Got back from our first cruise on Carnival Miracle August 2 and we loved it! My oldest daughter cruised on Carnival Freedom last year but this was the first cruise for me, my other two daughters and my sister. We stayed in cabins 1204 and 1208 and had an oceanview room. The window was nice and big and we were able to see the ocean from our window. It was especially exciting to see land after being at sea for three days.
We sailed out of New York so we had 3 sea days, 3 days at port and then 2 sea days. We went to Puerto Rico, St. Thomas and Grand Turk. When we visited Puerto Rico is was so hot so my two daughters went back to the ship after a couple of hours while the rest of us just walked around the explored. We didn't do any excursions so we just checked out the shops and took lots of pictures. We absolutely loved St. Thomas. We did the Magen's Bay excursion and the beach was beautiful! We stayed for two hours and my daughter had a ball swimming around with her goggles exploring all the fish. While picking up what we thought were shells with our feet in the water my daughter picked up a starfish. She freaked and flung it back in the water but it was pretty cool! I only wish we could have stayed a few more hours. The water is crystal clear and was the perfect temperature. The view from the hillside is breathtaking! The driver stopped at two areas along the way so that we could take pictures. Definitely worth it! The next day we did the Gibbs Cay Stingrays and Beach excursion in Grand Turk. This was by far our favorite excursion. We were a bit freaked out at first to see a few huge stingrays when we got in the water but they were very gentle. The tour guides let us all hold the biggest stingray and we got to kiss her (she actually puckers up). They put her on your head and the pictures were hysterical! We even kissed the barb (supposedly 7 years of good luck if you did) and licked it (20 years of good luck). They cleaned a conch and let us try it. It was pretty gross but at least we tried it! After that we went snorkeling. We didn't have much time to snorkel but we saw some cute fish. We brought disposable underwater cameras with us so my daughter took pictures of the fish we saw.
Now for the ship itself. We found the rooms to be very roomy. We had two twin beds and a sofa bed. The bedding was so comfortable. The bathroom was roomy enough for us. The rooms were always cleaned and ready as soon as we got back. We loved the towel animals too. The day of our stingray excursion we came back to a stingray towel animal. As far as the food goes, some days it was good and some days it was ok. We did buy the soda cards and sometimes didn't use it much. The filtered water on the ship was good, and I don't drink tap water. We did the anytime dining and didn't have to wait long at all for a table. Our waiters were great and always remembered my daughter's usual dinner. They were very attentive. If you were there around 9:15 or so they would dim the lights and all of the waiters would start dancing. They did a conga line and pulled my daughter up with them. Another night they danced to YMCA and two of my daughters got up and danced. We never tried the slide but a lot of kids did and it looked fun. We were going to try playing mini golf the last day but it started raining. I do wish the pools were bigger. People would hang out in the pool forever so you couldn't really swim around. It's more for cooling off. Also, we had to go down to the pool around 7:30 to make sure we would get a chair. They're supposed to remove people's towels that are on chairs more than one-half hour if they're not there but they don't. It got really annoying because people would be walking around looking for a chair while a bunch were covered with towels from people who weren't even there yet. A few people got into arguments over this. So if you're planning on hanging out by the pool go early. We would throw a towel down, go right to the buffet for breakfast and coffee or tea and take it right back to our chairs or the table behind our chairs to eat.
Overall, we had a great time, and can't wait to plan our next cruise for 2014. We will definitely cruise with Carnival again.
Hope this helps!