Carnival Breeze June 11, 2017 Review

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#1
69 Posts
Joined Sep 2016
This is my review of the Carnival Breeze June 11th sailing out of Galveston.
These are my opinions and experiences.

Background information - It was myself (36) and bf, Aaron (42). I've cruised before but my last cruise was almost 10 years ago. This was Aaron's first cruise in fact only his second ever vacation, we did a land vacation last year to Cabo. I was nervous that he wouldn't like cruising that I probably spent more time on this site than I should have, but I wanted to research and plan out as much as I could to make it as perfect as possible in hopes he would pick a cruise over land vacations in the future. SPOILER ALERT: He loved it.

When we returned from Cabo in July last year we began talking about where or what we would do for our 2017 summer vacation. I had previously mentioned taking a cruise but he had heard negative things from some friends so was hesitant to agree to it. He eventually told me that he was open to anything as long as it wasn't Cabo and that he didn't have to plan it. That sounded great to me, I also had no desire to return to Cabo and I love to plan things. I'm actually employed as a City Planner, this is just a different type of planning.

Even though it had been so long since I last cruised a few years ago I was contacted by a PVP from Carnival who remained in contact with me via email and sometimes phone calls periodically. In July 2016, the day after I had been online looking at cruises I received a call from my PVP. This call was likely not a coincidence as I'm sure Carnival tracks who visits their website and what information they are looking at. When I received the call from my PVP, I didn't hesitate at all and booked our cruise. Aaron is a high school football coach and teacher, with many other duties. His schedule allows for a three week window every summer that we can squeeze in a vacation. Our cruise countdown for this cruise started at 328 days, talk about what felt like forever away!

Itinerary:
June 11th - Galveston
June 12th - Sea Day
June 13th - Cozumel
June 14th - Belize
June 15th - Roatan
June 16th - Sea Day
June 17th - Sea Day
June 18th - Galveston
I picked this cruise first because it went out of Galveston, leaving us the option of an 7 1/2 hour drive or a direct flight from OKC. Secondly, after a conversation with my PVP the breeze seemed like the better option for us as opposed to the freedom. I hadn't researched the ports at all prior to booking but leaving out of Galveston my choices were limited.

Cabin: OS 7443
Deck 7 Mid ship



Excuse the mess in the following pictures, I took them while we were in the middle of packing after I realized I needed more pictures of the cabin.




One of the things that made him most hesitant about agreeing to a cruise was the size of the cabin. Knowing him and how much space he requires I knew our only option would be to book a suite. We keep the A/C on a very cool 68 degrees at home so I was worried our cabin temperature would not get anywhere near this especially since we were traveling in the middle of June. We brought two small fans and to my surprise our cabin stayed cold the entire time. We never propped the cabin door open but we often had the curtains open. I bought this magnetic thermometer at Walmart for around $5. It was probably my favorite pre cruise purchase.

Our cabin steward was Alfonso and he was great. On the first day he asked if we wanted morning or night service, didn't mention two times a day being an option. We are usually pretty tidy and don't require many things so we opted for morning. We saw him in the halls daily so we could have easily gotten anything we needed. There is a hot tub two decks below and about two cabins forward from the balcony, it was always closed by the time we made it back to our cabin at night so there were no noise concerns there. While sitting on our deck during the day we could often hear conversations from others in the hot tub or on the loungers however it was not annoyingly loud or obnoxious. Our cabin had a total of four 120c electrical outlets, including the one in the bathroom. We brought with us an extension cord that would allow an additional four outlets and also outlet splitter giving us two additional outlets. We never used the extension cord and it wasn't until day 3 when cell phones needed charged that we used the outlet splitter.

I'll try to finish up the review tomorrow. After a long day of travel and being away for 8 days I'm ready to cuddle up with my fur baby.


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#8
Southern Maryland
4,693 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
Looking forward to more of your review.
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Carnival Breeze W. Caribbean 1/2017
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#10
104 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
Looking forward to your review. We sail this same ship and itinerary in 13 days!


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July 1999--Paradise, Miami
September 2001--Inspiration, New Orleans
July 2003--Jubilee, Galveston
March 5, 2007--Ecstasy, Galveston
May 30, 2010--Navigator of the Seas, Rome
August 6, 2015--Triumph, Galveston
July 2, 2017--Breeze, Galveston
#11
69 Posts
Joined Sep 2016
Getting to Port - We decided that we would drive to Galveston as opposed to flying so that we could make a stop in Dallas and North Houston to see family. We left OKC 6/10 around 9:30am. We left Dallas around 3pm for our hotel in North Houston. I-45 was closed in both directions at New Waverly and again just south of Houston, talk about traffic nightmare. Some people in our [email protected] group reported it took them 4 hours to get through the construction area. I had booked the Courtyard Marriott North Houston/Shenandoah and we were planning to meet my cousin for dinner at a restaurant near our hotel. We use the Waze ap and it was giving us a few alternate routes around the construction area one leading through Montgomery, where my cousin lives so we chose that route and completely by passed the construction. Our alternate route took us on a few two way highways and only added about 30 to the original route. It was a nice relaxing drive and made me feel horrible for the people that were posting about sitting in traffic for hours. The Courtyard Marriott was as nice of a Courtyard that I had stayed at before. The room and bathroom could compare to those of luxury brands. In Feb I was in Houston and stayed at the new Marriott Marquis downtown at $300/night. This room Courtyard Marriott ($95) beat the Marquis on all levels except the pool, which didn't concern us.

Sunday 6/11 we woke up and left the hotel around 9am. A portion of I-45 was closed south of Houston so again Waze re routed us around it. We were pulling into Galveston at 10:40am. Here is our first glimpse of the Breeze.


Parking - I made reservations in April for covered parking with Lighthouse for $65 after using a discount code. We pulled right in and were directed to the area we should park. Within a matter of minutes a shuttle bus had pulled up behind our vehicle and the staff began loading our luggage and we were on our way to port which was just a few blocks away. We were very happy with Lighthouse parking but will likely use an indoor parking company next time to avoid the car being covered in dust.

Embarkation - Our check in time was 10:00-10:30. We arrived at the port closer to 11am. We dropped our luggage off with the porters and made the short walk to the check in area. We walked right in and through every check point. We did not have to stand in one line for priority. Once we had completed the entire check in we were shown where to sit until guests staying in suites were called. Aaron went to the restroom as I was standing there waiting for him I was approached by a staff person who asked what group I was in. She said as soon as we were ready we could board the ship. As we were walking toward the gangway they announced that guests staying in suites could now board. I have a photo of the ship I took while on the gangway and the time stamp is 11:25am. So within 45 minutes of turning onto Harborside Drive we were on the ship. In my opinion the process was seamless and perfect. I did see a long line for those that did not have priority and those waiting in the waiting area for their zone to be called to board looked like that had been there awhile. As soon as the boarding process started it went quickly and the ship became full pretty fast. My recommendation for those without priority boarding would be to pick a boarding time between 11am and noon.

FTTF - When I booked the cruise my PVP explained to me that I wouldn't need to purchase FTTF because all perks of FTTF were included with being in a suite. After spending time on this board and social media I was concerned that he may not be correct so went looking to book FTTF and of course it was sold out. The only perk of FTTF that I didn't believe suite guests received that I wanted was immediate access to the stateroom upon boarding. I had pretty much conceded to the fact we would not have our room ready upon embarkation. In March or April Carnival opened up a large number of FTTFs for our cruise so I purchased one them. At this time we were not going to do Cheers and were going to carry on one 12 pack of Diet Dr. Pepper that we didn't want to have to carry around the ship for a few hours. Within a few weeks of purchasing FTTF I decided we would just do Cheers and if we didn't drink enough every day to break even then the security of not having to worry about how much we were spending on our sail and sign would be worth it. More on Cheers later. I decided I would remove FTTF from our booking. There were many people in our social media group that weren't able to purchase FTTF before it sold out so I arranged with another in our group to remove it from my booking at the same time she called carnival so that she could add it to her booking. To my surprise this actually worked. When we received our sail and sign cards during embarkation there was a FTTF sticker on the back. After boarding we went to Lido and took a quick walk around deck 10 then went to see if our stateroom was ready and it was. Also throughout the cruise we received two sets of tender and debarkation paperwork that was specific for FTTF and suite guests. I'm not sure if Carnivals system didn't update to show I removed FTTF or if they have decided to give suite guests FTTF. I checked my credit card statement and did in fact receive a credit for the returned FTTF.


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#12
Urbandale, Iowa
1,264 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
They put fttf on your card bc you had a suite. No other way to ensure that you would get the benefits.

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#13
69 Posts
Joined Sep 2016
Muster drill - Our muster station was B3, which was inside the Sapphire dining room on deck 3. Of course there were multiple people/families that didn't show up to the drill and their names were called. Once we were able to start the drill it did not last long at all.

Sunday - As soon as we boarded we headed for our first meal onboard. Guys burgers was our choice and now I understand what everyone previously raved about. They did not disappoint. After our burger we headed to our stateroom. We were pleased with the cleanliness and size of the cabin. The cabin felt larger than I had imagined it would be based off pictures I had seen. The bathroom was the opposite it was much smaller than it appeared in pictures but plenty large enough. The shower/tub was very narrow. We did not use the whirlpool bath. There was plenty of storage in the cabin even for someone who overpacks like me. After looking around the room we left for the spa. Prior to the cruise I purchased at 7 day pass for the thermal suites and t-pool so we wanted to go see the facilities in person. Once we arrived to the spa they had us join a tour/sales pitch even though we were not interested in any spa services. The spa tour started at the barber then moved to the salon then a massage area where we finally decided they couldn't force us to go along with the tour so we walked on our own to the thermal suites and t-pool. Next we walked around exploring the ship some before we went back to our room to rest for a few before muster. After muster we went to the promenade deck 5 for the sail away. We avoided Lido mid the entire cruise besides walking through to get from point a to b. There were only a handful of people on deck 5 so it was nice and peaceful compared to what was going on up on Lido. Our bags were delivered to our room shortly after sail away so we unpacked before going to have dinner. We decided we would try the buffet the first night as neither of us were dressed for what we thought was appropriate for the dinning room, we would later see that what we were wearing would have been fine. The food on the buffet wasn't great but we both were able to find something that we liked. We played bingo before we attended the Welcome Aboard show at 10:15pm. We didn't win at bingo but one lady won twice! The Welcome Aboard show was good.

Monday 1st Sea Day - We woke up and went to the cloud 9 spa. After the spa we had breakfast and then found two loungers at the aft tides pool where we stayed for a few hours. This was our first cruise elegant night. We had anytime dining in the sapphire dining room, each night we ate around 6:15pm. Aaron is a shorts and tshirt guy so as soon as dinner we went back to the room to change clothes. We then attended the first Motor City show of the evening. After the show we hit the casino for the first time. We played a little on the blackjack table. Neither of us are serious gamblers but we both walked away a little ahead that night. The blackjack dealers and casino bar staff were great all week. After leaving the casino we went to the comedy show and ended the night at the piano bar.

Tuesday Cozumel - We had breakfast before leaving the ship. We booked with Nachi Cocom. Looking back I wish we would have done something different in Cozumel. We had a few drinks and appetizers. It was so hot that we didn't feel like eating much there. The nachos and guacamole we did have were excellent. Nachi is beautiful and relaxing. I picked Nachi over Mr. Sanchos to avoid the large party atmosphere. Nachi was so quiet it felt like a nursing home, we probably would have preferred something more in the middle. I've read reviews previously about how great the staff were, we didn't have the same experience. There were less than 50 people there that day. Admittedly we didn't take advantage of all Nachi had to offer in regards to activities such as snorkeling or paddle boarding. We left earlier than we had originally planned. Back at port we did some souvenir shopping and drinking. Our back on board time was 5:30 we were back by 3pm. We were back in our stateroom when we heard a "man overboard" port side. Shortly after the captain and Schwartz came over the speaker and reported that the person was going to be ok and was being taken care of. Later in the week we "heard" it was two brothers/friends in their late teens or early teens goofing off and one pushed the other off the pier into the water. Unfortunately we also learned later that another passenger had passed away during a snorkeling excursion in Cozumel. After dinner we watched the Country Road production and ended our night in the casino at the blackjack table.


Wednesday Belize - We had breakfast then went to Sapphire dining to wait for our priority tendering. Surprisingly Carnivals communication was poor during this. When we arrived to the dinning room there was one other family waiting. They said they had been there awhile and were told that tenders had not started. We knew that they had in fact begun tendering people off the boat because we saw them from our balcony. We asked the staff person and she said she had not heard anything on the radio yet that they had started tendering. She asked on the radio and they told her to send us down the elevator to deck 0. We boarded the tender boat and we were on our way, it's a long tender ride. Once at port we were looking for the company we independently booked our excursion with. We didn't find them right away but we found the others working at the port to be friendly and helpful. We booked with Coral Breeze for the island explorer excursion to Caye Caulker. The boat ride to Caye Caulker was a rough ride but fun and informational. We rented a golf cart ($12.50/hour) and explored the island on our own. Caye Caulker seemed to be the perfect example of island life. There are no cars on the island, most people walk or take golf carts or bicycles. We LOVED Caye Caulker and spent most of our afternoon discussing a trip back. There were others on our boat to and from Caye Caulker who did the snorkel with Coral Breeze and they said they had a wonderful time. I would highly recommend Coral Breeze.



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#14
69 Posts
Joined Sep 2016
Wednesday cont. - Once back onboard we got ready for dinner. After dinner we attended the 88 Keys production show. Then hung out in the atrium before we headed back to the room around 10pm, this would be the earliest we would go back to the room the entire cruise.

Thursday Roatan - We were docked at port when we woke up. As soon as I looked outside I could tell that this was going to be an amazing day. Roatan is beautiful!! We booked with Little French Key. After walking out of the port and up the hill it was easy to find Larry and Dave who guided us to the shuttle bus. It was a short ride to the Frenchys 44 where we paid and boarded a boat across to the island. I feel I can't adequately describe the experience we had at LFK. This was a day that we will never forgot, it was absolutely perfect. Kelley was our server and ensured that we did not want for anything. The pictures of this place do not do it justice. I paid $50 to swim with the baby jaguar, Esther. I heard a few people say what a waste of money this was. I thought it was some of the best money I had ever spent. I wish that LFK had this a little more organized as it was a bit confusing and crowded with others that did not pay to swim with her but were just hanging around in the water watching.

Once back on board we showered and headed to dinner and then the casino, followed by the love and marriage show, and finally quest. The love and marriage show was hilarious. I was cry laughing. Quest was just shocking. I'm not easily offended and knew that this was going to be Wild and crazy but still wanted to experience it for myself. It was beyond crazy and I can't and won't begin to describe what happened. Aaron and I both left the show thinking what could go through these people's mind to act like that in front of complete strangers. They seemed to be having fun so that's all that matters.




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#15
Humble, Texas
109 Posts
Joined Jan 2017
I am loving your review! Can't wait to read more!
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Carnival Ecstasy, May 2013
Carnival Triumph, April 2014
#16
Raleigh, NC
705 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Originally posted by BoomerSoonerCruisers
Thursday Roatan -

The pictures of this place do not do it justice. I paid $50 to swim with the baby jaguar, Esther. I heard a few people say what a waste of money this was. I thought it was some of the best money I had ever spent.

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Wait.... You can swim with a baby Jaguar here? Do you have any pictures of the jaguar? I have never heard of this, and might change my plans to to LFK just for this...

Thanks
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Past Cruises: 154 Days at Sea and counting!
Carnival Elation - 6-3-2017 5 Day
Carnival Vista - 4-8-2017 8 Day
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Carnival Paradise 4-7-2016 4 Day
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#17
Central Illinois
105,570 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
Nice photos, enjoying the review.
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Bob

Past Cruises

Celebrity: Mercury
RCCL: Adventure, Allure, Brilliance, Enchantment, Explorer, Freedom, Independence, Legend, Liberty, Majesty, Mariner, Monarch, Navigator, Oasis, Radiance, Rhapsody, Serenade, Sovereign, Vision, Voyager
#18
Texas
383 Posts
Joined May 2004
Loving your review. Looking forward to the rest. Thank you for taking the time. It makes my wait more bearable.
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Happy Sailing,
Sports Mama

:

Valor 12/16
Conquest 7/11
Freedom of the Seas 7/08
Conquest 7/07
Rhapsody of the Seas 8/04
Celebration 7/02
Mardi Gras 12/88 (Honeymoon Cruise)
#20
cleburne,texas u.s.a.
2,070 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
What does the magnetic thermometer do, show you what the current temperature in the room is?
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2003 Royal Caribbean Rhapsody Of The Seas 5/11/03
2004 Carnival Conquest 9/12/04
2005 Carnival Conquest 10/9/05
2006 Grand Princess 10/15/06
2007 Carnival Glory 8/12/07
2008 Carnival Triumph 7/20/08
2009 Norwegian Dawn 6/21/09
2010 Carnival Valor 8/15/10
2011 Carnival Freedom 8/13/11
2013 Carnival Dream 8/17/13
2014 Carnival Freedom 8/16/14
2016 Carnival Breeze 3/12/16
2017 Carnival Breeze 08/06/17