Carnival miracle cruise, out of NYC to the 3 ports of puerto Rico,St Thomas and Grand Turk.
We booked an 8 day cruise to the eastern Caribbean, realizing the tremendous value we were offered for an 8. Day excursion.We basically had good expectations, but realized there is a wide gap between carnival and Royal Carribean, which we sailed to Bermuda, last year on. All due respect to the crew and staff on the Miracle for doing the best they could.
We found the decor and environment to be very dated, and old fashioned comparing this ship to the royal Caribbean explorer of the sea. The ship is much smaller, and easier to get around, but much less spectacular. The food is acceptable at best in the dining room, the menu is very repetitive, and not very exciting.Royal Caribbean is not much more in cost, and the dining experience with the formal dining was spectacular, felt like you were in a fine restaurant every night. The food in the other areas of the ship was better as well as the brunch. The shipped was packed with people, long lines, for food and a little hard to swim in the pools, anytime we tried to there was no room,The famous serenity, area for adults, unless at night was jam packed and you could never get a seat.
Entertainment was not bad with the stage shows, most comedians we're quite vulgar, and the last night half the people walked out on the poor guy
Ports of call were San Juan, which we just gave ourselves our own walking tour.Onto the next port for fun and disaster.We booked an independent tour of the island, first shopping, then a tour up the hills of St Thomas, then hour at the beach.All went relatively well, until we reminded the tour guide,we had to be back on the ship by 3pm,they debated it was 4pm,BIG MISTAKE!! We attempted to make it back in time realizing we booked this tour on our own, without the ship involved,and what a disaster that was.As we rushed back to the ship,it left with out us, we saw it leave the harbor! We were 6 minutes late! Guess what ,they do not wait for you! We were met by the agents for the port, which were extremely helpful.The gentleman that assisted us could not have been any better! Our tour guide apologized profusely and also assisted us by taking us to the local airport, and arranging a flight to the next port to meet the ship in Grand Turk.We arrived a day early and stayed in a hotel to meet up with the ship, and it all worked out well.Golden Rule! It is your responsibility to make it back on time , so make sure you are aware of this, and don't be traumatized as we were.
The rest of the trip went well and back to ny harbor, what an experience, can't blame carnival for this one, just a great lesson to learn,maybe we will take regular vacations for awhile ,just directly to the destination, so you could enjjoy the ports of call or place you visit with more time ,instead of rushing back to the ship,