April 2016 - 6 Night Western Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Breeze
Almost any cruise is a good time because of the sun, fun, and travel. This was our second time on the Breeze. This time we brought our 5-year-old daughter.
The kids program was great and she had lots of fun, except that it wasn't open all day continuously. The hours were a little confusing because they were different every day. We spent lots of time watching the clock instead of relaxing. And they were closed between like noon and 1pm on sea days, then again between 4pm and 700pm. So you really couldn't get a good a whole evening in for adult relaxation time. Now from 7pm to 3am they were open (not free after 10pm), but we had to get the munchkin in bed because of early excursion times, so we couldn't utililize the late-night program. They were open all day during port days. We had one day in Jamaica were we left her in the Camp Ocean while we went ashore and that worked out great. They fed her lunch too.
Our room was not very clean. We are not really ones to make a fuss, so we never complained to the room steward, but the room had not been vacuumed. There was sticky stuff (maybe a spilled soda) all over the vanity area and the light switches. And smudgy brown stuff in the sink (no idea).
The food. Guy's Burgers are amazing. Out by the back pool, the Indian buffet is also amazing, but it's only open from like noon to 2pm. We never made it to the 555 steakhouse which I have heard is the best food on the boat. But with Camp Ocean being closed during dinner and our picky child, we never bothered with the expensive steakhouse. The food in the Blush dining room was better this year than last year, but dinner was served at a frantic pace. Not really relaxing. The Red Frog Pub is pretty good. They have great wings and coconut shrimp. I did not enjoy the conch fritters, barely any conch meat. The ice cream machines in the buffet area are great for a treat! And room service breakfast on port days is the way to go!
This is not really Carnival's fault, but the clientele we encountered this time was rambunctious, ill-mannered, and loud. More so than our cruise on the same ship last year. There were several loud fights during disembarkation (no Carnival staff was present to help direct traffic and many people were trying to cut in line). I think Carnival could have done a better job with traffic flow and organization in general. Long lines at the buffet and the pizza station. Long lines for alcohol pickup. That was another thing they changed between last year and this year. If you buy alcohol in their store or in port, they keep it and now you have to go wait in line the last morning of the cruise to claim it. They used to bring it to your room, but no longer. So that was a pain. We are ready to disembark and I'm waiting in line for 45 minutes for one bottle of alcohol.
The magicians on board were great! That was the only show we made it to. (Last year there was a hypnotist that was very entertaining too.)
If you can hit the pool when everybody is at port, that is the best time. Otherwise it's pretty crowded. One super awesome thing about the pool: the life jackets for the kids to wear in the pool. Good job Carnival. Our kid is a bit nervous in the water and she really liked the life jacket. We actually just bought her the same one from Amazon after we got home to use in our home pool. They are slim-fitting low-profile life jackets and really helped her feel more confident in the water. Oh, and the pool depth is 4 feet 4 inches so she couldn't reach the bottom.
The excursions really made the trip. ATV adventure in Jamaica, Atlantis Submarine in Grand Cayman (super nice place, would have loved to do several activities in Grand Cayman), and Dophinaris in Cozumel. Everything was fantastic and I highly recommend going through Carnival for your excursions. Especially for ease of mind and convenience.
And if you can splurge for the balcony, do so. It was cool to eat room service breakfast on the balcony while the ship was docking in the mornings to enjoy the view.
Thank you for reading my very long review. Hope this helps you in your travels.