The 130,000-ton vessel carries 3,690 passengers and is the third in the line’s Dream-class series.
Veering away, for the first time, from the bright decor that Carnival has become somewhat infamous for, Carnival Breeze’s palette is more muted with pastels inspired by Caribbean beaches and tropical sunsets.
“We sail to such beautiful places, so we wanted to bring the outside in,” Carnival Cruise Lines vice president of product development Lania Rittenhouse said.
“Even our corridors are different from anything anybody’s ever seen, full of palm tree-inspired motifs. You feel like you’re at the beach just walking to your stateroom.”
e-Travel Blackboard sailed aboard Carnival Breeze on her second ever voyage out of Barcelona and we break down the features and amenities of the ship that will now lead the way for future releases from the line.
With 905 of the 1,845 staterooms onboard offering balconies, it’s clear that Carnival has listened to their passengers when formatting the layout of the cabins on their newest ship.
Moveable flat screen televisions offer a selection of movies, cable channels and ship-specific shows including the ever-popular “Cruise Director” channel that showcases “The Morning Show” starring John Heald and Calvyn on our specific sailing.
The interactive TV also allows passengers to view messages, their sail and sign accounts, book shore excursions and make dining reservations, all from the comfort of their stateroom.
24-hour complimentary room service is also on offer with an average wait-time of 20 minutes.
Plush Carnival Comfort Collection linens and towels are readily available with full showers complete with massage head featured in all stateroom bathrooms.
Ample cupboard space and a dressing table ensure that, even when sharing a cabin, there is enough room for storage and elevated beds mean that your suitcase can be tucked away for the duration of your voyage.
Deluxe Ocean View staterooms are the perfect option for families sailing aboard Carnival Breeze with a separate washroom to the full bathroom on offer and the ability to sleep up to five people in a selection of configurations.
Those after a broader view of the ocean can book a Premium Vista Balcony stateroom that offers a wrap around balcony on the aft corners of the ship while the Aft View Extended Balcony stateroom features a larger than normal balcony.
A selection of 54 Suites and Penthouses are available aboard Carnival Breeze with the added benefit of VIP check-in. Ocean Suites offer a walk in wardrobe and jacuzzi in the bathroom along with a larger balcony than the standard Balcony staterooms.
For those wanting to ditch the gym and get into the fresh sea air, the SportSquare offers a myriad of activities to get the heart pumping.
Soccer, basketball and volleyball can be played in the sports court whilse a two-level, nine-hole miniature golf course offers a lighter level of activity.
The outdoor fitness area includes stationary bikes, ellipticals and rowing machines and an 800-foot long jogging track surround the entire SportSquare.
For those wanting to take a break from the action, the SportSquare Bar may be more your cup of tea.
State-of-the-art fitness equipment and a program of classes including Yoga, makes this gym at sea enticing to even the most laid back of cruisers.
The two-deck Cloud 9 Spa is the fourth in Carnival’s fleet and invokes a tropical calm with bright whites and muted pastels.
Operated by The Onboard Spa by Steiner, passengers are privy to a variety of treatments, including facials, massages, acupuncture and teeth whitening whilst using brands including Elemis, Bliss, La Thérapie and Mandara.
Located on deck 14 forward, the Spa also features a mineral enriched Thalassotherapy Pool, sauna-like Laconium, Tepidarium complete with heated tile loungers, Caldarium steam chamber and an Aromatic Grotto infused with herbal steam.
For those not wanting to partake in any treatments, a day pass can be purchased to the Thermal Suite and Thalassotherapy Pool.
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In addition to the main dining rooms, Blush and Sapphire, which serve fantastic meals with phenomenal service, Carnival Breeze offers another 13 dining options for those wanting some variety with their cruise.
Guy’s Burger Joint
Making its popular debut aboard Carnival Liberty last year, “Food Network” chef and best-selling author, Guy Fieri takes his delectable burgers to the sea again aboard Carnival Breeze.
A complimentary offering located by the Beach Pool on Lido deck, Guy’s Burger Joint is open from midday to 6pm and offers a selection of burgers including the Chillius Maximus, loaded with a burger patty and spicy chilli and the Straight Up for those wanting to load their own burgers from the fully stocked salad and condiment bar.
Originally anticipating 750 burgers being made per day, executives were surprised when almost 1500 burgers were made per day aboard Carnival Liberty. The reaction aboard Breeze was so positive among passengers that this figure seems definitely set to rise.
Whether it’s Guy’s secret Donkey Sauce, the seasoned hand-cut fries or the SMC ring (Super Melty Cheese)...all this cruiser knows is that a day would not be complete whilst sailing on either Liberty or Breeze without a burger fix from Guy’s Burger Joint!
If only they were open 24 hours like Pizza Pirate!
Also making its debut aboard Carnival Liberty as part of the Fun Ship 2.0 additions, the Blue Iguana Cantina is open for breakfast and lunch for all Breeze passengers needing a Mexican fix.
Breakfast burritos were my staple almost every day and I have to confess that I did indulge in a freshly made-to-order burrito or taco at lunch several times as well.
The condiment station was loaded up with chips and salsa and the lines were always reasonable, even on a sea day.
Featuring an array of options, the Lido Marketplace offers everything from a made-to-order Mongolian Wok to the Comfort Kitchen, New York-style deli with freshly made sandwiches to The Sweet Spot complete with a chocolate fountain.
The open plan layout meant that it was never overly crowded and the lines were always manageable.
Indoor/outdoor seating really opened up the fresh and bright dining venue which led to two more food options on Lido deck aft, the 24-hour Pizza Pirate and Indian-inspired Tandoor which only seemed to be open intermittently.
Cucina del Capitano
Cucina del Capitano is accessible via the Lido marketplace on deck 10 and, whilst open for lunch as a complimentary pasta bar, it truly comes to life in the evening when an array of delectable Italian dishes are served for the nominal price of USD$12 per person.
Designed as an homage to Carnival’s Italian Captains past and present, it is decorated traditionally with red and white checked table cloths and large bottles of wine, with the walls lined with photos of the Captains and their families.
Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse
Located on deck 5 near Piano Bar 88, Fahrenheit 555 offers intimate fine dining for a nominal fee of only USD$35 per passenger.
With ambient lighting, fantastic service and a menu that would please any epicurian, it’s advisable to book in early for this dining experience as it can book out very quickly.
The menu is diverse and features a range of seafood and meat options but be sure to save enough room for dessert, unlike this cruiser.
My recommendations were the escargots Bourguignonne and the surf and turf, complete with lobster tails...steer clear of the lobster ravioli.
The success of the sushi bar onboard Carnival ships, prompted the line to offer a more holistic offering for those among us who need their sushi fix at sea.
Bonsai Sushiis located next door to the Red Frog Pub and features a traditional setting and ample seating.
With a varied and affordable menu that includes sushi, sashimi and an assortment of other Japanese delicacies (including sake), the dining venue was a favourite of mine, even though the serving time was much longer than desired.
Whilst sushi has always been a grab-and-go meal for me, I recommend allowing a good hour at the least, to savour the atmosphere and allow your meal ample time to arrive.
I found that once I asked the waiters to serve my meal faster, I was able to get 3 dishes within an hour-and-a-half whilst my initial meal took three hours to serve and numerous reminders about what I had ordered.
The food however...was to die for!
Fat Jimmy’s C-Side BBQ
Open on sea days only, this dining venue was named after Carnival Cruise Lines chief marketing officer and barbeque fanatic, Jim Berra, who is actually quite thin!
Offering a range of BBQ options including pulled pork sandwiches and barbecue chicken, Fat Jimmy’s C-Side BBQ was such a hit that many passengers didn’t get the chance to experience it.
Waiting times averaged 20 minutes with many passengers complaining the food was cold by the time they got to it.
This cruiser decided not to brave the lines, but hopes that the concept expands to be offered on port days as well so that more passengers get to experience the first outdoor barbeque for Carnival Cruise Lines.
Punchliner Comedy Brunch
The Sapphire dining room is turned into a comedy club every sea day when the guest comedians take to the centre of the room and do a quick five minute routine on the hour every hour from 9am-1pm.
A traditional Mexican breakfast is on offer inspired by official comedian for Carnival Cruise Lines, George Lopez.
Huevos rancheros and breakfast burritos on offer along with my two favourite comedians on this sailing, Jason Blanchard and Smiley Joe Wiley performing a teaser routine? I knew where I would be on the last sea day!
The downside? The teaser is just too short and the layout of the dining room doesn’t really allow for the best guest interaction with it being so spread out and across two levels.
My hope is that they extend the routines to ten minutes each and perhaps split them up to perform every half-hour instead of on the hour alone.
From my local, the Liquid Nightclub, to perennial favourite, the Red Frog Pub, Carnival Breeze is not short on places to enjoy a beverage, dance or sing along.
From DJ Irie’s musical vision to create atmosphere throughout the ship, to Playlist Productions blowing passengers away with their talented performances on a state-of-the-art stage, Carnival Breeze offered the best line up of entertainment I have experienced thus far on a ship.
A big call, yes, but the calibre of performances was second-to-none and truly involved the audience on so many levels.
The high-energy “Motor City”, “The Brits”, “Divas” and “Latin Nights” were shown regularly throughout our voyage to ensure that passengers had the greatest chance possible to experience the all-new productions offered by Carnival Cruise Lines.
A cast of seven sang and danced their way through production numbers that were further enhanced by large sliding high definition LCD screens, Broadway calibre lighting and staging and costumes that perfectly reflected the eras being performed.
Several shows including “Latin Nights” and “Motor City” involved the audience by starting a theatre-wide conga line at the end of the performance that guided passengers into the lobby to the dance floor.
A floating stage housed DJ Alx who spun tunes for the cast and audience to dance to.
Who needs a standing ovation when you can show your appreciation in dance?
Punchliner Comedy Club
The Limelight Lounge turned into the Punchliner Comedy Club hosted by George Lopez with six comedians taking to the stage during our voyage.
Family friendly comedy made way for adults only laughs late at night at shows that were often “standing room only”.
This cruiser’s favourite comedians, Jason Blanchard and Smiley Joe Wiley were a welcome reprieve from the not-so-funny Austin Night and Tom Pepper who were not really my cup of tea...that’s the best thing about the variety offered aboard Breeze there were so many comedians on offer over the two weeks that there was certain to be a comedian for every passenger!
Hasbro The Game Show
Ever wanted to be a part of a television game show? Or even part of the studio audience? Then you need to sail aboard Carnival Breeze!
Partnering with Hasbro to bring such games as Connect 4, Monopoly and Simon Flash to life on stage, cruise director Butch embodied the perfect game show host in the packed out Ovation Theatre.
Encouraging the audience to get involved, contestants are chosen via a range of Trivial Pursuit questions...and a lot of jumping in the air.
Even the commercial breaks were factored in with old-school ads for Hasbro games shown on the big screens above the stage.
With board game packs as prizes, this show was a hit cruisers of all ages and was only shown on sea days.
Monday, 3 September 2012
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: Natalie Aroyan