We arrived at Port Everglades around 11 am. This was the first
time we ever drove into Port Everglades so we were a little lost
but was pleasantly surprised when we found the berth for our ship
so easily, dropped off luggage and went and parked in the parking
garage. Embarkation was fairly smooth and once we had our Sail and
Sign cards in hand was able to go right aboard the ship.
Our state room couldn't be accessed until 1:30 pm so we went up
to the Lido deck after exploring just a little. My first impression
of the ships décor was WOW! I love just about everything
décor wise about this ship. So we got to the Lido deck and
found a seat, Pearl sat while I went and rounded us up a couple
DoD's (drink of the day). The sides are enclosed but have windows
that can be opened and a nice breeze was blowing. We went ahead and
checked out the Buffet, called Horatio's restaurant, and was really
surprised at how nice of a buffet it was, best ever seen at
finally came around and we was able to go to our stateroom. Our
stateroom was nice, it has a couch that made up into a bed. We were
surprised at how small our balcony since it was an aft balcony.
(Compared to Carnival Triumph aft balcony.) But over all was well
pleased. Pearl and I starched out and took a little nap. And by the
time we got up 2 of the 3 suitcases had arrived. So we unpack them
and headed out to do some more exploring.
We were really impressed and the imagination that went into the
many bars and venues that are on the ship. The Mad Hatter uses
Alice in Wonderland as a theme. While Dr. Frankenstein Lab uses
Frankenstein as the main theme. The seating in Frankenstein's Lab
are red cushions that looked like bananas. There is a 15 foot
Frankenstein statue on the dance floor. There is the Phantom
Theater where the shows are held. These are just a few. We'll
mention more as we visit them.
We arrived back at our room and there was our last suitcase. The
tag had been torn off and temp had been attached. So Pearl was able
to dress for supper and retrieve her sea sick pills. The main
dining room is called Bacchus Restaurant. Our table was #130 and we
were served by the "I" team. Real names are to come later. Pearl
had beef barley soup while I had the fruit medley and cold tomato
soup that was divine. And for the main course Pearl had "Spinach
Lasagna" which had a good flavor to it but her body said "aint no
way that's going into me". And I had grilled Tipilia (fish), mac
and cheese. For dessert Pearl had strawberry ice cream. And Tim had
vanilla cream brelle and warm chocolate melting cake.
After a very pleasant dinner we went to our room and finish
unpacking. Then off to the Hot Tub in the adult only area. The hot
tub water wasn't as hot as we normally see but we nice especially
considering that Pearl and I had it all to ourselves. Then add a
nice cool breeze and I said to myself "it don't get no better than
this". After spending a couple hours and the hot tub we decided to
retried early for the evening. What happened next is only for the
informed to know. We had a nice day and are anxious to see that
tomorrow may bring.
DAY 2 SEA DAY
Have you ever had that feeling that this day wasn't going to go
smoothly? That if it was going to go wrong you couldn't stop it.
That's how this day started. We woke up to a beautiful sunrise,
nice weather for a sea day and NO ROOM SERVICE. We had ordered
breakfast in our room. And it never showed up. When we asked where
it was at they said that they delivered it on time. If that is the
truth then are hearing must be going bad cause we didn't hear
So we went to the dining room to eat breakfast. We were seated
with 2 other couples. We did have a good conversation during our
meal. The one thing we learned at this meal was Salmon was very
popular breakfast food. Even with that knowledge I passed on
After breakfast I went to the Spa for a beginners Yoga class.
There were 5 people in the class. Most of them could stretch in
ways she never thought one could possibly do. She learned really
fast that it was not something that she could do or wanted to do.
The arthritis in her lower back started to hurt. But then again, if
all the instructors looked that that one, lots of muscles
(extremely HOT), with a neat loveable accent, I might just be able
to do it again.
As the day went on were found that the pool side music wasn't
that good. The activities pool side were limited due the space
around the pools. And unless you like BINGO or the Casino, there
wasn't much that interested us. Now let me tell you about Mr.
Lucky's Casino. That place looks really neat. There is plenty of
space between groups of tables or slot machines. While Pearl was
doing the yoga class, Tim hit the casino and may I add he did good.
Went in with $40 and walked out with $120.
Winning money is a hard laborious job, it took so much out of
Tim, he had to go take an afternoon nap. Because he wanted to be in
tip-top shape when the evening elegant party started.
Before dinner we went and had several pictures taken. I hope
they turn out good. Our fine meal consisted of, Tim had spaghetti,
stuffed mushrooms, 2 lobster tails and shrimp, and cherry jubilee I
had minestrone soup, and chili retellio, along with cherry jubilee.
Then our waiters , Indrawan and Igede, showed up with a small piece
of cake and sang Happy Birthday to Shue to me. It was a lovely
piece of Banana cake with creamy icing and a piece of banana and
red raspberry on the top. YUMMMMMMMMMMY.
Then the singing waiters came out of hiding and took the guest
for a spine around the room while the Mat'rde sang an Italian song.
That got our blood pumping. We love the different ways they
entertain us in the dining hall.
Then it was off to the show at 8:45 pm. We got there in time
that we got a front row seat. The show was called "Generation".
They sang songs from the 50's through the 80's. The dancing was
okay, the band did a good job with the music. Even the person
singing the Elvis songs did a good job of copying Elvis's style.
But the show didn't impress us at all.
The day is done and so are we, so off to the cabin to see if we
can make out what kind of towel critter is in wait for us to
DAY 3 GRAND TURK
I'm telling you someone or something is making it hard for us to
enjoy this cruise. We wised up and didn't order room service for
breakfast. Instead we went to the Lido deck and ate at the buffet.
We were pleasantly surprised that is was not crowded, the lines
were short and we were done eating in 30 minutes. I had a really
good Omelet, potatoes and biscuit and gravy while Pearl had French
toast, ham and sausage. We watched another cruise ship back up
beside our ship. Then we were off to our rooms for one last potty
run before we went on our shore tour. It was a good thing we did
because waiting in our room was a message that the tour had been
canceled because the winds were too strong. It was a disappointment
because we really wanted to go on the "Catamaran Sail away" but we
understand that it is hard to sail a sailboat when the winds are
strong. Trust us the winds did have a good gust to them at
So we pulled up our little kids panties and went ashore to lay
on the beach at Margarettaville. We ordered 2 drinks, they were
about the size of a 10 oz cup with a piece of orange and one cherry
under the umbrella. When we seen the bill.we wanted to send them
back. They were not worth $20.41 that they charge for them. I was
the only one that went into the ocean to swim and I was not
impressed with the beach at all. The sandy area was small and after
going into the water a few feet it dropped quickly onto big rocks
that were hard to walk on. There was plenty of palm tree's on the
beach and we found a nice shady spot to relax for a while then
headed over to do some shopping. The prices were kinda expensive so
we gathered ourselves up and headed back to the ship around 11:30
We went to our room after getting back on the ship and dropped
our things off and changed clothes before heading up to the Buffet
for lunch. Pearl and I had Asian food, lots of veggies and
meat..Yum. From the buffet we split up and I headed for my 1 hr
full body deep tissue massage while Pearl came down to work on the
blog and read. We met at the room later to head to supper in the
main dining room. Pearl had the a beef vegy soup and a NY strip
steak while I had Lasagna and a ceaser salad for starters and a
wonderful NY strip steak for the main course. Let me just say that
it was the best steak I've ever had on a cruise ship, supper clubs
not withstanding. Then Pearl surprised me, I had to pick my jaw up
off the floor, she actually ordered a warm chocolate melting cake
just like I did, what is the world coming to????
After supper we stopped by the casino for a while then hit the
comedy club and saw Phat Kat perform, he wasn't too bad but same
stuff as when we saw him on the Triumph, then headed up to the Hot
Tub for about an hour and a half. That concluded another wonderful
day on the Carnival Miracle, what will be in store tomorrow? We
DAY 4 CASA DE CAMPO, LA ROMANA DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
We were up at the crack of dawn just waiting for the next shoe
to drop. Would we get good room service or not? So to solve that
problem we hit the Lido deck for breakfast, where we had the
breakfast of champions, bacon, eggs and hash browns. After a hardy
breakfast we went to the top deck to get some pictures as we were
just docking in Dominican Republic.
The locals sure looked glad to see us as there were several of
them dancing on the pier and a boat load of locals cruising by the
ship and posing for pictures. My first impression that I had from
my view on the ship was, after looking at the smoke billowing out
of a factory, I bet they don't have the EPA regulations here that
we do in the States. Actually I was to find out later that this was
a pretty good assumption because the Dominican Republic is
basically the United States forty years behind us, expect they
We began our shore excursion for the day with a short walk to
the bus that was to take us to Santa Domingo, the capital of The
Dominican Republic, for a walking tour and lunch. The trip to Santa
Domingo was pretty uneventful, we did notice the houses and
buildings that we saw were either made from concrete blocks or
concrete itself. There was a lot of run down homes and lots of
trash lying around which seems typical for these third world
countries. The Dominican Republic differs from most third world
countries, in my opinion, because of the road ways. The road ways
are fairly modern four land highways with exit ramps and entrance
ramps like you would see on our interstates. They drive English
Style, (on the right side of the road) and have modernized traffic
control devices and the like. There driving habits and manors are
worse than in the states. I hope the states never get that bad.
The walking tour did not impress us much. We visited a local
market where we were able to buy some cigars and our short glass
for this country. Then we walked over to the Catholic Cathedral for
a tour. We did not like this; we believe that a church is the house
of God and should not be used as a tourist attraction, even if it
is the very first cathedral in the western hemisphere. From there
we went to a Jesuit church which was more like a cemetery because
it held the remains of all the former presidents. The Dominican
Republic keeps an Honor Guard there to honor their fallen
presidents, (That's a lot cheaper than building Presidential
Libraries in this country) Finally it was lunch time and we headed
off to a little restaurant where we were packed like sardines at
the tables they had assigned to us. It was a small buffet boosting
classic Dominican food. What many of the dishes were I could not
tell you, but the food wasn't very good. Then we boarded the bus
for the trip back to the ship. We stopped at the Christopher
Columbus lighthouse for a quick picture shoot before continuing our
trip back to the ship. The lighthouse was unlike any we have ever
seen, it is a huge building made in the shape of a cross and the
remains of Christopher Columbus are supposedly buried there. I saw
supposedly because there are at least three countries who say that
the remains of Christopher Columbus are buried there! At night,
when the lighthouse lights are turned on, the whole city of Santa
Domingo and way out to sea can see a huge cross in the sky from the
lighthouse. The rest of the trip back went smoothly. All in all the
trip was pretty boring and we would not suggest this excursion to
anyone. As a side note, the venders were not pushy but were
constantly there trying to make a buck!
We went to our stateroom and rested for a bit then I went down
to the sports bar to smoke a cigar while Pearl relaxed in the cabin
and read. We met back up at supper where Pearl had chicken noodle
soup and Veal parmesan and I had cream of mushroom soup, a shrimp
cocktail and the Filet Mignon with a side of rib for supper, yum!
Desert was simply Vanilla ice cream for Pearl and Pumpkin pie with
vanilla ice cream for me. Supper was over, the waiters doing a nice
song and dance, finally new material from other cruises, and we
were off to the casino. Pearls luck wasn't happening but mine was
pretty good as I came out about $100.00 ahead. After a drink or two
we then got our bathing suites on and headed to the Hot Tub for a
hour or so and then to bed. Tomorrow is Aruba but we get into port
at noon so we get to sleep in.Yeah!
DAY 5 ARUBA
We was able to sleep in this morning because we weren't
scheduled to arrive in Aruba till noon and then depart till 9:30
pm, so plenty of time to enjoy the morning and enjoy the day! We
ate breakfast in the Bachuss dining room, I had eggs Benedict and a
ham and cheese omelet while Pearl enjoyed a bowl of cereal and a
Danish. Bachuss, for which the dining room received it's name, is
God of the grapes according to Greek lore. The whole dining room
has grapes dangling from the ceiling and wine glasses as pillars
After the ship docked we disembarked and caught a cab to our
BlueGreen resort that we have in Aruba. The taxi driver was very
nice and dropped us off right across the street from the resort. We
arrived at the resort and told Jeane, an employ of the resort, we
were BlueGreen owners and wanted to visit for the day and see the
resort. Jeane took us to the offices and one of the office girls
gave us the grand tour. LaCabana resort is a beautiful resort! The
rooms are very nice and the swimming pool and bar area is great. If
we wanted to we could of walked across the street to Eagle beach
and spent the day there too. We caught a bus and returned to the
ship around 5 pm and rested for a bit before going to the Lido
buffet for supper. Pearl and I both had Asian food for a very nice
supper. After supper we came back to the room and took a little nap
before heading to the Casino for a while and then the Hot Tub. We
had been blessed with a really nice day and turned in early because
Curacao came early tomorrow.
DAY 6 CURACAO
We tried room service again this morning and was pleased that it
was only 5 minutes after it was supposed to arrive at the latest.
We both ate a bowl of cereal and a Danish and fruit and coffee. We
docked right on time and after letting the initial line of folks
off the ship we walked off to find a cab to see the sights.
We ended up sharing a cab with 2 other couples. The driver about
sweated us to death before he realized he didn't have the A/C on.
We stopped at a alcohol factory for a short visit, the rum tasted
like cough syrup, and headed on up the road. We saw the nicer areas
as well as the not so nice areas, we visited down town and ended up
being dropped off by the floating bridge.
The floating bridge is a bridge that spans the river inlet where
the ships come in. When a ship needs in or out a motor on one end
of the bridge moves one end of the bridge to open up the passage.
While touring down town there was a fresh fish market where
Venezuelans come to sell their fresh caught fish. The boats are
pulled right up to the docks, covered with a tarp and sold right
from the ship. Venezuelans come to Curacao because they can get
much better prices for their fish rather then in Venezuela. Pearl
and I bought a couple of shirts and a hat and went on back to the
We arrived back to the room and Pearl came down with a real bad
headache. We went to diner in the main dining room but Pearl ended
up going back to the room, her head was just hurting too bad. I
went ahead and enjoyed a meal of Pork tenderloin with a really nice
sauce, potatoes and had French Onion soup for a started and a rum
flavored cake with dates and figs for desert.
With Pearl's head hurting I returned to the room after supper to
spend some time with her. We purchased a movie, the Expendables,
which turned out to be pretty good, and then went to the Casino for
a while. I returned to the room to find Pearl had ate a little
something and seemed to be feeling better. So ended another day in
DAY 7 SEA DAY
Good morning world! Pearl is feeling better, hurray!!! Sadly,
after going to the Lido deck for a wonderful everything omelet and
fruit breakfast, Pearl had her same old boring cereal again, with
fruit of course, ha! I started getting an upset stomach an hour or
so after breakfast and it lasted almost all day. We checked out the
shops after breakfast to see if there was any souvenirs we wanted
to buy. Most cruises we have been on have their best prices the
last day of the cruise so we didn't buy anything at this time but
did scope out our model of the ship we always buy during our
cruises and a neat stuffed Pirate teddy bear. We hit the casino and
after a slow start we ended up not doing too bad playing the slots.
Time to drop Pearl off for her birthday present! Pearls birthday
present was a day at the spa! Pearl enjoyed a manicure, pedicure,
hair wash and style for almost 3 hours of restful delight. I had
went back to the cabin to try to sleep as my stomach was really
bothering me. When Pearl arrived back at the room I thought I had
died and an angel had come to take me to heaven. Pearls hair was
really nice and her nails looked good too.
Tonight was the last elegant night for the cruise so we dressed
up for the evening and went to supper to enjoy a fine dinner. Pearl
ate the eggplant and mozzarella for a starter while I had a fruit
dish and a Broccoli and cheese soup. Pearl had a very dry
Chateaubriand while I had a chicken dinner which was really good.
My stomach wasn't any worse for wear so we hit the mad hatter
lounge to catch the pg rated comedy show. The comedian Jason
Blancard was very funny, we also caught his r rated show later on
which was excellent. The show in the theatre was "Ticket to Ride" a
play on the music of the Beatles and I must say it was really good.
After the show it was back to the comedy club to see Jason's R
rated show and another comedian Wil Marfori and his R rated show,
both were very good.
It was late, we hit the Lido for a late snack then it was off to
DAY 8 SEA DAY
We woke up this morning, excited because we would be 2 of 17
people who would get a behind the scenes tour of the ship today.
How did we get so lucky you may ask? My wife actually read the
excursion pamphlet that came with our first day Fun Times
newsletter. It told us about the $95.00 per person excursion so we
booked it as soon as possible. This is something we have wanted to
do for a very long time so after waking we showered, dressed and
headed to the Lido for breakfast. I had an omelet, home fries and
fruit while Pearl had cereal, sausage and fruit.
The tour was to meet at the Joker card room so we made sure we
arrived with plenty of time to spare. A pretty Russian girl named
Yulia was to be our host and tour guide. We started out by heading
to the Phantom Theatre and went behind the scenes where one of the
Stage Producers met us to explain how things worked and answer
questions. There had to be at least 10 screens that can drop from
the ceiling to make for different backgrounds, depending on the
show, and each one weighs about 1000 lbs. Back stage the dressing
room is wide open spaces! No private dressing rooms here, shoot
there isn't even a divider from the boys and girls! The costumes
and wigs of each dancer was hanging right behind where their chair
was sitting at a long mirror attached to the wall. A total change
for a guy from one suite to another is 22 seconds.
We left by a back entrance and entered a hall that neither Pearl
nor I had been on during this whole cruise, even though it is for
guests. It was on the 3rd floor all the way at the front of the
ship. We then went to the Galley to see where the food is prepared
at. The big soup containers looked like a pot that you would see
over a huge campfire in the middle of the jungle with a witch
doctor brewing his poison. Then we watched a cook take a bar of
soap and turn it into a beautiful swan. Which we got to take home
with us. The cook staff was busy preparing the evening meal even
thought it was only around 10 AM. They were making soups, deserts,
breads, and potatoes. We were able to get our picture taken with
the head chef before moving on to see the refrigeration and freezer
We visited the freezer and refrigeration areas and I must say
while they are non-descript, they are huge and must be because they
keep enough food not only for the 8 day cruise but also for 4 extra
days in case something was to happen.
Next we visited the eco friendly trash disposal system. This
room is manned 24 hours a day and is where all recyclables are
separated and put into the proper bins. Where they will be off
loaded after the cruise and properly disposed. Even the leftover
food is ground up and deposited into the ocean for fish food.
And of course no ship would be complete without a laundry room,
which is open 24 hours a day. There are 4 big washing machines that
hold 100 pounds of laundry each. Several huge dryers and machines
that actually dry and fold the bed sheet and towels. We found out
that the bedding is changed before each cruise leaves out and once
during the cruise unless more is needed. Believe it or notbut it
takes 4 people, 3 weeks to count every piece of bedding and towels
on the ship. This room is below the water line.
We even got to visit the area where the crew lives and eats.
They have 3 different dining areas, one for the Officers, one for
the entertainers and one for the crew. The servers are in training
down here before they are allowed to serve in the main dining room
to customers. They even have a bar and gaming area. The sad news is
if a crew member drinks too much alcohol and blows a .08
breathalyzer test, they are fired and will not be rehired for any
reason. No exceptions. (Even the captain is limited to 4 oz of wine
We were disappointed because we didn't get to see the engines
themselves however we did get to go to the engine room where all
the control panels were located. (go figure) There were lots of
computers, gauges and stuff. Even had a couple fish tanks in there.
We found out that they never change their oil unless a bad report
comes back after an oil analysis report. The Chef engineer, Rosario
Capilli, can also completely control the ship operations from this
room. In case of an emergency he can also assume duties as captain
of the ship.
Speaking of the Captain, we visited the bridge next. They put us
in an elevator and took us to the 8th floor. To our surprise, there
were cabins right next to the bridge. After going through our
second security inspection, we were allowed to enter the bridge.
The captain of the ship, Rocco Lubrano, was able to greet us and
answer questions that we had for him. He also was kind enough to
take a photo with each of us and a group photo before he had to
leave as it was almost noon, time for his midday address to the
ship. We did get to ask questions of the other officers on the
bridge who explained to us that there are 3 different stations
whereby the ship maybe guided and controlled on the bridge. To the
port, starboard and mid ship. Communication are conducted via
satphone, marine radio, and GPS systems. The view from the bridge
is incredible, we even saw some dolphins while up there. The
amazing thing about ships now-a-days is that they can turn 360
degrees without the help of other boats.
Now on to our last stop at Nick and Nora's Steakhouse. We got to
meet the head chef and he gave us a demonstration about how to tell
if a steak is a good one. The problem was this guy didn't know how
to explain it very good. Our tour ended here and we were given a
bag with a hat in it, a bracelet, an ID holder, and that beautiful
swan made from a bar of soap. We were to discover later that this
was not all the gifts that we were to receive. That night at diner
Yulia brought us several photos from the tour and then when we
returned to our cabin later in that evening, we received a plate of
chocolate cover strawberries and peanut brittle.
We really enjoyed that tour and felt it was well worth the money
that we spent.
Its lunch time so we made our way to the main dining room for
lunch, which is something that we have never done on a cruise. It
escapes me now what we had to eat but the experience what I wanted
to remember. After lunch we went back to our room and rested awhile
until it was time to pack our clothes and get ready for dinner.
Dinner for this night was prime rib, which they had earlier in
the week but Indrawan, our waiter, had told me we would have again.
I also had shrimp and salad for an appetizer and for dessert warm
chocolate melting cake. While Pearl had Chicken pasta dish with
soup as an appetizer and ice cream for dessert. We cried as the
waiters sang their good-bye song to us cruisers. I have to admit
that the "I" team was the second best set of servers that we have
had since we started cruising.
For our final night we decided to finally stay up long enough to
go to the Piano Bar. The entertainer had a sore throat that he was
fighting and we didn't get to hear much singing before we left. The
sad part is that he played the guitar not the piano. I almost felt
like he was making fun of us for coming to the piano bar for the
first time on the last night of the cruise. I didn't appreciate it.
From there it was back to our room for the evening.
DAY 9 SADDEST DAY OF THE CRUISE
Our luggage was gone and if we wanted any clothes to wear we had
to leave the ship. : ( We had breakfast on Lido deck one more
time..then we waited for our magical number to be called. They
started with number one and ours was 21. They made the first
announcement around 8:30 am. So you can guess how long it took us
to be called. Well, it was 10 am when they called our number and
off the ship we went. Like cattle going to the slaughter house, we
were herded through the line for one last punch of our Sail N Sign
cards at the Ding Ding machine. Then it was the dreaded search for
our luggage. Think about this there was 2,200 people onboard with 2
suite cases each, which comes to about 4,400 suite cases that
everyone was looking for theirs. WOW!!!!! After finding our luggage
we headed for Customs. You know that horrible line where the person
at the end asks you questions and you feel like they want to know
how much money you have left over so they can charge you that
amount for duty taxes. Well, our man was good to us. He let us go
with no additional taxes. We must have looked like we didn't have
Now we were off to find our truck in the parking garage. After
our long walk lugging our suite cases, fighting everyone else and
making it up to the third floor..we finally found our haven of
rest, which was our pick up truck. Got to admit that leaving the
parking garage 45 minutes after our number was called wasn't to
bad. Especially since I was sitting in the passenger seat and Pearl
was fighting the traffic once again.