Embarkation We live in Florida so we did not have to fly into Tampa or spend a night in a hotel prior to our cruise. We arrived at the Pier around 10:30 am and were approximately 10th in line. Carnival started boarding around 11:15 am and we were on the Lido deck celebrating my birthday by 11:25. This was the easiest and quickest embarkation we have had on our four cruises. Ship The Miracle is the smallest of the four ships we have sailed, therefore, it was the easiest to find our way around the ship. Since we were in the aft of the ship, it was very convenient to get to the dinning room. The decor of the ship was fabulous. The only thing that puzzled me was that the Yellow Brick Road, the shops, had a blue tiled walkway. The Lido Deck was fantastic. An aft pool, Horatio's restaurant then two more pools. Very nicely set up. The Phantom Lounge, while small, was very pretty and cozy. Cabin We booked a Balcony on the Main Deck, Cabin 4222. The cabin was spacious and clean. Upon arrival in our cabin, we met our cabin steward, Noyman. He was fantastic. Not only did he remember our names from then on, he remembered to bring wine glasses, ice and a clean ash tray daily. Actually he did this three times a day. He also left all of our towel animals in the room until the end of the cruise. The only noise we heard was from neighbors balcony doors closing. Food We ate dinner in the Bacchus Dinning Room every night except Wednesday. The food was very good, however, our server was very slow. We were the last ones out of the dinning room every night. Not sure if he was overwhelmed or just having a bad week. The Maitre'D assisted us by changing our table assignment and the Dinning Room Hostess, Sandra, was very friendly and helpful.The food at Horatio's was very good for a buffet. The New York Deli was fantastic and the 24 hour pizza was very good. On Wednesday, I took my wife to Nick and Nora's for Valentines Day dinner. The food and service was impeccable. Well worth the $30 per person cover charge. There was even live entertainment and dancing. We had room service deliver coffee, water and danish every morning and they were very prompt. Nothing like waking up and having coffee and danish delivered to you so you can sit on your balcony and relax while you wake up. Bar Service We never had to wait for anything. Bar servers were always there asking if you needed anything else except in the Metropolis Lobby Bar. It seemed that they were always a server short there. Spa/Gym We used the Spa/Gym almost every day. Treadmills, elliptical machine, nautilus equipment and free weights are available. We also used the sauna, steam room and hot tub. My wife got her usual massage and we took a class to learn the proper technique to give each other a massage. Shirley was our instructor and she was great. Entertainment Overall the entertainment was great, however, we prefer to see more of the Carnival dancers and less of the one day entertainers. Three comedians on this cruise and they all were pretty good. Al Ernst was our favorite. There was a balancing act by Lubo that was very good also. The one act that disappointed me was Duke Daniels of the Platters. He made several remarks that offended me and I thought he should have stuck to singing rather than trying to be a comedian. The Ticket to Ride show was fabulous. Great clips of the Beatles and a great performance by the Miracle dancers. Dave Strong and the Miracle Orchestra were "fab"ulous as well. We usually like to go to a bar and listen to a piano player or live entertainment before dinner. It didn't seem like they had entertainment before the last dinner in any of the bars. Perhaps we went to the wrong place each night. Ports Four ports of call on a seven day cruise is great. My wife and I like active excursions that get the heart pounding and the blood pumping. With that said, We did snorkeling in Sting Ray City, Turtle Farm and Hell in Grand Cayman, Scuba in Cozumel, Cave Tubing in Belize and The Chukkchoben Mayan Ruins in Costa Maya. All were good but the Scuba in Cozumel was fantastic. Next time around we will do more scuba and less tours. We did the tours in an attempt to see as much of the countryside as possible. Debarkation. Unbelievable. We did the self assist program. Had breakfast at 7, in the atrium by 8 and off the ship and out of the terminal by 8:05. I cannot believe how quickly and smoothly this process went. Cudos to Carnival and the Port of Tampa. Other Guests We met some of the nicest people you would ever want to meet on a cruise. People from Canada, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Georgia and Florida. I actually met a person that was wearing a t-shirt from a town that I grew up in 40 years ago. There were also a group of 40+ people that I met on Cruise Critic. Fantastic folks that helped make this a wonderful cruise for my wife and me.
Overall, the Miracle and her crew exceeded our expectations. While some areas were low, most areas were great. I would cruise on the Miracle again without hesitation. I don't think I heard anyone on the ship complaining about anything.