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Carnival Breeze, January 11-25: The Magical Mystery Tour - Infrequently Asked Questions


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This will be different than your traditional review in that it will be a series of questions that only a few people care about.  They are properly read in either a know-it-all snarl or a haughty better-than-you baritone.  Your choice.  I should note that my answers are only from my perspective.  Others may have had a different story to tell.  And your mileage may vary.

 

I should also warn you that this post is very, very long and I won’t be angry if you prefer to read the latest Coke vs. Pepsi thread instead.

 

Q: Did you have a CC meet & greet?  When?  Where?  How did they inform you?  How was it?

A: We had a meet & greet on the first sea day at 9:15 AM in the nightclub.  I got an invitation in my box and there was also a note in my paper copy of the Fun Times (not the app).  Attendance peaked at about 25 people, which I thought was more than respectable.  The cruisers I talked to and listened to seemed nice enough.  I didn’t say much.  Light refreshments were served - pastries, juices, water, probably coffee.  This was the first meet & greet that didn’t have anyone from the staff attend (other than the folks who put the spread out and cleaned up after us, who don’t count).  This was both disappointing and disorienting.  I left after about 15 minutes to attend the morning show.

 

Q: Coke or Pepsi?

A: Pepsi all the way.

 

Q: Was Guy’s open for breakfast like I heard was being tested on other ships?

A: Guy’s was never open for breakfast, just its usual hours from 12 to 6.

 

Q: Did you see any disgusting, offensive clothing?

A: None was noted.  There were a lot of people wearing port of call T-shirts (including yours truly).  I also saw a fair number of military-related baseball caps.  I never went in the MDR, so I can’t tell you if they were worn there.

 

Q: There is NO WAY anyone can travel on a cruise for 14 days with just a carry-on and a briefcase!  NO POSSIBLE WAY!!!!

A: I did it, the same as the other times I did it.  I got a few looks and gasps of stunned disbelief on this trip.  But it’s quite easy for me. I won’t get into the details of how I pack, but it will suffice to say that I used almost everything I brought.

 

Q: Why are you nicknaming this cruise “The Magical Mystery Tour”?

A: Because the itinerary changed A LOT from the time I booked it.  A couple of months after I booked, Carnival decided they didn’t like Antigua and removed it, replacing that stop with Tortola.  Three other ports and one sea day were shuffled to make room.  After we departed Port Canaveral, we had to fight 20-30 knot winds from the east all the way to St. Croix.  Finally Captain Vittorio (I’ll talk more about him later) gave in and told us were going to be late getting into St. Croix.  So that was changed to an 11-6 stop.  We also got an extra hour in St. Maarten and Grenada, which were to be our next two stops.  But wait!  After our day in St. Croix, the Captain informed us that we couldn’t get enough fuel in St. Maarten the next day, so instead we would be heading to San Juan for a stop from 7-5.  St. Maarten was moved to the next Tuesday, and Tortola was moved to Wednesday (when our San Juan stop was oringially scheduled).  That was it for the changes, though we did stay a little long in Barbados (refueling difficulties) and Tortola (medical emergency).

 

The only port that was unaffected by all of these changes was St. Kitts.

 

Q: So, how much OBC did you get?

A: Ha ha.  Surely you jest.  No OBC was offered for any of this.  And I’m fine with that.  I didn’t hear any of my fellow cruisers complain about it.  Some excursions were canceled, and I’m sure refunds were issued for those.  Some other excursions had their times changed.

 

Q: OMG, Puerto Rico got ROCKED by a 5.2 quake while you were there!  How bad was San Juan damaged??

A: The quake’s epicenter was in the southwest corner of the island, about 100 miles away from SJ.  I didn’t feel or notice anything.  I didn’t see any damage.  It didn’t affect our stay or cruise in any way.

 

Q: How was the safety briefing?

A: My cabin location meant that my muster station was on the lower level of the main theater.  This was only my 2nd briefing on Carnival away from the lifeboats.  Other than that, it seemed standard if a little slow.  The lifejackets had a strap down main street, which I definitely DO NOT approve of.

 

Q: Was there anything else you didn’t approve of while you’re in whine mode?

A: Yeah.  How come you Breeze fans didn’t tell me about the background music in the cabin hallways? This, I assure you, is not one of Carnival’s better ideas.  One thing Nono’s announcements was good for was drowning this out.  

 

Q: How did you like your cabin down in steerage?

A: I liked it a lot.  The portholes were good to see out of, the bed was comfortable, it had all the equipment I needed, and lots of space.  It got a little bumpy at times when the ship was moving fast and/or in high seas, and the thrusters sometimes provided an unwanted wakeup call, but I really enjoyed hanging out there.

 

Q: So, how did you and cruise director Nono get along?

A: The short answer is as a CD I found her suitable for ordinary use.  The longer answer is here: 

 

Q: Is there anything else you want to say about your fearless leader?

A: In addition to the noon seaday announcements that are standard for most Carnival captains, Vittorio made an announcement each day we were in port, telling us about the weather we had, what we’re expecting that evening, and the day tomorrow; sometimes some other items of interest.  He also made the other announcements when our plans had to change.  I thought his English was quite good and his messages didn’t really need to be repeated five minutes later, but Nono sometimes did it anyway.

 

Q: How was Motor City?

A: I liked it.  I liked the songs, the dancing, and the basic theme.  No plot.  I realized midway through the show that I had seen it before on either the Splendor or Horizon a year or so earlier.

 

Q: How about 88 Keys?

A: I liked this one too, though less than Motor City or Epic rock.  I think I would have liked it better if our piano guy Nick would have played and sung all the songs.  

 

Q: Any hangouts you’d like to talk about on the Breeze?

A: Sure.  I did a lot of my recreational reading in the Piano Bar 88 on Deck 5 Aft.  I chose the same seat almost every day.  Most of the time in the early morning it wasn’t very busy.

I’m pretty sure the casino was the largest I’ve seen on a Carnival ship, even bigger than the one on the Horizon.  I liked the general layout of the main theater, though the many posts weren’t appealing to sit behind.  

 

Q: I heard you went sailing during the college football championship and the NFL Conference Finals.  Were any of those played on the big screen?

A: They all were.

 

Q: (insert random whine about there never being enough seating in the comedy club for the adult shows)

A: We were in luck on this cruise.  Three of the comedy duos had their adult shows back-to-back in the main theater.  Since they were at 11 or 11:30 PM, I didn’t actually attend any of them (past my bedtime).

 

Q: Did ship’s time change on your Magical Mystery Tour?

A: Nope, not at all.  We were an hour behind the local time in every port.

 

Q: How much of the port fees were you refunded?

A: This was one of the rare times I didn’t get a refund.  I think the port fees actually increased between the time I paid for them and the time of the cruise.  I saw a $10.41 charge floating around my account before being taken off a few days later.

 

Q: Did you connect online while you were cruising?  How much was it?  How did it perform?

A: In St. Croix and San Juan my cell phone was about to connect to 4G.  St. Croix was slow and erratic most places I bothered to check.  San Juan was better but not great.

 

I tried to find free WiFi in Barbados, St. Kitts, and St. Maarten.  The best connection I could find in any of those places, by far, was the Ma Pau Casino in St. Kitts, right off the dock.  The one bad thing about it is the range was limited, so 100 feet away the connection faded to nothing.  I was able to connect to Diamonds International’s guest WiFi in all three ports.  It was slow and spotty, but slightly better than nothing.  All of these connections were free.

 

I bought two separate days of Internet access from the ship.  Those cost $16 each for the Value plan.  It would have been $168 for the whole cruise.  The connection seemed good most of the time, most places I checked.  The ping was slow, but I was actually able to stream some YouTube videos.  Here’s how I did it.  I used the (Android) app instead of a browser.  I had to put up with some hesitation at the start and sometimes during, but most of the videos I tried worked surprisingly well.  Your mileage may vary.

 

Q: What magical moments did you have on this trip that you haven’t mentioned so far?

A:

  • BBQ spare ribs for lunch!
  • Comedy club manager and trivia host Brad confessing that “Uptown Girl” was one of his favorite songs.  It’s one of mine too.
  • Getting 18 out of 20 at Billy & Elton trivia and nearly stealing a boat on a rope
  • Grenadian tour guide Helen talking about the rough times her family had during the 1983, um, “disturbance”
  • Getting a nice photo out of my porthole at sunset in Barbados
  • Tortolan tour guide Dennis flying up and down the numerous hills and narrow roads.  No windows, no doors, no seat belts, no problem!
  • Answering the easiest possible question for my ship on a stick during the throwback sea day
  • The excursions desk having schedule sheets for 2020-22 which were only a little out of date.

 

That's all the questions I could think of that you weren't going to ask.  If you have any real questions about the cruise, put them in this tread and I'll answer them.  Thanks for reading!


 

Edited by Honolulu Blue
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Appreciate your comments, thanks!

 

Just a quick comment of my own about the safety vest strap - I'll guess it's there between the legs so that the vest is held in place and doesn't hit your neck and snap it if you have to jump off the ship into the water.  I've heard a broken neck, not drowning, is the main cause of death when pax abandon ship like that - I was even told to cross my legs and use both hands to hold the vest down if I had to jump.  Hopefully this is factual and not maritime folklore or myth.

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50 minutes ago, evandbob said:

Appreciate your comments, thanks!

 

Just a quick comment of my own about the safety vest strap - I'll guess it's there between the legs so that the vest is held in place and doesn't hit your neck and snap it if you have to jump off the ship into the water.  I've heard a broken neck, not drowning, is the main cause of death when pax abandon ship like that - I was even told to cross my legs and use both hands to hold the vest down if I had to jump.  Hopefully this is factual and not maritime folklore or myth.

 

You'[re welcome.  And I'm sure you're right about the additional strap on the safety vest - it does add an additional way to hold it in place, but (IMHO) the price is too high.

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55 minutes ago, MzOhioLady said:

Thanks for doing the review. It was different but I liked it just the same. I liked that you did change it up a bit. I think Change is Good and I usually embrace Change with a Smile. 

 

Thank you for your kind words.  This cruise did some different things and I appreciated that.

 

As for WiFi, I did find (as I always do) it did work best when few people were active.

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Question about football!! (sorry, not sorry LOL) 

 

I know there's no Sky Box sports bar, but one up in the sports area on a higher deck! We're football fans (fanatics), aside from the big screen-worthy games, is there another spot to catch some games? We'll be on this ship for a B2B in late Oct/Nov this year! Just wondering best place to watch games??

 

TIA

 

Great style review!!

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51 minutes ago, BrezQ said:

Question about football!! (sorry, not sorry LOL) 

 

I know there's no Sky Box sports bar, but one up in the sports area on a higher deck! We're football fans (fanatics), aside from the big screen-worthy games, is there another spot to catch some games? We'll be on this ship for a B2B in late Oct/Nov this year! Just wondering best place to watch games??

 

TIA

 

Great style review!!

 

First of all, thank you for your kind words!

 

And second, the bar in the casino has several TVs and is the most likely spot to have your football games.

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