April 2016 - 6 Night Western Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Breeze
The ship is pretty great. I will say that. Our room was pretty great too. We had a balcony very near the main pool, which made it convenient. The food not too bad. Some was really great and some not so great unfortunately. For instance, the first formal night we opted for steak and lobster. The steak was really good, but the lobster was small and mushy. Not a great way to start our dinning room experience. They messed up our dessert order as well. Tried to hide the mistake, but we noticed and that caused us to have to wait much longer than we would have had to wait.
After excursions, we can back to the ship hungry and found that most all the places for food were closed. Except Guys Hamburgers, and how many times do you want to eat the same, same. They were great burgers, but not day after day. After breakfast the juice machines were closed and opened with tea and coffee . . I longed for the juice.
The atrium is definitely on the small side from what they used to be. On this ship after the evening shows they bring the party to the atrium which can be fun, but because the atrium is small the crowd overwhelms the space.
Exiting the ship for excursions is a NIGHTMARE! It was the worst I have ever seen and I have been on 20 some odd cruises. They had you lining up in the hallways in front of peoples cabins, no air circulating, loud talking from everyone and smashed together trying to get off.
Debarking was much better. They went by floor. It was the easiest I have ever experienced. Whichever floor your room was on called, thats the floor that exited. It went extremely quickly, no lines! Thats a much better plan than for excursions.
Very small main pool area. With the kids playing, jumping and being just kids, rowdy and all it didn't make for the best poolside time. Chairs were crammed next to each other so no space for your drink or bag you might have with you.
Room service menu has shrunk down to a bare minimum. I was very disappointed. There are many times I like the quite of my room and a meal on the balcony. Thats a no go anymore.
We never book excursions from the ship anymore. They are way too crowded and more expensive than if you make arrangements on your own. We book thru a travel agent when we book the cruise. That is far more exciting and well worth it. We did far more than booking from the ship for less money. No crowds, more private for sure. Guides are so willing to do what you want to do, for example you want to stop for a photo . . . you got it! No problem.
The time on the islands are so limited. I don't understand why you only get half a day basically. You are incredibly rushed. I see no reason for such a short time in these ports of call. You blink and you might miss that you had been there.
I love cruising, but its changing. Being a lifetime cruiser I see the changes and its not as wonderful as it used to be. Its big bucks for what you get.
Don't be enticed by the lower cruise rate. Because in the end the expenses add up, WAY up by the time you are done. It is almost a given that the additions are as much as the original low cost of the cruise ticket. From spending on gratuities, drinks including just a soda, different dinning choices, movies, coffee shops, trinkets, tips for drivers etc., excursions . . you get the picture.
I will go again I am sure, but I sure hope some changes for the better are put into place.