May 7, 2006
My wife and I returned yesterday from a lovely week of cruising aboard the Carnival Miracle. We booked the cruise through Vacationstogo.com and were pleased with their recommendations, service and price. This was our first cruise and we celebrated our 30th anniversary. Actually, I do have some previous cruise experience aboard the U. S. S. San Bernardino some thirty-five years ago but I can tell you there is no comparison in how you are treated.
We sailed from Tampa which provided both an easy airport and cruise terminal to navigate. Our room was a balcony #7256. It was very efficient and we loved it. Our ports-of-call were Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Belize and Costa Maya. We had previously visited Grand Cayman (2- weeklong stays) and Cozumel (8- weeklong stays) on dive trips so we were not really interested in doing an excursion on those stops though we would highly recommend the diving in either. We are also pretty familiar with the dive masters there, if you are interested please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stingray City in Grand Cayman is an absolute hoot but scuba instead of snorkle if you can arrange it. In Belize we did the cave tubing and would recommend arranging this excursion and others through coralbreezelimited.com. You can save a few bucks and get more personal service. While the cave tubing was nice and the chicken dinner delicious, we have much prettier caves and tubing rivers in Arkansas. But if you have to have both at once why not go for it. Costa Maya was a pleasant surprise probably because this forum led us to expect very little. We took the bus $3 pp into Mahahual, walked to the end of the street stopped when we saw a sign at a beech bar that read 3 Beers for $4 and spent the whole day there. Nice and relaxing. Returned in a cab $2 pp. Go figure.
Overall, our times aboard ship were the most memorable. Most of the shows were very good. Get to them early and sit down front and if an MC asks anything raise your hand and squeal, you might get a freebie. Mark Hawkins the cruise director was fun and fabulous. Breakfast and lunch served in Horatio's on the Lido deck were much more than adequate, the evening meals in the Bacchus Room (do not go there early and wait in line) were excellent while the upscale Nick & Noras was downright exquisite. A sushi bar (no charge) was offered several evenings and it was also very good. Pizza to order is provided on the Lido deck 24-7. As for service, I can't give the people who work aboard this ship enough accolades.
All in all this cruising experience exceeded our expectations in just about every category.
One final comment.