Just returned a week ago from the first Alaska cruise of the season on the Carnival Miracle sailing from Vancouver. Had an aft suite with a very large balcony.
Overall a very good experience. The ship was nice, I actually liked most the décor, though it is a bit over the top compared to other ships. It was definitely bright, but fun in most places. The hallways decorated with famous people like Sherlock Holmes and Three Musketeer characters was fun.
The ship was in good shape, though some rust spots were noticed. I believed it is being dry docked in a few months for updates. The food overall was good, the buffet was good, no complaints on the food, plenty available, though I don't eat that much. (Obviously many people liked the buffet food and they gorged like it was their last meal, to the point of really? Piles of food on a plate. Some folks had no problem crowding in line at the buffet and acted like the food would be gone if they did not get there fast.) More
The food in the one restaurant there is a cover charge, the steakhouse, was excellent. The main dining room had good to excellent fair.
Service overall was good, no complaints to speak of except one rude person at disembarking. Most of the crew were very friendly and tried to help if ask.
The entertainment was much better than I expected. The piano bar was great, the young performer from England was talented, funny and very personable. Buy him a beer and he will play anything you want. They had a production show in the main auditorium, a tribute to the Beatles and it was excellent, far better than I expected. It consisted of real films from the early 60's of the Beatles, and a full live orchestra that played over thirty Beatle songs, with dancers, signers and many costume and scene changes. Like I said, much better than I expected. The comedy shows were funny, they have earlier in the evening shows for families and the later ones, adults only
There is an area called "Serenity" aft part of ship, that is no children allowed, very nice back there, peaceful, and some covered hammocks etc.
Contrary to popular belief, one can win the in the casino, I know, I did.
The ports were fun, I liked Skagway and the Red Onion, the "bordello" tour upstairs at that place was a kick, the old bordello from the late 1800's with the tour guides dressed as the madams.
One item I am disgusted about however is the lack of hand sanitizers available. They are there, but you have to hunt for them. Entering the buffet, there is one on each side, but not necessarily in the middle main entrance to the buffet. The dispensers tended to be on the sides, I saw at times they were partially hidden behind something. Most of the people I witnessed going in the buffet and the food areas by the pool never sanitized their hands. Considering the problems Carnival has had in the past I would think they would do like the NCL ship I was one, have some at the entrance actually spraying sanitizer on people's hands. I have written to Carnival management and told them to add additional sanitizers, make them more visible, such as putting signs on the dispensers more conspicuous. Its a wonder there is a virus outbreak on every cruise as a result of the way it is set up on this ship. Less
The suite was nice, though not the best lay out for maximum usage of space. The balcony was enormous and perfect for viewing the scenery, which was spectacular, particularly Glacier Bay. It was quiet and worked out well.