October 2015 - Carnival Miracle to Hawaii
The Carnival Miracle is a very nice ship, and it was remarkable how it never seemed crowded. Access to anything we wanted to do was easy with little waiting. We were treated very well by the staff. Overall an enjoyable and memorable cruise.
Embarkation was a bit troublesome. They had one meeting area for Priority, but it was pretty crowded. They said Platinum, Diamond, and Faster to the Fun would enter at different times, but when they started boarding, everyone tried to be first in line. Would have been better if they had 3 separate roped off areas to enforce the order.
Carnival food and entertainment doesn't seem as good as it used to be. This was our 15th Carnival cruise, and we have noticed a steady decline over the years. Thankfully this ship now has the Red Frog Pub, so we spent a lot of time there meeting new friends.
The cruise and ports were fine (didn't have any rain in any of the ports, lucky us), but the one thing we didn't consider was it gets dark by 6:00PM in mid-October. So even though we were in port from 10am to 11pm, you couldn't see any of the natural beauty after 6pm, which is why you go on a Hawaii cruise.
The tendering in Kona is not very good. Carnival was using lifeboats, and it took hours to tender folks off the ship, as well as hours tendering them back on (we were supposed to leave by 6pm, but didn't leave until after 7pm). Being Platinum, we were spared much of the pain, but others were not so lucky.