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Carnival Miracle Review

2016 Best for Shore Excursions
2016 Best for Families
2014 Best for Shore Excursions
View More

Find a Carnival Miracle Cruise from £199

Carnival Miracle
4.0 / 5.0
1400 reviews

Pros
Midsize ship with ample elbow room and lots of cabins with balconies
Cons
Lacks some of Carnival's (now) standard upgrades
Bottom Line
Appealing ship for Carnival regulars, but short on dining options for longer cruises

About

Passengers
2,124

Crew
934

Passenger to Crew
2.27:1

Launched
2004

Shore Excursions
297
Sails To
Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii
Carnival Cruise Deals
David Swanson
Cruise Critic Contributor

Carnival Miracle Overview

One of Carnival Cruise Line's most comfortable ships, midsized Carnival Miracle is a good bet for cruisers of all ages who are focused less on exotic ports of call than on an upbeat environment with lots of activities on the schedule, from dawn till late at night. It's a ship that marries a friendly, well-versed crew with a solid layout that minimizes crowding, while never letting go of Carnival's mantra, "fun." While lacking some of the bells and whistles found on Carnival's newest or most recently renovated vessels, Carnival Miracle is otherwise in solid condition for its age, and boasts other amenities not found throughout the fleet.

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Debuting in 2004, Carnival Miracle was the last of Carnival Cruise Line's four Spirit-class ships. Unlike many other Carnival ships that tip the 100,000-ton mark, the Spirit-class ships measured a modest 88,500 tons. Carrying 2,124 cruisers at double occupancy, the passenger-to-space ratio on these four ships -- let's call it elbow-room -- is the best in the entire fleet. Carnival Miracle, like its sisters, is also blessed with lots of balconies. In fact, 64 percent of the cabins have a balcony, whereas balcony options throughout the rest of the Carnival fleet represent less than 50 percent of the cabins. And the cabins, while not unusual among Carnival's other ships of this period, start at a relatively generous 185 square feet, offering good value in today's world of shrinking cruise accommodations.

Other things that set Carnival Miracle apart: The ship has two promenade decks, the public areas are more conducive for traffic flow, the Lido Deck is well organized and one of the pools has a retractable roof, which means the area can be used in rainy or cold weather. Plus, Carnival Miracle has a see-through, red-domed funnel topping the Atrium. While not really noticeable from a distance, the Atrium sets the insides aglow with a raspberry tone, especially at the ship's satisfying Deck 10 steakhouse, Nick & Nora's, named for Dashiell Hammett's Thin Man characters. Actually, the Spirit-class vessels are where Carnival's steakhouse concept premiered, and in these ships the venue has a prime location at the top of the Atrium.

Unlike Carnival's newest ships, Carnival Miracle boasts most of legendary Carnival interior designer Joe Farcus' whimsical Vegas-meets-cruising decor, and the theme of the ship is vaguely tied to the world of miracles. Characters out of fantasy and legend are dusted off to name and outfit the public areas, so there's The Raven Library, Mad Hatter's Ball Lounge, Bacchus Dining Room and Dr. Frankenstein's Lab Dance Club -- Robin Hood, Hercule Poirot and Robinson Crusoe also earn a tip of the Farcus hat.

Carnival Miracle is behind the times with more than just its decor. Carnival's "Funship 2.0" upgrade program was launched in 2011, but this ship only received a half-hearted makeover during its last refurb, when the Alchemy Bar and Serenity Pool Deck were added. In addition to missing some of the features found only on the newest Carnival ships, Carnival Miracle lacks a real water park or Dine-In Movies. And it has fewer alternative dining venues than most Carnival ships, including not having a Guy's Burger Joint.

What Carnival Miracle does have is a crew that is upbeat and warm, and genuinely engaged with passengers, and the main dining room delivered satisfying, sometimes above-average meals. It's a ship that harkens to a gentler era of cruising, when amenities were more focused on the sea and the destination, rather than theme park-style attractions. That it's accomplished with Carnival's customary lack of pretense makes Carnival Miracle all the more fun.


Top Carnival Miracle Itineraries

Carnival Miracle
carnival journeys - hawaii cru

San Francisco, Honolulu, Kauai, Maui, Kona (Kailua Bay), Hilo, Ensenada, San Francisco

View All Carnival Miracle Itineraries (18)

Fellow Passengers

Expect lots of couples and groups of friends traveling together, and a wider range of ages than some cruise lines see. Passengers generally range in age from 25 to 65, with families onboard, especially during summer and school breaks.


Carnival Miracle Dress Code

Daytime: Casual, with shorts and T-shirts most common inside the ship and bathing suits and cover-ups de rigueur on the pool deck.

Evening: Carnival is one of the more casual cruise lines in terms of attire, but it's not quite "anything goes" after dark. For the main dining room (Bacchus), men are asked to wear slacks, khakis or dress shorts and collared shirts (Polos acceptable). Summer dresses, casual skirts, pants, capris, dress shorts, and blouses are requested for women. On a typical seven-night itinerary, expect two Cruise Elegant evenings, when a sports coat is encouraged for men, and cocktail dresses, pantsuits or an elegant skirt and blouse is recommended for ladies. Some men will wear a suit and tie or tuxedo on these nights, and women an evening gown.

Not permitted: Jeans are considered OK, but cutoffs, sleeveless shirts, gym/basketball shorts, flip-flops or bathing attire are not allowed at Bacchus. The same dress code applies to Nick & Nora's Steakhouse, except shorts are never allowed.

For more information, visit Cruise Line Dress Codes: Carnival.


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Carnival Miracle Ratings

CategoryEditorMember
Cabins4.04.3
Dining3.53.9
Entertainment4.03.8
Public Rooms4.04.2
Fitness Recreation3.54
Family4.04.1
Enrichment1.53.4
Service4.04.3
Value For Money4.54

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More about Carnival Miracle

Where does Carnival Miracle sail from?

Carnival Miracle departs from San Diego and San Francisco

How much does it cost to go on Carnival Miracle?

Cruises on Carnival Miracle start from £199 per person.

Is Carnival Miracle a good ship to cruise on?

Carnival Miracle won 3 awards over the years.

Awards and Recognition

Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice

  • 2016 Best for Shore Excursions
  • 2016 Best for Families
  • 2014 Best for Shore Excursions

Carnival Miracle Member Reviews

Carnival Miracle
tensixmom
Sail Date: Jan 2020
I did not care for the Phantom theater or the Mad Hatter area on Miracle at all. The entertainment on Miracle was, IMO, far and away better than what we saw on the Ruby.... Read More
Carnival Miracle
AHUEY2
Sail Date: Jan 2020
The gym on the Miracle was one of the better ones I had ever experienced on any of the carnival ships but it could have had more room to move around. The staff at the Guest Service desk were amazing.... Read More
Carnival Miracle
jobella418
Sail Date: Dec 2019
I just got back from Mexican Riviera my 3rd time on this particular cruise and second time on the Miracle.... Read More
Carnival Miracle
klitz
Sail Date: Mar 2020
The Miracle is an excellent ship with 2,500 passenger capacity. That is not too big, but big enough to have full staffing.... Read More

Carnival Cruise Line Fleet

Carnival Ecstasy
3.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating

1118 reviews

Fun and friendly with a laid-back vibe; highlights include waterslides, a singalong piano bar, nightly Punchliner Comedy Club and mini-golf; carries some 2,500.

Carnival Ecstasy Cruises to the Bahamas View All Carnival Ecstasy Cruises
Carnival Elation
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Elation is the seventh of Carnival's eight Fantasy-class vessels (debuting in 1998), and went through a significant upgrade in 2009.

Carnival Fantasy
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Carnival Fantasy may be the oldest vessel in the Carnival fleet, but it certainly has style, and a warm and friendly atmosphere.

Carnival Fascination
3.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


The 2,052-passenger Carnival Fascination debuted in 1994 and went through a significant upgrade to public areas, top-deck spaces and cabins in 2010.

Carnival Imagination
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Fun and friendly with plenty to do from sunup to sundown including high-energy pool deck fun and stage shows, plus waterslides, mini-golf and more.

Carnival Inspiration
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


A smaller ship packed with energetic fun all day long; highlights include nightly comedy, enthusiastic karaoke, waterslides, mini-golf and 10 bars and lounges.

Carnival Paradise
3.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Smaller ship with a fun and family-friendly atmosphere: highlights include short warm-weather itineraries, a waterslide and mini-golf; carries about 2,500 people.

Carnival Sensation
3.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Fun, friendly vibe with a packed lineup of daily activities, nightly comedy, energetic stage shows, silly pool deck fun, and a multi-slide waterpark.

Carnival Victory
3.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Fewer attractions than other Carnival ships but only offers short sailings; highlights are the comedy club, four pools and water slide; about 3,000 passengers.

Carnival Spirit
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


One of Australians' favourite cruise ships -- like a true Aussie, it's laid-back, fun and friendly -- from crew, to passengers and the atmosphere.

Carnival Pride
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Lively and fun with a dizzying art-through-the-centuries decor, nightly standup comedy, two waterslides, four pools, and lots of bars and lounges; can carry about 2,500.

Carnival Legend
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Fun and friendly with lots of pool-centric fun, a multi-slide waterpark, nightly comedy, and 16 lounges and bars; spends much of year in Australia.

Carnival Conquest
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Unpretentious vibe with pool-centric fun and water slide, plus Hairy Chest and Mr. and Mrs. Conquest contests; also 11 bars and 9 eateries; carries about 3,500.

Carnival Glory
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Lively entertainment and activities include nightly stand-up comedy, high-energy Playlist Production stage shows, twister water slide, and a nonstop schedule of daily activities.

Carnival Miracle
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Fun, family-friendly ship focused on Carnival signatures like the high-energy Playlist Production shows, nightly comedy, RedFrog Pub and line dancing deck parties.

Carnival Valor
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Silly poolside games, piano bar sing-alongs and PG- and R-rated stand-up comedy give this smallish mega-ship its fun vibe; also features the RedFrog Pub.

Carnival Liberty
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Fun, friendly vibe focusing on Carnival signatures like the Punchliner Comedy Club, gut-busting Guy's Burger Joint and cocktail-focused Alchemy Bar; holds about 3,500.

Carnival Freedom
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Fun, laid-back and friendly; highlights include nightly comedy, high-energy stage shows, twister water slide and the popular RedFrog Pub; holds about 3,500.

Carnival Splendor
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Can hold upward of 4,000 passengers; features indoor/outdoor pool with retractable dome, Twister water slide, mini-golf and just one extra-fee restaurant.

Carnival Dream
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Fun, friendly vibe; features Guy Fieri's Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse, family-friendly and adult stand-up comedy, nightly karaoke, water park and mini-golf.

Carnival Magic
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Holds about 4,000; highlights include water slides, the RedFrog Pub, two-bathroom family cabins that hold up to five, a ropes course and Carnival's signature fun.

Carnival Breeze
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Nonstop activities and attractions include top deck water park and ropes course, 4D Thrill Theater and nightly standup comedy; can hold up to 4,700 cruisers.

Carnival Sunshine
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Fun and friendly with nightly stand-up comedy and short, energetic stage shows, plus a calorie-packed burger joint from celeb chef Guy Fieri; holds about 3,500.

Carnival Vista
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Holds a bit more than 4,000 passengers; offers a waterpark, suspended-in-midair recumbent bike thrill ride, ropes course and the first IMAX cinema at sea.

Carnival Horizon
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Carnival's newest megaship, holding some 4,000 passengers, launches April 2018; highlights include new barbeque/brewery and Teppanyaki restaurants, an IMAX movie theater, waterpark, beer brewery and ropes course.

Carnival Sunrise
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


A completely reimagined ship, Carnival Sunrise is Carnival Triumph transformed with new venues, entertainment options, and a whole new Fun Ship look.

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