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From the maiden voyage of Carnival’s first ship, the TSS Mardi Gras, which ran aground on a sandbar outside the Port of Miami, Carnival Corporation’s Carnival Cruise Lines brand has grown to be the world’s largest, most popular cruise line, carrying more than 2.5 million passengers annually. It was a vision of the late founder Ted Arison to make leisure experiences at sea once reserved exclusively for the well-heeled accessible to average vacationers. Carnival, founded in 1972, continues to offer affordable cruise vacations steeped in Fun Ship appeal with a finance plan for having fun now, while paying later. Carnival’s parent company renamed Carnival Corporation to distinguish between it and its flagship CCL brand in 1994 was renamed Carnival Corp. & plc following the combination with P&O Princess Cruises, creating the world’s largest cruise operator by far. As the flagship line, today’s Carnival defines contemporary cruising with expanded options in dining, kids’ programming, spa pampering and shipboard weddings. Carnival’s fleet, composed of six vessel classes, has grown to 20 vessels including the Carnival Miracle – fourth of the popular Spirit-class ships – with more Fun Ships on order.
Debuting in Jacksonville, Florida in early 2005 and serving as a hotel along the St. Johns River during Super Bowl in 2005, Carnival Miracle is the newest, largest ship based year-round in Tampa, sailing seven-day, four-port “Exotic” Caribbean cruises calling on Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Cozumel, and Belize. Carnival’s new 2,124-passenger Spirit class of ships (Carnival Spirit, Carnival Pride, Carnival Legend, Carnival Miracle) introduce added features including a wedding chapel and supper club located high in the funnel. Balcony cabins are in abundance, covering 80 percent of all outside cabins. Ideal for budget-mid-priced cruisers, Carnival Miracle offers the typical Carnival high energy, Las Vegas-style atmosphere with lots of glitz, many choices of excellent nightlife and daytime activities, alternative evening dining, balcony cabins, large fitness / spa facilities, a big casino, extensive facilities and programs for kids; large cabins, many holding three and four passengers, and above average food and friendly, although unpolished, service.
Year entering service: 2005
Carnival Miracle -- with former soldier Jessica Lynch, captured and recovered in Iraq, as Godmother -- has an 11-story Metropolis atrium with a ruby-red glass ceiling, an indoor / outdoor promenade, four swimming pools, and a water slide. A dining venue on the top level of the ship’s atrium -- one of three restaurants on board -- is the only reservations-style supper club at sea offering prime beef. Sixteen lounges and bars with dramatic interiors celebrate famous fictional icons of film, music and literature, and a comprehensive golf program offers tips from pros aboard ship and during golf excursions. Some 80 percent of staterooms have ocean views and 80 percent of those have balconies. Carnival Miracle’s lobby and atrium are named after the Metropolis of Superman fame, while the lower promenade is the Fountainhead, from the Ayn Rand novel, whose main character is an idealistic architect. The upper promenade is called Kane’s Way from Orson Wells’ film Citizen Kane. Gatsby’s garden has long arches that look like cast iron trelliswork.
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