223 Carnival Miracle Cruise Reviews

Review on the under 2 years old restrictions for Camp Carnival: My family of three just did the Los Angeles - Puerto Vallarta - Cabo San Lucas - Los Angeles trip in March 2015 on Carnival Miracle. We travelled with our almost 2 year old ... Read More
Review on the under 2 years old restrictions for Camp Carnival: My family of three just did the Los Angeles - Puerto Vallarta - Cabo San Lucas - Los Angeles trip in March 2015 on Carnival Miracle. We travelled with our almost 2 year old (just shy of 2 year birthday in April 2015). Unfortunately we did not know that Carnival has restrictions on the age and could not accommodate in allowing our son to participate in Camp Carnival in the 2 to 5 year old group. The activities seemed like they would have been a lot of fun. We were able to participate in some of the activities - first night was a family dance night in the Frankenstein Nightclub which was fun as the dance floor lit up and my son danced and ran around catching the balloons while the other older kids danced. I believe that activity was about 45 minutes. The last group activity we participated in was to watch the younger aged group kid's talent show - it was fun for my son to see the older kids do things like dance, say jokes, etc. On the 3 sea days, we took advantage of going to the play room with my son from 8am to 10am. This was the only time my son (at under 2 years) was allowed to play there with parental supervision, but they also opened the play room to under 2's during two build a bear days, one of which we participated in building a bear. The "babysitting" times were only from 10pm to 1am which really is inconvenient because most babies / toddlers are sleeping by 10pm anyway. We did this twice and went to a 10:15pm show at the Phantom Theatre but it was a struggle for me to stay up that late having had to entertain our son all day long. The camp counselors watching the kids were very nice and sweet. Although my son was not able to participate in the camp, they all enjoyed seeing him and he seemed to like them very much having spent sometime with them in the morning and at night for the babysitting. They were all looking forward to having him in the camp once he turns two years old - so we will definitely put him in the camp next year. Food The buffet food was okay, not the greatest buffet we have experienced in Carnival and other cruise ships. The food in the dining area was much better but again struggled to fully enjoy the food when you are entertaining your toddler at the dinner table. The servers were very good, nice and accommodating to us and our toddler. One waiter made an origami frog for our son which he played with for a bit. My son loved their chicken nuggets. The mac n cheese was the best we ever had. Brunch was very good as well and better than the buffet. Entertainment It was strange but we felt that the ship didn't really inform the passengers on the shows other than in the fun times flyer. The two shows we saw were okay but my husband saw the Comedy Hypnotism show and said it was the best show he has seen. I was just too tired to go to it due to lack of proper babysitting hours. Pools / Waterslide / and other kids activities. The pools were cold but the temperature was more tolerable when we were in Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas. The baby pool on the upper deck was a joke. It didn't seem safe for babies as there was a pipe sticking straight out of the pool and there was black sediment floating in the water - completely frustrating when you already can't do much with your under two year old. The water slide looked really old and most people on the waterslide were scooting down and not really sliding down. The hot tubs were always filled with kids. The mini golf was nice and never really crowded. There was a decent basketball court. The arcade was okay (but note we overheard a parent ask their kid at the end of the trip how he spent $90 in arcade games...not sure if there is a way to make your kid's Sail & Sign card to have a pre-determined amount on it so they do not overspend). Spa The spa area was very nice. The gym looked very nice as well. Hot tub in the spa had no kids which was nice, but could have been hotter. Sauna and steam room were free and very nice. Locker rooms were very nice and clean. Take advantage of this. I had a very nice spa treatment on one of the port deals they provided. My son and husband got hair cuts in the salon on one of the elegant dining nights for pictures. My husbands was $35 with a shampoo and our son's was $25 straight cut. Embarkation and Disembarkation, long lines and a long wait for both. In the future I will splurge and purchase express boarding for $50.00.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
First I would like to say that I really enjoy Carnival, and besides Celebrity it is my favorite cruise line. The Miracle staff overall were good, however there were a couple of things worth mentioning. I was somewhat taken back by the some ... Read More
First I would like to say that I really enjoy Carnival, and besides Celebrity it is my favorite cruise line. The Miracle staff overall were good, however there were a couple of things worth mentioning. I was somewhat taken back by the some of the staff members on this cruise. (Feb 14 sailing). Embarkation was late. We had purchased Faster to the Fun, however we did not board early, no problem though, everything else was provided as advertised for the Faster to the Fun price. During the lifeboat drill the Carnival representatives were just on one end talking to each other rather than walking down to our end for the demonstration. They seemed very entranced in conversations among themselves. I was really surprised that there was not a bon voyage party on deck which is usually common on Carnival ships. The main dissatisfaction was with our room steward. It was really a challenge having him as our steward for the week. We had requested the twin beds be separated in our reservation, however that was not done. We reminded him of this when we first entered our room and his initial response was for us to wait until turn-down and he would correct it. Second, (which was our main source of frustration), he would only leave enough towels for 3 people when there were 4 of us in the room. Everyday, we had to go hunt for extra towels to accommodate all of us. He was told this everyday, yet he still left only enough for 3 of us. After 4 days of this I reported this. I do not like to report individuals because I know how hard it is to get jobs these days, however I could not continue to deal with this on a daily basis. If this had been my first cruise with Carnival, I would probably think twice about cruising again with Carnival, however I know this is the exception. I hope the Miracle management shore up these issues and step up their game.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Have been cruising with Carnival for years each cruise is more disappointing Apon arriving to the ship (1:30 pm) we found no parking and had to circle both parking lots to find parking ( event at the queen Mary) . After checking in ( VIP ) ... Read More
Have been cruising with Carnival for years each cruise is more disappointing Apon arriving to the ship (1:30 pm) we found no parking and had to circle both parking lots to find parking ( event at the queen Mary) . After checking in ( VIP ) we were told which direction to go and we were on our own after that ( so much for VIP) . Knowing that we didn't have to stand in the HUGE line we by passed it and went straight on board . Our cabin #6115 had a balcony ( larger than most other balconies on the ship due to location "forward"with 4 chairs) we had an adjoining room for our daughter and her friend #6109 ( large inside) convieniant but "NO" lock for privacy ! I would stay in this cabin again without the adjoining option . Quiet as far as location , depending on cabin occupants above and below . I noticed walking down the hall that the ship creaked around #6185 which was noisy . There is a nice adult pool area ( Serenity deck ) although people tend to drop their towel off to hold the best seats early . The service at the Bacchus dining room was SLOW , at dinner the first night it took 1 hour to get food , we preordered wine that took 45 mins one night to receive and they didn't have the order for the second time and had to go to our cabin for the confirmation we got in our cabin that day . We thought if we went to the dining room for brunch the food would be hot but it was no warmer than the buffet . The food was nothing special . It felt like the ship was short staffed maybe due to upcoming dry dock 3/2015 . Been cruising since "94"and it just isn't like it used to be , we have also cruised with RCCL, Disney, Costa, NCL , Princess and Variety Cruise Line Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
If I would have known this was going to be the last cruise before they were taking this ship into dry dock I would have booked on another trip. The ship is old and beat up. The Serentity Deck was very cool but the pool was closed all trip ... Read More
If I would have known this was going to be the last cruise before they were taking this ship into dry dock I would have booked on another trip. The ship is old and beat up. The Serentity Deck was very cool but the pool was closed all trip because the smoke stack was blowing chunks of black junk all over the back of the boat. Most of the lounge chairs needed to be covered with a towel so your clothes didn't get all black. Large portions of the actual deck were coming up and were blocked off with cones and yellow tape. Our room upon arrival was gross putting it mildly. There were wrappers from the previous guests on the desk along with what looked like margarita salt all over too. The worst part was there was hair and all sorts of other unkown gunk in the bathroom and on the small table and table base. I called out room stuard and they re-cleaned our room for us. The food was great. The steak house is a must visit. The wait staff on this ship is horrible. I have never been on a cruise and not remembered our waiters name. I don't remember what our waiters name was nor either one of the assistants that attempted to help us. We spent a week tracking them down to get waters filled at dinner every night. That is unheard of on our previous cruises. They would take our order deliver the food and that was it. No visiting or anything else. Breakfast in the dining room was a joke. I asked for coffee and OJ and that is what I got one time. No refills or checkins after that because our waitstaff was to busy talking off to the side. First brunch I ordered the steak and eggs. They were the best ever till half way through I found a couple large hairs in the middle of the plate. It took 20 minutes to get the waiter attention and when I showed him the hairs he just looked at me and walked away. Didn't even say sorry and offer a new meal. I am sure upgrading this ship to 2.0 will fix the cosmetic problems but that doesn't help the lack of customer service issues. I can only make these comparisons to the other great ship we have been on Carnival with which was the Conquest out of New Orleans in 2012. Best waiter ever was June from Indonesia. Carnival please bring this ships standards up to yours so others don't have to deal with what we did. I will give Carnival props on getting us onboard in Cabo. Do to 2 plane mechanical problems we missed the boat out of Long Beach and embarked in Cabo. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
The below review was written by my daughter (in Second Grade) ******************************************************************************************************************* Introduction I pretty much liked our cruise. This is my ... Read More
The below review was written by my daughter (in Second Grade) ******************************************************************************************************************* Introduction I pretty much liked our cruise. This is my 3rd cruise on Carnival. It wasn’t the best cruise we’ve had. Embarkation We almost missed the cruise because President Obama left from SFO and our flight was canceled! We had to go on a flight at 2:15 p.m. from Oakland and when we got to the LAX they told us to be at the dock at 4:15 and we got there at 4:14!!! Cabin I liked the balcony in our room. The cabin was great. It was nice to see the view. There wasn’t that much space. I liked the bunk. I threw up on the last night at 1:00 a.m. Thankfully it was not norovirus and I was better the next day. I was tired because the cabin steward had to change our sheets at night. Dining My favorite food was the bread rolls. Some foods were good but some were bad. The pastas were a little bad but the soups were good. The buffet was good. The service was a little slow. It was okay. The dining room had too much grapes! Ports of Call In Cabo San Lucas we went whale watching. In Puerto Vallarta we walked around. We got to Cabo San Lucas early & left on time but we had to stop for about an hour because someone had to go to the hospital. But we got to Mazatlan early. We got to Puerto Vallarta at the right time. We saw lots of whales in Cabo San Lucas. Activities The pools were cold! The whirlpool was a nice temperature. Camp Carnival was fun. There were art contests. The water slide was cold at the end and waiting to go on it. The Ulysses pool was better than the Sirens pool. The whirlpools were busy when it was a hot/cold day. The mini golf was great. The magician was great. In one of his tricks he had 2 strings and when he pulled one down the other string went up. Disembarkation It was fast! The disembarkation was fast but they didn’t announce things clearly. We got out in five minutes! Conclusion I had lots of fun on this cruise but it felt too short!!!   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
We found the ship to be pretty worn out, (going into shipyard March). The vibration from the engine room was awful worse aft lower and better further away. We did zip line in Cabo which was great, fishing in Mazatlan which was fun except ... Read More
We found the ship to be pretty worn out, (going into shipyard March). The vibration from the engine room was awful worse aft lower and better further away. We did zip line in Cabo which was great, fishing in Mazatlan which was fun except caught no fish, and cheesy horseback riding in the countryside in PV. 24 hr Pizza was best thing on the ship. Dining service was slow and not very special, waters always empty and no attention to detail. Beware the shopping advice and prices, they try to convince you of special great duty free deals but can get most for less online. Shows were pretty good in main theater especially talent night! Most of the comedians were pretty bad though one was really good. Generally the food was OK but really got old by the end of the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
This was our first cruise and I treated my wife to a cruise to Hawaii for our 25th wedding anniversary. Upon our arrival and departure from Long Beach, we stayed in the Renaissance and took a short taxi ride over to the terminal. We ... Read More
This was our first cruise and I treated my wife to a cruise to Hawaii for our 25th wedding anniversary. Upon our arrival and departure from Long Beach, we stayed in the Renaissance and took a short taxi ride over to the terminal. We arrived around 1230 and after dropping off our luggage we went through security. We took the obligatory photo and preceded to our room. Believe it or not but the luggage arrived not long after! We preceded to disinfect our room with Lysol wipes, put our clothes away and explore the ship. Just after embarkation, we changed clothes and went to the Steakhouse for dinner. We enjoyed our meal and even ate there the last evening. We even received a free bottle of wine that is offered for eating there the first night. We ate all other evening meals in the Main Dining Room with the Our Time Dining. We always ate at a two-top table but rarely had to wait. When we did have to wait, they gave us a pager and we went to the bar just outside for a drink. The meals were all very good and even though we rarely had the same wait-team, we always received excellent service. One night on the cruise we participated in the Chef's meal. We received a complete tour of the galley and then a private reception for about seven couples. There were several specially-made courses just for us and wine with the dinner. The chef would describe each course just before we tried it. We were all presented with a scrolled menu of the occasion and the recipe for the warm chocolate melting cake. I thoroughly enjoyed it. To us, it was the best meal of the cruise. Word of caution...one must have a discerning palate because there are some different kinds of food. For entertainment, we went to the Comedy club every night there was a show; most of them were quite good. They did have a PG version for families. We always went for the R version. We caught bits and pieces of some of the shows but outside the first night we didn't see a whole one. From what we saw though they were quite good. The most disappointing aspect from the whole cruise were the ports of call. We were late getting into Hilo and ended up being there for a short time - no time for excursions. We went next to O'ahu because of late arrival to the islands with the idea to hit Maui after Kauai. We arrived in Honolulu on time but we missed the first rental car bus because of the time it takes to disembark and wasted a good hour and half waiting for the next. It was in Honolulu that we had our only booked excursion. We went to a luau. We enjoyed it very much but we had a better one in Maui on another vacation. We visited Kauai next and we rented a car to explore the island. The only regret was it was too short of a stay. The next day was our trip to Maui that never happened. They told us another cruise ship was docked in port and that we had to tender. That never happened because seas were too rough. So, they took us next to Kilo. We were able to tender but because the seas were rough (not as rough as Maui) it took longer and we were only able to explore the town. The next day, seas were still rough in Maui and we got to visit Kilo again. There was a lot of disappointment for not going to Maui. We left the islands for Ensenada. Once there, we had a bus downtown but we didn't stay long and returned to the ship. Upon our arrival into Long Beach, we left our baggage outside the room to be collected, left our room and I gave an additional tip to our steward. We waited for our group to be called from the Lido deck. When it was called we left the ship, cleared customs and picked up our bags (with a little searching) and returned to Long Beach. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Carnival was not "up front" with it's guests for this cruise. A lot of us didn't realize until it was too late, that the Miracle has been having propulsion problems since early this year, and decided to continue ... Read More
Carnival was not "up front" with it's guests for this cruise. A lot of us didn't realize until it was too late, that the Miracle has been having propulsion problems since early this year, and decided to continue operation of the vessel, which is now scheduled to go into dry dock in early 2015. Because the ship couldn't cruise at normal speed, we had a multitude of itinerary changes. We arrived late a some ports and in the case of Maui (the highlight of the trip), we totally missed it and we were compensated with 1/1/2 hour in Kona and a $200 credit. The stop off at Ensenada at the end of the cruise was at 8 pm rather than 3 pm. The ships crew blamed everything on the "weather"...which none of us could believe. 2 of our 4 excursions were canceled and debarkation as well as the tendering process was a gaggle!! It also appears as if Carnival is also cutting back on service personnel. We had to go to the bar most of the time (whether inside or outside) to get our own drinks...on previous cruises we could barely turn around when someone was asking to wait on us. Not to mention the internet and TV service were totally unreliable. When we asked about it, the cruise director said that there was no "satellite service" in the ocean???? REALLY......most folks on this trip were seasoned cruisers, so we knew better. We spent $50 just trying to confirm our upcoming airline flights on the internet...but they did refund us for that. It's just a hassle to stand in line for 2 hours at guest services to try and get anything taken care of. I will say our cabin steward was top notch...but they always are. It was truly a disappointment, especially since we had booked the cruise a year in advance. We realize that things come up and if it had happened that way it would be different, If they had just been "up front" with us in advance, we wouldn't have had a problem with it. They definitely made the wrong call!! This is really the first bad experience we've had with Carnival....just wish it hadn't have been on such a long trip. It's the first time I couldn't wait to get off of the ship and go home!!   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
My family and I were very excited to take a cruise that we’d been planning and looking forward to for almost a year. When the day of the trip finally arrived, everyone was excited as we climbed into two large Super Shuttle vans to take ... Read More
My family and I were very excited to take a cruise that we’d been planning and looking forward to for almost a year. When the day of the trip finally arrived, everyone was excited as we climbed into two large Super Shuttle vans to take the 14 of us to Long Beach Harbor. Unfortunately, only one of our vans made it to the ship on time as the driver of the other van went to the wrong harbor. We hadn’t even boarded the ship and yet we were already worried half our family would be left behind. Luckily we had ordered the shuttles to pick us up extra early, so the lost driver made it back to Long Beach in time. We hoped that was going to be the only bump in our journey, but sadly, it was just the beginning. From the minute we boarded the ship we felt an intensely strong vibration in all five of our rooms. If you lay down on the bed, it was like laying on one of those old motel beds with a quarter slot-machine next to the bed to make it vibrate. Sadly for us the there was no “off” button. We hoped the vibrating might stop once the boat left the dock and heard a few others wondering the same. We had five balcony cabins mid-ship on the 7th deck, which we were told was one of the better locations on the ship for rooms. When the ship finally left the port of Long Beach, the vibrating did not stop. Five in our family went to Guest Services to complain and ask what was going on and each of us were told a different excuse (each of which turned out to be fiction). You could barely focus on a book in bed because of the vibrating, but worse was that was it made it difficult to sleep. We were told once that the vibration was from the weather, but we had beautiful calm seas for most all the trip. We were also told that it was just the size of the ship and a little vibration was normal. Guest Services kept assuring us it would get better. It never did. It wasn’t just “a little” vibration, it was more like the ship had Parkinson’s. We finally went online and discovered an article posted by Carnival in April of this year which explained that the Miracle actually had a propulsion problem and all they were planning on doing was to cruise a little slower and not make any real repairs until the Spring of 2015. It seems wrong to post your ships troubles on the internet and then turn around and lie to the faces of your paying guests. My family felt that the Carnival people must think us a bit “slow” to tell each of us a different excuse about the problem with the boat. We would have preferred an honest answer and an apology instead of being lied to directly. We did enjoy the food very much, but our seating at Dinner was bad. We had requested two adjacent tables for our large group (like our previous cruise), but instead they slid two tables together to accommodate us all at one long narrow table which forced any on the inside to either crawl under the table to get out or ask everyone to get up and move coming in and getting out. It was not comfortable or enjoyable. The service was barely adequate (many ordered items were forgotten) but we tried to remain calm so as not to upset the staff and get worse service. We did, however, enjoy the shows onboard and the service for the cabins. This was our second Thanksgiving Family Cruise with Carnival Cruises… and after this experience, it will be our last. My family and friends will never cruise with Carnival again.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
This review is for our seven day cruise on the Carnival Miracle sailing round trip from Long Beach to Cabo, Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta. It will be our last cruise with Carnival. We have cruised 15 times and 4 have been with Carnival. We ... Read More
This review is for our seven day cruise on the Carnival Miracle sailing round trip from Long Beach to Cabo, Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta. It will be our last cruise with Carnival. We have cruised 15 times and 4 have been with Carnival. We have been to these ports many times. This is not one of those “there was nothing edible on board or the crew was fighting all the time” reviews. To the contrary we had a great cruise, but read all the way through. The weather was great. Sea days were balmy, with a slight breeze and calm seas. Tropical clouds filled the horizon. The seas were so calm the entire cruise we commented that one couldn’t feel the ship moving. Usually on the northbound return large swells are encountered in this part of the Pacific, but not on this cruise. Sunrises through the clouds were dazzling. Sunsets beautiful with an especially dramatic sunset in Puerto Vallarta. The sky was so filled with various shades of red that the high rise resort windows along the coast glowed like light sticks. The weather in ports was also mild. In fact, Puerto Vallarta was almost chilly in the morning. We saw dolphins jumping and following us on several occasions, flying fish and at a distance whale spouts. As we sailed south the water turned a light blue. The Miracle is in good shape. Saw nothing worn, broken or outdated. We loved the theme in the halls of posters of great literary works. The end of our hall had a profile of Sherlock Holmes and outside our stateroom was Hercule Poirot, my wife’s favorite. The Great Gatsby’s Secret Garden was well done and a relaxing hideaway. We had a wonderful room steward and his assistant was a continuous source of laughs for us. Always smiling, joking and wishing us well on shore. There were 438 children aboard. We must say, not because we have grandchildren, that the kids behavior was exceptional. Courteous, no rough housing or loudness and parents always accompanied them. Carnival does provide many supervised activities for youth and this can give parents some private time. The slot machines were generous. Hit a $60 bonus and for the trip we made a few dollars. That’s a first. Of course the large Bloody Mary’s in the morning helped with the luck. I bought a deck used Carnival Casino cards for $1. There is a shaved groove on each side to prevent casino reuse, but otherwise like new with the Carnival logo. I believe most ship casinos offer these decks for $1. We ate in the main dining room twice. The room is decorated in bright colors, globes and is awesome. The first day at sea dinner offered lobster and I asked for two and my wife asked for prime rib to go with her lobster. No problem. Service was friendly and fast. Ordered wine that arrived before appetizers. The second meal was prime rib night. Same great service and second portions. Staff did the farewell tribute to cruisers. Couldn’t ask for anything more. We also ate at the specialty Nick and Nora restaurant. A cover charge of $35 per person applies. Another classic meal. Lobster and filet for me and a giant rib-eye for my wife. The table was along the window, semi-private and it seemed like our wait staff were only there for us. All courses were delicious. In Cabo San Lucas we walked along the marina area and did some shopping. Talked to people from the ship. There is a cantina right on the walkway that we like where we had a couple margaritas and a giant nachos and cheese plate in our front row seats. Later we walked and shopped some more as the sun set. The temperature cooled down and it was refreshing for Cabo. There was quite a line for the tenders, so we had a couple more margaritas at the last cantina before the dock. Again, saw and visited with people in line that we had met on board. The group that had a wedding at one of the hotels arrived with gowns in tow. They said the wedding and party was great. We ended up seated in the bridge by the tender Captain for the ride to the ship. It was dark and the ship was pretty all lit up. The captain actually stopped the tender, moved into a good view position and his mate took a picture of us with the ship in background. Very nice. Mazatlán was the next port. It was only the second time a Carnival ship had called since the security restrictions that placed the port off limits were lifted. We weren’t sure exactly what has happened that caused the cruise industry to avoid the port for two years. Rumor was tourist mugging and drug war lord activity. Also it was announced that agreement had been reached to enhance security, but no details were provided. We did see Tourist Police, Federal Police, Municipal Police, and Transit Police everywhere. Everywhere, in cars, on foot, in SUV’s, in trucks and on motorcycles. All with the red and blue lights blinking and speeding up and down every street. Many had troops standing with M-16’s slung over their shoulders. Even observed an “inspector” checking vendors along the beach where the tourist buses stop .Seemed like a little excessive but we felt safe. We took a ship excursion to the beach area and saw cliff divers, many statues of sea life, a cathedral, the beach area, the highest lighthouse in the western hemisphere and a little of old Mazatlán .Our guide was very informative and always reiterated meet times and safety tips. The bus was a double decker but short. The aisles were very narrow and some people had trouble moving in them. We saw a “Folkloric” show that was awesome. The special theater was comfortable and the sound was good. The dancers and their costumes were beautiful. We had a chance to shop and had lunch at a place called Margaritas in the tourist area. Open air, waiters that balance margaritas on their heads when delivering, and good food. The next port was Puerto Vallarta. We toured tequila factories with a ship tour. The guide, Jose was one we had in the past an excellent. The first factory had 10 different tastings. Besides the usual, there was coffee, amaretto (umm…good) and peach. Had some tacos and beans there. Very good with native cactus or nepal. The second stop also involved 10 tastings. Unique was vanilla crème and walnut. The latter was very good. We then drove through the country side, stopped to shop and drove through old Puerto Vallarta. Mandatory stops to observe iguanas, statuary along the malecon, the cathedral and the old cobble streets. As always, we ended the shore day at the old cantina by the entrance to the ship area. On our first cruise this place was all by itself along the water. Improvements in the pier area have hidden it somewhat, but it’s still there. It’s a gathering place for returning cruisers and ship staff. We always run into people we have met on board there. As I said, we had a wonderful cruise because the important things, like the weather, the sea, the sun rises and sunsets, the ports and marine life that we enjoy and are there regardless of what cruise brand you are on. Sitting on the veranda feeling a gentle warm breeze while listening to the sounds of the waves moving past the ship is so relaxing. We don’t let things upset us and our decision not to sail with Carnival again is based on events that puzzle us. Embarkation was terrible. They say you must board between 1 and 3 pm. We arrived at 2:30 and the line stretched almost back to the Queen Mary. Once in the building we were moved from catacomb to catacomb, sometimes having to side step in sync to move our line. Got aboard around 4:15. Many people were very upset. I think the disembarkation discussion would fit here. Also a disaster. We reported to designated areas at 830 am. We finally got to curbside with our luggage at 12:15 pm. It was total chaos as all the people waiting to board were everywhere. It was almost impossible to get to elevators in parking structure. Many people were very upset. The cruise director said that the hold up was the dock workers not being ready, then he said the authorities were not ready and finally he said too many passengers were petting the drug dogs causing delays. Come on! He also said this delay was rare. The guys helping with luggage say this is routine. I agree. The drop off /pickup area is small. There is one small exit from the building. Carnival does not provide enough customs agents to process in a timely manner. This will never change unless they overhaul the facility. On our first sea day our cabin ventilation malfunctioned. It would start and stop, sometimes blowing cool sometimes hot. I woke up sweating first night. Call the ships service desk and was told they would send someone “to educate me on the use of a thermostat”. A guy showed up and said we were at 78 degrees in the cabin. I told him it was at the coolest now. He called for someone to come and make repairs. We got a note saying the repair man had come by and the thermostat is working correctly. I called down and said the problem must be with what the thermostat is connected to. I was told all was working, they could do no more and when I said “but it’s too hot” I was told, “Well sir, that’s just the way it is”. On the first sea day we attended the cruise director welcome aboard and port talk. We were told to move our clocks forward one hour that night and also the night we leave Cabo. We did that. The next morning I was bewildered when none of the food stations were open. I asked why and was told I was an hour early. I brought up the cruise directors direction and was told that could not have happened. Several guys standing by me said they heard the same thing. Oh well. Came back a little while later and saw a breakfast station open, food in all the bins, the cook at parade rest and appearing ready to serve. I grabbed a plate and was told I had to wait. I asked why and was told they could not open for 3 more minutes. I couldn’t believe it and asked why. I was told, “well sir, that’s just the way it is.” Sound familiar already? Regarding the time changes. We set clocks forward two nights, then back two nights. So other than the first and last nights, the time was always changing. There was confusion on board. We’ve cruised with another brand that said use ship time. All ship excursions are ship time. If you go ashore on own, adhere to ship time. Pretty simple and not confusing. At Cabo we anchored about noon. This is a tender port. The cruise director said excursion people got priority but that tender tickets would be available starting at 10 am. However, he said usually by 2 pm you can just walk off, there would be no wait. So about 2:00pm I went to the tender ticket person and was given #37. I said I just heard #2 called. How long before we would be going ashore with #37. He said to relax and enjoy the ship. I asked if he could please give me a rough estimate. He said over 2 hours. I said you’ve got to be kidding. The last tender back to the ship is 7:15pm, so why go ashore at 4:30pm? He looked away with that you are annoying me expression on his face and said, you you guessed it, “Well sir, that’s just the way it is”. Others said they were told the delay was because two other ships were here. I’ve been here when there were 4 ships. Also, they said it was too rough to use the lifeboats as auxiliary tenders. However I saw that the other two cruise ships were using their lifeboats with no problem. So it was announced that ship arrived would arrive at Mazatlán an hour later than planned. So 9 am instead of 8 am. We had pre purchased excursion tickets that said report to the theater to stage at 8 am and the tour would start at 8:30 am. So I assumed these times would be also be moved forward, that is, theater at 9 am and tour start at 9:30am. After all, we couldn’t leave for a shore excursion a half hour before the ship docks. So I called to verify. I was told to do what the ticket says, regardless. I asked how could we eat if the food area did not open until 7:30 and get to our room to prepare for shore then get to the theater all in 30 minutes. You guessed it, she said “Sir, that is just the way it is” Well, we showed up around nine, but many had been waiting for an hour already. We still waited an hour and 15 minutes for some reason. I might add we were give labels with a tour number and assigned to a numerical waiting area. However the call to go was by tour name, and very difficult to understand. This resulted in a lot of confusion. Some observations regarding the Horatio’s food court area. Seating is great. A lot of ocean view seats, comfortable booths and chair seats. The layout is such that food stations are separated into quads that some distance apart. In each quad there can be 4 stations. For example there may be a grill, oriental food, Italian food and a deli in a quad. But they may not all be open. In fact none are open except very specific times. Like say 11 am, and you want to have a snack, nothing will be open. Don’t try to eat dinner early, nothing open. People were perplexed and did not understand the intentional deprivation of nourishment. This is a cruise after all. I saw many people asking why they did this. They all left shaking their heads. Also, say you go to the omelet bar. Good ones they are. But the toast is at the breakfast grill a hundred feet through a crowd away. And drinks are at a central location. No trays, so if you want a couple orange juices and coffees, it is a two trip journey through the crowd. Makes no sense to me, but I guess that’s just the way it is. On other cruise ships we sat, a server asked what beverages we would like and brought them. The food lines were organized so that in one easy pass you had what you needed. On disembarkation day, as 12 noon approached and we had been waiting to disembark for over 31/2 hours, I went to the food court area in search a small morsel of nourishment. It appeared the Deli was open. I took a plate. Three voices yelled “we are closed”, and one officer said to me “move along”, as if I were a vagrant or petty thief. Unbelievable! I mean come on, throw an old dog a bone! Well I got thinking. How can all this this be? It makes no sense. Carnival had 2400 eager happy cruisers show up on disembarkation day. I enjoy reading the blogs and roll calls. You know, people who post the number of days until we cruise, sharing packing tips, what to do at the ports, and so on. All very excited and happy customers. Then think of the ship, a beauty. And of course the best venue of all, the ocean, with its breezes, sun rises and sunsets, marine life and mystical diamond like sheen in the wake of the sun. It shouldn’t take much effort to keep your guests happy. A dream scenario for someone in the customer service business. You would have to intentionally go out of your way to make someone upset in this situation. That is what Carnival did. That’s the only conclusion I can come to. So what is the root of the problem? It starts at the top. The description that best describes the ship staff attitude is “disdainful arrogance”. Check your dictionary. They look at the cruisers as those people that will come aboard and want this, expect that and do these things. How do we put up with them? That position is supported by the managers and I’m sure they have had training and have been told to resolve issues by saying “Well sir or madam, that just the way it is.” Translation, jump in the lake (ocean in this case!), so what, we don’t care and so on. Plug in your own more vulgar expressions. It’s too bad. They had it made and blew it. What a shame. No need to tolerate that. So I quote from Shakespeare’s As You Like It, (Act III, scene II, Orlando) with a message for Carnival; “I do desire we may be better strangers” …and that’s just the way it is!   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
This was a first cruise for my wife and me. I consider myself "Not a Cruise Person" but my wife wanted to go on a cruise and with that I chose the venue - Alaska! Stayed at the Sheraton Downtown by cashing in SPG points for two ... Read More
This was a first cruise for my wife and me. I consider myself "Not a Cruise Person" but my wife wanted to go on a cruise and with that I chose the venue - Alaska! Stayed at the Sheraton Downtown by cashing in SPG points for two free nights. Had fun touring around Seattle for two days - Pike's Place Market, Waterfront, Crittenden Locks, Snoqualmie Falls, Kerry Park, the Space Needle and met some friends from British Columbia who came down for a quick visit. Overall I rate this a good experience. My wife rates it higher. The service from the entire crew was very good - the cabin steward, the wait-staff, the folks who man the excursion desk and other areas. Thumbs up to all! The food was good, not great. The Bacchus dining experience was very good. The selection of entrees and starters were varied and tasty. Formal cruise nights (2) were not strictly enforced. The casual dining (Horatio's) was very good for what it is. The Asian buffet was especially good. But the other buffets were also good and had a decent nightly/daily selection - lamb, crab cakes, of course the desserts, the prosciutto, etc. The accommodations were much better than I anticipated. The rooms and storage were bigger than we really needed. The obstructed view balcony was only slightly obstructed (boat level below eye level). One of my trepidations about cruising was the crowds, and I didn't enjoy that. But there are places to get away - the Serenity Deck and Gatsby's Garden, so I managed to keep my sanity. They had interesting lectures (about Alaska) and John Heald was very entertaining. The embarkation and debarkation process went smoothly even for the inexperienced like us. One thing to keep in mind is that things can change. One of the biggest disappointments was that we were not able to take the Tracey Arm Fjord Small boat cruise to the Glacier, because a passenger got ill and the ship actually had to turn around for 3+ hours to rendezvous with a Canadian air rescue team. Fortunately that operation went well and the passenger and family were (as far as we can tell) scooted to Vancouver where she is in recovery. All told this put us 8+ hour behind schedule and NO Tracey Arms Fjord. They substituted Endicott Fjord, which was fine but had no sea glacier or excursion. Big disappointment and only a $ for $ refund - nothing offered for the loss of a lifetime experience to get to a glacier face to face. Booo!   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Dream to see Alaska wasn't the thrill I expected. Our room was great as we opted to get a balcony. I would have hated my room if it didn't have that feature. But if you are a a light sleeper don't stay on the 8th floor, lido ... Read More
Dream to see Alaska wasn't the thrill I expected. Our room was great as we opted to get a balcony. I would have hated my room if it didn't have that feature. But if you are a a light sleeper don't stay on the 8th floor, lido deck is noisy 24-7, which is right above you. Ship staff was great. Food was fair. Nothing over the top. Lots of lectures to try and get more money from you. Live shows were okay but reminded me of high school productions.Comedy shows are good but beware of adult only shows. Adult shows can get a little offending - not my 1st choice of comedy, when swearing is the 1st language during the show. Glaciers were okay but not as exciting to see by ship or land. Highly recommend the off ship excursion onto small boat while on cruise of Tracy Arm Fjord or by air flight in Juneau. Miracle only stops at two ports in Alaska. Skagway was run down and rained the whole time. Do not waste your money on train ride in Skagway if it is raining or foggy. You will not see anything. Juneau was most memorable. Loved the Medenhall glacier & Wildlife Quest excursion. Saw lots of whales on tour. Okay back to my review of the Miracle ship. Ship was very Clean and staff went beyond the call of duty. I won't spoil it for you but they leave a cute surprise in your room every night. Food service was excellent. You could order as much as you wanted, no limits. Servers always remembered your names and greeted us with a smile. We preferred the dining room for dinner. I got sick when I ate fried food from several different places on the lido deck. Plus when we wanted lunch sometimes everything was closed. So we would just order room service and got sandwiches. We got room service for breakfast on excursion days which was nice. Matter a fact we had more room service for breakfast and lunch than we ate anywhere else. Some days at sea, we just sat in our room watching tv or on the balcony looking at scenery as there was nothing to do but gamble or drink. Went to two lectures that turned out to be more of a sales pitch to buy something. I enjoyed all the R&R on the trip but was anxious to get home. My husband was bored for the entire cruise but loved the wild life excursion and the glacier flight excursions. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Alaska was beautiful. We were blessed with great weather and plenty of wildlife. The ship was kept very clean and the crew was great. The room was comfortable. The food, especially in the main diniing room was sub-par. I would have been ... Read More
Alaska was beautiful. We were blessed with great weather and plenty of wildlife. The ship was kept very clean and the crew was great. The room was comfortable. The food, especially in the main diniing room was sub-par. I would have been better to stick with the deli at the lido deck. I don't expect that much from a tuna sandwhich. Order 2 starters , 2 main entree's etc at dinner as probably only one will be worth eating. Even my 14 year old boy, who is a bottomless pit was less than happy with the dining room food. He approved of the 24 hour soft serve and pizza though. The comedy show was not funny. The singers in the public areas (with the notable exception of Frankie and Johnny's lounge) were bad. I heard, and this is no exaggeration, much better singing at the Karoke sessions. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
First off I want to say that the steward and dining staff were fantastic. They were incredibly hard working. Our room was kept to the highest standards and the dining service was very attentive. Furthermore, the staff was friendly and ... Read More
First off I want to say that the steward and dining staff were fantastic. They were incredibly hard working. Our room was kept to the highest standards and the dining service was very attentive. Furthermore, the staff was friendly and welcoming. However, we were greatly disappointed by many aspects of the Carnival experience. It is clear that we were misled by the director, John. We were warned that there was a possibly that weather could impact our stop. However, John continued to announce that the probability was high that we would be able to port. He also promised that if in fact we could not, our time would be extended in Ketchikan. We never got a time extension!! Even worse, it seems that there was no intention for us to ever port at Victoria. We were lied to. The Fun Times pamphlets were clearly marked "Sea Day" the night before the port at Victoria. John's informational videos did not describe our trip to Victoria. The videos for this day went over debarkation. We were flexible about the change of plans, but incredibly appalled that we have not been appropriately compensated. Porting at this location saved Carnival $600,000 according to John. Clearly, $24 does not rectify the situation. We booked our trip to go to Skagway and Victoria, but both were cancelled. We had the luxury of going to two of the four original ports we booked. The experience we had was not what we signed up for!! We were given the option to cancel our cruise when Skagway was changed, however not enough notice to change our travel plans. Besides the port issues, my husband and I were greatly looking forward to participating in the shows and were disheartened when we learned that participants were predetermined. With a ship of 1800 guests only a handful were chosen over and over again. We were informed that these participants were all platinum members. What a coincidence! To make matters worse, the material was recycled! Apparently there is a Dick Little on every Carnival cruise ship! What are the chances?? John reminded me of a used car salesman. Additionally, although the excursions have a price guarantee, they are still inflated greatly. Luckily we did not book a tour that had the salmon hatchery as one of the sights. We only paid 5 dollars and walked a mile! On another note, activities were focused on the older crowd. This is understandable considering the demographics, but there really weren't many activities for younger people at all. We weren't too enthusiastic about the arthritis seminars or bingo unfortunately! Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
Well, this was our 10th cruise with Carnival, and so we had certain realistic expectations. Sadly, these expectations were not met by a long shot. From the moment we boarded in Vancouver we noticed that something was definitely ... Read More
Well, this was our 10th cruise with Carnival, and so we had certain realistic expectations. Sadly, these expectations were not met by a long shot. From the moment we boarded in Vancouver we noticed that something was definitely "off" about this ship, and that feeling never left us the entire voyage. Service was incredibly poor by Carnival standards. The ship had just arrived from Hawaii, and a crew exchange had occurred while in port. Their appeared to be a shortening of staff, and we rarely saw any servers offering refreshments. There were obvious maintenance issues (rust, damaged decking, poor upkeep) and the ship was experiencing engine problems which reduced its speed. The decor didn't make a lot of sense and was actually a bit disturbing, especially in the dining room which appeared as a gaudy, purplish conundrum of vintage decor. We had to change tables after the first night due to the poor and inconsiderate service we received during late dining. In the morning we were bum rushed by bar servers trying to sell liquor at 8 AM while waiters rushed past not even offering a glass of water. This was the first sailing of the season for Alaska, and the port shopping guide did not appear familiar with the shops at Juneau, Skagway or Kitichikcan. Many of the stores had not even opened up in these ports as we arrived. Although the weather was for the most part fantastic and the sailings into Glacier Bay and the inside passages was .breath taking, our experience aboard the Miracle was a poor one, and unexpectedly below Carnival standards we had come to expect. We originally planned to book a future cruise while aboard but, after this dreary and odd experience, have postponed future Carnival bookngs until we can be comfortable that our most recent experience is an exception and not the new standard for this troubled cruise line. BTW, lock your stateroom doors, cause the stewards had a strange habit of "one knock and bursting in", which was off putting when just jumping out of the shower. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
Wife and I have sailed before, but not with Carnival or the kids, age 16 and 10. Embarkation: We had FTTF and were on board before noon and bags at 130. It was a smooth process. Dinning: Steak house first night was great and well worth ... Read More
Wife and I have sailed before, but not with Carnival or the kids, age 16 and 10. Embarkation: We had FTTF and were on board before noon and bags at 130. It was a smooth process. Dinning: Steak house first night was great and well worth the extra money. MDR was good, but not great. We had anytime dining and never had to wait. We went every night (except first one). We had Anthony for three of them and he was very good. Last meal was horrible. Cold and tough. we waited 20 minutes for water and bread. Server was rude. LIDO deck was boring, while the food was not bad, it was WOW cruise good. LIDO servers were overall rude and uninterested. KIDS CLUB - oldest had a blast while the 10 year old said it was boring and childish, hard to say if the 10 year old was being difficult or the club was boring for him, so take his comments with a grain of salt. SERVICE - on board was hit and miss. There are some real rock stars on this cruise but a couple of sour faced ones as well. I try and be as polite as possible because I really think they have a tough job, I make sure my kids are polite as well, but its tough when some of them act like I am intruding. More good then bad but only takes a couple of them to bring it all down. SHORE EXURSIONS: Swimming with the dolphins in PV was great. While in a larger group then we were told it was still great. Be prepared for $100 for pictures if you want to purchase all. Cabo sea trek was only 20 minutes long and one had a equipment malfunction and never got the chance to do it. While cool it is not value for your dollar. CABIN: we had joining cabin, one with Balcony and on interior. This was great and really worked out well. They were comfortable and well maintained and cleaned. ENTERTAINMENT: Comedians were funny and we enjoyed them. Shows were average. DISEMBARKATION: With FTTF we had priority. This was great until we tried to get all our bags. We were zone one and one of our bags was zone 17. We had to wait for that, as did our driver. He did a good job of getting us to the airport, I know this happens but and understand with the amount of bags, however, I was upset with the comment from one carnival staff " what you want me to do about it". Well fix it and be polite. CLEANESS: We saw cleaning carts and vacuums left out in the passage way, while no cleaning going on. Never saw that on other lines. Hand sanitizers were not working or empty. It was also no emphases to use them. HAL has crew outside the food areas squirting into your hands for you. Last day at sea saw a server in the MDR wearing a mask. Two of our four now have a cough. SUMMARY: Not over all a great cruise. It is a discount line and I think we will spend the money and go back to the other ones. While some crew really try, some are just miserable. You get what you pay for. Good effort by some, but really AVERAGE. Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
We are seasoned cruisers, 15 with Princess,1disney, and this was our second with carnival. We were on the Splendor 2 years back, beautiful ship, so we did the future cruise thing. March 1 we sailed on the Miracle. We never at any time met ... Read More
We are seasoned cruisers, 15 with Princess,1disney, and this was our second with carnival. We were on the Splendor 2 years back, beautiful ship, so we did the future cruise thing. March 1 we sailed on the Miracle. We never at any time met or saw our room steward. Room was always taken care of, but how strange not to be greeted by the person? Food was much better than on the Splendor with 1 exception. We tried Nora and Nicks steakhouse. Service was mediocre, our filets were burned on the outside, and not tender. We even saw smoke coming from the kitchen....to top it off, when our waitress took our sign and sail card for payment, she comes back and says our card was over the limit....NOT...people around us could hear this, it was soooo embarrassing . I look at the receipt, and see that the folio number was not ours. It was a crew members number. Asked that they try to run it through again, it went ok to our account. The manager came over, apologized, half heartedly, and asked for the original receipt back. Sorry, we refused and took it right to the guest services desk. They were completely baffled as to what was going on, and started investigating. Paying $70 for that experience was not a happy memory.. So, I'd say look at your receipts, and stick to the dining room. Activities and music on this cruise were terrible. Can't wait to cruise in 4 weeks back on the Grand Princess. The carnival miracle was also very gaudy in decor also. Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
My family and I travelled aboard the Carnival Miracle in March 2014 for a 7 day cruise to Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas. It was our 3rd cruise, which all have been on different Carnival Ships. The layout of this ship was my least ... Read More
My family and I travelled aboard the Carnival Miracle in March 2014 for a 7 day cruise to Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas. It was our 3rd cruise, which all have been on different Carnival Ships. The layout of this ship was my least favorite of the three. First of all, there is only one dining room. It is decorated in a horrible purple and LOTS of it. Secondly, yes, there is a Serenity Deck, but it is located literally right below the water slide. They did not consider the children being right on top of the adult deck when they planned this out. The Serenity Deck is nice but not enough chairs and they are right on top of each other. Wish they also played some nice peaceful music. Thirdly, the Kids Clubs are very difficult to find. I had one child in Camp Carnival and one in Club O2. The rooms are located in the very front and it is not easy to get to like we have on other ships. I am not a fan of how Carnival places the kids in their age appropriate activities. My youngest daughter is 11 and she was assigned to Camp Carnival. She was one of the oldest children there and was surrounded by very young kids, as young as 3 in the same room. She was not a fan of going to Camp Carnival most times, unless there was a Scavenger hunt or something else that didn't include the younger ones. Food on this ship was mediocre. At first it seems great, then as the week goes on, it is the same stuff over and over. The buffet is gross at times with unsanitary people eating from their plates while standing in line. I do not understand how people can feel this is appropriate behavior to graze while they are still not done filling their plate? I frequented the salad bar, the pizza shop and the deli almost every day. Dinner is nice but takes way too long. Our waiter never took drink orders, except the busboy did bring water. We were typically the last ones to get menus plus the last ones served. In order to see the shows, you need to be out in a timely manner, which we never were. One evening we decided to go to the 10:15 showing at the comedy club and the place was packed. There were people standing everywhere and they kept letting more and more people in. I don't think the staff handled that situation appropriately. Overall, the ship was nice....lots of interior sitting places. Not alot of room to sit in the buffet area. Pool area was cramped. Don't like the fact they don't have a jumbo tron movie. I loved watching a movie nightly by the pool. Not pleased with this ship as the others, but was a good experience. Disembarkation was horrible. This ship was the longest experience I have had on my past 3 cruises to get off the boat and we were in #2 for disembarking. I still do not understand why they allow self assist people to leave first when others have numbers to leave with and have to wait an extra hour or so? Once our number was called, we waited in a long line that wrapped around the boat and then all the way into the cruise terminal. When we were on the gangway, two lines formed (one for US citizens and one non-US). For us US citizens, the line was unimaginably huge. Foreigners walked right up to the front like a breeze. When we got inside, we saw there really wasn't any reason for the two lines and were quite annoyed. I do not think they should get preferential treatment like that!   Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
We have cruised Carnival before, and have always been pleased. Sadly, this past cruise was a disappointment. We had purchased a Faster to the Fun (fttf) pass. We looked forward to getting aboard the ship early as promised and having our ... Read More
We have cruised Carnival before, and have always been pleased. Sadly, this past cruise was a disappointment. We had purchased a Faster to the Fun (fttf) pass. We looked forward to getting aboard the ship early as promised and having our luggage immediately. That didn't happen. We had to wait outside until almost 12:30. When we did start moving there was quite a bit of confusion as to what line we belonged in. There wasn't anyone checking in at the Priority Desk. Kind of a nightmare. However, when I called to complain, they immediately refunded the cost. There were others who were also refunded. Our room was a standard balcony. We had to call and ask them to chance the beds Into a king and the couch into a bed for my son, although our reservation clearly stated it. We were short a robe,no glasses/cups, and there were no beach towels. Once again, we had to call and ask. After that, the room was fine. We enjoyed the balcony, as there were whales and dolphins around us on more than one occasion. Sadly the service in the dining room was not up to par. We had anytime dining, and were seated immediately every night. We like our server the first night, and chose to eat with him each night. After night one, the 3rd person on his team was elsewhere, and there were only 2. Service was defiantly affected by that. The food was hit and miss. Most of the time it was average at best. Salmon was dry and veggies were oily. My son did love the nightly cold soups. I think the appetizers were probably the best part of the meal most nights. We did the brunch on the final sea days. Service was horrible. We waited for a very long time for everything. The servers at brunch didn't seem to really care. The ship itself was really pretty. We loved the decor. The entertainment ....not so good. My family and I always see the show, and some are always better than others. The musical variety shows were mostly sloppy, the comedians fair. A juggler comedian, Marcus, who we saw on an earlier cruise, was still the best show on board. There were plenty of trivia games, karaoke, and other activities. We participate in many and enjoyed them. We used the gym, and it was satisfactory. The cardio machines has display screens to enjoy during the workout. Some of them didn't work too well. We booked excursions independently. I highly recommend AmazeNCabo Race. So much fun. And we zip lined with Los Veranos. Also highly recommend to all! All and all it seems that Carnival has cut back throughout the ship. My family and I made the most of everything, and still had a wonderful time. Nothing was so bad that it spoiled the cruise. However, things certainly could have been better, and the trip would have been enhanced. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
The one word that describes this cruise is disappointing, which is too bad because my family and I were really looking forward to this cruise despite some of the negative reviews we had read. We had also sailed with Carnival on the ... Read More
The one word that describes this cruise is disappointing, which is too bad because my family and I were really looking forward to this cruise despite some of the negative reviews we had read. We had also sailed with Carnival on the Paradise some years ago and were very happy with our experience. Unfortunately I allowed our previous cruise to influence my decision instead of doing my due research. Our trip to Hawaii on the Miracle will be our last with Carnival. This is not entirely Carnivals fault, it is just that the service they provide is not a good match for our particular family. For people who are looking for a bargain cruise for 2 it is probably a good deal, but for a family of 4 this cruise is not particularly cheap, at more that $6K by the time all port charges and tips are accounted for it is a better decision to pay a little more and go with a luxury cruise line. Embarking was not too bad, but did entail about 15 to 20 minutes of standing in lines. Once on the ship the luggage was delivered to the room fairly quickly. After settling in we headed out to explore the ship. My first impression was that it looked as if an assisted care facility had been invaded by the people of Wal-Mart. There was an abundance of motorized scooters and walkers competing for limited walking space with people in a wide variety of attire ranging from ill advised swim suits, to pajamas to burkas. This was also the first cruise I ever saw crew members who would not yield to passengers when there was not enough room for 2 people to pass. The crew seemed to lack both training and enthusiasm, and appeared to all be overworked to the point where it affected their attitudes. The food on this cruise overall was substandard. It is easier to list what is good than bad so I will do that. In the main dining room, the best bet is to stick with beef. They seem to be able to cook a steak consistently without messing it up. Most of their attempts at gourmet dishes fail miserably. Overall if the main dining room could raise the quality of their food to match a Denny's or Coco's it would be a definite improvement. The waiters however are great, although extremely overworked which gives them little time to give the passengers much individual service. Entertainment was kind of hit and miss, with a few good shows and some you just endure. Carnival does not put a lot of investment in entertaining the passengers which leaves many just sitting around in common areas or reading a book. Unless you are into trivia games or bad karaoke, you will spend a lot of time in your cabin trying to pull something in on the tiny TV in vain because they will not re-adjust their satellite antenna from the Puerto Rico and New York satellites. Forget about getting any football on Sunday or Monday night even in the Sports Bar, not that I take a cruise to watch TV, but like I said, with the overall lack of entertainment, it would be nice to have something to do to fill the time at sea. The ports of call were great, although Carnival scheduled them poorly resulting in short port days. I suspect they do this intentionally to reduce their hours in port to save money. Disembarking from the ship is painful due to the fact that they try to disembark all the passengers thru one exit making for long lines. Keeping passengers in lines and herding them like cattle seems to be the theme of the Miracle. They also do a poor job of coordinating transportation at the ports unless you book shore excursions through them. To be fair, the rental car companies need to share in the blame for the poor service with the cruise line but there is plenty of blame to go around for them both. Kona is a tender port, and the Miracles tender process is terrible. Again they disembark the entire ship from one exit and it takes several hours. Getting back on the ship is even more painful because the line to get back on the ship without exaggeration can stretch across town more than half a mile! In Honolulu, you can figure on spending 2 hours of your already too short stay in bumper to bumper traffic being shuttled from the dock to the airport rent a car facility. In Kona, the service was so bad that the rent a car companies would only take the drivers on their shuttle leaving their families on the dock in confusion and separated without any plan. This resulted in my returning to the dock to find my family gone, and having to return to the airport to search for them. Again this fiasco ate up a couple of hours from an already too short port day. Hawaii is a great destination and we enjoyed our time there greatly, but Carnival did a poor job of respecting their passengers time and as a result it made this cruse a poor way to see the islands.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
For the 2nd year in a row, we spent Thanksgiving on the 7 day Mexican Riviera cruise. Here is a brief review and some tips: Embarkation: At Long Beach you first check your luggage with a porter on the ground floor of the parking garage ... Read More
For the 2nd year in a row, we spent Thanksgiving on the 7 day Mexican Riviera cruise. Here is a brief review and some tips: Embarkation: At Long Beach you first check your luggage with a porter on the ground floor of the parking garage (not at the check-in area which is across the street). If you arrive early (before noon), you are sent to the Queen Mary to check in. If you arrive after boarding has started, you check-in at the dome. We had Faster to the Fun (FTTF) so we arrived at 10:30. It took about 15 minutes to check-in vs about 30 for people in the regular line. We then waited until 11:45 before we were allowed to board the ship. By noon we were in our cabin dropping off our carry-on luggage. Overall a smooth process although a little disappointed with the 11:45 boarding time. Cabin: We were in 1124 which is a Ocean View Cabin. We would not recommend this cabin. Each night you could hear the loud band from night club above the room. The club closed at 12:30 so after that it was quiet. The closets have a vent behind them which causes them to be about 1 inch less deep than the clothes hangers provided. Thus, either you closet door will not close due to the clothes hangers, or you have to hang all your clothes at an angle to close the door. The vent looked unusual so it is probably a quirk of this room only. The cabin door peep hole was so scratched-up, you could not see out it. The only good thing about the cabin was that it is near the front elevators and the cabin attendant was terrific. Food: The most disappointing meal was Thanksgiving for the 2nd year in a row. The turkey tasted like press turkey (like last year on the Splendor). The pumpkin pie was a pumpkin/chocolate/gingerbread creation. Although unique food on a cruise is fun, this is one night traditional food would have been better. The best meal was the lobster (2nd night on the ship during the first formal dinner), and the Petite Filet Mignon (severed during dinner and at the Sea Day Brunch) which was one of the best I ever had. Ports: In Cabo San Lucus our daughter did the Bungee Jump. The ship does not offer this activity so we booked on our own. One thing to remember when booking a tour on your own is that ship time is one hour behind local time in both Cabo San Lucas and in Puerto Valllarta. We anchored at 9:30 ship time, which was 10:30 local time. Our excursion was set for 11:15 local time which called it close. With Faster to the Fun we were able to make it to the meeting place with 10 minutes to spare. The provider left something to be desired. First they arrived late to the meeting location (in an unmarked van). The driver then walked to a different area, out of sight, to wait for his passengers who were by the van not knowing it was their van since there was no sign. Upon arrival at the jump location (a gondola hanging on wires over a canyon), we were told that besides the $22 per person "observer fee" for mom and dad, there would be a $5 per person "park entry" fee which was not listed in the tour paperwork. The bungee jump itself was great (photo disc costs $35) and our daughter loved it. However, it was over by 12:30. We then had to wait until 3:00 for the van ride back to the ship which was about 15 minutes away. Crew: The line crew of the Carnival Miracle was great. Although you rarely got a "hello", or even eye contact, from a passing officer, the line staff was friendly, called you by name, and always had smiles on their faces. Troy, the Cruise Director, was also very friendly and it amazed us that with all the people on the ship (about 2600 with over 800 being kids) he would remember meeting you at other ship events. Kids Club (O2): Daughter said it was boring and most kids left the club and hung-out in the hot tub, at the buffet, or in other public area. Never saw a printed list of club events except for one entry per day in the daily newsletter. Last year on the Splendor Club O2 was great. This year it was a flop. Entertainment: The theater entertainment was not the best we have seen. The first night "show" was not worth going to. Carnival must own a wig company because during each dance show the dancers had wigs on which looked awful and cheap. Carnival also has cut costs by eliminating the professional show on the last night and instead has a guest talent show. Other cruises we have been on have the talent show during off peak hours. Faster to the Fun: Where to begin. Our luggage was check with the porter at 10:30. It arrived at our cabin at 4:30. 6 hours later. All three bags had the correct tags on them, and had been marked with priority stickers yet they were in the last group to be delivered. When we call Customer Service at 3:00, they seemed to genuinely care about the problem and check back with us 3 times to see if the bags arrived. They also refunded the FTTF fee due to the error. Another problem with the FTTF program was the Priority Tendering in Cabo San Lucas. FTTF guests were told to wait by Customer Service and they would be escorted to the tender boats. At 9:40, a ship officer walked past the approx 100 people waiting as he led a group of 7 towards the stairs. Nothing was said about following him but all 100 people, eagerly awaiting to leave the ship, figured out at once that he was the "escort" causing a stampede. It would have been better to line-up the FTTF/VIP people as they arrived so it would have been a more orderly process. On a plus note, the priority disembarkation went smooth. Overall, we will probably not be buying FTTF in the future based upon this cruise. Conclusion: The Miracle is a beautiful ship with an outstanding line crew. For the price of the holiday cruise, the trip was worth it. Being our 14th cruise, we have had better trips. With Royal Caribbean, and Disney, leaving the West Coast, your options are limited so you take what you can get. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
I was disappointed with Carnival. It was easily two steps down from the Celebrity Sillouhette cruise I took this summer. Huge, slow line to get onboard at Long Beach. The good: 1. Plenty of elevators so getting around was easy 2. ... Read More
I was disappointed with Carnival. It was easily two steps down from the Celebrity Sillouhette cruise I took this summer. Huge, slow line to get onboard at Long Beach. The good: 1. Plenty of elevators so getting around was easy 2. Obstructed view balcony room was a good deal and a large, comfortable room 3. Plenty of tables to eat, lots of deck chairs 4. The $35 restaurant was a ton of food and fantastic. Definitely go there. 5. Disembarkation was quick and easy. The bad: 1. The food was no better than your college dining hall (buffet). Not a lot of choices, and many choices were just blah. The pizza was ok but that got old fast. Very little variety, sometimes not heated enough, just not very good. The dining room was just - ok. It's the ugliest dining room I've seen in my life and the colors are and decor is nauseating. Some entrees were pretty good, others not so good. Variety on the menu wasn't that great either. On the Celebrity ship, the dining room food was so much better. 2. decor - this ship was decorated by someone on drugs. I still can't get past how ugly the bars, common areas, etc were. Trust me - it's like they hired someone to make the ship a parody of a gawdy casino. 3. The help - sometimes friendly but mostly indifferent. Some of the guys going around serving drinks by the pool would come by literally every 5 minutes yelling at people for "more drinks?" Super annoying and unprofessional. 4. THe ship - partially run down. My room had worn out vinyl furnishings of horrible color choices (salmon?). This ship needs an overhaul. The ride back from PV was in choppy waters and this ship tossed and turned, the room made squeaking sounds. My room was quiet normally, however, and I was on the 5th level. There were no kids on this chartered cruise so beware that the kids club is on this floor. 5. The ports on this cruise are pretty cool. Cabo is great. Puerto Vallarta is sort of in shambles but interesting nonetheless and seemed safe. 6. I was on a chartered cruise so I opted for the charter entertainment (which was good) but I didn't really get to the Carnival entertainment (which I heard was ok).   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
The name Miracle might be what Carnival was shooting for, what they delivered is another thing. Not my first cruise, but it could be my last. Cruise was a 7 night from LA, Sea, Cabo, Cabo, Puerto Vallarta, Sea, Sea. I'll be fair in ... Read More
The name Miracle might be what Carnival was shooting for, what they delivered is another thing. Not my first cruise, but it could be my last. Cruise was a 7 night from LA, Sea, Cabo, Cabo, Puerto Vallarta, Sea, Sea. I'll be fair in all aspects. Traveled with my family of 5 on two extended balconies. rooms 5140 and 6226 Embarkation: Completely smooth process. Plenty of baggage handlers to help you load. The screening, similar to that of an airport (with less restrictions on liquids) was seamless. The line to check in was a bit long at 130, but the staff was extremely helpful. First Impression: Like most, we were excited on spending family time on the ship and they always look huge upon first glance. Lunch was served upon arrival and this would be the tone for the whole trip. The food was that of a hometown buffet. Very cafeteria food that was reheated over and over again. Extremely salty and limited choices. We had hopes for change, but it would take another "Miracle" Rooms: (6226) extended balcony. Two, twins beds, with a plenty of closet space. 20' TV with plenty of channel choices. If you want to bring a blue ray, they have HDMI outputs, which will allow you to have a bigger selection of movies. The extended balcony was nice, but it is showing signs of age. the beds were comfortable enough, but the sheets were extremely worn. I had to request a change because there were some suspcious spots (maybe blood?) The bathroom had a smell of chemical that could not remove what it intended. it left a unique mix of dirty, chemically smell. Mini bar was nicely stocked. Decks: Plenty of areas to sit, several pools with hot tubs in different areas. bars at each pool. Serenity (adults only) was a nice change. I think during this trip, there were 800 kids on board. it was during Thanksgiving so it made sense, but this little retreat was nice. The Lido deck buffet...what can I say? the best: the Chicken nuggets...the rest good luck. breakfast was terrible wattery eggs, thin rubbery bacon, pancakes that were dry. Lunch: Cheeseburger and fries. Pizza line, though it was good, was a long line. around 20 mins or so at any time during the day or night. Dinner: imagine prison food, if you think steak, remember elementary Salisbury steak with fake gravy. Main Dinner: The staff was extremely nice. Since we booked late, we were placed on the "your time" dining. Come anytime from 545-930pm. the downside was that there were nights we had to wait an hour to eat, and if we came at 9, they rushed you since they had to closed down. Some interesting items but most regrettable. Like I mentioned above, we cruised during Thanksgiving, so we were expecting a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner. We'll we were wrong. Picture that of a homeless shelter dinner...gravy was grayish, ham was beyond salty. Turkey was simply bad. I am not trying to be a snob, but I use no hyperbole when I describe this portion. the desserts were ok, nothing stood out. The one positive was the wait staff, always a smile, always helpful. Casino: Standard casino with multiple BJ tables, craps, 3 card poker, tons of slots, a nice bar with live music. Staff, again, extremely nice. Shows: Went once since our dinner time fluctuated, were very well done. Band and performers were extremelly skilled. Comedy shows: George Lopez punchline shows: Smiley Joe Wiley was the absolute best, the rest...they tried. One was labeled the funniest Mom by Nick at Nite, and I'm guessing the pickings were slim. When she performed it was uncomfortable watching, it was that bad. Again, the staff was extremely kind and slightly made up for the poor food . Ports of Calls were amazing. Plenty of things to do. One thing we did, not purchasing shore excursions on the boat, but on land were considerably cheaper and usually got more services. Snorkeled, tour, and pueblo bonito resort lunch for 30/person. it is Mexico so you might be a little apprehensive about going in blind, rightly so, but if you are comfortable talking to the tour guides directly, I highly recommend doing so. PV had an amazing Zip Lining, tour of the city which included a tour of a Tequila factory, lunch, and shopping for 30/person plus 50 for zip lining if you wished to do so. Overall, family time was great, the food was regrettable. Spa treatments were great, but a little pricey. You're on vacation, so splurge a little. If you have two options side by side, really think about traveling on Miracle. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
After cruising with Celebrity a few years back (Fantastic) and on the Golden Princess (very good) we were a little apprehensive about carnival considering some of the negative reviews. Anyway, we booked and left LA on the 17th November ... Read More
After cruising with Celebrity a few years back (Fantastic) and on the Golden Princess (very good) we were a little apprehensive about carnival considering some of the negative reviews. Anyway, we booked and left LA on the 17th November 2013. Embarkation was very slow and unorganized. We were shuffled from one check in place to the next, and it seemed that no carnival staff could tell us why or what was happening. The whole process took a few hours, and I felt for the elderly standing in queue. PROS - Great balcony cabin at the rear of the ship (facing backwards). Thought we would try it and we would definitely book it again. Cabin was great, neat clean and tidy, thanks to our steward Sokotate. A great job man. Meals - Very good. No real lines for the buffet and the food was fresh and tasty. Great burgers and hotdogs out by the pool, all cooked fresh for you. A great mid afternoon snack when you've had a few beers by the pool. Dining room was good too. Not near as good as celebrity, but good never the less. Great waiters, although some nights you waited a long while to get your wine and drinks. But all in all a good experience and dinner was always very nice. Nick and Nora's specialty steak house. We ate there twice. At $35.00 a head it is unbelievable value. And one of the best steaks I've ever had. Thanks to all the very friendly staff there too. Disembarkation - was the complete opposite to embarkation. It was a breeze and very quick. The live entertainment was pretty good. A great band on board singing all the old and new hits. Really good shows too by the miracle singers and dancers. The beatle's show was excellent, well done. CONS - Some of the bartenders needed an attitude adjustment (especially in the disco) and a certain arrogant female Russian you could tell just didn't want to be there. Getting off at Puerto Vallarta was a complete nightmare. Hundreds of people line from the gangway up 3 flights of stairs to exit. When we finally got out we found out why. The whole photography staff were stopping everyone trying to take their photo. It was outrageous. We told them there were hundreds of people behind us lining up down the stairs in blistering heat, all complaining. They let us know in no uncertain terms that they didn't care. Our group of six told them where they could put their cameras. The photographers were annoying the whole trip. You couldn't eat dinner without a camera in your face most nights. I understand that some people want photos, which we did at dinner once, but not every night and when trying to eat lunch out on deck also. They employed hard sell tactics where ever they were. All photographers on board we found to be very rude, and speaking with other passengers they all felt the same too. In a nutshell, we didn't let the few rude and arrogant staff members spoil our trip. All in all a great trip, and well done and thanks Carnival. I would cruise with you guys again inn the future.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
We took the Carnival Miracle to the Mexican Riviera October 6 ''" 13 (3 days at sea, 2 days in Cabo, 1 day in Puerto Vallarta). This was our second time on a Carnival ship. Here’s my assessment Embarkation in Long Beach ... Read More
We took the Carnival Miracle to the Mexican Riviera October 6 ''" 13 (3 days at sea, 2 days in Cabo, 1 day in Puerto Vallarta). This was our second time on a Carnival ship. Here’s my assessment Embarkation in Long Beach looked like a zoo at first, but wasn't bad at all once the line began moving at 12. Within an hour we were on the ship. Debarkation took forever because we didn't do the Self-Assist. (We did that last year and it was a zoo of epic proportions.) Now, on to the details: The Good: -The cabin. We were in 4239 (portside, aft, extended balcony),and for those of you who are first-time cruisers, let me tell ya''"splurge on a balcony if you can, especially if you are going on a longer cruise (5 nights or later.) Until you’ve done it, you won’t know for certain that you like cruising and you might need a place to escape to that is entirely yours. -The service: God bless those wonderful hard-working folks that put up with our profligate ways with nary a lip-curl of disgust. They were unceasingly hospitable, courteous, and cheerful. -The entertainment''"Didn’t go to many of the events, but what I saw was fun''"the piano bar is a big hit! -The Serenity Adult Area: Really, a lovely area, replete with hammocks, shaded areas, a bar…at least early on, they had an attendant trying to monitor the ''"absentee landlords” (AKA jerkfaces that reserve the primo spots and loungers for the whole day, although they are rarely present on the deck). -The spa: If you can, indulge! Here’s a tip: most days, there’s some sort of really good deal, not just the ones listed on the Fun-Times, but a separate flyer with some good stuff. I got The Spa Pampering Package, which was a scalp massage, a deep conditioning hair treatment, a mini-facial, a hand massage, and, like three other skin treatments) for $99, advertised in a separate flyer left in our cabin. The Bad: -The majority of the food. Dear god, the food. Here’s what stood out as good: the 24-hour-pizza joint; the chicken tenders on the grill; the Chateaubriand. Everything else stuck out as supremely indifferent/mediocre in terms of quality, etc. Two disappointments that I specifically remember: the Warm Chocolate Melting Cake often came out less melting, more dense, dried cake; on disembarkation morning, the breakfast in the dining room was downright eyebrow-raising (I could and did overlook the incorrect order, but hash browns that are pale-grey on the inside, and chewy? Really?). The steakhouse was quite lovely, and worth the extra fee. The Drinks:The fruity-frou-frou drinks come pre-mixed, and are very, very sugary. My advice is, if you wish to become inebriated, stick with wines and simple spirit-based drinks (gin and tonics, vodka martinis, etc.) The level of staffing: Those folks work SO HARD, and kudos to them for that. But especially on sea days, the service was CRAZY slow at the bars and eating locations. The quirky: The phone was, quite possibly, possessed. Our next to last night on the ship, when we were in bed and halfway across the cabin, it began DIALING OUT on speaker phone, of its own volition, to the 911 emergency line on the ship. It did this at least four times in the wee hours. (Incidentally, no one ever called or came to the cabin to investigate what we might have been calling about.) Also, for some reason we were unable to set up wake-up calls; you'd press the button for that services and you'd only get silence. I thought it was just the fault of our Amityville Phone, but then I overheard several other passengers say the same thing about their inability to request wake-up calls. In Summary: Before leaving for my cruise, I found myself reading an essay by David Foster Wallace, ''"Shipping Out: On the (Nearly Lethal) Comforts of a Luxury Cruise." In it he references Carnival as ''"Carnivore” and ''"The Wal-Mart of the Industry” (don’t blame him''"or me, for that matter--we are simply repeating what others have said). At the time, I bristled; however, since my 7 night cruise to the Mexican Riviera…I see and appreciate the reference. In my experience (which in no way invalidates yours, which may have been or will be lovely), the Carnival Miracle is The Wal-Mart of the Seas, and Carnival Cruise lines is cruising for the masses. And before you say it, I am part of the masses. We all are. I'm not highfalutin, I speak with a slight Southern accent, I don't need a lot of luxury. But that’s beside the point. Simply put, I've come to find Carnival to be a rather generic cruiseline. Let’s just say that THIS member of the masses won’t be cruising on Carnival again anytime soon. No doubt she’ll be on another cruise, finding something else to critique there, too. But then, as now, at least she’ll come back with an honest opinion.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Carnival Miracle Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 3.5 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 3.5 4.0
Family 4.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 4.0
Enrichment 1.5 3.5
Service 4.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.5 4.1
Rates 3.0 4.4

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