Carnival Miracle Cruise Review to Hawaii

7+ cruises


Helpful Votes

3 out of 5

2015 Hawaii Cruise MSG Hamilton welcome home

Sail Date: October 17, 2015

Reviewed: 11 months ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Balcony

Our cruise experience began at the port of embarkation, in line waiting to show our documentation and receive our ship card.  We were getting many stares and could not figure out why, until someone from the cruise line came up to us and said, “you cannot take that water on board."  I was carrying a big jug of water drinking it and stated that I knew that it could not and that if I had not drank it all I would pitch it.  She said no, I am talking about the case of water...  there, which I had on a roller cart along with a couple 12-packs of soda.  I was confused, but our fellow cruisers behind us said they did not find out about the NEW Rule but just a few weeks prior and were told they could purchase 12-packs of water for $2.99 prior to cruising or it was more expensive on the ship if you could get it at all.  So, I spent the rest of the time in line, on-line perusing the website to purchase 2 12-packs of water; I WAS NOT A HAPPY CAMPER, AND STILL AM NOT PLEASED WITH THE NEW RULE AND THE WAY CARNIVAL HANDLED THIS.  It should have stated something about this NEW Rule on my boarding pass, then I would have known about it and could have gone to the correct location while on the Carnival website and purchased the water and not have purchased water in CA prior to heading to the port.  I would not have been happy about it even then, but would have at least been notified in advance and would not have purchased water that was just pitched in the trash!  i am huge on conservation of resources and that is just terrible!  My husband and I split meals on a regular basis and even on the ship at the main dining, we would split meals versus wasting food just to have a taste of something different that they were serving.  I suggest to Carnival that if there are any notable changes that they post them on the pre cruise checklist area in RED so that cruisers would see it if something changes after they have booked the cruise and prior to printing their boarding passes, luggage tags, etc.  Now, as far as the cruise we had a wonderful time doing a lot of nothing.  After a 15-month deployment to the Middle East this is exactly what was needed.  We did not realize we were going to be on a flash back (Journey’s) / Elderly people cruise, but both were fine.  We enjoyed the few mid-night buffet’s, but really feel that these could be kept at a smaller scale because such a small percentage of cruiser’s actually partake of the food and that way it would not wasted.  The activities seemed to be a lot of sitting around participating in trivia, which is probably fine for the elderly, but I feel that you should have added other afternoon activities like more types of the minute to win it, Bingo, crowd-pleasing 2 people or group participating games.  Even the Elderly would like these; they are elderly, not dead yet... lol! 

The Entertainment was good.  Mark Preston and Lovina Fox were wonderful singers and put on a great performance each, we could listen to them all night!  The Juggler was good too.  The Hypnotist tried, but the act was extremely boring and having the audience stating that everyone was faking did not help.  Nothing against the ships performers, but I like the different acts or entertainment that perform every night just like the old times of cruising.  You know, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, however knowing things change having the cruise ship performers and the acts brought onboard performing alternating nights would be a good mix.  The Comedy Club and the comedians:  the first two were fine, then we got Mark and Jaylyn Bishop, and they were great.  Especially Jaylyn, she was hysterical.  We could have watched her all night what a refreshing comic she is and so funny and active.  They both were able to come across with funny material at all of their shows on their own, without needing to use the audience. Mark was very funny, good material that everyone can relate to.  It seemed that the other comics had to use the F—word to have and adult rated show.  That in itself is not funny and does not make it an adult comedy rated show.  They can take lessons and watch Mark and Jaylyn do their routines – adult comedy –no F—word needed!  I would recommend that Carnival not ever have Steve and Stanley back to the Comedy Club again.  They were not funny, not at all.  When they had to use the audience as props just to have a routine, or try to be funny.  I would have thought Stanley who has been doing this for over thirty years would have enough material for four shows, but no; it was sad.  Steve seems to be new, but so whinny, if I want to hear that I can go talk to my kids.

Getting back on the ship in Kailua:  what a poor way of getting people back on the ship.  One scanner, really?  Only one gangway for passengers to get back onboard. Really?  Both gangways should have been open for passengers to board the ship.  The excuse of ,that is the way we have always done it, is not a very good one.  You need to change and check to see how the flow goes.  You could gain a lot of insight if a couple Army Veterans (NCOs) were to guide you in this area, among a few others.  We are experts at moving troops, same concept.  Take care of your people; move them out of the heat, get them to the food and then to the entertainment.  Make them happy not grumpy, that is the wrong Dwarf to turn into… lol! 

Getting Back on the ship in Kona:  Big Fiasco.  There should have been a minimum of 6 tenders shuttling people back and forth to the ship.  Two at the ship unloading, two in route to pick-up more passengers, and two loading at the dock at all times.  Instead there were only 4;  2 unloading while the other two were on their way to pick-up.  The waters were rough and having the extra would have proved beneficial.  Not having them caused the boarding of all passengers to be 2 hours past the original no later time of X?.  to make matters worse once at the ship there should have been at least three check-point stations at all times versus the one, which caused another seriously long line.  Not sure why bags are checked again once you get on the ship either?  They have already been checked through security on shore behind chain link fence with no one being able to get to you to hand anything off.  This was very poor movement of people back on the ship!


Cabin / Stateroom
It was our first time with a balcony room, we loved it. But it was somewhat too expensive and we will not do that again. The reason that I did this, was my wife is in the military and she had just gotten home from a 15 month Deployment and it was my welcome home gift to her.
Embarkation and Disembarkation
several times this was a logistical nightmare. see overall review comments for more details.
Ship Quality
Destinations and Excursions
The Carnival Excursions were too expensive. Is it because of the cost of the tour bus. We went on a "Hop on Hop off" in Hilo for $20.00 for the whole day and it was going to the same places as one or two of the Carnival excursion tour buses. Plus we could stay as long as we wanted at any one place and we could go back there again, we could even have gone back to the ship had lunch came back out and gone to any of the locations such as downtown -shopping or the black beach for swimming/snorkeling with the sea turtles, not a one and done like the added Hop on Hop off Carnival Excursion that was about $40/ea at one of the other Islands.
Onboard Activities
Needed more things than sitting around answering Trivia. see overall review comments for more details..
Children's Programs N/A
Some great, some good, some not so good. See overall review comments for more details..
Service and Staff
Food and Dining
The Main dining food and service was excellent! The food choices on the buffet was okay. Breakfast - always great; lunch - I chose pizza a lot, because it seemed the options never changed. EXAMPLE: Asian, we thought all Carnival ships had a Mongolian Wok and found that not to be so; disappointed :-(, but was glad to see that there was still Asian/Chinese food; we only wished that this option would have changed day to day such as having lo mein noodles as an alternate to the rice noodle; as well as other options. Never did see any pasta. In general the buffet was okay. Main Dining great as always.
Kahului, Maui Don't do the Luau here.... this one is too expensive and time spent for the luau is not long enough. wait for Oahu and do the luau -Germaines
Honolulu, Oahu Germaines Luau! Tip: buy souvenir gift Tiki glass in gift shop $10 and the Bar will fill it full of your drink of choice using your free drink ticket! This Tiki glass holds twice the drink as the small plastic cup they serve the ticketed drinks in.
Hilo, Hawaii DO NOT BOOK a Carnival Excursion for downtown, Beach, Rainbow falls, Statue of King Kamehameha, Banyan Drive; there is a place right outside the gate on the left called Hop on Hop off for $20 each. They wristband you and it is for the entire day. If you go to just a few of the locations and decide to go back to the ship for lunch and change to go to the the stop of the black beach you can because the wristband is for the entire day you are in Hilo; Hop on - Hop off; stay as long as you like at any location another Hop on Hop off trolley/bus comes around about every 20 minutes. A Great inexpensive way to see a lot of Hilo.
Ensenada, Mexico Recommend the inexpensive shopping / downtown excursion; i think it was like $28/each. The one that you receive a complimentary drink at the historic Casino and visit the Winery for wine tasting and then stop downtown for shopping.

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