If clients are expecting a cookie cutter ship when booking the newest Fun Ship, the $740 million Carnival Breeze, they’ll be surprised at seeing the 3,690-passenger ship for the first time.
Simply put, this ship is a smooth, soothing addition to the Carnival Cruise Lines (www.goccl.com) fleet.
While still delivering oodles of fun, the 130,000-ton Carnival Breeze’s new look is more “contemporary,” says Gerry Cahill, Carnival’s president and CEO, who is onboard the current cruise and spoke to reporters at a press briefing on Saturday.
New Look, Softer Colors
Clients will sail amid softer colors and with design that replicates a boutique hotel feel in many spaces.
Décor changes are most noticeable in the atrium, in elevator lobbies, mezzanine corridors and guest areas including staterooms, as well as the Cloud Nine Spa, dining areas including the Lido restaurant and the Sapphire Restaurant.
The overly ornate architectural features typical of many other Carnival ships are gone in many cases.
Clients will see glitz or neon in only a few public spaces where those truly make sense – such as the O2 teen club, the Liquid nightclub or the casino.
Joe Farcus, Carnival’s long-time designer credited with the unique storytelling and creative but highly ornate décor of Carnival’s other ships, has created just two of the spaces onboard Carnival Breeze – the casino and the Ovation Theater.
It’s a new era and, as with other industries, cruising has evolved. Guests have different expectations in 2012 than they did just a year or two ago.
Carnival officials said they spent a lot of time perusing décor in hotels and resorts worldwide to observe and track trends that reflect consumer desires. So Carnival has adapted with the times.
Yet, the Carnival brand is still about fun. So the décor is still playful with splashes of color.
“We don't want to get away from fun,” Cahill stressed, noting “that’s who we are. We are fun, memorable vacations.”
For example, while the atrium is more contemporary and the colors lighter, the new DJ Irie “concept” features high-energy entertainment created by the famed DJ from the Miami Heat; Carnival Corp. Chairman and CEO Micky Arison owns the Heat.
It’s a more appropriate brand differentiator, say Carnival officials, noting that in the past violinists or other musicians played in the lobby as guests boarded.
Now, the DJ concept signals fun from the moment guests arrive in the atrium.
Balcony Stateroom #7275
Our stateroom onboard Carnival Breeze is #7275; it’s one of 1,845 staterooms with a distinctive décor inspired by the ship’s Caribbean itineraries.
From the moment we opened the door, we knew this was different than Carnival's other ship staterooms.
First, the cabinetry was “lighter” in appearance. And colors complemented rather than contrasted.
An dreamy blue-and-green painting integrated with the decor rather than competed for attention with other elements in the room.
The soft blue, sunny gold or cream coloring on the bed runner, drape, carpeting and walls were pleasing to the eye.
Carnival’s staterooms are roomy with a second large fold-out sofabed, coffee table, storage/entertainment center with flat screen television, refrigerator, safe and four drawers, as well as three long closets with plenty of storage space.
Guests still have plenty of closet space with the two hanging closets and one with shelving.
The bathroom was bright yet soft in appearance with light blue and white shower curtain and light blue flooring. It’s a nice evolution from the contrasting aqua and green colors of some past Carnival bathrooms.
The new more contemporary look is reflected in a wide range of accommodation options, including five-berth, two-bath staterooms ideal for families and cove balconies closer to the water line.
Whatever accommodations guests stay in, though, their digs will reflect the Carnival of the 2010 decade. It’s an evolution that starts with the latest Fun Ship, Carnival Breeze.
Cahill said preliminary guest feedback has been positive. The public appears to like what they see on Carnival Breeze. Many guests we spoke to onboard agreed.
Stay tuned to www.travelagentcentral.com for more updates from the ship as Travel Agent will be on the ship checking out the new venues, public areas and guest activities.