Number of Cruises: 1
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Miracle
Sailing Date: July 24th, 2005
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
We sailed on the Carnival Miracle on July 24, 2005, and loved every minute of it. This was our first cruise and also our honeymoon. We had been told how wonderful a cruise could be, and now we believe it. You can do everything under the sun, or nothing at all. We visited Grand Cayman first. It is beautiful there. And at the suggestion of many people, we chose to swim with the stingrays as our shore excursion. This was not a mistake. After a short bus ride, everyone boards onto a double Decker boat for a beautiful ride out into the sea near the sandbar. After some short instruction you are given snorkeling equipment and begin your excursion. The staff is very helpful and explain that there is no reason to be scared. They let you hold them, take pictures of them and even give a stingray a kiss. We were in the water for about 2 hours or so. The water is so clear and the sand on the bottom completely white. After going back to the tourist village, we had plenty of time to go shopping. My only regret is not having time to see Seven Mile Beach. Although this gives us a reason to come back. Our second stop was Costa Maya. We chose to go see the Mayan Ruins. This included about an hour drive to get to the site. But we were on air conditioned buses and were given quite a history of the area and the Mayans on the way. The ruins were beautiful, but it was very hot, and there are a lot of bugs. Don't forget very heavy repellent. We walked around several ruins with our tour guide Carlos, who was awesome. After the Ruins, he gave us some time to shop at the tourist village near the ruins. They had some beautiful hand crafted things. Our third stop was in Belize. Make sure you book an excursion for this stop. Although this is a beautiful country, it is also a third world country and there is no beach to go to anywhere near the tourist village. The locals are pretty aggressive with trying to get tourists to ride in their car, or buy their goods. We did not have any problems with anyone, but i would not want to have walked around Belize City all day by ourselves. We decided to do the Baboon Santurary tour. In our opinion, this was not really worth our one hundred dollars. We took a very long drive into the jungle. Again, on an air conditioned tour bus, so it was not bad. It was extremely hot, and there are a lot of mosquitoes and fire ants. Don't wear flip flops like I did.
When you arrive you are taken to
what they call their museum. This is actually a building with pictures of some
animals. We were told there was a gift shop that would have insect repellent.
The gift shop did not have anything available except some necklaces. After a
very long and sweaty walk we saw about 3 monkeys that were so far up in the
trees we could barely see them. I was covered in bites from head to toe. And the
entire tour the only thing the guide told us about was the plants. We were quite
disappointed. The drive out to the tour was longer than the actual walk through
the jungle. After we got back to the city we had some time to shop. I did find
some really nice jewelry in the tourist shops in the "mall". Our final stop, and
by far the best one, was Cozemel. We did not book an excursion for this stop
because we knew there would be alot to do. We took a cab from Punta Lagosta to
San Francisco beach. This was a nice beach with lots to do, and bartenders
bringing you drinks to your chairs. The water was nice and the weather was
perfect. We stayed there for a few hours then took a cab back to the tourist
area where we did alot of shopping. Everything was very clean and everyone was
extremely nice. We spent most of our day at Carlos and Charlies where we drank
all afternoon. We were in port until 10pm, so we had tons of time. The bar had
great music and drinks. Alot of people having fun and getting drunk. I'm very
glad we had the day to ourselves to just walk around. It was very easy to get a
cab and get around.
As for the cruise itself, everything was perfect. Our room was kept clean, the food was great (for the most part), and the bars are really fun. We enjoyed Frankensteins, which is more of a club atmosphere. But the pool bar was always hopping. And there are always Carnival people around keeping the party going. We did go to a couple of shows. The comedians on the boat were hysterical. And i must back track to the food and the dining rooms. We had the second seating for dinner. We were assigned a nice table for just the two of us on the upper level. So we did not have to sit with other people. Our head waiter Ida, from Indonesia, was awesome. We loved him. He made us laugh every night.
I think the only two negative things on the ship were, the pools are very small and quite crowded, we did not go in them at all. And the spa services are extremely expensive. But those things did not impact our trip one bit. We can not wait to take another Carnival Cruise.