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This was my 3rd cruise, but first time with Carnival. We went as a group of 9 for a family vacation. Five in my group were new to cruising. The 5 children ranged in age from 6 y.o to 14 y.o. Unfortunately, everyone in the group returned extremely disappointed. The pools were remarkably small, barely larger than hot tubs, and were nowhere close to being able to accommodate the number of passengers on board. My husband and I weren't even interested in using the pools although we usually like to jump in. The casino took up an extremely large space and made the entire 5th floor smell like stale cigarette smoke. The casino actually took up more space than all THREE children's areas combined! My kids were so bored when we dropped them off at the child area, that they refused to go back. It actually took me 20 minutes to drop off my 2 kids, and another 20 waiting in line to pick them up an hour later. It was disheartening to not be able to drop them off to have fun so we could do "adult time". The lines for food were equally as frustrating. After our first stop in Amber Cove, hungry, exhausted passengers returned on board to find that only pizza and burgers were available to eat; resulting in lines that were excruciatingly long. This was pretty much the recurring theme each time we wanted to eat. This was even true for the buffet lines...when it was open. It is like they purposely timed the food areas to be shut down or at half staff during the most inappropriate/busy times. We had never experienced lines like this on our other cruises. Activities were mostly limited to sales, raffles and Bingo to encourage additional on-board spending. Two soccer tournaments were offered, but were limited to 18+. The one craft we attended was so short that the workers were actually taking supplies out from under my 6 y.o. daughter's hands to put them away. How disappointing. We enjoyed the live music, especially Liz and Lucas, who were AMAZING! I wish there would have been more on board to do other than just sitting in a bar listening to music. Even though we loved the band, we would have liked more family time on our family vacation. The 2 teens in our group actually enjoyed hanging out with new friends. The 13-15 y.o. teen area facilitated the opportunity for them to all meet, but after 2 days they preferred to spend most of their time as a group outside of the monitored area. There were some positives on our cruise. As I mentioned before, music by Liz and Lucas was amazing. Our group all liked the port locations; especially Grand Turk and San Juan. We would have loved to spend more time in both places. Despite frequent long lines, Guy's Burgers, the BBQ place, 24/7 ice cream and the pizza place were delicious. We also liked the burrito shack. Red Frog pub had board games available that entertained us for an hour or so. My children liked the water slides when they were available, but they were always done within 30-45 minutes. The adults used the workout area and were pleased to find plenty of cardio and weight lifting equipment available during both visits. Overall, the combination of minimal pool space, constant lines for food, lack of activities and boring childrens' areas, we will NEVER consider returning to Carnival. The negatives outweighed the positive by a HUGE margin. Our cruise was pretty much only enjoyable while we were off the ship or listening to Liz and Lucas.

Up-selling and lines for everything

Carnival Breeze Cruise Review by ashes12

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
This was my 3rd cruise, but first time with Carnival. We went as a group of 9 for a family vacation. Five in my group were new to cruising. The 5 children ranged in age from 6 y.o to 14 y.o. Unfortunately, everyone in the group returned extremely disappointed.

The pools were remarkably small, barely larger than hot tubs, and were nowhere close to being able to accommodate the number of passengers on board. My husband and I weren't even interested in using the pools although we usually like to jump in.

The casino took up an extremely large space and made the entire 5th floor smell like stale cigarette smoke. The casino actually took up more space than all THREE children's areas combined!

My kids were so bored when we dropped them off at the child area, that they refused to go back. It actually took me 20 minutes to drop off my 2 kids, and another 20 waiting in line to pick them up an hour later. It was disheartening to not be able to drop them off to have fun so we could do "adult time".

The lines for food were equally as frustrating. After our first stop in Amber Cove, hungry, exhausted passengers returned on board to find that only pizza and burgers were available to eat; resulting in lines that were excruciatingly long. This was pretty much the recurring theme each time we wanted to eat. This was even true for the buffet lines...when it was open. It is like they purposely timed the food areas to be shut down or at half staff during the most inappropriate/busy times. We had never experienced lines like this on our other cruises.

Activities were mostly limited to sales, raffles and Bingo to encourage additional on-board spending. Two soccer tournaments were offered, but were limited to 18+. The one craft we attended was so short that the workers were actually taking supplies out from under my 6 y.o. daughter's hands to put them away. How disappointing. We enjoyed the live music, especially Liz and Lucas, who were AMAZING! I wish there would have been more on board to do other than just sitting in a bar listening to music. Even though we loved the band, we would have liked more family time on our family vacation.

The 2 teens in our group actually enjoyed hanging out with new friends. The 13-15 y.o. teen area facilitated the opportunity for them to all meet, but after 2 days they preferred to spend most of their time as a group outside of the monitored area.

There were some positives on our cruise. As I mentioned before, music by Liz and Lucas was amazing. Our group all liked the port locations; especially Grand Turk and San Juan.

We would have loved to spend more time in both places. Despite frequent long lines, Guy's Burgers, the BBQ place, 24/7 ice cream and the pizza place were delicious. We also liked the burrito shack. Red Frog pub had board games available that entertained us for an hour or so. My children liked the water slides when they were available, but they were always done within 30-45 minutes. The adults used the workout area and were pleased to find plenty of cardio and weight lifting equipment available during both visits.

Overall, the combination of minimal pool space, constant lines for food, lack of activities and boring childrens' areas, we will NEVER consider returning to Carnival. The negatives outweighed the positive by a HUGE margin. Our cruise was pretty much only enjoyable while we were off the ship or listening to Liz and Lucas.
ashes12’s Full Rating Summary
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Grand Turk
    We walked into port looking for a mini-van rental. I simply approached one of the available tour desks and asked where I could rent a van for our party of 9. I was easily pointed in the correct direction and found a van without hassle.
    Island Auto Rentals only asked me to fill out a paper form with my name and demographics. I was assured that insurance was provided. It was a little worrisome considering no ID or other documentation was required, but we ended up having no issues. We paid $120 in cash for a van that would hold 8 passengers. The attendant wasn't concerned about the number of passengers, only that we make sure to fill the tank back to the original level. (1 gallon is what we put in; at $6/gallon. We probably used even less!)
    Driving is on the R side of the vehicle and on the L side of the road. 3 American adults didn't have any problems trying it out!
    We first drove to the lighthouse on the N of the island. It was crazy with tourists on excursions, so we left and went to Pillory Beach on the NW side of the island. There was broken coral all over the beach, white sand, very few tourists and fun snorkeling with our own equipment. I personally really enjoyed examining the coral and shells on shore while others explored in the water.
    Next we drove to another beach further south, but still on the W side of the island. We were the only people there. The kids snorkeled again, although it wasn't as entertaining for that. The sand was smooth with few coral or shells, but it was amazingly beautiful! We all want to return to Grand Turk; there just wasn't enough time to enjoy the island.
    Don't feel intimidated to rent a car while there! I had google maps available on my phone through Verizon, but even without that, there are plenty of signs or people to direct you wherever you need to go. You can always download an offline map of the island before you go if internet/GPS won't be available to you. We loved this location and were so glad to have an air conditioned vehicle to return to after playing at the 2 beaches we visited.
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  • San Juan
    Our group of 9 can't wait to return to San Juan. We walked to Starbucks then walked to Castillo de San Cristobal. We took kites for the kids to fly in the grassy area before entering the National Historic Site. The cost is $7 for adults and free for kids under 15 or so. The offer the Jr. Ranger program. If you have a kid, they can complete age appropriate activities in a booklet and get a little badge. It's a nice little plastic souvenir....that's also free!
    We would have loved to visit the other fort as well, but there just wasn't enough time in port and our kids were too tired to take the 30 min walk.
    Some family members who accompanied us on the cruise decided to take a driving tour.
    It was also booked once arriving in port; not through the ship. They were really happy with it.
    Someday we hope to return and get to see more of this amazing city!
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  • Snorkeling
    We took a taxi to Coki Beach for snorkeling. The taxi driver approached me at port, and we negotiated a price, including a group discount.
    The beach was uncomfortably packed, but we went all the way to the end near the rocks, making snorkeling a lot better.
    Our driver scheduled a return service, and he was waiting for us when we were ready to leave. He didn't take payment until arriving back in port.
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