This will be a somewhat brief review but I hope it helps anyone who might be considering the Carnival Miracle as your first time or repeat cruise experience. Keep in mind that this was OUR experience based on many other points of reference -- but also based on what WE look forward to in a cruise experience. We are 40-50 and could be considered fairly seasonend Cruisers.
Our 8 Day March Cruise on The Carnival Miracle was our 26th Cruise and our 8th on Carnival. It was by far the best cruise experience we have had so far. We have been on "bigger" and more "glamorous" ships however, the Miracle scored a 10 in all categories. The food was EXCEPTIONAL from the Formal Dining Room to the noontime buffets (based on what we like to eat). It was the typical Carnival Menu (I've reached a point where I pretty much know the entire menu day by day) but for some reason, everything was just BETTER! Kudos to the Chef! The White Chocolate Bread Pudding (I think is also known as "Bitter N Blanc" is one I've dreamt about ever since.
The Crew Members were ever present and ready to "fetch" - but never pushy. The Production Shows were also incredible (which we had already seen the entire cast perform the same exact show on the Freedom previously) but for some reason, they were just BETTER on the Miracle.
Even the Gift Shop staff was overly friendly and helpful -- a highly unusual experience on any ship or cruise line.
Carnival has added a few extra touches like afternoon tea with snacks and pastries served on rollng silver serving carts on sea days and late night trays of snacks being served in the casino and along the promenade areas(similar to what we experienced on Celebrity). While Miracle has not been retrofitted with an on deck Movie Screen, they did show movies on a big screen in one of the lounges several times throughout the cruise.
Our Balcony Cabin was wonderful (always so much bigger than on RCCL or Celebrity) and our Cabin Steward(s) were never seen and the most efficient of any we've ever had -- even compared to concierge class! Even the towel animals were "BETTER" on Miracle.
We had an AMAZING experience with our Taxi Drive in Costa Rica who I will wholeheartedly endorse to anyone who has an interest in a private tour in Port Limon (you can email me at LauraBunts@aol.com). He took us to a place where we boarded a small boat and cruised through the rain forest, a Banana Plantation, to a local Fresh Fruit Market for sampling, a Beach Side Restaurant where we could swim and then he even took us to a local grocery store so we could buy coffee more reasonably than at the port flea market. He actually just sent me an email to thank us for our kindness and offering prayers of thanks that we made it home safely (Can you believe that?) (7 hours and all for $35 pp).
We just tried to book the Miracle again for our Holiday Cruise however a different ship and departure port worked out better for our group. We WILL definitely sail the Miracle again!
PS...Our Cruise mates felt exactly the same as we did about Miracle!!