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Ron_L

Carnival Breeze 8-Day Eastern Caribbean Review (Dec. 8th, 2012)

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There are a few detailed Breeze reviews going now so I’m going to keep this one shorter. I’ll gladly answer any questions, of course.

 

Background

 

My wife and I are fairly new cruisers. Our first cruise was in 2009 on the Valor. We loved it and have been planning to do it again but it just hasn’t worked out. Earlier this year I ran into a medical issue that required treatment over the summer. We decided to book a cruise to give us something look forward to and hopefully as a celebration. As it turned out I received good news the week before we cruised so it was indeed a celebration cruise!

 

After much research (my roll call mates can attest to the fact that I an a chronic researcher) we decided to book the Breeze on December 8th. We had been to St. Thomas and the BVIs before but had never visited Antigua or Nassau, and the lure of a new ship was too strong.

 

We had a great roll call for this cruise with a lot of active members and several of them had also booked the Imagination 4-day Western Caribbean on Dec 3rd, so we ended up booking that with them and did a back-to-almost-back. I’ll post thoughts on the Imagination cruise is a separate thread.

 

Anyway, the roll call group put together many activities including a two-hour cocktail party followed by a cabin crawl and poker run, a slot pull and a glow party. We had a great time with these folks and would cruise with any of them again! For anyone new to CC and planning to cruise please join your roll call! It’s a great way to get to know folks before the cruise and also to learn from each other about the ship, the ports, and just general cruising experience.

 

OK, On with the review…

 

As mentioned, we were fresh off of the Imagination so we dropped our bags at the Intercontinental and spent some time at Bayside Market looking at the shops. I bought a T-shirt to wear at our cocktail party (more on that later). We also ran into some of our new friends from the Imagination and had a great burger at Ham-bur-guesa at Bayside.

 

That evening we had a pre-cruise party at Bubba Gump’s at Bayside. We weren’t sure how many folks would show up but one of our friends had arranged for us to use an area of the outside patio. We were hoping to have 30 people there and we ended up with over 40! We had a great time and then headed back to the Intercontinental to get some sleep.

 

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Embarkation Day

I woke early this morning and looked out the hotel room window to see the Breeze sitting at the dock waiting for us! It was still dark and she looked beautiful! Once it was light I could see the three other ships including the new Celebrity Reflection, another Carnival ship and an NCL ship.

 

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Many of us received the now-common e-mail about arriving at the port later in the day, but the one for the Breeze also mentioned that sail-away would be delayed until 6pm because of port operations. We confirmed with John Heald that the mention of late arrival at the port was just an attempt to spread out the crowds, but that the sail away really wouldn’t be until 6pm. There were quite a few of us who stayed at the Intercontinental near the port and we all arrived at the terminal at about 10:45. Check in was smooth and we were given Zone 3 or Zone 4 cards. Boarding was a little later than usual, starting at about 12:30. We found seats along with others from our roll call.

 

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There were a lot of visitors going on board for the official naming ceremony, and quite a few wedding parties. Once those were one the boarding went quickly and we were sitting in the Red Frog Pub with a Thirsty Frog Ale in out hands by about 1:00. I really want to be first in the pub for this cruise but we ended up being third. They still too our pictures and displayed them on monitors all around the pub and that picture made it easier for our roll call friends to find us. A bunch of us had matching shirts made so we were easy to spot all over the ship on the first day.

 

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We went to check out or cabin at about 2:00 and our bags were there so we dragged them into the room and went back out to explore the ship. I also took a minute to put up our door signs.

 

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We had setup an informal meet and greet with our roll call at the Tides Bar on the Lido Deck aft and met there at 4:00. Around 4:30 we heard the announcements for muster drill so we headed to our station, which was in the Conference Center on deck 4. The room was way too small and was extremely hot so the drill felt like it took hours. In reality it was probably only 20 minutes and everything was done in that room, no trips out on deck to the lifeboats.

 

After that we went back to the cabin to unpack and made it back on deck for sail away at shortly after 6. The nighttime sail away from Miami was nice and we could see the city lights including the light show on the face of the Intercontinental building. This time it is a dancing girl and she seemed to be dancing in rhythm with the music on the ship.

 

We had reservations for the Steakhouse at 8pm so we went back to the cabin to clean up and headed over shortly before 8. We were seated promptly and enjoyed a great meal. We did get a complementary bottle of wine. It was a choice between a Santa Carolina Merlot and a Santa Carolina Pinot Grigio (I think) and we chose the merlot. It wasn’t a great merlot, but it was drinkable and the price was right.

 

One of the highlights of the meal was the Grilled Portobello Mushroom starter. The mushrooms were marinated with virgin olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar and served on a bed of tomato carpaccio. My wife loved it and mentioned that to one of the servers as we left. When we got back to the cabin later that evening we had an envelope in out mailbox with the recipe! Te rest of the meal was also excellent and out steaks were cooked and seasoned perfectly.

 

We finished that evening in the Piano Bar listening to the amazing Ron Pass. If you haven’t had a chance to cruise with Ron you are missing something special! He is a great entertainer and we stopped by to listen to him almost every night.

 

After that it was time to sleep. It had been a long day and we were beat.

 

More later!

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More later? Oh, no, just as I was getting into it !

Guess I'll have to wait ! Thanks, we'll be onboard March 2, can't wait. I'm loving ALL of these reviews.

Thanks for posting photos. Can't get enough.

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More later? Oh, no, just as I was getting into it !

Guess I'll have to wait ! Thanks, we'll be onboard March 2, can't wait. I'm loving ALL of these reviews.

Thanks for posting photos. Can't get enough.

 

I'm typing ahead in Word, so it wont be too long between installments.

 

First Sea Day

 

We slept in a little and were up by 8:30 or so. I had put out the door hanger for breakfast the night before and had requested deliver between 8:30 and 8:45. Our order finally showed up shortly after 9:00. His would be a trend for the rest of the cruise.

 

We were in a Cove Balcony cabin (2368) and it was our first balcony. We loved it! I had coffee and a bagel on the balcony every morning. The cove balconies are about 30 feet above the water, to the sound of the water is fairly loud, but not enough to interfere with conversation. We had some rough seas at times but never had more that a little spray on the balcony. Here is the view looking forward from our balcony.

 

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After breakfast we explored the ship for a while. We loved the décor and the layout. After that we went to the steakhouse for the cooking demonstration. We enjoyed this and had samples of four different dishes. All were excellent but the Mushroom Cappuccino was the standout.

 

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After the demo we made our way up to the Serenity area only to find every seat taken or held with towels, etc. This also was a trend throughout the cruise. We were never able to enjoy Serenity. It was easy to find chairs elsewhere, especially on deck 11, but not in Serenity. So, we grabbed a couple of chairs on deck 11 and relaxed for a while. I was getting hungry so I went down for a Guy’s Burger. I had high expectations for this based on all of the rave reviews. Unfortunately, it didn’t live up to my expectations.

 

When I walked up to Guy’s there was a menu and a sign that said “Start Here” there were three or four people standing there. Then the staff member behind the burger bar yelled that the line was on the other side. So, we moved over there. The line was about 10 people, but on that side there was a menu visible until you got to the point where the guy was handing out burgers. Notice I said handing out burgers, not taking orders. No matter what anyone wanted he handed them a cheeseburger. I tried to order The Ringer, which has an onion ring on it, but was handed a cheeseburger. I handed it back and said that I wanted The Ringer so he pulled the bun top off, taking half of the cheese with it, and stuck on an onion ring and handed it back with a grunt.

 

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Now it was on to the condiment bar. This has been mentioned before. It is a huge bottleneck. They have a variety of toppings including grilled onions, very good sautéed mushrooms, tomatoes, etc., and pump machines for mustard, mayo and barbecue sauce. Plus, they had at least 30 bottles of ketchup, all empty.

 

The burger was just OK. It is definitely better than the typical Carnival burger, but the burger that I had at Bayside was much better than Guy’s. Hoping that my first experience was a fluke I tried it twice after this, specifically going at different times of the day. Every time there was a tray of pre-made cheeseburgers and no matter what I ordered I was given a cheeseburger. One time the lady in front of me ordered a plain burger (no cheese) and the guy handed her a cheeseburger and said “cheeseburger” and went on to the next person.

 

We spent the rest of that afternoon relaxing and then met some of our friends at the Red Frog Pub before dinner. The Red Frog Pub is a great addition to the venues on board and became one of our favorites. The Thirsty Frog Ale is very good and their bar snacks (extra cost, $3.33 each) are very good and worth the cost. Linden and Sherwin Williams (yes, his real name) provided excellent service!

 

After a while we changed clothes and made our way to the Piano Bar. Ron Pass plays from 7:30 – 8:15 each evening and this became our before dinner ritual.

 

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Once the show was over we went to the upper level of the blush dining room and our table. We had linked several reservations together for dining and had a table for 16. This turned out to be a great idea since we could all compare notes on the day and catch up each evening. We had a great wait staff. Our head water, Mikhalo, knew everyone’s name and made sure that we had everything that we needed. Overall the food in the MDR was just OK. I know that it is not made to order and is more like banquet hall food, but it was not as good as what we had on the Valor in 2009 or what we had on the Imagination the week before. Some dishes were good, and some were just plain bad. Unfortunately the prime rib fell into the bad category. It had a very un-beeflike texture. Several folks at our table mentioned this.

 

After dinner it was back to the piano bar for more fun with Ron! The place was packed but Silviya and Alex were doing a great job. We stayed until Ron was played out, probably around 1:30 or so.

 

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After that we stumbled back to our room and found or evening’s towel creation. I know that this is supposed to be a walrus, but that’s not what it looks like <nudge nudge, wink wink>

 

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Tomorrow is another sea day...

Edited by Ron_L

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Nice shot in last picture that's me in the yellow Tshirt and my girlfriend right by in piano bar. I was there every night. Loved Ron he was awesome.

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Nice shot in last picture that's me in the yellow Tshirt and my girlfriend right by in piano bar. I was there every night. Loved Ron he was awesome.

 

Cool! You look familiar. there were several other folks we saw nightly.

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YEAH!!!!! ANother Breeze review with photos!! :D

 

GREAT start! I am really enjoying your review!

 

Question....did you request a room at the Intercontinental with a view of the ships?

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YEAH!!!!! ANother Breeze review with photos!! :D

 

GREAT start! I am really enjoying your review!

 

Question....did you request a room at the Intercontinental with a view of the ships?

 

Thanks.

 

Yes. When i made the reservation I put in the request. When we arrived they didn't have one ready for us, but we were early so we went to Bayside for a while and when we came back they had the room ready.

 

We also stayed there the night before our imagination cruise the week before and made the same request and they honored it.

 

I am a Priority Club Gold member, so that may have helped.

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Thanks.

 

Yes. When i made the reservation I put in the request. When we arrived they didn't have one ready for us, but we were early so we went to Bayside for a while and when we came back they had the room ready.

 

We also stayed there the night before our imagination cruise the week before and made the same request and they honored it.

 

I am a Priority Club Gold member, so that may have helped.

 

Thanks.

 

I booked through Hotwire so I have no expectations but I suppose it does not hurt to call and ask. We will be arriving early in the AM as well and I am fully prepared to have to leave luggage and head out for a bit either way.

 

One time when I booked a hotel in South Beach I wound up upgraded somehow to a Suite so I guess you never know!

 

Looking forward to the rest of your review

 

P.S.....glad to hear you got GOOD medical news!

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Enjoying your review keep it coming, I would love to sail on the Breeze, i think my hubby is gonna surprise me for christmas, yup i've been eavesdropping again. He told my daughter that he is booking me a cruise as my christmas present. Thought about going to Manage my cruise to see but don't want to spoil the surprise. Fingers crossed hope it's the Breeze.:)

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Second Sea Day

 

We slept until 9 this morning. We had requested room service between 9:00 and 9:15 and it showed up about 15 minutes late again. After coffee and a bagel on the balcony we stopped by the casino to donate a few dollars to Carnival and then it was off to the Liquid Night Club for our roll call cocktail party. We had over 100 people at the cocktail party and had a blast! The bartenders and wait staff were great and they put on dance music for us. We did a gift exchange with folks bring a small gift from their home area and that was a big hit.

 

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Earlier I mentioned buying a t-shirt at bayside to wear to the cocktail party. I’m wearing it in the picture above. A while back one of our roll call members made a JibJab using my head on the body of the gangnam style guy, so when I saw the shirt I had to wear it to the party!

 

After the cocktail party we did a cabin crawl and poker run. Imagine the sight of 40-50 drunks trying to stay together as we toured 7 or 8 different cabins!

 

After the party and cabin crawl we need a rest so we relaxed for a while on deck before heading to the piano bar before dinner. One of the folks on the cabin crawl had left their elf in one of the cabins so he came to the piano bar with us.

 

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At dinner one of our roll call members from Canada gave my wife a set of very nice, warm mittens

 

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After dinner we hit the piano bar for a while but we were due in St. Thomas in the morning so we left around midnight.

 

Here is this evening’s towel animal. I’m not 100% sure what it is.

 

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St. Thomas

 

We had no time sensitive plans in St. Thomas, but we wanted to get the most out of the day as possible so we requested room service breakfast between 7:00 and 7:15. This time they showed up at 6:30! At least they weren’t late.

 

I had coffee on the balcony and took a few pictures around the harbor. I spotted my yacht waiting for me.

 

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We spent a week on St. John a few years back and decided to head over there to visit some of our favorite spots again. I had provided a bunch of info on St. John and how to get there to our roll call and one of the members was going there with his wife and three daughters. He asked if he could tag along with us so that they wouldn’t get lost so we met them on the pier at 8:30 and found a taxi that was heading to Red Hook. I told the driver that we wanted to catch the next ferry and he took off right away. We made it to the ferry dock with time to spare. We bought round trip tickets and got on the ferry just before it was leaving. The ride to St. John was a but rough, but no bad.

 

Once there we gave our friends some tips on beaches and they decided to head to Cinnamon Bay. They had also talked to a local on the ferry who made the same suggestion. Cinnamon is a little further than Trunk Bay but it usually less crowded.

 

We headed to the shops by the pier and our first stop was St. John Spice to see Ruth and Ron and pick up some local hot sauces. St. John Spice has a great selection of hot sauces plus some great spices mixes of their own plus nice souvenirs. I picked up some Blind Betty sauces and a couple of others from St. John plus a pound of their Cruz Bay Grill Rub and asked them to ship them home for me. The package was waiting for me when we got home!

 

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We spent a couple of hours walking around the shops near the harbor and then headed over to Mongoose Junction, about a 5 minute walk from the ferry dock. Once there we went to Sun Dog Café at the recommendation of a friend who travels to St. John a couple of times a year. We had a great lunch and a couple of Painkillers.

 

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After lunch we did some more shopping and then headed to our afternoon target, The Tap Room run by St. John Brewers. If you ever have a chance to be on St. John please stop by The Tap Room. These guys brew some great beer including their Mango Pale Ale, which is amazing.

 

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We met several members of our roll call there on their way back from Trunk bay and had a couple of beers before heading to our last stop before catching the ferry back to St. Thomas, the Beach Bar.

 

Along the way we saw some of St. John’s resident donkeys along the side of the road.

 

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The donkeys were originally brought to the island for the sugar plantations and when the plantations closed they were left to fend for themselves and have become prevalent around the island.

 

At the Beach bar we had a couple of more Painkillers and I picked up a new Beach Bar hat. I wanted to bring my old one with me on the trip but couldn’t find it, so I bought a new one.

 

We caught the next ferry back to St. Thomas and then a cab back to the ship. On the way back it started to rain but we were dry in the cab. By the time we got back to the cruise terminal the rain had stopped so we walked around for a while and then got back on the ship. As we passed through security they had folks giving out warm towels to the passengers.

 

We went back to the cabin to clean up, then off to the Piano Bar and then dinner. After dinner we hit the Piano bar again but didn’t last too long. We were tired and had another long day in Antigua coming up.

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Enjoying your review Ron. Looking forward to your time in Antigua.

Aren't active RollCalls fun? :D I know our multiple-yet-interwined roll calls for the 11-24 Southern brought a lot of good times to that cruise (as evident in the 3-4 reviews now going on).

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Enjoying your review Ron. Looking forward to your time in Antigua.

Aren't active RollCalls fun? :D I know our multiple-yet-interwined roll calls for the 11-24 Southern brought a lot of good times to that cruise (as evident in the 3-4 reviews now going on).

 

I should be able to post Antigua after my next meeting.

 

Yes, I think the roll call section here is a great tool. We augmented it with a group on a popular social networking site and we got to know each other before the cruise. Having 12 of us on the Imagination the week before made the Breeze experience even better.

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Great review so far! We will be on this route one month from today, so I am eagerly anticipating the rest. :D

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Great review so far! We will be on this route one month from today, so I am eagerly anticipating the rest. :D

 

I think you'll love the ports. St Thomas, Tortola and Antigua offer so much to do. There is a lot to do in Nassau as well but a lot of the more interesting things started earlier in the day and weren't options for us with the later arrival. Several folks in our roll call went to Atlantis or some of the all inclusives and a couple went to Junkanoo Beach.

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Antigua

 

We docked in Antigua pretty close to 7:00am. We were meeting a large group heading to Jolly Beach Resort for a day pass at 8:15 so we requested room service breakfast for between 6:45 and 7:00am. This was the only morning that they hit the window.

 

I was enjoying coffee and a bagel on the balcony and looking at the harbor when the Seaborne Quest pulled in along side of us. She looked like a nice ship, but the folks that I saw on their balconies were all older.

 

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We met our group on the dock and were able to get all 22 of us together quickly so we headed out to find the bus to Jolly Beach. Somewhere along the way one of the folks found a guy with a bus big enough to hold all of us and cut a deal to take us for $3 per person. We piled into his bus and along the way he gave us some history of Antigua, pointed out some historic sights and sang Christmas carols for us!

 

After a short ride and a misunderstanding he tried to drop us off at Jolly Beach, not the resort. We got that straightened out and he agreed to return for us at 3:00pm ship time.

 

At the resort there was a line to check in for the day pass. There was another group of folks from our roll call also heading to the resort and they only had two people at the front desk. It took about 30 minutes to get checked in and we were told that they would be serving continental breakfast until 11am, another 15 minutes, so we headed to the buffet to grab something before we started drinking. The breakfast consisted of local breads and pastries, cereal, fruits, juice and coffee.

 

After that we headed to the beach to find the rest of our group. In Antigua all of the beaches are public, so as soon as our feet hit the sand we were fair game for folks trying to rent us umbrellas, sell us coconuts, etc. My wife was a little ahead of me and she was approached by a young lady carrying an umbrella. She told her that we didn’t need one yet and were looking for our friends. At this point a guy comes us and says “I know where your group is. Follow me”. Well, he had no idea who we were with, so we started looking on our own. Both the guy and the girl with the umbrella kept following us. We finally found our friends under some palapas (I think that’s what they are called) at the edge of the resort property and headed over there. Once the guy and girl realized that we wouldn’t be renting their umbrella they became very aggressive, insisting that we owe them $2 for carrying the umbrella around after us. After much discussion they final headed off to hassle someone else. This wasn’t a great start to our day at the resort, but we got past it quickly.

 

Jolly Beach is beautiful and the resort is in good shape, but older. We talked with a couple who were staying there and they said that the rooms weren’t the best, but the pool and other facilities that we saw were fine.

 

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After a while on the beach we decided to head to the pool bar. There was no bar service at the beach and we were walking to the bar anyway so we decided to stay there. They had a bar at ground level along with a grill that was open for lunch, and then a section of the bar at pool level with a bell to call for service. This turned out to be our favorite place for the rest of the day.

 

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I’m going to continue this in the next post so I can add more pictures.

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Antigua, continued…

 

It turned out that there is two pool areas at Jolly Beach Resort, the one pictured in the first post above and the one with the swim-up bar. The one with the bar is much bigger.

 

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It also has a nice waterfall area. We did a group picture there but that is on someone else’s camera.

 

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and the swim up bar.

 

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We spent the day either in the pool or on the beach.

 

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We took a break for lunch from the grill and had some very good jerked chicken. Before we knew it it was time to head back. We gathered our group and found our driver and loaded up. As we headed out of the resort he stopped at the side of the road and asked if we had a good time. I replied that we did and he went on to say that since we had such a good time we should increase his fee to $10 per person instead of the $6 we agreed upon ($3 pp each way). He became agitated when we told him that wasn’t what he had told us at the beginning and after a few tense moments we were taken back to the ship. I know that many of the folks gave him the $6 with no extra because of his actions. The sad thing is that most of us would have given him $10 per person without him asking.

 

We walked around the port area for a while but realized that we didn’t need anything so we headed back to the ship. We were booked for the Chef’s Table that night so we wanted to rest a bit and clean up.

 

We were to meet at the Lobby Bar at 6:45 for the Chef’s Table. We arrive shortly before that and we led to a group sitting off to the side. It turned out to be 8 folks from our roll call and two others. The Chef came out to greet us and took us into the galley and a prepped workstation where they poured champagne and made us 4 small appetizers. All were excellent. When we made our reservation I had noted that my wife doesn’t eat seafood so the chef had prepared alternatives for her whenever a course involved seafood.

 

After the appetizers we were led to a long table in the middle of the galley and the chef and several of his staff presented our meal. We had all the white and red wine that we could drink and more than enough food. After the first 4 courses we were given a tour of the galley and a demonstration of how to make the Warm Chocolate Melting Cake and also treated to a brief magic show by the ship’s magician. Four more courses followed this break and then we were led out of the galley.

 

The invitation that we received asked that there be no pictures taken in the galley, and since we ate in the galley we didn’t take any pictures. The food was excellent and very different from the food anywhere else in the ship. It was more like the food that you see on the Top Chef TV show. The staff and the Chef were great and we saw the Chef twice around the ship and he said hello to us each time. I’m not sure if I would do the Chef’s table again, but it is definitely worth the cost ($75pp plus I added additional tip) for the experience.

 

After the Chef’s Table we were getting together with our roll call in the nigh club for a Glow Party. We went back to our room to change clothes and get our flashing/glowing stuff and headed to meet the others.

 

I was surprised at how many folks turned out for this. We had at least 30 flashing or glowing people in the club. We got some strange looks from the others but we had a good time.

 

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We were all pretty tired after the day at Jolly Beach Resort so we didn’t last long and headed back to the room. Yes, we even bypassed the Piano Bar!

 

Tomorrow is Tortola and one of the things that we had been looking forward to for the whole cruise, White Bay on Jost Van Dyke and the Soggy Dollar Bar!

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Tortola

 

Yet another early arrival in port. We had booked the Carnival excursion to JVD because of the early departure time (3:30pm) just to be safe. I looked at taking the ferry to Great Harbor on JVD and then a taxi to White Bay and I looked at private boat trips but the cost savings over Carnival was only $10pp so we opted for the safety of the Carnival excursion.

 

We were to meet at the end of the pier at 8:30 ship time so we ordered our usual room service breakfast, which arrived 30 minutes early and had coffee on the balcony. It was a grey and rainy morning but was starting to clear up. We saw a beautiful rainbow over the harbor but it didn’t last long enough for me to grab my camera. We headed out at about 8:15 to meet the tour group and ended up being one of the last ones on the boat. My wife found a seat at the back of the boat and I found one at the front. I did get a nice shot of the Breeze as the boat pulled out from the dock

 

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The ride to White Bay took about 30 minutes and involved getting soaked by spray from the waves and then a brief rain shower. Once there we were given the choice of jumping off of the bow and swimming in to shore or riding in on a flat barge that they had there for that purpose. My wife was already boarding the barge so I found a roll call member to take my hat and glasses and jumped in. I was already soaked so why not get the whole experience. The bow of the boat was about 8’ off of the water and the water was about 10 feet deep and the swim to shore was about 40 yards. The water was nice and warm so I enjoyed it and took some pictures along the way (water proof cameras are great).

 

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They had beach chairs set up in a separate area for the excursion so we found some roll call members and dropped off our towels and head with another couple down the beach to the Soggy Dollar Bar. The guide told us that the boat would be back for us at 1pm local time (noon ship time) so we had a couple of hours to spend there before coming back for lunch and the ride back. Along the way we past Seddy’s One Love bar.

 

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It was a short walk to the SDB and soon we were enjoying the original Painkiller from Mic the bartender.

 

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If you’ve been following along you may notice that we like our Painkillers. We make them at home based on a recipe that is supposed to be the original SDB recipe, but they tasted so much better on the beach! BTW, don’t order what they call a Painkiller in the Red Frog Pub on the ship. It’s basically a fruit punch with pina colada mix added. It is not an authentic painkiller.

 

Continued in the next post…

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Tortola continued…

 

We had three Painkillers at the SDB and did some shopping. I bought a SDB hat. Then it was time to head back to the group to get our included lunch and beverage. We could have spent the whole day at the SDB it was so relaxing.

 

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Once back with the group we grabbed a burger and a drink. The burgers were served on a huge bun and the burger didn’t cover half of the bun. The included beverages were rum punch, water or soda. We got bottles of water and bought a painkiller from the bar there (that’s 4). It was not good so after we ate my wife on the husband of the other couple walked back to the SDB to get a real Painkiller “for the road” (that’s 5). We sat with the group expecting the boat to be back for us at any minute. It finally showed up shortly after 1 ship time, an hour later than we were told. It seems that someone on the staff mixed up ship time and local time. If they had gotten it right we would have had another hour to spend at the SDB and would have eaten lunch there instead. Oh well.

 

The ride back was bumpy but dry and they had free flowing rum and coke on board. The crew on the boat was great and we all had a good time despite the rough ride.

 

Once back on the ship we cleaned up and headed to the Red Frog Pub to see if any of our friends had returned from their private excursion to the Baths. We met up with one of them who told us that the Baths was just OK (lots of climbing and crowds) but he also told us that one of our friends had an accident when they returned to the pier and had slipped getting off of the boat and fell hard between the boat and the pier. We gave her some time to rest but finally called her and she was sore, but fine. That was a relief.

 

After that we tried to stay wake but the Painkillers and activity got the better of us and we took a nap. We woke in time for dinner and a little time at the Piano Bar and then headed back to the room to find our latest towel buddy sitting on our lamp.

 

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Tomorrow is a well earned sea day! These three port days in a row were exhausting.

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Last Sea Day

 

We were so tired after Tortola that we had no idea what time we would wake up so we skipped our usual room service. We were up by 8:30 anyway so I went to the coffee bar for a couple of lattes. After enjoying them on the balcony we cleaned up and went to the Punchliner Comedy Brunch. It was in the Sapphire Dining Room so we were able to see the décor in that room as well. As expected it was a blue theme. We ordered the Flaming Tomato Soup made with fire roasted tomatoes (no actual flames involved) and used our free drink coupons for being a VIFP member to get a bloody mary. The bloody mary was decent but the soup was fantastic! For the food I ordered the steak and eggs and my wife had Eggs Benedict, Hollandaise on the side. These meals are prepared to order to it too 15 minute or so, but they were very good. As we waited the comedian came out and did two jokes and was done.

 

After brunch we went to the casino and donated a little more to Carnival and then met our roll call for a slot pull. We had 28 people each put $10 into a Wheel of Fortune machine that the casino staff held for us but we only won about $60, which we fed back into the machine.

 

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After that we found some loungers on deck 11 and enjoyed the day at sea. At one point I was hungry and tried a Guy’s burger again. I ordered the one with pulled pork on it but was handed a cheeseburger so I gave up.

 

At about 4 we wandered into the Ocean plaza to watch some friend’s kids in the Children’s Talent Show and caught the elusive Funship Freddy in action.

 

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After that we watched karaoke for a bit and then cleaned up and dressed for the second elegant night in the MDR. The feature for this night was Chateaubriand, which most of us ordered and everyone agreed that it was terrible. The meat had little flavor and parts of everyone’s portion was very tough.

 

After dinner we went back to the Piano Bar and ended up staying until closing since we were arrived at noon in Nassau the next day and didn’t have anything planned.

 

Here is tonight’s towel animal.

 

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Once back on the ship we cleaned up and headed to the Red Frog Pub to see if any of our friends had returned from their private excursion to the Baths. We met up with one of them who told us that the Baths was just OK (lots of climbing and crowds) but he also told us that one of our friends had an accident when they returned to the pier and had slipped getting off of the boat and fell hard between the boat and the pier. We gave her some time to rest but finally called her and she was sore, but fine. That was a relief.

 

 

Ron....we were on the same cruise...were you talking about the lady that fell between the Breeze and the pier into the water? We heard she broke her arm. That happened in St. Thomas during a rain squall. We got drenched as we watched security pull her out of the water and put her in a wheelchair. Thanks.

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but he also told us that one of our friends had an accident when they returned to the pier and had slipped getting off of the boat and fell hard between the boat and the pier. We gave her some time to rest but finally called her and she was sore, but fine. That was a relief.

 

We saw them pull a lady out of the water that had walked off the end of the pier and fell between the Breeze and the pier in St. Thomas during a driving rain storm. Was that the same woman? We heard she had broken her arm.

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but he also told us that one of our friends had an accident when they returned to the pier and had slipped getting off of the boat and fell hard between the boat and the pier. We gave her some time to rest but finally called her and she was sore, but fine. That was a relief.

 

We saw them pull a lady out of the water that had walked off the end of the pier and fell between the Breeze and the pier in St. Thomas during a driving rain storm. Was that the same woman? We heard she had broken her arm.

 

No. We heard about her and I hope that she is OK. This was in Tortola off of a private excursion that had just returned from the Baths. She was stepping from the boat to the pier and apparently the crew member from the excursion boat thought she was safely on the pier and let go of her hand and she went down. She has a bruised hip and hit her head but is doing well.

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Nassau

 

We enjoyed a late breakfast on the balcony as we sailed into Nassau. Our original port times were 1pm – 8pm but we had message via the TV during the week that we would be getting in at noon and leaving at 7pm. After breakfast we decided to go ahead and pack our stuff while we were sober. Packing after a few drinks just didn’t sound like fun.

As we approached the port I saw that there were two Carnival ships in port and a Royal ship ahead of us. We slowed to a crawl while the Royal ship docked an then headed in.

 

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I grabbed a bunch of shots of Atlantis and the lighthouse as we sailed by.

 

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We docked next to the Fascination and across the pier from the Imagination, which we had been on the week before. I was able to get a shot of both the Breeze and the Imagination side by side.

 

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This was our first visit to Nassau but didn’t plan anything because of the late arrival time. We walked around the shops and went through the Straw Market for a while. Every shop was starting to look the same and it seemed that every booth in the Straw market had the same stuff. Some of our roll call was heading to Senor Frog’s so we started to walk that way. We ran into another couple that said that they were just there and the place was shoulder to shoulder so we changed plans and went to Sharkey’s instead. We ordered a bucket of beer and some snacks when another couple from our roll call came in. We sat with them for a while and then headed out for a little more shopping and then back to the ship. Once back in our cabin we saw that it was pouring outside so we made it back just in time.

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The final night…

 

After changing clothes we headed up on deck to see if there was any pier runners. I think the rain chased most folks back to the ship early since there were only a few folks on the pier. After that we went to the Red Frog Rum Bar and the Blue Iguana to get their souvenir Tervis tumblers.

 

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Then we headed to the Piano Bar for the pre-dinner show. We got there as Ron was setting up and found out where he keeps his seed money.

 

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Ron also mentioned that he had a few Rontourage shirts left and one of them was my size so I bought it and went to the restroom to put it on. I was his model for the evening and he sold out of shirts.

 

Then it was off to the dining room for a final dinner with the group and back to the cabin to put our bags out and then back to the Piano bar for a farewell night with Ron.

 

One of our roll call members gave Ron a gift that was a red solo cup in a special Koozie. Of course, he play Red Solo Cup after that and we were all ready with our own red solo cups to toast him.

 

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We left at around midnight and went back to the room.

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Great review!

 

I had the same issue with Guy's that you did. And my wife too loved the soup at Punchliner!

 

We were on the cruise before yours on the Breeze. Looks like you had a blast! Thanks for the review!

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Great review!

 

I had the same issue with Guy's that you did. And my wife too loved the soup at Punchliner!

 

We were on the cruise before yours on the Breeze. Looks like you had a blast! Thanks for the review!

 

Thanks! At least it wasn't just me :)

 

We did have a blast!

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Debarkation day.

 

What a sad day. Leaving the Breeze was tough, but we were gone for two weeks so we were ready to get home, too. We had a late flight so we had group 33 tags so we had breakfast in the MDR (Egg’s Benedict with the sauce on the side) and then found a comfortable place to sit and watch everyone else get off of the ship. We were off by around 10 and got our bags, rearranged some stuff and headed to the airport. Our flight left a little after 4pm and we were back home by 8:00pm.

 

Final thoughts

 

We had a great cruise on the Breeze and would recommend her to anyone! The décor is refreshing and gives her a very Caribbean feel. The crew was excellent and went out of their way to make our trip pleasant. Yeah, there were some warts, but this is a new ship and a large part of the crew was new when she arrived in Miami a couple of weeks earlier. More importantly, none of those warts affected our cruise significantly. We were there to have fun and didn’t let them bother us. We also sailed with a great group and that made the whole experience that much better.

 

Highlights

 

  • The ship itself is beautiful and we really liked the layout. There is a lot to do and we didn’t get to all of it, so we have a reason to go back.
     
  • The Red Frog Pub was a great place to hang out with good food and beer, live music and a great staff.
     
  • Bonsai Sushi was also very good! We went twice and I thought it was a great value. Most things are priced between $1 and $6 and the sashimi was very fresh and the fish cuts were large. The rolls are huge and very tasty. My wife, the non-seafood eater, enjoyed the noodle salad and fell in love with the Wagyu beef dish. She ordered two of them on our second visit.
     
  • As you can probably tell from our review we loved the Piano bar and Ron Pass. Ron is a special entertainer and we had a blast with him. He found out early that my name was Ron and even played a couple of songs that play off or our names. We will consider his schedule when booking our next cruise.
     
  • We also enjoyed our dinner in the steakhouse and the cooking demonstration the next day.
     
  • The Chef’s Table was also a great experience.
     
  • Some crew members also stood out. Linden and Sherwin in the Red Frog Pub are great and Silviya and Alex in the Piano Bar are the best I have found anywhere! Mikhalo, our head waiter was also great!

 

Not-so-highlights

 

  • The food in general was disappointing. As I mentioned earlier I didn’t expect made-to-order food in the MDR, but the quality was hit or miss, and mostly miss.
     
  • Guy’s burgers were a big disappointment. They were generally good, but they didn’t blow me way as I expected from other’s comments. The condiment bar was a nice touch but they need to add another one to ease the bottle neck there. Finally, if you are going to have a menu of burger choices, don’t just have a bunch of pre-made cheeseburgers and allow people to order what they want.
     
  • Our room steward was also a disappointment. We had a great steward on the Imagination so maybe our expectations were too high, but the one on the Breeze was virtually non-existent. We didn’t meet him until the second day, and that was only because we had been requesting a blanket for the bed instead of the duvet. The duvet is too heavy for my wife and I only use a sheet. We also requested that the bed be made up with two sheets and the blanket and this was never done. We made the same request on the Imagination and it was carried out every night.
     
  • Probably the biggest issue that we encountered on the ship was the elevators. It seems that they should have added one more bank to handle the number of passengers on the ship. We took the stairs when we were going a couple of decks, but with a cabin on deck 2 and most of the activity on 10 or 11 that wasn’t always practical. Waiting for the elevators became a common complaint among the passengers and the crew. It’s too late to add more elevators, but things could be changed with the call buttons and the elevator control system to make things faster. In addition, one elevator in the aft back was out of service for the entire cruise.

 

One tip for the elevators. In the fore and aft banks, the call buttons on the port and starboard side are not linked. You have to push the button on both sides. The buttons on the center bank are synced.

 

But, these issues didn’t really affect our enjoyment. Some folks seem to focus on these little things and let them ruin their cruise. We just dealt with it and went on with the fun.

 

Thanks for reading and I hope that you enjoyed the review. If you have any questions please ask!

 

If anyone is interested in the Fun Times I have them all and can scan them. Just let me know.

 

Oh! One other thing…

 

We thought seriously about doing the Cheers! Program, but decided to wait until the second day and see what our consumption on the first day was. We ended up deciding against it primarily because we had three port days that involved alcohol and didn’t feel that we would get our money’s worth on those days. Because we had thought about the program we didn’t bring any alcohol on board and didn’t order from Bon Voyage. It turned out that t the end of the cruise we spent less than $700 on drinks, bottles of wine, etc, and we didn’t hold back. We spent a lot of time in the Red Frog Pub and the Piano Bar throughout the cruise. So, not buying the package turned out to be a good decision for us. Others in our group did buy it and I’ll let them comment on their experience.

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Thanks for the great review and photos. The red mittens were originally sold in Canada for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. They were a big hit selling a ton and have now come out with new ones every year.

 

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Thank you for the review! I would love to see the Fun Times, if you have a chance to scan them. We are going to be on the Breeze in March and it looks like Ron Pass will still be on it then too! woohoo!

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Thanks! At least it wasn't just me :)

 

We did have a blast!

No your not the only one, while i thought the burgers had a good taste. I could not and did not get the ringer, I pointed to the sign and tried to explain and the fellow pointed to the condiment stand that was already lined up with people

 

They just wanted to pass out cheese burgers and that was it. Enjoyed your review ! I have some of the same thoughts as you did, especially Serenity.

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Thank you for the review! I would love to see the Fun Times, if you have a chance to scan them. We are going to be on the Breeze in March and it looks like Ron Pass will still be on it then too! woohoo!

 

No problem... I'll start scanning them in the morning. It will take a day or so to finish between meetings.

 

Ron updated his schedule on his web site and he has been approved to be on the Breeze until May 19th.

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I just thought of one other thing that was different on the Breeze: the motion of the ship. We had mildly rough seas almost every day and on one day it was quite rough. We felt a constant side-to-side sway and some front-to-back rocking that was the same as I experienced on the Imagination, but in addition to that the Breeze had a higher frequency wobble that was more prevalent at the back to the ship. It didn't seem to change as the seas changed, so maybe it is related to the engines or the stabilizers, but many folks commented on it. It wasn't a bad thing, just different than what I remember from the Valor or the Imagination.

 

Did anyone else who has been on the Breeze notice this?

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