Carnival Cruise Lines - Cruisemates Reader's Cruise Reviews
Carnival Cruise Lines

Carnival Miracle
by kathy Madill
Western Caribbean
January 28, 2007

CCL VS. NCL

CLEANLINESS: When we arrived to board the Carnival Miracle our cabin was ready and clean. We dropped off our carry-on luggage and went to lunch. After lunch, we went to find the nearest hot tub.

CLEANLINESS: When we sailed NCL Pride of Hawaii we had to wait several hours before we coul go to our cabin and unpack. When we were allowed to go to our cabin we found dirty sheets, medical waste in the gbg can and uneaten food in the refrigerator. It took us hours to get a housekeeping staff member to clean our cabin.

DINING; We didn't have as many choices as Princess has but we managed. We had grilled reubens for lunch everyday and chocolate melted cake every night which we thoroughly enjoyed.

DINING: We had lots of choices but unless we made reservations way ahead of time we we didn't have any options. NCL's freestyle dining was a joke.

EXCURSIONS: We were 2 hours late for our excursion in Belize due to Carnival's staff screwing up. We loved the Mayan ruins and Belize but we didn't get to see it all due to the 2 hour delay. But the boat had to wait on us since we were on Carnival's excursion. Some of the passengers got left behind there because they went on their own. Our Cozumel dive excursion was great. The island of Cozumel is a disaster area due to Hurricane Wilma in 2005. The cruise ship terminal and dock are completely destroyed. HEY BOB DICKENSON! BUILD A NEW DOCK IN COZUMEL!!!-RCL IS BUILDING A NEW DOCK IN BELIZE AND CCL HAS WAY MORE MONEY THAN RCL!!!

EXCURSIONS: NCL stranded us on Maui for 4 hours so that they could make more money on their own luau which from what I heard wasn't that great. In case you didn't know the Hawaiian Islands are riddled with drug trafficking and the crime rate is high. When we finally got back to the ship my husband went to the purser's desk to demand a refund, to disembark the ship, and be flown back to Oahu. I went to the restaurant we paid $20 a head to eat at. They refunded our money and sent our dinner to the cabin. We almost missed our helicopter excursion due to an unscheduled trip to the macadamia nut gift shop. We only got to spend 15 minutes at the Pearl Harbor memorial which wasn't long enough to mourn the men that were lost that fateful day over 65 years ago. Thankfully, we planned our other excursions and they were great.

ENTERTAINMENT: Neither line has quality entertainment. We like movies so we brought a portable DVD player and movies from home to entertain ourselves. Hint: if you like to gamble-NCL's Hawaii's ships do not have a casino onboard.

VALUE: CCL cost us $1300 vs. NCL $3000. But we live in Tampa so we didn't have to fly anywhere which was great. But if you want to see the lava floes at night it's worth the trip. We were fascinated by the volcano and we have been reading about the lava and watching every special on the world's volcanoes as they are mesmerizing. I am writing this review so that no one goes on this cruise with high expectations. It is merely transportation between the Hawaiian islands. We booked our Luau separate from NCL. It was authentic alright. The fire dancer ignited the theatre and it burned to the ground 3 weeks before we got there. It was moved inside the hotel temporarily. The fire dance was down on the beach.

NEXT CRUISE: Our next cruise will be an Alaskan cruise. Neither CCL or NCL is up for that cruise. Since both lines have problems with their shore excursions and tendering we will go Princess or Holland America. We have sailed both lines twice and we loved them. They know how to do shore excursions very well and since we want a lot of excursions on that cruise and we expect perfect shore excursions. And that is what both lines have delivered. CCL is too cheap to use their life boats as tender boats and NCL strands their passengers.