My wife and I are not seasoned cruisers, having been on the Carnival Splendor and MSC Divina prior to our cruise on the Miracle. However, the friendliness of the staff and customer service on both of our Carnival cruises far outpaced the experience on MSC. The ship itself is mid-sized, easy to find your way around, and never seemed crowded. However, signs of age are everywhere, and a drydock is much needed. We saw some neon lights out, a lot more rust on the railings than on prior ships, and just general signs of age. It's not always easy to describe, but you know it when you see it and can kind of feel it as well. Upsides to the ship are the aforementioned customer service, Carnival's adult retreat Serenity Deck, the hidden and quiet gem Gotham Bar on Deck 3 outside of the dining room, the Alchemy Bar on Deck 2, the Red Frog Pub, and the Skybox Sports bar which was great for watching football. Downside is the overall quality of the food, and the ridiculous amount of cigarette smoke emanating from the casino which permeates all of the public areas around it. (When will a cruise line finally get the balls to eliminate smoking onboard altogether? Safety and health hazard, not to mention just absolutely disgusting.) The cabins are clean and well serviced, and the entertainment that my wife and I partake of is generally music, Classic Rock if we can find it. We aren't much for the Las Vegas type shows and did not attend one on this ship. We have been in Cabo before and did not go ashore, it's not worth the tender ride. Mazatlán was disappointing and kind of dirty, we didn't enjoy the day there. Puerto Vallarta is great, we took a taxi to the Malecon and had drinks and lunch at a great restaurant called Bar Oceano.
Deck 8 (highest available) right behind the bridge and right above the spa, standard balcony view. A seasoned cruiser told us once to book cabins close to the spa, which is usually where the best stewards are placed. Also, I figured the officers would have quarters near the bridge on deck 8 and was proven right when I asked one of them where they were stationed. Our steward Juan was excellent.
Stayed at the Hotel Maya in Long Beach. (Hey Cruise Critic, Long Beach is a seperate port from Los Angeles. You should have a drop down menu for it.) We had the park and cruise package and the Maya is a great place to stay if you are cruising, just minutes from the port with a free shuttle to and from.
Didn't go, have been there before. Cabo needs to build a dock for cruise ships with all the visits there, the tendering is ridiculous.
More industrial than for tourists. We walked (followed the blue line) to old Mazatlan, not that impressive. We ate lunch at La Puntilla, which gets great reviews but I don't know why. Flies, yellow jackets, and slow service.
The Malecon is a mix of old, new, tourist, and native. Beautiful oceanfront views everywhere. Had beers and great food on the second floor of Bar Oceano. Prices are great especially during the lunch hours.