Sail Date: 09/03/11
Now that my post cruise euphoria has worn off a little, here is my review!!!
We sailed on the Carnival Miracle 9/3-9/11/11. This was my fourth and hubby's second cruise for our fifth anniversary. We LOVED the ship!!
Embarkation: Due to some travel issues, we arrived at the terminal at 12:30. After checking in (where the only problem was the attitude the woman registering us had because I had chosen to set up a cash account instead of using credit card), we waited a short while, and were on the ship by 1:20. Cabins were available at 1:30. We were on the Lido enjoying lunch and a DOD by 1:45!!!! Muster drill was fine, and we sailed at 4:00 p.m.
Decor: Renaissance theme (lots of naked ladies, so if this bothers you, choose another ship!), but all in all very pretty.The Bacchus Dining Room is a little overdone, but I still liked it!!
Food: The food was overall very good. MDR did not disappoint except for one dessert! The new menus has a standing daily menu, and then everyday there was another complete menu of daily offerings, and we love the new "didja ever" section. Our waitstaff, led by "G" was wonderful and really made us feel special. The people that ate with us the first two nights changed to YTD (or so we were told....perhaps it was our party style???????) and our new table companions were lots of fun! Nick and Nora's Steak house was wonderful!!! The service, food, decor and atmosphere were outstanding. My only complaint was the somalier was kind of snotty when we didn't order a bottle of wine! Portions were large and delicious. I had escargot that were totally amazing. The surf and turf was perfectly prepared. I was so full I couldn't eat dessert, so they put my chocolate sampler on a plate, and I had it for breakfast! The chef even came to our table! WELL worth the extra money - I would highly recommend it! The food on the Lido deck was good except for one really gross reuben sandwich, but out of eight days that was really the only bad thing! Variety was nice, and everything was fresh. Breakfast was good -the omelet man knew what he was doing, and I was pleasantly surprised to get Eggs Benedict up there one morning. This is the first cruise I didn't make it to the MDR for breakfast, a little disappointed in myself....
Cabin - we were in 8187 on the Panorama deck. Cabin was clean and comfortable, and Japhet our steward was fantastic!! There was a very loud and annoying squeaking sound above the cabin door when the ship was rocking around. I reported it twice, so hopefully they made an adjustment for the next occupants. The balcony was fantastic. I forgot the bungee cord for the door, but the disposable razor in the bathroom worked well in the track to keep it open!! The towel animals were so cute!!!! I was not bothered by noise from the Lido except the last night, when they were cleaning. Sometimes you could hear the music from the Lido on the balcony, but that did not bother us at all!!
Entertainment/Activities - lots of variety, good shows, great comedy. I entered the mixology contest which was tons of fun even though I came in second. I noticed a lot of cut backs as far as bands on the Lido. This is something I think they should change back. The two man reggae band was wonderful in spite of there being only two of them!! Never a lack of things to do, although we did a lot of enjoying the sun up on deck!!!! The kids in Camp Carnival always seemed to be having fun.
Ports of call:
Grand Turk was great - we spent the day at Margaritaville which was SO MUCH FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is gorgeous there. The people who went on the Catamaran excursion had a wonderful time!!! I talked to a couple of them, andf I might try this one next time.
Half Moon Cay: I have found my slice of heaven.... In spite of the damage to the foliage from Hurricane Irene, this island is what I want heaven to be like!!! We rented a clam shell (I highly recommend this) and I FINALLY got my coconut monkeyhead!! The staff from the ship were are there to serve you, which was fun especially when it was someone you knew! The sand is soft, the water warm, and scenery incredible. There was even a wedding! We walked all over, and enjoyed the BBQ lunch. This was the first time I have been to a tender port, and the ride was pretty short and not bad at all. Don't wait until the last minute to go back if you don't like lines!! We got off the ship early, and headed back around 1:30, so we didn't have to wait long. There is a sign there that says " I WISH I COULD STAY HERE FOREVER", and I could have!!!
Nassau: I am not a huge fan of this port of call, but we were able to do some shopping and walked around a bit. There were three other ships the that day, the CCL Fantasy and Pride, and the Norwegian Gem. The Pride was right next to us, and when I saw the serenity deck I wondered what had happened to the one on the Miracle!!! The Pride Serenity area had hammocks, and oversized chairs and looked much nicer than the Miracle. I was surprised since they are in the same class of ship.
Excursions: We chose not to do any, but I spoke with lots of people who enjoyed theirs!
Debarkation: We arrived back in NYC on 9/11. Debarkation was slower than my previous cruises, but I think it was due to the highly increased security that day. I really didn't mind because it gave me a little more time to enjoy the ship!!! We put our luggage out the night before. We left the cabin at 9:00 and then sat up on the Lido waiting for our number to be called. We debarked at 10:30. Found our luggage easily, and got through customs quickly.
General stuff about the Miracle: This ship does rock A LOT. I turned over in bed without meaning to the first night!!! The second sea day there were quite a few people bothered by seasickness, but after Grand Turk it was much better. I love the openness of the Lido and upper decks. There was some chair hogging on the Lido, but you could go up one deck and always find a great place to sit in the sun. The pools were nice, although crowded at times. The water slide was fun. The ship was CLEAN, the staff really attentive and pleasant. In eight days we had only one or two little problems. Although the squeaking noise in the cabin was annoying at times, we kept the door open to the balcony and slept pretty well. We will definitely sail this ship again! Out of the four I have been on (Destiny, Paradise and Victory) this was my favorite!!! I highly recommend this ship!