We flew into Orlando on Friday rented a car from Thrifty and spent the day at the beach in Cape Canaveral. Saturday dropped the car off and headed to the port via Thrifty's shuttle, was at the port in minutes and on board the ship within 20 maybe 30 minutes. We booked two cabins with me and hubby in an oceanview suite 9260 and kids across the hall in 9262 in the forward of the ship. We've sailed before on the Miracle years ago and don't remember it being so shaky. The ship rocked and rolled the entire cruise but we stilled loved every minute of our vacation. We went to Bahamas, St. Thomas, and St. Maarten. We did not book any excursions through the ship. Bahamas and St Thomas was booked on line and in St Maarten we just did things at the beach at way less then Carnival's prices.
Bahamas - only there a few hours we booked a beach excursion at the British Colonial Hilton as we thought it was too short of time to do Atlantis and not feel rushed. It was just OK. The website listed all kinds of beach activities but there were none - just the beach and a swimming pool. We paid $50 for each person when arrived we got $130 in food and drink credits.
St Thomas - did Godfry's island tour. it was great! we shopped, toured the island with Godfrey as out tour guide, and spend hours at Magen's Bay Beach all for $30 per person. if you are scared of heights dont do this tour. We went way up in teh mountains on narrow winding roads but the views were breath taking although i was terrified.
St Maarten - we took a water taxi to the beach but you can walk. we rented beach chairs a beach bed and got drinks for $20. the kids rented a jet ski for $50 for 1/2 hour and went para sailing for $50 i went out on the boat with them for $25.
We were so exhausted after the to days in St. thomas and St. Maarten that we slept the who next day! We did the dining room every day with the 8:15 meal time. it worked out great for the comedy shows and shows in the encore theatre- which were just ok. We had the buffet breakfast every morning which was great, too - they had the same food each day but switched up on the type of egg dish and you also could get omletes made to order. Dinner was great in the Crimson dining room and the staff was excellent in the dining room and each time we left our room it was spotless when we came back once we started putting the "need service" sign on the door. The kids did the slides one day i did too and skinned my arm -- oouch.
Overall we had a great time, but on the "Sea Days' we all were bored. the kids did do the camps for their age one day and never went back. Although we enjoyed cruising with Carnival next time we plan to try another line. also, we will never book a cruise that have multiple Sea Days back to back. We liked getting off the ship and having fun on the islands.