Just returned from the NYE cruise out of Long Beach on the Carnival Miracle. A few impressions:
Debarkation: Miserably hot, long lines outside then once escorted inside the check in area – Eureka! I was speedily checked in and boarded the ship. I couldn’t figure out why the check in area was half-way empty and was told it was due to some regulation or other. Oh well. My friend checked in later but due to an electrical problem, waited in the holding area for quite some time. I waited for her in the Atrium and a wonderful waiter, Weslie, made sure I had plenty of free champagne while waiting for her. I didn’t feel like going to the cabin yet.
Cruise experience: Absolutely wonderful. The ship was easy to get around, had excellent room service (Dave on Riviera deck). For some odd reason the cabin wouldn't cool off so the bathroom door was left open where the ventilation was working. I figured it was because we were on top of the engines.
Dining: The dining room staff was outstanding! This was the first time in 14 cruises, and not all Carnival, that I was in and out of the dining room within 90 minutes or less. Very efficient waiter and his little crew. Thank you I Nyoman, Saw and Mihajilo. Food was good; I do love the chilled fruit soups and am sad to learn they will soon be discontinued. Are the “beards” at headquarters losing it??? This is what makes cruising exceptionally great for me. Room service for early morning coffee was also good, even when we forgot to put the tag out.
Entertainment: Oh, all of the shows at the theater were absolutely fantastic! Where do those dancers get all that energy? Music, props, everything was amazing. I really liked the “Generations” show as well as the Beatles tribute. I actually saw the Beatles perform at Forest Hills, Queens back in the 1960s; well that dates me, huh? Went to see a couple of the adult comedy shows. Did like the singer in the Atrium. Actually won a Carnival medal and my friend won the infamous "ship on a stick" in the trivia contests. LOL!
NYE’s on board ship was amazing. Danced into 2014 on the Lido deck with lots of champagne; party hats and horns were distributed in the dining room as well as on the Lido deck. Did party with a few of my table mates; I lucked out on this cruise. Had really nice table mates. What I like about Carnival is that they try to have single people at the table that includes people sailing without their spouses, widows, etc. Had an experience with the Ruby Princess where my friend and I were seated with 4 couples who were celebrating their respective anniversaries. We are both widows so I was a bit uncomfortable. They were all wonderful, but still….
Tendering at Cabo was OK; slow on the 1st day then no wait on the 2nd day at Cabo. Puerto Vallerta, just walked off the ship. Shopped in Cabo and went to the beach at Puerto Vallerta.
Debarkation: Another “fun” experience trying to get off the ship. Next time I sail, it will be self debarkation. I did make it to the airport 2 hrs before flight time; however, to my dismay, there was an extremely long line at Southwest; waited about 3 hrs in the hot sun but finally got a flight back home. Not Carnival’s problem or even SW, the winter weather throughout States caused havoc on all flights.
I missed being platinum by one cruise. Hmmm….that’s OK. I’ll just have to plan my next cruise on Carnival!