More than two decades ago, Carnival Miracle set sail for the first time. However, just because this ship is on the older side, that hardly makes it a bad fit for your cruise. With lots to love from bow to stern, and frequent rounds of refurbishments that have taken place as recently as 2022, this ship still holds its own.

Keep reading to learn more about what all this ship can offer you and your family, how it still manages to embody the Carnival spirit, and more.

On the smaller side (particularly compared to some of Carnival’s more modern ships), Carnival Miracle will pack you and just a cool, two thousand-or-so other travelers away, across its roomy-enough 12 passenger decks. Here’s how it measures in.

Gross Tonnage: 88,500
Length: 963 feet
Passenger: 2,123 (Double Occupancy)
Maximum Passengers: 2,680
Passenger Decks: 12
Crew Capacity: 930
Cabin: 1,062

Built for a cost of $375 million in 2003, at Kvaerner-Masa Yards in Helsinki, Finland, Carnival Miracle embarked on its inaugural cruise on Feb. 27, 2004, following a christening ceremony; the ship’s godmother is former Army Private Jessica Lynch.

For roughly the first decade of its life, the ship served itineraries in the Caribbean and along the United States East Coast. However, in 2013, the ship was repositioned via the Panama Canal in order to offer West Coast sailings.

Just a short time later, Carnival had planned to send the ship to China for cruise itineraries there, but that plan was canceled and the ship went back to the Caribbean. Since then, the ship has split its time between Caribbean and West Coast sailings.

Photo Credit: Dave R

Since Carnival Miracle’s launch, the ship has undergone a series of dry docks, to bring the ship up to modern standards and add new features and elements. 

The first few dry dock periods, in 2007 and 2009, added just a few extra features, including kids-only venues and the ship’s nine-hole mini golf course. In 2012, a more expansive dry dock took place, during which Carnival updated staterooms and suites and created the Serenity adults-only area. 

Similarly, larger refurbishments took place in 2015 (in San Francisco) and in 2020 (in The Bahamas), as Carnival added Carnival-favorite venues, restaurants, and bars to the ship.

For example, in 2015, the SkyBox Sports Bar replaced Maguire’s Sports Bar, and RedFrog Pub replaced the Jazz Club. Likewise, in 2020, JavaBlue Café replaced Fountainhead Coffee. 

The most recent refurbishments took place in 2022, in Portland, Oregon, when Carnival rebranded the ship’s spa as Cloud 9 Spa, expanded the casino and refreshed the ship’s hull design. Staterooms were also given maintenance and updates.

Photo Credit: Carnival Cruise Line

The ship’s next dry dock is scheduled to take place over March, April and May 2025. Given the length of the scheduled dry dock, it’s safe to assume major changes will take place.  

Carnival Miracle is a member of the Spirit class. The first ship in the class, Carnival Spirit, originally launched in 2000, was built to specifications that would allow the ships to pass through the Panama Canal, and the ships feature the smallest smokestacks out of all the fleet’s vessels. All Spirit-class ships measure in right around 85,000–88,000 gross tons, so they’re smaller, but still beloved. 

Spirit-class ships include Carnival Spirit, Carnival Pride, Carnival Legend, Carnival Miracle and Carnival Luminosa. However, do note that Carnival Luminosa was originally built as Costa Luminosa, but was then transferred over to the Spirit class, meaning it’s not exactly built to the specifications used for the original Spirit class.

In more recent years, Carnival has added other ships to this class, particularly ships sailing under the Costa brand: Costa Atlantica in 2020 and Costa Mediterranea in 2021. 

Across Carnival Miracle’s 1,062 total guest staterooms (inclusive of suites), you’ll find…

277 interior staterooms
103 ocean view staterooms
632 balcony staterooms
16 accessible staterooms

What can you expect from each? Well, the interior staterooms are a little outdated, to be honest. Expect budget hotel-esque décor and aesthetics, with lots of light wood and orange and red everywhere.

This ship does offer interior with obstructed-view window staterooms, so if you feel like regular interior staterooms are a bit too boxy for you, you can upgrade to this slightly better option.

Carnival Cruise Line Ocean View Cabin (Photo Copyright: Cruise Hive)

Ocean-view staterooms feature much the same décor, but offer more leg room, with separate sitting areas and more floor space overall. Ocean views come courtesy of large, rectangular windows situated on the far side of the cabins.

Read Also: What Are the Best Rooms on a Cruise Ship?

Balcony staterooms are your best and most updated options, particularly the premium balcony staterooms, which offer a slightly more updated aesthetic. You have several balcony options to choose from, including extended balconies and obstructed view balconies.

There aren’t a ton of suite options on this ship, but if you have your heart set on sailing in one, you can snag one of…

10 vista suites
32 ocean suites 
2 junior suites
6 grand suites

Junior suites are a little on the smaller side, with standard balconies, but more floor space inside, including a dining area and a soaking tub in the bathroom. Ocean suites similarly maximize space, but both inside and out. There’s also a walk-in closet.

Carnival Cruise Line Suite (Photo Copyright: Cruise Hive)

Vista suites, in contrast, put the focus on the exterior experience, with big, wraparound balconies to truly maximize your views. Plus, inside, you can still enjoy those views thanks to wall-to-wall windows.

Lastly, the grand suite offers lots to love, from the big balcony to the extra sitting areas to the vanity area. No matter which suite you book, you’ll be able to enjoy VIP, suite guest-only amenities such as…

Priority check-in and boarding
Priority dining room assignments
Priority debarkation 
In-room bottles of water
Luxury mattresses
In-room bathrobes

Thanks to the more recent upgrades made to this ship, you can enjoy a range of dining options all for free during the course of your cruise, including dining at crowd-favorite Carnival brands. Complimentary dining options aboard Carnival Miracle include…

Free Dining on Carnival Cruise Line (Photo Copyright: Cruise Hive)

Guy’s Burger Joint, for burgers Guy Fieri-style
BlueIguana Cantina, for Mexican eats
Lido Marketplace, the cruise ship’s buffet
Pizza Pirate, for slices around the clock
Swirls, for sweet, frozen treats
Sweet Spot, for even more delectable desserts
Bacchus Dining Room, the ship’s main dining room, serving three meals a day

If you find that the above complimentary dining options aren’t quite enough to keep you satiated during your trip, you do have other choices. Upgrade your experience with one of these for-a-fee eateries: 

Carnival Cruise Line RedFrog Pub

Nick & Nora’s Steakhouse, the ship’s classic steakhouse option
Bonsai Sushi Express, for fresh, quick sushi bites
The Chef’s Table, for an intimate, reservations-only dining experience with the ship’s culinary team
JavaBlue Café, for your daily cup of joe
RedFrog Pub, for a relaxed environment and brews

You can also order room service and pizza delivery, and attend special dining events, such as Carnival’s classic family-oriented, Seuss-themed Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast. 

You don’t have to head to one of the ship’s eateries in order to enjoy a drink or two. Libations can also be had at the following watering holes:

Carnival Cruise Line’s RedFrog Rum Bar

Alchemy Bar, for mixed cocktails
BlueIguana Tequila Bar, a relatively new addition to the ship but not to the Carnival line
RedFrog Rum Bar, similarly a new addition to the ship but one cruisers will likely know well
Gotham Lounge, for live music with your drinks
Sam’s Piano Bar, for singing along to your favorite tunes
SkyBox Sports Bar, for brews and the big game

There’s absolutely no shortage of fun things to do when you take a Carnival Miracle cruise. Here are some of our favorite ways to play aboard this ship.

If your itinerary is taking you to sunny locales, don’t stay indoors all day. Carnival Miracle offers loads of spaces for you to get in a little sun (just remember the sunscreen!).

Carnival Miracle Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: Ritu Manoj Jethani / Shutterstock)

Hit one of the multiple pools and find the best one for you based on amenities, crowds, etc. Take a walk around the jogging track for unbeatable views. Zip down a waterslide for a blood-pumping thrill. Or, challenge your kids to a game of hoops and show off your skills to the fam.

Whatever your favorite genres or whatever your favorite activities, entertainment is right at your fingertips. Battle it out on stage at the Lip Sync Battle: Carnival. Get competitive in a family-friendly way at Hasbro, The Game Show.

Carnival Cruise Line family Feud

If you’d rather sit out of the fun and just watch, that’s totally possible, too, thanks to Playlist Productions and the theater team’s amazing lineup of shows, all cruise long. 

Enjoy a serene retreat at none other than the Serenity adults-only deck. You have to be over 21 to pull up a sun chaise here, so grab your ID and head over.

You’ll get to avoid all the screaming kids and splashes and hullabaloo, as you kick back with some tapas, a glass of wine or cocktail and perfect views of the water. The space is totally created for adults-only, and it shows. (You may never want to leave!)

Carnival Miracle offers lots of spaces for adults to relax in serene settings. Take, for example, the ship’s updated spa, which is only open to cruisers ages 18 and up. There, you can relax as you’re treated to a range of beauty and wellness therapies, from facials to body wraps. 

If you want to get your adrenaline pumping and the sweat pouring, you can do that in the ship’s modern fitness center. Beyond state-of-the-art equipment that comes with unbeatable views of the ocean (you won’t get this experience at your home gym!), you can enjoy a welcoming, judgement-free atmosphere, where you might even meet some fellow gym rats among the other cruisers.

If dancing’s your jive, don’t miss your chance to get out on the dance floor, in multiple venues across Carnival Miracle. There’s live music on nearly every deck, and some of the lounges and bars around the ship are specifically dedicated to live music.

Let’s be honest — Sometimes it’s not only the parents who need to get away from the kids, but the kids who need to get away from the parents as well. When you’re aboard Carnival Miracle, every single member of the family has their own designated space to relax or play.

Photo Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line

For kids ages 2 to 11, Camp Ocean provides age-specific groups and itineraries to keep your little ones entertained for hours, as trained professionals supervise their fun and offer both educational and enriching activities. 

The pre-teens can hang out at Circle C, where guests ages 12 to 14 get their own special spot to mingle with only those near their own age. The super-cool space is outfitted with loads of activities they’re sure to love. 

And, then, the teens in your family can hang at Club O2, the award-winning space for high schoolers, ages 15 to 17, that comes with sports, video games, karaoke and more.

Ready for your Carnival Miracle experience? Check out the vessel’s upcoming itineraries and see which might fit your family perfectly!

As you can see, there’s something for absolutely everyone aboard Carnival Miracle. Whether you’re a family, couple or grandparents traveling with your grandkids, you’ll find this ship is suitable for your needs and your interests, too.

Worth Reading: All Carnival Cruise Ships By Age – Newest to Oldest

The foodies, gym rats, beach bums, theater kids and everyone in between will find activities and entertainment tailored to their favorite hobbies, whether that’s a trip to the spa after a hard workout or just lounging by the pool all day and soaking up the sunlight. 

So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and have an awesome time, all thanks to Carnival Miracle.

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