688 Carnival Miracle Cruise Reviews

This was an absolutely wonderful cruise for the family. We have been on many cruises and this was by far, the best for kids. Carnival does it right for child safety, allergy awareness, children's programs for all ages. One ... Read More
This was an absolutely wonderful cruise for the family. We have been on many cruises and this was by far, the best for kids. Carnival does it right for child safety, allergy awareness, children's programs for all ages. One granddaughter has very special needs and they were accommodated constantly. No less than 5 ship's personnel came to discuss the special needs required. For those that wrote a negative review, I do not understand how. The only thing we found disheartening were the rude passengers. What ever happened to manners and etiquette. Some passengers total disregard for respect was unbelievable. As my parents would say....brought up in a barn! You treat people the way you would like to be treated. There wasn't one instance where ship's employees weren't professional, kind, caring, respectful and absolutely fantastic. Great itinerary but extremely hot in Mexico for summer. I would highly recommend this cruise for a family with children. Because it was summer, there were a LOT of children on board which was great for us since we had 3 kids with us. A cruise is what you make of it...and we had a blast!!! We even loved it so much we didn't go into port one day and stayed on the ship enjoying it's many amenities! Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Some tips from our recent Carnival Miracle cruise to the Mexican Riviera 1) There are not many cheap and decent places to eat, in and around the harbor front in Long Beach. We yelped a hole in the wall chinese takeout place (Wa Wa) and ... Read More
Some tips from our recent Carnival Miracle cruise to the Mexican Riviera 1) There are not many cheap and decent places to eat, in and around the harbor front in Long Beach. We yelped a hole in the wall chinese takeout place (Wa Wa) and it was fine and cheap ($8 per person). 2) A lot of people on the forum seem to stay at Maya and get a very good rate. We used the discount code found on this forum, and the description was Carnival crew only. The front desk did ask for ID and since we didn't have it, we couldn't get the $125 rate. The front desk gave us the best rate they could $287 and comped us the 8 day parking (saves on $152 from parking at the terminal). Hotel Maya was a great hotel and with great views across from the Harbor. It's a 5 minute walk to the Queen Mary. Nice pool, hot tub and well manicured grounds. It was disappointing not to get the $125 rate but the place was sold out and the front desk were willing to do the best they could. 3) Our designated time to board was 1:30. We got there at 12:00 and got through check in by 12:20. Wait in the shade, as it gets so hot. Ensure check in documents, passports and luggage tags are handy. A few people had to leave the check in line as something was amiss. I don't know if they were able to travel. 4) We brought $500 worth of pesos in advance (1 USD = 15.3 pesos from Wells Fargo) and it was so worth it, as we felt we got the best rate for excursions, taxis and other goods. One operator suggested they negotiate more favorably in pesos in Puerto Vallarta rather than Cabo. But I never felt that was the case. Some just gave me a 1:1 rate i.e they just multiplied 15.3 to the US rate and gave me a rate in pesos. I just walked away when that happened. There are so many vendors. Always negotiate. It was easy. I think they expect it too. I wrote down a bunch of prices from 100 to 1000 pesos and the equivalent in US so I had a handy reference in my wallet so I could myself what everything cost. I saw a lot of others take out their phone and use the calculator there, but the reference was much quicker and easier to use. 5) We saw a lot of people with electric fans. We brought some $2 spray bottles from Home Depot instead, and once on board, filled it with ice and cold water. Instant cheap spray which we could use all day. 6) Carnival doesn't allow you to bring bottled water on board. We brought a few reusable bottles from home and refilled them every time we ate breakfast on the Lido deck. But we also paid for two dozen water bottles that Carnival delivered to our room the first day. We asked the porter to remove all the minibar items to fit them in. The Lido deck restaurant has water stations in a number of places. I didn't like the water they had there and it tends to be warm. But there isn't much of a choice of free cold beverage other than lemonade. That got tiring after a few days. The fridge we had wouldn't stay cold, so we had to swap it out. Just ask the porter if there's any problem with the room. They are more than happy to help. 7) Our cabin was just the standard size. But with the added balcony, it made the room that much bigger, and we could spread out and have some quiet time. We made a conscious effort to keep the room somewhat tidy, so we could find what we needed quickly. We left copies of the Fun times, card keys, phones and sunglasses always in the same place. It just made leaving the room that much quicker everyday 8) Our cabin had only one main outlet. We brought an extension cord and it was very useful to use that to recharge laptops, ipads and phones overnight. We also used a small brick battery charger to quickly charge our ipads, but we didn't use it that much. I also brought a laptop and memory card reader so I could transfer all the videos and photos I took that day, crop and clean up any photos and have a fresh card for the following day. It wasn't a chore to clean up the pictures. I just did it out on the deck and we had some great memories after the trip was over. Carnival has lots of photographers taking pictures at every opportunity - dinner, walking around the popular decks, upon exiting the boat, and on the excursions themselves. The prices were expensive. So save your money, bring a decent camera and a selfies stick and do it yourself. The pictures will be a lot more personal and timely. I brought my DSLR and a few nice lenses. The only lens which I really used was the 24-70. All the longer lenses were not really used. I used a shoulder bag to carry it along with my phone, wallet, Carnival cards and water bottles and it leaves your hands free if you want to video anything on the way with a selfie stick. It wasn't cumbersome and I felt safe everywhere I went. 9) If there's a number of you travelling and staying in multiple cabins, it's useful to leave a pad of paper stuck outside your door. I saw a number of people do that. It lets others know where you are and where you can meet up, if you're not around. 10) The cabin porter left a copy of the Ships Fun Times brochure after dinner. We always picked up an extra copy or two on Lido deck (by the coffee bar) or in the Main dining room. There's a perforated strip that provides a useful summary of all the activities by time and location. Having that with us really helped us plan the days activities. 11) We did laundry once on the trip. It cost $6 to wash and dry and we were able to get change from guest services. They also provide a wash and sold service for $15 if you prefer. We brought some kitchen garbage bags with us and some washing powder The bags were useful to enable us to carry laundry and also to keep wet clothes or sandals away from other items on beach days. We did bring some spare beach towels with us, but in hindsight it was a waste since the ship's towels were perfectly fine for beach use. They even replaced the towels after a day at the beach when we returned to the ship. 12) We played mini golf and table tennis a bunch of times on Lido deck 9. You can pick up the balls at the Towel station on the pool deck since they're not always stocked by the golf course. The gym which initially we found hard to find (all the way at the end and through the mens and womens salon) gets busy in the morning. The treadmills especially get taken first. 13) We ate in the Main Dining room every day for dinner. We dressed up, but there are plenty of people who were quite casual i.e sports shirts with shorts and sandals. No one bothered them. The food in the Main dining is nicer but I wouldn't say that anything really wowed me at dinner. But it was better than the buffet on Lido deck. At various times they had prime rib, lobster, shrimp and steak. They also serve ice cold water. That was welcome since it was so hot and humid every day. The water at the buffet on Lido deck was never cold and it didn't taste very good. We had lunch on Lido deck most days unless we had an excursion. The pizza was very good and always a safe option. They use Caputo 00 flour (which I use at home to make Margheritas) so it was authentic and very good. The hamburgers were always freshly grilled and that too was a good option. They had chinese every day and it was not very good at all. There was plenty of choice but the quality was poor and the lines were always the longest. I noticed a few times that the same food they had at the Main dining room the previous night was served at the Chinese station, the following day. I'm picky when it comes to chinese food. I tried it once and once was enough. The flavor was just not there. The salad bar was good and so was the hot Deli, particularly the hand carved turkey and the wraps. But the line here can be long as well, since they only have one grill per Deli station 14) Brunch in the Main Dining room was much better than breakfast on Lido deck. There is a much better selection of breakfast food including the usual bacon and eggs and freshly made omelettes. But in addition they do have pancakes, french toast, different kinds of sausage, huevos rancheros. They provide a whole plateful of nice little pastries. Since it's brunch they have a number of lunch time entrees including pork chops and steak and eggs. The steak is actually filet mignon. It was probably the steak from Nick and Nora's that they couldn't sell from the previous night. If you eat there, there's an upcharge of $35 per person or $20 in the Main Dining room. Instead, just have brunch here, save the money and eat better quality steak for free. The coffee for one thing is also much better. Lido deck breakfast felt a bit same and a bit rushed. Brunch felt more relaxing and the service was great. Coffee and drinks are always refilled and the food came hot and fresh quickly. Brunch is casual (unlike at dinner) and runs from 8:30am to 1:00 pm from the second through to the sixth day. If you can, I would eat here for breakfast every day. But try it at least once and early in your trip. You can always go back to Lido deck if you like. But we never did. The other thing to note, is that Lido deck can get pretty busy at lunch. On the sixth day, they had a chocolate party. At one of the stations, you good choose from a variety of fruit and have it dipped in chocolate. They also had a lot of decorative chocolate cakes. The lines were huge and tables were at a premium. 15) Coffee was bad on Lido Deck, but I brought my Aeropress with me and some ground beans. Hot water I was able to get from Lido Deck. We had a balcony so being able to enjoy fresh coffee in the morning on deck was well worth it and very relaxing. The extra room we had with the balcony was also money well spent. It just made the cabin seem that much bigger. 16) We checked the weather forecast for the days we were in Cabo and Puerto Vallarta and it was supposed to be raining with thunderstorms every day. In reality, the weather was fabulous. If anything it was too hot and humid. But I never saw rain. The jackets we brought with us were never used but we did bring some floppy hats. If we hadn't the heat and humidity would have been too much. 17) We stopped at Cabo for 2 days and we never booked any tours in advance. There are plenty of operators vying for business once you get to the Marina. Tender tickets were available the day before but it was easy to get a boat. We got off at 10 am. The following day, no tender tickets were necessary. 18) We deliberated over whether to purchase the Faster to the Fun ticket ($50) i.e to get prioritized boarding and first access to the tenders. But we never did in the end and I'm glad we never paid for it, since boarding was fast (20 min) and we got a tender boat easily after lining up for a tender ticket. I don't think FTTF is worth the money at all. Only Cabo is a tender port and tickets weren't even necessary on the second day. And it's wasted on Puerto Vallarta since the boat docks right on the pier. 19) We negotiated a water taxi tour of the Arch, Lovers Beach, Divorce Beach, seal watch and other rock formations and then to Medano Beach. The operators were asking for $10 US per person. We got it down to 100 pesos each roundtrip (about $6 pp). There's also a $1 group departure fee that you pay the gate operator. That tour, which takes about 45 minutes is well worth the money. You visit a number of places. You're out on the water and the driver drops you off anywhere on Medano Beach. Just note that you're in a water taxi and you'll get out into ankle deep water, so don't wear any nice shoes. We had our water shoes on and once on the beach we were able to kick back and relax and head to the ocean. We asked to be dropped off at Tobascos Beach Resort restaurant. This was a good choice and it's much quieter here, you don't get hassled as much by beach vendors and the sand and water here is really nice. Another plus, is that the food and drinks are priced in pesos and seem to be a cheaper than the main drag i.e 95 pesos for 3 tacos, 30 pesos for smoothies, 60 pesos for 2 cocktails. There are bathrooms here and all the tables are in shade or have umbrellas attached. Beach vendors were asking for $10 to rent umbrellas and $15 to rent loungers. We didn't bother since we just hung around the restaurant and bought a few drinks once in a while. It was so casual, lazy and laid back. It was a really good choice and we would definitely go back there. You're right on the sand. Absolutely one of the best days we had. Cheap and very relaxing. The servers really took good care of us and didn't mind us hanging onto the table once we ate our food. Another plus is the location. It's away from the main strip of bars, restaurants and hotels on Medano Beach. I didn't see many people come this way so the tables were always available and the beach is not very crowded at all, unlike the main Medano strip. So perhaps that was another reason why the servers didn't rush us out. Service was relaxed and I had a nice conversation with a few of the staff when they weren't busy. It's very laid back and they understand you're there to relax and have a good time. Wonderful place to stop by and very family friendly. 20) We never spent much time in the shops or restaurants in the Marina in Cabo. They seemed over priced. We also never used the costly wifi on the ship. They have a pay as you go service for 75c minute. There are also various prepaid plans i.e 45 min for $29 (64c/min), 120 min for $59 (49c min), 240 min for $89 (37c min) or 480 min for $159 (38c min) We didn't want to pay for wifi on the boat. We found good free wifi inside an information desk building (next to La Taverna GastroBar) in the Marina. There are lots of seating and restrooms here with cooling fans and it was free to use. The place is next to the strip of places where all the operators have their business. We waited inside, cooled off and checked our email. Much more pleasant and free. 21) Some negotiated prices for excursions were Parasailing for two people at $70 US. Ziplining was about $80 US. A two hour tour of the city was 900 pesos for 4 people (about $15 each. Originally he asked for $25). We did the tour in the end and to be honest it was worth it. They provide some ice cold water and there are stops at a church, restaurant, bottle factory and some time for shopping. We usually avoid city tours and prefer to do our own thing, but it was so hot and humid outside that I didn't think they would last the morning. Overall it was a good choice, but I wouldn't do it again. It is useful though to get your bearings and see where you would like to go next time you're back. So do it once and let someone else do the driving On the driving front, just know that the drivers here are a little crazy. They're constantly weaving in and out of traffic and they're rushing the turns and cutting others off. It happened everywhere we went in Cabo and Puerto Vallarta. I'm glad I didn't drive here. Even with a GPS, I think it might be difficult to find your way around. Some of the roads are very narrow and cars are often illegally parked and paid parking often looked full and difficult to find. 22) In Cabo, I yelped a few local restaurants in advance and decided on Taco Guss. At the end of the tour, we asked the driver to drop us off there for lunch. This place came highly recommended on yelp and I can see why. Great local food and very cheap. 20 pesos for tacos ($1.20) and there's a family style make your own fajitas called Parrilladas with a whole bunch of grilled meats for 180 pesos ($12) for two. In reality it was enough food for four. The Al Pastor was fabulous. You can see them carving it from the spit out front. It was fresh and delicious. That place was was well worth a stop and about 10 min walk back to the Marina. If you want to find this place and many of the other yelp recommended ones, just exit the back of the Marina (where all of the tour operators have their premises). You'll come to a car park and walk to the right onto Marina Blvd. The road goes straight and also curves to the right. If you go straight, you'll find Lazaro Cardenas and that's where Taco Guss and other local eateries are. It's a 10 minute walk from the Marina. These are hole in the wall places, and often they're not air conditioned and the menu is priced in pesos. But the food is a lot better and cheaper than the places you'll find in the Marina. Well worth it and we'd definitely go back there again. There are plenty of other recommended local places around here and we felt perfectly safe walking around. There are lots of souvenir places and pharmacies close by. Plenty of street signs but no street numbers that I was aware of. So if you're looking specifically for a place, ask around. People were really friendly and happy to help. But write addresses and other important stuff down, especially if you're reliant on your phone and if you're not able to get internet access it can be frustrating. We saved maps for offline use in advance before the trip and it made getting around and finding places in Mexico that we wanted to visit that much easier. 23) There is no tender for Puerto Vallarta. The ship docks so it's much easier to get on and off the boat. There's a tent just outside the main gangway where people could wait for all the Carnival excursions in the shade. 24) Before you walk outside the gate, there is a round white building, where you can get some money changed and also purchase wifi access. I couldn't find any free wifi and even in the Malecon near Starbucks and McDonalds, there was no free wifi. Everything was fee based 25) There are white taxis and motor coaches just outside the gates of the marina. A few people I know took taxis to the Malecon and it cost between $6 and $10. However if you take a left outside the marina (near to the gas station), you can pick up a yellow taxi and negotiate a fare. The cab drivers asked for around 80 pesos. After negotiation it cost us 50 pesos (about $3) to head into old town and the Malecon. Bring pesos, it's much easier and negotiation always seem to be expected. I think Carnival does a paid excursion into town, but I think this is something that you can easily do yourself and it's cheap and on your own time. 26) We did the Caletas island getaway. It was our only Carnival purchased excursion of our trip and it was definitely worth it. They take you on a 45 minute Catamaran ride to an exclusive resort. It was just for our use. There were no vendors hassling us and the beach and water was fabulous. It was much better than the Malecon. All the alcoholic drinks on board were free. The hosts (Vallarta adventures) were great. The water activities i.e kayaking, snorkelling and paddle boating were all free. So was the kids adventure park (ziplining, mule ride, rope bridge stuff). There were other paid activities such as a speedboat ride to the the sea lion enclosure ($69 for 2 people) and the scuba diving. Lunch is provided and was suprisingly good. It was a better lunch than the stuff they had on Lido deck. The only negative is that you don't really have too much time to enjoy the beach and water sports, particularly if you do any of the other activities. It felt a bit rushed and left the resort at 3:15. We arrived around 11. So make sure you really want to do any of the optional activities. To be honest we had more fun just doing the kayaking and paddle boating and relaxing in the hammocks and enjoying the free drinks. But the kids did enjoy the sea lion visit and it wasn't that expensive. The hosts made the trip on the way back very entertaining. Lots of loud party music. The drinks were flowing and they kept us very entertained. Also the views heading to Caletas are spectacular on the water. There are a number of private seafront homes on the hills which are beautiful. I can see why this excursion in particular in popular. Beforehand I thought why not just go to the Malecon and do a cheap beach day out there, but it doesn't compare. This place was much nicer 27) Regarding the Malecon and old town. The main strip is pedestrian friendly. Lots of picture taking opportunities and sculptures around. There are lots of cheap places to eat. There are lots of food truck type places along the side streets with tacos going between 10 and 15 pesos (less than a $1). I saw a lot of locals line up at these places. They were very popular. The Malecon is great for people watching, but I'm glad we didn't spend a beach day there or spent much time there at all. We were ready to go back after an hour or two. There's no rush to do the Malecon. We came back from a day out at Caletas round 6 pm and dropped our stuff back on board the ship, took a shower and headed back out. There was plenty of time to do everything we wanted as we had to be back by 8:30 pm 28) On the way back, there are lots of taxis close to the main Malecon strip and up various side streets. Before negotiation it was about $8 or 120 pesos. We took a ride back for 80 pesos (about $5). We asked the driver to stop at Walmart instead of the Marina since we wanted to buy some cheap souvenirs 29) Walmart is about a 15 minute walk along a busy highway to the left of the Marina. We did it on the way back in a taxi since we didn't want to carry any purchases with us, while we walked around the Malecon. Again having pesos was very useful. We bought a ton of cheap souvenirs. I thought the mugs for 50 pesos ($3) was good value and made a cheap and useful gift. It'a Super Walmart and the locals shop here, so everything is quite cheap. But just be careful of the traffic on the highway heading back to the Marina. It flows quickly and you may have to make a dash across to the other side 30) On sea days, the Lido deck (where the pools are) can get very busy. People aren't supposed to save deck chairs but they do. One very nice area, is the Serenity bar area in the front of the ship on Lido deck, where they have these cool multi person loungers which are covered from all sides except for the opening. They were taken on a daily basis very quickly. But if you grab one, it makes for a very relaxing morning or afternoon. 31) We went to a few comedy shows after the early dinner (7:45 pm and 8:45 pm) at the front of Deck 1. They were quite good and family friendly. If you sit in the chairs in front, you may be part of the show. Try and get there at least 20 min before it's due to start or it'll be standing room only. The X Rated shows at 10:45 and 11:45 were also quite good. Not as popular since there are no kids around, but plenty of seating 32) We also enjoyed the Red Frog Pub on Deck 2. It's family friendly. There's a foosball table, shuffleboard, dart board and board games that you can use. They also have live music. But the place is not that big and there aren't that many tables to sit at. They sometimes have casual shuffeboard tournaments here. It's low key and fun, even if you don't drink. Plus there's a taster station just outside where you can sample small plates from the steakhouse for free. 33) We also sat down to Hasbros game show event (Phantom theater on Deck 2 forward). The compere picks two teams of players and they take part in a large Connect 4 game using basketballs on stage and also a Simon matching game. There's also some trivia with Scattergories and trivial pursuit. It's more fun to take part, but they only choose 4-5 per team. I think the secret to getting picked is to catch the compere's eye and do something crazy i.e handstand, funny move or something out of the ordinary. Sit closer to the aisles and be nearer the front or middle. No one was picked in the back 34) We tried bingo a few times (Phantom Theater on Deck 2 Forward). 30 min before it starts, you can buy the bingo cards. It was $40 for 3 sets of 9 cards and $30 for 3 sets of 6 cards. Essentially you have 9 or 6 chances to win in each game of 3. They charge $2 for a big red bingo marker, or you can use a pencil, or just bring a marker and use that instead. Prizes ranged from $100 to $300, with a big prize at the end of around $2500. We were one away from the big prize. If you've played in a prior session, and want to play again, pick up a white card and fill it in and get an assistant's attention. It saves you from having to wait in line again and you get a free purple card to use in the final game. 35) For disembarkation, you have the option of leaving your luggage out the night before and they'll be delivered by Carnival at the terminal the following morning or you can do it yourself. We did it ourselves and it was much faster. They have set times by which certain decks may head to the gangway on deck 3. Our deck was scheduled for 8:30-8:45 and it was called before then. We were at the parking garage at 8:45 and on the shuttle back to Hotel Maya before 9 am. I mentioned earlier that it wasn't worth the money for FTTF, and there was certainly no benefit for us in disembarkation. 36) We ended up spending very little on the cruise. We bought it through Priceline.com. They were the cheapest and had the most selection of cabins. Another plus was the 5% money back from discover and the $150 hotel coupon that could be used on priceline express hotels. We picked the Hyatt Place hotel close to LAX airport for a one day post trip stay. It was a nice place to stay. Free wifi, parking, breakfast, small pool and hot tub and large clean rooms with Directv. Close to the freeway and about 2 miles from Costco for gas and lots of ethnic restaurants. It was a really good choice. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
I planned this trip for my mother's birthday and Mother's Day celebration. It was a 7 night, 8 day cruise to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas Mexico. Getting on the ship was simple, but getting to our cabin...was a ... Read More
I planned this trip for my mother's birthday and Mother's Day celebration. It was a 7 night, 8 day cruise to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas Mexico. Getting on the ship was simple, but getting to our cabin...was a bit up in the air. There was no one around to guide us to where we needed to go, but eventually, we found our cabin. The daily activities were awesome. There was always something fun to do around the clock, and something for all ages. Some of my favorite activities were Karaoke, Comedy Night and HASBRO The Game Show! Not a dull moment. Dr. Frankenstein's Lab (night club) was fun, however, there could have been a better DJ. The staff was really nice, and would greet you every time you walked by, and most made it their business to remember your name! Our Cabin Steward WILLIAM (Deck 5 MIDSHIP) was amazing!!! Very sweet guy! The food was DELICIOUS. There may have been one or two nights where it was just okay as far as options, but for the most part, the meals were on point. All of the dinning staff were great and fun. Our waiter EKA was entertaining, with a friendly approach! Overall, I enjoyed every inch of this ship, all the activities, sports bar, customer service, hospitality and accommodations. I would definitely recommend this cruise line to others, and will make sure my next cruise is with Carnival! Thank you! Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
DH & I sailed on the Carnival Miracle out of Long Beach on Saturday 4/25/15. We live about an hour north of Long Beach, arrived at the terminal around 11 am, parked, gave our luggage to the porter, made our way to the FTTF line, ... Read More
DH & I sailed on the Carnival Miracle out of Long Beach on Saturday 4/25/15. We live about an hour north of Long Beach, arrived at the terminal around 11 am, parked, gave our luggage to the porter, made our way to the FTTF line, handed over our documents to the young man helping us out & before I knew it, we were saying "cheese" for our S&S cards!. We had about a 20 minute wait until they began boarding & we on the Lido deck by 12 noon having our first DOD, the Fun Ship! We decided right then & there to sign up for the "Cheers" package - more on that later. We enjoyed breakfast each day at the buffet on the Lido Deck, lots of variety to choose from for both breakfast & lunch (although we preferred the pizza each day for lunch). We never ate dinner at the buffet as we really enjoy being "waited on" when it comes to dinner. We had ATD, arrived at our dining room around 6:30 each night & were promptly given a pager. We then turned the corner & sat at the bar outside the art gallery and by the time that Joanne had our drinks in front of us our pager would go off. I'd say the longest wait we had was on the 2nd sea day evening & it was over 30 minutes. Each meal we had in the MDR was fantastic & the service was always on point! I'm truly in love with the Warm Chocolate Melting Cake, although I know that it's not for everyone. We really enjoyed the Serenity Deck & received great service from I Made & Gedde - by the 2nd day (Sunday) they both knew our names and what our favorite drinks were. The pool on the Serenity deck was refreshingly COLD and the hot tub was always full so I can't comment on the water temp. There didn't seem to be any chair hogs the 3 1/2 days we were there, in fact people were more willing to more over to accommodate groups wanting to sit together. The shows were good (88 Keys & Heart of Soul were my favorites) but we didn't make it to any of the comedy shows. the EA Sports Bar was never overly busy each time we stopped by & the Red Frog Pub was pretty slow during our last day at sea (too windy to be up top on Serenity, we decided to drink our way through the day). Be sure to stop in & try the Fried Frog Balls...delicious! Our ports of call were Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan & Puerto Vallarta. In Cabo we bar hopped with friends we made from our Roll Call; in Mazatlan we did the Colonial Villages of the Sierra Madre tour & in Puerto Vallarta we did the Las Caletas Hideaway (both tours book through Carnival). Our room steward Orland was a sweetheart, we never wanted for anything as he always seemed to anticipate our needs. We had Balcony Room 6238. The night we left Cabo, I stayed in & ordered room service (it was ok, nothing to write home about) and DH went to the Lido for pizza. When Orland saw DH coming back to the room without me, Orland inquired about my whereabouts, hubby explained I'd had too much fun in Cabo and was staying in. Orland said that if I needed anything to please let him know (he'd be in our wing for about another hour that night) and he'd be more than willing to get us what we desired (even asked if I might want ice cream from the soft serve machine). We tipped him each day but I don't really think that played into the kind, compassionate person that he is. Last, but not least, the Cheer Beverage Program.....we purchased it & really wished that we hadn't. For starters, 15 drinks a day is A LOT of beverages for those who are moderate social drinkers. I have friends who can drink 15 without batting an eye (at the river in 100+ degree heat beer tends to go down like water) but for myself & DH it was just too much. We were drinking mixed drinks to get the most bang for our buck but switched to just beer by the time we got back on the ship after the day in Mazatlan. I love MIami Vice, Greyhounds, Bloody Mary's, Jack & Coke..........but I just couldn't stomach another "bang for the buck" drink! Second of all, we had 3 days in port...........when we got back onto the ship each night we felt as though we "had" to drink as much as we could to reach our breakeven point on the program (depending on the type of drink, our breakeven was anywhere from 6-9 drinks per day). Friends from our Roll Call told us about an experiment they did on a cruise the prior November in which they DIDN'T purchase Cheers; they compared the invoice from the non-Cheers cruise to an invoice from a cruise 6 months before that when they did purchase Cheers - they came in under $60 on the Non-Cheers cruise!! At least for my DH & myself, we won't spend the money on Cheers program next time around, al a carte is the only way for us :) Ah the next time..........yes, I had such a great time on the Miracle & the Mexican Riviera that we are looking at either the Breeze or Freedom Western Caribbean itinerary for our next cruise. I might have been skeptical in the beginning, but Carnival & their crew have turned me into a Cruise-aholic!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
My husband & I sailed in the Miracle out of Long Beach on 4/25/15. We only live over an hour away & having purchased FTTF, I was more than ready to leave for port that Saturday morning. Parking was a breeze, handing off our luggage ... Read More
My husband & I sailed in the Miracle out of Long Beach on 4/25/15. We only live over an hour away & having purchased FTTF, I was more than ready to leave for port that Saturday morning. Parking was a breeze, handing off our luggage to the porter was another breeze & having FTTF was the best ever!! There was one family of 5, and a single cruiser with FTTF reps when we got in line around 11:30; because I had completed online check-in the night prior our check-in didn't even take 10 minutes!! Had about a 20 minute wait until the doors opened but we were on the ship by noon!! We enjoyed 3 of the 4 shows (didn't see one because we crashed early) but didn't make it to any of the comedy shows. By the end of the cruise I was very tired of the buffet for breakfast, although we did eat in the MDR for breakfast twice. We had anytime dining and only had a long wait between courses on the last night. The chocolate melting cake is to die for!! We loved the Serenity area of the ship & had the best bartender, I Made, and waiter, Gedde; they knew both of our names & what we love to drink by Sunday!! Another favorite bartender of ours was Joanne was waited on us each night before we headed into dinner. Her bar is located outside the art gallery. All 3 ports were great; Cabo San Lucas (one of the 1st tenders into port thanks to FTTF), Mazatlan & Puerto Vallarta. We felt safe in all 3 ports and had no qualms with taking shore excursions in Mazatlan or Puerto Vallarta - our safety was their first concern. I had a cold that got progressively worse the deeper we got into the cruise. The first night that I turned in early our room steward, Orland, caught up to my hubby by the elevator as hubby was going to dinner alone. Having seen the "snoozing" placard on our door, Orland was concerned & asked to let him know if there was anything he could do to help make me more at ease. Orland was still doing turn down service when my hubby returned from dinner with ice cream for "me"...... Yes for hubby, lol ....... And Orland offered to get me more if I needed it. I wasn't sure if cruising was really up my alley, but after being home for over a month & a half, I'm actually itching to book again!! Needless to say, I feel that the customer service we received on board really convinced me that I do like to cruise!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
I just returned from a great cruise on the Miracle. It was it's second cruise out of drydock and the ship was so pretty. We purchased faster to the fun a few weeks before the cruise and this was my fourth cruise with Carnival and ... Read More
I just returned from a great cruise on the Miracle. It was it's second cruise out of drydock and the ship was so pretty. We purchased faster to the fun a few weeks before the cruise and this was my fourth cruise with Carnival and first with fttf. We purchased fttf for priority boarding and debarkation. However, when we arrived in the port of Long Beach, we checked in quickly but spent a long time waiting to board the ship!!! We checked in around 11:00 and were supposed to begin boarding. We saw people still getting off the ship from the previous cruise and still some were getting off after 12:00 pm. This was angering since I wanted quick boarding. Finally, after 12:20 we got to board the ship. The lido buffet was impresive and the ship was amazing with the recent renovations. This is a Spirit class ship and I was able to navigate easily due to my 2010 Carnival Spirit cruise. With faster to the fun, our staterooms were ready early so we checked them out after lunch. The extended bowling alley balcony was huge and a large group could have been out there. The rooms were so clean and I loved the smells of the ship. We ate at Nick and Nora's the first night and lets just say that nobody leaves hungry. The food was delicious and if you are interested, get the surf and turf. I love lobster and the filet mignon was really good. The next day at sea was chilly and cloudy but thats ok since the Miracle had many activities onboard. If it's chilly on deck, you can get hot chocolate in the lido. The next day in Cabo was warm and sunny. We arrived scheduled time at 11:00 am. The captain decided instead of leaving at scheduled time of 7:00, we would leave at 7:30 so we would get more time. Mazatlan was nice and sunny but I did not get off. The views of the city from the ship are impressive. All port views are though. The next day in Puerto Vallarta, we got off to go jet skiing and get Pepsi's. The weather was fantastic there. There is a Walmart and Sam's Club right across the street from where the ship docks in PV. We also explored the mall there. The next two days at sea went by fast but were relaxing. Again the weather was sunny but it was a little chilly. We had quick debarkation in Long Beach with fttf. It was sad to get off but I know we will cruise again. To summarize the ship, here we go. The ship is a Spirit class. They are very easy to get around. I felt like I was on a brand new cruise ship due to the drydock. The red frog pub was really neat and the SkyBox Sports Bar was so nice inside. They even have ipads to play video games on even. The Alchemy Bar was nice to walk through but I think it is only opened at night. Be sure to go to the Cherry on Top. I got some really good candy which I enjoyed. The rest of the ship was nice. I walked through Gatsby's Garden a lot which is not really used. The comedy club is a great place to go to and the comedians are so funny! So I enjoyed the cruise so much and I hope a lot of people get a chance to sail onboard the Miracle soon someday. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We love the Spirit class ships! The Miracle looked very spiffy after her recent drydock on March 28th,2015. We drove up from San Diego and found parking on the top floor of the garage at the port around 10:30AM. We had FTTF so check in was ... Read More
We love the Spirit class ships! The Miracle looked very spiffy after her recent drydock on March 28th,2015. We drove up from San Diego and found parking on the top floor of the garage at the port around 10:30AM. We had FTTF so check in was quick and painless. There was a wait to board as 2 wedding parties embarked first and one of the grooms couldn't be found and ran up after everyone else in his group had gotten on! We finally got on board and to our mid ship balcony by about 12:30. Everything was ready for us so we dropped our stuff and went to lunch. Our steward Randy,was there to greet us and even the assistant ,I Wayan,knew our names immediately! We were thrilled to find out that I Wayan got promoted to full steward on his b-day during the cruise! He deserved it!!! Generally speaking we are happy with the buffet choices. I'd say on this cruise the "chef's choice " at lunch had too many Caribbean dishes but other than that we really didn't miss the fact that the drydock did not include Guys Burgers or the Taco place that other 2.0 ships have gotten. Hamburgers and tacos are not particularly special meals for us! I loved the new Red Frog Pub with its Caribbean atmosphere, pub games, quizzes and delicious dark rum to taste! They also had bar snacks to go with the drinks! I didn't get to taste the new drinks at the Alchemy Bar but it looked like fun! I have to say that this is the first time I noticed a Cruise Director who made a positive difference in the atmosphere on board! We had Cory and he was just great! I usually don't even notice the cruise director and just think they are annoying but I really liked Cory's energy, involvement with the passengers, and organization of activities! The VIFP party was the best we have experienced! Folks had written complaints about the new shows but I loved 88 Keys with classic rock . The performers had great voices, energy and it was just a really fun night. We didn't go to the 2nd show because 80s pop is not our music but I imagine the performance was also a good one. I was told by the Hotel Director, Stephen, that each cruise after ours would have one more of these new shows until all 4 routines were learned by the cast. Our disappointment was only that with only 2 shows on our sailing they filled in the entertainment with juggler/comedians and they got "tired" after a while! One would have been fine but 3 on different days was just too much!!!! We are very comfy in Mexico so port days for us were about walking around, eating/drinking and just people watching. We had wanted to take the Sayulita excursion in Puerto Vallarta but it was canceled. Perhaps since it was Holy Week(Semana Santos) in Mexico , the crowds/traffic would have been too congested? We only do Any Time Dining and were not disappointed! Our wait staff, headed by Eduardo and assisted by I Putu that we asked for each night, knew just what we wanted and gave us wonderful service! I know we surprised them because we always told them there's too much to eat and we cannot finish it! It was not hard to find things on the menu since there's always steak and salmon and the Indian food I love if the daily menu doesn't excite us. On board the Miracle may not have every new bell and whistle but we always find things to do! We love the Serenity Area. We played a lot of trivia and I took a line dance class every time one was offered! I must mention Jonathan the dance teacher from the entertainment staff! I do a lot of dancing and can learn the routines quickly but Jonathan was the only teacher I have experienced on board who really cared that EVERYONE feel comfy and learn the steps. He went out of his way to make this happen for all level dancers. We like to get off quickly so since we had FTTF and we can carry our luggage, we were literally the first folks to the garage at the end of the cruise. I think we were off by about 8:30AM. Since we were early we had no trouble paying the parking fee and getting on the road home. We are looking forward to our first Caribbean cruise in October but also to our next cruise on the Miracle in Spring of 2016!! We just love her!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Had a great time...my 14th cruise, maybe 6-8 with carnival...Ship was spotless, Casino was fun..lots to do...Trisha in housekeeping was excellent..always around, and very helpful...our room was spotless at all times..Shows were good, ... Read More
Had a great time...my 14th cruise, maybe 6-8 with carnival...Ship was spotless, Casino was fun..lots to do...Trisha in housekeeping was excellent..always around, and very helpful...our room was spotless at all times..Shows were good, comedian was Great! Food was a nice verity, but room temperature....Sad that you now have to purchase a (coke) card for $50, to have a soda, years back, we also got a basket in the restroom filled with useable items, ie, toothpaste, lotion, shaver, soap, asprin, etc..Really have cut back on the small stuff... Overall great week! Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Just wanted to post a short review as we just got off of the Miracle to the Mexican Riviera. We've sailed on Carnival before (as well as Holland America, Princess, Norwegian, etc). Also, we've sailed this route before and ... Read More
Just wanted to post a short review as we just got off of the Miracle to the Mexican Riviera. We've sailed on Carnival before (as well as Holland America, Princess, Norwegian, etc). Also, we've sailed this route before and didn't have any plans to even get off the ship. I was sailing with DH, my DS (13) and DD (10). We were in Ocean Suite 6158 on the port side. We had driven to the port the day before and Saturday was beautiful so we walked around Long Beach and rented a little boat for an hour and drove it around the harbor and around the Miracle which the kids thought was really fun! It was HOT day!! We could see that people were still disembarking around 11:30 and around 12:30 just starting to cross the bridge onto the ship. We headed to the ship and there was NO PARKING at all. The garage was full as well as outside, I was a little bit panicked, but finally after three go arounds, they let us (and another truck) into a closed off area and we found spots. Whew Because we were in the OS we got to go to the priority boarding room, which was AWESOME! The lines were HUGE to get registered, we werent right through security (no line) and they didn't even inspect the wine, or waters, or sodas we had all packed in one rolly suitcase. We came around a corner and MORE LINES of people waiting to get their cards. The lady saw we had our cards and we got to right on the ship. I felt really bad for everyone in those lines, it was hot! Our room was ready so we headed right there and were suprised by how large it was. The double sink in the bathroom and tub were really nice and the size of the balcony was really great. It had two chairs, a table and recliner. (hint: one of the chair backs reclines so you could really make the chairs into a recliner of sort). Oh, and there were two electric plugs in the room. One in the "dressing area" of the bathroom, and one behind the TV. I was glad we had brought a white extension cord with us. Also under the TV (on the wall) was a connector for a DVD player (with red, white, yellow) plugs. We thought the ship looked like it was in great shape and loved the layout, maybe the most out of all of the ships I've been on. Food: We thought the dining room food was great, always warm, and plentiful. We did not eat there on elegant nights, but saw some crazy "non-elegant" clothing. We did not eat at the steak house either. We usually do, but Nick and Nora's is kind of a strange location and "open to the elevators" not an enclosed restaurant. We all liked the pizza and deli's. The kids loved the 24 hours ice cream. My DS loved the burgers and fries (but why do they close at 6pm??? each day?) Breakfast was good, there were 3 or 4 omelette/egg stations open. Entertainment: We didn't go to any, but my DS did win the James Bond trivia with no help from mom or dad. There were alot of adult groups playing, and he did a great job. The Love and Marriage show was fun, and we played bingo once. Excursions: We planned on staying on the ship in all three ports, but ended up taking the tender into Cabo late afternoon and took a boat out around the arch and point ($30 for the four of us). In Mazatlan we stayed on the ship and in Puerto Vallarta we took the city bus for $3 for all of us to the Malecon and walked around then took the bus back. We really enjoyed the pool on the days we were in port and everyone was off of the ship. We did hang a ENO double nest hammock on our balcony on port days which was awesome. Our room steward was awesome, her name is Sunny and she was so sweet. There was no "basket of goodies" in our bathroom. We saw tons of wildlife: dolphins, whales, turtles, sea lions fro our balcony whcih we used a LOT. One complaint besides burger grill closing at 6pm was the TV remote in the cabins. They've gone to a throwaway remote and it is HORRIBLE. If you get frustrated, your room steward can't switch them out, but call guest services and they will bring you a "old school" remote. Also the TV channels are in Florida, so the timing is strange. DISEMBARKATION: I have never ever seen so much "self assist" folks. It took them almost 2 1/2 hours JUST to get those folks off the ship. We were group 4 and got off the ship at 11!   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Okay, so the title says it all - goodbye. In all seriousness, it doesn’t even come close. It’s just that we experienced so many wonderful people and events on our recent Carnival Miracle cruise to Mexico, there just aren’t enough ... Read More
Okay, so the title says it all - goodbye. In all seriousness, it doesn’t even come close. It’s just that we experienced so many wonderful people and events on our recent Carnival Miracle cruise to Mexico, there just aren’t enough superlatives in the English language to properly describe how great it was. Let’s start with the weather. We have made this particular cruise journey about 20 times. In all those experiences, we had bad weather either coming or going, or the temperatures in Mexico were either too hot, or too bloody hot. This time, the sun was out every single day, the sea air was shirt-sleeve comfortable, and not a single drop of rain hit our bodies. As a result, the seas were clear and glass-smooth, and anything swimming above or below was readily available for ogling with the naked eye. There – for the more prurient, I just used “naked” in my review. We saw turtles skimming by our ship in the open ocean, and dolphins and sea birds diving for their frequent meals. And we saw whales – unbelievable numbers of whales. One of the main reasons we booked the cruise at this time of year was that it heads directly into the birthing and breeding areas for grey humpback whales, which winter in Cabo San Lucas (Cabo) and Puerto Vallarta between December and March before heading back to Alaskan waters for a summer of feeding before beginning the cycle once again. We scheduled a whale watching excursion in Cabo in the hope of witnessing these gentle giants in their native habitat. From past experience, we knew this could be a crap shoot, since whales appear in the wild on their own schedule, and no amount of begging will get them to pencil you in on their itinerary for the day you will be in town. We have gone multiple times and have seen nothing, nada and bupkiss. But this time, the crap shoot turned into an amazing photo shooting gallery, with a constant barrage of activity for 2 solid hours as whales flipped, flopped, breached and tail-slapped, all to squeals of glee from everyone aboard. Due to our ship docking overnight in Puerto Vallarta, we finally got to experience the Rhythms of the Night show in Las Caletas, a jungle area down the coast from Puerto Vallarta. We had heard so many wonderful things about the show, but they did not even begin to describe what we were to experience. Imagine a ride on the darkened sea after sunset, with nothing but black skies and stars above, and crazy crew aboard entertaining and preparing you for what was to come. Far in the distance, small amber pinpoints of light begin to spread across the shore as the boat approaches. As our trusty craft draws nearer to the docks, we can see literally hundreds of torches and candles lighting the way just beyond the dock area, which is illuminated from beneath the water by powerful electric lights. Below your feet as you walk across the dock you can see huge fish darting to and fro beneath the waves, silver shapes sliding effortlessly in the aqua-lit waters. It looked just like our visit to the Blue Grotto on the Isle of Capri in Italy so many years ago. As we walked ashore we were guided along torch-lit paths through the thick bamboo and palm jungle and up the hill to the arena-like stage, stopping periodically to see carefully placed human points of interest that just heightened the expectations of the show to follow. As the show began, we were transported back in time as actors delighted the audience with an amazing performance replete with mesmerizing acts involving fire and acrobatics. The fire dancers were twirling torches that produced so much heat that we could feel it a full 40 feet away in the stands. After a standing ovation, we were led to dinner the equal of anything we experienced aboard ship – and that is really saying something, because Carnival food is fantastic – followed by a very romantic walk along the torch-lit paths back toward our boat. We then returned to the cruise ship, with an amazing view of the lights of Puerto Vallarta’s busy shoreline to guide us. People have asked us why we cruise so much, and why we travel almost exclusively on Carnival. The answer is simple – Carnival has always treated us like royalty, even from our very first cruise. The smiles of the room stewards tell us they are glad to be there, and they are proud to provide superlative service to us. The food is wonderful, the waiters attentive and after only one visit to the dining room, they know our names. In fact, we were greeted by staff who remembered us from past cruises, and even noticed that our son, Mark, was not traveling with us this time. We made a special new friend this time, Reka (pronounced Rayka), a ship’s photographer from Hungary who shared a cab with us from the airport. We were able to talk to her a number of times during the cruise. Such a sweet young lady. Much of what we expected on the ship was there, and was just as good as it ever was. Food, entertainment and comfort were the rule of the day, and we never lacked for something to do – or even nothing if we so chose. One item, however, has declined severely over the years, and we have hope that our pleas to Carnival will help to rectify this situation. We are huge fans of everything karaoke, as are many others, and for years Carnival provided an enormously entertaining venue aboard ship. In fact, aboard ship is just about the only place I get to sing karaoke, as we do not visit bars at home, which is where it is usually available. We have added many new friends to our karaoke “family,” and on Facebook we joined over 100 of those friends as members of the Carnival Karaoke Cruisers. We share our experiences aboard Carnival ships around the world, and find much in common in those experiences. This trip, much like our last, we found that Carnival once again relegated karaoke to the Jeeves Lounge, which is nothing more than an open area split in half by a winding pathway where people pass on their way to the main dining room. At dinner time, the line forming to go into the dining room completely blocked the view of singers for the audience, and vice-versa for the singer. When announcements come over the PA system, the music immediately halts, and the singer is left with karaoke-interruptus, after which they must regroup and finish the song. It happened to me right in the middle of a crescendo while singing Frank Sinatra’s “My Way,” and was completely unnerving. Now add to this mix a poor sound system, even worse equipment, insufficient seating with partitions that block most views of the singer, and in the wake of Carnival’s decision to replace dedicated hosts, an assigned staff member who apparently drew the short straw, and you have a recipe for disaster. The “host” found it much more interesting to chat with guests and staff offline rather than bringing up singers, and the dead-air was absolutely mind-numbing. The audience numbers and participation declined at every karaoke event, and one could hardly blame them. If Carnival could not see fit to support their guests’ needs for a proper venue, why should the audience support their poor effort? In the end, on the last sea day, they offered karaoke at 2pm in the same setting, and I decided it was neither worth my time, nor my effort to show up. This said, we loved our cruise, despite the disappointments, and look forward to the changes coming to the ship and to karaoke during their upcoming dry dock. We still love Carnival, but like a child you hope they will listen, and learn from their mistakes. We are booked on Carnival Miracle again over Thanksgiving, and we shall see if they were willing to listen.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
We booked this cruise as a much needed family vacation, and these were ports we had never visited. We had aft balcony 7351, which was comfortable, had plenty of storage space, and was only crowded when all three of us were trying to get ... Read More
We booked this cruise as a much needed family vacation, and these were ports we had never visited. We had aft balcony 7351, which was comfortable, had plenty of storage space, and was only crowded when all three of us were trying to get ready for dinner. We loved the balcony as our own private escape. From there, we saw LOTS of whales, a few dolphins, and a sea turtle. Embarkation We booked FTTF, which paid off in huge dividends in the embarkation department. We arrived at port around 11:30 after our inbound flight and transfer from LAX. There was an enormous queue for registration, but in less than 2 minutes, we were checking in. We went to priority boarding area, and waited, as there were still passengers leaving the ship at 12 noon. Finally, about 12:45, they started the boarding process with the weddings and the back to back cruisers, and we were in our cabin by about 1:10. Food/Dining We had late seating, which was great. The food in the MDR was very good, came hot, and most nights in a timely manner. Our table was in the same serving station of two very huge tables--one of 14 and one of 16, so sometimes the staff was a bit overwhelmed, but it just gave us more time to visit with our tablemates. Food was served at the proper temperature, presented nicely, and plentiful. When we ordered wine, it came quickly. The Buffet area was clean, had a good variety, and a very helpful staff. I asked a question of one of the servers about the ingredients of a dessert, and she went to find out an answer for me right away. My only complaint would be that the outside grill closed at 6pm, so if you wanted a burger after that time frame, you were out of luck. The pizza was very good. Ship in general The ship has an interesting decor, and a borderline ugly dining room. But everything was clean, I didn't see very many visible signs of wear, It was easily navigated, and had lots of quiet spaces for reading or what-not on those sea days. The Serenity deck and bar were a great place to relax, the bartenders were busy but efficient, and I could usually find a chair. The one day they brought the DJ up and had a sail-away party in Serenity was a not "serene", but I just bought another cocktail and watched the dancing. Staff and Entertainment The staff was great. Troy, the CD, was on his last sailing on the Miracle, and kept everyone entertained. He often joined the orchestra (which was brilliant, I might add), and was seen around the ship making sure everyone had a good time. The cabin stewards were friendly and helpful. I was surprised at how many cabins ours was responsible for,and how efficiently he could get through them. The casino staff was so fun, making anyone at the black jack table who won dance. Shore Excursions We did two shore excursions. First, we went snorkeling/sailing in Cabo San Lucas. The snorkeling part of this excursion was frightening, as participants got caught in the current and needed assistance back to the boat. The boat driver dropped snorkelers in an area that was busy with lots of other tour-type boats, which was dangerous. The driver went to move the boat and nearly ran over one of the participants. The Rhythms of the Night excursion was fantastic, and should not be missed. Absolutely spectacular, a romantic setting, candle lit beach, fabulous dancing. One lady in front of me at the show showed her "Ugly American" side and was angry that the show wasn't entirely in English. The boat ride to/from the resort was fun, the staff and other passengers entertained everyone. Great trip. Entertainment Was hit and miss. The comedians were funny, both family shows and all adult. The musical reviews were over all good, but I didn't care for the female singer. The orchestra was, as I stated previously, brilliant. There were a few singers in various lounges, and they, too, were excellent. I didn't attend the marriage show, or play trivia, or play bingo, but they were available most every day, and well attended. Teen Club My son LOVED the Club 02, met lots of friends, and we rarely saw him. He said he will be a bit sad when he ages out of it soon. Overall, a great vacation. My husband, who was only lukewarm at best about cruising (I love it), totally enjoyed himself and would do it all again. So yay!!   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Carnival really does go all out to provide opportunity for varied, non stop entertainment and food. This was an identical itinerary to that which we took just two years prior for our honeymoon, though on a different, slightly smaller ship ... Read More
Carnival really does go all out to provide opportunity for varied, non stop entertainment and food. This was an identical itinerary to that which we took just two years prior for our honeymoon, though on a different, slightly smaller ship this time. All new entertainment, same great food and memorable experiences. We got into trivia this time and were determined to win a gold ship statue. Though we probably went to 15 trivias, we came close, but didn't win. The crew remembered us and our efforts and awarded us with a ship anyway haha. The cabin was typical of Carnival, clean and cozy with a slightly larger bathroom than that on the Splendor, a larger ship. The wait staff were exceptional! The third night there was a shrimp cocktail waiting for me in the dining room as they could tell I'd be ordering it nightly. Embarkation left something to be desired. It was raining in Long Beach and the line was especially long to get into the terminal. It's a good time to be miserable, hard to be unhappy no matter than circumstances when you are about to board a cruise ship. The nightly shows were spectacular, major upgrade from our previous cruise on Carnival, though those were fantastic as well. We are very good negotiators and super social, so we don't book excursions with the cruise, instead opting to set up our own upon arrival to the ports. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
I was VERY worried after booking our cruise. I read many scathing reviews of Carnival Miracle. Prior to departing my mother-in-law (a seasoned cruiser) told me "you will only have as much fun as you want to have." Truer words ... Read More
I was VERY worried after booking our cruise. I read many scathing reviews of Carnival Miracle. Prior to departing my mother-in-law (a seasoned cruiser) told me "you will only have as much fun as you want to have." Truer words were never spoken. I saw people on the ship complaining about ridiculous things. The truth is that it wasn't 100% perfect, but it was absolutely amazing. It was worth every penny and we are already planning our next Carnival vacation. We had ages ranging from 2-35 and a group of 8 people. We all had a great time. There was truly something for everyone. The food was great. There were a couple of dishes in the whole 7 days that I didn't like. If you starve on this trip (as some have claimed) you are too picky! My 2 year old is THE pickiest eater on the planet, and he never went hungry. They really cater to every taste. If you don't like what's for dinner in the formal dining room than check out one of the many buffets! The buffet and main dining room were outstanding. The service was incredible. Our room steward, Gusti, did a fantastic job. I also would highly recommend checking out the shows in the Phantom Theater. They were the highlights of most of our evenings. We also enjoyed the trivia, deck dance party, fun shops, pools/hot tubs, and mini golf. If you can afford it, a room with a private balcony is really worth the money you'll spend. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
After reading many reviews lambasting Carnival for their shoddy em/de barkation procedures and abysmal tender offload in Cabo, we were a little concerned about what to expect. Perhaps we set our expectations really low but we were ... Read More
After reading many reviews lambasting Carnival for their shoddy em/de barkation procedures and abysmal tender offload in Cabo, we were a little concerned about what to expect. Perhaps we set our expectations really low but we were pleasantly surprised by the cruise and their procedures, in our experience most of the problems were caused by inconsiderate tourons. Embarkation Arrived at the port at 1:00 p.m. and was surprised to find the parking structure almost full. Waited in line for about 45 minutes and got checked in. We would have been onboard in 60 mts but we had to visit the ship doctor to get our son signed off and that tacked on another hour to our process. Regardless, we were were in our room by 3:00 p.m. Departure was delayed almost 90 minutes because of some CBP issue which put us into Cabo 30 minutes late (1:00 p.m. instead of 12:30 p.m.), they postponed departure that day by 30 minutes to make up for the delay Tendering in Cabo There were over 2000 people on board, so we were told that the tendering process would be organized so that people that booked excursions would get priority and then the rest would have to line up for tender assignments. People that lined up significantly after 10: a.m. got numbers as high as 40, do the math, about 50 pax per tender. There was another ship in the harbor but the tenders were quite efficient, at 2:30 they announced free boarding for tenders, we chose not to go into port as we had the ship all to ourselves. The next morning, we took an 8:30 a.m tender into town and there was no wait. PV was no problem, arrived on time and left on time. Debarkation We got zone 21 and we were off the boat around 11:30, that took a lot longer than expected, but it turns out the delay was because passengers were going down regardless of their zone number and it was causing gridlock in the terminal. We stayed on the lido deck enjoying our coffee and the view   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Our family is just freshly back from the Carnival Miracle 12/6 – 12/21 round-trip Hawaii, and let me say what a pleasure it was to once again be on the high seas. And I might also add, high they were. Being our 3rd Hawaii round-trip with ... Read More
Our family is just freshly back from the Carnival Miracle 12/6 – 12/21 round-trip Hawaii, and let me say what a pleasure it was to once again be on the high seas. And I might also add, high they were. Being our 3rd Hawaii round-trip with Carnival at about the same time of year, we expected weather, but the swells this time were steadily rising; our captain, however, did a great job handling the situation, and though it did result in being late to port, and eventually missing Maui completely, he brought the vessel safely into the islands. Traveling with our daughter and her family, we got to see the vessel and the islands through freshly amazed eyes, and the adventures proved to be everything we could have wanted. Walking in ports, lunch at Keoki’s Paradise in Kauai (a favorite from past journeys), visiting all over Honolulu, and for our son, climbing Diamondhead for an astounding view of the city and ocean below all added up to a wonderful dream come true for them – and us. In Kona, which we visited for 2 days due to weather challenges in Maui, we first enjoyed the sights and sounds of their street festival, got the lay of the land, and then on the second day took a shuttle to Kahalu’u Beach Park, a sheltered cove where we swam with turtles, multi-colored parrot fish and even an occasional humuhumunukanukaapua’a (the state fish). Food onboard Carnival Miracle was a welcome surprise, even for Diamond cruisers like my wife and me. It’s not easy planning unique meals for 15 days, and yet we experienced flavorful, well-prepared dinners every night of the cruise. The variety allowed all of us to find at least SOMETHING each evening – and in some cases we had real decisions to make. “Let me see, will it be Lobster and Shrimp, or rare Prime Rib? Or Lobster, Shrimp AND rare Prime Rib?” Hard choices! There are a few shout-outs we want to bring to the attention of Carnival; first, on this voyage were Hawaiian Cultural Ambassadors who instructed us in the islands’ history and people while guiding us through the making of orchid leis (the equal of any we had bought ashore), palm bracelets, and instructing in the playing of the ukulele (prounounced “oo-koo-lay-lay”) and dancing the hula. It was a hands-on immersion into the culture of the islands’ inhabitants – by the islands’ inhabitants! Second, Michelle, the naturalist whom we first met on our last Alaska cruise, was onboard providing a wealth of information about the island flora and fauna almost every day. She is so well-versed in the subject, having spent about 17 years in Hawaii. In addition, she worked tirelessly to retrieve and rescue errant sea birds that came aboard our vessel, returning them to the wild as soon as they had been nurtured back to health. Finally, a word of appreciation for Carnival Guest Services, who have always been there to assist, but this cruise they went above and beyond. Because of ports being rearranged and/or missed, excursions and car rentals that we planned – which were not through Carnival – needed to be addressed. Being at sea, it was impossible for us to contact them, but Guest Services made ship-to-shore connections whenever needed, and we were able to reschedule everything. Much has been said about the way this cruise was handled, but I cannot give enough kudos to this team who literally saved the experience numerous times for us. Entertainment is one area where Carnival has always shined. From their Vegas-quality shows like Ticket to Ride ( a Beatles tribute), Carnival Legends (a tribute show with guests as performers with live orchestration in the theater, to multiple musical venues throughout the ship and their constant Punchliner Comedy Club featuring famous headliners, the guests always had opportunities to be entertained. However, as with any situation, there are always things which beg for improvement. In the case of Carnival, considering their attention to providing quality entertainment, we were astounded at how poorly the karaoke experience was compared previous Carnival cruises. Hampered by poor equipment, unsatisfactory schedules and above all, abysmal venues, it was a dark spot on an otherwise stellar cruise. Once responsible for the highest drink sales at Carnival, karaoke on Miracle has been relegated in most cases to a hallway outside the Bacchus Dining Room, misleadingly named Jeeves’ Lounge. The majority of this “lounge” does not afford a clear view of the performers, and contains insufficient seating for attendees, leading to arguments over seating. Whenever an announcement is made overhead, music stops and has to be restarted. Many performers never returned to karaoke after the first night, and when we asked why, they cited the venue. While this was a sore point, we found the overall cruise to be wonderfully planned and executed. We have been promised by Carnival that new karaoke equipment is pending, and anticipating this, we are already eagerly anticipating our next trip with Carnival.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Just to warn you, this is going to be a long review, so settle in. We were three sisters, traveling together, all in our 50s and 60s....well, two in our fifties and one in her sixties, but I'm not telling which one! Two of us have ... Read More
Just to warn you, this is going to be a long review, so settle in. We were three sisters, traveling together, all in our 50s and 60s....well, two in our fifties and one in her sixties, but I'm not telling which one! Two of us have cruised with Carnival before, for one, this was her first cruise. For all of us, this was our first trip to Hawai'i. Okay, enough about us. Now, on to the trip. Embarkation was at the port of Long Beach. We drove from Phoenix to Long Beach the day before and stayed in the Hotel Current. (Thanks, Cruise Critic members for that tip!) It's a beautiful hotel and what used to be a Continental breakfast is now a full breakfast, with eggs, sausage, bacon, waffles, etc. The cost is $149 per room, per night for their cruise package. Part of this package is that they provide a free port shuttle to and from the hotel to the port, and they allow you to park your car at the hotel for the duration of the cruise. When I later heard what people had paid to park at other hotels or at the port, ($17-$20 per night) I realized what a great deal this was! Embarkation at the port was somewhat less organized than I've been used to sailing out of Miami or Fort Lauderdale, but not too bad. Our room was already ready for us and we were in it within an hour or so. Then up to the Lido deck for lunch at Horatio's. Let me just interject here that I don't understand people who criticize the buffet food by saying it's the "same thing every day." I guess technically this is true, but there's EVERYTHING on the buffet! Particularly good was the Asian station which was featuring delicious, fresh seafood in one of their dishes. Of course, Lido was crowded. Just expect that. It's the only dining option for lunch on embarkation day. However, we had found a table pretty quickly. Our suite was great. Very compact, of course, but plenty of storage space. More than we really needed and two of us do not know how to pack light. The marble bathroom was awesome, with a whirlpool tub. We were excited to have an extended balcony, including a chaise lounge, which saw a lot of use on the sea days! Rony was our room steward, and he was great. He knew us by name and provided so many little extra touches that made the cruise special. (By the way, this is one reason I prefer Carnival to so many other lines: the staff are always friendly.) Our cabin was at the rear of the ship, so there was some vibration from the engines, but it was not significant and it never bothered us. Okay, about the cruise. This itinerary has 8 sea days. If you don't like sea days, fly to Hawai'i and cruise the POA, but don't complain about sea days. We happen to LOVE sea days, so we were in hog heaven, as my mom used to say. There was more to do and a greater variety of activities on this cruise than on any other I've been on, and this was good planning on Carnival's part. We particularly enjoyed the daily nature talks from a real, live naturalist Carnival had contracted with. She was knowledgable and funny and we thought this was one of the best parts of the trip. Carnival had also contracted with folks to do Hawai'ian crafts on the journey out, and this was a favorite activity. They made some adorable stuff too: leis and shell bracelets and so forth. Unfortunately, they underestimated the interest in this activity and people were lining up an hour beforehand to get in the class. Seeing the interest, the Miracle crew themselves tried to conduct similar classes on the way back. Not the same. We weren't much on shows, so not much to comment there, except to say that one of us did see a show and liked it okay. Not sure which show it was, so this is probably not too helpful. Sorry. They did have some good movies, including "Gravity" and "Blended", which we enjoyed. One of us loves trivia contests and was excited to discover that they pretty much had back-to-back trivia contests of various kinds, in one lounge or another, all morning long. This person often persuaded the other sisters to join her and I will say that medals and the coveted ship-on-a-stick were won! In terms of food, we thought it was wonderful. We had the early sitting and Stefan, Pedro and Dennis, our waiters took excellent care of us. They remembered who liked her water glass kept full, who liked peppermint tea at the end of the meal and who liked decaf. They were the best! As per usual, the left side of the menu has staples that never change throughout the cruise: things like Southern fried chicken, flank steak and shrimp cocktail. The right side of the menu has the daily specials, an unusual "Didja Ever" appetizer, and "Comfort Food." Some of the treats on the right side were: filet mignon, Duck a l'Orange, lobster, escargot, venison spring rolls, alligator in phyllo dough and Osso Buco. Speaking of phyllo dough, the dessert chef was a genius! The things he could do with that phyllo dough! Memorable desserts included a fruit "lasagna", which was a layer of phyllo covered with orange creme sauce, then another layer of phyllo topped with fresh fruit. And his apple pie with phyllo dough was heavenly! Mouth watering! But my favorite dessert was something called Bitter and Blanc. I really can't describe it, except to say that every time the word "bitter" chocolate appeared in the menu, it was really dark chocolate. Okay, enough about the food. It's making me hungry, except one comment. Whenever I heard people complain about the food, I wanted to say, "Really? You eat better than this at home?" Okay, I said it. Now I feel better. So on the way to the islands, the ship had to alter it's route because there was a storm, nicknamed the "Pineapple Express" that was tracking from Hawai'i to California. This put us about 5 hour behind schedule and the captain made the decision to head for Hilo on the Big Island instead of Maui, as was originally scheduled for our first port. In addition, we would be landing in the afternoon, rather than the morning. Unfortunately, most people who had purchased the cruise ship excursions for Hilo were out of luck due to this change, and all but 3 of the 14 ship excursions originally scheduled for Hilo were cancelled. Fortunately, we had purchased excursions with an outside company: Mauka Makai Adventures. I made a call to them and they were happy to accommodate us. It even worked out better because now we were able to see a twilight tour of the volcanoes which was much more dramatic. And now I want to tell you that this company and the people who run it, Josh and Jill Grotkin, were really a high point in our trip. We had two days with them, one on Hilo and one on Kona. They provided a totally individualized tour for us. Josh was our guide and you just could not find a better guide. He was friendly, flexible, outgoing, and so knowledgeable about his beautiful island. He took us to see so many wonderful places and explained so much that we began to truly fall in love with the Big Island. It turned out to be fortunate that we had booked most of the excursions with outside companies. They could be more flexible with changes in scheduling. Also, when you disembark the ship, if you have an excursion with an outside company, you are given priority status and allowed to disembark first. That was nice. Other excursions will be reviewed in the ports section. Let me backtrack a bit and tell you that one of the most exciting moments on the trip, for me, happened just as we were pulling into Hilo. I was sitting on the balcony, just staring at the ocean, when BOOM!!!... a Humpback whale breached full length, right where I was looking, just ahead of the ship! I started yelling to my sisters, and we all crowded on the balcony. No more breaching, but we did see what appeared to be two whales swimming and spouting right next to each other. We assumed they were a mother and calf. We did see other whales on our Kona excursion with Josh, but seeing that breach was SO exciting! One thing that was unfortunate was with 2 days left in the cruise we woke up and were startled to see the hall outside our cabin had apparently turned into a river, complete with little waves! It turned out a pipe had burst and much of the port side of deck six was flooded to a greater or lesser degree. For us, some water did come in to the cabin and make portions of the carpet wet. The crew, though, I have to admit, was absolutely fantastic and the inconvenience was minor. After the leak was stopped, the crew was there with wet vacs and powerful fans to dry out the carpet. The biggest inconvenience was that the fans were really loud. But we didn't stay in the cabin much during the day anyway. Official looking crew members were very solicitous and came several times a day to inquire how the carpet was drying. Plus they credited us over $400, so that took away a lot of the pain. Nice. Disembarkation was very smooth. Apparently, there was some delay with the customs officials clearing the ship, but once that was done, we were off the ship very quickly. One thing I did like about the process at Long Beach was that you went through customs first and then picked up your luggage. This is different than at Miami and greatly expedited the speed at which we were able to go through customs. All in all, we had a great time and felt the cruise to be wonderful. We fell in love with Hawai'i and hope to be able to go back some day. If we do, I will remember to book with outside companies!   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
I just wanted to post how much we enjoyed our recent cruise to Hawaii. The first thing we were amazed by was the fact we were going to get 8 different comedians and 40 routines during our 15 day cruise....we loved that and 90 of the comedy ... Read More
I just wanted to post how much we enjoyed our recent cruise to Hawaii. The first thing we were amazed by was the fact we were going to get 8 different comedians and 40 routines during our 15 day cruise....we loved that and 90 of the comedy was great. Ok the food wasn't awesome but we ate more than we ever should have so how bad could it have been! I must say the deli was the best lunch food and the omelet station our breakfast favorite. Troy is a great Cruise director and Charlotte was a very good assistant cruise director as well....as a matter of fact we got along super with all the staff, good to see Trent get well before the end (the comedy club manager. Because of weather no matter what you read we were not able to see Maui. (there were 7' swells and the tender boats could not operate). Yes one engine does run a tad slow but the ship still cruised at just under 20 knots most all the time. We have sailed the Miracle before so knew the ship which is ok, not great but just fine with us. I think the worst part might be the décor of the main dining room, purple with the weird supposed to be grape looking things....! Our table mates for dinner were the best. We even went to dinner together at Knick and Nora's steak house. Now there was good food....like we used to get when we sailed Celebrity (no even they don't have that quality anymore but better daily dinners/lunch food than carnival). All in all great cruise. The important things to us, entertainment A1, ship staff A1, room staff A1. food good enough, dinner staff good enough...weed have sailed right back to Hawaii again that very day if we could, that's all I think carnival can ask is if youd cruise with them again and our answer is a pure yes! Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
First off the Cruise was fantastic. We met a lot of Great People, even some we will FB or email with forever. The first week was Thanks Giving, and you could tell by the 800 of the 2200 of us were KIDS! The pools were JAMMED! Except of ... Read More
First off the Cruise was fantastic. We met a lot of Great People, even some we will FB or email with forever. The first week was Thanks Giving, and you could tell by the 800 of the 2200 of us were KIDS! The pools were JAMMED! Except of course the Serenity, where we spent our pool time. Plus the Pizza was very close, LOVE their PIZZA! Yummy. The Dining Room was FANTASTIC, really it was. We had anytime, always got our table for two, only once on Formal night did we have to wait for 10min. Of course we always showed up early, as they were opening the doors. We like to eat early. Sea Day BRUCH, OMG! Don't miss a one. They are to die for. DH had steak and eggs every time, LOL The Second week was like a whole different cruise, hardly any kids, and really rather calm. Of course the night life was always humming, Adults having a good time. Love the Comedy shows and the Production shows, of course I guess their shows are changing when she gets back from drydock. We shall see as we will be sailing her to Hawaii 1/16/2016. Can not wait to cruise the Miracle again. Also DH uses a scooter and he just loves the Miracle. The ease of getting around every where, and how fast the elevators were was great. He would go out on his own at night some times and do laps up on deck 10, LOL Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
There are no bad vacations...only varying levels of memories and laughter. There were 9 of us meeting at the Long Beach terminal for an anniversary cruise for our niece and nephew. 5 of us drove out the day before and stayed at the Quality ... Read More
There are no bad vacations...only varying levels of memories and laughter. There were 9 of us meeting at the Long Beach terminal for an anniversary cruise for our niece and nephew. 5 of us drove out the day before and stayed at the Quality Inn near Long Beach Airport with a Stay and Park package while 4 flew in from Boston. Keep a small rolling travel bag with you and have a bathing suit and change of cloths with you just in case your luggage arrives late. It is also helpful for rolling around your soft drinks, water and wine that you are allowed to bring on board at no charge. We arrived at the Terminal at 12:45pm. Embarkation was fairly quick and smooth in comparison to previous cruise (this was #14 and our 4th on the Miracle). Our connecting balcony cabins on deck 7 were ready so we proceeded to change into bathing suits and go to deck 9 for lunch and then to Serenity, the adult only pool area, deck 9 aft. There are swings and pods for sunning or sleeping but get there early every day as they do quickly. They actually put time out slips on the beautiful lounge pods so people could not claim them with a towel and leave for hours. 30 minutes to grab a bite or go to your cabin or the bathroom was enough time. They also have plenty of regular lounges and lots of comfy couches and chairs that are shaded! There is a bar there also. We went there every day as we had no young children in our group. There are two other pools for kids and families. The food is exquisite. I have a Gluten allergy and I was super impressed with all the choices and that my meals were pre-ordered each day made in a special kitchen and excellent. They have gluten free pizza made to order, pasta, breads. I had made my own bread and brought it with me but I did not need it! Everything I had was perfect. They also have Gluten free beer and hard cider. Our dining service team of Wyan, Erick and Nipaporn were the best. With 9 people ordering multiple appetizers and sometimes multiple meals, they always smiled and gave excellent service. Of course we all tipped them extra for the extra work involved. We also enjoyed breakfast/brunch in the dining room almost every day because being waited on is preferable to buffet style always. Also, the steak & eggs (lean filet mignon) and the boneless pork chop or eggs Benedict were so worth it. Our room steward Ashley was incredible. He was the most attentive we have ever experienced. Our room was stocked with ice and clean towels. He greeted us by name and smiled always. While the ship is older now and getting tired, it was always clean and attractive. They are putting it in dry dock this January for an overhaul. The comedians were funny but we didn't go to the shows. The trivia and activities are plentiful. We played bean bag toss (Corn Hole) every day and sometimes twice a day. The casino was hopping but I only dabbled a very little as I don't think people win much. I played table games and did leave up $65 after losing $20 in machines That was it for me. Everyone in our group had a good cruise and while on board we booked our Hawaii cruise. They were giving a $200 on board credit if you booked. You do have the ability to change your itinerary or travel day if you want. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Lots of fun...thought the ship was a little small. The food was okay not great except for our Steakhouse meal which was excellent.I thought 3 out of the 4 comedians we saw were pretty funny, but if you have sensitive ears don't go.The ... Read More
Lots of fun...thought the ship was a little small. The food was okay not great except for our Steakhouse meal which was excellent.I thought 3 out of the 4 comedians we saw were pretty funny, but if you have sensitive ears don't go.The main shows were okay, about what we would expect on a cruise ship.Our room was good, but there was hardly any water pressure in the shower. Not a big problem for me considering I don't have much hair, but my wife took a long time trying to get the shampoo and conditioner out of her hair. Our room steward was great and the service in the dining room was good too. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
We have cruised with carnival for many years with never a problem. tried a couple other lines but always came back to carnival Carnival absolutely outdid itself on our recent Hawaiian cruise, you expect good food, entertainment, beds etc ... Read More
We have cruised with carnival for many years with never a problem. tried a couple other lines but always came back to carnival Carnival absolutely outdid itself on our recent Hawaiian cruise, you expect good food, entertainment, beds etc but Carnival went far beyond with a naturalist who held morning sessions on the history of setllement of the Hawaiian islands, humpback wales etc. The video presentation and her lectures were worth the trip alone The evening shows were spectacular , by far the best I have encountered in many years of cruising, late night comedians were very good. you have a right to expect comfort but Carnival exceeded that by far. Nick and Noras is definitely worth the slight charge with good food professionally presented The 15 days flew by, but a word of advice, we flew into Long Beach from Orlando, a very quick 15 minute ride from ship to the cutest little airport still around, forget LAX We are booked again next year with carnival for some Caribbean islands we have somehow missed Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
We flew to Seattle to catch the Miracle's final Alaskan voyage for the season (and maybe ever) the day of the cruise since we live in CA. Paid for the ship transfers from the airport to the port as it did not look like there was a ... Read More
We flew to Seattle to catch the Miracle's final Alaskan voyage for the season (and maybe ever) the day of the cruise since we live in CA. Paid for the ship transfers from the airport to the port as it did not look like there was a very clean and easy way to get there with rapid transit. We checked our bags at the check-in counter for the bus at the airport and the next time we saw them was in front of our cabin door a few hours later. A very relaxing start to a what would be a very relaxing cruise. I'm a fan of the Faster to the Fun (FTTF) option Carnival offers and was happy to have it as we walked right to an empty check in counter with the Diamond and Platinum folks. My guy (first time cruiser) thought it was a miracle how we breezed past the long lines. I would say from entering the port to being on the ship was a maximum of 15 minutes. Our 1st floor window cabin was ready on our arrival and we stopped by to freshen up before we headed up to meet some friends who had traveled from PA for the cruise. The room was plenty large for two people with lots of storage space. The room was clean but the bathroom felt a bit dated. We had no idea what was awaiting us in the Bacchus dining room! The decor is over-the-top there!! Per their usual, the food on the Carnival ship was fine not fabulous. However, the staff was EXCELLENT! We gave our room number for seating the first night to the hostess and she never asked again and that was in the anytime dining room. The wait staff made a point of remembering small things like bringing honey with the tea after asking the first time. Super friendly crew made us feel very special and yet like friends. The worse part of the cruise was the entertainment. The lounge singers were not good for the most part. The live shows were not of a high quality. The atrium singer was HORRIFIC. Fortunately Alaska is beautiful and we were tired enough from our excursion days that we could go to bed a bit earlier. We purchased one fishing excursion from the ship which was cancelled due to fog and another that didn't catch many fish even though there was salmon aplenty heading up the streams. Most of the time my friends rented a car and we drove around. We did take the diesel train in Skagway which, although pricey, is a very pretty ride. With our FTTF we disembarked without much of a wait once they opened the exit since we were in the first group. We played the day in Vancouver mainly in Stanley Park, and headed back home having enjoyed our trip and making plans for another Carnival cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
Enjoyed a relaxing 16 day repositioning cruise from Vancouver, BC around Hawaii and back to Long Beach, Ca. Cruised with 3 other couples, all 60's - early 70's - the median age of passengers was 65, so we were happy to fit the ... Read More
Enjoyed a relaxing 16 day repositioning cruise from Vancouver, BC around Hawaii and back to Long Beach, Ca. Cruised with 3 other couples, all 60's - early 70's - the median age of passengers was 65, so we were happy to fit the profile. Best of all, the ship wasn't overrun with unruly brats or drunks! Mostly fit, happy retirees - a number of whom were from Canada and the UK. We had not been to Vancouver - it is a lovely city. We overnighted at the Hotel Blu, which I highly recommend. We had sailed on the Miracle 7 years ago, and really enjoyed the size and layout. 3 couples were in adjoining staterooms, so we had the doors to our balconies opened - sweet! It was like having our own deck! Embarkation: We are Platinum and usually practically walk right onto the ship. We arrived at the port around 12:30. We were herded into the waiting area and it was frustrating to wait almost an hour to board. The embarkation staff gave the excuse that they weren't familiar with Carnival's computer system? Oh well. Ship: As usual we had lovely wait staff and room stewards. I am continually amazed at how gracious and helpful they are in spite of their grueling work schedules and years of service. Gede from Bali and Elena from Bulgaria were our waiters, and so very friendly and kind. Ben from Thailand was our steward, and he was just terrific! All over the ship, the crew smiled, greeted us by name, and made us feel so welcome - made for a relaxing, happy cruise. Seas were a little bumpy out of Vancouver, but we love that - have never been seasick, even when going through the edge of a hurricane on our first cruise. Food: Food was good - typical Carnival fare. We've been on so many Carnival cruises we know what to order and what to avoid. My very favorite meals were the sea day brunches -the steak and eggs as well as the pork chop were scrumptious! Breakfasts on the Lido were pretty much the same every day, but you can get a lovely omelet or eggs cooked to order every day. The pizza was terrific. I enjoyed the freshly cooked Asian menu for lunch on the Lido. Entertainment: Cruise Director Troy Linton is the best! He is very talented and engaging. He had a tough job with so many sea days. 400 miles away from Hawaii, one of the passengers became ill and had to have an air drop of medical supplies. The next day the passenger had to be made made medevaced from the ship. The Ships's Captain, CD Troy, and the rest of the crew handled this very stressful situation with dignity and discretion. The entertainers were pretty good, particularly the comedian JeRome. We love the live band, and are sad that they will probably be history after the Carnival Fun Ship 2.0 changes are made. The Assistant Cruise Director Mel was a sweetie! I participated in the Talent Show, and she was very helpful and kind. It was a wonderful memory! Troy is sooo quick and funny, and a little bit sassy! There was a naturalist on board - Michele - who gave talks every sea day. She was excellent. The talks were very informational and well presented. We didn't miss one of them! Highly recommended! Ports: we had been to Hawaii on the Norwegian Pride of America 2 years ago, and we were glad to hit the spots we hadn't really seen before. We rented a vehicle at all the ports except Kona - all Jeeps and one convertible. Car rental takes a bit of time away from the few hours you have in each port, but we like to do our own thing at our own pace. Kauai is my favorite island - we drove to Kilauea Lighthouse from our port at Lihue and then on up and over to Tunnels Beach. The water was nice, but it's rough getting in and out of the surf. I had sand EVERYWHERE, even in my ears! We stopped by Wailua Falls on the way back, so beautiful. Maui - there was light rain when we arrived, and I have to complain about how Kahului Port Security handled the queues for car rental shuttles. It was absolutely poorly set up - complete chaos! People were jumping lines and rushing the shuttles. It got pretty ugly. I was ashamed of the lack of civility of fellow passengers, but blame the port for not organizing it better. It needs to change! We drove over the southeast side of Haleakela to the O'heo Gulch (Seven Sacred Pools). What a gorgeous drive! On the leeward side, there's not so much vegetation to block the views. There isn't much along the way - we stopped at funky Hasagawa's Country Store for a snack - a fun place! Be aware that driving this side rather than the road to Hana, your car rental contract is void if you have problems. The road narrows to one lane & gravel near the end. You can see the big island from the road, as well as the little island of Kaho'olawe. The 7 Sacred Pools are part of Haleakala National Park. It's a short hike over to the pools. Very beautiful! We went swimming in the first pool. Be aware that flash floods occur after heavy rains, and it may be unsafe. We decided to go ahead and drive back through Hana, as there weren't any lunch choices the other way. We had lunch at the little Hana beach cafe - just ok. We weren't excited about driving the road to Hana after driving it before (once was more than enough). It was fun to watch the surfers at Honolua Bay. Our next stop was Oahu. We did the major stuff before, but didn't make it to the North Shore previously, so we drove along the coast up to Waimea Bay and Haleiwa, after driving to the Punch Bowl National Cemetary. We stopped at Hanauma Bay, but were disappointed that we couldn't get in. It was already full at 10:30 AM, and we didn't want to wait. We did go to Waimea Falls at Waimea Bay, and it was lovely. A bit costly, but the gardens and falls were worth it. We stopped and swam at Shark's Cove (not to worry - it's not named for an abundance of sharks). The smallish swimming area was very nice without a rough break to haul in and out of. Big Island - our first stop was the tender port at Kona. We booked a rare excursion through the ship because of the short time in port - Captain Zodiac snorkel tour to Kealakekua Bay. It was great snorkeling - we had been there before and thoroughly enjoyed it. We are 62, and usually the oldest on snorkel trips. There were folks in their seventies in our group, and I just had to smh! Why? Why would people that old and decrepit attempt it? Bucket list? This is a rubber raft over open ocean, folks! When we got back they had to lift one lady out of the raft under her arms and by her feet because she couldn't get out on her own. Oh, well. Our final stop was Hilo. We drove the 11 down to Punaluu black sand beach - totally worth it! There were sea turtles resting in the beach. On the way back we drove by the orchid farm as well as the Mauna Loa macadamia nut farm. The nuts are cheaper at Walmart, though. We decided to drive down to Pahoa to try to see the latest lava flow, but we couldn't find it. We did go down to see the 1990 lava flow that destroyed the town of Kalapana - eerie. On the way back we stopped at the Star of the Sea painted church. Back to the ship and more wonderful sea days! Debarkation: smooth and fast, except the taxi line at Long Beach was huge. They only load one taxi at a time. Be prepared. This was our longest cruise so far, and I highly recommend the itinerary if you like sea days and a quick overview of the Hawaiian Islands. We Like Carnival for the large staterooms and great service. Sailing February 2015 on the Dream (again 😄) Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
Once again carnival surpassed my expectations by far making this one of the best cruises I have been on out of the 16 cruises I have sailed on. We travelled from London to Vancouver on Virgin Atlantic which was a very pleasant flight with ... Read More
Once again carnival surpassed my expectations by far making this one of the best cruises I have been on out of the 16 cruises I have sailed on. We travelled from London to Vancouver on Virgin Atlantic which was a very pleasant flight with great service. Highly recommended. On reaching Vancouver we took a cab to executive vintage hotel near gas town for a one night stay. We got to hotel around 6.30pm. The hotel was adequate but we had a few issues eg. they didn't offer free transfer to cruise terminal which they had promised earlier as it was fully booked, also they gave us rooms on 2 separate floors despite previous requests of same floor. Also our toilet overflowed and had to get maintenance in to get everything cleaned up. There was no bar in the hotel and the restaurant was closed in evening and hence had to go to next door hotel for drinks and a meal. The next day, we took a short taxi ride to the Canada place cruise terminal. In future I would choose a different hotel if I ever sailed from Vancouver. On reaching the cruise terminal we went through security and US immigration before being told to sit in a designated area until it was time for us to check in. Anyway, the wait was not too long, may be half an hour or so. We had to then queue to check in for about 15mins and once we had our cruise cards given to us we were in the ship by 1pm or so. Cabins were ready so we dropped off our luggage in our beautiful, spacious and well kept balcony staterooms on deck 7 forward and then went for lunch in the lido. Lunch was great with various stations like pizza, chopstix Chinese station, Freshly made sandwiches etc. burgers and chips were being served by the pool area. We signed up for the cheers beverage programme which gave us unlimited alcoholic and soft drinks though the cruise and it was well worth it. With 10 fun sea days we made good use of our package which was $37.50 per person per day. The ship is beautiful and easy to navigate through various parts of the ship. All the public areas were well kept. The theatre was huge and on 3 levels, the atrium was very nice too and brighter than on the sister ship Carnival legend. There were 3 pools (1 enclosed) and various hot tubs. There was an adults only serenity area however the cruise had very few kids anyway so didn't matter. The main dinning room was all in pink and purple shades and very inviting. There were various bars on deck 2 and 3 and on lido deck, all nice in their own ways. The gym was very nice too and we did use quite a bit of the gym during the sea days. However it did get full quite quickly early mornings so needed to get there early. Not sure how it was later in the day. On the whole I was very impressed with this ship. After the compulsory life boat drill we set sail for Hawaii at 5pm. We were on anytime dining and usually went for dinner between 7 and 8pm. After the first few nights we were usually always seated with out usual head waiter or if his area was busy then the one next to him. Both Rudolph and Suki and their teams were very pleasant and looked after all our dining needs very well throughout the cruise. We normally didn't have to wait at all to get a table which was great. Evening entertainment was generally good in the theatre. The welcome aboard show was hilarious but similar to what we had seen in carnival before. Prior to sailing this cruise I had read about John Heald being the cruise director on the Miracle which had got me excited as I had the pleasure of having him as our cruise director on the Carnival Legend last year. However when we found out during the welcome aboard show, that our cruise director was someone called Troy I was disheartened. Apparently John had left just a few cruises prior to this one which was a shame. Troy was quite good too but definitely couldn't match up to the high bar set by John. The shows were a mixed bag. There were only 2 big production show during the whole cruise. The Beatles one 'Ticket to Ride' was definitely a highlight and everyone enjoyed that. The other shows like the legends show, various singers, juggler etc. were all average. The magician show was very good and a lady who sang opera type music was brilliant. However some nights there were no shows whatsoever in the theatre which was disappointing. The adult comedy shows in the mad hatters lounge were mostly good and to be honest were the only reason we stayed up a bit late. Otherwise there was nothing much else happening late evenings apart from the casino and nightclub which we didn't visit often. Troy kept saying most people go to bed at 10.30 due to the average age on the ship being 60 to 65. However he forgot that there were various individuals like us in our 30s and 40s who would have liked to stay up till late if there were other late night activities happening. The deck party during the first part of the cruise and the Hawaiian Aloha deck party during the 2nd half were the only 2 good parties organised in the whole 16 night cruise. There were no movies shown on the big screen which was a major disappointment. Only once during one of the last sea days, a movie was shown during the day probably due to many requests. Day time entertainment included talks from the naturalist Michelle who was excellent and loved listening to all her talks about Hawaii, volcanoes, sea life etc. there was bingo nearly twice daily in the theatre. Not sure why they couldn't play bingo in a smaller lounge like mad hatters lounge and use the theatre for a movie or something else. There were some usual fun poolside activities. Various trivias were being played in the different lounges of the ship. Art auction was held nearly every single sea day. There were towel folding classes and dance classes which very few people attended. Shops were open and mainly sold the usual watches, handbags, jewellery, fragrances and ship souvenirs. Luckily we had good weather on most sea days so the pools and sun beds were busy. The slide was no good and hope It gets replaced by better water slides when Miracle goes into dry dock next year. The food on this ship was excellent. We didn't go to the speciality restaurant as we are vegetarians but there were a few vegetarian options in the main dining room. They made us a soup with vegetable stock every day and also showed us the menu for the following day. In case we didn't like a particular option we could choose something else which was specially made for us. However this was not always the case as twice we requested a different soup and something else was served. Generally we were kept happy and looked forward to dining each day and being served by our happy team of waiters who work very hard. Our room steward and his assistants worked very hard too in ensuring the rooms were kept neat and tidy and serviced twice daily. We always found a different towel animal and a chocolate when we got back to the room after dinner. The first 5 sea days went quite quick and we were all eagerly waiting to get to Hawaii and when we did get there Hawaii completely blew us away. The scenery was just fantastic. There was so much to see and do at each port. Our first stop was in Kauai which according to me was the most scenic. We did an excursion with the ship to see the waimea canyon and then did a river tour in the afternoon. It was an excellent trip with great sites and waterfalls on the way. Weather was great too. In Maui, we did a trip up the Haleakala volcano in the morning however it was very foggy up there and couldn't see much of the crater which was disappointing. However as we descended the mountain the weather got better and we went to see the Iaou needle which was great and then after lunch at a very scenic ranch, we went to Lahaina for shopping. On the way there we passed some very scenic spots. Honolulu was where did our favourite excursion. We did a trip to Pearl Harbour followed by trip round north shore of Oahu. Pearl Harbour is definitely worth doing and was quite emotional and very informative. The scenic route along the north shore and various stops along various beaches etc. was another highlight of this tour. Weather was great all day too. Would have loved to stay in Honolulu for 2 days as there is so much to do. Our next stop was Kona on the big island which is a tender port. The tender system ran quite efficiently and we did a short historic trip which was interesting however there is not much to do in Kona apart from water activities. In the afternoon, we just went round various shops around the port area. Our last stop was Hilo once again on the big island and it is the gateway to the active volcano Killaluea. We did an excursion to the volcanoes national park which was very interesting and did see the crater with the steam coming out of it but didn't see any lava as that's flowing in a different area at the moment. We then went to see rainbow falls which was nice. Also went to macadamia and a sweets factory store and to a black sand beach. Out of the 5 tours, we did the first 4 with the ship and the last one independently. Personally I preferred the ones with the ship as the guides were excellent. The last 5 days on sea back to LA were very relaxing. Great food and weather made it worthwhile. I wish there were more activities to keep us busy like scrabble competitions or more big screen movies or more game shows which they had on carnival legend. Something Troy needs to work on. We didn't see the captain much apart from the private cocktail evening for Gold, Platinum and diamond members. He gave us regular updates about weather and navigation at 12pm each sea day. Apart from that he was not see much around the ship unlike captains on other ships I have been on. I didn't even see him during the captains night (1st elegant/formal night). In restaurants, we didn't get to see much of other head personnel either which was a shame as it's always nice when we see these gentlemen/women talking to guests and finding out if they are enjoying the food on the cruise. However we did see photographers nearly every day coming to take pictures. Due to high cost of photos, I only bought one. They really need to bring the cost of the pictures down so that more people can buy and there would be less wastage. There was an incident once during the 5th sea day when a passenger fell ill and had to be airlifted which was interesting to watch. In the early morning medical supplies were dropped off and in the evening, he was taken away. Hope he/she recovered as we never heard what happened to the person. However the whole process was handled very efficiently by the captain and his team that there was no inconvenience caused to any passengers and there was no delay arriving in port the following day. There were various channels on the tv in the room but the reception was not good and kept loosing various channels from time to time. However there were 2 in house movie channels and various carnival channels showing reruns of various presentations one may have missed or some activities one may have missed out on. The Internet on the ship was very poor and I never once could download any emails. Hence I stopped using it after a few days. Debarkation was generally smooth and we were outside waiting for a taxi at the long beach cruise terminal at 9am. It's a shame that carnival didn't have any post cruise excursions with an airport drop off like they do have on other cruise lines. Our flight was at 5pm and hence we had to wait in the chaotic and disorganised LAX airport for over 6hrs which kind of gave a dismal ending to a great holiday. However our flight back to London with Virgin was uneventful but enjoyable despite being tired waiting for over 6hrs in the airport. I will definitely be cruising with Carnival again. In fact planning to book a trip to Alaska on the Legend once again next year. I do wish John Heald, the cruise director is back on there as I did miss him and his side kick Calvin on this cruise.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
I must say that I have been to Alaska on 4 other cruises 3 with Carnival and 1 with a sister ship and I have always loved the cruise. Alaska is such a magical place and must be seen in all it's glory. We have been 5 times at different ... Read More
I must say that I have been to Alaska on 4 other cruises 3 with Carnival and 1 with a sister ship and I have always loved the cruise. Alaska is such a magical place and must be seen in all it's glory. We have been 5 times at different times each time and I have to say that the earlier in the season the better for me. Although we had almost perfect weather on this past cruise something was still missing. ( SNOW) when you think of Alaska you think of snow. We did get to see the salmon running which is unusual so late in the season. This trip was unique and I am not sure I can put my finger on exactly what was different. The crew on the ship we mostly good although the entertainment staff was not as pleasant as usual. The cruise director was on his first voyage on this ship and did an extremely good job. His staff and assistants were nit so bubbly and friendly as we had come to expect. Even the food seemed off a little from previous voyages. We are Platinum members with Carnival and love them. They call them the fun ships for a reason. I really think that you get out of a cruise whatever you are expecting and Carnival has never let us down. The next time I sail to Alaska it will be in May or early June. I will always sail with Carnival because we have sailed with all the others and find them the best. Even when they we not at their best they are still better than the rest. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
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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