This was my 8th Carnival cruise, my 11th cruise in all.
Cruising was husband 49, son who turned 16 on the ship and myself 48. Our cabin was 8277 cat.8I. (no upgrade this time ).
We flew in the day before and stayed at the Hilton Airport Westshore. Bid for it on priceline for $54. Free airport shuttle, and shuttle to the port for $5 per person.
Embarkation-took the hotel shuttle to the port at 10a. Stood in line outside for about 45 minutes, Carnival opened the doors and we were one of the first ones to be in Group #1, sat in the terminal for another 30-45minutes. Got onto the ship around 12:30.
SHIP- Carnival ships are always gaudy and way too many colors. I like RCCL’s décor a lot better. Usually I get lost, walking back and forth trying to find my bearing. But the Miracle seems very well laid out.
ROOM-We had extended balcony 8277 in the very aft of the ship. We were on deck 8 right below the lido deck. Usually I love the aft balconies and book them whenever I can, but this year we had cigarettes, cups, garbage and even a blue lounge chair grace our balcony. I love to sit out on my balcony in the afternoon after a morning sunning and read, but there was no shady place to do that this time.
DINING-Buffets were good and plentiful. Especially liked the deli for their grilled turkey and corned beef sandwiches. Sushi bar each night was great. My son loved the 24 hour pizza, sometime having it even for breakfast. Loved the 24hr ice cream machines, but they should have at least 2 stations going since there were always lines and the machines ran pretty slow with all the use. Desserts-my fav!! The black and white chocolate pudding was to die for!! Crème brulee, grand marnier soufflé ,and the tiramisu were all fantastic!
We had early seating for dinner, sat in the upper portion of the dining room for a table for 4 near the railing. The dining room décor is horrible, supposed to be grapes on the walls and ceiling, but it looks like pink tap lights all over. Food was always good. If you don’t like the menu that night you can always order the filet. My son and husband did that for two nights when there was mostly seafood on the menu. Our wait staff was a bit slow most nights, but they were friendly and if something was not to our liking they would always change it. The bar person for our section was horrible!! We ended up getting our own drinks at the bar outside the dining room since it took her forever to take our order and half the time she wouldn’t deliver our drinks until dessert. She even tried to charge us twice when we used drink coupons the entire time.
First sea day it poured the entire day-this was the first time in my cruise history that the weather was so bad.
Grand Caymen-We have been to this port numerous times, so we just got off the ship and went to the Tortuga rum store to buy rum and their delicious rum cakes. If you go to the store that is to the left of the ship, you can try shots of all their rums, and eat all the different flavors of rum cake. The guys really enjoyed the shots. Tendering was a disaster toward the afternoon. The waves got so big that it was actually dangerous. People were being physically pulled off the tender by their arms onto the ship. Glad we got back early in the day.
Costa Maya- Should have gone to Majahual with the rest of the gang, instead we just walked around the small shopping area. Kind of boring.
Cozumel- took a cab to Paradise beach. Got there around 10am, for $5 you get a wristband that allows you to use kayaks, water igloo & trampoline and snorkel equipment. We brought our own snorkel gear but it was a waste. The water was cloudy and couldn’t see a thing. This is a good place if you like to lay on the beach and drink. The beach is beautiful, there are lounge chairs, umbrellas and hammocks that you can use at no charge. Drink prices are pretty steep-like $6 a drink. Stayed there for a few hours then took a cab back to the downtown area to go shopping. We always love Cozumel for shopping, great prices on blankets and cigars. Go to G&H, its one block down from the main street on Calle 2 for cigars, look for the green awning over the doorway,they treat you great!!
Belize-I didn’t get off here.I originally booked the Canopy jungle zipline tour, but broke my tailbone a few weeks before the cruise so I had to cancel. Hubby and son took the tender in to walk around. They waited over 30min. in the hot sun on the tender boat before they took off. Everyone on the tender was yelling and were furious that it took so long. I suggest that you dont get off on this port unless you have booked a tour.
Last Sea Day- it was so windy that Carnival closed the top deck for the entire day and evening. This was the morning that a blue lounge chair came crashing over the side of the ship onto our balcony. It was very rocky that whole day, I never have gotten sea sick in all of my cruises, in fact I love the feeling of being rocked to sleep on the nights when it is a bit rough. But this night I couldn’t eat dinner because I was so queesy. It was bread and gingerale at dinner, hubby and son didn’t have a problem at all. We were told that more than half of the dining room was empty for the later seating since so many people were seasick.
DEBARKATION-We had an early flight and opted for the carry your bags off option. We were told to be downstairs by 7am to be the first group off. We stood there for more than an hour and a half waiting for customs to clear the ship. Customs was blaming the crew, and the crew said it was customs that was the hold up. Got off the ship at 8:30 and arrived at the airport by 8:50.
Overall it was another great cruise!! We already booked our next one for Easter next year.
It was also very memorable since we had about 25 people that we talked to thru this board for almost a year before this cruise. We all wore mardi gras beads the first few days to identify ourselves to each other, and even in line at embarkation. We had a meet and greet on the first sea day. My son met an old friend from a previous cruise, and made some new friends.
We made great new friendships and look forward to cruising again with our Cruise Critic friends!
Celebrity Solstice Australia/New Zealand '17
Carnival Splendor '15
Carnival Valor '15
Carnival Legend Transatlantic '13
Carnival Breeze '13
Princess Ruby Princess Med '11
Carnival Dream '11
Carnival Dream '10
Carnival Freedom '09
Princess Caribbean Princess '07
Carnival Spirit Alaska SB '05
Carnival Miracle '05
Carnival Fantasy '04
Carnival Glory '04
RCCL Navigator of the Seas '03
Carnival Pride '02
Carnival Paradise '01
Carnival Triumph '00
Carnival Destiny '98
Carnival Destiny '97
NCL Leeward '97
RCCL Sovereign of the Seas '96