First time on Carnival. Previously cruised on Holland America(1), Norwegian(1), Princess(3) and Royal Caribbean(1). Wife and I went with another couple. Flew down to FLL the day before and stayed at the Spring Hill Suites FLL Airport. Decent hotel, good location, clean. Rented a car to be able to pick up liquor and Big Daddy's Liquors on State Road 84. Always stop here when cruising out of FLL. Good prices, good selection and friendly service. Dinner at Rendezvous Waterfront Bar and Grill on the marina. Good food and service.
Took the free shuttle to the cruise port from the airport after dropping of the rental car. Upon arrival at the terminal and after turning over luggage to the porters, there was nobody around directing passengers where to enter. After wandering around a few minutes with a half dozen other passengers, somebody finally came out and directed us in. Embarkation process was quick and smooth. There were several employees standing around that would have been of better service outside directing passengers.
The Miracle is a BEAUTIFUL ship in good shape. The size and layout makes it that there were really no overbearing crowds at anytime. Only issue was the layout of the aft half of the buffet. There was some bottle-necking at times.
WARNING for anybody considering an aft balcony on Level 8, Panorama Deck. The Serenity Pool is above you. Problem is that the crew cleans/sets chairs between 0400 and 0500. Woke up every morning at these times to the sound of chairs being dropped and/or dragged across the deck. Also, the balcony is on the small side with very little cover. Our cabin was clean and tended to very well by Juan. Made towel animal nightly...a nice touch.
Ate in the main dinning room early seating five of eight nights. Good service. Food was nice/good. Nothing special. Ate at the buffet two of the nights...same opinion. Nothing special. EXCEPT the french fries at the poolside grill are the BEST french fries I've ever had on a cruise ship. A cross between Mc D's and Burger King.
Did our own thing in St Martin and Antigua. Did the Catamaran Fan-ta-sea thru Carnival in St Kitts. Had a blast. Snorkeling was only so so but the crew/service was great. Lunch was nice. The rum punch was awesome but be careful, VERY strong.
Entertainment was lacking.
Disembarkation was quick and efficient.
We enjoyed our cruise on the Miracle. Great ship and a great size. Unfortunately there was nothing about this cruise that makes me want to go on Carnival again. Nothing stood out, nothing special. Probably look at Royal Caribbean or Holland America again.