Carnival Miracle visited the islands of Aruba and Curacao for the first time last week as part of a new eight-day southern Caribbean cruise schedule from Fort Lauderdale, Fla.  A number of first-call festivities were held at the two destinations to celebrate the arrival of the 2,124-passenger “Fun Ship.”

In Aruba, the Carnival Miracle’s visit attracted extensive media coverage with Captain Rocco Lubrano and the island’s Minister of Tourism Otmar Oduber hosting a press conference and conducting a traditional maritime plaque exchange inside the cruise terminal (as indicated in the photo at left).   Additionally, Carnival Miracle passengers received a special commemorative gift as they debarked the vessel with entertainment provided by a steel drum band.

In Curacao, in addition to a reception hosted by local government officials and dignitaries, Carnival Miracle guests enjoyed island-themed music and dance.  In the photo at right, Captain Lubrano and Hotel Director Carlos Santos De Melo are escorted from the pier to the festivities by two colorfully clad dancers with the Carnival Miracle in the background.

Aruba and Curacao are among the four tropical destinations featured on the Carnival Miracle’s eight-day schedule which also includes stops in Grand Turk and the Dominican Republic.

Carnival Miracle will continue its eight-day program from Fort Lauderdale before repositioning to New York to operate eight-day Caribbean cruises from that port beginning in spring 2011.