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In 2014 I did this ship from Long Beach and though looking a bit weary at the time I thought that I would give it a go once again because of the price but was left disappointed. A bit of a history before I start--I am well above 30 cruises, this being my tenth with Carnival and my first with them was back in 2009. Over the years I noticed subtle changes being introduced but now all the subtle changes are adding up. First the food. As a solo traveler I tend to just do the buffet and Carnival overall used to have good choices but not this cruise. Even when I did the Miracle in 2014 I do not recall there being less selection and actually times, for dinner, not having enough choice that I would end up grabbing some cheese, maybe a bit of protein in regards to fish or chicken but that would be it. Even the vegetables looked like they were the frozen ones, thawed out and flung into the food. Plus, onion over-kill! I think onions were in everything and what this meant was that many dishes, especially on the Asian grill, had guests slowly trying to pull the meat out, leaving the onions and other fillers behind causing huge line-ups. I noticed as well that there seemed to be less staff in the buffet area than there used to be. In fact, of all my cruises, not once in that area did anyone come by to offer me coffee during breakfast or to inquire as if I wanted wine for lunch or dinner; woefully understaffed. The poor gentleman that was making omelettes had to spend one morning with partial cooking utensils slowing things down. I asked if there was not a supervisor who could help him by fetching another two or three items and he just shook his head--I felt so sorry for him. Then the welcome-aboard--now gone! It used to be years ago from the second cruise returning guests on seven day cruises would be invited to the main theatre for a complimentary drink and there were all kinds of choices. A few years later, the only choice was a punch and on this last cruise, none at all except for a coupon for a free drink, no more than $9 in value that could only be used on the last night after 5pm--talk about terms and conditions!! I had mentioned to my cabin steward that I am an early morning person and if possible, only would require a refresh once during the day (not two that used to be the standard--not sure if it still is for this cruise line). The normal time for my refresh would be anywhere from noon to 1pm---it got so much that even he started to apologize for always having me wait so long. Perhaps too, they have cut back on cleaning staff. I took the stairs a lot and noticed that some floors had one carpet design and other floors another. Though clean, it reminded me of a first apartment I might have had as a student throwing together whatever hand-me-downs I could get. The common areas, though the colours may have been popular when the ship was built, it is time to update them with warmer tones that belong to this time period. Peptol Bismol pink splashed here or there with 70s retro blue and reds were not appealing. Oh, and if you are not a fan of country music, bring headphones. In the buffet area country music was dominant, about 75% worth. Entertainment--the acoustic singer was nice but it seemed like he was working too hard. He had a wonderful voice at times then at others it sounded strained--I was worried about him actually. There was a guy and girl that sang and they were hit or miss and it was the same with the three violinists--sometimes they sounded lovely and others sounded like three people meeting for the first jam. I only did one production show, partially, the 80s one. Song selections were wonderful but I am sure I could have sung it better and left after ten minutes--no lie, and this is not meant to be hurtful, but this was below karaoke at a bar. Embarking and debarking--they have a new system now where room keys are placed in an envelope waiting outside the cabin door. I was not comfortable with this change in the world of hacking. Debarking, though the Cruise Director insisted that self carry would be by deck, I saw all decks leave at the same time so I asked the crew member there if I could get in without getting into trouble and he let me join the line--not very fair really for those still waiting. Last but not least, the Cruise Director. He was a very nice man to speak to one on one however his announcements over the PA system were too long and repetitive. He used the word "folks" so many times that I wanted to scrap that word from my vocabulary forever. On sea days, mercy, it seemed like there were announcements every hour and of course this was mostly to promote buying excursions, the casino and so forth; information easily obtainable in the daily brochure. The ports I have been to many times so I will not comment on those except to laugh at a disclaimer: Honduras and Belize they had written that the US had a Travel Advisory in effect due to the high crime rates, yet, we sailed to them anyway.

2nd time but no 3rd unless it is dry docked

Carnival Miracle Cruise Review by Torontorob12

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2018
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Premium Balcony (obstructed views)
In 2014 I did this ship from Long Beach and though looking a bit weary at the time I thought that I would give it a go once again because of the price but was left disappointed.

A bit of a history before I start--I am well above 30 cruises, this being my tenth with Carnival and my first with them was back in 2009. Over the years I noticed subtle changes being introduced but now all the subtle changes are adding up.

First the food. As a solo traveler I tend to just do the buffet and Carnival overall used to have good choices but not this cruise. Even when I did the Miracle in 2014 I do not recall there being less selection and actually times, for dinner, not having enough choice that I would end up grabbing some cheese, maybe a bit of protein in regards to fish or chicken but that would be it. Even the vegetables looked like they were the frozen ones, thawed out and flung into the food. Plus, onion over-kill! I think onions were in everything and what this meant was that many dishes, especially on the Asian grill, had guests slowly trying to pull the meat out, leaving the onions and other fillers behind causing huge line-ups. I noticed as well that there seemed to be less staff in the buffet area than there used to be. In fact, of all my cruises, not once in that area did anyone come by to offer me coffee during breakfast or to inquire as if I wanted wine for lunch or dinner; woefully understaffed. The poor gentleman that was making omelettes had to spend one morning with partial cooking utensils slowing things down. I asked if there was not a supervisor who could help him by fetching another two or three items and he just shook his head--I felt so sorry for him.

Then the welcome-aboard--now gone! It used to be years ago from the second cruise returning guests on seven day cruises would be invited to the main theatre for a complimentary drink and there were all kinds of choices. A few years later, the only choice was a punch and on this last cruise, none at all except for a coupon for a free drink, no more than $9 in value that could only be used on the last night after 5pm--talk about terms and conditions!!

I had mentioned to my cabin steward that I am an early morning person and if possible, only would require a refresh once during the day (not two that used to be the standard--not sure if it still is for this cruise line). The normal time for my refresh would be anywhere from noon to 1pm---it got so much that even he started to apologize for always having me wait so long. Perhaps too, they have cut back on cleaning staff.

I took the stairs a lot and noticed that some floors had one carpet design and other floors another. Though clean, it reminded me of a first apartment I might have had as a student throwing together whatever hand-me-downs I could get. The common areas, though the colours may have been popular when the ship was built, it is time to update them with warmer tones that belong to this time period. Peptol Bismol pink splashed here or there with 70s retro blue and reds were not appealing. Oh, and if you are not a fan of country music, bring headphones. In the buffet area country music was dominant, about 75% worth.

Entertainment--the acoustic singer was nice but it seemed like he was working too hard. He had a wonderful voice at times then at others it sounded strained--I was worried about him actually. There was a guy and girl that sang and they were hit or miss and it was the same with the three violinists--sometimes they sounded lovely and others sounded like three people meeting for the first jam. I only did one production show, partially, the 80s one. Song selections were wonderful but I am sure I could have sung it better and left after ten minutes--no lie, and this is not meant to be hurtful, but this was below karaoke at a bar.

Embarking and debarking--they have a new system now where room keys are placed in an envelope waiting outside the cabin door. I was not comfortable with this change in the world of hacking. Debarking, though the Cruise Director insisted that self carry would be by deck, I saw all decks leave at the same time so I asked the crew member there if I could get in without getting into trouble and he let me join the line--not very fair really for those still waiting.

Last but not least, the Cruise Director. He was a very nice man to speak to one on one however his announcements over the PA system were too long and repetitive. He used the word "folks" so many times that I wanted to scrap that word from my vocabulary forever. On sea days, mercy, it seemed like there were announcements every hour and of course this was mostly to promote buying excursions, the casino and so forth; information easily obtainable in the daily brochure.

The ports I have been to many times so I will not comment on those except to laugh at a disclaimer: Honduras and Belize they had written that the US had a Travel Advisory in effect due to the high crime rates, yet, we sailed to them anyway.
Torontorob12’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Premium Balcony (obstructed views)
Cabin 9A 5243
The plus with a premium balcony is that it was a bit larger than a regular balcony so I did not feel trapped. It had some nicer finishes to it than other rooms I looked into but that is about it for the pros. That, and the weather was nice made for a peaceful trip

Even though my room was premium it was showing signs of wear and tear. The panel behind the toilet was rusty and I think about to fall off any day. A couple of lights had blown in the ceiling above the bed and were never replaced. And though a premium, it was right next to the life boats which meant a much smaller balcony.

I know full well how hard the cleaning staff need to work, especially on turn-around days. Let's just keep this simple: I travel with a container of Lysol wipes and they were very useful for this cruise.
Upper Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins