On February 22nd, 2014, Scott and I met our friends, Tina & Rob, in Miami Florida; one night prior to sailing to the Western Caribbean for 6 nights on the Carnival Breeze. It was a wonderful way to celebrate our 5th Anniversary with lots of food, folks, and fun. Here are the highlights broken down by Ship Amenities, Excursions, and Food.
Carnival Breeze Ship Amenities
The Carnival Breeze is one of the newest vessels first revealed in 2012. That being said, this ship was in excellent condition (visually and aesthetically) and SPOTLESS. In fact, the number one compliment I would give would be in the housekeeping department. Hands down. This was my first kid-friendly cruise, so in spite of a decent percentage of children on board, there was never a mess left unattended within seconds.
My next compliment would be regarding the variety in activities and mini-establishments on board. From the fitness enthusiasts’ state-of-the-art sports deck…the kid-friendly water park…and adults’ only (a must for me) deck area, there truly is something for everyone.
My third compliment would be the afternoon and evening entertainment. Sadly, my 50% tank of energy typically emptied by dinner time, and so I was only able to get a taste of the offerings. However, our friends really enjoyed the interactive piano bar where a talented musician plays games in addition to just about any musical request. The comedy shows were very good, and I liked how they offered a PG rated version earlier in the evening. The live bands were excellent. And there were plenty of games and competitions for those who like a challenge. Although it was not amongst my favorites, the theater shows were varied and entertaining.
Last but not least, with so many options in food… it was nobody’s fault but your own if you did not end up culinarily satisfied! (My friend was even able to order Gluten Free meals that were specially prepared for her each night). Guy’s Burger Joint had ridiculous…and I mean RIDICULOUS burgers with several toppings’ options. You have to try at least one. The bar-b-que was equally delicious (we almost missed this). And whenever we opted for the full-service brunch, it was well worth the 30 minute wait. There was also culturally diverse food options offered daily from Indian, Mexican, Japanese (HUGE rolls), and Chinese. All very good.
I’ll keep this part brief. The ship was LOUD. Even at the adults-only deck, it was impossible for me to tune out the irritating sounds of 70s bah-bah-bah music with my iPod. That being said, for someone like me that not only enjoys but REQUIRES time to relax and recharge in the sun, this is a major downside. Obviously there is a time and a place for noise (the deck parties were fun) and so this wasn’t always a bad thing….only when you are anticipating time outside of your small cabin with reasonable peace and quiet.
Aside from typical downsides regarding cruising in general (some trips offer more time on the islands than others) I really can’t complain about the Carnival Breeze. Although next time I will be sure to look for an itinerary that offers more convenient times on the islands like 9am-6pm or something like that.
Just like any cruiser, Scott and I find it almost impossible to resist the extraordinary provisions per dollar on any cruise ship. With that comes a few sacrifices and inconveniences…privacy and personal preferences are amongst a few. Regardless, you get at least what you pay for.
Grand Turk is known as Carnival’s island in that Carnival owns a significant stretch of beautiful white sand. There’s also a huge resort pool fully equipped with Margaritaville (afternoon pool parties) and dozens of touristy shops.
This was our first stop which began at 7:30am in the morning. Scott and I mistakenly hurried to get on the island immediately as it would have made more sense to take advantage of a free breakfast on board. Not only that, but going anywhere at 7:30 for me is a challenge. So, in spite of having until 2:30pm to enjoy the beach, pool, and shops all I can remember is being too tired to fully enjoy anything. Of course, we made the most of it and had a you-guessed-it Margarita while listening to Jimmy Buffet and hanging out in the pool. I’m glad we didn’t book an excursion on this island. The best part is right where the ship docks; literally just a stroll off the boat. Again, loud music…party atmosphere…so this is not the place to bring a book or a pillow.
Our second stop was Ocho Rios Jamaica. Thanks to Trip Advisor, my 2nd favorite travel companion, Scott and I, along with our friends Tina and Rob, enjoyed an adventurous and breathtaking excursion with Peat Taylor’s infamous “Blue Hole Waterfalls Tour”. This was amazing! We were driven by Peat Taylor and son, in an air conditioned van, to this exclusive gem and turned over to a few expert tour guides. These men were not only super careful in helping everyone (even a few toddlers were climbing the falls and jumping down from cliffs); but they were entertaining as well showing off their dare-devil dives and flips into the water.
Our final stop was in Georgetown, Grand Cayman. Once again, Trip Advisor delivered. The four of us joined Captain Marvin’s Snorkel, Sting Ray City, & Beach Excursion. It was the perfect way to see the best part’s of Grand Cayman. The excursion allowed for just enough time to shop a bit back in Georgetown prior to departure.
The FOOD on the Carnival Breeze
Wow: Guy’s Burger Joint, The LANAI Bar-B-Que, Cucina Del Capitano*, The Dining Hall’s Beef Entrees (Brisket, Short Braised Rib), The Coffee Bar*(Better than Starbucks)
Pretty Good: The Steak House*, Sushi*, Mexican, Indian (Equally tasty), the desserts in general (just good).
Lame: The Dining Halls’ Produce, and the ship’s coffee. If you love coffee, you will prefer buying it at the coffee bar. I wouldn’t be surprised if these establishments purposely serve weak coffee to inspire the java lovers to tap into their wallets.
Overall, the food was good.
If you like to cruise and you prefer fun over R&R, I highly recommend the Carnival Breeze!