Ship: Carnival Breeze
Ship Captain: Rocco Lubrano
Cruise Director: Jonathan “Cookie” Adams
This is my 7th & 8th time on the Carnival Breeze, my 78th & 79th Carnival Cruise Line cruises, and my 155th & 156th cruises overall. I am sailing solo. This is my first cruise in 16 months, since I was dragged off of the Carnival Dream in the middle of a B2B due to the Pandemic shutdown.
Day One--Saturday--July 24th--Embarkation
When I completed the online boarding & health forms I had the earliest allotted boarding time of 10:30 -11:00 am. That can be good or bad. When I packed on the night before sailing (as usual) I discovered that I didn't have Khaki's or pants for the MDR. I have a favorite pair of Khaki's that I called my "Eating Pants" for the past ten years. They have been on lots of cruises and all over the world, but alas, they no longer fit me. I have actually lost 92 pounds of weight since my last cruise. So I had to leave very early to allow myself some time to go pants shopping before boarding the ship. I was successful and actually at EZ Cruise Parking by 10:15 am. It was busy as the Vista is also sailing today, but soon I was shuttled over to the Breeze and walked to the line for Check-in. There was a short line for initial security and vaccination check, then to the next station where you have your bags sent through the security x-ray machines. Then you go upstairs to the actually Carnival check-in area. Wasn't busy at all and there was only about 100+ people in the waiting area. I only just sat down when they called for guests in suites, then the A-1 boarding passes. It was only 11:00 am. An amazingly smooth process. One small hold-up at the final check point...Face recognition did not work for me as they used my passport photo and I look so different with the weight loss. With that fixed I was onboard and I dropped my bags at the cabin. It was already cleaned and ready so I was able to spend a few minutes as I had carried my bag with me through this process. It was off to Lido Deck and the Mongolian Grill. I was among the first if not the first through. You can select your own vegetables and noodles as usual and they did a great job preparing the dish. I looked at the buffet and it looked very good, there was Italian food in the specialty area. I went down to my Muster Station to check-in for safety drill. This is so much easier. Then I watched guests board the ship at the Lobby Bar...always interesting. I did return to the Lido deck and the Dessert Station to see if there were any new masterpieces and they did not disappoint. An Elderberry and Vanilla Cake...it was fantastic. I went to see the Lido aft pool area and saw my friend Daniel working the bar. It was really good seeing him, I was able to visit with him about my trip to Romania. Then I finally returned to my cabin to hang my clothes and set it up for my cruise. I have a 1A interior, but a lot of room especially for a solo guest. Even though there is no formal Muster Drill, they still make ship-wide announcements about 3:00 pm...so a bit difficult to nap. I was lazy and watched sail away from my cabin TV, but I was able to start this review and relax after an early and already long day. I went to the Alchemy Bar about 6:30 for Apéritifs and had some lovely Elderflower based cocktails. The Alchemy Bar has to share space with the Ocean Plaza so not as intimate, but certainly entertaining as the Alchemist went with the flow and rocked out to the great band performing. You meet the nicest guests at the Alchemy as well. I had a nice table on lower level of the Blush Dining Room. My card said Table 1 that I presume is code for “see the Maitre’D” and I was taken straightaway by the assistant Maitre”D who I knew from previous sailings. Dinner was good. I order two Shrimp Cocktails, the Smoked Pablano & Corn Soup, the Braised Beef Brisket entree, and the Strawberry Creme for dessert. I was hoping for an improvement on the Shrimp Cocktail and no it wasn’t…very bland. The soup was very good as was the entree. The brisket was very tender and I had asked for horseradish that added some tang. Very enjoyable meal. I know there was a lot of activities on board, but I retired to the cabin, made some notes, and was soon fast asleep.
Very calm seas and I slept very well in my interior cabin, very dark and quiet. I do use the forward camera on the TV as a night light, I was awake about 7:15 am and went up to the Blue Iguana about 7:45 for my favorite breakfast of Huevos Rancheros and fresh eggs. It was great and a beautiful morning and beautiful blue seas. So nice. Many guests were enjoying the early morning calm before it gets so busy on the Lido deck. I went to the Tides Bar on Lido aft to purchased my Cheers Package and ordered a Bloody Mary. I sat at a nice aft facing table and enjoyed the morning view and sea air. Very nice. I attended the Diamond Luncheon at 11:00 am and it was fantastic. So much better than a Diamond cocktail party. First you have your photo taken with the Captain, then seated for lunch. I had a great table with new and old friends. I ordered the Pork Belly appetizer, the Steak entree, and the Tres Leches dessert. All the food was excellent as was the service. There was basically a cocktail server for every two tables so I took advantage. A very FUN luncheon. It was now nap time and I set a personal record for my longest nap on a cruise, I slept for five hours…amazing and refreshing. When I woke after 6:00 pm it was already time for Apéritifs at the Alchemy and then dinner. Thank goodness I have late dining. Tonight I ordered: the Spaghetti Carbonara as a starter, the Prime Rib entree, and the Creme Brûlée for dessert. All were very good. since I was rested I did a little walk about the ship, the Piano Bar was busy as well as other venues, but ended up at the Alchemy Bar for late cocktails. The entertainers especially the band were again very good in the Ocean Plaza. It was a fun and refreshing day on the Carnival Breeze.
Day Three--Monday--July 26th—Progreso, Yucatan, Mexico
Day Five--Wednesday--July 28th—FUN Day at Sea
Day Six of B2B / Day One of 2nd Cruise—Thursday—July 29th—Galveston
Smooth seas overnight and I did sleep well. We were already docked when I woke at 7:00 am and it looks to be a perfect day in Galveston. I went up to Blue Iguana for a nice breakfast and test my telephone. They were getting guests off the ship very quickly. The B2B guests met at 9:00 am the earliest I've ever seen, but it was justified. We were given our new Sail & Sign Cards and soon we were told they were ready for us to walk through Customs. There were about 30 of us and the customs official just looked at Passports and we walked strait back on the ship. All of this by 10:00 am. Wow. We had cocktails and a photo taken and then had the ship to ourselves for an hour. I did the Muster Drill at 10:45 am so easy with no guests and the new system. I had lunch at Cucina Del Capitano on deck 11, first time there, my pasta bowl was very good. I finally got a decent wifi signal on my iPhone from the outer aft deck and updated several Facebook pages and this blog. Its also interesting watching the new guests explore the ship too. I had some cabin time but went for a snack and ended up with a Guy’s burger…certainly will fill me until late dinner. I was on outer deck 5 using the telephone when we pushed off the dock 20 minutes early so I stayed and watched a proper sail away through Galveston Harbor. I noticed the construction of the new Royal Caribbean terminal located on the east end near the ferry terminals. They will host a mega Oasis Class ship there in the fall of next year. The dolphins gave their usual escort out to the jetty, always nice to see dolphins. On the way back in I pass the casino and noticed that many if not most of the machines had someone sitting at them holding their favorite machine until casino opens I assume. I have not really noticed that before. I know we have a lot of guests sailing with Casino fares. About 6:00 pm I went up to the Ocean Plaza to hear the feature soloist perform, I had heard her from the background of the Alchemy but not really sat and listened, she was very good, At Alchemy I had two lovely cocktails prepared by Lidija, loved the fragrance of the basil leafs as I took each drink. Thanks. I have the same table in the Blush Dining Room so easy to get around the crowd and get seated. Tonight I ordered the MultiGrain Cranberry bread, the Mixed Greens salad, the Roasted Tomato Soup, and the Braised Beef Brisket. The soup and salad were best. The usual activities on the ship: Welcome Show, Comedy Club, Piano Bar, and more. A busy but fast and well organized embarkation day on the Carnival Breeze.
Day Seven of B2B / Day Two of 2nd Cruise—Friday—July 30th—FUN Day at Sea
Smooth seas and I slept well. I went up to Lido for sea air about 8:00 am and enjoyed a Bloody Mary.
Day Eight of B2B / Day Three of 2nd Cruise—Saturday—July 31st—Cozumel Mexico
Crew / Staff
I found the crew to be great. My cabin steward Aiza was very good. Housekeeping was cleaning constantly everywhere you looked. Enjoyed the Officers and Crew I interacted with during the cruises. Natalie a Maitre’d in Blush MDR is one of my all time favorites
Food / Drink
After 79 Carnival cruises the MDR food has become very routine to me and I really don’t get excited about it as I used to do. I do love the Mongolian Wok, Cucina de Capitano, Blue Iguana, the Deli, or anything a little different. The Cheers package was good for me this cruise. I really don’t drink Pepsi at all and disappointed that they changed beverages. Of Course the Alchemy Bar is my favorite.
I had cabin 1351 an upper/lower bed on deck one by the center elevators on starboard side. Great location if you’re prone to seasickness. The cabin has the usual Carnival layout with three closets, bed stand with lamp, push button safe, mini refrigerator, four dresser drawers, and stool at dresser/desk. A lot of floor space. Perfect for a solo guest.
The Dream Class was not my favorite class of ship as initially they did not have a Guy’s Burger nor an Alchemy Bar, at least until the Carnival Magic. But now I really like the Dream class. They have all the 2.0 upgrades and some of the old favorites as the original style Mongolian Wok. Everything was ship shape as far as I could tell on board. We are sailing well below capacity that actually makes it very nice for guests on board. I believe Carnival is saying about 70%, but I believe it to perhaps be lower.
CRUISE HIGHLIGHTS for me:
The Breeze Band
New Friends !
Cozumel Port Days