I don't know where to start, but I want to make this review short and sweet....this was our 4th cruise and first and last time on Carnival. Learning that instead of leaving from Tampa, we would be bussed to Ft. Lauderdale due to hurricane, should have been a clue that this was not the best of beginnings for our vacation. However, we know that you can't control mother nature and at least we would still be able to leave on our vacation. We traveled with a party of 13, 7 of whom were first-time cruisers. To these 7 people, we had thoroughly convinced them that this would be a vacation of a lifetime. Wow...were we mistaken.
I first want to comment on our cabin which was a balcony room and which was absolutely wonderful....comfortable beds, spacious bathroom...clean and well-maintained. Room service was great. Embarkation and debarkation went well. Ports of call were wonderful. Food was acceptable, but not on par with Royal Carib.
Now, let's get down to the nitty gritty. If you're looking to sail on a ship with high standards, then the Carnival Miracle is not for you. Of the 2,300 passengers, 500 of them were kids. And I mean the run amuck, unsupervised kind. From running up and down the halls, knocking on peoples's door, up til all hours of night and early morning...those kind of kids. Both swimming pools filled to capacity with kids. We had to resort to the "adult" pool at the back of the ship which was no bigger than a large hot tub and where no activities were going on. Ship designers...get real...how do you accommodate over 2,000 people with 3 very tiny pools. The pool in my own backyard is larger than those!
We did choose this week figuring all schools would be back in session, but we were sadly mistaken. Oh by the way, 16 year olds are permitted in all the night clubs...doesn't that make for a nice enjoyable adult evening. We even had teenagers asking US to take them into a night club...where were their parents I wonder.
Children sliding across the deck; climbing and jumping on the furniture; roaming the ship at 3:00 a.m. in the morning; racial fights going on at the Lido deck. Cups and even bowls of melted ice cream were placed on the steps, in the halls, etc.
My husband saw a condom someone had thrown in the urinal in one of the restrooms and I can't even mention what I saw in one of the ladies rooms. Everyone that we talked to that had cruised before totally agreed with us....no more Carnival!!!
In all fairness, perhaps it was probably just this one week and most likely, those sailing the following week would not encounter these problems.
However, I felt really bad for our 7 people who had never cruised before and we tried to explain to them that this is "not how it's supposed to be." Unfortunately, they have written off ever taking another cruise.
You know, it's the little things that count on a cruise. Maybe I'm nitpicking, but I prefer paper towels in restrooms and not "gas station" type hand blow dryers. I cruise because I like to feel special and not be surrounded by a circus "animals." Carnival personnel had no control and never once said a word to any of the unruly, unsupervised children/teenagers.
Our fellow passengers more than once told us that even on a Disney ship this kind of stuff does not go on. On a Disney ship, the children have their own area and are well supervised and well entertained.
One passenger even said to me: "you get what you paid for" and he's right...but next time, I'll pay a higher price and travel a first-class cruise lines.
Cmon Carnival....raise your standards!