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grandmarnnurse

Carnival Breeze Review March 2-9, 2019

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We just got back from our cruise on the Breeze, and thought I’d share some thoughts on this ship, and opinions on Carnival, as this was our first cruise back with them since 2007, Cruising RCCL and NCL since then. We initially booked this cruise as I had a lot of rewardpoints on my Carnival Mastercard that I wanted to redeem, and with us now being totally retired, our budget was smaller, and we had to go with the best value. I booked an inside cabin on deck 8, and included the prepaid gratuities and trip insurance, then paid it in full onmy credit card at booking, and earned double points to add to my total. The cruise total was $1969 (If I remember correctly). I then redeemed $1200 worth of rewards towards my credit card balance, and cruise ended up costing me a grand total of $769 for this 7 day cruise for two in an inside cabin with all gratuities and insurance paid. Pretty darn good, huh? I booked it over one year out, and through the months leading up to cruise, I continued to redeem reward points for bar credits. For every 5,000 points, I received $50 bar credits. I had $350 bar credits when I set sail.

We flew in to Orlando on Friday March 1, and stayed at the Country Inn and Suites on Astronaut Blvd. We used Smart Two Shuttle service from MCO to hotel, that worked out great. There was an excellent Italian Restaurant right down the street from hotel that we enjoyed that evening. On Saturday March 2, we took the hotel shuttle to port at 9:30am. We had FTTF, and breezed through to the waiting area within 10 minutes from stepping off shuttle. We began to board just before 11:00, after the D&P and weddings, dropped our bags in our cabin (8302) and went in search of lunch. We just grabbed something from buffet that day.

PORTS

Amber Cove—-a great pool area with plenty of loungers, but if you need shade, get off ship early as they fill up fast. No excursion done.

St Thomas—we did book the Magens Bay Beach Getaway with Paradise Sky Ride. We were very disappointed with excursion. We would have expected that lounge chairs would be available to those that paid for this excursion, but they wanted not only a fee for each lounger, but an umbrella as well. For the short 2 hours we were to be there, we did not purchase those rentals, and stayed in bar area the whole time. This beach is often rated as the best beach in the Caribbean, but it is not. I’ve been to far better beaches. Then we were told to wait in an assigned area for our bus driver at a specific time. We were all there waiting, and our driver was one hour late—no exaggeration there— standing in the heat, with many of us feeling almost faint. Then we move on to the Sky Ride. It should have explained in excursion description that when you have to get on the Sky Ride car, it is moving and you have to jump on it while it is moving! This was not something that was easy for me, as I’m a post bilateral TKR, and not that agile. End result, we never got out at top, as we would have had to repeat the jump out while moving, and just did it to get out at bottom. I’m sure it would have been perfectly fine for people that are either younger, or more agile. My only complaint was that it was not explained in excursion description, because if it was, we would not have booked it.

San Juan—-we always love San Juan, as we’ve been here many times, even sailing out of San Juan twice. We just love walking all over Old San Juan. 

Grand Turk—-this was a beautiful beach. We had issues with the available loungers here, also. We heard that all longers were free, and even as we got off ship we were told, yes, they are free. Once we got to beach and settled into loungers with an umbrella, we were made to leave area because the loungers closest to water DID have a fee, and only those behind them with green umbrellas were free. By the time this happened, all the green umbrellas were taken. We did find two loungers back by Margaritaville under a palm tree that worked for us,but they need to clarify this issue. We are told they are free, but then they are not. 

CABIN

Inside cabin on deck 8 (8302). Excellent location,not far from atrium elevators. And we deliberately chose deck 8 to be sandwiched between two cabin-only decks for peaceful sleep. It worked out well. The cabin was small, but all insides are small, and it was more than adequate. We are only in cabin to shower, dress, and sleep, so no need to break the bank on a pricier cabin. It fits our retirement budget perfect. Let me say that Carnival’s bedding is the most comfortable we have slept on when cruising! Loved it! I do wish Carnival would get rid of shower curtains, and go with glass door showers. Water was always splashing out on floor. Both RCCL and NCL have glass enclosed showers.

FOOD

Where do I begin? The food was awesome! Every single dinner in the MDR was hot and delicious with plenty of variety. We had YTD in the Sapphire Dining Room, Deck 3 fwd, and requested Roxanne and Jenni as servers every night. They were great! For breakfast, we found that if we wanted to eat in buffet, to get there early. The lines were awful. This was the only bad point on Carnival. On RCCL and NCL their buffets were set up with “stations”, that you just popped in the area you wanted, no waiting in some crazy line. We noticed that on port day, the lines were unbelievable, so we ate in MDR. We loved the Sea Day Brunch. My hubby always ordered the steak and eggs, and I chose veggie omelette. For lunch, we avoided that crazy buffet line by grabbing either Guys Burgers, Blue Iguana Tacos or Burritos, Pig and Anchor BBQ, pizza, or Pasta Bar. All excellent choices! 

ENTERTAINMENT

We went to comedy shows nearly every night. This was great, as on NCL, we never got in if we didn’t book it ahead of time. The Punchliner Comedy was in the Limelight Lounge and filled up fast. We would get there 30 minutes before show to get seats. We also loved all the variety of music all over the ship. There was always something to please everyone. We also played trivia games in Ocean Plaza, that was fun. The shows in theater were sub par. We saw all of them, but think we’ll pass next cruise, as they cannot compared with the Broadway caliber shows on RCCL and NCL. Perhaps we got spoiled from the other lines in this area, but these shows were almost laughable when you compare them. I kept hearing from people to see the show Flick, as it was so good. In our opinion, it was not. And the Country Road show was just awful. I’m sure there are people out there that will disagree with me on this, and that’s fine. We can agree to disagree. The CD on this cruise was Donkey. He was fabulous, and the best CD we’ve ever had. Always out there getting the fun going! We had a great Sail Away Party on Lido on Day One, and a fun Mardi Gras Parade and Party on Fat Tuesday. There was also a Dr Seuss birthday party in atrium lobby area for the kids which was super! We did have a problem with all the smoke in the Casino. I knew they allowed smoking, but was hoping they confined it to one area, but they were everywhere. That pretty much cut our gambling time down. Oh, well, less money to lose! Lol! 

Well, I hope I covered everything. Feel free to ask any questions. 

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Thanks for the review, we're going on May 4th and again September 7th. Sounds like we will enjoy it. Haven't been on a larger ship for a while, so am expecting lines. Pays to be an early riser!

 

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Let me add that the ship was gorgeous! Just beautiful! I also loved going to the Java Cafe every morning for a great cup of coffee. I’d bring one back for my hubby, too, to help him get moving for the day. They gave me a punch card, and after 6 paid coffees, you get one free. I did get two free coffees on this cruise. If anyone likes sushi, there’s a great sushi bar onboard that was always busy. Also, there’s a Seafood Shack on 10aft by Tides Bar and pool. There’s a fee associated to both the sushi and seafood shack. 

I also visited the Spa for a mani/pedi. It was heaven! The workers in the Spa were very attentive and pleasant. 

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Thanks for taking the time to write a review! We loved the Breeze so much in October we booked again for Christmas. I agree with you about the lines at the buffet. They are really bad but thankfully there are other choices. I like RC buffet setup much better. Glad you enjoyed your cruise!

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Sorry you had a bad experience in St Thomas and Grand Turk.  There are numerous threads in the Grand Turk pork of call section the detailed the chair issue.  Also you could have read the Paradise Point and Magens Bay reviews on trip advisor to know about the cable car not stopping and the chair rentals at Magens Bay.  All the info is readily available in today's computer age.  I start with Cruise Critic for cruises and then head over to trip advisor for shore excursions or land based vacations.

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Thanks for the review! We sail next summer on the Breeze with what sounds like the same itinerary. 

 

I was hoping for less smoke in the casino. We ended up not spending any time in there on the Sunshine for the same reason, but the Dream wasn’t that bad and we enjoyed it for a little each night. Maybe we’ll luck out and be on a cruise where many of the smokers hate the casino 😉 

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts! We are looking forward to experiencing the Breeze next summer!

 

Did you do do any of the movies by the pool?

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Thanks for posting your review.  Have. Been on the Breeze 4 times, she is close to the top of the pile in terms of our fav ships.

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7 hours ago, d-train said:

Thanks for sharing your thoughts! We are looking forward to experiencing the Breeze next summer!

 

Did you do do any of the movies by the pool?

Yes, we did. We saw Instant Family, Crazy Asians, Bohemian Rhapsody, and just because we were too exhausted to do anything else one evening, Ralph Wrecks the Internet(I think it was called that) LOL! My hubby loved the free popcorn! 

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11 hours ago, Eggs And Bacon said:

Thanks for the review! We sail next summer on the Breeze with what sounds like the same itinerary. 

 

I was hoping for less smoke in the casino. We ended up not spending any time in there on the Sunshine for the same reason, but the Dream wasn’t that bad and we enjoyed it for a little each night. Maybe we’ll luck out and be on a cruise where many of the smokers hate the casino 😉 

I just wish Carnival (and all cruise lines) would get on the same page and ban smoking, at least indoors at the casino. The majority of cruisers are now non smokers because we are an educated bunch of people that value our health, and the health of those around us. We would sit down at a machine, and no matter how well we were doing, had to leave when a smoker sat down and lit up near us. It was suffocating!! And it makes your clothes smell horrible. I’m a big proponent of totally smoke free cruises, but if they won’t go that far, then please ban it in any indoor areas, especially the casino.

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13 hours ago, moondog73 said:

Sorry you had a bad experience in St Thomas and Grand Turk.  There are numerous threads in the Grand Turk pork of call section the detailed the chair issue.  Also you could have read the Paradise Point and Magens Bay reviews on trip advisor to know about the cable car not stopping and the chair rentals at Magens Bay.  All the info is readily available in today's computer age.  I start with Cruise Critic for cruises and then head over to trip advisor for shore excursions or land based vacations.

I actually am a big researcher ahead of a cruise, using the Internet. I watch countless videos. But running and jumping on the cars at Sky Ride never came up. And in my honest opinion, when you pay for any excursion to a beach, loungers should be included. And all my research for Grand Turk said all loungers are free, do not listen to the locals. But when a security person sides with a local, we had to move. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, grandmarnnurse said:

I actually am a big researcher ahead of a cruise, using the Internet. I watch countless videos. But running and jumping on the cars at Sky Ride never came up. And in my honest opinion, when you pay for any excursion to a beach, loungers should be included. And all my research for Grand Turk said all loungers are free, do not listen to the locals. But when a security person sides with a local, we had to move. 

 

Here are 2 links I found in like 30 seconds from the Grand Turk Port of Call page

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2488570-beware-of-the-tourist-trap-beach-chairs/ 

Edited by moondog73

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Thank you for the review!  We've booked for Fall 2020.

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1 hour ago, grandmarnnurse said:

I just wish Carnival (and all cruise lines) would get on the same page and ban smoking, at least indoors at the casino. The majority of cruisers are now non smokers because we are an educated bunch of people that value our health, and the health of those around us. We would sit down at a machine, and no matter how well we were doing, had to leave when a smoker sat down and lit up near us. It was suffocating!! And it makes your clothes smell horrible. I’m a big proponent of totally smoke free cruises, but if they won’t go that far, then please ban it in any indoor areas, especially the casino.

My feelings exactly.  More non-smokers.  I don't gamble on ship's for specifically this reason.   Oh well, I guess I should thank Carnival for saving me money.  😉

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23 hours ago, grandmarnnurse said:

 

We flew in to Orlando on Friday March 1, and stayed at the Country Inn and Suites on Astronaut Blvd. We used Smart Two Shuttle service from MCO to hotel, that worked out great. There was an excellent Italian Restaurant right down the street from hotel that we enjoyed that evening. On Saturday March 2, we took the hotel shuttle to port at 9:30am. We had FTTF, and breezed through to the waiting area within 10 minutes from stepping off shuttle. We began to board just before 11:00, after the D&P and weddings, dropped our bags in our cabin (8302) 

 

We had to have run into, or passed one another several  times on this cruise. I stayed at the same hotel, and was on the same shuttle from the hotel. Not only this, I was in cabin 8273, about 8 rooms down the hall from you.

I enjoyed the cruise, and yes, Donkey was very entertaining. To me...…., the comedians could have been better. The first guy seemed to be drunk all the time.

I agree, the smoke in the casino was problematic, it was tiring going to level four to cross under the casino. Wait times for dinner was minimal, and the food was good.

For those that have never been, Cucina Capitano was excellent. I am vegan, so they went out of their way to provide dishes I could eat, plus they gave me three appetizers.

The shows in the atrium were better than the shows in the main auditorium, not saying that the Broadway type shows were bad. Several movies still in theaters were nice too.

Disembarking 4500 people went pretty smooth considering the amount of people. I would have no problem at ALL sailing the Breeze again.

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Thanks for your review, we have Breeze scheduled for Feb 29, 2020, I am a little concerned this might be a spring break week for some areas, did you find many spring breakers on your cruise?

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33 minutes ago, tinleypark andy said:

 

We had to have run into, or passed one another several  times on this cruise. I stayed at the same hotel, and was on the same shuttle from the hotel. Not only this, I was in cabin 8273, about 8 rooms down the hall from you.

I enjoyed the cruise, and yes, Donkey was very entertaining. To me...…., the comedians could have been better. The first guy seemed to be drunk all the time.

I agree, the smoke in the casino was problematic, it was tiring going to level four to cross under the casino. Wait times for dinner was minimal, and the food was good.

For those that have never been, Cucina Capitano was excellent. I am vegan, so they went out of their way to provide dishes I could eat, plus they gave me three appetizers.

The shows in the atrium were better than the shows in the main auditorium, not saying that the Broadway type shows were bad. Several movies still in theaters were nice too.

Disembarking 4500 people went pretty smooth considering the amount of people. I would have no problem at ALL sailing the Breeze again.

That’s so funny—-we must have passed each other several times! A fabulous cruise! 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, coscab said:

Thanks for your review, we have Breeze scheduled for Feb 29, 2020, I am a little concerned this might be a spring break week for some areas, did you find many spring breakers on your cruise?

Yes, it was a Spring Break Cruise. Many wore T-shirts they had made that stated “Spring Break 2019”. But it was no more crowded than any other time  the ship is full, and it was full. Just issues with the long buffet lines. No overly drunk individuals, but a lot of families. As for the issue with loungers at Grand Turk, I did write to John Heald concerning the matter, and he said that yes, ALL the loungers are free, even those closest to the water, and they are aware of the problem and are working to solve it. Grand Turk is a beautiful beach, and I will be back there in April 2020, so I do hope they get it resolved. 

Edited by grandmarnnurse

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Thanks for posting a review!! Just booked for the June! Can’t wait since last time we were supposed to sail the Breeze we got stuck in Houston with hurricane Harvey and the cruise was cancelled.

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