This was my 2nd cruise on the Carnival Miracle. We decided to go again since we live on Long Island and were traveling with my 2 1/2 year old son. We went the week of May 24th so we could celebrate my birthday & my mother's birthday. I was traveling with my son & husband and parents.
We were a little worried because it was Fleet Week, so we had the car service pick us up an hour early. It couldn't have gone more smoothly. Traffic was relatively light. My father is handicap, so we were able to board the ship early. This was my 5th cruise and 2nd on the Carnival Miracle. It was the best embarkation ever with no problems whatsoever. Within 1 hour we were on the ship.
Before I knew it we were on the ship and eating lunch at Horatio's. One thing that is new - there are Purell dispensors throughout the ship. They also have paper dispensors in the restrooms for opening the doors (so you don't have to touch the door knobs)!
The food was wonderful. This time around I made sure that I went to High Tea (which was served at Sea Days at 3:30 pm). It was great with all the pastries and finger sandwiches. The first time around I didn't find out about it till the end of the cruise.
The first night we didn't like our seats in the dining hall (try to request a table by a window overlooking the ocean). No problem they were able to get us a different table for the next evening. The staff was extremely friendly and nice.
Nick & Nora's - Loved it! It is totally worth the extra money. I had the shrimp cocktail, the caesar salad, the surf & turf & for dessert I had the sampler thing (can't remember the name of it). Me & my husband went out alone for my birthday.
Sushi was good. A nice snack before dinner.
Shows - Make sure you get there early like during bingo or during the scavanger hunt so you get a good seat. We enjoyed most of the shows. The worst one was the final show because it was an amateur show and none of the passangers on the ship had any talent. It got progressively worse as it went on some people were actually tone deaf. I actually felt like a judge on American Idol when they go state to state. I wished that I had a sheet of paper to hide behind.
Camp Carnival - my son went to the camp for the first 3 days but after that he didn't want to go anymore. The camp concilors were very helpful and if they noticed any issues they would tell you right away. There were a lot of great toys and fun activities. The first night they had a fun orienation activity at Frankenstein's Lab where they gave balloons to the kids to play with.
Most annoying thing - getting a beach chair. Best advice don't get fustrated either stake your claim on your way to breakfast or ask the staff if they can get you more chairs.
Ports of Call
Grand Turk - The beach was nice. It was very close to the pier & a lot of seaweed. The pool was nice but the water was freezing! We did a little shopping but the prices were on the expensive side so we didn't buy much. We stayed in the tourist area called Margaritaville. It's right when you get off the ship.
Half Moon Cay - Wonderful beach. My father had a skin cancer scare earlier this year so we made sure to rent a cabana. It was $219 but if you can get some friends/family to contribute it is more affordable. It was worth every penny. It was great! It had an air conditioner/fans. They provided snacks (chips & salsa, fresh fruit, fresh veggies & dip), water and soda. They also provided snorkel gear & foam floats. My favorite thing was the chairs/ all had very thick cushions. We were further away from the main section so it was nice and quiet and relaxing.
Nassau - We went to Paradise Island to Atlantis because we had been there years ago and loved it.
We had a lot of fun going down the slides and lazy river. The only bad part is you have to do a lot of walking because Atlantis is a big resort. We couldn't spend the whole day there because it rained. The worst part was the food. It was a joke. With this excurison they include lunch, they don't tell you what that entails. It's a voucher to get a hamburger, chicken sandwich or fried chicken at a small little resturant. The voucher is good at a number of different places. We went to the one when we knew we could get pizza for our son.
5 years ago my husband & I stayed at Atlantis and I know how wonderful a resort it is and how great the food is. I know from prior experience that the food is extremely expensive. However, I was shocked and extremely disappointed in the crap that they offered. It was unfair because the excurison was not cheap. I ordered a hamburger and got a grilled chicken sandwich and it was awful. My father ordered the fried chicken and the chicken was so small it was a waste to kill a chicken so little.
My husband who will eat anything and not complain said his chicken sandwich was so bad that it still had claw marks from where the cat caught it. He also said if he had to describe it in one word. It would be "Criminal" because of the price for feathers & beaks.
Spa - My best advice is book & prepay online to avoid lines. I had the lime ginger scub and massage and it was wonderful.
Disembarkation - Seemless, we were off the ship quickly with no problems. We had no problem with our car service. Make sure that you have your driver meet you on the upper level (the lower level is for the buses).
In conclusion - It was a wonderful & relaxing vacation. Best advice bring a lot of sunscreen, power strip (limited outlets in the room). If you want to keep the cups, hide them in a bag because the staff will take them when you're swimming in the pool. No worries though, if you complain they will get you a new cup (in case you want to save them).