I took my wife on a secret getaway to the Bahamas for our 10th anniversary. It was so secret she didn't even know about it until she got home the night we left when she came home to see the bags packed and everything ready to go.
I chose this trip due largely to the price and we always heard the Bahamas was a nice place to go.
Now, on to the review. As I have read on some reviews, the decor on the Miracle is different to the point of gaudy. The first thing that came to mind was Michelangelo after a night out at Mardi-Gras. Saying that, the ship seemed super clean and the decor starts to grow on you after a couple days so it was a very minimal thing for us.
Our room, which was an extended balcony in the middle of the ship, seemed spacious compared to what we expected. I found out that no matter where you are and what temperature it is outside, you don't go directly from the shower to the balcony to check the weather when the ship is pulling into the dock or More
some ladies on the balcony of the ship you are moving beside might get a chuckle like they did with me. LOL. We did find a little bug crawling amongst our sheets when we first got to our room but a call to someone (sorry but don't even know who I talked to) had someone there in minutes and we had our bed inspected and new sheets thrown on over the next couple hours while we were out browsing the ship. We even had the same lady come back that night to explain what they did and ask if we were satisfied. The bed was super comfortable and after a night, we got accustomed to the constant vibrations and rocking of the ship. The bathrooms were clean and surprisingly roomy.
As for the food, we found it very good. My wife had the molten cake for desert every night and now is complaining about the added inches she got. LOL. In the Bacchus restaurant, we chose the Anytime dining option and would highly recommend this to anyone who isn't in a big group. We sat by ourselves at a table and while you have to wait, the longest time it took was 20 minutes and that was because we requested the same area as the head waiter there was AWESOME! His name is Putu and if you get a chance, request him. He is the kind of person that calls you by your name and seems almost upset if you don't finish everything in case you didn't like it. He definitely deserved more of a tip than what we could give him.
We were told that Nick & Nora's was a must so we booked a night there. I would bypass this as it costs $35/person extra. I don't mean to say that it wasn't good, rather it was very good, but I found the food in Bacchus just as good and that is included in the price. The thing that Nick & Nora's excels at is the ambiance. It is darker and quieter with some more upper class items on the menu but to us this really didn't matter. If you are into this, it may be well worth the money to try.
The food on the Lido deck is great as well but the problem is the amount of people there makes it impossible to get a table. We had to spend time to get a table, and then go up and get food one at a time to keep our seats. We also found some passengers extremely rude in the fact that they would just push through lines to pile on the food on their already full plates. On embarkation day, make sure you get there super early or super late as everyone is running up to get lunch there.
The workers there were all very good except one lady in the entertainment crew that seemed very grumpy most of the time. As for this crew, we met a fellow Canadian named Lindsey who did many things around the ship. Of all the entertainment staff, who were great for the most part, she outshone everyone. During the all night party, she was down dancing with the passengers while the rest of the crew stayed up on stage. It was little things like this that put her above the rest. The Cruise director was hilarious. Think of Drew Carey in that position and you would be dead on.
The shows we found to be hit or miss. The first couple and last one that contained the dance crew really rocked. They had others (tributes to the Beatles and another to Frank Sinatra) that seemed well done but weren't or cup of tea so we left. The comedians were a riot. We loved the adult only versions and made a habit of going to each of these when we could. If you get a chance, make sure you go to the Quest in the Mad Hatter Lounge when they have it. I won't ruin the shock but it can (and for us DID) get very raunchy and I think I stopped breathing for a while laughing so hard.
In the Atrium, they have pictures every night and I highly recommend Amanda from England. She was great and we had a lot of fun with her. We would go change some nights just to get more pictures from her. All the pictures that get taken go up on boards all along the Atrium so you can buy them if you want but no obligation to buy. As for the shops, we found most of the prices reasonable compared to what I was expecting.
We went to the art shows (which I never thought I would ever do) that are put on from Park West Galleries, and actually learned a lot. Ilana there is top notch and will bend over backwards for you just like the Bogdon and Kate seem to do as well. Louis is a different story. We got tired of his childish, bullying tactics of his co-workers and ship's crew that we actually walked out the night he started berating a crew member. If it wasn't for Ilana talking to us, we would have cancelled our purchase. In my opinion, Louis is a terrible representative for Park West Galleries. As this was the only black mark on the entire cruise, and not even part of the cruise, I can't hold it against Carnival.
All in all, the only other thing that wasn't great was the weather as the temperature was pretty cool the entire trip but that is the weather and can't be changed.
Thanks Carnival for making our first cruise very enjoyable and memorable. Less
We took the excursion that gives the free camera. We actually had a blast (even after my wife got over the fact we were a further distance from the beach than she liked). Travis and Ben were the captain's of the ship and both young Bahama gentlemen that seemed to have as much fun trying to throw each other in the water as actually driving the boat. Sally was the Admiral who kept the 2 young guys under control. The kept everything fun even though the weather was really cool.
The little market right at the port was more than we expected and we were told they are trying to build it up more which is great.
We just jumped off the boat and did some shopping there for the kids and nephews. We marvelled at the straw market there for awhile but soon noticed that all the booths were pretty much the same, just what deals you could get.
We walked around the place and found the Queen's Stairway which is a nice place to visit and rest a bit.
The beach was a big disappointment for us. We expected white soft sand and we got white sand under seashells and chunks of white coral. We picked up a some for the kids and took some pictures but that was pretty much it.
We found out after that the nicer beaches are further away from the port so you would need to get a taxi.
We booked the Beach excursion for $17/person and liked it. We did a lot of shopping on the main strip and going to the beach. The highlight was sitting on the beach watching the 20 something girl trying to feed the seagulls and getting attacked by the swarm that came.