Carnival Miracle - Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)

Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)

Carnival Miracle

★★★ +

Berlitz’s Ratings

Ship: 361 out of 500

Accommodation: 143 out of 200

Food: 223 out of 400

Service: 249 out of 400

Entertainment: 76 out of 100

Cruise: 270 out of 400

Overall Score: 1322 out of 2000

Carnival Miracle Statistics

Size: Large Resort Ship

Tonnage: 85,942

Lifestyle: Standard

Cruise Line: Carnival Cruise Lines

Former Names: none

IMO Number: 9237357

Builder: Kvaerner Masa-Yards (Finland)

Original Cost: $375 million

Entered Service: Apr 2004

Registry: Panama

Length (ft/m): 959.6/292.5

Beam (ft/m): 105.6/32.2

Draft (ft/m): 25.5/7.8

Propulsion/Propellers: diesel-electric (62,370kW)/2 azimuthing pods

Passenger Decks: 13

Total Crew: 961

Passengers (lower beds): 2,124

Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 40.4

Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 2.2

Cabins (total): 1,062

Size Range (sq ft/m): 185.0-490.0/17.1-45.5

Cabins (for one person): 0

Cabins (with private balcony): 750

Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 16

Wheelchair accessibility: Good

Cabin Current: 110 volts

Elevators: 15

Casino (gaming tables): Yes

Slot Machines: Yes

Swimming Pools: 3 (1 w/ sliding glass dome)

Hot Tubs (on deck): 5

Self-Service Launderette: Yes

Dedicated Cinema/Seats: No

Library: Yes

Onboard currency: US$


This fun-filled, family-friendly ship is for high-energy cruising

Overview. Carnival Miracle is sister to Carnival Legend, Carnival Pride, and Carnival Spirit, shares the same layout and configuration, and is good for the whole family. It was built in 100 blocks, each weighing up to 450 tons, and assembled in the shipyard.

The Ship. The open deck and sunbathing space is not extensive, but there are two swimming pools, one of which can be covered by a sliding glass dome in case of inclement weather. An extra-charge, adults-only area, Sanctuary, has its own bar, pool, hot tub, and other facilities. Located at the aft of the ship on Lido Deck, it is a good area for anyone wanting to have a quieter space for sunbathing and relaxation.

Inside, the decor is dedicated to ‘fictional icons,’ including such luminaries as the Phantom of the Opera, Sherlock Holmes, Philip Marlowe, and Captain Ahab. Bronze statues of Orpheus and Ulysses adorn the swimming pools.

There are two entertainment/public room decks, the upper with an exterior promenade deck. A walkway, named the Yellow Brick Road, connects many of the major public rooms on Atlantic Deck, one deck above Promenade Deck, which also sports a number of public rooms, including a large Club Merlin Casino.

The colorful atrium lobby spans eight decks and has wall decorations best seen from any of the multiple viewing balconies on any deck above the main lobby level. Take a drink from the lobby bar and look upwards - the surroundings are visually stunning.

Perhaps the most dramatic large room is the Phantom Showlounge, which spans three decks in the forward section. Directly underneath is the Firebird Lounge, which has a bar in its starboard aft section.

A small wedding chapel is located forward of the uppermost level of the two main entertainment decks, adjacent to the Raven Library and Internet center. Other facilities include a shopping street, with boutique stores, photo gallery, video games room, and an observation balcony in the center of the vessel, at the top of the multi-deck atrium. The large Mr Lucky’s Casino invites wishful gamers and slot players.

Niggles include the small reception desk in the atrium lobby, which can become really congested. Many private balconies are not so private and can be overlooked from public locations. You need a credit card to open the personal safe in your cabin - inconvenient if your credit cards and wallet are inside the safe!

Many pillars obstruct passenger flow (those in the dining room, for example, make it difficult for proper food service by the waiters). Books and computers are cohabitants in the ship’s Holmes library/Internet center, but anyone wanting a book has to lean over others who may be using a computer - an awkward arrangement.

Families. Youngsters have their own play areas, with children’s programs divided into five age-specific groups under Camp Ocean (ages 2−11 - with children ages 2−5 called ‘Penguins’; 6−8-year-olds called ‘Sting Rays’; 9−11-year-olds called ‘Sharks’). Tweens have ‘Circle C’, while teenagers have their own ‘Club O2’ - a chill-out (no adults allowed) room/disco.

By the end of 2015, the words and world of Dr. Seuss will have been rolled out as part of Carnival’s children’s program (check before you sail) − from ‘green eggs and ham’ for breakfast, served by waiters in Dr. Seuss-inspired uniforms, and characters such as the Cat in the Hat, Thing One and Thing Two, and Sam attending, to special showings of movies such as The Cat in the Hat and How the Grinch Stole Christmas (these will be shown outdoors on the poolside Seaside Theater screen on Lido Deck).

Accommodation. There are many cabin categories, priced by grade, location, and size. The range of cabins includes suites (with private balcony), outside-view cabins with private balcony, 68 ocean-view cabins with French doors (pseudo balconies that have doors which open, but no balcony to step out onto), and a healthy proportion of standard outside-view to interior cabins.

All cabins have spy-hole doors, twin beds that can be converted into a queen-size bed, individually controlled air conditioning, TV set, and telephone. A number of cabins on the lowest deck have views that are obstructed by lifeboats. Some cabins can accommodate a third and fourth person, but have little closet space, and there’s only one personal safe. There is no separate radio in each cabin - instead, audio channels are provided on the in-cabin TV system, but you can’t turn the picture off. Nor can you turn off the air conditioning in cabins or bathrooms.

Among the most desirable suites and cabins are those on five of the aft-facing decks; these have private balconies overlooking the stern and ship’s wash. You might think that these units would suffer from vibration, but they don’t - a bonus provided by the pod propulsion system.

For extra space, it’s worthwhile booking one of the larger deluxe balcony suites on Deck 6, with private teakwood balcony. These tend to be quiet suites, with a lounge and sleeping area, a good-size bathroom with twin washbasins, toilet and bidet, and whirlpool tub. They have twin beds convertible to a queen-size bed, three (illuminated) closets, and a huge amount of drawer space. The balcony has an outside light and a wide teakwood deck with smoked glass and wood railing (you could easily seat 10 people).

Dining. The Bacchus Dining Room is the ship’s large, lively two-deck-high, 1,300-seat main restaurant, with seating on both upper and main levels. Its huge ceiling sports large murals. The galley is located underneath the restaurant, with escalator access. Tables are for two, four, six, or eight, and small rooms on both upper and lower levels can be closed off for groups of up to 60. Choose either fixed-time dining (6pm or 8.15pm) or flexible dining (between 5.45pm and 9.30pm). Note that the dining room is not open for lunch on port days.

Other dining options. For casual eaters, Horatio’s Lido Restaurant is an extensive self-serve buffet-style eatery that forms the aft third of Deck 9 (part of it wraps around the upper section of the huge atrium). Murals of unicorns are everywhere. The café includes a central area with a deli sandwich corner, Asian corner, rotisserie, salad bar, and international (Taste of the Nations) counter. There are salad counters, a dessert counter, and a 24-hour pizzeria counter, all of which offer both indoor and outdoor seating. Movement around the buffet area is slow, and you have to stand in line for everything. Each night, the venue morphs into the Seaview Bistro, for casual, serve-yourself-style dinners (typically 6pm-9.30pm).

Nick & Nora’s Steakhouse is a more upscale dining spot atop the ship, with just 156 seats and a show kitchen. It is located on two of the uppermost decks of the ship, above Horatio’s Lido Restaurant, with great views over the atrium lobby.

Entertainment. The stunning 1,170-seat Phantom Showlounge is the ship’s principal venue for large-scale production shows and cabaret shows. Spiral stairways at the back of the lounge connect all three levels. Shows are best seen from the upper three levels. Directly underneath the showlounge is the Mad Hatter’s Ball Lounge, which has a bar in its starboard aft section.

Almost every lounge/bar, including Sam’s Piano Bar, the Jazz Lounge, and Jeeves Lounge, has live music in the evening. Finally, for the very lively, there’s the disco; and there’s always karaoke.

Spa/Fitness. SpaCarnival, spanning two decks, is located directly above the navigation bridge in the forward part of the ship and has 13,700 sq ft (1,272 sq m) of space. Facilities on the lower level include a solarium, eight treatment rooms, lecture rooms, sauna and steam rooms for men and women, and a beauty parlor. The upper level consists of a large gymnasium with floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides, including forward-facing ocean views, and an aerobics room with instructor-led classes.

There are two centrally located swimming pools outdoors, and one can be used in inclement weather due to its retractable glass dome. Adjacent are two whirlpool tubs. A winding water slide two decks high is located aft. Another smaller pool is available for children. An outdoor jogging track is located around the ship’s mast and the forward third of the ship; it doesn’t go around the whole ship, but it’s long enough for some serious walking.