Breeze 4-13-2013, Carnival Dream 1-25-2014,
..................Carnival Splendor 11-1-2014 (San Juan to Miami)

Upcoming cruises: Carnival Breeze 11-3-2018 (14-day Journeys)

k2 is in reference to the mountain known as K2, not a reference to the drug. Mountain highs are greater than any drug high!
#7
Mainer in Florida
4,851 Posts
Joined May 2000
I was on the same cruise and appreciate your review and the pictures. I came away with very similar impressions to yours and definitely agree regarding the disappointing playlist productions (have communicated that to John Heald). You had a nice picture of the "Oceans Plaza"; did you catch "Love Souljaz" in there or see them in the main show lounge Friday night? They were wonderful! Don't know if it was intentional, but I agree that Hasbro was a "bored" game!

Still look forward to our next cruise and make the most of the good stuff!
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#8
Tulsa, OK
5,174 Posts
Joined May 2009
Originally posted by GottaLuvCruising
I was on the same cruise and appreciate your review and the pictures. I came away with very similar impressions to yours and definitely agree regarding the disappointing playlist productions (have communicated that to John Heald). You had a nice picture of the "Oceans Plaza"; did you catch "Love Souljaz" in there or see them in the main show lounge Friday night? They were wonderful! Don't know if it was intentional, but I agree that Hasbro was a "bored" game!

Still look forward to our next cruise and make the most of the good stuff!
I didn't get any pictures of them in there. I usually didn't have my camera with me at those times. I did see their show in the big theater. I don't know what Friday night was, as I never know what day of the week it is on board. Intentional. Good catch! Thanks for putting the cocktail party together!

Atrium:


Ovation Theater:


The sun actually broke through at about 2:00pm. At home, when it rains, it just stays cloudy for several days on end. Here, it cleared right up, & the sun came out. Gotta love tropical locations! Gave me time to ride the waterslides a few times before the muster drill.


Looking towards Miami Beach, so much nicer now:




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Past cruises: Celebration 9-4-2003, Celebration 9-11-2004, Elation 12-12-2005, Valor 4-22-2007, Conquest 4-26-2009,
..................Holiday's final sailing 11-2-2009, Carnival Dream 4-17-2010
..................Carnival Triumph 11-8-2010, Carnival Miracle 4-4-2011, Carnival Dream 11-5-2011, Carnival Magic 3-18-2012,
..................Carnival Triumph 12-3-2012, Carnival Breeze 4-13-2013, Carnival Dream 1-25-2014,
..................Carnival Splendor 11-1-2014 (San Juan to Miami)

Upcoming cruises: Carnival Breeze 11-3-2018 (14-day Journeys)

k2 is in reference to the mountain known as K2, not a reference to the drug. Mountain highs are greater than any drug high!
#9
Raleigh NC
25,280 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
Thanks for the review and good job on the lobsters
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Kirk

Future Cruises
HAL Maasdam 7-14-2018 - New England and Canada
HAL Prinsendam 8-5-2018 - Four months on the Elegant Explorer
HAL Zaandam 12-6-18 Back to the frozen south
HAL Amsterdam 1-22-2019 - Grand World Voyage
Hurtengruten Fram 6-3-2019 - Visit the polar bears on Svalbard
HAL Maasdam 8-28-2019 - Eighty days on the Maasdam
HAL Amsterdam 1-4-2020 - Grand Would Voyage
#10
Ohio
586 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
Great review and lovely pics! THANKS
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Past Cruises:
May 2002- Royal Caribbean- Nassau, Private island
December 2006- Carnival Inspiration- Cozumel
April 2012- Carnival Legend- Cozumel, Roatan, Grand Cayman, Belize
November 2013-Carnival Breeze- Aruba, Curacao, La Romana, Grand Turk
February 2014- Carnival Paradise- Grand Cayman & Cozumel
April 2015- Carnival Breeze- St. Thomas, Antigua, San Juan & Nassau
June 2016 -Carnival Dream- Cozumel, Roatan, Belize
May 2017- Carnival Legend - Alaska and British Colombia
October 2017- Carnival Splendor - Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay, Amber Cove, Nassau



Upcoming Cruises:
April 2018 - Carnival Sunshine- St Kitts, St Martin, San Juan, Grand Turk
October 2018 - Carnival Miracle- Cozumel, Roatan, Grand Cayman, Belize
#11
Tulsa, OK
5,174 Posts
Joined May 2009
We were late leaving Miami, which has become the norm for the Breeze. They did throw a nice sailaway party, with all the chairs put away. We did plenty of fun dancing down there. There weren't a ton of people that joined in, but those of us that did enjoyed it. The few of us that knew "Gangnam Style" definitely had a great time with that! Because of the late departure, we didn't get to see much, as we had early dining. We were eating before passing by South Beach. At the Welcome Aboard Show, the singers/dancers did a couple numbers from their Divas show, plus the comedians did short sets.

We also got to see our CD, who was a fill-in for Butch. Butch was supposed to be here for our sailing, but his vacation got changed at the last second. This is the 3rd time that we had Butch pulled away from us at the last second. This is my Mom's 4th straight cruise with a fill-in CD, which is disappointing. It's just bad luck. Having a great CD really does add to the experience. One of our fill-ins was a great one (Jaime), and she has since been promoted.

We then had 2 sea days before our first port. There was some chair hogging going on, but not too bad. I was able to find a chair. They were putting stickers on chairs if the people were gone too long. Night 2 was the night for the "Brits" playlist show. That one was not very good, as they interacted with cartoon characters on the big screen. We also got to enjoy the family friendly comedy show earlier. On Night 3, they did the Hasbro thing, then we had the deck party at night. During the day, there were 2 dance classes that taught us some of the dances we would be doing at the deck party. We had a great time at that, but had to hurry to get to sleep for our first port in the morning.

Day 3 is when this itinerary used to include San Juan. I don't know why it was cut. Liberty left Miami at the same time as us, and they arrived in St. Thomas on Day 4 with us, but Liberty visited San Juan on Day 3. Maybe the Breeze can't travel as fast as Liberty. I don't know.









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Past cruises: Celebration 9-4-2003, Celebration 9-11-2004, Elation 12-12-2005, Valor 4-22-2007, Conquest 4-26-2009,
..................Holiday's final sailing 11-2-2009, Carnival Dream 4-17-2010
..................Carnival Triumph 11-8-2010, Carnival Miracle 4-4-2011, Carnival Dream 11-5-2011, Carnival Magic 3-18-2012,
..................Carnival Triumph 12-3-2012, Carnival Breeze 4-13-2013, Carnival Dream 1-25-2014,
..................Carnival Splendor 11-1-2014 (San Juan to Miami)

Upcoming cruises: Carnival Breeze 11-3-2018 (14-day Journeys)

k2 is in reference to the mountain known as K2, not a reference to the drug. Mountain highs are greater than any drug high!
#12
Winter Garden, FL
524 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
Looking forward to the rest of your review. I've read so many reviews for the breeze, and decide this is the ship i wanna be on Next year. Waiting for the itinerary for this ship for next summer to post.
Pictures are beautiful. I notice from the pics there were hardly any empty chairs. Was it like this the entire cruise?
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Carnival - 14; Celebrity - 2; NCL - 1 ; Royal Caribbean - 2
#13
KS
3,384 Posts
Joined Sep 2011
great pictures- thanks for your insight. I can't wait til it's our turn to sail her in Oct.
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Coming up**
Miracle to Hawaii- Dec 2, 2017 - 15 days - Platinum
Past Cruises:
*Splendor/Feb 26 2017- 7 days -slow cruise, missed ports.
*Freedom/Sept, 2016/W Caribbean - 7 days
*Holland America's Nieuw Amsterdam - April 10,2016 Panama Canal- Full transit -19days
*Dream-April,2014/repo-9 days
*Breeze/Oct2013/E Caribbean-8 days
*Dream/Nov2012/W Caribbean-7 days
*Legend/Dec2011/W Caribbean-7 days
*Conquest/Feb 2011/W Caribbean- 7 days
*Pride/Nov 2008/Mexican Riviera- 7 days
*Valor/March 2008/E Caribbean- 7 days
*Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas/Alaska/July 2007- 7 days
#14
Gettysburg, PA
2,210 Posts
Joined Dec 2000
Good job on the photo review, so far. Just had to say so far, as so many people do that for review comments. I'm sure your review will be just fine at the end as well.

The Breeze has Carnival Cruise Lines Carnival Breeze Fat Jimmy's C-Side BBQ Menu PDF ...

and the Magic, and Dream have the Lanai Oceanside BBQ, which has different food.

Carnival's For Your Eating Pleasure ...not sure where the Lanai Oceanside BBQ Menu is at the moment...as the site was changed (many pages URL's changed and you get NOT FOUND) and is just now getting back to somewhat normal...with slight changes...If you scroll down on the For your Eating Pleasure page, you will see the descriptions of the 2 different BBQ's are different.
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Happy Cruising, Buil, http://cruiseclues.com Our Personal Cruise Website
Sitmar, RCCL, Costa, HAL, Princess, Royal Cruise Line, Celebrity, Renaissance, Disney, MSC, Carnival, Carnival Glory Feb 17, 2013, Carnival Breeze Feb 24, 2013, Grandeur of the Seas Oct 25, 2013, Upcoming Caribbean Princess Nov 10, 2014 & MSC Divina Jan 24, 2015
"We cannot change the direction of the wind... but we can adjust our sails"
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#15
Tulsa, OK
5,174 Posts
Joined May 2009
Originally posted by Kfoot
Pictures are beautiful. I notice from the pics there were hardly any empty chairs. Was it like this the entire cruise?
On sea days, it was like that. We had a very full ship, with over 4700 guests. We were close to, if not completely maxed out. Even though the chairs got heavy use, I was always able to find one. I like it up on Deck 12, since that puts me closer to the waterslides & overlooking any activities, and I was always able to find a chair somewhere up there. If people had exact spots they like, that would have been tougher. But if people were flexible, they would find one. I even moved down to the main pool area to lay out at times, even around 1:30, and was able to find some open chairs in the sun. Still, I'm sure there were some people who had bad luck, looking for one at a time when nothing was available.

Regarding the lanai BBQ, I did walk by it once, and tried to get a good look at the food. From what I saw, I decided to head upstairs to the buffet. I did enjoy Magic's & Dream's. Although I didn't try Breeze's, it didn't look like it was my taste, so I knew something was different, but there were plenty of other people enjoying it.
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Past cruises: Celebration 9-4-2003, Celebration 9-11-2004, Elation 12-12-2005, Valor 4-22-2007, Conquest 4-26-2009,
..................Holiday's final sailing 11-2-2009, Carnival Dream 4-17-2010
..................Carnival Triumph 11-8-2010, Carnival Miracle 4-4-2011, Carnival Dream 11-5-2011, Carnival Magic 3-18-2012,
..................Carnival Triumph 12-3-2012, Carnival Breeze 4-13-2013, Carnival Dream 1-25-2014,
..................Carnival Splendor 11-1-2014 (San Juan to Miami)

Upcoming cruises: Carnival Breeze 11-3-2018 (14-day Journeys)

k2 is in reference to the mountain known as K2, not a reference to the drug. Mountain highs are greater than any drug high!
#16
Tulsa, OK
5,174 Posts
Joined May 2009
We arrived in St. Thomas at 8:00am. We were ready to get off the ship quickly at this stop, because we were taking the ferry over to St. John on our own, not through the cruiseline. We took a cab over to Red Hook, where we were able to catch the 9:00 ferry. From there, we took a cab to Trunk Bay. Everything together for the day cost about $50pp. That wasn't bad, considering we had several hours that we could spend at Trunk Bay. Tours, including Carnival's excursion, don't give you very much time there. Some of the tours may not even give you an hour.

Trunk Bay is absolutely spectacular!!! If you have never been there, I definitely highly recommend it. The cab drive on St. John takes you by an overlook of Trunk Bay, and most of the cabs will stop for a minute to let you take a picture. Take advantage of this. Get out of the cab and get a good picture. The last time we were here in 2007, my mom got an awesome picture. This was my dad's first time here. We just placed our towels on the sand under the trees. They don't rent lounge chairs here. For the type of chairs they do rent, you have to put down a hefty deposit.

I do remember snorkeling here in 2007, but I don't remember it being as good as it was this time. The first time I went out there, I was stunned at how many fish were around and how much coral there was. The water was so clear, the sun was out, the fish were active. It was so perfect! I had our underwater camera with me, but I never thought I'd get pics that good. These may be the best underwater shots we've gotten anywhere on all our cruises. If you are heading there and wondering where exactly this is, it's out by the big rock that's a little bit off shore. The snorkel "trail" has some signs under the water, but it was pretty clear where to go. Just follow the coral. Left of the big rock, when looking out to sea, seems to have the most. So much brain coral, so many different kinds of fish, and even several sea urchin. Away from the snorkel trail, there was a stingray sitting at the bottom just a little ways out from shore.

After taking a bit of a break and walking the beach, I had to go back out again to do some more snorkeling out there. It just never gets old. The underwater camera wound up quitting on me. Fortunately, the pictures were saved. We have had that camera for quite awhile, so it was probably bound to break pretty soon.

My dad wasn't sure about snorkeling too far out around the rock, but he did find a very nice spot close to the shore. When facing the sea, walk to the far right of the beach, down where the beach is ending. He snorkeled out there, right off the shore, and was able to see plenty of fish & coral. Some people were using snorkel life vests. I was feeling very comfortable in the water and with my snorkel equipment today, so I spent plenty of time out there.

From the beach, we can see over to St. Thomas, and it looked like it was raining over there. It was also like that in 2007. In 2011, we stayed on St. Thomas, and it looked like it was raining on St. John. In all 3 times, we made the right choice. We did get some rain back at the ship. We actually left a little earlier than we needed to, but in doing so, we avoided getting poured on when trying to get back on the ship.

St. Thomas, from the ship:


Trunk Bay overlook:


Trunk Bay:


The big rock, around where there is the great snorkeling, is to the left of this pic:




Rainy St. Thomas in the distance:
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Past cruises: Celebration 9-4-2003, Celebration 9-11-2004, Elation 12-12-2005, Valor 4-22-2007, Conquest 4-26-2009,
..................Holiday's final sailing 11-2-2009, Carnival Dream 4-17-2010
..................Carnival Triumph 11-8-2010, Carnival Miracle 4-4-2011, Carnival Dream 11-5-2011, Carnival Magic 3-18-2012,
..................Carnival Triumph 12-3-2012, Carnival Breeze 4-13-2013, Carnival Dream 1-25-2014,
..................Carnival Splendor 11-1-2014 (San Juan to Miami)

Upcoming cruises: Carnival Breeze 11-3-2018 (14-day Journeys)

k2 is in reference to the mountain known as K2, not a reference to the drug. Mountain highs are greater than any drug high!
#17
Tulsa, OK
5,174 Posts
Joined May 2009
Our little stingray friend swimming around the shallow waters with us:




Tons of little fish everywhere, and coral everywhere:


He was giving me the death stare:


I love this one. Tons of little fish, with brain coral behind them:


Just leave the camera on. There's too much awesomeness down here:
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Past cruises: Celebration 9-4-2003, Celebration 9-11-2004, Elation 12-12-2005, Valor 4-22-2007, Conquest 4-26-2009,
..................Holiday's final sailing 11-2-2009, Carnival Dream 4-17-2010
..................Carnival Triumph 11-8-2010, Carnival Miracle 4-4-2011, Carnival Dream 11-5-2011, Carnival Magic 3-18-2012,
..................Carnival Triumph 12-3-2012, Carnival Breeze 4-13-2013, Carnival Dream 1-25-2014,
..................Carnival Splendor 11-1-2014 (San Juan to Miami)

Upcoming cruises: Carnival Breeze 11-3-2018 (14-day Journeys)

k2 is in reference to the mountain known as K2, not a reference to the drug. Mountain highs are greater than any drug high!
#19
Arizona
188 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
Great review! We are doing the same itinerary on the Freedom later this year so I am really looking forward to the port reviews. Thanks!
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9/3/15 Carnival Imagination, Mexico
6/27/15 Carnival Miracle, Mexican Riveria
3/15/15 Carnival Magic, Key West & Bahamas
12/27/14 Carnival Freedom, Southern Caribbean
7/28/14 Carnival Inspiration, Mexico
6/14/14 Carnival Freedom, Eastern Caribbean
4/13/14 Carnival Imagination, Mexico
12/28/13 Carnival Freedom, Eastern Caribbean
6/1/13 Carnival Freedom, Southern Caribbean
3/24/13 NCL Pearl, Western Caribbean
12/22/12 Carnival Triumph, Western Caribbean
6/24/12 Carnival Splendour, Mexican Riveria
3/18/12 NCL Spirit, Western Caribbean
2006 Carnival Paradise, Ensenada
2002 RCL, Western Caribbean
1999 Carnival Destiny, Western Caribbean
1992 Carnival Jubilee, Mexican Riveria
#20
Tulsa, OK
5,174 Posts
Joined May 2009
Sea urchin. There were plenty of these black sea urchin in several places. There were a couple dozen or so that I saw around in different spots.


My new BFF:


We were swimming together for a few minutes.


A school of tiny blue guys:


Tons of awesome coral all around:


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Past cruises: Celebration 9-4-2003, Celebration 9-11-2004, Elation 12-12-2005, Valor 4-22-2007, Conquest 4-26-2009,
..................Holiday's final sailing 11-2-2009, Carnival Dream 4-17-2010
..................Carnival Triumph 11-8-2010, Carnival Miracle 4-4-2011, Carnival Dream 11-5-2011, Carnival Magic 3-18-2012,
..................Carnival Triumph 12-3-2012, Carnival Breeze 4-13-2013, Carnival Dream 1-25-2014,
..................Carnival Splendor 11-1-2014 (San Juan to Miami)

Upcoming cruises: Carnival Breeze 11-3-2018 (14-day Journeys)

k2 is in reference to the mountain known as K2, not a reference to the drug. Mountain highs are greater than any drug high!