May 2014 - Carnival Breeze to Caribbean - Western
This was our first cruise, and we loved it! The boat was nice and the service was friendly. Everytime we walked down the hallway we were greeted with "Good morning!" or "Have fun!" Our evening dining room service at the "Blush" restaurant was excellent with Adrian, Grace and Iwayan (sp?). We would barely finish one item when the next was placed before us! Morning service at the same restaurant wasn't quite as friendly or speedy, but the food was great. Our stops at Key West, Grand Cayman and Cozumel were all pretty awesome. Parasailing in Key West was a blast. The dolphin watch was okay, and it ended with snorkeling at the small reef, which has uncolorful, small fish, and I wouldn't recommend that. Sting Ray City was our favorite and Grand Cayman snorkeling was very awesome! Lots of fish and colors. Cozumel waters ranged from sapphire blue to turquoise and the snorkel tour was deep, so less color, but still pretty cool. The ship was clean, the service was quick and friendly. We loved the towel creations left every day on our freshly made bed (made TWICE a day if needed!). They left little chocolates too, which was a nice touch, but they were a bit waxy. New towels were plentiful. The shows were so-so, but still filled the time on sea days. Tandoor restaurant was delicious if you like food from India. Guys burgers were pretty good. The buffet always had a lot of options. Our favorite food was in the dining room though...and you could order as much as you wanted to. I gained 6 pounds (but lost it in a week...so it was totally worth it!). The servers actually sing songs to you and once even got on small table tops to dance to "Gangnam Style". It was pretty funny! You are seated with others you don't know, and we enjoyed getting to know 2 other couples. We never went to clubs, casinos or bars, since that isn't our thing, but the bars were very pretty with lights and nice colors. The "Dive-in" movie was kind of unique and fun. If you didn't want to watch outside, they played the same movies on your TV. We played miniature gold and bean bag toss, which were fun to pass the time on the final sea day. Our sailing was quite smooth and we didn't suffer with any sea-sickness. The final sea day was quite windy though, which made some people sick, which was pretty stinky down the hall when they were cleaning the carpets in a room where someone had been sick...thankfully not close to our room. We were in room 7389, which was pretty quiet, unless you were out on the balcony. We had loud neighbors on one side and smokers who polluted the air even outside. Balcony rooms are permitted to smoke on the balcony, so if you are allergic, you may not appreciate that. It kind of ruins the whole "fresh sea air" thing! Maybe they should create a smoking place at the back of the boat, so non-smokers don't have to inhale second hand smoke. Anyway, they are always having photo ops to take your picture, which will cost you, but could be fun if you get some nice shots. Ours didn't turn out great, which wasn't there fault though. The weight room is nice, but no fan! I could only stand it once. Fans would be easy to install...or just plug in. We never took advantage of massages, so I can't tell you about that. I'm sure it is heavenly! We cruised in May, so it wasn't booked solid. There never seemed to be a problem getting into entertainment for us. We had early dinner, and that may have helped. The Hasbro Game was kind of fun. The welcome show too. The juggling act was just so-so. One nice thing would have been if they would have planned the fancy dinner nights (2) on the same days as sea days. It would have made it less rushed to get ready. Maybe it was because it was a 6 day cruise instead of 7? I'm not sure. The balcony rooms are spacious enough. The bathroom is a bit small and the shower is hard to shave legs in, but at least they are private. We made do. The toilet will suck your arm down it despite it's tiny hole! haha! The TV is personalized for you and you can use it to get a lot of information. There is also a seated area with a light up mirror that can be used for makeup and a blow dryer in the drawer. Two robes are there for your use as well, which was nice. There is plenty of room for your luggage. Ours was pretty big luggage (over 29") and one didn't quite allow the cupboard to close, so we left it in the room, which was fine. No one had their hand out for extra tips for room service or any other service, which was nice. No guilt! Tips can be paid in advance, which is what we did and we loved that. If you don't like the service you can let them know before leaving the boat though, and get a reduction in tips from your bill. There is a little convenience store on board, but VERY pricey! We didn't need the shuttle service, which costs, because Alamo in Miami will shuttle you free to the boat. We flew into Ft. Lauderdale the night before and drove to Miami (less than an hour) and saved a lot on our flight. The car was only $25 and the shuttle to the pier from Alamo was free. On the way back, the car was about $55 or so. Same free shuttle picks you up right at the dock though. We tipped a dollar a bag. Overall, we loved our first cruise with Carnival and we would do it again!