21 Carnival Miracle Cruises for the Disabled Cruise Reviews

Pros: Medium size ship is relatively easy to navigate. Generally polite staff throughout the ship. Most guests on Carnival are friendly, unpretentious people. Cruise director was pleasant and efficient. Two of the four ... Read More
Pros: Medium size ship is relatively easy to navigate. Generally polite staff throughout the ship. Most guests on Carnival are friendly, unpretentious people. Cruise director was pleasant and efficient. Two of the four comedians were very entertaining. One of the movies that was offered was excellent. Fresh fruit was available on Lido for most meals. Several dishes at the Lido buffets and main dining room were prepared well and had excellent flavor. A few desserts were works of art. There are several nice displays of decorative crystal in the ship stairwells. Shipboard shops had a couple of nice sales and sales staff were quite approachable and helpful. Debarkation at the end of the cruise was smooth and uneventful, despite long lines. Luggage was well organized and easily located in the terminal. And terminal personnel were helpful in their directions. Cons: Embarkation delays and difficulties, especially for the handicapped, as there were not enough wheelchairs to meet needs. 2-3 chairs per ship is too few when each trip takes half an hour or more to board each person and there are several dozen people waiting and more arriving all the time. Most staterooms are not available to guests until early to mid afternoon on embarkation day, so guests must lug their carryon baggage with them everywhere they go until then. There was a bad shudder (shaking) to the ship throughout the cruise. Is something wrong with the engines? Not many good choices for dining, activities or entertainment. Very limited offerings on the Lido deck for dinner. No wait staff on hand there in the evenings, either, to offer beverages or other services. Food was generally mediocre, either spiced the same or very bland, portion sizes in the main dining room sometimes varied wildly from one plate to another, sauces and dressings were often too thick to pour or use as a dip, options for ordering and free beverages were never offered by main dining room staff. Choices for pizza, outdoor grill and deli were fixed and too limited. Outdoor grill food was often overcooked, cold, dried out and inedible. One of the two soft serve machines was not functional during the entire cruise, creating long lines. No juices are offered on Lido for breakfast, only sugary drinks. Juice is offered only in main dining room, but the main dining room breakfasts were not cooked properly. Long lines for dining and entertainment venues. Gaudy, visually jarring decor in many of the public areas such as the main dining rooms, bars. Tiny uncomfortable "library" had few books, felt like a wasted space. Very heavy glass doors to some public rooms, making them inaccessible to some disabled guests. Entertainment venues were too small for most shows/comedy performances. Serenity adult area at the stern of the ship was anything but serene — packed with people, chaotic and noisy. An assault on the senses. No anniversary celebration was offered despite it being listed on our dining room slip and general cruise documents. Very disappointing. Dining room service spotty, some tables were skipped for dessert, ignored for beverage refills, etc. Spa services refused to supply a price list -- prices for each service had to be "negotiated" separately. No prices were ever listed for "specials," either, only "$$ off." Choice of stateroom service (morning or evening) was ignored by stewards, leading to daily inconveniences. "Chocolate Extravaganza" was mostly cakes. Main dining room sometimes opened late due to poor scheduling of staff meetings, stressing staff as well as guests. Slow dining room service often meant guests would have to leave before dessert to make it to the other end of the ship early enough to find seating for scheduled entertainment. Popular entertainment was often scheduled in conflict with dinner and other one time entertainment so something had to be missed. Why not have some matinees? Several entertainment activities and presentations were too childish for most adults. Because of the location, relatively few guests could get a view of the ice carving demonstration. Some port tender boats were exceedingly slow and/or poorly maintained, making for uncomfortable rides and long waits to get ashore as well as to return to the ship. No tender ports had seating in the onshore waiting areas for those wanting to return to the ship. Drinking water for returning guests was provided at one tender port but was located beyond the security ropes out of reach of guests. The Western Caribbean itinerary is always the same out of Tampa, limiting its appeal. Much of the musical entertainment was mediocre to poor, amateurish. Too many cutbacks in recent years-- no bathrobes or bath amenities in staterooms, no birthday or anniversary celebrations, no sea day teas, stained towels and threadworn bedding, ragged carpets, burned out lightbulbs, fewer stateroom stewards to service rooms which makes staterooms inaccessible to guests for 6-8 hours every day. Stateroom "categories" are practically meaningless except for location within the ship. A "large" stateroom can be very tight with little space for storage. Although we paid hundred$ extra, it was the smallest stateroom we've had in over 20 cruises. Room safe can be accessed only with a magnetic strip type card, not a keyed in code that could be used by spouse or fellow roommates. Guests cannot hear ship-wide announcements when inside the stateroom. There should be an option for this. Yet all guests were awakened in the middle of the night by an in-stateroom announcement about a private medical emergency. Announcements made in noisy public areas such as the Lido buffets and outdoor decks could not be understood at all. Also, music piped into many parts of the ship was so loud that it drove away guests. There were persistent problems with the toilets throughout the ship -- dirty water, non functioning, etc. A couple of times the electricity in the stateroom went out. There is no dedicated movie theater, no outdoor movie screen and no schedule or guide for the limited television channels. No access to the stateroom folio account or daily schedule/menus through the television, either. Most of the few movies that were offered were aimed at juveniles. Water slide was dry and nonfunctional during our cruise. No explanation given. Never enough chaise lounges or other seating near the pools to meet demand. Poltergeists apparently took over one elevator, leading to trapped guests not being able to get where they wanted to go and then opening the door only extremely briefly so guests could not safely exit, either. Sales in the atrium are never a good idea -- too many shoppers in way too small a place. People actually fought to get to the only available side of a table of t-shirts. Shipboard bar drinks were generally not well made and were much higher in price than on several other cruise lines, as well. No encouragement or urging for guests to wash their hands and use hand sanitizers, especially in the dining venues. As a result, most guests did not do so, spreading their germs/illnesses everywhere, to the detriment of all. Lots of coughing and sneezing passengers aboard the ship. Some venues (Mad Hatters Ball) were so cold the staff supplied guests with blankets to watch movies. No popcorn, though. Constant heavy "mist" spewed into the air of the Phantom Theater for theatrical atmospheric purposes smelled bad and caused coughing amongst the guests. This mist was not turned off regardless of whether it was appropriate for the entertainment production. Poor ventilation in and near the casino made for unpleasantly smoky conditions throughout that deck and beyond. Raffles in the shipboard shops (must be present to win) were held during the late evening when most guests would be at dinner or attending entertainment productions/events. Folio charges and credits were issued per guest instead of per stateroom, even though only one credit card was on file to cover the account. This meant that each guest listed on the account had to make individual purchases to cover their individual credits instead of one large purchase being allowed to absorb the entire group's or couple's credits. There should instead be an option to group the credits on the same account. Some shipboard charges, such as gratuities, are not added to the passengers' account until the last day of the cruise, creating unrealistic expectations for passengers and naturally followed by long lines at the Front Desk. Only a two hour window (9-11 p.m.) was allowed for setting luggage in the hallway for pick up the night before debarkation, leading to missed entertainment on the final night of the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Consideration for handicapped passengers is necessary and appropriate, consideration for nonhandicapped passengers is also necessary. During debarkation and shore excursions utilizing tender boats, handicapped personnel with family ... Read More
Consideration for handicapped passengers is necessary and appropriate, consideration for nonhandicapped passengers is also necessary. During debarkation and shore excursions utilizing tender boats, handicapped personnel with family members (if they choose to accompany the handicapped person(s)) should be attended to "after" the non-handicapped passengers have deboarded the ship/boat. This particular cruise had an average age of 61 years of age. Wheelchairs, walkers, scooters and walking canes were in an abundance. Scooters were left parked at times in the cabin hallways, next to slot machines, and pool areas creating a traffic hazard should an evacuation be necessary. A handicapped scooter would not pass through the width of a typical cabin doorway. Is not they're a limited number of handicapped cabins on a ship? Anyone who utilizes a "handicapped" placard on their personal vehicle should be considered handicapped on a cruise ship and treated appropriately. I suspect some people boarded the ship not claiming handicapped status. However, the number of scooters and wheelchairs in common areas created some traffic congestion. Again I don't want to be overly critical of handicapped personnel but need to consider and evaluate the amount of space on a ship to accommodate scooters and wheelchairs is necessary and a safety measure for everyone on board. The dining, activities, service, cabin, entertainment, staff, were all good. The services both in the cabin and around the ship were very good. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We went on this cruise for my 21st birthday and just got home from the cruise this past saturday (3/24) I have sailed with carnival before and have been on the Carnival Miracle back in 2009. I was very excited to go on this cruise because ... Read More
We went on this cruise for my 21st birthday and just got home from the cruise this past saturday (3/24) I have sailed with carnival before and have been on the Carnival Miracle back in 2009. I was very excited to go on this cruise because in 2009 I had a blast (i was 13 then). I was very disappointed with the ship, food, activities and especially the spa. The dining room was good food BUT it was so small.. we ordered fried oysters as an appetizer and got two..I ordered shrimp cocktail as an appetizer and got 5 tiny shrimp with less then a tablespoon of cocktail sauce. The servings were just ridiculously small, for a billion dollar company you'd think they could spare some more food on your plates. The ship itself was outdated, things needed maintenance, there were quite a few things we saw that needed to be painted or updated. Maybe that was just because we are a family who has dealt with boats and my boyfriend is a boat mechanic at a marina. It was just very outdated and needed maintenance. Our cabin lights were broke, the switch to the bathroom barely worked half the time so we just left the light on at all times to save the trouble of messing with it. The toilet seat was wobbly. The activities on board were so short. For example, the mega deck party was a half hour.. they played the most basic songs (typical party/dancing songs; cupid shuffle, wobble, etc.) We wanted to see this game night they did in a theater, we were late by 10 minutes and when we got there it was ending... they did a pup crawl on the first night because it was St. Patricks Day.. they went to 3 bars and stayed there for 5 minutes, I couldn't even finish a drink before moving to the next one. It was all rushed and to short. The Spa.. I was very upset and displeased (and will be complaining to carnival) about the spa. For my birthday I received a $50 gift card to the spa. I was very happy about this and went to schedule, the girl was helpful and i picked a "hot and cold mani and pedi" The girl when i scheduled it informed me it was a 2 hour mani/pedi where they massage your elgs up to your knees and arms up to your elbows with lotion, warm oil, hot stones and then put this icy hot stuff on and then your basic mani/pedi (nails trimmed, painted, etc.) It was $120.. so $70 for me after my gift card. The mani/pedi was just under 1.5 hours, the girl rubbed this exfoliating stuff on my legs and arms, rubbed water on them, then hot oil, then the stones and then icy hot. She never massaged just simply applied all these things. She filed my nails and slightly trimmed them and painted my nails. When I got back to the room i noticed my nails needed another coat or two (she never put base coat and barely applied top coat). When i gave them my gift card and sail and sign to pay I noticed she didnt charged me extra for tip, so i figured it wasnt included and left her a tip in cash. At the end of the cruise I received my statement for my sail and sign and noticed the spa charged me $88 dollars, meaning they charged me a $18 tip... $33 dollar tip between what they took and what I gave her in cash... I am very annoyed and mad that they did this. when I handed her the tip she should have stated they take a tip out (even if she thought i was tipping extra). the mani/pedi was not completely as advertised and I would and will never go to the spa there again.. NOT worth the money at all. The cruise was still fun, we made the best of it. But I would not travel on this ship ever again. Next cruise we take we will be cruising with another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
This is a smaller ship so therefore less people and I had a great time. The Christmas activities were really nice. My cabin stewards were great despite the amount of cabins they were servicing, and my cabin was well serviced. Room ... Read More
This is a smaller ship so therefore less people and I had a great time. The Christmas activities were really nice. My cabin stewards were great despite the amount of cabins they were servicing, and my cabin was well serviced. Room service was on time and very friendly. The dining room staff were awesome and super fast delivery of food or drinks. I am booked back on this same ship next Christmas The cabin is an accessible one which I need as a am an above knee amputee. The roll in shower works really well with a nice big bench. There are plenty of grab bars around the bathroom as well. There was plenty of space for my wheelchair to get around the cabin. The only down side to it is if you are restricted completely to a wheelchair you would have problems getting out on to the balcony. There is a large step to climb over to get out there. With my prosthetic leg on this was not a problem but it would have been nice to roll out there in my wheelchair. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
This is our 16 cruise, we have cruised with Carnival multiple times, but, this was the most disappointing cruise ever. It was not the employees, but they lack of service provided. First the ship is so outdated and not very family ... Read More
This is our 16 cruise, we have cruised with Carnival multiple times, but, this was the most disappointing cruise ever. It was not the employees, but they lack of service provided. First the ship is so outdated and not very family friendly with its decor. The food was plentiful but strangely common. Almost the same menu a couple nights in the dining room. Our servers (although the same ones each night) acted like they had not ever seen us before. Usually, they would remember our likes, (ie: we have a soda card and request it every meal) yet...they never did. They acted rushed, not very professional and many times the dirty dishes set on the table throughout the meal. NEVER, have we had to beg to get our soda. In 7 days we were never approached to refill our soda, but offered alcohol all the time. There were 40 of us, and I will never go on this ship again. I hope for their sake the Vista saves them. This ship had over 600 children. i LOVE KIDS, but parents who allow their kids to run wild are irresponsible. At 1:00 AM the last night of the cruise, our hallways was full of kids playing hide and seek among the luggage in the hallway. They were running, laughing and yelling, like kids do but 1:00 in the morning is nuts. Of course, we also had the party people enjoying their cruise, walking back to the their laughing and yelling all hours of the night. I know how terrible this sounds, I am not an old grumpy person but I have never experienced this lack of consideration for others. Is it a generation thing? Of course, having a handicap room meant having a "door bell" which was pushed by adults and kids throughout our stay. No matter what time of day or night. This is not Carnivals fault, but just could not believe the craziness of people. On a personal note, I am handicapped and in a wheelchair. I honestly am not picky or a complainer but I was unable to join family on 2 of the 3 stops due to lack of provision for wheelchairs. I understand that it is an inconvenience but I, paid the same price as everyone else, yet I was stuck on the ship. I would think in this day and age Carnival could provide "island transportation" for the handicapped. I would expect to have to purchase this service, and commit to it but at least I would be able to be apart of the experience. If I could have gotten to the islands I would have entertained myself understanding and accepting that it is not Carnivals responsibility to make the island/excursions handicap accessible but at least let a client try to make it into the city. If you are a first time cruiser you would have probably enjoyed this cruise, however, I was a bit disappointed in its service. Yes, I could have complained about my issues but why bother, they can't make people behave! This ship desperately needs an upgrade! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We don't usually cruise Carnival maybe (8 times) but it suited us this time. I'm a long time cruiser with over 50 cruise. Don't stick to any one cruise line as I don't like playing the status designations. If they ... Read More
We don't usually cruise Carnival maybe (8 times) but it suited us this time. I'm a long time cruiser with over 50 cruise. Don't stick to any one cruise line as I don't like playing the status designations. If they want to give me something, then I'll take it. But I'm not going to pick a particular cruise line because of my status. That being said. Just got back from Mexican Riviera today. As usual, the cruise staff was great and functioned as best as they could under the Carnival regimen. (Others cruise staff are treated better by their bosses and so treat us better, fyi.) Food was limited. Not much difference between the buffet options and the restaurant. So if you don't like to dress up, like we don't, you get the same food. But overall variety of options are very limited. Food quality was not bad, but not something to rave about. I didnt' get poisoned. Had great weather and it was a good time of the year for this cruise, climate wise. There were still bug bites to be gotten, especially at Puerto Vallarta, compared to summer time, So bring bug spray. But temperatures were perfect. Entertainment of this ship is limited, it might be their training ground ship perhaps. Got a suite with all the amenities that often come with it (laundry, spa, priority on and off the ship, etc), Our steward, Rogie, was awesome. ATTENTION: Not enough outlets in the rooms to charge all of our devices. We usually bring extension cords to we can charge our ipads and cellphones. But there was only one 120volt outlet and it was in the bathroom. We talked our steward into bring us a power strip with extra plugs. Make sure your extension cords are 3 pronged (grounded) Only critique: Who books a cruise and doesn't get onboard credit. Was supposed to have $200 onboard credit for spending, but never got it. This is not a deal breaker for me, but in principle I feel cheated and it leaves a bad last day carnival taste for me. Wouldn't blame the ship's staff at all when I inquired about it. They checked into this and got back to me very quickly, so they did their part. But Carnival seemed to weasel out of their commitment somehow and stated that there was not onboard credit deal. Of all of the cruises I book with, I don't think that I have every not had onboard credit. Again, not a deal changer for me considering I lost a lot more having fun in the casino, Advice: Watch the fine print if that was it was. I still don't know how this happened. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
What can I say? This was a wonderful cruise. The service was excellent. The food was excellent. I especially liked the Nick and Nora steakhouse – it was amazing! There was lots to do on the ship , Never boring. I had the best mac & ... Read More
What can I say? This was a wonderful cruise. The service was excellent. The food was excellent. I especially liked the Nick and Nora steakhouse – it was amazing! There was lots to do on the ship , Never boring. I had the best mac & cheese I've ever had during the brunch at Sea. The Dr. Seuss breakfast was a lot of fun and well worth the five dollars. Shows were entertaining as were the comedians. I enjoyed playing my favorite slot in the casino – jackpot party. Lots of places to get away for quiet to just sit and watch the ocean or read. I especially enjoyed seeing an occasional whale or dolphin from the ship. Some new things for me on the cruise was the Clue Game, hunt for little ducks, the oversized Hasbro games and the Dr Suess Breakfast. The Platinum Perks were good but not always well executed- sent to unnecessary long lines, given 10 and 11 tags delaying getting our bags at the end, only one laundry bag in room, could only use my drink coupon at breakfast and lunch in dining room. The Platinum Party and the Cruise CRITIC meet and mingle were both very nicely done. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Embarkation: We were traveling with my father, who is temporarily in a wheelchair. Embarkation was very easy. They took us to a special check in desk for disabled people. We waited maybe 10 minutes, then headed up and were on board. ... Read More
Embarkation: We were traveling with my father, who is temporarily in a wheelchair. Embarkation was very easy. They took us to a special check in desk for disabled people. We waited maybe 10 minutes, then headed up and were on board. From getting dropped off at the curb to being on the ship took 30 minutes max. Cabin: Our family of 4 with 2 adults and 2 children (ages 4 and 7) shared an obstructed view balcony cabin (5237). The cabin itself was a standard carnival cabin, which is a good thing. They are big, have lots of storage and are well laid out, even for a family of 4. The bathroom was good sized, with great water pressure in the shower. Our stateroom was in poor condition. There were nicks and scratches all over the wood trim, scuffs on the ceiling and burnt light bulbs that were never replaced. Our cabin steward didn't help our impression of the cabin. On our first day, I noticed some cheerios under the desk that were still there on the last day! Our cabin steward was friendly the two times we saw him during our cruise, but he seemed to do the bare minimum possible. My kids got the floor sandy after our day in Cabo and it was still there 2 days later. Dining: Five stars for the dining room! I emailed the Maitre D' ahead of time to request a private table for our party of 6 as well as an easily accessible table for my dad in a wheelchair. We got a table right in the middle of the dining room, close to the entrance. It was great for all of us. The food was excellent. We enjoyed the American Table menu. There was a lot for more adventurous eaters as well as plenty for the meat and potatoes type of eater. The service was great. I could tell our team had a lot of experience and they really delivered seamless service. I appreciated the pacing of dinner. We were out of there after an hour and a half every night, including having dessert and coffee. On a side note, I feel like Carnival might be pushing their servers a bit too hard by increasing the number of tables per server. Our server was so busy with us and all the other tables, that they had very little time to chat with us. We ate at Nick & Nora's one night and were very disappointed. The food was excellent, but everything else was not. To start, we dined at 6 and the restaurant was nearly empty. Nick & Nora's is a huge space, way bigger than almost any other specialty restaurant we have eaten at on a cruise ship. Instead of spreading out the diners a little, they seated EVERYONE in a small little section off to the side. We were elbow to elbow with our neighbors in a restaurant that was 80% empty. When we were seated there was no explanation of the menu other than to bring some raw steaks by our table to show us the different cuts. When the server came to take our order my wife tried to order 2 appetizers (one of them being a soup), no salad and a steak. The server scolded my wife and replied "That's not how it works. You have to order 1 appetizer, 1 salad and 1 entree." I totally get the 1 entree rule and don't have a problem in the world with it. I have eaten at dozens of specialty restaurants on multiple different cruise lines and have never been told I could only order one appetizer. While the food was good, the service left a bad taste in our mouth. Entertainment: Five stars for the comedians. We really liked how they switched out the comedians halfway through the cruise. All the comedians we saw were quite funny. Carnival really does comedy right. The production shows were fair to mediocre at best. They were better when they had dedicated singers and dancers. Apparently, they switched the casts and shows out towards the end of the cruise. The second to last night, they had a new show with the new cast. It was a piano man themed show. It was great! Noticeable better than the previous 3 shows both in content and talent. Kids Club: Our 4 and 7 year old children had fun in the kids clubs. The kids clubs on this ship aren't nearly as big as on Royal Caribbean or Disney, but they get the job done. The staff was friendly and the check in/check out process was easy. Conclusion: We really enjoyed this cruise. It was our first time on Carnival's mid sized ships and we all enjoyed the layout of the ship. We would definitely cruise on the Miracle again! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Usually I am so excited to go on a cruise I already know the ship inside and out, when the buffets are open, whats on the ship to do etc. But my mother-in-law passed away exactly 6 weeks before the cruise from a long battle with cancer ... Read More
Usually I am so excited to go on a cruise I already know the ship inside and out, when the buffets are open, whats on the ship to do etc. But my mother-in-law passed away exactly 6 weeks before the cruise from a long battle with cancer and I was busy with my daughters wedding which she got married onboard the ship. No time to look but should have though. I think we explored the entire ship in one afternoon while my kids went into Cabo. This wasn't my first cruise but this ship was so much smaller than I am used to. There were only a couple of places to go hear music and one of the places to go to dance was closed the entire trip for a private party. Food: I need a bland diet because I am allergic to just about everything so usually the first night I expect things to get mixed up. I usually tell the head person I have restrictions and tell them what I would like to eat for the next night. On day 2 I didn't get dinner and the party of 20 people we were with were done with their dinner and realized I hadn't gotten any of my food yet. I probably should have said something earlier but just thought we would leave and go to the buffet and I could eat there and nope, everything was closed. And the food didn't really WOW me. Language barrier big time. I asked for a Hot Fudge sundae one night and I literally got a cup of Hot Cocoa and a scoop of ice cream on the side. The people I came in contact with absolutely made the trip worth it though! Outstanding from Captain to Photographers. I also went with my service dog and EVERYBODY was fantastic with Toby. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
I picked this cruise mostly because of the departure port - I wanted to cruise with friends from southern California and it just plain made sense to leave from Long Beach. Two of us were first time cruisers and one had been on a previous ... Read More
I picked this cruise mostly because of the departure port - I wanted to cruise with friends from southern California and it just plain made sense to leave from Long Beach. Two of us were first time cruisers and one had been on a previous cruise with RCI for an academic conference (and hence had not done many/any of the 'typical' cruise things.) I flew in to LAX arriving at shortly before 8AM and we drove to the port for parking- they began boarding us around 10:30 AM. I have a disability that limits my ability to stand for a long time; Carnival was very accomodating in general for this but I wish I'd known to ask about muster- I had requested to find out if there was seating in any boarding area where we might be in extended lines; Carnival pre-boarded us instead (which was fine!). The muster drill was very slow, but this was NOT carnival's fault- mostly it was due to people having to be rounded up and brought late to the drill- I wish I'd known to ask about seating during that- there was apparently a separete drill for mobility/disabled people indoors and that would have been useful to know and request, as I think I would have heard more of the drill if I was not focusing on not falling over after standing in the sun for half an hour.... Our cabin was a balcony guarantee and we ended up with an extended balcony, 8225. It was roomy and lots of space for storage. Even with three adults, it rarely felt crowded. The sofa bed was a bit short (I'm 5'6 and fit on it fine, but a taller adult would not have). The cabin was quiet overall. We did occasionally hear noises during the night when the Lido seating area was being cleaned but they were never long lasting or particularly intrusive. (The noises from other cabins closing their balcony doors was frankly louder. Our steward was John and he did a good job at keeping us well supplied with towels. We did have a bit of trouble with the climate control in the cabin- the dial cover on the temperature control kept falling off, and we weren't really sure where it was indicating as a result. The first night was a bit cold, but housekeeping sent up blankets very quickly on request and after that we got it dialed into a comfortable level that maintained nicely. We didn't participate in too many ship activities. The Serenity area was nice- not particularly serene, but nice, with a great view of the ship's wake. Finding loungers was very tough, and we didn't tend to hang out up there for this reason. There were several fun trivia contests during the week, but mostly we were on board to relax, so we did! The cruise director, Corey, was a blast every time we ran into him. Hurricane Linda was an interesting experience during our sailing. The first evening, the captain announced on the PA that our ports had been rearranged to minimize the impact on us, but that sailing would be a bit rough. We didn't have any trouble with seasickness, but there was definitely quite a bit of turbulence. (This was obviously NOT the fault of the ship or anything like that- just a fact of skirting along the edges of what eventually ended up being a Cat3 storm!) At one point, the pools had to be closed because of the amount of motion posing risks to those on deck. We had late dining and our head waiter, Yudi, was fantastic, as was his team. The food was overall quite good- a couple of the beef dishes were very fatty and not great cuts of meat, but others were fantastic. The buffet was okay- nothing spectacular, but defintely adequate. The only food that we outright disliked honestly was the hot dogs from the grill. The dogs are very large (like kielbasa or smoked sausage) but not seasoned and are clearly just large 'regular' hot dogs, with very little flavor, cooked on a roller system as in gas stations. If they'd been actually grilled, they'd have been okay, but as it was, they were pretty terrible. The breakfast in the main dining room is very solid- the sea day brunches are fantastic fun and a great way to start off the day without rushing. We only ate breakfast in the Lido buffet once and found it acceptable but nothing to write home about. None of us purchased a beverage package. Water is freely available throughout the ship (and the regular nonbottled water tasted just fine to us), but if you like to stay hydrated, bringing a sports bottle or something is a must- the buffet only has these tiny little juice tumbler sized glasses, and the bars will give you water in highball glasses that don't hold much either. Drink prices weren't terrible. Cocktails and frozen beverages from most of the bars were around the $8-9 mark, and unboozey versions cheaper than that. We really enjoyed the premium Alchemy bar ith top shelf liquors, and in particular the Remedy- a fruity rum cocktail that just seriously was REALLY GOOD. (It was also good sans alcohol when we decided that the rocking boat didn't need any help from booze to make us lose our footing!). We didn't do our shore excursions through Carnival so not including them in this review. The ship's decor is very purple. We thought it was a great deal of fun and a bit over the top in an entertaining way, but if you want everything serene and unglittery, this may not be your ship. While the ship was fully booked, we very rarely felt crowded (the pool areas were constantly quite busy, at least every time we went) and there were lots of wonderful public areas to just relax and hang out in. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Very much looking forward to this cruise but unfortunately I ended up in a cast and on a scooter. This caused problems with the excursions. High seas did not bother me but it would have been nice to see the sun on the trip west. The ... Read More
Very much looking forward to this cruise but unfortunately I ended up in a cast and on a scooter. This caused problems with the excursions. High seas did not bother me but it would have been nice to see the sun on the trip west. The weather slowed us down so the schedule was changed to help us see the most under difficult circumstances. Landed late at Hilo so the excursion we booked was late and with the sun setting, we did not see much. Fortunately, they were able to get me on a bus with a lift. Unfortunately, the lift broke so I could not exit the bus to see the Volcano National Park. They refunded my tickets but I was disappointed. Oahu and Kuwai were nice. I was looking forward to seeing Maui but because of high seas we could not tender there so we headed for Kona. We stayed for a day and a half so that everyone got to do their excursions. However, we were only in Ensenada for 2 hours in the evening. The weather is not the cruise line's fault however, their customer service was a bit lacking. I understand that they were overworked with all the itinerary changes but ignoring customer inquiries or complaints did not make people happy. They could have added a few more activities to make up for the additional time on board, but that did not happen. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Before I begin, I would just like to point out that we sailed on an incredibly fortunate week where we saw very little rain and fog. Alaskan weather, from what we have read and have been told, we sailed on one of the best weeks, weather ... Read More
Before I begin, I would just like to point out that we sailed on an incredibly fortunate week where we saw very little rain and fog. Alaskan weather, from what we have read and have been told, we sailed on one of the best weeks, weather wise. This may not be the case for all cruises up to Alaska, as the weather can fluctuate greatly. If you are looking to take this Alaskan cruise, please do be sure to read reviews from people who cruised during a rainy week as well, so that you are aware of how the cruise may be affected by different weathers and climates. Our group consists of my mother and father, my grandfather, my grandmother who uses a wheelchair, and myself (16). This was our seventh cruise together, and our fifth with Carnival. I’m just going to go out and say it now; this was probably one of the best cruises we have ever taken! We had a wonderful time together, and we are very ecstatic with how our vacation went! SEATTLE, WASHINGTON We flew out of Long Beach Airport in Southern California Monday morning before embarkation day on Tuesday with JetBlue into Seattle Tacoma. We left at 10:00 AM and landed at around 1:00 PM. We took a hotel shuttle the La Quinta on 8th Avenue near Downtown Seattle. It’s close to all the main sights of Seattle, about ten minutes from the Space Needle and twenty from Pike Place if you are walking, two places that we would highly recommend visiting if you have the time. We had a wonderful time walking around Seattle, and I really wish we could have spent just a little more time taking in all the sights and sounds of such a fantastic city. If you are looking for a place to eat, there are lots of restaurants in the downtown area. One we would for sure recommend is Mama’s Mexican on 2nd Avenue. La Quinta provided breakfast for everyone in the morning near the lobby, as well as a shuttle to the port. All in all, we like the hotel a lot, especially the cookies they served in the lobby in the evenings. EMBARKATION We were shuttled from the hotel at around 12:40 to the Port of Seattle. We got there at around 1:00 and got a porter to cart off our luggage. For any new cruisers out there, big tip for any port you go to for embarkation; as soon as you get out of the car/shuttle/bus/taxi, have a couple of fives in your hand and look for a porter with a cart. They’ll take all of your luggage in and lead you into where the embarkation process begins. Embarkation, in total, went okay. The computers used to get out Sail and Sign cards went down once or twice. No big deal, but it lagged embarkation just a bit. My grandparents also received the wrong VIFP Cards. They were given Blue cards instead of Gold at the port, but had them changed at Guest Services once we were on board. Again, nothing huge, but we didn’t really know why that had happened. Either way, they had us on the ship in about thirty minutes or so, and everything was pretty lax. THE SHIP The Carnival Miracle is a Spirit Class ship, and it’s a perfect size for an Alaskan cruise. We had sailed on the Carnival Spirit in the past, so we knew the ship’s layout pretty well from the start. Everything is pretty easy to get to, and everything is laid out very well. Bacchus Dining Room in the aft, atrium, The Fun Shops and Mr. Lucky’s Casino are at midship, Phantom Theater near the bow, as well as Wizards Arcade right ahead of it. The Lido deck has two pools, one of which is covered by a retractable skylight during the Alaskan cruises to keep the deck and the pool warm, as well as the Horatio’s Buffet and the gym and spa. The ship’s Sports Deck on Deck Ten also has a running track, a basketball court, and a mini golf course. There is also a water slide near the aft, which was, for some reason open during our cruise, but we didn’t see it get much use due to the colder weather. The art style of the ship is… well, my dad and I both agreed to describe it in one word; gaudy. The ships theme is Fictional Characters. A great idea on paper, but an odd execution on this ship. The cabin halls were lined with murals of characters from literature. There were a fair amount of them to look at, but the novelty of it got old very quickly. The Bacchus Dining Room pays homage to the god of Wine in a very showy way. Every inch of the dining room seems to be covered in purple glass light fixtures made to look like grapes. Admittedly, we did get kind of used to seeing them, but those first few nights… yikes. They are literally everywhere. I’m not over exaggerating! And the Phantom Theater was, well, downright disturbing at some points. It is based off of the Phantom Of The Opera, and the paintings that lead to the actual theater are quite spooky. I also really didn’t like the giant masks that lined the walls of the theater that glowed red. They were annoying to look at, as was the many statues of Horatio Nelson that covered the walls of Horatio’s on the Lido Deck. I did however like the nautical themed parts of the buffet… anyway, I know this is sort of rambling and picky, and it’s very whiney, but believe me, this was not that big of a deal for us. While we didn’t think the ship was too too pretty, she is still a fantastic ship, don’t get me wrong! FOOD There isn’t a whole lot to talk about when it comes to the food on any Carnival cruise. It’s certainly not bad. We always enjoy it because everyday, at any of the restaurants on board, there is something that we normally would not make or go out to eat at home, but, if you’ve sailed with Carnival before, it’s the same food they’ve been serving for the past five or six years. Horatio’s offered a fair selection of meals everyday. Breakfast was all the same everyday, which was fine, because there was a decent amount of variety. Lunch was good as well. Pizza, deli sandwiches, burgers and fries, and asian cuisine are offered everyday, along with a new booth every afternoon. So one day it’ll be French, and the next it will be Carribbean. The Sweet Spot in Horatios had new desserts each day, along with fruits and cookies that were served everyday. While we’re not a huge fan of Carnival’s baking, their chocolate chip cookies are out of this world. Super buttery and super good. Everything else served here was either hit or miss. Dinner served at Bacchus’ was fair as well. Again, it’s the same items they’ve been serving for quite awhile throughout the fleet, but it’s still good. We always left full and very satisfied. I still love the addition of the “Didja,” part of the menu though, which was added about three years ago. It’s a selected appetizer choice that’s a little out of the ordinary. It changes every night. One night, you can try shark balls, the next, alligator fritters. It’s a fun addition which we all took advantage of. Desserts, as usual, were better in the dining room than in the buffet. The melting cake is still quite good, as is everything else that was served after dinner. Overall, dinner in the dining hall was good. We did not dine at Nick and Norah's, the steakhouse onboard, but we have heard nothing but fantastic things about it! The Taste Bar was a lovely addition that I wish was opened more often and for a longer time. Located near the casino, it’s a small kiosk that, from 5:00 to 7:00 on a few evenings, served small sample platters from the many restaurants Carnival has on it’s other ships. Even though they resteraunt may not be on the Miracle, you could still try a small sample from a new restaurant each evening, which we thought was very neat. So one night you might try something from the Red Frog Pub or the Blue Iguana, and the next night, there would be a platter from Cucina Del Capitan. It was only open for about three or four nights on the cruise, and usually closed on port days, but it was still very neat! The Punchliner Comedy Brunch in the Bacchus Dining Room was also very good. VIFP members, one of the only places that you can renew your free drink voucher is here. Brunch was pretty good. From steak and eggs to Huevos Ranchero, the selection was pretty good, and the food was even better. For anyone who has done the Comedy Brunch on any other Carnival ship, there is no performance by the Comedians onboard, at least, not on our cruise, which is kind of odd. It’s solely called the Comedy Brunch because it uses the same menu. Either way though, we would for sure recommend stopping in at least one morning for a delightful brunch and a specialty coffee. SERVICE The service onboard the Miracle was excellent. Our head waiter was Alvaro at table 162 at the very back of Bacchus on Deck Two, and he did a spectacular job. On the first night, we weren’t sure if we were going to like the table, because it was half booth, half open chairs, which, with five people, can be a little crowded. Alvaro, along with Harold and Wujda, our other waiters, made it work though, and they were very helpful and kind. They always had a place for us to put my grandmother’s wheelchair when she would sit in one of the regular chairs, and they always took good care of her when we left our table and we had to wheel her through the aisles of tables. Food was served at a very good pace, and they were all in all, wonderful people. Our cabin stewards were also very kind, and checked to see if everything was okay and made sure our rooms were spotless. They both did a very good job, and we appreciated everything they did. The rest of the crew were also fantastic, all very nice and outgoing. The Miracle certainly has fantastic service. And, of course, we just have to mention Mr. John Heald. John is, by far, one of our new all time cruise directors. He has been doing this for a long time, and it is so easy to tell. We had many a laughs from his comedic wit at shows, and we always loved his introductions. While we didn’t see him too too many times on deck, he was always a joy to see. As Carnival’s Senior Cruise Director, he is the archetype of what cruise directors should follow. CABIN We had cabin 7-127 on Deck Seven and the cabin was okay. It was a standard interior cabin with everything you would need. With there being three of us, I slept on the pull down bed for most nights, which our steward put down each night and put back into place in the ceiling each morning. We had some noisy neighbors (kids) next door which every now and again you would hear in the morning, so I guess the walls are a bit thin. We complained about this to Guest Services, and, while they weren't really able to solve this problem, Carnival and the Guest Service team handled it very professionally and saw that we were okay, so hats off to them for sure. ENTERTAINMENT We did not go to many shows, but the ones we did, we enjoyed. John MADE the Welcome Aboard Show. It was terrific, and a perfect way to set the mode for how fantastic of a cruise director he is. (For anyone that sailed we us, we are the "Dick Little," "Ice cream," and "Mr. Ni Hao," cruise). The comedy magician Mr. Gross was also fantastic, and had us rolling in the aisles. The Love and Marriage Show was, while not how a traditional cruise Love and Marriage Game Show normally works (three couples, questionnaire, you know how it goes if you've ever been to one) was sensationally funny. While we aren't really "song and dance show" type people, my dad and I did go to The Beatles show which was okay. The Miracle Band's renditions of classic Beatles songs were good, and the show itself was alright. If you like Broadway-perfomances, you'll love this show. CLUB O2 For any parents of teens out there, let me be the first to say that Club O2 was a ton of fun. Club O2 is the Miracle’s teen only club onboard, located above the gym on Deck Ten. It is for teens ranging for the ages of fifteen to seventeen. The club has several TVs and video game consoles, a dance floor, tons of places to sit back and relax, and, of course, a Foosball table. While this was one of his last cruises, and he won’t be on the Miracle for much longer, I just have to point out how awesome Greg, the O2 director was. Greg did a stellar job keeping us entertained, yet still managed to keep that “cool guy attitude,” you know? While we didn’t really do many of the activities that were scheduled by the club, we still had an amazing time together, and I made many new friends. If your teen is reluctant on joining like I was, I would highly recommend them in joining the club. PORTS OF CALL Again, I do want to point out that, the weather varies in Alaska and British Columbia, so fair warning. It normally rains a lot, so pack and plan on it. TRACY ARM FJORD This is where the difficult part for me starts, because words cannot describe the sheer beauty of all four ports. While Tracy Arm is technically not a “port,’ it is still quite an adventure. From morning till sundown, you sail into and through the fjord and bask in the majesty that is the great state of Alaska. Michelle, the onboard naturalist, did such an amazing job teaching and describing the area and the wildlife that frequented it. All morning, it seemed as if every passenger on board went to and fro on the top decks as Michelle told us of Humpback Whale and Bald Eagle sightings. We saw pod after pod of whales breaching just mere yards away from the ship as we sailed passed snowcapped mountain after snowcapped mountain. Waterfalls trickled down the forest of pine trees as we sailed through the fjord, until we reached Sawyer Glacier, where we were left breathless as we observed the huge tower of ancient ice. It was an incredible day. If I may recommend, before you board the ship, invest in a thermice or buy one from the Fun Shops on board, so that you can fill it up with coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or whatever it is you’re in the mood for. It’s perfect for keeping your beverages warm on cold days on deck. And trust me, you’re going to want to be out on deck for most of the day when you sail through Tracy Arm. SKAGWAY We booked the White Pass & Yukon Route Railway Adventure through Carnival for Skagway, and it was absolutely amazing. The train picks you up literally AT the port, so as soon as you get off the ship, you board the train! The train ride lasts about three or so hours there and back. Built in 1898 during the Klondike Gold Rush, the railway takes you up into the scenic mountains and forests of both Alaska as well as the Yukon in British Columbia. We had an absolutely incredible time taking this excursion and seeing just how beautiful The Great North truly is. Our tour guides on board, Seth, John, Eric and Amber did a fantastic job teaching us about the history of the White Pass Trail and of Skagway and BC. The ride was breath taking, and so much fun. There is another excursion that does the same route only it goes farther into Canada, and passengers actually get to get off the train before returning back to port. The train is also a Steam Locomotive, whereas the one we took was a Diesel Locomotive. It’s about one hundred dollars more than the one we took, but honestly, I think you would have about the same amount of fun as we had on the one we took. It is absolutely incredible. We boarded the train at about 8:00 AM and got back into port at around 11:00 AM, so we had lunch on the ship at Horatios and then got off and walked into Skagway itself. It’s about a fifteen minute walk away from port, but there are also Smart Shuttle services available right off the ship. Skagway itself is a very neat little town full of history and beauty. From the end to the beginning of Broadway Street (Main Street), shops full of Alaskan knick-knacks, goodies, and history line the sidewalks. It’s a fun little place, and we would for sure recommend walking around if you get the chance. And pretty much everything is wheelchair accessible, which is a huge plus. JUNEAU In Juneau, we did the Glacier View Sea Kayaking Adventure. We had an absolute blast! The tour began with a half hour bus ride from the ship all the way to Douglas Island across from the heart of Juneau. Once we arrived at the Kayaking spot, we were fitted with boots, lightweight water skirts, and paddles, and then we were off and running. There was an odd number of people taking the excursion, and there were only tandem kayaks available for all of us, so I kayaked with the new tour guide in training, Marika. She did such an excellent job, and was a great joy to talk to. She is originally from Ketchikan, the port which the Miracle is supposed to go to but has recently removed from it’s itinerary, so it was great learning about both Ketchikan and Juneau. And Alex, the main tour guide, was just terrific. He was very knowledgeable on so much of the area, and was both very funny and so so passionate about his job. You could really tell he cared a lot about what we saw and that we had a great time. And we saw some amazing things. There are many Bald Eagles in the area, and TWICE Alex guided us right next to a Bald Eagle perched on a rock and just sat in silence as we watched it’s stunning beauty. We had such a mesmerizing time. Beginner and experienced kayakers should totally take this tour, but just fair warning, make sure that you are able to stay out in the water for a long time and work with a partner in paddling. You may also be just a tad sore the next morning. After the bus ride back to port, we stayed on the ship until around 4:00 PM, when we got off and took a five minute walk from the port to the Mount Roberts Tramway station. We had booked a ticket up the mountain through Carnival. The ticket gives you unlimited rides throughout the day, and you can spend as long as you like on the top of the mountain. The ride is about five minutes long, and it’s got a fantastic view of Juneau from beginning to end. There is a gift shop and restaurant at the top, as well as a nature center, where you can see a captive Bald Eagle and learn about the local ecology. We only spent about an hour on the mountain, but we really could’ve stayed all day. There’s plenty of sights and trails to check out, and it’s a really neat experience. VICTORIA Now from what I understand, usually on the itinerary, is Ketchikan the first stop after Juneau before hitting Victoria, BC, but because of the altered route, we had a sea day and a half before going to Victoria, so we got into Victoria at around 3:00 PM on Monday, but had until around 10:00 AM to be back on board because it is so close to Seattle. We did not purchase an excursion in Victoria, but decided to just walk around town. We took a taxi from the port all the way to Craigdarroch Castle, a historic site built in the late nineteenth century. You can take an inside tour of the Castle for about fifteen dollars a person, which, we decided not to do, and visit the gift shop for all sorts of Canadian goodies. We walked from the Castle all the way through town on Fort Street. We stopped in for a brownie at a local chocolate shop, then walked all the way to the Empress Hotel, which is right off of the harbor, where we saw a fantastic street performer juggle fire and fit a tennis racket around his body while balancing a golf club on his chin. We then proceed into a quaint and lovely little neighborhood on Montreal Street, which emptied out into the port. We had a wonderful time just walking around downtown Victoria and window shopping. It’s a beautiful city full of very kind people. DEBARKATION I don’t think we have ever had such a smooth debarkation process before. We did the Relaxed Debarkation as usual, and had our bags out and collected at around 11:00 PM the night prior to leaving the Miracle. The next morning, we ate breakfast at Bacchus and took all of our carry on down to the casino. Literally as soon as we had everything there, they called our debarkation number, and we were off. The check in with Customs went very quickly, and we were out of the port and onto our shuttle to the airport within half an hour. Everything went perfectly. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
I spent 3 weeks on this ship, starting May 13, Glacier Bay cruise. These were cruises 88,89 and 90 for me. So, I am not impressed by any cruise ship, and was very happy on this one. it may be more important of an issue for some people. :) ... Read More
I spent 3 weeks on this ship, starting May 13, Glacier Bay cruise. These were cruises 88,89 and 90 for me. So, I am not impressed by any cruise ship, and was very happy on this one. it may be more important of an issue for some people. :) I arrived via a first class flight to Seattle 4 days ahead. Did my usual sight seeing. Used Mike's shuttle service. Seatac hotel pick up to pier 91 for $12 pp, used them for the later return to the airport. Excellent service. I have been to Alaska about 40 times, so from that perspective, I do have to say this was the most lacking itinerary for Alaska. I had booked the Glacier Bay sailing several months ago and actually was delighted with the Sitka change, some people weren't. These cruises all had 3 open ocean sea days, which is a negative for what the potential routing could be. The 2 Tracy Arm cruises were booked about a week prior at huge price dump rates. So this was a good compromise for me. Week 1- Glacier Bay was, as usual superb. It is a wildlife jackpot, with the usual sighting of 4 glaciers. I was out at 3:30am and was very rewarded with the ship stalled outside of Glacier Bay and many humpbacks in the area. i prefer the deck 3 open deck and went side to side. Great views, and it was never crowded. Many times, I was out by myself. In Sitka, I chartered a boat tour for just my husband and myself on the Esther G. Loaded with wildlife and a beautiful sunny day. Got my close up views of puffins, which I always enjoy. In Juneau, another beautiful sunny day, and per usual enjoyed a whale watch with Orca Enterprises. Did a combo with a Mendenhall stop. Ketchikan, I like flying Misty Fiords with Southeast Aviation. Always excellent trips, that I never tire of. :) The ship did not make Victoria- no loss for me, but some pretty enraged people on board that just didn't get it. Cruises can and do alter itineraries. I felt sorry for the staff at the screaming end of some of these ranting fools. Week 2 did same activities in Juneau, along with a nice stop at the Alaskan Hotel for an Alaskan Amber at their historic bar. :) Always my preference over the tourist priority Red Dog. In Skagway, I again, did a combo White Pass RR and Emerald Lake run with Dyea Dave. As usual was an excellent scenic adventure day. Had a great lunch at the Carcross Bakery. A nonstop scenery day. Tracy Arm, my usual routine of taking the add on ship excursion, which I would never consider not taking. FAR superior to any cruise ship transit. The boat tour, got right up to the faces of both the north and south Sawyer glaciers. The cruise ship only had a distant view of the upper portion of the South Sawyer glacier. This was a full scenery sailing day with a lot of humpback sightings. Victoria- I hurried off the ship to my preferred Orca watch vendor, with good sightings. (knew I would be seeing them) Week 3, Tracy Arm, one week later had the South Sawyer channel, loaded with ice so the add on tour, spent the time at the North Sawyer glacier. A jackpot chance, as a huge wall of ice calved making for one exciting view. :) Got a nice look at a bear on shore. Juneau, I would have gone on another whale watch, but decided to do my shopping and felt it would offer me more to get to Walmart, for some things I needed. Also spent some time in the library catching up on my internet options. (I had another cruise less than a week after I got off this one), Skagway, I again took a Dyea Dave tour to Emerald Lake with another great lunch at the Carcross Bakery. Had a nice extended view of a bear in Fraser and many Mountain goats at their usual spot, near the "Welcome to the Yukon" sign. Although people really raved about John Heald, his "jokes" were the same every week. By week three, I got pretty tired of the "Dick Little" comments. :) This was a very enjoyable sailing. The service on the ship was superb with always engaging staff. In the 21 days we only ate dinner in the dining room twice, breakfast twice and lunch once. Food just is not important to me, and I skipped many meals, eating twice a day, most days. We did have three different cabins, which was no problem, cheap insides. I certainly enjoyed this trip. :)   Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
A very romantic ship to cruise to Alaska {or any where on?}, a nice dinning experience with the Miracle many Buffets, Restaurants, Bars & Dinning rooms! My only caution - guard your plates - too make sure the waiters don't remove ... Read More
A very romantic ship to cruise to Alaska {or any where on?}, a nice dinning experience with the Miracle many Buffets, Restaurants, Bars & Dinning rooms! My only caution - guard your plates - too make sure the waiters don't remove them prematurely? My up graded cabin, an outside Obstructed life boat room was very nice with a sliding door railing access to fresh ocean air, CA. & AK. views! It was nice to wake up on a king size bed too an ocean view! I dinned early for access to later Adult Entertainments & Shows. You can bring one bottle of wine per customer, but keep it in your cabin ice box & don't take it to your dinning room table or they will charge you a $10 corking fee! The Sore Excursions were of good value & experience in all ports of call: I took the tram up the mountain with trails from the Juneau Harbor up to the Visitor Center: Good show & Stores, well worth the Views! The first & Last Miracle AK Cruises of the season visit the Glacier National Park, a great photo option! Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
Five days over to Hawaii, five days there, visiting four islands, and five sea days back. The ideal cruise for me. Embarkation in Long Beach was a little confused, The pier people seemed unsure of how to treat the "Platinum" ... Read More
Five days over to Hawaii, five days there, visiting four islands, and five sea days back. The ideal cruise for me. Embarkation in Long Beach was a little confused, The pier people seemed unsure of how to treat the "Platinum" cruisers since most of the passengers were Platinum, that is frequent Carnival cruisers, but once it got underway, the embarkation procedure was quick. The ship itself has been spared much of the stereotypical Carnival "Vegas neon" glitz. The decoration theme seemed to be literature and paintings of Rubenesque nudes in the Classical style. The Lido was named Horatio's and reflected the Hornblower novels. Large drawings of literary figures were displayed in the cabin area hallways. The public rooms also reflected the literary theme. There were major shows twice a night and everyone seemed happy with the m. I didn't see any except one of the several comedians on board. They were good- that had family and adults only shows. The trip over to Hawaii was a bit rough, but most of the passengers were experienced cruisers. There didn't seem to be many seasick persons. Dining was the traditional scheduled meal times with assigned tables- that's the way I like it. You could also do the "freestyle" system if you wanted to . The food was very good with all the usual- escargot, duck, lobster, veal and steak. There was one menu of comfort food each day and one unique menu each night. Brunch served on at-sea days was excellent, with open seating. The Nick and Nora premium steakhouse charged $35 each but it was very good- well worth the premium. Hawaii was beautiful and the ship offered a number of interesting shore excursions. We went on three and found them well handled by competent and entertaining staff. We didn't get to complete our visit to Kona, because the seas were too choppy to run the lifeboat tenders. Excursion tickets were refunded automatically. There was no other compensation for the missed port. On the sea days there was no shortage of things to do. We played several Trivia sessions and came home with nine of the Carnival trophy- the "ship-on-a-stick" Much coveted as well as two medals on a ribbon for various wins. The game and activity staff was very good. There was a very good enrichment program featuring an expert on Hawaiian culture and lore, flora and fauna and especially whales. We saw several whales off Maui. The service staff was flawless in their work, especially the wait staff and bar servers. The cabin stewards were efficient and friendly. Cabins on Miracle are pretty spacious. We had an ocean-view on the No. 1, Riviera deck, but since the entertainment decks are No 2 and 3, we had a bit of music come thru our ceiling from the Jazz club above. It didn't last long as the elderly cruisers turned in pretty early, usually. Disembarkation was smooth and more orderly. All in all a nice cruise.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
This was our second cruise on the Carnival Miracle. We had previously sailed on the Miracle in 2010, going out of Florida. This was my first cruise sailing out of California. I was sailing with my parents. We spent a couple of days in ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Carnival Miracle. We had previously sailed on the Miracle in 2010, going out of Florida. This was my first cruise sailing out of California. I was sailing with my parents. We spent a couple of days in Huntington Beach, visiting my brother and his wife, before the cruise. Sunday: We took a taxi from the Long Beach Airport. It was a flat rate of 45 dollars from the airport to the cruise ship terminal. The taxi dropped us off where the parking garage is, and that is where the porters take your luggage. We are VIP, so we got to wait in the Captain’s Lounge right outside the dome. Then we went through the dome, going through security and getting on the ship. We were on board at 12:45 PM. We ate lunch in Horatio's. It was Italian and they had strawberry cake pops. We were in cabin 8233, a balcony room. We had a view of the Queen Mary and the Dome. We got our luggage rather quickly and were able to unpack. We had the muster drill at 4 pm. I sat on our balcony and watched the sail away from Long Beach and Sunset over Catalina Island. We ate dinner in the Bacchus dining room at 6 pm at table 233, a table for 6. Service was really slow. Only us three showed up. I had fruit, sweet and sour shrimp, and Black Forest cake. We asked for table reassignment because the table was in the back of the dining room and not wheelchair accessible, like they say it is. We watched Up or Out game in the atrium, which involves trivia and the glass elevators, based on the show Cash Cab. We watched the ballroom dance class to a Michael Buble song and Game Show Mania in the Phantom Lounge. Monday: We ate breakfast in Horatio's. I love the Double Chocolate muffins. We were pretty close to the elevator and could go right up to the buffet from our room. We went and looked through the photo gallery and shops. We went to the Fun Ashore Talk and Shopping Talk in the Phantom Lounge. We ate lunch in Horatio's, which was serving American food. I had some cheesy potatoes with pot roast, with Key lime pie for dessert. It was our first Formal Night. My Mom and Dad got interviewed for the cruise weekly video, while we were waiting for the dining room to open. We got moved to table 209, a table for 3 in front of the dining room by the stairs. Our waiters were Zoran, Raymond, and Dudik. I had the strawberry bisque, prime rib, and diet banana gateau. The waiters performed "That's Amore." We had our photos taken against a red backdrop. We went to the Mad Hatter's ball to see the comedian, Stanley Ullman. He brought three kids on stage and asked them questions. The main show was Generations, a tribute to 1930's to 1980's. Tuesday: We ate breakfast at Horatio's, before getting on a tender. There are fifteen stairs to go down to the tender, so one of the workers had to carry Mom’s wheelchair while Dad and I held on to her. We tendered into Cabo San Lucas, Mexico around 10 am. This was my first visit to Cabo. We went shopping and Mom collected free charms from the jewelry stores. At the shopping talk, they gave us a treasure map to get stamped in various jewelry stories. The fourth and final one is clear downtown by the airport, so we were unable to get that one, due to our scheduled tour. We went on the Whale Watching and Coastal cruise for two hours, from noon till two. It was amazing! They took us past Land's End, Lover's beach, and the Arch. They gave us pineapple juice, potato chips, and Oreos. We saw humpback whales flap their fins and tails, and blow water out of their blowholes. After our tour, we got back on the tender to sail back to the ship. There was one really drunk lady in a bikini, crawling over people, licking the tender workers, and biting the finger of a guy who was trying to help her walk. She walked head first into the security poles. We were back on board the ship at 3 pm. We ate lunch at Horatio's and it was Caribbean food. I liked the beans with rice and the banana cream pie. We took a nap, while we were sailing away from Cabo. We ate dinner in the dining room. I had the fruit, the chicken breast, and warm fig and date cake. The waiters performed "Shake Shake Shake." We went and looked at our photos and the shops. We went and played, Guess that Song and Gender Showdown. I had a raspberry smoothie. We had to set our clocks an hour ahead. Wednesday: We docked in Puerto Vallarta at 8:30 am. This was my first visit to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I watched us sail in and dock next to the Crystal Serenity. The port is right across from a Sam’s Club and a Walmart. Dad and I saw two stingrays swim between the cruise ships. We took a cab for 4 dollars a person and went shopping downtown at the Malecon, which is a boardwalk. Dad was supposed to go on a snorkeling and kayak tour to Los Argos, but it was cancelled due to lack of participants. We took a cab back into port. We had pizza for lunch, as the French food didn't seem that great. The pizza is thin crust and delicious. Mom and I watched the Crystal Serenity sail away and the pirate ship come back. We ate dinner in the Bacchus. I had peach soup, farfalle with turkey and peas, and bitter and Blanc. The main show was a Mexican Folkloric Show, with dancers and a mariachi band from Puerto Vallarta. We set sail at 9 pm, so we sat on the lido deck and watched the sail away from our room. Thursday: This was our second day at sea. We ate breakfast at Horatio's. We went and look at our photos and the shops. Mom's wheelchair kept setting off the security alarm in the photo gallery, for some reason. We had to sail back up to the bay of Cabo San Lucas to evacuate one passenger for medical reasons, so a tender had to meet us with a gurney. They took the passenger off and took him or her to the nearest hospital. We got to sail past Lover's beach and Land's End again and see some more whales. While we ate lunch, we saw the people dance for the Groove for St. Jude. They danced to the "Cupid Shuffle," "The Wobble," and "Cha Cha Slide." Lunch was Italian. I had some chicken fingers and vegetable pasta, with some fruit for dessert. We went and saw the Newlywed Game. It was our second Formal Night. We ate dinner in the Bacchus. I had the cherry soup, chateaubriand, and baked Alaska. The waiters performed "Gangnam Style." The comedian was Seth Buchwald. He did improv comedy with one of the social hosts and people from the audience. The main show was Ticket to Ride, the tribute to the Beatles. Friday: This was our third day at sea. We ate breakfast in Horatio's. We went and looked at our formal night photos and the shops. We ate brunch in the dining room, because we had a free drink coupon. I had the Mac n cheese with chicken, a peach smoothie, and a Caramel salted brownie with raspberries. Dad went on the backstage tour and got to see all the costumes and makeup areas. For dinner, I had the mango soup, chicken fettuccini, and the warm chocolate melting cake. Our waiters sang, “Leavin’ on a Fun Ship.” We went and listened to a band and a singer/songwriter, Tommy Green Jr. Saturday: When we woke up, we were back in Long Beach. We were in Zone 1. We disembarked the ship in the morning right after breakfast. We had to go through customs before we got our luggage. Right as you get out of the dome, there is small desk that says Transportation, where you can ask for a cab. We got to the airport at 10 am, and were able to check in our luggage early for our flight at 3pm. We ate lunch at the food court. The George’s Greek place is really good.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
I travel with my husband who uses a transport chair or a cane to get around. He has difficulty walking and standing for any length of time after several back surgeries. This cruise review is written about how we managed our travel with his ... Read More
I travel with my husband who uses a transport chair or a cane to get around. He has difficulty walking and standing for any length of time after several back surgeries. This cruise review is written about how we managed our travel with his lightweight folding transport chair. This is our 2nd cruise taking the chair along after 4 other cruises in our younger and his more mobile days. We picked Alaska as we went there 12 years ago when we had happy memories of doing it all! By that, I mean BACK THEN we took the helicopter ride and walked on the glaciers, rode the White Pass Yukon train to Canada and also enjoyed a bumpy zodiac inflatable boat to a trail for hiking. All that was do-able back then. But this review is about traveling at a slower pace, looking for easier travel options and choosing cruise tours wisely for someone with a disability. We spent a few days in Seattle before our cruise staying at THE WESTIN SEATTLE. The hotel was conveniently located downtown and we took the monorail to see the Space Needle. My husband's admission ticket to the Space Needle and to ride the monorail was discounted due to his disability. We also went AFTER 6 p.m. and the admission was discounted for me as well. The monorail was clean and offered easy access. While in Seattle, we also toured Pikes Market, Pioneer Square and went for a fabulous Boeing tour to see the largest building in the WORLD. (Friends of ours who live in Seattle area drove us to those areas.) Embarkation for the cruise was easy, FAST and efficient. Disabled cruisers were ushered in a separate line - can't beat that! We were on the ship in no time. Our cabin was 4156 with a balcony and was very nice although we had to fold the chair to enter and exit the room and had to do this each and every time while forcing the door to stay open. The heavy cabin door is set up to close unless held open by your body making pushing the chair into the room a real struggle. This did not seem so important at start of cruise but 7 days later it got to be a pain to deal with. I did not request a cabin with any special disability functions, so not sure if they have special doors in other rooms for wheel chair access. We used the elevators to get to different deck levels. We passed up quite a few elevators that were crammed with people who encouraged us to squeeze in to join them but I would have ran over more than a few toes if we did. We simply allowed more time to get to and fro and I honestly think that is what you need to do when you have a disability as it takes us longer to get in and out of an elevator with the chair. The waiters always folded the chair for us at the table and helped seat us both. Getting around the ship and moving quickly around the same deck level was always interesting. Some thresholds of the ship would come together so nicely and the chair would guide over them and I could push him from one end of the ship to the other end. Other thresholds would almost throw my husband out of his chair had we not paid attention to the change of flooring depth. As a somewhat "new caregiver" and "chair pusher", I found this a little surprising and jarring. I also found it was easier to stop and turn the chair around so I would pull him backwards over the metal threshold. Getting around the ship to visit the various bars, pool decks, entertainment rooms, serenity deck, etc. led me to really go slow to avoid the numerous chairs and obstacles in the way. We even started to count the number of people who would jump in front of our moving chair to avoid having to wait behind us, but we gave up counting after a while. It was just something that we noticed. We realized that we were among a younger more mobile crowd on this ship. And people do seem to run quickly when leaving the Lido deck food area, out of the main show theater and after the muster drill to get where they want to go quickly. Transport chair or not....they'll run you over. It was easier just to wait until the crowd cleared. We stopped trying to even use the clear glass elevators with a transport chair. They were always too crowded. In Skagway, we took the bus tour this time to the Canadian border and frankly saw everything we would have seen on the train without the hassle. My husband was 1st on the bus, then 1st off on the tour and sat in a "reserved for handicap" seat with me. Sweet! In Juneau, we had the same courtesy treatment on the tour bus to view the Mendenhall Glacier, the Glacier Information Center and the Salmon Hatchery. The hatchery tour was particularly interesting. In Ketchikan, we shopped on our own and I pushed my husband from store to store at a leisurely pace. I was amazed at how many people offered to help me lift the chair and my husband over a bumpy road or unevenly threshold. People can be so nice at times. In Victoria, BC we only had a few hours to view Butchart Gardens which was the most beautiful garden we have ever seen. Pushing the chair up and down a few hills really got tiring for me but we were also rushing to see the gardens before it got too dark. There were special signs for the disabled to follow but not always easy to see once it got darker. This stop in Victoria is MUCH TOO SHORT to really do it justice. And the cruise ship is located quite a way from the gardens so you lose a lot of time just traveling in the tour bus. The bus driver tried to make the tour interesting to and fro, but I noticed that most people just sat in the bus quietly especially coming back late at night. The Carnival Cruise itself was fine, enjoyable and worth the price we paid. Although we did not use all of the facilities. The shows in the main lounge were very good. Food was good and plenty of variety in both the main dinner room and in the Lido deck. There is no longer a midnight buffet - but to be honest...I think it was a waste of time, money and food.. We did NOT miss it. The quantity and quality of food at the main dinner room seem to be a little less than previous cruises. I think it is good to give smaller portion as I still saw so must waste as it is. And you can always ask for more if still hungry. Service was good, not particularly great, but good and we had no complaints. We did not gamble on this cruise at all nor use any pool areas that allowed kids. There was lots of families in the pool. Everyone seem to be having a good time. The seminar that Carnival featured on acupuncture was silly and a waste of time. Most trivia contests were just that - trivial, simply a time filler. We would rather read a book! We did enjoy the serenity all adult deck, pool and spa. Oh - yes - the library is very disappointing - almost put in like an afterthought. REALLY, to all Carnival spokespeople.....are you reading this? Put in decent libraries on your ships and provide some free magazines to take/share!!!!!! Other cruise lines do this. Some other complaints/comments we had were not related to any disability issues. 1. I used the self service laundry facility which was nice to have but it would have been nice to know HOW LONG the washer was going to take. A simple sign could have advised me. I ended up bringing the transport chair to sit on while I read book and waited. There was not even a chair in that room. Why not? 2. The TV reception was poor. The satellite signal on the TV kept going out making it difficult to watch any movie or program. 3. I had an encounter with a ship photographer who kept insisting that we pose in silly poses for pictures. We just wanted simple nice close up frontal poses of our heads. I should have simply walked away but when it was our turn to pose, I made the comment that the poses were silly and unnatural and to please simply take our pictures facing the camera.. To my surprise she argued back! What nerve! I later did complain but felt my complaint fell on deaf ears. WE all know they print and then throw away TONS of developed photos but it is clearly a waste to take all those pictures in silly poses. Even at the main dinner room, the photographer would come up to the table and try and take our picture while we were eating. We shooed them all away. Who wants a photo with a plate of food in front of you? And the cruise photo prices are WAY TOO HIGH! However , I left my BIG complaint for last - and it is worth sharing. 4. The price of the Carnival cruise dropped 3 times since we originally booked over 6 months earlier. We had a written guarantee on the lowest advertised price per their web site's promotion. It seemed fair at the time and it was our incentive to book directly with Carnival. But MUCH TO MY DISMAY, we had to contact Carnival each and every price drop as soon as it was posted on their web site and CARNIVAL GAVE US A HARD TIME each and every time we had to call. They placed us on hold for over an hour each time I had to call. The 1st phone call I had to make regarding the price drop was a real experience. In fact I found the way I was treated as demeaning and insulting. I was told it was a one-time price adjustment only during this guarantee. I found myself thanking them as if they were doing me a big favor. HA! How stupid of me! Little did I know that price would drop 2 more times and little did I know I would have to first ask, be told no and then end up demanding that they honor their price guarantee as I was given a difficult time every time.. Each time the price dropped they wanted me to downgrade to a lower cabin with either no balcony or take an obstructed view. The 3rd phone call really got to me as the Carnival rep was more than rude. I got the impression they were playing a game with me. I asked to speak to a supervisor and was placed ON HOLD for 1 hour and 20 minutes. ( I timed them.) I am convinced the "supervisor" was clearly another rep sitting next to the rude rep. I would have almost canceled had we not had a cancellation charge. This price haggling REALLY took the fun out of planning this Carnival cruise. Yes, each price drop they had, I always did get the lower advertised lower price but it left me angry, disgusted with Carnival and NO ONE should have to argue to get their advertised price. I have no intention of ever booking a cruise with Carnival again because of this pricing guarantee experience! Now, on a happy note...Disembarkation was a breeze. In fact it was the quickest exiting of any ship we ever cruised on. Boarding Southwest Airlines at the airport was more of a wait. It seemed like the entire cruise ship had our same flight and took a long time to get our boarding passes! But all in all - it was a very nice cruise and good experience EXCEPT FOR THE PRICING NONSENSE. We are happy we had our own transport chair so that we both could enjoy the trip together and celebrate our 37th wedding anniversary at sea. At this time, I much prefer the lightweight transport chair over a heavy wheel chair. It folds up easily and it's easy to push. I also believe that as a chair pusher, one needs to stick to the right, let others who are in a hurry go first and watch so that we do not jab a chair's foot rest into someone's ankle from behind. Common courtesy works best whether IN a chair, PUSHING someone in a chair or WALKING NEAR someone in a chair. I believe that Carnival needs to rethink "COMMON COURTESY" when it comes to adjusting their guaranteed lowest price with their customers on the phone! Are you listening, CARNIVAL?   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
Started at Fort Lauderdale at Hampton Inn. Great place to park and take the shuttle to ship. Forgot about spring break and many cruisers were there. Had seven ships leaving that day. This was third trip on the Miracle and last as its ... Read More
Started at Fort Lauderdale at Hampton Inn. Great place to park and take the shuttle to ship. Forgot about spring break and many cruisers were there. Had seven ships leaving that day. This was third trip on the Miracle and last as its leaving for Alaska. Got on last shuttle from hotel at noon and when arrived at port got onto ship in 20 minutes . Miracle was more crowded than usual. Most areas were crowded and difficult to find seating at peak times on deck or Lido deck meals. Biggest joke as on any Carnival cruise is that you cannot save decck chairs. Go into Serenity area at 8am and see 10 people and no chairs. Does not improve during the days around any pool. First problem with cabin in eight cruises. Had a foul smell from air conditioners in room and hall. The cabin was an upgrade on eight deck right under deck and chairs were bouncing all night. Eventually had cabin changed and everything better. Guest services worked to correct problems and succeeded. All three ports were great \. Had two excursions and both were great. Food in Bauchaus was great as usual. Lido was inferior to past cruises on the mircle. Choices and times were not very good in eating. Deli is still great.Shows were the same as most Carnivls cruises i have been on does not matter the ship. Cruise Director was lost as usual. He doe not do a very good job. Band does a great job even though this is not usually my music i enjoyed them in several areas of the ship. The staff that you came into contact with was great as usual. Big change from starting crusing with carnival is uniformed staff. When starting with Carnival they were friendly whenever you encountered them. Now They ignore you as a general rule. Most do not even say good morning when passing. Return to Lauderdale was quick and smooth as usual Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
Returned this Saturday from a great time aboard Carnival's Miracle. We were travelling with a large group of 22 people total and Carnival could not have been more accommodating to our needs. The Main Dinning Room staff made sure we ... Read More
Returned this Saturday from a great time aboard Carnival's Miracle. We were travelling with a large group of 22 people total and Carnival could not have been more accommodating to our needs. The Main Dinning Room staff made sure we had tables right next to one another which was wonderful for the grandparents in our group who very infrequently get to see their grand children. The waiter's assistant, Dewae, was fabulous with the kids, making them presents on several evenings. We also had no problems getting our balcony divider doors opened which gave several in our group "super-sized" balconies. This was particularly helpful as one in our group was my 96 years old grandfather who has sever mobility issues. The steward for 4 of our cabins on deck 7, Mr. Casy, is one of Carnival's true gems. He went above and beyond the call of duty assisting us with our grandfather. If you travel on the Miracle and he is your steward, be prepared for amazing service from him! Between our 22 folks, we have been on 35 Carnival Cruises and everyone agreed he was the most awesome steward ever. As for the food, I was pleasantly surprised. I am a bit of a "foodie" and had read some not so stellar reviews of the main dinning room and the Lido deck. Every meal I had in the main dinning room was wonderful. I could have done with a little more variety on the Lido deck, but all in all the food was good. A group did Nick and Nora's steakhouse one evening and the meal there was absolutely fabulous. I Highly recommend the surf and turf and the chocolate sampler. As for the ports, four of us did the America's cup regatta on St. Maarten's and it was a lot of fun. One of the best shore excursions I have ever been on. In St. Lucia, I was on a private your of the Island with 11 others which I and everyone thoroughly enjoyed. However, some in our group went on a bus tour which was arranged by Carnival. Form them, it was terrible. The tour was supposed to be "handicapped friendly", but was far from it. Our grandfather was only able to get off the bus one time and the tour company persons would not assist our family in helping him. The tour guide on that trip was also very rude to my parents. They complained to guests services on return and Carnival did reimburse them 1/2 the value of that excursion. On St. Kitts, we did the sail and snorkel to Shitten's Bay and had a wonderful time. That boats crew were fun loving and extremely helpful both with our grandfather and with my 8 year old nephew who chickened out of going into the water. I personally had a blast in the casino. I made enough points under their system to get all my alcohol while gambling comped which was awesome. Also the casino provided me with several other free gifts during during my stay including chocolate covered strawberries, wine at dinner, a free hat and t-shirt, and 20% off my next cruise. I did fairly well in my slot play return hitting a couple hundred dollars multiple times. My mom was extremely lucky hitting a $1000.00 dollar jackpot on the first day at see. Several of us played in the slot tournaments and blackjack tournament and although we did not win those, they were organized so that we had a lot of fun.The kids in our group, 4, 8 and 17 all loved camp carnival. The younger two boys even begged some days to go back in the evenings. The counselors were wonderful with them and both boys said they were going to miss all the fun they had. All in all the trip was wonderful. My only complaint was embarktion which I found caotic. Some of the security staff were also very rude to us. One lady broke my sunglasses and while it was inadvertant, she did not apologize. In short, I highly recommend the Miracle for a fun family vacation. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
I have cruised before on another cruise line but this was my first Carnival trip, I travelled with my mother,sister and two aunts one which is in need of a wheel chair full time. Embarkation started off a bit rough due to the fact that ... Read More
I have cruised before on another cruise line but this was my first Carnival trip, I travelled with my mother,sister and two aunts one which is in need of a wheel chair full time. Embarkation started off a bit rough due to the fact that Carnival does not provide curbside service for people needing wheel chairs, even though we were assured by our travel agent that service would be provided for us. My disabled aunt had to walk on a walker to an area to be put on a wait list to get a wheel chair. My mother is a Carnival VIP so check in was a breeze and we proceeded straight up to the Lido buffet for lunch before gaining access to our rooms. My Aunt paid extra for an electric wheelchair and a handicapped access balcony room, funny enough the poor lady could not get on to the balcony due to there being a step that could not be accessed, although the balcony was lovely she could only sit by the door. The bathroom was very easy for her to access and the shower was big enough to accommodate her. Dinning was excellent and we had the nicest waiters Lennox and Ketut who were very friendly and helpful and by the third night new what our favorites were and even suggested some if they thought we might enjoy them. However I know now that I should take the earlier seating because you do get bored sitting around waiting until 8pm and by the time you try to watch the late show I was falling asleep due to my full stomach. We also dined in the dinning room because it was much easier on my Aunt than trying to maneuver the lines on the lido buffet. We did have some problems with the staff but I am not the type to let that make or break my trip, most of our complaints were due to the handicapped access and treatment my aunt received. Overall I had a very nice time and by coincidence I will be returning to the Miracle in the fall on my honeymoon, but I must stress this is not the most handicapped friendly ship or cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date April 2010
This was my 5th cruise overall, my fourth with Carnival. I traveled with my wife Denise. (By coincidence, it also turned out that her Aunt Dot was on the cruise also, traveling with a group of friends). The itinerary was Panama (we ... Read More
This was my 5th cruise overall, my fourth with Carnival. I traveled with my wife Denise. (By coincidence, it also turned out that her Aunt Dot was on the cruise also, traveling with a group of friends). The itinerary was Panama (we didn't actually go through the canal, although the ship offered excursions to it), Costa Rica and Belize. We flew from NY to Fort Lauderdale the night before, then took a taxi to the port in the morning. Embarkation was pretty quick compared to previous cruises. There was a little confusion with the lines, but because I walk with a cane and can't stand in lines for very long (in retrospect, I should have taken a wheelchair), they put us on the line for the disabled, which probably cut 30-45 minutes off the process. Overall, from the time we walked into the terminal until we boarded the ship, it was probably only about a half an hour. They did the safety drill before the ship left the dock, which was new to me, but it was good to have it done with. We had a handicapped cabin right near the elevators towards the back of the ship, which turned out to be a great location. We had originally booked a handicapped cabin at a lower fare, but for some strange reason, it was all the way in the front of the ship, a bit of a walk from the elevators and about as far as you could get from the dining room, but when we looked up where it was, we paid for an upgrade, which turned out to be a good room. Our actual cabin was spacious. There was a window, although it only overlooked the lifeboats. It was a quick elevator ride down to the dining room, or the Gotham Lounge, where we spent alot of time. We DID have a problem one morning with what seemed to be varnish fumes they woke my wife out of a dead sleep, and made the cabin unpleasant to be in for about an hour. (We later became pretty sure the fumes were from something they did in the Gotham Lounge that morning, which was one deck directly below our room). But we reported the problem, and whether they actually did something, or just by chance, it never happened again. The demographic seemed to skew older than the average Carnival cruise for this trip, and there were fewer first time cruisers and people with children than on the average Caribbean cruise. For whatever reason, it was a particularly friendly group too. The staff, as usual on a Carnival ship, was mostly very polite and helpful, although there were one or two bad apples mixed in. I liked the itinerary, although there was one disappointment, which I'll get to in a minute. In Panama, my wife and I both took the Panama City tour. The buses were a little small and cramped, but we had a wonderful tour guide named Jeronimo, who was both extremely knowledgeable and very friendly and personable. He knew anything you could want to know about Panama, its history, the canal and how it operates, etc. He obviously had a great deal of pride in his country, and it made it an enjoyable tour. I'd gladly go back to Panama. I was particularly looking forward to Costa Rica, but unfortunately, the day we were there, it poured like crazy. We were supposed to take a boat excursion, but the weather was so bad we decided to skip it. The purser's office refunded our money (they weren't happy but they did it), and my wife used the extra cash for a spa treatment, which she enjoyed immensely. I couldn't be too upset in retrospect, when you vacation in a rain forest, you shouldn't be shocked if it rains. I hope to come back to see Costa Rica some other time. The weather was better in Belize. We had to tender into shore for the excursions, but the tendering process was fast and easy. I took a Belize city tour, which was actually kind of lame there didn't seem to be a whole lot to see. But it was a nice day, the bus was big and comfortable, and it was good to get off the boat and stretch my legs. My wife took an excursion to the Mayan ruins, which she said was pretty interesting. The trip had 4 sea days, which I loved. I spent my afternoons relaxing, reading, attending tea time, etc. I loved the boat itself. I had heard from several other Carnival cruisers that the Spirit class ships such as the Miracle were their favorites, and now that I've sailed one, I'm inclined to agree. They're smaller and more navigable than say the Victory or the Freedom. The decor was typical Carnival, which never bothered me I know it's gaudy, but I kind of like it. I especially liked the Bacchus dining room, with its purple grape theme. We had the late seating for dinner. Our waiters, Rasmini and Edward were first rate. I also found the food to be especially good on this trip, although my wife thought it was no better or worse than on previous cruises. I had a grouper dinner one night that was especially tasty. The 24-hour pizzeria is also very good, and the deli sandwich counter on the Lido deck made some excellent sandwiches for lunch. We didn't catch any of the big lounge production shows this trip they didn't fit into our schedule well, and we had seen the Beatles-themed show on the Freedom last year. I did enjoy the afternoon Christmas show, though. As far as lounge entertainment goes, we especially enjoyed Scott the guitarist he has an expansive repertoire that we only just scratched the surface of on an 8-day cruise. I also really enjoyed the classical trio. Sad note, though I heard from a fellow passenger that Carnival is planning to do away the the classical and jazz acts on their ships. When the current ones' contacts run out, they won't be renewed. So if you enjoy classical and/or jazz music on your cruise, better let Carnival know. The casino was smallish, and I thought they had a poor selection of video slots they didn't really have any of my favorites. They did have some good low-minimum roulette, which is where I wound up spending most of my casino time. Disembarkation was kind of disorganized I decided I'd better use a wheelchair to get off the ship, but found that when I went to the area that people who needed assistance were supposed to go to, there wasn't anyone giving info on what to do. We had to flag someone down, who finally explained the process. It was a little slow, but once we knew what was going on, it was easy enough. Overall, we had a fun and relaxing cruise. If you're someone who is a picky traveler, this cruise might not be for you, but if you're fairly easygoing, it's a great vacation and good value for your money. Read Less
Sail Date November 2008
Carnival Miracle Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 3.5 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 3.5 4.0
Family 4.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 4.0
Enrichment 1.5 3.5
Service 4.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.5 4.1
Rates 3.0 4.4

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