1. Home
  2. Cruise Destinations
  3. Western Caribbean Cruises
  4. Western Caribbean Cruise Reviews

4 Jacksonville to Caribbean - Western Cruise Reviews

A basic review with a few tips and hints... Fascination 3-22 to 3-26 1. The basics, traveling with the wife and the in-laws" A& P"' 'A' has some mobility challenges but on scale of 1 to 10 he gets a ... Read More
A basic review with a few tips and hints... Fascination 3-22 to 3-26 1. The basics, traveling with the wife and the in-laws" A& P"' 'A' has some mobility challenges but on scale of 1 to 10 he gets a "6' for getting around. We utilized a walker more for balance then dependence. Boarding And now on to the review- we live in St Augustine so the port is about 45 min. away on a Thursday with no traffic. We were dropped off by a friend, on board in about 45 min. The staff was very accommodating. For those who choose to of be the clan of "smugglers" (not us on this trip) they shake your water and look at your reaction... our legal wine and water went straight through. Great accommodations for our challenged 'A' the whole way. And so we had the usual lunch on lido, down to the cabin to drop off stuff. Explored a bit...Then off to the life boat drill. We arrived early so as to use the elevator. Good seats no problem, they took the head count and smiled, the head count was "good' and so they did the briefing; and then a new twist. those who could were taken to muster again to the life boat deck. I thought the hassle was gone when we no longer had to wear the life vests to the drill. After asking I was informed this is standard on the four day trips, three days just get the briefing. Alos as we boarded we were informed the Nassau stop would depart at 6pm, not the advertised 10pm, bummer for those with shore side night plans. Sail Away The money moment could not have been better passing under "the bridge" with cheers and clapping all around. Very special to over and under the same span in one day! We enjoyed the trip down the river, the passage to the open sea. We are on our way! Dinning Early seating with team Alfonso, great team! And the Super charged head of staff Joseph. Fun singing and dancing at the end of the meals appealed to all. We enjoyed the food, very well prepared for the amount they produce, with Appetizers and soups being the highlight for me. One small hiccup, on our day in Nassau, we planned to eat on the lido, then when we got around to wanting food it was 7pm, with limited grill, deli and pizza being offered. We went down to the Sensation dining room and the staff accommodated with main and desert courses. Later on Saturday the deck part featured late night Mexican, so mid-night dinning is not dead. We never used room service, but overheard comments they service was good. Formal night featured prime rib and lobster, my slice of rib was large and very good. I found it interesting that tips are no longer solicited for the head of dinning staff. For those who are Catholic, fish in the dining room on Friday is Salmon and Basa. Main dining room breakfast service exceeds expectations, and other then the first lunch no long waits on lido. Mongolian BBQ has three cooks during busy time and varied protein offering from day to day. Rooms We had main deck balcony's, very nice. Seas were calm, and we enjoyed the time spent outside. Tip- if you adjoin with friends or family, the room steward can open the divider. I enjoyed some time getting to know the couple next door. My wife enjoyed the reaction of her parent's first towel animal. The second night they interrupted Gerald preparing the room and he forgot their towel creation, but made up for the next night with two offerings in their room. As a side note other reviews are spot on the cleanliness of the ship. One day our balcony was closed for two hours for cleaning, and they were even painting as we returned from port. Ports Freeport Curry Transpiration In the taxi line we randomly were put in a taxi operated by Curry transportation We took the van to Lucaya in Freeport; enjoyment of the ride was comprised by no AC in 15 person van. Also they charged $10, not the advertised $5 but included a return trip in the $10. This insures one uses their service both ways and limits returns to hourly service ending at 5pm. Tip- If you need more flexibility politely insist on paying $5 per person and use the open taxi line to return at your preference. We shopped and had drinks then returned to the ship. Nassau We did two tours on this stop. The first was the Jeep tour. Our guide met us on the dock, got us the bus to their parking area. Gave me an orientation on driving and away we went. Phillip our guide did a great job, amazing how he does this via walky-talky. Very accommodating by carrying the walker in his lead jeep. Two or three stops, with one to change drivers if you want to. Because of our small group w and the fact that we were doing well driving on a slow traffic Saturday morning we were able to drive a little in the city and see some of the original island homes and churches. I could not recommend this more for those who are brave enough to drive on the left. They even drove us back to catch our second tour on time For the afternoon trip we did the semi-submersible tour. Tip- this trip involves getting on and off docks and boats, sometimes in open water. This led to a fall with cuts and bruises, but they had a first aid kit and patched our injured person up. Even with the injury this was "the injured persons' favorite tour. We saw Lots of fish, sea grass, crabs and even a shark. Tips were solicited for the guide's narration of the port and for the narrator of the underwater view portion. After touring we ate Senor Frogs. I love their table side prepared conk salad; they also offer table side ceviche. More straw market and a visit to my favorite wood carver "Vincent' who sometimes goes by "Winston". Nice to by something he makes by hand. So overall an enjoyable cruise. A few last tips- For the free cocktail crowd the farewell party is advertised in days leading up to the last day; but not posted in the activities for the last day, I discovered the party by mistake mapping the route for a walker to the serenity deck. If you buy a classic cocktail and turn in the receipt in the casino they give you a complimentary $5 match play coupon. Also look out for a casino promotion coupon sheet with buy $20 and get $30 in fun play chips and other casino perks. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
Ok, first off let me say that both me and my boyfriend (23, 26) are first time cruisers. I also read a lot of reviews, and posts on the boards before I went (he did not) so I was incredibly prepared. Overall, I enjoyed myself and plan on ... Read More
Ok, first off let me say that both me and my boyfriend (23, 26) are first time cruisers. I also read a lot of reviews, and posts on the boards before I went (he did not) so I was incredibly prepared. Overall, I enjoyed myself and plan on getting back on a boat ASAP, as for him, not so much (it has nothing to do with Carnival, he just decided cruising was not for him) First, embarkation went extremely well. We were not VIP. However, as we were checking in a security guard asked if we would help run a test and we agreed. After they ran the tests, they put us in VIP. We got there around 11 and got on the ship at 11:45. We had an oceanview stateroom on the riviera level and loved it! I liked having the window (except for when we were feeling the motion). The water was incredibly choppy for most of the cruise, so we rested a lot in our room, and found it comfortable and provided enough room. Our steward was great, although I do not remember his name. He always had the room cleaned and our cooler filled with ice. The MDR staff was the best part about the cruise (I also forget their names)! Our waiter and his assistant were incredibly attentive and made the experience great! We also had great tablemates. Carnival did a great job matching us up with people. We actually ended up hanging out with our tablemates (there were 8 of us all together) several times outside of dinner through out the cruise! It was too cold to enjoy the lido, but we did hit up the buffet there and the coconut grill a few times and it was just fine, nothing special but definitely not horrible. We also did not attend many activities on the boat, as there were tons of football games on, so we hung out at the casino bar watching them, and playing in the casino. We did watch the performance of Hey Mambo the first night, and did not like it. New Years Eve was great! Carnival did a wonderful job making the evening special for everyone. There was free champagne, music, lights, hats, noisemakers and a party. Debarkation went smoothly. We were in the car by 8:30 am. We didnt do much on the ship the whole time, layed around a lot (since the weather was not to great), and watched a alot of football and movies. However, I had a great time on my first cruise and am already planning my second! Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
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

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click