My wife and I have always cruised with Carnival, regardless of the recent news items we believe that Carnival has always gone above our expectations, with that being said our recent cruise to Alaska on the Carnival Miracle was no exception. Being in Houston we decided to book Carnival’s Fly Aweigh program to handle all of our flight , transfer and cruise tickets and boarding passes. We were not disappointed , it was a lil nerve racking at first as the night before rolled around and I could not figure out how to access our flight info on the airline carrier , but a quick call to Carnival took care of that and we were squared away. Everything was in order, we got to the airport in plenty of time and checked our bags and took one carry on with us on board in the hopes we would see our luggage in Seattle J. Everything worked like clockwork , we had an hour layover in Salt Lake City , then flew into Seattle, we gathered our luggage (yay) from baggage claim and what was very nice was that there were Carnival agents around the baggage claim clearly identified .. which made us finding out where to go a breeze. We were directed to a desk that had more Carnival agents around and with our luggage in tow we approached the desk, They took our info and looked us up ,, here was a slight scare, my wife is an American citizen and I am and have been a legal permanent resident from England since 1977 so I had a green card and presented that to the agent who was not sure if she could accept that, I assured her that we had cruised many times with carnival and never had an issue with it, she went to a supervisor and I guess all was ok as she came back and said that is was fine.. yes blood pressure did elevate a little here .. but all good. So after checking us off on her clipboard and taking our luggage we were directed to sit in an area with other travelers to await boarding of the buses , this was no more than 5 – 10 mins waiting time then we were boarded on to a bus or buses as there were quite a few people, The bus ride took us to the ship and through Seattle , once we arrived we were ushered through the cruise ship terminal. Now my wife and I had cruised every cruise from Galveston Texas, I have to say that this was by far the most easiest experience, there were no lines, probably because everyone else was on the ship , but we got through the security and approached the ticket and key issue etc, again ran into a slight issue with my green card but was easily dismissed, after that we had our sail and sign cards and boarded the ship. Once we were on board we looked up and the Miracle did not disappoint , it is truly a beautiful ship the decor was amazing, we made our way to our cabin , a balcony cabin 8247, once we opened the door we were pleasantly surprised by the rooms layout and were greeted by our room steward by our first names .. which always amazes me. So i will try and break down the different items in my review:
· Cleanliness – awesome those guys worked hard to keep the ship nice, neat and tidy. Very rarely did we see any trays of food left over on the tables as they were whisked away as fast as they were put down. Everything was kept nice and clean.
· Food – well this is a cruise ship, so my wife and I never expect more than what the ship offers, the usual fare, grilled burgers , different types of food , pizza , deli etc. if you have cruised before you know the kind of food they have. This was our first cruise that we did not eat dinner in the dining room, we had selected early dining and we were always busy doing something or in the ports of call never made it back on time. We did however try the Nick & Nora’s Steak house, yes there is a $35 per person charge but the food was phenomenal , as was the service. I would recommend everyone try it at least once. We did eat breakfast in the dining room and that was delicious the food was hot and very good along with fresh coffee .
· Entertainment – I have to say that we were very impressed with the shows that the Miracle singers and dancers put on, the stage area was set up in a Phantom of the Opera style of decor which definitely was impressive. The shows were amazing the first show we saw was a tribute to the Beatles they did not disappoint a truly entertaining show worth the standing ovation they received. The second big show we saw was a new act called Generations, again the singers and dancers did not disappoint , they did different era’s of song and dance from the 30’s to the 80’s lots of dancing it was a blast !!
· Activities – as usual the daily fun times was delivered to our room at night , and showed a great amount of information on all the activities planned for the following day , a new feature that we both loved was a morning tv show by the Cruise Director Chris and his assistant Louis it was a 30 min show they did at 6am in the morning , this gave a rundown of the highlights of the days activities along with some bad jokes.. some very bad jokes J .. they were a riot . Lots of activities to keep you entertained covering all ages which was nice.
· Comedians – they had several comedians on this cruise they were all funny, we only went to the adult only shows and they were definitely hilarious. I would recommend checking these shows out for a lighter side of cruising plus it was set in the Mad Hatters Lounge where the decor was ..well of the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland J
All in all it was a very fun and very relaxing cruise, we had never cruised Alaska before and it was something of awesome to see this wilderness , from the Tracy Arm Fjord to the port of calls , Skagway, Juneau , Ketchikan and Victoria ( why we stopped at Victoria was beyond me with only a few hours to enjoy it) The ship was one of the best ones we have cruised on and Carnival handled everything with precision .. I have posted several shore excursion reviews also on their site if you would like to take a read. If anything I hope this helps any like-minded travelers.