We have cruised 6 times with 2 cruises being on Carnival, 1 on the Disney Cruise Line and the other 3 on Royal Caribbean's larger ships (Voyager level). We wanted to go somewhere for a long weekend this winter and noticed that the Carnival Miracle was doing a one-time repositioning sailing out of Ft. Lauderdale to Nassau in February. Although we both knew that we enjoyed Royal Caribbean more than Carnival, since this cruise was only 3 days on one of their newest and largest ships, we thought we would give it a chance to see if things had changed.
I went into the cruise with an open mind. However, Carnival just can't top the classy feeling that the Royal Caribbean cruise line has. Even on the Miracle, one of their newest ships, I still felt like I was on a lower-grade cruise line. This is due to the choice for the interior, the cheesy shows and especially the dining room ambiance. The dining room of the Miracle must have been decorated with over 1000 pink lights. No chandeliers (like on Royal Caribbean), but instead a grouping of the pink lights for the ceiling centerpieces. I think they were supposed to be grapes, but, I felt like I was in a disco at every meal. The welcome show featured the Carnival dancers dancing to a variety of different tunes that had the word "fun" in them. I wish there weren't so many of them. It was so cheesy that we left afterward. It was all we could take. The food was "okay." Not bad, but okay. The pools are very small and the decor around the pool again cheesy. Not like the Royal Caribbean Voyager line.
The positives ... the crew was constantly picking up trash to keep the ship clean. Also, we were upgraded from a oceanview guarantee to a balcony room (although the rooms are smaller than what we have had on the Royal Caribbean Voyager line). Staff was kind, helpful and pleasant.
As far as the ports go, we have been to Nassau a number of times but really enjoyed it this time due to an early morning visit to Atlantis (if you go early, you can roam around the grounds before security starts checking for armbands). Also, my husband did the Stuart Cove shark dive for certified divers that he really enjoyed. Keep in mind though that the water in Nassau is cold until about April! He froze but did see a number of large sharks while diving (this was not booked through the cruise line). I spent the day shopping in Nassau and found some bargains. After shopping, I paid the $15 day fee and laid out at the pool and beach of the British Colonial Hilton (very nice!). That night, we went to Senior Frogs, but didn't stay long due to the extremely loud music and crowd.
Our sea day was horrible. It was too cold and windy to lay out on any of the decks so everyone was stuck inside. I was ready to jump ship by 4:00 p.m. and of all the cruises I have taken, I have never felt that way even when we we had a bad weather day.
This was our last trip on Carnival. It was a cheaper vacation, but, I guess you get what you pay for and next time I'll pay more and be happier and more pleased with what I spent my money on.