Saturday, December 13, 2014

Breezy Unpacking// Our Time on the Carnival Breeze

This current post is a tactic, an unpacking tactic. I hate unpacking! I hate unpacking so much that my suitcase (which has now been home for over almost 2 weeks) is still in the corner of my room... FULL of clothes. And since this post here beat out unpacking it, it will probably remain full for another week. My husband encourages urges me to please unpack it... bless his patience! So while it sits and soaks in the glory of its island smells I figured it would be a great time to "unpack" said trip.
We are big cruisers. We have spent the last two years cruising over New Years. This year however, due to rates, it was A LOT more economical to cruise during Thanksgiving. We have never been gone on a big family holiday and I will be honest when I say that I missed being with everyone more than I thought I would. I did NOT miss the sometimes added stress that the day can be bring though. Our Thanksgiving (with the exception of trying failing to get wifi to faceTime home) was as relaxing as could be. We spent it exploring Aruba and enjoying a nice dinner aboard the Carnival Breeze.


Most of our previous cruises have been through Carnival, but the Breeze has by far been our favorite ship. The amenities were wonderful and we loved the food choices. Our ports of call were all spots we had never been too and were all fantastic.
  These are my top 5 loves of the Breeze
*Please pardon my grainy iPhone pics... I did not bring my good camera. Yes, I am sad about it.
1.) The Food- The food choices on the Breeze are great. With other cruises there are always options, but it can usually mean subpar option 1 vs. subpar option 2. The Breeze has wonderful lunch options, Guy's Burger Joint,  Fat Jimmy's BBQ, and my personal fave, the Blue Iguana Cantina burrito bar. Guy's burgers were Babe approved and had all kinds of yummy additions/ sauces to use to build your own burger. Burgers were even open into an early dinner and so we chose to do that a few times. We only ate in the main dining room 3 out of 8 nights. And don't worry about the waits, even with a full ship we never waited any longer than we would wait for Chipotle or Five Guys during lunch at home. The Italian restaurant that required a small fee for dinner was free for lunch. It was sit down and really good (lasagna, yum!). This did take a while and the basketball court was overhead, but it was worth it. The Red Frog Pub also had really yummy small plate options for just $3.33. Andrew got the wings and I got the sliders, which we both devoured and quite enjoyed over a game of checkers!
**Cruise insider tip- If you are willing to pay for the steakhouse on ship we totally recommend it!! Great food and not unreasonably priced for the food you get. However, if you set a reservation for the first night of the cruise (when less people are willing to go) you receive a free bottle of wine with your meal. We chose to have 1 glass with dinner and then take the bottle with us to our room. We use it during the cruise to make wine coolers for by the pool. Use the morning juice (mix orange and the passion fruit) with white wine for a fresh and light flavor.
** You are also able bring a bottle of wine (or a 12 pack of soda/water) per person on Carnival ships. We brought a sweet red with us and use that make sangria. Mix the red wine with the lemonade available for lunch and some fresh fruit from the salad bar and your afternoon pool refreshment is set to go!
2.) The Movies- Another reason we only ate dinner in the main dining room half the nights was because of all the great Dive in Movies! There is a big theater screen out on the pool deck. Deck loungers + blanket + a wonderful movie line-up + POPCORN = one happy me!! You may be able to take the girl away from her house, but home can be with her wherever she goes! The last night of the cruise we literally watched movies from 6 until midnight. Movies included newer releases like Fault in our Stars, Maleficent, How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Divergent.
Photo from Carnival
3.) The Spa- Oh how we "enjoyed" the Dominican Republic! We didn't leave the ship. This was the one day that we didn't have anything researched and so we were planning to just get off the ship, explore town and then get back on. However, the nearest town was still a bus ride away and it had started to rain as were were exiting the ship. We made it down the gang plank, discussed our options for -5 minutes and turned right back around and headed to the spa. We chose to spend the money, that we would have spent on getting into town, on the use of a days access pass to the spa suites. These were thermal therapy rooms with these body-form, heated, tile beds that were just glorious. There was also a Thalassotherapy pool that we are still not sure of how it works other than the fact that after a day using all of these amenities our bodies felt 10 years younger. If we can splurge the next time we will choose to stay on the spa floor... all the rooms have balconies and full week access to the spa rooms. However, I think if we choose that option we may never see any other part of the ship.
4.) The Activities- From the awesome water slides, to the sports square with a high-ropes course, to the Harry Potter trivia this ship had so much for us to do. Though we did spend a lot of time lounging in the sun we were able to get active when we wanted to. Which was good for Babe, because while I could sit, unmoving (save turning the pages of my book), he prefers to have something to do every now and then.
**Cruise tip- Cruising at Thanksgiving was the perfect time for people looking for a spot by the pool. Maybe it was because the Breeze is a bit bigger than our past ships, but I didn't really feel it had much more lounge space than other boats. However, we never had to fight for a place to soak up the sun. On previous cruises we Andrew would have to rise at the crack of dawn, scrounge for chairs and hope our stuff didn't get moved onto one chair should he get up. That or we would have to find two chairs, at opposite ends of the ship and move them into a crook in some obscure corner. On this ship we always had a spot. It may be because the Thanksgiving cruise included a lot of younger families, whose kids wanted to be by the slides, verses when we cruise over New Years when there are very few kids on the ship and mostly couples or college groups looking to lounge during the day and party at night.
Grand Turk Lighthouse Trail
5.) The Destinations- We loved  the stops on this cruise (Grand Turk, Curacao, Dominican Republic, Aruba). And while we did have to drive to Miami, which is the furthest we've gone to get on a boat, we found that it was worth it. We are also getting our cruise legs and are a little more adventurous with how we spend our time. We don't book through the ship and it usually ends up serving us well. More on all of that later, because Grand Turk (my new favorite spot) needs its own post, this one is getting long enough as it is. To see my reviews of each port head here

Insider Tips
**If you are going to book a spa service, always wait for a deal. You can attend the spa raffle that goes on right before/ during the sail away party. You can win services or the will offer a deal for any of those who attend and don't win. While this is one of the cheaper deals they offer, the prices are known to go down during days when the ship is in really popular ports.
** Depending on your VIFP (Very Important Fun Person Status) you may get invited to a member cocktail and appetizer party. Your cruising partners can go with you even if they are not the same status as you. You get free drinks and food during the party and while they bring around pre-made drinks, you can order anything you want. Also, do NOT agree to take part in the stage act for a free prize unless you simply enjoy dancing on stage. Your free prize is the already free pizza and you miss out on actually getting to enjoy the free food at the party.

Any other cruising tips you know of that you would like to share? 
I am always looking for insider extras. 



2 comments:

  1. I love coming across blogs that showcase fun adventures and aren't plastered with sponsors and ads. Great post!

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