66 Seattle Carnival Miracle Cruise Reviews

Okay. So I get it. It's a cruise. Carnival operates on slim margins so it needs to constantly barade you with requests to purchase drinks or photos. The whole trip felt like a prolonged time-share presentation. [Cons] - Terrible ... Read More
Okay. So I get it. It's a cruise. Carnival operates on slim margins so it needs to constantly barade you with requests to purchase drinks or photos. The whole trip felt like a prolonged time-share presentation. [Cons] - Terrible [Non-existent] entertainment. Bingo? D-List comedians? Karaoke singers? Ugh. - Waaayyyy overpriced drinks. - A single bandaid for a cut is $3.50. INSANE. - The casino was smokey, and nobody looked happy. - Food in the Dining room ranged from decent to bad. - Food in the buffet area was consistently terrible. Dry, Microwaved, canned, all cheap pre-processed junk. - If you have a food allergy or lactose intolerance DO NOT CRUISE WITH CARNIVAL. The waiters in the dining room will accommodate you, but the buffet workers have no clue about the contents of the food. Expect to get sick a few times. - All of their on-ship promotions had some kind of scammy catch to them that involved purchasing something overpriced. One noteable one was where you spin a wheel to "Win" a prize... the prize is a presentation for purchasing something. Ooo fun. - All of the Alaskan ports of call we're uninteresting, and tourist traps. Jewelry shops (Skagway - Seriously. How can a town of 800 people have 15 jewelry shops?! ), Popcorn, Alaska T-shirts, ugh. If you go to these ports, don't go to the towns, go hiking or something. - The Alaskan ports all feel fake. There is Zero culture. Most of the shops are filled with out-of-state seasonal workers. [Pros] - Alaska is beautiful. - Victoria, BC is one of the coolest places I have ever been. I wish this cruise was 8 days in Victoria. - Stewards, and employees were mostly kind and helpful. - The on ship gym is pretty nice, and well equipped. My recommendation for anyone considering an Alaskan cruise: Fly to Alaska. Stay in hotels/cabins. Save a ton of money, and have way more fun. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
We sailed on Carnival Miracle from Seattle to Alaska in September. Alaska was fantastic. The scenery in Glacier Bay is breathtaking. The weather we had in mid-September could not have been better. We booked a room with a wrap-around ... Read More
We sailed on Carnival Miracle from Seattle to Alaska in September. Alaska was fantastic. The scenery in Glacier Bay is breathtaking. The weather we had in mid-September could not have been better. We booked a room with a wrap-around balcony which was awsome. Those are the good things I have to say. Most aspects of the cruise were far less laudatory. The ship is old and tired looking. The decor in the main dining room is horrendous, and I am not one to notice decor, but this is just awful. The whole room is dark and purple. The food was terrible in all places- the buffets were awful, food in the main dining room was mediocre at best, even the Steakhouse, where we ate three times (and has been good on other Carnival cruises), was really not good. Fresh vegetables were extremely scarce. The salad bar looked pitiful and consited mostly of canned things. It's an Alaskan crusie and they had no crab and the halibut and salmon were hardly fresh. The entertainment, other than the comedy shows, was just OK and there really was very little of it. The piano bar only had someone playing on a couple of nights during the entire cruise, the nightclub looked sad and empty, and a great many of the talks and activities were designed with no other purposed than to sell you things (and not very subtely). The crew, especially the room attendants and servers in the main restaurant were great, but they couldn't make up for all of the lackings on this ship. By all means go on an Alaskan cruise but do yourself a favor and pick another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
we are Platinum with Carnival, having 30+ cruises under our belts. If this were our first cruise, we would never go on another. The cabin steward could not retain, despite being told multiple times, that we had early dinner. He wanted to ... Read More
we are Platinum with Carnival, having 30+ cruises under our belts. If this were our first cruise, we would never go on another. The cabin steward could not retain, despite being told multiple times, that we had early dinner. He wanted to make up our room at 8pm, when we were in bed. The dining room service was very poor. It took over an hour to be served our cold meals. The bar service guy could not keep our orders straight. We gave up after the second night. The lido deck food was horrible. Top sirloin was so tough it could not be cut with a chainsaw. The backing curtain at the balcony glass door had black mold growing on it, and some sort of mucus or something equally gross. The debarkation process was a nightmare-- we waited an hour for the 50-passenger bus to fill so we could depart. The Alaska cruise has always been our favorite-- perhaps it will be again when we try Celebrity.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
We flew to Seattle to catch the Miracle's final Alaskan voyage for the season (and maybe ever) the day of the cruise since we live in CA. Paid for the ship transfers from the airport to the port as it did not look like there was a ... Read More
We flew to Seattle to catch the Miracle's final Alaskan voyage for the season (and maybe ever) the day of the cruise since we live in CA. Paid for the ship transfers from the airport to the port as it did not look like there was a very clean and easy way to get there with rapid transit. We checked our bags at the check-in counter for the bus at the airport and the next time we saw them was in front of our cabin door a few hours later. A very relaxing start to a what would be a very relaxing cruise. I'm a fan of the Faster to the Fun (FTTF) option Carnival offers and was happy to have it as we walked right to an empty check in counter with the Diamond and Platinum folks. My guy (first time cruiser) thought it was a miracle how we breezed past the long lines. I would say from entering the port to being on the ship was a maximum of 15 minutes. Our 1st floor window cabin was ready on our arrival and we stopped by to freshen up before we headed up to meet some friends who had traveled from PA for the cruise. The room was plenty large for two people with lots of storage space. The room was clean but the bathroom felt a bit dated. We had no idea what was awaiting us in the Bacchus dining room! The decor is over-the-top there!! Per their usual, the food on the Carnival ship was fine not fabulous. However, the staff was EXCELLENT! We gave our room number for seating the first night to the hostess and she never asked again and that was in the anytime dining room. The wait staff made a point of remembering small things like bringing honey with the tea after asking the first time. Super friendly crew made us feel very special and yet like friends. The worse part of the cruise was the entertainment. The lounge singers were not good for the most part. The live shows were not of a high quality. The atrium singer was HORRIFIC. Fortunately Alaska is beautiful and we were tired enough from our excursion days that we could go to bed a bit earlier. We purchased one fishing excursion from the ship which was cancelled due to fog and another that didn't catch many fish even though there was salmon aplenty heading up the streams. Most of the time my friends rented a car and we drove around. We did take the diesel train in Skagway which, although pricey, is a very pretty ride. With our FTTF we disembarked without much of a wait once they opened the exit since we were in the first group. We played the day in Vancouver mainly in Stanley Park, and headed back home having enjoyed our trip and making plans for another Carnival cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
Thanks for taking time to read my review. I am a 35 year old woman and I took my mother (age 66) on her first Alaskan cruise! We flew into Seattle the day before the cruise and stayed at the Holiday Inn Express - Seattle City Center. We ... Read More
Thanks for taking time to read my review. I am a 35 year old woman and I took my mother (age 66) on her first Alaskan cruise! We flew into Seattle the day before the cruise and stayed at the Holiday Inn Express - Seattle City Center. We really enjoyed this hotel, it was very clean and our room was lovely. It is walking distance to Seattle Centre, so we took advantage of the gorgeous day and walked over. We wanted to see the Chihuly Gardens and the Space Needle, but they were both closing early for a special event, so we had to decide between one or the other - we went with the Gardens and I was thrilled! It's an absolutely beautiful museum, we actually went through it twice! We then went to the EMP Museum - I didn't know anything about it, but now I can't stop raving about it. It really is a neat museum. The morning of our cruise, we chose to do a city tour that would drop us off at the ship. We took Let's Tour Seattle. It was a bit more on the bus time than I would have liked, but we did get a lot of history of Seattle and were at the ship by 1:00. Boarding was very simple ... we didn't have to wait in line for very long - maybe 15 minutes. When we got on board, we were able to go directly to our cabin. The ship is lovely - much better decorated than the Carnival Legend which is in the same class. I find it an easy ship to navigate and there are no strange spots that cut you off from going anywhere! The entertainment needs a re-do ... the Welcome Aboard show didn't feel very welcoming. On other ships, the cast has done a small number and then there was a game of some sort. On this sailing, there was only the spoon game and then a song at the end by two people, one of whom I don't recall seeing the rest of the cruise. The Guest Talent show was sad/embarrassing. Only two people were signed up - they still went ahead with it, but didn't augment it with anything else. Can you picture it - a talent show of two!! Kudos to the two that performed, but you would think that the CD would have added in a cast song/dance or some sort of something! The cruise day arts and crafts were a little sad. The first one was great and gave me high hopes. The had a bangle bracelet project. The girl running it said there would be something on Glacier Bay day and the last day as well. Nothing was ever advertised for Glacier Bay Day, but there was Scrapbooking on the last day. I went to it, and they just had a few bits and pieces - the hosts excuse was that it was the end of the season, so that was all that was left. The Steakhouse was fantastic - we were seated by a window on the side that let us see the sunset - absolutely perfect food, atmosphere and service. The onboard naturalist provided great commentary during sea days - she was a true asset to the cruise. The dining room was fine - we were on anytime dining and only had to wait once for our table. There were good choices, and the food was generally well done. I was disappointed in the Future Cruise talk - I was expecting a talk on actual future cruising opportunities ... instead it was a hard sell on the Carnival MasterCard. Overall it was a fantastic cruise - the ship was lovely, the crew was friendly, and we had unbelievable weather in Alaska. There were indeed things that needed fixing, but there was nothing that ruined my trip!   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
This was our second cruise, first was a Princess cruise. We thought, wow Alaska, this will be great. It was our 30th anniversary too. What a disappointment . First let me say this, staff was awesome, always attentive and polite so I would ... Read More
This was our second cruise, first was a Princess cruise. We thought, wow Alaska, this will be great. It was our 30th anniversary too. What a disappointment . First let me say this, staff was awesome, always attentive and polite so I would give them an A+. Now as for the food, we looked forward to getting OFF the ship to eat, despite the high prices in the local places the food was awesome. This ships chef must hate his job, the food was never hot even in the nice dining room, we did not try the steak house but heard good things about it,it was overpriced too. Breakfast was cold, greasy, the same everyday, unless you did buffet, which was not much better. Even on the Lido deck at night it was hard to find anything worth eating. I took to ordering a grilled Ruben sandwich only because I knew it was hot food. This ships decor is sooooooo outdated, the shows were so so, the comics and extra entertainment throughout were some of the worst I have seen, must not pay much. The one young guitar player singing at one of the bars got worse as he drank. As far as the ports go, Skagway was my favorite, scenery around town was beautiful,food was excellent. I don't think I have seen so many jewelry stores as were in these 4 ports. Made LA look bare naked. Tours were hugely overpriced, needless to say they were totally out of our budget, so we just wandered around till it was time to go back aboard ship. We were told this would be an older crowd, no disappointment there, never seen so many overweight people in one place. Weather was mostly good, we had sunny days foggy nights. Lost me as a customer   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
I must say that I have been to Alaska on 4 other cruises 3 with Carnival and 1 with a sister ship and I have always loved the cruise. Alaska is such a magical place and must be seen in all it's glory. We have been 5 times at different ... Read More
I must say that I have been to Alaska on 4 other cruises 3 with Carnival and 1 with a sister ship and I have always loved the cruise. Alaska is such a magical place and must be seen in all it's glory. We have been 5 times at different times each time and I have to say that the earlier in the season the better for me. Although we had almost perfect weather on this past cruise something was still missing. ( SNOW) when you think of Alaska you think of snow. We did get to see the salmon running which is unusual so late in the season. This trip was unique and I am not sure I can put my finger on exactly what was different. The crew on the ship we mostly good although the entertainment staff was not as pleasant as usual. The cruise director was on his first voyage on this ship and did an extremely good job. His staff and assistants were nit so bubbly and friendly as we had come to expect. Even the food seemed off a little from previous voyages. We are Platinum members with Carnival and love them. They call them the fun ships for a reason. I really think that you get out of a cruise whatever you are expecting and Carnival has never let us down. The next time I sail to Alaska it will be in May or early June. I will always sail with Carnival because we have sailed with all the others and find them the best. Even when they we not at their best they are still better than the rest. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
We booked our cruise well in advance to get a good balcony room. After we had the cruise almost paid for and the airline paid for they decided to drop the best port from the cruise, Ketchikan. We either had to loose our vacation or just ... Read More
We booked our cruise well in advance to get a good balcony room. After we had the cruise almost paid for and the airline paid for they decided to drop the best port from the cruise, Ketchikan. We either had to loose our vacation or just take the change. They gave us $50 credit, but that did not make up for it. We have cruised with Carnival on 4 other destinations. The first one was the best. They had the midnight buffet with all the cut up fruit and a gorgeous table setting, The food was great on both the buffet and dining room. On the 3rd cruise they dropped the midnight buffet. We were really disappointed. Over the years we have seen the quality of the food go down and the price of the excursions go up. This trip finally broke me from sailing with Carnival. The breakfast buffet was not very good. The best thing was the omelet bar because it was made fresh, The rest was the same thing every day. They didn't even try to change things up each day like before. The bacon was always greasy and the pancakes were always cold. Lunch was a little better but again not much change or flavor. The sandwich bar was the best thing, again because it was made fresh. The dinners in the dinning room were definitely better I thought, but the rest of my group didn't like it. The dining staff were excellent though. We enjoyed going to dinner to see them each night. I cant complain about the ship staff, always friendly and kept the ship clean. The shows were loud and not very good. The excursions were extremely costly. Overall we were very disappointed with this vacation. The money we spent for 8 people for this cruise could have gone to a much better vacation somewhere else. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
This was a first cruise for my wife and me. I consider myself "Not a Cruise Person" but my wife wanted to go on a cruise and with that I chose the venue - Alaska! Stayed at the Sheraton Downtown by cashing in SPG points for two ... Read More
This was a first cruise for my wife and me. I consider myself "Not a Cruise Person" but my wife wanted to go on a cruise and with that I chose the venue - Alaska! Stayed at the Sheraton Downtown by cashing in SPG points for two free nights. Had fun touring around Seattle for two days - Pike's Place Market, Waterfront, Crittenden Locks, Snoqualmie Falls, Kerry Park, the Space Needle and met some friends from British Columbia who came down for a quick visit. Overall I rate this a good experience. My wife rates it higher. The service from the entire crew was very good - the cabin steward, the wait-staff, the folks who man the excursion desk and other areas. Thumbs up to all! The food was good, not great. The Bacchus dining experience was very good. The selection of entrees and starters were varied and tasty. Formal cruise nights (2) were not strictly enforced. The casual dining (Horatio's) was very good for what it is. The Asian buffet was especially good. But the other buffets were also good and had a decent nightly/daily selection - lamb, crab cakes, of course the desserts, the prosciutto, etc. The accommodations were much better than I anticipated. The rooms and storage were bigger than we really needed. The obstructed view balcony was only slightly obstructed (boat level below eye level). One of my trepidations about cruising was the crowds, and I didn't enjoy that. But there are places to get away - the Serenity Deck and Gatsby's Garden, so I managed to keep my sanity. They had interesting lectures (about Alaska) and John Heald was very entertaining. The embarkation and debarkation process went smoothly even for the inexperienced like us. One thing to keep in mind is that things can change. One of the biggest disappointments was that we were not able to take the Tracey Arm Fjord Small boat cruise to the Glacier, because a passenger got ill and the ship actually had to turn around for 3+ hours to rendezvous with a Canadian air rescue team. Fortunately that operation went well and the passenger and family were (as far as we can tell) scooted to Vancouver where she is in recovery. All told this put us 8+ hour behind schedule and NO Tracey Arms Fjord. They substituted Endicott Fjord, which was fine but had no sea glacier or excursion. Big disappointment and only a $ for $ refund - nothing offered for the loss of a lifetime experience to get to a glacier face to face. Booo!   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Before I begin, I would just like to point out that we sailed on an incredibly fortunate week where we saw very little rain and fog. Alaskan weather, from what we have read and have been told, we sailed on one of the best weeks, weather ... Read More
Before I begin, I would just like to point out that we sailed on an incredibly fortunate week where we saw very little rain and fog. Alaskan weather, from what we have read and have been told, we sailed on one of the best weeks, weather wise. This may not be the case for all cruises up to Alaska, as the weather can fluctuate greatly. If you are looking to take this Alaskan cruise, please do be sure to read reviews from people who cruised during a rainy week as well, so that you are aware of how the cruise may be affected by different weathers and climates. Our group consists of my mother and father, my grandfather, my grandmother who uses a wheelchair, and myself (16). This was our seventh cruise together, and our fifth with Carnival. I’m just going to go out and say it now; this was probably one of the best cruises we have ever taken! We had a wonderful time together, and we are very ecstatic with how our vacation went! SEATTLE, WASHINGTON We flew out of Long Beach Airport in Southern California Monday morning before embarkation day on Tuesday with JetBlue into Seattle Tacoma. We left at 10:00 AM and landed at around 1:00 PM. We took a hotel shuttle the La Quinta on 8th Avenue near Downtown Seattle. It’s close to all the main sights of Seattle, about ten minutes from the Space Needle and twenty from Pike Place if you are walking, two places that we would highly recommend visiting if you have the time. We had a wonderful time walking around Seattle, and I really wish we could have spent just a little more time taking in all the sights and sounds of such a fantastic city. If you are looking for a place to eat, there are lots of restaurants in the downtown area. One we would for sure recommend is Mama’s Mexican on 2nd Avenue. La Quinta provided breakfast for everyone in the morning near the lobby, as well as a shuttle to the port. All in all, we like the hotel a lot, especially the cookies they served in the lobby in the evenings. EMBARKATION We were shuttled from the hotel at around 12:40 to the Port of Seattle. We got there at around 1:00 and got a porter to cart off our luggage. For any new cruisers out there, big tip for any port you go to for embarkation; as soon as you get out of the car/shuttle/bus/taxi, have a couple of fives in your hand and look for a porter with a cart. They’ll take all of your luggage in and lead you into where the embarkation process begins. Embarkation, in total, went okay. The computers used to get out Sail and Sign cards went down once or twice. No big deal, but it lagged embarkation just a bit. My grandparents also received the wrong VIFP Cards. They were given Blue cards instead of Gold at the port, but had them changed at Guest Services once we were on board. Again, nothing huge, but we didn’t really know why that had happened. Either way, they had us on the ship in about thirty minutes or so, and everything was pretty lax. THE SHIP The Carnival Miracle is a Spirit Class ship, and it’s a perfect size for an Alaskan cruise. We had sailed on the Carnival Spirit in the past, so we knew the ship’s layout pretty well from the start. Everything is pretty easy to get to, and everything is laid out very well. Bacchus Dining Room in the aft, atrium, The Fun Shops and Mr. Lucky’s Casino are at midship, Phantom Theater near the bow, as well as Wizards Arcade right ahead of it. The Lido deck has two pools, one of which is covered by a retractable skylight during the Alaskan cruises to keep the deck and the pool warm, as well as the Horatio’s Buffet and the gym and spa. The ship’s Sports Deck on Deck Ten also has a running track, a basketball court, and a mini golf course. There is also a water slide near the aft, which was, for some reason open during our cruise, but we didn’t see it get much use due to the colder weather. The art style of the ship is… well, my dad and I both agreed to describe it in one word; gaudy. The ships theme is Fictional Characters. A great idea on paper, but an odd execution on this ship. The cabin halls were lined with murals of characters from literature. There were a fair amount of them to look at, but the novelty of it got old very quickly. The Bacchus Dining Room pays homage to the god of Wine in a very showy way. Every inch of the dining room seems to be covered in purple glass light fixtures made to look like grapes. Admittedly, we did get kind of used to seeing them, but those first few nights… yikes. They are literally everywhere. I’m not over exaggerating! And the Phantom Theater was, well, downright disturbing at some points. It is based off of the Phantom Of The Opera, and the paintings that lead to the actual theater are quite spooky. I also really didn’t like the giant masks that lined the walls of the theater that glowed red. They were annoying to look at, as was the many statues of Horatio Nelson that covered the walls of Horatio’s on the Lido Deck. I did however like the nautical themed parts of the buffet… anyway, I know this is sort of rambling and picky, and it’s very whiney, but believe me, this was not that big of a deal for us. While we didn’t think the ship was too too pretty, she is still a fantastic ship, don’t get me wrong! FOOD There isn’t a whole lot to talk about when it comes to the food on any Carnival cruise. It’s certainly not bad. We always enjoy it because everyday, at any of the restaurants on board, there is something that we normally would not make or go out to eat at home, but, if you’ve sailed with Carnival before, it’s the same food they’ve been serving for the past five or six years. Horatio’s offered a fair selection of meals everyday. Breakfast was all the same everyday, which was fine, because there was a decent amount of variety. Lunch was good as well. Pizza, deli sandwiches, burgers and fries, and asian cuisine are offered everyday, along with a new booth every afternoon. So one day it’ll be French, and the next it will be Carribbean. The Sweet Spot in Horatios had new desserts each day, along with fruits and cookies that were served everyday. While we’re not a huge fan of Carnival’s baking, their chocolate chip cookies are out of this world. Super buttery and super good. Everything else served here was either hit or miss. Dinner served at Bacchus’ was fair as well. Again, it’s the same items they’ve been serving for quite awhile throughout the fleet, but it’s still good. We always left full and very satisfied. I still love the addition of the “Didja,” part of the menu though, which was added about three years ago. It’s a selected appetizer choice that’s a little out of the ordinary. It changes every night. One night, you can try shark balls, the next, alligator fritters. It’s a fun addition which we all took advantage of. Desserts, as usual, were better in the dining room than in the buffet. The melting cake is still quite good, as is everything else that was served after dinner. Overall, dinner in the dining hall was good. We did not dine at Nick and Norah's, the steakhouse onboard, but we have heard nothing but fantastic things about it! The Taste Bar was a lovely addition that I wish was opened more often and for a longer time. Located near the casino, it’s a small kiosk that, from 5:00 to 7:00 on a few evenings, served small sample platters from the many restaurants Carnival has on it’s other ships. Even though they resteraunt may not be on the Miracle, you could still try a small sample from a new restaurant each evening, which we thought was very neat. So one night you might try something from the Red Frog Pub or the Blue Iguana, and the next night, there would be a platter from Cucina Del Capitan. It was only open for about three or four nights on the cruise, and usually closed on port days, but it was still very neat! The Punchliner Comedy Brunch in the Bacchus Dining Room was also very good. VIFP members, one of the only places that you can renew your free drink voucher is here. Brunch was pretty good. From steak and eggs to Huevos Ranchero, the selection was pretty good, and the food was even better. For anyone who has done the Comedy Brunch on any other Carnival ship, there is no performance by the Comedians onboard, at least, not on our cruise, which is kind of odd. It’s solely called the Comedy Brunch because it uses the same menu. Either way though, we would for sure recommend stopping in at least one morning for a delightful brunch and a specialty coffee. SERVICE The service onboard the Miracle was excellent. Our head waiter was Alvaro at table 162 at the very back of Bacchus on Deck Two, and he did a spectacular job. On the first night, we weren’t sure if we were going to like the table, because it was half booth, half open chairs, which, with five people, can be a little crowded. Alvaro, along with Harold and Wujda, our other waiters, made it work though, and they were very helpful and kind. They always had a place for us to put my grandmother’s wheelchair when she would sit in one of the regular chairs, and they always took good care of her when we left our table and we had to wheel her through the aisles of tables. Food was served at a very good pace, and they were all in all, wonderful people. Our cabin stewards were also very kind, and checked to see if everything was okay and made sure our rooms were spotless. They both did a very good job, and we appreciated everything they did. The rest of the crew were also fantastic, all very nice and outgoing. The Miracle certainly has fantastic service. And, of course, we just have to mention Mr. John Heald. John is, by far, one of our new all time cruise directors. He has been doing this for a long time, and it is so easy to tell. We had many a laughs from his comedic wit at shows, and we always loved his introductions. While we didn’t see him too too many times on deck, he was always a joy to see. As Carnival’s Senior Cruise Director, he is the archetype of what cruise directors should follow. CABIN We had cabin 7-127 on Deck Seven and the cabin was okay. It was a standard interior cabin with everything you would need. With there being three of us, I slept on the pull down bed for most nights, which our steward put down each night and put back into place in the ceiling each morning. We had some noisy neighbors (kids) next door which every now and again you would hear in the morning, so I guess the walls are a bit thin. We complained about this to Guest Services, and, while they weren't really able to solve this problem, Carnival and the Guest Service team handled it very professionally and saw that we were okay, so hats off to them for sure. ENTERTAINMENT We did not go to many shows, but the ones we did, we enjoyed. John MADE the Welcome Aboard Show. It was terrific, and a perfect way to set the mode for how fantastic of a cruise director he is. (For anyone that sailed we us, we are the "Dick Little," "Ice cream," and "Mr. Ni Hao," cruise). The comedy magician Mr. Gross was also fantastic, and had us rolling in the aisles. The Love and Marriage Show was, while not how a traditional cruise Love and Marriage Game Show normally works (three couples, questionnaire, you know how it goes if you've ever been to one) was sensationally funny. While we aren't really "song and dance show" type people, my dad and I did go to The Beatles show which was okay. The Miracle Band's renditions of classic Beatles songs were good, and the show itself was alright. If you like Broadway-perfomances, you'll love this show. CLUB O2 For any parents of teens out there, let me be the first to say that Club O2 was a ton of fun. Club O2 is the Miracle’s teen only club onboard, located above the gym on Deck Ten. It is for teens ranging for the ages of fifteen to seventeen. The club has several TVs and video game consoles, a dance floor, tons of places to sit back and relax, and, of course, a Foosball table. While this was one of his last cruises, and he won’t be on the Miracle for much longer, I just have to point out how awesome Greg, the O2 director was. Greg did a stellar job keeping us entertained, yet still managed to keep that “cool guy attitude,” you know? While we didn’t really do many of the activities that were scheduled by the club, we still had an amazing time together, and I made many new friends. If your teen is reluctant on joining like I was, I would highly recommend them in joining the club. PORTS OF CALL Again, I do want to point out that, the weather varies in Alaska and British Columbia, so fair warning. It normally rains a lot, so pack and plan on it. TRACY ARM FJORD This is where the difficult part for me starts, because words cannot describe the sheer beauty of all four ports. While Tracy Arm is technically not a “port,’ it is still quite an adventure. From morning till sundown, you sail into and through the fjord and bask in the majesty that is the great state of Alaska. Michelle, the onboard naturalist, did such an amazing job teaching and describing the area and the wildlife that frequented it. All morning, it seemed as if every passenger on board went to and fro on the top decks as Michelle told us of Humpback Whale and Bald Eagle sightings. We saw pod after pod of whales breaching just mere yards away from the ship as we sailed passed snowcapped mountain after snowcapped mountain. Waterfalls trickled down the forest of pine trees as we sailed through the fjord, until we reached Sawyer Glacier, where we were left breathless as we observed the huge tower of ancient ice. It was an incredible day. If I may recommend, before you board the ship, invest in a thermice or buy one from the Fun Shops on board, so that you can fill it up with coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or whatever it is you’re in the mood for. It’s perfect for keeping your beverages warm on cold days on deck. And trust me, you’re going to want to be out on deck for most of the day when you sail through Tracy Arm. SKAGWAY We booked the White Pass & Yukon Route Railway Adventure through Carnival for Skagway, and it was absolutely amazing. The train picks you up literally AT the port, so as soon as you get off the ship, you board the train! The train ride lasts about three or so hours there and back. Built in 1898 during the Klondike Gold Rush, the railway takes you up into the scenic mountains and forests of both Alaska as well as the Yukon in British Columbia. We had an absolutely incredible time taking this excursion and seeing just how beautiful The Great North truly is. Our tour guides on board, Seth, John, Eric and Amber did a fantastic job teaching us about the history of the White Pass Trail and of Skagway and BC. The ride was breath taking, and so much fun. There is another excursion that does the same route only it goes farther into Canada, and passengers actually get to get off the train before returning back to port. The train is also a Steam Locomotive, whereas the one we took was a Diesel Locomotive. It’s about one hundred dollars more than the one we took, but honestly, I think you would have about the same amount of fun as we had on the one we took. It is absolutely incredible. We boarded the train at about 8:00 AM and got back into port at around 11:00 AM, so we had lunch on the ship at Horatios and then got off and walked into Skagway itself. It’s about a fifteen minute walk away from port, but there are also Smart Shuttle services available right off the ship. Skagway itself is a very neat little town full of history and beauty. From the end to the beginning of Broadway Street (Main Street), shops full of Alaskan knick-knacks, goodies, and history line the sidewalks. It’s a fun little place, and we would for sure recommend walking around if you get the chance. And pretty much everything is wheelchair accessible, which is a huge plus. JUNEAU In Juneau, we did the Glacier View Sea Kayaking Adventure. We had an absolute blast! The tour began with a half hour bus ride from the ship all the way to Douglas Island across from the heart of Juneau. Once we arrived at the Kayaking spot, we were fitted with boots, lightweight water skirts, and paddles, and then we were off and running. There was an odd number of people taking the excursion, and there were only tandem kayaks available for all of us, so I kayaked with the new tour guide in training, Marika. She did such an excellent job, and was a great joy to talk to. She is originally from Ketchikan, the port which the Miracle is supposed to go to but has recently removed from it’s itinerary, so it was great learning about both Ketchikan and Juneau. And Alex, the main tour guide, was just terrific. He was very knowledgeable on so much of the area, and was both very funny and so so passionate about his job. You could really tell he cared a lot about what we saw and that we had a great time. And we saw some amazing things. There are many Bald Eagles in the area, and TWICE Alex guided us right next to a Bald Eagle perched on a rock and just sat in silence as we watched it’s stunning beauty. We had such a mesmerizing time. Beginner and experienced kayakers should totally take this tour, but just fair warning, make sure that you are able to stay out in the water for a long time and work with a partner in paddling. You may also be just a tad sore the next morning. After the bus ride back to port, we stayed on the ship until around 4:00 PM, when we got off and took a five minute walk from the port to the Mount Roberts Tramway station. We had booked a ticket up the mountain through Carnival. The ticket gives you unlimited rides throughout the day, and you can spend as long as you like on the top of the mountain. The ride is about five minutes long, and it’s got a fantastic view of Juneau from beginning to end. There is a gift shop and restaurant at the top, as well as a nature center, where you can see a captive Bald Eagle and learn about the local ecology. We only spent about an hour on the mountain, but we really could’ve stayed all day. There’s plenty of sights and trails to check out, and it’s a really neat experience. VICTORIA Now from what I understand, usually on the itinerary, is Ketchikan the first stop after Juneau before hitting Victoria, BC, but because of the altered route, we had a sea day and a half before going to Victoria, so we got into Victoria at around 3:00 PM on Monday, but had until around 10:00 AM to be back on board because it is so close to Seattle. We did not purchase an excursion in Victoria, but decided to just walk around town. We took a taxi from the port all the way to Craigdarroch Castle, a historic site built in the late nineteenth century. You can take an inside tour of the Castle for about fifteen dollars a person, which, we decided not to do, and visit the gift shop for all sorts of Canadian goodies. We walked from the Castle all the way through town on Fort Street. We stopped in for a brownie at a local chocolate shop, then walked all the way to the Empress Hotel, which is right off of the harbor, where we saw a fantastic street performer juggle fire and fit a tennis racket around his body while balancing a golf club on his chin. We then proceed into a quaint and lovely little neighborhood on Montreal Street, which emptied out into the port. We had a wonderful time just walking around downtown Victoria and window shopping. It’s a beautiful city full of very kind people. DEBARKATION I don’t think we have ever had such a smooth debarkation process before. We did the Relaxed Debarkation as usual, and had our bags out and collected at around 11:00 PM the night prior to leaving the Miracle. The next morning, we ate breakfast at Bacchus and took all of our carry on down to the casino. Literally as soon as we had everything there, they called our debarkation number, and we were off. The check in with Customs went very quickly, and we were out of the port and onto our shuttle to the airport within half an hour. Everything went perfectly. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
This was the second cruise for me and my husband. Our first sailing was aboard the Magic to the Caribbean when she was brand new. This cruise had a different feel to it, and we loved it. Miracle is a smaller ship, the passengers are a ... Read More
This was the second cruise for me and my husband. Our first sailing was aboard the Magic to the Caribbean when she was brand new. This cruise had a different feel to it, and we loved it. Miracle is a smaller ship, the passengers are a little older than the Caribbean crowd, and the weather is cooler, so the deck life is more laid back. This was an anniversary cruise for us. We flew from Arkansas to Seattle two days before embarkation so that we could tour Mt. Rainier. That was an incredible start to our vacation! We wanted to be downtown so that we could eat in the restaurant at the top of the Space Needle, so we booked two nights at the Holiday Inn Express. Shuttle service from the airport to the hotel and from the hotel to the pier was good, as traffic can be a bit daunting in Seattle. We had reserved Faster to the Fun, and I could not recommend this more! There are limited numbers of these, so book early! We arrived at the pier at about 12:30, carried our luggage to the porter stand, where we received the FTTF tape, got into a very short line to the bag drop, and then quickly made our way to check-in, pictures and boarding. We were welcomed aboard by the purser and several crew members, told that lunch was being served, were beeped in, and in an elevater to deck 6 in about 30 minutes, total. We had booked a balcony room, and my husband had surprised me with the anniversary decoration package which Jose, our steward, had put up before our arrival. We took pics of the room and checked out our balcony, and about 10 minutes after arriving in the room, we headed out for lunch. When we opened the door, there were our suitcases! From hotel pick-up to luggage delivery, slightly over an hour. Amazing! There was an absolute conspiracy of perfection on this cruise! The weather was phenomenal! We loved the Miracle (Thanks, John, you were fab, as always!). We always book early dining, and (as always) the food was great. We had excellent waiters and servers (June, Jimmy, Franciello), the Bacchus MDR was over-the-top opulent, and I loved it. Nancy the Naturalist's lectures were interesting. I loved that she would come on the intercom to tell us about things she was seeing from the bridge so that we could see it, as well. We went to a couple of shows and saw a couple of the comediens. They were fun, but we were so taken with the incredible scenery, even at night, that we spent most of our time watching the show outside our balcony! The ports. The ports were incredible. I've use up all my superlatives! Skagway was rustic and fun. Juneau is just awesome! Victoria is so charmingly British. The excursions were great. We took Paul's bus trip to the Summit into Canada while in Skagway, and we joined Lacey Knickers for the Ghosts and Goodtime Girls walking tour. Both were great! Ok, there was an excursion that was beyond great. My husband booked Salmon Fishing in Juneau. Six cruisers on a beautiful fishing boat. Clean as a whistle, I might add! A glorious morning of blue Alaskan sky, shimmering water, gorgeous mountains, spouting whales, the occasional sea lion, and fishing for salmon. Nirvana! My fish (Yep. My fish. One fish. No fish for hubby. ;)) arrived last week and it tastes heavenly! Thanks tons, Captain Ben and First Mate Meredith. We're still feeling the love here in Arkansas! LOL. I would do this again tomorrow! Butchart Gardens in Victoria is lovely. And James's bus tour of Victoria with photo stops was fascinating. Disembarkation is always bittersweet. We waited until about 8:45 to head to the line. We were off and in our shuttle to the rental car agency by 9:15. We had booked an airbnb room for an extra three nights in Tacoma so we could do more sightseeing. We rented a car from Enterprise, and had no issues with pick up or delivery. Again, absolutely perfect weather! This vacation was beyond compare. If you can only do one cruise ever, take this cruise!   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
I am limited walking and partial vision person. I got great help with embarkation and disembarkation. I had been to Alaska 3 times already so I knew what to expect in Alaska. I had a balcony and enjoyed the view at time but at times the ... Read More
I am limited walking and partial vision person. I got great help with embarkation and disembarkation. I had been to Alaska 3 times already so I knew what to expect in Alaska. I had a balcony and enjoyed the view at time but at times the fog would show up and none of us could see the beauty of the outdoor mountains and trees. I had a good time on the ship meeting lots of fun people. It rained in Skagway... but I still enjoyed it. My main concern with CARNIVAL is that they are charging too much money for SINGLE/SOLO ME. I don't plan to book any more cruises with Carnival unless they charge me the single supplement fee. It was a lousy week to be in Alaska because of the rain, fog, entertainment, lousy comedians and the persons that had to be evacuated by helicopter and the other person was dropped off at some port according to what I heard. It is very normal for things to happen on a ship. It is like throwing my money away when that happens on a cruise ship. It ruined the cruise for some families on a budget and for me. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
We are experienced cruisers with 24 cruises between us, so this review is coming from people who are pretty easy to please and really enjoy cruising. I rely on these reviews before I book and so hope this is helpful for you as well. First ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers with 24 cruises between us, so this review is coming from people who are pretty easy to please and really enjoy cruising. I rely on these reviews before I book and so hope this is helpful for you as well. First of all, the ship is beautiful, getting on and off was a breeze, and generally everything was very good. Here are the exceptional items: Alaska was absolutely spectacular. We thought the Tracy Arm Fjord day was stunning, and Carnival added and excellent naturalist who talked while we were going thru the Fjord. She had a great voice, and great knowledge, and we can't say enough good things about her. She was worth her weight on gold as far as the trip goes. We never really take shore excursion and prefer to go out on our own and figure out what to do that day. We booked three this time because it was Alaska. Two were spectacular. Take the train ride! We did the three hour one - it's long enough and you see all the good stuff. The second one was so unique and was 2 hours long - we thought long enough to be on a boat. It's the speed boat tour that takes you out for 2 hours in a fully insulated suit. This was not to be missed! We were warm and we saw eagles and seals. If you do not like to go fast, don't do this. The boat purposely zips thru the water doing figure 8s in between wildlife and coves. You are secure in a pommel like seat. The third thing we did was the on land dog sledding. Great people and very nice if you like dogs. However, you will smell like dog. Everything you have on will smell like dog - just be aware of this and don't take jackets, gloves, hats that you plan to use the rest of the week. These are outside dogs that never bath, so they smell like dogs! As far as clothes go, we were confused about what to pack. The ship keeps the lid on the pool, so you are warm whenever on the ship. Off the ship, you need a raincoat with a hood. Other than that, we were warm. All of the cold shore excursions give you gear to wear, so don't worry about that. Finally, we hate to say this about this cruise but this is the first time that we have cruised that a lot of the crew seemed miserable. We met a few crew members who we made friends with, but our wait staff was hurried, neglectful and seemed miserable. We had one gluton free diner with us, and the help from Janna the restaurant person in charge of menus was absolutely awful. Compared to other cruises where we had the attention of a head waiter at all meals, the food was generally very poor and if you have a special diet, beware! We have cruised Royal Caribbean and they do a much better job with special diets. And we never figured out why the staff appeared to be so miserable, but they were generally sullen. We didn't even return for the last night of dinner because they were so bad. We have never had this experience and always make friends and get contact information, etc, so just wanted to point this out. Carnival needs to pay attention to this crew - there is something wrong. Otherwise, the DJ, game hosts and hostesses and were great. One other thing - we always cruise with a balcony, so we did this time too. We think you can skip it. You would think you would need it for Alaska, but it is really too cold to sit out on the balcony for relaxation and when the cruise is going thru the Fjord, you want to be up on deck with a blanket and in hearing range of the naturalist. Skip the expense. If you would like an average cruise experience with exceptional scenery and shore excursions, this is the cruise for you.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
We had 3 days in Seattle which was nice, warm weather, and everything was within walking distance. It was a good workout before the cruise...lots of hills. Seattle terminal was so easy, had a shuttle drop us off around 12, dropped luggage ... Read More
We had 3 days in Seattle which was nice, warm weather, and everything was within walking distance. It was a good workout before the cruise...lots of hills. Seattle terminal was so easy, had a shuttle drop us off around 12, dropped luggage off outside, and proceeded to walk basically right to the boat. Our check in lady (Grandmother type) was awesome and very nice---and got through our party of 6 in no time. Then we walked right on the ship, 20 mins. The Miracle was very nice, yes it is starting to show its age, but its still a nice ship. Not sure if I cared for the naked women statues in the ballroom. But that's just the mom of a teenage boy talking. The food was "ok", there was enough to choose from that everyone was fine. I loved the fresh sandwiches on the Lido deck. The dining room was very good for breakfast, but you cant be in a rush..cuz they are not. Our wait staff at supper....lead waiter was very nice to us...the other guy, not so much. Not that he was mean or rude, he just forgot to take our order twice and never stopped by to ask how we were doing. The Tiramisu was outstanding---you gotta try it. Our room was on deck 7, back end of the boat. Only 2 short decks up to Lido, great for late night hot chocolate runs and pizza. Room nice with a balcony. Thought I would use balcony more...but it is Alaska and it is a bit chilly. Spent most of my time on upper decks. One pool is in-closed for warmth but still not very busy. Serenity area nice, not very crowed, gotta love the blankets they give you,,,yes I fell asleep in a pod chair. Ports Of Call Tracy Arm Fjord--awe inspiring. Snow capped mountains and waterfalls. Hint. take pictures with people in them...makes more memories--- than just 'here's another mountain. We did not take the excursion, honestly didn't need to. Saw Lots of whales just before entering the Fjord. Skagway---Booked the Steam train excursion through company. I know it was a risk, but we saved $70 pp, but we did miss out on the champaign and crackers. It was amazing and we got the best pictures. Note: there was never any gold found in Skagway--so don't be tricked into gold mining tours there. We also hiked to the cemetery and Lower Reid Falls, nice hike about 3.5 miles from cruise ship. Juneau---We did the Juneau Gold Mine tour, you go inside a mine and learn all about mining...very interesting for everyone. Then you get to pan for real gold and garnets and keep all you can find. we also did the Mendenhall Glacier and wildlife quest, very cool, lots of eagles and a bubble nest of 12 whales feeding--very rare. Victoria--We took a cab to the castle for $15, good for all ages---it takes you into town and we walked back to the harbor. Most of the stores close early as stated in other reviews. But very cute and clean town. What to pack---I packed to many dressy cloths. This cruise is defiantly more casual. Plus I probably needed more jeans, I only packed 2 pairs, 4 pairs of capris. I spent more time on deck and it was a little chilly. My scarf was well used, but you can buy them on-board for $10. We bought very nice lined jackets in Juneau for $20, they have Carnival ones $40 on-board. Earmuffs and light gloves for the fjord. Light sweater for layering and evenings. Binoculars are a must, but you can rent or buy them on-board. My only real complaint was the sucky music on TV while watching carnival channels--live cams and ship info. Over all the cruise was amazing. Carnival does a wonderful job. Seriously, I'm on a cruise and I don't have to cook for a week, Everything is fine, and there is nothing That bad that can ruin my whole vacation. Enjoy yourself....your on vacation!   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Cruise from Seattle to Alaska aboard the Carnival Miracle July 1 - 8, 2014 Cabin 7299 DW and I arrived in Seattle a few days early before the cruise and stayed at the Hampton Inn on 28th street real close to SeaTac airport. I had booked ... Read More
Cruise from Seattle to Alaska aboard the Carnival Miracle July 1 - 8, 2014 Cabin 7299 DW and I arrived in Seattle a few days early before the cruise and stayed at the Hampton Inn on 28th street real close to SeaTac airport. I had booked the room months earlier with an internet special and paid for 3 nights in advance to get the best price. Upon arrival at the airport, we went outside where the shuttles pick up folks and there are two phones with pictures of various hotels on a display board. Made the free call to the Hampton and their free shuttle picked us up quickly. This is a pretty new hotel and there are plenty of restaurants within walking distance of less than two blocks. We were very happy with the hotel and it had a very good breakfast area and 24 hour hot coffee and tea in the lobby. There is a good Thai restaurant just two blocks away. They also provide free shuttle transportation to the Seattle light rail station about a mile away. We used the light rail everyday. It cost $ 5.50 for an unlimited round-trip daily ticket. That will get you all the way to the last stop in downtown Seattle (Westlake Center). We enjoyed the train and it was clean and felt safe. It takes about 46 minutes from the airport to downtown. Once downtown you can hop on the Monorail for a short ride over to the Space Needle. It’s also a short walk to the Pike Place market from the Westlake Center. We saved a lot of money by staying near the airport and using the train. Downtown hotels are pretty expensive and a cab ride from the airport to downtown is about $ 46.00. You don’t want to miss the Pike Place market. Lots of vendors are selling all kinds of neat food, crafts, flowers, apparel and other things. The original Starbucks is across the street, and the famous fish market where they throw the fish around is there too. You can spend two full days there if you want and not see everything. We also went to the Space Needle and had brunch in their revolving restaurant. Beautiful views from there and after eating you can go upstairs to the observation section and spend as long as you like. Now on to the cruise. When we originally booked this cruise it was supposed to also stop at the port of Ketchikan. Because of some power plant issues Carnival cut out this port and gave everyone the option of canceling with a full refund or getting a $ 50.00 pp on-board credit and a 25% discount on a future cruise. Because of the missing port, the other stops at Juneau, Skagway, and Victoria were extended. We really liked having the extra time and I didn’t miss Ketchikan. It may have saved me some money because I probably would have booked another excursion. I had pre-booked transportation from the Hampton Inn to the cruise terminal with Seattle Express. This is a family owned company and they were right on time at our hotel at 10:00 AM. They charged $ 12.00 per person to go to the terminal. It was a 24 passenger people mover bus and they stopped at a few other hotels and picked up passengers. I really liked the Seattle Cruise Terminal. It was clean and modern looking and it was a very short walk from the shuttle drop-off to inside the terminal. A quick ride up the escalator and we dropped off our luggage. We then proceeded through walkthrough security and then waited less than five minutes to check-in with the Carnival desk and get our Sail and Sign cards. (I am still amazed at the number of people who don’t put their luggage tags on their luggage that Carnival tells you to print and the people that don’t have their passports with them or ready to present.) We were in group 5 to board and they were already boarding group 4 when we arrived. We were on the ship in a jiffy. I’d say from the time we arrived in the parking lot to being on the ship was no more than 30 minutes. Great job Seattle! We went directly to the Lido deck and got a bite to eat in Horatio’s buffet and started exploring the ship. We snuck down to our cabin but it really wasn’t ready. Pablo, our cabin steward saw us though and invited us to drop off our carry-ons there. We came back at 1:30 and it was completely ready. Cruise Director John Heald We had the famous John Heald as our cruise director. I was really excited to find that out because I had read somewhere he was assigned to the Miracle but that he would be leaving before our cruise. This was our the third cruise and John was the best cruise director we have had. He is so experienced and at ease on the stage. We attended several events where he was the MC. He is quick with his wits, has a great sense of humor and is a great communicator. On the first cruise elegant night he was highly in demand to take pictures with. John thinks he is becoming a dinosaur in the cruise director ranks because he doesn’t do all of the drinking games and limbo things, etc. I hope John continues on for a long time. He’s great at his job and those younger directors could learn a lot from him. Naturalist We had an on-board naturalist. She was present at some of the shows that John MC’d and gave a lot of good information. She spent a lot of time on the bridge and would come over the PA system occasionally to tell us of wildlife in the area. I had read some other reviews where they thought the naturalist was too obtrusive with their announcements, but I didn’t find this at all. I enjoyed her information. Food We had 7:45 PM dining because early dining had filled up and we didn’t want to do the my time dining. We had a two top table and our head waiter was Kaz from Serbia. He and his crew did a fine job and we ate there every night except one when we missed because of a late on-board time at Victoria, B.C. The food was fine. I see other reviewers complaining about the Carnival food or saying it’s going downhill. We did not find that to be the case. We also ate at every place in the buffet area and they were all fine. 24 hour pizza was great and for the first time we used room service. It was nice to have a pot of coffee to enjoy out on the balcony of your cabin. You can also get sandwiches and other fare from the 24 hr free room service but we never did order any of that. Weather Except for one day in Skagway, we had exceptional weather. it was 65-70 degrees and people were wearing shorts. Don’t worry if you think you haven’t packed enough warm clothes. The onboard shops have jackets at a very small cost and every port was selling them too very cheap. We took two pairs of binoculars but you could buy them on board or you could rent a pair just for during the cruise. We took some tiny one person umbrellas but only used one of them on one day. Every other day was sunny. I’m sure the weather is different in the spring and fall but in July we were comfortable with just jeans, tennis shoes and a light windbreaker or sweatshirt. Excursions and Ports Tracy Arm We booked three excursions through Carnival for this cruise. The first one was about the third day when we arrived at Tracy Arm fjord. A smaller two level boat came alongside and picked up about 150 people. It then motored up the fjord and got real close to the Sawyer glacier. The blueness of the ice is hard to imagine until you see it. It looks like that blue ice stuff you put in a cooler. We saw plenty of icebergs with wildlife sitting on them. The boat took us up both arms of Tracy Fjord so you get to see two glaciers. We were lucky enough to see some calving while there. The scenery in the area is just too hard to describe. Hugh snow topped mountains, rushing waterfalls, sea lions, eagles are around every bend. The boat we were on had inside places to view from with large windows or you could go out on the deck. We had beautiful weather and were just wearing light jackets. We only got cold when on deck with the boat at full speed. They have bathrooms on board and a snack bar with free hot chocolate. This was a great excursion that lasted about 2 1/2 hours. Well worth the $ 184.00 pp cost for what we got to see up close. Skagway The next excursion we took was in Skagway. This one was not as good, mostly due to some poor weather and some bad communications. We arrived in Skagway to torrential rain. We had booked the Ultimate Yukon & White Pass Railroad Adventure at $ 215.00 pp. We met in the theatre on the ship where all Carnival excursions start out. We had trouble right away when they informed us that because of the rain and flooding, a mudslide had covered the tracks and the train could not go the whole route. They offered us an alternative excursion called the Best of Skagway. It was $ 20.00 more pp but it did have some train ride in it, a visit to Liarsville, some gold panning and a grilled salmon lunch. Since we were there and wanted to go do something, we changed to that excursion. Things went more awry after we walked from the ship to the bus in the rain. The bus driver informed us the train ride now was being completely cut out because of the flood. He told us he figured there would be some adjustment to the price because of this. We should have just gotten off the bus at that point and returned to the ship but we didn’t. The bus left and the driver (Adam) was very friendly and did a good job in poor conditions. We drove the highway that took us just across the Canada line and then turned around and stopped for a picture moment in the rain in front of the Welcome to Alaska sign. Rushing waterfalls and raging rivers were the order of the day due to the flooding. Upon going back toward Skagway we turned off and went to Liarsville. Unfortunately, this was the lowlight of the trip. This is a little camp someone built to resemble a gold miner’s camp from the old days. It has tents and old buildings with displays. They did have some hot cider and an outdoor wood fire to greet us. They have about four people dressed up in period clothes playing a little music and trying to put on a little play in their open pole barn they call the Hippodrome. Across a little creek they have some troughs placed and they gave us each a gold pan with gravel and water in it. After a short explanation we all panned with our pre-loaded pan. Each pan has about 3 to 5 small flecks of gold you could recover and take home with you. They provide you with a small ziplock to put your gold in. After that we walked across the road to the chow place. The chicken was good, although it ran out before everyone got fed. The baked beans were not good at all. The salmon was cooked on a large grate over a wood or charcoal pit. You would go by and get your fish right off the grill. The fish was just okay. Our bus driver gave us about an hour and a half to eat because I think he was told to kill some time. It was too much time. We were ready to go and were tired of trying to find shelter from the rain. After leaving, we had one more picture stop where you could see the port in the background. We continued into town and stopped on the main street where the Red Onion Saloon was. We were met at the door by the Madam and she took us upstairs for about a 10 minute tour of this building that used to be a brothel. After the tour we had the option to re-board the bus to return to the ship or stay in town and walk back to the ship about a 1/2 mile away. We opted to stay in town. We never got to ride the train but did see it come and go several times with people aboard and wondered how that could be. More about that later. The town of Skagway was nice to walk around in and since it was the 4th of July they had a street fair going on. They had tug of wars, arm wrestling matches and other events, all dampened by the falling rain. We ate in town at a Thai restaurant. We seem to locate them in every town. We walked back to the ship and later in the evening lined up at the shore excursion desk to find out how the discount/refund was going to work since we didn’t get to ride the train. Riding the train was our main goal and we didn’t get to do it. There were a lot of mad people in line and some shouting as the Carnival employees tried to explain how it would be handled. Some people were mad because their bus driver never told them the train deal had been completely cancelled until after they left the dock. Some of them were dramatic and tried to say they felt captive on the bus and that Carnival had not told them everything they knew. We didn’t feel that way but were really disappointed there was no train ride and felt the Liarsville part was not very good. The bottom line was that Carnival refunded 50% of the excursion. That didn’t satisfy everyone and while we would have liked more, we did have a bus ride, a trip to Canada, lunch at Liarsville and the short Red Onion tour. It was never really explained to us why we saw other people riding the train. We suspected maybe the train was just going so far up the track to the mudslide and then backing back down. Oh well, maybe next time. Juneau We arrived at Juneau the next day and it was a great port. We had booked the Whalewatching and Wildlife Quest tour at $ 150.00 pp. Busses pick you up right off the gangway and took us to a marina about 15 minutes away. On the way you see eagles everywhere. They hang out on the downtown buildings, in the trees and in fields. They’re everywhere. We boarded our excursion boat with Allen marine tours. It was the same company and same kind of boat we had boarded back in Tracy Arm Fjord. We motored out about 15 or 20 minutes until we saw our first whales. We saw an unbelievable amount of whales. I took about 200 photos. Again, the scenery is outstanding. Beautiful snow capped mountains, lighthouses, waterfalls, sea lions, eagles, and lots of whales. it was a great time and well worth the money. Upon return we opted to be let off in town rather than ride all the way to our ship. We did the usual souvenir shopping and headed back to the ship. Right there at the dock just a few feet from the ship is a place called Tracy’s King Crab Shack. It’s an outdoor place where you order at the counter and they bring your order out and yell your name. It’s open air seating at picnic tables underneath some pole barn roofs. The food was outstanding. Fresh King Crab is very good. I was always more a snow crab fan but must say this was excellent. We had some of their chowder and scallops and it was very good too. Even though we could have gotten free food on the ship just a few feet away, we opted for the crab place and were not sorry. Victoria, B.C., Canada After 1 1/2 sea days we arrived at our last port. We were supposed to port at 3:00 PM but didn’t arrive until around 5:30. This was because the night before the Canadian coast guard had to evacuate an ill passenger via helicopter hovering over the ship. Our ship had gone off its route trying to get the passenger closer to a coast guard cutter but when the passenger worsened, they sent out a helicopter. The people that witnessed it said it was quite an operation as the ship kept underway and the helicopter hovered in thick fog above and retrieved the passenger with a cable and a basket. I’m sure the relatives on the ship were beside themselves since none of them were allowed to go because of the helicopter capacity. Two days earlier, the United States Coast Guard pulled alongside us and evacuated a different ill passenger. Hats off to Carnival and the two coast guards for taking care of things. Being late to port was a small price to pay for the well being of those passengers. It’s comforting to know there is a plan because my my family or I might need it sometime. Back to Victoria… What a nice port. It’s a very clean and picturesque place. We had not made any prior plans so just got off the ship and started talking with the different vendors. There were lots of things we could have done such as taking a guided pedicab around the City, or an Orca watching tour, or a water taxi but we just got on the double decker bus for $ 10.00 and rode into the downtown area about a mile away. They let you off downtown and then a bus returns to the ship every 20 minutes or so. We explored the shops and made it down to the marina that had street performers, vendors and musicians around. We opted to eat at the Milestones Bar and Grill, an indoor/outdoor dining spot at the Marina. We had a great meal there and free wi-fi. Speaking of wi-fi, we also got free wi-fi in the downtown area provided by the City of Victoria. We returned to the ship about 10:00 PM ahead of the 10:30 deadline and the ship left at 11:00 PM. Arrival Back at Seattle We arrived back at Seattle at 7:00 AM on Tuesday, July 8. For the first time we opted for the self debarking where you carry your own luggage off the ship. It’s taken us 3 cruises to finally get the right type of luggage for this. We now have the largest size bags the airlines allow and they are both spinner type with four wheels. We are able to get everything we need for up to 10 days of travel in these bags. We also take a small backpack that we carry on the plane and on excursions. Anyway, with the kind of bags we now have, self-debarking is the way to go. We were off the ship and through customs in 10 minutes by 8:00 AM. Seattle Express was waiting for us at the port to take us to SeaTac airport. Again it was $ 12.00 pp. We were at the airport before 9:00 AM and used curbside baggage at American airlines. We were somehow cleared for the TSA pre-check so security was really fast and we were in and waiting for our 1:30 flight. SeaTac has a really nice airport and in their main area they have a food court and a huge panoramic window of the runway. They even provide rocking chairs to sit in and look out. My wife and I got food from two different places and believe it or not, it was some of the best seafood we had on our trip. I had a dungeness crab cocktail and some chowder and she just had some chowder. The chowders were different but both very good. So sorry to go on and on about this trip but I figure that’s what people sign-on here for. It was a great trip and one that we will consider doing again in a few years. I would love to take more of my family on this one. I borrowed a digital SLR camera from a friend and took over 800 photos. Be sure to take a good camera so you don’t miss out. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Took our grandson on Miracle's Alaskan cruise..7 days out of Seattle..July 8-15, 2014. We generally cruise 3-4 times per year and have wanted to try the Alaska trip especially if we could take our grandson on his first cruise! We have ... Read More
Took our grandson on Miracle's Alaskan cruise..7 days out of Seattle..July 8-15, 2014. We generally cruise 3-4 times per year and have wanted to try the Alaska trip especially if we could take our grandson on his first cruise! We have sailed different lines, including other Carnival ships, Princess and otheres. Chose Miracle due to itinerary, departure date/location and price. We were not disappointed with our choice of Carnival again. Let me say that we have many relatives and friends who have done Alaska, both cruising and extended travel....all forewarned us about the weather potential and we we prepared for cool, wet if needed. But we weren't prepared for almost 4 days out of 7 to be almost totally socked in due to FOG. One positive note was that while we were walking around in the lousy weather, so were other passengers from other cruise lines....notably Regent, who paid a WHOLE LOT MORE than I did...and the higher price didn't assure them of any better weather either..BUT, they did carry Regent logo umbrellas. A nice touch. So...We love to cruise...generally, the ports are sometimes secondary to our time on ship, but Alaska was intended to be primarily a SCENIC adventure. First day at sea was nice....sunny but cool. Tracy Arm Fjord cruising was delightful....clear, mild and wonderful sitting on our aft balcony watching the scenery, ice chunks and other ships go by, without the crowds on deck. We could see both port and starboard without moving. We really looked forward to seeing much more of ALASKA. Then, we arrived Skagway. Morning was cloudy, then just as soon as we climbed on our vehicle for a scenic tour up White Pass the clouds lowered to about 500 feet and stayed that way for the next three days! The tour guide was pointing out what we COULD be seeing if the fog wasn't so thick...stopping at numerous photo stops in the rain and clouds, cause he had to use up the time allotted for the trip.... for all I knew, I was in Montana....couldn't really see anything past 100 ft. or so........ Then we hit Juneau the next day. Same thing....low, rolling fog, with a cold rain. I had prepaid a helicopter/dog sled adventure..primarily for my grandson to experience but alas, that was not to be as it was cancelled, SO we moved our afternoon whale watch tour to the am...whales can still swim in the cold rain and fog, and we DID see whales. I have done about 8 whale watch trips, both in Mexico and Hawaii and I would rate this one in the top half. All of our pre-arranged shore excursions were not done with Carnival..in hindsight, I should have waited until arrival in port, THEN based on weather, find the appropriate excursion(s) at the pier as there are dozens of vendors as I have to go through the refund thing. I know this is a Carnival review, but wanted to caution you regarding potential disappointment because of weather. My grandson missed a lot of what Alaska COULD be because of fog. Carnival can't control the weather, although some guests on board believed Carnival should compensate for weather. Several also complained about the fog horn keeping them up at night and wanted it turned off !! So, pick your stateroom carefully on an Alaska trip. Ship Pros: Booked Aft extended balcony 4232. GREAT stateroom for a cruise that emphasizes scenery. John Heald, Cruise Director-outstanding in every way. Professional, polished, genuine and funny, even the same old jokes you've heard over and over...seem fresh with him....Assistant entertainment staff can take lessons from him! Both dining room food and horatio's buffet food, IMO, was above average. Great temperatures, variety and quality. Food service staff in all areas were great. The band MUSIC UNLIMITED kept us up later than usual due to their outstanding music! Camp Carnival staff took great care of our grandson the times he spent with them. Embarkation and Debarkation fast and easy....we were OFF the ship and through customs in 20 minutes. Ship was clean, all systems up and operating (except propulsion note below) On our 6th day, we saw a large group of teens go ashore together...which surprised us as we hadn't seen (nor heard) them at all for the entire trip. Congratulations to them! (They were not crew) A large demographic on this trip....all ages from the youngest of families to many seniors. Cons: I would like for them to put the outside air temperature along with ship info on stateroom tv. Knowing the Alaska air temp and perhaps forecast for the day would help. I would like camp carnival to perhaps provide pager/beepers, like a restaurant. Should they need to reach you, they could just buzz you. They only provided cell phones for the youngest guests..our grandson became slightly seasick first day and they left a message on our stateroom phone to come and get him....if we had not returned briefly to our room, we would not have known for quite a while. AM room service was erratic, orders were incorrect first 4 days. Only one Phantom Theatre production show in 7 days. Other nights were staff singers/band or limited to comedy club. When we left Juneau, the starboard engine wouldn't start. As I had an aft view, I watched them try all sorts of things to try to spin the props on starboard side. The port engine was working overtime for quite sometime. Eventually they got it going, although to me, I don't think it ever reached the same rpm's as port pod......as the wake was quite imbalanced. We arrived Victoria and Seattle on time. Our bed in stateroom 4232 shook a lot from vibration....sort of like the old 'magic fingers'. Only vibrated while underway and got worse after Juneau. It did rock me to sleep though! General: Another fine cruise with Carnival and we will be going with Carnival Miracle to Hawaii in January. Lousy weather from the state of Alaska. Would we go again? Probably not.....too unpredictable. I guess we can cross it off our 'bucket list' now. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Lets start off by saying this was our first cruise, and there will be more in our future. You see I'm a 5x Cancer survivor and currently in the fight for my life again. To say I had an awesome time would be an understatement. Not ... Read More
Lets start off by saying this was our first cruise, and there will be more in our future. You see I'm a 5x Cancer survivor and currently in the fight for my life again. To say I had an awesome time would be an understatement. Not only did we enjoy the food, the shows, particularly The Marriage Show and Johns morning show, we enjoyed just kicking back on the balcony watching the wildlife and the scenery Alaska has an abundance of!! When we first looked at cruises and cruise lines doing Alaska, Carnival fit the bill and after all doesn't the Miracle sound like just the ship for someone like me! After all I need a Miracle. The shore excursion we took to the Mendenhall Glacier and the Juneau City tour was very informative although we were warned about the time to get to the falls by the glacier we decided to go for it, and although very tiring on me, I made it there and back although we only spent 5-10 min at the falls, we got many good photos, and I got to stick my hand in a lake of glacial waters!! Who's done that! Our cabin was more than adequate after all your on a cruise and not there to spend all your time in the cabin. Our room attendant "Barwanto" was very helpful and took care of our every need. The Disembarkation went rather quickly as we took the self assist option and I requested a wheel chair for the ramp as it was a little steep, I'm certain this is what got us through quicker as well. There were a couple of glitches one was all of our luggage did not make it to our cabin together we had all our bags within an hour or so on the ship except for the most important piece which contained my wife's CPAP machine and all of my medications which I would not be able to go with out. Also one of the ports on this cruise was cancelled and right up until we were on the ship were we aware of this. This was the big glitch we were not happy about but made the best of it with the extra time in the other ports. Over all we had an awesome cruise and will definitely cruise again and I will be looking into who dropped the ball on the itinerary change by not informing us, was it Carnival or our travel agent who dropped the ball. I'll keep ya posted.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Dream to see Alaska wasn't the thrill I expected. Our room was great as we opted to get a balcony. I would have hated my room if it didn't have that feature. But if you are a a light sleeper don't stay on the 8th floor, lido ... Read More
Dream to see Alaska wasn't the thrill I expected. Our room was great as we opted to get a balcony. I would have hated my room if it didn't have that feature. But if you are a a light sleeper don't stay on the 8th floor, lido deck is noisy 24-7, which is right above you. Ship staff was great. Food was fair. Nothing over the top. Lots of lectures to try and get more money from you. Live shows were okay but reminded me of high school productions.Comedy shows are good but beware of adult only shows. Adult shows can get a little offending - not my 1st choice of comedy, when swearing is the 1st language during the show. Glaciers were okay but not as exciting to see by ship or land. Highly recommend the off ship excursion onto small boat while on cruise of Tracy Arm Fjord or by air flight in Juneau. Miracle only stops at two ports in Alaska. Skagway was run down and rained the whole time. Do not waste your money on train ride in Skagway if it is raining or foggy. You will not see anything. Juneau was most memorable. Loved the Medenhall glacier & Wildlife Quest excursion. Saw lots of whales on tour. Okay back to my review of the Miracle ship. Ship was very Clean and staff went beyond the call of duty. I won't spoil it for you but they leave a cute surprise in your room every night. Food service was excellent. You could order as much as you wanted, no limits. Servers always remembered your names and greeted us with a smile. We preferred the dining room for dinner. I got sick when I ate fried food from several different places on the lido deck. Plus when we wanted lunch sometimes everything was closed. So we would just order room service and got sandwiches. We got room service for breakfast on excursion days which was nice. Matter a fact we had more room service for breakfast and lunch than we ate anywhere else. Some days at sea, we just sat in our room watching tv or on the balcony looking at scenery as there was nothing to do but gamble or drink. Went to two lectures that turned out to be more of a sales pitch to buy something. I enjoyed all the R&R on the trip but was anxious to get home. My husband was bored for the entire cruise but loved the wild life excursion and the glacier flight excursions. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Alaska was beautiful. We were blessed with great weather and plenty of wildlife. The ship was kept very clean and the crew was great. The room was comfortable. The food, especially in the main diniing room was sub-par. I would have been ... Read More
Alaska was beautiful. We were blessed with great weather and plenty of wildlife. The ship was kept very clean and the crew was great. The room was comfortable. The food, especially in the main diniing room was sub-par. I would have been better to stick with the deli at the lido deck. I don't expect that much from a tuna sandwhich. Order 2 starters , 2 main entree's etc at dinner as probably only one will be worth eating. Even my 14 year old boy, who is a bottomless pit was less than happy with the dining room food. He approved of the 24 hour soft serve and pizza though. The comedy show was not funny. The singers in the public areas (with the notable exception of Frankie and Johnny's lounge) were bad. I heard, and this is no exaggeration, much better singing at the Karoke sessions. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
I have always dreamed of going to Alaska. It was suppose to be my dream cruise. I'm sorry I spent my once in a lifetime chance on visiting Alaska with Carnival. Although the ship was clean and the staff excellent, that is where the ... Read More
I have always dreamed of going to Alaska. It was suppose to be my dream cruise. I'm sorry I spent my once in a lifetime chance on visiting Alaska with Carnival. Although the ship was clean and the staff excellent, that is where the positive ends. I did not know till after the cruise began that they had canceled stopping in Ketchikan. We spent more time at sea than on land. The three stops we made were too long at such small towns, leaving a lot of time to spare. You can only walk around so much in the rain. The time on board was painful. Activities were boring, unexciting and lacked creativity, after all how many times a day can one play trivia?? The few lectures I attended, turned into sales pitches. The few decent activities/shows were all scheduled at night, making you rush your dinner and having to choose between the show or the comedy. Why not have some comedy shows during the day when at sea? Or additional shows? or movies? I have been on other cruises before and have not had an experience like this. There is a reason people gain so much weight on cruises...because there is nothing else to do but eat!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
We had a party of 8 for this cruise--6 coming from the Philadelphia area and 2 from Portland. We flew out in the early evening on the day before, but got delayed in Chicago for an additional 2.5 hours, so we didn't get to sleep until ... Read More
We had a party of 8 for this cruise--6 coming from the Philadelphia area and 2 from Portland. We flew out in the early evening on the day before, but got delayed in Chicago for an additional 2.5 hours, so we didn't get to sleep until 2 am. We stayed near the airport for price since we would not be in Seattle for sightseeing and this worked for us. Good breakfast the next morning and easy ride to port via Seattle Express. Embarkation was a breeze--would not do FTTF in Seattle as we were on board in less than 20 minutes. We had inside cabins forward on deck 8 which led to excellent access to the Lido deck and gym, but not so great when we had a rough "fun day at sea" on day 2--many people missing from the dining room on captain's night due to the rough seas--I saw many people bring meals with them back to their cabins that night and many women having a very difficult time keeping their balance in heels. Sail-away on the Alaska cruise was pretty quiet compared to my Caribbean sailings. We attended all the shows in the Phantom Theater--"Generations and Ticket to Ride" were the production shows and nicely done. There was a hypnotist as well as a big band singer on other nights. Only got to see one comedian out of 4 and he was ok. We did quite a few trivia sessions and won 2 "ships on a stick". The gym facilities were quite nice as well as the sauna/steam rooms. Our dining room servers Edwin and Juan were fantastic as well as our cabin stewards "K" and Carlos--they went out of their way to provide friendly and excellent service. In Skagway, we booked Frontier Excursions to do a 6.5 hour Yukon Discovery Tour which included lunch in Carcross--had a wonderfully funny tour guide named Mike. In Juneau, most of our party did the Best of Juneau excursion which included Mendenhall Glacier, a whale watch and lunch at a lodge--the frugal ones in our party (myself included), took the Glacier Express bus ($20 roundtrip) and just hiked for a few hours at Mendenhall to see nature and Nugget Falls then shopped when back in town. Stopped at the Red Dog Saloon, but it was very crowded so just picked up a t shirt for hubby back home. In Victoria, we were delayed getting to port due to a combination of rough seas again on our 2nd "fun day at sea" ( not nearly as bad a day 1) then we hit fog, so a 3 pm arrival time turned more into a 6:30 pm arrival--since we wanted to see Victoria, we did not dine onboard that evening and chose a pub in town ( Darcy's pub--great poutine and craft beers).Easy walk into town from the port with good signage but many cabs available as well. Overall, we had a great time, albeit some sea-sickness on day 2, and would recommend this cruise to everyone. It was a plus having John Heald as our cruise director as all of his shows were a hoot and I got to see him twice at the gym (he just lost 50 pounds). The food was great as always (especially the warm chocolate melting cake) and the value for your dollar goes a long way on this ship. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
I have been on all the Carnival ships of this class as well as the newer Splendor. My opinions are those of an older person and may not apply to the younger crowd. Generally, Miracle is a well-run operation very typical of Carnival ships ... Read More
I have been on all the Carnival ships of this class as well as the newer Splendor. My opinions are those of an older person and may not apply to the younger crowd. Generally, Miracle is a well-run operation very typical of Carnival ships in general, neither very good nor very bad. Because I live in the Southwest, I am partial to West Coast departures, which means I may very well find myself on Miracle again soon. My last cruise was to Alaska on the Miracle from June 17 to June 24. Making general statements about any specific cruise or ship may be prejudiced by previous experience. All I can say is that this sailing was typical in every way. Getting on and off were acceptable events. Food quality was a high average. The quality of hostesses and servers, however, was exceptionally good. I have seldom encountered a better-trained staff in any ship's dining room. The cabin stewards were also above average. This cruise was heightened by the presence of John Heald, Carnival's pre-eminent director of onboard events, who commands the attention of large crowds as no other. He is a charmingly cheerful if not exactly dapper Englishman, always ready with an answer to any question. My only complaints have to do with appearances and sounds. One takes for granted that Carnival's Department of Cheesy Decor has been assiduously at work, conjuring up things like hundreds of plastic wall replicas of an imaginary Horatio Hornblowers and ceiling fixtures adorned with purple nipples. The overall effect is much too dark for my tastes, though some may like it. And piped in music is either too soft or too loud, leaning to the latter. The so-called “Serenity” area for adults was oddly overrun with children. The passengers were a mixed lot, not at all typical of McDonald's America except for many middle-aged, morbidly obese patrons. The image abroad of Americans seems no longer the Quarter-Pounder but the Three-or Four-Hundred-Pounder. Finally, I recommend that anyone looking for a good book to read or a place to send or receive emails avoid entirely the so-called library and internet area. Bring your own book and laptop (hoping it works properly). Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
I have cruised on Carnival three times before taking this cruise to Alaska. All three of those cruises were delightful, with good service, good food, and lots of fun. Some aspects of this Alaskan cruise were disappointing. The food was ... Read More
I have cruised on Carnival three times before taking this cruise to Alaska. All three of those cruises were delightful, with good service, good food, and lots of fun. Some aspects of this Alaskan cruise were disappointing. The food was mediocre at best. One night I orded prime rib. When it came, it looked green -- I did not eat it. Another night, they served lobster tail as a main course -- very small -- three bites and you were finished. The service on this cruise was hit or miss -- really good in the state rooms, the casino and at the Atrium bar but lack-luster in the dining room. The waiters did not take the time to introduce themselves, did not make an effort to let us know what was good or not-so-good on the menu. Perhaps they were too overwhelmed with other guests. My friends and I stopped eating in the dining room after the third night. The food at the buffet was either bland or over-salted. The best food was at the grill and the pizzeria. Despite those places being good, I stopped eating much after the fourth day. Also, on this cruise, there was little effort to give the guests a taste of the joy and fun that Carnival is known for. The crew and staff's morale seemed low. Everyone seemed worn out and tired. The entertainment was good, however. Good singers and musicians. The slot machines in the casino were stingy. I thought they might loosen up as the cruise progressed but no. However, the casino hosts were wonderful and generous with their service. Of course, the scenery in Alaska made the cruise. What a glorious place! I was hoping the cruise experience itself would be as fun and delightful as my previous cruises with Carnival have been. I may have to give the Carnival experience a miss for a while and try another cruise line -- one with better food! Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
This wasn't our first cruise to Alaska and we have also been on several cruises to the Caribbean so we are not reviewing this cruise out of context. Getting on the Carnival Miracle went off without a hitch and our bags were delivered ... Read More
This wasn't our first cruise to Alaska and we have also been on several cruises to the Caribbean so we are not reviewing this cruise out of context. Getting on the Carnival Miracle went off without a hitch and our bags were delivered to our cabin in a timely fashion. While placing my face cleaning machine in the shower I found a big, black gob of hair on the shower wall. After the steward cleaned it up I assumed my cleaning machine was still in the shower. Not so! The steward thought it belonged to the former cabin occupants and without asking me, threw it away. By the time I realized what had happened, it was long gone. It took almost all week for the powers that be to give me a credit for the loss. The food on the first night in the formal dining room was fine as was the lunch in the buffet. After the first night however, the food was less than expected. I know cruise lines are cutting back wherever they can but the quality of the food in the formal dining room, especially, was so bad I couldn't eat a couple of the meals. I ordered a filet mignon which turned out to be a very thin, rubbery piece of mystery meat. My husband ordered a fish filet which was overcooked and tough. We complained and the next night the food was better. The entertainment was pretty sparse probably because we didn't really like the crass, adult comedians. The funniest, most entertaining thing about the cruise was John Heald, the cruise director. Loved him and his quick wit. The singer in the Atrium was atrocious. I've heard better at local eateries and bars. We had booked our cruise back in the Fall of 2013 and found out in April 2014 that the ship couldn't get into one of our ports, Ketchikan because the engine wasn't functioning properly. That didn't inspire a lot of confidence but as Carnival said we could cancel our trip with no penalties or they would credit us if we went ahead we decided to stay with the trip. The first night out of port at 1 AM we were woken by a public announcement by John Heald stating "Bravo, Bravo, Starboard" which means "man overboard." Of course, this freaked everyone out, especially as the seas were a bit rough that night and the ship began to turn back to where the last sighting of the person was. Our friends and us were still shaken the next morning but were glad no one had actually fallen overboard. We were told that to make up for not getting into Ketchikan we would have a longer day in Victoria, BC which is a lovely city. We booked the high tea at The Empress Hotel hoping for some better food than we had on the cruise. Alas, due to "foggy conditions" our arrival time was bumped from 3 PM to 6:30 PM. If you know Victoria at all, you will know that all the shops that are worth seeing are closed at 6:30. Also, all the shore excursions were cancelled. So we wound up having dinner at a local pub rather the high tea we had all anticipated. The only stores open were crappy, little tourist traps. We spent more time on the ship than off and we all thought it was to get more money out of everyone whether in the shops or the casino. The smoke smell from the casino permeated the air on 2 levels. The best part of this cruise was the scenery and being with our friends. The shore excursions were very good, especially the Sled Dogs experience in Skagway. The cabin steward, after the initial incident, did a great job on our room and all the other service on the ship was impeccable. I have a question about the route the captain chose to take. Why, on an Inside Passage cruise, would he steer the ship out to sea, where many people were affected by the high seas to the point of having to buy the Dramamine from the customer service desk. Why didn't the ship just stay on the Inside Passage where the waters are calmer? We had heard horror stories about Carnival Cruises before and always chosen a different cruise line. I now see we were correct in our choices. My friend, who booked the cruise, was not only disappointed, but a bit embarrassed too. I will definitely go to Alaska again but not on a Carnival Cruise.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
BACKGROUND INFO - 6th Carnival cruise for myself and wife , 54 & 50. Celebrating wife's birthday during cruise. Used past quest promotion to sail as " Platinum " status on this cruise. PRE-TRIP - Plan was to fly from ... Read More
BACKGROUND INFO - 6th Carnival cruise for myself and wife , 54 & 50. Celebrating wife's birthday during cruise. Used past quest promotion to sail as " Platinum " status on this cruise. PRE-TRIP - Plan was to fly from Tampa to Omaha and spend 3 days with wife's family in Nebraska , then fly on to Seattle for cruise. Weather forced us to change plans as connecting flights from St Louis to Omaha cancelled. We decided to scrap Nebraska and fly directly to Seattle for 3 days prior to cruise. We loved Seattle. Did all the " tourist " stuff , Space Needle area , Pikes Market, and an all day trip to Mt. Rainier. Stayed at the Hampton Inn Downtown. Very nice and great location central to most attractions EMBARKATION - Best of any cruise. From arrival at port to In-room - 15 minutes CABIN - Ocean suite # 6172 Midship.Port side. Great cabin. Large Bathroom w/ tub and shower , two sinks + separate dressing/makeup area. 2 large closets + plenty of drawer space. King bed + couch with roomy sitting area. Spacious balcony w/ 2 chairs and 2 loungers. Only drawback to cabin is that there is only one outlet for entire cabin , and that outlet is in the dressing area by bathroom , not in main cabin area. SERVICE - Our cabin steward , Roy , was fantastic. always friendly , jumped on any request we made , and kept the cabin in great shape. For the most part , all crew encountered onboard very friendly and helpful. FOOD / DINING - 1 night in Steakhouse - Fantastic , 1 night Chef's Table - Fantastic , 3 nights in MDR. Food was average , service was s-l-o-w. The servers themselves were very good , but it took forever for each course. Finally , 2 nights in Lido - Food was good for a buffet setting , but selections were limited. Staff kept tables and area's very clean. Breakfast in mornings and lunch on sea days in Lido was always a madhouse finding a table. People always seemed to be circling with plates of food looking for an open table. ENTERTAINMENT - John Heald , the CD , was entertaining as always. Some hate him , most like him. We really enjoyed his shows. We went to two of the production shows and enjoyed both . Very well done. Went to the late night adult show at the comedy club twice and enjoyed both shows. ACTIVITIES - Like most Carnival cruises , something always going on for all tastes. Do a liitle or a lot , it's up to you. PORTS/EXCURSIONS - For an Alaskan cruise , we hit the weather jackpot at every port. Tracy Arm was beautiful weather and we did the Tracy Arm Explorer excursion . Would recommend for everybody. Takes you much closer to Glacier than the ship itself. Skagway was also perfect weather and we did the Whitepass Rail and Glacier Exploration Hike. Loved every minute of it. The company Carnival contracts with for the hike is Packer Expeditions and they are fantastic. Guides were great , beautiful scenery and you hike up to Laughton Glacier. Juneau was overcast , but that was perfect for taking pictures on the whale watching tour. Finally , our last port was Victoria , BC and again beautiful sunny weather. We toured Butchart Gardens and it was wonderful. CASINO - spent one afternoon , walked away ahead $400.00 , enough said. Seriously , casino laid out very nice and smoke was not an issue. SHOPS - walked through them a couple of times. Nice selection of just about anything you would want.. DISEMBARKATION - didn't think it could get much better than embarkation , but we walked out of room at 07:40 and was on transfer bus and rolling to airport at 08:00. The staff at this port really seem to have their act together. LUGGAGE EXPRESS - If your flying home from Seattle , take advantage of this service. For 20.00/person , you place your luggage outside your door on last evening , and that's the last time you worry about it until you reach your final destination. also , you have all of your airport boarding passes before you leave the ship so at airport you dont have to do any type of check-in , you go right to security and to your gate. That $ 20 for this service eliminated a ton of hassle. SUMMARY - We had a great time. No real complaints. Thought we got a great value for the price. Ship was very nice but as any Alaskan cruise , the scenery was the star of the show Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
Carnival Miracle Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 3.5 4.0
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 4.1
Rates 3.0 4.4

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