This was our 8th cruise with Carnival and the first time we sailed on a Spirit Class ship. We loved this ship. The layout was much better than either the Conquest class or the Fantasy class. My wife and I are in our late 50s and love to cruise. We don't really participate in any of the activities/games and don't drink alcohol. We just like to relax, take in the beautiful water and stroll along the deck.
The Good: The Miracle is the most beautiful ship that we have been on. There is quite a bit of open deck, which we love. The decks are very nicely laid out and easy to get around. The ship was very clean, they were constantly cleaning the decks and common areas. The food was better than average. Embarkation was a breeze. We drove to the port and used Park and Go which was great! You can get an on-line deal, pick up and drop off at the ship was very simple. Debarkation went well too.
The Bad: We used the carnival loyalty coupon for our ship board credit but were not given the credit. For those that do not know, on Carnival cruises, you can purchase a coupon for your next cruise and for purchasing that coupon, you get up to $200 in ship board credit on that next cruise. Before sailing, we checked our account to make sure that the credit was there and it was. But low and behold, when we got on the ship, it had disappeared. We didn't know about it because we didn't check our account until the last few days. Since it was the weekend, we couldn't do anything about it because the corporate office was closed and no one on the ship had the authority to issue a $100 credit. We finally did get the credit on our credit card 10 days after the cruise ended. The cabin steward was the worse we have had. He had the mini-bar locked, we asked him to open it, which he did. The next day, it was locked again. The room was cleaned okay, but it took a while, who knows maybe he had an extra territory to cover. The cruise director, Malcolm, was not very active. When he came on to do his announcements, he often didn't tell us what his name was. We didn't do the welcome aboard show, so when we went to the next show, he came out on stage without introducing himself. The lido restaurants more than once closed before the scheduled time. We went to get a late lunch a couple of times about 10 min to 3:00 but found they had been cleared already. Of course, its no big deal because there is always something to eat but sometimes you want just a cookie or a small salad plate instead of a burger or pizza. The pizza stand and deli stand could have been staffed with crew members that were more cordial. We had ordered calzones once and waited for the requested time to see the guy give our calzones to someone else. This area needs to be improved. As stated, we love to stroll on the deck, especially in the front of the ship. The forward deck of Lido was closed most of the cruise, which was annoying. I asked one of the ship officers why and she stated it was closed because of high wind! That was nonsense. We've been on cruises with high winds and this was definitely not the case. It appeared as though they were using it to store broken deck chairs.
The Ugly: We were at the back of the ship on Lido where there is a very nice Serenity area. While we were sitting there having lunch, three near fights broke out over deck chair savers! REALLY!? The poor towel people had to put up with these supposed adults fighting over chairs. Talk about ugly Americans. Also, the Professional Shopper, Michael, was quite condescending. We purchased a portfolio that included some coupons for free stuff. One of the coupons stated to go to a particular store. On St Kits, that store did not carry the item that was free. When I went to Michael to explain, he started to inform me where I went wrong, that I should have not read the coupon but listened to his presentation. All the while, he had the free item in his desk. Better customer service would have been to say well I'm sorry that happened. Here is the item that you were supposed to have received.
In conclusion: Would we go on Carnival again? Absolutely. Would we travel on the Miracle again? Yes, and maybe there will be a different crew.