This cruise would be my third with Carnival, and the second for my wife. We were married last year in Ocho Rios while traveling on the Triumph, and decided to take my wife's son along for our 1st anniversary on the Miracle, and this would be his first cruise. Needless to say, Carnival "exceeded our expectations" in most every way.
The dining room 'team' was wonderful, and although I had hoped we would be seated with other passengers, we had a table which seated four, just aft of the main dining area. Our waiter Somchai from Thailand was absolutely a delight! His helper, who's name escapes me at the moment, was equally as good. I would rate the food way above average, and the entire dining experience rates an A with us. Our son enjoyed the pizza, as did we one night, but for the most part we ate in the dining room as often as possible. I had a wonderful 'rack of ribs' for lunch on the last sea day that was 'to die for'!! Our bar server, Olga, was very efficient and cordial!
Room service was great.. 30 minutes was the longest we had to wait, and that was at 10 PM after a long day in port and a seriously napping child! I must admit to having a 'fish' entree every evening and enjoyed every meal. Our room steward Mario was superb! Towel animals every evening, and we never needed to call him for anything. He also received an extra gratuity along with Somchai and his assistant.
Our cabin, which was an extended balcony directly on the aft, was wonderful. This was our second balcony, and I will definitely book an aft cabin in the future. Just wonderful to sit there and watch the sea pass by and the beautiful sunsets! Moon and star watching was a favorite time for me.
Bar service was good, but 'spotty' at times. A re-distribution of bartenders to busier areas would have been appreciated. The ones who were there were wonderful and the drinks were great, but they seemed to be under-staffed. This is a money-maker for Carnival, so I'm sure they will adjust this to accommodate the masses. No one wants to wait for a $3.50 beer or a $5. drink!! I chose the 'bucket-of-beer' option on several occasions to alleviate the need to go to the bar.
We enjoyed all the shows. The three of us enjoyed the 'Generations' show, and Mark Harvey the Hypnotist was GREAT! We went to the late night show to see more of his act. Unfortunately, we missed the Tribute to the Beatles (Legends) show as we celebrated our anniversary at Nick & Nora's that evening. FANTASTIC!
Next cruise I'll do Nick & Nora's, or whatever supper club is offered, on several occasions. Well worth the extra money! Quick note: Our 14 year old son enjoyed the dining room so much that he went to formal night alone, while we were at Nick & Nora's, dressed in a dark grey suit, and was treated like royalty by the wait team. He loved it!! And we now know "he can dance"!
Overall, from what we participated in, and what we observed, Carnival does a wonderful job. Again, they exceeded our expectations... Embarkation and debarkation went as well as could be expected. We arrived at approximately noon, and waited about 1/2 hour to board the ship.
Debarkation was a little slow, due to customs, but we had an 1148 AM flight out of Tampa, and were at the airport by 10 AM with lots of room to spare! Yes, we will sail with Carnival again... Miracle is our favorite so far, but the Triumph is a close second!