This was our second cruise this year, the first one this year and first one ever was in June on Carnival Holiday... and older ship so we were excited about sailing on Miracle. There were three of us who traveled, in two different rooms. Myself and partner in 4217, my uncle in suite CAT 11 in suite 4237 back of ship that the balcony wrapped around the back of the ship. This was by far an exceptional room. Not all suites have two rooms; living and bedroom separated by a dressing room. Although he was the only one in the suite, we enjoyed the balcony as often as we could. Also, not to laptop users, right outside of this suite (4237) was a wireless access point so we had GREAT wireless access from within the suite.
We fly to Ft. Lauderdale day of cruise and arrived at terminal shortly after noon. My uncle (in the suite) received VIP status, we on the other hand did not... BUT, we just walked up to VIP with uncle and they didn't even ask us. We boarded right on and within 30 minutes of getting out of the taxi we were on the Lido deck having our first, of many, drinks of the day.
Also, prior to stopping at terminal we had taxi take us to store to purchase three 12-packs of Diet Coke. Carnival never questioned these either.
Once we board we had about 2 hours before our room would be ready. Although having the three 12-packs to save us money, it was a pain to carry around for 2 hours. We found a table by the pool, had lunch and waited for our rooms to be opened.
Our cruise was an 8 day cruise 4 days at sea and 3 days at port, 1 day for boarding. Only thing we didn't like about this was that three days back to back at port is very tiring.
Dinners... we were all VERY disappointed with the food on the Miracle. I don't think I had one decent meal the entire trip. I am not one of these picky eaters either, just give me a good meat and potato and I will be happy, that was hard to find though. In fact, we missed dinner 3 our of the 8 nights because frankly getting dressed to go have bad food wasn't to much fun. The buffet was disappointing also. We had high expectations since sailing on Holiday (oldest ship in the fleet) but I can honestly say that the Holiday was MUCH better food then Miracle.
Shows... first night show was HORRIBLE... I was shocked again about this because thinking, newer boat must mean new showers which equals better shows and dancers... WRONG. Dancers, is that what they called them? There were probably 10 females dancers to the 4 male dancers... of those 4 male dances, maybe 2 of them were really dancers, the other two... honestly I can't figure out how those two ever got a gig on a cruise ship dancing. They were not only out of shape but couldn't do any of the basic moves. Has anyone ever seen Oprah try to dance?? she can't right? Picture that for these two guys. Anyways, the shows get better... the Ticket to Ride show was GREAT.. A MUST SEE.
Onboard activities... The adult only pool was GREAT. It's a good size pool, back of ship with a bar. Alot of lounge chairs and a great view. Only once during the week did some kids try to get in the pool when they were quickly corrected. Bingo onboard is always fun but can add up in cost. At $10 for one card of 3 for $20 quickly adds up. We never one at bingo but enjoyed playing it. We watched all the goofy pool games such as Hairy Man Comp; Fear Factor, etc. Those were enjoyable.
Decor... the ship decor was OK and in some places rather nice. The dinning room on the other hand was horrible and rather distracting yet another reason to not be encouraged to go to dinner each night. Frankie and Johnnies was nice. The Piano Bar had a fun group which we went to a few nights.
Room Steward... we had the best room steward ever... Edwin... he was so attentive and kind. We had a cooler with us and he even made sure it was filled with ice each day. Anything we asked for he promptly got us. Edwin is the best ever.
Shore Excursions... we were at port at St. Maarten, St. Lucia, and St. Kitts. In St. Maarten we decided to do out own thing by shopping and heading over to Sunset Beach to see the low flying planes. After that we went to the nude beach which was quite the experience also. We had a great time. In St. Lucia we decided to do our own tour again (not cruise sponsored) and did the zip line through the rain forest. I recommend this to anyone. It was a great experience and only cost us $87 for about 6 hours of entertainment. St. Kitts we decided to book a shore excursion through the cruise line and did the Snorkel and Sail. This was by far the best day trip ever. It was a great group of men running the boat, the snorkeling was great, the dancing and rum punch was also a hit. This was our first time booking an excursion through the cruise line and it was worth it!!
Debarking... we choice to do self assist.. not sure why as we have 5 hours until our flight. Anyway, people started lining up downstairs in the hall way around 7am an hour prior to being able to leave the ship. We got in line about 100 people in front of us and were off the boat pretty quickly. Southwest has a great service right there at the terminal where they will check you in and take your luggage to the airport for you for $10 fee... completely worth it.
We will travel again, probably not on Miracle but with Carnival.