Line: Carnival Cruise Lines
Built: June 2012
Class: Dream class (along with Carnival Magic and Carnival Dream)
Routes: 8-day Southern and Eastern Caribbean cruises and 6-day Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises from Miami
Bargain hunters, families, and young couples who want to be entertained 24/7.
Anyone looking for quiet, or an intimate setting.
- The Thrill Theater, the only 5-D movie experience at sea
- Guy’s Burger Joint, with its all-bacon patty
- Wide selection of tequilas and Mexican brews at the poolside BlueIguana Cantina
- Clever, literary-themed Library Bar, with self-serve wine dispensers and books for loan
The third ship launched in Carnival Cruise Lines' Dream class, Breeze was the first in the fleet to fully undergo the $500 million Fun Ship 2.0 transformation, which upped the ante on food, alcohol, and entertainment. With additions like the George Lopez comedy club, Guy Fieri’s burger joint, the Library Bar, and the 5-D Thrill Theater, Carnival Breeze dialed up the energy level to accommodate the round-the-clock demands (and short attention spans) of younger generations with kids.
Tip: Like friendly competition? Carnival teamed up with Hasbro to create “Hasbro, The Game Show,” which gives cruisers the chance to win prizes with six life-size board games.
Most cabins on the Carnival Breeze are small, with the largest suite measuring 345 square feet, (not including the balcony) featuring a walk-in closet and whirlpool tub as its choicest amenities. Decorated to match the ship’s “Caribbean-centric” décor, the blue pillows, beige walls, and natural sunlight (all cabins with balconies feature floor-to-ceiling windows) give the illusion that the rooms are bigger than they actually are.
Looking to veg out on the balcony in private? Cove balcony staterooms are concealed from onlookers by lifeboats hanging overhead, and are priced at the same rate as regular balcony cabins.
Tip: Forget, say, deodorant? Cabins come with a complimentary basket of almost everything you’ll need, from shampoo to nasal strips.
Activities and entertainment
Serenity Adult Retreat- On a family-friendly ship like Carnival Breeze, kids-free zones are precious and few. The Serenity lounge, a fleet staple, offers much-needed adult time. Wicker loungers and hammocks line the deck, surrounding an adults-only whirlpool. The adjoining café offers light lunch fair, but cocktail waiters begin making their rounds as early as 10 am. And, unlike similar spaces on Norwegian ships, access to Serenity is complimentary.
SuperStar Live Karaoke- Superstar Live takes karaoke to the next level with the addition of a live band. The amped-up crowd cheers on performers, regardless of how off-key or cringe-worthy they are (two 75-year-old men performed Run-D.M.C.’s “It’s Tricky” on my sailing). You’ll find that you’re laughing despite yourself.
SkyCourse- The SportsSquare, also available on the Magic and Sunshine, gives adults free rein to act like children, with access to basketball courts, mini-golf, and the square’s highlight, the ropes course. Strap on a harness and work your way along 230 feet of rope bridges, swinging steps, and beams suspended nearly 150 feet above deck.
Thrill Theater- The 5-D Thrill Theater, which is only available on Carnival Breeze, is a 24-seat, multidimensional experience that lets you experience what’s happening (you feel a spray of water as a dinosaur “sneezes” on your face) as you see it on screen.
Tip: Thrill Theater tickets are $8, but since the flicks are shorter than 30 minutes each, you’ll want to buy the $15 package that includes all four shows.
Though the main dining room offers bland, microwave-heated entrees and salads swimming in oil, Carnival Breeze has excellent options for burger lovers and those willing to pay a little extra.
Fahrenheit 555- This steakhouse earns its bragging rights with outstanding service, inviting ambiance (“Ol’ Blue Eyes” sets the tone) and tantalizing dishes. We recommend the perfectly seared filet mignon or the Maine lobster, but surprisingly, the most impressive course is dessert. The signature cheesecake is massive, and the chocolate sampler comes with house-made sorbets and ice cream.
Cucina del Capitano- Though less than half the cost, dinner at Cucina is as delicious as the steakhouse. With red-and-white tablecloths, family-style portions, and waiters who break into song in Italian, you’ll feel like you’re in an Italian grandmother’s dining room. Start with the arancini (fried rice balls), shrimp in vodka sauce, and the apple tart topped with hazelnut streusel. It’s so good you won’t even mind the noise from the basketball court overhead.
Guy’s Burger Joint- Created by Food Network personality Guy Fieri, this “roadside” burger house features five types of burgers (try the patties made entirely out of bacon), hand-cut fries, and creative toppings, including Guy’s secret “donkey” sauce. The no-fee spot is the perfect antidote to the appetite you’ll build up splashing around in the nearby pool.
Tip: Not sure you want to splurge on a specialty restaurant? Check out the Taste Bar, where you’ll find hors d’oeuvre-size samples from a different restaurant every night.