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We were offered this cruise last minute because the Vista our of Galveston was canceled. We were offered cruise credit because of the cancellation, so we got a pretty good deal on our first cruise. The boarding process was really simple and we received our checked luggage in a timely manner. If I had it to do over again, I would not hang out on the Lido deck upon arriving like they suggested we do because the place was so packed that we had to stand along the wall to eat. Overall, we enjoyed our time at each port, but we’ve decided that any future cruises will not include Belize because of the lack of activities they have to offer and the very poor culture that is right at the port...very sad to see and even a little scary in some places. On board there was plenty to do to keep us entertained however we learned from experienced cruisers that the Miracle is the worst that Carnival has to offer. We didn’t have our children with us, but we did go and check out the kids department. I wasn’t overly impressed, but once again I honestly feel like the Miracle just wasn’t up to par like the other Carnival ships claim to be. There’s no outside movie theater or very many activities up top on this ship like the others either. One small mini golf and one water slide. I believe they had 2 pools for everyone and one extra pool for the 21 and over area. The comedy entertainment was just ok and the music shows every night felt like I was at a cheesy Branson, Missouri show. The main attraction of cruising in our opinion as we observed others was drinking and gambling so I guess if that’s your idea of fun definitely go on a cruise. Our best moments were spent just relaxing on an upper deck watching the ocean and sunset and our favorite port was Cozumel. We also loved the fact that we could at any time go and eat on the Lido deck and order whatever we wanted from the dining hall. We found that the food offered on the Lido deck was actually better than the fancier dining hall so the last couple of days we didn’t even step foot in the dining hall except for breakfast because their breakfast was better there. We found that most everything on board in the shops was way overpriced. They seem to really push people to buy their jewelry (which I questioned to myself if it was even authentic or not). They push coupon books by claiming that you’ll receive all these really nice free gifts at each port, but in all reality the freebies are super cheap items made in China. Really what they are doing is getting you in their stores at port to try and sell you outrageously expensive jewelry that feels cheap to the touch. Don’t get suckered in! Don’t waste any of your cruise time sitting in on seminars only to receive a cheap free gift. Save your money to buy authentic souvenirs from each port or to put towards excursions. Speaking of excursions...we noticed that most excursions you could find cheaper at port rather than buying through Carnival. But when buying through independent touring companies you’re risking being left behind if their van breaks down along the way or getting injured and carnival not being responsible. Carnival doesn’t honor their word either by giving you back 110% of your excursion fee if you find the same thing cheaper somewhere else. We encountered this at Chankanaab Park in Cozumel. That’s one excursion that we’d do differently when we return with the children. $38 per adult and I believe $33 per child for the snorkeling and buffet. We were quoted $40 for traveling expenses too. Mind you this doesn’t cover the unlimited alcohol, but when you aren’t a drinker why pay for it? I really had no complaints until it came to the photo studio. Now because this was our first cruise I wasn’t familiar with the fact that the studio is totally separate from the many photo props they have available on the ship. The photo prop stands charge $21.99 per 8x10 which is a little high but doable for a nice photo. However, we were lured into the photo studio and not told the prices beforehand. The photographer did about a 10-15 min session of taking pics then told us to come back the next day to look them over. Here’s the part that really is quite disturbing to me...the photographer printed out all of the pictures on quality water proof type paper and put them into a good sized album for us. She explained to us about how this was “our love story”. The pictures were beautiful and I was so pleased with the quality. THEN, she proceeded to put a music video up on the big screen of “our love story photos”. It was so beautiful that we both cried as we watched it. Mind you, this lady had no clue of our background and what it really took for us to be together and then 10yrs later make our actual honeymoon trip. She didn’t know why we were so over the moon happy to see that video, but she left the room to allow us to finish watching it, then came back later to talk prices. I’m sure the look on my face said it all when I read prices from $1k to $3k! I believe for the photo album and music video was going to be the highest at right over 3k. I asked her if I could purchase one 8x10 of my favorite photo but she denied my request by saying they offer packages only. We walked out very sad knowing that the photo album would be destroyed. I explained to my husband that it wasn’t fair that they play on people’s emotions like that then drop a huge bombshell on them. I found it very cruel and even a bit weird that she would take the time to put the book and video together before we even committed to liking our photos. It’s a waste of their time and money. Even more disturbing was that maybe an hour later, the photographer called our room and expressed how she was sorry about the way our meeting went. It quote, “made her uncomfortable”. Well it would make me very uncomfortable too if I had to do her job day in and day out trying to rip people off and seeing couples like ourselves walk out empty handed knowing that all the photos are going to be destroyed the next day and that they wouldn’t even allow us to buy one photo or to come down on the price for the album. She tried to give us a better deal over the phone which wasn’t much better than the first so I asked my husband to go back and talk to her without me. I didn’t feel like getting upset again seeing the pictures. He said she tried the same play on emotions type tactic by turning the video on again. He asked her to turn it off, made her our final offer for the book which was of course denied and then he politely told her to be blessed and left. We decided that we could get the same type of photos taken at JCPenney for less than a fourth of their price. They’d rather totally destroy someone’s treasured memories than to price bargain with anyone. I told my husband that it was a shame to end such a beautiful vacation on a note like that. I was happy the entire time except for that encounter. It showed me Carnival’s true colors. They are all about the money and nothing else. And maybe this is how most cruise lines are, but I guess I won’t know unless I try out a different one. My advice to first time cruisers is DO NOT get suckered into wasting your money on the ship. If you want a nice memorable photo, go to the photo props but do not step foot inside the separate photo studio. Spend your money ashore on a nice massage and authentic souvenirs while avoiding the many jewelry stores, don’t make eye contact with the jewelry store workers that are standing outside trying to lure you in. Just keep on walking and act like you are French or something by not responding to them. LOL! Price check all excursions before booking them through Carnival and choose wisely which ones would be safe to do through an outside tour guide or going directly to the site to view prices. Call ahead if need be. If you choose Carnival, my advice would be don’t choose the Miracle as we heard other experiences cruisers saying that the Miracle was a joke compared to others.

First Time Cruiser Experience

Carnival Miracle Cruise Review by Tks8085

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We were offered this cruise last minute because the Vista our of Galveston was canceled. We were offered cruise credit because of the cancellation, so we got a pretty good deal on our first cruise. The boarding process was really simple and we received our checked luggage in a timely manner. If I had it to do over again, I would not hang out on the Lido deck upon arriving like they suggested we do because the place was so packed that we had to stand along the wall to eat.

Overall, we enjoyed our time at each port, but we’ve decided that any future cruises will not include Belize because of the lack of activities they have to offer and the very poor culture that is right at the port...very sad to see and even a little scary in some places.

On board there was plenty to do to keep us entertained however we learned from experienced cruisers that the Miracle is the worst that Carnival has to offer. We didn’t have our children with us, but we did go and check out the kids department. I wasn’t overly impressed, but once again I honestly feel like the Miracle just wasn’t up to par like the other Carnival ships claim to be. There’s no outside movie theater or very many activities up top on this ship like the others either. One small mini golf and one water slide. I believe they had 2 pools for everyone and one extra pool for the 21 and over area. The comedy entertainment was just ok and the music shows every night felt like I was at a cheesy Branson, Missouri show. The main attraction of cruising in our opinion as we observed others was drinking and gambling so I guess if that’s your idea of fun definitely go on a cruise.

Our best moments were spent just relaxing on an upper deck watching the ocean and sunset and our favorite port was Cozumel. We also loved the fact that we could at any time go and eat on the Lido deck and order whatever we wanted from the dining hall. We found that the food offered on the Lido deck was actually better than the fancier dining hall so the last couple of days we didn’t even step foot in the dining hall except for breakfast because their breakfast was better there. We found that most everything on board in the shops was way overpriced. They seem to really push people to buy their jewelry (which I questioned to myself if it was even authentic or not). They push coupon books by claiming that you’ll receive all these really nice free gifts at each port, but in all reality the freebies are super cheap items made in China. Really what they are doing is getting you in their stores at port to try and sell you outrageously expensive jewelry that feels cheap to the touch. Don’t get suckered in! Don’t waste any of your cruise time sitting in on seminars only to receive a cheap free gift. Save your money to buy authentic souvenirs from each port or to put towards excursions.

Speaking of excursions...we noticed that most excursions you could find cheaper at port rather than buying through Carnival. But when buying through independent touring companies you’re risking being left behind if their van breaks down along the way or getting injured and carnival not being responsible. Carnival doesn’t honor their word either by giving you back 110% of your excursion fee if you find the same thing cheaper somewhere else. We encountered this at Chankanaab Park in Cozumel. That’s one excursion that we’d do differently when we return with the children. $38 per adult and I believe $33 per child for the snorkeling and buffet. We were quoted $40 for traveling expenses too. Mind you this doesn’t cover the unlimited alcohol, but when you aren’t a drinker why pay for it?

I really had no complaints until it came to the photo studio. Now because this was our first cruise I wasn’t familiar with the fact that the studio is totally separate from the many photo props they have available on the ship. The photo prop stands charge $21.99 per 8x10 which is a little high but doable for a nice photo. However, we were lured into the photo studio and not told the prices beforehand. The photographer did about a 10-15 min session of taking pics then told us to come back the next day to look them over. Here’s the part that really is quite disturbing to me...the photographer printed out all of the pictures on quality water proof type paper and put them into a good sized album for us. She explained to us about how this was “our love story”. The pictures were beautiful and I was so pleased with the quality. THEN, she proceeded to put a music video up on the big screen of “our love story photos”. It was so beautiful that we both cried as we watched it. Mind you, this lady had no clue of our background and what it really took for us to be together and then 10yrs later make our actual honeymoon trip. She didn’t know why we were so over the moon happy to see that video, but she left the room to allow us to finish watching it, then came back later to talk prices. I’m sure the look on my face said it all when I read prices from $1k to $3k! I believe for the photo album and music video was going to be the highest at right over 3k. I asked her if I could purchase one 8x10 of my favorite photo but she denied my request by saying they offer packages only. We walked out very sad knowing that the photo album would be destroyed. I explained to my husband that it wasn’t fair that they play on people’s emotions like that then drop a huge bombshell on them. I found it very cruel and even a bit weird that she would take the time to put the book and video together before we even committed to liking our photos. It’s a waste of their time and money. Even more disturbing was that maybe an hour later, the photographer called our room and expressed how she was sorry about the way our meeting went. It quote, “made her uncomfortable”. Well it would make me very uncomfortable too if I had to do her job day in and day out trying to rip people off and seeing couples like ourselves walk out empty handed knowing that all the photos are going to be destroyed the next day and that they wouldn’t even allow us to buy one photo or to come down on the price for the album. She tried to give us a better deal over the phone which wasn’t much better than the first so I asked my husband to go back and talk to her without me. I didn’t feel like getting upset again seeing the pictures. He said she tried the same play on emotions type tactic by turning the video on again. He asked her to turn it off, made her our final offer for the book which was of course denied and then he politely told her to be blessed and left. We decided that we could get the same type of photos taken at JCPenney for less than a fourth of their price. They’d rather totally destroy someone’s treasured memories than to price bargain with anyone. I told my husband that it was a shame to end such a beautiful vacation on a note like that. I was happy the entire time except for that encounter. It showed me Carnival’s true colors. They are all about the money and nothing else. And maybe this is how most cruise lines are, but I guess I won’t know unless I try out a different one.

My advice to first time cruisers is DO NOT get suckered into wasting your money on the ship. If you want a nice memorable photo, go to the photo props but do not step foot inside the separate photo studio. Spend your money ashore on a nice massage and authentic souvenirs while avoiding the many jewelry stores, don’t make eye contact with the jewelry store workers that are standing outside trying to lure you in. Just keep on walking and act like you are French or something by not responding to them. LOL! Price check all excursions before booking them through Carnival and choose wisely which ones would be safe to do through an outside tour guide or going directly to the site to view prices. Call ahead if need be. If you choose Carnival, my advice would be don’t choose the Miracle as we heard other experiences cruisers saying that the Miracle was a joke compared to others.
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Cabin 5105
The cabin was kept very clean our whole week onboard. Dennis attended our room 2-3 times every day and was such a blessing to us!
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