I am cruising the Miracle in Dec. Wondering how this ship is as far as service and that sort of stuff. Also, any suggestions on a hotel that I could stay at the would provide transportation to the port.
We stayed at the Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore hotel and really enjoyed our stay. They picked us up from the airport for free. We arranged for their shuttle to take us to the port the next morning when we checked in. I believe it cost us $5 per person. Our driver was great. The ride to the port was like a city tour. It was a great way to start our vacation. The hotel itself was very nice. We would stay there again. Also, the hotel is walking distance (like a half of block) from a great BBQ restaurant. We ate dinner there the night we arrived and the food was really good. It's a very popular place because it was a 45 minute wait to get seated. I can't remember the name but it's owned by a famous Florida football player.
The Miracle is a wonderful ship. There was another person posting questions about the ship's food a week or so ago. Check out that post. Also, I have a few pictures of the ship on the photo gallery. We cruised in April and had a great time.
Renee - The better half of RobRen :-)
Carnival - Spirit: Alaska (August 8, 2007)
Carnival - Miracle: Exotic Western Caribbean (April 9, 2006)
Royal Caribbean - Explorer of the Seas: Eastern Caribbean (January 2005)
The restaurant you're referring to is probably "Selmons", owned by Leroy Selmon, the #1 draft pick by the Buccaneers in their first year, and a truly great player, and man. (Great restaurant too!)
There are lots of other very good hotels in the "WestShore" area, and it's near the airport, near two really good malls, and very close to the port of Tampa too.
Have a great time in Tampa, and I know you'll enjoy the "Miracle", as it's one of the favorite cruises of many of the folks here in Tampa.
See you aboard,
We stayed at the Doubletree Westshore and they offered free transporation from the airport and to the pier. We really enjoyed our cruise on the Miracle. She's a beautiful ship. Food and entertainment were all great.
Celebrity Century 1/09
Carnival Destiny 10/07
Carnival Destiny 9/06
Monarch of the Seas 3/06
Carnival Inspiration 8/05
Carnival Miracle 4/05
Carnival Inspiration 4/04
Sovereign of the Seas 4/03
We just returned from the Miracle on Sunday, June 4. The ship was very nice, clean, and the service was excellent. In fact, we have taken around 15 cruises, and the service we received on the Miracle was probably the best. We booked a guaranteed balcony category 8A. We were upgraded 9 categories to an 8I which had a little bit larger balcony. When we got to our cabin, carnival had decorated the cabin with "Bon Voyage" streamers, a centerpiece for the desk, etc. They also provided a complimentary fruit/nut basket and a few other little items like key chains. It has been a while since we cruised out of Tampa, but leaving the ship was so easy. We stayed in our cabin until about 9 a.m. and then an announcement was made that you could leave. You didn't have to wait in a lounge for your "color" to be called. The disembarkation in Tampa was very orderly and easy. I am not sure if Carnival is doing this type of disembarkation at every port or just Tampa. Normally,
we meet with a customs agent face to face, but they just waved us through. Last summer we took two cruises out of Puerto Rico, the Destiny
and Royal Caribbean's Adventure of the Seas. As we have done in the past, we were told to take our things and just wait in one of the lounge areas until customs called our color. Anyway, it takes a long time--the system in Tampa was wonderful. I hope the cruise lines are doing this in all ports, but I have my doubts. I know you will enjoy your cruise. Again
all the personnel on this ship were very helpful and friendly.