The name Miracle might be what Carnival was shooting for, what they delivered is another thing. Not my first cruise, but it could be my last. Cruise was a 7 night from LA, Sea, Cabo, Cabo, Puerto Vallarta, Sea, Sea. I'll be fair in all aspects. Traveled with my family of 5 on two extended balconies. rooms 5140 and 6226
Embarkation: Completely smooth process. Plenty of baggage handlers to help you load. The screening, similar to that of an airport (with less restrictions on liquids) was seamless. The line to check in was a bit long at 130, but the staff was extremely helpful.
First Impression: Like most, we were excited on spending family time on the ship and they always look huge upon first glance. Lunch was served upon arrival and this would be the tone for the whole trip. The food was that of a hometown buffet. Very cafeteria food that was reheated over and over again. Extremely salty and limited choices. We had hopes for change, but it would take another "Miracle"
Rooms: (6226) extended balcony. Two, twins beds, with a plenty of closet space. 20' TV with plenty of channel choices. If you want to bring a blue ray, they have HDMI outputs, which will allow you to have a bigger selection of movies. The extended balcony was nice, but it is showing signs of age. the beds were comfortable enough, but the sheets were extremely worn. I had to request a change because there were some suspcious spots (maybe blood?) The bathroom had a smell of chemical that could not remove what it intended. it left a unique mix of dirty, chemically smell. Mini bar was nicely stocked.
Decks: Plenty of areas to sit, several pools with hot tubs in different areas. bars at each pool. Serenity (adults only) was a nice change. I think during this trip, there were 800 kids on board. it was during Thanksgiving so it made sense, but this little retreat was nice. The Lido deck buffet...what can I say? the best: the Chicken nuggets...the rest good luck. breakfast was terrible wattery eggs, thin rubbery bacon, pancakes that were dry. Lunch: Cheeseburger and fries. Pizza line, though it was good, was a long line. around 20 mins or so at any time during the day or night. Dinner: imagine prison food, if you think steak, remember elementary Salisbury steak with fake gravy.
Main Dinner: The staff was extremely nice. Since we booked late, we were placed on the "your time" dining. Come anytime from 545-930pm. the downside was that there were nights we had to wait an hour to eat, and if we came at 9, they rushed you since they had to closed down. Some interesting items but most regrettable. Like I mentioned above, we cruised during Thanksgiving, so we were expecting a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner. We'll we were wrong. Picture that of a homeless shelter dinner...gravy was grayish, ham was beyond salty. Turkey was simply bad. I am not trying to be a snob, but I use no hyperbole when I describe this portion. the desserts were ok, nothing stood out. The one positive was the wait staff, always a smile, always helpful.
Casino: Standard casino with multiple BJ tables, craps, 3 card poker, tons of slots, a nice bar with live music. Staff, again, extremely nice.
Shows: Went once since our dinner time fluctuated, were very well done. Band and performers were extremelly skilled.
Comedy shows: George Lopez punchline shows: Smiley Joe Wiley was the absolute best, the rest...they tried. One was labeled the funniest Mom by Nick at Nite, and I'm guessing the pickings were slim. When she performed it was uncomfortable watching, it was that bad.
Again, the staff was extremely kind and slightly made up for the poor food . Ports of Calls were amazing. Plenty of things to do. One thing we did, not purchasing shore excursions on the boat, but on land were considerably cheaper and usually got more services. Snorkeled, tour, and pueblo bonito resort lunch for 30/person. it is Mexico so you might be a little apprehensive about going in blind, rightly so, but if you are comfortable talking to the tour guides directly, I highly recommend doing so. PV had an amazing Zip Lining, tour of the city which included a tour of a Tequila factory, lunch, and shopping for 30/person plus 50 for zip lining if you wished to do so.
Overall, family time was great, the food was regrettable. Spa treatments were great, but a little pricey. You're on vacation, so splurge a little. If you have two options side by side, really think about traveling on Miracle.