298 Carnival Miracle Cruise Reviews

I needed a one-week round-trip Los Angeles cruise on June 11th when my 2 LA-area mid-teen grandkids were available. To my surprise, Carnival was the ONLY cruise. While I frequently cruise, I had not been on Carnival in decades. I was ... Read More
I needed a one-week round-trip Los Angeles cruise on June 11th when my 2 LA-area mid-teen grandkids were available. To my surprise, Carnival was the ONLY cruise. While I frequently cruise, I had not been on Carnival in decades. I was pleasantly surprised. I don't generally like large ships but large meant except pool area seating nothing was overcrowded. Our cabin size was adequate for 3 (one being a teenage boy). We were in Your Time dining & thought the food was very, very good. Service was excellent. Activities were varied - always something to do, if I wished. The major shows were okay, though nothing more. The comedians' shows were excellent. I'd grade embarkation a C- but disembarkation an A. I've been on a Mexican Riviera cruise several times & was on it again only because it was the only available cruise, so I had been on most of the offered excursions, taking 2 excursions on my own but joining a last-minute ship offer excursion for a hop-on hop-off bus trip in Mazatlan. They should have offered that long before getting to Mazatlan. The kids joined the 'Club 02' activities. My granddaughter was more pleased with that than my grandson. I was not happy that almost all of those activities were late at night with little in the daytime offered for their age group. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Carnival Miracle Mexican Riviera Review: Greetings. I wanted to write this review to be helpful for others looking to take the cruise on the Miracle out of Long Beach, CA. We had one that was overnight in PV. First I will start ... Read More
Carnival Miracle Mexican Riviera Review: Greetings. I wanted to write this review to be helpful for others looking to take the cruise on the Miracle out of Long Beach, CA. We had one that was overnight in PV. First I will start with embarkation. We arrived at the port and dropped our bags and family off with the porters and then parked. We arrived at about 10:30 am. We also did pay for faster to the fun. At the end of the day it was worth the price. Not perfect but helpful. We told the porter that we were faster to the fun and asked him to make sure the bags ended up in the right area. We were on board by 11:30. Faster to the fun was great for boarding and check in. You got to go to the front of the check in line and not wait in line to board. You could sit around and be lazy until they called for faster to the fun people to board. We were within the first 50 groups on the ship. We took our carry on items right to our room with FTF pass. We then went up to the lido buffet to enjoy a stress free lunch with many tables to choose from and very short lines as we were on first. One tip on the buffet is to walk around a bit and check out all stations. Only 1 had a carved meat. Our luggage did not show up until almost 4! This was the only knock on the FTF pass. No real priority on luggage. We were able to explore the rest of the ship while others were waiting in long buffet lines. The muster drill took forever. Told us to line up at 3:45. Didn't really start til 4:15. The first night we registered all of our kids for camp carnival. Two age 11 and one age 2. Having the 2 year old was nice as they issued us a ship cell phone that was free of charge. The nice part was that anyone could call us from any ship phone at any point. We also ended up buying the new wifi service. Three price tiers. $25 for the 7 day cruise for basic social. $69 for mid grade surfing, and $99 for high grade. 3 of us got $25 and 1 got $69 service. The service, speeds and connection are hit and miss. They don't advertise it but the $25 package actually includes some email, just no web browsing. Felt like the mid grade was a waste of money. The best part was that on the $25 plan you could all download messenger app and actually text or call anyone via wifi on the app. We could actually call our kids phones on the ship. Double edged sword I guess. If you have an iPhone the base plan lets you text to any iPhone on or off ship for no extra charge. We had 2 rooms, one room internet didn't work at all, 1 room about half the time. On deck in public areas it worked great. I guess if you are in your room you can use the room phone. We left on a Saturday. Sunday was the first sea day and Also the first formal night. Got some great family photos, not cheap but they look great. Carnival still offers lobster on formal night, for me the dining room is the real treat. Yes I am one of those indulgent Americans that orders two entrees every night. I try to walk about 5 miles a day on the ship so I don't gain 40 pounds. One great thing we try to do every cruise is attend the cooking demo in the steakhouse. It is usually on the first sea day around 11am. They show you how to cook a 4 course meal and you get a sample of every item they prepare. They want to show what the steakhouse food looks and tastes like. The steakhouse is a great vale for $35 per person. This cooking demo was one reason that the service got a knock on my rating. Not sure if it is policy but they would not give our two daughter (age 11) samples during the demo. I practically had to block the server and ask for her to give them samples. They tried every item. This is the first time I have encountered an employee on carnival that made me feel like not coming back. In our small protest we did not eat at the steakhouse on this cruise. Sad because this is usually one of our highlights of the trip. Weather is cold for the first day and a half at sea. You will need a jacket or sweater on deck. The ship itself is ok. It is older but updated fairly well. You can tell it is a smaller ship with only 9 hole mini golf, 1 water slide and no splash pad at all. They did have 2 ping pong tables that my girls enjoyed. The pools were busy but never to the point where we couldn't use or enjoy them. Found a nice little open deck area on deck 11 that was never very busy. One item we had issues with before we left was ship time vs land time to book excursions. I feel they do this to make you feel uncomfortable booking directly. Here is what we encountered. When we boarded we were on pacific time. The time in long beach was the same time as the ship time. Say 1pm. On the 2nd sea day when we were half way to PV we turned clocks ahead 1 hour to be on same time as Denver. So it was 2pm. We were scheduled to get off the ship in PV at noon, it ended up being 12:30 on the ship and 1:30 pm on land. The dining room choices on the first night of PV were not very exciting so this was a good night for dinner on land or in the steakhouse. Talking about steak, one of the best free deals is breakfast in the main dining room. They have a steak and eggs meal which comes with tenderloin and eggs. Anyways back to PV. First day we found a great resort that not a lot of people know about, except some of the crew. Marriott Casa Magna about a 5 minute taxi ride from the pier. They offer a day pass for about $25 per person and that includes $15 in food and drink credit, just buy the day pass when you arrive. Huge pool, child pool, spa, swim up bar, ocean front beach and free wifi. Awesome resort, we will be back. The taxi issue is frustrating. When you leave the ship there are white vans. Pretty much figure on $4 to $5 dollars per person. If you walk out the terminal and grab a yellow cab it is $3 per person. If you want to catch a yellow cab follow the side walk out to the main road and turn right. There is a gas station on the corner where yellow cabs pick up cruise people. The price starts high but just tell them what you want to pay, most of the time they will get close. The cab back from the hotel to the ship was only $1 per person. As most people know PV has a Walmart. This is the best place to buy some souvenirs and such, there are a few aisles up front that have some cool stuff. Our plan was to use Walmart as our free peso exchange place as I have read about this on CC. This was not a good experience. First I tried to use my debit card and get cash back in pesos only find out once swiped I was not able to enter a pin and get cash back. Then we went to guest services where they had the exchange rate listed. This didn't work either, they told me all I could do was buy an item and pay in cash and then my change would be in pesos. Back in line to buy a candy bar. Tried to pay with a $20. For next 5 minutes I had 3 people tell me I can only pay with a $5 or $10 as they are not a bank. I told them all I had was a $20 or $50. Luckily I had a family of sad looking children with and after refusing to get out of line they gave me change for the $20. Moral of the story, either bring pesos or bring a lot of $5 bills on the trip. There is also a money exchange office right in port but I don't know what the rates look like. Seems like whatever you ask for the minimum price is $5. The next day it was off to do the extreme zip line booked on the ship. The family loved the zip line. It was very intense and difficult but they all had a good time. The only downside was the charge for pictures at the end. My wife waited til all groups were gone and they ended up negotiating a little on price. One thing we noticed was that during port days there was no one using the pools or hot tubs on the ship so if you stay onboard you have the place to yourself. The next day we went to Cabo. The good news was that the ship time and Cabo time were the same. This will help us in planing future activities on land. The faster to the fun pass was awesome here. We were able to board the first tender and we were on shore by 7:45 after officially setting anchor at 7:30. In Cabo we rented a private boat for 4 hours with Rogers Boat Tours. We ended up feeding fish, cliff jumping, snorkeling and some beach time. The entire time we were on a really nice boat with cold drinks and loud music. The cool part was at the end when they gave us a memory card from their GoPro camera for free. They got every great moment both on video and still shots. I didn't realize a GoPro can record video and shot pictures every 10 seconds if desired, this is going on my future Christmas list. I was amazed how cold the water was to snorkel on June 1. Got back on board and it was elegant night number 2. Set sail for CA, this was Thursday night. They also turned the clock back to CA time on Friday night. By this night and all day Friday the weather was cold. Didn't use any outdoor facilities at all. On Friday lunch they had the chocolate buffet on the lido deck and we also did tea time later in the afternoon. Dinner overall in the main dining room was very good, we love having the familiar server by eating at the same table / same time each night. We plan on using faster to the fun pass to debark first on Saturday am. They said that we will get priority tags for our luggage and will get off right at 8:30. We ended up getting off at 9:00 am. We were zone 1 with the pass. We were able to beat the mad rush and long lines in the parking structure as well. Things we remembered to pack: deck of cards, lanyard for sail card, power strip, empty water bottle, cans of soda, sun block. Items we forgot: laundry bag for dirty laundry, laundry pods and magnetic clips to clip up fun times on the mirrors. We also forgot that for any repeat cruisers they give you a liter bottle of water. So our family had 4 liters of bottled water for free. We ordered water ahead of time so we ended up with way too much water. Overall it was a good cruise. Our 11 year olds had a good time having the freedom to roam around with friends. It was a bit difficult with a 2 year old. I would defiantly buy the faster to the fun pass again. Couple of things we learned: There is a menu on a podium in the lido buffet area that shows dinner menus for the entire week in the dining room. This will help us decide which night to do the steakhouse in the future. 8:00 dining is better than 6:00 dining for the fact that some shore excursions go long and also if you are enjoying the pool area it is hard to leave at 5 to get ready for dinner. If you buy 10 photos there is a package when you can get all 10 digital prints for only $1 extra per photo. End of May is still cold for about half of the trip, we liked the weather in September / October better. Ship time and Cabo time was the same and ship time was 1 hour behind PV. Don't arrive be 11 to board the ship on Saturday if you have faster to the fun. We stayed on deck 5 mid ship and felt very little movement. The obstructed view balcony was not that obstructed, we were still able to get good horizon pictures. Hope some of this information is useful. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Embarkation was the typical dis-organized chaos. Lots of lines, but no Carnival staff knew what any line was for - just pick a line and stand in it. When I entered the Atrium I immediately noticed how small the ship was. I was sure I ... Read More
Embarkation was the typical dis-organized chaos. Lots of lines, but no Carnival staff knew what any line was for - just pick a line and stand in it. When I entered the Atrium I immediately noticed how small the ship was. I was sure I would bump my head on the ceilings of the hallways! Then I realized I was comparing it to other ships I had cruised on - i.e., RCI's Navigator & Adventure of the Seas. After a short time the ship didn't seem small anymore. I was amazed on how there were able to tuck private reading/sitting areas on a deck. They made good use of the spaces. All the staff was friendly, and I saw lots of smiles from them. Serenity was enjoyed. No kids! Lots of sun! Patrick in the piano bar was very entertaining, as was the Trivia contests, the Quest and the Comedy shows. One complaint - perhaps others noticed it as well - in the room watching TV at a normal volume - then comes an announcement from the Captain or Saffie - at VOLUME 100! Is that necessary? I do feel the cruise was a great value, and would consider the Mexican Riviera again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Embarkation: We were traveling with my father, who is temporarily in a wheelchair. Embarkation was very easy. They took us to a special check in desk for disabled people. We waited maybe 10 minutes, then headed up and were on board. ... Read More
Embarkation: We were traveling with my father, who is temporarily in a wheelchair. Embarkation was very easy. They took us to a special check in desk for disabled people. We waited maybe 10 minutes, then headed up and were on board. From getting dropped off at the curb to being on the ship took 30 minutes max. Cabin: Our family of 4 with 2 adults and 2 children (ages 4 and 7) shared an obstructed view balcony cabin (5237). The cabin itself was a standard carnival cabin, which is a good thing. They are big, have lots of storage and are well laid out, even for a family of 4. The bathroom was good sized, with great water pressure in the shower. Our stateroom was in poor condition. There were nicks and scratches all over the wood trim, scuffs on the ceiling and burnt light bulbs that were never replaced. Our cabin steward didn't help our impression of the cabin. On our first day, I noticed some cheerios under the desk that were still there on the last day! Our cabin steward was friendly the two times we saw him during our cruise, but he seemed to do the bare minimum possible. My kids got the floor sandy after our day in Cabo and it was still there 2 days later. Dining: Five stars for the dining room! I emailed the Maitre D' ahead of time to request a private table for our party of 6 as well as an easily accessible table for my dad in a wheelchair. We got a table right in the middle of the dining room, close to the entrance. It was great for all of us. The food was excellent. We enjoyed the American Table menu. There was a lot for more adventurous eaters as well as plenty for the meat and potatoes type of eater. The service was great. I could tell our team had a lot of experience and they really delivered seamless service. I appreciated the pacing of dinner. We were out of there after an hour and a half every night, including having dessert and coffee. On a side note, I feel like Carnival might be pushing their servers a bit too hard by increasing the number of tables per server. Our server was so busy with us and all the other tables, that they had very little time to chat with us. We ate at Nick & Nora's one night and were very disappointed. The food was excellent, but everything else was not. To start, we dined at 6 and the restaurant was nearly empty. Nick & Nora's is a huge space, way bigger than almost any other specialty restaurant we have eaten at on a cruise ship. Instead of spreading out the diners a little, they seated EVERYONE in a small little section off to the side. We were elbow to elbow with our neighbors in a restaurant that was 80% empty. When we were seated there was no explanation of the menu other than to bring some raw steaks by our table to show us the different cuts. When the server came to take our order my wife tried to order 2 appetizers (one of them being a soup), no salad and a steak. The server scolded my wife and replied "That's not how it works. You have to order 1 appetizer, 1 salad and 1 entree." I totally get the 1 entree rule and don't have a problem in the world with it. I have eaten at dozens of specialty restaurants on multiple different cruise lines and have never been told I could only order one appetizer. While the food was good, the service left a bad taste in our mouth. Entertainment: Five stars for the comedians. We really liked how they switched out the comedians halfway through the cruise. All the comedians we saw were quite funny. Carnival really does comedy right. The production shows were fair to mediocre at best. They were better when they had dedicated singers and dancers. Apparently, they switched the casts and shows out towards the end of the cruise. The second to last night, they had a new show with the new cast. It was a piano man themed show. It was great! Noticeable better than the previous 3 shows both in content and talent. Kids Club: Our 4 and 7 year old children had fun in the kids clubs. The kids clubs on this ship aren't nearly as big as on Royal Caribbean or Disney, but they get the job done. The staff was friendly and the check in/check out process was easy. Conclusion: We really enjoyed this cruise. It was our first time on Carnival's mid sized ships and we all enjoyed the layout of the ship. We would definitely cruise on the Miracle again! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We left long beach, CA. the night before we stayed at the Doubletree Maya Hotel! AWESOME! free shuttle to and from cruise port! Don't get to the port early.... You have to sit outside and wait.. it was a rainy cold morning and we ... Read More
We left long beach, CA. the night before we stayed at the Doubletree Maya Hotel! AWESOME! free shuttle to and from cruise port! Don't get to the port early.... You have to sit outside and wait.. it was a rainy cold morning and we were made to stand outside for HOURS!!!! I paid for faster to the fun, and no waiting in the priority lounge.. nope.. go out side and wait. The ship is kind of small, and I realized that the pacific is a lot wavier than the Caribbean! We had a balcony room on 6th floor. Clean, and our state steward was RUDY, he was on top of everything! MY FAV PART!!! They have a GREAT BAR- The RED FROG PUB!! Christina and Rodney were our bartenders! they were amazing!! LOVE LOVE LOVE THEM! I can't say more positive things about this group of employees in this bar!! I had almost every drink on the menu.. and my favorite was the PAINKILLER! yummy goodness! 3 ports - Los Cabos - tender(get on boat to get to shore), Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta My favorite was CABO! beach was wonderful! we spent the day on beach, at the office(local bar great food and always 2 for 1 beer) ONLY BAD about cabo. BEACH VENDORS.. ugh horrible.. Mazatlan went on a beach getaway with open bar! - wonderful! our water was on top of it! loved it! we had a great time there. did some shopping and make sure you try the almond tequila!! OMG!! amazing! Puerto Vallarta- we did our own thing.. Manatmar beach club, went to a beach bar down in romantic zone 3.. It was a lot of fun.. 1500 peso's for the day! $85 and we received a 1000 peso's in food and beverage credit. The STEAK HOUSE - WOW it was awesome! everything about it.. yes it costs extra $75. BUT it was worth every penny.. amazing amazing. and if you book for 1st night of cruise, you get a free bottle of house wine! and it wasn't bad.. We of course lost $$ in the casino.. NEVER WON anything... Dinning room - this had its pros and cons.. PRO- Breakfast Amazing.. loved breakfast! my husbands steak at breakfast was better than steak at dinner.. I had huevos rancheros. they were amazing. Chicken and eggs.. so good! CON- dinner was sub par. if you want a higher end steak, like filet or lobster you had to pay $20 pp.. the main courses were not of quality. we tried several entrée options and wasn't overly impressed. BUT I didn't want to pay $75 every night for dinner.. Buffet- Pizza was really good! especially at 1130pm after a day of drinking.. breakfast was good.. but preferred the dinning room. Also they had some great late night snacks, like burgers and fries.. never ate dinner here.. just snacks and breakfast and late night snacks. My 2nd favorite part.. SERENITY!!!! Adults only back of the boat LIDO DECK! only thing, hard to get a lounger if you don't get up early and stay there. waiters were kinda slow and so were the bartenders. BUT.. it was a nice relief from children... We probably wont go back on this cruise again... Caribbean way better! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
After reading all the negative reviews, we were surprised. Yes, the Miracle is an older ship and need a facelift, but overall it was nice and we had a good time. We arrived the day before our cruise and was at the pier by 11 am and ... Read More
After reading all the negative reviews, we were surprised. Yes, the Miracle is an older ship and need a facelift, but overall it was nice and we had a good time. We arrived the day before our cruise and was at the pier by 11 am and boarded by 12 noon. Once on board we headed to the Lido deck to have lunch. There wasn't much food to select from to our likes, but it was okay. We were able to get into our cabins by 1 pm. To our surprise, the room was much larger than newer ship cabins and it had plenty of drawer and closet space for two people. (A+). Dining room staff was wonderful and our cabin stewart, Ali, was a gem. We missed Guys Burger but the burgers they served on the Lido deck was good. We ate in the dining room on Sea days for breakfast and in the Main DR for dinners. We saw a couple of shows in the Theater which were pretty decent and one comedy show. Overall, the cruise was great and we would go on the Miracle again. it's up to you to enjoy yourself! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This was my second cruise, first time on Carnival and Mexican Riviera. Overall a great cruise. Went with my family... Parents, siblings and their spouses. I did picture this cruise to be slightly different. I've heard Carnival to ... Read More
This was my second cruise, first time on Carnival and Mexican Riviera. Overall a great cruise. Went with my family... Parents, siblings and their spouses. I did picture this cruise to be slightly different. I've heard Carnival to be the party ship. This was shut a quiet ride. Looked like it was a family spring break cruise. The crew was great, dining each night was fabulous, late night pizza was so chill. I was bummed the hot tubs closed up so early, before 10. And the bow seemed to be accessed by the crew only. Two places I really liked on my first trip. We all got FASTER TO THE FUN. Loved the short line to check in, get on ship and get on to Cabo. I really enjoyed the late comedy. Did attend one show in the Phantom Theater. It was ok. Many of the "Trivia" matches get crowded, get there early for a seat. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This is our 2nd Carnival cruise (1st on Conquest in 2014). We live San Francisco and wanted a proper vacation for Spring break for me, DH, and 2 daughters, without the hassle of flying, so this cruise seemed a good choice. Drove down to ... Read More
This is our 2nd Carnival cruise (1st on Conquest in 2014). We live San Francisco and wanted a proper vacation for Spring break for me, DH, and 2 daughters, without the hassle of flying, so this cruise seemed a good choice. Drove down to Longbeach the day before, which took about 7 1/2 hours with rush hour traffic. We stayed at the Hilton in Longbeach, which had a park and cruise package. Very nice room with Harbour views, indoor parking and a lovely, modern space. Shuttle service was chaotic on embarkation day because a lot of hotel guests were heading to terminal with only one shuttle. We ended up taking a cab for $12 for the 4 of us. Embarkation: We got to terminal about 12:30, and was busy but not crazy. We had faster to the fun, so got through lines quickly, but the regular line was moving as well. The terminal at Long beach definitely needs to be renovated. Just a big empty space with no appeal and very bare bones. Went straight to our room to drop off carry ons and rooms were ready and met our very friendly steward Putu. We had two connecting cabins on deck 7, forward. We had a balcony connecting to an interior, which was a great set-up with young children. We had their inside room decorated with the Dr. Seuss decor. Went up to Lido and grabbed lunch from the buffet, then off to Camp Carnival to get kids checked in to get their wristbands. We pre-recited them online, which saved time. The decor of the ship was a mixed bag of styles and some of it was dated. The atrium was impressive and good place to hang out and have a drink. My favorite spaces decor wise were the Alchemy bar, Nick and Nora's Steakhouse, the library, and Sam's Piano Bar. Loved the Moroccan look in the piano bar. Bacchus dining room was a bit much with the crazy purple grape lights, which was distracting. Also the Mad hatters and Frankensteins nightclub were too campy and over the top. The ship isn't as big and the Conquest but it is long. Going from the forward where our room was to the dining room and bars was quite the hike. Overall layout was good and the ship didn't feel crowed (except Lido at bkfast and lunch). Avoided the casino, because of the smoke but had to walk through it all the time to get to dining room. Food: I liked the food for the most part and had some really great meals. We had my time dining. We did the Chef's table, which was a truly excellent experience with amazing food with 7 courses, as well as an informative galley tour with many little hors d'oeuvres. Also ate at the Steakhouse. We had the surf and turf- loved the lobster but the filet was a little overdone. The whipped potatoes, creamed spinach and apple dessert were so good. Overall a delicious experience. For breakfast we tried everything - continental room service, Lido buffet, Sea day brunch, Seuss at Sea breakfast, and the dining room. Breakfast in the dining room on our 1st port day was the most enjoyable without crowds of the Lido deck but still lots of choices and great service. Miracle got the American table menu and honestly, after all the negative reviews, was surprised how much I liked it. I even liked the look of the bare tables and didn't miss the table cloths. Can't remember everything I ate but many good options. Some of my favorites were the fried oysters, ox tongue appetizers, port of call selections, root vegetable pie and portobello mushroom entree. The salmon from the grill was also very good.Tried the Indian Veg, and while very good, not my favorite Indian dishes. The low calorie strawberry cake and the bbq chicken flatbread were not good at all. Loved the coconut lime cake. Liked the famous chocolate melting cake but a bit too rich and dense for me. The Lido was fine for food but selections sometime limited, especially in evening. The food was good but basic. Ling lines for pizza and Asian food. When the Lido dining area was packed, would eat in Serenity deck, which was much calmer atmosphere. It was breezy and cool going out of LA so didn't spend much time on pool deck. The Serenity was crowded and only really ate there. The lounge chairs seemed a bit worn and stained but every one was occupied. We hung out in Red Frog Pub and Sam's piano bar, saw the 80's lounge show, which was fun, and saw one of the comedy acts. He was funny but a bit too blue for my tastes and some people left early. Liked the Piano bar a lot- just a fun space and one night, the dancers from the shows performed with the piano player. Because our 1st sea day was on Easter, they had a service in the Atrium, which was well attended and very nice. For the kids, they spent quite a bit of time in Camp Carnival, and we dropped them off after dinner each night. They also had a family meet and greet and an Easter party in the Frankenstein long nightclub. We did the dining room 3 nights with them, fed them from the buffet the other nights and then had our own dinner later. They also saw a magic show on board, a kids dance troupe from Canada, and of course the Seuss at Sea parade and breakfast They loved the breakfast and enjoyed taking photos with the characters. hey were ver sad to leave the ship and want to go again. We enjoyed all the port stops, especially Cabo. No excursion booked there since nothing seemed very young kid friendly or worked time wise. We took a glass bottom boat to see the Arch and Lovers /Divorce beach for a very reasonable rate, then they dropped us off at Medano beach. We had lunch reservations at the Office restaurant and met friends who were staying at a resort there. Lots of fun, lots of partying spring breakers, and a good beach for splashing around. All around fun day and getting the tender back was no problem. We did Carnival excursions for the next 2 ports. Took the Sierra Madres tour in Mazatlan and wish we had more time in that port. A good tour with a very informative guide. Next time would like to hang out more in town and beaches, and try the local seafood. Did the Caletas beach excursion in Puerto Vallarta, and afterwards, went to town to buy tequila and souvenirs. Although it was still Spring break and lots of families, very few venues ever felt crowded on the ship and the atmosphere had a nice vibe but pretty relaxed in my opinion. Lots of friendly people. We really liked the staff and level of service on this ship. Everyone we met was very friendly and professional, and worked hard. Our room steward Putu was great with the kids and the room was always clean and turned down each night. The dining room staff was very good and we only had to wait for a table on the last night. While a few slip ups on drink orders, overall no major complaints and found the service more prompt and friendlier than our last cruise. I liked our cruise director Saffie- great energy and a bit quirky. We had the Cheers package and not sure we drank our money's worth but was able to order whatever we wanted like the $25 Pyrat rum at the Red Frog or a $20 glass of Piper Heidseick , and other pricey cocktails, as well as coffee bar or the fancy tea. The Art of tea was actually really good BTW. Getting off the ship wasn't that bad with FTTF, We were off the ship by 9:30, took the hotel shuttle back to our car and was on the road before 10. There was a lot to do on board and we barely scratched the surface. Overall a very nice vacation that we all enjoyed with excellent service and staff. Highly recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We really enjoyed the trip through the Mexican Riviera. For the price the Miracle is really a great option. As many have said in several other blogs or reviews, the parking at the terminal will cost you $133.00 but very convenient and ... Read More
We really enjoyed the trip through the Mexican Riviera. For the price the Miracle is really a great option. As many have said in several other blogs or reviews, the parking at the terminal will cost you $133.00 but very convenient and safe for the week. I too would not get to the terminal until 12:30 or so as the lines become quite long, however something to consider is a covered parking space that may or may not be available if you were to wait until 12:30 to arrive. Once you get through the long lines it is worth the wait as our room was already available (Balcony Deck 5)with our luggage delivered. We rolled the dice and purchased the Carnival Cheers program. We were not sure we could get our monies worth ($50.00 per day per person per cabin) but to tell you the truth not having the worry of a large bar bill at the end of the trip was worth it!! We did not hit our 15 drink limit but really enjoyed the ease of drink access at every bar available including dinner and special coffees in the mornings. We have been to Cabo many times so no excursions were booked, I would recommend doing some homework before you go on many websites to book excursions as you will save a ton of money compared to what the ship will charge for their piece of the pie. All in all a really good time, food on a ship in the buffet is "Buffet" food but with good decisions you can eat well and healthy. Enjoy the Mexican Ocean weather! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Look, cruising is a blast. I mean great beds, service and food, entertainment all around. Overall, a great deal, but a few negatives can put a cast over the experience. I'll get to those, but the nice thing about this cruise is the ... Read More
Look, cruising is a blast. I mean great beds, service and food, entertainment all around. Overall, a great deal, but a few negatives can put a cast over the experience. I'll get to those, but the nice thing about this cruise is the beautiful scenery, calm seas and great color and culture in Mexico. the Cabo stop is short but was long enough to walk a bit and then take a Panga over to the beach in front of THE OFFICE, a fun restaurant with the best chili relleno I ever had! Next stop Mazatlan where we enjoyed cabbing around. Tried to get a tour at the Pacifico Brewery but it was obvious they did not want any Gringos inside. Evidently they are not accustomed to giving tours. We then made our way to Poncho’s on the beach for a wonderful lunch with a view. Last stop, Puerto Vallarta where we took a tequila distillery tour. Great tastes and great tequila, just watch the bottle size you are paying for. Check your bag. Later, take a cab to the strand (just ask to go to McDonald's). There are many nice restaurants along the area, which is beautiful. There are statues at every street. OK, now the MIRACLE problems/negatives. The worst thing was the stomping Caribbean Night right above our staterooms on deck 8. Who plans this stuff?? We complained and got a small compensation, but that is not the point. Who wants their sleep interrupted? Especially when the next morning included an early tour. The food in the Lido cafeteria (Horatio’s) is ok, kind of hit and miss. We did not use it much. The pizza and deli food there is good. The grill off the pool offers delicious burgers but it closes at 6:00 p.m. The dining room food was very good but not always hot. The afternoon tea pastries seemed like day old. The staff of the ship seemed very tired, but I notice this on almost every cruise I've taken. We did this trip nearly ten years ago and noticed less staff this time. The ship looks older than her age. A step up to a meal in the steak house is recommended. Nick and Nora’s offer great steaks and seafood at a nominal up charge. They have a nice bar there with great drinks and great views. The ship has a spacious casino. They also offer all kinds of activities so all in all still a great get away! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This was our 13th cruise, 6th on Carnival. I usually consider Carnival to be a bit Vegas-glitz and prepare accordingly. But the Miracle was gorgeous. Not the normal Carnival neon. It has a literature décor. The theatre area was ... Read More
This was our 13th cruise, 6th on Carnival. I usually consider Carnival to be a bit Vegas-glitz and prepare accordingly. But the Miracle was gorgeous. Not the normal Carnival neon. It has a literature décor. The theatre area was Phantom of the Opera, gorgeous in black and silver with white bas relief masks and huge hanging chandaliers. The comedy club was Alice in Wonderland, Gatsby's garden etc. Some highlights 1) the Dr Seuss breakfast was $10 each and probably designed for kids but we had so much fun with the Green Eggs and Ham theme and pictures with the characters. They went all out on this one, definitely worth doing. Last sea day before arriving back home. 2) the Steakhouse was wonderful, $35 each, and worth it. We did 6:00 so had the sunshine coming through the roof and then night as well. Steak was awesome and if you are too full for dessert...take it with you, put in your refrigerator. Cheesecake was terrific 3) Steakhouse Chef cooking demonstrations. A couple of times around 1:00 the chef would do a cooking demonstration in Nick and Noras steakhouse. Don't each lunch beforehand...it's free and you get samples. Do this if NOTHING else. Terrific 4) The educational presentations rivaled Holland America, very informative, very interesting. We attended one on whales before our first port of Maui and went back to every one she did. Speaking of Maui...take the independent whale watching tour from Lahaina with PWF (Pacific whale foundation) they are researchers, my BEST whale watch tour EVER. But you will need to get to the tour on your own, no pick up. Finally, I'm going to tell you the reason I only did 4 starts and that's because the 4 sea days coming and going for us regular cruisers, was a little long. Only so much bingo and trivia we wanted to do. And the trip over was a little rainy and rocky so sunning on deck was minimal, upper decks closed. Not Carnival or Miracle's fault just the time of year we went, January, maybe better in April. We did it because of the difference in air fare from us to LA vs us to Honolulu. Otherwise I would give it a 5 star. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We chose this cruise because of proximity to our home (Utah) and teen programs...ship was nice, although a little on the cold side inside. ( bring a light jacket) Food was good with Lots of variety, and dining options outside of main ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of proximity to our home (Utah) and teen programs...ship was nice, although a little on the cold side inside. ( bring a light jacket) Food was good with Lots of variety, and dining options outside of main dining.. If your into lots of large pools, probably not your first choice. Teen programs were good and kept them very busy. Shore excursions were excellent.. Weather was a little chilly but warmed right up in Mexico..crew and staff were excellent. Entertainment was cruise ship quality... Rooms were nice, not a lot of frills. Bathrooms actually were sized good.. Had 2 balcony rooms. Good and prompt room service.. Both my wife and I won in casino, on tables. Very easy ship to navigate.We were on deck 8 rooms 8174 and 76 midship.. A little noise from pool crowd music a couple of nights ,but not bad.. On and off boat was a breeze. Get involved in activities for additional fun or just relax..we usually do royal Caribbean but wouldn't hesitate to go carnival again.. 9th cruise.. Age 50 yrs young!....... I hope this was helpful and wish more people would critic.. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This was our first cruise on Carnival. We were skeptical because of all the negative comments we heard. Overall, it was a good cruise. We took advantage of the FlyAweigh program because the airfare was half of what we could have gotten on ... Read More
This was our first cruise on Carnival. We were skeptical because of all the negative comments we heard. Overall, it was a good cruise. We took advantage of the FlyAweigh program because the airfare was half of what we could have gotten on our own. We got very good connections. We also had Carnival transfers from the airport (and for our return). That saved a lot of headaches. Embarkation in Long Beach went well. We had Faster To The Fun, so we were able to bypass the check-in line. The cabin was nice, and our steward, Xavier, was friendly and attentive. The food was hit and miss. Some dishes were excellent, some were not so good. The steaks tended to be gristly, and some dishes were bland. Our waiters, Somchai, Alexandru and Rafael, were the best. I enjoyed the Sea Day Brunch, but they didn't have it every day on the way back to Long Beach. The Lido was okay, but was so congested during lunch time it was hard to walk through it. Because of the layout, it took me a while to figure out where everything was. The pizza was very good. I signed up for the Behind the Fun ship tour. It was pricey, but I enjoyed it. The shows and activities, for the most part, weren't appealing, although I did participate in the ugly Christmas sweater contest. We went to one show that was good, but the Phantom theater was freezing. The ship was cold, too. I ended up catching a cold, so I was unable to go to either of the deck parties, and I didn't do much for the rest of the cruise. The tendering on Kona was awful. They squeezed everyone out of one exit. Since we've been to Hawaii before, we didn't do a lot of excursions. The two we took were good. Disembarkation was orderly. I'm sure it's not easy getting 2100 people off a ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
The Miracle is smaller than the typical Carnival behemoths that ply Caribbean waters - Miracle has her own special flavor and is one of my favorite Carnival vessels so far. She's getting a little tatty around the edges but is still a ... Read More
The Miracle is smaller than the typical Carnival behemoths that ply Caribbean waters - Miracle has her own special flavor and is one of my favorite Carnival vessels so far. She's getting a little tatty around the edges but is still a lovely lady, with a personable and visible crew. We regularly saw senior crew around the vessel interacting with passengers, which was fun. Embarkation at Long Beach: We purchased a Carnival transfer and it was very convenient. Just go down to baggage claim of whatever terminal you arrive in and look for a lonely figure sitting behind a folding table - that's your Carnival helpful agent! A reasonable wait time to board a bus and about 25 minutes on a Saturday morning to reach the port. This is where things got horrible for anyone who didn't have a suite or a Faster to the Fun pass - they announced a two hour wait (standing outside for part of it) This may have occurred because it was early in the season and the well-oiled machine wasn't quite up and running yet but check in to our suite was fast at the dedicated kiosk and we were in our cabin about 20 minutes after getting off the bus. On our return we reserved a limo to take us back to the airport - no need to do this, a Carnival bus would have been just fine. Cabin: Suite 6170 (an Ocean suite) was spacious, with 2 hanging closets, a chest of 4 big drawers, and a vanity/dressing room area. The sofa converts to a twin bed and there is a bunk stowed in the ceiling for a 4th person. The bathroom has a proper bathtub an adult can sit down in. The suite location is good, quiet, not close to any service doors, etc. The one downfall is that there are only two outlets - one on the face of the vanity in the dressing room, and one high up behind the TV. I had to ask for an extension cord, which was cheerfully supplied, but having it snaking across the floor so a CPAP machine could be used was not safe or convenient. We definitely needed a power strip to keep electronics charged. There is a laundry room on Deck 6, with two washers and 4 dryers ($3) and a detergent vending machine, all used via your sign and sail card. Food: Horatio's buffet on Lido deck is the way to go for breakfast. We never had a breakfast in the dining room that was hot.. We had any-time dining for dinner, which is fine if you don't go to eat at 6pm - invariably a good 30-40 minute wait. The any-time dining room also seemed to be under-staffed, with a lot of tables that hadn't been bussed and staff rushing around, too busy to care about being personal or personable. I would say out of 5 dining room dinners, we had a top-notch team once. The food could be good, but many times (especially at the buffet) things tasted watered down - the salad dressings in particular didn't taste like anything - this is one area in which substantial improvement could be made. We haven't been on a Carnival cruise since last year - don't know if cost cutting measures are taking place across the fleet but food is really not the right place to offer customers less, IMO. Dinner at Nick and Nora's steakhouse had wonderful service, the meat was cooked to perfection, and it was a memorable evening - totally worth the extra cost. Shopping: Since Miracle is smaller, there are only two Fun Shops, the fancy jewelry and perfume shop and the tshirt, cigarette and booze shop. The staff worked their spaces as well as they could but if you adore poking around, there just isn't that much available. Shows: I'm not usually a fan of the shows, but the 4 guys and 4 gals they had on this time really gave it their best - we went every night. Some of the performers were on one of our shore excursions and they were really sweet kids. Itinerary: There are not many scintillating shore excursions available on this itinerary of Cabo, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta and there were warnings from the US Embassy regarding being out at night, but during the day everyone we came across was extremely welcoming and gracious. We ended up creating our own excursions with beach days at local beach clubs or hotels offering day passes. Just know that these ports are on the Pacific or Sea of Cortez, so active surf, possible no-swimming-allowed days (there is a flag system denoting water conditions), and none of the Caribbean bath water we love so much - this is the ocean! Sometimes the boat rocks! Finally: Having received (I suppose) a catastrophic number of complaints about their expensive and useless Wi-Fi service, Carnival has changed their pricing scheme to a flat fee per day, which is dandy for them but the Wi-Fi still is horrendous. Really, don't bother. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Hey friends, we’re back with another review and film of the Miracle from our 8/29/15 sailing. At the end of this review, we've placed links for a full video tour of the ship, a shorter video tour of the ship, and some food videos, ... Read More
Hey friends, we’re back with another review and film of the Miracle from our 8/29/15 sailing. At the end of this review, we've placed links for a full video tour of the ship, a shorter video tour of the ship, and some food videos, yum! This was our first time cruising the Mexican Riviera in the summer months. We normally choose October through December itineraries but wanted to avoid cruising too close to Thanksgiving or Christmas and catch the refurbishments at our earliest opportunity. We also liked the idea of coming home and having the entire Labor Day weekend to unpack and unwind before heading back to work (that was bliss!). And hey, no other ship sails year round to the Mexican Riviera, so we were curious about the off season experience. I am 42, hubby is 52, and our son is 6. We’ve cruised on several lines and our hobby is to film cruise ships, which usually happens on the West Coast so we can drive to port, avoiding the need to fly. We have grown to love Carnival (most of the time), but also enjoy NCL, Princess, and HAL very much. RCCI ships tend to run a bit large and overpriced for our taste. We chose this particular sailing because we LOVED our December 2013 trip on the Miracle and we’re excited to film the ship’s 2.0 refurbishments (scroll to the end for the link to the full ship video tour) and we were impressed with the Alchemy Bar (so fun!), Sports Box (wow, those TV's), Cherry on Top, and all of the other enhancements. They really modernize the ship and you can get a good look at the total refurb, as well as the rest of the ship in the video tour. I really wish they’d replace the waterslide though- that sucker is old and while we cruised down it faster than our last cruise, a lot of people stopped in the middle. A little about how we spent our time on this trip: Day 1/Embarkation Day: We experienced a smooth embarkation out of Long Beach which was a relief because of the heat wave (90-100F all week) – there were tons of people at port by 10:30am (the time we arrived by car), the priority guests were on ship by 11:30am, we followed as FTTF (Faster to the Fun) and were onboard by noon. We grabbed a quick lunch at Horatio’s buffet before the crowd set in then met with the Maitre D at the standard 1pm time to make sure we had a private table, which we didn’t. They maitre d said they’d see what they could do, so we made steakhouse reservations then happily headed to the pools to take advantage of the 90 degree weather while my husband jetted off to start filming the areas of the ship that are un-crowded on day 1 (gym, etc). My son and I did something we likely couldn’t do on a winter cruise, and headed straight for the pool after lunch. We hot tubbed and swam to awesome music poolside in relatively uncrowded pools for several hours until muster. We jumped out of the pool when we got sun weary, ordered a skinny mojito, and headed to our cabin. Muster was very well organized and did not involve the dual trip to the lounge THEN the deck (that was awful on our last cruise). The day was flying by and pretty soon we were dressed for our 6:30 steakhouse reservation. We had excellent service in steakhouse, and as always, enjoyed a free bottle of merlot as a night one perk. When we made our steakhouse reservation earlier in the day, it was awesome to choose our dining time because it's an unpopular night to dine there. After dinner, we were beat, and passed out early with a "too much sun for this fair girl" headache (I’ll remember to wear a hat in the pool next time!). Oh, and I forgot to mention that we made our Suess at Sea breakfast reservations ($5 pp) on embarkation day poolside. Day 2: Sea day before Cabo arrival: Woke early, worked out in gym, had cappuccino in lido coffee bar and grabbed a buy 6, get 7th free coffee promo card, then my usual omelet in horatios while hubby and son slept in. Pool area was already crowded so we knew it wasn't going to be a pool day for us, plus I'd had enough sun from the day before, go figure!. Weather was warm and muggy, unusual for us on sea days because we normally cruise the Mexican Riviera in fall and winter when it's too cool be hang by the pool that first sea day. We enjoyed the ship and the balcony and packed our backpack for the following days adventures ashore. After sea day brunch in a nice booth we hit the twister slide, perused the gift shops, then went to the Suess at sea parade and story time (3:15pm in the atrium). The parade started in the atrium and ended in the theatre. All kids and some adults were given props, like banners, cow bells, and pom-poms and told to chant "Dr Seuss is on the loose" all the way to the theatre. Once at theatre, all kids were invited to stage for storytime. Two kids and two adults were chosen to play the role of the fish, the cat in the hat, and thing 1 and thing 2. Then, the staff read the cat in the hat aloud while the volunteers and staff played out the story with dozens of props (including Squirt bottles). It was adorable and my son was mesmerized. We have a full video of the Seuss at Sea experience which we’ll publish ASAP. We were given our table assignment in the MDR for early dining, a nice but chilly (RIGHT under the A/C) booth. Dining room service night two was rushed so they could sing "that's amore". The service was amazing though and our adorable waiter made our son a mouse/candle napkin that our son kept for the whole cruise. Day 3: Cabo: when we set out to tender to shore at noon, we had no idea we were heading in to a day filled with such an adventure. We followed our usual routine - met at the Alchemy bar for a FTTF escort to tender, and once on land grabbed a tender to Medano beach. We settled at Billygans in cozy loungers around 1:20 Cabo time and I enjoyed a STRONG Cadillac margarita for 120 pesos while my husband and son hit the 75 degree ocean water to cool off and swim. After buying a few necklaces from a beach vendor I ordered our nachos and headed out for a swim. There was lots of talk amongst the beach goers of a an ominous black cloud stretching over a piece of the beach, but the restaurant owner insisted it wasn't a rain cloud- it would head back inland he asserted, from daily summer weather experience. So we frolicked in the waves until it was time to eat then rushed through our nachos so we could get back in to the water to see our son apply his newfound swimming (aka diving to the bottom to grab rocks) skills. Suddenly, there was a loud thunder rumble that startled the entire beachfront, followed by a dramatic bit of lightning - the thunder/lightning pattern continued until the thunder was so loud that people started leaving the beach in mass groups, scurrying to find their water taxis as the drizzle soaked their backpacks and cameras. We opted to stay as our water taxi wasn’t due for another 30 minutes and running to the water with a frightened 6 year old in a lightning storm seemed unwise. As we left the water for our loungers, the wind picked up. Umbrellas started to fly, employees ran to grab them, and the rain started to POUND. At this point it was clear that we were stuck on Medano beach waiting out a thunderstorm. We accepted a plastic bag for our belongings from the restaurant staff, who obviously have seen this weather come on suddenly before. I quickly needed to cover and protect our backpack which held my cell, wallet and our clothes which were already getting soaked. We wrapped our son (whose lips were turning blue) in a beach towel, comforted him (thunder is new to him) and scurried in to a semi covered area with all the other patrons. I quickly spotted a group of local moms with kids that looked like they’d let me squeeze under the thatched roof, and was offered a chair to wait out the storm. The storm lasted a good 30 minutes and as the rain let up, we left the thatched roof area to try to pay our bill and find out how to spot our water taxi that was due soon. Billygans was now a ghost town (did people leave without paying??). We paid by credit card only to have the receipt soaked by sideways rain…no clue how they salvaged the receipt! We had no idea if our tenders would return but we figured we were probably in the same soggy boat as 100 of the people stuck in the same situation same place. Finally the rain died down and the sun peeked through. After wringing out our clothes and towels and hanging them on a post, we headed back to the ocean, oddly, to warm up. It was alike bathwater compared to the cool rain. We watched for our water taxi and after 30 minutes or so it arrived we gather belongings and ran on the beach, nearly missing our water taxi and asking if he was going to return later in the afternoon because we realized we'd lost my husbands sunglasses and wanted to stay behind to look for them. He said no more chances to return so we jump on board and headed back to the pier to wait in the long long long line for tender as is the norm in cabo. The rain cooled the air, which made the line more tolerable. Once onboard, exhausted but exhilarated with our storm story behind us, we showered quickly to make dinner at 6. Day 4: Mazatlan We made a bold move and actually got off the ship in Mazatlan - something we normally don't do. We grabbed a $15 cab to a resort at the end of the Golden zone that allows cruise passengers, with waterslides and a diving platform, heaven for our 6 year old who just mastered swimming. After a few hours of nonstop swimming, a few scrapes and bruises and a need for a break from the summer sun, we ordered margaritas and soda, as well as amazing fajitas, guacamole and coconut shrimp until the pool beckoned us back. As the pool crowd thinned around 3pm, we were the only remaining swimmers so it was particularly sad when the time came to return to the ship. The employees were kind to us, so we tipped well and grabbed a $15 cab back to the ship. This was an absolute highlight of our trip, and we’ll do it again! Day 5: Puerto Vallarta On a budget for this cruise, we didn’t book an excursion and opted to walk to Krystal, a hotel we’d visited before to use their pool for the day. Knowing it had been refurbished, we didn’t know what to expect, so after a trip to Walmart to replenish our sunscreen supply, we weathered the humidity and wandered down to the hotel. The lobby staffed stopped us charged us for a day pass. A VERY fair $10 per person charge was applied, and we were on our way to the pool. We were immediately disappointed to see that one of the pools was filthy and the other pool was packed with people. But, some nice folks offered us a lounger in the shade as they left and we settled in to swim and buy drinks and food. This wasn’t our favorite day, but it was a pleasant swim day for our son and the drinks and food were decent aside from the millions of flies swarming the bar while the poor waiters made sugary cocktails while batting the flies away from the drinks. Day’s 6 and 7 (sea days traveling back home) were spent relaxing poolside, when it wasn’t crowded, filming our ship and stateroom and just relaxing in our room. We watched a lot of cartoons (no cable at home for us, so our son was grooving on Tom and Jerry!), and sat our balcony for hours on end. Some final and random notes on this trip and the ship: We enjoyed early main dining every night except the first and the food and service were amazing. Bound to try some new dining options on this sailing, I’m happy to say I have a new favorite MDR dish, the “Indian Vegetarian” which changes a little every night. I’m not a vegetarian, but it quickly became a favorite on this trip. Attila, Utama, & Christian, our dining room staff were simply wonderful, and made our dinner experience so special, despite the fact that the dining room was ice cold in our section, something I had never experienced on any cruise. Muster drill was much improved - quick and efficient and the passengers on good behavior (no drunk ones this time, glued to their cell phones)! We’ve officially decided that when we can afford a balcony, an Aft cabin is best for us, for access to lido buffet, pool and restaurants, the areas we visit most. And wow, in Cabo the aft of the ship was facing the rock formations at lands end and was stunning. The buffet was horribly overcrowded on the last sea day, likely because of the noon to 2pm chocolate buffet. Room service was the only option after 12:30, due to a shorter sea day brunch. It seems that they could open the Mdr on sea days until 2:30 or so, to control the crowds. We loved the ship, the crew and the entire experience. Everyone was so warm and friendly, and we felt very much at home on the ship. The crowds, with some exception, were minimal, and we'd love to be back on the Miracle again soon. This itinerary is an incredible value, and we've really seen Carnival up their game over the last few years. Last, but not least, here is our video tour of the entire ship, including the 2.0 refurbishments (Alchemy Bar, Hasbro, Skybox, Suess at Sea, Red Frog Pub). https://youtu.be/9Vk8VvU2TZU If you want to see JUST the 2.0 updates, this video is shorter and shows all the cool new spots: https://youtu.be/yK9w7J7zQ4s Here's the video of the Dining Room food (mostly dinners), the steakhouse, Seaday brunch and a short peek at the Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast: https://youtu.be/rLDN4BvoGoo And the buffet food at Horatio's: https://youtu.be/fjTSarzjHdM Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Just back from the Carnival Miracle 7 night cruise from Long Beach to the Mexican Riviera. Good cruise for Carnival -- frankly, our expectations are probably a bit lower for Carnival. We paid the premium for the "faster to the ... Read More
Just back from the Carnival Miracle 7 night cruise from Long Beach to the Mexican Riviera. Good cruise for Carnival -- frankly, our expectations are probably a bit lower for Carnival. We paid the premium for the "faster to the fun" and would probably do it again. It definitely came in handy when boarding and disembarking. The Miracle is definitely showing its age. However, it was really clean and the staff was superb. Our cabin (deck 7 balcony) was very nice and larger then the Star Princess balcony cabin we were in a few months ago. Our cabin attendant (Aynah - may have wrong spelling) was superb. The dining room food gets a B+. Again, the service (table 191) was superb. Dinners were tasty and well presented, with the usual choices. However, some of the daily entrees were the same as the "everyday" menu, which is strange. The food on the Lido deck was ok, but the crowds were a problem. The serenity deck was anything but serene. Loud music and crowds. Also, we encountered people smoking and the staff did not tell them to cease until we asked them (staff) to do so. We took the city and shopping tour in PV. It was better then expected, but the tour guide was a bit robotic and unenthusiastic. Also, the collusion between Carnival and the stores they take you to is painful. Finally, the restaurant (El Sid) they take you to was over priced and the food was awful. Interestingly, I glanced at the menu and the "deals" we were given for lunch were higher priced then the usual menu. Now, in the hopes that someone at Carnival reviews this, here are some ideas for consideration: 1. Announce and enforce the non-smoking rules. 2. Why not serve lunch in the restaurant, as do many other cruise ships? That would not force every passenger to go the Lido deck, thereby creating enormous queues. 3. Better separate the faster to the fun passengers so those who don't get it aren't upset when they see the Faster people cut the lines after they have been waiting for a long time. 4. Dedicate more staff to cleaning the buffet area so there are not so many used dishes laying around on tables. 5. Add more basic items to the very limited breakfast room service menu. Again this would prevent people from having to go the Lido buffet to get food. 6. Use a different restaurant for the PV city and shopping tour. Furthermore, cut down on the store collusion. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
I try to keep comments short - informative - and based on comparisons with previous cruises. Embarkation - quick and smooth. Please have your documents ready and out. This is the biggest delay and the people behind you in line when ... Read More
I try to keep comments short - informative - and based on comparisons with previous cruises. Embarkation - quick and smooth. Please have your documents ready and out. This is the biggest delay and the people behind you in line when you don't have them get really ticked off. Ship - You'll either like how it's decorated or you won't. Darker colors but well coordinated. Clientele - This was a mixture of young and old. It appeared to be more of an experienced cruiser crowd and not the 3 and 4 night party cruise bunch. My biggest gripe, which happens every cruise no matter what line or destination... People using the buffets as their tables while waiting to fill another plate. I lost count of how many people were standing right by the food filling another plate while shoving food in. Not classy. My second complaint is that many cruisers feel they shouldn't have to lift a finger to help keep things tidy. We all call the ship home for the entire length of time. Clean up after yourself and your kids. The staff works their butts off but there are little things we can all do to help our home stay nice. Staff - some were very engaging but not all of them. I loved our stateroom attendant, Ernesto. He did a spectacular job. Were were in my time dining for the first time and didn't care for the wait or not really getting to know the waiters. That has always been a special part of every trip. Entertainment - It was cruise ship entertainment. There were some great moments and some moments when the performers were beyond their capabilities. I enjoyed the nice break from the disco/70 shows, but now am wondering if I am getting old because it was an 80's show (which was well performed) and I really enjoyed it. The lounge singers lacked, the cowboy comedian was good but I was slightly offended when he was throwing bad jokes about the branches of the military. The entire group I was with agreed that none of us were going to any more of his shows after the first night. Food - I gained NO WEIGHT on this cruise. By day 3, I realized something I'd eaten didn't settle well. As of writing this post, I am still trying to get over whatever it was. My tummy has been rumbling for 5 days now. I missed having Guy's burgers on this ship, but the pizza was the best cruise pizza I'd ever eaten (when they didn't burn it) - The prime rib was great in the main dining room. Children's clubs - I didn't take kids on this cruise but the teenagers I did see were really enjoying each other. I bet there were a lot of good friendships formed as we saw them hanging out in the restaurants playing games, talking, and laughing. While there were many teenagers on this cruise, none were ever loud and/or disrespectful. Pool Area - I mainly used the Serenity Adult's only area. This was nicely decorated but the cushions on the chairs were kind of nasty looking. The bright bluish/green would have been lovely when they were new, but all the questionable stains on them were gross. Disembarking - We arrive port a little late so were were running late getting off the ship, which cause anxiety because we had an early flight home and didn't want to miss it. Once the line started moving, it was smooth. Excursions - Puerto Vallarta - We spent time at Las Caletas Private Beach. This was the BEST day of our cruise. You have to book it early because it fills fast. Some people worry about the 45 minute boat ride but it is entertaining and they serve drinks. The island is beautiful and is not overrun with people. We had our own quiet area, a secluded bar, and awesome scenery. The food was excellent. Make sure you go to the cooking class. It is about 20 minutes and very memorable. Cabo - Our parasailing excursion was cancelled due to high wind so we had to quickly find something else to do. We went on a glass bottom boat that toured the arch formations then provided taxi service to Medano Beach. Anxiety skyrocketed at Medano beach. It was the most crowded area and the strolling beach vendors were hitting you up every 15 to 20 seconds. We finally walked up the hill and got sucked into a time-share presentation at Cabos Villas. The offer was 45 minutes of presentation then free lunch and free use of the pool. They say this isn't high pressure, but it is. They want a $53,000.00 buy in at 12% interest to be able to come back to the most crowded beach one week a year and you still have to pay $120 a night when you do come. They don't quite get that I didn't come to Cabo to make a $53,000.00 decision in 45 minutes. Just beware of this!! Carnival Credit Card - FYI, I am a little ticked because I have very good credit and tried to apply for the Carnival Card while onboard. The guy working the desk said he'd let me know the decision. I was all about getting the double points. He never got back with me and when I asked him about my application, he said his screen showed that they needed more time to determine their decision. What he didn't know is that I have credit alerts from all three reporting agencies and there was no check of my credit. All this to say that if I get a card in the mail in the next few days and they don't let me have double points for the cruise I just took, I am canceling it. Overall - This was my last Carnival Cruise for a while. I have no problems with the brand but I want to move up in the class of ships I take from now on. I've become experienced experienced enough now to know what I am looking for and for me, Carnival is not it. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This was my 22nd cruise and probably my 10th on Carnival. I booked through their website and received an offer via snail mail and was able to lower my price to about $700 pp for a balcony on Memorial Week. Getting on the ship was a ... Read More
This was my 22nd cruise and probably my 10th on Carnival. I booked through their website and received an offer via snail mail and was able to lower my price to about $700 pp for a balcony on Memorial Week. Getting on the ship was a nightmare. Check in was outside and wrapped around to nearly the Queen Mary. People were still getting off the ship until 12:30pm. We ended up standing in line for quite some time. Our cabin was amazing!!!! 6231 was a perfect location. Loved the layout of the ship. Most Carnival ships are choppy and this one allows you to walk through each floor. The decor....is a different story. The ship went through a dry dock 2 weeks prior to our arrival which added 3 bars and we loved the Red Frog Pub. Casino and Bingo was also fun...probably since I won over $500 :) I was very worried after reading the previous reviews about the food onboard. The MDR was great, the buffet wasn't as bad as expected and Nick and Nora's is worth every penny. Ports: Cabo tendering process was a mess...we were 2 hours late getting off the ship. I was NOT a happy cruiser. Mazatlan was AMAZING which I was very surprised. We did the All Inclusive beach getaway and our friends did the boat ride. I highly recommend either one. Puerto Vallarta- we went to Krystal Resort and paid 8 bucks for a wristband to use their facility. The hotel is so so but they have WiFi and a nice pool on the beach. We walked from the pier to this location. You can tell Carnival is really cutting back when it comes to the "extras" such as midnight buffet and Captain's Happy Hour but if you are looking for a cruise from Long Beach this is by far my favorite. Do not miss Quest! You will thank me later. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
This was my 12th cruise and my 6th on Carnival. Mexico I would honestly have to say is just ok we have sailed there several times simply because its close to home and does not require airline fare but if I had my choice the Caribbean is ... Read More
This was my 12th cruise and my 6th on Carnival. Mexico I would honestly have to say is just ok we have sailed there several times simply because its close to home and does not require airline fare but if I had my choice the Caribbean is 100 percent better. But this review is much more about the ship then the destinations. I thought the Miracle was a very nice ship with easy flow, good food and great entertainment. The dining room is the only exception. This has to be the ugliest thing I have ever seen with about a million grapes but the food was very good (the soups were the best I have ever had) and the service was great. We did any time dining with a group of 7 only had to wait twice and they were both on the formal nights so that was to be expected. Speaking of formal night this was the most laid back formal nights I have ever witnessed. People looked nice to be sure but much more dresses with nice sandals verses evening gowns and suites. The brunch on sea days was very nice (steak and eggs along with the macaroni and cheese with bacon was yummmmmmy) The entertainment was some of the best I have seen. I usually avoid the big musical productions because there always the same with terrible costumes, dancing and songs that are 30 years old. But I have to say i went to a couple of them because we were cruising with a few older guests and I was surprised to say how much I enjoyed them. The band in the Red Frog was a lot of fun and all the games in there made it a great place to hang out. But the comedy shows are the main reason I usually book with Carnival. Love them and the comedians were awesome. Also if you go on this ship make sure you go to "The Quest" its done very late at night so I almost passed. Im glad that I didn't I never laughed so hard in my life. It is very adult hence the late start time but worth staying up for. There were three of us who shared a balcony room and the cabin was fine with plenty of storage and a nice bathroom. Beds were ok linens were very nice. My only major complaint of the Miracle was the air conditioning was set entirely to high you always had to have a jacket with you. I went and complained to guest services and she said its a complaint they often get yet seem to do nothing about it. Carnival has changed there policy about bringing in your bottle of wine or champagne when embarking you must now carry it with you. I have always had them in my suit case and they took them out and sent me a notice that I would get them when the cruise was over. I did go up to customer services and complained that I have cruised 12 times and have always had them in our suit case and they were nice enough to give the bottles back with the understanding that from this time forward we will need to carry them on. I understand the reasoning (to many kids smuggling in alcohol and broken bottles in the cases) but told them if they change their rules they need to notify us of this. I was pleased at how they handled it very professionally but heads up to those of you who are about to cruise. Over all I would say this was a very nice cruise and well worth the price. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
This was our 2nd cruise with Carnival. We will definitely be back! Our group ranged in age from 2 to 74. We all had a wonderful time. Our grandkids loved the pool and camp carnival. The food was great. Pizza and wok was super. Ice cream ... Read More
This was our 2nd cruise with Carnival. We will definitely be back! Our group ranged in age from 2 to 74. We all had a wonderful time. Our grandkids loved the pool and camp carnival. The food was great. Pizza and wok was super. Ice cream was a plus! Tried a bit of everything and wasn't disappointed. Ate at the Bacchus dining room most nights. Had some very tasty meals there. My adult son enjoyed trying some new dishes - alligator, escargot, frog legs. Played bingo, enjoyed the casino, loved the dj & entertainment on the lido deck. There was plenty to do and the staff was lively and fun. The service was impeccable throughout the ship. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
This was my 2nd cruise ever, both on Carnival. The ship was perfect - particularly for the price. I really enjoyed the serenity, adults-only deck. There were many families on the ship, and it was nice, as a childless traveler, to have ... Read More
This was my 2nd cruise ever, both on Carnival. The ship was perfect - particularly for the price. I really enjoyed the serenity, adults-only deck. There were many families on the ship, and it was nice, as a childless traveler, to have an area on the boat where I could be away from the kids if needed. In particular the crew on this ship was really fantastic. They really seemed to want to engage and get to know guests. I'm still friends with a couple of them via Facebook and stay in touch from time-to-time. They were really amazing. I traveled with a very large group (100+ people) and they accommodated our needs. The weather didn't participate on our sea days, so that was unfortunate, but certainly not something that Carnival could control, obviously. I would recommend this ship. As of the time I'm writing this review, I've cruised with Carnival three times. There was one really bad ship (Triumph), one ok ship (Spirit), but the Miracle was really quite amazing in comparison to the other two. The food on this ship was pretty good. The entertainment was satisfactory, I enjoyed it. The cabin steward was particularly good. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
This was our second cruise with Carnival, first time without the family! Overall I must say I was impressed with the ship. Just out of dry dock with new Funship 2.0 upgrades, we had plenty of exciting things to do daily. The ship's ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Carnival, first time without the family! Overall I must say I was impressed with the ship. Just out of dry dock with new Funship 2.0 upgrades, we had plenty of exciting things to do daily. The ship's interior decoration was a bit ellaborate with eccentric decorations and folklore from several fictional stories such as Moby Dick, Robin Hood, and more. The room was very clean and Anajara, our steward was excellent and had everything available upon request. The ship activities were awesome, from the Punchliner with daily shows to the main theater that presented magic shows, special activities, and more. My wife attended the art auctions daily, tea parties where you could meet others on the ship, and cool competions. One thing I miss from my last cruise was the bridge tour which wasn't given this go round. Guest Services were a bit slow at times, but only on the first day. The guest service on the first day was jammed packed and our only issue was the safe in our room had low batteries, but that was fixed almost immediately. Other than that, I suggest you do your homework and up front to forgo this line. When we arrived at Cabo, the tendoring process was a extremely slow. We arrived late into port so the captain extended the stay about an hour. The major issue was the tendor process too way too long. Some passengers didn't get off the boat for 5 hours awaiting the process. I suggest going to the jewelry presentation to get a higher tendor number, we were #4, I saw families with numbers like 20-25. Another issue I had was if you didn't actually book your excursions though Carnival, (which we didn't) you are treated like a second class citizen. The prices through other sites are more than half price. We didn't have much of a travel issue to the embarkation port because we live there, however the garage fee is upwards of $18.00 a day just to park. If you live close, I'd have a friend drop you off. Embarkation was late by 30 mins or so. The safety briefing was taking place without everyone on board. I was i line next to a plains clothed Carnival employee responsible for validations and he was shaking his head in disbelief. Since we didn't have the kids with us this time, we didn't use the Kid's Club, but I will tell you that the 12-17 age group was bored. They ran around the ship until 1130-midnight up and down the hallways. At times it was hard to get sleep. We stayed in cabin 8205, an unobstructed view. Overall a nice room, some rattling at times, and the garlic smell from the Lido deck pizza place was strong, but only at times. If your allergic to garlic don't stay in this room. Entertainment on board was plentiful, but we didn't make it to everything. One obstacle was all the good things were during the same time as other exciting things. Make sure you attend the theater shows, those are some great shows. Disembarkation was fairly simple. We chose to roll our own bags off the ship. If you have a lot of bags, this may not work for your family. Summary of the ship: nice ship with a lot of potential. I understand the ship just arrived back from dry dock, but several things still weren't up and running. Both the sports bar and red frog pub had a few drinks and were extremely cold to kill the smoke from the casino. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
After reading the onslaught of negative reviews on the Miracle, I was dreading the 7 day cruise to come. I'm sure if you're reading some of the negative ones right now, you know exactly how I felt. However, don't feel too ... Read More
After reading the onslaught of negative reviews on the Miracle, I was dreading the 7 day cruise to come. I'm sure if you're reading some of the negative ones right now, you know exactly how I felt. However, don't feel too regretful. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I thoroughly enjoyed this cruise, flaws and all. Because this is my first cruise, I had no ideas or preconceptions of what constitutes as a good, roomy cabin. All I know is that even with an extended balcony room located on deck 8, the room was cramped and tiny (especially the bath room). You cannot have more than 1 person in the bathroom at a time because you will feel very stuffy. Moral of the story: don't pay extra for upgraded rooms. The size of the rooms is more or less the same for all rooms. Dining options were overall pretty good. The buffet is very hometown buffet-esque, but there is a good variety of different kinds of foods, ranging from Italian to Asian. The dessert buffet is overall exceptional, with a wide variety of different desserts almost every day. Do not miss the Mexican buffet they have during the last night in Mexico!! The Bacchus, which is another dining option, has less variety but slightly more quality and definitely more gourmet. They have a new menu every night that is sure to fit your needs. Also, check the schedule they give to you every night, because the Bacchus serves breakfast, brunch, and tea time on certain days. Embarkation: Not much to complain about. Waits are pretty long but it is after all, first come first serve. So in this case, you get what you get. The service during embarkation is speedy but the safety demonstration will seem a little rushed if you're checking in too late. Enrichment activities: I'm assuming this includes youth activities? Young children can be a part of camp carnival, younger teens a part of circle c, and older teens a part of club 02. There are plenty of activities for the young ones to do. My teen did not seem very interested in club o2 activities but the teenagers seemed to hangout in groups outside of the club and seemed to have a lot of fun together regardless. Entertainment: There is an exciting show every night and standup comedy! The dj plays music by the pool on the lido deck and sometimes they have dance parties at night that end very late. Fitness: excellent! There is a great gym that opens early and closes at 10 that includes ample equipment for your needs. Yes I'm sure it lacks some, but the facilities are extremely clean and the equipment is all new and clean. Service: service by far was the highlight of the cruise. Everyone working there is friendly and eager to please. most are conversational and always worried about your well being. There's 24 hr room service if you dial 8000 (this takes a while average is 30 min delivery ) . Be nice! They work long and hard to make your cruise memorable. Shore excursions: There is an excursion for everyone , but I do NOT RECOMMEND you purchase cabo by land and sea. It is a waste of money and is not enjoyable at all. Most of the people in the cruise were very annoyed and regretful. Don't do it. Instead, read between the lines and carefully investigate all the activities. Read reviews ahead of time (you'll have to pay for internet on the ship) and buy the tickets ahead of time. Do your research and you will enjoy all your excursions. Value for the money? For three people we ended up paying almost $4000. Was it worth it? Probably not, but it was a vacation to be remembered and extremely enjoyable. The carnival miracle is an old ship that needs some renovation (water slide, rooms, pools) and I feel that you can get more bang for your buck if you do your research and choose carefully. Don't be afraid of the negative reviews. Keep an open mind. Only you can let yourself enjoy your vacation. If you're going to be stuck on a ship for 7 days, at least make it a good 7 days. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
In all there were 17 of us! Ranging in age from 7 to 75. There was something for everyone. The service was wonderful overall. The food in the main Dining Room was a pleasant surprise, quite good every night (we did not eat breakfast or ... Read More
In all there were 17 of us! Ranging in age from 7 to 75. There was something for everyone. The service was wonderful overall. The food in the main Dining Room was a pleasant surprise, quite good every night (we did not eat breakfast or lunch in Main D.R) Did not love the way the buffet area was set up - just a personal preference A couple of the shows were standouts in all of our opinions. Mike Pace - Comedian - Excellent and Ned Rifken "The Ambassador of Swing" - Ned was fantastic, what a show! The adults only Serenity Area at the far aft of the ship is top notch - many of us spent a fair amount of time here. The Gym was great - also had a nice walking track. The theme and colors of the ship actually grew on me as we often cruise on Princess (which we thoroughly enjoy) - Princess Ships feel very generic - not necessarily in a bad way. This was just a fun change of pace. Our cabin was wonderful Vista Suite 7298 on Verandah Deck - excellent use of space, love having a separate bedroom, comfy beds, outstanding balcony - just super. The only real disappointment to us was embarkation/disembarkation, Carnival really seems to have trouble in this area, but perhaps it is just the port of Long Beach that is lacking in efficiency and basic manners... Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
PROS: Watching the whales while cruising to Mexico; Excellent dining experience at the steakhouse--worth the extra cost. enjoyed the Adult serenity area; Good room service; CONS: Bacon had a strange leathery appearance, the lobster was ... Read More
PROS: Watching the whales while cruising to Mexico; Excellent dining experience at the steakhouse--worth the extra cost. enjoyed the Adult serenity area; Good room service; CONS: Bacon had a strange leathery appearance, the lobster was undercooked. And food at the dining room was not the quality I expected. Eggs were burned and the bacon was not fresh with a strange tast in the dining room. The ship departed Long Beach port two hours behind schedule. Worst cabin room-----on the Main deck----loud continuous noises EVERY night above our room. FAVORITE PORT: Puerto Vallarta is beautiful and a must see. Beautiful bay and many good eating experiences in a safe environment. We have been to Puerto Vallarta many times and it continues to be our favorite port. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
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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