Number of Cruises: 3
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Miracle
Sailing Date: May 7th, 2006
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
Hi, having cruised on the same route with Carnivals Inspiration 2 years ago, I offer this pro and con overall view of the Miracle.
First off, the ship was fully booked. It actually holds about the same as the former smaller ship, the Inspiration, that sailed the same route from Tampa. The gaudy wallpaper is a turn-off and so is the huge 2 story dining area in the aft of the ship. Forget about great food. The buffet up on the Lido deck (top aft) is no better than Ryan's Steak House, but is much cleaner and the staff gets right-after spills, etc. Midnight buffet was a joke. Every night was chili and fries....that's it! no new things and some nights had hot dogs to pour the chili over. There was 24 hour pizza which really was not bad at all. They have a sandwich bar that operates at somewhat buffet hours and you can get pressed sandwiches, Rueben's, wraps, etc., and the meats are sliced in front of you. Better than the buffet itself. Still juices (concentrate) from the juice 'bars' and always ice and clean water. Salad bar was nice, always fresh. The funny thing was the hours. They changed every day. One day open till 3 PM, next until 4 PM, next in-between, always shutting down mid-line and moving right across to a similar buffet bar. No reason was given for that. Breakfast was dreary with inedible oatmeal and grits, usual sausage links, and hard bacon with lots of sweets. Omelet bar was great but wait was long.
Dinner was another story. While the waiters were top shelf, the food was painted up with slashes of garnish and generally bland. Nobody could eat the lobster as it had been boiled way past the eating stage. Formal night?? You're kidding?? While I wore a tux and other guests dressed nice, here comes the guy in the table cross from me in a t-shirt and shower shoes.......wife with tank top with "Mortally Cruel" on it with a denim mini-skirt. Not one of the maitre-d's stopped people like this on formal night or any other night that required 'smart elegance dress'. This would not have happened on Holland-American. Some guys wore redneck baseball caps on formal night with sandals. This was very disappointing and actually insulting to those who dressed up. I am not a prude and am very open minded but formal night is ...ah, well,.....formal night and it was not observed whatsoever.
We had a balcony room. In the center of the balcony was a plexi-glass wall with a 1 inch gap separating the two glass panels. There were yellow stains around the glass and the floor. I asked the cabin steward what it was and could it be cleaned off? She replied that the former tenants were urinating off the deck and it was urine stains and so was the floor stains! Every day this went unheeded and she told us that she did not clean up urine. Simple as that. To get to a supervisor is impossible and I contacted the purser and nothing was done there either. Then magically one morning, an announcement came over saying that the balconies would be cleaned and to remove all loose things. Still no cleaning......nothing. Finally I cleaned up the mess myself and was so mad I went to the pursers office and took off all the tip charges for everybody in the room. This was on Friday and I had complained all week.
Now the beds were comfortable, the showers had adequate pressure and the showers at the gym/spa are real roomy and powerful.
I stand by all my statements above. Departing was another thing. I made it to the 2nd floor at 9 AM and got ready to bull my way thru the line, but by 9:40 AM I was off the ship and had the car out of the parking garage and was on my way!
So all in all, some areas were nice and some were not kept up (rooms especially as I heard similar complaints). Forget about booking anything in the Caymans. Do it yourself when you get there. There is mass confusion after you get off the ship and no Carnival people there to help. Just the photo people wanting pictures.
Comedy is lame.......dancers so-so.....really nothing to write home about.
Really disappointed but it was better than nothing. You are better off on the
smaller ships, the Inspiration, Valor, etc., in my opinion. Thanks.
Home Based Travel Agent