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It’s a MIRACLE! Pirate’s Review of the 11/3/18-11/11/18 Sailing

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Hello CC family!

 

I am just back from another wonderful cruise, this time aboard the Carnival Miracle. Doing reviews helps me battle my post-cruise depression, so who’s ready to follow along on my adventure?

 

I am Steph, a 31 year old from NC, and traveling with me this time was my husband Chris, who is 34. This was my 17th cruise, all with Carnival, and our first time aboard the Miracle. We have sailed the Pride twice and love the layout, so when we saw the Miracle was going to be in Tampa we jumped at the chance to sail another Spirit-class ship. This was our third time this year doing the Western Caribbean itinerary, but we love some of those ports and right now our goal is to cruise as many “new” ships as possible. 

 

We drove down to Tampa from NC the day prior to our cruise, and the drive was uneventful. We chose to stay at the Tampa Mariott Waterside & Marina hotel for the night, and I cannot say enough good things about it. It was pricey, but the location was wonderful and the room was nice and clean. The elevators were also crazy fast, I was almost afraid to ride in them! Hahahaha.

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We took an Uber to Ybor City for $7.56 to find some dinner and walk around. We ended up eating at a place called Shrimp & Co. since I wanted fresh seafood. I ordered blackened shrimp with a side of spicy shrimp coleslaw and hushpuppies. The shrimp was pretty good, and the coleslaw was freaking amazing. Chris ordered some kind of chicken dish and wasn’t impressed, but I would totally eat there again.

 

After dinner we walked around a bit and ended up at a bar called Kelly Days Firehouse Tavern. Chris is a firefighter, so when he saw this place of course we had to stop. It was a neat building designed like a firehouse with live music, and we tried quite a few drinks. We did the Liquid Smoke shot, which was awesome, the Jolly Firemon shot, which was good, and I drank a Tampa Bay Breeze which was amazing and a Sex on the Firetruck which was pretty good.

 

We walked around a tad more, then decided to call it a night. We called another Uber, this one $7.68, to take us back to our hotel. It was about 10:00when we finally crashed for the evening, to dream of tropical drinks and sandy beaches. Tomorrow is CRUISE DAY!

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Alright for some reason the site is acting like a turd and not wanting to upload my photos. I’m going to try again with embarkation day and the first sea day tomorrow and hopefully it will learn to play nice by that time. 🙄

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Thank you for posting your review.  My family has scheduled a cruise on the Miracle and I'm looking forward to your review.

 

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How about just giving us the review and trying to upload the photos later?  Really interested in your experience on the ship, especially whether the slide and pools were crowded.  Planning a cruise with grandchildren who are excited about the slide.

Edited by loufon
additional question

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Hey Stephanie!  Great start to your review! Looking forward to reading the rest. We sailed on the Miracle three times when she summered here in New York and had great cruises on her. Looking forward to meeting you and Chris on the Sunrise next year. :classic_biggrin:

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3 hours ago, snakehunter said:

Leaving on the Miracle for 8 days on Saturday. Looking forward to your posts!

So are we!!!  See you there

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I love your reviews! I can't wait to read more, thanks for taking the time to write it. :classic_smile:

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Hey, I was on this cruise.  Sunday 11/4 - Sunday 11/11.  We drove from PA to SC on the 2nd, stayed in Rock Hills, then drove to Tampa on 11/3 and stayed 2 miles from port.  This was our first cruise.  We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary and the day we walked off the ship I had a birthday to boot!  We then drove from Tampa back to Rock Hills, SC, stayed the night, and drove back to PA on Monday the 12th.  We traveled with my husband's brother and sister in law.  We were back mid-afternoon, bought some groceries and was home unpacking before 5PM when I would normally be getting off work. It was a GREAT vacation.  We Love, Love, Love the cruise ship scene.  Will definitely do again down the road at some point.  Our favorite stop was Roatan -- simply beautiful there.  Ship was alot of fun and we are so very thankful we had the smooth seas!!

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10 hours ago, snakehunter said:

Leaving on the Miracle for 8 days on Saturday. Looking forward to your posts!

Have a great cruise! I will try and hurry and finish this review for you by then!

 

8 hours ago, saundedj said:

Thank you for posting your review.  My family has scheduled a cruise on the Miracle and I'm looking forward to your review.

 

You all will have a great time!

 

6 hours ago, loufon said:

How about just giving us the review and trying to upload the photos later?  Really interested in your experience on the ship, especially whether the slide and pools were crowded.  Planning a cruise with grandchildren who are excited about the slide.

I am going to try again with photos when I get home tonight, and if they still won't work I will do that. :) Thanks for following along!

 

19 hours ago, bakersdozen12 said:

Looking forward to reading the rest! 

Thanks for following along!

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6 hours ago, kackles said:

Following...thanks for the review!

Thank YOU for reading along!

 

6 hours ago, Jamman54 said:

Hey Stephanie!  Great start to your review! Looking forward to reading the rest. We sailed on the Miracle three times when she summered here in New York and had great cruises on her. Looking forward to meeting you and Chris on the Sunrise next year. :classic_biggrin:

Hey Jeff, thanks for following along! I am going to try and get to reading your Pride review that I saw on here to gather ideas for what to do in Bermuda next September. Can't wait to meet y'all next year!

 

6 hours ago, deedle7544 said:

So are we!!!  See you there

Have a great cruise!

 

6 hours ago, zencruisers said:

Looking forward to reading more. Thanks for taking the time to do a review.

More to come tonight!

 

6 hours ago, deb1eric said:

We are sailing out this Saturday, can't wait to hear about your trip! 

Have a great cruise!

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6 hours ago, heffy2 said:

I love your reviews! I can't wait to read more, thanks for taking the time to write it. :classic_smile:

Aw thanks for that compliment! More coming as soon as I get home.

 

4 hours ago, Debbie J. said:

Hey, I was on this cruise.  Sunday 11/4 - Sunday 11/11.  We drove from PA to SC on the 2nd, stayed in Rock Hills, then drove to Tampa on 11/3 and stayed 2 miles from port.  This was our first cruise.  We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary and the day we walked off the ship I had a birthday to boot!  We then drove from Tampa back to Rock Hills, SC, stayed the night, and drove back to PA on Monday the 12th.  We traveled with my husband's brother and sister in law.  We were back mid-afternoon, bought some groceries and was home unpacking before 5PM when I would normally be getting off work. It was a GREAT vacation.  We Love, Love, Love the cruise ship scene.  Will definitely do again down the road at some point.  Our favorite stop was Roatan -- simply beautiful there.  Ship was alot of fun and we are so very thankful we had the smooth seas!!

Hahaha I just realized I put the wrong date, whoops! Vacation started 11/3, but we didn't board until 11/4.

 

3 hours ago, kren250 said:

Great start! I can't wait to read more.

Thank you!

 

2 hours ago, bosoxfan5 said:

Hey!  We were on this ship the week before you.  Beautiful ship.  Will definitely sail her again.

She is a great ship, I hope to sail her again!

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Guess what day it is?? CRUISE DAY! Yahoo!!!

I was up early (like, 7:00!) as I never really sleep well or sleep in on cruise day. The hotel included a free breakfast in their restaurant, so we headed down to take advantage of that. You were able to either order off the menu or eat from the buffet. Chris and I both chose the buffet, but I think next time I would order from the menu. The breakfast buffet had a lot of options, but the food didn’t really taste good….the sausage links were very rubbery like they had been warmed up in a microwave, and the breakfast potatoes were mushy. The fruit was pretty good, except the cantaloupe was not ripe and was really hard to chew. Oh well, I’m a big girl so it isn’t like I was going to starve!

The hotel also offered a free shuttle to (but not from) the port, so Chris and I checked out and hopped on the 10:30 shuttle. We were the only people on that shuttle, so it was like having our own personal driver and bus! Our driver was a maniac, he was obviously very comfortable in the traffic to the port and kept cutting other vehicles off, but he got us there safe and sound. There was no line for the priority check in, so we breezed through that, and we didn’t have to wait very long for boarding to start. We were onboard the Miracle at about 11:15and we headed right to our room (balcony room 7333) to drop off our carry-ons.

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Once our carry ons had been ditched we headed to find some grub since our breakfast had worn off. Can I just say, I LOVE and MISS the “Off the Grill” that Guy’s has replaced? Miracle still has the old grill, and I was SOOOOOO happy! The chicken tenders and honey mustard are awesome! The tenders were nice and hot and crispy....just perfect! I decided to also try a burger, and I was a bit disappointed…the burger itself was great, not smushed down and super greasy like Guy’s, but it had NO toppings and I couldn’t find any nearby. No lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle?? You can’t have a burger without those! I also got some coleslaw, which was OK but not as great as the slaw on the Horizon last month, and some fries, which I added chili and cheese to. Yeah I know, I was REALLY healthy, but who cares…I’m on vacation! 

After finishing our lunch we looked at the FunTimes and saw that happy hour was happening in the Red Frog Pub. Heck yeah! I need a drink to top off that lunch, and you can’t beat half price drinks! We headed on down (it was on deck 2 forward….or was it 1 forward….I forget, I just know it was down low and forward) and we were the only people in there. Say what? Nobody else wants cheap drinks?? The 2 bartenders waited as we decided what we wanted, then we placed our order. I’ll take a Rum Jumper, please and thank you. They went and started pouring 2 cups of beer. Um…..what? We didn’t order beer, what are you doing? Then when the one bartender said, “Come around this way” I realized….holy moly, we are the first patrons in the Pub! What the heck, it’s 12:30, nobody else has been here yet??!! They led us behind the bar and had us pose like we were pouring our beers, then gave us not only our drinks we had ordered but a cup of beer each. I am not usually a beer drinker, but I have to say the Thirsty Frog Red is not half bad. Between that and my awesome Rum Jumper, I was a happy girl!

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When we finished our drinks we headed back to the cabin to see if our luggage was delivered. It was not, but I had my door decorations in my carry on so I went ahead and decorated our door so that if we had one too many we could find “home.” Our luggage arrived about that time, so we both went ahead and unpacked before the Muster Drill, which took place from 3:30 to 4. It had been a while since I had been to a Muster where we had to line up outside on the decks, and I realized just how spoiled we are on the newer ships where we do not have to do that! Luckily we ended up in a front row and it wasn’t too terrible.

The drill ended and we sailed away about 4:15. I watched us sail from the balcony, and then we walked to the meet and greet that the social media site had arranged in the Red Frog Pub. We stayed there for about 15 minutes, then wandered the ship a little bit. We headed up to the upper decks about 6:00 so that we would be able to watch the Miracle pass under the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, and we ended up right next to the funnel. That was a great location to watch from! We ended up passing under the bridge at about 6:35, which was perfect timing as we had steakhouse reservations at 7:0! The steakhouse had called to tell us that the dress code for that evening in the steakhouse was elegant, which was a first for us….normally they are more relaxed that first day, but they said no shorts/capris on the phone. I changed into a dress, and Chris into slacks, and off we went.

I love how the steakhouse on both the Pride and the Miracle is right under the funnel. It makes it so elegant feeling. We had excellent service, as always, and I enjoyed my “free” bottle of red wine.

I ordered the stuffed mushrooms as my appetizer, and they were OK but I really wish they were not fried. They just seemed really oily this time. The spinach and mushroom salad was amazing as always…I wish they had that in the MDR as an every night option like the Caesar salad! For my main I went with the filet mignon, which was good but a little tougher than usual. It still had great flavor, and the Yukon mashed potatoes I got on the side were perfect. I also decided to try the garlic rapini, and it was good. I sampled Chris’s side of Mac & Cheese and I have decided that from now on that will be my side, it was REALLY good.  For dessert I ordered the chocolate sphere, and it was OK but next time I will go with the cheesecake. We were getting ready to leave when the waiters came over and said “wait” and they came out with 2 champagne flutes and an extra dessert (like we needed it!) to celebrate our anniversary, which fell during the cruise. It was a nice touch, and by the time we left we were stuffed.

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We went to the comedy show that Tony Esponiza was doing right as our dinner ended, and he was pretty good. We then hit the Welcome Aboard show at 9:45, and then decided to call it a day. We headed back to the room and were in bed by about10:30.

 

A few notes before I forget regarding our room:

*The shower drained great. I have had a few cruises where the drain didn’t drain quick enough and the water would spill out of the tub and into the bathroom. That was not the case in 7333, it was quick and efficient!

*Our balcony door didn’t whistle or have any issues, and none of our neighbors were door slammers. Yay!

*The A/C in this cabin was ON TOP OF IT. Chris is very hot natured and even he got cold and had to turn it up some. Heck yeah for amazing A/c!

*The only negative was the bathroom light…it would flicker, then dim, then flicker again and then finally after about 60 seconds of that turn on. It wasn’t a huge deal, but could be kind of annoying,

 

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