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Carnival LinesCarnival Miracle ReviewWestern CaribbeanJodie

Age: 28

Occupation:Computer Programmer

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Miracle

Sailing Date: May 21st, 2006

Itinerary: NOT FOUND

Carnival Cruise Lines
Carnival Miracle Cruise Review
Western Caribbean

Jodie

This was my first cruise and even though I had read many reviews before
leaving, I still didn't know exactly what to expect. There were 6 of
us on this cruise and we all had a great time. We flew down to Tampa
the day before and stayed in a hotel about a mile from the pier which had
free shuttle service to the ship, so it only cost us $20 for a cab ride
from the airport to the hotel.

Embarkation
Our travel booklet said that embarkation for us was at 1:30, so we
signed up for the hotel shuttle for noon. Two of the people with us did
not get their luggage the night before so they went back to the airport
in the morning. They called us at about 11am and said that they had met
up with a bus driver for Carnival and he would let them get on his bus
and he would take them right to the ship. They called us back at
around 11:45 and they were already checked in and just waiting to go through
security. So even though the packet says do not go to the ship until
1, they let you in much earlier. We arrived at about 12:30 and only had
to wait about 30 minutes for our number to be called. Since our room
was not going to be ready until 2:30, we got some lunch and hung out on
the lido deck taking everything in.

Cabin
We had booked the Ocean view guarantee room and it was a nice surprise
to find out that all 6 of us (3 rooms) were upgraded to a balcony on
deck 6. We were all within 6 rooms of each other. Although we didn't
spend much time sitting out on the balcony, we loved being able to wake up
and just walk out on to it to see what the weather was like. Our cabin
steward, Bogden was great. He came into our room on the first day to
introduce himself and see if we had any questions and he always greeted
us by name everyday when we saw him. Only 4 of us had Bogden, but he
said hello by name to all 6 of us which I thought was a nice touch. The
couple that did not have Bogden never even saw their cabin steward so
when they needed luggage tags on our last night, Bogden helped them out.
He couldn't do enough for us and the towel animals were great.

Ship
The ship was very clean. I have read many reviews that people thought
the dining room was very ugly and they were right. We never could
figure out the reason for all the gaudy pink lights. I was a little
nervous because past cruisers were saying how you needed to get up at the
crack of dawn to get a pool chair, but we had no problems on the one day
we went to the pools, and it was a day at sea. The pools were smaller
than I thought they would be, but being this was my first time, I really
had nothing to compare it to. All of the staff was very friendly and
we had no issues at all our whole time there. The one thing I would
suggest is to bring a few pairs of pants and long sleeve shirts. I figured
that since I was in the Carribean that I wouldn't only need tanks and
shorts, but that ship is freezing and I had to wear the same jeans and
sweater the whole week. Thank goodness for the laundry room! The only
other issue I encountered (and this is not Carnival's fault) was that
is was a bit rocky from Tuesday through Friday night. I can't really
compare this to any other ship and say it was more or less rocky than
normal. We did wake up a few mornings and our balcony was wet so I'm
assuming we hit some storms during the night. Although none of us got
seasick, it was more of an annoyance because you're trying to walk in a
straight line and you're bumping into the walls. I think it was most
annoying at dinner because you just want to sit still and eat your meal and
you just sway back and forth. The first night it was ok, but after 4
consecutive nights it was bothersome. My cousin had done a cruise to
the Bahamas a year or two ago and she said it was like 3 times more
rocky on that cruise than it was on this one, so maybe it was just me. The
good thing is that it was very very smooth on our two at sea days which
was great because I can't image being on the boat rocking back and
forth for over 24 hours at a time.

Food
First let me start off by saying that I am a very plain eater and
usually am not willing to try new things. We ate in the dining room every
night and although everything I had was great, some nights it was hard
for me to find something that I thought I would like. I ended up eating
a lot of steak and beef. The other 5 loved the food and our server,
Rodika was great and so was her assistant Winston. Rodika always brought
out other dishes for us to try and always pointed out what she
recommended. The first night Winston asked if anyone wanted coffee or tea.
From that night on, Winston always brought coffee and tea without having
to ask. I think that's what makes it so special, they remember what
each and every person liked and wanted.

Entertainment
There was something to do every minute of the day. The only problem is
that we were so tired from going to the ports everyday and being out in
the hot sun that the only thing we wanted to do was take a nap before
dinner and relax a bit after dinner before the shows. I wanted to do
much more but my body was not having it. We did manage to go to the
shows every night except for the night of the juggler since we all wanted
to watch the American Idol finally instead. The shows were good, the
comedians were good, the hypnotist was ok. We went to two of the adult
only comedy shows and they were good too. I didn't really care too much
for the Carnival Legends show at the end but that might be because none
of the singers were really that great. All in all I'd have to say the
entertainment was decent.

Spa
I didn't use the spa or the gym although I did walk through the gym and
it looked pretty nice and they had some good classes you could go to.
My boyfriend did go to get a massage and I should've never let him go
alone. I didn't mind that he spent $89.00 on the massage, but when he
told me they talked him into buying over $100.00 in oils and stuff, I
was not too happy. They are still sitting at home and will probably
never be touched.

Ports and Excursions
Grand Cayman
You have to tender to this port. We did the Stingray Sandbar
excursion. It was excellent. The staff was really friendly. The water was
just beautiful. I would recommend this excursion to anyone. After the
excursion we had some time to eat and shop. We ate at the Hard Rock
Cafe. The food was your typical Hard Rock food, but I think because of the
exchange rate it's a little pricy. I think it cost us about $50 a
couple which I thought was expensive since it was only lunch. The gift
shop is a little more expensive than the ones in the states too.

Cozumel
We had a tender boat for this port also. This was the only port that
we did not do an excursion on. We took a cab downtown to go shopping.
There are a lot of jewelry stores here. Do not pay full price for
anything, they expect you to bargain with them.

Belize
Everybody recommended that we do an excursion in Belize because there
is not much else to do there. We booked the Land Rover and Cave
exploration excursion. We had a blast. Prepare to get muddy! I also
recommend a hiking boot for this excursion. It had rained earlier in the
morning, so when we walked through the rainforest, our sneakers were covered
in mud. It took me two washings to get most of the mud off. The
Land Rover part of the trip was so much fun, I think because all 6 of us got
to ride together in one vehicle. If we had other people we didn't know
with us, we might not of had as much fun because we were bumped around
all over the place. There is room for 2 in the front and 4 in the
back. The back does not have any seatbelts so you have to hold on for dear
life to the bars. If you're only going on this excursion to see the
caves, don't bother. It's basically 1 cave that you pretty much just
step into and that's it. Then you take the Land Rover to it's final
destination. There, they have fruit for you to eat and for $5 you can have a
plate of rice and beans, chicken and a couple other items to eat. We
got the food and it was excellent. The guys all went up for seconds.
From there we took a speed boat back to the port. All in all it was a
great excursion and lasted a good 5 hours. We shopped around for only
about a half hour because we were so tired and dirty, then we went back
to the ship. I have to say this was probably my favorite port because
the people were so friendly.

Costa Maya
Our only port where we docked. We did the Chacchobian Mayan Ruins tour
here. It was pretty good, but after our action packed Land Rover
excursion it seemed a little boring. It was raining when we left and they
had given us the option of getting a refund for the tour but everyone
stayed on the bus and I'm glad we did because after the hour bus ride to
the Ruins, the sun was shining and it did not rain one bit. When we
arrived back at the port we thought we had a couple of hours to shop
around but the tour guide came back on the bus and said he was just informed
that we had 20 minutes to get back to the ship. It was really windy
and it looked like a storm was coming and later on the Captain had
informed everyone that the water had changed direction and we were in danger
of the ship smacking into the dock and damaging it, so we had to get
out of there. I know everyone says to book the excursions outside of
Carnival, but because of this experience I'm a fan of booking through
Carnival. If we were out on our own we would've never known to come back
to the ship early. I know they at least waited for the Carnival
excursions because when we got back we went to the Lido deck to eat lunch and
the Captain came on and said we were waiting for two more tours and
then we were taking off.

Disembarkation
We left our luggage outside the door the night before. It's kind of a
pain because you have to remember to keep out anything you will need
for the next day and then pack that into your carry on. You can re-pack
that stuff into your suitcase once you get it from the big warehouse.
I thought it was going to take a really long time to get off the ship
because we were the third group they were going to call. The first was
the people who were taking their luggage with them, the second are
those with early flights, and then the general public. It wasn't too bad.
I think they called us as 9:30. Of course this is the bulk of the
people so everyone is rushing to get out. It still wasn't too bad. I
think we waited maybe 15 minutes in line. The warehouse luggage hunt
wasn't as bad as I thought either. They separate your luggage into color
groups, so it's not like you need to look through 2,000 people's luggage
to find yours. I do recommend that you buy those neon straps they sell
to put around the outside of the suitcase because if your luggage is
black like everyone else's, it's much easier to find if it stands out a
bit from the crowd.

All in all I had a great time and I hope to one day go on another
cruise. I would probably choose Carnival again because it is such a good
price for what you get. The only other cruise line I would consider
choosing over Carnival would be Royal Caribbean just to compare the two. I
would recommend Carnival and I would recommend the Carnival Miracle.



 

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