311 New York (Manhattan) Carnival Miracle Cruise Reviews

This was my 3rd cruise. First with Carnival. My first 2 cruises were with Royal Caribbean. I am a 24yr old who traveled with my boyfriend (28), who had never been on a cruise. First off I would just like to say I was slightly nervous ... Read More
This was my 3rd cruise. First with Carnival. My first 2 cruises were with Royal Caribbean. I am a 24yr old who traveled with my boyfriend (28), who had never been on a cruise. First off I would just like to say I was slightly nervous booking a Carnival cruise after being only on Royal Caribbean. I just always heard mixed reviews about Carnival but let me tell you, I LOVED CARNIVAL AND WOULD 100% BOOK THEM AGAIN! The price was great and to me, there were not many differences in the two lines in my opinion. Embarkment: Family member dropped us off at the pier. We live less than 2hrs away. Check in was a breeze and we were on the ship before noon. Easiest and quickest check in for me to date. Employees were all very nice and helpful. The first night or two were VERY rocky. We did not get sick and found it fun having the ship moving all over the place. I felt bad for anyone who was not as fortunate as us. Room: We were originally booked in a standard balcony but took an upgrade to an extended balcony for $60. We stayed in 7194 and the extended balcony room was great and worth the extra few $$. ( We met friends later in the cruise who had a standard balcony and compared.) Ours was almost double their size. Our room steward was great and always friendly. Food: Food in the dining room was always great, except for the prime rib. It tasted like ham and a few others at our table agreed. Other than that, I have no complaints about the dining room dinner. We had late seating and they sat us with two other couples around our age (29,29,30,40). We became fast and close friends and ended up hanging out the rest of the cruise with each other and even at some ports. :) We still talk to them and get together with them to this day even after the cruise has ended. We all live within 2hrs of each other so I applaud Carnival for seating us with table mates around our age. It made for an excellent cruise! Late night pizza we had once. It was good. Buffet: only stopped by there maybe twice but it was good as well. Nothing amazing but good enough for us. Breakfast: We always went to the brunch comedy show around 1pm. I loved the eggs Benedict with salmon the best. Everything else we also enjoyed. Nick and Nora's: The staff was nice. The food was great! Def worth going there once. Entertainment: The comedy brunch comedians had a short act that wasn't funny at all. (Probably because they had to keep it family friendly.) But we went to almost every comedy show for the late adult show and they were all fantastic and hilarious. Saw "Ticket To Ride" which was good but if I did have any comparisons to Royal Caribbean, RC's shows are 100x better IMO. RC's were much more put together and professional. Again, IMO...BUT it was still a good show and something to do so I was happy! We played trivia a few times which was fun and something to occupy our time on sea days. Casino: Went there a few times. Won a little money. Overall a great experience. Bars: All staff were very friendly and all my drinks were great. No complaints. PORTS: GRANK TURK: First time I was there. We had a snorkel and stingray excursion through Carnival. It was good but overpriced for the amount of time. Only complaint here was they almost left my boyfriend in the middle of the sea! They called us ONCE to get back on the boat. There were other tours out at the reef too. To make it short, I went off to look at a part of the reef and my boyfriend went to another part not far away. There were people around us from our group as well as other groups. We were never alone. When they called I heard them and headed in. My boyfriend did not hear them. I was on the boat already and the captain was bringing up the ladder and getting ready to go until I told him my boyfriend was still out there. By this point my boyfriend noticed everyone was getting back on and was already swimming towards the boat. I thought this was very irresponsible on the captains part, who is contracted with Carnival. What if this had happened to a Solo cruiser? They never did a headcount or anything to make sure all of their passengers were on board. Other than that, the excursion was fun! After the excursion we met up with our dinner friends and hung out at Jack's Shack for a few hours until boarding. The beach was very nice. A good place for a relaxing beach day, otherwise not much else going on. SAN JUAN: This was my 2nd time at San Juan. One of my favorite places. It's just a beautiful city to walk around. Our new dinner friends and us all hung out at this port. We wanted to check out the Bacardi Distillery first. Cabs/ Vans when you first get out of port wanted to charge us $30 pp to go there. We said no way! There's got to be a cheaper way. We walked about a block or two away from the pier and found a ferry that took us very close to the distillery. Round trip was only $1...yes $1! :) From there we had a $6 van ride to the distillery. $7 compared to $30...way worth the little extra work. ;) Distillery tour was good. Nothing too impressive but a nice little tour. The grounds are beautiful. Eventually went back to Old San Juan and went to the fort, then walked around the rest of the evening/night. Had dinner, went to a few bars. All in all a great time and still one of my favorite places. ST. THOMAS: We had an excursion booked for St. John's Trunk Bay Snorkel but it was canceled due to high surf. We decided we wanted to still go to St John so we got our own taxi to the Red Hook pier which then took us to Cruz Bay, St. John. We had a great time. We DID try going to Trunk Bay but once we got there the surf was too high =P It was worth a try! So they took us to Honeymoon Beach and there were all of 5 people there. They had nature trail hikes that could then take us back to Cruz Bay so we decided to do that instead of a cab. We like a little adventure! It was about an hour hike with great lookouts and views! You should be at least in decent shape for the hike. We then took the ferry back to St. Thomas and took a cab to town. Had lunch in St. Thomas and walked around a little before heading back to the ship. TORTOLA: We also had an excursion to Virgin Gorda through Carnival which was also canceled due to high surf. Our dinner friends and us all decided we still wanted to go there. We got off the ship and talked to a woman who worked at the info booth to see what she thought about going to Virgin Gorda for the day with the surf conditions. She said it was not bad there anymore and advised us that it was a beautiful place and we should go on our own, so we did! We took a 40 min ferry ride to the island Virgin Gorda for only $38. Our excursion was $86 so we saved so much money doing it on our own in the end! Will def book things privately from now on. Virgin Gorda was gorgeous! And since all the tours were canceled there, it was not busy or crowded at all! We got to hike, swim, and relax. We came back to Tortola with about an hour before boarding so we all went to the Pussers Store and got a Painkiller there then headed back. Disembarkment: We decided to do self assist. We were off the ship by 8am, got a taxi to port authority for $5 and got on a bus home by 9am. We were back home by 11am. Very fast and easy. No complaints! SHIP: This was the smallest ship I had been on. Previous was the RC Explorer of the Seas and RC Liberty of the Seas. I loved this ship! It was small, cozy, and easy to navigate. It was sailing full capacity but it never seemed crowded. I enjoyed the decor. It was a little tacky but fun! I would def sail on her again. Too bad she went to California. OVERALL: I had an amazing cruise and so did my boyfriend. We both loved Carnival. The staff were so friendly. Our room was great. Food was great. It was an enjoyable experience. I still would like to try NCL just to try something different and since I have never sailed with them yet. But I love Carnival and will def be cruising with them in the future! I think I even like them more than Royal Caribbean. :) Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
Well it is finally here the vacation I have been planning since March 2012. My DH and I are young 60's who love cruising. This cruise made us platinum so embarkation was a whole new process for us. I also started a roll call forum ... Read More
Well it is finally here the vacation I have been planning since March 2012. My DH and I are young 60's who love cruising. This cruise made us platinum so embarkation was a whole new process for us. I also started a roll call forum which had grown to over 5000 posts by sailing day. Some of the sea day activities included a Poker Cabin Crawl, 2 hour Cocktail Party and 2 Slot Pulls. I have never been on a cruise where I knew so many wonderful friends. We live in southern Ma so we drove to the NYC terminal arriving around 10:30. After dropping of luggage and parking we were sent to a check in desk with no line and then went to the lounge to wait for boarding. At 11 a. we were escorted to the ship. We were able to go right to our room and drop off our carryon bags before heading to the lido deck for a drink and lunch. Cabin: We book an obstructed balcony room with an extra long balcony. We had the same room on the Pride last year and loved it. I love having a balcony so I can have my morning coffee or evening drink out on it and smell the ocean. Our cabin steward, Bernie was great, always made sure we had the ice we needed and cleaned our room very early each day, while we were at the MDR having breakfast. Food: In all my Carnival cruises I never have had a complaint about the food. With the choices you have either in the Lido Buffet or MDR, no one should go hungry. I love to try different foods in the MDR, it is the ideal place to do so. We were seated at a table for eight with three couples our age which made evening dinning a pleasure. My favorite place in the buffet this trip was the pizza station. I tried the Quartto Pizza which is made with garlic and four cheeses. The crust was supper thin. We usually went up there at night and ordered one to go to have in our room. Ports of Call: My DH and hurt his back just before the cruise so we were not as active at each port as we planned to be, but still enjoyed each one. Grand Turk: We had never been there before so we just chilled out near the beach and people watched. I did take a walk down the beach. I always enjoy shopping in all the gift shops they had there. San Juan: We purchases a private one hour bus tour at the dock for $10 which turned out lasting 2 ½ hours of fun. We stopped at different places of interest, last being the fort where there were many families having picnics and flying kites. The sky was filled with at least 100 kites. Sunday seems to be a big family day on that island. St Thomas: We took a private bus arranged by one of our CC members to Sapphire Beach. This was one of our best decisions. The beach had plenty of shade for anyone who wanted it where you could put your $7 rental chair. It was not crowed like some of the other beaches we had been to in the past. Tortola: This is the only port where we booked a Carnival Tour called "Town & Country". We boarded an open bus which took us up over the mountain on winding roads to Pusser's Landing Marina where we stopped and you could shop. The views from this bus tour were awesome. Entertainment: My DH and I try to attend all the shows available in the theatre and lounges. The production shows lived up to my expectations. The comedy club was also great and for once we did not have a hard time finding a seat. I was disappointed that we did not get a chance to visit the Piano Bar this trip. The Comedy Brunch in the MDR was a disappointment. Since my DH walking capability was limited we always eat breakfast in the MDR and I prefer the regular menu to the brunch menu. Also we felt the comics were not that great. Crew: The crew on this ship was great, from my cabin steward, MDR waiters, beverage waiters, shop clerks on so on. We never have had a crew who was not polite and friendly. One of the reasons we choose to cruise Carnival. Debarkation: Having the Platinum status has its benefits, we were category #1 which meant we got off the ship right after the self-debarkation group. We found a porter to take our bags to our car and was pulling out of the parking garage by 9 am. Platinum Level: We did enjoy many of the benefits of this level, from early boarding and debarkation. I also liked having the free laundry service which we took advantage of. But my favorite was the chocolate covered strawberries they delivered to our room. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
Carnival decided to reposition my favorite ship from NYC to the West Coast...so a year ago, when I learned of this sad news, I had to book this rare treat of a 10-day! A little about myself: I'm a solo cruiser with a cruise history of ... Read More
Carnival decided to reposition my favorite ship from NYC to the West Coast...so a year ago, when I learned of this sad news, I had to book this rare treat of a 10-day! A little about myself: I'm a solo cruiser with a cruise history of 25 past cruises on Celebrity, Norwegian, one on HAL, 13 with Carnival (6th time on the Miracle). I cruise 2 or 3 times a year, usually out of NY. Embarkation day for us had a storm brewing, and it definitely impacted our first couple of days. I'm from the Hudson Valley of NY so I drove to the port. I dropped off my luggage with the porters, drove around & then back up to park at the pier ($350) because it's extremely convenient to do so. Check-in was a breeze & we were boarding before noon. I went up to Lido, had a light lunch, & happily met up with friends with whom I had cruised before. It was freezing cold that day! After braving the cold for as long as we could stand it, I invited everyone to my cabin, ordered a couple of bottles of wine & we chatted until they called the muster drill. The muster drill went quickly & smoothly & then we were on our way! Embarkation night & the 1st sea day & night were extremely rocky and rolly! The Captain said 24' waves. The crew said it was worse than when they went through Hurricane Sandy. That first night 2 bottles of wine crashed to the floor & broke...I called guest services, who sent someone quickly to clean the glass...and the next day they replaced the wine, which I greatly appreciated. My Cabin - I was in an Ocean Suite, starboard side, aft. I love this category of cabin for it's size, it's slightly larger balcony (2 chairs, 1 table, 1 lounger), the large bathroom with jetted tub & a fabulous shower. There are more closets & a ton of drawers. My cabin steward was Francis Mendoza & he was among the best I've ever been lucky enough to have. I told him that I'm always out early so I would appreciate an early make up of the cabin, & he always delivered. He kept the cabin immaculate, always brought ice, and always was smiling & engaging. A true gem.The Dining - I was late-dining, seated at a 6-top, with a couple that I had cruised with once before in 2010, plus 3 others from our current roll call. The MDR menu options were plentiful and good. One night I asked if they could prepare just plain shrimp broiled with lemon... rather than the menu description of cooking it with tomato sauce...and they happily did that for me. I appreciated that little extra. Our waiters were friendly and attentive, and we never waited long for anything. On 2 of the evenings I had dinner in the steakhouse, Nick & Nora's, with friends...and the 2 meals were fantastic & well worth the $35 charge. I was very disappointed the first night however, not because of the food, but rather because of the lack of attention to detail by the maitre'd in the steakhouse. We were a party of 3, and out of necessity had to change our reservation time from 6:30 to 8:30...and I asked the maitre'd to tell one of my friends (who I couldn't reach!) that the NEW time was 8:30. I gave the maitre'd my friend's name & description. When my friend arrived at 6:30 she was told there was no reservation in my name & the poor girl sat there for 15 minutes before leaving. I was horrified and embarrassed. I think that was unexcusable. We had the Punchliner Brunch 4 times on sea days....the food was good, I had eggs benedict twice (hollandaise on the SIDE!) & huevos rancheros twice. I could've done without the comedian...none of them were funny & it was all rather awkward. On the 5th sea day they dispensed with the Brunch & reinstated distinct "breakfast" and "lunch" options. When they announced this news in the MDR during dinner the night before, a huge round of applause went up from the crowd! I just about never ate lunch, but one time was starving & had a burger from the Lido grill, & one time a Reuben from the deli. Both were yummy. I often grabbed an iced coffee from the coffee shops...one Lido aft right before the Serenity area, and one behind the casino. I love their iced coffee!Activities - It was the same trivia, the same Karaoke tryouts....it's getting a little old, they need to come up with something new I think. I spent a fair amount of time in the casino & was happy with the results! Casino Host Zoran made a special effort to make my casino experience memorable & I certainly appreciated it. One of the dinners at Nick & Nora's was courtesy of the Casino, plus one day they sent an enormous chocolate mountain (best way I can describe it!) to my cabin. The bar waiters in the casino were attentive & friendly. Disembarkation - Usually I self-assist off, but this time I put the luggage out because I had too much for 1 person to handle. We arrived very early back in NY...we were under the Verrazano before 5AM...and the ship was cleared pretty early as well. The self-assist people were off first & then I was off by around 8:30ish. Customs was a breeze...I had expected to have to pay duty, but the customs agent just looked at me & said Welcome Home! I found a porter with a cart, we found my 26" and my 24" ( did I mention I overpacked?), added my duffle with all the "pay-duty-on-it" purchases, plus my carry-on...and he & I continued up to the parking deck. Because it was so cold back in NY, a little earlier I had remote-started my car from my balcony! The porter put all of my luggage into the now warmed-up car :), I tipped him handsomely, and I was off! It was a great cruise for me. Thank goodness I don't get seasick...some people did. The ship was fabulous...I will miss her, but am booked on the Splendor for June...the crew was great, seeing my friends again was great, the ports were great. We had an extremely active roll call (over 5000 posts by embarkation day) and it was just so much fun meeting many of this large group...some of whom will be lifelong friends. We had 2 Meet N Greets (1 formal, 1 informal), a poker cabin crawl, a 2-hour private open-bar cocktail party, and 2 slot pulls! I encourage everyone to become active on their roll calls! Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
Overall, I would rate the resulting experience as average. We had cruised Carnival once before about 14 years ago on the "Ecstasy". The "Miracle" is enjoyed by many repeat travelers but we couldn't get excited ... Read More
Overall, I would rate the resulting experience as average. We had cruised Carnival once before about 14 years ago on the "Ecstasy". The "Miracle" is enjoyed by many repeat travelers but we couldn't get excited about the operation and ship. The dEcor reminds me of an old gaudy Las Vegas casino. No one started boarding in New York City till 1430 because the ship had to be cleaned due to a threat of illness picked up on the previous trip. The day before embarkation we received an email telling us that we would not stop in the scheduled Grand Turk islands because of a gastrointestinal illness reported. The senior crew would not talk about it when asked. No compensation was offered for missing this stop, not even a free drink. If you like drinking, gambling, playing games like "bean bag tossing" or bidding on overrated art then you would probably enjoy this ship. Very little offered in the way of intellectual pursuits' such as classes on computers, area history, etc. A local Panama speaker came on board and gave information about the transit of the canal from the bridge if you were in a location to hear him clearly. That was positive. Library was very limited and is turned mostly into an internet cafe. Finding world news was limited to CNN and a Florida station on the cabin TV. Nothing else unless you're willing to pay for it off the internet. Internet speed was the usual "slow" experience of shipboard. Better if you try late at night or early in the morning. The last few days the reliability had dropped and you often couldn't get online at anytime. Entertainment was not up to the same level as Princess and even Holland America. Maybe it's just me but on-board communications was hard to gather. We missed setting our watch back twice in 14 days and the second time I went back to the "Fun Times" daily newsletter to find mention of it. Yes, its there in very small letters on the bottom of the front page. On the day of disembarkation, we waited in the theater for our "zone" to be called which was a designated waiting area. We were told they couldn't connect the communications info into the theater system. Wow, wonder what would happen in a serious emergency? Finally, they moved a staff person down to the theater with a handheld radio. The average age of travelers seemed to be about the same as most cruises but body weight seems to be increasing. OK, I'm about 20 lbs overweight! The number of wheelchairs and scooters seemed acceptable and most were polite and not coming across as the world owes them something. In short, we felt that the working crew did their job well and were ready to help. The senior crew would probably be up front in the waiting line for the lifeboat if the need presented itself. You get the impression they have been instructed not to talk much about things the "public doesn't need to know" like past ship episodes in the news. As a Carnival shareholder I own shares for the benefit it offers to the family of cruise lines under its ownership, otherwise I would not own it. Food was good to start with but started to get redundant after one week. Entertainment was fair, nothing outstanding. If you were only looking for sea going transportation with reasonably good food at a good price you could enjoy this line and ship. You must be willing to beat off the constant request to unload more funds from your bank account. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
We were onboard the Carnival Pride repositioning cruise from LA to Miami through the Panama Canal during March 2009. Based on that experience I wrote in my review that "we want to take this trip again onboard one of the Pride's ... Read More
We were onboard the Carnival Pride repositioning cruise from LA to Miami through the Panama Canal during March 2009. Based on that experience I wrote in my review that "we want to take this trip again onboard one of the Pride's sister ships". So, when we learned the Miracle was moving to Los Angeles, we booked this cruise immediately. As it turned out, our Captain for this cruise was the same as for the Pride cruise. This was a 15 night cruise with stops at Grand Turk, Cartagena (Colombia), Puntarenas (Costa Rica), Puerto Quetzal (Guatemala), and Cabo San Lucas. We are 63 and 59 years old, platinum cruisers with Carnival and Princess. This was our 12th Carnival cruise and 25th overall. Although excited, we were apprehensive because the Pride cruise was such a great cruise -- primarily because of the weather. Since this was a March cruise from New York, we knew the weather wouldn't be as good and as we travelled to New York I remember thinking "I just hope we have good waiters and a good cabin steward". We flew into New York the day before the cruise. Our hotel was the Casa Blanca on West 43rd Street -- one block from Times Square. The hotel arranged transportation for us from LaGuardia. Our driver was Gus, a distinguished looking gentleman who met us at the baggage area and drove us to the hotel in a very clean and comfortable vehicle. He was very knowledgeable about the city and provided lots of information during the drive. The hotel was very clean and the staff very friendly and helpful. We highly recommend this hotel. We had dinner that night at Tony's which is next door. The food and service was excellent, and the price reasonable. Times Square is something to see on a Friday evening. The day of departure coincided with New York's St. Patrick Day parade so with several million spectators present travelling the 15 or so blocks to the pier presented a small challenge. We originally planned to leave for the pier early but we received notice from Carnival the embarkation process would be delayed and to not arrive before 1:30pm. We also learned the Grand Turk stop was cancelled. This meant our cruise would have 9 sea days -- actually 10 if you count the canal transit as a sea day. When we arrived at the pier there was quite a crowd but no line. We were told there were nearly 400 Platinum and Diamond cruisers already present and both VIP rooms were full. Just a few minutes after arriving we learned boarding would begin shortly -- at 1:45pm. We were on the ship in 10 or 15 minutes. It snowed and the after-dark departure from New York was a wonderful experience. We met cruisers that were disappointed the Grand Turk stop as well as a beach excursion in Guatemala were cancelled. We have been to Grand Turk several times so it wasn't a big deal for us. I can understand the disappointment of someone that travelled from Germany looking forward to a Caribbean Island stop. Carnival did credit our S & S account for the port charges. We thought the food was excellent throughout the cruise. We had late seating on the first floor of the Bacchus Dining room. Our waiters were Anthony, Dana, and Gusti. Anthony was the best head waiter we have had in a long time. Elvis, the Maitre'D, and his two assistants were very personable and throughout the cruise things in the dining room appeared to go very smoothly. As a pleasant surprise, an old desert favorite, chocolate decadence, appeared on the menu as Caribbean chocolate cake. In terms of both food and service, this was our best onboard dining experience in many years. We dined at Nick and Nora's twice -- on the first evening and halfway through the cruise. We thought it was very good. Was it worth the extra cost -- probably not, but we enjoyed it. We normally had lunch or brunch in the main dining room. The lido buffet was quite crowded during late breakfast through lunch and there were some sick (colds) passengers on board so we avoided crowded areas whenever possible. Of the sea days, at least 4 days featured the new punchliner brunch. We enjoyed the food but didn't care so much for the comedy. It seemed intrusive and distracting -- as soon as you became acquainted with your tablemates, it was time for 10 minutes of comedy from someone you couldn't see. Our favorite items from the punchliner menu were the flaming tomato soup, omlets, and cheese grits. We thought the ship was very clean and the common areas were well maintained. Throughout the ship, the carpets looked new. There were some rust spots here and there but the ship looked good. I have read many negative comments about the use of purple in the dining room but didn't really notice it. If anything, I preferred the decor of the Miracle to that of the Pride or Spirit. Our cabin was an extended balcony on the upper deck. Upon arrival, we noticed our cabin was very clean and remained so throughout the cruise. Our cabin steward was Joseph and his helper was Rubi. They quickly learned our schedule and since we were early risers cleaned our room early every morning. We did not leave the ship in Cartagena. We took the Cartagena by land and sea tour when we were here in 2009 and this cruise offered the same tours. The canal transit was spectacular and during the latter part of the day it was cool since it was cloudy. At Puntarenas we took the Pacific Train, Boat & Bus Adventure which we enjoyed. We saw a lot of the countryside and some wildlife including crocodiles. The beach facilities have improved since 2009. At Puerto Quetzal, we took the Easy Antigua Sightseeing tour. Antigua is a ninety minute drive from the port. There is very little to do at Puerto Quetzal or San Jose. Antigua is an interesting city - as we approached you could see smoke from one of the volcanos. There were lots of quality crafts in the markets and shops at good prices. There was a lot of trash along the roadways. I would like to return here if the ship remains long enough to visit the Mayan ruins. At Cabo San Lucas, we took the Todos Santos tour. Previously, we had booked this tour several times but it was always cancelled. Todos Santos is a fishing and artists village one hour north of Cabo and home to the Hotel California. Although not the Hotel California of the Eagles song, the hotel has capitalized on its name. The village was very clean and we enjoyed the walking tour as well as the lunch at the hotel. They have some nice shops there but the prices weren't very good. Our German friends told a shopkeeper they could buy jewelry cheaper in Germany. The weather turned out to be surprisingly good. The first sea day required warm clothing and gloves for walking on the sun deck but by the second sea day the weather was good enough for sun bathing. We cruised into the wind nearly the entire cruise which kept temperatures down. We encountered some strong winds and high waves which lasted about 7 or 8 hours the day after leaving Guatemala. The final sea day was pretty windy which is not uncommon. We don't require a lot of entertainment. During the day we rise early and spend a lot of time on the sun deck but we enjoy some music in the evening. We thought the evening entertainment was pretty good but there were several evenings there was no entertainment. Some nights the band would play in Jeeves lounge but some nights there was nothing other than the singers in the lounges. After dinner, there was a band called Boardwalk that was a lot of fun. During the day entertainment was pretty much limited to the run-of-the-mill things you see around the pool. There were a lot of experienced cruisers on this cruise and most of them are beyond the bean bag toss, putting tournaments, and the hairy chest contest. Demographics -- this definitely was an older crowd. During the past 5 years or so, dress in the dining rooms has changed, and I'm not sure for the better. I saw lots of people wearing t-shirts in the main dining room. I actually saw someone wearing a Wal-Mart t-shirt. During the two evenings we dined in Nick and Nora's we saw t-shirts in there. I wasn't aware that was permissible. We really enjoyed this cruise. We met lots of nice people. The outstanding service we received from the staff of the Miracle made this cruise. I am sure some cruisers weren't completely pleased, but every interaction we had with a Carnival employee was positive. We have read negative comments about the terminal staff in New York. Every Carnival employee we dealt with at the terminal was very helpful and I thought they did an excellent job handling the delayed embarkation. I prefer the west to east itinerary over this but I would take this cruise again. In fact, we are considering cancelling our November Mediterranean cruise on the Ruby Princess and booking the Imagination repositioning cruise. Rumor on board is the Miracle's ultimate destination in Australia. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
Having previously sailed on the 2nd route for the new Carnival Breeze we were very much impressed by the Value for Money Carnival offered and when looking for a bit of warmth in March we were willing to try Carnival again. The upshot is ... Read More
Having previously sailed on the 2nd route for the new Carnival Breeze we were very much impressed by the Value for Money Carnival offered and when looking for a bit of warmth in March we were willing to try Carnival again. The upshot is that Carnival is unmatched in Value for Money, we purchase the lowest cabin possible for an unbelievable price with the mindset that it was probably more expensive to stay at home so how bad could it be! We were assigned cabin 1202 2 days before sailing which is a midship inside cabin, our first inside. Impressions were good, the cabin was a good size very clean and although next to a crew passageway very quiet, in fact the best nights sleep we have had! The ship is obviously dated but well equipped, we made use of the gym and sauna everyday which was a key factor for us. There are lots of public areas although not all of these were used. This would be my only concern for the cruise, the entertainment and on board activities were limited. I felt that the cruise staff were less than interested and even leaving ports found it hard to muster any sort of deck party. On the whole the staff were friendly but not as attentive as RCL or Princess but your not paying those prices so we were happy. Top tip would be to check out the hot tub in the gym as there are only 3 outside and they get very busy very quickly. As does the serenity area but I love this, it's a real positive for Carnival. Leaving New York in March was always going to be hit or miss and actually it was miss for us as we got caught in a bad storm leaving furniture flying as we sailed downed south. We thought it was fun but the ships team managed it well. Again to recap, Carnival is amazing value for money. The Miracle is not as great as some other ships we have been on nor were the staff but everything was good, exactly what we were looking for. We had a great time and are next heading on the Legend in June!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
The ship was as we remembered her. Showing signs of age and not decorated to everyone's tastes but we like the layout and most of the decor. Anything we might consider tacky we considered "fun tacky". We had cabin 6236 ... Read More
The ship was as we remembered her. Showing signs of age and not decorated to everyone's tastes but we like the layout and most of the decor. Anything we might consider tacky we considered "fun tacky". We had cabin 6236 which is the first balcony in the aft "bump out" so we had no neighbour upwind of our cabin. Chose the cabin to see if it would be quieter and hoped that at least upwind smokers wouldn't effect our enjoyment of the balcony. It did, but Murphy's Law dictated the 3 ladies staying in the next 2 cabins were possibly the most annoying neighbours we've had. Yelling across to each others balconies, complaining about their various health issues and their reasons for not getting off the ship in ports (except if there was a deal on cigarettes) and applying extreme amounts of perfume while on the balcony so as to not suffocate themselves while in their room. Why balcony lights are required to be turned on when just out having a cigarette is beyond me but it seems they'd prefer fluorescents to starlight. Anyways, enough of them...in fact I developed a comedy following of sorts with my impersonations of them for fellow travellers. The last time we sailed the Miracle it was at 50% capacity due to Sandy. While the empty ship had many perks it was also missing that 'party atmosphere' you expect with a ship full of excited vacationers on-board. She was full this time and the energy was much better. The first 2 days at sea were cold (as expected), the first night was VERY rough. My Wife along with some crew members swore it was rougher than Sandy. I thought there was definitely more port-starboard roll but not as much up and down as during Sandy. Many folks were feeling the effects of the rough seas. Thankfully we felt fine and empathized with those who were in their cabins suffering. Grand Turk- We've been here once before and spent the day at Jack's Shack which was fun. This time we started at Margaritaville for an hour or so, walked to The Local Bar for some rum drinks and use of their wifi then off to Jack's Shack for some jerk chicken, more drinks and some swimming. We then reversed our path to The Local and on to margaritaville to meet up with some friends for a final drink before heading back to the ship. Another beautiful day in GT and another sunburn for the collection. San Juan- Many people told us they weren't bothering to get off in port but we were excited as we've never been to San Juan before. We headed to San Cristobal fort and toured it for awhile. Some excellent views of the city and sea from the fort. The day was a hot one and there were some very nice breezes up in the fort as well. After the fort we just toured around the city stopping in many shops and at many sights along the way. The heat/sun was quite oppressive at this point but we managed to walk in shade when needed. Stopped at a local-frequented restaurant for some "local food" which was enjoyable although DW was terribly sick shortly afterwards. We assume she ate something that didn't agree with her. St Thomas- We took a bus trip to Sapphire Beach organized by someone in our CC roll call for $20/person. The beach was a bit more crowded than expected but there were 3 ships in port so it was not a surprise. Our group rented some chairs for $7 each and staked out a spot with both sun and shade and spent the day relaxing and enjoying the company along with the sights. A very nice beach with servers on the beach who would take food and drink orders. Buckets of 6 beers cost $16. Another great day. Would return to Sapphire Beach for another visit Tortola- We took an excursion organized through another CC roll call member to Jost Van Dyke to spend the day at White Bay for the beach and a few Painkillers at The Soggy Dollar Bar. The only negative we had was the tour operator had one boat driver who was reckless (in our opinion). Everyone on our small, overcrowded boat was soaked by the time we returned from the beach because of his driving. The beach was beautiful and the bar was great with reasonably priced drinks, free beach chairs/hammocks and food and souvenirs available. We would definitely return to this beach, one of our new favourite spots. Ship food was better than last trip. MDR/brunch food was very good, steak house was excellent as always. Buffet is hit and miss in our opinion and we prefer to eat elsewhere. The hand made pizza was pretty good but often a long lineup to get a slice as we stood in line a few times behind groups of kids each getting full pies. Carnival really needs to revamp the room service menu. Have only been on Royal to compare but I can get steak on a baguette and fries or pizza on Royal and Carnival continues to offer cold sandwiches and potato chips. Comedy shows were very good. One comic was very good and the other was hilarious. We also took in one of the family friendly shows just to check it out and we though it was pretty lame. Tough to put together a comedy set that appeals to 8 year olds as well as adults though. Wish we would have saw the other 2 comedians from earlier in the week as well. Serenity deck was absolutely packed and full of chair hogs the entire week when weather was good. Its obvious the chair hog rules are not being applied as the entire area was a sea of yellow towels on chairs without people sitting in them. We were pretty sun burned so wouldn't have laid out but many folks came and left because there was no place to sit. It was even difficult getting a seat at the tables in serenity, haven't experienced it that busy before. Cabin was nice and clean, Steward was very good as always. Always made sure we had ice, towels and glasses etc and kept the room very clean. We are seriously considering booking oceanviews from now on as it seems most times we use our balcony we end up with noisy, smokey neighbours. This trip was no exception. Does no one know how to close a door quietly? Must you turn your balcony light on when you go out for a smoke and leave it on for the duration of the cruise? Some people are truly oblivious to anyone beyond themselves. If our next neighbours are as bad I'll return their behaviour in kind, I can slam doors too! Staff on board were awesome! One area Carnival exceeds is the friendly staff. Almost every staff member we interacted with was very personable and we had several conversations with the crew about their countries, family, ship life etc. Great people. All in all another great vacation and look forward to the next Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
We flew into New York City, only arriving at noon so we booked the Carnival shuttle to the ship as we were worried about our flight arriving late or getting stuck in traffic in a taxi and the shuttle seemed the safest bet. I really ... Read More
We flew into New York City, only arriving at noon so we booked the Carnival shuttle to the ship as we were worried about our flight arriving late or getting stuck in traffic in a taxi and the shuttle seemed the safest bet. I really recommend arriving at the embarkation port a day ahead. This was stressful! It took about 40 minutes from LGA to the pier and since we were not early we had no difficulties with embarkation plus our room was ready. We had some panic though when we discovered I had set down my husband's camera case along with our carry-on bags when the porter was taking our large bags. Someone gestured to us that the elevator to the next level was waiting for us and we grabbed our bags, got in the elevator and went through security before I realized we did not have the camera. I backtracked a bit but did not know at that time where I had lost it. Carnival employees were very helpful, taking our name and cabin number but we did not expect to see the camera again. What a wonderful surprise to find the camera bag attached to my husband's large suitcase. outside our cabin door later that day! You see, there are honest people out there and it astounded us that they actually matched it up to our luggage because the camera bag did not have our name on it. We really recommend the deli on Lido where they make the greatest sandwiches. Muster drill at 3:30. We were all dressed in our winter coats luckily as it was very cold. We had dinner at Nick & Nora's the first night because of the free bottle of wine. Second time for us to try a Carnival steakhouse. Second time I've ordered the Lobster Bisque. Second time I've stressed that I like my soup very hot or I won't eat it. Second time it came lukewarm and was returned. Second time the chef came out and apologized. I don't know how to explain more clearly that I want it HOT. If I didn't ask ahead of time that would be my fault, but I did emphasize it ahead. Other than that we recommend the steakhouse. The ship had to sail south and one mother of a snowstorm was going on to the south of New York so we were into it almost immediately after sailaway. The waves were hitting the ship broadside the first night, second day and into the 2nd night. Lots of barf bags around. The captain was very communicative about the bad weather but it certainly wasn't his fault and he tried to give some relief by turning the ship toward shore a few times to avoid the broadside waves. The dining room was turmoil with dishes crashing to the floor every few minutes. The waiter would come out with a tray full of our dinner dishes, the ship would tilt and over it would go! We had, for the first time, an aft-extended balcony. On retrospect I would not book this again, especially for a cruise from New York in cold weather. There were several days it was too cold to sit on the balcony & several days in the Caribbean when we were docked and it was in the sun and too hot to sit on the balcony. But I'm probably in the minority on this. For sure, watching the wake and listening to the sound was very soothing. We have joined cruise critic roll calls before but the one for this cruise was the best ever. First sea day we all met for a poker crawl/cabin crawl and I had volunteered our cabin for one of the stops. My husband was reluctant to participate but this activity turned out to be the greatest fun with the nicest people ever and he was so glad we had joined in. At dinner the 2nd night we found ourselves sitting at a table for 6 with no-one else even assigned to the table. Another cruise critic couple we had met on the poker crawl invited us to sit with them as they had extra seats and before we knew it two others we had met through cruise critic joined us as well and we had the best dinner times! We did two slot pulls with our cruise critic buddies as well and sat with a few of them on the Lido at lunch and breakfast. I highly recommend getting involved with your group ahead of time. Second sea day I was playing a one cent machine, Cleopatra, in the casino when I hit the bonus and then a jackpot of over $2,000. Never won anything like this before and I was so excited. We paid for our cruise with this win. And, being Canadian, I didn't have to give a good portion of it to taxes! Because of the win we confirmed our participation in the Chef's table and I booked an appointment at the spa. Chef's Table was awesome. $70pp seems like a lot but do it once if you can. We visited Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Thomas and Tortola. I'll put details under port reviews. Grand Turk: try renting a golf cart from Nathan and see the whole island. St. Thomas: a cruise critic member organized a trip to Sapphire Beach. The entertainment on board was pretty good. Ticket to Ride was the best but we also enjoyed the Big Bands show, the juggler and the illusionist. I am a big bingo fan but do not recommend it on the ship. Too expensive for what they pay out. An interesting thing to look for on your ship bill...We were docked in San Juan from noon to midnight. When I looked at my bill there was a charge of $1.93 for wine in the dining room that night. I asked Guest Services what that would be for, very curious because I bought the wine package from Bon Voyage before the cruise. They had no idea what it was for & told me the Bon Voyage rep would see me at dinner. No one showed so I asked in the dining room. Even the maitre'd had no idea what could be that price. They did finally nail it down to the fact that we had one of our bottles of wine at dinner and since we were still in port they charged us tax on wine we had paid for previously. I said "Take it off." and they did. I realize $1.93 on the whole bill is nothing but who gets that money? If $1.93 was added to every bill where a customer ordered a bottle of wine that was previously paid for, that adds up to a fair amount of money going somewhere. Punchliner Brunch: Lots of complaints about this maybe because we had 5 sea days out of 10 days and the brunch has one menu. A comedian comes out and introduces himself on the hour and tells when his evening shows are and his time is up (5-6 minutes at best). It is not a fun time. We couldn't even see where he was standing. I ordered an item one day and my husband ordered the same item another day and on comparing they were nothing alike. There were enough complaints that they announced at dinner the night before our last sea day that the last sea day would be breakfast and lunch, not brunch. Everyone cheered. Hope Carnival listens to their customers but they probably have some kind of contract for this which goes for years to come. We did go to the Serenity, adult only, deck a couple of times. Guess we were lucky because we did not find it busy either time. But although we tried all the different loungers/hammocks/chairs etc. we did not feel really comfortable in any so we didn't go back a third time. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
On March 16, 2013, the Carnival Miracle began it's repostition to the West Coast from New York City. Embarkation was slow on this snowy afternoon in New York City because several passengers from the previous cruise got sick on their ... Read More
On March 16, 2013, the Carnival Miracle began it's repostition to the West Coast from New York City. Embarkation was slow on this snowy afternoon in New York City because several passengers from the previous cruise got sick on their way back to New York. The illness was a gastrointestional disorder that may have been picked up in the Grand Turks becasue several other people on other ships also got sick. The ship had to be completely cleaned from top to bottom to make sure that the illness was not caused by the Norovirus. After hearing the explanation as to why we were late boarding made the wait a lot easier. While waiting in the terminal, I got an email from Carnival saying that we would be cancelling our first port of the Grand Turks because of the illness. I was really glad that Carnival was looking after our well being because no one wants to get sick on a 15 day cruise. So with the Grand Turks cancelled, we had 4 wonderful days at sea until we reached our first port of Cartagena, Columbia. We took the "Best of Cartagena" tour and it was very informative and full of history. We headed for the Panama Canal later that afternoon and arrived early the next morning. We had a Aft-extended balcony so we could view the canal from both sides. The guys running the mules on the canal weren't very careful because a lot of paint was scraped off of the hull of the ship. Next we went to Puntarenas, Costa Rica where we toured with a wonderful cruise guide named Carla. On to Puerto Quetzal, Guatamala where we went to the El Barretal Coffee Plantation. I love coffee, but this was not my favorite tour because we were stuffed in minibusses that were very uncomfortable for an hour and a half each way. Next we anchored in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico where we took the "Coastal Cruise and Whale Watching" tour. Without a doubt this was the best tour of the entire cruise. We saw whales and dolphins and the margaritas were very good. Then on to Long Beach, CA for a smooth debarkation. The water was smooth except for one night where we had 70 knot winds with 15-20 foot seas. The Captain prepared us well ahead of time and told us that this was coming at about 4 am and would last until about 10 am. The Carnival Miracle rocked and rolled but most of us slet thru it, but I am sure that some people got sick. The food was wonderful. My wife and I had a chance to attend the Chef's Table with Chef de cuisine, Wellington Dias. This was a great experience. The Chef prepared wonderful dishes and the wine flowed freely. The food service in the Main Dining room was wonderful and our head wait staff was Simmona. We were lucky enough to have had Simmona on the Carnival Spirit a few years ago. Simmona and her team were good. Elvis, not the real Elvis, ran the dining room and did a very good job. The room stewards were superb. Last and not least was the Cruise Director, Tex. His wife was along on this repositioning cruise soe he was interacting with the folks on the cruise and participating like one of us, which was great. For one evening show, he and his wife sat across from my wife and I. Tex and his staff really did a great job. The Captain kept us all informed about what was happening at sea. Without a doubt, this cruise was the best of our 24 cruises. Thank you Carnival Cruise Line for such a wonderful experience. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
This was our second, and not our last on Carnival. Starting off was great fast check in with upgrade to Jr. Suite. Placed in holding room with our suite cruisers. Room was basic with coffee and water. Would have been nice if they had a ... Read More
This was our second, and not our last on Carnival. Starting off was great fast check in with upgrade to Jr. Suite. Placed in holding room with our suite cruisers. Room was basic with coffee and water. Would have been nice if they had a TV screen at least with cruise destination information for viewing just something to do instead of just sitting there. Accessing ship for embarkation was a breeze as it always is with cruising, not sure why airports can not use this as an example of boarding passengers. Had lunch on 9th floor while awaiting for the room which was available shortly after we had lunch. Room was really nice much better then I thought, except for one thing. Next to the best is a large ceiling to floor 6 foot wide window with a curtain. If the curtain is opened there is a staircase from the aft hallway leading down to the lower floor. It would have been great to be able to leave that curtain open. Pre-ordered a birthday decoration package which was hanging from the entire ceiling, nicely down wife surprised. Jimmy our steward was very nice and helpful. The dinning was nice especially since the 2 couples who were at our table were social. We became friends and hope to see each other at some time. Dinner was good. The brunch at sea I really did not care for the menu was basic and not really a brunch type. Could have been more extensive or at least changed daily when at sea. Lunch either in the main dinning room or upstairs on 9th floor was good. Wait staff very good The ports my wife and I have been to before and enjoy them especially the fan boat rides checking out the gators. One thing I complained about a few times is that in prior cruises, not sure if on Carnival when enter any eating area there is someone to make sure you sanitize your hands, seems Carnival does not do that, they have the honor system. So many people just walked in without sanitizing their hands especially with children which surprised me. Think Carnival should reconsider this. And also did not see anyone cleaning the stair rails which everyone seems to hold onto when coming down the stairs. Again Carnival should look at this. The shows. Well we went night one which turned out to be due to rocky seas the Motown show with Jeremy which I really enjoyed especially since he danced during one of his songs with my wife in the isle. Then a couple songs later I along with 3 other guys were taken on stage to make up the Temptations dancing. Lots of fun. Day 2 show was nice, but seemed some dancers were out of step could happen I guess. Day 3 the ventriloquist was kind of dry so we left but heard he got better when he brought some young teens on stage. After that we saw no other shows. The ship was clean throughout and all the staff were great. So I give this a 4. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
8 day cruise from NYC to port canaveral, nassau and freeport. This is not a cruise for the itinerary. Port canaveral has very limited options. but chance to get off the ship. Been to Nassau and Freeport several times before, so that was ... Read More
8 day cruise from NYC to port canaveral, nassau and freeport. This is not a cruise for the itinerary. Port canaveral has very limited options. but chance to get off the ship. Been to Nassau and Freeport several times before, so that was ho-hum as well,but at least a change of pace from sea days. many children on ship and many 20-40 somethings. was a high energy ship. Had the best rock n roll band i he ever heard on a cruise--20 of them on 6 different lines--called the Boardwalk. The orchestra was excellent and the last nights show by cast, a tribute to the Beatles, was one of the best cast shows i have ever seen. their headliner shows were a juggler and a hypnotist....well below what you would finding on RCI and Princess--jugglers and hypnotists are borsht belt type entertainment, though i would doubt the borsht belt would even feature this carny type passe entertainment if it were still around. its is fillers on other cruises, not the main acts. watch out for port shopping pitches...I can't believe people still show up for this and belive it hook, line and sinker. as noted on cruise critic, Alaska just made it illegal for the ship pitchmen and women to not disclose that they are getting KICKBACKS from the stores they recommend, and to disparage stores they dont recommend. I heard one woman in a smaller pitch in a lounge, about watches, ask the barker if knockoff designer handbags were available in Nassau, and the barker told her she could be subject to a 50,000 fine if customs caught her with it coming into nyc. That is wrong. the fines and penalties are for the distributors of knockoffs and counterfeit merchandise, not that i encourage or even care about purchasing such schlock to fool others. Customs is looking for drugs and money laundering large amounts of cash, not a knock off handbag in peoples luggage. Preposterous, but enough to scare this poor girl. he should disclose the kickbacks for promoting stores, rather than scaring people. Many of the staff were very nice, but the staff in the buffet was very poor, with not the greatest attitudes. There was no one coming around asking you if you wanted refills, and the table service in cleaning up tables was poor and slow. the servers behind the counters were not happy to be at their jobs, and were so different from that experienced on other cruise lines. The dinners in the main dining room were the biggest surprise. they were good to very , very good every night, so i did not bother eating in Nick and Noras. the food in the lido buffet for dinner was often like camp or prison food. But, they do still use trays, unlike other lines which have abandoned them, and this was appreciated. The internet was horrible--took 8 minutes to log on some times..so the real cost is not 45 cents a minute for the 120 minute package..although the very nice staff in the internet lounge gave credit for the times it exceeded 5 minutes to get into my emails.still, it is much more than 45 cents a minute. i wonder if mtnsat--the satellite company they seem to use , is much cheaper than other satellite companies. The cabin attendant--Judi--was excellent. pools were dirty, often closed, and the hot tubs were only lukewarm Played texas holdem almost every day , as we had a really good and fun group.But, a fight broke out in the casino between some trailer trash who were in their 40's. I guess things like that will occur on Carnival, which is a step below RCI, Princess, Holland, and 2 steps below Celebrity--Carnival essentially being the Walmart of the cruise lines--tho i admit to enjoying cruising walmart from time time, which i guess is why i wanted to try Carnival once. i think there was a fight in the cabin next time at 4am in the morning as i heard a lot of yelling and hard banging against the walls, and called security..lt of drinking on carnival. but for the most part the guests seemed to be well behaved. Interestingly, it appears i am the first person to write a review on this cruise, and the last reviews were of the 2/13 cruise--so that must say something. In the meantime, there has been that disaster on the carnival cruise from Galveston. Unlike other cruise lines, Carnival did not solicit guest comments at the end of the cruise--which tells me they really dont care to much, which is reflected in the attitudes of some of the staff. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
This is a nice sized boat with tons of little quiet areas to sit and read, play cards or have a cocktail . The comedians were funny and the shows were pretty good. We were on the 7th deck with an extended balcony and had a wonderful ... Read More
This is a nice sized boat with tons of little quiet areas to sit and read, play cards or have a cocktail . The comedians were funny and the shows were pretty good. We were on the 7th deck with an extended balcony and had a wonderful cabin steward who took the best care of us! Thank you Sara! We recommend the extended balcony since buffers you a bit more from the wind (it was cold first and last day)! The food was excellent in the main dining room. We had the early seating and were lucky to have a table in the very back of the boat overlooking the ocean. The others at our table were great and we enjoyed sharing our days adventures. Our waiter, Malcolm, was attentive and just a great guy overall as we're his 2 assistants! At 7:15 each night the waitstaff all does something special albeit, YMCA, conga line or gan gun style it was the highlight of each night! Tons of fun!! In Nassau we opted to go to Atlantis on our own which we recommend to save some $$. We got sandwiches from the "carvery" at the buffet on deck 9, wrapped them in napkins and brought them and bottled water in our back pack along with beach/swimming gear. Once off boat bypass the taxi guy trying to corral you into larger groups and head outside hailing a cab who will take you right away for 5 bucks a head. You will beat quite a crowd and get a jump on the waterpark which will be crowded later on with lines. We did the not so lazy river and some slides and were having lunch by 1PM just when the park got crowded. Head right back to the lockers as soon as you get there to store your stuff and get going. All inclusive price was 139 for adult and 80 for kids so big savings. In freeport we did the kayak nature tour thru the boat and this was really worth it. You take a 30min ride out to Lucayan National park, kayak for about hour or so (easy) thru mangroves with lots of pretty fish in the shallow water. When finished they take you to beautiful beach for lunch and swim time followed by an informative nature walk then back to boat. Just enough time to go to Senior Frogs for a cocktail and very fresh conch salad made right in front of you..delicious!!! Back on the boat, there is plenty to do with lots of activities if you want including trivia, hairy chest contest, musical chairs, bean bag toss, etc. all good fun! As said by others the cruise is what you make of it, this just being our 3rd cruise we had just as much fun as on the other 2 cruise lines which cost more$$. For the price, this cruise was well worth it and we would take it again ! Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
We cruised out of New York with ports in cocoa beach, nassau and freeport. First and foremost I heard a lot of complaining on the boat about not doing this cruise again. Listen folks this is a ship out of New York. There is typically ... Read More
We cruised out of New York with ports in cocoa beach, nassau and freeport. First and foremost I heard a lot of complaining on the boat about not doing this cruise again. Listen folks this is a ship out of New York. There is typically some weather in the Atlantic in February so if you go on this cruise thinking it will be like one out of Miami think again. Again this is February so you are rolling the dice with some rough seas and the potential for cooler temps in FL and the Bahamas. The Ship: It is very bright and colorfull. The decor is tastefull and fun. It is very clean and well cared for. Negatives: only that there is no jumbotron. I think all Carnival ships should have one. Positives: the lido deck has a retracking roof over one pool so even when cool out you can sun bath. Food: Normal Carnival Fare. Nothing glitzy but plenty of it and good. A few nights the sit down dinners were very good with lobster and filet Mignon. Overall the food selection could have been better but I have had a lot worse. Service: Excellent. All the staff was very friendly and work very hard. Our cabin steward Norvi was great as was our waitress Ramona. Both took a very sincere interest in us. Destinations: as I said this is a lower cost 8 day adventure and as long as you do not drink too much or spend too much on the extras this trip cost my family of three less than $2500 total. Things that Carnival Could do Better: First is activities. Once you have cruised Carnival the activities are pretty much all the same. Also kids activities for those that choose not to participate in camp. The camp is OK but my son found the staff to be baby sitters and not real engaging. He is 11 so a tween of sorts and hard to please. BIG ISSUE: Carnival needs to warn travelers that it is likely that the Basketball Court and 10th deck may not be available during the sail down and back. This is four days that my active 11 year old could not use the upper decks for activities and he was not happy. If I could warn him in advance it would have been better. Overall a very enjoyable experience. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
For our family's first cruise, I chose the Carnival Miracle from New York to the Bahamas this past February. I was trying to save some money for the 4 of us, and since we live in Belleville, ON, I thought we could just drive into ... Read More
For our family's first cruise, I chose the Carnival Miracle from New York to the Bahamas this past February. I was trying to save some money for the 4 of us, and since we live in Belleville, ON, I thought we could just drive into Manhatten and skip the airports. MISTAKE! Driving from Ontario to New York in February is a gamble. We got stuck on the interstate after a 40 car pile up due to a surprise snow squall-for HOURS! I'm so glad we went the day before our cruise! After getting through that, we took a wrong turn and ended up in East Harlem. Luckily New Yorkers really are friendly, and a lovely woman gave us directions to our hotel. After a great dinner we slept comfortably and were up and ready for our cruise in lots of time. A wonderful driver toured us through parts of Manhattan, including Central Park. We're planning a trip there next year for sure-in the Spring, and we'll fly! Getting to the Cruise port was a breeze, and boarding was seamless. Our stateroom wasn't ready, as we boarded right after noon, so we relaxed and had a couple of drinks in the lounge. Our stateroom was cute, a little smaller than we imagined, but there were 4 of us. It was immaculately clean though, and had an unexpected amount of storage space. Sailing out of New York in February was cold of course, so the first 2 days we really couldn't enjoy the upper decks or our balcony for more than a few minutes at a time. Once we got to Florida though, it was great to be able to sit out there as we were docking. The staff responded quickly to our request for 2 extra chairs-which JUST fit in our "extended" balcony-so all 4 of us could sit. We used our balcony to play cards and games while we were south, which was great. Carnival staff were all awesome! Very friendly, accommodating, and enthusiastic. No complaints whatsoever. The Carnival Miracle is very bright and colourful. It's great for family fun, but it wouldn't be my choice if I was looking for a serene, romantic experience. The food in the main dining room was delicious and well presented. A bit more variety would've been nice, and my husband was disappointed that his favourite dessert, creme brulee, was only offered once. We dined at the steakhouse once for our "date night" away from the kids, and it was very nicely decorated with delicious food as well. The buffet areas were good, and our kids loved the pizza and ice cream. Room service was a very limited menu, but the cookies were to die for! Our stateroom was below a deck area. We could here people dragging chairs over our head which got pretty annoying! Live and learn! Next time we will definitely pick a deck that is below another stateroom deck and not an activity area! The shows were well done, although they experienced some technical difficulties the one night which meant they had to cancel and present it the next night without some of the special effects. Great effort though. Carnival really should crack down on the smoking though! Going through the casino was like entering a cloud of smoke. Also people smoked on the balcony below us, so sometimes the smell would drift up our way too. YUCK! Coming home we had some rough water due to a storm, but again, that is to be expected when you sail from New York in February. My son and I spent one afternoon napping after taking some gravol to settle our stomachs. All in all a great way to introduce us to cruising. Celebrity is next! But for that one we'll be leaving the kids at home. :) Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
We are back from the wedding cruise!!! I will break this up into sections so people can skip what they like. 1. Pre wedding (planning). Prepare to be in the dark. Alot. But fear not, the last few weeks before the wedding all will be ... Read More
We are back from the wedding cruise!!! I will break this up into sections so people can skip what they like. 1. Pre wedding (planning). Prepare to be in the dark. Alot. But fear not, the last few weeks before the wedding all will be revealed. I just wish they had told me that ahead of time so I didn't sweat anything. 2. Wedding day (embarkation). We arrived at the NYC port, it's NYC so it was a bit of a pain, but that's to be expected. When we arrived at the port, we were checked in quickly by security who , by the way, don't check the bride and grooms stuff at all really so you could bring on an extra bottle of wine etc. if that's your thing. When we all got to the holding area, where most of the guests including the non-sailing guests were already waiting, we waited more. We were supposed to arrive at 11am. We did. We were supposed to board by noon. We did not. Something slowed it down, so we finally got on board at about 12:30pm which gave me little time to get my dress on, the photographer to take some getting ready pictures etc. but still... no complaints. Just relax, they do this all the time.... 3. The Wedding. It was wonderful. Ceremony was great! We asked for man and though they said it was hard to get, finally got reverand McBride. He was perfect. The food was great, plenty of drinks all around. Everytime I turned aroud there was another waiter with a tray of drinks. An ice sculpture, beautiful cake and I highly recommend the social host with your own music. We had Petah.. he was great. Our onboard wedding coordinator was Precious. She was absolutely lovely. I can't say enough about her. But the star of the show.. Gabor. The photographer. Amazing. let me repeat. Amazing. We bought all the pictures. Be prepared to spend about $3k on them for the whole package , but I am telling you, this man could not take a bad photo. Did I say amazing???4. The Cruise The boat was smaller, but very nice. The room was large and comfortable. The Dining room was silly, but the food was good and our waiter Joey was wonderful. The trivia was fun I got to be a judge on the hairy chest contest The Thriller dance class was great for all of us. including the kids. The buffet was very busy. The drinks of the day were very strong. The 24 hour ice cream is addictive and I stayed away The mini golf was fun I saw some people turn the ping pong into beer pong late at night The hot tubs are not hot and have too much chlorine. The pools are salt water. I liked that. They do keep one closed when you are in NYC The stateroom attendent Jay Jay was so gracious. 5. The Ports of Call Port Canaveral - we just had lunch with family Nassau - great snorkeling with Travis from barefoot cruises Freeport - tacky shopping, but lucaya beach was awesome. They have beachy hut food stands with drinks, some water sports. fun and great pictures. 6. Misc. The cancelled laser tag twice. eh. The superbowl party was so much fun!!! Great photo ops and a nice snacky buffet in the Phantom theater. All of our kids hated the kids club except the 11 year old who got bumped up into Circle C with the 12-14 year olds. The other 4 (8.9.10 and 12) did not like it at all and we were a little disappointed not to have more time to ourselves since we had just gotten married and all. The prices on bacardi and kettle one were too hard to resist at the duty free. The formal nights were really really nice. The disco was pretty cheesy. We really loved it over all and would absolutely recommend it for families, couples, and weddings. The photos alone are worth it. Basically , if you are not a control freak and are happy just dealing with the details of your dress, accessories, favors, music, hair and make up.. this is for you. Loved it!!!! We had special touches but left most of it up to Carnival. And they did a wonderful job!!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
As a first time Carnival cruiser and 3X Norwegian; and 3X Royal Carribean Cruiser, I would like to compare them. We cruised to the Bahamas and Cape Canaveral on the 2/18 cruise. It was cold two days going down and back but the ease of ... Read More
As a first time Carnival cruiser and 3X Norwegian; and 3X Royal Carribean Cruiser, I would like to compare them. We cruised to the Bahamas and Cape Canaveral on the 2/18 cruise. It was cold two days going down and back but the ease of leaving from New England offset that negative. Let me start by saying that I thought that the lines were more similar than different. I will compare RC and Carnival mostly as they were my most recent trips. Food: We enjoyed the dining room; for the most part the food was well-prepared and hot except for the last hight which was cold. I thought that the dining room food was similar on both RC and Carnival with an added edge to the Carnival deserts which were delicious. I really liked the buffet deli and hamburgers which gave Carnival an edge. However I missed the Royal Promenade on RC for the quick bites and people watching. Shows: All ships have similar mediocre production shows. I enjoyed the guest performers on RC more. However, I really enjoyed the Punchline Comedy on Carnival which gave added entertainment in the evenings Activities: Both few and far between on both ships unless you wanted to pay for Bingo etc. I did enjoy the enclosed pool area on the Miracle. I also enjoyd the Serenity Deck. We greatly missed the rock climbing wall and ice skating rink. Cabin: Slightly bigger on Carnival. Cabin Stewards were great on both ships.6103 was quiet being forward end with our children next door but strangly we could hear the shows from the Phantom theater four flights up during showtime. Ports: Port Canaveral: Kennedy Space Center (on our own) We lost time waiting for the Dollar rental shuttle and had to have it back by 4pm to get shuttle back. We would have had more time with the ship tour but saved 50% Nasseau: We originally supposed to go to the zoo on the #10 jitney. We met two women who complained about it so we went back on the bus to Cable Beach. No one bothered us for the day pass at the Sheraton so we just spent two hours there at no cost. We enjoyed shopping at the Festival terminal due to their real handmade crafts (look for the handmade soap) and the FREE internet. Freeport. Unfortunately our pat and dianne snorkeling was cancelled due to high winds (as well as all other ship sponsored ship activities) so we went to the beach at Port Lucaya and shopping. That was our least favorite port. At the shopping complex , make sure you go the the iced smoothie place which has the best homemade alcholic and nonalcoholic smoothies from $3-6. So all in all a nice cruise, not our favorite but not our worst. In retrospect, I wished that I had brought information for Plan B as we had to change 2:3 of our plans. The people were no different on Carnival than RC or Norwegian. In fact, I thought the crowd was much mellower and polite than my previous NY/NJ cruises. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
I was going to post a very detailed review as I did take notes, but I do not want to be here typing for an hour so I will condense it. Day 1- Embarking The sooner you arrive to the Port the lower boarding zone number you receive, I was ... Read More
I was going to post a very detailed review as I did take notes, but I do not want to be here typing for an hour so I will condense it. Day 1- Embarking The sooner you arrive to the Port the lower boarding zone number you receive, I was zone 4 and we arrived at 10am and they allowed us on the ship around 12:30. We headed straight to the Lido deck for some lunch, warning be prepared for a long as almost everyone boarding the boat is doing the same thing so be prepared, it will get better. They allowed us to go to our cabins at 1:30 so right after we ate ( its a buffet, expect buffet style quality of food)we went straight to our room. We stayed deck 4 mid ship balcony and Hari was our Stewart, the room was cleaned so we proceeded to unpack. We debarked a little pass 4pm many people braved the single digit degree temps( Like us) to go up on Deck and catch some nice pictures of the Statue of Liberty and some New york landscape pictures, the Ny Police buzzed the ship several times in their copter waiving to us. We went to the show forgot the name of it but it was short and you get to meet your cruise Director we had Tex he was very friendly and funny. We had early dining at 6pm and our host was Joey he was very friendly and he ad his team made sure we were happy during dinner they were very dedicated to offer us top notch service. The Dinning room offers mostly comfort food but the quality is excellent and tasty. Day 2 at Sea Lots of trivia and bingo going on, I didn't participate. They had a $10 madness sale unless in are in the drawing avoid this, as what is $10 is $10 through out the cruise so avoid the crazy mob. We once again went ot Lido deck for lunch all pretty much the same throughout the cruise its decent but typical buffet quality the lines will be shorter, we played in the Casino we all did pretty well all four of us won anywhere from $40-$100.Usually they do elegant dining on this night but due to the superbowl it was delayed a day. So we ate on time in the MDR and the food and service was excellent again. We headed to the Phantom lounge for the Superbowl party and it was crowded so we went into the Casino near the pool tables and watched it on that tv and enjoyed the game, lots of buffet food at the game. Day 3 at sea Pretty much similar to day 2 just no Superbowl Day 4 Port Canaveral We got up early and all four us went to the lido deck for breakfast then left the ship(bring id and sail account card)we rented a car from Avis they had a shuttle from the cruise, other companies that offered the same were budget, thrifty and Dollar. We drove around checking out sights but eventually we went to manatee park(Near the cruise terminal)We saw a Dolphin up close but no manatees. Then we proceeded to Jetty Park this is near the cruise terminal admission is $10 per car, they had a really nice clean beach and we enjoyed the beautiful temps near 80 we went into the ocean and had nerve sharks swimming around our feet each around 3 feet long they are harmful. When the ship debarks it cruises pass Jetty park its the last piece of land you pass before hitting the open sea. We had dinner and again not disappointed. Day 5 -Nassau The ship arrived around 11am so get to enjoy coming into Port, and watch the crew and Captain perform their skills as they turn around the ship and back up into the dock. Do not go to gangway they will tell you to leave customs must come aboard the ship and clear it so paperwork must be done, they will notify you when you can leave. We proceed to Bay Street they do have maps its walking distance all the good stores are on this street. we then went back to the ship to catch our beach day excursion to Atlantis. The ride was about 20 minutes long, the hotel is large and beautiful hears some advice bring a good pair of walking shoes. All four of us agreed this wasn't worth it, not even close, the lunch they provide is hamburger, hotdog or Chicken burger at the same quality of your local McDonald's. We returned to the ship around 6:30 though we were late Joey and the crew snapped to attention and gave us great service the crew danced to a song it was pretty good. Day 6-Freeport You get into the Port about 7:30 so we had breakfast then headed to our Western Heritage tour for 8:30am the weather was beautiful again both days in the Bahamas were around 80. Our tour guide Bradlee took us on a tour of some of the sights, which also included a lighthouse and a Lime Stone cave. The tour does go to Dead mans reef for snorkeling, they take you out be careful its hard walking out and hard on the feet its a reef and slippery too. But the guide brings you out it took 45 to 60 minutes to do.I took lots of quality pictures and video of fish, they come right up to you. They had lunch ready for you when you returned. You could have hamburger,cheese burger, hot dog or conk fritters, though it was slim pickings for food it was pretty good. Bradlee was very friendly and informative we truly enjoyed it. By the way dont waste money on buying a conk shell if you ask nicely they will stop at a Conk graveyard and you can pick one up for free. We had to be back on board by 3pm, this port is much different then Nassau no near by city but there are booths and things set up around where the ship ports so we hung around about an hour then boarded to head back home (sad face). We made our regular dinner time once again very satisfied.We caught a juggling show he was really good. Day 7 at sea The seas were very rough from the big North Easter that hit Ny and New England so waves were 10-15 feet, it was rough but the crew did an awesome job keeping the ship study. Basic stuff during the day Lido deck lunch and MDR dinner.We went to see a Ticket to ride Beatles themed show. They had a major crash to the system and the show was canceled.. They felt horrible and rescheduled for the next night they also made sure to do two shows so everyone could enjoy their dinner time. Day 8-At sea We finally caught allot trivia games ( yes people cheat to win a 50 cent ship on a stick so be prepared.)Lido deck lunch typical buffet stuff. Everyone except me took a nap as they were getting seas sick due to the storm hitting Ny and New England by this time winds were around 60 mph so all outdoor decks were closed- you cant blame Carnival for the weather but once again the Captain and Crew were doing an excellent job keeping it as stable as much as possible. We finally got to see a Ticket to ride it was a pretty good show, go see it. Shortly after they played bingo then the last show of the cruise was legends where guest sing the parts of Elvis,Garth brooks, Elton John, James Brown, Britney spears,Madonna, Aretha Franklin Not a very good show most of them couldn't sing if that is what you want to call it. Day 9 New York Back to reality- you have two ways to debark- Zone- Tags are left on your bed the night before returning bags must be placed outside room 9pm till midnight the night before with tags on them. Zones will be called to depart. Self Assist- Between the hours of 8am-8:30 you can debark as long as you can control and carry all your luggage off, you must go through costumes they will be on the ship have your id and sail card ready. It was smooth we got right off I was surprised our luggage was not scanned nor searched when returning. We had a two foot snow bank behind our car but workers came right over and shoveled it out for us. We put all our luggage in the vehicle then walked to times square its only 4 blocks away and took pictures. Then headed 95 in Ct was horrible over 36 hours after the storm it had allot of snow cover and many accidents we got tied up in three hours of bumper to bumper traffic. Ct does a poor job maintaining and cleaning their highways, we had no issues anywhere else the roads were clear. We really loved our cruise and we are hooked. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
This was my fifth cruise and my third on Carnival. So far, Carnival is by far my favorite cruise line. I have never written a review before, and I decided to now because I am tired of hearing and reading complaints about it being a ... Read More
This was my fifth cruise and my third on Carnival. So far, Carnival is by far my favorite cruise line. I have never written a review before, and I decided to now because I am tired of hearing and reading complaints about it being a low-class, low-budget cruise line. In my experience, Carnival is far from that! I cannot say enough about the entire experience, and the great service! I took my two adult daughters on this cruise with me to celebrate our February birthdays. We chose this one because it left from New York and went to Cape Canaveral and the Bahamas. I cannot say enough about the overall service of Carnival. The staff are knowledgeable, friendly, courteous, and above all - fun. We all thought the food was fantastic (both buffet and dining room), and the daily drink specials were great -- we especially loved the blowfish! We loved the trivia, the Asian classic rock band was phenomenal, and the shows in the Phantom and Mad Hatter lounges were all good - Ticket to Ride was really well-done! I can't say enough about what a great vacation this was (both my daughters say this was their best vacation ever!) and I feel bad about the bad press Carnival has been getting lately. I, for one, will definitely cruise again with Carnival and I want to thank them for making our vacation memorable. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
My group was al excited by this latest cruise. We also got such a bargain for the 8 day cruise on the Carnival Miracle from NYC! We stayed in a balcony room. As always when 1st boarding, the dining buffet area is where you get sent and it ... Read More
My group was al excited by this latest cruise. We also got such a bargain for the 8 day cruise on the Carnival Miracle from NYC! We stayed in a balcony room. As always when 1st boarding, the dining buffet area is where you get sent and it is always crowded. My problem though with the dining on this ship is that there is only ONE dining room, One Buffet and ONE restaurant. The dining room looks like a big grape. Purple grape light everywhere. The service was excellent. The food was good the first time around. I had prime ribs and it was great, but days later when it was served again it was like rubber. My vegetarian company did enjoy the Indian selection. The food at the buffet was usually the same. One Pizza station, One sandwich station, One salad station One Chinese station and the other was whatever was the days specials. Sometimes good sometimes not so good. I found the SPA was wonderful. Great massages at really good prices. Try for the specials they have daily. Port Canaveral: It was great to get off the boat and feel the sun on me. After a really cold winter, I enjoyed the heat. Since I have been at this port MANY times before, I just went to Walmart and then to the mall. Nassau: Another port I have been to numerous times. I enjoy looking in the town shops and then headed over to the beach by the Atlantis hotel. Freeport: This was my first and last time to this island. At 6 am the boat was arriving into port, pumping in the awful air into the cabin. We woke up gasping on the horrible smells. Freeport's port brings you into the oil refinery area and it STINKS!!! Everyone on the boat was coughing. Even leaving the boat and taking a taxi into town, the air still stinks!! I WILL NEVER GO BACK TO FREEPORT! Entertainment: The juggling guy was very good and funny. We also like the hypnotist but the comedians were awful. Stan Ullman was horrible. This is a joke, you are supposed to laugh he says. Well no one did! They should have thrown him off the boat! I like to play bingo but at $20 a game I didn't think it was worth it so I played maybe twice. The casino I stayed away from. When it is open you cannot breathe in there. Since I don't smoke, I was not going to get myself sick. I found the boat did not offer much exciting entertainment. I did see the shows but was not impressed. Shopping on the Boat: It is a very small area and doesn't offer much of a variety like on the Norwegian Gem & Jewel. I know I will not go on another Carnival cruise for a very long time since I thoruoghly enjoyed my Norwegian Cruises from NY and am planning an NCL cruise for next year. They have MORE variety of restauarants and activities. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
Embarcation: Got to NYC around 10:30, was assigned group 2. We were on the ship by 12:00. No problems, orderly and quick. The cruise terminal was cold. Once on the ship went to Lido for lunch. By 1:45 our cabin was ready. We were in ... Read More
Embarcation: Got to NYC around 10:30, was assigned group 2. We were on the ship by 12:00. No problems, orderly and quick. The cruise terminal was cold. Once on the ship went to Lido for lunch. By 1:45 our cabin was ready. We were in 4142, aft, extended balcony. The cabin was a standard 185sf cabin. Plenty of storage. The bed was firm and comfortable. Our steward, Agus, was great. Always friendly, knew our names, attentive. Leaving NYC we were able to get some great pictures from our balcony, but it was cold. First 2 days were sea days. The Ship: The Miracle was well laid out and easy to navigate. The cruise was sold out yet the ship did not seem crowded except on Lido. Plenty to do. Punchliner comedy club was great. The shows were about 45 mins, funny. They had an early "family friendly" show and later "regular" shows. We normally went to early dinner, main theater show then a comedy show. The main shows were fair, not as elaborate as I would have expected. The day time shows (Know your spouse etc) were quite good. Our Cruise Director, Tex, did a good job. There was a technical difficulty on one night and the show had to be cancelled. There was a steak house but we did no go to it. the food in the MDR was quite good. I enjoyed fish most knights. I do agree with other reviews sometimes the food was not hot enough. The brunch in MDR was fantastic. The buffet was good with many choices. The coffee shop had good coffee and tea. The grill on the pool deck was good, the ice cream was 24 hours. The finess center had clean, new machines. I normally went prior to lunch and had no wait. 1st port, Port Canaveral. Easy to get in and out of, near Cocoa Beach. We met family and had a great day at the Brevard Zoo. I recommend the Brevard Zoo for a good day. Got back to the ship for dinner. 2nd Port, Nassau. Much to do within walking distance from the ship. We did the Segway tour and it was a blast. Much more fun than I expected. Then went to the beach which was a 10 min walk back to the ship. 2nd port, Freeport: The port is ugly. There is a few things to do at the port, we had a nice drink and conch. We booked a snorkel tour to Paradise Cove. Wow, it was beautiful and the people were friendly. Bac to the ship for 3:30 departure. 2.5 days at sea to end the trip. Again much to do. The last day we hit rough seas, 60MPH wind, 15 foot swells. The ship closed all outside areas. Debark: We were in group 2 as we had to meet a bus. Not bad getting off the ship. About 15 min in line for customs on the ship. No line for customs after we got our bags. Overall we had a great time. We liked the Miracle alot. The ship was just the right size. The staff was fantastic. The only negative was 2 cold days both sides of the trip. Any questions? Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
We have been on 13 other cruises and have sailed Carnival many years ago. That was not a good experience and we wanted to give Carnival another chance. We know you get what you pay for and this was a very inexpensive cruise. But there are ... Read More
We have been on 13 other cruises and have sailed Carnival many years ago. That was not a good experience and we wanted to give Carnival another chance. We know you get what you pay for and this was a very inexpensive cruise. But there are standards that should be met.We sailed out of New York to The Bahamas. The cabin with balcony was nice. It was well maintained, neat, and very sufficient for our needs. The ship itself was well maintained and clean. The major issues were with the dining and the amenities. The biggest disappointment was the hot tubs. They were never hot. We were told we must never have been on a cruise with hot tubs before because they are "warm tubs" to accommodate people with heart conditions! Are you kidding me? There are warnings for such people to take care. The rest of the guests shouldn't be penalized. Maybe one tub could be cooler but not every one on the ship. And to give guests such lame excuses is terrible. Another issue was children and infants with diapers in these "warm tubs". I realize the weather was terrible and beyond any-one's control but to allow infants in diapers in these tubs is inexcusable. Talk about a health issue. Dining was another negative experience. Service at breakfast was horrendous. Baskets of bread and rolls were reused table to table. Most mornings, the food was cold when it arrived. My husband actually had to get up and get his own coffee one morning. One waiter at breakfast does deserve commendation. His name was Stanimir. He was wonderful-friendly, efficient, and fast. Our dinner staff was also very good. I think her name was Denista. Her assistants were also very good but I have misplaced their names. The food was not. Portions were small and it was usually only warm when served.Although our room was well kept, our original steward was replaced 2 days into the cruise. Again another weak excuse was given that he had gone ashore. But we were at sea for 2 days! How did he get ashore? We also tried to be conservative as the card suggested in the bathroom. We hung our towels every morning, with this card attached. And every day, our towels were taken and replaced. Why bother with the cards? The main shows with the dancers and singers were great. They were colorful and entertaining. The fill in acts, however, were awful. A little better entertainment would have helped. And the atrium "singer"! Good gosh, who hired him? He tried to strum and sing every day but was terrible. We were awayand at sea and that was nice. But we were again disappointed with Carnival and will probably never sail it again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
Not a fan of lengthy "play-by-play" reviews, so read on to enjoy the facts, our opinions & thoughts on our recent Bahamas Cruise on-board the Carnival Miracle! I will give ratings on some of the major categories we consider ... Read More
Not a fan of lengthy "play-by-play" reviews, so read on to enjoy the facts, our opinions & thoughts on our recent Bahamas Cruise on-board the Carnival Miracle! I will give ratings on some of the major categories we consider when cruising ... those which can hopefully be compared across ships and cruiselines. Each & every review will be different, but since we have now been on 3 of the "major" cruise lines (RCL, NCL, CCL), and have completed 7 cruises overall, I think we do offer some good persepctive! I have rated all categories below, but keep in mind that some of these are based on choices we made, i.e. this itinerary, where to eat, etc., and some are based on the cruise itself! The Ship (C+): + Easy to Navigate + Serenity (Adults Only Pool Area) a Great Upgrade in 2012 + Cabin (Ext. Balcony) had lots of storage & nice size bathroom. Decor was less than ideal, and we prefer sliding to swinging balcony doors (so you can let some fresh air in!) - Outdated / Questionable Decor - Boat had a "shimmy" pretty much all week. Didn't seem to be related to water conditions, etc. Kinda felt like a car that shakes at high speeds! - Horrible Sports Court The Staff (A): + Friendly, Interactive, Pleasant + Friendly, Attentive, & Helpful Room Steward Staff The Food (B-): + Main Dining Room Food & Service Better than Average + Nick & Noras Steakhouse Specialty Restaurant EXCELLENT - Buffet Options, Layout, Hours of Operations Needs Major Improvement Entertainment (D): + Piano Bar (Doug), & DJs very good - Comedians average at best - "Big Shows" nothing to write home about - Least impressive overall entertainment of our 7 cruises to-date Ports/Itinerary (C): + Some family friendly options, e.g. Space Center in Port Canaveral & "All-Inclusives" in Nassau & Freeport - Nothing really exciting, unless you want to drop some cash to see the Atlantis Resort in Nassau Embarkation / Disembarkation (A): + Arrived after 1pm, & was on the boat in less than 30 minutes + Disembarkation was a little behind the published schedule, but no issues with getting breakfast, finding a place to sit & wait, and no issues in getting off / customs ... very smooth Conclusion / Overall Rating (C): * Definitely a "get what you pay for" type cruise. It was probably our least expensive trip overall, and we found that the itinerary, the ship, & the entertainment were reflective of the price that we paid * Highlights: Bar staff, cruise staff, Doug the "piano man", Main Dining Food, & excellent Steakhouse experience NPS - Would you take this cruise again? NO NPS - Would you recommend going on this trip to a friend, etc.? NO Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
I just got back from the cruise yesterday and checked cruise critic to see if any of my fellow passengers did a review. I saw two reviews that were both mostly-positive. I was surprised. Embarking/Debarking - no complaints here. ... Read More
I just got back from the cruise yesterday and checked cruise critic to see if any of my fellow passengers did a review. I saw two reviews that were both mostly-positive. I was surprised. Embarking/Debarking - no complaints here. Considering it was New York and 3000 people were trying to board a ship at the same time, it went smoothly and the staff was very friendly. We had a fairly nice balcony room. I found the room to be overall clean, but the bedding was a bit worn and the towels in the bathroom were down-right gross. They looked like used locker-room towels and were smelly. What was disappointing was our noisy neighbors. We were noisy too with the kids, but they were on the up-all-night partying schedule, and that was annoying. The walls between the rooms are paper-thin. I am not sure why they design them that way, I suppose to be light. The food - in a word, disappointing. The buffet closed at 6:30pm, so the only thing for dinner was the grill (same fried crap) or the dining room. Not sure why the buffet wasn't open for normal dinner hours. But it doesn't matter. The various stations were not very impressive. The food was either unimaginative or just bland. I also noticed that the dining room served the exact same food that was in the buffet for lunch. I thought they could do better. The Problem with New York: It's great to be so close to the cruise port, but let's face it, we're annoying people here in the North East. The crowd was a mix of CT, NY and NJ. Many guests were pushy and rude. Lastly, the ports were terrible. It's not carnival's fault it's cold in January, but the two stops in the Bahamas stunk. Cheap shopping off the ship and anything remotely interesting was an expensive cab fare. I have been on four Carnival cruises and this was by far the worst. If you are a regular cruiser you will notice the places that Carnival has started to cut corners. If I list them out I will sound ultra-picky, but I am not. It's the little things that add up to one great cruise, and this one fell short too many little things (and a few big ones). Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
We are in our sixties and have cruised many times on various cruise lines. We chose Carnival for the convenience of sailing out of NY. We took metro north train from Ct. to Grand Central and then a taxi to the ship. We arrived at the ... Read More
We are in our sixties and have cruised many times on various cruise lines. We chose Carnival for the convenience of sailing out of NY. We took metro north train from Ct. to Grand Central and then a taxi to the ship. We arrived at the port around noon and it took about half an hour before we were on board. Cabin- We booked an ocean view room as we didn't think we would use the balcony much since we were cruising in January and we liked the price. We were somewhat concerned as the cabin was on Deck 1 and we had never been on a lower deck. It turned out great. The 2 decks above us had dinning, bars, casino etc. It also was convenient and very stable. The room was spacious and the cabin steward was excellent, always having our room made up early. Food-We did any time dining and never had to wait long for a table. The food in the main dining room was good and excellent in the steak house. The choices were varied, some better than others but that could just been personal taste. Service was excellent. Negative -The dining room was over the top and the ugliest we have ever seen. Buffet- It was a typical buffet but we found the food was mostly cold. At breakfast, the best was the omelets, made to order. Also, at omelet station you can ask for fried eggs which were hot and good. At lunch, the deli sandwiches and pizza were very good. The hamburgers were always cold (cooked ahead of time) but hot dogs and nachos were good. We liked the food at the brunch but it was odd having comedian perform for 2 minutes. The steak house was great. If you go on the first night, you get a free bottle of wine. The food and service was excellent, well worth the $35. We really liked the ambiance and went to this bar for our cocktail before dinner as it was quiet and elegant. Activities- There was a wide variety and choice. Entertainment was okay. We loved the adult's only pool area and section. We had no problem getting a lounge but we went at odd times. Ports- Cape Canaveral - we did a ship tour to Disney's Magic Kingdom. It was about an hour drive to Orlando and we had about 7 hours at the park. Nassau -- we took a cab to Atlantis and did some shopping in town Freeport-just enjoyed the warm weather We really like Carnival because you have all ages and lots of families. We met some great people and really enjoyed this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
My wife and I have cruised over 10 times. Our favorite lines are Disney and Celebrity. Embarkation: We arrived about 11:30AM and were onboard within 55 minutes. We were through security and check-in within 15 minutes. The rest of ... Read More
My wife and I have cruised over 10 times. Our favorite lines are Disney and Celebrity. Embarkation: We arrived about 11:30AM and were onboard within 55 minutes. We were through security and check-in within 15 minutes. The rest of the time was spent waiting to board. They started boarding around 12:00PM. We were given zone 13 to board. We boarded by 12:30PM. If we would have showed up a little later we would have been on in no more than 30 minutes. I noticed during the lifeboat drill at 3:30PM passengers were boarding very quickly. We sailed promptly at 4:00PM. The rooms were ready at 1:30PM. They keep the doors from the stairwells to your rooms closed until 1:30PM. Horatio's was crowded during that first meal but that is to be expected since everyone is stuck there waiting for their rooms to be ready. Food: We were assigned the 8:15PM seating in the MDR. We went to the 3rd floor Matre d to ask for your time dining (YTD) and he switched us immediately. It was wonderful since we were a party of 2. We went 4 nights to dinner in the MDR and showed up between 5:45 and 6:00PM. We were seated immediately at a table for two. Service was the best we have ever had on any cruise line. Dinner was almost exactly one hour long. Very efficient and the waiters are not too busy if you show up early. I am guessing that it would be longer at 7PM when the YTD area is full. We really enjoyed the lobster and prime rib on the first formal night. Other favorites were the filet mignon, tiger shrimp, and chocolate melting cake. My wife enjoyed the soups also. I have never done YTD dining before but will definitely do it again unless I have a group larger than 4. Horatio's was comparable to most cruise lines for a buffet on the Lido deck. We really enjoyed the deli sandwiches, especially the reuben. The Chinese was good and we had no problem finding something to eat. We did not have the pizza or do the steakhouse. I really like that they do their chocolate buffet during the day. I remember having to wake the kids up at midnight to take them to the chocolate buffet. This is much better. Cabin: We had an extended deck balcony 7227. James, our cabin steward, did a fine job keeping the room clean and well stocked. The only issue with the cabin is that it was cold the first and the last sea day. I asked the cabin steward what we can do about it and he offered blankets. He said there was no heat and I believe him. My wife likes a warm room so I put towels in the air conditioning vents to reduce the breeze. I also used a piece of tape to hold the hair dryer switch to the on position. I would run the hair dryer every so often to help warm up the room. Weather: We cruised 17 Jan 2013 out of New York. I expected cold weather. The first day at sea was quite cold. We like to walk for about an hour each day. We had hat, gloves and sweat shirts on to keep warm. We went down to deck three and used the outside area to walk. It is protected more than deck 10 from the wind when it is windy and cold. Day 2 at sea was much milder. Maybe 65 degrees. The three ports were 70 to 80. Day 6 at sea was colder than day 2. We were cruising into the wind and a major cold front had hit the East Coast. The Captain said it was 59 degrees but it felt a lot colder due to the wind chill. The Day 7 at sea was very bitter. 40 knot winds and spitting snow. No one wanted to go outside. We used the treadmills in the gym to walk. The Miracle rides remarkably well even in high seas. Even with 40 knot winds the ship barely moves. It was quite smooth the entire cruise. Entertainment: We enjoyed the entertainment. The main shows were well done. We enjoyed the guitar players and bands around the ship. Cory is a great cruise director-- one of the best we have experienced. One strange thing is they had the same three movies playing all week on your TV. They changed them on Friday our last day at sea. So we had 7 days to watch "The Three Stooges" if we wanted. I can see them leaving the same movie on two days at the most. The comedy club is enjoyable. We especially enjoyed the family comedy. One of the 4 comedians was not very funny. Free Internet: I was able to get free internet in Nassau at the port. The Festival Place shopping place you are forced to walk through after leaving the ship has a decent speed free connection. In Freeport there is a bar in the port called Sparky's. I bought a coke for $2.00 and they give you a password on the receipt for free internet. It has decent speed. Disembarkation: We used the self-assist disembarkation. We were off in 45 minutes with long lines for customs on and off the ship. There were two chances to meet with customs. We were off by 9am caught a cab to LGA and were to the airport by 9:30am. Overall Impression: We really enjoyed sailing on the Miracle. It is a well-run ship. The crew is friendly and hard working. It was very rare to see dishes left on the tables at Horatio's. They are always cleaning and fixing things out on the decks. It looks well- worn in some areas; our room had the curtains not hanging correctly--hanging off of the curtain rod. Leather couches in the rooms and shower curtains also are worn. The main passenger areas still look good. They washed our balcony twice during an 8 day cruise. We sailed on the Splendor last September and enjoyed the Miracle much more. The Miracle is a much better design. You can go front to back on floors 2 & 3 without the issue of a restaurant in the middle. The number of passengers is perfect so it only feels crowded on the Miracle in Horatio's at certain times. The Splendor has long lines for many things due to the larger number of passengers. We live in Denver, so we are excited that the Miracle is coming to the West Coast. My wife has not been a big fan of Carnival but is coming around. They are not Disney but a good product for the price. We would definitely sail on the Miracle again Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
Carnival Miracle Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 3.5 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 3.5 4.0
Family 4.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 4.0
Enrichment 1.5 3.5
Service 4.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.5 4.0
Rates 3.0 4.4

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