Miracle Review Cruising Date 3/12/2010
Embarkation: Excellent, smooth no holdups, got on board quickly
Food: Excellent. The bad flat iron steak I had on a prior cruise must have been an anomaly because this one was great, and cooked just like I asked for it. Nick and Noraís Steak house was also very good food and truly a 5 star experience but I continue to question the value, but thatís just my opinion of what I think is worth what. Our waiters Watson and Pui met our every need at dinner. The bar waitress never seemed to be around when we wanted to order drinks with dinner. We ordered wine for 8 the second night and perhaps she didnít think we wanted bar drinks after that but we never saw her again.
Entertainment: The cruise director, Josh, was adequate at best. Many others were much more fun and delivered the warm ups and information and jokes and events with better timing and individualistic style. Nothing wrong, just lacked pizzazz that we have been accustomed to with John Heald, or Ryan, or Wee Jimmy.
The Social Hosts were marvelous. Especially Gabe. Great timing, lots of fun.
The Miracle Dancers and Singers were excellent as well. And those that know me know that my daughter dances with them, but we heard many unsolicited opinions and they were the same. This cast has a lot of cruise experience and it showed. The sea was not always friendly but the shows went on and were very entertaining. The start of the Tribute to the Beatles had a video with fun little facts about the Beatles running on a banner at the bottom. It would have worked very well had the bandstand not been in the way so you could not read it. I asked about it and others had noted the same thing. Apparently they are concerned about the hole if the band is below stage level. Seems silly to me but they say itís a safety issue.
The Miracle Dance Band was good and I was glad to see a 10 piece band again. This is because one of the shows is Dancing with the Big Bands and a 4 piece combo wonít cut it. They sounded good and Dave was a good MC when he needed to be. However the music they played for the parties is supposed to be dance music and many he selected were not dance tempo. We asked for a foxtrot only to find that Dave doesnít like foxtrots and thus doesnít play them. Who is the customer here anyway? The bands in the lounges were fine. Frankie and Johnnyís had a Philippine band that could mimic almost anyone. They played the Beatles on Stage as Sgt Pepper and while they do not look the part, close your eyes and you can easily see the Beatles. I was disappointed with the pianist, Allison. Accomplished technically but didnít really come across with musical expression.
Other: We had a group of 490 Jimmy Buffet fans on board that unfortunately disrupted the other guests. This can hardly be the fault of Carnival and I know at least once they were asked to contain themselves when their party below the main stage was disrupting the main stage show and their response was insensitive at best. Individually they were great folks to cruise with but when they got together: stay out of their way. I will not knowingly sail with a Jimmy Buffet Fan Club again. There were other large groups that were fine.
Disembarkation: Also good. We do the standard where Carnival handles our luggage. Itís called the relaxed disembarkation now. ďHave a last cup of coffee on board while we handle your luggageĒ. That has improved so much over the years that it really is a relaxed way to get off. The disembarkation talk by Josh was Ok but could have been both more entertaining and more informative. Had we not cruised many times before we may have been poorly prepared.
In summary Carnival lived up to the new motto: All for FUN and FUN for All