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BuffaloBoy

A very lengthy review of Carnival Miracle 2/10/13 with TONS of PICTURES

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NOTE: If you want to see just the pictures, scroll down to the next post!

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Well, were sitting in the airport after our 8 day to cruise from NYC to the Bahamas on the Carnival Miracle.

 

I struggled with whether to publish this review; I don’t fancy myself a complainer and try to award as much patience to others (companies included) as I would want them to give me. I am an avid Yelp! and TripAdvisor reviewer with an average satisfaction rating of 90%. In other words, I don’t often write poor reviews. That being said, much of this review is a simple copy and paste effort of what I have mailed to Carnival’s Guest Care department. As disappointed as I am with multiple areas of their service, I want to give them the chance to improve where they were lacking and continue to expand on their positives. They can’t do that without knowing what is wrong. That being said, I’m not willing to give them another chance to earn my business. It was just that bad, and I’m quite frankly afraid to stray from RCCL and Norwegian now. There were three main “incidents”.

 

I booked this Cruise as a Valentines gift for my beautiful wife. I originally had planned for a balcony room, but after doing a bit of research and talking to my Carnival agent, I was swayed toward saving a few hundred dollars and booking an inside stateroom with French Doors that could be opened to allow a breeze. The physical balcony wasn’t needed as long as we had the breeze. Therefore, I was very surprised when we entered our stateroom and the French Doors were bolted to the door frame and duct tape surrounded it. Not only was I unable to receive the breeze I had been promised, but we also had to stare at a horrible looking duct taped door. Unappealing to say the least. Disappointed, I walked down to Guest Services who told me that the doors were not allowed to be opened for safety reasons. At this point I simply assumed that the Carnival Agent had given me wrong information. I was sad, but humans make mistakes; Myself included. That was until I heard a lot of voices coming from outside the french doors later on in the day. I looked to either side through the glass doors, and saw my neighbors on both sides leaning out their doors and yelling to each other. They had access to their French Doors and had opened them. In the hallway I asked a few of them if their French Doors were covered in grey duct tape; They weren’t. I asked if they somehow removed the bolts; They responded that their doors were not bolted down. It was now clear that my room was simply “defective”. As it would have been nice to have been warned about this, I once again walked down to Guest Services who escalated the claim to the Carnival headquarters. I entered that claim on Sunday night - the first day of our Cruise. Carnival did not respond at all during our 8 day cruise, despite my checking up on the case over and over again.

 

The second incident occurred during the wee hours of our 2nd night on the Ship. I was restless around 3am so I decided to venture up to the lido deck and take a walk around. I scampered across the 24 hour Pizza station where many young adults were chowing down and having a good time. I decided to join them. There were custodians mopping various parts of the floor, each having a distinct station marked off by yellow cones and and a sort of “aisle blocker” that stretched from one side of their area to the other. I recently had surgery so I decided to stay far away from any slip zones and kept good awareness of my surroundings. After receiving my pizza, I turned around and took approximately 3 steps before waking up on the floor. I had fell when my foot landed on a slippery piece of tile within the “safe zone” where the pizza’s were being handed out. Fellow kind passengers helped me up and I hobbled a bit in circles to walk it off. Security arrived shortly after to ask me how I was doing. My pride took a fall as well as my body. I told them I was OK. Unfortunately, the next day I woke up with a nasty bruise on my knee - but even worse, my ankle had a pretty good sprain which hampered my walking abilities for the next 3 days of the trip. Safety is such an extremely important issue on a Cruise ship. I thank God that it was me, and not an elderly person who fell that night.

 

The straw that broke the camels back so to speak, occurred on Tuesday night when we arrived for our reservation at Nick & Nora’s Steakhouse. We were super excited to have a chance to experience the food that everyone had been raving about. Unfortunately, the night before (formal night), a server had accidentally set my drink down a bit too hard on our table, spilling some on my dress pants and leaving a stain. No big deal. Accidents happen. These servers are very hard working people in a very fast paced environment, and accidents are bound to happen. With no stain-less pants, I wore a very nice Golf Polo and a pair of dress shorts. Not ideal, but it was all I had. I want to make it clear that I was NOT wearing gym shorts, or sweatpants, or a t-shirt. I had worn this exact outfit at work meetings and corporate events. Anyway, we arrived to the restaurant and immediately the hostess says “No no! You may not wear shorts” and I explained to her what had happened at Dinner the previous night. She left and got the manager. The very rude manager immediately came over, and without giving me a chance to explain what happened, said she would not be serving us tonight. My Wife and I were in shock. We had never experienced such rude behavior by staff on a Cruise before, so we were lost for words. I simply turned around, and walked away feeling quite dejected. By this point, I had had enough. I am a patient man, but I can only take so much before feeling hurt. I went down to guest services who stated that the management of Nick & Nora’s answers directly to Carnival. Therefore ANOTHER claim was started with Carnival. I only started this claim because I wanted them to know what happened and perhaps train their staff to handle it better if it occurs in the future. We left the ship 6 days later without a response to that claim either. WITH THAT BEING SAID, I want to give thanks to the Maitre D of the Dining Room, who on Saturday Night allowed me to dine with shorts on after we arrived and realized that it was a second formal night. We had not realized beforehand and It was our fault, so we were about to head back upstairs so I could put pants on, but he was gracious and allowed us to sit down and eat. You would think that the PAYING Nick & Nora’s would have done the same. Oh well.

 

As I stated in the letter to Carnival, we are not customers who bury our sail and sign card once we board. We are active buyers. By Tuesday night (2.5 days into our Cruise), we had spent $1,000 in onboard expenses. We were planning on spending another $200 at Nick & Nora’s that night between the $70 admission and a nice bottle of wine or two. I want to note that I don’t believe or want to convey that this makes us “better” or “more deserving” than others who don’t shell out this amount of cash. In fact, it may mean that the others are wiser and less of a sucker for the pictures and extra’s :) - What I am trying to convey is that in any business, you don’t send a customer away who has been faithful to you by actively purchasing throughout the trip, especially when they are only out of “dress code” because of an incident that was created due to the actions of YOUR employee.

 

I don’t believe I will ever sail with Carnival again, and the reason goes far beyond what I have already listed. The food in the buffet area was simply POOR. And this comes from a 350 pound guy who thinks McDonalds is fine dining (haha). Certain days were simply inedible. The lemonade and apple juice were pure syrup. They really need to fix their mixture percentages. Every day I poured half a glass of lemonade and then filled the rest with water to make it drinkable. The Deli section, where I ordered a Ham & Egg sandwich three times (I guess I don’t learn) seems to have a defective grill or they have the temperature on the wrong setting. All 3 times, the sandwich came back with the bread a little burned, cold ham, and cheese that was not even slightly melted. There seemed to be an air of “cheap” on the ship. Everything was done to cut costs. I ordered a package of Champagne, Rose and Chocolate Covered Strawberries to be delivered to our room for my Wife for valentines day. The flower that came was wilted and the flowers were falling off.The buffets were open for a very limited amount of time. If you want food in the 2-3 hours between meals, then you had to eat pizza - that was the only option. As an avid RCCL fan, I love that they only close for 30 minutes between meals to “reset” and now truly appreciate this. Being that this was our first Carnival cruise, we spoke to others as to whether was simply a poor ship or whether this is what we could expect with future Carnival Cruises. After speaking to several people, some of them Carnival VIFP members and one lady who is a travel agent, we learned overwhelmingly that Carnival has decreased in quality drastically year after year, and that after 20+ Carnival Cruises they believe that their time is done with them as well.

 

I’m not going to lie - I was pretty jealous when we were docked next to RCCL’s Explorer of the Seas in Nassau. That could have been us on that ship.

 

THE POSITIVES:

 

I am very happy to state that there were absolutely positives. Carnival’s entertainment staff, especially the Assistant Cruise Director, were FABULOUS. Christian, the assistant Cruise director, and “Tex” the Cruise Director, should switch jobs. Christian is AMAZING at his job and brings fun to even some of the most boring times on the ship. That is not to say that Tex is bad. Tex is a fun time as well, I just see Christian as a slightly better version. Great job guys and gals. Thanks so much for a good time.

 

Every comedian was very good. 3 of the 4 were downright hilarious. Carnival recruited some very good talent for their Punchliner club on the Miracle. Only small complaint I would have is that their shows were short 25 to 30 minutes.

 

In the dining room and room service, the fresh fruit was delicious and refreshing. In the buffet area, the 24 hour pizza station was an excellent avenue for yummy food. Thin crust pizza’s made to order with plenty of fresh toppings. Mmm, I can still smell it!

 

Serenity Adults Only area is a great concept with just a few flaws. First of all, they need a few more of those “half moons” or “eggs”. Everyone waited for one of them. Some for hours on end. The second is that Serenity is right next to the children's water slide. Takes somewhat of the “serenity” out of Serenity. But overall, a great area to relax, read a book, get a drink and have a good time without kids.

 

Nearly all of the bartenders were very liberal with the alcohol and I appreciate that. I like to know that when I’m spending $8 on a drink, that I am getting a good amount of alcohol and that certainly was the case. Bravo!

 

The Beatles show on the 2nd to last Sea day was fabulous. The voice talent was great and having the live band was a very nice touch.

 

Disney World’s Magic Kingdom was a great time. Yes, its not enough time to do everything. But it is enough time to fill that Disney hole many have in our hearts, at least for a little while longer until we are able to take a full vacation to Disney. We arrived at 9:15am and left at 4:15pm. In those 7 hours we had time to have a blast on 6 rides, have lunch, shop, watch the parade and get root beer floats.

 

We were late getting off the ship in Nassau and also in Port Canaveral. And both times the captain adjusted the time we had to be back on board, and that was very appreciated.

 

 

TIPS:

 

Don’t sign up for the “Guess the price on this piece of art” game. They will deliver letters to your stateroom every day, sometimes twice a day, until the day you leave asking for you to purchase art. It’s not worth it in my humble opinion.

 

In the Serenity area, try to get an “Egg” closest to the water in the aft. It helps to drown out the “Airplane sound” that the Carnival logo makes as the air hits it. If you look at the logo, it’s basically a pair of wings and thats exactly what it sounds like.

 

Dilute your Lemonade/Apple Juice/Orange Juice with Water before sitting down. It’s practically pure syrup.

 

The room service food is better than the buffet food and has better choices. Honestly. I’ve never experienced that on a Cruise with RCCL or Norwegian, but on Carnival this was the case unfortunately.

 

The Straw Market in Nassau is a blast. Yes, they are very pushy sales people - but the hand carved figurines and coasters were great deals and we had a good time looking through the market.

 

Attend all of the events that Christian hosts. Great entertainment member, and makes everything better because of him being there.

 

7) SEE THE COMEDY SHOWS! Don’t wait until its too late!

 

Well, that’s about it for the long review. Hope I didn’t bore you too much. Lets start with the PICTURE/PHOTO review now, where I will be putting pictures to many of the facts I posted above.

 

AND .... away we go!

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Sorry, pics are taking a little longer to load. I'll post them as soon as theyre done uploading. It takes a while to upload 400 pictures :)

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Just curious as to what you would spend $1,000 on in 2 days unless you were in the casino a lot?

 

Also, if you are an avid RC cruiser then why is this your first post. Just curious :)

Edited by sthrnbll

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We flew to NYC on Saturday night. We checked into the Omni Berkshire, and then hit Times Square

 

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We then hit a FANTASTIC Italian restaurant called "Tony's" that was in time square. They only serve family portion meals and it was some of the best Italian I have ever had. And my mother is Sicilian~!

 

Here is a plate of Calimari and Homemade Lobster and Crab Raviolis.

 

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We arrived at Port 88 in Manhattan at 11:30am ... we seemed to be some of the last people arriving. We got section 14 for boarding. I believe it went up to 20.

 

We also met a few new friends in the terminal. Kevin and Amanda and Debbie K and Cindy. Shout out to you guys if you are reading this! Wonderful people.

 

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My wife resting.

 

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The first thing you see as you enter through the ship on level 2 mid ship is the Lobby. I love how it goes up through nearly all floors. The redish hue is from the Red tint on the Carnival logo glass in Nick & Nora's steakhouse.

 

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Another view of the Lobby from the Photo area on Deck 3.

 

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We stuffed our luggage into our Stateroom and ran up to Deck 11 to catch the Manhattan skyline and sunset.

 

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The Statue of Liberty!

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Just curious as to what you would spend $1,000 on in 2 days unless you were in the casino a lot?

 

Also, if you are an avid RC cruiser then why is this your first post. Just curious :)

 

 

Maybe it's just me but asking someone what they spent their money is rather personal, that and quizzing someone on why it's their first post... haven't we all had a "first post??"

Edited by TakeMeAway1001

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Feeling patriotic and ready for a fantastic Cruise, we went back down to our stateroom to rest a bit before dinner. We were happy to see that we made the Carnival TV!

 

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Dinner in the Dining Room was good. We both got the Jumbo (not so Jumbo) Shrimp with sweet and sour sauce. I didn't snap a picture of that, but I did get a picture of the Creme Brulee and Melting Chocolate Cake. TO DIE FOR. Best dessert I have had on a Cruise.

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At the end of our first day we came back to our first towel animal! Notice no chocolates in the picture - I ate them already hehe :)

 

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Just curious as to what you would spend $1,000 on in 2 days unless you were in the casino a lot?

 

Also, if you are an avid RC cruiser then why is this your first post. Just curious :)

 

Hi Sthrnbll. I've lurked for a long time. This forum was really helpful in choosing a cruise to go on. But it wasn't until I met Cindy K and those I mentioned above on this Cruise, that I decided to create a username and start posting.

 

Uhm, I think it's kinda personal to ask people what they spent money on, but we bought a lot of bingo tickets, and drank alcoholic beverages, and ordered Wine with dinner, and got Cruise Excursions etc.

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Maybe it's just me but asking someone what they spent their money is rather personal, that and quizzing someone on why it's their first post... haven't we all had a "first post??"

 

Thank you :)

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Your photos are beautiful. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy your cruise, though. We've sailed with Carnival for nine years and while there have been changes - some I like, some I don't like- overall I still enjoy what they offer. Thanks for sharing your experience - and your photos.:cool:

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We slept in the next morning and then hit the Nick & Nora's tasting and food demonstration. On the tasting menu was Mushroom soup, Chicken and Macaroni, and Tiramisu. All was excellent except the Mushroom soup, but thats just because I dont like Mushrooms. If you do, you probably would have loved it!

 

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Top of the Tiramisu.

 

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Stairs leading up to Nick & Nora's.

 

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Edited by BuffaloBoy

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Mad Hatters Ball! Home of the Punchliner Comedy Club. What I believe to be the BEST feature on this Cruise. The Comedians were all hilarious! And I truly mean hilarious.

 

Here is the top of the stairs leading down to the Mad Hatters Ball from deck 2 outside the Phantom Theatre.

 

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The wavy floor was very interesting to navigate during high seas or after a few drinks haha.

 

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Did you put your pants in the washing machine to try to get the stain out?

 

Thanks for writing.

 

We didn't realize there was a washing machine for guest use until day 6. We did send it to get washed and pressed though by the staff. You can still see the stain unfortunately.

Edited by BuffaloBoy

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Your photos are beautiful. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy your cruise, though. We've sailed with Carnival for nine years and while there have been changes - some I like, some I don't like- overall I still enjoy what they offer. Thanks for sharing your experience - and your photos.:cool:

 

Thank you! As they say, different strokes for different folks. Variety is the spice of life.

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We didn't realize there was a washing machine for guest use until day 6. We did send it to get washed and pressed though by the staff. You can still see the stain unfortunately.

 

Bummer.

 

They shouldn't have been so rude about it.

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Serenity now! Serenity now! Serenity nowwwww! Anyone remember that Seinfeld episode? What a classic! Anyway, this was my Wife's favorite part of the ship. What a great idea.

 

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See that slide in the background? That was the only issue with the location of Serenity...

 

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The Wife enjoying a book and a drink.

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Stunning sunset from Serenity.

 

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Nassau! Atlantis in the background. We sort of regret not doing an excursion there. Also some different views of the ship in the Bahamas.

 

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Edited by BuffaloBoy

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End of another long but fun day. OH NO! Someone has lost their purse. I hope she got it back.

 

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Our guy that signalled that our room was right around the corner!!!

 

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Our stateroom was on Deck 4.

 

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As mentioned in my review on the first page, here is a picture of a Ham & Cheese sandwich that is grilled on the outside but cold as an ice cube on the inside. Fortunately, this sandwich didn't have burnt bread. So that was a plus!

 

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A picture of the dying, wilted flower that I paid for to be sent to my Wife for valentines day.

 

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A "Cheese burger". Perhaps in some parts of the world this qualifies. But where I come from, the cheese is suppose to be melted. Or at least a bit warm so that it doesnt fly off the burger when you turn to walk back to your table. :p

 

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The chocolate bar! Yayyy! Choices included cantaloupe, apple, cheesecake, chocolate cake in a ball, donut and more! All can be dipped in chocolate.

 

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Maybe it's just me but asking someone what they spent their money is rather personal, that and quizzing someone on why it's their first post... haven't we all had a "first post??"

 

Beautiful answer.

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The Beatles show! Fantastic, Fun, Cool all describe this show. Such a great time. The vocal artists were great and the props and costumes were good too!

 

 

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Glow sticks! LET IT BE!

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Thanks for your review, and sorry you had those issues. Sounds like you still had a decent time though. Thanks also for the great photos!:)

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Here are a few videos I took of the Beatles show. Good stuff!

 

Eleanore Rigby ...

 

Ob-La-Di ...

 

Another one ...

Edited by BuffaloBoy

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The chocolate bar! Yayyy! Choices included cantaloupe, apple, cheesecake, chocolate cake in a ball, donut and more! All can be dipped in chocolate.

 

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Don't get me started on that chocolate bar. The walnuts with sugar is still my favorite (I just covered a bunch of cake pops with chocolate, kinda tired of chocolate at the moment...)

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A few panoramas of the Casino. Cha-Ching! (OK not for us but Cha-Ching for other people!!!)

 

I actually thought the Casino was quite elegant.

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The Comedians who worked the first 3 days of the Cruise.

 

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And the Comedians who worked the last 2 days.

 

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A few photos of our "Duct tape door" that we had to unscrew to get open. I wish I didn't take a bunch of the duct tape off before taking the picture. It was quite the sight!

 

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Edited by BuffaloBoy

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We were on this cruise also! You caught DH in the lst pic of the casino. He is standing in front of the white sign wearing sneakers! :p

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Thanks for the review & great pictures. Good luck with Carnival.

 

One question - was the Statue of Liberty on the starboard side as you departed NY?

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One more from Serenity.

 

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Another view of the Mad Hatters - aka The Punchliner.

 

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Were getting closer to the Bahamas! We know because the warm weather is here and we can use the open pool area.

 

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