Second Mate

Joined: 12/31/2014
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About mrsmiles1999


mrsmiles1999's Past Cruises

Carnival Breeze

March 2016 - Carnival Breeze to Caribbean - Western

Love cruising with the Breeze!

This is my second time on the Breeze.  I really do love the ship.  This trip was western Caribbean and was a day shorter than the last cruise.



- Cruise director was hilarious. I was disappointed that Matt Mitchum wasn't the CD, but Mike was fantastic. He took the trivia to a whole new level when he hosted.  He tried to engage everyone and make sure we were all having a good time.  80's trivia was perfect with him in costume - complete with leg warmers!

- The musicians were really great.  Wherever you went throughout the ship, there was great music playing - guitar, violins, djs, etc..

- Food at guys, bonsai sushi, blue iguana, red frog pub (you must try the sliders and coconut shrimp) and dessert in the dining room was fantastic

- They seemed to try to keep the activities going all the time, even on port days

- They showed great movies at the seaside theater, but see below...

- We had room 1425.  I love this room type because it has a full bathroom and a separate tub/ shower sink washroom.



- The kids screaming like banshees in the pool by the theater was just too much.  I understand we are all on vacation, but they were out of control (hey where are your parents?)  There were three movies I hadn't seen yet (Creed, Mad Max and Spectre), so I was excited about them, however the screaming banshees made it a little difficult to enjoy.

- The shows could be a little better.  Sometimes the notes were a bit off, but it was still pretty entertaining.

- The selection of food at Lido was great some days and so-so other days, but never quite hot enough


Overall pretty fun.  I didn't book any excursions with Carnival. 

Falmouth:  hung out at Margaritaville.  They had a decent pool with a swim up bar.  You could go right in without buying anything, but we bought drinks anyway.  The staff there was very lively.  They played great music, danced and kept everyone entertained.


Grand Cayman: walked around for like an hour and then got back on the ship.  I felt like this port was very overpriced.  The day we docked there were 6- 7 other ships there, so it was a little crazy.  Noticed when we were leaving that there was a Margaritaville there too with slides.  Wonder if you can just walk in there too?


Mexico: I booked at day pass Melia Vacation Club Cozumel.  I purchase the pass directly with the resort for $50/ person.  I'm glad I called the resort to ask, I was going to purchase the pass through a third party for $80/ person.  This place was fantastic: 2 pools, beachfront, all you can eat and drink, ping pong, volleyball, tennis, game room.  Great place.  Taxi from the pier was $16 for four of us.  Shopping was super cheap at the port too. 


Desserts deserving a special section:

- The chocolate melting cake in the dining room!  Oh. My.  It was amazing!!  Even if you have no desire to even venture to the dining room - you have to go at least once for this.

- The mousse served on Lido deck. They had several different flavors served.  I cleaned the bowl every single time.  So very. very good.

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Norwegian Sky

August 2015 - Norwegian Sky to Caribbean - Bahamas

Fun ship, decent food, great stirrup cay - AMAZING!!!!!!

This was the first short cruise that we ever did.  I was worried that we wouldn't be able to enjoy the ship enough with that little time, but it all worked out.  Let's start with the positives:

The ship was fun.  Decent size for a short weekend cruise. I didn't feel overwhelmed like I would have been on a larger ship.  Even so, you still felt like you could get lost and find your own space to relax.  Food at the buffet could have been hotter, but it was  a decent selection. We went to the restaurant twice and the food was delicious.  I always try to make time for trivia and they did not disappoint :)  The host were so funny and made everyone feel welcome.

The best part of this cruise was the private island.  It was incredible.  The tender process was smooth and painless.  Even though it rained for the first 20 minutes that we were there, it cleared pretty fast and then we felt like we were roasting : ) I definitely recommend renting a clamshell for the day ($30 billed to your shipboard account).  It was a nice place to get out of the sun and relax.  There were a few games going and the DJ spinning - it was nice.  The kids played beach volleyball for a while.  For those who don't want noise, further down the beach are quieter spots.  We didn't want quiet!  We were right next to the Bacardi hut.  Beach BBQ was great, even fresh coconut!  The buffet isn't open all day on the island, but you can go back and forth while it is open.  But watch out for the birds, they will come after you!!!

Nassau was nice.  We did what we did before - walk to the free beach (Junkanoo Beach) grab a couple chairs and relax for the day.  The water is nice, although rocky at the entry point.  The locals don't bother me as much as other people, I just give them a stern face and say "no thank you".  I had a delicious water coconut (make sure you ask to have it chilled).  There is a Fat Tuesday at the beach for those who want to keep the party going.  I also had some guinepas, so yummy.

Embarkation and disembarkation were very smooth.

White night tons of fun...but be aware this ships embarks in Miami so you will see lots of siliconed folks LOL

Now the bad:

Kids in the adult pool.  Can someone please deal with this - it happens on every ship.  The rooms need an overall.  Not sure if it was just our cabin, but our bathroom was a bit run down.  Our room was soooo small.  We had a small sofa in our room that just took up space, didn't need it with two adults and two teens in one cabin.

The bars never seemed to have enough workers (especially by the pool).

Overall the ship was fun.  Already thinking about going again.


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Carnival Breeze

December 2014 - Carnival Breeze to Caribbean - Southern

Big fan of Carnival, but they have some improvements to make.

I rate the cruise 3 1/2 stars.  I'll start with the major improvements needed and work my way down:

1 - La Romana is not a great port of call.  It is not very well organized and you felt hassled at every single turn.  I did not book my excursion with Carnival, based on some other reviews I found online, I booked an excursion with Seavis Tours.  The excursion itself was excellent, but coming back to the port from the beach was just nuts. Between the kids asking for money and the pushy vendors it was beyond annoying.  A lot of people missed out on seeing this beautiful island, because they were afraid of the port.

2 - I don't know much about how the ports work, so this next issue may be out of Carnival's control: time in Aruba not long enough.  We were scheduled to be docked in Aruba from 8 - 3:30.  I had an excursion booked with Carnival so I had to wait in the theater for the group to be organized.  By the time we left the boat, boarded the bus and waited for a ferry, we didn't get to De Palm Island until about 10 and we had to leave at 2.  Four hours is really not a lot of time for De Palm.  There is a beach there, water slides, a lunch buffet, snorkeling, sea trek, snuba.  Tons of activities and no time to do anything.  I wasted a good 40 minutes on lines for lunch and drinks (it was not organized at all).  There was one person behind the buffet serving hundreds of people.  Comparing the time in Aruba to having 9 hours in Curacao - huge disappointment. Aruba is spectacular and should get more time.

3 - Pushy, pushy, pushy photographers.  Being constantly bombarded to take photos bugged me.  I understand they want to make some money, but considering how much they charge for one photo, they need to back off.

4 - The entertainment.  The singers were ok.  They need to step it up a notch.  We went to a Motor City (Motown) Revue and my husband walked out because the singers were not hitting notes and messing up classic songs.

5 - The buffet.  I thought the selection was adequate, but the food was not hot enough.  We paid extra for a night at the steakhouse.  Totally worth it.  Everything was superb!

Now the pros:

The length of cruise was great.  Ample time to explore and enjoy the ship.  The skycourse is amazing - albeit terrifying :)  There are plenty of things to do around the ship to keep everyone in your family happy.  Carnival is a fun ship.  People are there to have a good time and we certainly did.

The crowd was a nice mix and people really went out of their way to be social.  Another favorite of ours was the sushi restaurant.  Again, this is something extra but worth it.  The food was delicious, well prepared and the servers were so likeable.  The lines weren't too long for anything except the comedy shows.

I definitely recommend the cruise.  The boat is lovely, most of the crew are fun.  Our cruise director Matt Mitchum was so funny.  One of the cruise activity directors (is that even what they are called?), Orlando was hilarious. Every event that he hosted we tried to attend. 

It was enjoyable.  Some things better than other cruises, some things worse.

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mrsmiles1999's Tips

Carnival Breeze Carnival Breeze - Our cabin was right across the hall from the ironing room. Launderette is on deck 2. Aft of Lido deck has very short lines for breakfast. Not as many selections as the main buffet line of lido, but enough for a full breakfast. Deck 5 mid also serves a small continental breakfast with no lines.
Nassau, Bahamas - Junkanoo beach is nice and free. Short walk from ship. Rocky entry, but nice water.
Norwegian Sky Norwegian Sky - Great Outdoors Café always has shorter lines for food.
Nassau, Bahamas - We didn't book a shore excursion here. Simply hopped off the boat and walked to the right until we reached Junkanoo beach (free). Good food, good water (but rocky right at the right point).
Grand Turk Island - No need for an excursion. Walk right off the ship and head to the beach, the pool or margaritaville!
Carnival Breeze Carnival Breeze - Try to sample all the different lunch options. You might find something new to love.

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received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Sky cruise review - Fun ship, decent food, great stirrup cay - AMAZING!!!!!!

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Breeze cruise review - Big fan of Carnival, but they have some improvements to make.

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Breeze cruise review - Love cruising with the Breeze!

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Breeze cruise review - Love cruising with the Breeze!

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Breeze cruise review - Love cruising with the Breeze!

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Breeze cruise review - Love cruising with the Breeze!

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Breeze cruise review - Love cruising with the Breeze!

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Breeze cruise review - Love cruising with the Breeze!

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Breeze cruise review - Love cruising with the Breeze!

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Breeze cruise review - Love cruising with the Breeze!