We spent 2 days in Long Beach prior to boarding the ship. The free bus around Long Beach was very useful - really did not need a car. We had flown into LAX and then took Uber to the Queen Mary. Uber was a great experience - our first time using this service. Recommend it highly - cost was less then cost of the shuttles. Had never been on the Miracle, but had traveled on the Legend 2 times. Liked the size of the ship. We felt the décor of the ship was "different" but not horrible. The crew decorated the ship for the holidays and it was impressive. We thoroughly enjoyed the holiday décor and the celebrations. This was our first time being Platinum and we enjoyed the "special" treatment. Embarkation was a treat - buffet was not crowded. We do Any Time Dining and shared a table all but one time - it was a great way to meet different individuals and enabled us to have interesting conversations. Entertainment was wonderful - the dancers/singers were great and very personable. Thoroughly enjoyed the offered enrichment on this Journey cruise - Nancy the naturalist, Steven Katkowsky, Academy of Fun, the juggler's, mentalist's, the Hawaiian representatives - they all made sea days and evenings fly by...
Adam and the Fun Squad made trivia, games, and events around the ship so much fun. Dining and Lido staff were attentive and friendly. Sea Day Brunches are always enjoyable. Dining staff "shows" were fun.
We rented cars in all but 2 ports. We rented from Dollar - the cars were fine, our recommendation is that you do not use Dollar's toll free number...the reliable information on this number leaves a lot to be desired. Did an excursion in Kauai - NaPali Cruise and Snorkel. This was a wonderful tour. Snorkeling was limited due to high winds and waves but traveling along the NaPali coast line was terrific - got to see tail of one whale, spinner dolphins and a sea turtle. While on Oahu we snorkeled at Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve - this is a great place to see lots of fish - no standing on the coral reefs but it is an easy place to snorkel right from the shore.
In side cabin - sufficient storage - suitcases fit under the bed. Were able to get extra hangers - enabled us to hang everything we needed to hang up. We were initally fearful that we would hear alot of noise from the 9th deck (cleaning/moving of lounge chairs at night) - the weather was not cooperative - so there were not alot of outdoor activities.