What to expect onboard the Carnival Breeze whether you’re a first timer or a veteran! Here’s the skinny on the ship and Carnival Cruise Lines in general.
There are two types of people in life: those who cruise… and those who are soon-to-be cruise converts. *wink*
In all seriousness however, I never realized how many people I personally know who are frequent (and die-hard) cruisers– including my own mother! While I was aware that she had been one or two cruises before, I was astounded when I discovered that this sailing would in fact be her FIFTH (and her third on the Carnival cruise fleet).
A neophyte like myself had a lot of catching up to do, so I looked forward to checking cruising off my ever-growing travel bucket list. Now that I’ve popped my cherry, I’d like to share more about my experience aboard the Carnival Breeze. I’ll share more in a future post about our three ports of call.
While cruise ships are an impressive feat of engineering as it is, the Breeze (as it’s affectionately called by passengers) blew me away completely in terms of size. At over 1000 feet long and with capacity for 5000 guests and crew, it’s a veritable floating city. As the Breeze is one of Carnival Cruise Line’s newest ships (its inaugural sail date was in mid-2012) our room was spacious and modern. Even better, it came equipped with not only an ocean view, but a balcony from which to enjoy it.
The other thing that impressed me greatly was how ardently the cleaning staff worked to ensure that the rooms and overall premises were spic and span. Housekeeping came by not less than two times a day to tidy rooms, make beds, and refresh towels. Somehow, they also managed to gift Liebling and I with the cutest towel sculptures ever. Every evening we entered the room we looked forward to seeing what towel creature they would come up with next.
I already referenced food in my last post about Carnival Cruise Lines but man… we gon’ have to talk about these food options one more ‘gin! Full disclosure: I gained about 5 to 7 pounds on this trip, and not for lack of movement because I went to the gym onboard 4 days out of 7. The 10th floor Lido deck, for example had an EXPANSIVE buffet area where you could eat whatever your little heart desired. There was a wide range of international cuisines available there, but I must say that my personal favourite was Tandoor, the restaurant serving up fragrant Indian fare (honourable mentions go to the fries at Guy’s Burger Joint and the margarita pizza at Pizza Pirate).
For more formal evening dining, we made our way to the dining room, where we had a standing reservation every evening for 8:30. The multi-course dinner on offer had enough options to appease picky eaters like myself (I don’t eat beef, pork, or most sauces) and vegans like my besties A Dash of Two, who were also on the trip. They even made modifications to the menu for them to make it even more vegan-friendly! In general, I found the food quality to be exceptionally high, which meant I licked my plate clean (and often longed for seconds). I’m not a fan of dessert in general, but I indulged every night of the trip. Our server was also a gem– super patient, kind, and smiley!
Carnival Cruise Lines knows how to do entertainment. Our evenings after dinner were often spent roaming from deck to deck, scoping out the various events on offer, and there were plenty. Rather than give you an exhaustive list, I’ll share my personal faves:
Stage shows: I really appreciated the scale of the production put on every night– there were costumes, full lighting, sets, choreography, and live singing. But I’ll keep it 100: I found a few of the performances a bit cheesy, and a few of the performers sang off key. With that said, overall, the nighly shows were excellently produced, executed, and pitched to a wide demographic– there was something for everyone. As a lover of R&B, I thought the Motor City show, which was a complete feature of Motown’s greatest hits, was a delight.
The comedy show in Limelight lounge: Wow. The stage and seating made me feel as though I was in a comedy club in New York’s Lower East Side rather than floating somewhere in the Caribbean Sea. The evening we went, the comedian was on fire: his R-rated jokes were witty and well-crafted. Even Liebling, who a pretty tough critic, had to agree that this comedian was hilarious.
The live music “after dark”: After the stage shows our crew would often walk the lower decks and check out the live bands playing music. There was one of note, headed by an insanely talented brother whose vocals were incredible. I unfortunately didn’t get his or the band’s names!
The 4th of July celebration: We had the good fortune of being aboard the Carnival Breeze on Independence Day and danced the night away at a massive open air party on the Lido deck. The vibe was electric, helped massively by Jamie, the Cruise Director, whose boundless energy was like nothing I’d ever seen. I’m not American, but proudly waved the flag and got caught up in the rousing rendition of “Born in the USA” sung by a soulful DJ I also did not get the name of. The party was lit!
Cruising with Carnival Cruise Lines
Cruising on the Carnival Breeze means being spoiled for choice. There are so many activities available that I was only mildly surprised to hear a few passengers say that some port days they chose not to leave to leave the ship! While my feet are far too itchy to consider such a thing for myself, I can see their reasoning. A ship isn’t just a mode of transportation on your vacation, it *is* the vacation!
Have you ever been on the Breeze or any other cruise vessel? How did your experience on the ship stack up?