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First time cruisers on Breeze Eastern Caribbean. Review – Feb 15-22 2020


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Thank you for the words of encouragement about the review.

 

We did get a few pictures taken in the MDR on Elegant night and at the beach in Grand Turk.  I could view them on the app and took "illegal" screen shot of them for my memories.  Unfortunately, the packages were too expensive.

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Day 4 port day in St Thomas.

 

It was scheduled to arrive at 11:30 am so we had a leisurely breakfast in the Blush dining room. Kevin was wearing a Bill's shirt so we had a lot of people comment when we walked by other western NYers. Walked around the ship and I found the coffee bar😍

 

We did a city tour and beach break with Godfrey tour. St Thomas is a beautiful island with fewer than 65,000 island residents. It was hit with 4 hurricanes in 1995 and was rebounding before the 2017 massive hurricane Maria. While Puerto Rico had massive destruction, St. Thomas was equally impacted. Our guide was without electricity for 8 months and 95% of the island had some sort of damage. It does not take away from the beauty of the blue water, sunshine or green landscape. The tour guide kept thanking us for touring the island because they are so dependent on tourism.  Land vacation tourism is still very low and cruise tourism has on average 12 ships per week.  It was on average 25 ships per week before the 2015 and 2017 hurricanes.

 

We went to Mountain Top overlooking Magens Bay, and spent two hours at Sapphire Beach. The water was rough so we didn't snorkel but had fun in the surf. In hindsight we should have went to Megan's bay because it is calmer and clear.

 

We were back at the port by 5pm did some quick shopping (shocking right😂) and were back on the ship for dinner, a show and in bed early for our early port day in Puerto Rico. 

 

Puerto Rico was the deciding factor for taking this particular itinerary.  I was most excited for San Juan.

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Day 5 Port Day in San Juan Puerto Rico.

 

This is my favorite port. There is still many areas where you can see the hurricane damage but since it is a tourist destination they are rebuilding faster than the outer skirts. We walked the city and I was amazed by the history and beauty of the water and beauty of the city itself.

 

My uncle Pedro moved to the US in the 1970's and always wanted us to experience his country. Unfortunately we never did while he was still on earth but I felt his presence while I was exploring.

The ship was at port before 8 am so I was awake before sunrise to get pictures as we sailed in.  The pictures do not capture the beauty.  It looks like a fortress (think Game Of Thrones) and not very inviting but looking past the “wall” was breathtaking.

 

They announced that passengers could start to proceed to the gangway.  Luckily our cabin on deck two was a short two flight of stairs because we were off the ship within minutes. 

 

First we went to the visitors center to get a map and then walked the city.  Again, the info I found on this forum proved very valuable because a paid tour would not of given us a better experience, IMO.  The city is very walkable.  I truly believe that our self-guided tour provided us with an amazing experience that I will remember for years.  

 

We walked to the Governor's Mansion and the street where the Puerto Rican flag is now (previously umbrellas).  Self toured Cathedral of San Juan Bautista; this is the resting place of Ponce De Leon.  Walked to Parque de las Paloma (home of hundreds of pigeons and their poop, ick) and hiked to Castillo San Felipe del Morro Forte.  We explored the fort and then walked back Calle de la Fortaleza.  We found Barrachina restaurant (Home of the Pina Colada) and had lunch and Pina Coladas.  After lunch we walked more, shopped and walked more. 21,000 steps in 5 hours.  It was exhausting, breathtaking, inspiring and more.  This was my favorite port and I want to do it again soon.

 

On board just before 3pm. The Oasis of the Sea was docked next to us and both ships are gorgeous.  All of us watched sail away from our balcony and took a nap.

 

We ate a later dinner in main dining room, watched a show, enjoyed root beer floats on the lido and zoned out for a little bit while music or a movie (can’t remember) played on the lido. It was an early night again and we were in bed and fast asleep by 10 pm because the heat, walking and all the sun took a toll on all of us.

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Day 7 port day Grand Turk:

 

This is a carnival owned port and a short walk from pier to beach. It was a late morning arrival and I had planned a relaxing beach day so we were in no hurry to get off the ship right away. We ate a light breakfast (in cruise terms) in the dining room, walked the ship, played mini golf, checked out the shops and packed some items.

 

The line and wait time was well over an hour because it is a shorter pier and on the front two gangways were open.  We decided to eat lunch on the ship.  Went to Pig and Anchor bbq for lunch.  There Mac and Cheese was insanely delicious and even better topped with pulled pork.  We wander onto the beach around 1:15pm.  It was so busy since two Carnival ships were in port and we were the second to dock so we walked down the beach to a place called the Shark reef and rented 4 loungers and two umbrellas. I know they were free in the carnival area but it was too crowded to enjoy so we paid $30.

 

We enjoyed the water, it was clear, a gorgeous shade of blue and calm. Loved this beach a little bit more than St Thomas and the lounge chairs were nice to relax on. I was talking with a couple on the other ship, Elation, and they did a snorkel excursion that sounded amazing. There is a drop that goes from 40 ft. to 400 ft. then 1,000 ft and they saw nurse sharks, sea turtles, a barracuda and many other fish. Kind of regret not doing a snorkel but we had a great beach day anyway.  There were dogs on the beach that would just lay beside you wanting a pet that my son adored.  Drinks were good and the water was perfect.  It was a very relaxing last port day.  

 

Rain passed through about 2.5 hours into our beach time so we explored the port area. Kevin was getting antsy. He is not a sun worshiper so a couple of hours was awesome for him. 

 

Found the small NASA display on the other side of the beach area that is divided by the pier.  I  think this area has better views.  It is absolutely stunning.  Took pictures, walked a bit and shopped in the port stores.

 

We were on the ship 30 minutes before last passenger aboard time be because it was insanity getting off the ship when it docked. Thank goodness we did because the line was insane until right before the ship sail away time. 

 

That evening we went to the comedy club again.  My kids really enjoyed the Punchliner in Limelight lounge.  Had dinner in the MDR and chilled out on the lido eating more dessert and ice cream from Marketplace.  We wanted to try the pizza but the line was too long and we are from Buffalo and pizza is plentiful here so we didn’t want to wait.  

 

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Day 8 last cruise day and a sea day.

 

Our last day of true vacation. I woke up very early and headed to deck 11 to take sunrise pictures. The sunrise was stunning despite the clouds. When I came back to cabin, everyone was awake (truly a shock). We went to breakfast on the lido deck.  Finally had the famous breakfast burrito from Blue Iguana Cantina and they were delicious.

 

We went to find deck lounges. Fortunately we found four loungers on an upper deck but half shaded. I moved them so instead of facing towards the pool they faced aft (to the back). Rosie was in the sun but the rest of us were shaded. Didn't mind since we are not sun worshipers and had our quota in Grand Turk. About an hour later it down-poured and all of lido is drenched. Not us! We shifted a little more under the cover and stayed dry while people watching.

 

Around 1pm we had enough of lounging so we went to lunch. John and Kevin went to get burgers and Rosie and I went to get Italian. We met up for the chocolate extravaganza and gorged ourselves.  After lunch we went back to our cabin and sat on the balcony watching the water and packed for our return to Port Canaveral.

 

At 5:30, Rosie and I were walking to the fun shops for some last minute shopping and the captain made an announcement.  We were heading into bad weather, the seas may be rough and our arrival to port may be delayed. I made everyone take a bonine and wear sweatband just in-case.

 

We went to our last dinner around 7pm.  play some games in the arcade, took a family picture at pixels. At 9pm went up to see a comedy show. They wouldn't let the kids stay even with our permission because it was 18+ only. That was a bummer, so we went to the piano bar (not good at all and we tried it twice) and Ocean Plaza club to listen to music.  The band was awesome and the lead female singer was fantastic.  The kids went back to the cabin to take showers because they were bored and tired.  Kevin and I listened to music, played some slots and purchased souvenirs (I am a shopper).

 

Around 8/9 the ship began to rock a little at first. But 15 minutes later it was really swaying.  I mean like you had to hold onto the rails or walls or you would fall down.  NOTHING like the first night, it was much worse.   I wanted to get back to the cabin because the kids were down there alone and I DID NOT want to see anyone toss their cookies.

 

Then all of hell broke out. We sailed into the rough seas. 15-20 (so I was told) foot swells, the waves hit the ship so hard it sounded like logs crashing to the ground. The hangers were clanging constantly, and the deck chairs slid from side to side a couple of times. Thank god we were mid-ship deck 2. People on the higher decks were experiencing much worse. I heard, third hand, some guest were so scared they slept in the theater.  A friend of John’s on Deck 8 was literally thrown out of bed when one of the waves hit the ship.

 

By 3/4 am it calmed down a bit and I was able to sleep for a few hours. We had connecting cabins and Kevin slept in the kid’s cabin with John, while Rosie and I slept in ours. Rosie was scared but calm. And John?  That kid slept through the whole event!!!  I don’t know if it was a defense mechanism or the bonine knocked him out but he slept like a baby😂 W. We were not delayed at all due to the weather.  AND, by the grace of god, we were not at all sick from the motion. 

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That morning we ate breakfast like nothing happened the night before, debarked the ship and took a shuttle to Orlando for our flight home. Just like that our week vacation was over.  So much fun on our first cruise.  Despite the scary ending we had a great time and would cruise again. 

 

In fact, I did book another for next February!!  Guess I caught the cruising bug!!

 

Thank you for taking the time to read these long posts. Hope you all enjoy your cruises as much as we did!

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Thank you for your review. We went on our first cruise in 2004. 4 day out of Cape Canaveral on the Fantasy. We are now booked for number 50 and 51 on the Radiance in November.

So, you may find that it can be habit forming. We are retired so we have a lot of free time to cruise. You may get there too.  🙂

 

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Thanks for the review, sorry about the high rough seas. Well I missed the breeze, that I booked a back to back on

her for Mar 7, and Mar 14,  three days from now,  Eastern, and Western. cannot wait. Once again, thanks for

the review

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On 3/4/2020 at 3:47 PM, Acheavacci said:

That was a bummer, so we went to the piano bar (not good at all and we tried it twice) and Ocean Plaza club to listen to music.  The band was awesome and the lead female singer was fantastic

Oh no who was the piano man/woman?  That bums me out, we are cruising on the Breeze in acouple weeks.  Hopefully maybe there is a new person

 

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9 hours ago, maryhou said:

Oh no who was the piano man/woman?  That bums me out, we are cruising on the Breeze in acouple weeks.  Hopefully maybe there is a new person

 

His name was Craig.  He played beautifully.   But I didn't think he was very personable.  

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On 3/4/2020 at 7:29 PM, hurricane0226 said:

Thanks for the review, sorry about the high rough seas. Well I missed the breeze, that I booked a back to back on

her for Mar 7, and Mar 14,  three days from now,  Eastern, and Western. cannot wait. Once again, thanks for

the review

Back to BackL!!  I loved the Eastern itinerary and the Breeze. 

 

The cruise itinerary I booked for next February goes to Montego Bay, Cozumel, and Grand Caymen.  It is on the Horizon out of Port Miami.  

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On 3/4/2020 at 5:47 PM, tandemcruzr said:

Thank you for your review. We went on our first cruise in 2004. 4 day out of Cape Canaveral on the Fantasy. We are now booked for number 50 and 51 on the Radiance in November.

So, you may find that it can be habit forming. We are retired so we have a lot of free time to cruise. You may get there too.  🙂

 

Do you live within driving distance from several ports?  That's the disadvantage of living in Western NY.  Either fly to Florida, New Orleans or Norfolk or drive 5-6 hours to the port.  Not too bad to drive to the east coast ports, but I don't want to cruise from a cold weather area November - April.  

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1 hour ago, Acheavacci said:

Do you live within driving distance from several ports?  That's the disadvantage of living in Western NY.  Either fly to Florida, New Orleans or Norfolk or drive 5-6 hours to the port.  Not too bad to drive to the east coast ports, but I don't want to cruise from a cold weather area November - April.  

Same here. We are attempting to drive to Ft Lauderdale for the first time at the end of March. Praying for good weather for the drive. Cruising becomes much more expensive for us because of having to fly to ports. We would cruise more if we didn’t have to fly.

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My DH and I would love to cruise more frequently as well if we didn't have to buy airline tickets on top of the cruise fare. We could leave from Baltimore and do the Pride but we aren't over the moon in love with those itineraries. We are going on the Horizon in September and I cannot wait!!

 

I'm living through everyone else's cruises until then!

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4 hours ago, Acheavacci said:

Do you live within driving distance from several ports?  That's the disadvantage of living in Western NY.  Either fly to Florida, New Orleans or Norfolk or drive 5-6 hours to the port.  Not too bad to drive to the east coast ports, but I don't want to cruise from a cold weather area November - April.  

Yes, we live in middle GA. Easy drive for us to Jacksonville, Port Canaveral, Tampa, Charleston, SC and Mobile, AL. We have done two cruises out of Miami, but it is a longer drive and traffic can be scary.

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2 hours ago, tandemcruzr said:

Yes, we live in middle GA. Easy drive for us to Jacksonville, Port Canaveral, Tampa, Charleston, SC and Mobile, AL. We have done two cruises out of Miami, but it is a longer drive and traffic can be scary.

Any suggestions for us? We are looking for a community in GA that is within easy driving to ports, has a walkable town, plenty of shopping, and not a huge city. We want 50,000 or less population. Any suggestions for us? We are driving to our next cruise from Buffalo, NY and want to check out areas on our way home.

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