Embarkation: We arrived at the pier about 11:00am. There was no line to get in to the terminal and just a very short line to go through security. There was about a 15 minute wait to get our sail and sign cards. After receiving our S&S cards we were able to go directly on to the ship. Went to the Serenity area and hardly anyone there, so we had drinks and went and checked out the ship. I was so much enjoying the Serenity area that I forgot all about the time and my wife had to remind me that it was time for the rooms to be ready. So we were in our room by 1:45pm. Could have been earlier but like I said... One of the best embarkations I have ever done, smooth and fast!
Cabin: We were in cabin 7186. Cabin was clean. Furniture and soft goods all were in good order. We found plenty of room to put away all of our clothes. Don't forget to use the drawers under the couch. We were able to fit our entire luggage under the bed after unpacking. The bed was two twins pushed together. Now if you were sleeping on your side of the bed it was very comfortable, but if you wanted to spoon with your partner (wife in my case) the center of the bed had a hump were the two twins met. This was very uncomfortable. Our room stewards were great. We tip him extra the very first day. Always had ice in the ice bucket, room was always clean when we come back from the day's events. The TV in the room needed to be a little closer or a little larger not that we watched it that much but when you did it was hard to see small writing, like from CNN which we watched the most to keep up with the news. Also they had some kind of connection problem, we tried to rent a movie and it played 3 minutes and the screen went blank. Called and told them about it and they removed it from the bill. Bathroom was great had plenty of shelf space to store all our toiletries. On bad note is the shower went hot and cold while using it. Overall the ship was in good condition but she is showing her age.
The Ship: The last Carnival ship we were on was the Glory, which we loved. The Miracle not as much, while we did have a great time on her we were not fond of the layout. Yes it is easy to get from bow to stern but everything is to spread out, all the lounges are far apart from each other. As I stated earlier she is showing her age and for just coming out of a try dock, I saw a lot of rust on the exterior and some painting that needed to be done on the lido. We are glad we got to sail her but will probably pass on her next time.
The Food: Okay first of all I am not a picky eater at all. The buffet in the Lido was 2 to 3 stars out of 5 stars. Many times it was the exact same menu as the MDR. For dinner you choices are deli, pizza, hamburgers/hotdogs at the grill or the buffet, yet at lunch they have all sorts of different choices Chinese, Italian and Caribbean but this is not offered at dinner time. The MDR was just slightly better than the buffet. I did have the tenderest prime rib I have ever had at the MDR but had very little taste to it. My wife ordered the salmon, when it came out I looked at it and said that looks really dry, she took a bite and said it is really dry! Now for the good food we had. Unfortunately all the good food we had to pay extra for (this is our 3rd Carnival ship in 4 years, the first two the food was good) which was Nick & Nora's ($30 pp) 5+ stars!! The Chefs Table ($75 pp) 5+ stars!! Also at the Fountainhead area there is a little bakery type shop which had cookies, cakes and such for very reasonable price which was pretty good. Oh the free ice cream and frozen yogurt weren't too bad either. Times are tough and cuts have to be made to stay competitive which may explain the lower quality of food since our last Carnival cruise or maybe they lower it to get you to spend money on the specialty food venues, who knows. I realize the taste of food is a very subjective thing but I will eat just about anything, but I did not stuff myself like I usually do on a cruise.
1st Two Days at Sea: Took the opportunity to explore the ship and take pictures of the different areas of the ship. We spent most of our time at the Serenity area. Very nice and relaxing, there is a pool at hot tub plus the bar is a short distance away although they did have bar service waiters taking orders. This area gets very crowded so get there early. We also like to lounge on deck 10, there is no pool close by but there is a great breeze so we never got very hot. As a matter of fact the weather was absolutely wonderful the whole cruise except for the 3rd sea day it was cloudy and rained a little, the day we tried to rent the movie. I was able to lie out and never get so hot I felt like I needed to get into the pool to cool off. I did stick my feet in a few times water felt pretty darn cold.
2nd Two Days at Sea: We were pretty beat the 3rd sea day after running around at all the ports for the last 3 days straight and as I mention it was cloudy and a little rainy the 3rd sea day so we just took it easy that day. Our last sea day we just relaxed on some loungers on deck 10.
Entertainment: We are not much for the sing and dancing shows, so we did not see any of those but, we did go to the comedy show twice (two different comedians) which both were a great time. We went to the hypnotist show which was fun and very entertaining. We both love to dance so we hit the disc a few times, but the DJ though he was some kind of mix master and never played a song all the way through. The even did a Mowtown hour to start the night off and was still not playing full songs. I thought the intent was to get the older crowd in there and they are not used to a song only playing half way then on to the next song. Oh well this how the younger crowd like their music now the ADDH generation LOL. We hit the casino one night and I actually won $130.00, most I have won on a cruise ship casino.
Debarkation: This went very well. We did use the express baggage service which was great. Even if we didn't use that I think we still would have been off the boat at the same time. Only difference you don't have to search for your luggage once off the ship. We were given zone number 4 but we had a late afternoon flight so we went to guest services and exchanged them for zone 25. Now they want you out of the room by 8:30am, which I understand and we were out by then. We then went to the Serenity area, we practically had the place to ourselves. We ate some breakfast out there and waited for our zone. We were called down about 9:30am and were off the ship about 10:00am, I think we were one of the last 10 people off the ship.
If you would like to see pictures from the trip go to