Matt 960, how timely your questions are! We just came off the Miracle 2 days ago, and this was our 2nd time on her in just under 3 years.
I have not had a chance to write my in depth review yet, but I will try to answer your questions.
Entertainment was a hit and miss on board. The big production shows were good, (Generations, a Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. tribute, and the big Beatles extravaganza, Ticket to Ride). Singers and dancers and house band were great.
However, the "pool band" or actually, 1 guy on steel drums with pre-recorded
synthesizer music was just plain AWFUL. He could not sing to save his life and I had to leave the pool area whenever he came on....
"Fly-on" entertainers are still happening, mostly in the form of comedians.
The Mad Hatters Lounge is now also known as the Comedy Club, and there were several during the week. We only saw 2 at the Welcome Aboard show and they were not so great, so never went to see any others.
There was also a ventriloquist one night, who was so-so.
I thought the entertainment was not the same great quality that we have been accustomed to in 8 previous Carnival cruises....
There was a pretty talented pianist/singer who performed in the lobby, and a few lounges who was good, and quite entertaining. There was also a lady pianist who performed in the same venues at different times, and at afternoon tea in the dining room.
As for "recorded" music, or "muzak" it was just plain AWFUL. I actually complained about it to the Customer Service desk, not that it did any good.
The music played out by the aft pool was loud, annoying, and at times, offensive, not conducive to relaxing by the poo with a good book, drinking, or talking with friends.
The cruise director, although personable, did not have a good entertainment team. There was little enthusiasm and "team spirit" and most activities were poorly attended. Prizes were also pitiful ( 1 ship-on-a-stick per team in Trivia!).
Any more questions, please feel free to ask...