For our family's first cruise, I chose the Carnival Miracle from New York to the Bahamas this past February. I was trying to save some money for the 4 of us, and since we live in Belleville, ON, I thought we could just drive into Manhatten and skip the airports. MISTAKE! Driving from Ontario to New York in February is a gamble. We got stuck on the interstate after a 40 car pile up due to a surprise snow squall-for HOURS! I'm so glad we went the day before our cruise! After getting through that, we took a wrong turn and ended up in East Harlem. Luckily New Yorkers really are friendly, and a lovely woman gave us directions to our hotel. After a great dinner we slept comfortably and were up and ready for our cruise in lots of time. A wonderful driver toured us through parts of Manhattan, including Central Park. We're planning a trip there next year for sure-in the Spring, and we'll fly!
Getting to the Cruise port was a breeze, and boarding was seamless. Our stateroom wasn't ready, as we boarded right after noon, so we relaxed and had a couple of drinks in the lounge. Our stateroom was cute, a little smaller than we imagined, but there were 4 of us. It was immaculately clean though, and had an unexpected amount of storage space.
Sailing out of New York in February was cold of course, so the first 2 days we really couldn't enjoy the upper decks or our balcony for more than a few minutes at a time. Once we got to Florida though, it was great to be able to sit out there as we were docking. The staff responded quickly to our request for 2 extra chairs-which JUST fit in our "extended" balcony-so all 4 of us could sit. We used our balcony to play cards and games while we were south, which was great.