Thursday, July 27, 2017

Breezing Through Summer- Galveston

Boot Scootin' Boogie
Galveston, TX
Sunday, July 16, 2017



Disclaimer
In July 2017 Chris and I took our kids on a 7 day cruise to the Western Caribbean aboard the Carnival Breeze sailing out of Galveston, TX. This beautiful floating resort took us to the following destinations: 

Cozumel, Mexico
Belize City, Belize
Mahogany Bay, Roatan, Honduras



The Carnival Breeze... Our home away from home for the next days! 



Chris and I have been on 10 other cruises prior to this one; 7 with Carnival, 2 with Royal Caribbean and 1 with Princess.  Natalie and Luke have been on 2 other cruises, both with Carnival. This cruise was all about enjoying this Carnival "Mega Ship" as some would call it and taking the kids to a new destination of Roatan. This blog will include an overall review of the Carnival Breeze, daily entries of our 7 days aboard, a "Foodies" blog highlighting all of the food options available on the Carnival Breeze, a post linking all of the FunTimes as well as an extensive photo review of the ship. Thank you SO MUCH to all my followers... without you the blog would not be as popular as it is today! Be sure to stay tuned as the posts come through over the next few days and weeks.

Backstory
This cruise was destined to be "SPECIAL" as Chris was suffering from a torn tendon in his left foot. He actually tore this tendon while jogging and noticed an issue on our Christmas Cruise on the Valor last year. He just thought it was a sprain but it turns out after X-rays and an MRI he has a torn tendon and has to have surgery. There will be a completely separate blog for that but the surgery is set for 3 days after we get back from this cruise on July 26th. In the meantime, he has to wear a boot and we brought along a knee-scooter to help with mobility! It was fun and "SPECIAL" indeed but we all still had LOTS of fun!

Morning
We got up and out the door before 7:45AM and made a pit-stop at the Kolache Factory in The Woodlands. We were on I-45 and traveling south by 8AM. The commute was easy and very little traffic. We made it to the Texas City Buc-ee's by 9AM and all the way to the terminal by 9:30AM.

The CRUISE COUNTDOWN was finally at ZERO! Time to have some fun!

Our traditional "Happy Sunday Y'all" picture!

The back of the kids shirts indicating how many cruises they had been on!


We are all loaded in the car and ready to go! 

A trip is NEVER complete without Buc-ee's!

Welcome to GALVESTON!

I dropped off Chris and the kids at the actual terminal with all of our luggage while I went to park the car at EZ Cruise Park in Galveston. This is a FABULOUS place to park and very close to the terminal, just 2 blocks away. They offer covered and uncovered parking as well as a shuttle to the terminal. We chose to utilize the "Park and Walk" option since I knew Chris would need to be dropped off early anyway. This company also offers discounts often so we were able to get this uncovered parking for only $55 for a  day cruise. Check them out if cruising out of Galveston.




I COULD NOT WAIT to get on this beauty!

After I got parked, I walked back to the terminal. I could tell from dropping off Chris and the kids that the lines to get to the check in were already forming so I called Chris to tell him to get in line but since I took the binder to show proof of pre-paid parking they didn't have the boarding passes so they had to wait for me. Tip- Always leave the boarding passes with those who are waiting... Gosh, rookie mistake! I made the short 10 minute walk in the 100* heat and humidity and showed them our boarding passes and we all got right in.

We had a 10:30AM arrival appointment and check-in time and made it thought security and the actual check-in by 10:25AM. We were assigned a Zone # since we didn't have Faster to the Fun (FTTF) and got Zone 4. However, there were well over 300+ people already in the waiting area and since we were using Chris's knee scooter we could not sit with our assigned zone group so we sat close to the gangway entrance.

This girl is EXCITED!


My babies and I cannot wait to get on this ship!

They made a few typical announcements around 11AM and we were making our way to the gangway by 11:35AM. We heard the 1st DING at 11:39AM and were actually onboard at 11:44AM. (While the knee scooter was helpful, I wish we would have opted for a "wheel chair assistance" option to get on board as the gangway had a very steep incline. We learned through this experience that Carnival is VERY accommodating to people who have special needs or need assistance. More on that later.)

Our traditional Embarkation Picture
(
Carnival Breeze now offers digital photo viewing and through all the cruise I meant to purchase this digital download and I got home to hang in on our cruise wall and realized I didn't even go back and purchase... So a screen shot will have to do!)




We got the scooter 2 days before we left so he didn't get to really try it out until now... Going UPHILL on the gangway! Poor guy!

Afternoon
Once we got on board, Chris took the kids to the Lido deck to eat while I dropped off our luggage outside our room door. I met our room steward, Alfonso, at this time and explained our situation and Chris's needs. He was very nice and helped set-up this tiny inside room to help meet our needs.

Once on Lido we all got our favorites for lunch. Chris got Mongolian Wok and didn't have too much of a line since it was early and the kids and I had Guy's Burgers. Natalie didn't eat much because she wanted to try out the Pasta Bar upstairs as well. We all made our way to the aft deck 11 for Cucino del Capitano, the pasta bar. Tip- This is an additional fee option for dinner but is completely FREE for LUNCH and often times unknown to many passengers so not crowded. Natalie and even Luke LOVED this lunch option and this would be the 1st of MANY times to dine there.




No cruise starts until you've had GUY's BURGERS AND FRIES!

This little girl is in HEAVEN! She is in LOVE with this pasta bar!




That smirk...

After we got done eating lunch we walked around and explored the Lido deck area before getting ready to do the SkyCourse ropes course. We had all been studying up and watching "cruise ship videos" of the Carnival Breeze and Natalie knew she wanted to do the ropes course. Her and I got on the ropes course around 12:45PM and we each went around the course 2-3 times. She was a rock star and LOVED this! This too would be the 1st trip of many for her. In fact, she conquered the ropes course every single day of the cruise except for the last!

Natalie tackling the ropes course!

Then we all played a round of golf in the mini-golf course at the SportSquare. Chris and I played our traditional game and despite me making a hole-in-one for the 1st time on a cruise ship, he did as well and ended up winning by 1 stroke!

Luke became quite the golfer on this trip! He loved the golf course!

We went back to our rooms shortly after 1PM to find ALL of our luggage waiting outside the room and we didn't even have the FTTF option of early luggage delivery! I was impressed!

All four pieces of our luggage... Always a sight for sore eyes!

Our stateroom was 7282. This was a standard inside QUAD cabin that had 2 lower twin beds (can be converted into a king but we opted for 2 separate beds since Chris's condition) and 2 upper pullman beds. This basically meant 2 sets of bunk beds. The kids LOVED sleeping on the upper bunks. There was a small desk area that included 3 drawers for clothes as well as a VERY small TV area and other than that... that was it! There was the standard 3 closets but they were not set up like other ships we have been on. There were 2 large hanging closets and then 1 closet was half shelves and half hanging. In addition, we had 4 adult life vests in one closet and because we were sailing with children we had ADDITIONAL vests in another closet. This ending up taking up a LOT of space! In the end, the room did us well and while we would have, of course, loved being in a balcony cabin this worked just fine for us! Tip- This room was mid-ship/forward so it was not hot like most Dream class aft rooms. but I would still bring a small fan! In addition, bring an over the door shoe holder. This helped free up a lot of bathroom space and was very convenient!.

Carnival Breeze stateroom 7282!


The 2 sets of bunk beds!

The desk area... It was a good size and I was impressed with the space and the drawer capacity!


This TV area housed the flat screen TV, a shelf above held the drinks. The top cabinet under the TV included the safe and the bottom had the refrigerator.

The kids approved of the stateroom!

We all changed into our swimsuits to go and enjoy the WaterWorks area. The WaterWorks area is a huge splash pad style of venue on Deck 12 forward and has lots of water sprayers, small slides, 2 large slides and a HUGE "Power Drencher" bucket that drops every 5 minutes or so. In fact, it was this venue on the Magic back in 2015 that Chris and I knew our kids would LOVE and was a large deciding factor in booking this cruise on the Breeze. Our kids did in fact LOVE it and we spent lots of time at the WaterWorks and we ALL loved it!

The kids LOVED these little racers. While small, they were mighty!

They LOVED these!

Time to go and explore the ship! We found the BREEZE bench!

After a few hours we moved to the main pool, which was salt water and got into Natalie's eye and were a bother so we didn't spend a lot of time there. Luke was not quite ready for the main pool so he wanted to go to the hot tubs. We decided to go down to the Lanai, deck 5, for those hot tubs as they are my favorite on Dream class ships. It was not even 3PM but the Captain came over the announcements saying get ready for the Muster Drill. I tried to hurry to Camp Ocean to get the kids final registration but they were already closed. We enjoyed 30 minutes or so in the hot tub before having to go to the Muster Drill.

The Carnival Dream class ships do not offer a typical promenade on deck 3 with the lifeboats but a Lanai on deck 5. This means that almost all of the Muster Station drill locations are inside, which is NICE in this Texas heat. We were in muster station B4 which was in the Sapphire dining room on deck 4. At first it seemed unorganized and crowded but in the end it was fine. We got to sit in a special area because of Chris's condition and were even released early so we could get in front of the masses that would be exiting. This was really nice and allowed us to get to the "secret deck" in the far forward of deck 10 before we actually sailed away.

A view of the Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas also sailing today!
We will see you in 11 months LOTS! June 2018... HERE WE COME!


We watched sail away from this secret deck and got to see the harbor and even several dolphins and a school of dolphins too. Tip- This "secret deck" is on Deck 6, 7, 9, and 10 and is accessible via the very forward of the ship. We had to look hard for this one on deck 10 but if you go as far forward as you can and look for exit signs you will find it.

"Breezing through Summer" starts NOW!
See you in a week Galveston!

We stayed there watching sail away for nearly an hour then decided to walk around the ship before Luke got hungry so we went back to the room to change clothes and unpack before dinner.

The gorgeous Carnival Breeze Atrium as seen from the glass elevators!

The kids LOVED this wheel!
Luke thought he was the captain!

The "swinging" chair at the Red Frog Pub!
This one was HARD to push and glide!

Traditional life preserver picture!

Breeze bench #2!

Gotta love my little guy... He dabbed ALL week in various location!
It became his signature picture taking pose!

We had great matching shirts made and loved them but we all sweated through those within an hour or so of getting onboard. Looking back I will now plan for an ADDITIONAL change of clothes for the afternoon activities if sailing in the summer. We had planned to wear these shirts to dinner and pictures but missed because they were just too sweaty! Tip- It is HOT in Texas during the summer so be prepared with extra clothes as needed.

Evening
After we changed clothes we went down to the Ocean Plaza for the Taste Bar. It featured the 555 Steakhouse and Luke destroyed it so we decided it was time to go to dinner. We got to the Sapphire dining room and met our waitress LaLa who would be our table hostess for the rest of the cruise. The kids did pretty well in the MDR but did get annoying and bored during the wait between courses. Overall we were proud of their behavior and they really enjoyed eating with us.

Dinner time!

Texas Tea- one of our favorite cocktails on embarkation day!

Well once again Natalie ate all of her spaghetti!

Dinner selfie!

It wouldn't be a Carnival cruise without dinner interrupted by picture taking!
But the kids LOVED it!

My Lukey boy... LOVE him!

My two guys! Oh how I love them!

After dinner  we went up to the lido deck for the sunset! It was absolutely gorgeous and unfortunately the only one we were able to see the whole cruise!

A cruise is never complete without a sunrise or sunset! This one was gorgeous!
God certainly does paint a gorgeous picture!

Then Chris and the kids went to the Lanai while I went and finalized the kid's Camp Ocean registration. Tip- Remember, pre-register your kids online under the CRUISE MANAGER and then once onboard be sure and go and finalize the registration. If you wait until the 1st SeaDay morning like the rest of the boat you will be spending your first SeaDay morning waiting in line! This only takes 10-15 minutes and is well worth it! You can usually do this 12PM until the muster drill on embarkation day and usually a few hours on the embarkation night! Be sure to check the FunTimes for your voyage to be sure!

Once I got back to the Lanai I found the kids playing chess with Chris. They played a few games of chess before starting to run up and down the lanai. They even had a race with Chris on his scooter.

Time for some chess!

Time for some races on the Lanai!

Then we all made our way to the Ovation Theater for the late Welcome Aboard Show. This was a one time show at 10:30PM on the first night. It was an introduction to the Cruise Director, Schwartz who while not impressive this first night became one of our top 3 favorite cruise directors by the end of the cruise. This show was not as entertaining as other Welcome Aboard shows we have seen and Luke was not a fan of the loudness or crazy lights. Tip- This show, since it is only 1 showing, is VERY well attended so be sure to get there early if you want a good seat.

We went back to our room and showered before getting into bed and turning out the lights after 11:30PM. We had a long and tiring day of fun on the Carnival Breeze and needed a good nights sleep.

Our first towel animal of the cruise!

Our next day would be SeaDay #1 and we wanted to see and do EVERYTHING the Breeze had to offer. Be sure to stay tuned for that!

Once again, thanks for following along! It was a great first day!

God is good... All the time!



Click on a link to see our past cruising adventures:
Our Cruise Ship Experiences 2006-present


Carnival Dream- 2017



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