Cruise Ship: Carnival Miracle
Cruise Destination: Western Caribbean
Cruise Dates: May 7, 2006
Guest Contributor: DC Stultz
On Sunday, May 7th, after two weeks of sorting and picking clothes for both of us, Claudine finally said, "That's it!" and we heaved and ho'ed and cursed and managed to zip up TWO large luggages (his and hers, with a little of hers stuffed in with his), ONE large duffle (mainly shoes), ONE roll-on carrier,ONE camera bag (with a digital camera and a new digital camcorder that records to DVDs and took stills to a memory card),, ONE tote bag with hats, ONE plastic sleeve containing a new prom dress and ONE very large purse.
DC wore jeans, his python cowboy boots, a tourist straw hat (purchased in Nassau on a previous cruise) and a sport coat to hold his pipe tobacco, our tickets and passports.
Sister Dawn and BIL John arrived at 11 to play taxi (and John filled in as muscle man porter and did the heavy lifting into the back of their Trailblazer). The tickets said boarding between 1:30 and 3:30 for a 4 pm sailing. "Don't arrive more than 30 minutes early". So we arrived a couple minutes past 12 and found 500 people in front of us in line. Go figure.
Paid a porter $5 to off load at the port and checked the two luggages and duffle bag. Clo and I loaded the rest in arms and on shoulders.
Took an hour to wait in line for the key card, get photos taken, et al and get on board ship. Was the Carnival Miracle sailing out of Tampa. Grabbed a bite in the buffet on the pool deck; found our cabin and after 3 tries, got in. Three tries? Yep. Put card in, pulled it out, pushed the handle down, pushed and nothing happened. Finally, I put my shoulder to the door and it opened. Oh, oh.
Cabin was ready by 1:30 as advertised, but our luggage wasn't delivered until 5 p.m. (An hour after we sailed!) Both previous RC cruises had our luggage in our cabins within an hour after we got aboard.
Cabin with balcony was nice. Bath was great. More counter space than we have in either bath at home. Shower was super -- with liquid soap and shampoo dispensers on the wall. It had a queen sized bed that was comfy; a couch and coffee table, and three closets -- 2 hanging, one with shelves. Two bathrobes and a hair dryer. Only one outlet for charging 2 cell phones and a camcorder battery, however. (Think you'd call that time shared charging) :)
Balcony held two chairs and a small table. To reach it was another door that required at least 30 lbs of push to open. Ugh. ALL doors on the damn ship are like that! While you tend to get used to it after a week, it ticked DC off every time he had to open one.
Mandatory life jacket drill at 3:30. Sailed at 4 p.m. Went under the Skyway about 6 p.m. Haven't downloaded the stills of it yet... and we know the movies of it aren't good... Clo didn't have time to practice with the new video camera and she goofed.
We had late seating (8:15 in dining room)... didn't like the table (in a dark corner)... got maitre' d to put us at another one temporarily and reassigned for the the rest of the week. Decoration in the dining room is butt ugly. Pink light globes everywhere; low ceiling. (Lights are supposed to be grapes, but I've never seen grapes THAT color!)
Did not like the dining room food. Edible, but selection and quality was poorer than we've experienced on our two previous cruises on Royal Caribbean. They finally offered escargots on Saturday night and they even screwed them up. (Last time, I had 4 helpings! This time, one was enough) Except for ice cream and apple pie one night, even the desserts were sub standard.
The Lido deck buffets (there are 7 or 8 small islands of different foods -- French, Italian, pizza, salad, Asian) food wasn't very good either. Fancy names, but the French food sure wasn't French. I ended up eating mostly salads there for lunch. Breakfast was pastry served in the room.
The ship is mostly balcony cabins. 4 decks of them. Love a balcony since I smoke. Nice place to relax without the noise of poolside. (Read 3 books while aboard) We were on deck 7 (veranda), the next to the top one. Was forward not very far from the forward elevators and stairs.
Deck 3 was the promenade deck, but it was always deserted since there were no deck chairs. Only people who ventured out there were smokers grabbing a quick puff. (No one else would bother pushing the damn hard to open doors)
They were proud of their atarium, but if you rode the glass elevators, it felt like you were going up inside a chimney. Or maybe an air shaft.
The dining room was aft and was split between decks 2 and 3. The theatre was forward with the balcony on deck 3 and main seating on deck 2 level.
Shopping was on deck 3 midships; casino was under it on deck 2. Quite large casino.
Claudine liked the shopping area since they rotated the specials tables every day... gold by the inch, silver by the inch, rings, watches, et al.
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