Just off Carnival Miracle today. This had to be the best cruise I have ever taken. The only thing that could have made it better was if my husband and son came with me. I sailed with a friend and other family members because my husband doesn't care for cruising. Embarking: Arrived at the pier in NYC which was about a 45 minute drive from my house around 11:30 AM. This was a disaster. It was not a pleasant experience. There were 4 ships leaving that same day. The Miracle the Victory, Celebrity and The Queen Mary 2. I am not sure if the Queen Mary 2 was what made it so crowded. The people from the previous cruise June 12-19 were still getting off the ship after 1:00 pm on the Miracle so obviously we did not board until 2:00 PM. Once we were on line to board it moved quickly thankfully. At this point it was pretty painless. I guess the waiting and crowds made it very unpleasant. Once upon the ship we went directly to our cabin Empress Deck 6150. The cabin was large and plently enough room for the two of us. Plently of storage space. We booked an 8A Gty and were in an 8D Empress Balcony cabin. I would never go back to having no balcony again I absolutely loved it. There was 2 soft terry robes and a basket of goodies...tylenol, shavers, rolaids, shampoo, conditioner and lotion. There is also 2 dispensers in the shower for soap (leaver 2000) and shampoo. There was also a blow dryer in the cabin. Met our room steward her name was Felecia. She was very pleasant and always had a smile on her face. We gave her $20 on the first day and told her it was in addition to our tip on the sail and sign card. We also gave her another $20 half way through the cruise. She was worth it. We were expecting to meet my sister in law, her hubby and two daughters (15 and 18). They didn't arrive to the ship until around 2:00 and they said their wait to get on was very very bad. Shortly after we were in our cabin we went up to the Lido deck for lunch. The lunch buffet was great. No complaints at all. The corned beef sandwich was incredible. I think I ate them about times throughout the cruise. Surprisingly we were not bombarded with drink specials like my previous cruise. Because of the late debarkmentation of the previous cruise it put us behind and we did not leave port until around 5:45 pm. We were supposed to leave at 4:00. We had the late dinner seating on the first level (deck 2). This was different than other ships I have been on. There is usually 2 dining rooms one at each end. I think this was better. Our headwaiters name was Ben and his assistant Martina. Those two were the bomb. I could not have had better service. Even the bar waitress for our table was the best I ever had. On the 2nd night she had my drink waiting for me at the table. Ben our waiter remembered that I liked the end cut of beef. I had asked for that one night with prime rib and another night there was Chateau Briannn (spelling??) and I did not ask but he brought it to me. This team made my dining experience a pleasure. The food was wonderful. No complaints at all. If we wanted 2 entrees we had it. Anything we wanted we received. Ken the Maitre'd was the best I have ever seen. He sang a song every night which I never even heard of a maitre'd singing. On previous cruises I sometimes never even knew who the maitre'd was. We had a table for 6 at the very back of the ship at the window PERFECT!!! Never made it to the midnight buffet because of the late dinner seating. On to the Cruise Director. Tod. What can I say expect PERFECTION. He was personable, funny, entertaining, energenic and not to mention very nice to look at. He kind of reminds me of Ryan Seacrest from American Idol. This man truly loves his job and u can tell. Shows.....comedians nightly. Very funny. We went to the late adult shows. They had the comedians also do the earlier shows for familys. Hypnotist Show was hysterical. My sister-in-law was hypnotized and this made it extremely funny for me. The best show was Ticket to Ride a tribute to the beatles DO NOT MISS THIS. Great show. Casino....I did spend a lot of time in the casino. Jill the Casino host was unbelievable. She even bought me drinks on several occassions which I had heard from other posters did not happen. Untrue. If they see u playing they do pamper u with perks. I used the sail and sign card for the slot machines and received points. I got the points up to over 10,000 and on my next cruise I will be able to book my cruise directly though a special players package. Ports.....Port Canaveral YUK YUK YUK I had no interest in even getting off the ship at this one so opted to stay on the ship and sit at the pool while most guests left and made the pools very nice without all the kids. Nassau...we had a comp room at the Atlantis...AWESOME....having this room enabled us to swim in the lagoon, walk through the Dig, use the pools and slides have lunch for free and use a beautiful room to rest and change and even shower. Freeport....didn't get off the ship at this port either. This was the day I decided to sleep in late. We were only in port from 7Am until 1PM. I did not care for this itinerary. could have spent more time in Nassau and did away with Port Canaveral. Days at sea were great. Plently of activities. There was 900 kids on this cruise but I think camp carnival did a great job in keeping them occupied. There was an incident that I saw that was....a boy around 10 years old in the bar connected to the casino....sitting at the slot machine at the bar playing...the bartender did nothing. I think we embarrassed the grandmother talking loudly how wrong it was what she was letting him do. Debarking: Chose the self help option on leaving the ship. We were off in 45 minutes. They let us wait in our cabins until we were called unlike any other cruise I had taken. They always made us wait in one of the show rooms. Not the case here. Great debarking this way. This ship and cruise was perfect. I had an extremely wonderful time and can't wait until my next cruise. People will always have something to complain about. I don't like the pink lights the carpet needs cleaning etc. To hell with all that over look those things if they exist. I have nothing to complain about. I went on vacation to have a good time and that is exactly what I did. I have copies of most of the capers and I can email them once I scan them in.