Number of Cruises: 5
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Miracle
Sailing Date: February 24th, 2007
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
This was our 5th cruise and all have been
with Carnival. We try to go on a cruise every 2-3 years.
My wife and I went alone this cruise. We have gone with another couple, with a group of 6 couples and gone alone. We prefer going by ourselves.
We flew down from Wisconsin the day before sailing. It was a good thing too as there was a foot of snow that night and next day. We stayed at a hotel about 10 miles from the port and took a cab ride to the ship. We got to the ship around 12:15 and were on the boat by 1:00. This was the easiest time we have ever had getting on a ship.
The ship was a little over the top as far as decor goes but we didn't mind. It was very clean and it looked in tip-top shape. Of all the ships that we have cruised on, this one was the nicest. The only thing we didn't care for was that the pool areas were too small. There is plenty of space to lay out in the sun because of the decks above the pools but when they had a gathering around the pool, there wasn't enough room. One of the days at sea, they had to close down the upper decks due to high winds and then they ran short of lounge chairs.
The first day was a day at sea. We did a little of everything that day as we laid in the sun some. We played some of their games - either in the pool area or the lounges or in the showroom. We pretty much wanted to see the ship and see what the crowd was like. Our fellow travelers were from every walk of life. We saw every age from infant to people in their 90's. There were 2230 passengers on board of which 350 were considered children. My wife and I don't care much for kids on our vacations and we hardly saw any of the 350 that whole week. We assume that that speaks volumes about the kid's programs on the ship. Anyway, we enjoyed our first day just relaxing and getting to know the ship.
The second day was in Grand Cayman. We went on a jeep tour bought through the ship. It cost about $100 per person. It lasted about 3 1/2 hours. It was our best tour of the week.
The second day was in Cozumel. We were there 3 years ago on our last cruise and it was easy to see all of the devastation since their hurricane. They are trying to rebuild but it's going to take a lot of time. We took a beach break that day on a tour called "Play Mia Beach break". The tour was over-priced. If you are big drinkers then you may feel differently as the tour included free drinks but if you drink normally, then it was expensive. For $59 you got a lounge chair on the beach, free use of a pool, free drinks, and use of a kayak if you chose. The tour did not include food which wasn't cheap. ($7 burger) The tour also didn't include $28 round trip cab fare (plus tip).
The next day was in Belize. If you are going to go out past the cruise terminal areas in Belize, I would recommend getting a tour through the ship. Belize doesn't look safe. The houses and businesses all have their windows barred and many have fences as well. I didn't hear of any trouble but you never know. We took a tour that was supposed to be a "rain forest nature walk." There was no rain forest. It was a forest near a river. It was pretty interesting but we were looking forward to a rain forest as we were in one a couple of cruises ago and thought it was great. The tour also included a tour of the city, lunch, and about an hour around a very nice pool area near the forest. The tour wasn't bad but it wasn't what we signed up for and for nearly $100 per person we wouldn't do it again. The people in all the ports that we talked to were nice. We didn't have any problems.
The next stop was supposed to be Costa Maya. When we got there, the seas were too rough to be able to dock so we had an extra day at sea. A dealer in the casino said this was the 3rd time in the last 2 months that that had happened. The cruise ship gave everyone $25 to make up for it. We didn't really mind as we enjoy our time on the boat. I spent some time in the casino or playing some of the organized games and I took a nap. My wife spent a lot of time reading in one of the scarce lounge chairs.
The last day was at sea also. It was hot with
no breeze as the boat was going with the wind. We laid out in the sun for a
couple hours and then headed for the A/C. There is always something going on if
you want to participate.
The food was better than I had expected. The choices in the buffet lines were abundant. I did have some items that weren't hot enough but it's a buffet. We ate dinner every night except one in the dining room. We had a booth by ourselves. We asked the Maitre d' for this as soon as we got on the ship. He did it with no questions asked. Our service was outstanding and we have no complaints about the food. We ate at the extra cost supper club, "Nick and Nora's" on one night. We really enjoyed the atmosphere and the service was top notch. My steak was perfectly cooked as was my wife's veal. My wife wishes there were a few more choices for entrees as she thought they would have a couple choices with shrimp being it is supposed to be a "steak and seafood joint."
All in all, it was our best cruise. The ship was the nicest with a very friendly staff. It was by far the easiest to get on and off for embarkation and debarkation. We didn't like tendering at the ports we did get to see as we would prefer docks. Our only other complaint would be the prices of some of the tours were questionable. We think that the Miracle is doing a fabulous job.