5 Carnival Miracle Cruise Reviews for Repositioning Cruises to Panama Canal & Central America

We chose a aft balcony to come through the canal, hoping to enjoy the many sea days on the balcony and de-stress, relax and enjoy the break of the daily work grind. THIS DID NOT HAPPEN! We had oil droplets spewing from the funnel each and ... Read More
We chose a aft balcony to come through the canal, hoping to enjoy the many sea days on the balcony and de-stress, relax and enjoy the break of the daily work grind. THIS DID NOT HAPPEN! We had oil droplets spewing from the funnel each and every day and these oil drops were landing on us, destroying our clothes, and not able to sit out without enjoying a daily spray of oil. Our room Stewart was amazing. He was very upset that there was so much oil coming out of the funnel and he scrubbed the balcony each day and even though we did ask for evening service he would come and wipe it down just in case we wanted to try and go out on the balcony. The guest services team did not believe that this was Happening and basically called us liars until 5 different people at 3 different times came to check out what was occurring. They finally gave us “white” shirts to put on if we wanted to go out on our balcony as the Engineer that came as a last effort to disprove us, said “It is oil and he can’t fix it out at sea, as he can’t shut down an engine”. Needless to say, we basically had an aft balcony room that was officially now an ocean view room. Not only were we concerned about what we would breath in if we wore the “white” shirts they provided to us to wear, if we wanted to use our balcony, but also what was being spewed into our ocean as we cruised along spewing the oil droplets. Safety, health and environmental concerns. The sanitation effort on the crews part was exceptional, they all were working extra to ensure that the ship was disinfected continuously, minimizing the risk of exposure to the Coronavirus and ensuring we all stayed healthy. Absolutely Job Well Done! Food was excellent, and serving staff was excellent to. Room had some air conditioning issues and some foul smell coming from across the hall from were the crew was repairing the pool, as well as there was diesel smell coming from the water in the shower and sink. Coffee in the buffet had a diesel smell and I can officially say I was caffeine free for 2 weeks as the coffee smelt like diesel and tasted awful. Thank god for bottled water! We have sailed on Carnival Miracle before for a 15 day Hawaii cruise and she ‘was’ one of our favourite ships, so when we booked this cruise along with her just coming out of dry dock, we didn’t expect to have all the issues. Hopefully by her having to be guest free for a few weeks, will give the crew an opportunity to get her back up to her splendour and the shape she was before. We would recommend this ship if they get the issues fixed, as she is a beautiful ship with intimate spaces hidden away, and on deck 3 at the front of the ship, is excellent for star gazing. Highly recommend a full transit Panama Canal Cruise, as we did a partial transit previously and we enjoyed that one, but going from the Atlantic to the Pacific and seeing the full wonder of the sheer magnitude of the amount of work it took to create this Canal is a sight to see. Entertainment was the normal, same shows that if you are a frequent Carnival guest will know the shows. This is an area that Carnival is lacking in, is the shows, they need a refresh and a change. After 12 cruises with Carnival, we can pretty much tell you what the playlist lineup will be. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
The March 5 repositioning was excellent from Miami to the Miracle's new home (we hope) in San Francisco. Although there was some concern about the novel coronavirus, it was the best ship in the world to sail on. The Miracle was ... Read More
The March 5 repositioning was excellent from Miami to the Miracle's new home (we hope) in San Francisco. Although there was some concern about the novel coronavirus, it was the best ship in the world to sail on. The Miracle was coming off of 15 days in dry dock in Freeport with replacement of many furnishings and plenty of time for any residual virus to die (published studies say maximum of 3-day survival on surfaces depending on moisture and temperature). Cartagena had a beautiful old town and artisan market; very much worthwhile. The full Panama Canal transit was magnificent; worth every penny and extra days at sea. On the Atlantic side, we transited the three Gatun Locks up to Gatun Lake. On the Pacific side, went through Pedro Miguel Lock, then proceeded to the two Miraflores Locks. At the first one, we stopped briefly to board three (health?) officials. Then we stopped for over an hour at the final lock to disembark a passenger, who reportedly had immediate surgical needs, and his wife and the three officials. For the stop in Puntarenas, Costa Rica, we simply walked around the small town taking in the basic aquarium and plenty of shopping. We had a couple of beers at a nearby bar and used their excellent WiFi to check email. Next port of call was Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala where we booked the only excursion; "Top 10 Sights of Antigua with lunch". Manny was a very knowledgeable and understandable guide; he has a degree n anthropology and a Masters degree in tourism business. The ship skipped our scheduled port of call at Cabo San Lucas. We were denied permission to dock at the Miracle's future home port of San Francisco. For several days, we did not know where or if we would be given permission to dock. Finally, the port of LA allowed us to dock at San Pedro, one day earlier than our scheduled San Francisco termination port. All of the crew, especially the Cruise Director, were very emotional as we ended the cruise since they were unsure of the future of the cruise industry. The short term financial crisis and the long term health concerns over the cruise industry. Donald Trump's good friend and donor, Micky Arison, offered to use Carnival cruise ships to alleviate housing needs during the novel coronavirus crisis and the ships' hiatus from cruise itineraries. On the refurbished Miracle's first journey after dry dock, food, cabins, entertainment, and service were all very good. I was sad that there was no show band to play with the big theater productions. All music was pre-recorded and lacked the amazing sound of live musicians. The entertainment director said all ships had gone that route since it is almost impossible to find quality musicians who are willing to sign-on as ship staff for several months at a time. Importantly, for extra hygiene during this time of coronavirus concern, the staff added protocols for serving guests all food, including many condiments. This meant that staff had to work extra hours to man all of the stations that are usually self-serve. I am sure the extra protocols helped the ship to have no reported cases of novel coronavirus or flu on the entire sailing. Congratulations to staff and passengers for sanitizing hands frequently. Staff gently reminded guests at every opportunity to use the sanitizing stations all around the ship. The Miracle is an excellent ship with 2,500 passenger capacity. That is not too big, but big enough to have full staffing. It never felt crowded, except occasionally having to wait up to 10-15 minutes for a table for anytime dining. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We chose this cruise because we had always wanted to go through the Panama Canal. We only could take two weeks off from work, so this was the cruise we chose. This was a repositioning cruise for the Miracle, but Carnival also billed it ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had always wanted to go through the Panama Canal. We only could take two weeks off from work, so this was the cruise we chose. This was a repositioning cruise for the Miracle, but Carnival also billed it as a Panama Canal cruise. PROS: Our stateroom (an obstructed view balcony) was large enough for two people and kept well cleaned and stocked by our excellent steward, Lindon. The obstruction of our view was not bad at all, and consisted of a lifeboat that came about up to our ankles. Our servers in the main dining room, Roxana, IWayan, and Indrawan, were excellent. The cruise had numerous sea days, which was very relaxing. The fun squad kept us busy with lots of trivia and games. Food was delicious, and there was plenty of fresh fruit and veggies. Minimal chair hogs and dinner lines, the cruise was not fully booked. Embarkation was fast and easy, about 10 minutes from curb to lido deck. This crowd was a little on the geriatric side with loads of diamond and platinum members. Everyone made it to the muster drill, and everyone made it on time after being ashore. We did the Chef's table, it was excellent and well worth the money. Singh and Helen at the service desk were very helpful. CONS: Carnival needs to take a look at their cruise passenger demographics before a cruise. This cruise was filled with senior citizens (there were only 11 children on board!) that were on a bucket list cruise. We went through the panama canal during mid-day (which was too hot for these seniors), people were understandably standing out on deck to see the locks, and Carnival could have provided some cooling measures like iced washcloths and cool drinks. I did see some cool drinks being handed out, but none never made it to the forward lido deck where there were about 250 passengers. Also, put some chairs out on the forward lido deck! We were standing for hours in the hot sun. With all the sea days, I would have appreciated some chairs out on the outside promenade deck. It's nice and quiet down there, and a great place for reading, but only if there's a chair there to sit on. Carnival advertised this cruise as a Panama Canal cruise, but we were given minimal information the actual day of the canal transit. They did have some sort of (pilot?) guy that made about 10 short announcements over the course of the 13 hour transit, but that was it. No guest speaker the night before that told us what to expect, or about the history of the canal, or any other speakers. There was one Academy of Fun guy, but he talked about space, astronomy, astronauts, etc. He was great, but it would have been more appropriate to talk about the canal that was on all of our bucket lists. Seriously, Carnival, what would it take to get some history buff speaker? Or a civil engineer? Debarkation was terrible, and I've never ever said that before in any of my reviews. Not sure if the ship arrived late or what, but debarkation started about an hour late. We didn't get off the ship until almost 11, and we were in the middle of the crowd. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was a repositioning of the Miracle to its new home port of Tampa Fl. Carnival put the average age of passengers to be 67 and there were less than 20 passengers under 21. Since Carnival knew the age of their passengers they should of ... Read More
This was a repositioning of the Miracle to its new home port of Tampa Fl. Carnival put the average age of passengers to be 67 and there were less than 20 passengers under 21. Since Carnival knew the age of their passengers they should of been better prepared. The cruise started by leaving Long Beach hours late due to loading the ship. This set the ship arriving and leaving most ports late. You know a company that can turn a ship around on a dime knows how to load and unload a ship. They do 2 week cruises all the time. So it was poor planning on their side to get the ship loaded, or it was something else but they blamed it on tying to load the ship. We bought the trip to see a volcano in Guatemala through Carnival. Since we arrived over two hours late to the port we started our tour late. Disembarking was a nightmare. They let everyone off the ship at once. We were in line over a half an hour to get off. People were actually trying to get back on the ship when we were getting off after buy souvenirs on the dock. We ended up being toward back of bus. The tour guide could barely speak English. We were supposed to get food but they did not have enough for the back of the bus. They passes out information on Guatemala but did not have enough for the back of the bus. The information provided by Carnival did not prepare us for the trip. Some of the passengers must of researched the trip but about half the people did not research beyond what Carnival wrote up on the site they sold the tour on. Getting off the ship it was extremely hot and humid. The bus we had was on its last leg and the A/C did not work well. When we got to the area to walk up to the volcano it was about 60 degrees. We then discovered the hike was about an hour on a very sandy trail that was about a 25 to 30 degree incline. My wife and I made it about half way up and we asked how much more to the top and we were told we were only half way there. We ended up walking back to the bus, both really cold and I slipped and fell a couple times due to trail quality and that it was already getting dark. Others had to walk down the trail in total darkness. Other issues with Carnival was in Columbia. They let us disembark with two exits but only used one to let us come back on the ship with. We again waited in line in the direct sun. The crew were allowed to cut the line to get back on the ship. Remember average age was 67, so there were some very old people not in great health standing in the direct sun for a long time. Most issues I had were on how poorly organized the leadership on Miracle were. Don’t think I will sail on Carnival again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
SERVICE AND STAFF - Mayura and Gede were great cabin stewards. Any request was immediately taken care of, and our cabin was always neat and clean. Once a day cleaning was during our dinner seating and completely effective. Thanks a ... Read More
SERVICE AND STAFF - Mayura and Gede were great cabin stewards. Any request was immediately taken care of, and our cabin was always neat and clean. Once a day cleaning was during our dinner seating and completely effective. Thanks a million to our cabin team!! We had laundry done twice on the cruise and it was clean and carefully folded when returned by our stewards, We even got a nice note from I. Putu in the laundry thanking us for using the laundry. In the MDR, Our head waiter was Komang, with our team waiters Made and Vincent. They were very attentive, careful with our orders, and really fun to have around. Their presence at open seating at brunch were chances to see them outside of dinner, and they never failed to please. The cruise director was fun and kept things moving. The Captain and navigation staff were excellent in maneuvering the ship for the safety of the guests and crew. We went through 100 mph winds and huge waves with no damage and little discomfort to guests. We would love to sail with any and all or these crew members again. ENTERTAINMENT - Music, stage shows, comedians, jugglers... they were all great. Carnival booked excellent entertainment for our 14 day cruise. They even focused on rock and roll music from the 50's, 60's, and 70's. After all, the average age on the cruise was 67, with many of us a bit older. OUR music!! FOOD AND DRINK - We mainly ate in the Main Dining Room, with several breakfasts and a couple of lunches in the buffet. The food we had was very good, and the variety was interesting even over a 14 day cruise. We did not feel the need to eat in the steakhouse as we were enjoying the food in the MDR. ONBOARD ACTIVITIES - W really enjoyed the "Journeys Academy of Fun" lectures, and the Panama Canal lecture. They were fun, informative, and covered an array of topics. Tom is an excellent speaker and obviously loves interacting with the guests. We loved the music all over the ship, and played trivia on sea days. We watched the playoff football games in the sports bar, and loved the stage shows in the evenings. Some days we just relaxed and read in quiet corners or in our cabin. The highlight, though, was the full transit through the locks at the Panama Canal. Just WOW! SHIP DESIGN AND CLEANLINESS - We love the older, mid-sized ships. They are easy to move around in, and the decor is reminiscent of old-time cruising. The Miracle could use a dry dock to add some of the newer restaurant venues, touch up paint, carpet, etc., but nothing is really in bad shape. The crew keeps it in really clean condition., even after the spills caused by the 12 - 15 ft waves and high winds we encountered. PUERTO QUETZAL, GUATAMALA - We took the 10 Best of Antigua, Guatemala with Lunch excursion. Moises was an excellent guide and made the best of our time. We arrived in port late due to the heavy overnight storm. Antigua is a lovely old city and worth another visit. Moises was a wealth of information on the history of Central America, the volcanoes in the country, and the Mayan history. I would love a longer tour with him. PUNTARENAS, COSTA RICA - We took the San Jose National Theater and Lunch excursion. Our tour guide was Humberto and our driver was Jaime. They were great! The theater is gorgeous, with one of the 10 most beautiful ceilings in the world. We also went to the National Museum with a wonderful collection of Mayan gold and pottery artifacts. The tour is well worth the cost and we would do it again. PANAMA CANAL FULL TRANSIT - This was an amazing experience. No matter how many films or pictures you see, the transit is mind boggling. The lecture on the canal and history was a great introduction then we experienced the locks with 12" to 18" clearance. If you have the chance to do the transit, you won't be disappointed! CARTEGENA, COLUMBIA - We love Cartegena and were happy to stop there again. We took the Cartegena by Land and Sea excursion. Our guide was Raphael and the driver was Manuel. We got some history on the boat ride and saw the two forts guarding the bay entrance, but the noise made it difficult to hear. We then boarded a bus and went to the oldest fort in the city - amazing structure, but don't try this tour if you cannot walk on steep inclines through the fort in the heat. We had several older guests who had real problems. The city bus tour with good information about the city was enjoyable, but the stop at a high-end jewelry store was annoying. No one is going to shop for expensive jewelry when they are hot, sweaty, thirsty, and exhausted. You may want to ask your guide to go back to the ship early in stead of the shop if possible. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Carnival Miracle Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 3.5 3.9
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 4.0
Rates 3.0 4.4

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