3 Jacksonville Carnival Miracle Cruise Reviews

I anxiously checked the boards daily waiting for reviews so now that my cruise is over, here's mine on Carnival Miracle. We went with our friends who had 2 kids like we do. The kids entertained themselves (ages 9-12). We were upgraded ... Read More
I anxiously checked the boards daily waiting for reviews so now that my cruise is over, here's mine on Carnival Miracle. We went with our friends who had 2 kids like we do. The kids entertained themselves (ages 9-12). We were upgraded from 8A to 8H. Only bad thing is if you are on the 8th deck (highest floor with rooms). You will wake up to the crew putting down deck chairs or kids running. Embark and Debark were very easy but we got there at 11:00 AM on 1st day and we were on the ship by 12:15 (pictures are the hold up). Leaving we waited in our room until they called our tag color (around 9:30) and we were off and in our car in less than 45 minutes. If you choose to carry all your luggage off, you can get off first. The ship is great and easy to get around after the first couple days. Food was very good in both the buffet and dining room. Prime rib in the buffet line the last night was very chewy but other than that great. Deli sandwiches are the best. Pizza was great, they had salads and fruit, Italian buffet, burgers, dogs, steak sandwiches, and Chinese everyday. In the morning, you can get fried eggs in the omelet line but you have to ask. Surprising the lines in the buffet or other dining areas were not long and the ship was full. Just like last year's cruise, they don't have enough bartenders in the dining room so if you need a drink, order 2 at one time because they don't come back and ½ the time didn't show up. In the buffet area, they need to clear tables quicker. If you notice one side of the ship real windy, check the other side. We went out the first morning to save our chairs (we stay at them because it's rude just to put the towel down) and it was chilly. We walked to the other side of the ship and the wind was not as bad, kinda weird, but true!!! We had no problem getting chairs. We went down at 8:00 AM on both sea days there they were plentiful. Didn't really fill up until after 10:30. Watch out, the pool in the aft section is only for adults, no kids. Todd, the cruise director and his staff were TOP NOTCH. Best I've seen afloat. The second night on the ship they had a "bar crawl" wherein you start at one bar and go to 4-5 other bars and end up in the Disco so you can see what each of them offer. We had the best time doing this activity and it helps you decide where to lounge at night. Our favorite was the Piano bar with "Cam." It's a sing along bar and he sings based on requests. GREAT TIME. Shows were good, don't miss them. Comedian on board was funny too. Cozumel - We did Dolphin Discovery and booked direct back in Jan. It was worth every penny including the $50 video and $16 pictures! They actually redid some of the stunts because they didn't get us on video like they wanted. The dolphins swim right next to you and you can touch and pet them, etc. Stopped at Carlos and Charlie's, it was hopping but didn't stay because we had kids with us. After this port, they have a big party on deck that looked entertaining. We were tired and didn't stay but looked like a lot of fun. Cab rides are another excursion as they drive fast and not cautiously! Costa Maya - Nothing to write home about, didn't do a tour just went to the beach. Beers were only $2.00 and we had plenty. Our daughters had their hair braided. As soon as they take you in town where they drop you off they are right there. $20.00 for the whole head, but after us, she was telling other people $1.00/braid. Always negotiate. Be careful what lounge chairs you pick - if they are beside a bar, you may need to pay $3.00. We had some we dragged down and didn't' pay for but the other 2 we did! The band comes up and plays music and then expects a tip. Freeport - Only went shopping for junk and didn't make to the beach. Buy extra booze - we went to claim duty on the extra 4 bottles and they didn't charge anyone except the guy who bought 18 bottles had to pay but not the couple extra. If you reorder pictures make sure you check them out. I was in a hurry and didn't check mine and paid for an 8X10 and didn't get it. Called Carnival and they have an inquiry out, but who knows if I'll ever hear back. Picture costs - 5X7 - $7; 6X9 - $8; 8X10 - $20. They can add up!!! Kids did not do anything with Camp Carnival as they chose to spend their time in the Arcade but we signed them up wherein they could come and go as they pleased. I wish they would have done something but they had a great time anyway. Hope this helps any future cruisers. Read Less
Sail Date April 2004
The Miracle was truly a fabulous ship!! The food was delicious and always available! The rooms were roomy anc comfortable. The entertainment was fabulous. We especially liked the band that played in Frankie and Johnnie's Club!! They ... Read More
The Miracle was truly a fabulous ship!! The food was delicious and always available! The rooms were roomy anc comfortable. The entertainment was fabulous. We especially liked the band that played in Frankie and Johnnie's Club!! They were awesome and never took a break! Cozumel was fun. We rented a jeep for $55 dollars for 5 hours at Executive car rental. We went to the National park and into the shopping district with a stop at Carlos & Charlies. It was a fun time and sorry we didn't have the jeep longer. We got back to the port and Fat Tuesdays was in full swing. So we had a few drinks until it was time to board the ship. Costa Maya was my favorite port....just pristine and everything at the port was free. Swimming and beach available for free. We went Jet skiing for a half hour ( 45 min really) for $45 thru Lets Go Snorkeling. The Jet skis were fantastic and I highly recommend it. It was just beautiful here and very serene. Got some great deals in the little fishing village, just haggle until you get your price. I heard you can get an hour massage on the beach for $20 and wished I had know before getting there!!! Freeport Bahamas didn't impress me much. We took a taxi Van to Paradise Cove beach resort and cost $15 per person round trip ( there were 5 of us). It was a beautiful beach and we went snorkeling there. We had to snorkel from the beach shore out very very far and back. I'd prefer not to do it here again because I was pretty tired by the time I got out to where the beautiful fish were and it started getting more wavy. It was a long way back. Anyway, if you go to Paradise Cove be prepared to Pay for all the extra's. $10 snorkel fee includes beach access. $3 beach access, ski belt $3/per day,towel $2 per day, beach Chair $2/per day, Float $2/day, wet suit $5/hour, Kayaks- one man $15 per hour, 2 man $20 per hour, spy cat $30 per hour. The service on the ship was excellent and I didn't want to go home!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2004
We flew from Philadelphia on Monday morning and arrived in JAX at around 10am. We left the baggage claim and boarded a van on the sidewalk right outside to take us to the ship. It was $20 per person one way. The van driver took us on a 15 ... Read More
We flew from Philadelphia on Monday morning and arrived in JAX at around 10am. We left the baggage claim and boarded a van on the sidewalk right outside to take us to the ship. It was $20 per person one way. The van driver took us on a 15 minute drive to the Miracle and dropped us off right in front of the cruise terminal. A porter took our bags right from the van and when given his tip, told us not to worry, we would next see our luggage in our cabin. We proceeded into the terminal and were checked in and given our sign and sail cards within 10 minutes. We were directed to a sitting area and told they would begin boarding around noon. We only waited about 25 minutes and they started boarding by zones. As we had gotten through the check in so quickly, we were able to board with the zone one passengers. We were told that since the boarding was taking place early to feel free to walk around the ship, but to please not go to the cabins as they were still being cleaned. We did however stop by the cabin to see if we could drop off our carry on bags and our steward Jamie was in the room and happily left us drop off whatever we needed to. The Miracle is a beautiful ship. It is obviously very well kept because it is brand new. Some of the decor can boarder on the verge of what some people would consider tacky, but I thought overall it was quite nice. Let me put it this way, I would not decorate my house like some of the rooms I saw on the ship. But, I would not take a 5 day cruise in my livingroom either. Some passengers were complaining and making comments on the diningroom lighting, ect. But, Mike and I viewed things like this, we left snowy Philadelphia and our 4 children and were headed to Key West and Nassau on a brand new cruise ship. What could we possibly complain about? The lighting in the Diningroom was hot pink, yeah, so what! Speaking of the diningroom, the meals were wonderful and the service was great. We did not have one meal that we did not enjoy very much. If we had trouble making up our minds our waiter let us try more than one thing. He was excellent! The food on the Lido deck was not as good as the food in the diningroom, but it was still good. The one thing that is a must do is book a night at Nick and Nora's Supper Club. We think it was the best meal we have ever experienced. For a nominal charge of $25 each (plus tip) we dined on the best Filet Mignon we ever had. It was a romantic and wonderful experience. It was a 5 course meal that we probably would have paid $250 or more for back home. In the morning we ordered room service so that we would have coffee when we were showering and getting dressed for the day. We would leave the card on our door the night before letting them know what we wanted and at what time. They were always right on time and everything was fresh and hot. As for our ports of call. We went to Key West and Nassau. We did not book any shore excursions as we have been to Nassau three times and we had read that it was fun just to walk around Key West. We just shopped and hit the beach in both ports and had a relaxing week. The shows on the ship were excellent. We really enjoyed the juggler and the comedian Tony Esposito was hysterical. We went to his midnight show in the Mad Hatter lounge too. Todd was our cruise director and he did a fantastic job keeping everyone entertained and getting people to participate in the various activities planned around the ship every day. We also each had a spa treatment our last morning at sea and enjoyed the services very much. The gym on the Miracle is very nice and there were never any lines our crowds to the point that you could not do a good workout. Our fellow passengers were a very friendly group of people. They ranged in age from 6 months to 90 years with every age in between represented. There were a lot of college students on Spring Break and a large number of families with children on school vacation. The only small complaint that I had is that there were some children that were not put in the Camp Carnival program that were all over the ship running around and playing tag on the elevators, etc. They at one point even asked us for money for the gameroom. Who knows where their parents were all week. Because we saw these boys a dozen times a day, but never saw a parent with them. But, I must say that Todd told us that there were over 600 children on the ship that week and if these small group of 10 preteen boys were causing all of the ruckus, then camp carnival did a great job keeping the other 590 children entertained. We must have been struck by mother luck the minute we got on the ship because we hit at Bingo the second night for $600. Then on Thursday night we put a $20 in one of the slots and hit for $250. Then on Friday morning we played bingo one more time to win the free cruise and I don't know how it happened, but we won that too! I am so sure we will never have a winning streak like the one we had on the Miracle again. But, we did enjoy it while it lasted. usually I go to bingo with my mother-in-law at home and I don't even win the 50/50 raffle for $44! I know this is a rather long review, but I also know that there are a lot of people waiting anxiously for some kind of word about the Miracle. Believe me, I checked all the messages boards I could find for information before we left and I could hardly find anything. If anyone has any questions please feel free to email me at annshep87@msn.com. I will be happy to answer any questions that I can. Bottom line though........this was our first cruise on Carnival and we have cruised before (RCCL). Would I take Carnival again....obviously yes, I won a free cruise, but that aside, yes, we enjoyed the ship, the service, and our fellow passengers very much. Even if we hadn't won anything, we would have had a very nice time on our cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2004
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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