This was our first 14 day Journeys cruise. Ship was Carnival Miracle. Departure port - Tampa. Panama Canal partial crossing. Ports - Cozumel, Limon, Panama Canal/Gatun, Cartagena, Aruba, Curacao, Montego Bay. Did a cruise package at Country Inn & Suites in Brandon. Very good package with room, hot buffet breakfast, 14 days parking and to/from port shuttle. Embarkation went well. Disembarkation was not as smooth and took much longer. This was a couple's trip. Shore excursions: 1- COZUMEL - "by land and sea", good experience in underwater glass windowed boat and bus exploration trip. Both guides were excellent. Chocolate, then Tequila tours were very interesting. 2 - PANAMA CANAL - Locks were very interesting, then anchored in Gatun Lake before returning through locks back to sea. 3 - Limon - "Caribbean train/boat/bus", tour was excellent and guides for each segment were very informative. 4 - CARTAGENA - Interesting harbour entrance and docking right next to operating container port. Did not do a shore excursion here. 4 - Aruba - "Best of Aruba Island Tour", on air-conditioned bus. Tour was excellent. Bus driver/guide was most informative and had many humourous anecdotes and stories. 5 - Curacao - "Discover Curacao Island Tour". This tour featured a bus that, although air-conditioned, was very narrow inside with very cramped seating. The tour guide spoke very quickly and presented a challenge to understand. She stopped at a museum first, which was interesting but went on far too long. We stopped at a Curacao Blue Liqueur production facility, which was interesting, but we were rushed through the site too quickly. 6 - Montego Bay - "Give back to the Community Tour". This was a good tour as far as the sights go, and the stop at a primary school where the children came outside to sing for us was a real treat, most enjoyable. However, the bus driver drove too fast on narrow roads, which was a bit unnerving. The commentary by the guide was sporadic and there was none on the rapid return to the ship. Before leaving on the tour we were delayed by a couple arriving late, and before returning were delayed by the guide not returning, timely, to the bus. The stop at the plantation for lunch was interesting.
The ship, Carnival Miracle, an interesting name as a miracle was needed to repair the ship and refurbishing was sorely needed. Stateroom and other areas of the ship needed repainting as some rust was visible. We had a brief power blackout in the stateroom and toilets that didn't work for a few hours during the night. We had a light switch that didn't work. Wiring and plumbing repairs were carried out during the trip, in stateroom corridors. Our TV remote didn't work, upon arrival, and needed to be replaced. The rear serenity area was used often by us and was very relaxing. However, there was a serious soot problem later in the voyage that caused the pool and hot tub to be closed as soot was floating on the surfaces. One woman passenger remarked to me that she suffered a facial burn from the stacks emissions.
The food areas were set up well with quite plentiful seating areas. The quality and variety of foods served was quite good. The food in the formal dining room was excellent and the service was superb. The surroundings in the dining room were quite dated and needed up-grading. We had a balcony room and have found this type of stateroom offers more floor space which is most welcome. The entertainment offered was quite good, although we didn't attend shows every evening as our dining time was later.