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Susan Matthews

Age: 59

Occupation:attorney

Number of Cruises: 6

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Miracle

Sailing Date: January 2nd, 2004

Itinerary: Western Caribbean


I will not post a long review here because I find they often are repetitious and provide more detail than I need. I will note only several of the best and worst parts of our cruise (I just returned yesterday.)

Best parts:
Boarding and debarkation were easily and relatively quick. Its nice that the cruise port and the airport are so near each other in Tampa, so there's less anziety about making the sailing or missing the flight home.

Service in the dining room was the best I've ever had on any cruise- from Yolanta and Julius. Knowledgeable, unhurried, prompt, fun, thoroughly professional. The cabin steward was also very good.

My younger relatives loved the dance clubs (especially Frankenstein's)and karioke, and the sports bar was great.

The adult hot tub was kept relatively free of children by alert security people and we used it a lot.

The whole ship is spotlessly clean.

Our balcony cabins on 9 aft were very quiet and the beds with big down comforters were fabulous.

Aside from the vibration in the dining room (worse on the 1st level than on the 2nd) the ship seemed very stable.

Belize is a wonderful new port, with so many interesting things to do. I treked thru the rainforest and tubed the caves. One of the best shore excursions ever. (I booked privately thru www.ecotoursbelize.com)

Worst parts:

Sadly, the other guests. I had read of this problem on the cruise chat boards, but had been on a number of Carnival ships and had never experienced it. I was amazed by the number of boorish, loud people (mostly male) who appeared to be dressed more for a trip to Home Depot or spring plowing, rather than a cruise ship.

The choice of music on the pool decks was old, twangy rockabilly and country, so bad it drove me back to the quiet of my balcony even after I and a number of other guests complained.

The maitre'd was obnoxiousy self-promoting, and seeking tips.

The dining room no longer serves after dinner capuccino or expresso included in the meal. (You pay extra.)

The hand dryers in the ladies' rooms thru out the ship simply DO NOT WORK and since no other means of drying your hands is provided, you are left to wipe them on your clothes.

The slot machines in the casino were boring, and very tight. (However, the casino staff were very nice and upbeat.)

The entertainment was amateurish and really pretty bad. I left two shows early.

The cruise director, whose signature is wearing mismatched shoes, might be happier working in a circus or perhaps the Disney cruise line.

The decor of the dining room is bizarre to the point where it interferes with your enjoyment of the food.

In summary, it seems that Carnival has taken a lot of cost cutting measures that impact the quality of their product. I think we'll try Princess or RCCL next time, or perhaps return to the Conquest which I found to be more to my liking.

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