Summing Up Carnival Breeze & A Win For The Miami Heat

Carnival Breeze © Ralph Grizzle
Pictured above and popular with kids, the PowerDrencher: The new Carnival Breeze made its big splash in Europe this month, and through the summer will offer a series of 12-day sailings from Barcelona. Next year, Carnival Cruise Lines will operate two ships in Europe, catering to an ever-changing demographic as the line sources increasingly more Europeans on its American-style ships. © 2012 Ralph Grizzle

I enjoyed cruising from Barcelona to Venice last week on the new Carnival Breeze. Yes, at times the new vessel felt crowded — with more than 4,200 others on board — and busy, as 800 kids were having the time of their lives.

However, the passenger flow was handled well, and Carnival Breeze felt less crowded than, say, Carnival Magic. That said, there were a few glitches. It was challenging at times to find a deck chair, even in the adults-only Serenity area. Fat Jimmy’s C-Side BBQ, a new complimentary outdoor dining venue open only on sea days, was so busy that I did not get to try it. For some, the wait to load a plate with barbecue on deck 5 exceeded 25 minutes.

On the other hand, I always found a place to sit in the sun, even if it was on my balcony, and there were more than a half dozen other places besides Fat Jimmy’s to grab a bite, including my favorite for lunch, BlueIguana Cantina, with its whole-wheat, made-to-order burritos featuring fresh ingredients and a variety of sauces and salsas.

I don’t want to mislead anyone. Crowded, sometimes yes, and long lines at times. Even so, Carnival Breeze offers an exceptionally satisfying cruise experience, and I do recommend it, as I wrote in The Avid Cruiser’s Take: Carnival Breeze Ship Review.

Plus, Carnival continues to work to manage crowds and is focusing attention on dispersing passengers around the ship by developing new venues. See Gerry Cahill On Carnival Breeze & Carnival’s New Direction.

Carnival’s highly Americanized product sails in Europe but remains connected to the United States. Between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. Friday morning, as Carnival Breeze sailed toward Venice, about 150 Miami Heat fans joined Lebron James in celebrating a NBA Championship during the closing moments of the 5th game of the NBA Finals. The game was broadcast live on the ship’s Lido Deck and in the casino bar. Heat managing partner Micky Arison is chairman and CEO of the line’s parent company, Carnival Corp. & plc. AP Photo/Carnival Cruise Lines, Andy Newman

Nearly half of those sailing with us were non-Americans, and they obviously (I hope) wanted to experience the highly Americanized product. Next year, Carnival Legend and Carnival Sunshine’s Europe deployment will be the most extensive ever for the line. See Carnival Cruise Lines European Expansion.

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If you haven’t seen it already, check out The Avid Cruiser’s All-New Carnival Breeze Ship Review.

Read more about Carnival Breeze in the posts below. 

Buzzing Around Breeze

@cruisebuzz Carrie Finley-Bajak has posted a fun Instagram photo of Miami Heat Managing Partner Micky Arison, looking a bit exhausted after his team won the NBA Finals. Princess Cruises caught Carrie’s eye for the Top Facebook Post, while Vikings and star bartenders made her top Tweets.  She’s also posted some fun videos. You’ll find all of this and more at Cruise Biz Buzz | June 23, 2012.

And be sure to check out Carrie’s list of Top 10 Cruise Lines on Twitter as well as an interesting account of an exotic trip in the post Uniworld River Cruise Social Media Diary from Vietnam and Cambodia.

From The Deck Chair

Aaron Saundersis at home in Vancouver, but his mind is still at sea. He continues to update his From The Deck Chair blog regularly with the following posts this week:

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