We spent 12 glorious nights on Carnival Cruise Line’s newest ‘Fun Ship’ The Breeze sailing around the Mediterranean. This was our first cruise and I can admit to being slightly nervous before we left , I mean how big can a ship really be? I needn’t have worried. There is so much to do onboard we had plenty to keep us occupied. We stayed in a balcony stateroom, with a double bed for DH and I and a single sofa bed for DD 2 ½. I would recommend a balcony room, the views are amazing and it gave us space to relax after DD had gone to bed.
There was plenty of storage space, we had a buggy with us and even managed to squeeze that into our room too. The en suite room was immaculate and cleaned every morning and then again with the turn down service in the evening. This was DD’s favourite time of the day, when we return for bed time we were met with the latest towel animal creation. The highlight of her day!
We set sail from Barcelona, and called at Monaco, Livorno, Olibia, Civitavechia (for Rome), Naples, Messina, Dubrovnik and Venice. Waking up after our first night at sea in Monaco was amazing, getting off the boat was really easy and we just walked into town. Organised excursions are available in every port (for an additional fee) for those that prefer an organised trip, alternatively it is so easy to disembark and make your own way into the local area and explore on your own, at each port you can either walk or if the distance is too great a shuttle bus is available to take you into town. Excursions are very well organised and we joined a trip into Rome from the port of Civitavecchia.
Camp Carnival the children’s club was available for children aged between 2 – 18 and open from 10am -10pm (even earlier on port days, and later into the evenings for an additional charge.) There was an induction/registration on our first day as we set sail, at this point we were given a programme of activities for her age group for the entire duration of the holiday. Our DD at 2 ½ was in a group with 2 – 4 yr olds. The staff were helpful calm and attentive and the play area huge and very secure, there were plenty of toys, the activities were varied and due to the drop in nature of the service it never seemed over crowded. We left our DD happy in the knowledge should she need us the staff could contact us immediately on the Sat phone we were issued which worked even out at sea. (Be careful with these though if you lose/break them you have to pay for them. I am certain if you have older children there are so many organised activities you may not see them for the entire duration of the holiday.
Food was available 24 hours a day and every type of food is catered for. We had a daily reservation for dinner at 6 pm at the Blush restaurant, the waiting staff were so attentive and helpful even with our DD’s obsession with sweet corn, they were happy to try and accommodate everything we asked for. There was even a nightly ‘performance ‘ from the maitre D with the waiting staff singing and dancing on the counters. Our DD was up every night joining in. If you fancy a change on an evening there are several other restaurants to try. We tried both Cucina del Capitan (Italian) and Fahrenheit 555 (Steak house) Both carry an additional cover charge per person, but the food delicious. The meal at Fahrenheit 555 was one of the best meals I have ever had.
With a water park, 2 pools, numerous hot tubs, mini golf a sky assault course, a theatre with lots of different productions, Thrill cinema, shops, bars a comedy club, night club, art gallery, basket ball court, arcade, spa and Gym there is definitely plenty to do. We loved Hasbro the game show and the ‘Dive In’ open air cinema was the perfect way to end a busy day, relaxing in the warm balmy evening watching a classic movie with popcorn. But the quietest most relaxing part of the ship is the Adults only Serenity deck, if the DC’s are in Camp Carnival this is a must for peace and tranquility overlooking the Mediterranean with a cocktail in your hand
The only negatives we had about the holiday was the size of the pools, With over 4500 people on board the two pools available were very crowded. There are also no play areas for parents with younger children, our DD is still a toddler and it was hard to find anything appropriate for her age. The mini golf, ping pong, arcade, and sky assault course just weren’t suitable. Even the water park, I am very sorry to say, is not designed for young children. There are two large water slides that are great fun for bigger children and adults, but the two smaller slides, share the same access points and space and we spent a lot time worrying about her getting knocked over by over excited bigger kids, and hit with jets of water from the water canons.
With that said we had an amazing time, a cruise makes traveling with a child easy. It is a fantastic way of seeing loads of different locations in one holiday with the minimal amount of effort. If you have never been on a cruise before because you don’t consider yourself ‘cruise people’ Carnival is an excellent choice with their emphasis on fun. It really was one of the best holidays we have ever had.
Mumsnet was invited on this press trip by Carnival