1,393 Carnival Miracle Cruise Reviews

Got a great deal because of military discount. Have cruised many different lines for 14 cruises. THE GOOD -  Food very good. Service excellent, staff pleasant Beds super comfortable- Loved that "comfort" bedding- bought 2 ... Read More
Got a great deal because of military discount. Have cruised many different lines for 14 cruises. THE GOOD -  Food very good. Service excellent, staff pleasant Beds super comfortable- Loved that "comfort" bedding- bought 2 pillows after returning home Clean ship- nice and new well maintained Cayman, Cozumel and Costa Maya nice ports- esp- Costa Maya Embarking and debarking great- Esp. disembark at end- super quick job Cruise Director excellent Carnival Dancers and production numbers real good Captain Party good Main theatre seating very good Cabin good- good size shower- Balcony small but nice THE NOT SO GOOD -Worst thing was the smoke in Casino and Gotham Lounge (incl cigar smokers). Each on a different deck and in main thoroughfares so could not avoid going thru one or the other many times per day especially going from aft to bow between theatre and main dining room. Other ships have the smoking lounge in it's own secluded area and some the casino also. Poor layout on part of Miracle. Others complained too and also some on sister ships with same problem. -Tender service in Cozumel super slow due to using very large tender and too few tenders and had to wait forever to fill. (this may have been caused by the hurricane destroying most local tenders- not sure) -Too many comedians (at least 4 counting the Hypnotist) Only one was pretty good- rest mediocre to poor. Juggler OK. Singer OK. Have been on several other Carnivals and entertainment has been far superior. As mentioned above the ship's dancer productions number teams was superb. -Gaudy main restaurant -Red/Blue/White team competition- never explained clearly. Didn't make sense and didn't feel team spirit since we never knew who was actually on our team -Atrium was OK but not that large for such a big ship and not all that impressive- no spectacular spiral staircases, etc. Overall we liked the cruise- as we always do but not one of our best. Other Carnival ships have been better- Paradise, Holiday and all 2 Princess ships we have been on and 3 Celebrities and one RCCL, etc. Read Less
Sail Date February 2006
This is my first review. I hope I cover everything I was thinking of while I was on the ship. First of all, let me say I have not been impressed with Carnival in the past. But, KUDOS, KUDOS, Carnival this ship is wonderful!!! I truly ... Read More
This is my first review. I hope I cover everything I was thinking of while I was on the ship. First of all, let me say I have not been impressed with Carnival in the past. But, KUDOS, KUDOS, Carnival this ship is wonderful!!! I truly enjoyed the decor. It is not as garrish as some of the other Carnival ships. Only thing that seemed strange were the red lights in the main dining room. We later found out they are supposed to bunches of grapes. Kind of strange, but not offending. Embarkation was very smooth. We arrived around 2:00 and there was a very short line. However, when they saw my husband using a cane, they ushered us right through. The ship was not at the same port as the terminal, but we were informed a tanker/fuel ship was in the channel when Miracle returned from the last cruise and the Captain will not take the ship in past the tanker. This caused no hardship what-so-ever. After receiving our cabin/sale&sign card, we were taken to busses that were waiting and taken to the ship. This may have been a good thing since the line on the gangway was almost nonexistent. They do not show you to your stateroom, but we have cruised enough to be able to navigate our way to our room. We were very impressed with the ship - very clean, very friendly staff (except for the officers who often stared right past you). The beds and pillows are awesome - slept like a baby. We did have a couple of problems with our room steward - asked for bathrobes twice, finally got them the third time, and had to keep asking for beach towels - but he kept the room clean. The food was fabulous!!! If you sail on the Miracle be sure you go to Nick and Nora's at least once. We dined there on Valentine's Day and ate so much we were uncomfortable - only ourselves to blame, but then again, maybe it is the Miracle's fault since the food was SO GOOD. Trust me, don't eat lunch!! We had the escargot in puff pastry, lobster bisque soup, skipped the salad, and choice of entree was a 12 oz lobster tail, 8 oz filet, (or a combination 6 oz and 4 oz, which we had), a 24 oz porterhouse, and then I believe there was a fish and/or veal dish. I can't remember all of them, once I saw the lobster and steak I was sold (they bring a cart to your table to help you choose). Of course we had all the accompaniments for the entire - sauteed mushrooms, backed potato, etc. Then comes desert! They had some fabulous looking deserts, but we were so full, we declined. A lot of good that did us. Since we didn't have "dessert", the Maitre d' hotel sent us a plate of chocolate truffles - TO DIE FOR! Food in the main dining room was also great. We had many wonderful dinners there and our waiters (Donovan and Robinson) were the best we have had in a long time. One night hubby had Sweet and Sour Shrimp - let me tell you these babies were BIG, more like prawns, and were fabulous. Made me sorry I went for the Grilled Grouper. The buffets during the day offered a nice selection, very tasty and we never went hungry. Oh, and of course, the Sushi cart outside McGuires, loved that too. Okay, enough about food (it's just this was the best food we have had on a ship in a long, long time). I did indulge in two massages. They were very wonderful and the spa is very nice. If you don't want to pay for the 60 - 90 minute massage packages, they offer 15- 30 minute massages just outside the spa by the pool for much less. We didn't get to any of the shows (hubby and I are casino nuts), but I did speak with several people who really enjoyed the adult comedian. And they show a late night movie every night and the disco always seemed to be "hopping". After the first night, we had quickly picked our two favorite bars - City Jazz before dinner (Neva is the sweetest, remembers your name and your drink - never had to ask), and Mr. Lucky's in the casino (Frances always searched me out, called me by name, to make sure I was taken care of and again, always knew what to bring me - and hubby). Shore Excursions: We arrived in Grand Cayman. The negative: Miracle did not inform us we were docked on the other side of the island and needed to get a taxi. They just dropped us off the tender and no one was there to help us get a taxi (which cost $6.00 per person each way - come one Carnival, you slipped a little there). Then, not Carnival's fault, the independent tour we had lined up (horseback riding on the beach) never showed up to get us. NEVER USE HONEYSUCKLE TOURS!!! It was our first time to Belize. Five years from now you aren't going to recognize it. We took the Lost World Canopy Tour. I was a little skittish, but kept telling myself I love the rollercoasters at Universal Studio. WHAT A BLAST!!! If you can make the climb, do it!!! But the description is a little miss leading. It is not a 20 foot ladder. It is a path carved out of the mountain with 3 areas that have 15 to 20 rock steps. But, if you can make it, you must go. YEEEEE HAAAA!!!! Costa Maya: We did the Clear Kayak. It was a little windy and choppy. That made it difficult to keep up, but we enjoyed it anyway. Gave us a good work out and a beer (or water, plus fresh fruit) was waiting for us at our beach break. Also, please note: if you have back problems, the bus ride to the kayaks is VERY rough -no paved roads for about 5 miles. Again, if you do this, the description is a little misleading - there is no "all you can eat lobster tacos". Too many people were getting ill and they had to quit serving the tacos, but Carnival has never changed their price or their description (CARNIVAL TAKE NOTE). Not to worry though. When you get back to the pier, there is a wonderful plaza with a couple of restaurants and shopping. We ate at Bandito's (the one with the BIG chickee hut). The food was fabulous (here I go again about food). We shared the sampler with coconut shrimp (the big boys again), lobster tacos, onion rings, fish fingers, chips with guacamole and salsa, and fries - way too much for the two of us. Plus, there is a saltwater pool with a swim-up bar there. If you don't take a tour, just go hang out at the pier, that is what we plan to do next time. MIRACLE WE WILL BE BACK!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2006
My wife & I try to cruise once a year, usually in February. This was our 5th cruise & second with Carnival. We arrived in Tampa a day early. Being from Denver, you don't want to miss your cruise because you're snowed in ... Read More
My wife & I try to cruise once a year, usually in February. This was our 5th cruise & second with Carnival. We arrived in Tampa a day early. Being from Denver, you don't want to miss your cruise because you're snowed in at the airport. We booked a hotel room on priceline.com. We got the Wyndam Westshore for $70 including all taxes & fees. This was a bargain as this was a very nice hotel. The hotel included a free shuttle from airport to hotel. The Tampa port terminal was great. Not nearly as busy as Miami or Ft. Lauderdale. Overall we enjoyed our trip. Some of the things we liked; I'll start with the food.....The Deli/sandwich bar was nice. It is located on the Lido deck in Horatio's dining area. They basically use a glorified "George Forman" grill to toast your sandwich. They were very good. The Lido deck grill also was good. You had your choice of chili, fried onions & mushroom for your burgers, which I thought was great. We ate every evening at the Bacchus formal dining room. The food was good & plentiful. The only complaint I had, was the dessert selection. Some nights the desserts seemed unimaginative. Our cruise last year was on Celebrity, and I always looked forward to the dessert choices. They were magnificent! The "pink" grapes in the dining room were a bit much, but you got used to them after awhile. My wife had a "sushi" snack a few times before dinner. The sushi cart was located outside the sports bar. But it was only open from 5-8:30pm. The pizza was OK, not as good as our first Carnival cruise in my opinion. The ship was well laid out. I like having two large pools close together on the Lido deck. I also appreciated the "adults only" hot tub in the back of the ship on the Lido Deck. For some reason the kids gravitate toward the hot tubs on the two main pools and you could never get in the water. Entertainment....The Lido deck band was ok, but they could not sing if their lives depended on it. I'd definitely fire them if I were the cruise director. The comics in the Phantom lounge were hilarious. I recommend going to the late night comic R rated shows. They are not to be missed. The singers/dancers were OK. We had a hypnotist on the last night. That is a show I'll never forget. It was amazing what he could make people do! Ports of Call: Costa Maya was great. We took a cab to the small fishing village for $3p/p. I think the fishing village was spelled Mauhjaul. Anyway after getting out of the cab, we walked as far as you could go before you see your last beach bar. We stopped at the last beach bar called Pez Quadro (I Think). Anyway look for the last bar on the beach with wooden swings hanging from the rafters. Get on the swing & order a beer. Then kick back on the beach & enjoy the day. It was great. I paid $20 for a 1/2 hour massage by a local. It was the best massage I've ever had. Cozumel, yep the docks were destroyed, so we tendered in. I could not believe NOBODY was working to repair the docks! We did some shopping and stopped at Senior Frogs for a few Margaritas. We had 4 Margaritas, a soda, a plate of fish tacos & a plate of chips & salsa. Our bill.....$67. I thought this was a bit out of line for Mexico, but the atmosphere was nice. Belize, we did cave tubing, which we booked online using at Cave-tubing.com. This was the first tour Ive ever booked not using the cruise ship. Considering the cruise ship wanted $89 for this tour, I took my chances with Cave-tubing.com & paid $45. Glad I did the tubing on my own, the bus was not crowded, our guides were funny & informative. I would not recommend this tour if you are not in great shape physically. You have to hump (one of my favorite Marine Corps terms) about 45 minutes through a steamy jungle carrying your inner tube & lifejacket. We had to stop numerous times to wait for the stragglers who could not keep up with us. One lady, who looked as if she was about to keel over, said I dont remember this being part of the tour. Well, if you read the cave-tubing.com web page, it does say you have to walk through a jungle to get to the caves. We also had an older lady who could not make it, and she was given a shorter tour. I would highly recommend Yhony & his crew at cave-tubing.com. After our tour, Yhony had the bus stop at a local bar/cafe. We tried some local cashew wine. I liked it so much I purchased a bottle for my wife. Grand Cayman-I again booked a tour on my own using Captain Bryan for the Sting Ray Swim. http://www.cayman.org/captainbryan. The water was a bit choppy & Carnival cancelled their Sting Ray Swim. SO I was glad I booked on my own. Since the water was choppy, there was only ONE other boat on the sand bar. We had the sting rays, virtually to ourselves. After that we did a bit of snorkeling at a reef. I enjoyed the tour and would also recommend Captain Bryan for your tour. He was about half price compared to what Carnival wanted for the exact same tour. Disembarkation: It was fantastic. Our flight left Tampa at 11:15 am, so we chose to carry off our own luggage and use the self disembarkation process. We were off the ship by 8:15am and at the airport by 8:45am. If you want more information on Carnival Miracle or the ports, please email me. Read Less
Sail Date February 2006
These are just a few observations of my recent cruise on Carnival's Miracle.... I won't go into the decor of the ship.... it isn't as "showy" as other Carnival ships but it is not as well thought out and put ... Read More
These are just a few observations of my recent cruise on Carnival's Miracle.... I won't go into the decor of the ship.... it isn't as "showy" as other Carnival ships but it is not as well thought out and put together. They were going for a "book" theme and instead I came away with comic books, Renaissance angel themes (including the infamous naked paintings, Capt. Horatio, and the pink grapes that match nothing at all. 1. Tampa is a very easy port but hotels are hit or miss. We found out that the Residence Inn (Airport) would allow us to leave our car there all week for no additional charge. We decided against it and went for the Valet Parking at the Dock. For an additional $12 ($84 in total), we left our vehicle at the Terminal's Valet. Picking it up was more tricky but all in all, probably a ok deal vs. taking a cab. 1a. We had to dock in a different spot on the return and were bussed back to the original terminal. This STUNK! A 20 minute ride and another 45 minutes sitting on a hot bus stuck in traffic. Then they dumped us off in the mix with the passengers trying to board. A huge mess! 2. Grand Cayman: We took a tour with Chris from N nativeway and I HIGHLY recommend them! We did the stingrays, snorkeling, and Rum Point tour. Next time, I will try to book just a Snorkeling and Rum Point tour. We got off the ship at 8am-ish and started the tour at 9am. Unfortunately, all the shops were closed and we didn't get to do any "Brand" shopping. 3. Cozumel: It's slowly getting back to life. When you get off the tender, there is a really nice shopping area and Fat Tuesdays (think rum Slurpees!). We took a cab to the downtown area and ate at a restaurant and did some shopping....and more drinking. We went to my favorite jewelry store...found out that prices went up (way higher than the States!). I am truly amazed we made it back onto the ship with all the shots of Tequila! 4. Belize: I was really looking forward to this port since I haven't been there before... and I can say that I hope I don't go back. If you don't have an excursion, don't get off the ship. The Tender is about 15 minutes. We did a private tour with Major Tom G reenwood / belize caving tubing.net . Major Tom had an asst., Elvis, who gave us a history of the Country on the way to the caves. Major Tom was very safe and experienced. I saw the Carnival group and these people were dumped in the water and told to meet them on the other side. Major Tom and Elvis helped them out constantly. One lady from the Carnival tour slammed into the cave wall multiple times. She was panicked! I highly recommend Major Tom! (The tender situation here was ran poorly by Carnival... it was a mess: slow, long lines, cranky passengers due to so much miscommunication) 5. Cost Maya: We went for the All You Can Drink plan at Pez Quardro ($30 pp) and we made sure to take advantage of it! This is a gorgeous beach. It's at the end of the "strip" and the service is fantastic! Francisco made sure that our cups were never empty. I hope to come back to this port and do more shopping and less drinking since all I came back with was a hangover and a t-shirt....oh and a temporary henna tattoo! 6. Nick and Nora's Supper Club... four of us ate there and thought the food good but I doubt if we will do it again. It just didn't seem THAT much better than the normal dining experience. A lot of people must've agreed since there were only 5 other couples with us. 7. The Piano Bar was horrible (sorry but it was!). I ran out of there twice due to the music selection or singing. This didn't appear to be a busy place like other Carnival piano bars... never a crowd always plenty of seats. Most of the entertainment on the ship was just bad...bad...bad! Frankie & Johnnie's bar band kept singing the same set every night. The Karaoke kid sang worse than me (that IS saying something!). 8. Cruise Director Steve was leaving the ship when we left. He didn't mention if he was going to another ship. The Asst. Cruise Director acted like he had the worst job ever. He always seemed too sarcastic or ticked off. The crew just seemed tired and not outgoing. Our Cabin Steward, Bogdan, was the best we've ever had. The waitstaff were friendly but not outgoing. PROS: * Grand Cayman is always a win! Our tour was fantastic! * Cozumel is coming back ... which is great. Prices went up... which is expected. * Costa Maya is a gorgeous beach. Do make sure you do SOMETHING hear besides stay on the boat. CONS: * Belize. Although our tour and guides were great... I plan on avoiding this port in the future. * Carnival's Entertainment. This was the worst I've ever experienced! Can you imagine NOT going to the Piano Bar??? * Crew. We did meet some truly wonderful crew but overwhelmingly, the crew just didn't care. The empathy showed! Overall, still a good cruise. Wish Carnival would pep up the crew, fix the tender communication problem in Belize, and NEVER EVER have the bus situation again on debarkation! Read Less
Sail Date January 2006
We went on the 7 night cruise and it was really good. We had a balcony suite and it was really nice, but small. The food in the dining room was great, but the food in the other areas was acceptable. We did not get to stop in Grand Cayman ... Read More
We went on the 7 night cruise and it was really good. We had a balcony suite and it was really nice, but small. The food in the dining room was great, but the food in the other areas was acceptable. We did not get to stop in Grand Cayman because of the water being too bad to ferry us to shore. We were compensated $25 per person for not stopping. We only went on one shore excursion and we booked it through Cave-Tubing.com. I can not say enough good things about the excursion!!! They were awesome! Our guides stayed with us the entire time. They took us through the cave as a group and the Carnival excursion just dropped them in the water and let them go down on their own and they did not know what they were doing, several of them latched on to us for help. We were so grateful that we booked our cave tubing through Cave-Tubing.com! Our main guide was Kinsley and we could not have asked for a better guide, ever! The entire road trip to the cave, he gave us a history lesson about Belize and made it so enjoyable. Getting on the ship was challenging since we had to be bused to another location to get on the ship, but everyone was very helpful. When we got off the ship, we chose to carry our own luggage so that we could get on the road, we were in our vehicle on the interstate at 8:30AM! The dining room did look like an invasion of the pods. The lights were really scary looking. Read Less
Sail Date November 2005
I just returned from the 10-30-05 Exotic Western sailing. We had a wonderful time but this cruise was only as good as what you made of it. Getting on the ship was so easy as was finding your cabin and getting your luggage. The cabin was ... Read More
I just returned from the 10-30-05 Exotic Western sailing. We had a wonderful time but this cruise was only as good as what you made of it. Getting on the ship was so easy as was finding your cabin and getting your luggage. The cabin was fine nothing special but everything you need. We booked an expanded balcony but it didn't seem any bigger and the glass was dirty the whole trip. By the end of the week you couldn't see through it. The cabin stewart was only ok. She wasn't worth the tip we gave her (in my opinion) Our room was made every day but not cleaned. There was enough sand on the floor to make a sand castle. The towel creatures the kids love most times looked like a pile of towels on the bed unable to determine what they were. Where are the clocks? Everything on the ship has a starting time but the cruiser has no clue what time it is. I asked for a clock for the room and was told I needed to buy a watch from the gift shop!! The food was wonderful in the dinning room and the buffet. I thought the coffee need some getting used to though. The wait staff though attentive was very, very slow. The activities and shows were entertaining but seemed very disorganized. The ports we went to were terrific but we couldn't go to Cozumel due to hurricane Wilma. Our family did Stingray city in Grand Cayman booked through Carnival in was a great day but expensive. A few years ago we did the same excursion through R.C for about a third of the price. We could have done it privately for half or less. In Costa Maya we went to the fishing village a $5.00 cab ride from the boat and had the best day ever. The other passengers that used the beach by the dock were very disappointed. In Belize we went snorkeling in the barrier reef. What an experience!! Everyone should see that at least once. The shops by the dock were overpriced and didn't have much. As I said before we didn't get to go to Cozumel but we were given a $25 per person ship credit. I would have preferred a different port but so be it. The captain increased speed so we could have a sunny day at sea but we ended up moving at such a speed to get back to Tampa for a sick passenger it was too windy to enjoy it higher then deck 9. We got into port 18 hours early for the sick passenger but because we were no longer on international water everything was closed our last night which was very disappointing. It wasn't even a nice view. I might sail Carnival again but I wouldn't expect much. I would try to sail any other line first since I've heard this is the best Carnival has to offer. Read Less
Sail Date October 2005
We are in our early 50s and this is our 6th cruise, our 4th with Carnival, & our 2nd in a Spirit class ship. We choose Carnival because of the night life. Firstly for those who travel by car stay at the Chase suites on the Causeway ... Read More
We are in our early 50s and this is our 6th cruise, our 4th with Carnival, & our 2nd in a Spirit class ship. We choose Carnival because of the night life. Firstly for those who travel by car stay at the Chase suites on the Causeway in Tampa. It cost $155 with tax, & includes a small suite, a good breakfast, and you leave your car there, they take you to/from the port. Though they did could not pick us up at the port they fully paid for the taxi. We arrived at the port @10:30, fully checked in by 10:45 & having lunch by 11:45. Leaving the ship was amazing they do not go by colors they announce that you can disembark now & you leave at your convenience. We took our time, found our luggage quite easily & was by our car before 10 A.M. For those who are in a rush & are willing to carry their own luggage you can be off the ship by 8 A.M. All in all no muss, no fuss, no stress. To keep this review short & sweet We enjoyed the Pride & we figured this is the newest of the Spirit class ships & would also be enjoyable, We were right. This was a fun cruise, The staff was excellent, the ship was kept very clean, the food was good, Pizza was ok, unfortunately the afternoon sundae bar at the aft pool was quite good. We ate in Bacchus only for Dinner & our team was fun, anticipated all our needs, the Maitre d' was funny & informative. The Horatio's Buffet was good & the midnight buffet was fine though we generally kept to fruit & coffee, notice I said generally. We had a balcony cabin on the Veranda Deck, the usual Carnival room, relatively roomy, comfortable, the bed was extremely comfortable. Our steward was was there when we needed him. The ports were the usual, except for Belize we walked around & enjoyed ourselves. In Costa Maya we enjoyed the pool & the drinks in the pool. In Belize stay with the tours inside the port compound. We took a tour with Chris as our driver & guide with one other guide. She took us all around including to her house & dogs. Cost was $20P.P. It was great. We recommend getting your tours at the various ports, just as good as the ship & much cheaper. The decor of the ship was nice BUT the decor at The Bacchus Dining room with their idea of grapes on a vine was YIKES the attack of the POD people. Lenny Holliday was our Cruise Director & he & his staff was funny, friendly & good. I was disappointed that when he did his TVC/Movie trivia I became ill & had to go back to our cabin, but my wife found it on the Tv & we participated that way. we won some prizes. If you know who Elmo Lincoln was, then we both need to get a life. The shows were very good especially the Beatles show. All the clubs were great. We recommend having coffee & juice on the balcony before breakfast, if you have a balcony, nice & romantic. The Room Service though limited was good & the service was fast. If you like Carnival, or not this was a good ship, a fun cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2005
My husband and I had a pretty good time on the Miracle. It was my second cruise and my husbands first, so I was really looking forward to see his amazement at how big the ship was. It was our honeymoon and I was surprised that it seemed ... Read More
My husband and I had a pretty good time on the Miracle. It was my second cruise and my husbands first, so I was really looking forward to see his amazement at how big the ship was. It was our honeymoon and I was surprised that it seemed like half the ship was honeymooners. It seemed like everyone we spoke to got married on 5/21. One of my concerns with booking with Carnival was the ship would be overrun with noisy and unruly children and annoying college or high school age partiers. Thankfully, there weren't many children and no unruly people that we noticed. Briefly, I'll review some of the pros and cons of our trip. Embarkation: It went really smoothly and we didn't wait nearly as long as I expected to. It was great to get to the ship early and get lunch at the buffet. We were exhausted from our wedding the day before so after lunch we took a very long and restful nap. When we woke up, our bags were delivered to our door. Rooms: To save money, we booked and interior room. We loved it! The beds were SO comfortable and the room spacious. Because there were no windows, we slept like rocks and would wake up really refreshed. The steward did a nice job of keeping the room clean. However, she messed up every night on our flyer with the next days events. We either didn't get it our it was for the previous day. We complained but it never got better. We would have to go down to the pursers office to get the correct one every evening. It was our stewards last week on the ship before going home, so that might have been part of the problem, too. My only other issue with the room was there was no alarm clock. I know you can call for a wake up call, but it would have been nice to see the time without having to turn on the TV. Food: The food was really good. If you are a fine dining snob, then most likely you'll find issue with some of the meals. However, for us, the food was wonderful and we really enjoyed trying new things. The buffet on the Lido deck was really good, even if it was really busy at times. The pizza is okay also but not to die for like other reviews have said. Decor: I thought the decor was a little over the top. If you love Vegas and bright lights and loud colors, then you will love it. I was more in the mood for classical elegance and relaxation. My husband loved the Bacchus dining room with all of the purple lights, not because he thought they looked nice, but because he can't get over how hard it would have been to wire them all. In the stairwells, there are beautiful glass sculptures that you should definitely see. Entertainment: We attended all of the shows that we could. For the most part, we really enjoyed them. The comedians were pretty good and the "Adults Only" comedy hour in the Mad Hatter was really funny. The dancing and singing shows were also better than expected. My only complaint is with the Cruise Director and his staff (Mark, Karl with a K, and Sam). They were over the top annoying. If the cruise was full of 8 year olds, then they would have been wonderful. However, it wasn't and I felt like they were insulting our intelligence by trying to get us to laugh at tripping on the stage and falling down. Ports of Call and Excursions: We only booked 2 excursions during our trip. In Grand Cayman we booked the Carnival shore snorkel which was actually pretty good. My husband had never snorkeled before and it was a good training run. We snorkeled off the shore of a restaurant and swam out about 100 feet to a ship wreck. The guides were feeding the fish so there were tons of them swimming into you. The excursion was in the morning so we had time afterwards to eat lunch on the ship and shop the rest of the afternoon. In Costa Maya we stayed at the port. We got off the boat early so we were able to get a cabana on the beach for free. We sat there all day and drank margaritas. It was very relaxing. We also did some shopping and got some nice trinkets. In Cozumel, we took a cab ride to a free beach and spent the day there. Be warned, the cab drivers are crazy and drive REALLY dangerously. I don't think I will take a cab there again. In Belize, we booked a cave tubing excursion with another company, Xtreme Cave Tubing. The excursion itself was wonderful, but we cut it really close to missing the last tender back to the ship. Had we broken a tire or axle for that matter (the road to the caves was the bumpiest and rockiest I have ever been on and the driver went 30 mph the whole time) we would not have made the ship. For some reason, the Miracle stays in Belize port the shortest amount of time which makes this excursion a little tight on time. I was told that other ships that stay in the port 2-3 hours longer allow plenty of time and less stress when booking with an non-Carnival excursion vendor. Debarkation: Unfortunately, the trip did not end on a good note. The night before we went to a meeting telling us the custom regulations and what we had to do to re-enter the country. We were told by the Cruise Director that we had to meet the customs officials at 6 am in the morning to pay our duty on any alcohol we purchased. So, I crawled out of bed and waited in an enormous line to pay my dollar for 3 bottles of alcohol. Well, the customs officials were unsure on the rules and some were telling people you only had to pay if you had more than 6 bottles and others were saying you had to pay if you had more than 2 bottles. Finally after some passengers became upset over this lack of direction, the head custom guy said you only had to stay if you had more than 6 bottles. So, I got up early on my last day of vacation for nothing. Also, the at the meeting the night before, the cruise director informed us that we would be debarking at a different dock and would require a short bus ride back to the terminal to go through customs and retrieve our luggage. Well, the short bus ride ordeal turned into about an hour and a half delay in getting off of the ship and getting our bags. They had no organization at the terminal for the incoming buses from the ship and outgoing busses to the airport. The ride was no more than 15 minutes, but we were on the bus for an hour due to the traffic jam. For us it wasn't a big deal because our flight was in the afternoon, but I bet some people had to hustle to the airport. Then, to top it off, the customs officials never looked at anything and stood in a corner and drank coffee. For that huge hassle, I at least wanted it to be for a reason. Overall, we had a very nice time on the Miracle. We will sail Carnival again, but probably not the Miracle as we want to explore other boats and ports of call. Read Less
Sail Date May 2005
ME: Al, age 63. 22 cruises. Last: Caribbean Princess, 11/04. Last with Carnival: Paradise, 11/97. SHE: Silla, age 59. 2 cruises. Last: Caribbean Princess, 11/04. PRE-CRUISE INFO: We booked last November through an online agency at ... Read More
ME: Al, age 63. 22 cruises. Last: Caribbean Princess, 11/04. Last with Carnival: Paradise, 11/97. SHE: Silla, age 59. 2 cruises. Last: Caribbean Princess, 11/04. PRE-CRUISE INFO: We booked last November through an online agency at a cost of $640, inside guarantee (Cat. IS). Approximately 60 days prior to the sail date, we were upgraded to an ocean view stateroom (Cat. 6A). The cruise was sold out. EMBARKATION: Living just a half-hour from the Port of Tampa, we arranged for the Super Shuttle to provide transportation, at about half the cost of parking at the pier (it's been raised to $12/day). We arrived just after 10:00 a.m., and were admitted to the boarding area by 10:30; but something was missing ... namely, the ship. The difficulty with its inability to navigate the channel when another vessel is present appeared to have been resolved, since no such incident had occurred since last January ... until the day we sailed! We were geared for the worst, but it really wasn't bad at all. The terminal personnel kept us informed, we checked in quickly, and were on the bus to the ship before noon. The actual boarding was virtually identical to returning from a port of call. Because of having to move 2200 passengers and tons of luggage, the ship departed about an hour late ... but since we'd be at sea on day one, there was no problem making up the time. THE SHIP: The Miracle is the latest addition to the Spirit class (88k gross tons), and has sailed regularly from Tampa since November. As with most newer Carnival builds, it is ornate ... but save for one venue, it works. This has to be the easiest ship to negotiate. All major facilities are on Decks Two and Three, and the remainder on Deck Nine (pools, buffet, etc.). Essentially it's a straight shot from bough to stern on each level, and there seemed to be rest rooms every few feet. There are three banks of elevators, all of which stop at every floor, except for the fancy glass ones, which don't go lower than the lobby. All facilities are clearly marked. I can truthfully state that I learned the whereabouts of just about everything by the time we went to dinner that evening. The exception to the dEcor is, of course, the Bacchus Dining Room (the only one on the ship, other than the specialty restaurant). It can best be described as "grapes on steroids." I'd love to have some of whatever Farkas was smoking when he came up with that design. After a few days, though ... it still looked every bit as garish! On the positive side, however, was the traffic pattern on the upper level. Guests were shielded from viewing the dirty dishes and leftover food ... a really nice touch. There were several pools on the Lido Deck, including one specifically designated for adults. They looked small, but somehow accommodated everyone comfortably. There was absolutely no problem finding a lounge chair at any time. We had an issue with smoke in the casino on the Caribbean Princess. Unless you were next to a smoker, the air quality on the Miracle was fine. Our stateroom was located on the lowermost (Riviera) deck, well forward, which did concern me. My apprehension turned out to be unfounded. We felt virtually no motion, heard no noise from the theatres or elevators ... not an issue at all. The accommodations themselves were excellent. There was more than enough drawer, hanging, and shelf space, the room was laid out very efficiently, and the bathroom was just fine (outstanding shower, with dispensers for gel and shampoo ... no conditioner, though). If there was one major disappointment, there was no refrigerator. Instead, the space was occupied by a pay-through-the-nose snack bar, which must be unlocked by the steward. It remained closed for the week. All three network stations (out of New York, of all places) are shown on the stateroom TV, as are TNT and several CNN's, in addition to those loops of shopping talks, video promotions and other self-aggrandizing hypes. We were pampered by our steward, Joseph Daniel (Haiti) and his assistant, Nadia (Latvia). Both were extremely courteous, personable and efficient. Although we were so far down below deck, we didn't feel as if we were traveling steerage. The halls were well-lighted, there was floor-to-ceiling artwork every few feet ... a very nice feel. A few words about the shops ... nothing special, no last-day deals, the usual schlock. I'm not one for onboard entertainment (I much prefer concerts). But the productions were well-received, so I guess they were good. The comedians, hypnotist, juggler were nothing to rave about ... sort of The Ed Sullivan Show at sea ... I was waiting for the chimps! The Cruise Director, Mark Hawkins, did an adequate job, His trademark is wearing two sneakers that don't match (even on formal nights). The advantage, I guess, is that he has pairs just like them in his room. I much prefer that CD's be as inconspicuous as possible. His assistant, "Karl With a K" is another matter. There should be a J in there somewhere, since he's basically a jackass. He wears those oversized clown ties, flits about like Tinker Bell ... he should be running the kiddie program. PASSENGERS: It was a good mix of couples (there were four weddings aboard ship), families (although not very many school-age children... and those that were there presented no problems), seniors, singles ... overall, a very nice crowd. Smokers kept to their side of the ship, and I didn't observe any instances of diaper-clad children in the pools. Perhaps the presence of security officers had something to do with it. FOOD: There's lots to say here. The self-serve restaurants and dining room must be discussed separately. During lunch, the selections at the numerous buffet areas were unbelievable ... Chinese, Deli (grilled Reubens, pastrami), and Rotisserie (different carved meats, ribs, potatoes), were always available ... and one station changed its theme daily (French, Italian, Japanese, Indian, All-American, chocolate-covered everything). In addition there's a real salad bar, dessert section, pizza, and the burger-hot-dog-Philly-cheesesteak extravaganza. The variety and quality were excellent. But as great as the midday meals were, that's how disappointing breakfast was ... very ordinary fare, the only variety being pancakes alternating with French toast (both of which were so dry, they had to be drenched in syrup), and oatmeal with Cream of Wheat. It was by far the worst selection I've ever seen aboard ship. Freshly-prepared eggs and omelets were available, but nothing else of any merit. There were beverage stations all over the place, so the usual lines for coffee and juice were eliminated. We ate in the dining room after our first day, and found everything to be much fresher and well-prepared. As for dinner, meals were, for the most part, very good, although nothing was outstanding. Appetizers were nicely presented, meat was cooked as ordered (although somewhat inconsistent as to tenderness ... the prime rib was perfect, the chateaubriand a bit tough), and shellfish was prepared just right. Finfish, however, tended to be a bit dry. Selection wasn't quite what it was a few years ago, and there were a few clunkers ... veal parmigiana wasn't even close, and pan-seared red snapper was obviously frozen (this species does not freeze well). The "always available" selections were salmon and steak ... that's it. The highlight of our dining experience, however, was meeting two absolutely wonderful young ladies, who attended to our every need with efficiency and professionalism, and were the warmest and most personable staff members I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. Tatiana and Jana (pronounced yanna) are both from Slovakia, and speak absolutely perfect English. Unfortunately, unless you're booked on the Miracle sometime before August, you won't have the opportunity to experience them. Both are leaving at the end of July, Tatiana to attend nursing school in (of all places) South Dakota, and Jana to return home and begin college. These gals are truly the daughters I never had! We did not avail ourselves of Nick & Nora's, the alternative restaurant. We spoke to several people who did, and as usual, reviews were mixed ... greatest meal ever; overkill; pampered beyond belief; couldn't wait to get out of there after over two hours of eating ... to each his own. Incidentally, the price for this option was increased to $30 a few weeks ago. A brief word about the coffee ... uuuuggghhhh! Usually, the dining room serves real ground stuff, while the reconstituted syrup is used everywhere else. It was all syrup, all the time, on the Miracle! The amount of cream I used increased with each cup, and I was drinking almost pure half-and-half (at least that was the real thing) by the time the cruise ended. This potion will take the paint off your car! If I sail any Carnival ship again, I'll make it a point to bring my own. THE PORTS: The ship makes four stops: Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Cozumel and Belize. This is the only itinerary it sails. Grand Cayman: We tendered in about 8:30 on Tuesday, did a bit of souvenir shopping (although many businesses were closed), and eventually found our way to Capt. Bryan's Stingray City Adventure. I've used him before, and booked the trip on-line through Island Marketing. Incidentally, that organization does not conduct tours, but refers people to the various excursions throughout the Caribbean. A 20% credit card deposit is required, which represents its fee. The balance is paid directly to the operator. At $34, it's an outstanding value, considering the hordes of people who pay about $50 through Carnival, and are packed in like sardines on those double-decker boats. We were on a catamaran with about twenty other folks, and had a spot with the rays pretty much to ourselves. Since there's no shopping to speak of (the Cayman dollar is stronger than ours), and inasmuch as we live just a stone's throw form two of the top ten beaches in the world, this excursion was pretty much our only option ... but as usual, it was quite an experience. I enjoyed it immensely. We were joined in port by the Disney Magic and Zuiderdam ... a pretty light day. Costa Maya: I was anxious to return there. On my last visit (December, 2002), I was pretty impressed by the facilities and ambience (including a pool, very clean restrooms, local entertainment, a nice variety of shops), and was even more excited over what the Mexican government had planned for the area (it was touted to be a future rival to Cozumel). I can sum up progress in two words ... absolutely none! Not an inch of road has been paved outside of the pier, the local merchants have taken on a style reminiscent of Jamaica, and the overall atmosphere has, if anything, declined a bit. This was a major disappointment. I was able, however, to pick up an ample supply of my blood pressure medication, for about a third of what I pay in the States ... and I have a prescription plan. The Zuiderdam followed us from Georgetown, and the Explorer of the Seas arrived just after we did. Cozumel: We docked at Puerto Maya, the more southern berth. Having been there at least a dozen times, I decided to do something a bit different, at the behest of several cruise site contributors. We rented a car, and drove the circumference of the island. It's very different on the eastern side ... crashing waves, beautiful formations ... a nice way to spend a day. Alamo and Hertz have facilities there. It's a little different from US locations: most vehicles don't have a/c (believe it or not), many have manual transmissions, and none are of the current model year. We wound up with an automatic, air-conditioned 2001 Chevy Malibu, and paid $25 for the day. Be careful, though: your automobile insurance likely does not cover you; but my Chase Platinum MasterCard afforded the necessary protection ... otherwise, be prepared to spend about another $50 for insurance. We managed to get in a bit of shopping (nothing major), some downtown (tough to find a parking place, but it can be done), some at the plaza located at the dock. This was a banner port day (6 ships). We were joined at Puerto Maya by the Caribbean Princess, Explorer and Empress of the Seas (the largest and smallest cruise ships afloat docked next to each other). The Inspiration and Holiday were berthed downtown. Needless to say, Carlos & Charlie's, Senor Frog's, and the streets themselves, were absolutely packed! Had I not had anything planned, I wouldn't have left the shopping plaza adjacent to the port. Belize: This was my first visit to the former British Honduras. If you're not planning an excursion, stay on the ship until at least 10:30 ... there's a two-hour time difference, and you'll find just about everything closed until then. Because of the ship's size and lack of port facilities, the trip by tender is approximately nine miles ... about a 15-minute ride. We opted for a tour of the city, the Altun-Ha ruins and the adjacent rainforest. Once again, I booked it through Island Marketing, and was referred to Philip Elliott, owner/operator of Phil's Tours. I found the five hours I spent with him highly educational and very informative. I now know why so many Americans retire there ... it may not be for me, but the cost of living makes it manageable for many folks on limited incomes. Altun-Ha is hardly the largest site, but I preferred not to journey several hours each way ... did that once, and my kidneys have yet to recover. Unlike Costa Maya, this area is preparing to become a major port. Carnival is building a dock, and there's new construction everywhere. You might have read about some unrest there recently. Actually, it was a protest by the teachers, who walked out after learning that the Prime Minister had squandered much of the increased education funding. The protest was peaceful, and lasted about two hours. We were the only ship in port. Some Observations: This gives me an opportunity to comment on several of my pet peeves relating to cruising. Here goes: (1) The Shopping Guide ... it is now official: there are absolutely no bargains in the western Caribbean! The port lecturer, Donia (from South Africa via Egypt) did her very best to convince folks otherwise, and succeeded to a degree. When all else fails, there's those two magic words, Diamonds International! There must be at least a dozen in every port, in addition to the permutations (Tanzanite International, Columbian Emeralds International, International International, National International, Amnesty International) ... and on it goes. (2) Park West Galleries ... the young British auctioneer aboard the Miracle is one slick operator. She intersperses phrases as, "His work is increasing in value every day," and, "You'll never be able to own a .... at these prices again," when in fact much of the works are available by the thousands. She practically came out of her shoes when presenting a signed Dali print. I live near the Dali Museum, and there's a virtual unlimited supply of them. In his later years, he signed countless reproductions, many before the works were actually completed. The same is true for the other artists who themselves have become the products: Thomas Kincade and Peter Max come to mind ... both well-represented aboard ship. This gal spoke so quickly, in an effort to precipitate bidding frenzies. Several winning bidders changed their minds when they discovered that frames were not included, and that the cost of shipping the print in a tube would be $35. One couple bid $125 for something, only to discover that it would cost well over $300 framed and delivered. I'm certain it happens often. One must understand that what Park West sells is not investment-quality art. If you like it, and are happy with the price, buy it ... but don't expect it to fund your retirement. (3) Tanzanite ... this is the most overhyped, obscenely priced semi-precious gemstone in the history of jewelry! It's all a product of an ingenious marketing scheme, fueled by cruise line shopping guides. Because it's found exclusively in one location, artificial control of the price is easy ... when the market goes flat, the cry of, "The mine is drying up!" re-emerges. There are thousands of pieces in hundreds of stores, and even a chain of jewelry emporiums with Tanzanite in its name. How rare can this stuff be? Hardly anyone ever heard of it until cruise ship port lecturers started touting it. Again, if you like it, and the price is right, buy it. But is it worth $1000 a carat? Hey; perception is indeed reality! CONCLUSION: The Miracle is a beautiful ship. Service is excellent throughout, and my overall rating is 3.5 out of 5. But for what I paid, it was a bargain. Would I sail it again? Yes, if the ship is the primary consideration; no, if I'm looking to put a dent in my Christmas list. I'd like to see an alternative itinerary (although it being on the west coast of Florida might preclude this) since I'm pretty much Cozumel'd out. I do prefer the eastern and southern Caribbean countries. But if you're a fan of the western Caribbean, you should find this four-port cruise to your liking. Read Less
Sail Date May 2005
This was our first cruise. Embarkation was a snap. We arrived early, around 11:30. It took about 10 minutes to get through the metal detector line and then a short wait to get ourselves signed in. I recommend you preregister on line once ... Read More
This was our first cruise. Embarkation was a snap. We arrived early, around 11:30. It took about 10 minutes to get through the metal detector line and then a short wait to get ourselves signed in. I recommend you preregister on line once you have your booking number. We were at the counter only a few minutes and then we were logged in. Now all we had to do was wait in the lobby until it was time to board. They started boarding passengers shortly after we sat down. By 12:20 our group was called and we took that wonderful walk along the jetway to a real fantasy world. Lunch was being served on the Lido deck 9, so we headed up there to begin our adventure. The buffet stations were going full blast and had a great assortment of foods. We ate here a lot throughout the cruise. We then started to explore the ship while we waited for the cabins to be cleared for our use by 1:30. We were somewhat confused as to the theme of the ship. Now that I've read it is suppose to be a tribute to super heroes in all literature, it helps to understand what the theme was supposed to be. We found some of the decor a bit over the top, especially in the Bacchus dinning room. It reminded me of a high school prom decoration theme with way too many pink balloons. The over-the-top decor frequently clashed with the upscale service we received in the dinning room. It was as if the cruise line couldn't make up it's mind as to whether it was a fun ship or a high class elegant ship. That aside, the service in the dinning room was wonderful and our wait staff made dinning there an event we looked forward to every night. I liked the variety of selection of food although I had hoped for more opportunity for lobster. I understand other cruise lines have lobster available every night. Our room was on deck four and had a partially blocked view through two lifeboats. Now don't feel sorry for us, we paid for an inside cabin on deck one, no windows at all. The fact that we had a window as an upgrade was great but to have gotten French doors that opened so you could smell and hear the ocean was a fantastic bonus. The room was still classed as an inside cabin but we didn't care. The bathroom was the biggest surprise in that it was about twice as big as what I had assumed we have. There was adequate space and the shower was a full size single stall size with lots of room to turn around in. The decor of the room was simple, like any motel room and was a nice change of pace from all the flashy decor on the ship. Room service was okay, but nothing special. When we first entered our cabin there were two dirty glasses still on the vanity and someone's watch. These did not get cleared out of our room until after the late seating of dinner. We also didn't get the towel animal our first night in the room either. That was a bit of a disappointment. There are a lot of activities to do, but many of them didn't appeal to us to join in. Watching bare chested men parade around in a hairy chest contest is not my first choice of entertainment. There were plenty of Karaoke events but you can only listen to bad singers for so long before you just want to kill them because they can't sing. The stage shows were good but not spectacular. We enjoyed watching them though. The excursions were more than just fun, they were true adventures for us and we had a ball. Try the helmet water dive in Cozumel. It doesn't take long and gives you lots of time to shop downtown. Arriving back in Tampa, disembarkation was the most uncontrolled event of the whole trip. They kept saying they would call for the no-assist passengers first, then call for those with early plane flights to catch. Well, they never called for anybody. People just starting showing up with their luggage at the exit on the main deck and they were let off. As others saw this, the stampede began. It was quickly halted by the Port authority who only had one elevator in the building to off load 2500 passengers and their luggage. There just was no control. They should have called us by deck or group or something. We had just a packed mob scene trying to get off the ship all at one point. Overall, we did have a wonderful time with many high moments and fond memories. Although some things did not go smoothly, we would not let those things overshadow our whole experience. We would not have a problem recommending this ship and its itinerary to anyone. The staff members were always polite, respectful and nice to talk to. The ship was kept clean, and there were always things going on to entertain you. We enjoyed the change from our daily lives and look forward to another cruise hopefully in the not to distant future. Read Less
Sail Date April 2005
First off, let me say that this was our sixth Carnival cruise so we know something about how Carnival operates. Next, we'll start with the embarkation. Apparently Carnival thought it would be a great idea to loan the Miracle out to ... Read More
First off, let me say that this was our sixth Carnival cruise so we know something about how Carnival operates. Next, we'll start with the embarkation. Apparently Carnival thought it would be a great idea to loan the Miracle out to the Super Bowl to allow guests to stay on board while the Super Bowl was going on since there was a lack of hotel space available. Good idea for Carnival, bad idea if you wanted to cruise on the Miracle. The ship was late getting to Tampa for the guests to board and get this, after you signed in to get the paperwork done, you couldn't get your boarding pass or your Sale and Sign card. Apparently, something with the computers. Oh yeah, every Carnival employee we talked with had a different excuse on why the ship was late, from being repaired in dry dock to being disinfected from some horrible disease. Anyway, after the ship docked, Carnival thought it cool to call each person's name for them to pick up their Sale and Sign card to board the ship. All 2400 guests! You have any idea how long it takes to call 2400 names?! After, or if, your name was called, you were to go to the front of the line, or should I say, fight your way though the mess of pissed off people to get your card. Once there, you had to find the correct employee with your card because several were handing out cards. What a mess!! Of course you were then supposed to smile nicely before boarding the ship for your embarkation photo....yeah. Next, on to the cruise. The Miracle is a beautiful ship. Nice layout.....easy to find your way around....just a nice all round ship. The ship stopped at four different ports of call, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Belize, and Costa Maya. All great stops! The only problem here is that several other cruise ships decided to stop in the same ports as the Miracle making getting around very difficult. At Cozumel, there were eight ships total! Imagine dumping 12,000+ tourists on the small island on one day. What a mess. Carnival had three ships there, you would think Carnival would schedule the ships to stop on different days to help avoid such a crowded mess. Good thinking Carnival!! We booked our cruise with two other couples 10 months before the sailing. Upon arrival at the ship, we found out that the six of us would not be dining at the same table. You would think that with a 10 month advance booking, the six of us traveling together would be able to dine together. Not according to Carnival. We were told to ask the man in charge to have our seating arrangements changed and we did so. His response was that it was out of his control and nothing could be done. We asked a second person, and after some rolling of his eyes, we were told nothing could be done either. This seemed strange to us, but we adapted. Maybe we should have waved more money when doing the asking. Or, maybe we should have asked someone that actually cared. This was the general attitude towards guests throughout the ship, nobody really cared. To us, it seemed that if Carnival could get some extra bucks out of each guest, then that was their goal, to fleece the guests for as much as they could. For example, in Tampa, one of the shore excursions was to the Florida Aquarium, Carnival wanted $49 for the tour, if you walked off the ship, across the street, and into the aquarium, you got the same tour for $18. What was the extra $31 for??? Carnival's pocket is my guess. As far as the whole package goes, it was nice. You get out of a cruise what you put into it. And Carnival is trying to get the most out of you that it can, money wise. We enjoyed the cruise but this will likely be our last Carnival cruise, time to try another line. So long Carnival, it was nice until you got greedy. Read Less
Sail Date February 2005
This was our third cruise, all of which have been on Carnival. I will try to review under various headings and compare to our previous cruises. Embarkation/Disembarkation: Embarkment was about the same as previous trips, not too long of ... Read More
This was our third cruise, all of which have been on Carnival. I will try to review under various headings and compare to our previous cruises. Embarkation/Disembarkation: Embarkment was about the same as previous trips, not too long of a wait but it always seems long because you are anxious to get on the ship and start vacation. It probably took us an hour or so to get through everything. I did not see a real difference filling out and printing the funpass. Hopefully they can do something to speed along the process further when you give your information beforehand. Disembarkation was much nicer then previous cruises. In our previous cruises you were assigned a color and had to wait it a public area of the ship until you were called. This time we were able to wait in our room until we were called and this made the process less irritating. Dining: We ate each evening in the Baccaus Dining Room and ate breakfast and sometimes lunch at Horatio's (casual). We did not eat at Nick and Noras as we could not justify the extra $50.00 per couple to eat food that may have been served in the dining room. I thought that the beef entrees were better than I have had on previous cruises (not the best I had but we are from the midwest and get great steaks). My husband did not always like the selections offered so had at times gotten something he did not really want. I wish that they had something simple like grilled chicken on spaghetti with tomato sauce that was available every night and that if available it is printed on the menu. We were also upset because we asked to be seated at a large table and for the third time in a row have ended up at a table for four. We were also in a small room off the side of the main dining room so we missed some of the evening entertainment with the wait staff. (Not a big deal as we have seen it before but to me it would make sense that if they are going to have a quite room that they make that mostly tables for two or families who want things quite). In general the food was average at Horatios and average to above-average at Baccaus. The wait at Horatio's was not long when we were there. There was a slight wait for the Omelet line but not too bad and it moved quickly. Public Rooms/Area: The rooms and public areas were mostly tastefully decorated. I did think Horatios was much more attractive of a room than the regular dining room but they were all pretty nice. Some of the things that we enjoyed about the public area were that in the hallways (by the cabins) there are large pictures of characters from books (my husband works in a bookstore so he loved that). We also thought that the glass work in the stairways was lovely. One thing that was discouraging was that we noticed that some paintings that were displayed (like those in the Phantom show room) looked like some previous passengers had intentionally damaged the works (faces and eyes were scratched out with xxx's). This is in no way the fault of the cruiseline but it was disappointment that people are rude enough to purposely damage something that does not belong to them and is there for the enjoyment of all future and present passengers. Cabin/Room: Our room was cleaned daily except for our sheets. I do not know if it is Carnival's policy to not change bedsheets every day but this is one of the things that really bothered me about this trip. I believe in the past our sheets were always changed but I know that they were not this time. We did have a towel animal every day except the first and our room steward was good at keeping things cleaned without bothering us (he quickly figured out our schedule and came when we were gone). If we left a note (like we did for him to empty the fridge so we could put in our wine) he was quick to help us. Entertainment: We enjoyed the two shows (Generations and the Beatles review). We also liked the singer and comedian on the last night. My husband enjoyed another comedian that appeared earlier in the trip but he was not to my taste (a little dry humor). We did not go to a few shows as they did not appeal to us (talent show, more comedians). On previous trips there seemed to be more variety in the shows (magicians and dance companies, as well as comedians). During the days at sea there were plenty of games, contests, etc. both by the pool and in the main show room (Phantom). Spa/Gym: We used the gym a couple of times - for a step class, a general workout and my husband met with a trainer for a routine for his back/abs. He has a bad back and this helped him to feel better and get a routine he could do when we got home to help him strengthen the muscles in his core and therefore have less back pain. We had a combination massage and facial at the spa. It was very relaxing and I am glad to say that although they did have a list of recommended products they were not as high pressure as I have experience on previous cruises. Ports: Grand Caymen: This was one of our favorites. We had been to Grand Caymen previously but could not go on any water excursions due to the weather (tropical depression). This time we got to swim with the sting rays and had a great time. We booked our trip through the ship and were lucky to have a fairly small group with us (only about 15-20 people). When we sailed up our boat stayed a little ways away from the others and brought out the buckets of squid for us to feed the rays. This was such a great experience I would love to experience again. Fortunately the videographer with us got some great shots and since we bought the DVD we can see it again and again. I was very happy with our DVD. I had seen other videos previously from past cruisers and they were not as good as our DVD (which included lots of underwater shots and interaction shots). My husband bought me a necklace with a stingray on it to remember our trip and especially this port. I have already worn it a few times to bring back the glow of the trip. Costa Maya: We were not sure what to do on this port so we just did the Jungle Beach Break - free drinks on a beautiful beach. The beach (Uvero Beach) looks like something you would see on postcards. You could also snorkel here, as well as the usual braids, temporary tattoos, drinking games, etc. -- FYI - If getting a temporary tattoo be aware that the black henna is not really henna but black hair dye - I did not know this myself and so I got a tattoo on my ankle. My skin is very sensitive and now I am having trouble with the area around the tattoo itching and a rash developing. Other than that I had a good time just enjoying a day of relaxing at this port. Our other excursions were fairly active so the day of laying back on the beach was needed. Cozumel: This was a full day. We went to Chankkonab State Marine Park (not sure if spelling is right). I had booked a sea lion swim package on line with Dolphin Discovery (it included a swim with the sea lion, tickets to the sea lion show and admission to the park). There is a lot to do at the park. We started by walking through the botanical gardens, then went to the sea lion show, went to the museum (which is just one small room), back to do our sea lion swim (after that we held a sloth and a toucan), we then went to the beach and went snorkeling. We enjoyed this although we both said it was not the same as swimming with the stingrays as this is a much more controlled environment. Still we got our pictures (overpriced but still worth every cent) and you can see from our faces how much fun we were having -- these are the things I treasured when we are back to the day to day grind. We also bought some vanilla and a silver chain from Cinco de Sol. They were reasonably priced and the sales people in Cinco de Sol did not seem to pressure you as much as some of the other stores. Belize: We decided to go cave tubing on this port. We did arrange this through the cruiseline - The only trip we arranged on our own was in Cozumel (in the future I will try to book more things on my own through proven reputable companies - as it is quite a bit cheaper and usually involves smaller groups). Although we did book this through the cruise line we had an exhausting but great time cave tubing. We both saw some monkeys in the trees during the bus ride. It had rained early in the day when we went so we had a nice moving current (not too fast but we did not have to paddle much). Afterwards we stopped at a restaurant (I think it was Breezes) as part of the excursion package and had chicken, rice and beans, coleslaw and we bought some tasty beer to go with the above. Our tour operator told us the secret to tasty beans and rice is to cook it in coconut milk (I will have to try that some time). We bought some cashew wine (at the restaurant) it is strong and more like a liquor than a wine but we figure it is something unique. My husband also bought a walking cane (stick) from a local merchant that was beautifully carved. I would definitely consider stopping at Belize on future cruises. MISC: Cruise Director -cruise director Mark was pretty funny and seemed helpful. On our first cruise our cruise director was John who we thought was wonderful. However on our second cruise we had a cruise director who's name I cannot even remember (he seemed to be trying to imitate John Heald and repeated the same old routine). I liked that Mark Hawkins was trying some new fresh things that were not just copying everyone else - even if every joke did not work it was great to see something new. Head of Shore Excursions - I forget the name of this person but I was disappointed because she was not the person who gave the lecture on the shore excursions (that was the cruise director) and even though she claimed she was available afterwards she did not seem to want to be bothered. I asked about the approximate cab fare to Chankonnob Park and mentioned that we were doing a Sea Lion swim. She claimed she was not sure of the taxi fare and that she could not make any guarantees on our Sea Lion Swim as it was not booked through them. I thought this was pretty rude and that she should be able to give basic information about where to catch a cab, if there are ones to avoid and how much they cost -- she did not even advise us to get a price before we got in the cab (fortunately we knew from a previous cruise). Later on in the trip the person who was the cruise lines shopping expert told us the price was about $10.00 each way as far as she knew from last time she went there but to double check before we got in the cab as the prices may have changed. We felt this cruise was among the best because of the ports, the beautiful ship and the fact that the people were laid back without being obnoxious. Everyone seemed to be there to have a great time but in general did not go overboard. There were no problems with unsupervised children (in fact some were holding the elevator door for there father and when they saw that he had stopped to socialize they apologized and left the elevator). There was also not too much smoke and none in the hallways, elevators, etc. Overall this was a great cruise, although as in most vacations I have a few concerns. We look forward to another cruise in the future and will return to Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date November 2004
I was very apprehensive on booking this carnival miracle cruise because of the bad reviews I had read and also I had only cruised with NCL in the past. I had previously been on 2 cruises both on the big ships (breakaway & Epic). I ... Read More
I was very apprehensive on booking this carnival miracle cruise because of the bad reviews I had read and also I had only cruised with NCL in the past. I had previously been on 2 cruises both on the big ships (breakaway & Epic). I found that I like the smaller ships much better. The miracle was less crowded. It has 3 pools so there was never a problem with chairs. The first morning I got up early to go find my spot thinking it would already be crowded around pool area and there were a ton of open seating. We departed from Tampa cruiseport and that experience was top notch. We got there almost 2 hrs before our scheduled time of 12:30. This port was so organized and the small line moved quickly. We did have to sit in terminal about an hour, but we got to board an hour earlier than scheduled. Win win! This ship does not have a lot of areas geared toward children. There is only one water slide and no child pool or splash pad area. We chose the anytime dining which worked out wonderful. We had the option to sit by ourselves or join a larger table to meet other guest. The waitstaff was awesome. I am amazed that by the 2nd night they remembered our names. I also loved that in the middle of dinner they would stop serving and perform a song/ dance for us! Very entertaining. I was apprehensive about the food because I had heard that NCL has much better food than Carnival, but the food was excellent. We even had prime rib and lobster included in the main dining room. I loved that they had different rare find appetizer each day. It is a great way to try foods you normally would not order out in a restaurant. I tried escargot, rabbit, frog legs and ox tongue. We loved the comedy shows and open karaoke nights. The 88 keys show was very good also. Our excursions were swim with stingrays which was awesome. I held and kissed a stingray. We also went to channabak national park in Cozumel and did snorkeling...absolutely beautiful, quiet and plenty of shaded chairs. We recieved massages on the beach. I would highly recommend this excursion. Service from our cabin person Geda was excellent, from the ice he brought daily to the cleaning of our room and the cute animal towels! Disembarkment was just as quick as embarkment. We put our suitcase out the night before. The ship started carryoff luggage disembarkment at 8 am. We were called by 9 am and through customs and ubered to Tampa airport by 10:30 am. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Vilburn the casino host was so nice... attentive to all game play Great personality and Kim the casino bar server was the most attentive ever... knew when and what time to switch my drinks up and always brought me water... the whole ... Read More
Vilburn the casino host was so nice... attentive to all game play Great personality and Kim the casino bar server was the most attentive ever... knew when and what time to switch my drinks up and always brought me water... the whole casino bar staff was great... I smoke and it was a little smoky for those who don't smoke... MDR food was very good... Nick and Nora's steakhouse was 5 star... ate 2 meals there... Lido buffet was ok... Pizza was my go to late night 3am most nights... delish... tried all of them... shows,comedians bingo were All very good I would definitely recommend this cruise to anybody...the ship definitely needs updated restaurants and cabins... alot of rust.. but I didn't care I was happy as a clam just to be on vacation... Belize is not an easy tender port for anyone who cant walk up or down 30 steps...my.mom had to stay back... Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We honestly chose this cruise because we booked too late to get the ships and price we wanted out of Port Canaveral. I was very hesitant to book and worried because of the size of the ship. Most reviews were good, but I was concerned it ... Read More
We honestly chose this cruise because we booked too late to get the ships and price we wanted out of Port Canaveral. I was very hesitant to book and worried because of the size of the ship. Most reviews were good, but I was concerned it would be too old and small compared to what we were used to (Magic and Dream). We LOVED this ship! There were 6 of us. 4 adults and 2 17 year olds. The embarkation process was the easiest we’ve ever had. We had 11:30-12 boarding and arrived at 11:25 and were on the Lido deck by 11:50 at the latest. Disembarking was just as easy. 2600 passengers makes a huge difference. If I had smaller kids, I would probably not go on this ship. It had one older water slide and the mini golf was shoved in the front with the basketball court which makes it very hard to utilize while sailing and blazing hot when in port. There are more than enough bars on this ship and yes we had the Cheers and Bubbles drink packages. Last year on the Magic it was too difficult and crowded to get a soda. This year we had few if any lines at all! The dining staff greeted us by name the first night and every night thereafter. We had Your Time Dining and had different servers most nights. They would greet us by name during the day throughout the ship. The Alchemy Bar was a hidden gem for sure. The Red Frog Pub was abosuley fun and there’s a really nice Sports bar to watch games as well. The comedy club was great, but overly crowded even though I think it’s a bigger room than on the Magic. The decor may be a little dated for those who get worked up over that sort of thing, but we could care less. The room was identical to the Magic/Dream. Lobby area same. The Serenity pool and bar are awesome. I love the fact they have 2 pools (in addition to the Serenity Pool) on the Lido deck. We never lacked a lounge chair. You always have the chair hogs, but we rarely sit anyways. My husband and I already talked about going on this size ship again. The 2 17 year olds did go to Club O2 and met lots of new friends. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose the Carnival Miracle simply because it fit our schedule, driving distance and the price was very good. The only down side was a great majority of the staff seemed disconnected. She's a great ship. I never felt crowded or ... Read More
We chose the Carnival Miracle simply because it fit our schedule, driving distance and the price was very good. The only down side was a great majority of the staff seemed disconnected. She's a great ship. I never felt crowded or rushed. The dining room food quality is down from our last cruise only 6 months ago but it was still very good. I only ate the buffet once for lunch. The comedy shows were very funny. I spent a lot of time at the casino bar with Mario the bartender. He always recognized me and suggested some great whiskies and taquilas I would've never tried. We didn't feel safe in Belize so we just took the tender to the port and haggled for a souvenir iguana. We went to Margaritaville in Grand Cayman. It was fun watching all the graduates getting hammered. Mahogany bay was nice but very crowded. Luckily we got beach chairs floats and a clam shell through the on board excursions so we had our pick as we got there ahead of the crowd. Cozumel was great as always. We did the all adult private beach house excursion. We will definitely do that again. It was by far the best of all the ports we visited. The Serenity deck is amazing. The bar opens at 9am. The pool bar opens at 7am. The Miracle is not a typical Carnival cruise ship. She's a little more adult focused but still has all of the Carnival fun stuff. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Where do I start? Cruise Director Frankie was awesome. He is high energy and seemed to be everywhere. Giving tips, seeing cruisers off for their excursions, welcoming them back, MC-ing just about everything and providing updates though ... Read More
Where do I start? Cruise Director Frankie was awesome. He is high energy and seemed to be everywhere. Giving tips, seeing cruisers off for their excursions, welcoming them back, MC-ing just about everything and providing updates though out the day. Look, this cruise was by far the best cruise my 10 y.o. daughter and I have been on. I could write a book on how well run this ship and crew were but don't have the space here. Looking back after a month I'd say the crew leadership made the difference, i.e., Frankie and the ship's officers. Both were out in force the whole cruise providing full oversight and leadership down to the smallest detail. As prior military I recognize and credit the effectiveness of the first rate leadership performance on this ship as being what set it apart from other ships we've sailed on. Frankie and the officers were everywhere. Very impressive. Some details: -At full capacity (2600+) but hardly any lines (imo great ship design and planning). We never waited more than 5 mins for My Time dining even when the line was 20+ long we were in in 3 or 4 mins. Everything my daughter wanted to do we were able to do without waiting. She didn't get picked for The Game Show but we played (and won) Trivial Pursuit and Sorry events. In classic Carnival style we just looked at the tear-off planner and said "hey, you wanna to this, it's starting in 10 mins" and off we went. We always got in and were never disappointed with the quality of the entertainment. The staff were fantastic. -Nothing was in short supply or ran out, not even the 24/7 soft serve ice cream. -Dining room staff were fantastic. One evening we came in for dinner before going to The Game Show. We told our waiter Kasimir (tall, bald, eastern european) we had 15 mins before the show. He said order everything at once and he will bring it out and not to worry we'd make the show. I counted. He had everything on the table in under 2 mins. Two courses for my daughter and one for myself. We made it to the show on time. Just wow! -Very clean ship and crew was doing touch ups and detailing work even though it's going into dry dock later this summer. Shows a high level of dedication to passenger experience. I could go on and on but this ship was just perfect on the 2 June sailing. I credit the cruise director and the officers most. They set and enforce the standards. I thought about it and I think Carnival's 'Fun Secret' is the cruise director has much more authority than on other cruise lines. He interacts with the passengers constantly and picks up on deficiencies much quicker than crew members so issues can be resolved before they become bigger issues other passengers experience. I didn't see this in action because there were NO ISSUES on this cruise but it is my hunch based on seeing Frankie interact with passengers and officers responding to anything and everything. On other cruise lines the offices are hardly ever seen and it shows in the crew's performance. On Miracle's 02 June cruise I saw officers out and about moreso than any of the other 5 cruises we've taken. On the worst cruise we ever went on, HOTS June '18, the officers were basically absent until the 5th day of the cruise when they came out to fix deficiencies. And there were a lot on that cruise. We like the smaller ships. We've been on a mega ship and will never go on one again. They're a gimmick and hopefully a fad. We love the Miracle but unfortunately it's not going to be in Tampa much longer. I've already booked our next 3 Carnival cruises, up to Jan '21. I've decided we will only cruise with Carnival from now on. Time is too short to take chances and Carnival has never disappointed. You know it's a good ship when you can't wait to get back on the ship from an excursion. Bottom line: I took a 7 day cruise on the Miracle and when I returned I felt like I was away from work for six months. A month later I'm still relaxed. Now, THAT is what it's all about.. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This cruise was a chance for our entire family to enjoy a cruise together. We booked this a few weeks after we got off the Carnival Glory in 2018. This was our 12 year old son's 1st cruise and our 19 year old daughter's 3rd ... Read More
This cruise was a chance for our entire family to enjoy a cruise together. We booked this a few weeks after we got off the Carnival Glory in 2018. This was our 12 year old son's 1st cruise and our 19 year old daughter's 3rd cruise, but 1st one in 13 years. This was also a chance to do a full family vacation before our daughter goes off on her own. Why the Carnival Miracle? - We wanted a cruise that would allow us to go after our kids were out of school, but back before our daughter had to report to her Summer job. We happen to like Carnival and also had not sailed on a Spirit Class ship. We had done cruises on Fantasy class (Carnival Inspiration) and Destiny class (Carnival Destiny) ships, so this helped us get on a different class of ship. Pre Cruise- We flew into Tampa the day before from DFW. Had a great flight and we went mid day so congestion in the airport was minimal. We stayed at the Tampa Airport Marriott and had a quiet room that looked out the back of the hotel (only taxiway back there). We took an Uber to Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant and had a great diner with relatives. Food and drinks are great, but make sure to get a reservation. We did take an Uber back to the airport, but had to work in a stop at Target to get a replacement piece of luggage as one of the wheels exploded on the the way from baggage claim to the hotel. Embarkation Day- We took advantage of Carnival's airport shuttle to the pier. Went down to baggage claim and found the agent and waited about 15 minutes for a bus. Bus was new, clean and nice room and our driver got us to the port in 20 minutes. We had Faster To The Fun and curb to the FTTF waiting area took all of 5 minutes. Got a chance to meet Captain Carnival as he welcomed all the guest by area (Platinum & Diamond, Suites, FTTF, General boarding) We got there by 10:45, so only had to wait 15 minutes. They started letting people on the ship at 11AM. The called FTTF and we were on the ship by 11:15!! When we got on the ship, we went straight to our cabin and dropped off our things and went for lunch. DW had an issue with a spa appointment prior to sail away due to new staff coming on board that were not trained yet, that we got cleared up after sailaway. Muster drill went well as it was overcast and everyone seemed to be at their stations, with the exception of a few who ended up getting their own "Special" muster drill exercise. 1st Impressions - Carnival Miracle 1st sailed in 2004 and has gone through a few upgrades and a partial Funship 2.0 upgrade. Ship was done in classic early 2004 decor that has been taken care of and has aged well. While some areas could use some more tender care, overall I was happy with the condition of the ship. Miracle is slated for drydock when it repositions later this year. The theme throughout the ship was cool and the eleven-story atrium with a ruby-red glass ceiling was awesome! Cabin- We had cabins 7321 & 7325 on Verandah Deck 7 on the starboard side of the ship near the aft. These were category 8D. Spirit class ships do have a small cooling refrigerator that worked well on keeping our water cool. Both cabins were in good shape and well maintained. Flat screen TV and hair dryer in the room. Room has 1 110v and 1 220v outlet. Would be nice if they add an extra outlet during next drydock. We had maintenance open the panel between the two balconies and it made for a nice place for everyone to hang out. Our room steward James did a nice job of keeping our room in tip top shape. He made sure that we had our ice bucket filled twice a day and that made us happy. Food- MDR - We had early seating in the Bacchus Dinning room about midway toward the Starboard side of the room on a 4 top. Our service in the main dining room was done very well. We ate in the MDR most mornings and five out of the seven evenings (see below for other two). Carlos and his team took great care of our family. They made sure that we had all we needed and even took time to give our kids some extra attention. We were celebrating our daughter's birthday and they made sure she got a small cake and a song. All dishes were well done and if we asked for an extra item, no trouble at all. Steakhouse - We did the Nick & Nora's Steakhouse first night so we could take advantage of the free bottle of house wine. The restaurant is located right under the whale tale in the red glass area.Food was fantastic and worth the price. Service was a little lacking, but that may have been due to a slight understaffing. Enjoyed the red glass roof as it provided a nice lighting of the area. Chef's Table - This is started in the galley and the formal dinner is done in Frankenstein's laboratory. Multiple course dinner with wine flowing throughout the dinner. They have slowed the pace of service which allowed us to enjoy the dinner vs our chef's table the previous year on Glory. Great food experience and met some great people. Only slight issue was that the event started a little late, but the group got a chance to see a couple get engaged in the Metropolis Lobby. Pizza Pirate - Outstanding pizza every time, all the time. The Grill - my DW and I thought that the burgers had a very good taste and would give Guy's burgers a run for the money if it was just the burgers on their own. Guys wins due to the options available. Lido General - It's Lido food. was ok to eat but not my 1st option if the MDR is open. Entertainment- The 88 Keys show was well done. Music around the ship was good. There was a steel drum duo that played on deck, but it was odd that they had them play near the Alchemy Bar. Frankie was a great Cruise Director and kept everyone engaged. Sea Day- Sea days were fine. The Lido was a little crowded at lunch. If you wanted a quiet place, they were available. Never felt crowded overall. Tea time was a nice change and we enjoyed it. Ports of Call - Grand Cayman - quick and smooth tender ride. Did explore Grand Cayman by sea and land. The sea part of the excursion our boat did not have air conditioning that worked and trip was cut short. The land part was very good and we had a great tour guide/driver. Went to the Turtle farm, HELL, and a rum cake place. When we got back on the ship, the excursion desk was already processing a refund for the boat portion of the trip (Good job Carnival) Roatan - day at the beach and shopping in the port. Belize - Visit to Altun Ha. Great location to learn about Mayan Ruins. Tour guide was very informative about the site and ride over. On the ride back, she let everyone rest as it was very humid and hot. She was available to answer questions on the way back Cozumel - Shopping day. We went downtown and found some vanilla. Shopped back at the pier. Smoking - There was smoke in the casino and that did not seem to drift out into other areas very much. Seemed odd that there was smoking on the middle back pool area on one side. Disembarkation - We had FTTF and we had group 2. We had breakfast in the MDR , went back to our cabins and were on the upper floor of the MDR awaiting our permission to get off. only took about 20 minutes and we were off the ship. Cleared customs quick on got right on a shuttle back to the airport. Overall thoughts - Nice itinerary and getting in and out of Tampa was very easy. Miracle is a slightly older ship, but has held up well and was a nice mid sized ship. With the expected drydock coming up, I'm sure she will keep going for years to come and I would look forward to taking another cruise on her in the future! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We have always found Carnival's Spirit-class ships (Spirit, Miracle, Legend, & Pride) to be just the right size to provide big-ship comfort with small-ship service and a superb design that includes ample space in all of the key ... Read More
We have always found Carnival's Spirit-class ships (Spirit, Miracle, Legend, & Pride) to be just the right size to provide big-ship comfort with small-ship service and a superb design that includes ample space in all of the key common areas (lido deck on sea days, main show room, etc.). The Miracle certainly delivered on this cruise. The staff prided itself in outstanding service and delivered accordingly. Clearly a winning combination of talented, dedicated staff and outstanding leadership. We knew what to expect at the ports of call, having been to all of them many times. What made this cruise exceptional, however, was the time spent aboard, not ashore. The entertainment staff was talented, our room steward was superb, and our dining staff provided outstanding service. We had the opportunity to interact with several of the ship's senior officers, and it quickly became clear why service across-the-board was top-notch. This was certainly one of our most memorable cruises in the Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Going to Panama canal was the highlight of our cruise...friendliest people onboard crew was excellent, dining room very slow ..plan on spending 2 hours there ...shows old school nothing fancy, bands in red frogs excellent mainly ... Read More
Going to Panama canal was the highlight of our cruise...friendliest people onboard crew was excellent, dining room very slow ..plan on spending 2 hours there ...shows old school nothing fancy, bands in red frogs excellent mainly female front/male front musicians excellent...being a musician vocalist I love good harmonies great songs, karaoke was magical fun with great bunch of people...drawback ..karaoke was 3rd to 5th day and I think they should had it from 1st day to last night since everyone enjoyed karaoke. Excessive amount of Bingo and trying to push selling jewelry which was a turnoff. Excursions were excellent. Embarkation smoothly and debarkation smoothly. Panama canal was interesting ..would have enjoyed getting off ship to view from outside or even excursion of panama the city. The ship dining room was very unusual colorful and enjoyed it. Miracle is nice sized ship not too big or not too small. Enjoyed the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was cruise number 10 for us and one of, if not the best. We have previously sailed on Carnival, Royal Carribean, and Holland America. We found the Carnival Miracle to be in excellent condition, the service was top notch, and the food ... Read More
This was cruise number 10 for us and one of, if not the best. We have previously sailed on Carnival, Royal Carribean, and Holland America. We found the Carnival Miracle to be in excellent condition, the service was top notch, and the food was great probably 90% of the time. Only had a couple not so good dishes. The size of the ship is perfect. Not so big and not too small. Never felt crowded. Never waited in lines to disembark at ports or at buffet lines. Traveled with 2 small children who both had a great time. Camp Carnival staff was wonderful! Only complaints overall would be that the water slide has no water pressure so you get stuck all the time. My 6 year old who loves waterslides went on it once and didn't care to go back. And only one hot tub was hot the whole cruise which caused it to be crowded all the time. Overall we loved the ship, sad to see it go to the west coast later this year but we are excited that the Carnival Legend is replacing it which is the same class of ship but with all the new upgrades (Guys burgers, Blue Iguana, and Waterworks, etc). Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Carnival Miracle...his was our third cruise and second with a couple who are our best vacationing companions. This is the FIRST time we've sprung for a balcony and man was it amazing! It will be hard to do another cruise WITHOUT the ... Read More
Carnival Miracle...his was our third cruise and second with a couple who are our best vacationing companions. This is the FIRST time we've sprung for a balcony and man was it amazing! It will be hard to do another cruise WITHOUT the balcony! Coffee and a croissant while watching the gentle ocean lap onto the ship - what could be better?! MUSTER DRILL - OMG what is so confusing about this drill?!! They need to fix this and fast. If muster is at 3:00 and only 30% of the ship arrives at 3:00, the ones who are there should be respected and the drill should commence! Those who are late should have to come at a different time. We literally waited 40 minutes for late arrivers. I told them I needed to sit down and went inside. Why in the world would you wait 40 minutes?! People were literally showing up at 3:40. So those of us who thought it was mandatory and showed up on time were punished. This was the biggest beef I had and thankfully it was at the start of the cruise and everything else was excellent. I do think Carnival needs to work on the logistics of the drill. Our cabin was #8222. Perfect cabin in every way, even had an extended balcony. We were directly below the dining room so it was quiet whenever quiet was important. We only saw our room steward one time but everything was always done and done right. We had early dining - we're older, that works for us. The first night the food was only "ok" on the first night and to be honest, we were a little concerned, but it got better after that. I was a little taken aback that you can no longer order a good steak if nothing else appealed to you. Now there is a $20 for each and every steak (as well as some other things.) There is skirt steak on the menu every night but that is just not a great cut and I really didn't like it. Also, breakfast is free for room service but there are many items that now have a charge for room service for all other times of day. I felt bad about that. I feel like Carnival is nickel and diming people. I have mixed feelings about the room service charge. Every hotel in the world charges for room service but cruising was always different. The only thing we ordered was a pizza and paid $5 for it. Valarie Storm - the Comedian - was HILARIOUS! I would go to see her if she came to our city. I still chuckle when I think about her routine. Kyle, one of the solo musicians, was very good. We saw him in Alchemy and Red Frog Pub. There was one band that was really good but, unfortunately, I can't remember their name. One afternoon we did Tea Time in Bacchus dining room. I thought it was relatively funny that it's "tea" time and they CHARGE $1.00 for the good tea!!! Yet they are giving out 4-5 different desserts and 2 kinds of little sandwiches. Cut down the amount of sweets and let people have the stinkin tea!! It's called "tea time" not "dessert time!!" I thought that was ridiculous. Service was wonderful at every turn. It did seem as though they were short staffed but we didn't "suffer" because of it! We did two trivia events...Seinfeld and the Beatles. It was a lot of fun and Oscar, the MC, was very funny. Excursions. I booked three excursions on this cruise all through Viator. They were excellent. Our favorite was in Belize. We hired a guide for a "Taste Bud Explosion Tour" and it was so fun! The tour company was Royal Beliazian Ambassadors and the owner, Percy, was our guide. He took us to fun food spots that he frequents. Best excursion by far. I highly recommend it. We had a three hour driving tour, learned a lot and ate a lot! Cozumel was Mr. Sanjos. Not my favorite day resort but it was still fun. Had a massage on the beach and ate and drank as if tomorrow may not come. It was fun. Isla Roatan we also did a day resort with a guided tour of some of the island. It was fun but very crowded and not really worth it. We would have been better just getting the tour of the island and going back to the ship. Grand Cayman I didn't book anything but we ended up booking a 2 hour tour on a bus. It was ok. Next time we'll go to the beach. Favorite hang outs...Alchemy Lounge is relaxing. We would go there right before dinner every night. Red Frog Pub has a happy hour special some days...it's $11 for a pitcher of a drink! That's a deal! We did not get the bubbly program because both people in the cabin have to purchase it and that would have been an additional $850!! That's crazy to us so I purchased drinks - up to 5 per day. My husband did get the soda package for $70. I'm not sure he got his money's worth of that but we did it. Debarkation was easy. We were at the airport by 9:30 am with a flight out at 12:55 pm. It was perfect for us. We really enjoy cruising. It's not overly expensive and we get to enjoy the sun, sea and have fun all the time. We have only done Carnival Cruises and I'm ok with that. Why leave a good thing?! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I heard the Carnival Miracle has the most elbow room on all the ships, its true, it seemed to have a lot less people all over the ship, the food and waiters / waitresses were phenomenal in the MDR, the buffet was very good for breakfast, ... Read More
I heard the Carnival Miracle has the most elbow room on all the ships, its true, it seemed to have a lot less people all over the ship, the food and waiters / waitresses were phenomenal in the MDR, the buffet was very good for breakfast, lunch and snacks, pizza pirate never disappointed, steakhouse was worth the $35, I reserved a table for us before the price increase, Chopsticks was a tasty treat. The ship is very easy to navigate and we loved the decor throughout the ship and she is still clean even though it is a older ship, there is a little rust here and there and I expected that. Our shore excursions were faster to the fun, Deluxe Beach, Catamaran Sail & Snorkel in Cozumel and Rays & Reef Snorkel in Grand Cayman, all of these excursions we outstanding and well worth the price, in Mahogany Bay we just walked to the beautiful beach and Tiki bar were we swam then had the really delicious jerk chicken with wonderful margaritas. We took the tender to the port of Belize were we did some shopping and had drinks along the way till we went back to the ship, it was a awesome trip and we will sail on her again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We have cruised 35+ times and enjoyed this trip as one of our best.. First, we love cruising out of Tampa. We really enjoy their valet parking. We wish other ports adopted this, it would hurt the "Off Site" parking. The cabin ... Read More
We have cruised 35+ times and enjoyed this trip as one of our best.. First, we love cruising out of Tampa. We really enjoy their valet parking. We wish other ports adopted this, it would hurt the "Off Site" parking. The cabin (and extended balcony) were very comfortable and Ray kept it clean and well stocked.. The first "sea day" we had, just for a moment, a rainbow that appeared to end in the water right outside our cabin... AND we are on the Miracle.. The steakhouse, Nick & Nora's (Topper fame) was one of the best (although stay away from the Wagu)... Chef Bijoy, was excellent as well as the hostess, Edina and server, Daria... This trip was extra nice as we did win a few jackpots in the casino. The staff there Christina, and Nozi, (and in the cage Maria and Presley) were extra attentive. The drink service, unlike other cruise line, was fast and delicious.... Thank you Miracle... Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Pre-cruise: We flew in the day before and stayed at the Courtyard Tampa downtown. Our stay was excellent and I would highly recommend. Embarkation was quick and painless. We had 11:30 to 12:00 check in time. We arrived right about 11:30 ... Read More
Pre-cruise: We flew in the day before and stayed at the Courtyard Tampa downtown. Our stay was excellent and I would highly recommend. Embarkation was quick and painless. We had 11:30 to 12:00 check in time. We arrived right about 11:30 and were onboard shortly after noon. We didn't have to even sit in the terminal to wait. The Miracle isn't the newest ship with all the latest things. That was fine with me as the goal was relaxation. Live the ship size and layout. One dining room so you can cross the ship on all decks. Ship is clean and does have some of the 2.0 upgrades. Food was good to excellent. MDR dinner was fine. There were a few entrees that weren't great, but the wait staff quickly brought something else. Steakhouse was excellent. If you get a reservation for the right time, you can watch the sun set at dinner. Lido was good. I also loved the new deli sandwiches. Entertainment was a highlight of this cruise. We attended all the shows and they were great! The cast was also very approachable and interacted a lot with the audience. Go see the Daft Sailors in the Red Frog Pub. They were excellent and it was the place to be for both guests and crew. Leigh the CD and his staff were personable and energetic. With 4 sea days, it could have been easy to get bored and they kept everyone engaged and entertained. Ports: Limon, Costa Rica- We did the sloth tour through Carnival. This isn't the fanciest port. There is a large craft market near the dock. There are no Diamonds International if that's what you're looking for. The sloth tour was excellent. We drove about 45 minutes on an air conditioned bus to the sloth sanctuary. The tour guide spent that time teaching us about Costa Rica and the area. First, they gave us time to use the restrooms. Then we had about 20 minutes in the gift shop. Prices were reasonable and they take USD. After that, we split into two groups to see the rescued sloths in two different rooms. It was amazing and very educational. We then went on a canoe ride through the canals to see animals. We saw sloths, howler monkeys, geckos, a crocodile and more. The canoe guide was very good at spotting animals and waiting for us to take pictures. We took the bus back to the port. We skipped the planned fruit stand stop due to there being too many buses there already. We had time to shop after the tour. The craft market was crowded, but people were friendly. There is wifi, but I had trouble getting it to work. Panama Canal- This was basically like a sea day. There was a historian onboard to explain everything to us as we went through the canal. If you want to see from the front of the ship, get there early because it was crowded. A lot of people watched from balconies. They also had a makeshift store on lido for t-shirts and souvenirs. A lot of the souvenirs went quickly. There were t-shirts available in the fun shops until the end of the cruise. Shops and casino were open while we were in the canal. They also showed movies in Mad Hatter's lounge during the afternoon. Grand Cayman- We did not do a tour here as we've been before. We got off the ship and just did some shopping with a stop for lunch. Do bring smaller bills if you can as we found some places didn't have a lot of USD to give change. If you go to the right from where you tender in (after you leave the gated area) and walk down a ways, there is a small craft market where you can buy things like jewelry, coin purses, art, etc... Prices there were way more reasonable than at the little stands near the port. Special note: We did an ashes scattering on this cruise and they were amazing. A crew member from guest services and security officer met us and escorted us to an aft crew area. They told us where we could scatter and gave us as much time as we needed. They also provided us with the coordinates later. Debark: We were not in a hurry so we picked the latest tag. Debarkation was a little delayed due to only having two customs officers. Things went much quicker once they got a few more. Once off the ship and through customs, we flagged down a porter and got our checked bags. He directed us to a shuttle to the airport for 8 dollars per person. A taxi would have cost 28 dollars. Tips: Bring a glass with a lid for drinks on lido. Great to fill up and take to the bar after dinner. A string backpack is great to use around the ship on sea days or in port. A lanyard made things so much easier. Bring extra plugs so that you can charge more than one thing at a time. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Carnival Miracle Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 3.5 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 3.5 4.0
Family 4.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 4.0
Enrichment 1.5 3.5
Service 4.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.5 4.1
Rates 3.0 4.4

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