I cannot believe after reading all of the reviews that I am finally writing one of my own. I went on the Carnival Miracle with my husband and 3 children ages 5, 6, and 8. We had two inside cabins. My husband and I were in one and yes the kids were in the other. We brought along a baby monitor to hear them. This worked out perfectly because we were hardly in the room, and when we were the kids could watch cartoon network while we caught up on the news. It also gave us two bathrooms, and two showers. If I could do it over again, we would have been across the hall with a balcony.
The cruise ship is beautiful. My husband is a minister and I am a teacher and we did not find the nudity of the artwork to be too bad. It was not done in a bad light.
Embarkment: It was easy, easy, easy! Just make sure you have your tickets, birth certificates and I.D. It is very well run. I suggest that when you get on the ship that you carry on your bathing suit. Many people did not get their luggage until after dinner.
People were very envious of us for thinking ahead to pack the kids' bathing suits. The pools are VERY busy on days at sea. Be sure to get up on deck early and save yourself a seat.
The Camp Carnival program is outstanding. My 6 year old cried the last night when she had to leave. My 5 year old, I picked up each night and her face was painted a different animal. My 8 year old boy loved the video games, the talent show, the food, and all of the other kids. This ship is very KID FRIENDLY. I was saddened to learn that the camp was closed each night from 4-5:45. This made it a little hard.
The food was fantastic. My husband said that he had more seafood in one week than he had eaten his entire life. He ate scallops, 2 lobster tails, calamari, crawdads, shrimp, and snapper. Do not be afraid to order two appetizers or two desserts. We did almost every night.
I would strongly suggest going on an excursion in Belize. We went horseback riding in the rainforest. It was an amazing experience that none of us will ever forget. Each one of my children got his/her own horse. WE rode for about 45 minutes and then went back to a spa to swim and eat lunch. We got this off of belizecruiseexcursions.com In Grand Cayman we went to swim with the stingrays. Note: This was a little to scary for my 5 year old. She did not get in the water. It was also scary for my husband. My 6 year old daughter and I kissed them on the head. Mobydicktours.com is a lot cheaper than carnivals excursions and they were great. It truly is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Costa Maya, I would stay on the ship next time. We could have had the pool to ourselves. I am not a big shopper and that is what happens in Costa Maya. The large pool surrounding the bar was a little too dirty for me. Cozumel was a blast. We rented our own convertible VW. This gave us the ability to travel to the beaches ourselves. Paradise beach was the best. Parasailing is a must here. It is so serene to be so high up in the sky. I couldn't hear anything. Then I came back down in the boat to my husband and 3 children. :)
Being a first time cruiser I have to say that there is something for everyone. If you want to look for something not to like you WILL find it because we are not all the same. But if you want to look for something to love I know that Carnival Miracle has it for you. You will be pampered for an entire week. You will eat very well. You will be entertained. You will laugh and if you are like me you will cry getting on the boat (b/c you can't believe you are there) and you will cry when you get off (b/c you don't want it to end). Happy sailings!