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stosto52

Carnival Breeze - 8/24 - 8/31

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Carnival Breeze 2019 Review

Sat 8/24 - 8/31

 

TL:DR - Second Carnival Cruise and most likely the last.  Just enjoy Royal Caribbean more. Loved Guy’s BBQ and Burgers and Blue Iguana Burritos. Did Not like Drink Limit, Amber Cove, Ship Layout.  No Major impacts from Hurricane Dorian, except for missing San Juan. 


 

About Us:

Family of Four - Myself (41), My Wife (30+). Daughters 2 and 4.  Our second Carnival Cruise. We have also sailed Celebrity 3 times and Royal Caribbean twice.  This is our second cruise with the Girls. Their first cruise was on the Oasis of the Seas in 2018.  

 

Thursday 8/22 - Fly Spirit out of Philly to Orlando.  Normal Spirit flight. Landed and drove to Embassy Suites Lake Buena Vista Resort. Checked in with no problems.  Nice room and hotel.

 

Friday 8/23 -  Spend the day at the Hotel Pool and Water play area.  Great Pool and Splash pad with Slide for Kids. We rented a Cabana for $50 right next to the pool.  We got a deal, usually $75 but when we went to buy told them we were going on a cruise and got a discount.  Cabana came with 8 Soft Drinks or Water, 2 Couches, and a small TV. At night, they play movies outside by the pool and we had a perfect view of the screen from the Cabana.  Overall, I would recommend the Hotel, however, it is showing some signs of age and could use a refresh. Staff and food were great.

 

Saturday 8/24 - After, I dropped the Wife and Kids off at the Cruise Terminal with the Luggage. I rented the rental car and took the shuttle back.  

 

 

Tip - The Rental Car Terminal is small and hectic.  I recommend dropping as much luggage and people off first at the Terminal and then dropping car off.  Made for an easier and quicker return. It took about 30 minutes to get back the cruise terminal.

 

Highlights and Observations - 

I am not going to do a Day by Day review.  Just some High and Low points

 

Embarkation Day - 

Check In and Security was as expected.  A little chaotic and hot. But, we were on the Ship in less than an hour.

 

Disembarkation Day -

We were off the boat by 9 am.  We took the rental shuttle back to the Car Rental Terminal, and were head to Orlando

by 9:30.  Pretty easy.

 

 

First Stop on the boat

To avoid the crowds on the Lido Deck and Pool, we went to Guy’s Pig & Anchor BBQ. Highly recommend, good food and nice view from Deck 5.

 

Stateroom - 

Balcony Room 6425

Overlooking Guy’s Pig and Anchor.  Standard Balcony with the Bed closer to the Balcony.  Couch and a pull down bed. The girls loved the bunk bed.  Beds were comfortable. Our stateroom attendant was everything you could ask for.  The room was cleaned multiple times a day. Always had a towel animal. 

 

Cruise Director - 

MarQ was great.  Very Personable with the kids.  

 

Captain -

Forgot his name.  Needs to work on his mic skills.  Between the announcements on the loudspeaker and in person, I could barely understand anything is was saying.

 

Hurricane Dorian -

Due to the Hurricane, we had to skip San Juan, PR.  A bit of a bummer, but nothing we could do about. Besides that, the weather was great the entire cruise.  Carnival kept us updated constantly with the Weather forecast and any possible changes due to the Hurricane. 

 

Grand Turk times changed due to Dorian.  Originally, we were going to be in Grand Turk in the Afternoon, then it changed to 8AM to 4 PM.  Then one last change, to leave a 2 PM.   

 

A lot people complained, but again, the Weather is the weather and Carnival's job is to keep the Ship, Crew and passengers safe.

 

Cleanliness - 

Ship was reasonably clean.  Bathrooms got messy at times, I blame the passengers more than the crew.  

 

A little bit of Sewer smell here and there.  

 

Coming from Royal Caribbean Ships, I was surprised at the lack of emphasis on hand washing.  Just a couple hand sanitizers walking into the MDR and maybe the Buffet. On Royal, you are almost to the point of being annoying, encouraged to Wash your hands.  Washy Washy. 

 

 

Stops - 

Grand Turk 

We got off the boat and walked towards Jack’s Shack.  The water and the view of the boat are great. The beach especially near the pier is crowded and not the cleanist.  We stopped by Margaritaville Pool to take a dip and wash the sand off. Nice pool and what you would expect from Margaritaville.  I would not say the Grand Turk is a skip for me, as it's a nice beach day the further away you get from the pier. However, I would not pick a cruise just to go back.

 

Amber Cove

In my opinion, a dud.  The pool is alright. But other than that, hard pass for me.  The same shops as in every port. Long walk down the pier with zero shade.  I will not book a cruise with Amber Cove as a stop.

 

St. Thomas

One of my favorite ports of call.  We did the Carnival Excursion to Meagan’s Bay. Love Meagan’s Bay.  Incredible views, crystal clear water, clean beaches, was not too crowded.  Definitely recommend.

 

San Juan

Skipped due to Hurricane

 

The Ship - Breeze

Waterworks - 

Kids and Adults both loved the water works and slides.  Great addition to the boat

 

Bars - 

Alchemy Bar - Great drinks, Fun and Lively Bartenders.  Spent a lot of time here

RedFrog Pub - Loved the Beers and drinks.  The setting is great being able to walk back and forth to the Alchemy Bar. 

RedFrog Rum Bar - Great Rum Drinks. Try the Red’s Rum Treasure

BlueIguana Tequila Bar - Pretty Good Margaritas. 

All of the other bars were good.  Decent selections of Beers. No just Bud and Bud Light.  A few IPA and Stouts.

 

Food - 

MDR - Average Nothing better Nothing Worse than expected. Great Service but the Food is Mediocre at best.

 

Buffet - No impressed with the food or selection.  Felt limited and no much variety. Breakfast and Lunch seemed to be the same every day.

 

Seaday Brunch - First Seaday it was great. Great Service and good food.  The second Seaday, very slow service and average food.

 

Cucina del Capitano - Only did the Lunch Pasta bar.  Really good both times. Service a bit slow on the second day.

 

Mongolian Wok - Wife liked it, but insane lines

 

Blue Iguana - Great Burritos, especially Breakfast

 

Pizza Pirate - Decent Pizza 24 hours a day

 

Guy’s Burger Joint - One of the best burgers I have ever had.  Worth the Hype

 

Shows and other Activities - 

Saw 88 Keys - High Energy fun.

The Music was pretty good - Seasharps were great in the Alchemy Bar and through the Ship.  The Country Duo were pretty good. The Violin player was great and interacted awesomely with my daughters

 

Kids Activities - 

The main reason we did Carnival was for the 2-5 year old in the Camp Ocean. Royal starts at 3 years old

Camp Ocean - Staff was great.  Both kids were in the Penguins Room (2-5 Year Olds) My oldest enjoyed Camp Ocean and always wanted to go back.  My youngest was not a fan. I felt like there was not as much structure/ activities with the kids as on the Oasis.  Mostly, it was kids choice. We used the Night Owls a couple nights, which cost $7 per hour after 10 PM

 

Dr. Seuss -

Dr. Seuss Parade was fun.  Started in the Limelight Lounge and made its way to the Main Theater.  After that, a reading of Horton Hears a Who lead by MarQ. Great Times

 

Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast - Wife and oldest went.  They enjoyed it. Not sure why you could not book through the Carnival App.  Had to call to book and no one answered. We managed to get on the waitlist and got it.  Could be a little smoother.

 

Towel Animal Story Time - A Lot of Fun.  Towel Animals as Puppets for the Kids. Great Time

 

Build a Bear - Great way to spend money.  The kids enjoyed it and loved the two animals.


Major Dislikes -

Drink Package - 15 Drinks a day is not a lot for some people.  I am 6-6 275lbs and i can drink. I would not mind the limit, if they allowed you to buy drinks afterwards.  It's a hard cap, once you hit 15 you are done. The logic is that no one can drink that much without problems.  So, I asked the Bartender will Carnival stop me from buying more than 15 drinks, if I did not have the package. He stated that there is no limit to buy drinks, if you pay as you go.  Hmmm….

 

Picture Package - Carnival Photo Staff takes great pictures.  However, you have to pay $20 per picture with a small discount if you buy more than 5.  Why does Carnival not offer an All Inclusive Picture Package? Royal and Celebrity do. I paid around $300 last year and around 150 pictures (Digital and Print).  On Carnival, I bought 5 pictures for $100 and got a metal print of two of them.  

 

The Boat - 

The boats layout was awkward.  Felt like I was constantly walking through the Casino to get to anything.  Dealing with the Smoke. Trying to go to Deck 3 for the MDR took planning since you can't get there from the Aft of the Ship or the Mid Ship Elevators.  You have to go to the Atrium.    

 

The Bathrooms -

Not very many.  Not marked well. Weird Locations.  If you are in the MDR on the 3rd floor and need to use the restroom, you need to either go out the MDR, through the Atrium towards the Theater and find the one restroom on the Port Side.  Or you can go out, the back door of the MDR, up to the 4th floor and down the Starboard side to find a bathroom. With a 2 and a 4 year old, that gets old really quick.

 

From the Alchemy Bar and Redfrog Pub, you either have to go to the restroom near the Casino or the back of the boat.  

 

None of the Restrooms have signs that you can see as you walk down the hallway.  It's on a sign on the door, that can only be seen as you walk by.

 

Other Passengers -

Most were great.  However, a small percentage can make things difficult.

 

Summary -

The Breeze is a nice ship with great staff, but not with out its flaws.  I would skip Amber Cove and Grand Turk.  St. Thomas is a great port of call.  

 

Overall,  A very good cruise but a lot of small things that  keep it from being a great cruise.  Also, solidified my belief that we prefer Royal Caribbean over Carnival.  Just my personal opinion.

 

I will try to answer any questions or comments.

 

Thank you


 

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From what you mentioned it was pretty much our experience when we were on the Breeze this past May.  Like you, we also taken many RC cruises and honestly, RC has the buffet laid out much more sufficiently and no lines.   We also felt crowded on this ship and had extreme long lines in the buffet breakfast, did you experience this also?

We also found the lunch buffet to be very lacking in variety/selection, I agree with you totally!!

We decided Carnival isn't for us any longer, and RC is our favorite cruise line but we are going to try Celebrity and are currently booked on two Celebrity cruises, I like to compare Celebrity to RC, but my sister/brother in law are currently on a Celebrity ship and they sending me photos of all the food, I am totally blown away seeing what is offered on Celebrity!!

 

Thank you for your review, we totally agree with what you mentioned.

 

 

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1 hour ago, bury me at sea said:

Thanks for your comprehensive review.

 

It's fair enough to enjoy chocolate more than vanilla and vice versa.  Happy sailing.

I agree completely 

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33 minutes ago, Cruisegirl6 said:

 

From what you mentioned it was pretty much our experience when we were on the Breeze this past May.  Like you, we also taken many RC cruises and honestly, RC has the buffet laid out much more sufficiently and no lines.   We also felt crowded on this ship and had extreme long lines in the buffet breakfast, did you experience this also?

We also found the lunch buffet to be very lacking in variety/selection, I agree with you totally!!

We decided Carnival isn't for us any longer, and RC is our favorite cruise line but we are going to try Celebrity and are currently booked on two Celebrity cruises, I like to compare Celebrity to RC, but my sister/brother in law are currently on a Celebrity ship and they sending me photos of all the food, I am totally blown away seeing what is offered on Celebrity!!

 

Thank you for your review, we totally agree with what you mentioned.

 

 

Celebrity is great for adults. With our two girls, Royal works better but I am sure we will be on another  Celebrity cruise at some point.  

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Thank you for the review. did you go to the comedy club at all? And did you try the chocolate melting cake?

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12 minutes ago, vicky3vicky said:

Thank you for the review. did you go to the comedy club at all? And did you try the chocolate melting cake?

We missed the comedy but heard the late night was funny

 

We had the melting cake twice. Taste good both times. But once was over done and not melting.  

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2 hours ago, stosto52 said:

Celebrity is great for adults. With our two girls, Royal works better but I am sure we will be on another  Celebrity cruise at some point.  

I forgot about the girls, yes RC is great even for couples lol

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11 hours ago, Cruisegirl6 said:

I forgot about the girls, yes RC is great even for couples lol

We have the Anthem schedule for November.  I am also planning Summer 2020 cruise, its either going to be the Oasis out of NJ, or Celebrity or Royal Southbound out of Alaska.  Just trying to make the budgets work.

 

 

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23 minutes ago, Cruise Traveler Susan said:

How long is the walk on the Amber Cove dock? 

Amber_Cove1.jpg

 

Not sure the length, but as you can tell from this Carnival Picture is pretty decent.  They do have for "free" Peddle Cabs that you tip the driver.  I think they need to add some shade.  Plus the wait to get back on the boat was lengthy and hot. 

 

 

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20 minutes ago, Cruise Traveler Susan said:

That is longer than Grand Turk dock for sure.  How much do you think the tip should be for the peddle cab?  And shade would be nice I agree.

Definitely longer than Grand Turk.

 

My wife and two daughters took the cab back to the boat. She tipped them $5.  Felt like a reasonable amount.  

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2 minutes ago, Cruise Traveler Susan said:

That's what I was thinking as well.  Thank you so much.

Anytime

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3 hours ago, stellarose said:

I thought they got rid of the Mongolian wok?

On the Sunrise and potentially future ships or retrofits.

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