Sail Date: 09/03/13
.This was a bucket list item for me. I'd only cruised the Caribbean before, so Alaska was a very different destination. The last ship I cruised on was the Carnival Magic. The Miracle was so different. It was half the size so it made getting around very easy. The decor was so elegant compared to the Magic which is, in my opinion, contemporary plastic. Ship building costs have soared so the elegance of years ago have really taken a hit. The Miracle was like a Queen Mary.
CABIN: We stayed in a balcony room 5206. It is mid ship, close to elevators and very quiet. We sailed at a time when most kids were in school with only 37 kids on board. There was lots of storage. The view off the balcony was perfect. The mattresses were not very comfortable but they were tolerable. Both our Cabin steward Henry and Asst. Cabin steward Donald were fabulous. They attended to our every need.
FOOD: the Lido deck buffet line offered a great selection. The food was always on temp and never dried out looking. The buffets were always very clean looking. They had trays to carry the food. The Pizza station was the best as it was available 24 hours a day and the Pizza was so flavorful. The Deli Station was a frequent lunch spot for us. The Rubens were to die for. We ate in the Bacchus Dining Room Twice, once for breakfast and once for brunch. The food was not as good as on the Lido Deck. The service was poor.
NICK AND NORA'S STEAK HOUSE: 5 Star Quality. We ate there every night. Our choice prior to the cruise was to eat there for every evening meal. We wanted to have the best food every evening. The extra cost was so worth it. The steak house mgr., Marliana was so attentive. We had our same table for 2 everything night. The food and service was so wonderful. The head Chef, Subhasis treated us like royalty and even made us special food of his creations. The Wine Steward, Ivan was so knowledgable about wines and drinks he treated us so special. the last night in the steak house, all the staff, who were now like family, presented my sister and I with roses and Chef Subhasis gave us hand carved soap. We took a photo with the entire steak house staff. The food was sheer perfection. The presentation was superb. The staff priceless.
ENTERTAINMENT: We went to the Punchliner Club for the family friendly and adult version. Thea Vidale was so funny and very personable.. The Naturalist, Michelle had several informative shows and she was on the intercom all the time alerting us to wildlife in the area like whales, Eagles, bears etc. she made Alaska really come to life. The Hypnotist show was good also.
One nice thing about this cruise was the limited announcements to sell us stuff, art, jewelry etc.
EXCURSIONS: The cruise through the Tracy Fjord was magnificent. It was Alaska up close and personal. Both sides of the ship had spectacular views. We did not take the smaller boat to get up any closer. We were right there. in Skagway we did the Red Onion Saloon Breakfast and Cemetery tour. It was well worth the small price for this excursion. The town is quaint with interesting shops.
In Juneau, we did The Best Of Juneau. This is three excursions in one and not to be missed. We went to the Mendenhall Glacier, whale watching with so many whales and an on board Naturalist who made sure we saw all the wildlife and then to Orca point lodge for a fabulous lunch of Fresh Salmon. Spa was a good experience very nice set up.