We were on the Miracle March 20 cruise and visited Panama, Costa Rica, and Belize. I found the best information on the Ports Board and with recommendations from previous cruisers, we did our excursions independently.
We really loved this ship. Thought that this was our best spring break cruise to date (Celebrity Century, Costa Atlantica, Carnival Destiny, Costa Mediterranea, Carnival Glory, Carnival Liberty.)
Embarkation at 2:45pm. It was empty and we got on quickly. Stayed too long pre-cruise at hotel and dropping off car at FLL and taking car rental shuttle to port was a mistake. The shuttle bus was slow (we had a horrible driver) and dropped off at all other ships before the Miracle at Pier 21. Then there was a traffic jam. My advice is just take a cab from airport and save yourself any additional stress. My daughter had her carry-on luggage searched, but she had nothing that was confiscated. We did see alot of booze on a table next to the carry-on search area. Some in our group put their one bottle of wine in their checked luggage instead of carry-on. Their luggage was searched and their bottle confiscated.
Ports: In Panama we did myfriendMario. We went to the Embera Indian Village, hiked to a waterfall (20 min each way and involved some rock climbing), and then we went to the Canal and saw a Celebrity ship go thru the locks. My only comment is that you must watch the time carefully. We made it back to the ship by a hair. However, b/c of daylight savings time, there was a 2 hour difference between ship time and island time which screwed things up for many tours.
In Costa Rica we did JJ Tours. Again the 2 hour difference was confusing as we got off the ship at 5AM Island time or 7AM Ship time. Our tour was fantastic and JJ does a great job. We did the Veragua Rainforest and then the Tort. Canal. We also stopped for lunch at a restaurant on a beach and for coffee shopping at a grocery store. The aerial tram at the Rainforest and seeing all the wildlife esp. at the Canal were highlights for our group. We highly rec. JJ.
In Belize we took a water taxi to Caye Caulker Island and spent the day at the Split. We rented beach chairs and an umbrella and had a lovely lunch/drinks at the nearby restaurant. We rented snorkel gear from a boat docked by the restaurant for $2.50 per person. We snorkeled right around the dock/pier area. For serious snorkelers I would rec. a tour to go out farther by the reefs. This was just enough for the kids/adults to sample. They saw lots of fish including a seahorse/starfish right in the area.
Thought the Miracle was in pretty good shape. Saw some worn areas but nothing that I thought looked shoddy. It was clean however after lunch at the Lido area main pool, dishes weren't removed from deck and piled around for hours. Bar service came around alot, but they did not remove dishes only bar glasses. We absolutely had no complaints about our dinning room staff or food. Our table was 101 Bacchus Lower Level at 6:00PM. Our food was tasty, hot, and cooked to our liking. We had no trouble finding something to enjoy each day and every menu. Our waiter Kristian Krivicic was outstanding.We ate at the Seaview Bistro one night when we just wanted to nap after a shore day. The food was similar to the MDR menu so we did not feel like we missed out on a great dinner. We did find that we had trouble deciding what to get for lunch with so many choices. Carnival does a great job in providing a variety of venues. We ate Breakfast with Room Service (always on time), Lido Deck, and MDR. No problems and enjoyed them all. Activities onboard were very much like previous Carnival ships. We still enjoy the deck games and get a laugh out of the usual contests. Disembarkation: We were in group 21.Took 1 hour to get car rental shuttle bus to FLL since Miracle is at last pier. If you need to get car fast, take a cab.All in all, we loved the Miracle and their staff. I would do this 8 day exotic western Caribbean itinerary again especially on this ship.