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  #61 (permalink)  
Old July 2nd, 2012, 04:06 AM
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Originally Posted by lhp View Post
The Magic also has the wonderful "basketball" ambiance during the day. I believe they closed the courts at night as to not disturb paying guests.
On my last cruise I frequently played basketball at 2am after the bars had closed and I still had energy to burn. iPod, singing at the top of my lungs, basketball, and all under the moonlight. It was greeaatttt! (ala tony the tiger)
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Old July 2nd, 2012, 08:17 AM
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Hi Kuki!

New to Cruisemates, but am enjoying reading your review of the Carnival Breeze. My daughters are also on this sailing, and also in the Blush aft DR, late seating! My oldest daughter & I was on John Heald's Blogger's Cruise in March, so we were able to experience Ken Byrne, and now my youngest daughter is getting to enjoy him as well.

The heat & humidity is probably the biggest issue for them. They've had a few "bumps" in the road, including being on the train that broke down coming from Rome yesterday, but know they have to "roll with the punches". They stayed overnight in Rome, as they didn't want to go back & forth with the trains. Youngest daughter has been to Rome before, so knew her way around things.

Hope you continue to enjoy your time on the Breeze, and I will continue to follow your review!
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Old July 2nd, 2012, 08:57 AM
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Hi Kuki and the Gang!
Sounds like all of you are just having a ball. It does seem like the Breeze crusiers, cold use a breeze or two, with all the heat. Loving all the pictures,and, looking forward to reading more about the ship! When she comes to Florida, I bet bookings will sky rocket!
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Old July 2nd, 2012, 09:55 AM
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Default Chat with Bob Dickinson

A Chat With Bob Dickinson

To people who have been cruising, or involved in the cruise industry for awhile, the name Bob Dickinson is synonymous with the modern cruise industry, and Carnival Corporation.

Bob was President and CEO of Carnival Corporation until his retirement 5 years ago. His book, Selling The Sea, is one of the most interesting written for those with a interest in the industry, and an excellent read.

And Bob believes, “the same principles still apply today“.

Bob still sits on the Board of Directors at Carnival Corp., so obviously still maintains a strong interest in the industry. Though now he is heavily involved in charity work, attempting to rid the City of Miami of its homeless problem.

He spends 35-40 hours a week of his time for the charity, and it’s obviously near and dear to his heart. They have raised over 70 million dollars of the 80 million needed to finish a treatment center specializing in curing homeless people suffering from addictions and mental health issues; with an intended focus on women and the Spanish speaking homeless population.

By happenstance I spotted Bob and his wife at the Safety Briefing (muster drill) the first day on board. We spoke very briefly on the way out, but then I ran into him on deck at Ocean Plaza a few days later and asked if we could arrange a time for an interview. He invited me to sit down right then.
As it wasn’t planned, I of course hadn’t prepared any questions, as I normally would have to prepare for an interview.

As the interview began It seemed Bob was asking me as any questions as I was asking him, and I said to him… “this in an interview, who’s supposed to ask the questions. But Bob Dickinson is a very smart man, and he likely remembers the old adage; a smart man is a man who listens.

I asked what he thought of the new Carnival Breeze in comparison to the older ships in the Carnival family. He responded by asking me what I thought; what were my opinions are impressions of the ship, and what makes it different. Why do I like it, and what sets it apart in my mind?

This discussion eventually led us to talking about the new more open design of the ship’s interiors. Bob said “the design has been an evolution and inspired by the designs of the ship’s in Carnival’s European companies; Costa Cruise Line, and AIDA“.

I did find it interesting that they have somewhat taken the lead from their European brands.

It’s been several years since I’ve sailed on a Costa ship, and I’ve never sailed AIDA, so my experience is very limited.

Bob went on to explain, “ On those ships, the layout of public areas is very open. There are very few walls between lounges and bars. You don’t go in or out of a door from one lounge to the next. The traffic just flows through the ship”.

I do recall from my trips on Costa that their ships have an incredibly active night life - in the case of European cruises, that night life doesn’t even begin until after 10 P.M. and always runs well into the night, and next morning.
We went on to a discussion of the cruise industry in general.

Bob feels, the industry as a whole, even in some of the difficult economic times, has been enjoying a very reasonable level of success.

He says, “the success has come somewhat because of our ability to attract large numbers of repeater customers fairly easily”.

“Maybe we are not doing as well, or enough, to attract new first timer passengers”.

“A big focus for us now is to attract multi-generational groups (which I mentioned to him seems to be very true of the demographic on this cruise).

All of the research tells us the most important thing for the vast majority of people when choosing their vacation is FUN, and fun is what we strive to offer”.

“Of course fun means different things to different people. But there’s no vacation like cruising that can provide different fun for each generation”.

“Typically the most difficult group, in a multi-generational group, who feel their vacations are fun, is the middle generational group; the parents.
On non cruise vacations they are often the ones responsible for the driving, the choices, the decision making on what to do when, and where to do it, trying to make it fun for the others.

Yet, a cruise vacation relieves them of many of those stresses. There are programs on board for everyone to choose from which will provide fun for each them. It is Carnival’s goal to attempt to meet every generations criteria of what is fun.

Cruising today is not exclusionary. There’s no exclusive categories for cruisers, it’s good for those from 8 months to 80. There no limitations as to social cast, or to financial position”.

I thank Bob for the 45 minutes or so of time he gave me. And in that brief time I think he described very adeptly why Carnival continues to be the FunShips.
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Last edited by Kuki; July 2nd, 2012 at 01:39 PM.
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Old July 2nd, 2012, 10:01 AM
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Peggy.. tell them to stop by table 506 and say HI!
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Old July 2nd, 2012, 10:45 AM
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They are posting on Carnival's Funville Forums, so I will send them a message to do that! I don't know what their table number is, as they switched last minute from any time dining to late dining. Thanks, and I think I'm going to like being here @ Cruisemates!
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Old July 2nd, 2012, 10:57 AM
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Welcome to Cruisemates PeggySue...small world that we have a group on same cruise with the DD's.

That talk with Uncle Bob had to be interesting Kuki.
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Old July 2nd, 2012, 11:05 AM
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Welcome to Cruisemates PeggySue...small world that we have a group on same cruise with the DD's.

That talk with Uncle Bob had to be interesting Kuki.
Thanks Snoozeman! This is their first cruise in Europe - one daughter will be platinum on BC6, and the other daughter needs to get 1 more cruise in before the end of next year to also be platinum. They do a cruise together every year, as they do not live near each other.
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Old July 2nd, 2012, 06:45 PM
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A sea day is always nice but I don't think I've appreciated one more than today.

I slept for seven whole hours, ate breakfast in the dining room and Betty laid in the sun and played on the waterslide. We had a group cocktail party before dinner and enjoyed it. I had fun playing blackjack this evening and made a bit of money but there is still plenty of time to donate back to the casino. It's late here and tomorrow is Croatia. I'm looking forward to seeing this port and what it has to offer. I do have to say that we are having a lot of fun.

I also have to say that the BBQ that is done on C-Days is very good but the lines are long so be prepared. I also had my first "naked Guy" today and it was EXCELLENT. The "naked Guy" is what I call it because I can't have the bun. As Jules said in "Pulp Fiction". "That's a tasty burger." It was even better than the ones I had on Liberty in March.

Still loving the ship and the decor. Carnival does have a winner here. It is not cramped though the supposed passenger to space ratio is low and I am about ready to watch the full moon from my aft balcony.

I'll be thinking of all of you as I lounge in the moonlight.



Take care,
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Old July 2nd, 2012, 06:52 PM
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HI Mike,
Get a good nights sleep so you are rested for tomorrow, hope you enjoy this port...BTW, how is the aft balcony, nice and big?? Don't think I've seen a pic....Enjoy the evening on your balcony...
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Old July 2nd, 2012, 06:55 PM
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Default Sisters on the Breeze

Kuki:

Don't know if my daughters stopped at your table yet, but found out they are at table 606, Blush, late dining. Jen & Jess are their names, in case you wander over their way I'm still following your review - nice to hear different things from people on the same cruise!
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Old July 2nd, 2012, 08:12 PM
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Mike - What a beautiful picture!!
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Old July 2nd, 2012, 09:48 PM
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Thumbs up Wiwt....

Enjoyed reading your brief but informative interview with Bob Dickinson.......I have had the pleasure of meeting Bob several times whilst he was CEO and President of CCL and I too, was very impressed with his innate passion for Carnival and its objectives in leading the cruise industry around the world.

Thanks for sharing this Kuki and enjoy the remainder of your cruise on-board "our" Carnival Breeze and give my regards to John Heald and the rest of the crew!

Catch up with you again soon mate......
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Old July 2nd, 2012, 10:17 PM
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Default June 3

We were on the first cruise on June 3rd and we really loved the Breeze. We found no fault at all except the cabins felt a little stuffy even with the air on. We thought the cabin as too warm, but it was never above 80, and even at night it only dropped to 76. That is the same as other ships we have been on except the Splendor that had great air and the temp dropped to 68 some nights. We bring our own thermometer, and a small fan as the air circulation in inside cabins and oceanviews is not that good. Balconies you get air circulation but not in the inside and oceanview cabins. They air conditioner worked great in the cabin, it just couldn't cool the cabin with no air circulation. We were in a 4J interior with obstructed window on deck 7

Other than that, no complaints and we have sailed the Dream as well as the Magic and she is much improved over the Magic.
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Old July 3rd, 2012, 12:19 AM
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Wow Kuki, we met on BC2 out of NOLA no? My first bloggers and I had no clue what way was up What an awesome interview with Bob and I love how smart this company is, multi-generational awareness is brilliant! I sail often with my Mom who is turning 78 this year and still loves her cruising thank God!! It lets me spend time with her and still have some me time in my vacay!!

Rita, I love reading your articles too!
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Old July 3rd, 2012, 12:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike M View Post
A sea day is always nice but I don't think I've appreciated one more than today.


I'll be thinking of all of you as I lounge in the moonlight.



Take care,
Mike
Stunning Mike!! Thanks so much! Wahhhhhhhhhhhhh I wanna be at sea NOW!!
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Old July 3rd, 2012, 03:30 AM
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Day 5 - Carnival Breeze - First Day at Sea

With ALL the passengers onboard today, I woke up fully expecting to be on a crowded ship.

Making my way up to Lido Deck just after 8 A.M., on Decks 10, as well as 11, all the loungers in the sun, the tables in the shade, around the main pool area, the chairs and tables nearby, were already all occupied… with towels, and backpacks; not people.

This phenomena seems to be “cruise ship disease”, and one that over the years apparently no cure has been found.

It’s one of the few times seemingly nice cruisers loose their minds, and are mad to mark their territory. They really should just act like dogs and cats, and spray their territory.


I found a spot from which I could people watch, and do a bit of work on my laptop, and as I watched, the amazing thing was most of the “marked” loungers, tables, etc. sat empty of bodies for the majority of the day. All those “saved” spaces went unused except for possibly a 10 minute visit, for people to check if their belongings were still there.

It’s understandable, as the sea day schedule was packed solid with activities. One could easily go from one thing to the next throughout the day. And judging from the towel carrying seating, most people did exactly that.


This afternoon Jimmy’s C Side Bar-B-Q was open for the first time. The lines were long at some points, but actually moved pretty quickly.

It offers a nice variety in its menu; pulled pork, several different types of smoked and spicy sausages, with nice condiments as well. The food was very good, but given a choice between the two, I’d opt for a return to Guy’s Burger joint.

Several times through the day I found a quiet place to “work”, but I kept running into people I knew, and stopping to chat. By late afternoon I’d had a great social day, but didn’t get too much work done.

I did get a chance to check out the forward decks on 10, 11, and 12, that I hadn't visited yet.









Many more pictures in my Breeze photo gallery

http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/mem...al-breeze.html

In the evening I stopped by the CruiseMates group cocktail party, and then on to dinner. Tonight we lingered over dinner conversation, and missed the show times entirely. But, as we found out earlier in the cruise, I should be able to catch them another time.

Afterwards some of the CruiseMates gang wanted to play some Blackjack with me, so we went and had some laughs in the casino.

Tomorrow is Dubrovnik, Croatia. As I believe Estonia is the hidden jewel of Baltic itineraries, Dubrovnik is the hidden jewel of Mediterranean itineraries.
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Last edited by Kuki; July 3rd, 2012 at 03:46 AM.
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Old July 3rd, 2012, 09:13 AM
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What a wonderful trip you are having. I am loving all the remarks and photos. Kuki, I too had the fortunate opportunity to meet Bob Dickenson several years ago. In our business we called him Uncle Bob as he was so nice to all of us and so willing to help us in any way possible. Sure miss him being in charge of things at Carnival.
Hope the rest of your cruise goes well and that all the Cruisemates have a great time.
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Old July 3rd, 2012, 01:25 PM
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We too were on that first cruise where we met with Bob and he had dinner with our group. He is such a nice man. Will never forget that our waiters were whispering behind us when they realized who Bob was. I think they were a bit nervous but soon got over it. I am glad to know he sits on the board as he is, IMHO, Mr. Cruise! Good work he is doing for charity. Wish him well. Loving the posts from both you and Mike. Almost makes me feel like we didn't miss this one.
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Old July 3rd, 2012, 02:51 PM
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I loce sea days, gives me time to exlore the ship. you guys enjoy Croatia, the water is beautiful.
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Old July 4th, 2012, 03:08 AM
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Day Whatever(?) (lost in time) - in Dubrovnik

First off I have to stay, one week into the cruise and I am missing my wife (Mrs. Kuki. The laundry needs doing. I’m kidding! I’m kidding!

I do miss her being able to find all the things I misplace in the cabin, that I can spend an hour looking for, yet are always the first place she looks. And I truly miss her company.

Last night, shortly after we sailed away from Rome, there was a medical emergency onboard (a heart attack). It was determined that this lady would need immediate care beyond what they were capable of delivering in the ship’s infirmary. They announced the ship was diverting to a small island, off of the “toe of Italy”, where we’d be met by the Italian Coastguard to get this lady to a shore side hospital.

That is such a tough position for the family to be put into. I do hope they have travel insurance, and I wish the family the very best.

Last night was also a designated “Elegant Night” on board. I was surprised to see a fairly significant number of the passengers really “dressing it up”. Perhaps it was the Europeans who didn’t have to worry so much about weight restrictions in their luggage to fly over the pond.

I do think I should make one thing clear… once you’re over 75 years of age, leather pants really don’t look that good on you. It’s just one of mother nature’s rules.

Today’s port of call for the Carnival Breeze was Dubrovnik, Croatia. Dubrovnik is a post card perfect port of call, with a unique history, as it was heavily bombarded during the Serbian War (which was really fairly recent history - 1991.




It’s doing amazing well now, and the walled old city is a fabulous place to wander around, and take in the sites, and stop at one the many cafes. A shuttle into town is 8 Euro per person for a return trip.
As with the trip so far, we had extremely hot weather again today. I went into town with a couple of friends. After a few hours wandering, we returned to the ship, and were delighted to be back somewhere with air-conditioning.
 
Spoke to some friends who made it for the “Motor City” show last night, which I didn’t make it to. They felt it was fabulous! I’m going to have to make a point of seeing it later in the cruise.

While I sit here a couple of small items, regarding the ship, that I haven’t talked about yet come to mind.

I purchased a soda card at the beginning of the cruise. Except for a couple of spots onboard, where I’ve got to know the servers, it’s difficult to get a waiter to bring a soda, once they know that’s all you’re drinking, and you have the card. I’ve mostly had to go to the bar and get my drinks myself.

For dinner, we have assigned traditional late seating. One of the benefits of assigned traditional dining is you get to know your service staff, and they get to know you, and your likes and dislikes.

That doesn’t apply to the drink waiter here. He came by a couple of nights, I ordered my diet coke, and now he doesn’t even bother coming by.

It makes me a bit angry, because each and every night waiters are stopping by the table at the end of dinner trying to sell everyone “the shot” of the day. It’s sending me the message that if they can’t get “fresh money” out of you, they’re not interested.

Our dining service team is just ok. They are friendly, and appear to be trying, but each night after arriving for 8:15 dinner, it’s at least 9:15 before we’re being served the appetizer portion of the meal. And in some cases half the table is served their entrees, while others might be waiting 10 minutes or more to receive theirs.

The company at our table is great, so we’re just taking it in stride. However I do think it’s worth mentioning, because in all fairness the actual service has not been up to professional standards.

It concerns me some, because they normally bring their “best and brightest” on board to bring out the new ships.

It’s been two years since I’ve sailed Carnival, and I’m just hoping this isn’t the new standard.

On the other hand, I have a wonderful story about “the ship” going above and beyond to try and help.

On day 2 of the cruise, Ray’s electric scooter would not recharge the battery. The ships mechanics looked at it, but were unable to find the problem.

Ray and his grandson Robert were able to identify the problem after a couple of days; it turned out to be a fuse in the charging unit. Once identified, the ship sent them up 7 fuses, just in case.

They had also emailed the scooter’s manufacturer, to find out where they might have a dealer on this itinerary. They did find there was an outlet in Venice. Fortunately it now won’t be necessary to go there, but the guest relations staff really did everything they could to help.

There are a ship load of “under 18’s” on board. I don’t know the exact number yet, but if I had to guess, I’d say between 500 -800. The first few days of the cruise, other than seeing them pass by, they were pretty much un-noticeable.

Now it seems their parents have settled in their vacation, and feel a certain safety factor on the ship, allowing their children a larger degree of freedom on their own.

The passenger guest halls are seemingly being used for track meets, at all hour of day and night. I can hear the pounding of feet from several decks in my cabin, so I assume they must be including a marathon run.

And several groups gather on Promenade Deck, below my balcony, each night from about midnight to late, to serenade me with the “music” from the mini boom boxes, they apparently brought with them.

I walk through the ship late at night and I see young kids laying on the benches in lounges, next to their parents.

It’s not easy being a parent, and parents deserve vacations. However, they shouldn’t put their mind on vacation, and forget they are parents.
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Last edited by Kuki; July 4th, 2012 at 03:17 AM.
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Old July 4th, 2012, 02:35 PM
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Sorry for missing dinner kuki. Having too much fun in Venice
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Old July 5th, 2012, 03:58 AM
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Quote:
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Sorry for missing dinner kuki. Having too much fun in Venice
Hey Mike... assumed you and Betty stayed in town into the evening, as you were getting a bit of a late start.

Tonight I made a reservation at the steak restaurant for 7 PM with Donald and Yasmin (since I dont get to see them much). If you see this in time, and would like to join us, just call and add on 2 people.

If not, the rest of the gang is eating in the maining dining (Sapphire) for anytime dining, after the sail out.
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Old July 5th, 2012, 04:17 AM
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Carnival Breeze Live - 1st day of 2 in Venice

After yet another dinner service that we found lacking, I made the decision this morning to call my contact onboard and request a switch for everyone at our dining table to “as you wish”/”anytime”/”your time”/ “didja ever eat when you want”-- whatever they call it.

I just felt it was better to take our chances with finding better service with that option, rather than continue to accept the below average service we were experiencing.

Plus, I am very interested in seeing if the service is better, or if what we were receiving is the standard on board, or anecdotal.

This morning the folks suffering from the “Chair Hog Virus” were very confused; walking around aimlessly for a time, towels in hand, not quite sure what to do.

You see, today is half sea day, and half port day. The ship’s scheduled arrival time at the pier in Venice was 2 P.M., with the beginning of the entrance into the Grand Canal in Venice beginning closer to 11:45.

They had to decide if it was worth “saving” their lounger, and not using it, for only half a day.

The sail into Venice, and down the Canal of Venice, to the ship’s berth is one of the most visually stunning moments one can enjoy on a cruise ship.









Most everyone was out on deck for he sail in, and then everyone wanted to eat lunch before the ship docked. This certainly put full stress on the various food outlets on board.

I managed to tolerate the lines for another round with Fat Jimmy’s C Side Grill, and it was really good!


I suppose, due to our afternoon arrival, the Carnival Breeze got the worst “parking spot” at the pier. I believe we were closer to the Genoa, than we were to the main cruise terminal (and people mover, and water taxi and water bus stations).

During his port talk, John Heald, had talked about a few hundred foot walk to the “people mover” tram, then on to using a water bus to St. Mark’s Plaza, for those choosing to tour independently. All of that turned out to be erroneous; likely because of our final berthing position.

,,The walk to the end of the pier, and indeed even to the location of the tour buses (for those booked on tours) was about a 15 - 25 minute walk, and certainly not easy for anyone with mobility problems.

I thought I should check at the Shore Excursion desk to see if they are offering a tour to the end of the pier for our second day here.

I and some friends did make it on to the water bus, headed to Plaza St. Marco. We began a walking trek there, that after many, many footsteps, over many, many bridges, on a very hot day, eventually led us back to the pier 4 hrs. later.

2 hours after that we made our way to the ship’s gangway (which of course was placed at the furthest point of the ship away).

If I wasn’t such an incredibly buff and fit individual I’m not sure I would have made it all the way back. It was not a task a lesser individual should attempt… or some such other B.S.! (Buff and fit would NEVER be used in any way if someone were trying to describe me).

The ship was very quiet this evening, with many passengers enjoy the evening tours, or dining in a café along one of the many canals of Venice. Shipboard activities were at a minimum, with some Karaoke, and a couple of solo entertainers in Ocean Plaza, and in the Red Frog Pub.

A group of us met pre-dinner at the Red Frog Pub to sample some of the appetizers served there. There is a charge of $3.33 for each of the appetizer plates. We sampled the Beef Sliders, Fiery Chicken Wings, and Coconut Shrimp. Each of them was excellent, and the latter two served with really tasty dipping sauces.

Not a lot of drinkers with us, so no one tested the 101 OZ. servings of Carnival’s own Thirsty Frog Red beer.

I’ve run into several people, who had been very active using their cell phones while out to sea. And using them liberally, as though they were home chatting to neighbors, friends, and family.

Some of them have checked their cell service provider billing online now, and the term livid doesn’t come close to covering their feelings. Some are seeing cell phone bills over $2000.

I’m not sure what they thought the result was going to be making half hour phone calls from the middle of the ocean, but…..

I do think the cruise line should do a better job in the Fun Times daily newsletter, making people more aware of the potential exorbitant costs of using your cell phones while at sea.
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Old July 5th, 2012, 09:19 AM
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Kuki, I would have to sit on Ray's lap to have done what you did I regret when I was on the Magic in Venice, Carnival put us in a "suburb" and really wasn't able to enjoy all we might have.

The sailaway though, was for me, a memory I will treasure always.

Keep having fun for all of us, sailing vicariously with you all.
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Old July 5th, 2012, 05:17 PM
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OK:
I know I am two days behind on my postings but there is a reason. The reason is Venice. What a wonderful city but it is “intense”. Carnival did not get the best berth at the Maritima and it was about a 1/3 - ½ mile walk to the ‘People Mover” to get to Placa Roma and the gateway to the Vaperetto’s and the rest of Venice.

Yesterday: Betty and I waited until 3:00 p.m. to leave the ship. We didn’t get in until 2:00 so it wasn’t a long wait. Once we hit the ground we didn’t stop. We took the “People Mover” or as one port guard said, “Pee pee mover”. To Placa Roma and then we started walking. We walked through the different neighborhoods on our way to St. Marco Square. We finally made St. Marco about 10:00 p.m.. We had a lovely dinner at a small restaurant, away from St. Marco’s, and bought a couple of pieces of jewelry and some souvenirs. We then took the vaperetto (water taxi) around to see Venice at night. It was lovely. By the time we decided to go back to the ship it was close to midnight and the “Pee Pee Mover” was closed so we had a long walk back to the ship but we both held up well. We hit our room at 12:50 a.m..

This morning we slept a bit late but were off by 10:30 a.m. Today we decided to see the other side of Venice and took the Vaperetto to St. Giorgio and walked the residential neighborhoods. After that we decided to take the Vaperetto to Murano and check out some glass. It’s a long ride but one that was worth it. Betty found some lovely glass and I bought a “kitty”. So much for my manly reputation. We also had a great lunch at small café that was recommended by one of the owners of a glass shop. We made it back to the ship with 45 minutes to spare.

I do have to caution those who are mobility challenged that Venice is not scooter or mobility friendly. You need to walk and the public transportation does not handle scooters and there are many bridges and steps to navigate. I am so happy that the knee is doing GREAT. I have put about 12 miles on it and other than swelling it is coming through with flying colors.

Once back on the ship Nancy, the Cruise Planner’s Agent, who offered this cruise, invited us and a number of others to her wraparound balcony cabin for a sail away party. It was a nice way to leave Venice. Both Betty and I were tired and decided to rest “until” 8:30 p.m. when we both were hungry. We then made a delicious mistake. I called the Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse to see if we could get in. No problem they said and up we went. Well, Betty is passed out in bed suffering from meat coma and I feel like I have a giant ball of meat in my stomach. I don’t know if I’ll have bad dreams tonight or not. J

When the meat coma wears off we will upload A LOT of photos from Venice and Croatia.

Tomorrow is a sea day and boy do I need it. I love this cruise but it is “intense”.

Take care,
Mike
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Old July 5th, 2012, 09:28 PM
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Kuki and Mike, thanks for the great reports on the ship and the ports.

Marc
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Old July 6th, 2012, 02:54 AM
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MIKE.....

If u see this before I c u, if you want to dine with a bunch of us tonight, we're going to arrange to meet at our secret spot (deck 5, lanai, Ocean Plaza ) about 6 or so.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 02:57 AM
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Day 9 - Carnival Breeze - still in Venice

Today was another “92 in the shade” type of day. Quite a heat wave going on across Europe.

My legs were so sore, from all the walking I did in Venice yesterday, and as Mike talked about his knee doing well, I felt a little pop in mine. So, I simply couldn’t motivate myself to do it again. Plus, I feel just a hint in my throat of a possible cold developing. It’s just a tickle, that could be the precursor caused by being out in extensive heat, sweating profusely, and then getting back onto the air-conditioned ship.

If I hadn’t been fortunate enough to have visited Venice a number of times before, no doubt I would have been out and about. Luckily, we can rely on Mike to post his Venice experience from a more excited touring perspective. Thanks Mike.

At any rate, I had a very enjoyable day, relaxing, sitting in the shade, and watching ship happen around me.

There were a lot of people coming onboard today, looking like they were either from the shipyard (nearby where the ship was built), or suppliers to the shipyard. They were presumably onboard to work on, or assess different equipment etc. which weren’t functioning properly (deficiencies).

If you’ve ever done a construction or renovation program on your homes, you know there are always some things that need to be revisited. You can imagine how many more there would be on a half billion dollar ship.
I would imagine they want to insure everything is repaired and functioning as intended before the ship repositions to Miami.

This evening I’d made a 7 P.M. reservation for Fahrenheit 555, steakhouse for a repeat visit; this time with a couple of long time CruiseMates friends, who I haven’t seen for about 4 -5 yrs.

This turned out to be an excellent idea, as we were seated at a window, port side, and got to enjoy a spectacular dinner, with a spectacular view as we sailed out of Venice.

Dinner was even better than on my last visit (if that’s possible). The executive chef came out to visit for awhile, and we expressed our appreciation for our extended bellies.

The service was also impeccable. Though I had only dined there once before, the sommelier recognized me and brought me a fine vintage of diet coke, without my asking.

Somehow we must have just missed Mike and Betty, as he reported they came in to the restaurant after sail-a-way.

There was a headliner in the Ovation Theater tonight; instrumentalist Samantha Jay. She plays an extensive list of different instruments. I watched for about half the show. Unfortunately my ear for music, and as a result my ability to judge it’s quality is equal to that of a sofa. But, it was reported by others that the show was incredible, and Samantha Jay received a standing ovation.

Karaoke, in the Ocean Plaza, was packed tonight; standing room only, which is a bit tricky in a room with no walls. People were standing and sitting everywhere.

After some “casino fun” with some of the CruiseMates gang, I headed to the cabin about 1 A.M.

Speaking of my cabin - it’s about time for me to give kudos to my cabin steward Roy. He, and his team, have been doing a superb job. Nothing is a problem, and that’s a great attitude.

I’ve sent out laundry for “wash and fold” service a couple of times, and noted 2 day service on the order sheet, but so far, each time it’s come back within 24 hrs.

Tomorrow is a sea day, then a stop in Messina, Italy, followed by another sea day, and then the end.

I’ve talked to a lot of passengers so far this trip. 98% of them have almost only positive comments about the ship, and the wonderful cruise.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 04:14 AM
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Here is a link to my Breeze photo gallery.. if you want to see all the pictures, not just the ones I've embedded in the daily posts.

CruiseMates Cruise Community and Forums - Kuki's Album: Carnival Breeze
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