Occupation:Mom= CEO, CFO, and COO of the Household
Number of Cruises: 12+
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Miracle
Sailing Date: February 9th, 2005
In a nutshell, this was a 3-night cruise as the ship was used in Jacksonville, FL previously as one of the "floating hotels" for the Super Bowl. Typically, this ship runs a 7-day itinerary.
This will be a short review, but I want to share as I have benefited so much from others.
This was my third Carnival cruise and I could not believe the improvements this cruise line has made (at least on this ship) over the years! This was one terrific ship!
First, the cabins were quite upscale with wonderful beds, delightful down comforters and pillows, high thread-count sheets, fluffy robes, Grohe fixtures in the bathroom, etc. Our balcony cabin was 8258, and the glass was clean on the glass doors and the balcony (this makes a difference when you can actually see out). There were two reclining chairs and a small table on the balcony, and it was large enough to have the breakfast tray delivered there in the morning. Tip: when you are on the 8th deck, the Lido deck just above juts out as a sort of sunshade, so your view of the sky is restricted. I would aim for a lower level balcony so that you can enjoy the view more from the balcony. The ship was clean and beautiful at one year of age.
The ship left out of Port Everglades and our shipmates were delightful. I saw no rude or drunken behavior at any point in time. They seemed educated and friendly, relaxed and polite. I thought, “Am I really on Carnival??” I was surprisingly delighted on my 2001 Carnival cruise, which I took solely due to its location out of Galveston near my home. Yet this cruise outdid even the last!
Staff were friendly and competent. Food was not exceptional, but it was good and I didn’t have to cook it. Activities were entertaining. Bands, shows, karaoke, art auctions all enjoyable. The pizzeria was done so well with fast, friendly service and good pizza, that I almost didn’t appreciate it until I remembered the “old Carnival” where you had the opposite with slow service, no prep done, nothing ready, etc. Ice cream machines worked when you wanted it on this cruise. If you haven’t been on a bad cruise, it is hard to appreciate these little details, but they can make a difference when they aren’t handled well.
Improvements? I’d have enjoyed a Steel Drum Band at sail-away time. The food could be better. I’d like to see Carnival broaden the activity choices to include some more variety. But these complaints are minor in the grand scheme.
In summary, you’d have thought you were on Royal Caribbean on this delightful cruise. I once swore that I would never take another Carnival cruise, but I have eaten my words and am happy to report that the improvements are amazing and I would feel very comfortable sending my parents on this cruise. Carnival has really made a believer out of me. I will still choose my ship carefully, and I can see now that newer is nicer overall regarding the ships (beds, fixtures, cleanliness, fast elevators), but I will definitely sail Carnival again. In fact, I am taking the whole family on Carnival in April!
Hope this review helps! Bon Voyage!