I have found that Carnival ships run hot and cold. I have been on many more than once but I have sailed the Ecstasy, Imagination, Sensation, Destiny, Valor, Triumph, Victory, Paradise, Pride, Glory and now the Miracle.
I will begin by saying I really like the layout of this class of ship. Everything was easy to get to.
Embarkation was Ft. Lauderdale. I was happy because we live in the Ft. Lauderdale area and thought it would be a breeze. It seemed unorganized as compared to Miami. I had some bottled water in my carry on and had to go over and open my suitcase so they could inspect my bottles. They are looking for alcohol in a big way now. I understand this but really feel they need to reduce drink prices if this is such a big issue. People are on vacation and the last thing they want to do is lug liquor onboard, but obviously they do because of the high cost of drinks onboard. Cruise lines pay next to nothing for liquor in the islands at their "recommended" vendors so it would stand to reason they would make it more affordable for passengers. People would not try to sneak it on and the cruise lines would probably make more money in the long run. $7-10 for a mixed drink is alot and $6.00 for a beer is ridiculous. Enough said.
This ship was really great. As far as decor, whatever! I am looking for service and comfort. Alot of people complain about the decor. I have sailed on NCL, Royal, MSC, Princess etc and decor does not make your cruise experienc....service does.
Here is the difference between some Carnival ships. The staff on the miracle just get it. Take care of your passengers. They are important. Wow what a concept! From our room steward to the front desk, we felt appreciated.
The anytime dining is FANTASTIC! No need to worry or rush. Go when you are hungry. LOVED THIS. Food was very good. I often enjoy reading peoples comments on food for various lines. Been on most and truthfully they are all about the same. Love the deli onboard Carnival ships. Room service menu is good and they were fast on this ship. Steaks are always so so on Carnival. They gotta work on this. Love the after dinner Cappuccino (complementary).
Ports were ok. Not my favorite but we had a good time and enjoyed zip lin ing in Costa Rica.
Entertainment: The shows all seem to be the same. PLESE CHANGE THE LEGEND SHOW MUSIC ALREADY!!! My biggest complaint is the bands or lack of on Carnival. They really need a variety band that plays in the same room almost every night. Your dancing options are usually the disco and the disco. The miracle actually had a pretty good band but they needed to be a little more contemporary in their music selections. I am a musician and know the industry. This is a common problem on all ships. They need to figure something out. The problem is they sign bands up for 6 month or longer contracts. Most really good bands can't commit to that time frame so they have to settle. In Miami and Ft. Lauderdale there are tons of bands who would go on for a month or so and they are just what these lines need. Keep people dancing and they drink more. Its a no brainer.
Camp Carnival on this ship was exceptional. My son had a fantastic time (9 yrs old) They sent him home with tons of really nice stuff. Great job!
A really nice perk if you have sailed 10 time of more is priority embarkation and debarkation at ports. Now the down side of Carnivals platinum perk is the gift they give you. While it is very nice they really need to remember that some passengers have cruised twice or more in a year. How many thermos's do I need? Now its picture frames. I have another cruise planned in two months and another in November. Give us a choice please at the beginning of the cruise of things to choose from. Or even a free drink or photo or two. Just a thought!
Anyway, I will end by saying the crew and captain are undoubtedly the reason this ship was so enjoyable and they should be commended. This was also the case on the Destiny last year. Happy ship = happy passengers.
Our cabin was in the back on the 8th floor. One quick flight up and coffee nirvana! Fabulous!