Carnival Miracle on the Western Caribbean Aug.27-Sept.3
Ship: The Captain of the Miracle was very friendly at the past guest reception; he really seemed to enjoy that part of his job. I really appreciated that he merely rearranged two of our ports of call to avoid 'Ernesto' and still made all our ports.
This is the best designed ship for the passenger that I have sailed on. The passageway walls have photos from various books and plays. We were mid-ship on deck 7 so the ones that indicated our side of the ship were Robin Hood, The Mask, and Sherlock Holmes. This made finding our way around the ship easier. Decks 2 and 3 have nothing to obstruct movement from one end of the ship to the other so you can walk on either level from the phantom lounge to the dining room.
The Bacchus dining room lights of purple grapes look fine now and the maitre d' was very helpful. The waiters (Irawan and Enio) were superb and remembered our preferences after the first meal. They were very friendly and attentive. Food was excellent and plentiful as one might expect on a cruise ship. The Cabin Steward and housekeeping staff were excellent and kept the cabin in a constant state of cleanliness. Towel animals were fun as expected. Shows and entertainment were all tasteful and professionally performed.
Ports: Our first port was Belize. We took the ship's excursion to Geoff's Caye. The first part of the trip is a snorkel swim. Participants have the option of swimming from the shore if they are inexperienced or the more experienced can snorkel from the boat. My husband and I snorkeled from the boat and saw lots of fish. The coral all appears to be healthy.
Cozumel was the second port. We scheduled our own excursion with Eagle Ray Divers. The group was small and we chose the dive spots. We made two, seventy foot dives of about forty minutes each. The coral was breath taking. We enjoyed seeing big fish on this trip, a turtle was resting next to a barrel sponge and a nurse shark was sleeping under the edge of some coral. We saw the biggest grouper that I have ever seen. The snorkel group spotted turtles and a shark as well. The crew was friendly, helpful and very knowledgeable.
The third port, Costa Maya, is still being developed as a port. This provided a great opportunity for a rural exploration of the old Yucatan. We enjoyed touring the ruins of Chacchoben with Ivan, David and Carolina through Native Choice Tours. We watched several large groups walk by as we were still being informed by Ivan. Our smaller group received additional attention from our guide. I recommend this trip if you want personal attention and historical information. Ivan grew up in the area and is intimately familiar with the site and the details of its discovery.
Grand Cayman was our last stop and we chose to go to Stingray City with Captain Bryan. The crew was very friendly and went out of their way to ensure we had a good time and had plenty of time with the Stingrays. It was a pleasant trip and the crew took time to show us the fish and coral. We saw two moray eels and the fish were very colorful. The Stingrays are fun for pictures and to see them swimming around very close is also lots of fun. Every tour will offer photos so bring about $30 if you think you want photos.
I cannot find anything to criticize on this trip. Our thanks to everyone that made our trip so wonderful!