Background: This is our 4th cruise. 3rd on Carnival. Other Carnival ships have been the Fantasy and the Legend(this past July) The Legend is in the same class as the Miracle. We are a family with 5 kids ages 15 on down to 7. We booked this cruise 7 days out due to dh getting a new job and vacation time had to be used by the end of the year.
Room: This was our first time in an inside room. (We had 2 rooms, actually.) I was pleasantly surprised. The room had a nice desk area, 3 closet sections. Drawers in the night stand and drawers in the desks. The bathroom was the same size as I remember in our balcony room on the Legend. I didn't mind the lack of window too much since we were hardly in our room to sleep. Sleeping was great in an inside room.
Food: The menu seemed the same as the Legend in July. The steaks were okay. I don't eat fish, so can't comment on Lobster, but they did serve it. No one at our table ordered it. Food was good. The warm melting cake was not done quite right the first time I ordered it, but was perfect the other nights.
Stateroom stewards: Ours was good, but invisible. I never had enough ice and never saw him/her to ask for more. Our boys and dh were on the other side of the ship and their stewards were great and put my kids' Webkins up around the towel animals in quite poses. They really enjoyed that.
Ports of Call: Well, due to going through Tropical Storm Olga, the first port, St. Maarten, was messed up for us. We booked the Golden Eagle Catamaran mostly for the snorkeling and beach part. Well, the water was so churned up that we could see nothing snorkeling and we never did make it to the beach. It was a waste of time. The weather was to blame, I'm sure. Our next port was St.Kitts and we went on the Gardens and Rainforest tour. It was great!!! We got to see a good amount of St. Kitts on the drive. It was definitely not for the out of shape. We hiked through the rainforest for probably 2 miles up and down hills. We got to taste local fruits and juice afterwards. St. Lucia we went on the Pirate Extravaganza tour. My sons are big Pirates of the Caribbean fans. It was okay. Fun for boys and girls. NOt so much fun for me as an adult.
Ship itself and staff: This is where I knock the Miracle. We had horrible weather with high winds, 20 ft waves. Puke bags were everywhere and we were banned from the outside decks for 1 1/2 days. Now, I know that isn't Carnival's fault and that isn't what my issue is. The day we were banned inside they entertainment staff had only one new trivia thing to do inside. We were bored. I don't gamble. NO one could drink due to seasickness. Most of the passengers were just laying down or sitting staring into space. I was bored out of my mind. They could have come up with something last minute to help entertain us when the outside activities were closed. Also, when the weather did get better it took forever to fix anything. Mini-golf was closed the last 2 days at sea. The only time I got to play was a land day. One hot tub was closed for days as well. I don't think basketball was ever up and going. I was really looking forward to the outside activities and they were broken or closed most of the time. The staff was not as friendly as I found on the Legend. The cruise director I though was not as good as his assistants. I don't know. I guess I just enjoyed the entertainment on the Legend more. I have to say that our waiter, Elvis, was super with the kids. He was our favorite of all our cruises. He taught them magic tricks which they thought was cool.
Entertainment: Well, the onboard games were just okay. The nightly entertainment was pretty good. I really liked the guy who sang a tribute to Frank Sinatra. We had jugglers that were pretty funny. There was only one comedian I saw. The dancers were as good as any other boat. The Legends show which I really like, was not as good as on the Legend, maybe because the crowd on our cruise was retirement age and older. There weren't many people 50 and under there.