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Old November 29th, 2010, 10:29 AM
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Default Miracle Cruise Part 7

Miracle Cruise Part 7
Wednesday November 17, 2010
Sea Day

I awoke on this 2nd to last sea day with worse respiratory problems, much coughing and congestion. Perhaps it was the air conditioning, which always seemed to be set on "Frigid" even though I turned it up to "heat".
Fellow CruiseMate "Skymaster" Ken, and his lovely wife Vita also contracted colds on board and still suffered with them even after they got home.

As is my custom on sea days, I headed for a deck chair by the aft pool to soak up as much sun as I possibly could before returning to the cold north.
It was blessedly quiet all morning with no music playing at all. I went inside briefly to play Trivia at 10 a.m. It consisted of movie quotes, and was quite hard.

I'd like to mention something about Trivia on board the Miracle. We were always encouraged to play as a team, even though most trivia events were sparsely attended.
However, for each game played during the week, only 1 prize was given per team, so if 4 or 5 people were on a team, they had to share the prize.
The prize itself was the quintessential "24 kt. gold plastic ship-on-a-stick", which was, I thought, an extremely cheap prize, especially when it had to be shared.
I fondly remembered Celebrity's Trivia prizes of Celebrity caps, sweatshirts, beach towels, and shopping bags.
Carnival could have at least given away a few pens, luggage tags, or key chains. One measly trophy per game was just plain CHEAP.

Anyway, after a fairly pleasant morning in the sun, James and I decided to try the dining room for lunch. The Lido buffet had been hit and miss all week with breakfast and lunches.
The food was not always great, and most often, it was cold, so off to the dining room we went.





The Bacchus Dining Room, was not crowded, the atmosphere calm and relaxed, and the service quick and attentive. We both enjoyed our delicious, hot lunches, Chinese Pepper Stir Fry for me, and a Hot Baguette with Tuna Salad for James.
We asked ourselves why we had not tried the dining room for lunch sooner in the cruise!

Back out at the aft pool, the dreaded annoying music was back on full blast. I tried my best to shut it out with my earphones and MP3 player, but to no avail. Finally, I'd had enough and headed down to Guest Relations to lodge a complaint.
The girl at the counter was quite pleasant, took notes, made a few phone calls, and then disappeared in the back for a while. When she came back, she told me that the bartender at the aft pool was responsible for the choice and the volume of the music back there, and that he had been asked to change it and turn it down.
When I returned to the aft pool, the same crap was playing, at the same volume as before.
Shortly after though, the Cruise Director came on to make a few activity announcements, and after that the volume was turned down, but the same horrid music remained.

At that point, I left the aft pool and headed mid-ship for Trivia by the mid pool. It was a very strange trivia, where the host asked questions about strange and obscure laws in different countries and/or states, and gave 2 answers to choose from. Then, you had to move to one side of the stage or the other, depending on your answer.
If you were wrong, you were out and had to sit down, if you got it right, you stayed up to play the next round.
At least in this case, there was only 1 winner left and she didn't have to share her trophy!

Following Trivia, the live DJ came on and started playing more extremely loud and annoying music, so I departed for the sanctuary of my balcony once again.....

This evening was our 2nd "Elegant Night" and also the Captain's Repeat Passenger Cocktail Party.



This was a heavily attended affair, held in the Phantom Lounge, and I must admit, Carnival did not skimp on the free drinks and h'or d'oeuvres, they were plentiful. The live Carnival orchestra played throughout, and passengers were invited to dance, though nobody did.
I took this opportunity to introduce Flat Stanley to Funship Freddie, who promptly decided to "eat" him!



Our meal this evening was excellent all around. Penny and I thoroughly enjoyed the Chateaubriand, James, the Fillet of Sole, and Heather, the Charred Chicken, which despite its unappetizing name, was really quite good!

Showtime tonight was "Ticket to Ride", a spectacular tribute to the music of the Beatles.
The Carnival singers and dancers put on a great show, identical to the one we had seen on Miracle 2 years ago, and topped off with an appearance by Music Unlimited dressed as the Beatles in the Sgt. Pepper era. Glow sticks and complete audience participation of singing and waving completed the evening. A wonderful show to end the evening....

Flat Stanley, who survived being eaten by Freddie, says goodnight with his his Rabbit friend......

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Old November 29th, 2010, 09:08 PM
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What a delightful b'day your sister had ... from her treat in the water to your wonderful dinner. Congratulations on her 50th and having a super older (kinda) sister.

Jane
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Old November 29th, 2010, 09:16 PM
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Default Miracle Cruise Part 8

Miracle Cruise Part 8
Thursday November 18, 2010
Sea Day




Our last sea day, and our last day of the cruise was not a particularly memorable one.

The weather was cooler and windier, and it did eventually turn into cloud and showers.
Between the weather, illness, and being forced indoors because of the music, this was
the least amount of time I ever spent in the sun on deck on a cruise.

One good thing about this day was that we finally tried breakfast in the dining room, after complaining all week about how cold our food was in the buffet at breakfast.
I enjoyed a delicious HOT omelet, and James had a plate of eggs, over easy, with
crispy bacon just the way he likes it.
The dining room was quiet, with good service, a relaxed atmosphere, and no rush.
We should have done it days earlier!

Later that morning I tried Trivia once again, and playing alone, I lost by only 1 point.
I was not destined to win a ship-on-a-stick this cruise.


Back out by the aft pool, trying to catch some sun between clouds, we enjoyed a nice
chat with Skymaster's wife Vita.
The music did not start up until about 10:30, and when it suddenly blasted through the
quiet, you could hear a collective groan from all in the vicinity.
We complained again, but they only turned it down, not off.
Maybe I'm being petty, but this constant barrage of loud, obnoxious music all week really spoiled my enjoyment of this cruise. I believe Carnival needs to take a closer look at the general demographics of passengers on each trip and perhaps adjust the type
of muzak accordingly.

For the first time in history, and simply because I had to escape the noise, I went inside and started packing before my customary "last minute".
By the time I had finished, it was time for lunch, and we decided to return to the dining
room and enjoyed another excellent hot meal, with personal service in a relaxed atmos-
phere.

I was not able to go back in the sun since the sun had disappeared and it was raining
off and on, so I wandered the ship taking pictures and feeling depressed. I hate last days!

At 3 pm I went to Trivia at the midship pool, but there was no Trivia and no one to even
explain why not. When Mr. Rasta (Calypso) showed up, I hightailed it out of there before he could start singing....

I ended up back on my balcony once again, finishing off my knitting.




I had managed to knit 8 scarves in 8 days, plus the 4 I had done at home for a total of 12 handmade scarves, which I sent home to Montreal in my sister's suitcase.
They were destined for a charity bazaar the following weekend to benefit a cause dear to our hearts, the Palliative Care Residence where our mom had been a resident over 5 years ago.




None of us were much in the mood for dressing up and going to the dining room on this

last evening, so we convened in Horatio's Lido Buffet and tried dinner there.




It was OK, but again, not very hot. The dessert of Black Forest Cake and India Milk
was delicious!
After dinner, there was very little choice of what to do. We wandered, took pictures,
visited the internet cafe to print up boarding passes then headed to bed.
We wanted to go see the Legends show, which starred passengers as various
singing Legends such as Frank Sinatra, Elvis, Aretha etc. but it was not scheduled
to be on until 10:30 and we were too tired to wait.
Besides, our friend and fellow CruiseMate "Skymaster" had not been selected to be in it, so we kind of lost interest.

And so, on this last night of our Miracle cruise, it was off to bed with Flat Stanley and the "Unknown Creature" sporting a whole pile of chocolates!


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Old November 29th, 2010, 09:27 PM
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How cheap can they get with the trivia prizes ... for pete's sake only one for the whole team? And, there's been a lot of put downs about Carnival's ship on a stick in the past.

On my Coral Princess trip this November, they had 2 dumb prizes (after the first night on board when you got a quite nice tote bag) a really cheap tote bag or a baseball hat (both of which I had at home).

And, in April on the Crown on my 7 day cruise I got 3 nice lanyards (which you couldn't buy in the boutique plus a very nice Princess pen and a passport case.)

Seems to me they're cutting back in the wrong areas.

Of course, I'm still enjoying your reviews - they are so well thought out and written.

And, they only confirm what I decided years ago - Carnival's not for me.

Do wish I could cruise with you and James again ... how about Princess and we'll whup their b...ts!!!

As always enjoying your reports, Donna.

Jane
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Old November 29th, 2010, 10:02 PM
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Default Miracle Cruise Part 8

Two of things we didn't like about Carnival were loud music and too many public address announcements. They are both tacky. What we did like were their large cabins and the fact that they had disembarkation down to a science.

I also think that no matter what the cruise line is, they should have the cabins ready for passengers to enter when boarding is begun. It's also tacky to make people drag their carry ons and whatever to lunch.

Judy
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Old November 29th, 2010, 10:24 PM
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Great review-informative and honest. We usually try the buffet once for breakfast and once for lunch, other than that it's always the dining room.
Hope you are feeling better.
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Old November 30th, 2010, 05:51 AM
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Hi Donna......We'll be on the Miracle next monday the 5th. Can you please tell me if there are refrigerators in the cabins?

Tnx
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Old November 30th, 2010, 06:57 AM
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Tim, yes, there was a bar fridge in our cabin, but we had a suite. I'd have to check with my sister and see if there was one in her balcony cabin

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Old November 30th, 2010, 07:00 AM
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Jane you are too funny! Yes, we'd make a great Trivia team, but I'm not playing for a ship-on-a-stick!

I agree about Princess. We had actually booked Princess as our next cruise but unfortunately had to cancel because we couldn't find affordable air fare over the March Break.

However, never say never!

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Old November 30th, 2010, 07:55 AM
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Tim;

Yes, there was a very small bar fridge, but it was full of soft drinks and little bottles of alchohol. I guess if you wanted you use it, you could take the stuff out..
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Old November 30th, 2010, 09:30 AM
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Sounds like this cruise will not be in your top ten...... It's tough when reality sometimes gets in the way of enjoying a cruise.

Blasting the music to the point of scaring people off the cruise deck needs to be addressed, that's for sure

The ship turn around day is a rough one. With cruisers clamoring to get on board so early, the staff is under the gun, with a tough job, to get so many cabins ready. On the Epic, we were allowed to drop off our luggagge in a club,and pick it up later...a good idea!

Rd,better luck next cruise.l.I vote for you and James to go to Cuba! Inquiring Cruisemates will beseige you with questions!

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Old November 30th, 2010, 09:52 AM
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, Donna, I love that picture of you knitting on your balcony.
I also vote that you and James go to Cuba. I would love to go there myself, but of course that is one freedom that we Americans lack.

TM
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Old December 6th, 2010, 11:21 AM
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Thanks for such a informative review!
We are doing this itinerary next April as the 2nd leg of a B2B.
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