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I chose this ship and itinerary for three main reasons - it was over our wedding anniversary, it sailed out of our home port of Tampa, and it stopped in Belize City. I want to start and end the review on a positive note, so I'll begin with our favorite bartender - Jakub. Jakub worked the bar at Nick & Nora's, was very passionate about his job, and obviously cared about our experience as passengers. We spent several hours sitting at his bar chatting to him over the course of the cruise. He quickly learned our preferences and asked our permission to initially play with some classic cocktails we ordered, and eventually create things just for us. He hit the mark every time. In fact, with our last dinner we simply asked our waiter to bring us whatever Jakub wanted to make us, confident that we'd love it. My only regret is that I couldn't convince him to defect to MSC Seaside for our summer cruise! I hope Carnival knows what they have in him. Miracle is an older ship, and while it does show in some areas, it's still in perfectly adequate shape. Most of the public areas were nicely furnished. The more colorful themed appearance of most areas of the ship may not be to everyone's taste, but it didn't cause us any concern. I'd say though that I probably preferred the more subdued, elegant style of Independence of the Seas, which we sailed last year. We only caught one comedy show on the ship, and enjoyed it. It was an 18+ show, and no punches were pulled. As such, some invariably found certain things offensive - we saw a few people pointedly walk out at certain jokes. Best advice is to stick to the family shows if you like your humor strictly-PC. I'm not sure if we just failed to figure out the schedule, but there didn't seem to be any broadway-type entertainment. Only the comedy and music. Best music on the ship was probably Amelia playing down in Alchemy. We didn't think too much of the variety music show in the atrium. The violin trio was ok, but their set seemed limited. The food was disappointing. The buffet was uninspiring to say the least. The sushi bar was ok, but limited opening times, and the second time we went the rolls were wrapped so poorly they fell apart as soon as picked up. Bacchus (main dining room) was not good, and the service was impersonal. One experience was enough to lead us to book every night at Nick and Nora's (steak house). N&N food was better, though I'd put it barely on par with the MDR on Independence. Menu wasn't very varied - I get that it's a steakhouse so there will several steaks, but if it's your only specialty restaurant on board, it needs more variety. Every steak (and even the lamb) was accompanied by Bearnaise and garlic confit - not a bad accompaniment, but if you are eating there every night it gets old. The way the menu was structured was odd. Choose a protein, choose a side. Perhaps it's just me, but in a restaurant I expect the chef to craft a coherent meal with sides that complement the protein. One food highlight was the 'art at the table' dessert, which added a little fun and drama to the meal, and was generally pretty tasty. The itinerary was very good, and we did a Carnival excursion in every port. In Cozumel we did the shopping and beach break, including Tequila tasting. Our guide Sylvia was knowledgeable and funny. In Belize City, we went to Lamanai, which was amazing. Cesar and his colleague (I forget her name, sadly) were very, very knowledgeable and gave us a good laugh on the coach ride. When we reached Lamanai, Cesar handed off to a Mayan friend of his to do the tour and it was great. I'm not sure how many more times I can use the word 'knowledgeable', but since this individual actually lived on site and aided in the excavation, I can't think of a better word. We docked in Roatan on valentine's day, and I can't think of a better way to spend the day. We did the horseback riding in the ocean, followed by snorkeling and a quick massage before we left. My apologies to our fellow excursionists, because although we were told the bus was going to be late and we had time, I'm not so sure it was. We got back to the bus to find everyone already in place... In Grand Cayman, we swam with stingrays and sea turtles. I'm not sure there are any superlatives that suffice. Swimming with the sea turtles was the highlight of my trip (well, aside from my beautiful wife, of course). Finally we had our third massage of the cruise (what can I say, we spoiled ourselves). Thanda and her colleague gave us probably the best couple's massage we've ever had, and it really put a bow on our anniversary vacation. Would I book Miracle again? If another ship weren't available, I wouldn't *not* book it, if you see what I mean. It was adequate. But with the food being bad enough to force specialized dining every night, that extra $38 per person per night could easily be put toward a ship/line with a better MDR experience.

Great itinerary, adequate ship, terrible food

Carnival Miracle Cruise Review by douglanglois

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
I chose this ship and itinerary for three main reasons - it was over our wedding anniversary, it sailed out of our home port of Tampa, and it stopped in Belize City.

I want to start and end the review on a positive note, so I'll begin with our favorite bartender - Jakub. Jakub worked the bar at Nick & Nora's, was very passionate about his job, and obviously cared about our experience as passengers. We spent several hours sitting at his bar chatting to him over the course of the cruise. He quickly learned our preferences and asked our permission to initially play with some classic cocktails we ordered, and eventually create things just for us. He hit the mark every time. In fact, with our last dinner we simply asked our waiter to bring us whatever Jakub wanted to make us, confident that we'd love it. My only regret is that I couldn't convince him to defect to MSC Seaside for our summer cruise! I hope Carnival knows what they have in him.

Miracle is an older ship, and while it does show in some areas, it's still in perfectly adequate shape.

Most of the public areas were nicely furnished. The more colorful themed appearance of most areas of the ship may not be to everyone's taste, but it didn't cause us any concern. I'd say though that I probably preferred the more subdued, elegant style of Independence of the Seas, which we sailed last year.

We only caught one comedy show on the ship, and enjoyed it. It was an 18+ show, and no punches were pulled. As such, some invariably found certain things offensive - we saw a few people pointedly walk out at certain jokes. Best advice is to stick to the family shows if you like your humor strictly-PC.

I'm not sure if we just failed to figure out the schedule, but there didn't seem to be any broadway-type entertainment. Only the comedy and music. Best music on the ship was probably Amelia playing down in Alchemy. We didn't think too much of the variety music show in the atrium. The violin trio was ok, but their set seemed limited.

The food was disappointing. The buffet was uninspiring to say the least. The sushi bar was ok, but limited opening times, and the second time we went the rolls were wrapped so poorly they fell apart as soon as picked up. Bacchus (main dining room) was not good, and the service was impersonal. One experience was enough to lead us to book every night at Nick and Nora's (steak house). N&N food was better, though I'd put it barely on par with the MDR on Independence. Menu wasn't very varied - I get that it's a steakhouse so there will several steaks, but if it's your only specialty restaurant on board, it needs more variety. Every steak (and even the lamb) was accompanied by Bearnaise and garlic confit - not a bad accompaniment, but if you are eating there every night it gets old. The way the menu was structured was odd. Choose a protein, choose a side. Perhaps it's just me, but in a restaurant I expect the chef to craft a coherent meal with sides that complement the protein.

One food highlight was the 'art at the table' dessert, which added a little fun and drama to the meal, and was generally pretty tasty.

The itinerary was very good, and we did a Carnival excursion in every port. In Cozumel we did the shopping and beach break, including Tequila tasting. Our guide Sylvia was knowledgeable and funny.

In Belize City, we went to Lamanai, which was amazing. Cesar and his colleague (I forget her name, sadly) were very, very knowledgeable and gave us a good laugh on the coach ride. When we reached Lamanai, Cesar handed off to a Mayan friend of his to do the tour and it was great. I'm not sure how many more times I can use the word 'knowledgeable', but since this individual actually lived on site and aided in the excavation, I can't think of a better word.

We docked in Roatan on valentine's day, and I can't think of a better way to spend the day. We did the horseback riding in the ocean, followed by snorkeling and a quick massage before we left. My apologies to our fellow excursionists, because although we were told the bus was going to be late and we had time, I'm not so sure it was. We got back to the bus to find everyone already in place...

In Grand Cayman, we swam with stingrays and sea turtles. I'm not sure there are any superlatives that suffice. Swimming with the sea turtles was the highlight of my trip (well, aside from my beautiful wife, of course).

Finally we had our third massage of the cruise (what can I say, we spoiled ourselves). Thanda and her colleague gave us probably the best couple's massage we've ever had, and it really put a bow on our anniversary vacation.

Would I book Miracle again? If another ship weren't available, I wouldn't *not* book it, if you see what I mean. It was adequate. But with the food being bad enough to force specialized dining every night, that extra $38 per person per night could easily be put toward a ship/line with a better MDR experience.
douglanglois’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Ocean Suite
Cabin OS 6327
We had a suite 6327 in starboard-aft of the ship. It was a comfortable room and the balcony was nice. Our steward James was very pleasant, and while we didn't really place too many demands on him, we had every confidence that he could assist us as needed.
Panorama Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Lamanai Mayan Ruins
    In Belize City, we went to Lamanai, which was amazing. Cesar and his colleague (I forget her name, sadly) were very, very knowledgeable and gave us a good laugh on the coach ride. When we reached Lamanai, Cesar handed off to a Mayan friend of his to do the tour and it was great. I'm not sure how many more times I can use the word 'knowledgeable', but since this individual actually lived on site and aided in the excavation, I can't think of a better word.
    View All 118 Lamanai Mayan Ruins Reviews
  • Tequila Tasting
    We did the shopping and beach break, including Tequila tasting. Our guide Sylvia was knowledgeable and funny.
    View All 118 Tequila Tasting Reviews
  • Stingray Swim
    My wife's highlight of the cruise was meeting the stingrays. You really do get up close, feeding them in the water and holding them on your arms (under the water, of course).
    View All 727 Stingray Swim Reviews
  • Turtle Farm
    I'm not sure there are any superlatives that suffice. Swimming with the sea turtles was the highlight of my trip (well, aside from my beautiful wife, of course).
    View All 302 Turtle Farm Reviews
  • Horseback Riding
    We docked in Roatan on valentine's day, and I can't think of a better way to spend the day. We did the horseback riding in the ocean, followed by snorkeling and a quick massage before we left. My apologies to our fellow excursionists, because although we were told the bus was going to be late and we had plenty of time, I'm not so sure it was. We got back to the bus to find everyone already in place...
    View All 25 Horseback Riding Reviews
  • Snorkeling
    Snorkeling was a surprise addition to our day, which we added on with the company that ran the horse back riding. It was a great experience, though as a beardy I had some trouble with the rental mask.
    View All 294 Snorkeling Reviews
  • Tampa
    Embarkation was very smooth. I can't imagine how it could be faster unless the ship picked us up at our house! Our suite was ready as soon as we boarded.
    View All 573 Tampa Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Tampa Cruise Port Review