We sailed on the Carnival Miracle from Sept. 29 - Oct. 7, 2009 out of New York. I had been on this ship before but 2 out of the 3 ports were new so we decided to go. This is my 10th cruise in 7 years - the 3rd with Carnival.
EMBARKATION / CABIN: We arrived at the pier about noon and parked the car at the pier ($240 for the week but you cant beat the convenience of being right there). We were on the ship by 1pm. I love how they have fixed up the ship terminals in NYC - nice job! My mom and I had a private balcony room (5146) and our friends were next to us (5148) so we had the steward open the door between the balconies which was nice. The cabin was clean. My only complaint we had is we never met our room steward. Usually on the first day, you are bombarded with them knocking on the door, introducing themselves, making sure you have everything, etc. but not a peep. Our cabin was always kept clean, etc. so that was great but we never saw them.
Grand Turk: I've never been to Grand Turk. Its a small island (only 1 mile by 7 miles) and unfortunately, they were heavily damaged by a hurrican in the fall of 2008. But they have built a beautiful "cruise center" right off the ship. Lots of shopping, etc. and they also have a Margaritaville with a pool, etc you can hang out at. Its a beautiful area and we enjoyed what we saw of the island and the people very much.
Half Moon Cay: This is Carnivals private island and all I can say is WOW. ABSOLUTELY beautiful! There is a sign on the island that says "I could stay here forever" and truer words were never spoken/written. The sand is like confectioners sugar - white and so soft. And the water was HEAVEN - not an ounce of seaweed, rocks, etc....just clean and pure. The only other private island I've been to is Norwegian Cruise Lines Island, Great Stirrup Cay, which I loved but this island kicks that islands butt! lol Make sure you get on an early tender to the island so you can spend some quality time there because the last tender back to the ship is at 4:45 but they suggest you get on a tender by 3:30 if you dont want to wait out in the hot sun in line because it gets really crowded for those last few tenders because people wait till the last minute to leave (cant say I blame them!).
Nassau: This is the 5th time I've been to Nassau. Over it. lol :) The one thing I do have to say is the economy has hurt it ALOT. Soooo many stores that were once open on the main street are now closed. We went into town (if you can call it that) for about an hour and a half and then we went back on the ship to hang by the pool. My friends went to Atlantis and said that they have really built up over there so maybe, if we are forced to go to Nassau again on a cruise, we will check that out.
STAFF: One word: amazing! The entertainment staff was so much fun - the most fun I've ever had! Thank you Malcolm (Cruise Director), Simon, Lawrence, Kyle, Justin, etc...you guys were a blast to hang out with! We also met the Captain who was very gracious. The rest of the crew that we came in contact with were wonderful. They have a good crew on that ship right now.
ENTERTAINMENT: They have good entertainment on this ship. The shows were the same as when we were on this ship in 2007 but thats ok - I forgot alot of the dances, etc so it was fun to see them again. They had a couple comedians - one was Percy Cruise II - he was hilarious and he did a midnight show that was great. The other was Anthony something - he was great too and he also did a more adult midnight show which was fun. There was also a female impressionist (cant remember her name) who I thought wasnt very good. We also frequented the dance club a few times which was fun. They had a tribute night to Michael Jackson which was fun.
FOOD: We had breakfast in the buffet - always yummy! Most of the mornings I got an omlette which was always good. For lunch we did the buffet by the pool which was ok. Your typical hot dog, hamburgers, etc. They had some good eats inside at the buffet for lunch tho - they have an excellent deli and of course the 24 hr pizzeria is good. For dinner we ate in the Dining Room (Table 169). The food was always good and the service was top-notch. We saved the last night for Nick & Noras (their steakhouse). Its an additional $30pp but sooooo worth it. The food was incredible. But I highly recommend either skipping lunch or having something light before you eat there because its ALOT of food. :)
SHIP: I like this ship. Its easy to get around and the decor is nice. Some people have complained about the dining room and its big grape decor but it doesnt bother me. The pool area is nice but its split by a bar into 2 pool areas. (NOTE: If you want to sit by the pool and enjoy the pool games, activities, etc. sit on the side where the stage is). The store is nice and the theater is lovely - I prefer the banquettes and tables as apposed to other ships theater that have standard theater seating or chairs.
DISEMBARKATION: We opted to do the self-disembarkation (where you carry off your luggage, etc.) and it was a breeze. We were off the ship by 8:30am.
I think I've covered everything! Overall it was a great cruise and I highly recommend this ship as well as Carnivals private island!