In September of 2012, my daughter, Mary Polly and I went on a Mediterranean Cruise. This post is all about the unbelievable boat that took us on this fabulous trip, the Carnival Breeze. We boarded this ship in Barcelona, Spain.
Last year at this time, I had already booked our Mediterranean cruise on the Carnival Breeze, and I was doing lots of searching for information about this ship and particularly, about the stateroom that would be our home for twelve nights.
From our first moments on the Carnival Breeze, we were blown away by the boat. It was magical to watch Mary Polly take everything in since it was her first time to ever go on a cruise. We ran all over the nearly empty boat checking everything out and taking lots of pictures.
We found places we knew we’d come back to over and over again: the sky course (MP loved doing this, the Lido deck (lots of nights here with blankets and movies), fun lounge chairs, and a nearly empty walking deck. This boat is the only one I’ve seen that has a walking deck that circles the entire boat. (I think it is deck 5.) It is much longer than the small track at the top of the boat for running. I loved walking on this deck in the evenings, and it was a great escape from the hustle of the other decks, since it turned out to almost never be crowded.
There were so many beautiful spots to sit and enjoy being on the Carnival Breeze. Because of our sailing time (September), our boat had 1000 less people on it than it did during the high summer season, and there were less than 100 kids on board. I’m sure these lower numbers partly accounted for our very pleasant sailing. We never had trouble finding a chair, and though it was often warm and sunny, it was not ever scorching hot.
The Food on The Carnival Breeze
The food choices on a cruise ship kind of make my head spin. I have to pace myself because I want to eat everything all at once. It was a good thing we had 12 nights to try all the food on this boat. On a shorter cruise, I’m not sure we could have scratched the surface.
In the mornings, we were always trying to get off the boat very early to pack in our sightseeing, so we settled into a routine pretty quickly. I had yogurt, fruit and nuts. Mary Polly had a bagel with Nutella. Every. Single. Day.
The breakfast choices were certainly more varied, but I was glad to find my usual fare that I knew would give me the steam I needed to get through a busy day.
At the end of our port days, we arrived back at the boat hungry, no matter what time it was, and we varied our afternoons with sushi, pizza and our very favorite, the Tandoori grill. We ate at least a bite from the Tandoori grill every day. Its offerings included Greek salad, hummus, naan and lots of different Indian dishes. We ended up back there again and again. It was on the very back of the boat, on the outside, so it was also a great place to sit.
We actually only ate in the dining room for five nights of our twelve-night cruise. It seemed like we were usually too full from hitting up the Tandoori grill in the late afternoon and then we’d get hungry again late at night when the dining room was closed. We enjoyed roaming the boat and seeing what was available at different times. And of course we ate lots of ice cream.
At night we would go make cups of tea and either watch a show or the movie, or go to the library bar and read or write in our journals.
On some of our sea days we ate at the various other restaurants on the ship. The Italian restaurant that was open by reservation only at dinner was open every day for lunch to just walk in and enjoy. It was delicious. There was also a Barbeque outside on sea days that was out of this world. They even had grilled veggies, including sweet potatoes. Also, there is a burrito spot and a burger place, both very good. Mary Polly and I both laughed thinking about how much the boys would love all the food on the boat.
Also, it is just such a treat not to have to cook or clean (or even buy groceries) for that long! I loved being able to focus on where we were going each day, reading maps and guidebooks, without even having to give a thought to what we were going to eat.
Favorite Wind Down Spots on The Carnival Breeze
To say that I wore Mary Polly out at all the ports is an understatement. With only one day in each place, I wanted to see as much as possible.
By the time we would get back to the ship, we were exhausted. Mary Polly would usually take a shower and I would grab a book or my notebook and go find a spot to watch the ship leave (often on deck 5, pictured above). If it was already dark, I would head to the library bar.
We loved how many nice tables and chairs there were on the boat for this perfect end-of-the-day activity. We both checked books out from the library and I would sometimes have a glass of wine from the cute little wine tasting dispensers.
All of the comforts of the boat really made the trip for Mary Polly. She loved getting back every day and being able to speak English again. Even if we had gotten lost or fought with each other during the day, being back on the boat would kind of wash all that away.
We would usually get our second wind after an hour or two of reading and I’d let her look at the schedule and choose what we were going to do next.
The Porthole Stateroom
If you book your cruise far enough in advance, you can get a room with a window for the interior room price, because it either has an obstructed view (usually lifeboats) or it is a smaller “porthole room.”
I was so thrilled with getting such a good deal on room and board for two weeks in Europe with my daughter that I felt like it didn’t matter if our room turned out to be no more than a closet. I figured we would hardly ever be in our room anyway, right?
As it happened we were delighted with our porthole room. (From the outside of the boat, our room is the two little holes.)
Mary Polly was so exhausted from our daily wanderings that she relished every extra minute in her comfy bunk. The room turned out to be really nice and had more than enough space for all of our things. The bathroom on this shiny new ship was actually bigger than the one in a more expensive stateroom on my previous Carnival cruises.
The above and below pictures address a few of the details I had wondered about: Would there be enough hangers? (Yes.) Would there be both European and American plugs? (Yes.) Would there be a hair dryer? (Yes.) Where would we hang wet clothes? (On a little built-in retractable clothesline in the shower!)
There were so many small well-designed details in our stateroom. I think that is part of the fun of being on a brand new boat. We had a wonderful stateroom steward and of course, we adored our towel animals every night. In Venice, we even had a towel gondola!
All in all, we were so pleased with our room. I would stay in it again in a heartbeat. I love having the natural light from the window at the interior room price.
So there you have it.
We loved the Carnival Breeze. I never stopped being amazed at how enormous it was. We were always excited to spot our boat from different spots in the ports.
And of course, this view never got old.
I think I could stare at the sea forever.
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