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MITSUGIRLY lets the BREEZE flow through her hair-Spring Break Review/Pictorial


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I guess it's that time...time to start my BREEZE review. (Man, didn't I just finish a review???). It looks like I have some impatient people waiting, so I'll at least get it started for now.


I have ALWAYS wanted to sail on the Breeze and have been dreaming of it for years. I finally got my chance and I'm so happy I did!


This cruise consisted of just me, the hubby and my youngest daughter, Sakari (age 7). The rest of the family stayed back at home pouting and complaining...especially since I just returned from a cruise less than a month prior to this one. I have to say, I was jealous of myself too.


I booked this cruise at the end of last year after I had made up my mind that we WERE doing another Spring Break cruise. Last year we were on the Pride for Spring Break and it was an AMAZING cruise! So why not repeat it and why not repeat it with Carnival again?


Here's my little insert about my family and my cruising (copied and pasted for my convenience) for those far and few in between that might not know me or read any of my reviews...are you people living in a shell? (Just kidding of course. You will find I have a quirky sense of humor...and then again you may find I have no sense of humor).



A little about me and the family. We "try" to cruise often (3x a year...with an "extra" 50th birthday cruise thrown into the mixture this year, I might pull off 4) and my little family consist of me, the hubby and our now 7 year old daughter, Sakari. (Pronounced just as it's spelled SA-KAR-I)


I have 4 "kids" (LOL) ages 29, 27, 21 and 7. All the adult children have children of their own. Most of the time my oldest daughter (27 year old) and her family cruises with us, which makes for an interesting cruise, but not this time. She had surgery scheduled for the week that I was gone and wouldn't be able to make it. My youngest son (21 year old) tries to go at least once a year and my oldest son (29 year old) went for the first time with us last year (after taking a 16 year break from cruising lol).


We are a fun loving and goofy family that loves to have a good time. We make the best of everything even if it's a bad situation. Anyone who follows my reviews knows the "crap" I've dealt with on cruises from breaking my hand in St Maarten, breaking my toe on the Getaway, missing our flight due to my "dear daughter" :rolleyes: Kendra...who is the most non-punctual person you will ever meet, to anything else that is thrown at us (with our most recent cruise last month coming back with noro). We make light of the situation and we roll with it!


We crack a lot of jokes (and I have a quirky sense of humor...my kids do as well) and love adventure and trying new things. My youngest (Sakari) is an animal lover and if there's anything involving animals, we have to do it. We have done swims with the stingrays, dolphins, manatees, sharks and held so many things in the sea (yes, even those we didn't know better and paid the price for it). She LOVES to draw. She's actually really good at it too. Sakari would rather sit around drawing (mostly animals) than playing with toys. Sakari has been cruising since she was 3 years old (this will make her 13th cruise...you're welcome daughter for us making you Platinum before you're 18) and she just thinks it's a way of life. She is a DAREDEVIL!!! She will do anything we do and doesn't think twice about it. She zip lined in the jungle, by herself at the age of 3, cavetubing, held tarantulas, jumped off 2 story decks into the ocean, went on the biggest waterslides on the ships (and yes, even the ones that you stand in and the floor drops out from under you)...the list goes on. There's nothing she won't do. She's like having an extra adult with us...other than the fact that her age and height sometimes restricts her from certain things...otherwise she would do it. We LOVE LOVE LOVE the beach. So if I can find a beach or snorkeling...that's where we'll be. If you ask me some "touristy tour seeing the history" type of thing, forgetaboutit...because that's not me.




As you can tell from my signature line, we mainly cruise with NCL and my goal has been to do the entire fleet....I'm almost there with the Gem left to go of the older ships and the Escape for the newer ships. (Other than the POA, which I have a tendency to forget it's in the fleet all the way over there in Hawaii).


I have adventured out and tried Carnival twice now and absolutely loved the ships we have been on with them so far. The BREEZE will be my 3rd Carnival ship. We did a Royal Caribbean back in the 90's and also NCL Seaward back in the 80's.


Gotta always throw in the disclaimer....




I do my reviews as honest as I can and I know everyone has a different expectation during a cruise and will have a different experience, even when on the same cruise.



I tell my story through my eyes and my take on things. Everyone may not agree or have the same opinion, and that's ok, but I'm honest with the way "I" see things.


I'm a planner. I do EXTENSIVE research prior to any cruise. I read reviews, I look on the web, I take notes, copy maps, save websites, make spread sheets and everything has to be perfectly planned. That's just me. The family just "rolls with it". I crack up because I feel like a mother duckling and they follow...in a line and (seriously) if I turn one way, they do too, if I quickly turn back, they do too. Sometimes I start weaving back and forth in a "S" shape just to throw them off...then they'll catch on to what I'm doing and laugh. It's all a game and I have fun with it. (See what I mean? That's my quirkiness coming out). Don't worry, the hubby is the same and he pays me back. He's my personal GPS and he likes to throw me off too as a payback. ;)






Another thing I get asked a lot is "what type of camera do you use?" Well, I'll get that question answered right now before we begin. I have 2 cameras. They are both Olympus Tough point and shoot cameras. The models I have (which there are TONS of them out there and always being updated) are 620 & 830. I feel they take excellent pictures. I use to carry my DSLR with me, but I felt that it hindered my fun a little, not to mention I would get highly upset if I couldn't take pictures of the fish when snorkeling. There's just too much equipment to carry with me. It's heavy. It's bulky. I found a camera that does a good enough job for me and that's all I use now. I find that I can enjoy my cruise more. Are the pictures always perfect? Nope...I do a lot of walking and snapping...sometimes you win, sometimes you lose and get blurry. It is what it is. :p


I also have people ask me about the settings. For the most part, the cameras are about the same with settings, however, with the 830 being an updated version, it of course has a few more settings on it. I LOVE the "tilt shift" setting. It really makes the colors pop, while blurring around the edges. Such a cool setting. I rotate using various settings at any given time. There are some for night time, which drinking and "snapping" don't go well with that setting if you are trying to hold a steady hand (due to a longer exposure). There's several awesome settings that will make the colors pop and also soft. I have found lately that one of my favorite settings and used most is the "Sports" setting. I walk and snap a lot and on the sports setting, they turn out less blurry.






With that being said, these reviews are meant to be helpful to others, show you around the ship, places we go and give you some ideas. I feel that a picture is worth 1,000 words, which is why you'll find my reviews very picture heavy. I'm a site person and I know it really helps me to put a picture to something someone is trying to explain. By no means do I ever try to influence you one way or the other to do the things we like to do, but merely give suggestions. I try to help out others on this board the way they have helped me so many times in the past and I am so grateful for that.


So now that we have all that out of the way....




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I joined our roll call, but quite frankly I wasn't able to get as involved as I would have liked to. Between coming off the last ship, doing a review, still being in school and finishing up one other class...it was a little hectic.


I tell ya, this roll call was chatty and super amazing and I could tell from the little involvement I did have, they know how to have a good time. There were so many awesome people on there that more than went out of their way to help others. (More on this later if I can remember).


I booked a flight later in the day...since I still had to work the day of our flight. I have to admit, I definitely like flying out later in the day instead of getting up at the crack of dawn to catch a flight. Let's be serious, for me, mornings come at 3 different times: 1) Early, 2) Too Early and 3) Way to Early. If people were meant to get up at the crack of dawn, alarm clocks would never have been created right?


Our flight was for 3:55pm. They have been doing a lot of work on the Southwest area of the airport and it's looking nice.





Once we checked our luggage in and made it through security, we headed to our gate to find this...




Our 3:55pm flight has been delayed until 4:55pm. Well crap. We decide to find a seat and Sakari pulls out her newly purchased-fresh notebook-for-drawing and settles in.


But wait, I look out and our plane is actually sitting there! Why are we not boarding?




I believe the SW reps were reading my mind because about that time they made an announcement that "yes indeed, this is your transportation to warm weather...however, that warm weather in Florida has caused some storms and the delay lies with them. So, once we are cleared in FLL, we will have you on your way."


There was a major storm that hit the north western US a few days prior to leaving. People on our roll call had found out that their flights 2 days prior to the cruise had not only been canceled that day but canceled the following day as well. YIKES! My heart sank and all I could do was think how awful this would be to have all the flights for the next few days canceled and not be able to make your cruise. But I'm telling ya, this was an amazing group...NOTHING stopped them. Shortly after their "canceled flights" announcement came, pictures started being posted of them on the freeway, going 30 mph in a blizzard...heading to Florida from places such as Colorado and Minnesota...on a 2-3 day journey to head to their beloved Breeze. Now that's dedication!!! People came together and checked various surrounding airlines and airports trying to find anything that they could drive to and fly the rest of the way. But, I believe they all ended up driving the entire route.


We only had the 1 hour delay and it was due to the kick-back of the weather and canceled flights from around the US and not due to anything major on our end. I was relieved.


At 4:41, we were on the plane and ready for take off.





Since watching so many documentaries on plane crashes on Netflix, Sakari now holds my hand during take off. I'm sure it's because she doesn't want me to be scared or worried. Such a little protector.




Daddy, well he's just over there not paying attention at all while connected to the plane wifi and watching a movie. Don't he wear pink well? We had to giggle and Sakari thought it was cute that he wanted to use her headphones.




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Up, up and away we went.







It's always so beautiful and peaceful up here.





We were given our complimentary snacks for the short 2+ hour ride.




Is it bad that I get excited when we get something other than the peanuts and pretzels? I call this a good day when you get a mixture of treats.


At 7:20pm we were in Florida and getting close to landing. I spotted a housing community that every house was considered water front property. It was pretty neat...just nothing but houses, streets and water on each side. Well, unless this was due to all the storms that rolled in...then maybe not so neat. (To the left in the pic)




Touchdown at 7:25 and we were safe.





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We picked up our luggage and headed outside by 8pm. I called the hotel for the shuttle and headed to the "shuttle pick up" area. We were told on the phone that the traffic was bad and they should be there in about 30 minutes. No biggie for us. It was warm out, we had already shedded our jackets and we were busy listening to the birds...they.are.crazy.birds!







Of course there's always plenty to do when waiting on the shuttle...just car/van watch. There's some interesting things that go by...like this Flamingo Truck...





Our driver arrived at 8:30pm sharp, just like they said. We stopped to pick up a few others in the terminal and off to the hotel we went.

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This time around (since we always book some place different each time) we decided to book the Ft Lauderdale Airport Cruise Port Inn. They are located at 1800 N Federal Hwy in Ft Lauderdale. Reports showed that this used to be the Comfort Inn and had recently changed names and been renovated. We got a decent deal, using a booking agent, and didn't have any problems once we arrived.




The location was decent with a few places across the street to eat at: Burger King, Taco Bell, Dennys and even a CVS right next door.


Loved the decor (the blue and greens always remind me of a Southbeach theme):





Dining area for the free hot breakfast, included with your stay, in the morning.














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The same colors of the hotel flowed into the rooms.


We had a queen bed and a sofa that pulled out into a bed for the munchkin.








There was a desk to work at





Do you notice the floor in this picture?





Most of these hotels I have ever stayed at (especially Spring Hill Suites) always have a small wall dividing the "bedroom" from the "living room" if the room involves a fold out sofa. It looks like this room must have had the same set up, but the wall was removed and they must have done this after remodeling. Weird.





This is the van that shuttles you back and forth from the airport, or to the port if you are catching a cruise ship there.




Notice how it says Holiday Inn on it? Then it also says Ft Lauderdale Cruise Port as well? Yea, this provides for a lot of confusion to people trying to get rides from the airport. He was flagged down so many times and ended up with a lot of angry people standing at the airport when he told them this was not their shuttle going to Holiday Inn. They argued, he tried to explain they service BOTH hotels, but he was only servicing Ft Lauderdale hotel and not Holiday Inn. Then to throw more confusion in to the mix, he told them there were 2 other shuttles coming, both looking like his with the names on them, however, one goes to 1 of the hotels and the other goes to a different Holiday Inn. While I didn't pay too much attention to what was going on, I do know that the word "Express" on the side meant the difference between the 2 Holiday Inn locations as well. My goodness...what a mix up and some angry people left standing behind as we pulled away.

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The same colors of the hotel flowed into the rooms. We had a queen bed and a sofa that pulled out into a bed for the munchkin. Do you notice the floor in this picture?



Thank you so much for doing the review.

Great pictures and great descriptions to follow along.

The Breeze & Magic are on my list 'must-cruise' ships.


:) A polite & friendly request to posters here:

Please edit the 'quote' when you quote posts to reply, especially when it is replied to pictures. It just makes the whole thread unnecessarily long.:)

Edited by hirent
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We were starving and hadn't had anything to eat since that morning for breakfast before work, other than those yummy non-filling chips mixture on the plane, so we decided to head out for food.


When you walk out the door, directly ahead of you on the side street, is Taco Bell. Quite honestly, I have grown to hate Taco Bell after getting good authentic Mexican food in the Caribbean and I try not to eat here often. But, we were tired, we were hungry and I didn't want to go far...or even cross the main busy street when it was dark out. So, I gave the hubby my "ok" to eat there, since we weren't cruising to any Mexican ports this time...I would have to settle for this (he usually gets some grunting and one of those looks like "you better pick somewhere else fast" when he mentions it any other time back home).


On the way, Sakari insisted that I take a picture of the beautiful flowering tree outside. You would think she's never seen flowering trees before...oh wait, it has been winter in Ohio for quite a few months. Maybe she just forgot.





Yummy dinner...not.




I ordered something new on the menu that looked really good...stuffed cheese in the middle of the taco shell itself...that had NO stuffed cheese in it as indicated and did not look anything like the advertised picture. Sigh.


Back to the hotel we went, un-stuffed and unsatisfied, and missing the cheese I had hoped for, but still tired. I dropped the family off at the room, grabbed some dollars and headed back downstairs to get some snacks. That might do the trick since this dinner was not satisfying.


Here I would encounter a family who was furious and yelling at the guy at the front desk. She was trying to hold her cool, but things escalated quickly. They drove 26 hours to this hotel to stay over night. They booked AND paid for it back in December. She also called the hotel and spoke to the lady at the front desk at 6pm and told them they would not be arriving (due to driving) until around midnight. The lady told her it was no problem and it was fine no matter what time she got there and they had her reservation. Well...obviously not...they gave her room away. There were 4 adults and no room left for them. They offered to give her a 1 bedroom room and of course that set her off about having 4 adults and how were they supposed to all sleep on the same bed. He called supervisors, managers, other staff...sigh. I felt so bad for her and her family. They offered to put her up in another hotel 4 miles down the road, which she refused at first, then also refunded her money. In the end, she decided to take the room down the road, not that there was any other option, but still. :( It gave me a nauseous feeling inside to know that our roll call people were also having to drive long distances to the cruise port and to have something like this happen after such a long time on the road...it made me sick and I felt so bad for them. It did not sit well with me about this place.

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I set the alarm for 8ish, but was so excited and was up before it went off. I did a mad dash outside to see what the weather was going to be like. I'm so use to cold weather one day, hot weather the next that I know that a brightly shinning sun does not always mean it's warm out.




It was beautiful out and the sun was shinning and it was warm! That meant we could wear shorts for boarding if we wanted. I made sure to snap a few pictures of the sun, the palm trees, and a screenshot of the weather channel showing how hot it was, and send back home to my daughter, Kendra and dil, Courtney with the title "This could be you right now, but it's not, it's me." :D


Time to get the family up and dressed for breakfast. I knew we still needed to get pop (soda) for the cruise since we didn't do it the night before due to being late.


We headed down to breakfast and...oh my gosh! It was so crowded!!! You had to stand in long lines that wrapped around from one side to the other. Geesh! I have never encountered this before at any of the other hotels.


When we finally got our food, quite honestly, I didn't feel there was a lot to chose from like most places. Then the problem was there was no place to sit...AT ALL! Everyone knows that I'm a "fairly" calm person and roll with the punches. However, one thing that always gets me fired up is people that sit down and take up space at a table when they are finished eating. Just sitting there...with their entire family...done with their meal...just chatting. Seriously? Show some respect! You can go somewhere else and "chat". There are no seats and no place to sit to eat. Ever try having a child hold there plate standing to eat? It doesn't work.


We ended up in the lobby on the chairs and sofas. I pulled up this little weird stand with not much room on it for my table. The hubby sat in a chair and held his. Sakari sat in another chair and used an end table as her table. It was rough and several times me trying to bend my head down far enough over my plate to put food in my mouth did not pan out too well. I dropped eggs on the floor as it rolled off my plastic fork. I'm getting aggravated and I looked at the hubby and said "Oh well, there's nothing I can do about it. They need more space." Then Sakari was having some issues with opening up her cereal and pouring it into her Styrofoam bowl. I scooted down to her couch (we were all spread out remember) to help her. While I was helping her 2 ladies came by and said "Is this table available...are you done?" AND THE HUBBY SAID YES!!! I turned around to them removing my plate of food and putting theirs down and sitting! Are.you.freakin.serious??? My blood pressure just shot up and after not having a place to sit and enjoy breakfast in the first place, that ended up setting me off and I stormed out like a child. Well, not really, I'm pretty sure Sakari can do it better than me, but I have been watching her closely and I'm pretty sure I got pretty close to one of her stomp-outs. Of course the hubby got an earful later and stated that he thought I was done eating...seriously? I stopped for a moment to help our daughter with her food, food was still on my plate (what was not on the floor) and I was fricken starving still! How could you possibly think I was done eating? I was not about to go back and stand in that long line again just to get some more crappy tasting eggs and still have no place to sit.


Time to head to the store for some pop and forget the belly is growling from hunger. I would just have to wait until we boarded the ship and I would make sure that the hubby paid his dues for this one until that happened. (Not really, I forget about things too easily and I'm pretty sure I forgot about 1/2 way to CVS...which is just next door). LOL It's so hard for me to stay mad for long. I'm pretty sure I have dementia setting in most days. :p


So back to the room we went to get ready. Then all of a sudden...GASP! My first item I forgot at home, still sitting on my desk no doubt, would be discovered: my entire make up bag! All of my make-up, clippers, finger-nail polish, tweezers and all is in this bag. Sigh! Of course I joked about it on our roll call and these amazing people started not only offering suggestions (like going some place nearby to waiting and buying some Clinque on the ship) to offering to meet up with me on the ship and letting me use theirs. I'm telling you, these people were so nice and helpful any time someone had a problem. (Another family was robbed on South Beach with everything taken...including the keys to their car, and everyone was ready and willing to chip in and get them needed things, suggestions on how to go about getting on the ship with no ID's and so on. Seriously, this was one caring group that I really wish I would have gotten to know better).


So even though others offered to give me some, I really only wanted some for our pictures to board the ship. I tan very dark very easily and after a few days you won't catch me wearing make up a majority of the time anyhow because I can never find any dark enough. I would have to force myself to purchase some cheap CVS make-up and just live with it for a day or two. Thank goodness I'm glad to report, this would be the only thing I forgot this cruise.


On our way back to the hotel, the hubby discovered that our pull along travel bag was leaving a trail. We ended up with a few pops busted somehow. It just happened to be my pop as well. Just my luck! LOL



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I just spent the last hour typing up the next segment, while arguing with Kendra about her taxes on another screen and decided I couldn't concentrate on both and closed out the wrong screen. :eek: :mad: So now I have to start all over.



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Marking my spot! Now to go back and read!!!! I am so excited to see how you liked it. I had some friends that just sailed in Feb that were less than thrilled, but some of it was I think they had different expectations.

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For our transportation this time, we decided to book with Jiffy Jeff (thanks to people on here referring it as another option to use). We have used both SAS and MJS in the past and all of these places charge about the same. For the 3 of us, they charged $15 per person. If you have more, they charge less.


My check in time for the ship was for 11:30am. When I signed up for the transportation, I picked a time of 10:30am pick up. When I received my confirmation, they said they had changed my time to 11am due to the fact that they give priority to the cruisers at the port returning first. I had picked 10:30 because it's a half hour drive there and if there's any traffic or construction, that could delay you some. Then you have to check your luggage in and then I usually head to take pictures before getting in line. I don't like to be rushed or feeling anxious about being late.


So that morning shortly after 10am, I get a call from them asking if they can pick me up in 15 minutes. Seriously? I thought maybe I had forgotten to wash my ears in the shower the previous night because they were the ones who had changed my time, not me. They repeated their question and yep, I heard them right the first time. I'm a planner and that includes timing. I was told 11am pick up. I timed our activities to include what time to get up, to eat, to get ready, to walk to the store for pop, to finish packing and getting down to check out with sparing at least 15 minutes before their arrival time. Most certainly no you can not pick us up in 15 minutes!! I hadn't even went to CVS at that point or finished packing or put on my new unmatching-skin-tone-cheap make up!


Skipping ahead after our visit to CVS, throwing on my clown face, finish packing and checking out... to 11am and they call me saying they are now running late and won't arrive until at least 11:15am! Seriously? First too early, now to late? Now I know they started this staggered check-in for a reason. I have read they enforce it and if you are not there when you are supposed to then you won't get to check-in with your group and are forced to wait until later. ???? I informed this to the driver calling me. He laughed and said "Eh, they just tell you that. They will let you board at any time, no worries." This kinda ticked me off knowing that I had read otherwise and he was just blowing it off like it was no big deal. Of course it wasn't him that would be forced to wait forever to board. At that point I decided if I get screwed out of my boarding time and I'm forced to wait until the last boarding time, I would drag his company name through the mud online with reviews. This wasn't cool.


I don't remember the exact time they showed up, but it was around 11:15am. We put our luggage in, climbed in the bus with others already on there and took off...IN THE WRONG DIRECTION. We were headed to the airport. The other people on the shuttle at this point were pissed and voicing their opinions out loud. They said they just came from the airport and had been circling picking up people and now going back? They weren't happy about it.


After all the aggravation this morning, I was super happy to see this...





There's something about the beauty of the ships all lined up in port that just soothes my heart and clears my mind. Such a beautiful site.




It's always amazing how you are staring at the ships in port on the right hand side, go into the tunnel of darkness and you are morphed to a different location and the ships end up on your left. It's magic I tell ya. Carnival should hire these magicians on their ships. I've seen shows were they make people disappear, but ships? Come on, tell me that isn't impressive?





We are pulling into the port, dropping people off at their respective ship locations and I spot her sitting there in all her glory. Man she's massive!




Wait, I do a double take and realize that's not even her. That's the Getaway. I was on the Getaway 2 years ago so you would think I know better, but I seen the water slides and got excited...and after all, I was in dreamland you know.


Ok...there she is! All better now.




We get out, check our luggage in and head for some pictures. I find it strange that some ports and some cruiselines allow you to check in your pop luggage and others don't. Carnival has allowed me to check it in at other ports and NCL has let me check it in at this port. I mean what's the difference? I don't get it?


Oh wait, I just remembered I was mad at the hubby this morning for giving away my breakfast seat, so...that means he gets the privilege of being the lucky one to haul around the luggage on the ship. Darn, I was so looking forward to that.






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