All About the Extras
Sail & Sign Card
Carnival ships feature Sail & Sign cards, which make life so much easier. All you do is link a debit card or credit card to your Sail & Sign Card at Guest Relations or a kiosk on the ship. You'll then use your Sail & Sign card for any purchases you make on the ship, such as souvenirs, activities with extra fees, drinks, casino games and even excursions.
Instead of tipping your waiters and housekeeping, Carnival Miracle charges a one-time gratuities fee of 92.50 per person. This fee can be paid in advance, or it will be charged to your Sail & Sign account.
Carnival allows each guest to bring one bottle of wine on the ship. We suggest a bottle of wine with a twist-off cap, as Carnival charges an extra fee to uncork the bottle. Other alcoholic beverages are not permitted, but can obviously be purchased throughout the ship. Each day, the ship features a drink special, often served in a souvenir glass.
Carnival guests are allowed to bring two bags on the ship, as well as a carry-on. It's suggested that the bags remain below 50 pounds.
What to Pack
Don't forget to pack seasickness medicine. You might not need to use it, but it's good to have just in case. Ginger candies also help to calm an upset stomach. Additionally, we suggest packing extra hangers for clothing. The ship provides 10 or so.
A big business on Carnival is pictures. Be prepared to get your picture taken several times before you board the ship, leave for excursions, at dinner and when you disembark from the cruise. You certainly don't have to buy them (though they make for a nice souvenir%2529, but the staff will encourage you to smile for the camera!
For Mom and Dad
Nick and Nora's is not included in the ship's meal plan, but is well worth the $35 per person-rate it charges. It's not a place for kids, so send the kids to Camp Carnival and prepare for an extravagant meal. The dim-lit, fancy steakhouse offers better food than the other eateries on the ship (though the food at those places is still very good!), and is some of the best food we've ever had. The steak is excellent, and the Surf and Turf is even better. You MUST try the cheesecake - period.
As an added bonus, you'll receive a complimentary bottle of wine if you make reservations for Nick on Nora's on the first night of your cruise.
Each day, Carnival Miracle Spa and Salon offers a special promotion, though we feel the costs are still overpriced. If you're willing to splurge a bit (and since you're on vacation, you should!), you'll have the option to enjoy several massage choices, including full body; scalp; ankle, foot and hot stone; as well as skin exfoliations, scrubs and facials. Manicures and pedicures are also offered.
Several bars are located throughout the ship, including a lobby bar with live music, a piano bar and a sports bar with karaoke (which also allows smoking).
The ship's casino is extensive, with blackjack, roulette, poker, craps, slot machines and tournaments.
After a few rounds of blackjack, head to an adults-only comedy show at the Mad Hatter's Ball, typically held at 9:45, 10:45 and 11:45 p.m. on several nights of the cruise.