As I read through previous reviews about the Miracle, I began to second guess myself regarding my upcoming cruise. I am happy to report that just as so many people have reported before "A cruise vacation is what you make of it".
Embarkation was organized and I listened to those who suggested that you arrive early my daughter and I arrived by 10:30am. We didn't board until 12:30 and went immediately to Horatio's to grab a bite to eat. Since we arrived fairly early we were the second group to board the ship so the lines weren't that bad. We were welcomed with free glasses of champagne as we boarded but as time went by and more guests came on board the lines grew. Of course this is the only time when all passengers are eating in the same place at the same time. Just have a little patience and all will be fine people.
Once cabins were ready, my daughter and I headed to our cabin 4230 aft cabin with extended balcony. We loved, loved, loved it! Again, I read horror stories of soot flowing and heavy cigarette smoke blowing in my face. I experienced none of the negatives. I loved the aft balcony it was perfect on those sunny days when all I wanted to do was relax. In fact once back on land we missed the motion and the vibration, it did feel like sleeping in a gentle massage chair.
The entertainment was fine, I really enjoyed ticket to ride and generations. The one area that could use some beefing up were the comics. We had 2 guys on our way down to the Bahamas Eric Schwartz who used all of his funniest material the first night and couldn't come up with anything on the second night. Joe Smiley was just crude and I couldn't really get into him but their were others who found him funny. In our last Port of Freeport we picked up 2 new comedians Eddie Capone who I found funny as ad libs with the audience a lot. The second guy Hal Speers was just plain awful.
Before I get into the MDR let me just rave about Nick & Nora's steakhouse. Our cruise departed on 12/24 which was Christmas eve. We had reservations for the very first night which comes with a free bottle of wine. The food was exquisite and we had such a wonderful time that we ate there again. All other meals we had in the MDR which was fine. We really didn't spend too much time up on the lido deck once we set sail but discovered the awesome burgers on our last night which was New Year's eve/New Year's morning around 1:00am.
Self assist vs zone debarkation. It's totally up to you but if you don't want the hassle of dealing with all of your bags zone is the way to go. Made sure daughter and I were all packed up by noon and had bags outside of our cabin before we headed off to the New Year's eve celebrations. Of course we got the very last zone #21 and didn't get off the ship until 10:30 but were home by 11:30am. Here is a tip for zipping past the long lines at customs, get a porter. Those are the people hired by the port to help you carry your bags out of the terminal. Since they get paid by tips there is an express line for them to get through customs faster. It worked and I was delighted.
Port Canaveral - Not much to say here, we took the shopping excursion just to do something. After 2 and a half sea days we just want to get off of the ship. Knew Disney would be crowded and of course it was.
Nassau - Took a non carnival booze cruise. Had a ton of fun the port was just one of the many pick spots for the cruise met people staying all over Nassau and would love go there and stay at paradise Island.
Freeport - Didn't do much but go to Senor Frogs and try Conch salad for the very first time. It was delicious and Senor Frogs was so fun and noisy but we loved it.