Carnival Miracle Review 4/10

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#1
Tampa,Fl
156 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
We returned from our first Carnival cruise on the Miracle April 17th. We had previously cruised with NCL, RCCL, Princess and Celebrity. I had not heard good things about Carnival's service, food etc. so as the time drew nearer I became more and more anxious. I found the Cruise Critic Forum and posted some of my concerns here. Everyone was so helpful and supportive and I got loads of wonderful tips!

Our cruise was simply fanstastic. We never had a better one. Everything went smoothly from the time we started our embarkation. We found the Carnival staff to be so friendly and helpful. My mother needs wheelchair assistance and from the time we were spotted waiting to embark in the terminal an employee kept a watchful eye on our entire party. We were eight adults ( all family). The staff member finally convinced my mom and dad to board early ( an offer they initially declined) and await our arrival on the Lido Deck. We were not far behind. Our cabins were located on the Upper Deck and although our views were a tad more obstructed than we had been told, they were fine; very spacious with plenty of storage.

The first obstacle we encountered was the muster drill. This is the first time we've had to go through that with my mother in a wheel chair. Someone here was kind enough to suggest we take her down to the muster station in advance while the elevators were still working. We did and things could not have gone smoother. One of the crew members asked my parents to wait by the door. When we were dismissed, my parents were nowhere in sight. We were very anxious until we got back to our cabins and found them safely and comfortably back in theirs. My dad explained that toward the end of the drill, a crew member graciously dismissed them and suggested they beat the crowd to the elevators which they did!

We ate breakast and lunch in the Horatio resturant. We all thought there was a great selection daily. Everyone loved the grilled hamburgers and hot dogs served out by the pool as well. Dinner was always a delight. We had never experienced such a party atmosphere with all the nightly dancing around the tables but we got a real kick out of it. The food was fabulous. Carnival may have deserved a bad rap on food in the past. We have no way of knowing but IMO it's as good as any other line we've been on and better than RCCL. Our waiter, Devar, was simply wonderful. The pronunciation was difficult and he told us to feel free to call him Mr. D. which we did for the entire cruise.He anticipated our every need. My b-i-l and brother frequently ordered two entrees but if anyone seemed to even momentarily consider more than one, he would bring the one ordered and the runner up would be placed on the table as well. He ran to assist my mother out of her wheelchair every night and was quick to escort her back to it after our meal. We have never had a more attentive waiter or assistant waiter. Kudos to Mr. D. and Douglas and may you all by lucky enough to be seated at one of their tables should you cruise on the Miracle.

I won't go into port choices as we all did seperate things and some stayed on ship while others took excursions but again, nothing but good experiences were had by all.

We were very concerned about the policy of taking tips out when you check in for boarding. We reasoned that service would suffer if those who worked for tips felt they were more or less guaranteed. We couldn't have been more wrong or more pleasantly surprised. What motivates these great people is the rating they receive from each passenger. We became aware of this the first night from our waiter who explained the rating system and how his objective was to be rated excellent in all categories involving his service. We found this attitude throughout the cruise from every crew member we encountered and we were so happy that in most instances we were able to give an excellent rating. Also, although we did not discuss it amongst ourselves, every member of our group tipped our waiter and assistant waiter extra for the special service and attention we received. A lovely touch on the final night was an autographed place mate from each of them. Never had anything like that before!

The one area which we felt Carnival was not quite up to standard with other lines was that of entertainment. They are lacking in the big broadway type productions we've become accustomed to although we all throughly enjoyed the Beatles show. There were a couple of good comedians but overall, the entertainment was rather dismal. One night they only had one show which was impossible for us to even get seats since we had second seating and the show was at 10p, although we did try. We later viewed it in our rooms on TV and it was dreadful. Four passengers sang songs ala American Idol and that was followed by 30 minutes of nonesense by the Cruise Director engaging a few more passengers in performing fairytale. Btw, the Cruise Director was an embarrassment. Very unprofessional. He constantly laughed in a very nervous manner and was extemely tedious to listen to. We later learned the regular Cruise Director was ill. This guy was someone who does nothing but fill in but still, there are too many talented people out there for Carnival not to have a more professional back up.

Also, none of us cared for the Carnival decor and most especially the "Pepto Bismal" dining room. What was the guy who designed that thinking???!!! We all prefer the "brass and glass" look but hey, if the worst thing you can say about your cruise was you didn't care for the interior decorating, you might as well keep your mouth shut. LOL!

Thanks again to all of you who answered my questions and gave me such could suggestions and encouragement. We're thinking of booking the Carnival Glory now!
#2
North Carolina
25,300 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
So happy to hear that you enjoyed yourselves!! We sailed the MIracle last June and our experience was very similar to yours...I can agree with everything you said in your review.
It's refreshing on occasion to see a person pleasantly surprised by a Carnival Cruise.
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#3
Raleigh, NC
43,898 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
Great review!!! I'm so glad you enjoyed your cruise!!!
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#4
Rochester, NY
1,754 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Originally posted by Rainbowdayz
We returned from our first Carnival cruise on the Miracle April 17th. We had previously cruised with NCL, RCCL, Princess and Celebrity. I had not heard good things about Carnival's service, food etc. so as the time drew nearer I became more and more anxious. I found the Cruise Critic Forum and posted some of my concerns here. Everyone was so helpful and supportive and I got loads of wonderful tips!

Our cruise was simply fanstastic. We never had a better one.
Thanks for your review...after reading your first few lines I was worried you didnt have a good time and then I was pleasantly surprised! So glad you had a great time and that it was the best you ever had! Have fun on the Glory ..that will be our next ship in 2006!!!!
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#5
Music City
2,904 Posts
Joined Dec 2003
Thanks for the review! I have usually cruised RCCL, but heard some good things about Carnival now, so we thought we would give it a try. I do like what I have been reading here about the Miracle. I'll find out for myself in less than 4 weeks!

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#6
Erie, PA
10,550 Posts
Joined Dec 2003
We just returned from the Miracle yesterday, and I kinda' enjoyed Carlo Lombard the CD.. he had a weird sense of humor, and kept things moving with an 'interesting' attitude. I did notice he had an attraction to the 'SeaMiles Card' girl, but don't tell anyone..
We had a wonderful time, and I hope to do a review within a day or two..
We have only sailed Carnival, so I can not compare to other lines, but I would rate everything we experienced on the Miracle at least a B+ if not an A!
We had a wonderful time, and would recommend the Miracle to anyone.. and we sailed with just over 700 kids on board! Thank you Carnival!!
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#7
Edmond OK
1,212 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
Thanks for the positive info. We are going on the Miracle in June and very much looking forward to it. We had our hesitations about booking Carnival,(have done RCCL, Princess and Disney in the past) but I am getting much more comfortable when I ready reviews like this.
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#8
Atlanta/Palm Springs
23,161 Posts
Joined Apr 2002
Thanks for the review. Glad to see that the crew was so helpful in taking care of your parents.

I always thought that Carnival did a pretty good job with their entertainment but have to admit that the best that I have seen in the major production shows was on NCL.

I have seen pictures of the dining room and have to agree that it is pretty bad.

Glad that you enjoyed your cruise.
#9
Maine
146 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
Thanks for the post. We leave on the Miracle next week
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#10
South Central Ohio
2,075 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
Thanks for the great review! I'm also very glad to see that my little suggestion about the muster drill worked well for you too. That's great that the crew dismissed them early, cause waiting for an elevator could have taken forever!
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#11
San Diego, Ca
17,574 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Great review, thanks, I have one question, I read somewhere that this Ship is a Spirit Class ship but it has 2 Promenade Decks? can you tell me what was different on these decks compare to the other Spirit class ships, Thanks
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#12
Sarasota, Florida
1,923 Posts
Joined May 2000
Originally posted by Wennfred
Great review, thanks, I have one question, I read somewhere that this Ship is a Spirit Class ship but it has 2 Promenade Decks? can you tell me what was different on these decks compare to the other Spirit class ships, Thanks
I believe all Spirit Class Ships have this........
The "Carnival" Pormenade Deck is still the same.....lined with bars and shops.

However, on the Atlantic Deck they have an outside Promenade Deck area. where you can stroll around outside. I believe this was the traditional (original) use for Promenade Decks on ships.

x
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#13
Sarasota, Florida
1,923 Posts
Joined May 2000
Thanks for the wonderful review.
We just booked the Miracle for October and have been anxious for news about her.

LoL.......Carnival's interior design is an aquired taste. Believe it or not.....they have toned it down a bit !
It has gone from "Vegas Guady" to just "Overwrought"
#14
Homosassa, Fla. USA
29 Posts
Joined May 2001
My husband and I are booked on the Miracle sailing from Tampa on Oct. 2.

Was wondering if anyone else is booked on this sailing.

This is our 6 cruise in the last four years and a total of about 13 since the original one on the "Mardi Gras" back in the early years of Carnival.
#15
Tampa, Fla
1,633 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Thanks for the great review. We are booked on the Miracle in June and can hardly wait.
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#16
Tampa,Fl
156 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Originally posted by frank382
This is our 6 cruise in the last four years and a total of about 13 since the original one on the "Mardi Gras" back in the early years of Carnival.
I can't believe you sailed on the Mardi Gras. So did I way back before I was even married. I didn't mention it in my original post because I knew Carnival had changed so much over the years I didn't consider it be the same line.

P.S. You will love the Miracle. Have fun!
#17
Fort Worth, TX, USA
1,394 Posts
Joined Nov 2002
Glad to hear the staff was very helpful with your mother.

My husband's grandmother (88 at the time we cruised) was not in a wheelchair most of the time but certainly needs assistance walking. She was required to attend the muster station drill but was not required to go out on deck. She and my MIL stayed in the lounge while the rest of us proceeded onto the deck.

I'll be on her in less than three months. Can hardly wait!
#18
Tampa,Fl
156 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Originally posted by ppeckham
Glad to hear the staff was very helpful with your mother.

My husband's grandmother (88 at the time we cruised) was not in a wheelchair most of the time but certainly needs assistance walking. She was required to attend the muster station drill but was not required to go out on deck. She and my MIL stayed in the lounge while the rest of us proceeded onto the deck.
Do you mind me inquiring as to how that happened? Did you ask if she could stay in the lounge? My mother is able to walk but she fell a year ago and broke her hip. She gets around very slowly and tires easily and walking long distances ( i.e., dining room to theater on opposite ends of the ship or embarkation, disembarkation) is too much for her without a wheelchair. We are planning future cruises with my parents. They have traveled extensively but now that my mother requires wheelchair assistance, cruising is one of the few things they can do.
#19
Chicago suburbs
5,699 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
Thank you for a great review. AFter sailing Carnival 4 times we decded to gve it a rest. We did not like the food on RCCL either so I was happy to see your write about that. WE are thinking of going back to give Carnival another try on the Miracle so am glad yu really liked it.
#20
727 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Originally posted by frank382
My husband and I are booked on the Miracle sailing from Tampa on Oct. 2.

Was wondering if anyone else is booked on this sailing.

This is our 6 cruise in the last four years and a total of about 13 since the original one on the "Mardi Gras" back in the early years of Carnival.
We will be getting off the boat when you are getting on
We are scheduled for September 25th