Nice getaway, convenient to Metroplex: Carnival Breeze Cruise Review by WDWAutism2002
Overall Member Rating
Nice getaway, convenient to Metroplex
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: We arrived early at the port of Galveston, parked, and got to the terminal in plenty of time for the cruise. I had to use a walker, due to a recent back/knee injury, so we were directed to the VIP line for check-in. Here we met our first hiccup - they would allow me and my daughter (sharing my room) to go through, but not the rest of the party, because we were in separate cabins. That seems kind of odd. We eventually all went through together, but I would think that Carnival would try and keep families together, More especially when we had tied our reservations together, had adjoining cabins, etc. But we got through, got checked in, and waited about 45 minutes until our group number was called.
Unfortunately, they were having issues with the boarding ramp, so we ended up entering the ship on Deck 1 instead of Deck 3. No big deal - kind of an adventure getting through the terminal to the alternate entry point.
At this point - we decided to find someplace to eat. We wanted to try the pasta bar at Cucina del Capitano - having read that they serve lunch on embarkation days (and every day). Again, crew told us that only the LIdo deck venues were open - the buffet, Guy's burgers, Blue Iguana Tacos, and Pizza PIrate. So we hit the buffet, along with tons of other people. My sister in law went by the restaurant - and it was open! Wish we had gone there just to check - so my tip to anyone reading is go there anyway. It's on Deck 11, just up from the main buffet area, and can be reached by elevator or stairs.
Cabins: We had three inside cabins on deck 7, towards the aft of the ship. The rooms were nice, but my cabin was setup in a king size configuration instead of the twin beds. With the walker, that made it a bit cramped. Because our luggage was delivered early (yeah!) we asked the cabin steward to change it the next day. That night, we had to put the walker in front of the door (behind where the bathroom door opens). With the beds together, you need the walkway alongside the beds and at the end of the bed to get around. So it felt very cramped.
Once the beds were separated, the whole room seemed bigger. I was able to park the walker at the end of my bed, between the bed and the fridge/TV cabinet. We had a nice central walkway, and plenty of room at the end of the beds for storage and people (my cabin was the gathering place for all the kids). So keep this in mind when you travel - having the beds together in an inside or outside cabin will give you less space to put things. Having the beds separated really opens up the room. Just saying...
One note about the walker. I have a Rollator brand walker with four wheels and a seat. It fit through the cabin door, but just barely. So if you need a walker, you can fit it in a regular cabin with a little jiggling as you get through the doorway.
Dining: My husband and sister-in -law hit the Steakhouse specialty restaurant the first night, while the three kids and I ate in the Sapphire Dining Room (your time dining plan). They liked the steakhouse, but the thing they talked about the most was the "compliments of the chef" appetizers. My husband got a slider/burger, and he said it was the best thing he has ever eaten. But the steaks were just OK - he felt. They brought me the leftovers and I enjoyed them, even though they were cold.
On the second night of the cruise, we all ate dinner at Cucina del Capitano to celebrate the birthdays. We loved the singing waiters, and the food was excellent. We tried several of the appetizers - Calimari, Mozzarella/Tomato salad, anit-pasti, meatballs, and the best of the best - the Arancini. Oh my - those risotto balls are to die for! We also got bruschetta which was fantastic. My husband got the lasagne, my sister in law got the braised short ribs, I got the pasta carbonara (my favorite!), the boys got the spaghetti, and my daughter got the grilled shrimp. It was so good! We got one of each of the desserts to share - the favorite being the Lemon sorbet. I can definitely recommend Cucina del Capitano for dinner. It's only $15 per person and the experience is totally worth it.
Also - Cucina is open for lunch. You can get the lasagne, or a "make your own pasta" selection, where you choose the noodles, sauce, and mix-ins and they bring it to you. I also like that you can get a half portion of the pasta. Try it for lunch - it's free then and usually half empty, so a great alternative to the Lido buffet.
On the Lido, my daughter practically lived at the Mongolian Wok (only open for lunch). The boys and I loved Pizza Pirate - we would ask them to make us a pepperoni and mushroom pizza and they would make it to order, so it came out hot and fresh (tip - ask for a custom pizza to get one that is fresh). We tried Blue Iguana for both breakfast and lunch. It was OK - not my favorite flavors, but the salsas are great. Guys burgers were good, as was his Pig and Anchor BBQ (only on sea days). But we never got to the Tandoori restaurant on the Lido - too many other options, even for a 7 day cruise.
We did afternoon tea on the first sea day out. They only have regular and green tea for free - all other tea flavors you have to pay for. So my tip - bring your favorite herbal or regular tea, or order the hot chocolate. They had cucumber and salmon sandwiches, two types of scones, and several cakes and desserts. Again, it's not well attended, so you can easily get a table near the window, and enjoy the string quartet playing softly in the background. Very nice change of pace for a cruise ship.
Dinners were mainly in the Sapphire Dining room. Alex and his staff (Suki and iuri) were attentive and entertaining. They were patient with my six year old (who loves people) and with my 15 year old who has autism. They would often bring out extra items for us to try, since they saw us taking pictures and sharing entrees, etc. The food was pretty good in the main dining room, and it was fun to try all of the "adventurous" items like the Ox Tongue.
Activities: The kids really never went to the Kids Clubs, so I can't review that. We spent most of our days in the pool in the morning, then hanging out in the Red Frog Pub or the Library with games and puzzles. We had a puzzle mat and my oldest son worked on his puzzle throughout the cruise. The Red Frog pub on deck 5 was a great place to hang out during the day - very quiet, and you could spread out games, color, or just chill. On sea days they start drink service and pub grub at 11am (definitely try the BBQ pork sliders with the spicy plantain chips!), but on port days they didn't serve until 4pm.
The trivia games were always packed, so we mostly skipped those. We started the Clue game - which runs throughout the week and is connected to the Bingo games - but missed several of the "clue reveals" so never finished it.
The kids loved the "dive in movies" each night, even though we had seen most of them. We were also relieved to find Tom and Jerry on Boomerang in the cabin entertainment system, for my autistic son.
The one comment on the activities - the ship seemed to put the popular items in the smallest venues, so not everyone could attend. They held the cooking demo in the Steakhouse (which seats less than 100 - and there are 4000 passengers on the ship). The trivia games were in a small plaza lounge, so people were standing and sitting everywhere. But they would hold the bingo in the theatre with half of one floor attending. Very odd.
Accessibility: as I said, I had to use a walker due to a recent injury. There were several of us with walkers on the ship, as well as a few people in wheelchairs and on scooters. For the most part, the ship is easy to get around for someone with mobility issues. The exceptions are the WaterWorks deck area (deck 11) and the sports deck (deck 12). While you can take an elevator to them, there are stairs you have to navigate to get to the sports deck or pool. And some of the forward viewing areas (on deck 6 and 7) also had steps and large doorways to step over. So it's not fully accessible in all places. And the handicap bathrooms aren't in the same locations on each deck. Some are forward, some mid-ships, and never where I seemed to need them. Just an observation.
Overall - I did enjoy our cruise. I would definitely go back on the Carnival Breeze again. Except for the buffet area on day 1, and some of the "sea day only" food venues, it never really felt too crowded. I can definitely recommend the cruise again - and maybe this time I will get to the spa and the Serenity deck. Less
Cabin review: 4F7450 Interior
We booked three separate inside cabins on deck 7, next door to each other. The cabins had excellent storage - two closets plus a cabinet of shelves. The desk had four usable drawers for storage. The nightstands were fully usable for storage. Our luggage fit neatly under the bed. The bathroom had four shelves on each side. When the beds were together the first night, it felt a bit crowded because the only way to get around was around the bed. But once the beds were separated we felt we had plenty of space. It seemed a much better layout with the beds separated. My walker fit at the end of the bed when they were separated. When they were together, the only place to put my walker was by the cabin door. The only complaint was the shower - there wasn't a lot of room for soaps, razors, etc. Having another shelf in there would have been nice. Over all - very happy with the cabin.Read All Interior (4F) Reviews >>
Port and Shore Excursions
Awesome week on the Norwegian ...
Crowded and noisy!
Very nice 5 day cruise
Great ship for first time crui...
Wonderful Family Vacation
2nd time around