Carnival Breeze is the third of Carnival’s “fun” ships – and promises to be the most exciting yet
Carnival Breeze is the third of the line’s “Dream-class” of ships, and a sister ship to last year’s Magic. The 3,690-capacity ship will be largely similar to her “fun ship” siblings, but with three new features and a few tweaks.
The big addition is a world first, the first 5D – yes 5D – cinema at sea: Thrill 5D Theatre, where you will be able to see, feel and smell the movies.
But for the Carnival fan, the big change you’ll notice is a more subdued colour palette throughout the ship. Gone are the garish colours the line has long been associated with, and in comes a more “contemporary” décor, as the new UK head Adolfo Perez explains: “I think you can see the changes which started with Dream and Magic and will be fully realised with Breeze.
“There’s much more toning down following customer feedback, which is the reality of the 21st century. We don’t want to be trendy, but give it a more classic and contemporary feel.”
Created by Germany-based Partner Ship Design, this toned-down tropical design theme will offer a combination of bright colours and soothing pastel hues. (However, fret not fans of classic Carnival kitsch – there will still be the odd image of palm trees dotted around public spaces and in corridors.)
The 24-seat 5D cinema has a high-definition 3D projection system, strobe lights, a smoke/fog machine, and bubble machine. What makes it 5D are the various special effects including leg tickling, neck blowing, seat pokes, water squirts and seat motion.
Films will be about 15 minutes long and – to be confirmed at time of going to press – could include Happy Feet and Polar Express. It’s also yet to confirmed whether there will be a charge or not.
The second new(ish) feature is Bonsai Sushi, which for readers who have cruised on Magic will know is not new – there is an existing Bonsai Sushi – but this will be significantly expanded so it feels more like a restaurant with an à la carte menu and pricing and a dedicated seating area and waiter service.
Again, this follows positive customer feedback: “People want sushi on board,” explains Perez, “so we’ve expanded the existing space.”
The third major change is to the Upper Promenade on Deck 5, which acts as the ship’s main thoroughfare and on Dream and Magic runs through the middle of the ship from the Atrium to the Art Lounge. But unlike her sisters, on Breeze this walkway has been shifted to run alongside the promenade deck windows instead of running through the middle of the ship, allowing for larger seating areas at the entrance of venues located along the promenade. “The reason for this is that the feedback we had from guests is that it can seem slightly ‘enclosed’,” said Perez. “What we want to do is give a feeling of walking by the sea.”
In terms of entertainment, look out for the Hasbro Game Show, in which popular board games such as Monopoly and Yahtzee are brought to life on stage.
As Carnival’s legendary cruise director and blogger John Heald said recently: “I have been spending some time with the folks from HASBRO who have been designing, helping and scripting this very lavish and ultimately brilliant fun game show. The idea is to bring audiences and players closer together in an evening of fun and fantastic prizes. It is going to be a huge hit.”
Just a few tweaks
|Passenger capacity: 3,690|
|Gross Tonnage: 130,000|
|Length: 1,004 feet|
|Beam: 122 feet|
|Cruising speed: 20 knots|
|Launch date: 31/05/2012|
In terms of tweaks there will be minor changes, mainly in the form of modernization of a number of the more popular entertainment and dining venues introduced on Magic.
These include the RedFrog Rum Bar and the RedFrog Pub – Carnival’s first pub at sea with its own-brand beer, ThirstyFrog Red – the BlueIguana Tequila Bar and the Blue Iguana Cantina, the EA Sports Bar and Guy’s Burger Joint. Punchliners Comedy Club will reappear, as will the Library Bar, with its self-service wine dispensers.
SportSquare was another big hit on Magic – and will reappear on Breeze – as will the ropes course, where passengers can be harnessed ready to clamber over tightropes, swinging beams and nets – high above the ship. And in keeping with its strong familyfriendly credentials, Camp Carnival – its huge kids’ space for two to 17-year-olds – stays the same.
The majority of Carnival’s passengers are from the US, even those who cruise in the Med. Last year the line tested out seven-, nine- and 12-day cruises, with 12-day cruises proving to be far the most popular.
This season they will just be offering 12-day cruises to cater to the US market, most of whom are coming all the way over and wanting a decent length break.
Breeze departs on her maiden voyage on 3 June from Venice, calling at Dubrovnik, Athens, Izmir, Sicily, Naples, Civitavecchia, Livorno, Monte Carlo and Marseilles, arriving in Barcelona on 15 June.
She then starts a summer schedule of 12-day Mediterranean voyages following this itinerary through to 25 October 2012 when she sets sail to the Caribbean via Palma de Mallorca, Malaga, Canary Islands, Antigua to St. Maarten.
Judging by the success of Magic’s season in the Med last year – and the positive response at Carnival’s return to Europe after a three-year absence – Breeze’s European debut is set to be a triumphant one.
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