- Photo Tours
- Carnival Breeze – Exotic Eastern Caribbean
- Carnival Freedom – Western Caribbean
- Carnival Miracle – Mexican Riviera
- Carnival Pride – Bahamas from Baltimore
- Coral Princess – Ultimate Alaska with Cruise Experts Travel
- Cuba Cruise Louis Cristal – Cuba
- MSC Divina – Eastern Caribbean
- Norwegian Breakaway – Christening
- Norwegian Epic – Eastern Caribbean
- Norwegian Pearl – Alaska RT Seattle
- Quantum of the Seas – Preview Cruise
- Zuiderdam – Alaska Inside Passage
- Hurtigruten FRAM – Antarctica
- Hurtigruten Midnatsol – North Cape
- Passing Cloud – BC’s Gulf Islands
- Passing Cloud – Haida Gwaii
- S.S. Legacy – Columbia & Snake Rivers
- Safari Endeavour – Alaska’s Glacier Country
- Safari Voyager – Mexico’s Sea of Cortes
- Schooner Zodiac – Brew Cruise 2013
- Schooner Zodiac – Wine Cruise
- Silver Discoverer – Australia to Indonesia
- Silver Explorer – Arctic Svalbard
- Silver Explorer – British Isles
- Silver Galapagos – Galapagos Islands
- Wind Spirit – Stockholm to Oslo
- Wind Star – Rome to Nice
- EUROPA 2 – Greece & Turkey
- Queen Mary 2 – Eastbound Transatlantic 2012
- Queen Mary 2 – Westbound Transatlantic 2015
- Silver Shadow – Exotic Alaska
- Silver Shadow – Southeast Asia & Myanmar
- Silver Spirit – Athens to Barcelona
- Silver Spirit- Eastbound Transatlantic
- Silver Wind – Mediterranean
- Silver Wind – Middle East
- Silver Wind – South Africa
- AmaLotus – Cambodia & Vietnam
- AmaLyra- Danube Christmas Markets
- American Empress on the Columbia
- Emerald Waterways Emerald Star – Danube Delights
- G Adventures – India’s Ganges
- S.S. Maria Theresa – Christening
- Tauck ms Inspire – Maiden Voyage
- Tauck Swiss Jewel – Blue Danube
- Viking Baldur – Danube Christmas
- Viking Baldur – Rhine Christmas
- Viking Forseti – Chateaux, Rivers & Wine
- Viking Freya – Danube Christmas
- Viking Longships Christening 2012
- Viking Longships Christening 2013
- Viking Longships Christening 2014
- Viking Longships Christening 2015
- Viking Vidar – Grand European Tour
- Upcoming Cruises
- About FTDC
Carnival Breeze Live Voyage Report
Our First Fun Ship Experience Won’t Be Our Last
On Sunday, I disembarked Carnival Cruise Lines’ Carnival Breeze on a hazy morning in the Port of Miami. Along with her were Carnival Conquest and Carnival Glory, each preparing to set sail on their own Caribbean adventures from the cruise capital of North America.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Carnival has disembarking a 3,000-plus passenger vessel down to a science. Those who wanted to could take their luggage off themselves and be some of the first guests to disembark, while others – like myself – could linger onboard longer if their schedules permitted.
With an overnight stay in the Miami area, I was assigned Group 28 and disembarked the Carnival Breeze just after 9:30am; prior to that, I’d sat happily drinking my coffee on the outer aft portion of Deck 10.
Over the course of eight days, my very first Carnival Cruise took me to some of the Eastern Caribbean’s most popular ports. It even included a few places I had never been to before, like Grand Turk and the gorgeous city of San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The full report:
Carnival Breeze is Carnival’s latest-and-greatest. At 1,004 feet in length and weighing in at 130,000 GRT, she typically carries 3,690 guests – a far cry from ships that can routinely carry nearly twice as many at double-occupancy.
But she also represents an entirely new direction for Carnival, and it only took me a whole five seconds of being onboard to realize that.
Gone are the harsh colours and the sometimes Gaudi-esque interior design that characterized the Joe Farcus era. Farcus’ interiors always gave Carnival their own unique and distinctive look, but it was one that was quickly becoming outdated as other cruise lines also shifted their interior decors from the brasses and polished metals that characterized 1990’s cruise ship design.
The new look is still Carnival – no doubt about it. But it’s a more subdued, refined Carnival. Fun, yet not overbearing. Bright, but not gaudy. Definitely Caribbean, but owing more of its inspiration to a cool seaside resort than the Miami Vice pinks and blues that are typical of the South Beach area.
From the outside, Carnival Breeze is nearly identical to her sisters, Carnival Dream and Carnival Magic. But the similarities end there. Every cruise line has a ship that hits all the right notes with guests, and Carnival has definitely found that in the Carnival Breeze.
Accommodations – always Carnival’s strong suit – were extremely spacious. My Category 8A Veranda Stateroom located forward on Deck 6 was well laid-out and boasted a soothing colour palette that looked even better at night. I had the chance to peek into the inside stateroom across from mine before leaving my room for the last time; it was on par – and perhaps even a little bigger than – inside staterooms on Holland America.
Food was very good overall, if not particularly adventurous. One neat feature appearing on the dinner menus in the Sapphire and Blush Main Dining Rooms was the “Didja” category – as in “Did You Ever – food you always wanted to try, but did not dare.” This was my favorite menu selection, with dishes like sushi, escargot, smoked salmon and capers, and even alligator one night. Delicious!
The real culinary stars, in my opinion, are split between the Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse and the FunShip 2.0 enhancements like the BlueIguana Cantina, Guy’s Burger Joint, and the oh-so-tasty Bonsai Sushi. Bonsai and Fahrenheit 555 carry an additional charge, but are more than worth the price of admission. In fact, Bonsai was consistently the busiest specialty dining venue I saw onboard.
The Cantina and Guy’s are both provided complimentary, and are surprisingly tasty. I’m not a huge hamburger guy, but I went back to Guy’s on three separate days. I just couldn’t get enough! When I wasn’t there, I was enjoying a fresh burrito from the BlueIguana Cantina.
Sadly, there were venues I never had the time to sample, including the Italian-themed Cucina del Capitano and the food offerings in the RedFrog Pub, which I hear are delicious and worth the extra cost.
The average Carnival Fun Times daily program aboard the Carnival Breeze listed over 80 different activities for the average Fun Day at Sea, from dawn until dusk. What’s more, they impressed me by managing to offer activities that I’d never seen before aboard a mainstream ship, like the Muppets-esque Towel Animal Theatre; daily Trivia marathons that were always well-attended; and the best comedy performances I’ve seen at sea in the Punchliner Comedy Club.
This is normally the part of the recap where I say that Carnival isn’t for everyone – yet I’m not so sure I can say that this time. Between the activities, dining and the itineraries that Carnival offers, the line has a broader appeal than many competing mainstream lines, even those within the Carnival Corporation umbrella.
Go Carnival if:
- You want a good, fun cruise at an affordable price.
- You’re travelling with a multi-generational family or group. Frankly, these ships have something for everyone, and their kids programs are well organized and thought-out.
- You’ve never sailed with them before, but have been curious. Like me, you might come away pleasantly surprised by the experience.
Avoid Carnival if:
- You don’t like kids. There were approximately 600 on my off-peak sailing.
- You prefer the intimacy of smaller ships. Carnival’s ships are big, boisterous and fun.
- You’re looking for an all-inclusive cruise. Carnival’s cruises are some of the most affordable out there but, like any mainstream line, you’ll have to plan and budget for onboard costs including drinks, specialty dining experiences, and spa treatments.
At the end of the day, these ships are just plain fun, and my Carnival Breeze voyage around the Eastern Caribbean was just that. I met people who had sailed with the line over 20 times, and I met those who were on their first-ever cruise vacation.
One of the most interesting people I met was a gentleman in his 80’s who was travelling with his daughters and their spouses. The entire family has been sailing Carnival for decades now, but their travel experiences were far from being cocooned on the Fun Ships. They’ve been around the world, including South Africa’s famous Blue Train – one of the most luxurious train journeys in the world – yet they keep coming back to Carnival time after time.
That, to me, says a lot about Carnival as a cruise line. The old saying goes, ‘Never Judge a Book by its Cover.’ If you’ve never sailed with Carnival before but think you have them all figured out, think again.
These Fun Ships have more to offer cruisers – first time and repeat – than you think.
- May 2017
- April 2017
- March 2017
- February 2017
- January 2017
- December 2016
- November 2016
- October 2016
- September 2016
- August 2016
- July 2016
- June 2016
- May 2016
- April 2016
- March 2016
- February 2016
- January 2016
- December 2015
- November 2015
- October 2015
- September 2015
- August 2015
- July 2015
- June 2015
- May 2015
- April 2015
- March 2015
- February 2015
- January 2015
- December 2014
- November 2014
- October 2014
- September 2014
- August 2014
- July 2014
- June 2014
- May 2014
- April 2014
- March 2014
- February 2014
- January 2014
- December 2013
- November 2013
- October 2013
- September 2013
- August 2013
- July 2013
- June 2013
- May 2013
- April 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013
- January 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- October 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011
- May 2011
- April 2011
- March 2011
- February 2011
- January 2011
- December 2010
- November 2010
- October 2010
- September 2010
- August 2010
- July 2010
- June 2010
- May 2010
- April 2010
- March 2010
- February 2010
- November 2009
- October 2009
- September 2009