Carnival Miracle Cruise Review by mrsunset: Had Fun - But None to be found after Midnight !
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Had Fun - But None to be found after Midnight !
This was my second cruise with Carnival, and because they've maintained their reputations as the "fun ships" I stuck with them this time around. I was attracted to this cruise because of the extra night, and the "out there" feel of Panama, Costa Rica, and Belize.
Looking around the embarkation area, I realized that I picked the wrong port for a single guy going on a cruise. 2/3 of the people were seniors, and the rest were couples, or singles who were too young for my age group. This fact was affirmed by some of the staff who said that Ft. Lauderdale attracts the seniors, where Miami attracts those with a steady pulse (which meant that was the last time I'd be going out of Ft. Lauderdale). Sure enough, about a half hour after the nightly shows (12:00 AM), you could hear pins dropping on the ship. The nightlife was completely and utterly devoid. The crew tried to liven it up one night by taking over the disco, but tanned guys in uniforms made the single customers look bad, More and the few single ladies that were there gravitated towards them (they are on vacation though, so I don't blame them for that). One night the staff took over the disco completely and barred paying guests from it. That, for me, was completely unacceptable. We paid to be on the boat, if they want to party amongst themselves exclusively, they should of picked an off-hours bar or something like that...but taking away an option for the paying customers is not the smart (and customer friendly) way to go. The only other place available that night was the late-night bar on the top deck, in the adults section, out in the wind...but of course, all the seniors had gone to bed, and you could almost here pins dropping up there as well, between the wind gusts...
Being a single traveller, you kind of have to make your own fun, at least to start, until you get to know a few people. Actually, you initially make your fun at the poolside bars and in the disco trying to meet people. I went through about a dozen margaritas in the first two days, sprinkled with some beers inbetween. The running tally is available to the bar staff at all times, and I heard through a couple of people, after a couple of days, that they were judging me on it. I was on vacation, and just came off a hellish two weeks at work before, where my even making the cruise was in serious jepardy (I even had to work much of the first day I was on the boat after receiving a phone call). Anyway, I just wanted to completely unwind. They should make an effort to get to know the person before they rush to judge. For that, they also lost marks. As I unwinded, I also slowed down...by the last few days I only had a couple of beers...
The ships pools are slightly bigger than a hot-tub, and there's three of them. The policy is no diapers in the pools at any time, but it was totally not enforced. So after watching a few people dip their diaper covered babies in the water through the week, I made sure only my legs came in contact with the water. The adults pool was probably the only one remotely clean, but it also was slightly bigger than a hot tub.
As far as the positives: The room stewards were great; the food was awesome; the two "big shows" were impressive (the rest were filler, but still entertaining); they had things going on all day (much of which was less than interesting though - trivia, and a hairy chest contest - come on, try getting original); the band in Frankie and Johnnies was very good (they even played an awesome rendition of Stairway to Heaven); the casino was fun (but the three guys running it, standing there in a row, glaring at the customers all night kind of creeps you out).
Also, on the morning of disembarkation, the staff in the main restaurant were somewhat less than top-shelf over breakfast. It was obvious they just wanted you out at that point...my entire table had raised eyebrows...
Would I go on this boat again ?...probably not. By todays standards it's getting small and dated, and the on-board options/venues are too limited. Fort Lauderdale for an active steady-pulse scene (20-40's) is not the place to be...stick with Miami if you want to have anything to do after midnight.
I am booked on the new Carnival Dream next labour day, so I'm hoping their brand new super-sized ship will be more to my preferance. I still have faith in Carnival, but the staff needs to keep their mouths shut about customers, come up with some original day-time activites, and not close the only disco on the ship so they can party in it themselves... Less
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