Sail Date: June 2018
Service and Staff were amazing and so nice, from the wait staff, cleaners and entertainment staff. All work 6 days a week many many hours per day. Cabin- good size, we had a balcony which we loved, not sure if I would have enjoyed a ... Read More
Service and Staff were amazing and so nice, from the wait staff, cleaners and entertainment staff. All work 6 days a week many many hours per day. Cabin- good size, we had a balcony which we loved, not sure if I would have enjoyed a port hole. A tight bathroom, but it did the job! Beds were very comfy. We were 8247 very close to the adult pool and buffet dining. Dining- the dining room for the set time seating was in my humble opinion a little over the top, 20 years ago it would have been a wow factor, but today too much on the eyes. Our set time was 6 or 8, 6 was too early but dining at 8 got you into the comedy club or the shows at 8:15. Just a note- I thought the food was very good, you would never go hungry. Drinks - we got the drinks package and whilst it was 56 USD a day pp it included, pop, vitamin water, monster energy drinks, specialty coffee and premium brand drinks, the cucumber with a kick of spicy vodka is amazing. The boys Martin and Lucian ran the Alchemy bar and they have some beautiful drinks- they will make you anything and have some beautiful wines. There were 2 Elegant night during our 7 day cruise- the first night everyone dressed up but only 70% dressed up. Whilst it was nice to dress up, there was no real "special-ness" attached to dressing up, fireworks would have been nice, or a special meeting with he staff and the same entertainment that shut down at 11pm, except the nightclub that stayed open every night til 2-3. Entertainment - all was good, the band that played in the Frog were AMAZING, the comedy was good and the nightclub was for the younger Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We traveled with two other couples who had already booked this cruise. This is only our 2nd cruise, but we LOVE the size of the ship vs the amount of guests. The buffet got a little crowded occasionally, but nothing like the first cruise ... Read More
We traveled with two other couples who had already booked this cruise. This is only our 2nd cruise, but we LOVE the size of the ship vs the amount of guests. The buffet got a little crowded occasionally, but nothing like the first cruise we took on another cruise line (MSC). We were always able to get an elevator rather quickly vs MSC where we almost always had to take the stairs. The activity/entertainment team did a great job. We loved the trivia and game type activities they offered. Also loved the cooking demonstration and the towel folding class. The shows were okay but nothing spectacular compared to the amazing shows on MSC. The comedy club was one of the best parts. Wish there had been more seating because we did miss a couple of shows due to not being able to find a seat. The main dining room was a little slow some nights and faster other nights. Luckily we weren't in a hurry so didn't really bother us that much. Our serving team was very, very friendly and worked extremely hard. The food was actually really good. I mean it's included in the fare, you can order as many items as you want, you don't have to cook OR clean so to me it was amazing, LOL!! We did splurge and celebrate my husband's 50th birthday at Nick & Nora's Steakhouse aboard. It was really fantastic!! They surprised us with a glass of champagne apiece and a wonderfully delicious tart type birthday cake complete with a cute little icing decorated dome and birthday candle. He had to make a wish and everything (no singing, thank goodness)! We will probably do this again! Great cabin. We had an interior 4D inside cabin category. It was small, but plenty of room for the two of us. Four large drawers and five small drawers in the desk/dresser area. Plus a nice drawer in each of the two nightstands. Three closets, two for hanging and one with shelves (at least 4 shelves). Probably about 10/12 hangers in each closet. Lots of counter space in the bathroom along with 6 small shelves for our meds, toothpaste, brushes, makeup, etc. The shower was also more roomy than I expected. Actually loved our cabin. We are mostly just in there to sleep, shower and change, so it worked very well for us. Our cabin steward was a sweetie! He asked us (by name) every day if we needed anything special and if everything was alright. We only had him service our cabin once a day during turn down because I take naps and didn't want to keep messing it up for him. He honored our request and did a fantastic job, even bringing us ice every evening and of course leaving us a new towel animal everyday! The ship was clean and inviting. Interesting decorating and a lot to see. It probably needs some updating, but nothing in particular and for me it was actually fine. Although I would have liked to see a Guy's Burger Joint aboard, LOL!! On MSC we saw the Captain all the time. We saw him eating at the buffet several times, saw him wandering around talking to guests and interacting with crew, onstage a couple of times and of course during pictures and dinner with the Captain. I did not see the Captain at all on this ship. Not that it's a big deal, just different. Kind of nice knowing who's "driving" the ship though, LOL. We had friendly service from every single crew member we encountered. We smiled and they seemed relieved to smile back. I'm sure they get more than their fair share of "grumps" so I make a concerted effort to smile and speak to them. I'm a fairly smiley person anyway (and I like to talk) so it wasn't really much of an effort on my part, LOL. We stopped in 4 ports: Cozumel, Belize, Honduras and Grand Cayman Cozumel: We did the Top Ten of Cozumel excursion booked through Carnival. It was interesting although I can't really figure out what the ten things were. We stopped at a chocolate "factory" which was really just one guy showing us how organic chocolate used to be handmade. We got to sample it and tiny handmade tortillas with a really yummy mole sauce. We also stopped at a Tequila "factory" where they don't actually make the tequila, but they gave us the history and information about how it's made. Then took us into an air conditioned room (yay, it was hot out) and we had sample tastings of several ages and flavors of their tequila. I am not much of a drinker at all and I have never liked tequila, but I have to say this stuff was pretty freakin' amazing. My favorite was the "Coffee Tequila"!! Needless to say (because I'm not much of a drinker) I was pretty buzzed by the time we left there. Maybe that's why I don't know what the rest of the top ten things were, LOL!!!! Belize: My husband booked the Xunantunich Mayan Ruins with Lunch excursion through Carnival. He had been to Tulum when we went to Cozumel the year before and loved it. He liked this one even better. He said it wasn't nearly as big an area and only a few temples, but he got to climb to the top and take pictures and stuff so he actually liked this excursion better. At Tulum you aren't allowed to touch anything. He said the authentic, sit down Belizian lunch was delicious (one piece of chicken seasoned well, a pile of rice and beans and a fried plantain piece). It didn't come with a drink, but he paid $1 for a bottle of coke zero and was happy with that. Both Mayan Ruin excursions he's taken was a LOT of bus travel (Xunantunich was over two hours each way by bus, plus a short ferry ride, Tulum was quite a long walk to the bus, about an hour bus ride each way and another long walk from the bus to the ruins entrance) and the lunch was a pretty bad sandwich eaten on the bus with an apple and some weird juice that was not good. Both excursions kind of rushed through the ruins in order to get back to the boat in time. I chose not to do the Mayan Ruins this time mainly due to the heat and the very LONG bus ride. I decided to try to find snorkeling once I got to the pier. Much easier than expected. In Belize you basically tender in, walk to the end of the pier (past pier 4) into a building where every excursion available can be booked. They do not negotiate. Everything is a set price, but different companies offer different excursions. So you can just go from booth to booth to find the one you want and voila I was getting on a boat about 10 minutes later, traveling 30 minutes to Goff Caye (a teeny private island with a couple of food stands, souvenirs, chairs for rent, a small building with changing rooms and another small building with restrooms). My excursion included all the free rum punch you want, snorkeling gear and use of the private island for a couple of hours. They stopped at the island first so people could change, then took us a half mile or so away from the island by boat to the barrier reef to let us snorkel. We swam in groups of about 6 or so with a guide. It was very nice. When we got back to the island, I drank one rum punch and thought it wasn't too bad. Then I stood up, LOL. Whew, I was buzzed. Changed to water after that!! Swam and enjoyed the view until our boat left to head back to the mainland. Honduras: We did not book an excursion because it was a very short day in port. We had to be back on the ship by 2:30 so we just shopped in the tourist area. We found out later that the snorkeling and scuba diving was AMAZING, so our next trip will definitely include snorkeling and hopefully a trip to the sloth sanctuary. Grand Cayman: We booked an excursion through Carnival to swim with the stingrays!! It was wonderful and my favorite excursion so far! We got to feed them, pet them, kiss them and get our pictures taken with them. LOVED IT! Embarkation was a breeze. We arrived about 11:30, went through first security without a wait, then waited maybe five minutes for bag security, checked in with no wait and went to our "Zone" and waited maybe a half hour for it to be called to enter the ship. Plenty of seating and cold water available while we waited. Got on the ship easily, got to the buffet before it was too awfully crowded and was able to get a seat for six rather quickly. We took an offered tour of the ship and by the time that was done we were able to get into our cabins. Cabins were ready by 1:30 and we got our luggage before dinner. Very, very organized! Debarkation was even easier. We chose the very latest debarkation time, out of our cabin by 8:30, could have eaten in the dining room, but we decided on the buffet. Had a nice leisurely breakfast, then found some comfy seats on another deck that was less crowded and played games until time to debark. Very easy! Sorry this is so long! We did not take our kids this time, just my hubby and me and it was fantastic. I did miss having the kids, so they will definitely be with us next time. It was surprisingly a really good mix of ages. I had heard Carnival had the "Party Boats" so I expected mostly young adults and couples (lots of drunk and outrageous behavior, but saw very little of that) and figured we would be older than most. That was not at all the case. I think it was pretty evenly young, middle and old ages. Seemed like most were "young at heart" though so that was a definite plus!! Not an "old person" ship, not a "young person" ship, there were activities for all ages. We will absolutely be taking more Carnival cruises!! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
Traveled with four others, from different states to have a nice relaxing TRAVEL vacation. Embarkation was delayed by two days with no explanation what so ever with only a week in advance notice. We lost two ports... Our main goal was to ... Read More
Traveled with four others, from different states to have a nice relaxing TRAVEL vacation. Embarkation was delayed by two days with no explanation what so ever with only a week in advance notice. We lost two ports... Our main goal was to travel to different places. Long customer service lines. Leaking ceilings. Closed off places because of maintenance Toilet overflowed. Bathroom light went out. Yellowish brackish toilet water after flushing No communication at all Because we were stuck in Tampa for two day, they supplied shuttle services to places like Clear Water Beach, but didn't inform anyone that there was an extremely limited schedule of three times per day. People were left standing on the sidewalk with their family and beach gear because they couldn't fit on the one shuttle going to the beach. When I complained about the toilet and bathroom light, they said all they could offer was some chocolate covered strawberries since I already paid for the Cheers program. (they got annoyed because they couldn't offer me a free drink...) But then they showed up with some small cakes plucked from the buffet! Severe lack of communication on all fronts. I had sent an email about my grievances with the short notice of the delayed embarkation. They replied two weeks later with a cheeky note saying "Happy National Go Barefoot Day Ellie! Seems fitting as you and Pagna are enjoying a beautiful day in Cozumel today, yes, we responded to her too - how fun is that?" They only apologized for the delay in response, closing with: "It is our sincere wish that you allow us the opportunity to win back your confidence and exceed your expectations." And yet offered nothing at all. I will say that my time off-ship, at the two ports we actually made it to, was enjoyable. Though unfortunate that they were two out of the seven days on the ship. Our servers were extremely kind and accommodating, and the staff and bartenders were the shining stars of the trip for me. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
The cruise was substandard- improper equipment, smokey environment throughout the ship with poor if any exhaust system, murky pool water, impolite mechanics/technicians, poorly working stateroom air conditioning and the list goes on. If ... Read More
The cruise was substandard- improper equipment, smokey environment throughout the ship with poor if any exhaust system, murky pool water, impolite mechanics/technicians, poorly working stateroom air conditioning and the list goes on. If Carnival ever sends an email stating there are 'unavoidable routine maintenance issues' that cause the ship to be docked a couple days, here is what that meant for us. Propeller issues(took 3x to dock the ship), divers removing propeller parts, exposed pipes with water dripping all over the ship, large industrial fans drying out carpet, blowing germs in the air, smell of sewage when flushing, poorly working cabin a/c. This is NOT routine maintenance. Carnival refuses to refund any amount, but instead offers on board credit and a discounted future cruise. WHY would anyone want to cruise again with them when they don't stand behind their "product or service" ? Stated that since nobody else had complained about the a/c in our cabin, that part of our complaint was basically invalid. On board, we were refused a fan because they were only for medical necessity- so we had to purchase 2 fans for both of the staterooms. We also had to keep the curtains closed so the cabin would not heat up-when checked, it was deemed 'satisfactory' by ship standards of course. I don't go on a cruise to keep my curtains closed.I work hard for my money and do not want to throw thousands of dollars away again. When I purchase a product, it is with certain expectations. Carnival would have fared better to keep its customers happy by a partial refund to me rather than placating with on board credit and future discounts. The excursion ticket time was incorrect on Carnivals side, left us waiting and extra hour in terrible heat and then the excursion was cut an hour shorter because of schedule changes. Carnival would not refund that money either. Carnival offered cruises last minute for $65 pp for gamblers, but cannot afford to compensate me fairly for valid dissatisfaction and to keep my business. The staff was mostly pleasant, but obviously stressed from the beginning, doing the best they could do. The food was good, dining service was slow but pleasant. Customer service on the phone when called to 'complain' was poor. I actually had no desire to ask for a refund, but was hoping for an understanding ear and maybe a small discount. When the CS stated that they could not do anything because no one else had complained...and was completely disassociated from the emotion of how terrible this cruise was, then is when I went from disappointed, wanting to give feedback, to mad and wanting reimbursement-not moneys toward a future cruise that I am not inclined to want spend my hard earned money on. PLEASE look at all cruise lines prior to booking with a company who does not stand behind their name. Especially do not cruise the 'Miracle' ship. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Brace yourself- It's long. We enjoyed the detailed reviews so here's mine! Just got back on Sunday from the 5/20 sailing and we had a great time. We're pretty simple and don't need much to be happy on vacation. We were checking ... Read More
Brace yourself- It's long. We enjoyed the detailed reviews so here's mine! Just got back on Sunday from the 5/20 sailing and we had a great time. We're pretty simple and don't need much to be happy on vacation. We were checking reviews constantly before our sailing and so many of them filled with "complaints" that were just silly to be honest. Example: "The ship is old, worn"- oh please. It holds thousands of people every week! It looks great, everything works, nothing is broken or unsafe. It's FINE! :) Little things really shouldn't make or break your VACATION.. Anyways!- First off, this was my 7th cruise and my partner's 5/6th one and our first time buying Faster to the Fun (FTTF) and although prices have gone up for it, we HIGHLY recommend it. We mostly got it to get OFF the ship ASAP(this came in handy, more on that later) but getting ON was an absolute BREEZE. It took us 30min from the time we arrived (10:15am) at the port to check in our bags, go through security, check in at the desk and receive our Sail & Sign cards and finally be seated to board (10:45am). Boarding started at exactly 11:30am for FTTF holders and our cabin (5174) was actually READY when we boarded!!! (It's also a FTTF perk) (cleaning was rushed to meet this deadline as I'll mention later.) Once we dropped off our things, we headed to the Lido deck to grab some lunch and our first drink. The drinks are OK for the most part but frozen drinks are horrible (aka WEAK) without a floater. We also bought the Cheers package for the first time and although we might just pay as we go next time, it was really nice not having to worry about the bill and just enjoy some drinks and try some news ones too. (We had about 50 drinks each during 7 days but it was mostly because we felt we had to at least break even.) The place to really maximize your Cheers package- but also where to enjoy the BEST drinks in general- is at The Alchemy Bar!!! OUR FAVORITE. Lucian and Yuliya (might be misspelled) ARE AWESOMEEEEE. All of the drinks are good and unique but Cucumber Sunrise was my go to. My Partner enjoyed Forty is the New Twenty and The Youthful and Bold Beritini. (I think he enjoyed the 2nd one best) The food was pretty good (Lido, Pizza Pirate-24 hour Pizza, Chopsticks-hello Lo Mein and Fried Rice!) and Deli were our go-tos. Shout out to the Tuna Sandwich at the Deli! (Get it toasted!) We ate at the Lido for all of our meals except the second Elegant Night where we ate at the Main Dining Room. (Crab Cake, Stuffed Mushrooms, Mushroom pasta, Teriyaki Salmon and Filet Mignon were SOOO SOO good!) Sushi on board is extra but we had it about 2-3x during our sailing- we thoroughly enjoyed it! (They close at 11pm- be sure to order well before then, we got denied at 10:45p.) We went to the Punchliner just once and wished we went more but just got caught up during the other show times. Side note: We were only interested in the Rated R showings only since we do enjoy adult humor and such but Manny Oliveira was just crude and not very funny. 90% of his stand up was picking at audience members, making fun of their ethnicities and super disrespectful towards husbands/wives with jokes involving taking the wives back to his cabin. We had actually read reviews about him prior to our sailing but wanted to see for ourselves how bad it was and---it was bad. I'm not sure how Carnival has kept him around for so long to be honest. Red Frog was our planned place to be prior to our sailing but only ended up going once during Karaoke. Music there overall was more towards 40s/50s/60s crowd. It was usually very busy at night and the crowd seemed to really enjoy it. The younger crowd seemed to be there more so for the games available. The only thing I did miss from past ships is the Dive-In Movies at the Pool and more entertainment (shows, games at the lido deck and such) There's NO big screen at the pool. They had 2 movie nights on our sailing and they were held at the theatre. We didn't join. Staff weren't overly nice like on some other ships I've been on but they weren't rude and were very pleasant. We actually had one of our phones drop in water and were giving some dry rice to place it in to dry out. (side note: didn't work and had to get a new phone.) Our Cabin Steward was just ok. We didn't meet him until the second night for some reason and we never had beach towels in our room (others did) and we had to check them out ourselves each time. Cabin wasn't tidy when we first got on and still had traces of the passengers before us. Our bed was made everyday and trash was taken out and that's about it. I don't know if I've been spoiled in the past but I've had my clothes folded and placed on the vanity or chair before, but whatever mess we made, we came back to. I didn't mind, just an observation. Serenity Area had nice cabana-type beds that we got to use when we stayed on the ship during our Belize port. It was packed all the other days, as expected. Coconut Martini was a great try! I heard the Mega Deck party was cancelled due to rain but "Serenity Nights" continued as the Serenity bar is covered. Frankenstein Nightclub had Top 40/80s/90s/Motown theme nights. Disembarking was not perfect but better for us than it was for those who weren't Diamond/Platinum/FTTF. As FTTF holders, we could choose to disembark at 6:15am or 7:30am, we chose 6:15am. Sat in the dining room until 7:15am (not ideal but stuff happens, we were patient. They had coffee, juice, pastries for us waiting so that was nice.) We were in the Uber by 7:41am, and on our way to Orlando by 8:00am.(Got home at 9:30am) I was a part of a Facebook Group for my sailing and while I was almost home around 8:30/9am, some were still on board waiting to get off. I'm not sure what held them up but I'm glad that wasn't the case for us. FTTF is the way to go! I will purchase from now on until I reach Platinum. Cozumel- The initial plan was Mr. Sanchos but were too late to make reservations (book early!) so we went to Paradise Beach instead. Met a couple (Hi Chris and Charlotte!) and rode a taxi there and back with them. $15 for the 4 of us each way. $3 admission includes access to the beach, pool, chairs and umbrella. Belize- stayed on the ship Roatan/Mahogany Bay, Honduras- Little French Key! Favorite excursion. "Swam (see: held in water for a few moments while pictures were taken) with a Jaguar, Esther. Grand Cayman- RAIN. Got off the ship to get souvenirs and got back on. (Priority Tender boarding TO the port with FTTF) Thanks for sticking it out and hope you've enjoyed my review. Remember: Vacation is what you make it! Have fun!! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Carnival Miracle: May 13,2018 Never cruised before, not my thing. More of a adventure seeker than buffet chaser. Cruising still not my thing but had a fantastic time. Wanted to spend time with my brother who loves cruising so took the ... Read More
Carnival Miracle: May 13,2018 Never cruised before, not my thing. More of a adventure seeker than buffet chaser. Cruising still not my thing but had a fantastic time. Wanted to spend time with my brother who loves cruising so took the plunge. Read lots of reviews so was hesitant I was wasting my money. I was wrong. PROS: 1) The crew made the whole difference. Those people work their asses 24/7, 10 hour days 7 days a week, for 7 months straight to satisfy 2500 buffet crazy Americans. Always a smile, over the top helpful. Not sure how they keep their sanity and smile and desire to serve. 2) Everyone complained ship was old but I was blown over by how great a shape things were kept. OK, 1 pedal on an exercise bike was squeaky and the screen didn't work on another one. Wow. Our cabin was fantastic and we had a small one. Ship was scrubbed and clean. Not sure what all the whining was about. 3) Shows were very good. Comedy was mostly good, the X rated ones used the 'F' word too much (I use the 'F' word too, but not like I stutter with it as they did) 4) Food was unbelievable. I'm not a restaurant person but WOW. Must of been 100 different dishes and OK maybe 10% are duds, but the other 90% are fantastic. Sure beats overpriced restaurant food I've had in the past. The head chef went out of his way after hours to make me this incredible hamburger that i will never forget...and I generally don't eat meat. 5) Sufficient exercise machines. Some needed to be fixed. GREAT steam room. 6) Passengers were all nice. Didn't see any obnoxious drunks but we generally avoided that crowd. Ship was big enough. 7) Extremely well organized. Carnival kept 2500 Americans synchronized like a well oiled machine. Great job. Cons: 1) Nickel and dime: you to death so we avoided all the extras still had great ime 2) Port of calls. We did 1 nature tour in Routan which we liked, but overall it was like cruising between shopping malls. Got sucked into $10/glass beers in Cayman. Just overpriced tourist traps. Not worth it, didn't really see the REAL Hondouras, etc. 3) Everyday you are faced with the American health care crisis in all its glory as 75% of the passengers avoided the salad buffet. The amount of wasted food at the buffets is almost criminal.Very sad statement about American society today. Overall A+. Thanks Carnival. Will go again..but maybe when I'm 70. dman Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We chose this cruise for the ports, and to get away from the snow. I did a lot of research before to pick excursions that were fun, active and worth the price. We did the Great Cozumel Race~ very fun and gave a good tour of the actual town ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the ports, and to get away from the snow. I did a lot of research before to pick excursions that were fun, active and worth the price. We did the Great Cozumel Race~ very fun and gave a good tour of the actual town of Cozumel. The Laminai and river boat tour was amazing and the catered Belizian meal after was delicious. On Roatan we did the zip line and the Tabyana beach~ perfect ending after a hot day in the jungle. In Grand Cayman we met friends vacationing on the Island and took a tour of the Governors Reserve Rum distillery~ FANTASTIC! Free shots of the most delicious rum I've ever tasted. I recommend spending the extra $ on a balcony room, the cabins are small, and the decks crowded sometimes. Dining at Nic and Nora's steak house was worth $35 they even acknowledged my birthday with a special dessert, very nice. The dining room was good food, hit or miss on service, and the decor was..Yikes. The buffet was a huge disappointment ~ disjointed, disorganized, long lines, weird hours, not great food. The entertainment was OK. Overall a great way to get a taste of this part of the Caribbean, and have some fun adventures in exotic locations. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We chose this cruise due to the ports of call. We were skeptical, to say the least. Our last Carnival cruise was on the Glory four years ago,...and it was so bad we vowed to never cruise Carnival again! Well, what can I say, we gave it ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to the ports of call. We were skeptical, to say the least. Our last Carnival cruise was on the Glory four years ago,...and it was so bad we vowed to never cruise Carnival again! Well, what can I say, we gave it one last shot. To our utmost surprise and delight, it was absolutely wonderful. The room was well maintained, they actually changed our carpet half way through the cruise. The Bacchus Dining Room did not disappoint! There was shrimp cocktail on the menu every night, (something that was never on the Glory menu), caesar salad, baked french onion soup, frog legs, etc... Our entrees ranged from lobster, tiger prawns, filet mignon, pork tenderloin, and prime rib, to name just a few. One night I requested pork tenderloin and received a pork chop. I told the waiter and he immediately got me the tenderloin and suggested I try the pork chop as well. I did and both were cooked to perfection. We felt no need to try the "extra fee" dining as the meals were sooo good. The desserts were awesome, with our favorite being the traditional chocolate lava cake. The dining room service was top notch! We had the team of Alamsyah and Zurine. They called us by our first names from the moment we sat down to the table, and each night after. When we saw them in the Lido dining area, they recognized us instantly. An extremely nice personal touch. The entertainment was ok, nothing spectacular, but our fave was the Alterr Band in the Red Frog Pub! We will go Carnival again, probably the Miracle! The first stop was Grand Cayman and we walked to Paradise Beach restaurant beside Eden Rock(15 minutes). OK snorkeling right off shore. A couple of beers and lunch for 2, 30 dollars US, no excursion fee. They rent snorkel gear at the restaurant or Eden Rock Dive Center next door, we had our own. Nasty looking 3 foot tarpons right where you get in the water, spotted a 5 foot nurse shark on the bottom in about 20 feet of water. Next stop was Roatan. We booked the Maya Key Private Island excursion through Carnival. Snorkelling was very good, great drop off and wall of coral. Beach beautiful, good lunch, nice animal sanctuary. All in all a great day. Belize was next. Altun Ha excursion thru Carnival. Nice bus ride to see the sites (about 30 minutes) and a great tour guide for the bus and ruins. She was very informative and was with us throughout the tour. Last was Cozumel. Took a cab from the cruise port to Shaka restaurant (12 dollars US out and 15 dollars US back, Grrr...). Right along the flight path to Cozumel airport and OK shore snorkeling. Again snorkel gear available at Shaka to rent but we used our own. Embarkation and debarkation were both smooth. All in all a great cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Our ship was full capacity. A friend tried to book the cruise, and couldn’t, as it was already full. Embarking was smooth. It didn’t take that long. Carnival staff kept you moving. This can’t be said for our ... Read More
Our ship was full capacity. A friend tried to book the cruise, and couldn’t, as it was already full. Embarking was smooth. It didn’t take that long. Carnival staff kept you moving. This can’t be said for our disembarkation, which I’ll mention later. Food Buffets For basic dining, you can visit Horatio’s Lido Cafe — the buffets on the 9th floor. You don’t need to worry what time you go, or what you’re wearing. I did notice alot of the same food items, for example, soups or desserts, that we saw on the menu in the main Bacchus Dining Room — I’m sure alot of the same food comes out of the same kitchens. For the most part, the buffets at Horatio's Lido Cafe offer a good selection, but you WON’T get higher-end items like stuffed mushrooms, shrimp, escargot, etc for dinner. In the morning, you also have to ask for special items, like strawberries or grapes, which they keep behind the counter. It’s hard to know what they have hiding in the fridges behind them, so I guess the only way is to ask? Because they don’t advertise it. It seems the only way people found out they have strawberries is because they saw someone else with them on their food tray. And I happened to be standing behind someone that asked for the grapes — that’s the only reason I knew they had any. Dining Room The next step-up in dining, is the Bacchus Dining Rooms. You will find “higher-end” items like escargot, stuffed mushrooms and shrimp on the menu (you will NOT see these items at the Horatio buffets). You’ll also see hard ice cream on the menu, which you can’t get at the buffets — only soft ice-cream from the machine. Another note, they will serve lobster in the Bacchus dining room, but I think only for one night of your cruise — so take advantage of it when it’s offered! The dining rooms do have a “dress code”, but it’s not strictly enforced - I wore a nice t-shirt a couple times. I think they have the dress codes, honestly, for people who hop out of the pool with nothing but flip-flops and their tight bikini on, and expect to go eat at the dining room. And believe me, I see some of these people walking around the ship half-naked. As long as you're “covered up” in someway, you’ll be fine. We were travelling as 3 couples. We made the decision for another couple to join us at set-time dining at 7:45 pm. They felt that was way too late to be eating, but they joined us anyways. And the other couple had chosen “any time dining”. We tried dining with the “any-time” couple on the 3rd floor dining room, and we were rejected by the staff. They told us we had set-time dining at 7:45pm on the 2nd floor, and wouldn’t seat us. I suppose the good thing for set-time dining, is you get to have the same staff serve you, who get to know your names, and know what your favourite drinks are, and you get to know them — it’s more personable. Also at 7:45 pm, you walk into the dining room with no waiting — your table is set and empty waiting for you. “Any-time dining” doesn’t mean you just walk in anytime and start eating. I believe you have to wait for an available table, just like at any other restaurant. And the wait for a suitable table (for a table of 7) probably also adds time. And our ship was full capacity. So both choices of set-time and “any-time” have their pluses and minuses. So if you’re travelling with a group, make sure everyone is on the same page. Also know that the dining room time you select is inflexible once you’re on the cruise ship. I’m sure ours was even more so, because it was a full ship. Nick & Nora’s Steakhouse The next step-up in dining is “Nick & Nora’s” steakhouse — an additional charge of $35 USD per person. We visited twice. We went the first night, as it was my sisters birthday. I had made reservations weeks in advance. And we did receive a complimentary bottle of wine for being their the first night of the cruise — although we already had the “Cheers drink package”. lol. The food was fantastic. And you always get surprised with food items they serve. My brother liked “Nick & Nora's" so much, he immediately made reservations for the last night of our cruise. Most of the tables in this restaurant are smaller, so getting reservations for a table of 7 people was slightly harder. It’s a good idea to make reservations soon. Both times when we were there, there were many empty tables — in fact, the place seemed kinda empty. Also, by the second visit, we noticed several items on their menu you could get in the Bacchus dining room — for free. Of course, you couldn’t get the steaks. But if you wanted to, you could order steaks in the Bacchus dining room for $20 USD — still cheaper than the $35 USD for N&N’s. Personally, for myself, I think going to Nick & Noras once was good enough. The food in the Bacchus dining room is really good. The main difference with alot of the food items is simply presentation. For example, the Caesar salad isn’t any better in the steakhouse than it is in the Bacchus Dining Room — it might just be presented differently. Only other difference is Nick & Nora’s ambience is nicer, and the wait staff are better looking. lol. I have some comments about certain food items. I went on a Carnival cruise in 2012. At that time, they had homemade lemonade served in metal pitchers. It was so good — with real lemons and real sugar. Now in 2018, I noticed they were gone, and only Nestle “lemonade" from a machine. Blech. It’s just not the same and there is no comparison. Thumbs down. I also recall in 2012, on their dessert menu, was the “Chocolate Lava Cake”. It’s still on the menu, but just goes by a different name “Carnival Chocolate Melting Cake”. It’s so good. But watch out, it’s decadent. I checked out the recipe online, and it does contain lots of butter :) Spoil yourself one night. It’s OMG good! Highly recommended for dessert. My only other comment about food, is that the menu seemed like there were less menu options since 2012. To be fair, i’m not sure whether it’s because we were on a different cruise ship, or a longer cruise length, etc. But it was slightly less options than what I remember. Evening entertainment. Because of our later dining room time of 7:45pm (this was my sisters idea who prefers to eat late) we would miss alot of the shows. So the only shows I caught were comedy shows later at night at 10:00 pm and 11:00 pm. The comedians were good and made me laugh. There was typically two comedians each night. All the nights we went, it was standing room only, so get there early to get seats. The live musicians were good, for the most part. I liked the solo guitar/vocalists the best. My only comment is this -- I realize the cruise is going into the Caribbean, but I think people still like the music they were brought up with. I just don't care to hear pop songs covered with a steel pan drum, or spanish/reggae songs that I can't understand. I never did get to the bar "Frankensteins Lounge", but I guess there was more "modern" music there? I don't know. Call me crazy, but i'm picky with my music. Other thoughts. Alot of people are addicted to their Facebook feed and messaging and can’t live without a smartphone/internet — even for a 7 day cruise. And it’s apparent when you get on the cruise ship. Alot of people end up paying for the wifi internet packages. It was $35 USD for the week to use popular websites like Facebook, etc usage for the week. And even more $$ for internet usage. Carnival has an App that is free to download. It’s basically an app to know what’s going on in the ship — shows, events, specials, etc, and read up about user policies, information about the ship, ports, etc. But there is still the printed paper ship itinerary if you don’t have a smartphone or tablet. I did find the app to be more helpful, as it shows you what’s happening right now, or coming up on the ship. Normally I don’t wear a watch. And because I like to travel light without carrying much, I didn't bother bringing my ipod/tablet/smartphone, so I never knew the time. Advice — get a watch for a cruise! Especially a cruise that has short port stops, as you or someone you know will be paranoid about the time throughout the entire day. I wasn’t paranoid, but several travel companions were… constantly, “What time is it? We only have blah blah minutes left to get back to the ship….”. I heard this 3 thousand times. The other confusion for time was that "ship time" is always different then local time or the time on your phone. Get a watch and you don't have to worry about getting the time wrong! Our cruise last year was on NCL in hawaii, with port stops of 2 days on each island, so we weren’t so focused on the time -- you could relax without worrying about rushing back to the boat before the last tender leaves. I don’t even remember us worrying about the time at all. But when your itinerary is only 6-7 hours at a port, you will need to know the time! Keep your smartphone handy, or get a watch! Excursions We bought 2 excursions through Carnival. Belize Sharks, Rays, Barrier Reef Snorkel & Island Escape This excursion starts out early. You have to tender to Belize City port from the Miracle. Then you wait maybe 15-25 minutes at Belize City port and you get on a fast smaller boat that travels about 45 minutes to the small island of Caye Caulker. Caulker has a population of about 2000 people. It’s sand is blindingly white. And it’s quaint. You won’t find any commercial franchises or big corporations on this island. And that’s what gives it it’s charm. Hand-painted signs. Mom & Pop shops and Bed &Breakfasts. Stray dogs. Life is slow. I love it. If you’re a photographer like me, you will go crazy with glee, as this small island is all photo opportunities and eye candy from every angle. The snorkelling was fun. That morning I hadn't put on sunscreen, as I’ve heard sunscreen ingredients can be damaging and harmful to the reefs. I believe Hawaii has even introduced a law to ban them! I saw other people slather sunscreen lotion on before the dive, but I didn’t. Oh well. The Shark and Ray alley was good as well. Where the boat stops is shallow. It’s maybe only 3-4 feet deep, with a sandy bottom. I decided to go barefoot, as I didn’t have enough time to find my water-shoes that morning. There is the odd larger seashell on the ocean floor that you’d want to avoid stepping on with bare feet. You can clearly see them through the clear sea water. There aren’t many of them, and I didn’t have any problems — but just be aware of them if you decide to go barefoot. As an aside, I did see a private company offer an almost identical excursion for $30 USD cheaper. Carnival does offer a “110% price guarantee” (that they only reimburse with cruise credits), but you must fill out the form 1 week prior to your cruise disembarkation. Well, we only booked the excursion 6 days in advance, and when I noticed the other cheaper competitor, it was 5 days before. So, we were no longer valid to get the “price guarantee”. If you want to visit Caye Caulker privately, you can with water taxis from Belize City port (much cheaper than the cruise excursion), they leave frequently almost every hour or so. Some people like to book through the cruise line for an extra sense of security you won’t be left behind. But on our private excursions we’ve never had problems. Cozumel Deluxe Beach, Catamaran Sail & Snorkel The Catamaran company is “Fury Catamarans”. Where we snorkeled was a very strong ocean current. I’m undecided whether I liked the strong current, because if you wanted to observe something on the sea floor for awhile, you had to swim against the current. Yes, I had the odd fin and leg in my face from “over crowding” from all the other snorkelers, but it wasn’t as bad as it’s made to sound. You can always choose the back of the crowd of snorkelers, or keep to the sides if you don’t want to feel crowded in the water. The beach we stopped at is managed/owned by Fury as well? They had the big inflatable floating toys in the water, like the slide, etc. I’m Canadian, so it’s a little jarring to see companies actually “own” beaches privately. In Canada, none of our beaches can be privately owned — they are all public. So I’m still trying to wrap my head around all the privatization of beaches going on in the Caribbean. I’m undecided whether it’s a good idea or not, especially when it’s owned by a big corporation (like Mahogany Bay). What this means, is you can not enjoy a beach for free — you must PAY to enjoy it. To be fair, the Fury beach WASN'T crowded, which was enjoyable (probably cause it cost money to use it). There were empty beach chairs everywhere. And you could actually enjoy the water toys without a lineup or hogs. For $75 USD, i’m not sure I’d give this excursion high marks. I can’t drink because I have I have a heart condition, so the free maragaritas wasn’t a plus. And the snorkeling equipment is the cheapest you could buy off Amazon for $20 and own it yourself. If you want a burger, you gotta pay for it yourself — $11 US. And you never go out of sight from the cruise ship — you’re just down the coast a little. And the biggest sin — playing loud spanish pop music the entire time. Uggh. lol. I’m not sure i’d rush to do this excursion again. Roatan, Honduras We did one excursion privately, not through Carnival. It was Rony’s Tours on Roatan, Honduras. It was good. I found him online with his own website. We went to Daniel Johnson's Monkey & Sloth Hangout. They also have big beautiful parrots there. While in Roatan, I would have liked to check out “Little French Key” Island, but there is only so much you can do in one day. The day we were in Roatan, it was very hot. Our tour van had air-conditioning, but it was still hot. It made some of my fellow companions cranky, irritable and bitchy. Just being honest. They kept complaining how hot they were and they wanted to go back to the ship. We left early back to the ship and cut our tour short because of them. Uggh. Since we had extra time, a friend and I checked out Carnival’s “Mahogany Beach”. I didn’t know what to expect, as there were two cruise ships in port. I was expecting it to be crowded. But since it was already later in the day, with less than 2 hours before the ship leaves, people were already leaving the beach, making their way to the ship, which meant the beach was fairly empty already. We heard from one couple that they came to Mahogany beach earlier on in the day, but it was so crowded, they left back to the ship, and came back again. By that time of the day, we could put our bags on hundreds of empty chairs without having to pay for it, and got a swim in the uncrowded beach and ocean. We did not have to pay for the beach, but you have to walk the distance, which is maybe only a 10-15 minute walk. There are benches and seat-swings along the way. Cayman In Grand Cayman, we took a cab, and the cab driver gave us some choices where we wanted to go. My sister took the first choice -- it was to Royal Palms beach club with a cover charge. When you get there, we noticed everything was extra charges. Want a lounge chair? Umbrella? Cabana? All extra charges and pretty expensive. Disembarkation from Carnival Miracle We were excited to get off the ship, as we were driving to Orlando that day. We were already out of our rooms by 8:15 am. I had grabbed the luggage tag numbers “8” the day before, so we were expecting to be off by 9:30am-10:00 as it stated. Nope. We waited and waited. They had called the mobility issue/handicapped people to disembark first. And it’s like it took forever. I think we were called off the ship finally by 11:00 am. And then we had to go through customs. It seems the problem was with customs — they only had 3 people working to process 3000 people! When we got close in line to the customs officer, he got up and took a bathroom break for 5 minutes! I think we were finally out of there by 12:00 noon. Horrible experience. Tons of lineups, standing in line and waiting. From what I also heard, many people missed their air flights. This was not Carnivals fault — it was the U.S. customs authority. But, you could argue it's slightly Carnival's fault, as they keep booking these cruises starting and ending on a Sunday -- when people don't want to work. All around, I enjoyed the Carnival Miracle cruise very much! Hopefully I’ve given some tips and advice from my experience. If you’ve made it to the end, thanks for reading! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
The ship was beautiful. Sailing out of Tampa was easy. Embarkation was a breeze. We were on board shortly after 11:30 and were able to go right to our cabin due to being a platinum member. Cabin was nice, it was a 4k interior with french ... Read More
The ship was beautiful. Sailing out of Tampa was easy. Embarkation was a breeze. We were on board shortly after 11:30 and were able to go right to our cabin due to being a platinum member. Cabin was nice, it was a 4k interior with french doors. Steward Edy was very attentive as was all staff. Great time in the casio. Jodannel and Maripaz are the two best bartenders! Food was amazing and presented beautifully. The baked Alaska was a big hit. It was served on the last night. They saved the best for last. We made so many new friends this cruise. All other guests were very nice and polite. Simply put, fantastic cruise no complaints. Beautiful ports with plenty to do. I highly recommend cave tubing in Belize. The rock formations are gorgeous. The kind was very informative. Do go to the comedy club for the 18+ up show if you're not easily offended. We loved it but then again, we aren't easily offended. Kept us laughing for sure. Read Less
Carnival Miracle Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.5
Dining 3.5 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 3.5 4.1
Family 4.0 4.1
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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