We just returned from a wonderful 7-night cruise aboard our now-most-favorite Carnival ship! "We" are a group of 11 (some just friends; some family; with an age range of late 20's, late 30's, late 40's and two elders, e.g. 69 and myself, 70) who have been on six Carnival cruises together (sometimes with as many as 15 of us) and have every plan to go next year! We have enjoyed all of our cruises, some more than others, but the Miracle was everything we had hoped for and more. This was the perfect cruise for all of us.
Flew in the morning of the cruise and were met at the airport by Carnival representatives who promptly ushered us onto a comfortable air-conditioned shuttle bus. We arrived at the port, turned over our luggage to the porters and boarded the ship within 45 minutes of landing. This was by far the quickest, easiest and most painless embarkation we ever experienced. At this point we were pretty impressed with the demeanor of all the Carnival employees, from the greeters to the baggage handlers, the clerks who checked us in and the photographer who took our embarkation photo. We were already enjoying ourselves so much that you can see it on our faces! Since it was too early to check into our cabins, we went to the Lido deck and had a great lunch. Got in our cabins about 1:30 and our luggage was there about an hour later. We older folks went ahead and unpacked and took a short nap since we were wiped out from the plane trip but the younger members of the group said they had a tremendous time out on deck buying foo foo drinks and watching the ship leave Tampa Bay. Some went to dinner that night and some of us had room service. Can't say enough nice things about the room service on this ship.. the food was terrific and the service fast. Still miss that wonderful bed and our room steward who kept things so neat and clean all week.
Sorry to say, because of health problems, I did not get off the ship at any port, but the nine in our group who did said they had a terrific time at each port. But that's not to say that I did not thoroughly enjoy my time aboard ship. My group was always involved in things going on e.g. trivia, hairy chest contest, karaoke, Mr. Lucky's or whatever. The Decades show in the lounge was just too wonderful with very talented singers and dancers. The last night's show consisted of our fellow passengers performing as such luminaries as Frank Sinatra, Madonna, Garth Brooks, Dolly Parton and several others. They were all quite entertaining. I did not attend any of the other late night shows but those who did said they really enjoyed them. Spent a good deal of time in the casino and enjoyed every minute of it. Won some.. lost some.. but had fun doing it. I guess the highlight of our week was dinner in the dining room because that was the one time each day that our entire group was all together. The foods were wonderful from the lobster to lobster/crab cake (yummy) to escargot to pork tenderloin to ChateauBriand to pumpkin soup to french onion soup to chilled cherry soup and the wonderful desserts!!! They have also added an optional menu for those who want ordinary baked potatoes, steaks, hamburgers and numerous other goodies. And to top it all off, we had the best serving team of all time: Beata and Carlos. They just made every meal fun and delicious. If you didn't like it, they took it back (not that I ever sent anything back!) We were at table 107 and if you're lucky enough to get that table, tell them the folks from Kentucky said hey! Another windfall for us was that Jeffrey, our server from four years ago, was also in the dining room and we had the pleasure of renewing our relationship with him. He is also tops. Guess that's about it. One thing about this ship that was different is that it did rock a good bit.. but just added to the enjoyment. Debarkation was the easiest and quickest ever. We had VIP status because of early flight out of Tampa and it all went like clockwork. We reported to the lounge at 8:15 and were at the airport at 9:15. No pain, no strain. If you have hesitated to book this ship, do yourself a favor and book it now! You'll be glad you did.