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Pros: Medium size ship is relatively easy to navigate. Generally polite staff throughout the ship. Most guests on Carnival are friendly, unpretentious people. Cruise director was pleasant and efficient. Two of the four comedians were very entertaining. One of the movies that was offered was excellent. Fresh fruit was available on Lido for most meals. Several dishes at the Lido buffets and main dining room were prepared well and had excellent flavor. A few desserts were works of art. There are several nice displays of decorative crystal in the ship stairwells. Shipboard shops had a couple of nice sales and sales staff were quite approachable and helpful. Debarkation at the end of the cruise was smooth and uneventful, despite long lines. Luggage was well organized and easily located in the terminal. And terminal personnel were helpful in their directions. Cons: Embarkation delays and difficulties, especially for the handicapped, as there were not enough wheelchairs to meet needs. 2-3 chairs per ship is too few when each trip takes half an hour or more to board each person and there are several dozen people waiting and more arriving all the time. Most staterooms are not available to guests until early to mid afternoon on embarkation day, so guests must lug their carryon baggage with them everywhere they go until then. There was a bad shudder (shaking) to the ship throughout the cruise. Is something wrong with the engines? Not many good choices for dining, activities or entertainment. Very limited offerings on the Lido deck for dinner. No wait staff on hand there in the evenings, either, to offer beverages or other services. Food was generally mediocre, either spiced the same or very bland, portion sizes in the main dining room sometimes varied wildly from one plate to another, sauces and dressings were often too thick to pour or use as a dip, options for ordering and free beverages were never offered by main dining room staff. Choices for pizza, outdoor grill and deli were fixed and too limited. Outdoor grill food was often overcooked, cold, dried out and inedible. One of the two soft serve machines was not functional during the entire cruise, creating long lines. No juices are offered on Lido for breakfast, only sugary drinks. Juice is offered only in main dining room, but the main dining room breakfasts were not cooked properly. Long lines for dining and entertainment venues. Gaudy, visually jarring decor in many of the public areas such as the main dining rooms, bars. Tiny uncomfortable "library" had few books, felt like a wasted space. Very heavy glass doors to some public rooms, making them inaccessible to some disabled guests. Entertainment venues were too small for most shows/comedy performances. Serenity adult area at the stern of the ship was anything but serene — packed with people, chaotic and noisy. An assault on the senses. No anniversary celebration was offered despite it being listed on our dining room slip and general cruise documents. Very disappointing. Dining room service spotty, some tables were skipped for dessert, ignored for beverage refills, etc. Spa services refused to supply a price list -- prices for each service had to be "negotiated" separately. No prices were ever listed for "specials," either, only "$$ off." Choice of stateroom service (morning or evening) was ignored by stewards, leading to daily inconveniences. "Chocolate Extravaganza" was mostly cakes. Main dining room sometimes opened late due to poor scheduling of staff meetings, stressing staff as well as guests. Slow dining room service often meant guests would have to leave before dessert to make it to the other end of the ship early enough to find seating for scheduled entertainment. Popular entertainment was often scheduled in conflict with dinner and other one time entertainment so something had to be missed. Why not have some matinees? Several entertainment activities and presentations were too childish for most adults. Because of the location, relatively few guests could get a view of the ice carving demonstration. Some port tender boats were exceedingly slow and/or poorly maintained, making for uncomfortable rides and long waits to get ashore as well as to return to the ship. No tender ports had seating in the onshore waiting areas for those wanting to return to the ship. Drinking water for returning guests was provided at one tender port but was located beyond the security ropes out of reach of guests. The Western Caribbean itinerary is always the same out of Tampa, limiting its appeal. Much of the musical entertainment was mediocre to poor, amateurish. Too many cutbacks in recent years-- no bathrobes or bath amenities in staterooms, no birthday or anniversary celebrations, no sea day teas, stained towels and threadworn bedding, ragged carpets, burned out lightbulbs, fewer stateroom stewards to service rooms which makes staterooms inaccessible to guests for 6-8 hours every day. Stateroom "categories" are practically meaningless except for location within the ship. A "large" stateroom can be very tight with little space for storage. Although we paid hundred$ extra, it was the smallest stateroom we've had in over 20 cruises. Room safe can be accessed only with a magnetic strip type card, not a keyed in code that could be used by spouse or fellow roommates. Guests cannot hear ship-wide announcements when inside the stateroom. There should be an option for this. Yet all guests were awakened in the middle of the night by an in-stateroom announcement about a private medical emergency. Announcements made in noisy public areas such as the Lido buffets and outdoor decks could not be understood at all. Also, music piped into many parts of the ship was so loud that it drove away guests. There were persistent problems with the toilets throughout the ship -- dirty water, non functioning, etc. A couple of times the electricity in the stateroom went out. There is no dedicated movie theater, no outdoor movie screen and no schedule or guide for the limited television channels. No access to the stateroom folio account or daily schedule/menus through the television, either. Most of the few movies that were offered were aimed at juveniles. Water slide was dry and nonfunctional during our cruise. No explanation given. Never enough chaise lounges or other seating near the pools to meet demand. Poltergeists apparently took over one elevator, leading to trapped guests not being able to get where they wanted to go and then opening the door only extremely briefly so guests could not safely exit, either. Sales in the atrium are never a good idea -- too many shoppers in way too small a place. People actually fought to get to the only available side of a table of t-shirts. Shipboard bar drinks were generally not well made and were much higher in price than on several other cruise lines, as well. No encouragement or urging for guests to wash their hands and use hand sanitizers, especially in the dining venues. As a result, most guests did not do so, spreading their germs/illnesses everywhere, to the detriment of all. Lots of coughing and sneezing passengers aboard the ship. Some venues (Mad Hatters Ball) were so cold the staff supplied guests with blankets to watch movies. No popcorn, though. Constant heavy "mist" spewed into the air of the Phantom Theater for theatrical atmospheric purposes smelled bad and caused coughing amongst the guests. This mist was not turned off regardless of whether it was appropriate for the entertainment production. Poor ventilation in and near the casino made for unpleasantly smoky conditions throughout that deck and beyond. Raffles in the shipboard shops (must be present to win) were held during the late evening when most guests would be at dinner or attending entertainment productions/events. Folio charges and credits were issued per guest instead of per stateroom, even though only one credit card was on file to cover the account. This meant that each guest listed on the account had to make individual purchases to cover their individual credits instead of one large purchase being allowed to absorb the entire group's or couple's credits. There should instead be an option to group the credits on the same account. Some shipboard charges, such as gratuities, are not added to the passengers' account until the last day of the cruise, creating unrealistic expectations for passengers and naturally followed by long lines at the Front Desk. Only a two hour window (9-11 p.m.) was allowed for setting luggage in the hallway for pick up the night before debarkation, leading to missed entertainment on the final night of the cruise.

Carnival Miracle Pros & Cons (long)

Carnival Miracle Cruise Review by dakwriter

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Pros:

Medium size ship is relatively easy to navigate.

Generally polite staff throughout the ship.

Most guests on Carnival are friendly, unpretentious people.

Cruise director was pleasant and efficient.

Two of the four comedians were very entertaining.

One of the movies that was offered was excellent.

Fresh fruit was available on Lido for most meals.

Several dishes at the Lido buffets and main dining room were prepared well and had excellent flavor. A few desserts were works of art.

There are several nice displays of decorative crystal in the ship stairwells.

Shipboard shops had a couple of nice sales and sales staff were quite approachable and helpful.

Debarkation at the end of the cruise was smooth and uneventful, despite long lines. Luggage was well organized and easily located in the terminal. And terminal personnel were helpful in their directions.

Cons:

Embarkation delays and difficulties, especially for the handicapped, as there were not enough wheelchairs to meet needs. 2-3 chairs per ship is too few when each trip takes half an hour or more to board each person and there are several dozen people waiting and more arriving all the time.

Most staterooms are not available to guests until early to mid afternoon on embarkation day, so guests must lug their carryon baggage with them everywhere they go until then.

There was a bad shudder (shaking) to the ship throughout the cruise. Is something wrong with the engines?

Not many good choices for dining, activities or entertainment.

Very limited offerings on the Lido deck for dinner. No wait staff on hand there in the evenings, either, to offer beverages or other services.

Food was generally mediocre, either spiced the same or very bland, portion sizes in the main dining room sometimes varied wildly from one plate to another, sauces and dressings were often too thick to pour or use as a dip, options for ordering and free beverages were never offered by main dining room staff.

Choices for pizza, outdoor grill and deli were fixed and too limited.

Outdoor grill food was often overcooked, cold, dried out and inedible.

One of the two soft serve machines was not functional during the entire cruise, creating long lines.

No juices are offered on Lido for breakfast, only sugary drinks. Juice is offered only in main dining room, but the main dining room breakfasts were not cooked properly.

Long lines for dining and entertainment venues.

Gaudy, visually jarring decor in many of the public areas such as the main dining rooms, bars.

Tiny uncomfortable "library" had few books, felt like a wasted space.

Very heavy glass doors to some public rooms, making them inaccessible to some disabled guests.

Entertainment venues were too small for most shows/comedy performances.

Serenity adult area at the stern of the ship was anything but serene — packed with people, chaotic and noisy. An assault on the senses.

No anniversary celebration was offered despite it being listed on our dining room slip and general cruise documents. Very disappointing.

Dining room service spotty, some tables were skipped for dessert, ignored for beverage refills, etc.

Spa services refused to supply a price list -- prices for each service had to be "negotiated" separately. No prices were ever listed for "specials," either, only "$$ off."

Choice of stateroom service (morning or evening) was ignored by stewards, leading to daily inconveniences.

"Chocolate Extravaganza" was mostly cakes.

Main dining room sometimes opened late due to poor scheduling of staff meetings, stressing staff as well as guests.

Slow dining room service often meant guests would have to leave before dessert to make it to the other end of the ship early enough to find seating for scheduled entertainment.

Popular entertainment was often scheduled in conflict with dinner and other one time entertainment so something had to be missed. Why not have some matinees?

Several entertainment activities and presentations were too childish for most adults.

Because of the location, relatively few guests could get a view of the ice carving demonstration.

Some port tender boats were exceedingly slow and/or poorly maintained, making for uncomfortable rides and long waits to get ashore as well as to return to the ship. No tender ports had seating in the onshore waiting areas for those wanting to return to the ship. Drinking water for returning guests was provided at one tender port but was located beyond the security ropes out of reach of guests.

The Western Caribbean itinerary is always the same out of Tampa, limiting its appeal.

Much of the musical entertainment was mediocre to poor, amateurish.

Too many cutbacks in recent years-- no bathrobes or bath amenities in staterooms, no birthday or anniversary celebrations, no sea day teas, stained towels and threadworn bedding, ragged carpets, burned out lightbulbs, fewer stateroom stewards to service rooms which makes staterooms inaccessible to guests for 6-8 hours every day.

Stateroom "categories" are practically meaningless except for location within the ship. A "large" stateroom can be very tight with little space for storage. Although we paid hundred$ extra, it was the smallest stateroom we've had in over 20 cruises.

Room safe can be accessed only with a magnetic strip type card, not a keyed in code that could be used by spouse or fellow roommates.

Guests cannot hear ship-wide announcements when inside the stateroom. There should be an option for this. Yet all guests were awakened in the middle of the night by an in-stateroom announcement about a private medical emergency. Announcements made in noisy public areas such as the Lido buffets and outdoor decks could not be understood at all. Also, music piped into many parts of the ship was so loud that it drove away guests.

There were persistent problems with the toilets throughout the ship -- dirty water, non functioning, etc.

A couple of times the electricity in the stateroom went out.

There is no dedicated movie theater, no outdoor movie screen and no schedule or guide for the limited television channels. No access to the stateroom folio account or daily schedule/menus through the television, either. Most of the few movies that were offered were aimed at juveniles.

Water slide was dry and nonfunctional during our cruise. No explanation given.

Never enough chaise lounges or other seating near the pools to meet demand.

Poltergeists apparently took over one elevator, leading to trapped guests not being able to get where they wanted to go and then opening the door only extremely briefly so guests could not safely exit, either.

Sales in the atrium are never a good idea -- too many shoppers in way too small a place. People actually fought to get to the only available side of a table of t-shirts.

Shipboard bar drinks were generally not well made and were much higher in price than on several other cruise lines, as well.

No encouragement or urging for guests to wash their hands and use hand sanitizers, especially in the dining venues. As a result, most guests did not do so, spreading their germs/illnesses everywhere, to the detriment of all. Lots of coughing and sneezing passengers aboard the ship.

Some venues (Mad Hatters Ball) were so cold the staff supplied guests with blankets to watch movies. No popcorn, though.

Constant heavy "mist" spewed into the air of the Phantom Theater for theatrical atmospheric purposes smelled bad and caused coughing amongst the guests. This mist was not turned off regardless of whether it was appropriate for the entertainment production.

Poor ventilation in and near the casino made for unpleasantly smoky conditions throughout that deck and beyond.

Raffles in the shipboard shops (must be present to win) were held during the late evening when most guests would be at dinner or attending entertainment productions/events.

Folio charges and credits were issued per guest instead of per stateroom, even though only one credit card was on file to cover the account. This meant that each guest listed on the account had to make individual purchases to cover their individual credits instead of one large purchase being allowed to absorb the entire group's or couple's credits. There should instead be an option to group the credits on the same account.

Some shipboard charges, such as gratuities, are not added to the passengers' account until the last day of the cruise, creating unrealistic expectations for passengers and naturally followed by long lines at the Front Desk.

Only a two hour window (9-11 p.m.) was allowed for setting luggage in the hallway for pick up the night before debarkation, leading to missed entertainment on the final night of the cruise.
dakwriter’s Full Rating Summary
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