I have been on all the Carnival ships of this class as well as the newer Splendor. My opinions are those of an older person and may not apply to the younger crowd. Generally, Miracle is a well-run operation very typical of Carnival ships in general, neither very good nor very bad. Because I live in the Southwest, I am partial to West Coast departures, which means I may very well find myself on Miracle again soon. My last cruise was to Alaska on the Miracle from June 17 to June 24.
Making general statements about any specific cruise or ship may be prejudiced by previous experience. All I can say is that this sailing was typical in every way. Getting on and off were acceptable events. Food quality was a high average. The quality of hostesses and servers, however, was exceptionally good. I have seldom encountered a better-trained staff in any ship's dining room. The cabin stewards were also above average.
This cruise was heightened by the presence of John Heald, Carnival's pre-eminent director of onboard events, who commands the attention of large crowds as no other. He is a charmingly cheerful if not exactly dapper Englishman, always ready with an answer to any question.
My only complaints have to do with appearances and sounds. One takes for granted that Carnival's Department of Cheesy Decor has been assiduously at work, conjuring up things like hundreds of plastic wall replicas of an imaginary Horatio Hornblowers and ceiling fixtures adorned with purple nipples. The overall effect is much too dark for my tastes, though some may like it. And piped in music is either too soft or too loud, leaning to the latter. The so-called “Serenity” area for adults was oddly overrun with children. The passengers were a mixed lot, not at all typical of McDonald's America except for many middle-aged, morbidly obese patrons. The image abroad of Americans seems no longer the Quarter-Pounder but the Three-or Four-Hundred-Pounder. Finally, I recommend that anyone looking for a good book to read or a place to send or receive emails avoid entirely the so-called library and internet area. Bring your own book and laptop (hoping it works properly).