Carnival Breeze Review, Planning

Carnival Breeze Budgeting Change

This section targeted mainly for new Carnival guests. Something that was very different from all my other cruises is that this time around I was traveling on a strict budget. Let me tell you something, traveling while you’re a college student takes some serious budgeting. That meant that I had to keep an eye on affordable shore excursions, drinks and food. Anywhere I could save a few bucks, I would go ahead and do it. I could still do most of what I did in the past, but just in a different way. It would definitely be a different experience than what I was used to. Now don’t get me wrong, I am by no means wealthy. I work extremely hard for everything I have, and live on a tight budget. But in the previous years when I was not in school, I had a bit more disposable income to take aboard on my cruises. Anyway, that was not going to stop me from having an amazing time!

Carnival Breeze Secrets and Tips!

Not really secrets any more, but it is useful information for first time Carnival cruisers. My reviews usually try to target new cruisers, and since this is my first carnival cruise, I did a lot of research. Keep in mind I did not personally test all of these, so some might work and some might not. I am going from research that I did prior my cruise.

1. When you order one of their ‘Classic Drinks’ – save your receipt, go to the Casino Cashier, show your receipt and get $5 match table casino play for every Classic drink you ordered. Please keep in mind this only for table play and you have to match each coupon with your own money. These drinks are the Long Island Ice Tea, The Cruiser, Ultimate Margarita, Mai Tai, Mojito and S.. on the Beach. The total cost per drink is $10.06 tip included. If you end up wining in the casino this could help pay for your drinks.

2. If you book the steakhouse for the first night of your cruise, they give you a complimentary bottle of wine to go with your dinner at no additional cost. But keep in mind that this is only for the first night of your cruise. A few of my fellow cruisers booked it get the complimentary bottle of wine.

3. When you board, go directly to the casino (it will be closed) and get the free lanyards that are in the slot machines. Sometime during the cruise go to the pursers office and have your sign and sail cards hole punched and attach them to the free lanyard.

4. This is not commonly made known, but there two saunas and two steam rooms available in the spa free of charge aboard the ship. I found this information on a site and I emailed Carnival to make sure about it. I was clarified that they are indeed free, you still need to pay for the hydrotherapy pool and the heated lounges. Either with a spa room or by purchasing the spa pass.

Carnival Breeze Specialty Restaurants

I am well known for venturing out of the MDR experience and trying out all that each cruise line has to offer with their specialty dinning venues. I guess it was a good thing that the specialty dinning venues on the Breeze are rather limited . It would help ease my temptation to try more venues, like on my prior cruises. The Breeze really only has the Steakhouse, which I was not planning on visiting since I am not a big steak kind of person. But things changed towards the last days of the cruise and I ended up going there.

The other for a fee restaurant is the Italian restaurant Cucina Del Capitano. But here is the thing, the venue is free for lunch and for a fee for dinner. Of course most people claim that the food is much better in the evening, and I am sure they are probably correct. But in my case I was happy with the free lunch, maybe I will try their dinner version some other time.

Now I did however have interest in the Red frog pub snacks and the sushi bar. But the good thing is that both venues are A La carte and you can get in and out without spending much money at all. The amazing thing about Carnival is that it is loaded with free dinning options, which I will get into later in the review.

Carnival Breeze Mixed Drinks, Wine & Soft drinks

Carnival Breeze is now offering an all you can drink package just like the other cruise lines. The program allows you to buy from a selection of soft drinks, mixed alcoholic drinks, beers and wines for a set pre-cruise price of $49.95 per person /per day. A 15% gratuity will also be added to the total. Also keep in mind that there is a limit of 15 drinks per day. Only you know if this program is the best option for you or not, it really all depends on how much you drink and what you drink. Also note that all the adults in the cabin must purchase the package, so if you have one heavy drinker and one that is not, then this might not work for you. Another good option to consider is the In-Room bar setup that you can order from Carnival. Bottles range from $40 for light liquors, $60 – $80 for rums, vodkas, whisky, tequilas and more expensive bottles can climb to $95 . This is still a very good option if you know how much you consume and your limits. This is possibly my favorite option, and Carnival is the line with the most reasonable prices.

Also keep in mind that Carnival allows you to bring one bottle of wine 750ml per adult on embarkation day. However there is a $10 corkage cost if you want to have the bottle opened for you on the main dinning room and other specialty restaurants. You’re also allowed to bring a 12 pack of your favorite soft drink or water per person on board on that day. Each bottle has to be 20oz or less. Overall I think that Carnival is the most lenient cruise line when it comes to these rules, well never mind Disney takes the price there, but you pay a premium for the cruise.

Here is an amazing spreadsheet to help you see if the Carnival Breeze drink package is for you or not.

Carnival Breeze

Carnival Breeze

Carnival Breeze Wifi

While I was not planning on using the internet much, I still had to research it just to be aware of the cost. I am sure that my mom was expecting me to report to her at very least once per day. And after Key West I would have to start paying wifi to contact her. Overall I thought I could manage just doing the by the minute plan and maybe logging a total of 20 minutes or so.

The initial activation fee is $3.95.
By the minute cost is $0.75 per minute.
100 minutes for $55.00 ($0.55 per minute)
250 minutes for $100.00 (0.40 per minute)


Carnival Breeze Gratuities

Gratuities aboard the Carnival Breeze will run you $11.50 per person per day. That goes along the lines with the rest of the industry, although maybe on the low side. I usually tip more on drinks and food, as I know how hard the crew works at making the cruise a perfect vacation for everyone. For more information click here for the Carnival Breeze website.


Carnival Breeze Shore Excursions

Carnival offer price match guarantee with any shore excursion that you book with them. I have noticed in the past that Norwegian, Royal Caribbean and specially Celebrity love up charging you and making quite some profit in this department. I was wondering why Carnival shore excursions were priced so tempting, then found out that they basically monopolize the contracts of some shore excursion. This is not exactly a great practice, for the end user, as is in any other monopoly. But in the end if you want to a specific shore excursion, that is in their list of excursions, you will have to go through them. This was my case and I used them for one shore excursion. I usually do things on my own, as you can save a lot of money that way.

Carnival Breeze Trip Insurance

When I buy trip insurance for my cruises I go to Insure My Trip and shop around for a travel insurance. On this trip I went for Atlas insurance, you really can’t say no to an insurance plan that covers 100k medical and costs you less than $10. Also includes bag loss and medical evacuation, that is just a simple no brainer.

Carnival Breeze Parking (Port of Miami)

I did a lot of research on this, I usually park on port nearby parking and never had an issue with Ft. Lauderdale and port Canaveral. However Miami is a bit complicated. Due to the port proximity to Downtown Miami, most parking lots get mixed reviews. To be honest I could not find a lot, with solid 4 star reviews, they just fluctuated too much for me leave my car there and sail away without a care. I highly suggest you do your research. I will also add that about 4 months ago, there was a story in the news. The passengers got to the lot one day, I think it was a sunday and the lot had mixed all the keys by accident and lost half of them. It was a real mess! Cars blocking cars, some people with keys, others without. It took them a couple of days to get that cleared out. Just saying… Anyway, in my case I had 2 options. Pay $120 for port parking, or contact a friend. I went for the later one. While I really dislike bothering my friends with tasks like this one, this time was one that I could really use their help. But to my surprise mom made it in time to drop me off in the Port, so that was easy .

Click here for Chapter 1 of my Carnival Breeze Review.