What’s so good about Breeze?

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BreezeSeaTrials8.jpgAfter a sensible period for quiet reflection, it’s safe to pick through some of the highlights – and a few lowlights – of last week’s cruise on the brand new Carnival Breeze.
Passengers who sailed the full round-trip will be disembarking in Barcelona today. I jumped ship at the weekend and flew home from Venice, although not, I hasten to add, because I could take no more of the lively party atmosphere.
With Breeze’s calmer decor and Fun Ship 2 innovations, not to mention the unblemished weather in the Mediterranean, I was having a great week. What was so good about it? And were there any faults?
IMG_9750.jpgGOOD: For a start, that new design makes for lighter, brighter interiors. Previous Carnival ships were mainly the work of Joe Farcus, who specialises in over-the-top experience spaces that are invigorating but can also bring on a migraine.
The money men took a look at contemporary land-based resorts in places like Las Vegas and decided it was time to move on, and quite possibly discovered that bland yellow lifts and stairwells, for example, save money on more elaborate creations.
Corridors leading to cabins are adorned with repeated mural prints of calming Caribbean beach scenes; even the gents’ toilets have pictures of waterfalls crashing over rocks, probably serving a dual purpose. I can’t speak for the decor in the ladies’ – perhaps they feature pink flamingoes.
NOT SO GOOD: The horizontal plank effect on the cabin doors gives them a summery beach-hut feel to match the walls. But they each have an air vent at the bottom, which renders any soundproofing redundant. Kids running up and down and late-night partygoers heading for bed were not always considerate of their fellow-passengers.
I was doubly unfortunate to be directly opposite one of the launderettes which got busier and busier as the week progressed. On a sea day passengers were virtually setting up camp in the corridor to make sure they could grab a washing machine.
GOOD: I liked the choice of food in the Lido Marketplace buffet, particularly the chicken, fish and curries at Tandoor – where there was always, for some reason, a bowl of Greek salad. Menus in the main dining rooms Sapphire and Blush were varied and of good quality – if you didn’t fancy anything from the daily-changing choice there was always steak, chicken and salmon to select as well.
At $12 cover charge, the Cucina del Capitano is one of the best value extra-charge restaurants at sea, and you’d never go hungry eating the Italian specialities here. It’s $35 a head for the Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse, where only a vegetarian would be in danger of starving. And the a la carte pricing for items at Bonsai Sushi and the Caribbean bites in the Red Frog pub is great value.
IMG_9857.jpgNOT SO GOOD: My new-found quest for healthy eating could have come unstuck, faced with the temptations of Guy’s Burger Joint and Fat Jimmy’s C-Side BBQ. But the greasy, overcooked chips at Guy’s were easy to resist, and the 25-minute queue for pulled pork off the grill prevented me from making too many trips to the counter.
IMG_9839.jpgGOOD: The excitement of the WaterWorks fun park, with its irresistible power drencher bucket and exhilarating slides, together with the facilities of Camp Carnival for the younger kids, plus Circle C and the Club O2 for teens make this an excellent ship for families – there were more than 800 under-18s on my cruise. Family entertainment also included films in the 5D Thrill Theatre, and the all-action, high energy Hasbro, The Game Show in the main theatre, which had the whole place shouting loudly for a chance to participate.
NOT SO GOOD: First prize in that game show was a hamper full of games rather than a treasure trove of money – you have to play bingo or the casino for cash prizes. The four much-touted Playlist Production shows on the main stage – Divas, Latin Nights, Motor City, and The Brits! – are stale collections of songs performed to tired dance routines in front of an impressive (and expensive) backdrop of moving LED screens.
GOOD: As well as the well-equipped main gym, there’s training equipment in the open air on the Sports Deck. Not that I ever saw anyone using it in anger, although there were plenty of takers for the jogging track. The two-level crazy golf course is fun, and the adventurous with a head for heights can take advantage of the ropes course.
NOT SO GOOD: Play on the basketball court has to be suspended in the evenings for fear of disturbing diners in the Cucina, immediately below. It starts up again at 10.0 pm though, making it impossible to linger over the last crumbs of tiramisu. Perhaps that’s the point.
GOOD: The adults-only Serenity sun deck, high above the Spa at the bow of the ship, is a real haven of tranquility with luxurious loungers, comfortable private cabanas and hammocks. There are whirlpool baths and a full bar service, with light snacks available on sea days. Best of all, unlike similar retreats on some ships, there’s no extra charge.
IMG_9777.jpgNOT SO GOOD: There’s constant noise on the sundecks by the main pool. If it’s not something showing on the Dive-In movie screen, there are DJs and live bands. Not to mention the occasional raucous event like the Hairy Chest contest. It’s much quieter, but less sunny, on the Deck 5 Promenade. If you want my tip, head for the two almost-hidden deck areas at the bow on Decks 6 and 7 where you can lounge undisturbed.
Don’t get me wrong. The good points of Breeze far outweighed the few weaknesses. There’s plenty of other aspects of the ship to talk about and I’ll get round to covering more in my full review for the travel pages of the Daily Mirror.

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:46+00:00 27 June 2012|Cruise Ships|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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