This was our 2nd trip on the Miracle - first time to these ports, and third Carnival cruise. On the trip was myself (39), DH (39) and DD (10).
Over all it was a great holiday. The service was great, the ship was clean and the food was pretty good. I will list some details below.
OK Long Beach is insane. The most chaotic embarkation I have ever experienced. We relied heavily on other passengers who directed us where to go. We were FTTF and this worked so great we were able to bypass a few giant lines of people. I will always buy this when we cruise Carnival as long as its available.
We had anytime dining again and again it is in my opinion the only way to go. We only had a wait one night and that was when it was just the 2 of us (around 7) as DD went to the kids club. The wait was not even 10 minutes. We sat in a different section each night - enjoyed them all. The food was good - not outstanding but always found more than enough to choose from. I do wish there were more veggies as sides - the big baked potatoes with sour cream got old fast.
We ate in the Steakhouse the first night and it was a nice way to start the trip - included a free bottle of wine on the first night, an ok Merlot. My lobster on the elegant night was just as good if not better than the Steakhouse surf and turf that I had but it was still a nice evening.
The kids club was ok - DD was at the top age for Camp Carnival and she found it quite babyish and boring this time. She did meet a friend there so that helped but she spent very little time at Camp Carnival compared to other trips. Usually she was asking to go - not this time.
I didnt see the Entertainment Director on board once not a big deal - we didnt participate in a lot of events either but the Beatles show was good, the casino was fun (Won a slot tournament!!), and overall we make our own fun so we had a good time.
This would have been smooth if only people actually checked thier bags before leaving the baggage claim area. We had another passenger accidentally take our bag when he got off the ship. After waiting around for an hour and a half we gave up, gave Carnival our claim information and left. Thankfully on our way to our hotel the gentleman called (our cell # was written on our tags) and we were able to get our bag back. Carnival did everything they could to help. This is a reminder to double check the tags and the bag before taking a bag as you exit!!
We will likely continue to travel on Carnival when we cruise, but we also like to visit All Inclusives in Mexico and Cuba as well so it might be a while before we cruise again. Likely this intenary won't be our #1 choice but it is an easy flight from home to LA so that is often the driver of what type of holiday we take.