We have traveled on approximately 26 cruises, so we are definitely seasoned cruisers. We have.gone with our children and without. Also usually have Cruised during high peak times (school vacations)
The Carnival Miracle fell far below our expectations.
Leaving out of NYC was terrific. We parked the car and got right on the boat.
We were very pleased with our room. It was a balcony on the aft side of the boat. Our cabin steward was very nice and efficient. However we shocked to find no ice buckets in the room unless upon request. Our room steward said it was for health reasons. Well in the 26 cruises I have been on, I have had ice in my room and have yet to be sick. I believe it is just another cutback by Carnival. Speaking of cutbacks...why happened to the bands that used to play on the deck? Only to be replaced by a DJ who appears to be watching paint dry on a wall.
Friendliness of staff.
Our cabin steward was great. Malcolm. The cruise director I thought was terrific. The members of the cruise staff (asst. cruise director and others), just okay. There was one time we were walking on deck 3, three cruise staff walked right by without acknowledging us. It was only my husband and I. I found that very odd.
Food and Dining
Breakfast: I remember, only last year on NCL there was an abundance of smoked salmon for breakfast at the buffet, not on this ship. I had to order it from room service.
We decided to try the punchliner brunch. We finally realized that it goes from 10:00-100 in the dining room....we had a cloudy morning, so here we are.
Food...very good, service once again, needs to be stepped up. For some reason we had to ask for a basket of pastries three times...when it was supposed to be placed on the table once we were seated. So we are waiting for the comedian, he does on, introduces himself and walks to tables asking guests were they are from...and that was it....we thought we would be listening comedy show...oh well., but the food was good.
Lunch buffets...fine.but very long lines.
The food was very good. Unfortunately, I have to give the dining room service a 2 out of 5. It was our understanding that the wait staff has increased the number of tables they have and now work in a team of three. Each evening except for the night in Puerto Rico..we waited 20 minutes for our order to be taken and 20 more minutes for the appetizer to appear. The food for the guests at our table was not brought out together. At least one person each night did not receive their meal at the same time as the others. The night we were in Puerto Rico, we received excellent service...we were the only table our team had to serve.
I really enjoyed the entertainment. The juggler was terrific. The Beetles show was great. I understand the adult comedians were very good. Too late for me.
I have never felt so much stress enjoying the sun. If my husband and I left our chairs to go for a walk, our stuff was removed so others would take our seats, that is with the other person in our party saying "they went for a walk, and would be right back.". We were in the new area called "Serenity", which turns out to be oxymoron, when you have to worry about your seat being taken when you go to the pool, bathroom or fight the long lines at the buffet to eat (which that alone could take 20 minutes to get your food)
The cleanliness of the serenity area was not maintained at all. The three days that we were out there, not once did someone come to collect the glasses or plates. Funny, someone was there to collect your personal items if you left your chair for more than 15 minutes, but the glasses and plates remained.
The others days that we were at sea, we spent on deck 10...it was fine and did not have the stress of protecting your chair as we had to in the serenity area on Deck 9.
Nick & Nora's I had great expectations of the restaurant from what I read in the reviews. Service was excellent, (I really don't know how it wouldn't be superior to our dining experiences in the main dining room...)
I love the appetizers. We did notice a cutback here also...prior cruises you could have as many apps as you wanted...hey you are even paying an extra $35 pp plus gratuity....now two apps pp. believe me I am not an oinker, I would rather have the apps than the entree.
I was so excited to hear they had Chilean sea bass...well unfortunately this is a steak restaurant, and steak is what they do best, needless to say, the sea bass went back in exchange for lobster. ( which was excellent). The other people in our party had steak and thoroughly enjoyed their meals. Just don't order the sea bass...the chef came out to apologize and he even said...he wouldn't recommend it...oh well....
San Juan : Terrific. We did a zip line excursion. It was with a company outside the cruise. This was our 2nd one. The two guides were good. It was a lot of fun.
St. Thomas: we just shopped...way too much!!
Grand Turk....Beach...the water was spectacular. My husband snorkeled right at the beach where we docked. From what people said who went on the snorkeling excursions the $60 cost was not worth it.
The fitness area
There were two instructors on board. One primarily did the abs, stretch and yoga classes, the other did spin. I did the yoga and spin throughout the week. It definitely adds up at $12 per class. The yoga was okay, I wish we did more poses. Spin was great even with their antique bikes. But sign up immediately when you arrive on the boat.