17 Carnival Miracle Holiday Cruise Reviews

We picked this cruise because we've always wanted to do a Mexican Riveria cruise and this one worked for our time off from work. We did not travel with any children or anyone else...just the husband and myself!! The Miracle is a ... Read More
We picked this cruise because we've always wanted to do a Mexican Riveria cruise and this one worked for our time off from work. We did not travel with any children or anyone else...just the husband and myself!! The Miracle is a smaller ship compared to the other ships we've sailed on, but it was still an amazing vessel. The cabin crew, wait staff, and all other employees were very helpful and friendly! Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. This was the first time that we purchased FTTF and it was worth it. We had a balcony room and it was nice to see the sea whenever we wanted from the comfort of our own room. It was also nice to see the sunsets/sunrise plus ports. The food on the ship was amazing. Most of our table had 3 lobsters on Christmas!! The entertainment was amazing. This cruise we also went to a couple of art auctions, it was a great experience and something that we will now look forward to on any future cruises! The ports we went to were: Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta. Cabo: We did a third party excursion of whale watching and snorkeling around Land's End. The time difference between local time and ship time made us a bit late so we took a water taxi to catch up to the sail boat. We had a fun time and we were able to see some whales! Lands End is really pretty. The snorkeling...lots of people were in the water but it was very cool to almost cold water. I don't do cold water so I ended up staying on the boat. I prefer Caribbean water as it is warm. Mazatlan: Here we did the hop on/off bus and we had a great time! We got off first in old town and went and took pictures of the Cathedral We walked around a bit of the city and had fun. The next stop was new town and had shopping and eating places by the ocean. Went to a shrimp place and had the best shrimp!! Third stop was to see the cliff divers...I would skip this as there isn't much to see or do at this stop. I would spend my time at the other to stops. Puerto Vallarta: If you want to sit back and relax, go to Marriott resort. We hung out poolside and had drinks and food all day plus got to play in the inifinty pool. Although it was fun to see the areas and explore Mexico we definately like the caribbean better with the warm beautiful blue/green waters! Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Carnival was not "up front" with it's guests for this cruise. A lot of us didn't realize until it was too late, that the Miracle has been having propulsion problems since early this year, and decided to continue ... Read More
Carnival was not "up front" with it's guests for this cruise. A lot of us didn't realize until it was too late, that the Miracle has been having propulsion problems since early this year, and decided to continue operation of the vessel, which is now scheduled to go into dry dock in early 2015. Because the ship couldn't cruise at normal speed, we had a multitude of itinerary changes. We arrived late a some ports and in the case of Maui (the highlight of the trip), we totally missed it and we were compensated with 1/1/2 hour in Kona and a $200 credit. The stop off at Ensenada at the end of the cruise was at 8 pm rather than 3 pm. The ships crew blamed everything on the "weather"...which none of us could believe. 2 of our 4 excursions were canceled and debarkation as well as the tendering process was a gaggle!! It also appears as if Carnival is also cutting back on service personnel. We had to go to the bar most of the time (whether inside or outside) to get our own drinks...on previous cruises we could barely turn around when someone was asking to wait on us. Not to mention the internet and TV service were totally unreliable. When we asked about it, the cruise director said that there was no "satellite service" in the ocean???? REALLY......most folks on this trip were seasoned cruisers, so we knew better. We spent $50 just trying to confirm our upcoming airline flights on the internet...but they did refund us for that. It's just a hassle to stand in line for 2 hours at guest services to try and get anything taken care of. I will say our cabin steward was top notch...but they always are. It was truly a disappointment, especially since we had booked the cruise a year in advance. We realize that things come up and if it had happened that way it would be different, If they had just been "up front" with us in advance, we wouldn't have had a problem with it. They definitely made the wrong call!! This is really the first bad experience we've had with Carnival....just wish it hadn't have been on such a long trip. It's the first time I couldn't wait to get off of the ship and go home!!   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
After reading many reviews lambasting Carnival for their shoddy em/de barkation procedures and abysmal tender offload in Cabo, we were a little concerned about what to expect. Perhaps we set our expectations really low but we were ... Read More
After reading many reviews lambasting Carnival for their shoddy em/de barkation procedures and abysmal tender offload in Cabo, we were a little concerned about what to expect. Perhaps we set our expectations really low but we were pleasantly surprised by the cruise and their procedures, in our experience most of the problems were caused by inconsiderate tourons. Embarkation Arrived at the port at 1:00 p.m. and was surprised to find the parking structure almost full. Waited in line for about 45 minutes and got checked in. We would have been onboard in 60 mts but we had to visit the ship doctor to get our son signed off and that tacked on another hour to our process. Regardless, we were were in our room by 3:00 p.m. Departure was delayed almost 90 minutes because of some CBP issue which put us into Cabo 30 minutes late (1:00 p.m. instead of 12:30 p.m.), they postponed departure that day by 30 minutes to make up for the delay Tendering in Cabo There were over 2000 people on board, so we were told that the tendering process would be organized so that people that booked excursions would get priority and then the rest would have to line up for tender assignments. People that lined up significantly after 10: a.m. got numbers as high as 40, do the math, about 50 pax per tender. There was another ship in the harbor but the tenders were quite efficient, at 2:30 they announced free boarding for tenders, we chose not to go into port as we had the ship all to ourselves. The next morning, we took an 8:30 a.m tender into town and there was no wait. PV was no problem, arrived on time and left on time. Debarkation We got zone 21 and we were off the boat around 11:30, that took a lot longer than expected, but it turns out the delay was because passengers were going down regardless of their zone number and it was causing gridlock in the terminal. We stayed on the lido deck enjoying our coffee and the view   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
My family and I were very excited to take a cruise that we’d been planning and looking forward to for almost a year. When the day of the trip finally arrived, everyone was excited as we climbed into two large Super Shuttle vans to take ... Read More
My family and I were very excited to take a cruise that we’d been planning and looking forward to for almost a year. When the day of the trip finally arrived, everyone was excited as we climbed into two large Super Shuttle vans to take the 14 of us to Long Beach Harbor. Unfortunately, only one of our vans made it to the ship on time as the driver of the other van went to the wrong harbor. We hadn’t even boarded the ship and yet we were already worried half our family would be left behind. Luckily we had ordered the shuttles to pick us up extra early, so the lost driver made it back to Long Beach in time. We hoped that was going to be the only bump in our journey, but sadly, it was just the beginning. From the minute we boarded the ship we felt an intensely strong vibration in all five of our rooms. If you lay down on the bed, it was like laying on one of those old motel beds with a quarter slot-machine next to the bed to make it vibrate. Sadly for us the there was no “off” button. We hoped the vibrating might stop once the boat left the dock and heard a few others wondering the same. We had five balcony cabins mid-ship on the 7th deck, which we were told was one of the better locations on the ship for rooms. When the ship finally left the port of Long Beach, the vibrating did not stop. Five in our family went to Guest Services to complain and ask what was going on and each of us were told a different excuse (each of which turned out to be fiction). You could barely focus on a book in bed because of the vibrating, but worse was that was it made it difficult to sleep. We were told once that the vibration was from the weather, but we had beautiful calm seas for most all the trip. We were also told that it was just the size of the ship and a little vibration was normal. Guest Services kept assuring us it would get better. It never did. It wasn’t just “a little” vibration, it was more like the ship had Parkinson’s. We finally went online and discovered an article posted by Carnival in April of this year which explained that the Miracle actually had a propulsion problem and all they were planning on doing was to cruise a little slower and not make any real repairs until the Spring of 2015. It seems wrong to post your ships troubles on the internet and then turn around and lie to the faces of your paying guests. My family felt that the Carnival people must think us a bit “slow” to tell each of us a different excuse about the problem with the boat. We would have preferred an honest answer and an apology instead of being lied to directly. We did enjoy the food very much, but our seating at Dinner was bad. We had requested two adjacent tables for our large group (like our previous cruise), but instead they slid two tables together to accommodate us all at one long narrow table which forced any on the inside to either crawl under the table to get out or ask everyone to get up and move coming in and getting out. It was not comfortable or enjoyable. The service was barely adequate (many ordered items were forgotten) but we tried to remain calm so as not to upset the staff and get worse service. We did, however, enjoy the shows onboard and the service for the cabins. This was our second Thanksgiving Family Cruise with Carnival Cruises… and after this experience, it will be our last. My family and friends will never cruise with Carnival again.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Husband and I wanted a year off from Christmas celebrations: no tree, no lights, no gifts. Church, music, dinner would be missed, but not the shopping and sales. Holiday week cruises are usually sky-high, so when we found the Miracle at a ... Read More
Husband and I wanted a year off from Christmas celebrations: no tree, no lights, no gifts. Church, music, dinner would be missed, but not the shopping and sales. Holiday week cruises are usually sky-high, so when we found the Miracle at a reasonable price, we booked. An easy drive to Long Beach the morning of the cruise brought us to the parking structure (convenient but pricey at $17/day) and the terminal shortly after 11 a.m. It was confusing to roll through the winter carnival but pleasant to check in on the Queen Mary, then back out to the marina to wait near the water for just a short time. When we saw others walking into the terminal, we followed, and were waved in. We had no wait and were on board the ship within minutes. A pleasant surprise in the Lido and on the Serenity Deck was waiters with trays of sparkling wine. We made ourselves at home in a cabana on the Serenity Deck and when we checked, our room was ready. Nice, sunny, clean and fresh air from the balcony. Friendly, efficient room stewards. We visited the Atrium bar en route to dinner and enjoyed live music. Our dining table was at the aft end of the room, and the rumbling from the engines was very distinct, so at the end of the meal we visited the maître d'hôtel station to request a change for the duration of the cruise. The next afternoon a card arrived in our room with a new table number. Monday was a sea day. We visited the gym and spent the day on loungers on the Serenity Deck, joining with other passengers in whale and dolphin sightings. You could see the Baja coast most of the way down (both our cabin and our favorite section of the Serenity Deck were on the port side). The only disadvantage was proximity to the buffet. Someone would go into the dining area, emerge with a plate of something tasty looking, and others would follow. This led to quite a bit of recreational over-eating. Fortunately for us, Tuesday was a Cabo day and we had booked a snorkel excursion through the ship so there were no delays getting a tender to the marina. A short walk to a catamaran and off we went across the water to enjoy whales spouting, fantailing and swimming about. We rode to Chileno Bay to snorkel from the boat, and enjoyed plentiful fish. We hoped the water would be a bit warmer in Puerto Vallarta, but it wasn't too cold. We saw more whales on our way back to the marina, and the crew amused everyone by dressing in wigs and pouring shots of tequila. On this excursion we got the closest we'd ever been to whales in the wild and it was awe inspiring. Our new table at dinner was in the front center of the dining room, with great company and excellent waiters. Our four new dining companions were platinum Carnival cruisers and each evening brought all sorts of lively conversation and food sampling. Wednesday there was no crowd pressure to tender to the marina, but we went at a reasonably early hour and walked ourselves down the sand to Lover's Beach for snorkeling. Others arrived via water taxi or catamaran, and a kayak vendor had brisk business. Entering the water from the sand with plenty of sun on the beach gave us snorkeling without a chill. We stopped at a café on our return to the ship to enjoy some Pacificos and a snack. We joked that we could have written a description of our do-it-yourself shore excursion and priced it at about $39. "Hiking, climbing, beach and snorkel adventure to Lover's Beach." The ship kept the Christmas observances to a mild roar. There was a special show with Santa for families at 4 pm, but plenty of live music for jazz lovers elsewhere on the ship. We attended most of the big musical shows and also the adult comedy sets. Slightly raunchy, but each of the four comedians that week was a seasoned pro. We kept in shape by visiting the gym, walking laps on the deck, and swimming in the ocean on the three port days. Thursday was Puerto Vallarta where we had booked another snorkel excursion, and off we went on a catamaran through the Bay of Banderas to the Marietas Islands. Many whales on our trips to and fro. The first stop was at a crowded atoll where we were to swim across a parking lot of large and small boats, then through a tunnel to a hidden beach. Imagine salmon swimming upstream with orange vests. Murky water and the danger of small craft starting engines as you made your way across the parking area. The second stop was almost all-to-ourselves, with excellent snorkeling in clear, warm water. Good food and drinks were served in the afternoon. It had rained early that morning in Vallarta but the clouds cleared as we steered across the bay and didn't return until we were almost back in port that afternoon. The seas were a little wavy on the trip across the bay and it occurred to me that maybe we weren't entirely safe out there as a wave swamped the entire front of the catamaran and soaked a lot of passengers' belongings, including my sneakers. But there were many smaller boats, including zodiac rafts, out looking for whales as well. Now it's back to the ship for two sea days. Friday was sunny and warm on the Serenity Deck, Saturday not so much. We lounged, we exercised, we read, we chatted and jacuzzied with fellow cruisers and tried to limit our trips to the buffet. Going to brunch in the dining room was a good option. We had gone to tea time just once on Monday, which was pleasant, and we often visited the "Taste Bar" at around 5 pm for a pre-dinner snack. Always, there was pre-dinner live music in venues scattered across the lower decks of the ship. The main entertainment on the Lido deck was via DJ, and we only observed that as we made our way across the ship or while doing laps around the deck in the evening. We slept very well in our bed beside the propped-open balcony door. Never any disturbances at night and very little cigarette smoking on neighboring balconies. I just read a review by a fellow passenger on this cruise whose cabin was on the 8th deck and who smelled cigarettes and garlic/onion cooking odors. I suspect that might be from the 9th deck smoking area beside the pool and from the buffet kitchens. That's something to remember when booking future cruises. We've always had balcony cabins on the 5th or 6th decks and not been bothered. And we're very glad no one near us chose to smoke cigars on a balcony. Summary: an excellent cruise with near-perfect weather and very pleasant passengers. Great service from cabin stewards and dining room waiters. Variety of appetizers and entrees at dinner gave us plenty of choices and opportunities to taste, share, and not finish anything that wasn't worth the calories. Using the stairs, walking the decks, visiting the gym and snorkeling in the ocean for three days netted a gain of just about two pounds. All in all, a successful cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Just returned from the NYE cruise out of Long Beach on the Carnival Miracle. A few impressions: Debarkation: Miserably hot, long lines outside then once escorted inside the check in area – Eureka! I was speedily checked in and boarded ... Read More
Just returned from the NYE cruise out of Long Beach on the Carnival Miracle. A few impressions: Debarkation: Miserably hot, long lines outside then once escorted inside the check in area – Eureka! I was speedily checked in and boarded the ship. I couldn’t figure out why the check in area was half-way empty and was told it was due to some regulation or other. Oh well. My friend checked in later but due to an electrical problem, waited in the holding area for quite some time. I waited for her in the Atrium and a wonderful waiter, Weslie, made sure I had plenty of free champagne while waiting for her. I didn’t feel like going to the cabin yet. Cruise experience: Absolutely wonderful. The ship was easy to get around, had excellent room service (Dave on Riviera deck). For some odd reason the cabin wouldn't cool off so the bathroom door was left open where the ventilation was working. I figured it was because we were on top of the engines. Dining: The dining room staff was outstanding! This was the first time in 14 cruises, and not all Carnival, that I was in and out of the dining room within 90 minutes or less. Very efficient waiter and his little crew. Thank you I Nyoman, Saw and Mihajilo. Food was good; I do love the chilled fruit soups and am sad to learn they will soon be discontinued. Are the “beards” at headquarters losing it??? This is what makes cruising exceptionally great for me. Room service for early morning coffee was also good, even when we forgot to put the tag out. Entertainment: Oh, all of the shows at the theater were absolutely fantastic! Where do those dancers get all that energy? Music, props, everything was amazing. I really liked the “Generations” show as well as the Beatles tribute. I actually saw the Beatles perform at Forest Hills, Queens back in the 1960s; well that dates me, huh? Went to see a couple of the adult comedy shows. Did like the singer in the Atrium. Actually won a Carnival medal and my friend won the infamous "ship on a stick" in the trivia contests. LOL! NYE’s on board ship was amazing. Danced into 2014 on the Lido deck with lots of champagne; party hats and horns were distributed in the dining room as well as on the Lido deck. Did party with a few of my table mates; I lucked out on this cruise. Had really nice table mates. What I like about Carnival is that they try to have single people at the table that includes people sailing without their spouses, widows, etc. Had an experience with the Ruby Princess where my friend and I were seated with 4 couples who were celebrating their respective anniversaries. We are both widows so I was a bit uncomfortable. They were all wonderful, but still…. Tendering at Cabo was OK; slow on the 1st day then no wait on the 2nd day at Cabo. Puerto Vallerta, just walked off the ship. Shopped in Cabo and went to the beach at Puerto Vallerta. Debarkation: Another “fun” experience trying to get off the ship. Next time I sail, it will be self debarkation. I did make it to the airport 2 hrs before flight time; however, to my dismay, there was an extremely long line at Southwest; waited about 3 hrs in the hot sun but finally got a flight back home. Not Carnival’s problem or even SW, the winter weather throughout States caused havoc on all flights. I missed being platinum by one cruise. Hmmm….that’s OK. I’ll just have to plan my next cruise on Carnival!   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
For the 2nd year in a row, we spent Thanksgiving on the 7 day Mexican Riviera cruise. Here is a brief review and some tips: Embarkation: At Long Beach you first check your luggage with a porter on the ground floor of the parking garage ... Read More
For the 2nd year in a row, we spent Thanksgiving on the 7 day Mexican Riviera cruise. Here is a brief review and some tips: Embarkation: At Long Beach you first check your luggage with a porter on the ground floor of the parking garage (not at the check-in area which is across the street). If you arrive early (before noon), you are sent to the Queen Mary to check in. If you arrive after boarding has started, you check-in at the dome. We had Faster to the Fun (FTTF) so we arrived at 10:30. It took about 15 minutes to check-in vs about 30 for people in the regular line. We then waited until 11:45 before we were allowed to board the ship. By noon we were in our cabin dropping off our carry-on luggage. Overall a smooth process although a little disappointed with the 11:45 boarding time. Cabin: We were in 1124 which is a Ocean View Cabin. We would not recommend this cabin. Each night you could hear the loud band from night club above the room. The club closed at 12:30 so after that it was quiet. The closets have a vent behind them which causes them to be about 1 inch less deep than the clothes hangers provided. Thus, either you closet door will not close due to the clothes hangers, or you have to hang all your clothes at an angle to close the door. The vent looked unusual so it is probably a quirk of this room only. The cabin door peep hole was so scratched-up, you could not see out it. The only good thing about the cabin was that it is near the front elevators and the cabin attendant was terrific. Food: The most disappointing meal was Thanksgiving for the 2nd year in a row. The turkey tasted like press turkey (like last year on the Splendor). The pumpkin pie was a pumpkin/chocolate/gingerbread creation. Although unique food on a cruise is fun, this is one night traditional food would have been better. The best meal was the lobster (2nd night on the ship during the first formal dinner), and the Petite Filet Mignon (severed during dinner and at the Sea Day Brunch) which was one of the best I ever had. Ports: In Cabo San Lucus our daughter did the Bungee Jump. The ship does not offer this activity so we booked on our own. One thing to remember when booking a tour on your own is that ship time is one hour behind local time in both Cabo San Lucas and in Puerto Valllarta. We anchored at 9:30 ship time, which was 10:30 local time. Our excursion was set for 11:15 local time which called it close. With Faster to the Fun we were able to make it to the meeting place with 10 minutes to spare. The provider left something to be desired. First they arrived late to the meeting location (in an unmarked van). The driver then walked to a different area, out of sight, to wait for his passengers who were by the van not knowing it was their van since there was no sign. Upon arrival at the jump location (a gondola hanging on wires over a canyon), we were told that besides the $22 per person "observer fee" for mom and dad, there would be a $5 per person "park entry" fee which was not listed in the tour paperwork. The bungee jump itself was great (photo disc costs $35) and our daughter loved it. However, it was over by 12:30. We then had to wait until 3:00 for the van ride back to the ship which was about 15 minutes away. Crew: The line crew of the Carnival Miracle was great. Although you rarely got a "hello", or even eye contact, from a passing officer, the line staff was friendly, called you by name, and always had smiles on their faces. Troy, the Cruise Director, was also very friendly and it amazed us that with all the people on the ship (about 2600 with over 800 being kids) he would remember meeting you at other ship events. Kids Club (O2): Daughter said it was boring and most kids left the club and hung-out in the hot tub, at the buffet, or in other public area. Never saw a printed list of club events except for one entry per day in the daily newsletter. Last year on the Splendor Club O2 was great. This year it was a flop. Entertainment: The theater entertainment was not the best we have seen. The first night "show" was not worth going to. Carnival must own a wig company because during each dance show the dancers had wigs on which looked awful and cheap. Carnival also has cut costs by eliminating the professional show on the last night and instead has a guest talent show. Other cruises we have been on have the talent show during off peak hours. Faster to the Fun: Where to begin. Our luggage was check with the porter at 10:30. It arrived at our cabin at 4:30. 6 hours later. All three bags had the correct tags on them, and had been marked with priority stickers yet they were in the last group to be delivered. When we call Customer Service at 3:00, they seemed to genuinely care about the problem and check back with us 3 times to see if the bags arrived. They also refunded the FTTF fee due to the error. Another problem with the FTTF program was the Priority Tendering in Cabo San Lucas. FTTF guests were told to wait by Customer Service and they would be escorted to the tender boats. At 9:40, a ship officer walked past the approx 100 people waiting as he led a group of 7 towards the stairs. Nothing was said about following him but all 100 people, eagerly awaiting to leave the ship, figured out at once that he was the "escort" causing a stampede. It would have been better to line-up the FTTF/VIP people as they arrived so it would have been a more orderly process. On a plus note, the priority disembarkation went smooth. Overall, we will probably not be buying FTTF in the future based upon this cruise. Conclusion: The Miracle is a beautiful ship with an outstanding line crew. For the price of the holiday cruise, the trip was worth it. Being our 14th cruise, we have had better trips. With Royal Caribbean, and Disney, leaving the West Coast, your options are limited so you take what you can get. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
A friend and I decided to get away for the dual holidays of Christmas and New Year's and decided that the Carnival Miracle was a perfect option because it sailed from New York (we're New Yorkers) and we were looking for something ... Read More
A friend and I decided to get away for the dual holidays of Christmas and New Year's and decided that the Carnival Miracle was a perfect option because it sailed from New York (we're New Yorkers) and we were looking for something "all inclusive" Our embarkation went smoothly and we quickly found our room, finding our bathroom was another story because story because it took about a minute of two for the light to turn on. We then took our bottle of champagne and put it in our little refrigerator which did not work and took 5 days of an 8 day cruise to have replaced. Our luggage then arrived in a timely manner. However, my brand new suitcase was damaged with a pretty severe oil stain. We immediately went to guest services to complain, where we were rudely told.. "What do you expect?... Sometimes luggage gets dirty".... The agent reluctantly took the bag and smartly said "We'll clean it, but don't expect it to be "perfect" We then went to the Bacchus room for dinner, I ordered a soda with dinner, only to find out that only Iced Tea and Lemonade were "complimentary" The following day I decided to book some spa appointments for hair and nails. Each appointment lasted roughly an hour.. let me rephrase, the procedure lasted about 1/2 and hour, the sales pitch for the nail cream, hair cream, and face cream took the other half. That evening we dined at Nick and Nora's, the tenth floor steak house. NO COMPLAINTS here whatsoever. The service and the food were IMPECCABLE! On Thursday we arrived in Port Canaveral. We went on a shore excursion called "Pontoon Lagoon", which was a little ferry ride through people's backyards to look at trees where pelicans go to the bathroom. On Friday we arrived in Nassau, Bahamas, again by mistake we booked an excursion to the "Blue Lagoon". After spending more that an hour in a line that changed directions for fun and games, we made it through the hordes of natives trying to sell us anything from bottled water to cocaine. We arrived at our destination at 2:00 to be told that we need to be back on the boat at 4:15... Really screwed on that one! The following day we arrived in Freeport. My friend and I said "screw it" to our planned excursion (Fool me once....) But to Carnival's credit, they were willing to give us a credit on this. THANK YOU!!!!! We proceeded off the boat to go to the little port "village" that was set up. THIS WAS THE HIGHLIGHT OF OUR TRIP. There was a bar/restaurant there called Senor Frogs. This establishment provided an atmosphere of fun and adult entertainment that we could not find on the Miracle. THIS AFTERNOON WAS THE BEST PART OF OUR TRIP.... this was the first time a venue existed for the passengers to mingle and have fun with each other.... The consensus at the bar was that Carnival needed to provide an atmosphere like that.... and this was exactly what the Miracle was missing. We then set sail for New York, which was two more days at sea. This should have been relaxing and peaceful... BUT.... on our floor was a group of about 10 teenagers that amused themselves by knocking on cabin doors and running away at all hours of the night. This and prank phone calls lasted until the end of the trip. The cruise ended with New Years Eve... may have been fun, wouldn't know because at this point my friend and I were so tired of this atmosphere, we decided to stay in out cabin. Also, should be noted that after 8:30 PM the only food available is Pizza... edible, but after 8 nights, barely. Never so happy to see the Hudson River and New York City as I was on 1/1. THINK VERY CAREFULLY BEFORE TAKING THIS TRIP.... The best time you will have is at a bar in a tourist trap.... but that was TRULY an amazing time! Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
MY boyfriend and I took our first cruise aboard the Miracle from Christmas Eve to New Years. For the price we booked (booked an obstructed view balcony room but got bumped to a regular balcony) we felt the cru8ise, ship, staff and service ... Read More
MY boyfriend and I took our first cruise aboard the Miracle from Christmas Eve to New Years. For the price we booked (booked an obstructed view balcony room but got bumped to a regular balcony) we felt the cru8ise, ship, staff and service was excellent. Being that this was a long trip with a total of 4 sea days, it helped that there was lots of food and activities (good food at that )to keep us busy and and a fun fun trip. We went to Port Canaveral in Florida (Our least favorite, and could have done without it), and then off to Nassau and Freeport Bahamas. We did the Atlantis excursion in Nassau and fell in love with the resort and water park. We hit the beach ih Freeport and did some shopping. Overall we felt it was well worth it and made for a great and affordable holiday vaca!!! :) * we did not know that there is no heat on the ship in the rooms. There is only AC (so u can turn that on or off) but there is no heat to turn on. We would've been a little more prepared for that if we had known, since the first 2 days leaving NY was very very cold. They did provide us with extra blankets *Internet via satellite can be purchased (a little expensive however) *You must check out the Nick and Nora's steakhouse- its the only place you pay for food. Make a reservation ($35 per person). We did it one night (NYE night) and the food was awesome Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
We sailed on the Carnival Miracle in April out of NYC. We had cruised on Carnival's Inspiration 8 years ago(our first cruise) and everything was exceptional. However, we were truly disappointed with this cruise. Our major ... Read More
We sailed on the Carnival Miracle in April out of NYC. We had cruised on Carnival's Inspiration 8 years ago(our first cruise) and everything was exceptional. However, we were truly disappointed with this cruise. Our major complaint is with the difference in the treatment received by the staff. Primarily with their security staff on trying to get off the ship at the ports was the worst. After being at sea for 2 days our first stop was Puerto Rico and I think most everyone was anxious to get off. The ship only had one exit available and it seemed like chaos getting people lined up and took forever. It was not a pleasant experience and the security staff in charge were rude. Same thing happened at Turks and Caicos. We had booked a private excursion at Turks and thought we would miss it. Luckily they waited for us. At St. Thomas it was better because they did have 2 exits open. Not sure why they would only have had one at the others but it sure was poor planning and you felt like a criminal the way you were yelled at by the staff to stay in line etc. Another major difference we found was with Room Service. On our first cruise I was amazed at their prompt efficient service. Not this time. After the first 3 days I gave up and never called them again. Our order in the morning only consisted of two pots of tea and fruit. Never got that right. It was just the two of us and we just each wanted a pot of tea that basically give us two cups each to drink. We would get one pot of tea and four cups, one pot of tea and one cup, couldn't make them understand. They also would take forever to answer and you were placed on hold or even hung up on. So I gave up and would wonder down and carry it up myself. So they lost out on their tips that way. I also tried putting out the card on the door, but that never came at all. The best staff encounter was our room steward. He was great and we had no complaints at all with him. So we tipped him extra at the end since we choose to do our own gratuities at the beginning. We only tipped our dinning room staff the minimum since the service was just acceptable. I was thinking that perhaps there was a communication issue as our orders (for a table of six) were mixed up on 5 of the 7 times visiting the dinning room. The food itself was good but not exceptional. The bar staff that we encountered were good. You couldn't see the TV screen properly if you were lying in bed and we had to call them for service. That took two days to fix. Apparently from talking to other guests at breakfast they had the same issue. Not one to sit and watch TV while on a cruise, but do like to turn it on just before falling to sleep. Couldn't even make out the faces. Our experience at the ports of call: Puerto Rico - Not good. We had opted to venture off to a public beach and took a taxi there that we shared with someone else from the ship. That was ok but found the public beach very dirty. We started to walk back to find a cab to take us back to the ship. Found one that was just parked at the side of the street but he said he would not take us, that he was too busy. So we had to walk about 2 miles back to ship (on his directions) and never saw another cab. Not a pleasant experience. St. Thomas - We went to Secret Harbor Beach for snorkeling. I had researched this prior to the cruise. It was Wonderful. Probably the best snorkeling and the most pleasant beach I have ever visited. Highly Recommended. Amazing snorkeling experience and no crowds. Turks and Caicos: Nice. We had booked a private snorkeling charter. Preferred the snorkeling off the beach in St. Thomas though. Disembarkation from the ship: Good. Have to admit it was much better organized than getting off at the ports. Felt like they couldn't wait to get rid of us. Summary: Although we still enjoyed our cruise,I have to admit we're not planning another one soon. Going to book at an all-inclusive resort next year instead. Hopefully, you enjoy your cruise, just don't put high expectations on Carnival's Miracle. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
Overall great trip, except one glitch. We booked this trip months ago, and booked anytime dining. When we reached the port to register, the cards we received said 6 pm dining. We were told it was our travel agent's fault and that ... Read More
Overall great trip, except one glitch. We booked this trip months ago, and booked anytime dining. When we reached the port to register, the cards we received said 6 pm dining. We were told it was our travel agent's fault and that we needed to get in line at the Maitre D's desk at 3:30 pm that day. So, we waited and waited in line and we were told to come back at dinner time to fix it. We returned at dinner time to be told that there was a misprint and they have our anytime dining on the computer. So, all that confusion and waiting for nothing. We were not happy needless to say. Otherwise, great trip. Second night was formal night, yet the main dining room menu was less than formal in choices. We enjoyed the food overall - and the steakhouse was amazing. We also booked and rave about the Chef's Table Dinner. WOW. And, because we are return guests, we attended the Return Guest Reception on the last evening - appies and drinks on the house. Stay away from the Casino - you will only lose your cash. The spa is great, but they will push you to buy and buy. If you like wine, consider the wine package to save some money. Great choices, three tiers of wine packages to consider. Great ship, dining room decor is gaudy and strange, but otherwise, the ship is pretty. Great ports - St. Maarten, St. Lucia and St. Kitts. St. Lucia port is not recommended to walk around in, but the other two are great. St. Maarten has a great beach just 5 minutes walk away (and a great restaurant halfway down the boardwalk with a small live band outside - the food is amazing)....if you want to avoid an excursion cost. St. Kitts port is great for shopping. The catamaran cruise in St. Kitts was amazing and fun. Although we found that for the cost, the snacks onboard could have been more appetizing than stale chips and pretzels. St. Lucia boat cruise to Pitons was good, but again, a tray of thin tuna sandwich wedges for over 100 people on board is rather skimpy. They sure are making a profit when the snacks are so cheap. The back (aft) deck is for adults only, yet, parents with small children still make an effort to take over this pool area. Not sure why, as they have two other pool areas to use. That is my biggest pet peeve on this trip. Parents with small kids with floaties and diapers - please stay away from the adult pool! It was our Christmas and the ship decorated nicely. Nice menu on Christmas Day - the turkey was amazing. Our Ocean Suite was perfect - nice and spacious. Our Steward was always around and decorated our room each day. All and all, we would recommend this ship. Although we prefer Princess (more adults and higher quality food and decor), we still enjoyed the fun ship and all it had to offer. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
Boarding the ship VIP went very smooth, we were on boat within 30 min. VIP lounge offered cookies and fruit punch. Some people were sneaking in VIP line and staff was allowing them to proceed. The regular line to board boat was very long. ... Read More
Boarding the ship VIP went very smooth, we were on boat within 30 min. VIP lounge offered cookies and fruit punch. Some people were sneaking in VIP line and staff was allowing them to proceed. The regular line to board boat was very long. Dinner was average. Bar service was terrible, some nights we did not get served drinks. Service was average. Food was below average. My family made many trips to the toilet. The your time dining went well, except a few nights we had to wait in the bar for up to 30 minutes. Breakfast was not good, eggs were very watery. Pizzeria never had enough pizza, only had one person working there, handing out food and making the pizza all at once. The Owners suite was very spacious, tons of storage, room was kept very clean throughout our stay. Beatles show was good, the puppet show was dry. We did not see any other comedians. The McQuires sports bar was the only placed that allowed ESPN. The room cabins did not have ESPN. Cruise director was ok, but rarely seen. Casino did not kick small children out., they were hanging out by the black jack table. Nick and Nora's was not worth the price. Most of this restaurant is at the back where boat motor is and the glasses and candles on the tables were vibrating. It was a constant vibration at your seat., it was terrible. The sirloin was fatty. I felt it was over priced., a bit stuffy and proper. Some furniture in public rooms was worn. There was not a lot of entertainment on Lido deck (pool). Constant fighting over deck chairs. Boat was weathered more than average. Staff was not as friendly as past cruises including carnival. Laundry room on 7th. floor only had one working washing machine. expensive for wash $ 3.00 for washer, and dryer. There was an iron in laundry for use for free. Said Survery would be emailed, they were trying to save on trees, we are still waiting for Survey to be emailed to us. They wasted paper every day with their jewerly flyers that ended up in the garbage. It was more important for their jewerly flyers than to leave us a survey in our room so we can fill out with fresh minds. Took "Holiday Cruise", I am sure it cost more duing Christmas sailing, but this boat did not put you in the holiday spirit. Holiday Decorations were scarce unlike the other boats we sailed over Christmas. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
We welcomed the New Year on the Carnival Miracle and loved it! We arrived in Fort Lauderdale the same day the ship left, Dec 30th. We prefer going the day before but with Christmas and visits to family, we needed the extra day. Two of the ... Read More
We welcomed the New Year on the Carnival Miracle and loved it! We arrived in Fort Lauderdale the same day the ship left, Dec 30th. We prefer going the day before but with Christmas and visits to family, we needed the extra day. Two of the couples did go down the day before and were already on board when we arrived at the pier. Everything went right on schedule..got luggage and transfer to ship in just a few minutes. Embarkation took about 45 min but was painless. CABIN: We had an extended balcony on deck 8, right under the midship pool. Our group of 6 cabins were fairly close together as requested. However, that wasn't the best location because of some noise with chairs above us. Other than that, we loved being one floor down from the lido and near the elevators. Extremely convenient. Our cabin steward, Arif and his asst Ricardo were exceptional. We never had to ask for anything and our room was always spotless! SHIP: The ship itself was clean and did not look 5 years old. However, we have been on nicer ships as far as decor. We just didn't like the low ceilings and the theme..whatever it was suppose to be. This is just personal taste in decor. STAFF: The entire staff was friendly and happy. One bartender at the aft pool, Anak, was so friendly and took great care of us. He was always attentive and good natured. The dining room team of Luciano and Rex was exceptional! We had two tables of 6 on the first floor in the center at late seating. Food was very good and served promptly. Our entire group loved both waiters and thought that they were one of the best teams ever. Food on the lido deck was typical buffet food with some things being better than others. Breakfast omelets were good, deli sandwiches were good as well as hamburgers and hot dogs. The biggest surprise was the tastless desserts. Most of our group said the same thing..they just didn't have much flavor. However, the desserts in the dining room were really tasty. Don't understand why the ones on the buffet were bland. They looked beautiful but were a big disappointment..not worth the calories! Pizza was just ok; but, the calzones were better. ENTERTAINMENT: We loved the Generations show -very energetic. The show highlighting the Beatles -Ticket to Ride-was great..don't miss it. The adult comedy was funny but some might get offended. We thought he was good. We saw the Juggler and he was good..not great. Overall, we enjoyed the shows and thought the dancers/singers were talented. The cruise director, Malcom Burns, did a good job. EXCRUSIONS: We did a Carnival excursion (with 2 couples in our group)in Costa Rica "Off Road Adventure" and would highly recommend it. The team of Eric and Jose did a super job. We thought the excursion to be intersting and fun. In Panama we booked thru myfriendmario.com. They were very reliable but the beach part of our excursion was a big disappointment. It was on Saturday during the holiday and there were too many locals..bathrooms were so dirty as was the area. However, the trip to the Gatun Locks was interesting. Overall, I would recommend Mario's group just not the beach on a Saturday when all the locals are there and it's too crowded. In Belize we booked with CoralBreeze to do the Manatee watch, snorkeling and beach break. Unfortunately, the weather in Belize that day was chilly and overcast. We had 2 people who were not feeling well and one who had hurt his back right before we left for the cruise. We all decided to go to our assigned meeting place for the trip and cancel the excursion. They couldn't have been nicer about it. We had made a deposit prior to the cruise which we thought we would just forfeit. However, when I returned there was an email from Mark, the contact person staying he was sorry we had to cancel and would refund our deposit! Wow, was that ever nice of them to do! Both myfiendmario and Coralbreeze were found on CruiseCritic..and our entire group would recommend them. We did make a deposit in the Casino most nights. Didn't have much luck this cruise. However, one man in our group did win $500 towards his bar bill the last night. He had played some lottery scratch offs. That was exciting! As far as the casino, I hated the smoke filled room and would have enjoyed the casino more if it was non smoking. DEBARKATION: We all did luggage express. They pick up your luggage from the hallway and you don't see it until you get to your final destination/airport. Also, your boarding pass arrives in your cabin the night before. It was $20 per person and well worth it. We loved not having to mess with luggage or having to check it at the airport. OVERALL: We loved being on a cruise for New Year's. It was a fun, relaxing trip. Carnival did a great job and we would sail them again. They give the best value for the money. Anyone sailing on the Miracle will appreciate the professional and friendly staff, entertainment and food. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
My husband and I cruised on the Miracle over the Thanksgiving holidays. We have cruised numerous times before on Princess, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. We decided to give Carnival a try this time because the ports were interesting and ... Read More
My husband and I cruised on the Miracle over the Thanksgiving holidays. We have cruised numerous times before on Princess, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. We decided to give Carnival a try this time because the ports were interesting and the dates worked for us. It was overall a disappointing experience. The good things were: Malcolm, the Cruise Director who was the best we have ever had and our room steward, Sri who did an excellent job. These were the bad things: The worst thing was our cabin. We booked a "superior" balcony cabin with the extended balcony on the 8th deck. So far so good - but we were under the outdoor portion of the Lido restaurant and the chairs above us scraped the deck every time someone moved one to sit down or when the staff moved them back into place. This noise went on and on during the day and early morning during breakfast. One night around midnight they were moved around apparently while the deck was being cleaned. It was impossible to sleep in or take a nap midday. We selected the "Anytime Dining". What a mistake. We were herded in and out and the waiters barely spoke to us. They all seemed in a hurry to get us fed, get us out and turn the table for the next set of diners. It was a really bad experience. It was obvious that the waiters had no incentive to give you exceptional (or even really good) service since they might not see you again. (Tip at the end of the cruise?) I visited the spa on the last day at sea and took advantage of a bundled set of services. (3 for $109.00) Each service was discounted. All was well until the hairdresser who styled my hair attempted to charge me full price when I was checking out. When I explained to her that her service was part of my package she stood me down and argued with me about it in front of other clients. The Salon Manager eventually stepped in and got it settled in my favor, but the damage was done. It really ruined my spa visit. Overall, there were fewer people to wait on you everywhere on the ship and the level of friendliness and service was below what we are accustomed to. We will not sail on Carnival again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
My husband and his brother's family took the Southern Caribbean cruise for the 2009 Thanksgiving holiday. The three ports were St. Maarten, St. Lucia, and St. Kitts. We have cruised with Royal Caribbean and Princess, so this was our ... Read More
My husband and his brother's family took the Southern Caribbean cruise for the 2009 Thanksgiving holiday. The three ports were St. Maarten, St. Lucia, and St. Kitts. We have cruised with Royal Caribbean and Princess, so this was our first Carnival cruise. Overall, we had a blast, but I would not cruise Carnival again. Cruise Director: Fabulous! Malcolm, I know you are reading this and you were the hit of the ship! One of the best cruise directors I have ever come across. You knew him by sight, you knew his name, and you loved him. Very visible, and very funny. ***** 5 Stars !!!! Deck Service: Excellent! There was never a lack of a server and they all knew our names and what we drank by the second day. Of course, there is a charge for soda and alcohol and I think the servers may work off what they sell. In any case, they were very friendly and attentive. The prices of the drinks leave much to be desired, and this is where Carnival fails. ***** 5 Stars for Service ** Star for Price Room Steward: Great! Buhndi was our room steward and did a great job. The room was always clean, the ice bucket was always full, and a towel animal to greet us each nice with chocolates. The only difference between Royal Caribbean and Carnival is on Royal Caribbean they seem to be invisible. The rooms are always clean, but you never see them. It's like they sneak in and out. On Carnival, we saw the room stewards quite often. **** 4 Stars The Room: We had a balcony suite. The room was clean, and nice. Bathroom was good sized and I liked the shelves in the bathroom. Plenty of closets and drawers also. We were next door to the people we were vacationing with and we asked them to take down the divider on our balconys, we had to call them twice, but the second time they sent someone right up. What we didn't like was on the day before the last day of the cruise, they shut it without notifying us. The balcony doors do not slide, they close and with the wind on a ship, they are very loud when they close. We had a note in our stateroom one evening from a neighbor who asked that we not slam the door as they had a sick baby in their room. PEOPLE - WHY ARE YOU BRINING A BABY, ESPECIALLY A SICK BABY ON A CRUISE SHIP???? This is a complaint that should have been made to Carnival as we didn't design the ship, but we did make an effort and held the door each time we went out on the balcony so it did not make a lot of noise. **** 4 Stars Embarkation: Very SLOW. We arrived at approximately noon and waited for at least 1 1/2 hours to board. The line we were in only had 5 tellers and they seemed to be taking their breaks or lunch - so there were maybe 2 or 3 available for about 100 people in our line. ** 2 Stars - Needs Improvement The Ship: The layout was nice and it was easy to find your way around, except for the room hallways, they all looked the same. The dining room was nice, but our dinner table was in the corner and ceiling was very low. It made it very warm and claustrophobic at dinner time. The dining room was 2 floors, and had a very high ceiling in the middle. Not sure whey they decided to put such low ceilings on the outskirts of the dining room. Be sure you ask for a table in the middle of the dining room! The overall decor of the ship was ok. It actually made the ship seem older than it really was. The low ceilings throughout also made the rooms look much smaller than they really were. The pool areas were nice and you never had a problem finding a chair on the decks. The workout area was very small, and I had to walk around the spa and workout area 3 times to find the Yoga room, which was also very small. I did use the spa, and everything is clean, but Carnival needs to add more room for these amenities! All you seen upon entering the spa is closed doors. *** 3 Stars - Ok Dining Room Service: The service in the dining room was good, not great. The staff was friendly, but not overly friendly and did not take the time to get to know you. Larry was our waiter and always seemed to be in a hurry. Only once the whole cruise did he stop and actually have a conversation with us. Overall, the food was hot and service was fast. **** 4 Stars Entertainment: The entertainment was also just ok. The best show was the impersonator. She was great! The comedy show was ok, the hypnotist was ok. The first night the carnival dancers performed and I was very dissapointed, but they made up for it with the tribute to the beatles. *** 3 Stars Food: The food overall was just ok. The best thing was there was a lot of it and we pretty much ate every 2 hours. We had breakfast and lunch at the Lido Buffet almost everyday. There was a large selection, but like all buffets, the food was not hot just lukewarm, and drink service was invisible. You could get coffee, tea, and lemonade for free from the machine, but if you wanted a soda or cocktail - good luck finding anyone. The only thing that was quick in the buffet was the server waiting to clear your table. The dining room food was also just ok. On most cruises you gain 5-10 pounds, I did not gain any on this cruise and actually may have lost a few. Not much of a wide selection, same salads night after night, and I'm over the chocolate melting cake. Carnival needs more variety on their menu! In addition, they were stingy with the food. You had to ask if you wanted another of something and on the last night which was Prime Rib, the pieces were small. My husband hinted that he was still hungry to the waiter on several occasions, but it fell on deaf ears. DO NOT go to the Dining Room for Breakfast, unless you have nothing else to do that day. The wait is approx. 45 minutes just to get your breakfast, and once again the drink waiter is invisible. I think the breakfast is where they actually train the new waiters. *** 3 Stars Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
Christmas on the Miracle. DH and I both teachers in our late 50s living in south Georgia. This was our 17th cruise, 9th with Carnival and 4th Christmas cruise. We drove the 7 hours south to visit DH and SIL in Sarasota the day before the ... Read More
Christmas on the Miracle. DH and I both teachers in our late 50s living in south Georgia. This was our 17th cruise, 9th with Carnival and 4th Christmas cruise. We drove the 7 hours south to visit DH and SIL in Sarasota the day before the cruise, then headed across Alligator Alley the next morning, arriving in Ft. Lauderdale at 11am. Parking garage was right by the ship and we were onboard having lunch in Horatio's with champagne in hand before noon. There seemed to be many extended family groups because of this being a Christmas cruise. Before we left home we had received an e mail informing us that because on the Miracle's ongoing propulsion problems we would be going to Grand Turk instead of St. Lucia and would be getting a $50 obc. We had never been to either of them so we did not mind too much. We like the layout of the Spirit class ships having previously sailed on the Legend and had no trouble finding our way around, and were delighted with our 8H extended balcony room 7258 which has a wonderfully large balcony. We enjoy spending time outside on the balcony and really enjoyed the great space which had plenty of room for the two loungers, two chairs and a table plus space left over. Our steward was Erfan and he was excellent. Attended the required muster drill [outside this time], and was surprised that people were not allowed to take photos. This was a new one for us. I can understand not taking photos during the drill, but why not before it. I am into scrap-booking and we always take pictures of each other for the scrapbook. The weather was less than perfect being overcast and windy and stayed that way for the next two days. We sailed out of Ft. Lauderdale into choppy waves which were to stay that way until our arrival in St. Martin, and meant that the top decks were fastened off because of the wind. We had early dining in the Bacchus Dining Room and yes everything they say about the dEcor is true, however it never stopped us eating there! We were at an 8 top table, and as usual we seemed very lucky with our tablemates making great new friendships. Our wait staff, Vermista and Warren, were friendly, efficient and helpful. The food was good rather than great, but as we always enjoy trying different things, we have no real complaints about the food. Although we always intend trying out the specialty dining areas, we usually get on so well with our table companions that we just end up returning to the MDR. We also ate breakfast and lunch there most days. The only complaint we had about service on the entire cruise was at lunch the first sea day when we were at a table for two and after taking our order, the servers did not return for 35 minutes. The tables either side of us who came in after us had been served and left before we received our meal. We were on vacation so we waited which would not normally have been the case, but when we left, DH had a word with Pagi the assistant maitre d' giving him the table number and suggesting that there was an opportunity for some retraining. Every time we saw Pagi after that, he made a point of chatting and making sure everything was fine. On the occasions we ate at Horatio's we found a good selection and as those were port days when the MDR was closed, there were always plenty of tables available, and they were cleared promptly as soon as other diners left. We used room service once and it came very quickly and was very good. We always try to attend the shows and any backstage tours as I used to teach theatre and cannot miss a show whether good or bad. While we enjoyed the shows, especially Ticket to Ride, I have seen better performances on other Carnival ships. We felt that the entertainment in general was lacking especially as this was a Christmas cruise. Although we do not spend time in the casino or playing bingo, we did manage to win our first "ship on a stick" at one of the trivia games and also spent time doing some of the crafts which took place on sea days. However perhaps it was because of having the great balcony, we spent most of our time relaxing and reading out there. After the choppy seas, it was pleasant to arrive in St. Martin. As we have been there several times before, we did not arrange an excursion but took the water taxi across to the shops and wandered around town doing some shopping. Some day we will try to get to the neighboring island of Saba, [site where the original King Kong movie was filmed], as SIL's father is Dutch, was born on Saba and says it is beautiful and unspoiled. We arrived in St. Kitts to early morning drizzle but by the time our excursion [booked through Carnival] was ready to start it had cleared up a little. We went to Brimstone Hill Fortress, the Batik shop and gardens. Our driver took us to the fortress first and even though the "liquid sunshine" started while we were there, it was really enjoyable and without the rain and low clouds would have fantastic views. We were there for only about 30 minutes and I wish we could have spent longer. The rain had cleared by the time we reached the gardens which were beautiful and we enjoyed watching the batik process. As we were driving around St. Kitts, the damage caused by Hurricane Ike in September was very obvious but nowhere nearly as bad as it was in Grand Turk. The arrival at Grand Turk was again in the rain. The cruise port has been specially built at one end of the six mile by one mile island and contains the usual shops, dining locations, a pool complex and beaches. We took a taxi into the town and along the way the tremendous damage caused by the hurricane was very obvious. Our driver took us past her home on the way to town, and half the roof was still covered with plastic sheeting. Almost every building received some form of damage. If you go into town, do not miss the maritime museum. For a small museum it has some excellent exhibits and is well worth seeing. The old building built in the 1800s was one of the least damaged on the island. While checking out the museum shop, we chatted with the owner's son who told us that because the school still was not open after the hurricane, he would have to go to school in the U.S. to complete his senior year of high school and was getting ready to leave in a day or so. Many teachers had left the island because of having no homes to live in and school consisted of a tent where some of the younger children were taught by whatever teachers were still on the island. Grand Turk does have some beautiful beaches and excellent diving, but several people we spoke with on the ship were complaining about replacing St. Lucia with a location still so badly damaged by a hurricane. Overall we enjoyed the cruise and spent a great deal of time just relaxing which is one of the things we love about cruising. Embarkation and debarkation: A Ship-condition/cleanliness: A Stateroom: A Food: B Service : B+ Entertainment: B- Ports: B- Value for money: B+ Weather:[not Carnival's fault]: C Read Less
Sail Date December 2008
Getting to Ft. Lauderdale: We live in Tampa, so we had a 250+ mile drive ahead of us. Most of us rented cars (from Tampa Int Airport) the day before, we met up at a local gas station and made sure everyone had gas, snacks and everything ... Read More
Getting to Ft. Lauderdale: We live in Tampa, so we had a 250+ mile drive ahead of us. Most of us rented cars (from Tampa Int Airport) the day before, we met up at a local gas station and made sure everyone had gas, snacks and everything we needed before hitting the road. We were on the road and on our way to our cruise around 5:30am! The drive was quick and easy, not much traffic since it was Sunday morning! We arrived in the Ft. Lauderdale area about 10am. The port was a mess, there were 6 ships in port and it was CROWDED! Most of us opted to drop our luggage, the kids & older family members off at the port while we returned the cars. All of the rental car agencies were packed! Once the cars were returned we hopped on a shuttle that quickly took us back to the port. By the time we all returned to the port it was about 11:00am. Embarkation: The line moved fairly quickly but it was mass confusion. We were a wedding group and were suppose to have priority boarding so that we would have time to prepare for the wedding. That didn't happen and every person we talked to gave us a different answer. Our group ended up being separated and no one knew what was going on or where the rest of the wedding party was. Eventually we all boarded around 11:45a and met up at our rooms, which were available to us early, for the wedding. Cabin & Room Steward: We were in cabin M4104, our family had rooms M4102, M4101 & M4103 as well. These were located all the way forward near the stairs, elevators and right near the entrance to the Phantom lounge, we literally walked out of our cabin, took a few steps and we were in the theater! I loved this location! We were worried about noise and such but that was never an issue and it was really nice to be so close to our cabins after a long day and show at the theater! I don't recall the name of our cabin Steward, he was OK. The room was kept tidy and clean. Our only complaint was that our cabin was HOT the entire cruise, maintenance came and did something but the air never got very cold. Pursers Desk, Photo Gallery & Staff: This is where we were really unimpressed...the Pursers staff were not very knowledgeable. A few of us should have had on board credits but they were not in our accounts, they were clueless about the whole thing but the ships group coordinator contacted Carnival for us. The issue was not resolved until about a week after or return and they refunded the money to my credit card. I was just happy to get my money (it was over $200)! The photo gallery staff is another area lacking. I tend to be very picky when it comes to photos, comes with being a photographer I guess, and was shocked to see the awful wedding photos they presented my cousin with! Almost every photo in the album was bad, even basic photo techniques were lacking and even the focus was just not there! The posed, studio work was a bit better though. On one occasion while looking through my stack of images from the week trying to decide on which pictures I was going to buy, one of the staff accused me of photographing the actual pictures. I had my camera next to me on the table, I was shocked to be accused of something like that. I told her how I felt and showed her it would be quite impossible to photograph pictures with my lens cap on!! She never apologized and it still irks me, I highly value copyright laws since I make a portion of my income from photography. I would never violate that. That wasn't the only run in with them though, at another time I was with my cousin who was asking questions about buying the video that runs continuously in the cabins and the guy behind the counter kept making snide comments & rolling his eyes to his buddy. I surely hope these workers are removed from the ships because they are AWFUL!! Food & Dining: We had the late seating for dinner, which is perfect for us. Our group was seated at 6 tables of 6 all near each other like we had requested. Our wait staff was very friendly, service was a bit slow but it was ok. The food was great, I ate some sort of steak every night...and each and every one was perfect!! The buffet food was always good, I loved the lido deck burgers & the sandwiches! We only ordered room service once, for a quick snack. It came fairly quickly and was good! Entertainment: I've mentioned in other reviews, I'm not really into the shows they have, so take my opinion with a grain of salt:)! The shows are well done, and seem good, everyone looks like they enjoy them. They are just not cup of tea, although the Beatles tribute was kind of fun, my kids really liked it!! I always look forward to the adult comedy shows, but on this particular cruise our comedian was just ok. We had a few laughs but nothing really stands out about his performance. The Christmas show they do was cute, my daughter participated and had a lot of fun singing on stage. Of course the highlight for the kids was when Santa arrives and he even brought small gifts for each kid, that was a nice touch! The grandparents were brought to tears and I took many pictures I will cherish forever! Ports of call: St Maarten nice place to see, we did an island tour. We saw all the highlights and stopped a few times to buy souvenirs at a little flea market. Be leery when shopping, we would ask a price, they would tell us the amount then when we went to pay they would switch the price and try to keep our change. The locals here were friendly enough although all they wanted was our money; we weren't overly impressed with this port. St Lucia stay on board the ship or book an excursion! We made the mistake of hiring a driver to take us to a local beach. He promised paradise, but we were dropped off at a tiny spot of beach between resorts and were harassed all day! We had to pay to rent the chairs & umbrellas, the price kept changing and we had to practically beg them for our change back. The locals here were RIDICULOUS!! I mean I have been to quite a few ports and seen the beggars but they just don't give up here!! ALL day it was a continuous stream of people trying to sell us something. We could not relax for one minute and finally some of us had had it. One guy tried selling my cousins' wife a necklace, they agreed on a price, she gave him the money but he wanted more. So she gave him the necklace back and he threatened to call the police because she would not buy the necklace!!! It turned into a fiasco with a few of our guys about to fight with them, luckily we were able to calm our guys down and we left. But never in my life have I seen such rude people. If they want tourists to come and buy from them they should treat us with some respect! And it wasn't just us, there were many people complaining about this island once we got back on board, One couple were on a snorkel excursion and the locals were in boats trying to sell them stuff while they were trying to enjoy their excursion!! I will never set foot on that island again! St. Kitts BEAUTIFUL Island and nice people everywhere we went. This was by far our favorite island of the 3!! We took an island tour with Royston; he was excellent, very friendly and knowledgeable! We paid about $20 per person (half for kids) and spent about 4 hours touring the island. We were able to see a bit of everything and even stopped for drinks and snacks! The Ship Overall: This was our first time on the Miracle, it's a beautiful ship and in great condition! The layout was quite easy to master and I liked the decor. I was especially fond of the Mad Hatter's Lounge...that is an Alice in Wonderland lovers dream come true!! There were lots of places to relax and have quiet time which is nice. I don't know all the details or technical info...but there was something wrong with the stabilizers while we were sailing. There was mention that the ship was only using one engine and there were propulsion issues? I don't know much about that, but I do know that was the rockiest cruise I have ever been on. We were going side to side all the time, at one point the water was coming over the sides of the pool! Lots of people were feeling queasy and swaying all over the place while walking...it made people watching quite fun actually!! But everyone still seemed to enjoy themselves, which is good! So, that about sums it up. We had a great time, even though there were quite a few let downs, but that won't change our feelings towards cruising. I guess every cruise can't be perfect right, lol?!! Read Less
Sail Date December 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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