We went on the Miracle from Jan. 25 through Feb. 2, 2013. It was relatively inexpensive and left from NY where we live. We just took the LIRR to Penn Station and got a cab to take us to the pier. We arrived at 11:15am so we were given a number, checked in and waited until after 1 pm when they finally called the numbers, one at a time, to embark. We had to go to the buffet because the main dining room was closed. The buffet was mediocre at best. I could hardly chew the meat from the carving station. There were long lines to get to hot food and salad. There was no "make your own" soup center but they did have one soup to try but no fruit soup. Desserts were good. However, the staff moves in s-l-o-w m-o-t-i-o-n to clear the tables.
After lunch we went straight to Guest Services. Another long line. I inquired where and when the Cruise Critic Meet and Greet would be held. The fellow looked at me like I had 3 heads. What is Cruise Critic? I explained that I had signed up for a party but the staff had absolutely no knowledge of any gathering. So we missed the Meet and Greet. Sorry, folks. Bah!
Then the ship had the required boat drill, only it was about 15 degrees outside and I was standing still and freezing even though I had dressed appropriately. It would have been more "guest" friendly if they had held the drill in the theatre and in clubs around the ship rather than having their "guests" freeze like that. How about a plan B, Carnival?
To their credit, I must say we were upgraded from an inside to an oceanview cabin which was really nice. The room was comfortable with enough room in the closets for our belongings. Other than that, we didn't feel special at all.
This was our third cruise with Carnival and would have thought we would be invited to the repeaters' party but found out we didn't have enough points for that even though other lines invite all passengers who have cruised at least once with the line. So, no repeaters party and no Cruise Critic party.
My husband and I are in our 60s and love to ballroom dance. There was no venue for ballroom dancing whatsoever. When the Carnival band played possible dance music (although it was quite jazzy) they set up on the DANCE FLOOR of Jeeves Lounge for lack of a better place. So there was no room to dance.
My husband and I love to play trivia, but hours and hours of sitting on our duffs playing trivia really got to us. There was no Zumba, no lectures to stimulate the mind, no movies in the theater (and the free movies on the TV kept repeating and repeating).
The Revues were excellent (the singers and dancers did a great job) and so were the individual performers. However, on 2 nights there was no professional entertainment and we were bored. We don't consider guests performing as entertainment.
Also, we planned 3 excursions with the ship. We asked to be awakened at 7:30 both times. The first time we were awakened at 7 by their automated machine and the second time at 6:45. They should repair that machine since it was quite annoying to be awakened too early.
However, we must say that the excursions were very enjoyable and were the best part of this cruise.
All in all, we have gone on over 31 cruises in the last 8 years and Carnival ranks as one of the worst.