Just got back from the November 30 8 Day Miracle sailing from NYC to Port Canaveral, Nassau, and Freeport. Having sailed on the Miracle once before we thought we knew what to expect but this cruise exceeded our expectations for many reasons!! Having joined a very quiet roll call a little over a month before the sailing I wasn't sure how active this group was going to be but things quickly picked up and we met a great bunch of people and had the time of our lives!
This was the first cruise we booked out of NYC in November. After initially having some concerns about the potential of bad weather, the much lower off season prices quickly got our attention and we booked our first every OS suite 6174 for less than any previous balcony! The room was excellent with almost twice the square footage, flat screen TV, a bigger balcony, lottsa room for storage, and a normal sized bathroom with a tub!
We took the Yankee Trails bus from upstate which has always been a good way for us to get to and from the city dropping us off right at the port and our luggage is taken directly from the bus. Check in was simple with the priority suite boarding though the lounge was very simple and plain compared to the VIP lounge of NCL.
Once on board we went to the Lido deck for a quick bite to eat and went right to the deli which serves hot corn beef, pastrami, reubens... as well as other sandwiches and sides. After lunch we checked out the ship then went to one of the bars for our first of two meet and greets at 2p. A nice bunch of people came and you must try the ThirstyFrog Red beer! Went to our room which I previously described, and if you're interested, checkout my pictures via the link in my signature in the CC forum!
Went back outside for a while, attended the muster drill before sail away, then back to the bar for our second meet and greet where some of the first folks returned and we were joined by even more!! What a great group of peeps!!
We had early dinning and we were seated at a table for 8 with a real nice group of people. We looked forward to dinner each night and the food was so good each night we never got to, or needed the pay restaurant! We also liked the 24 hour pizza which was very good though tasted more like pizza hut to me which I like for a change. We ate breakfast/lunch in either the MDR or buffet (which was always crowded but maneuverable) and really enjoyed the Comedy Brunches in the MDR though the comedy, was very short during the brunch!
At 1:30p our first sea day the party really started when 41 members of our roll call got together for a one hour open bar cocktail party which I organized! This once quiet roll called quickly turned into party animals and we all had a great time, held a gift exchange, and played LCR! I even invited Cory the CD who fit right in and joined the party!!
Some of the shows we had seen before but the Ticket to Ride was great again! They also had a ventriloquist who was very good and a hypnotist who didn't do it for us! What we really liked was the nightly comedy and with the adult shows starting at 9:45, even we were able to stay up. Get there early as the space is small and gets packed quickly!!
During our sea days we spend most of our time in the Serenity Adult only area on deck 9 aft. We had good weather all week and what a nice setup with a small pool, whirlpool, lounges, hammocks, and awesome hard to get clam shells! See the pics link in my signature in the CC forums for a better view. And yes; they do monitor for "chair hogs" though I didn't notice anyone's stuff being taken away.
We stayed onboard at Port Canaveral and had a great time at both Nassau and Freeport! In Nassau we went snorkeling with Stuarts Cove which was by far, one of the best snorkeling trips we've ever been on. A bus picked us up and we took a beautiful drive to their location which was the site of several movies and the location where flipper was filmed. Then had several different excursions and boats running at the same time and a really great setup and location.
The ship and staff were excellent and we had three stops. A reef, and wreck, and snorkeling with sharks which was amazing!!! They dropped a bait box 40 feet below along with divers and we snorkeled above. For you divers out there, you too can dive with the reef sharks. When done; they pulled up the bait box and the sharks surfaced and they were much much bigger then they appeared while snorkeling!
In Freeport when went to the Grand Lucayan Resort with a $10/pp day pass and a few other couples we met onboard. My DW and I had been to the resort 42 years earlier and though it looked a lot different it brought back many great memories! The resort had several pools including an infinity pool, a nice beach, reasonable bar prices, starbucks, and you could pay for parasailing, jet skis, sailing, snorkeling... Hard to miss with Stuarts Cove and the Grand Lucayan Resort!!
Overall it was one of our favorite cruises for many reasons and one of the nicest and compassionate CC groups we could ever ask for. Hope to be cruising again soon and we'll miss the Miracle as she leaves NYC and we look forward to checking out the Splendor when she comes to town!