219 Carnival Miracle Cruise Reviews

This was our third cruise, but first with kids and first in about eight years. We were looking forward to some quiet relaxation, two new Mexican ports of call, warm weather, and someone else to do the cooking. On most points the Miracle ... Read More
This was our third cruise, but first with kids and first in about eight years. We were looking forward to some quiet relaxation, two new Mexican ports of call, warm weather, and someone else to do the cooking. On most points the Miracle and her staff met our expectations. Embarkation was a bit slow. We arrived at peak time and it took just over an hour for us to clear security, check in, and get to our cabin. Two of our bags had already been delivered. The lines were long but moved steadily. No complaints. Staff was friendly. Cabin was average sized extended balcony, no problems with noise and everything was in working order. With the bunk beds set up as well as the king size bed, there wasn't much extra room to move around. The cabin was clean and functional but certainly not luxurious. Bathroom was likewise clean and everything worked well and was clean. Entertainment was fair to occasionally good. Run of the mill mixed bag of comedians. A wonderful presentation in Puerto Vallarta by a local and experienced mariachi band was well as six Mexican folkloric dancers was the highlight of the trip. The ship's magician was actually very good, and he presented table side magic during dinner hours. Very friendly with our children as well. Casino was about what you'd expect. One craps table with $5 minimum and double odds, sometimes got very lively but then at other hours they had it closed most inexplicably. Blackjack dealer hits on soft 17 but all other rules fairly standard. Continuous shuffle shoe is not countable. We did not use the Internet, laundry, room service, spa services. The gym had a lot of treadmills, a few bikes and climbers, and was never crowded. Equipment was in good shape but the media function on the machines was not functional. For weights there was the whole panoply of Life Fitness fixed weight machines, and a few free weight dumbells. The gym had lots of clean towels, showers, but no cold water. All in all the gym was a success because it was never crowded. There are a lot of clubs and bars thoughout the ship, all clean and functional, but it is still weird to me that you can be in a sports bar and watch a basketball game and order a beer but you can't get food with it. Food. Ok, fair warning that I am a food snob. That said we had very modest expectations going in and knew Carnival would serve very mass market food. On the whole, they did a perfectly reasonable job. We ate in the dining room every meal except one night when we ate at Nick and Nora's. We chose anytime dining and got the same wonderful crew each night. The best dish tended to be red meats. Their desserts were often surprisingly good. Lobster night wasn't bad. They had a sushi/sashimi appetizer which was surprisingly good (and very tiny). Their salads were completely uninspired and soups varied from fair to inedible. The buffet serves the same food as the main dining room, though the MDR also has other options not in the buffet. The buffet at breakfast had a huge variety but quality was low. For example you can get an omelette to order, but the only cheese option is American cheese. The Asian station served positively awful food. some of it was simply embarrassing. The pizza line was often very long and they were usually struggling to keep up with demand. This was especially true between 3-6 pm and after 9 pm, when the buffet is closed. During those times the only options are pizza and the grill. No vegetables and no fruits available, which was inexcusable to me. The coffee in the dining room was mediocre, but the coffee in the buffet was better. Room service was limited to a continental breakfast, and we were flatly refused other items. Silliness. The Mexican brunch on sea days was a nice surprise and I definitely recommend taking advantage of it. Some of the more inspired food on ship. Nick and Nora's was very good, but the steaks simply are NOT 'the best steakhouse' quality. The service is friendly but not personal. The appetizers, sides, and desserts are phenomenal. It was worth doing once on the cruise. The pool areas are small but on cold days they did heat the water. The hot tus should be hotter. serenity is nice but often completely full. The waterslide is outdated but fun for a few trips. The service shocked us as it was extremely friendly and attentive. Not luxurious but comfortable. They took excellent care of my kids. Wonderful, especially in the dining room. We would cruise carnival again but unfortunately nothing 'stood out' in a way that would command our loyalty. And we may demand more in the way of food than they can deliver. But we had a great time and thank the staff for the experience. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
My group was al excited by this latest cruise. We also got such a bargain for the 8 day cruise on the Carnival Miracle from NYC! We stayed in a balcony room. As always when 1st boarding, the dining buffet area is where you get sent and it ... Read More
My group was al excited by this latest cruise. We also got such a bargain for the 8 day cruise on the Carnival Miracle from NYC! We stayed in a balcony room. As always when 1st boarding, the dining buffet area is where you get sent and it is always crowded. My problem though with the dining on this ship is that there is only ONE dining room, One Buffet and ONE restaurant. The dining room looks like a big grape. Purple grape light everywhere. The service was excellent. The food was good the first time around. I had prime ribs and it was great, but days later when it was served again it was like rubber. My vegetarian company did enjoy the Indian selection. The food at the buffet was usually the same. One Pizza station, One sandwich station, One salad station One Chinese station and the other was whatever was the days specials. Sometimes good sometimes not so good. I found the SPA was wonderful. Great massages at really good prices. Try for the specials they have daily. Port Canaveral: It was great to get off the boat and feel the sun on me. After a really cold winter, I enjoyed the heat. Since I have been at this port MANY times before, I just went to Walmart and then to the mall. Nassau: Another port I have been to numerous times. I enjoy looking in the town shops and then headed over to the beach by the Atlantis hotel. Freeport: This was my first and last time to this island. At 6 am the boat was arriving into port, pumping in the awful air into the cabin. We woke up gasping on the horrible smells. Freeport's port brings you into the oil refinery area and it STINKS!!! Everyone on the boat was coughing. Even leaving the boat and taking a taxi into town, the air still stinks!! I WILL NEVER GO BACK TO FREEPORT! Entertainment: The juggling guy was very good and funny. We also like the hypnotist but the comedians were awful. Stan Ullman was horrible. This is a joke, you are supposed to laugh he says. Well no one did! They should have thrown him off the boat! I like to play bingo but at $20 a game I didn't think it was worth it so I played maybe twice. The casino I stayed away from. When it is open you cannot breathe in there. Since I don't smoke, I was not going to get myself sick. I found the boat did not offer much exciting entertainment. I did see the shows but was not impressed. Shopping on the Boat: It is a very small area and doesn't offer much of a variety like on the Norwegian Gem & Jewel. I know I will not go on another Carnival cruise for a very long time since I thoruoghly enjoyed my Norwegian Cruises from NY and am planning an NCL cruise for next year. They have MORE variety of restauarants and activities. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
Not a fan of lengthy "play-by-play" reviews, so read on to enjoy the facts, our opinions & thoughts on our recent Bahamas Cruise on-board the Carnival Miracle! I will give ratings on some of the major categories we consider ... Read More
Not a fan of lengthy "play-by-play" reviews, so read on to enjoy the facts, our opinions & thoughts on our recent Bahamas Cruise on-board the Carnival Miracle! I will give ratings on some of the major categories we consider when cruising ... those which can hopefully be compared across ships and cruiselines. Each & every review will be different, but since we have now been on 3 of the "major" cruise lines (RCL, NCL, CCL), and have completed 7 cruises overall, I think we do offer some good persepctive! I have rated all categories below, but keep in mind that some of these are based on choices we made, i.e. this itinerary, where to eat, etc., and some are based on the cruise itself! The Ship (C+): + Easy to Navigate + Serenity (Adults Only Pool Area) a Great Upgrade in 2012 + Cabin (Ext. Balcony) had lots of storage & nice size bathroom. Decor was less than ideal, and we prefer sliding to swinging balcony doors (so you can let some fresh air in!) - Outdated / Questionable Decor - Boat had a "shimmy" pretty much all week. Didn't seem to be related to water conditions, etc. Kinda felt like a car that shakes at high speeds! - Horrible Sports Court The Staff (A): + Friendly, Interactive, Pleasant + Friendly, Attentive, & Helpful Room Steward Staff The Food (B-): + Main Dining Room Food & Service Better than Average + Nick & Noras Steakhouse Specialty Restaurant EXCELLENT - Buffet Options, Layout, Hours of Operations Needs Major Improvement Entertainment (D): + Piano Bar (Doug), & DJs very good - Comedians average at best - "Big Shows" nothing to write home about - Least impressive overall entertainment of our 7 cruises to-date Ports/Itinerary (C): + Some family friendly options, e.g. Space Center in Port Canaveral & "All-Inclusives" in Nassau & Freeport - Nothing really exciting, unless you want to drop some cash to see the Atlantis Resort in Nassau Embarkation / Disembarkation (A): + Arrived after 1pm, & was on the boat in less than 30 minutes + Disembarkation was a little behind the published schedule, but no issues with getting breakfast, finding a place to sit & wait, and no issues in getting off / customs ... very smooth Conclusion / Overall Rating (C): * Definitely a "get what you pay for" type cruise. It was probably our least expensive trip overall, and we found that the itinerary, the ship, & the entertainment were reflective of the price that we paid * Highlights: Bar staff, cruise staff, Doug the "piano man", Main Dining Food, & excellent Steakhouse experience NPS - Would you take this cruise again? NO NPS - Would you recommend going on this trip to a friend, etc.? NO Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
I just got back from the cruise yesterday and checked cruise critic to see if any of my fellow passengers did a review. I saw two reviews that were both mostly-positive. I was surprised. Embarking/Debarking - no complaints here. ... Read More
I just got back from the cruise yesterday and checked cruise critic to see if any of my fellow passengers did a review. I saw two reviews that were both mostly-positive. I was surprised. Embarking/Debarking - no complaints here. Considering it was New York and 3000 people were trying to board a ship at the same time, it went smoothly and the staff was very friendly. We had a fairly nice balcony room. I found the room to be overall clean, but the bedding was a bit worn and the towels in the bathroom were down-right gross. They looked like used locker-room towels and were smelly. What was disappointing was our noisy neighbors. We were noisy too with the kids, but they were on the up-all-night partying schedule, and that was annoying. The walls between the rooms are paper-thin. I am not sure why they design them that way, I suppose to be light. The food - in a word, disappointing. The buffet closed at 6:30pm, so the only thing for dinner was the grill (same fried crap) or the dining room. Not sure why the buffet wasn't open for normal dinner hours. But it doesn't matter. The various stations were not very impressive. The food was either unimaginative or just bland. I also noticed that the dining room served the exact same food that was in the buffet for lunch. I thought they could do better. The Problem with New York: It's great to be so close to the cruise port, but let's face it, we're annoying people here in the North East. The crowd was a mix of CT, NY and NJ. Many guests were pushy and rude. Lastly, the ports were terrible. It's not carnival's fault it's cold in January, but the two stops in the Bahamas stunk. Cheap shopping off the ship and anything remotely interesting was an expensive cab fare. I have been on four Carnival cruises and this was by far the worst. If you are a regular cruiser you will notice the places that Carnival has started to cut corners. If I list them out I will sound ultra-picky, but I am not. It's the little things that add up to one great cruise, and this one fell short too many little things (and a few big ones). Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
We went on the Miracle from Jan. 25 through Feb. 2, 2013. It was relatively inexpensive and left from NY where we live. We just took the LIRR to Penn Station and got a cab to take us to the pier. We arrived at 11:15am so we were given a ... Read More
We went on the Miracle from Jan. 25 through Feb. 2, 2013. It was relatively inexpensive and left from NY where we live. We just took the LIRR to Penn Station and got a cab to take us to the pier. We arrived at 11:15am so we were given a number, checked in and waited until after 1 pm when they finally called the numbers, one at a time, to embark. We had to go to the buffet because the main dining room was closed. The buffet was mediocre at best. I could hardly chew the meat from the carving station. There were long lines to get to hot food and salad. There was no "make your own" soup center but they did have one soup to try but no fruit soup. Desserts were good. However, the staff moves in s-l-o-w m-o-t-i-o-n to clear the tables. After lunch we went straight to Guest Services. Another long line. I inquired where and when the Cruise Critic Meet and Greet would be held. The fellow looked at me like I had 3 heads. What is Cruise Critic? I explained that I had signed up for a party but the staff had absolutely no knowledge of any gathering. So we missed the Meet and Greet. Sorry, folks. Bah! Then the ship had the required boat drill, only it was about 15 degrees outside and I was standing still and freezing even though I had dressed appropriately. It would have been more "guest" friendly if they had held the drill in the theatre and in clubs around the ship rather than having their "guests" freeze like that. How about a plan B, Carnival? To their credit, I must say we were upgraded from an inside to an oceanview cabin which was really nice. The room was comfortable with enough room in the closets for our belongings. Other than that, we didn't feel special at all. This was our third cruise with Carnival and would have thought we would be invited to the repeaters' party but found out we didn't have enough points for that even though other lines invite all passengers who have cruised at least once with the line. So, no repeaters party and no Cruise Critic party. My husband and I are in our 60s and love to ballroom dance. There was no venue for ballroom dancing whatsoever. When the Carnival band played possible dance music (although it was quite jazzy) they set up on the DANCE FLOOR of Jeeves Lounge for lack of a better place. So there was no room to dance. My husband and I love to play trivia, but hours and hours of sitting on our duffs playing trivia really got to us. There was no Zumba, no lectures to stimulate the mind, no movies in the theater (and the free movies on the TV kept repeating and repeating). The Revues were excellent (the singers and dancers did a great job) and so were the individual performers. However, on 2 nights there was no professional entertainment and we were bored. We don't consider guests performing as entertainment. Also, we planned 3 excursions with the ship. We asked to be awakened at 7:30 both times. The first time we were awakened at 7 by their automated machine and the second time at 6:45. They should repair that machine since it was quite annoying to be awakened too early. However, we must say that the excursions were very enjoyable and were the best part of this cruise. All in all, we have gone on over 31 cruises in the last 8 years and Carnival ranks as one of the worst. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
Background - I have been on three cruises on the Norwegian Dawn, so, this is my only point of reference. This was my first cruise on Carnival and my first cruise with my kids. Our ages - 5, 8, 9, 23, 33, 35, and 68. Overall- No major ... Read More
Background - I have been on three cruises on the Norwegian Dawn, so, this is my only point of reference. This was my first cruise on Carnival and my first cruise with my kids. Our ages - 5, 8, 9, 23, 33, 35, and 68. Overall- No major complaints. Let's call a spade a spade - its 8 days on a cruise. We had fun because we were on vacation. You eat. You sleep. You hang out. Getting on the ship was a breeze. Getting off took about 35-40 minutes from the time we got on the line to the time we passes through immigration. No complaints. Room- We prefer to have an inside cabin, as the darkness helps us sleep. The room was a bit dated, but more than functional. The bathroom layout was especially "roomy" for such a small space. We had three rooms. The kids kept changing rooms and we never felt cramped. The room stewards are exceptionally helpful. Good toiletries in the room, including breath right strips! The kids loved the towel creations - a nice, cute touch that makes you smile. Camp Carnival - In all honesty, the camp sucks, big time! On most days, they are only open from 10-245, and again from 6 on. They do not serve snacks or lunch on sea days. So, you drop your kid off at 10, pick them up for lunch at 12 - or have them starve - drop them off again at 1245, only to pick them up again at 245. If there are a lot of kids on board, as was the case this week, it can take 15 minutes to drop off and pick up your kids. Barely allowed enough time to use the gym and shower! On port days, you can drop the kids off at 7. We left the kids on the ship in Freeport. They served lunch, but no snacks, so, if you actually drop your kids off at 7, they will not eat until 12! That is just cruel! Most of the "activities" in the camp were described as "free play", especially for the younger kids, and there was no shortage of "movie time". After a few days, I let my 9 year old roam the ship with his new friends. Entertainment - The night shows were enjoyable, but they were significantly lower quality than on the Dawn. Great dancers, fun themes, but that's about it. On the Dawn, the shown included acrobatics, ropes/high-wire, etc. The shows were very crowded and you had to come about an hour early to get a decent seat. People had plenty of time to sit and wait because there wasn't anything else to do! Unless, of course, you like seminars and Bingo! I found myself saying "I'm bored" more than once! Not much to do to keep busy.Not even eat! Which brings me to - FOOD - The food in the dining room was very good. One side of the menu stays the same and one side changes daily. 5 of us are vegetarians and the other two eat meat. I was told the pork chops and several chicken dishes were good, but the red meat is not. I cannot tell you personally. We thoroughly enjoyed most of the vegetarian dishes - the Indian and the salmon on the left side of the menu are always good! Oddly enough,according to our server, ALL of the soups were made with chicken or beef stock, so us vegetarians could not eat any of them. The desserts mostly sounded and looked better than they tasted. Some faves - apple pie, the diet cakes (!), and the phyllo cigars. We all found the cheese cakes and mousse type desserts to be gross. The "melting cake" is good. Once. Not every night. The servers and staff are AMAZING!!!. There were a million children and large families, many with special food requests, and they never missed a beat!! Kudos to Yordan, Aries and Javier! They were especially caring to our children! Buffet food - Initially, with wide eyes, the buffet looks great! After day 1, its done! The food was less than average. The breakfast items were cooked in the kitchen and served from warming trays. The pancakes-waffles-french toast ended up crunchy under the lights. They also alternate between two menus - things like pancakes and cin buns were not served daily. The fruit was either soggy or hard and they only served melons, apples, bananas or canned fruit! No berries. (It will become mundane by day 8!) I am used to Freestyle dining and did not like Carnival dining at all. The buffet was closed from 3-6 and again at 930. It was like being in school - you have to eat at designated times, unless you don't eat! I like having a cup of coffee at about 430/5pm and had to remember to grab something at breakfast to eat with my coffee. They have pizza and ice cream 24 hours. Odd choices, if you ask me. I thought they should have more of a snack-fruit-cake type station open round the clock. All 7 of us thought the pizza was AWFUL, even the kids! The kids choices were lacking as well. We are lucky that tour kids eat "real food" - they mostly ate salmon, salad and mac n cheese. The fries at the pool are AMAZING and we ate plenty of these! Pool /Gym - pools are not heated. Kids crowded the hot tubs, even the one in the gym! Perhaps the kids should have somewhere to be during the day.....like CAMP!!! Gym had a lot of equipment. Low ceilings. Closes at 10, which I find to be early. Why cant the gym be opened 24 hours? Overall, good gym. Ships Decor - I found the decor of the ship to be very odd, not at all cohesive, and, at times, inappropriate. I didn't think I would care about the decor, as most cruise ships look cheesy, but it was nauseating after a while. The ceilings in the common areas are very low, as are the ceilings in the theater and dining room. The ship also seemed very dark. There was a life size picture of what appeared to be a nude 10-11 year old girl on the doors to the main dining room. I am not a prude, but the picture was disturbing. I heard several other people say they too were disturbed by that particular picture. Ports of call - Port Canaveral - we rented a car and drove to Kennedy Space Center. Overall, enjoyable. In Nassau - take one of the "cab -taxi-bus" tours that chase you down in the ship terminal. The drivers will group about 12 people together. Negotiate them down from the $25 a person. Our driver spent two hours giving us an island tour and then drove us to the beautiful, public beach on Atlantis (the hotel owns about 80% of the beach). Freeport - do an actual tour or stay on the ship. Not much to do on your own and it was quite cold in January. The Island is pretty bleak. My mom (68) did the bike tour through the ship and loved it. It sells out fast. Several other people enjoyed the Wyndham excursion. Overall, we had a pleasant vacation. Nothing bad happened. We were all a bit bored at times and found the food to be mundane. I think I will spend the extra money next time and go Norwegian. Good luck and have fun! Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
Getting 17 family members all on the same page to take an 8 day trip was truly challenging and my goodness so well worth it! Our family truly enjoys each other's company and we wanted to do something extra special as my wife's ... Read More
Getting 17 family members all on the same page to take an 8 day trip was truly challenging and my goodness so well worth it! Our family truly enjoys each other's company and we wanted to do something extra special as my wife's grandmother, who is blessed to be 91, is as fun and energetic as some 40 year old's! Our trip had a wide range of ages 91 to 14! Of course the one non grown-up was our son, so we quickly planned to sign him up for the Miracle Teen Club which he thoroughly enjoyed! We saw him only a few handful of times during our 8 days! He made a bunch of friends and even saved a few girls phone numbers...so yeah, he was smiling! Ok - on to the trip.... Embark - we procured a bus that picked us up from 2 stops and made it into NYC around 1230. Our group of 17 had tons of luggage but we moved pretty smoothly through the hustle and bustle of the NY chaos. Our rooms were ready fairly quickly as the excitement by everyone was on display all over. We all cheered as the workers opened up our sections to head to our rooms. The majority of our group was on the 6th floor while our family of 4 was on the 4th. The room was nice and 4 days prior to the trip we were moved from a room near the club to the 4th floor with a portal window...nice! Food - This was actually my 3rd cruise and I am a tough food critic. Comparing the Miracle to Norwegian and Royal was no competition. Early on I could tell that Miracle would be a distant 3rd. Buffet - Breakfast was pretty much the same everyday...the usual omelet station and sides. Strange that their bread was already toasted, bagels, etc...and placed under the light in a container? everyday they had a different lunch theme in one part of the buffet section which was the only thing that stood out. Food in general from the buffet was just ok - Nothing really stood out or left an impression. The 24 hr pizza and ice cream option was just eh. The pizza was not really good and did not offer many options. The Main dining room meals were good. Even with the upscale selections though, still a distant 3rd in comparison to Royal and Norwegian. They tried though....dishes that stood out were the Seafood Combo of shrimp, scallops, mussels and rice..Lobster Tail... Each night they had an exotic selection...frog legs, alligator, shark.....very different. They also had the Comedy Brunch that I am not a fan of...I want to eat, not hear corny jokes. The highlight of dinners though were the singing and dancing be the servers. This was pretty cool and actually impressed me more than the food! Entertainment - Now keep in mind, that I am an avid gambler so I spent a LOT of time in the casino (as did several family members..you know who you are) So this first part of review is for the gamblers......Day 2 started my hot streak as I find a wonderful machine that allowed me to win and have fun! Robin Hood's Sherwood Treasure....penny machine. played a $1 a spin and once I got up - played max bet. I had good wins from 110, 150, 240 all in one session. The Miracle had a program where once you hit 1500 points, you received free drinks in the casino for the rest of cruise. I accomplished this on Day 3!!! and was still up! This machine not only was generous to me, but to other family members! I'm usually a craps player and was at first mad at the pit boss. Day 1 started with me observing and Day 2 when I walked over ready to play, they had a small crew working the tables and they made everyone throw from the left end. Well, I have certain spots I like to throw from and that left end had 5 people squeezed in....So of course I asked why such a small crew and that I'd like to throw from was the right end. The pit boss had an attitude and said No, you throw from down here or you don't play??? I laughed and said whatever and walked away. The next day I spoke to the casino host and he apologized for the rudeness. He happily allowed me to throw from my spot and I made a small profit after 8 minutes of throwing - gotta love dice control and practice throws! The real action was at the roulette table where several members of our family had security and several casino hosts sweating as they hit number after number. I was able to sneak in and ride the winning streak as well as several numbers repeated (you gotta love it when the casino changes dealers during a hot streak) So yes - the casino was the place to be! Not only did several members get the free drinks for the duration of the cruise, but we got T-shirts, and chocolate covered strawberries sent to our room... (PS - and maybe a ring!) Mad Love goes out to Lily in the casino who brought me luck and the fast servers who brought my free drinks at the speed of light!!!!! Entertainment 2 - They had a hypnotist who worked his magic powers that did not impress me at all. We had more fun imitating his voice and comments....." The deeper you go, the better it feels!" At least 3 people of the 17 that ran up on stage walked off...guess they weren't as relaxed as the others. Battle of the Sexes game was good...the men v women angle is always fun as a range of questions were asked and had everyone screaming and yelling...fun I missed the adult comedy, and several family members said that it was pretty good. After my experience at the Comedy Brunch, I really didn't want to take the chance...One thing that was truly fun - only if you are in to it...was the Trivia! The Trivia ranged from Sports to general knowledge. We had a group of 7 that went from Trivia to Trivia on the next to last day...Great interaction and also some fun bean bag toss contests as well. Unlimited opportunities to play BINGO were available - at a cost of course! Miracle felt obligated to charge for pretty much everything - even laser tag???? $5 for 7 minutes in a small area?? wow.... Entertainment 3 - I was at first skeptical of a club with a Frankenstein name - boy was I wrong! This was a hot club - of course the people make the club and there were tons of fun and happening people at the club pretty much every night! Partying from 11 pm to 330 am capped off many fun days at sea! Our 18 yr old daughter was here almost every night! Go party girl! Ports - Port Canaveral -> Nassau -> Freeport - All I can say is SENOR FROGS! Make sure that you go here and get a drink and partake in ALL the fun!!!!! Nassau and Freeport rocked because of this....From great food and free shots the party was on and popping @ SENOR FROGS. For every correct answer at trivia, you got a free shot poured in your mouth...Lets just say I got a lot right and enjoyed the drinks!!!! Port Canaveral had a cool place called Captain J's Food was good - place was packed...service was iffy, but created great entertainment as the servers were loud and yelling at each other The Beaches were nice - but I can't swim and sat on the beach observing and relaxing. We walked through Atlantis and it was nice - although a lot of people who worked there gave bad directions : ) OVERALL - Our Family Rocks! God willing we will try and do this again - although it may not be through Carnival! The bad outweighed the good in regards to Carnival in my opinion. Hopefully an improved food quality and better variety will improve thoughts on Carnival Miracle. Also charging for every little thing needs to improve Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
Okay, so maybe the disappointment wasn't "miraculous" but it was disappointing. I've been on 2 previous Carnival cruises, and this is our first "Grand Suite" (though we did a smaller suite on another ship). ... Read More
Okay, so maybe the disappointment wasn't "miraculous" but it was disappointing. I've been on 2 previous Carnival cruises, and this is our first "Grand Suite" (though we did a smaller suite on another ship). That was our first disappointment. We paid a lot for the upgrade and the room was not in good shape. The carpet was very worn and had many stains. Even the couch had stains on it. I think what bothered me most is that we were in some of the regular balcony rooms, and the carpeting in those rooms looked fairly new. That was not the VIP treatment we were promised. Food - I found the Lido deck buffet food less tasty and less varied than on past cruises. I love Asian food, but there was basically only one or two (at most) entrees offered, and they were never anything that I would call "typical" (like orange chicken or kung pao, etc.). So although I looked almost every day, I never ate anything from that station. The room service menu has shrunk considerably. No hamburgers and no fries - what's up with that? Very poor selections. Main dining room meals were mostly good (loved the eggs Benedict at brunch) but the desserts were very plain and bland. Our servers were the usual excellent wait staff that we've come to expect in the main dining room. So we were glad for that, and tipped heavily the last night. We went to the Steakhouse one night (Nick and Nora's) but just as soon we hadn't. It wasn't that great. One of our steaks was very thinly sliced and seriously overcooked - not sure why a steakhouse chef would have even sent it out. I wouldn't recommend it. Didn't love the "comedy brunch" concept. The comedians weren't that funny to begin with and the "teasers" they would do at brunch were more intrusive than entertaining in my opinion, which leads me to... Entertainment - never thrilled with this on Carnival, but we saw some BAD shows. The comedians were just ok, but the ventriloquist was AWFUL. He had no material. The one "show" we went to see was a Beetle's review...very "high school musical" to me. Some of the individual entertainers were good. Piano player, one guy with a guitar who was often at the Atrium bar, and a band I saw a couple of numbers from in the Jazz Lounge - they were all good (and of course, not the ship's staff but privately contracted). LGBT Friends of Dorothy Meetings - these are a common thing on all Carnival ships as I understand it. They are advertised in the Fun Times at a specific time in one of the bars. It's just an opportunity for LGBT passengers to find each other and socialize, so the place doesn't really matter - any bar is good. These have always gone very smoothly on the other Carnival ships we've sailed. Well, the first 3 meetings were held in the piano lounge, but as the piano player missed the ship, it wasn't staffed. It was open, 6 or 8 of us gathered, but no bartender, even after we called guest services and asked. We were told they don't staff "private functions" (which this wasn't) and that the bar manager didn't have staff to cover (well, if the piano player had made the ship, wouldn't the piano bar have been staffed?) Very disappointed how this was handled. Had it been just one night, I might have been more forgiving, but it was 3 times, and here is what really gets me: when we picked up a piano player in the Bahamas and the piano bar opened, we talked to the bartender - turns out, she's not a bartender but a bar server filling in. Why couldn't they have done that for our group? We've never had issues with these meetings on other Carnival ships. In fact, the staff seemed to enjoy working where we met. On the Triumph we met in the Wine Bar every night and had the same bartender. On that cruise, our meetings quickly grew so that we ended up with nearly 30 people by the last night of a 5 night cruise! Carnival missed the chance to sell a number of drinks on the Miracle. Bed - Why do some ships pay attention to the bed preference (together or not) and others don't? Miracle staff set up our room with two singles, when we expressed in our Online Check-In that we wanted one King. Good things - all of the main dining room wait staff, our steward (awesome!) the piano player (Hailey), most of the bar servers. While we had a good time, it wasn't as good as it could have been. While I may go on another Carnival cruise, I won't go on the Miracle again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
We booked this cruise as a between holiday vacation. We have cruised with Carnival before and had wonderful experiences. This was by far almost the worst cruise we have taken. The food and service in the dining room was not up to ... Read More
We booked this cruise as a between holiday vacation. We have cruised with Carnival before and had wonderful experiences. This was by far almost the worst cruise we have taken. The food and service in the dining room was not up to par with our past cruises. We sent many items back many nights because food was either over cooked, under cooked or cold. Some of the items on menu did not reflect what we are used to seeing in a restaurant setting. IE: Beef Welington. We don't usually go to buffets but was forced to go there many times during this cruise. I can only describe it as sub standard at best. In previous reviews its mentioned deck 4 had a virus. Well don't leave out deck 7, our entire family spent from Monday to Friday with this same virus, as well as many other cabins on our deck. I was the first in our family to recover and I agree the sanitation level on this ship was kicked up to max. I tryed to use room service to get jello for my family and what a project that created. It only took an hour and a half to get it and the young lady I spoke to on the phone wasn't going to deliver it unless we were quaranteened. Our saving grace was our cabin steward I never seen anyone so concerned and so helpful. Kudos to him. My family and I are going to think twice before booking another Carnival cruise. Their quality and service has gone to pot. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
Firstxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx First of all a big "thank you" to the folks at Carnival for getting our cruise out of New York with Hurricane Sandy hot-on-our-heels. A terrific waitstaff, clean rooms, and adequate food (for the ... Read More
Firstxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx First of all a big "thank you" to the folks at Carnival for getting our cruise out of New York with Hurricane Sandy hot-on-our-heels. A terrific waitstaff, clean rooms, and adequate food (for the money) were all appreciated, the folks on this cruise worked very hard indeed to make us all as comfortable as possible. WARNING: If you're looking to kill a week or so on a cruise that is run by a gent named "Cory" (who we never even bumped into on the cruise), and all you want to do is run run into "re-scheduled shows" (some of which were explainable, but none of which, despite the abundance of available on-board talent, the cruise director had any desire to "work around"... think "Carnival", or at least the Carnival Miracle " ! With the exception of the extremely talented show band and the wonderful "Beatles Stage Show" you'll find yourself deluged in a sea of a "pushy" and all too frequent photography staff, two possibly well meaning... but please put them back "home-on-the-range" "guitarist crooners", one "fun but noisy" unpolished saloon pianist, and tour own personal MIA "Cruise Director"... apparently the kind of guy who possibly "slept his way to the top" and no one ever bothered to wake him... he just didn't exist. Dead time, Dead time, Dead time. Third rate ?... hmmmm, I don't think so. While we were at Nassau parked next to the Norwegian "Jewel" ("Dan The Man" is the cruise director), all I wanted to do was jump ships... what a paradox, the best and worst cruise directors sharing the same dock ! Enough said, you get the idea. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
Here is a review of the 10/13 sailing of the Miracle to Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay and Nassau. Many apologies for the lateness, but due to Sandy, long time w/o power, computer problems, illness, holidays, etc, it kept getting pushed to the ... Read More
Here is a review of the 10/13 sailing of the Miracle to Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay and Nassau. Many apologies for the lateness, but due to Sandy, long time w/o power, computer problems, illness, holidays, etc, it kept getting pushed to the end of the priority list. But, I figured better late than never, as I like to read a variety of reviews regardless of time passed, so here it is. This was our 11th Cruise with Carnival and 2nd time on the Miracle. Embarkation: We arrived at the port around 10:30 and after a short wait, were checked in and moved to the Platinum lounge which was pretty much the same as the non-platinum waiting area except it was a separate room. Last time it was a lounge with more couches, but I believe they changed the location and it was more like a work in progress. While we were waiting to be called I walked to the restroom and noticed that the embarkation photo ops were set up right in the waiting area so you could take your photos while waiting for your zone to be called. I thought that was a great idea, except it wasn't made known to people waiting, you had to stumble upon it, so I don't think that many took advantage of it. We took our photo and were on the lido having lunch by 11:15 I believe. I think it was the earliest we've gotten on a ship so embarkation was nice and easy. The lido wasn't even fully set up yet for lunch when we got up there! We dropped off carry-ons in the room (not ready until 1:30) and explored the ship. I had pre-paid for a soda sticker so a certificate to get the sticker was in the room. You get the sticker at the Fountainhead Cafe which is the coffee bar on deck 2 outside the sports bar. After doing that we remembered that we had to go to the Shore Excursion desk to reserve our cabana (almost forgot to do it!). I think we got there around 12:20 and the ones still available were 1-7 and 13-15. We chose #13 and it ended up being a great choice for us. Cabin: We had one of the extended "bowling alley" balconies for the first time and it really was a great balcony. It was large enough for 4 lounge chairs, 2 regular chairs, a table and still room to spare! Our room location was rear of the ship, near the elevators and it was a quiet location. Everything in the room was standard fare and clean. Ice buckets have to be requested now and there weren't any drinking glasses which I never used anyway, but did notice weren't there. We didn't have a need for the ice bucket either. Our room steward was Jhonny from the Dominican Republic. He serviced our room twice a day, left towel animals and was a very nice guy. He never greeted us by name like other room stewards have, but he did greet us whenever he saw us around the ship. It wasn't a big deal to us either way, just something we noticed. I know a lot of people wonder about the toiletry freebies. There were a couple of shampoo/conditioner packets, toothpaste in a foil packet and a woman's deodorant. Grand Turk: We decided on a beach day at Magaritaville and rented a pool-side cabana. The cabana was great! It was roomy with a sectional sofa, table, some chairs, air conditioner, an outdoor shower and we could call for bar/food service. It's a short walk to the beach and right there by the pool. It worked out well because it was a place to keep or things while we went to the beach or to the stores. It was a my son's first beach experience so it was good to have a place out of the sun for breaks and to rinse off the sand after we were done. We didn't get food there, but got a couple of drinks and bought a couple of souvenirs before getting back on the ship. We're going to Grand Turk again next year on the Splendor and plan to do the same thing as we really enjoyed the day. Half Moon Cay: This is really a beautiful island and probably our favorite stop of the cruise. We rented a cabana so we waited in the Mad Hatter lounge for the first tender. I think anyone with morning shore excursions met there, but those who had the private oasis or a cabana rental were called to the first tender. It took a while because something happened that morning causing the ship to delay anchoring, but after about 45 minutes we lined up for the tender by the deck 1 stair case to go down to deck A. As we were about to go, a staff member got radioed that there were two platinum passengers who went to guest services to request priority tendering and they were escorted down the stairs ahead of the line so that perk is in effect though only two people that we saw actually used it. The tender was pretty large and it was only a short ride to the island. When we got there the crew was on the lower deck bringing with them everything for the cabanas, photo ops and the barbeque lunch. All those with cabanas waited for a tram and we were taken over in groups to the cabana locations. Ours was #13 and a great location. It wasn't very crowded at all and it was close to the bathroom. It was a bit of a walk to the food area and the way out, but certainly doable. The cabana had 2 padded lounge chairs, a table and four chairs, a misting fan, mini fridge, shower and air conditioner. When we got there we found snorkel equipment and then the rest of the things were delivered in stages. I think the cooler of sodas came first, then the fruits/veggies, chips, dips and towels. Everything was great! The sand so silky and amazing and the water was just beautiful. We never got to the barbeque lunch. Our little one had enough I think after all the sun and the hot walk back so we ended up skipping the lunch and just going to the tender and back on the ship. I wasn't really excited about going there, but it really surpassed our expectations. We would definitely go again and do the cabana rental again too. Nassau: We've been to Nassau a couple of times before and while it's one of our least favorite ports, we enjoyed it more this time. We walked a few blocks into town and took the #10 bus to Ardastra Zoo and Gardens. I read reviews about the zoo which were a range from great to not worth it, but I'd say it fell somewhere in between. It's not very large so it won't take very long to get through, but it's well maintained, you will see animals (mostly birds) and there's a flamingo show. The staff is very proud of their zoo and never hesitated to share their knowledge of the plants, animals and overall environment. Our 2 year old definitely liked looking at the animals, but was a little afraid of the flamingos when they came close. We only saw the very beginning of the flamingo show since it was extremely hot and he had enough by then. I was still glad we did the zoo though. After the zoo we walked up the block to the main road and across the street was Goldies where got an order of freshly made conch fritters which were the best we ever had and caught the #10 bus back to the port area for some shopping and then back on the ship. Entertainment: This was our 11th Carnival cruise so we had already seen the production shows a couple of times and didn't really partake in many of the games/trivia. We watched the bean bag tournament in the atrium a couple of times and passed on Civil War trivia. Trivia is fine, but Civil War trivia isn't something I'd circle in the Fun Times to be sure I didn't miss. I think Carnival could do a better job of improving entertainment in general. I thought Corey the CD and his staff were pretty good and we did see a funny juggler and a couple of the comedy shows in Punchliners. There were some live singers here and there around the ship, but most of the time it was a DJ which I think is the direction Carnival is going now. They made a big deal of it at the past guest party that their DJs go to some DJ academy in Florida to learn how to do it. Food: Here we found some hits and misses. Overall I'd rate the food as just okay. It was nothing great and but not horrible with the exception of a couple of things. We had better on the Miracle last year and on previous Carnival cruises. We had dinner in the MDR each night with any time dining. We ended up keeping the same waiter team of Christopher and Vlado who were very personable and took great care of us. We always went around 6 so we never waited for a table and usually were done within an hour. I think the worst thing I had was the Flat Iron steak. It was really terrible, not edible in my opinion. It had a very strange taste and texture. On previous cruises I've enjoyed it. Not sure if it's a change in the cut/quality of meat or what, but I got it once and never again. A co-worker of my husband was on the cruise with us and she felt the same way about it. The chateaubriand and prime rib were good, as well as the lasagna, melting cake and bitter and blanc, most of the desserts with the exception of cheesecake which had gelatin in it and wasn't the normal cheesecake consistency. We ate breakfast in the MDR everyday except one which we enjoyed. I liked the traditional breakfast on port days better than the Punchliners brunch, which we thought was just okay. Best were the huevos rancheros and the pastry basket. We got a piece of the cereal French toast for our son once which wasn't good at all. It was basically a box of cheerios dumped on top of a piece of bread. The cinnamon raisin French toast on the regular breakfast menu was great though. My husband and I never got our VIFP drink coupons to use at brunch, but our 2 year old did. I wasn't sure if we were supposed to get them, but I certainly didn't think he would get one! I meant to go to Guest Services to ask, but never did and we aren't big drinkers so it wasn't a major deal. Just strange. On the lido the pizza was okay, but the lines were long and it was never ready without a wait which was strange considering its one of the more popular things to get if you want something quick and easy. We thought the Chinese was pretty bad and the deli was great, particularly the pastrami and reubens. The taste bar was a new addition that we frequented a couple of times and it was okay. Each night it had a sample of something off the menu from one of the fleetwide specialty restaurants. Unfortunately there had to be a waiter guarding the counter to make sure people didn't descend upon it like locusts while the server was setting up. Some people took liberty to just go grab whatever with their hands before it was even opened, pretty gross. Debarkation: This was a bit hectic and disorganized. The line for self-assist extended all the way back to the lounge and wasn't moved through by the crew in an efficient manner. People were pushing and trying to figure out where they should be without much staff direction. We were Platinum and did self assist and waited in line. We knew we were supposed to get priority debarkation but did that mean just go to the head of the line, show our cards and get off? We weren't sure and just went with the flow as we didn't need to get off quickly for any particular reason. Overall we had a good cruise, but it wasn't one of our favorites. It just seemed to be a bit lackluster in some areas. Our friend on the cruise with her family, as well as some others we met in passing had similar impressions about the cruise as we did. We had a better cruise the first time on the Miracle and will be sailing the Splendor later this year which we hope will be better. I think after that we're going to another with Royal Caribbean and give NCL a try to see how they compare to Carnival. I get that after so many with one line it doesn't have that same excitement factor. The "been there done that" feeling, along with some Carnival cutbacks, may be why we liked this cruise, but didn't love it. Any questions, would be happy to answer. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
We just missed hurricane Sandy by one week and got caught up in hurricane Raphael's high winds and rain for 2 days. 20 foot waves and a lot of people were sick. I will not book ever again during peak hurricane season. We all saw ... Read More
We just missed hurricane Sandy by one week and got caught up in hurricane Raphael's high winds and rain for 2 days. 20 foot waves and a lot of people were sick. I will not book ever again during peak hurricane season. We all saw what happened the week after to Staten Island and Manhattan. That was a close call for us! We spend too much money to take such a chance again. The ship was not pretty to look at with the exception of the Mad Hatter's Ballroom. The decor was so gaudy in so many places. If it is supposed to be a "carnival" atmosphere, then I guess they succeeded. I did enjoy many of the renaissance paintings about the ship in keeping with the "Miracle" theme. The suite itself was very very nice. I don't know if it's because we boarded in NY that it was a different crowd then when boarding Miami? Lots of loud, boisterous people poorly dressed. However, we did meet a lot of nice people too. Our room was spectacular. Cabin 7345 aft deck 7. A fantastic suite. There is a larger suite just next door but it's "L" shaped so in the end, even though ours is somewhat smaller it feels bigger. Because of the high seas we didn't get to go out there much but was appreciated docking and leaving ports of call. The cabin steward was very very nice. Nick and Nora's was a definite yes. Glad we went. If you book the first night then you get a bottle of wine free. There were always big lineups for breakfast and lunch buffets. It's extremely noisy too. I had the worse eggs benedict ever at the dining room! They used pressed hamburger buns instead of English muffins and the sauce was cold and thick. It was awful. The Serenity section aft was a nice reprieve but we could never get a chair or clamshell. Even when going straight after breakfast. People reserve seats with their books and towels even though they are not supposed to. For 2 days waves were at least 20 ft. They were passing out sick bags and hanging them near the elevators. This is my second cruise and I wasn't sick the first time even though we hit a big storm and couldn't dock at St. Barts and was diverted to BVI Virgin Gorda. Would I sail the Miracle again? NO Would I sail Carnival again? Maybe not. Someone did tell me the newer bigger ships are better. They charge for everything and I mean everything, even a bottle of water. A soft drink card is $60 per person and you could not possibly drink all of that! We loved Turks and Caicos (been there before love Margaritaville), Bahamas was spectacular but best of all was our day on the beach at Half Moon Cay. We did not rent a cabin, nor did we rent a clamshell. We made the right decision by walking to almost the very end of the beach to the left of the pier and finding some long chairs we pulled up into the shade between 2 cabins under pine trees. Think it was between cabins 10 and 11. The lunch there was crappy though. Long long line ups. Mostly hot dogs and hamburgers which are fine with me but they were not so good. So so. The condiments were placed well before you got to where you got your hamburger so you had to double back between the crowded line ups at the food counter to get back to it. Only later when we were leaving did we find out there were more tables way in the back. No one was there to guide us through the trees as you couldn't see them. There weren't any signs either. We finally got 2 places at a picnic table with a bunch of people standing around waiting holding their plates. Canned sodas and bottles of water were available at a sharp price. The beach is absolutely stunning and it was the best day of the whole trip. In Nassau, we took a taxi ($12 for 2)over to Atlantis and early in the morning. We were dressed really nicely as we had planned to have lunch at the Greycliff Hotel just up from Governor's House. We did have our bathing suits underneath. The staff at Atlantic mistook us for guests of the hotel and we basically walked in and all over the resort. Beautiful! We plan on going back there to stay. The straw market was fun. I was anxious to purchase a hat as now all the hats in the stores are made of paper and flop in the humidity. Real straw is hard to find. Ohhhhhhhh Pilates, yoga and zumba are $5 each class per person! I couldn't believe it. How gauche and I felt the cruise line were very cheap. The public bathrooms were always dirty. I can't understand why people can't throw the damn toilet paper in the toilet or pick it up when it falls on the floor! No respect for living quarters! The ventilation in the public bathrooms was poor. It was better to walk back to your cabin. The service everywhere was A1. All in all I think we paid too much for what we got though. The only reason we were bumped up to a suite is because we we are members of Unlimited Vacation Club and are VIP members purchased 2 years ago. We get perks with Platnium Ice. We had VIP tickets but found out that there are no VIPs on Carnival. Everyone is VIP. The only extra we got was quicker boarding. We are not that snobby that we cared too much about that. Just mentioning it so some of you know in advance. It was my 60th Birthday cruise and although this ship experience was somewhat disappointing I enjoyed the 3 ports of call. The comedy club was a blast. Packed for both shows every night. All in all, I did leave with some nice memories. I think though that unless I sail again with Oceania Line, or at the very least, perhaps a European cruise, we will stick to all inclusive resorts for the Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
First off Carnival needs to do something about the doors on the balcony and staterooms they are hard to open and slam hard when closed! which doesn't go to well when you are trying to sleep and you have people around closing balcony ... Read More
First off Carnival needs to do something about the doors on the balcony and staterooms they are hard to open and slam hard when closed! which doesn't go to well when you are trying to sleep and you have people around closing balcony and staterooms doors ,i was woken up several times through the cruise , I've never experienced this on any other ship ! the food options were a hit or miss, the deli was open till 11 pizza/room service where 24 hrs but buffet besides breakfast which was till 12 was like 12-2:30 then 6-9:30 wth is that it seemed like every time we went to eat they were closed it got real annoying having to schedule what we were doing around when we could eat. pizza and sandwiches gets old real fast! we would eat breakfast around 11/12 and want to eat around 3 and had not many options we had to wait till 6 . they do not follow dress code in dinning room ! i was dressed nice for dinner and see people walk in with flip flops and shorts and a tank ? the ships decor was probably the worst I've been on, nothing special at all . the pools are small . the serenity area was always full , so one day at port we stayed on ship and were able to get some chairs but the pool was closed the whole time !if your a no frills type of person its a ok cruise, the staff wasn't anything special that stood out . the dj in the night club actually laughed in my bf's face when he made a request as she removed i pod headphones from her ears my bf is a professional dj that owns his own company and her dance floor was empty the whole night. the private island half moon cay was absolutely gorgeous!and we enjoyed peter in the piano bar other then that is was so so Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
This was our first cruise so i want to include information which i feel is relevant to first time cruisers as well as people looking for a review specific to Carnival Miracle. Our first impressions when queueing to board carnival miracle ... Read More
This was our first cruise so i want to include information which i feel is relevant to first time cruisers as well as people looking for a review specific to Carnival Miracle. Our first impressions when queueing to board carnival miracle were not what we expected. It seemed to us straight away that this cruise may be at the 'budget' end of the market. I hope that this does not offend anyone who took the cruise, as i say its just an honest opinion. As we boarded it was the first time we became aware of the 'fun' ship element of Carnival Miracle and this was entirely down to a lack of research on our part - we were really looking to spend a lot time relaxing and enjoying peace and quiet with good food and nice weather, but we appeared to be boarding a disco boat to the Bahamas! The embarkation process was very simple and quick and the welcome lunch aboard the ship was a good chance to see what could be expected. The ship was larger than we expected and although the interior decor is very odd indeed, it was clean and well kept. Our cabin, on deck four aft with balcony was great. Very clean and larger than we expected. A lot of the things that we were unsure about before out first cruise were made clear very quickly although I am sure that arrangements vary on different ships and cruise lines. The breakfast and lunches on this ship take the form of a giant buffet offering a wide range of options, cereals and cooked breakfasts andeverything from Burgers and Hot Dogs to Carvery and Chinese at lunch time. Some are better than others. One problem we had was my wife being a vegetarian, there were not many options and the foods that were suitable for vegetarians were being served up using the same utensils as the meat and fish dishes, the staff serving the food who spoke limited english seemed to have little concept of 'vegetarian'. Also, and I certainly dont want to offend anyone, there seems to be nothing on earth that can stop a hungry american in a buffet queue! The dining area, known as Horatios was at times like a turkish market - so many people fighting to get as much food as possible on to a tray that it made the whole experience more painful than necessary. There was however plenty of food to go around, the minus point being that there simply were not enough tables to seat the number of people at the busier times. I would recommend waiting until service has been running for an hour to avoid the rush. The lido deck was busy with families and young people having 'fun', there was music playing throughout the day and plenty of activities, most people looked like they were having a great time, we found the 'serenty' deck at the aft of deck 9 which was adults only and this was a great haven for people seeking a quieter time. The only drawback being that unless you got there early it was hard to get a sun lounger. The evening meals served in Bacchus restaurant (where the odd decor gets even worse!). The large area seats a huge number of people and the menu was quite varied with some meals consistent every day and another menu which changes daily. Again the veggie options were limited but they do exist! Some of the waiting staff do give you the impression that you need to get a move on because they have so many people to serve. There were two styles of dining, one with a fixed time and one 'anytime'. We had anytime dining but found that most nights you had to wait half an hour to get a table but they do give you a buzzer so you can go to one of the many bars and get a drink while you wait. The alternative dining option was Nick & Noras, the onboard steakhouse - I cannot rate this highly enough. The manager, Elena was fantastic. She and her staff made us feel so welcome that we didnt care about the $35 surcharge and ate there on 5 out of the 8 nights on the cruise. The food was outstanding and the chef (Johnson) came to see us at our table every night and made special veggie meals for my wife. The wines are much better and there is a very helpful sommelier to help you chose. I would eat at this place all the time if it were in London if for no other reason than the fantastic service and great food. The cabin service was excellent, you kind of felt that every time you left the cabin they came in and tidied up and cleaned. I cannot fault the cabin stewards in any way at all. The bars in the evenings had various different things going on so there are options availible depending on whether you prefer lively or quiet drinks! We went to Sams Bar and saw Peter playing the Piano and singing! We only popped into to see the shows in the Phantom Lounge, we certianly did not see enough to make a fair judgement as they are not really our sort of thing. Afternoon tea served in Bacchus at 3pm on Sea Days was good. There was plenty of cake and nice teas, the staff however had clearly never served either of them before and would probably only need to be shown once...but i guess its the least of their worries! So..info for first timers: The drinks are not cheap on board. It's a good idea to keep an eye on your running tab which you can do from the TV in your cabin. They mount up quickly! There is full mobile phone reception at sea at international dialling rates and the phone in the cabin is also good. The onboard TV is dodgy....only a few poor channels with inconsistent reception but if you take a cruise to watch TV then dont take a cruise! The onboard gratuities apply to almost everything...this was a new concept to us English people...everything you buy has a price on a menu and everything has a tip added to it. To air my main gripes about this ship, I would say the worst part is the constant effort by the cruise company to sell you something. There are contstant reminders of the things for sale as well people standing in the ship trying to take photographs of you which they then try to sell to you later in the day. It would be a nice option if you wanted it but to have it thrown in your face constantly is a little irritating. Everyday they reminid you that there is a desk open where you can book your next cruise as well as constant announcments about the shore excursions, all of this information is provided in a newsletter which is delivered to your cabin each evening but they insist on reading out over the PA system each morning as well. Also, the air conditioning in the ship is so cold that in the evening you almost need an extra layer of clothing! The best bits....definitely Nick & Noras, the Serenity Deck and the wide choice of places to spend yout time. The library is also good if you arrive on board without a book to read! The cabins and cleanliness were top class with fresh towels and restocked mini bar every day! Whilst my review may appear somewhat negative, I would like to say that my wife and I did enjoy the cruise very much but we selected a ship and perhaps a cruise line which was not really suited to our tastes. Wandering around on the outside decks in the evening when the air is still warm and watching the world go by really is very enjoyable and whilst I may not have been in love with Carnival Miracle, it has certainly whetted our appetite for cruising again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
This was our first experience with Carnival and it was a study in contrasts. There were so many good and bad things that it is impossible to just classify it with one word. So, here are the good and the bad that we experienced. ... Read More
This was our first experience with Carnival and it was a study in contrasts. There were so many good and bad things that it is impossible to just classify it with one word. So, here are the good and the bad that we experienced. Individually, some of these things may sound petty, but lumped together, they have to be considered in evaluating the cruise. Finally, we love cruising and had a good time on this ship. However, our favorite lines are still Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. THE GOOD 1. Embarkation was fast and efficient. We were dropped off at the terminal in Manhattan at about noon and we were on the ship in less than 30 minutes. The staff person we spoke with was courteous and quite helpful when it appeared that the credit card I registered online had not been approved. 2. Leaving from NY was enormously better than having to fly somewhere. 3. Carnival reduced our fare by $240 because the senior rate was not posted at the time we booked. 4. The food in the buffet was average to good. There was a decent variety and the burgers and fried were pretty good. The deli section made wraps and sandwiches to order and did a good job. 5. The mdr menu was on the cabin tv each day. 6. The food in the main dining room was good to excellent, especially the chocolate melting cake. 7. Service in the main dining room was attentive. 8. We tried any time dining and we never waited more than 5-10 minutes for a table. 9. Nick and Nora's Steakhouse was as good or better than any steakhouse we have ever visited. Even though it cost $35 per person, it was so good that we went back a second time. 10. The Fountainhead on deck 2 made great milkshakes. 11. The ship's singers were ok. The band was wonderful. 12. Cruise director Corey was one of the best we have seen. 13. Our balcony stateroom was average sized and had enough storage space for our four suitcases. The bathroom was laid out well and had enough shelf space. The water pressure was good. It was an aft extended balcony and we liked it a lot. 14. The A/C in the cabin and around the ship was effective. 15. The ship was clean and well-maintained. 16. This was the first time we had wifi in the room. Expensive, but convenient. 17. The comedians in the Punchline Comedy Club were really funny. We ended up going to three shows. 18. While getting a seat in the Serenity area was difficult, once we did we found it to be one of the best places to relax on any ship we have been on. THE BAD 1. Contrary to what many others have said, this was the ugliest ship we have ever been on. We found the decor to be dark and somewhat unpleasant. Ceilings in many areas were low and caused a feeling of being closed in (we are not claustrophobic). 2. The layout of the buffet was poor. It was difficult to take a look at the food because of the people on line as well as the people trying to walk by. 3. The tv in the cabin was placed so high that it was impossible to get a good viewing angle. Colors were distorted and sometimes difficult to see. Others we spoke with agreed with us. 4. The tv shelf jutted into the room over the safe, ice bucket and fridge. This promoted bumped heads. Again, other passengers agreed with us. 5. We didn't see the cabin steward Jay Jay for hours after getting into our cabin. We had to leave him a note to get ice and the fridge unlocked. We couldn't call because our phone didn't work the entire cruise. 6. While, as I said above, we liked the singers and band, the dancers and choreography were laughable. It was though we were watching a dance recital. 7. We found that tables in the buffet restaurant and around the deck areas often had trays and dishes on them long after the passengers left. On several occasions we had to carry the used trays and dishes away just to get a clean place to sit. 8. I'm not a coffee drinker, but my wife said it was terrible. 9. There was only one outlet in the cabin. In this day when couples have multiple iPads, kindles, etc., one outlet is not enough. 10. The only lunch venue was the buffet restaurant (including the burger station) because the mdr was used for the brunch (which had primarily breakfast items). 11. Smoking is allowed on balconies. We could often smell smoke which made sitting on the balcony uncomfortable. Ashes had blown on one of the chairs. Not seeing this, my wife sat down in white pants and got black streaks on them. The happy ending is that the ship offered to clean the pants for free. 12. On the next to last day of the cruise we were told we had to be out of our cabin for 4 1/2 hours so that the balconies could be washed. That should have been done prior to sailing. 13. While the mdr food was good, the selection was more limited than on other cruiselines. Several times, my wife had to "settle" for a dinner item. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
We were on the NCL EPIC in June and loved the ship. Going on Carnival only 2 months later was a risk. And even though there were some really nice things on the Miracle, it just couldn't compare with the EPIC. We really liked ... Read More
We were on the NCL EPIC in June and loved the ship. Going on Carnival only 2 months later was a risk. And even though there were some really nice things on the Miracle, it just couldn't compare with the EPIC. We really liked leaving from Manhattan because you can get a really nice view of the buildings. After NY, we were in the middle of the Atlantic ocean until our first stop 2 and a half days later! We had 3 stops and then 2 more days at sea. On the ship we really liked the Serenity Deck but we had to go early to grab 2 lounge chairs. They are much more comfortable than the lounge chairs you can find around the 2 mail pools. The Serenity Deck has a small pool, spa and a bar. It is also just steps away from the buffet. Great! There is only one dining room on board and the decor is overwhelming! There are grapes all over the place! Besides the dining room there was the buffet and that was about all the dining options on board! Quite a letdown compared to the EPIC which had 21 different restaurants onboard! The entertainment was also disappointing. There were no "Blue Man Group" or some big show on board. There were the Carnival dance crew (which were pretty good) but that kind of entertainment was OK 10 years ago but not anymore! There were also the "Comedy lunch". That is a joke! On US! You have some stand-up comic talking to people and making fun of them for 5 minutes! And then he leaves! WOW! What a waste of time! The personnel on board were really good at remembering our first names and whenever we were near them they would call us by our first name! That is a really nice touch! If we go back to Carnival it will have to he on a newer ship (this one dates 2004 but had been refurbished in January 2012). There should be more dining options and hopefully the entertainment will be better. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
We have traveled on approximately 26 cruises, so we are definitely seasoned cruisers. We have.gone with our children and without. Also usually have Cruised during high peak times (school vacations) The Carnival Miracle fell far below ... Read More
We have traveled on approximately 26 cruises, so we are definitely seasoned cruisers. We have.gone with our children and without. Also usually have Cruised during high peak times (school vacations) The Carnival Miracle fell far below our expectations. Embarkation Leaving out of NYC was terrific. We parked the car and got right on the boat. Accommodations We were very pleased with our room. It was a balcony on the aft side of the boat. Our cabin steward was very nice and efficient. However we shocked to find no ice buckets in the room unless upon request. Our room steward said it was for health reasons. Well in the 26 cruises I have been on, I have had ice in my room and have yet to be sick. I believe it is just another cutback by Carnival. Speaking of cutbacks...why happened to the bands that used to play on the deck? Only to be replaced by a DJ who appears to be watching paint dry on a wall. Friendliness of staff. Our cabin steward was great. Malcolm. The cruise director I thought was terrific. The members of the cruise staff (asst. cruise director and others), just okay. There was one time we were walking on deck 3, three cruise staff walked right by without acknowledging us. It was only my husband and I. I found that very odd. Food and Dining Breakfast: I remember, only last year on NCL there was an abundance of smoked salmon for breakfast at the buffet, not on this ship. I had to order it from room service. Brunch We decided to try the punchliner brunch. We finally realized that it goes from 10:00-100 in the dining room....we had a cloudy morning, so here we are. Food...very good, service once again, needs to be stepped up. For some reason we had to ask for a basket of pastries three times...when it was supposed to be placed on the table once we were seated. So we are waiting for the comedian, he does on, introduces himself and walks to tables asking guests were they are from...and that was it....we thought we would be listening comedy show...oh well., but the food was good. Lunch buffets...fine.but very long lines. dinner The food was very good. Unfortunately, I have to give the dining room service a 2 out of 5. It was our understanding that the wait staff has increased the number of tables they have and now work in a team of three. Each evening except for the night in Puerto Rico..we waited 20 minutes for our order to be taken and 20 more minutes for the appetizer to appear. The food for the guests at our table was not brought out together. At least one person each night did not receive their meal at the same time as the others. The night we were in Puerto Rico, we received excellent service...we were the only table our team had to serve. Entertainment I really enjoyed the entertainment. The juggler was terrific. The Beetles show was great. I understand the adult comedians were very good. Too late for me. Deck area I have never felt so much stress enjoying the sun. If my husband and I left our chairs to go for a walk, our stuff was removed so others would take our seats, that is with the other person in our party saying "they went for a walk, and would be right back.". We were in the new area called "Serenity", which turns out to be oxymoron, when you have to worry about your seat being taken when you go to the pool, bathroom or fight the long lines at the buffet to eat (which that alone could take 20 minutes to get your food) The cleanliness of the serenity area was not maintained at all. The three days that we were out there, not once did someone come to collect the glasses or plates. Funny, someone was there to collect your personal items if you left your chair for more than 15 minutes, but the glasses and plates remained. The others days that we were at sea, we spent on deck 10...it was fine and did not have the stress of protecting your chair as we had to in the serenity area on Deck 9. Nick & Nora's I had great expectations of the restaurant from what I read in the reviews. Service was excellent, (I really don't know how it wouldn't be superior to our dining experiences in the main dining room...) I love the appetizers. We did notice a cutback here also...prior cruises you could have as many apps as you wanted...hey you are even paying an extra $35 pp plus gratuity....now two apps pp. believe me I am not an oinker, I would rather have the apps than the entree. I was so excited to hear they had Chilean sea bass...well unfortunately this is a steak restaurant, and steak is what they do best, needless to say, the sea bass went back in exchange for lobster. ( which was excellent). The other people in our party had steak and thoroughly enjoyed their meals. Just don't order the sea bass...the chef came out to apologize and he even said...he wouldn't recommend it...oh well.... Ports San Juan : Terrific. We did a zip line excursion. It was with a company outside the cruise. This was our 2nd one. The two guides were good. It was a lot of fun. St. Thomas: we just shopped...way too much!! Grand Turk....Beach...the water was spectacular. My husband snorkeled right at the beach where we docked. From what people said who went on the snorkeling excursions the $60 cost was not worth it. The fitness area There were two instructors on board. One primarily did the abs, stretch and yoga classes, the other did spin. I did the yoga and spin throughout the week. It definitely adds up at $12 per class. The yoga was okay, I wish we did more poses. Spin was great even with their antique bikes. But sign up immediately when you arrive on the boat. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
Highlights - the ship is nicely decorated and mostly clean and well-kept, our cabin/mini suite was great, good balcony, great bathroom for a cruise ship, well-attended by the room steward. Cruise director and his staff were very good, ... Read More
Highlights - the ship is nicely decorated and mostly clean and well-kept, our cabin/mini suite was great, good balcony, great bathroom for a cruise ship, well-attended by the room steward. Cruise director and his staff were very good, friendly, entertaining and hard-working. They are the best I have seen on a ship. Embarkation and debarkation were both very smooth, even at ports of call (exception was Grand Turk where one gangway made it extremely difficult to do quickly). Lido deck "food court" was good, fairly quick and nearly always open at the right times. (Exception was the hamburgers which were cooked and put in warmers...not good.) There was about the same kid representation that I saw on most other cruises I have been on, despite the warnings I got about Carnival being kid-created bedlam, so that was a nice surprise. Lowlights - dining room menu was pedestrian food masquerading as sophisticated dining room cuisine, most dishes were OK, but very unimaginative; dining room service tried to be friendly, but just couldn't manage it very well, some dishes (prime rib) were repeated during the cruise and some shared accompaniments on the same night, which I found unusual and a bit lazy. Clientele, fellow guests had an over-representation from the tattooed, pierced, beer-in-the-hand 24/7 crowd. I'm no prude, but let's act a little like a grown-up here. This crowd also tend to be the one where the 45 year old woman with terminal cellulite has not yet received the message that her bikini days were over with 20 years ago. You can forget about getting a seat in the Serenity lounge. Seats are loaded with towel/sunscreen bottles/flip flops from dawn through dusk. People save the seats for themselves and friends and the chairs are never "open". Same applies to the pool areas and the supposed "half-hour rule" is NEVER enforced. Unless you want to drink the free lemonade/iced tea/water (which I did)or buy the single drink package which consists of unlimited soda only at $8 a day, you pay for every drink. Other lines have had much more variety when it comes to drink packages. The show dancers tried, but were never in step. The singers had some talent but had the usual lame Broadway-style material to work with. Comedians were mostly pretty good during the adult-only comedy shows. The "Comedy Brunch" they promote is merely a comedian stopping by the dining room, promoting his show, and leaving. It's over in less than five minutes. It was a little off-putting that all the singers and comedians were hawking their CDs in the show and in the lobby afterwards. The Brunch menu, supposedly from comedian George Lopez is also pretty lame. Brunch is substituted for a real lunch on most days, which was a disappointment. Very little quality time in any port. Would hope to do something next time that keeps you in a port for 24 hours or more. By paying a little more and going on another line, for instance, I feel I could have had a much better dining experience. Other than that most cruises are pretty much the same. Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
A group of 12 booked this cruise to celebrate Jimmy's 75th birthday. The cruise was picked for it's ports of call and zip lining on two islands. We had great cabins two decks above the aft dining room. Embarkation was ... Read More
A group of 12 booked this cruise to celebrate Jimmy's 75th birthday. The cruise was picked for it's ports of call and zip lining on two islands. We had great cabins two decks above the aft dining room. Embarkation was surprisingly fast. We were the only ship in port. The ship was full and not many children. The layout of this Finnish built ship is far superior than the Italian made ones where you have to go up or down a deck to pass from bow to stern. The ship is typically "Carnival Gaudy". The dining room is a site to behold. Everything is over the top as usual. We tipped the cabin steward within the first hour and he doted on us the entire week. Leny was good. Our waitress, NuNu from Indonesia was wonderful. We had her hugging us every day when we arrived. The hostess, Tristina, went out of her way for us too, caring about special menus for those with allergies. They both got extra cash tips from us too. The CD was Malcolm and he did a fine job. I do however get a little tired of the staff telling you that you're having a great time so give another big cheer. The gym was well equipped. The entertainment was surprisingly good. The production shows were wonderful. So much for Gaylord Entertainment and other third parties. The two Carnival production shows were better than many we've seen at sea. The individual acts were good too. The ventriloquist was much better in the last half of his act and Bob Brizendine, the "magician" from Cocoa Beach, FL. was very very funny. St. Maarten, St. Lucia and St. Kitts were good ports for our private excursions. Those parts of the cruise we loved. The 12 of us showed up for Quest (a very popular must see event on RCCL) and no one else showed up. The new LCD TVs are small and slow to respond. What we didn't like was the food. NuNu had warned us on day one that if we didn't like anything, she'd sent it back or we could pick something else. That alone is a bad omen. The food was pretty poor in the dining room and almost awful in the Lido Buffet. The only good dining room dinner was ChateauBriand, a small filet. Some in our group only got half way through the meal when they decided to have two desserts instead. The desserts were much better. The Buffet for breakfast and lunch was very poor quality. Powdered eggs in the morning, leather bacon, frozen bagels, even the orange juice was half water. The only beverage is lemonade, iced tea and coffee, no juice. Ran out of bananas half way through the cruise. Our last cruise on the Carnival Dream 3 years ago was about the same but this time, even having breakfast in the dining room was only moderately better than the buffet. We ate in the alternate dining room, Nick & Nora's Steakhouse, on the last night and it was top notch. Finally, real Lobster. One day we pre-ordered Continental Breakfast to our cabin (very poor selection - nothing hot) and it never showed up. Took a phone call and 20 more minutes for them to get it to us. Arranged for a group photo of the 12 of us, the photographer didn't show up. Lounge chair hogs are a constant problem on a full ship. Expensive drinks and photos too. There were 99 Cruise Critics on the ship but only 28 showed up at our much-publicized Sail Away Party. ??? Still we made new CC friends. Guess we'll have to stick with RCCL and X for better service and food. We probably would NOT book Carnival again even though this is my 5th Carnival cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
We have been on 30 cruises so this wasn't our "first rodeo". We are senior citizens that love to dance (any kind of dancing, but especially ballroom). We selected this cruise because of the itinerary and to be with our 3 ... Read More
We have been on 30 cruises so this wasn't our "first rodeo". We are senior citizens that love to dance (any kind of dancing, but especially ballroom). We selected this cruise because of the itinerary and to be with our 3 grown children who flew in to join us. First I will cite the Pros: The food was better than what I expected. Our cabin steward was excellent. Very unobtrusive, but available if you needed him. Our room was very comfortable and we had more than enough room for everything we brought with us. Our waiters in the main dining room were also very good considering the amount of tables they now have to handle. We loved the fact that the Maitre'D actually spoke at night and was part of the entertainment. We had no problems getting on and off the ship. Now for the Cons: Our dining seating was messed up even though we booked the cruise in April and want 6pm dining. They assigned us Your Time Dining. Our kids who we dropped off at the ship while we parked the car (which took almost 2 hours, but that is another story not Carnival's fault), took care of getting the "last" table in the main dining room. The entertainment (shows) were average fare at the two shows we went to. We usually do not attend shows because my husband will fall asleep during them. We tend to want to be a little more active at night. That is where our problems began! This ship did not plan their other entertainment venues well. They would have Karaoke where the dance floors were set up. Or they would have the ship's 9 piece band on a dance floor(Jeeves) where they take up the whole floor. Or they would leave the biggest dance floor empty for nights on end (Frankie and Johnnie's empty 3 nights in a row. Or the advertised entertainer would not appear. Or if you asked the group or guitarist to play a song they would not be able to. Or the times we attemped to listen/dance to the band in F&J's, they were so loud you couldn't stand it. Or they put 5-6 photo booths in the Atrium where there was music playing, but so many people had to walk on the dance floor to get thru there that you couldn't dance! Even the disco/nightclub was limited in what they would play. Mostly latin (which we love) or techno. But almost every night there as no dancing til almost 10pm. The captain's cocktail party on formal nite was $1 off all drinks and no dancing before dinner Who plans like this? I went to the front desk to ask if I could play my own CD's in F&J's and they said first there would be a $50 hr charge to have a technician there to put it in. I should pay $50 to provide entertainment that they should be providing to begin with? Then they said that the music wasn't "approved." Never had a problem like that on past ships we have been on. I had brought my own CD player with speakers but had a problem playing it. I finally had a conversation with the Cruise Director, Malcolm, and he said he would put some piped music into F&J's. We went in their later and it was pretty much undanceable and their were too many people using it to smoke cigarette and cigars that you could not stand it. Why not just make the casino a designated smoking area so the rest of the ship could be relatively smoke free? I sum up this cruise as being "All dressed up and no place to go." If you didn't want to go to a show, gamble, do karaoke, or get you portraits done, you were pretty much out of luck! So like I said at the beginning, dancers, beware! Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
Recently spent 8 days on the Carnival Miracle. First time on Carnival.....and my last. The cabin was quite spacious and adequate. Nothing special but OK. The service was good overall, no complaints there. The food was alright, nothing ... Read More
Recently spent 8 days on the Carnival Miracle. First time on Carnival.....and my last. The cabin was quite spacious and adequate. Nothing special but OK. The service was good overall, no complaints there. The food was alright, nothing special and frequently lukewarm. Nick and Nora's (the specialty restaurant) was a big disappointment. The steak had a lot of gristle in it so I gave up trying to carve out something edible...left most of it uneaten. We went to a couple of seminars that the spa offered concerning detoxification and herbal medicine and quickly realized it was just a ploy to try to sell you acupuncture or some other spa service. The entertainment was quite enjoyable, a nice surprise. The biggest issue on the cruise was the number of smokers on board and the places they could smoke (pretty much the starboard side of the boat). People in surrounding cabins (balcony) smoked frequently so it was often unpleasant to sit on our balcony. The cruise clientele comprised mostly of morbidly obese smokers. Not my cup of tea!!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
Sailed from NYC on 9/11 to Bermuda. This was our 11th cruise and 4th on Carnival. Previously we have sailed on Sitmar, RCCL, and Celebrity. We love cruising! There is no better value for the dollar than a cruise. All cruises are ... Read More
Sailed from NYC on 9/11 to Bermuda. This was our 11th cruise and 4th on Carnival. Previously we have sailed on Sitmar, RCCL, and Celebrity. We love cruising! There is no better value for the dollar than a cruise. All cruises are different, ships are different, staffs are different. That being said, there is some comfort in the expectation of, "Different ship, same stuff." The weather cannot be controlled so there is no reason to comment on it. POSITIVES: Carnival has the largest staterooms by far of any of the other lines we have cruised. We selected a balcony cabin on desk 8 (of which I knew better). This deck is immediately under the pool deck and sure enough we were awakened at 5:00am each morning by the sound of tables and chairs being moved around above our heads. Excellent room steward. Carnival not only has 24-hour pizza, they have 24-hour soft serve ice cream and frozen yogurt. The other lines we have traveled do not, and in fact RCCL seems to always have trouble keeping their machines running even when they are opened (6 cruises - same issue). The ship had a comedy club that hosted 4 different comedians throughout the cruise. Three were excellent and 1 was just plain bad. Other shows were up to par with RCCL. Carnival does have small launderette's on the ship that other lines do not have. This is great if you need to iron something quickly. You can also do your own laundry of you have enough quarters. NOT NECESSARILY NEGATIVE - BUT BE AWARE Food quality was good throughout. The Main Dining Room (MDR) selections were a bit disappointing as far as creativity, but that may be a sign of who cruises Carnival and their preferences. Buffet food was normal, but poolside food was very, very good. Best hot dog I have ever eaten and the tortilla chips were home made right on the ship - excellent. Pools were very tiny, but there were 3 of them. Carnival does not enforce the no saving deck chair policy. Celebrity does a very good job of this - Carnival could learn a few things. Carnival also does not enforce their dress code policy in the MDR. Lots of ratty shorts, flip flops and the like - even on more "formal" nights. Again, they could learn a bit from Celebrity ( I witnessed a man being turned away from the MDR on Celebrity based on his attire). We were very disappointed with the live music. The poolside band were 2 uninspired musicians playing guitars to recorded music. There were 2 piano players, and 2 one-man bands. One of them, Tony Ray, was excellent but spent most of the cruise in the smoke filled casino were no one cared. The one night we caught him out we danced the entire time to his music. The show band was very good but did not play outside of the shows. It would have been great to have them playing dance music since most of the cruisers were over 40. We are used to 3-4 man bands playing anything from jazz-to-salsa-to-ballroom. You will find the ship very clean and the staff friendly. The ship architect should be fired, because you will also find some of the ugliest decor on the 7-seas. Overall this was just a so-so cruise. Was it the worst we have ever been on? Yes. Was it bad? No. Did we have a nice cruise vacation? Yes we did. Most of what is cruise is, is what YOU make of it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
First of all, our sail date was out of NYC on 9/11/11, so I was a bit unsure how the feel would be in the City. But, all was well. Appeared to be just another day at the Pier. Embarkation was very smooth. We arrived about 11:30am. ... Read More
First of all, our sail date was out of NYC on 9/11/11, so I was a bit unsure how the feel would be in the City. But, all was well. Appeared to be just another day at the Pier. Embarkation was very smooth. We arrived about 11:30am. When we got to the line, we sailed right through as the attendant opened up another line at the same time we arrived. Once checked in, we were a bit confused where to go and ended up entering the ship before our zone was called. But, no one stopped us, so for us, it was a convenient mishap. Entering the ship we went right for a drink assuming it was too early to see our cabin. There were no signs or anything to let you know when it was best to go to your cabin, so we waited about an hr, then went, and it was ready. We were pleasantly surprised at the size of the room. One of the biggest balcony staterooms we've had on any ship so far. Plenty of closet and drawer space and even a roomy bathroom. Our attendant Daniel Lopez was AWESOME, super friendly and always had a smile on his face. We called him The Ninja, because even if we only left our room for a bit, when we came back our room had already been cleaned!! As for the ship itself, we found it to be a bit small for our liking. Now, I will say we may have felt that way because our last cruise was on the Oasis of the Seas which is the one of the largest and newest ships out there. I also didnt realize at the time of booking that this was a spirit class ship and a bit older. Which was evident in the decor. There was a mildew smell on the lower decks, in fact at one point toward the end, they had the casino closed off for shampooing the carpets. The food wasnt much to our liking either. We're not much for the whole dressing up deal, so on previous cruises we've always pretty much stuck to the buffets for breakfast and dinner. After trying the buffet for 2 days, we couldnt stomach it anymore, so attempted the dining room for dinner. The 1st nite was the very best. Had the sweetest lobster ever, desserts were nice and the staff very attentive. We did the My time dining and had no wait time. On nights there after, food was bland. We often didnt finish any of our appetizers or dinners. Now, I will say, the staff were very concerned and often offered us other options, but we're not big eaters anyway so we would decline. Due to this experience, we were very looking forward to our night out at Nick and Nora's. But, disappointed once again. For the $30.00 per person cost, we werent impressed. I originally wanted the surf and turf, but it was a very small lobster that came with that option. When I asked if I could have the bigger lobster they told me it would be an additional $30.00. So I opted for just the larger lobster tail and no filet. I actually found the lobster I had in the main dining room a couple days before was much sweeter and a larger portion. Although the ambiance, location and view are the best on the ship!!! It didnt appear there were many activities during the day. After the 1st two days, we were a bit bored. The 2 pools were extremely small, and the people would go to the pool area very early, save seats, then not utilize them much of the day. The 2 jacuzzi's were full all the time. When we finally did get to go in one, it wasnt even hot. The attendants by they pool were exceptional. Always there and quick to return with our drinks. I found it funny though, that not many people hung out at the bars on the ship decks. That's where we had normally met up with new people on past cruises. It may have been because there was not much room since the decks chairs were so close by. Or many times, there was no bartender. Also the decks where the pools were located were super slippery. I saw several people fall over the course of 8 days. And heard many older people complaining about the conditions. They had staff trying to keep the area's dry, but to no avail. They should definitely look into this hazard. Our port of call was Bermuda and we loved it. (Tropical storm Maria and all.) We preferred to be off the boat and stayed on the island as long as possible. Horseshoe Bay is beautiful and Swizzles is a must. They have the best battered fish sandwich I've ever tasted. A trip to Hamilton is good is you like to shop. We had the best ever sushi at a place called Yashi. If you're a sushi lover, GO!! Back to the ship- Entertainment-I'll be honest we didnt see any of the shows in the Phantom theater. Didnt really appear to be any that we cared to see. However, we love, love, loved the comedy shows. We were a bit put out though, since this was the only entertainment we liked, we tried to stay for a 2nd show with another comedian, but were pretty much strongly advised to leave and let other's attend the 2nd showing. I can understand their request to a point, but felt we should have been able to stay if we wanted. (BTW, Shawn, the asst cruise director was a hoot as the host for the comedy shows). Stores were nice, prices pretty good. Everyone was pretty friendly except for the officers and security staff. Never smiled, never said hello. I was actually pretty surprised at the considerable presence of security on this ship. I thought it was because of higher security due to 9/11, but when I inquired, was told this is the way it always is. Maybe because it's the fun ship and it get's rowdy? I can say this was a very low key and keep to yourself kind of crowd. Or maybe the high security kept everyone more subdued. The best day we had on the ship was the last Sea Day. We took the Behind the scenes ship tour. We went to the bridge and met the captain and crew, where we were able to have group and individual pictures taken. Viewed the galley and crew eating areas, engine room, backstage of the phantom theater and spoke with a few crew members. It was an exceptional tour and a true highlight for us. Just a friendly reminder, dont take your cell phone or camera on this tour, you will be searched before the tour begins. Debarkation was smooth!!! We were off the boat by 9:am. Sad to say, it will probably be a while before I would try another Carnival Cruise. They kept saying this was the "fun ship", but I didnt see it or feel it. For the budget cruiser or 1st time cruiser it may be a different experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
I got off my 5th annual Carnival Miracle cruise to nowhere this morning and while most details are fresh I want to jot down the perverbial good, bad and ugly. As I just said this was my 5th tear in a row taking this cruise - same ship - ... Read More
I got off my 5th annual Carnival Miracle cruise to nowhere this morning and while most details are fresh I want to jot down the perverbial good, bad and ugly. As I just said this was my 5th tear in a row taking this cruise - same ship - same cabin. The first 3 years were fantastic - 5 stars. Last year a few problems but manageable. This trip was a major letdown. First I would like to say that I love this cruise. It's a great getaway for me to spend quality time with my wife and as we both enjoy being on ships this is a great way to be on one more than once a year. The getting away, the ambience, the activities, the awesome shopping, the great food in the steakhouse and the Beatles show make this the perfect getaway. I think I will go right to the ugly. My cabin steward for the first time did bit care at all about service or the condition of the room. The previous occupant's garbage was left for us and I had no hand soap the first night as we never until 2nd night. I had never experienced this level of indifference in ANY cruise I have taken. The food in deck 9 - the buffets were bit up to par with precious cruises on this ship. The Chinese station dishes had a putrid smell and the taste of nations "Italy" day was simply not tasty. The lemonade was undrinkable. The best food here was the fried chicken tenders by the pool, the really good pizza and the foccacia sandwich with peppers, arugula and roasted peppers. Breakfast was not appetizing - the usually good French toast was terrible. I figured the dining room would be better, I was wrong. Service here was also indifferent and uncaring. The grapefruit was inedible, the French toast horrible and waffles ice cold. Luckily I could eat lunch 90 minutes later. Later on night 2 dinner was mediocre at best. Service was again indifferent ( I had anytime dining) and the usually very good prime rib was buffet quality. My wife got a rubbery end piece that should have never made the plate -shameful.(this was rectified) Lobster tail was good and the chocolate melting cake fabulous. Carnival excels at activities and this cruise was no exception. Tons of activities, demonstrations, bingo, shows both nights, 5 comedy shows each night and an art auction. No complaint here. Carnival is the best at this. I realize this is a 2 day cruise and after us the ship headed to Florida empty. The crew has a nice easy 2 days of partying and getting the ship ready for next cruise but they should have realized that my cruise was important to me and over 2000 others. I don't pretend to know why this year service and food quality deteriorated so but I would suggest someone at Carnival to address this before another cruise to nowhere on any of their ships. Yes there were crew who cared and the good that I mentioned ealier were actually FANTASTIC and yes I would take this cruise again in a heartbeat. I just feel that on THIS cruise the passenger was an afterthought which for the first-timer looking to get their feet wet in cruising is not a good thing for numerous obvious reasons. Sorry, last complaint. The coffee bar deck 2 fwd has for years had excellent chocolate milkshakes. NOT this cruise. No chocolate syrup. Pathetic. Hey Carnival: Shame on you for allowing a ship's staff and this cruise to be downright mediocre. Read my other reviews here folks. I am usually the most easy going cruiser there is. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
BACKGROUND - We've taken 25+ cruises, mainly with Celebrity and Holland America, and several with Princess and NCL. We cruise 2-3 times a year. This was our second Carnival cruise, having enjoyed sailing on the larger Carnival Glory ... Read More
BACKGROUND - We've taken 25+ cruises, mainly with Celebrity and Holland America, and several with Princess and NCL. We cruise 2-3 times a year. This was our second Carnival cruise, having enjoyed sailing on the larger Carnival Glory in June 2010. This was a family cruise for eight people, ranging in age from 6 to 82. We booked the Carnival Miracle because of the ports and because we thought it would provide a better fun cruising experience for the younger family members. It was very disappointing that we didn't stop in Half Moon Cay due to Hurricane Irene - as Half Moon Cay is the best port! - so we ended up spending five days at sea and two days in Grand Turks and Nassau. We tried to make the best of it but the sea days were not a lot of fun. We generally agree with Dr Jimmy515's comments on the "Hurricane Irene" Carnival Miracle cruise - with the following personal comments: - EMBARKATION - a lot of time sitting and waiting but OK; to be expected as there were so many people showing up at the same time (noon). Very long hunt for tables at lunch. - BUFFET (Horatio's) - Food quality was average to poor. Very long lines at all lunch food stations on embarkation day; long lines daily at breakfast omelet stations. I think they try to wear you down so you just grab a box of cereal. Very good pizza at the pizza station. Fatty corned beef and pastrami meats at the deli station but the sandwich choices and presentation were good otherwise. Fried foods were inconsistent - sometimes delicious and sometimes so oily and undrained that people ended up throwing out the food. Suspected packaged (vs baked on ship) cookies, banana bread, muffins, etc. Limited selection of breakfast foods that did not vary; frozen waffles served at breakfast. Limited buffet dinner food was available until 9:30pm, with the deli open til 11pm and pizza around the clock - very limited compared to other cruise lines. For the most part, wait staff were not friendly and did not seem to enjoy their jobs - maybe because there were always frustrated diners looking for tables and food. Also, tables were left unwiped leaving the impression that the area was not as clean as it should've been. - MDR (Bacchus) - Food quality was inconsistent - ranging from very good to poor. Portion sizes in the MDR were inconsistent - very small to very large - so it was difficult to know how to order. Food choices available every day were limited to cheaper selections, e.g., flat iron steak (vs strip steak on other ships), no salmon. Food choices on the changing daily menu were better and tasted very good, e.g., lamb chops, short ribs, pork steak, maine lobster tail w/shrimp. Poor quality breads and (?)butter. Cappuccino and espresso were available but not that good-tasting. We were asked if we enjoyed the entrees and when we reported problems, we were not asked if we wanted something else. We were more assertive later on but it did delay dinner for the rest of our party. We were on a Princess cruise and a Holland America cruise earlier this year, and the service and attitudes were very different from our Carnival Miracle experience. The Maitre D's need to notice bad service and understaffing of tables under his watch, and not just make jokes and announcements at dinner time. Can't believe anyone would tip the Maitre D's. In contrast, we had a better dining experience on the Carnival Glory with higher quality of food but poorer service as they assigned too many diners (about 30) to our waiter. - SUSHI BAR - 5pm on deck 2 - good sushi selections but serving staff was not friendly. - CAFE on deck 2 - $4 for a poor-tasting cappuccino - due to poor quality coffee beans? Princess's International Cafe serves the most delicious cappuccino. - ROOM STEWARDS - friendly and excellent. - GUEST SERVICES STAFF - helpful, solicitous, friendly. - CRUISE DIRECTOR STAFF - friendly and enthusiastic. Entertainment was good, including the production shows (very energetic and enthusiastic), Miracle band, other guest entertainers were ok. Music was ok but too loud especially on the pool deck. - POOL DECK - need more shaded areas for lounging. Very hard to find lounge chairs on pool deck. SUMMARY - Like DrJimmy515, we had a good time on this cruise because our family got to spend time together. We enjoyed the excursions - the Aquaventure water park in Atlantis and horseback ride and swim in Grand Turks. The younger family members enjoyed themselves, but said that they enjoyed the Celebrity cruises more. They were disappointed in the food also. We did not take advantage of the kids club although some of the ships' activities were restricted to adults, e.g., bean bag toss. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
Carnival Miracle Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 3.5 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 3.5 4.0
Family 4.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 4.0
Enrichment 1.5 3.5
Service 4.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.5 4.1
Rates 3.0 4.4

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