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shonandsuzie

Our Review: Carnival Miracle from NYC **with pics!

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Well finally it has hit me.... Vacation is over.... Work and real life has taken over... So it must be time to reminisce with a review of our cruise trip....

 

Background: Shon and I (Suzie) cruise every September for our Anniversary. We are not loyal to a particular cruise line and we're simple (yet super fun) people who tend to be easy to please (sort of...lol). We cruise other times of the year in additon but Labor Day week is ALWAYS a cruise to celebrate our fabulous marriage. Because of our cruise schedule, forecasts of hurricanes do not faze us--which is a good thing since this year I thought the weather gods were out to get us!. But alas, like years past, they hit before us and left us calm lovely seas and skies...

 

This year we decided (with a few people from a previous Cruise Critic roll call) to try the Carnival Miracle out of New York City. We had never cruised from New York and planned to stay and play for 3 days pre-cruise so we would be having 2 vacations in one! Woo hooo!

(I took 1600 pictures- half are just the 3 days in NYC! For this review, I am just going to do the Cruise part. I will do a NYC review on that thread)

 

So now to the good part. We along with some friends of ours booked a limo ride from our hotels to the ship and that is definately the way to arrive. No hassle and very "VIP". We had the limo pick us up at 11:30. It was a pretty good time to get to the ship but this port was very congested. There were 2 ships using the same space and it was a hot mess, honestly. There was a huge line of people with luggage waiting to drop it off and I've never seen anything like it. We found a way around it :cool:, blew through security checks and went to check in. Because we had a suite we got to go through a no-line check in desk. Good thing too b/c the other line was ridiculous!

 

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Yay a miracle review! Can't wait to see all the pics, we'll be on Miracle in Jan!

 

 

Love the Miracle!! Been on it twice, even got married on it! Can't wait to hear about your experience! :D

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I think our total time getting through security, check in and "photo opps" was about 10 minutes..maybe 15 minutes at most. Once on the ship we stopped at the lobby bar and had some of the best Mojitos ever while we waited for our friends so we could head up for lunch together. Once we were all together, we walked around and took a few pics and thoroughly inspected the lido buffet area and all of the food they had to offer.

 

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As I look for pictures to include with my story...it occurs to me that I didnt really get a lot of pictures of the inside of the ship on the first day. Sorry, I really thought I did. Maybe they will come later in the story....

 

Anyway, our cabin was a Vista Suite on the back corner of deck 7. It was #7298 to be exact. I can't stress enough how we LOVED THIS SUITE!!!!! The suite has a living room and bedroom, walk in closet, dressing room and jacuzzi tub. The wrap around balcony was outrageous! The only thing that I liked better about the regular OS is that there is a seperate closet in the dressing room. Otherwise, we both felt this was hands down the better option.

**When I booked it, Shon was very skeptical because he likes the open layout of a Ocean Suite. He said the balcony could not be "that good" and the layout of the cabin looks "choppy". Well, for those keeping count, once again... Suzie was right and Shon was wrong! Ha!

 

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Edited by shonandsuzie

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More pictures of the suite:

 

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(the freebies left in the dish on the sink--they had better ones for the following week because I saw them putting in scented lotions and everything when we left)

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This ship rocked A LOT. Luckily we love the motion of the ocean (in more ways than one :eek::D) but for those with any slight issue with sea sickness- whoa. It was the type where you had to really "balance" yourself to walk most days. Nothing fell of of counters or anything like that but there was definately more movement than we've felt before. It seemed the worse in the dining room. All week everyone kept wondering if there was a stabilizer issue or something.

 

We had a really good roll call group and had a few event planned. We had an informal meeting at the aft bar, a cocktail party in the piano bar, a slot pull, and people made door signs, magnets and business cards for our group. It's always good to know people around the ship during a cruise, I think.

 

:mad:AWWW MAN!--I have to interrupt this message for a "work" break. Crap! I will post sail away and roll call event pics as soon as I get rid of this pesky work interuption....

 

:cool::cool:

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OMG!! Thats the same room we had our on wedding cruise!! Too funny! We LOVED it too!

Awwww! :) What are the chances?

Loving your review ! cant wait till you post again ...work Grrrr :D Denise :D

Whew- okay, work is complete... although I am still at the office so it could happen again. :rolleyes: Finger crossed....

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Really enjoying your review! 11 more days for our first time on the Miracle, cannot wait to see the rest of your review & great photos:D Thank you!

Edited by cruisenanny

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Then we met at the fan tail bar with some of the people from our roll call. We wore various types of beads so that we could recognise eachother. The plan was to meet up and then come and go during sailaway for a initial "hello". There was a DJ set up back there which added to the ambiance. Fun times!

 

In my experience, meet and greets during sailaway don't work out very well because everyone has such varying plans that first day. Some like to have quiet intimate sail aways on their balconies, some like to be at the lido pool with all of that excitement, etc. This time it worked well because we knew we'd be having a "formal meet and greet" the next day.

 

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At one point, I thought we were going to hit a bridge as we went under.

 

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Edited by shonandsuzie

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Great start to your review. You had a super room.

 

Sooooo glad you are posting this! Seems like you had a lot of fun!

 

Really enjoying your review! 11 more days for our first time on the Miracle, cannot wait to see the rest of your review & great photos:D Thank you!

Thank you all... and I enjoy sharing. Everyone here in my real life world are sick of hearing about our "great vacations":rolleyes:... LOL

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Great start. I do have a question about the $ sign necklaces. Where did you get them?

Edited by Lovharvey

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Great start. I do have a question about the $ sign necklaces. Where did you get them?

 

Halloween stores sell them.

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The next day (the first sea day) was super great! I LOVE sea days and this itinerary has 2 up front and 2 at the end. I swear I could do a cruise of all sea days and never get bored or stir crazy.

 

We planned our Meet & Greet cocktail party for this first sea day. We set up a 2 hour open bar cocktail party for $19/each. Our's was held in the Piano Bar but we didnt pay to have the piano guy play. We just had regular music through the sound system. They walk around with trays of premade drinks but once they figure out what everyone's particular drinks are, they bring those around too. You can order anything. So as it goes, drinks were "a plenty" and we met some cool (and some crazy) people!

**I have to say, it's so funny how "reserved" people are at the beginning of these type of events and how "buck-wild" they are at the end! I'm just saying.... I'll just let the photos tell this part of the story....

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More cocktail party pics...

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After our Meet and Greet we had a loud obnoxious SLOT PULL in the casino. We had everyone who wanted to participate put in $15. We played on the Wheel of Fortune machine which was a $1 machine with a $3 max bet. We put all of the money in and then each person got 5 spins. What a riot! Our group, who all had clearly been "overserved" in the best possible way (LMAO) was loud and fun!!! A couple of people in the casino didn't like us one bit because they enjoy a more "pristine silent gambling experience".... but we had a much larger crowd that actually gathered to watch us. They were all laughing and cheering right along with us.

Oh yea, in the end we all got our $15 plus $1 back. Oh well, we didn't get rich but it sure was fun!!!

 

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Edited by shonandsuzie

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classy!

 

love those wraps!

Thanks :)

Great start. I do have a question about the $ sign necklaces. Where did you get them?

Actually, our friends gave us a sail away gift bag with the chains (and mini bottles and chocolate). We were supposed to wear the chains to the SLOT PULL but we forgot. In retrospect, that is probably why we didn't hit the jackpot! Dagnabbit!:o Blame it on the alcohol.....

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After our slot pull, we went back and enjoyed our balcony a bit and begun to get ready for "elegant night" dinner.

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Everyone always wonders when the formal nights are. On this cruise, the first one is on Monday and the second one is on Friday. I am on the fence about the elegant nights. I do like the idea of dressing up and it's fun for pictures and to see everyone else looking fancy but it's such a hassle (and my feet hurt). I am a good sport though and we did our thing....

 

By the way, we picked "anytime" dining because we just don't like to have a set schedule on our vacations. Hell, we don't even like set schedules at work! Lol. Anyway, we really enjoy the breakfast and lunch set up in the main dining rooms where you walk in and they seat people at tables together. This way you can meet new people (which we enjoy) but can do it on your own timeline. We ended up having dinner with our friends (Dr. Gary, CeCe and crew) each night and that worked out great.

 

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There was dancing....

 

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(our friend CeCe may have been having TOO much fun in this particular shot)

 

Later, the wait staff came and sang "Happy Anniversary to You..." to us and "made" us kiss about 100 times!

 

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And look at the portion sizes....

 

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(LOL LOL... Really, this was just the fruit base for Shon's fruit soup. They came and poured the creamy soup over the fruit to fill the bowl. But I had to take this pic and make this joke since I've read so many people griping about the new dining menus! )

Edited by shonandsuzie

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On the second sea day we RELAXED. A lot. --Well, crazy Shon got up and went to the gym (he should get an award because he did this every single day of our cruise!) but then we RELAXED all day long-- We went down to the lobby and did a little putting contest which was funny! We put in some time on the lido deck listening to the band. We went to the casino. We went to the comedy shows. And of course we ATE.

 

 

 

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My first BBC of the cruise!

 

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And there were plenty of loungers... (lol)

 

That evening, we had a little B.Y.O.B. get together in our cabin before dinner. Our friends were the coolest bc they B.Y.O.B. and B.Our O.B. too! Thanks guys, we would have been sober of it weren't for you! They were "platinum VIP" so they brought their own appetizers too! Come to think of it, all we really contributed was starbursts! LOL

 

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Okay. For those of you who know us, you know we ALWAYS MATCH eachother. Not "coordinate", we like to dress alike. (And no I dont force Shon; he likes it too) But look at what happened on this particular day for dinner:

 

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(judging by Shon's eyes... I'll blame this on the alcohol too! Burnt orange and black. tsk, tsk, tsk....)

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I am not going to post a bunch of pictures from our many delicious dinners but I have to share Shon's favorite. The vegetarian lasagna. It was delicious! And we are serious MEAT LOVERS. This stuff had so much flavor that I started disecting it to see what it was made of so that I can make it at home. Highly recommend this. It was so good that we all started adding it to our orders after the fact. Everyone at our table ended up ordering it. Everyone loved it.

 

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and Shon was very full....

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After dinner we hit the casino ( I won-yippeeeee!) and then went down to see the adult comedy shows. We love comedy clubs so this is one of our favorite activities on our cruises lately. They offered several show times, adult and family friendly shows and had 2 comedians. We thought they both were funny as hell. The place did get packed but not as bad as past cruises. I liked they layout of the Mad Hatters (sp) lounge for this type of activity because it is very spacious with spots for extra chairs if needed.

We really got a chance to see the assistant cruise director, Shawn, during these shows. He cracked us up! That's a cool dude.

While I am on the subject of the comedy club. One night they did an open mic night (which the cruise director hosted-he did a great job!) and a couple people from our roll call performed! LOL, another reason it's good to participate in a roll call group. We knew the "celebs"!

 

After the comedy shows we headed back "home" to get some sleep. Tomorrow will be Grand Turk. We aren't getting up early or anything but it sure was a good excuse to go to bed without feeling "OLD". Speaking of bed (no not that!), every night we slept so well. With the rocking of the ship and sounds of the ocean and temperature of the cabin and black out curtains.... sleeping paradise! I wish I could sleep half as well at home...:rolleyes::(

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What a fun review! So different from our cruise since we had DS8- lol! We LOVED the Miracle and NYC (and all the ports too!). Can't wait to read more!

 

P.S. I LOVE your cabin! I really want to book one of the aft wraps. . .sigh. . .hopefully next year!

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Hi Suzie!!! Back to work here too...poor Kevin was rocking for a few days after! Almost didnt go back to work Sunday night, I think it was just an excuse to extend vacation.

 

Now we start planning our next one for my 50th!

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Lovin the review and pics so far!! Think this may be our ship next april 2012 out of ny , which would be great because it would be only a couple hours drive away!! Keep it comin!!

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LOVE the Miracle and LOVE this itin. We also had aft wraps on both the Miracle and Spirit (sister ship) but we were one deck above, cabin 8268. Only difference I can see is that the "bar" in the vanity area was much longer. Thanks for sharing this. We did this cruise in 2010 and again last May and are keeping our fingers crossed we'll be able to book it for May, 2012 also! ;):p

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Excellent review, you have a great sense of humor and it looks you had fun group from the roll call at your M&G/cocktail party and also at the slot pull.;)

 

Keep it coming, the pics are really nice and we're looking forward to sailing on The Miracle in 19 days.:D:)

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That evening, we had a little B.Y.O.B. get together in our cabin before dinner. Our friends were the coolest bc they B.Y.O.B. and B.Our O.B. too! Thanks guys, we would have been sober of it weren't for you! They were "platinum VIP" so they brought their own appetizers too! Come to think of it, all we really contributed was starbursts! LOL

 

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)

Awe you guys are the best. We were more than happy to help with your intoxication and besides " its just the way we roll". Lovin the review.

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Thanks for all of the love!

 

I am at work again now so ironically, it'll be easier to work on the review ;):p... Nothing like getting paid for playing on cruisecritic!

 

I hope to finish before the end of the workday today... well, unless "real work" gets in my way.

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Thanks so much for posting your very entertaining review! :D My DH and I sailed on the Miracle out of Ft. Lauderdale in March 2010 and really liked that ship. Looks like you and your crew did too, what a fun-looking bunch of people! Love the pics.

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Well it looks like You, Shon and the Roll Call Crew had a Ball!! I love the pics, you know..the ones I can actually SEE while I'm at work LOL. Glad you guys had a great time.

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Well it looks like You, Shon and the Roll Call Crew had a Ball!! I love the pics, you know..the ones I can actually SEE while I'm at work LOL. Glad you guys had a great time.

Hey Mickey!!! :) Thanks. Your's is coming soon, right??

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Hi Suzie!

 

Looks like you all had a great time. Bob really wasn't well the entire trip and was confined to the scooter and wheelchair so there was no way for me to leave to catch up to you all at the slot pull (I couldn't leave him when he's bad like that).

 

Can't wait to see the rest of the review!

 

Heidi (and Bob)

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Grand Turk.

Let me start by saying that I absolutely love this place. It works well for our vacation style. We have been to a lot of places with various sights to see and things to do and people to interact with. There is a time for all of that and lots of things can be learned from doing all of that. HOWEVER, sometimes all you want to do is have crystal clear waters handed to you on a platter. This is the spot for that.

When the ship arrives, you can walk off and right through the shops to the Margaritaville pool area or continue on to the beach-which is also right there. Loungers, umbrellas-right there. Cabanas to rent too if you are so inclined. Some have told me this is all too commercial for their tastes. Okay :rolleyes:, but it's right up our alley. There is a side of the pool that is right in Margaritaville with dance contests, shot, shot, shots contests and all of the music that goes along with that but there is also a side of the pool area that is quiet and calm.

Friends of ours swear by Jacks Shack down the beach- which I assume is "less commercial" and we honestly planned to walk down there this time but in the end we figured, why mess with perfection. Maybe next time.

 

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We didnt get pictures of the beach area this time. Wish we would have. But it's between the flowrider and the ship. It is expansive with loungers all along the sand. The water is so clear that you can stand and see your feet in 5 feet of water. The ship is so close that you feel like you could just reach out and touch it.

Here are a couple more pictures:

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We tried not to be the last to leave and end up in a long line getting back to the ship but we failed. It was hot in that line too! It's just that we, like almost everyone else on that ship apparently, couldn't bare to leave sooner than absolutely necessary.

I recommend leaving earlier to avoid that line at all costs!

(and with 1600 pictures, you would think I would have a picture of "the line" but nope!)

 

 

But....there is the view from our balcony when we got back on the ship.

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and as we sailed away....

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Half Moon Cay (HMC)

This is another great beach date spot! Love it! The last time we came, our group rented the Oasis Grand Cabana. It was amazing with unlimited drinks, our own chef (fish grilled fresh!) and on and on. We had hot tub, a slide into the ocean and so much more! The cost for that is $1200.

 

 

 

This trip we experienced the island without all of that and enjoyed ourselves just the same. The water is super clear and super warm. There are lounge chairs all over the place with silky sand. They offer a barbeque lunch on the island. They had grilled hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken. They also have various salads. I don't really like the food that they offer at the barbeque but people seemed to be enjoying it. There were a lot of biting bugs over near the barbeque areas. I don't remember bugs at all on my last visit. Maybe it was due to the hurricane the week before (?) Anyway, a lot of people had big swollen bites all over. I has a few on my arm and they were way more itchy than mosquito bites at home.

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I must say, we did not like the way that the Miracle operated the tender process for HMC. We all had to go to the theater where we were forced to move to the seats in the front of the theater even though there were only about 40 people in the entire place. That morning, we purposely did not head out super early to avoid the tender crowds but they continued operating via the theater for the whole day.

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**we even had to "wear" our numbers. I was #33 :/

 

The tender was MUCH better going back. Of course, we left a couple of hours early to beat the crowds (and they didnt have a theater to herd us into there- ha-ha!

 

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By the way, this island used to be my "other favorite". Due to those crazy mosquito (or Jamaican fly?) bites, it has fallen off of my top 10 list for now!

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