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LONG review, but if you want the 'bad' and 'ugly' skip to the bottom. Well, my wife and I FINALLY managed to take a cruise to Alaska! And the itinerary was perfect for us - 2 weeks and a round trip from Long Beach, CA. made it easy on us (we live just north of LA). After 3 days at sea, we were glad to hit some really great ports. Our favorite was Icy Strait Point - WOW! What a GREAT PLACE!! Not a jewelry store in site! That's right, no Diamonds International here! It's owned and run by the locals and they won't allow it. Nice, clean and new looking still. This was the first visit by ANY Carnival ship to this nice place. Our excursion choice was a Zipline and watching combo we found online and it was AWESOME! First a ride up to the top of Hoonah Mountain (1550 ft) and our driver narrated us with local info, GREAT jokes and stories and we saw deer as well! But THEN comes the zip line! WOW, 5,330 ft long - takes about 90 seconds at 60 MPH! Yes 60!! Mine seemed a LOT faster though as I was first at the end and had time to get out of my harness before my wife arrived! AWESOME!! But then the whale watching cruise. Because we didn't book the Carnival one, we didn't 'get' to go on the BIG boat with all the other people, ours was much smaller and only had about 10 people on it (thank goodness) though the boat could have held about 25. We didn't have a 'naturist' on board, just locals. But we got UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL with ORCAS when a pod of them swam right up to the starboard (right) side of the boat, came up for air and then went UNDER the boat! We also saw a humpback 'bubbling' for food, but those orca's were the highlight and I have the video to prove it! :) Glacier Bay was AWESOME! Even this late (Sept.) in the season there was plenty of ice floating in the water and the glaciers were spectacular! The only problem was the Rangers who were narrating everything. They sounded way to scripted and monotoned to be doing this. Perhaps they should record there presentation and play it back. NO (real) excitement in their voices at all. They did a good job of informing us though and had some good info you could pick up on the Lido deck. Other ports, they were okay... Nothing as spectacular as above though. That was the good.... Here's the bad and ugly... 1) Dining Room - OMG! The first thing I noticed was there were no table cloths on the tables!! Also, silverware consisted of only a knife and fork in your napkin (which they USED to place in your lap - elegantly, but no longer do). Food was okay, but you actually get more choices on the Lido deck and basically it's the same food, same quality! Service was pretty good and at least the wait staff knew/remembered your names and drink choices. Our assistant waiter also worked on the Lido at night and always recognized me by name and smiled and said hello. Heard from several people that ate in the steak house that it was about the same and NOISY?!? It's an 'open' format... But where we were in the MDR (far back starboard side next to window) we were so 'tucked in' that noise wasn't a problem. 2) Cabin - well, again, some disappointments - stewards have had lots more rooms added to them meaning less time 'detailing' things. Oh, and those nice little chocolates on your pillows at night? GONE! yep, guess they want to save another $1 per cabin per cruise, right Carnival? Just sad. We used to brag to those that never went on a cruise about things like this (and dining room elegance), but no more. 3) Entertainment - just okay. The comedians were pretty decent, the dancer/singers not so much. Here comes the UGLY ---- The hypnotist! Let me preface by saying that I too am a hypnotist and normally very forgiving of boring shows and patter, but this guy took the cake, cut it up, force fed it to us until we threw up! Seriously! His first show was just 'eh' (wife even went up on stage, she goes under EASY). His patter was boring with a lot of SHOUTING of ONE TWO THREE and such. I mean REALLY LOUD. Worst part was the second show - same patter, mostly same boring show completely except this time he had two people have what we call 'abreactions' - Actually in there cases they were TOO DEEP to participate in the 'show' (wouldn't follow commands) and ended up sitting in chairs off to the side of the stage. What's wrong with that? Well, imagine sitting with your head tilted back (one of them) or forward to your chest (the other) FOR OVER 20 MINUTES! Not to mention they kept sliding down from their chairs only to have him put them back in them! NO! He SHOULD have just gently took them to the floor, laid them on their backs and let them relax. He could have even made fun of them, but instead he didn't take the proper care of them he should have. AND he had a VERY hard time bringing one of them out as well, but once partially 'awake' he sent him down the steps to the audience?!?! Instead, he should have had him sit in the chair AFTER waking him up until he could make sure he was fully back again. Well, that's entertainment for ya! 4) POWER IS OUT!! POWER IS OUT!! - So, wife and I decided we would take the 'behind the scenes' tour of the ship - get pics of us in the Galley with the Chef, Engineering with the Engineer and Bridge with the Captain. Well, we got ONE pic (Galley), but while we were on deck A (way down) on what they call the I-95 corridor (runs the length of the ship) we were listening to the nice Italian Engineer explain things about how the ship operates and such - he had just explained the part about how they have 5 generators (one being off for maintenance) and then asked "any questions?" Suddenly I notice the lights of two generators go from green to yellow, then to red. Another then goes to yellow and alarms start going off in the room and we're ushered out into the hallway (I-95) where we are almost run over by a group of engineers running INTO the room we just left. About 20 seconds later, the lights go out on the entire ship! Emergency lighting is up though and I can tell by the lack of noise and vibration that we're not moving anymore. We were taken down to the crew's 'lounge/bar' to sit in mostly darkness for about 15 minutes before being told our tour would not continue and we were taken up to Deck 2 (by stairs of course!) and that was it. No more pics, no visit to the bridge and couldn't even get up to the Lido without climbing 7 more flights of stairs in dim lighting. Lasted for about 30 minutes, then came on, went off, came back on again. Luckily we were about 50 miles offshore of Santa Cruz at the time so nothing to hit or run aground on. Oh, and they gave us half off our tour when we complained about it. 5) Ship itself - I still hate that they close the hot tubs around midnight! At home I usually hop in ours about 12-12:30am. Also, the ship is looking pretty old. Lots of rusty spots. Lifeboat outside and to the right of our balcony had a ripped up canvas top and one of the hand rungs on the outside was literally rusted away and broken. So, my wife and I (who are Platinum with Carnival and just shy of Diamond) are now considering finding a new line that still has the service, taste and elegance that cruise ships have provided us for the last 15 years. I WANT MY TABLE CLOTHS BACK DANG IT!!

Journey Cruise? The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

Carnival Miracle Cruise Review by djalan

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: September 2017
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
LONG review, but if you want the 'bad' and 'ugly' skip to the bottom.

Well, my wife and I FINALLY managed to take a cruise to Alaska! And the itinerary was perfect for us - 2 weeks and a round trip from Long Beach, CA. made it easy on us (we live just north of LA).

After 3 days at sea, we were glad to hit some really great ports. Our favorite was Icy Strait Point - WOW! What a GREAT PLACE!! Not a jewelry store in site! That's right, no Diamonds International here! It's owned and run by the locals and they won't allow it. Nice, clean and new looking still. This was the first visit by ANY Carnival ship to this nice place. Our excursion choice was a Zipline and watching combo we found online and it was AWESOME! First a ride up to the top of Hoonah Mountain (1550 ft) and our driver narrated us with local info, GREAT jokes and stories and we saw deer as well! But THEN comes the zip line! WOW, 5,330 ft long - takes about 90 seconds at 60 MPH! Yes 60!! Mine seemed a LOT faster though as I was first at the end and had time to get out of my harness before my wife arrived! AWESOME!! But then the whale watching cruise. Because we didn't book the Carnival one, we didn't 'get' to go on the BIG boat with all the other people, ours was much smaller and only had about 10 people on it (thank goodness) though the boat could have held about 25. We didn't have a 'naturist' on board, just locals. But we got UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL with ORCAS when a pod of them swam right up to the starboard (right) side of the boat, came up for air and then went UNDER the boat! We also saw a humpback 'bubbling' for food, but those orca's were the highlight and I have the video to prove it! :)

Glacier Bay was AWESOME! Even this late (Sept.) in the season there was plenty of ice floating in the water and the glaciers were spectacular! The only problem was the Rangers who were narrating everything. They sounded way to scripted and monotoned to be doing this. Perhaps they should record there presentation and play it back. NO (real) excitement in their voices at all. They did a good job of informing us though and had some good info you could pick up on the Lido deck.

Other ports, they were okay... Nothing as spectacular as above though.

That was the good.... Here's the bad and ugly...

1) Dining Room - OMG! The first thing I noticed was there were no table cloths on the tables!! Also, silverware consisted of only a knife and fork in your napkin (which they USED to place in your lap - elegantly, but no longer do). Food was okay, but you actually get more choices on the Lido deck and basically it's the same food, same quality! Service was pretty good and at least the wait staff knew/remembered your names and drink choices. Our assistant waiter also worked on the Lido at night and always recognized me by name and smiled and said hello. Heard from several people that ate in the steak house that it was about the same and NOISY?!? It's an 'open' format... But where we were in the MDR (far back starboard side next to window) we were so 'tucked in' that noise wasn't a problem.

2) Cabin - well, again, some disappointments - stewards have had lots more rooms added to them meaning less time 'detailing' things. Oh, and those nice little chocolates on your pillows at night? GONE! yep, guess they want to save another $1 per cabin per cruise, right Carnival? Just sad. We used to brag to those that never went on a cruise about things like this (and dining room elegance), but no more.

3) Entertainment - just okay. The comedians were pretty decent, the dancer/singers not so much. Here comes the UGLY ---- The hypnotist! Let me preface by saying that I too am a hypnotist and normally very forgiving of boring shows and patter, but this guy took the cake, cut it up, force fed it to us until we threw up! Seriously! His first show was just 'eh' (wife even went up on stage, she goes under EASY). His patter was boring with a lot of SHOUTING of ONE TWO THREE and such. I mean REALLY LOUD.

Worst part was the second show - same patter, mostly same boring show completely except this time he had two people have what we call 'abreactions' - Actually in there cases they were TOO DEEP to participate in the 'show' (wouldn't follow commands) and ended up sitting in chairs off to the side of the stage. What's wrong with that? Well, imagine sitting with your head tilted back (one of them) or forward to your chest (the other) FOR OVER 20 MINUTES! Not to mention they kept sliding down from their chairs only to have him put them back in them! NO! He SHOULD have just gently took them to the floor, laid them on their backs and let them relax. He could have even made fun of them, but instead he didn't take the proper care of them he should have. AND he had a VERY hard time bringing one of them out as well, but once partially 'awake' he sent him down the steps to the audience?!?! Instead, he should have had him sit in the chair AFTER waking him up until he could make sure he was fully back again.

Well, that's entertainment for ya!

4) POWER IS OUT!! POWER IS OUT!! - So, wife and I decided we would take the 'behind the scenes' tour of the ship - get pics of us in the Galley with the Chef, Engineering with the Engineer and Bridge with the Captain. Well, we got ONE pic (Galley), but while we were on deck A (way down) on what they call the I-95 corridor (runs the length of the ship) we were listening to the nice Italian Engineer explain things about how the ship operates and such - he had just explained the part about how they have 5 generators (one being off for maintenance) and then asked "any questions?" Suddenly I notice the lights of two generators go from green to yellow, then to red. Another then goes to yellow and alarms start going off in the room and we're ushered out into the hallway (I-95) where we are almost run over by a group of engineers running INTO the room we just left. About 20 seconds later, the lights go out on the entire ship! Emergency lighting is up though and I can tell by the lack of noise and vibration that we're not moving anymore. We were taken down to the crew's 'lounge/bar' to sit in mostly darkness for about 15 minutes before being told our tour would not continue and we were taken up to Deck 2 (by stairs of course!) and that was it. No more pics, no visit to the bridge and couldn't even get up to the Lido without climbing 7 more flights of stairs in dim lighting. Lasted for about 30 minutes, then came on, went off, came back on again. Luckily we were about 50 miles offshore of Santa Cruz at the time so nothing to hit or run aground on. Oh, and they gave us half off our tour when we complained about it.

5) Ship itself - I still hate that they close the hot tubs around midnight! At home I usually hop in ours about 12-12:30am. Also, the ship is looking pretty old. Lots of rusty spots.

Lifeboat outside and to the right of our balcony had a ripped up canvas top and one of the hand rungs on the outside was literally rusted away and broken.

So, my wife and I (who are Platinum with Carnival and just shy of Diamond) are now considering finding a new line that still has the service, taste and elegance that cruise ships have provided us for the last 15 years.

I WANT MY TABLE CLOTHS BACK DANG IT!!
djalan’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin 8D 6184
We liked our cabin, it was at the end of the hall (sort of) amid ships and just off the elevators and the atrium. The location was great because we only had one cabin next to us. Cabin is as we've always seen them (balcony is the only way to go!) in past cruises on this ship to different locations.

We were disappointed though that Carnival no longer puts the little chocolates on the pillows anymore! Come on guys! Anything to save a buck? Also, the room stewards have many more rooms to deal with and it's harder to get ahold of them. But at least the bed is comfy and the views breathtaking! Oh, and they do still do room service for (mostly) free. But they CHARGE for pizza even though it's free on the Lido deck? Weird.
Verandah Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews