We had 3 days in Seattle which was nice, warm weather, and everything was within walking distance. It was a good workout before the cruise...lots of hills.
Seattle terminal was so easy, had a shuttle drop us off around 12, dropped luggage off outside, and proceeded to walk basically right to the boat. Our check in lady (Grandmother type) was awesome and very nice---and got through our party of 6 in no time. Then we walked right on the ship, 20 mins.
The Miracle was very nice, yes it is starting to show its age, but its still a nice ship. Not sure if I cared for the naked women statues in the ballroom. But that's just the mom of a teenage boy talking.
The food was "ok", there was enough to choose from that everyone was fine. I loved the fresh sandwiches on the Lido deck. The dining room was very good for breakfast, but you cant be in a rush..cuz they are not. Our wait staff at supper....lead waiter was very nice to us...the other guy, not so much. Not that he was mean or rude, he just forgot to take our order twice and never stopped by to ask how we were doing. The Tiramisu was outstanding---you gotta try it.
Our room was on deck 7, back end of the boat. Only 2 short decks up to Lido, great for late night hot chocolate runs and pizza. Room nice with a balcony. Thought I would use balcony more...but it is Alaska and it is a bit chilly. Spent most of my time on upper decks. One pool is in-closed for warmth but still not very busy. Serenity area nice, not very crowed, gotta love the blankets they give you,,,yes I fell asleep in a pod chair.
Ports Of Call
Tracy Arm Fjord--awe inspiring. Snow capped mountains and waterfalls. Hint. take pictures with people in them...makes more memories--- than just 'here's another mountain. We did not take the excursion, honestly didn't need to. Saw Lots of whales just before entering the Fjord.
Skagway---Booked the Steam train excursion through company. I know it was a risk, but we saved $70 pp, but we did miss out on the champaign and crackers. It was amazing and we got the best pictures. Note: there was never any gold found in Skagway--so don't be tricked into gold mining tours there. We also hiked to the cemetery and Lower Reid Falls, nice hike about 3.5 miles from cruise ship.
Juneau---We did the Juneau Gold Mine tour, you go inside a mine and learn all about mining...very interesting for everyone. Then you get to pan for real gold and garnets and keep all you can find. we also did the Mendenhall Glacier and wildlife quest, very cool, lots of eagles and a bubble nest of 12 whales feeding--very rare.
Victoria--We took a cab to the castle for $15, good for all ages---it takes you into town and we walked back to the harbor. Most of the stores close early as stated in other reviews. But very cute and clean town.
What to pack---I packed to many dressy cloths. This cruise is defiantly more casual. Plus I probably needed more jeans, I only packed 2 pairs, 4 pairs of capris. I spent more time on deck and it was a little chilly. My scarf was well used, but you can buy them on-board for $10. We bought very nice lined jackets in Juneau for $20, they have Carnival ones $40 on-board. Earmuffs and light gloves for the fjord. Light sweater for layering and evenings. Binoculars are a must, but you can rent or buy them on-board.
My only real complaint was the sucky music on TV while watching carnival channels--live cams and ship info.
Over all the cruise was amazing. Carnival does a wonderful job. Seriously, I'm on a cruise and I don't have to cook for a week, Everything is fine, and there is nothing That bad that can ruin my whole vacation. Enjoy yourself....your on vacation!