One Last Fun Day at Sea

All good things must come to an end. Carnival Breeze is bound for Miami, Florida today. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders
All good things must come to an end. Carnival Breeze is bound for Miami, Florida today. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Aaron Saunders, Live Voyage Reports

By the time I returned back to my stateroom from breakfast aboard Carnival Cruise LinesCarnival Breeze, the dreaded Disembarkation Information was sitting on my bed, surrounded by a happy little heart made out of towels.

Today marks our last full day aboard the Carnival Breeze as we sail back to Miami on the tail-end of our eight-day Eastern Caribbean voyage that has taken us to Grand Turk, San Juan, Philipsburg and St. Thomas.

Carnival sent out disembarkation tags and information with the morning stateroom service. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders
Carnival sent out disembarkation tags and information with the morning stateroom service. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Carnival’s disembarkation package is short and concise. Three luggage tags with a designated group number were placed on the bed, along with a sheet outlining the disembarkation procedures.

There are two main options for disembarking tomorrow: Self-Assist Debarkation and Relaxed Debarkation.

With the Self-Assist option, guests are free to disembark anytime they wish between 7:00a, and 8:30am, pending clearance from the authorities shoreside. Guests utilising this option have to be able to wheel their own luggage off the ship with them, but is ideal for those who have early flights out of Miami International or Fort Lauderdale –Hollywood International airport.

Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders
Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

The Relaxed option allows guests to go ashore in one of 33 different “Zones”, each with its own approximate disembarkation time. Since I’m staying in the Miami area tomorrow before heading home on Monday, I’ve been assigned one of the last disembarkation numbers.

Guests are requested to leave their staterooms by 8:30am tomorrow morning, and can relax in one of three relaxation zones: the Seaside Theatre on Deck 10; the Liquid Nightclub on Deck 5; and the Ovation Theatre on Decks 3, 4 and 5. The Liquid Nightclub seems like an oddly unhelpful choice for a relaxation area; it’s the one public room on the ship that is noticeably devoid of almost any seating.

Once again, the pool deck - and associated Splash Park - were busy, busy! Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders
Once again, the pool deck – and associated Splash Park – were busy, busy! Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

To be honest, there’s not much I can say about today that hasn’t already been said. At this point, everyone has settled comfortably into their shipboard routines, whether that means spending an afternoon in the Ocean Plaza on Deck 5 enjoying a trivia marathon; or bronzing yourself up on the Sun Deck. The weather has been so nice that Bingo was even moved up to the Seaside Theatre on Deck 10. Ever seen someone hold a bingo card while in the pool? I have.

Our last full day aboard Carnival Breeze, sailing the clam waters of the Atlantic Ocean en-route to Miami, could best be described as the quintessential postcard-perfect day at sea.

With that in mind, I thought I’d go over some of the things that made the greatest impression on me over the last eight days:

The Punchliner Comedy Club

Looking out over the Lanai on Deck 5 from the Deck 9 forward observation point. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders
Looking out over the Lanai on Deck 5 from the Deck 9 forward observation point. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Quite possibly some of the best comedians I’ve seen on land or at sea. Carnival offered nearly 17 unique performances during the course of our cruise featuring four separate comedians. Some of these were family-friendly, while multiple Adults Only comedy shows were offered from 9pm onward. Thankfully, when they say “Adult”, they mean it! Developed in conjunction with comedian George Lopez, this venue has been the talk of the ship.

FunShip 2.0 Enhancements

FunShip 2.0 Enhancements like Guy's Burger Joint are a real hit onboard Carnival Breeze. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders
FunShip 2.0 Enhancements like Guy’s Burger Joint are a real hit onboard Carnival Breeze. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

From the RedFrog Rum Bar to Guy’s Burger Joint, Carnival’s hit a home run in terms of the variety these new Fun Ship 2.0 enhancements represent to the product. Trying out each different venue becomes a bit of an event in and of itself.

Open Deck Space

Carnival Breeze has loads and loads of open deck space. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders
Carnival Breeze has loads and loads of open deck space. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Just today, after a full week onboard, I discovered a new area of open deck space that I wish I would have earlier: a beautiful open deck space on Deck 9, accessed by the portside stateroom corridor. What makes this level so special? You can stand atop the port and starboard bridge wings for a magnificent view down the side of the ship. Couple that with open deck space on Decks 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 14 and 15, and you’ve got plenty of room to find your own unique spot in the sun.

 Bold, ‘New’ Carnival

The gorgeous Piano Bar 88 epitomizes the new style of design Carnival is pursuing. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders
The gorgeous Piano Bar 88 epitomizes the new style of design Carnival is pursuing. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

The first Carnival ship to be designed almost exclusively by Partner Ship Design of Germany, Carnival Breeze represents the “new” Carnival. Fun yet elegant, the new décor scheme and colour palettes that public rooms have been afforded is welcoming but vibrant. Staterooms are sleek and modern in their design, and the Caribbean-theme running throughout the ship works tremendously well.

Diverse Activities

Poolside bingo, anyone? Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders
Poolside bingo, anyone? Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Boredom is completely impossible here aboard Carnival Breeze. Regardless of your interests, there’s likely to be something happening each and every day that appeals to you. The only problem I’ve found so far this cruise: it can be tough to see and do everything that you want to! Carnival particularly excels when it comes to trivia, live music performances, and production shows that feature audience participation and interaction.

Cloud 9 Spa & Suites

Carnival Breeze is on the fourth ship in Carnival’s history to have a sprawling Cloud 9 Spa complex, and the line has continued to tweak and refine its layout and amenities. The private elevator and stairwell-access for the nearby Spa Staterooms, which include unlimited access to the Thermal Suites and Thalassotherapy Pool, is just the icing on the cake. Highly recommended.

Tonight, I had the opportunity to chat with Carnival Breeze Hotel Director Pierre B. Camilleri. Hailing from Malta, Camilleri and I talked about everything from the history of Carnival to the enhancements to the Carnival Breeze.

But he always came back to the same subject: the crew. Carnival Breeze is one of the most desirable ships in the fleet to work on, and the crew take great pride in their jobs and in ensuring that guests have an enjoyable time. He emphasized Carnival’s greatest asset isn’t the value in its pricing; it’s the value they provide in their service to each and every passenger onboard.

After eight days aboard the Carnival Breeze, I can see exactly what he’s talking about.

Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders
Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Carnival Breeze - 8 Night Eastern Caribbean

DAYPORTARRIVEDEPART
January 31, 2014Prepping our Fun Ship Journey
February 1, 2014
Miami, FloridaEmbark Carnival Breeze4:00 PM
February 2Fun Day at Sea
February 3Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos7:00 AM3:00 PM
February 4San Juan, Puerto Rico11:00 AM7:00 PM
February 5Philipsburg, St. Maarten8:00 AM6:00 PM
February 6St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands7:00 AM5:00 PM
February 7Fun Day at Sea
February 8Fun Day at Sea
February 9Miami, Florida8:00 AMDisembark

Join the Conversation

jo says:

Sounds like you enjoyed the Breeze as much as I did. It makes me sad that I missed out on Carnival all these years as I loved both Dream & Breeze. Looking forward to the recap.

Aaron Saunders says:

I feel the same way. I have nearly 50 cruises under my belt, and it’s a little embarrassing that it took me this long to discover them. Won’t be my last Fun Ship journey, though!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *