Return to Cruise: Carnival Breeze – Day Four Recap

After a fifteen month hiatus, Carnival Breeze will sail her first cruise on July 15th from Galveston. Premier Custom Travel’s Chris Grum will be onboard and will chronicle the experience in our special blog series RETURN TO CRUISE: CARNIVAL BREEZE.

Today was our final “fun day at sea” and tomorrow morning, we’ll disembark the ship and return to reality.


There were plenty of things going on around the ship to keep us occupied during our final day onboard. Pre-COVID, you would receive the “Fun Times” – the daily schedule – each day in your stateroom. Now, the schedule is available on the Carnival HUB app, but you can also request a paper copy at Guest Services. Honestly the HUB app makes things easy and you can easily bookmark your favorite activities and find them easily under your favorites. They’ve also upgraded the app to allow you to join virtual queues for places like Guest Services or restaurants. You get a notification when it’s your turn or when your table is available.

Menus are also available on the app for all the bars and restaurants, and instead of paper menus, there are QR codes on every counter and table that can easily be scanned to access the menu for that venue. In our stateroom at embarkation, there was a sheet with various QR codes to help you get oriented. One had info about guest services, another had the details about the e-muster drill, etc. They’ve done a very good job of making these transitions easy, plus honestly they make things flow a lot smoother.

One thing that surprised all of us is that we are serving ourselves at the buffet. As I’ve mentioned previously, we were onboard the last Carnival Dream sailing prior to the shutdown, and on that cruise they had converted from a self-service buffet to crew members serving at each station. Most of us in the industry had expected that this change would either be permanent or at least re-appear when the ships re-started. I can’t account for how things are being done on other lines or ships, but here it’s completely self-service at the buffet, the toppings stations at Blue Iguana Cantina, Guy’s Burger Joint, and Guy’s Pig & Anchor BBQ, and the Swirls ice cream.

I actually liked the crew-served buffet for a couple of reasons: First, it made the lines run much smoother. Somehow, I tend to always get caught behind the person who is either indecisive or cannot seem to properly use tongs. Second, it cuts down on waste tremendously. We noticed several people at breakfast today who were over-serving themselves and then leaving lots of uneaten food behind. I wish people would realize that they can always go back for more and therefore take smaller portions to start. The amount of food that goes into the trash is pitiful.


Our Captain, Cruise Director, and members of each onboard department getting a well-deserved standing ovation when introduced to us at the end of the disembarkation presentation. We were told that many of them were crying tears of joy as the first guests boarded the ship four days ago.

The final sea day brought us lots to do. Cruise Director Jonathan “Cookie” Adams did his disembarkation presentation, which was one of the best I’ve seen. They’ve switched up the process a bit, now calling self-assist by muster station and not deck. Those using the luggage service are still getting numbered tags and extras (or other numbers if you wanted to get off earlier or later) were available in the Red Frog Pub. Cookie made a great point that all cruisers should keep in mind – the disembarkation process is a team effort and will only go smoothly if everyone cooperates.

He emphasized several times about not waiting in the boarding area and to please only come down when your numbers are called. Hopefully everyone follows the rules. I’ve been on both sides of this coin, and when people listen, it’s a smooth process. If they get selfish, it can be an utter mess.

Beyond the informative presentation from our Cruise Director, there were a ton of activities onboard. Carnival has partnered with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and each cruise they hose a “Groove for St. Jude.” Over the years, Carnival has raised over $20 million for this amazing facility, and today we all did our part by purchasing t-shirts, wristbands, and even a St. Jude-exclusive Build-a-Bear, which will join my Captain Bear in my office at Premier Custom Travel when we return tomorrow.

This morning, the towel animals invaded the lido deck, with literally hundreds of them sitting on all the deck chairs, railings, and bar stools around the main pool. This is a fun feature on every Carnival cruise, although I would not want to be one of the crew members who has to make all of them. They have a class you can take onboard (and a book you can buy with instructions) and yet I still cannot make a recognizable animal.

As you might expect, the pools on the lido deck are very popular, as are the thermal suites and thalassotherapy pool at the Cloud 9 Spa. Throughout the day, there have been dozens of great activities, sales in the shops, tournaments in the casino, and many of the things that are staples of any cruise. It also helps that the weather is fantastic today.

Our final event of the cruise was a comedy show in the Punchliner Comedy Club with the hilarious William Lee Martin. He’s a Carnival favorite and has also opened for George Strait, among others. A great way to wrap up a fun cruise.


The final night of the cruise is bittersweet as we prepare to leave in the morning. With that in mind, there is a wonderful Carnival Cruise Line tradition that we all enjoyed this evening.

SPOILER ALERT – if you have never cruised with Carnival before and want this to be a surprise, skip down below the dotted line. Otherwise, read on and learn about this special gift from the staff to the passengers.

Years ago, one of the dining room servers on one of the Carnival ships was so taken by his customers at one of his tables that he decided to do something special for them on the final night of the cruise. So he took a popular song he knew – “Leaving on a Jet Plane” – and re-wrote the lyrics. That evening, he sang the song to his guests. The story goes that the Maitre’d heard it and asked him to do it again on the next cruise, but this time for the entire dining room. That waiter complied and it became a tradition on that ship. Later, it moved fleet-wide and now, if you sail with Carnival and attend main dining on the final night of the cruise, you’ll hear this song.

In case you’re wondering, here are the lyrics:

All your bags are packed
You’re ready to go
We’re standing here in front of you
We hate to see you go and say Goodbye

We have done our best
To serve you this cruise
We have danced for you and made you smile
Already we’re so lonesome we could cry

So wave to me and smile for me
Tell me you’ll be back for me
Hold me like you’ll never let me go

You’re leaving our Funship
We want to see you back again
We hate to let you go

Every ship you go, we’ll think of you
Every song we sing, we sing for you
When you come back, we want to serve you again
Again, Again, Again

So wave to me and smile for me
Tell me you’ll be back for me
Hold me like you’ll never let me go

You’re leaving our Funship
We want to see you back again
Leaving on a Funship
We want to see you back again…

I’m not crying – you’re crying.

—————————— END SPOILERS ——————————


I hope you’ve found this blog series informative and fun. I plan to post the digital copies of the Fun Times as a photo album on the Premier Custom Travel Facebook page, but with the slow internet onboard, that will have to wait until I’m back on land. But that will have the daily schedules, opening hours, and I’ll also share many of the onboard menus.

Thanks for following along during this special voyage. Be sure to read all the entries in our RETURN TO CRUISE: CARNIVAL BREEZE series for all the details on Carnival Breeze’s first voyage back.

One last photo…our final towel animal. And it’s a clever one.