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Carnival Miracle Cruise Review by agavin

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Carnival Miracle
Carnival Miracle
Member Name: agavin
Cruise Date: March 2010
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Cabin Category:
Cabin Number: 4219
Booking Method: Local Travel Agency
See More About: Carnival Miracle Cruise Reviews | Southern Caribbean Cruise Reviews | Carnival Cruise Deals
Member Rating   5.0 out of 5+
Dining Not Rated
Public Rooms 5.0
Cabins 5.0
Entertainment 3.0
Spa & Fitness Not Rated
Family & Children Not Rated
Shore Excursions 5+
Embarkation 5+
Service 5.0
Value-for-Money 5.0
Rates Not Rated
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Ship Facts: Carnival Miracle Review (by Cruise Critic!) | Carnival Miracle Deck Plans
8 Day Southern Caribbean on the Carnival Miracle
Introducing the players... there's me and my wonderful husband Greg (I've cruised four times and this is his second... I tend to take the pictures and blog, and he kindly lugs my camera gear and is happily paid in beer)... there's my pal Nic (this is our third cruise together) and her mom (who celebrated a birthday on board)... and my sis Mel (who was on a first name basis with the entire bar staff by day 2) and her friend Tim (shoulda had a V8)... whom Carnival married and whose honeymoon was definitely short lived :) ...

Tuck in with a coffee - it's another long one...

And we're off again on another cruise adventure... This time on the Carnival Miracle out of Fort Lauderdale... instead of leaving in the wee hours of the morning, this time it was late afternoon before we had to be at the airport... and with all that spare time, we even had time to sit around and watch tv some before we left... well, and pack... because that's always the last thing on the list of things to do... we're not the type that are packed 2 months in advance for sure... picked Nic and her mom up at 4 and off to the airport we go... flight from Fredericton to Montreal was uneventful... customs changes in Montreal had us sitting waiting for a picture of our luggage to show up on a screen after a very thorough security search (no, not THAT thorough)... and then off to find something to eat... flight from Montreal to Fort Lauderdale was uneventful as well except for a 40 minute delay in leaving because something tire related had to be fixed - we made up the time in the air ... movie selection wasn't great (since I've seen most of them already), but we were lucky enough to have movies, so at least there's that... I watched Where the Wild Things Are... meh... Greg watched the Blind Side... cab driver in FL had no idea where the hotel was at, but we found it eventually... we stayed at the Best Western Fort Lauderdale airport... nice place for under $100 a night... their breakfast sucks, but it was free... Mel and Tim met us at the hotel as they flew in from Halifax instead...

Embarkation Day - Tim and Mel booked us on the free shuttle to the port when they arrived since they got there first, even though we were supposed to arrive at FLL first... oh well... so we were downstairs and ready to rock for the 10am shuttle... and when we got there, we discovered another 100 people or so (including a group of people so large that they took up the entire first bus) who were all much older than us and who were thankfully catching a Celebrity ship... there was about a dozen of us getting on the Miracle... so after a quick stop at the aiport to see the long line of people waiting to check in with Delta, we were off to the port...

Embarkation was a breeze for this one... we got to the port around 11:00, spent next to no time waiting in any kind of line... were given zone 2, checked in and had a chat with the lovely lady working the desk since I've been on the Carnival Dream and she has not... and then we sat around and waited until about noon to get on... they did the look under your seat to find a tag for VIP embark there... once on the ship, we booked the Behind the Fun tour for 5 of 6 of us and then headed up to the dreaded lido buffet (same clusterf%#k it is on every ship)... had a tasty roasted pepper, arugula, and buffalo mozzarella sandwich and wandered around a bit until 2:00 when the rooms would be available... I was pleasantly surprised to see I Wayan, our favorite bar waiter from the Carnival Freedom last year, was on the Miracle... and when we caught up with him later in the week, he even remembered us :)

Our cabin was the same as the two other balcony cabins I've been in on Carnival, so I won't bother going into any detail on that. We never have any problem fitting all our stuff - we're light packers. Greg had a surprise waiting for me in the cabin - a plate of chocolate covered strawberries and other delicious chocolatey treats... including a cute note about us enjoying a week of not washing dishes in the bathroom sink (which makes more sense if you know that our kitchen has been under renovation for several months now)... very thoughtful! For those who have been following the lock/don't lock your luggage at the port threads... ours were locked... we had them both before 3:00... we didn't have anything contraband in them... we're all far too lazy to go through the bother of trying to smuggle booze on board... we can afford the cruise, so we can afford the drinks :) We had muster station C, and it was nice not having to bring the life jackets... but muster is still a bit of a farce... I'm glad I already know how to use a life jacket... it was also nice that it wasn't super hot and humid this time, since on the Freedom last year I thought I was going to pass out since we were in the back row with our life jackets and smushed in good... muster finished before sailaway, unlike the Freedom last year... we watched sailaway from the aft part of lido... it was cloudy and drizzled a bit... there was several other ships in with us... a couple of Celebrity ones, the Independence of the Seas, a Costa one, and Princess and another couple... having only sailed Carnival (though if they don't get some new interesting ports, that will soon change), I only paid limited attention to them...

Then it was off to the lobby to have a drink at the Atrium bar... that was a favorite spot on the Legend, but never really has been since... and that's where we encountered Stan the Man ... this was our first taste of how musical entertainment would be on the Miracle, and it was not the least bit reassuring... though I did get a tasty Mocha Chocolate Getaway (Brogan's Irish Cream, dark rum, chocolate sauce, ice cream mix or something like that, ice... with whipped cream and a cherry on top)... Yum! Since I haven't managed to find Brogan's around here, and I love it, it's always a treat on the ship... Anyways, back to Stan... possibly the older crowd would love him, and we got a few good laughs when he suggested that Tim was Mel's bodyguard... and then we made a point of not being where he was the rest of the week... I think he was in the casino... which to me is only a hallway (that smells like an ashtray)... so good enough...

For dinner, we were in the upper level of the Bacchus (Carnival for hideous) dining room... actually, I think the dEcor bothered some of the others a lot more than me... we had table 306 at early seating with Henry and Jesus. I would love to rant about how they were better than Martina and I Gede from the Dream, but I'm afraid I can't... since Martina and I Gede were THE BEST SERVERS ON THE PLANET!!! Henry and Jesus were fine... they did their job... it took a couple of days before they started to show a personality... apparently Henry had the flu all week... and the station they were working out of was horrible. If you want to watch the servers dance, this is not a good table... we couldn't really see anything (I've seen it before, so it didn't really bother me... I'm not sure if it bothered the others)... but we did have a view out a window and it was away from the noise so it was easier to talk... I'm not going to get into what we had for dinner every night... I can't remember... it was all tasty and it's the same food that's been on the menu on the other 3 cruises I've been on. Dinner service (dining room service in general) did seem a lot slower on this sailing across the board than it has been anywhere else... and the only thing that really bothered us is that our servers would serve all four (2 six tops and 2 four tops, including the mandatory group of two of everything types) of their tables at the same time... and since we always waited to eat once everyone had their food, sometimes we waited a long time to get to that point... especially when there was soup involved. Some nights it was so slow we had time to contemplate some of life's great mysteries... like storing a fork in your trunk for emergencies, how to snort coke using the elements found on the table, just how many sets of crispy ta-tas were wandering around the ship, how Avon watermelon foot freshener is just the thing if you accidentally step in pee... and how funny it is when an appropriately timed use of "Shoulda had a V8" complete with forehead slapping action makes someone else shoot cappuccino out their nose :) If any of this makes sense to you and you weren't on the trip, be afraid. Oh, and the dining room cappuccino isn't half bad... and like every Carnival ship I have been on, the coffee is shit.

I don't enjoy the shows on the ships, so I generally skip them. We went to the Welcome Aboard show, and it was pretty much the same as it is on all of the other ships. Josh (aka Big Sexy) was the CD on our sailing, and to be honest, the CD doesn't make any difference to me... I preferred Todd, James and that lot from the Freedom/Dream, but Josh was fine... his ACD was Guav or something like that... again, doesn't matter...

Days 2 & 3 - Fun Days at Sea.... I LOVE LOVE LOVE sea days... I am down with being trapped on a ship in the middle of the ocean so I have no choice but to laze around and relax all day... we had breakfast in the dining room (every day, since we hate lido) - service was super slow... and then went up to the aft part of lido and sat around on deck for a while... Greg is a super early riser and I'm an early riser, so it wasn't too bad up there yet... lots of chair hogs out already though (which was to be the case the entire cruise), not too many teenagers out there.. it was sunny and nice, but a bit windy... we only lasted about an hour... Greg and I walked around the ship to see what was what... the layout is pretty much the same as the Legend, so I already had a good handle on how to get places... and then we read in the Gotham Lounge for a while... this ended up being our hang out for the week ... we don't participate in much of the goings on on the ship... we play some trivia sometimes, skip most of the shows, skip everything happening on lido (lido doesn't get used on this class of ships like it does on the others for activities from what we can tell)... lunch on lido because we were tight on time and wanted to watch Mel in the Mixology competition... her drink (the Coco-Nana Extravaganza - name courtesy of me and Tim with the hyphen added by Mel... and voted on by the group of course) was pretty good... tho they made her knock down the amount of liquor in it and changed things at the last minute so that she couldn't put Malibu in it... it didn't win, but we all tried the one that did and it tasted like dish soap... Valentina (from Serbia), the bartender in the Gotham Lounge was kind enough to ring Mel's drink in under "Mixology winner" every time Mel ordered it, so I think it made Mel feel better :)

As per usual, even though I bring the Capers (now FunTimes) home, I always tend to write without them... so the days may get mixed up... the first Sea Day was formal day I think... I hate them... I think getting dressed up to eat is stupid and most of our group changes back to our normal clothes immediately following dinner... part of what I like best about Carnival is how unformal elegant night is... I also hate that they block prime sitting and hanging around areas all over the ship to set up their super tacky photo backgrounds (Note: we successfully avoided being in all photos except for the one for our sign & sail card yet again... we're not buying them, so we're good for the environment by not having them taken in the first place... ) I also hate that they send photographers around during dinner and that they block the gangway with stupid photo ops when you are trying to get off the ship... but anyways, enough ranting...

We scoured the ship for musical entertainment... Duane in the piano bar was HORRIBLE... we didn't even go in ... we listened to 3 songs from the hallway, including hearing him butcher Sweet Caroline (and being Red Sox fans, we didn't enjoy that for sure)... he kind of sounded like the Afflac duck singing to me... and the piano bars on that class of ship are way too smokey to actually spend time in, so I guess it's good that he wasn't good, because I would have been disappointed if the piano player was good and I couldn't hang out in there because of the smoke... I've already mentioned Stan, who is definitely not my style... the 2 piece steel drum group on the lido were quite bad as well I thought... I like the drums, but the singer was not so great... so that left us with Jay in the Gotham Lounge every night... Jay's a excellent guitar player with a decent voice, but he's only 2/3 of the way through his first contract with Carnival and he's pretty jaded about the whole thing already... he's due for 2 months off soon, and then he'll be playing in the casino on the Dream... anyways... we were a bit put off at first because he would show up late, slam things around, and then immediately put a giant "TIPS" sign in front of his guitar case... and it could be me, but I've just never noticed anyone asking for tips on the ships outside of the piano bar before... Anyways, not to make Jay sound like an arsehole or anything, but let's say he was having a couple of bad days there at the start... to no hard feelings, his website is jaylaboy.com and people can make their own opinions (though the site sucks :P ) ... he wouldn't play any of his own material because of contractual stuff with Carnival he said... but he had a book of songs to choose from (including huge piles of Bon Jovi and Blue October)... he "played" about 4 hours a night the whole week, with one night off... and had 2 Billy Joel sets and a Bon Jovi one... Adeline and I went to see the late adult only comedian that night and everyone else went to bed... pretty funny....

Other randomness from the first 2 sea days... Internet is still crazy expensive as always and the Miracle doesn't have the funhubs like the Dream... we won a medal playing sports trivia (tho it's more because we were already playing cards in that area when people showed up than that we wanted to play)... we tried Tea Time... complete with cucumber sandwiches with the crust cut off... there's no nice area outside where you can actually find some shade on this ship... the Dream has the nice serenity area and the Freedom had some upper levels where you could find shade and stay outside and read or whatever... these don't exist on the Miracle... the ship is pretty clean, but it's definitely showing signs of its age... and have I mentioned that the whole thing smells like an ashtray?

And we were travelling over Easter, and the ship was loaded with screaming vermin (kids) all over the place... the smaller kids weren't too bad (for me anyways, since a lot of them seemed to be in the Camp Carnival stuff and we don't hang out by the pools), but the teenagers travelled around in packs and hung out in the teenage wasteland (Gatsby's Garden)... I didn't really have any issues with them directly, but some of our group were hit on by wee fellows in the hallways, and another was in an elevator (the kids use these as toys) when a kid decided it would be great fun to take an ice cream cone and smear it all over the floor numbers... we did notice that people tend to let their kids wander all over the ships at all hours of the day, which seems pretty dangerous to me... especially when combined with the fact that teenage girls tend to wear clothes that don't leave a lot left to the imagination... I suspect the bartenders were getting pretty damn tired of serving soda all hours of the day as well

Anywho, enough of my first 2 sea day ranting...

Day 4: St Maarten - Brought to you by Heineken... When we arrived in St Maarten (Philipsburg), the Carnival Dream was already docked in front of where we docked... as well as 3 other docked ships (I don't recall what other than the Monstrosity of the Seas (Oasis)... and an Aida ship was tendering... a Celebrity ship docked after us... so there was 7 ships in port that day... and now after having been to St Maarten...I have no idea why ships go there in the first place, except that they have a lot of docking space... We did a private tour with Joyce Prince (4 of 6 of us - the other two wandered around after getting off the ship)... We don't shop, we have no major interest in lounging on the beach (when we can lounge on the ship)... and we just like seeing the places we visit... The tour with Jouce was $55 a person for about 4 hours... she's a great guide, but I have to say St Maarten just isn't that interesting... its only real industry is tourism (since they have let all their other industries go to waste... much like the fruit that grows there natively), and that's pretty apparent... but we drove all over the island, stopping here and there for some pictures and that kind of thing... checked out the market at Marigot (tacky stuff you can buy anywhere, but in this case it would have "St Maarten" stitched on it) ... St Maarten doesn't brew any beer, so we couldn't try that... we had some Carib instead (Joyce brought a cooler with water/beer/sodas etc for us)... it's not bad... we wanted to try some local food, but once we got back to the ship and walked around for a bit in the dock/boardwalk area, we couldn't find anything that looked to be worth paying for so we ate on the ship instead... there's lots of shops by the dock and the boardwalk isn't far away... the boardwalk has beach access, lots of junk shopping, restaurants etc... the further you walk from the ship, the cheaper the drinks get (FYI) ... there's water taxis right at the pier to go around the island as well)... so that was St Maarten... pretty brief, which is saying a lot since I am pretty long winded... I didn't spend a cent there except for paying Joyce... oh, and one of the highlights was driving by the airport, where people line up to get sandblasted by the incoming large airplanes and have their shit blown into the sea if it's not tied down... the sign advertising bodily harm and/or death says it all...

Day 5: St Lucia - It's very rare that we book Carnival excursions (they cost too much, we don't need a pee break every hour, we don't want to buy tacky tourist shit, and the crowd on the ship is plenty... we don't want to spend our time off the ship with them too)... so we booked our own tour in St Lucia as well... we booked the "Creole Kitchen Fiesta" from a company called Solar Tours (via ShoreTrips)... we had used them (ShoreTrips) before in Grand Cayman, and while it wasn't the best tour ever, it was fine, so we used them again.... again it was just the four of us... Tim did a Carnival excursion and Mel stayed on the ship... our guide was supposed to meet us at the pier, so we waited about 30 mins only to find out later she was hiding inside the building instead of standing outside with all the rest of the private guides... so off we went eventually... Julian was our driver and he was fine... we did a bit of a driving tour around the island and he gave us some information and history before we headed into the countryside to go to Lushan Country Life... once there, we did a little rain forest walk (similar to what Greg and I did in Costa Rica, but not nearly as good)... tried some fresh coconut milk and coconut and some fresh fruit, smelled some herbs, had tamarind juice, and that kind of thing... and then we went to the cookhouse to see "Mama"... and this is what we had booked the tour for... it was supposed to be an interactive cooking lesson where they showed us how to prepare some authentic creole dishes... and instead it was less than 10 minutes in the cookhouse where we watched the tail end of another group's presentation (which consisted of pointing out that a big wooden spoon is also good for beating spouses that have strayed), were fed what was essentially a doughnut and a fish cake on a styrofoam plate and hot chocolate tea in a styrofoam cup... and then we were herded back out so the next group could come in... we didn't cook anything, see anything cooked (it was in a basket with a cloth over it when we arrived), learn how anything was cooked, or even really learn anything about what was in the food (though we did ask questions since Nic is allergic to fish, and we thought we heard the word cod in there somewhere)... so this part of the tour was incredibly disappointing since it wasn't anywhere near what was advertised... I have a dispute in with that company, but I don't really expect to get anywhere with it...

When we got back to the port, we still had time to spend in St. Lucia, but there's not much near the port itself... we could see another tourist-geared trinket market which we choose to skip, and we opted to have a beer on the patio of a place on the second floor of the duty free shops... Piton is St. Lucia's beer... it's not bad, but nothing amazing... looked in a few of the shops quickly and then headed back to the ship...

Day 6 - St. Kitts ... this was my favourite port of the trip. We booked a tour with Royston Tours and Ashton was our guide... 5 of us went on this one... it was pretty much for the entire day and it cost us $40 a piece... it was without question the best tour we did... with the best guide... Ashton loves his island and it's completely obvious... and what a great experience... he wanted to show us everything he could possibly fit in for the entire time we were on the island... we drove all over St Kitts, and he stopped various places with beautiful views, gave us a ton of history on the island and the Caribbean in general... it was good Friday so lots of stuff was closed for the holiday, including the place where our lunch would have come from, but he brought a cooler full of beer/soda/juice/water for us, as well as some snacks (trail mix, banana bread, and chips... we left the chips :P ) ... in our blinged-out van (which is not uncommon), we went to Romney Manor to see the ruins of the old sugar plantation (that used to belong to a relative of Ben Franklin or something), we did a walk through the rain forest where we sampled some stinky toe (not delicious, but certainly not the most horrible thing I have ever tried) and viewed some herbs and stuff, as well some of the remains of the old aquaduct system... then on to Caribelle Batik... this was loaded with tourists, which is always horrible, but some of the work there was beautiful and Tim and I bought a few pieces... it's art on fabric made from various layers of coloured wax... from there, on to Brimstone Hill - it's an old Fortress that has been very well preserved (also a World Heritage site)... not too busy there and the views were beautiful... from there, we made some coastal stops to see where the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean meet and also where they are separated by a small strip of land, to see some of the different areas and homes, to see some coastal lava formations (where Ashton even went out of his way to find a cool piece of lava rock for Nic to bring home for someone)... this was an amazing day (and it's likely why most of my pictures are from St Kitts... and I even had some postcards printed from my own shots instead of buying them for a change, so I am pretty excited about that) and an amazing tour... I would definitely go back to St Kitts and I would highly recommend Royston Tours... beautiful beautiful island.

Days 7 & 8 - Fun Days at Sea... More sea days! Hooray! The number of sea days were as important as the ports when we picked this itinerary. Quite honestly, though, the sea days tend to blur together for me... so I don't recall what all we did... sitting around reading, relaxing, and that kind of thing. There would have been another formal night in there, bleck... we went to see Ticket To Ride - the Beatles tribute show (interestingly enough, as I write this it just came on the news that the Vatican has finally forgiven the Beatles for John Lennon saying they were bigger than Jesus...I'd hardly call that news!)... we had seen it before on the Freedom... it was pretty much the same on the Miracle... I Wayan told us the male singer was actually the same one. It was fine... but there's no way I'm watching it a third time. We also checked out the Adult Only comedian that same night... and he had also been on the Freedom, and his bit was almost exactly the same. Mike something or another.

The last sea day we did the Behind the Fun tour. The tour was 3-4 hours long and we were all over the ship... I don't remember the order of the places we visited, but we saw the main galley (they showed us around and showed us how to make flowers from veggies, and all the ladies got a veggie flower), we went down to the I-95 (the deck below the passenger decks) and got to see some of the food storage, the cooler with all the booze and soda, the meat locker, where the luggage crates are stored etc)... we went further down to decks B and C as well and saw the crew laundry, the crew training room, the crew lounge, the crew internet room, and the infirmery. We also got to, in no specific order, go inside the photo lab (which I obviously found interesting :) ... they said that on our sailing that they had taken about 25000 photos - with the number being about 3000 more than normal because of all the teenagers - and that they only sell about 25% of them normally, and the rest go in the trash... they also told us about how the Dream is currently trying out an electronic system...interesting stop... I hate the waste that surrounds those pictures... we also went to the control room and the Chief Engineer explained all the systems to us... and then we spent some time on the bridge... got a little talk about what goes on there, listed to the captain make his announcement (Captain Volpi was super visible out and about on the ship and his announcements were pretty cute... very sociable that one)... took some pictures up there as a group and with the captain... we weren't allowed to bring cameras, cell phones and all that and security made sure we didn't have them.... and after the bridge, we went up to Nick and Nora's (steak house/supper club/whatever they are calling it now) to see their galley (complete with sprouts growing in trays)... they got us to fill out a little questionnaire about the tour and there was free champagne and juice and that... we got some swag as well ... a Carnival bag, a ball hat, a bracelet, a lanyard... and a carved soap in the shape of a swan that we saw someone doing in the main galley... when we got back to our rooms, there was also a plate of treats and chocolate strawberries, and we also got the copies of the pictures that had been taken during the tour... oh, we saw the recycling area as well... also interesting... all the soda cans and stuff get crushed down and offloaded back at the home port... food waste gets jetted out to sea... some stuff, like all cardboard, gets burned because it's a fire hazard and can't stay on board... water bottles can be recycled, but most other food packaging cannot be because as soon as the ship leaves, that food and its containers are considered foreign, even though it's picked up at the home port... very complicated.... there was a question and answer period where lots of people asked about how things are for the crew... we were told that the room stewards and their assistants, as well as the dinning room staff and their assistants are paid only in tips... everyone else is salaried... they have full medical and their only expenses on board are laundry soap, internet/phone usage, and anything they buy like coffee or whatever (for those who are permitted on the passenger decks)... granted, I don't really think this is much of our business, but John Heald always corrects people who say there's certain crew that just work for tips, so I guess one never really knows who to believe... but in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't really affect my decision on anything... we always leave the autotips on, and always tip anyone else who goes above and beyond

Day 8 - Debarkation day - boo! ... we had a flight shortly after 11am, so we had our zone changed to zone 2... we were off the ship and to the airport by shortly after 9 (cab ride for 4 people was about $12)... the Air Canada section of FLL is shitty, so the less time one has to spend there the better...no starbucks!! only crappy dunkin... we were disembarked about an hour faster off the Freedom last year...flights home were uneventful... luggage appeared quickly in Toronto, no issues with customs... had a bite to eat (after we sent back the raw burgers they first brought us) and we were back home shortly after 8... still makes for a long day, but it was a smooth process at least...

So... all the general observations and all that... I've been on four ships (Dream, Freedom, Legend, and Miracle) and I prefer them in that order... They keep the Miracle clean like all the other ships, but having been in constant use just about since 2004, it is of course starting to show signs of her age (and more importantly, smells of her age)... I hate how smoker friendly the Spirit class ships are... I love the piano bar concept and couldn't step foot in it on this class... too smokey... but again Duane was horrible, so that was less of an issue on this one... the smoke from the casino wafts clear down to the atrium area and up around the photo areas as well... it grosses me out and makes it hard to breathe, but it certainly doesn't make or break my vacation... but I do prefer the layout of the larger ships as well, and I think I'll be aiming to stick with those from here on out (or switching lines so I can get to Scandinavia instead :) On the plus side, the Spirit class ships are much more soundproof... which comes in handy when the ship is full of teenagers or your neighbours are like rabbits...

I think we had some of the B team in terms of the entertainment staff... I believe the normal CD and piano player were missing... and again, it's not really that big of a deal... there wasn't much going on at night... there was an 80's night or something... but since I think the 80's were the worst thing that ever happened to fashion and the music scene, I steered clear of that... they didn't even bother trying the Carnival colours thing from what I can tell, which is fine since it's stupid... I really have no idea what went on on Lido during the day... but nothing seemed to be going on up there at night... I think there was one party up there at night... there was tons of trivia... I skipped the CruiseCritic M&G for this one since I wasn't horribly active on that board... the band that played the Beatles in the show played most nights in Frankie and Johnnie's... we never got down to see skaraoke in the Mad Hatter's Ball... or anything else in there for that matter... and I always wonder if people actually buy all the art on the ship... since they are always lugging it around to various spots on the ship... Manual was the Maitre 'D... and this is another person who I don't pay a lot of attention to in the grand scheme of things... one night at dinner there was a magician wandering around (well, one night he got to our table, but he was likely there all week)... he did a neat card trick with Nic, a coin trick with Greg, and let Mel fondle his balls :) Dinner is definitely much more fun when you eat with the group you sail with instead of having to make conversation with strangers all the time. We made a point of avoiding that whenever possible, no matter what meal we were eating.

We always bring message boards so we can leave each other messages, but there were vermin out and about down where Mel, Tim, Nic, and Adeline were... so those became more a home for graffiti... Adeline celebrated her birthday midway through the sailing, and Nic ordered her a cake from the Formalities place (which is rarely open)... the cake was chocolate and delicious, though they spelled her name wrong...

I didn't use the spa (though Mel tried getting smeared with red algae and then electrocuted), the gym (we walked around the decks instead early in the day, and it annoyed me that the "sports" deck track for running/walking was in with the mini golf), the casino, or the supper club (I can't eat that much food, and I'm not buying that the meal there is $30-$40 better than what we are always eating in the dining room), or the shops (we bought a package of cough drops and that's it)... we tried Bingo once so Tim didn't have to play alone and while waiting for a show ($20 for 3 cards... too expensive for me really)... Greg used the internet and it's expensive... Nic/Tim got some sort of Blackberry reception in all of the ports... I didn't check phone/net at all the whole time we were gone...

So all in all... another great vacation and we'll definitely sail Carnival again (future cruise certificate in hand)... but I hope they start to reintroduce some ports not in Mexico and the Caribbean... bring on South America and other parts of Europe... happy trails.

Visit the review with pictures here: http://www.travelblog.org/Central-America-Caribbean/Saint-Kitts-and-Nevis/Saint-Kitts/blog-488678.html


Publication Date: 04/16/10
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