Number of Cruises: 6
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Holiday
Sailing Date: 2009-07-4
Itinerary: Mobile to Progresso to Cozumel to Mobile
The food was very very good onboard, and even the buffet was above average. We bought a soft drink card and a drink of the day card. It was worth it, but noticed they added a gratuity to BOTH of the 'card' purchases AND to the souvenir cup purchase... unbelievable!
The room was larger than we expected (Carnival really does have the biggest staterooms in the industry!), even though we had 4 people in one room! Stewards were, as usual, attentive and accommodating. Our next door neighbors loved to yell and curse in the halls and in their stateroom, so we had to call security a few times, and they were very quick to make the noise stop.
The nightly shows were great, but the comdedian missed the boat, so we had a couple nights of so-so entertainment. We live near Branson and have seen a lot of production shows, and the ship's shows are terrific!
Cozumel is one of our favorite places on the planet, so it was great to rent a jeep again and spend a few hours on San Francisco Beach. I highly recommend NOT doing an excursion on Coz.(though I'm sure they are great!) but you will do great renting scooters or a sunbuggy or a jeep wrangler ($50) and exploring the island. You can't miss standing on the shore at Punta Sur and experiencing the crashing surf kicking 25 foot high geisers against the coral beach and through the 'blow holes'... an absolutely AWESOME multi sensory experience! Progresso is OK, but not much to it, so we took the $2 double decker bus tour of the little town. It was good, and the shopping in the little shops and in their market was great!
We have cruised Carnival 3 times and Royal Caribbean 3 times as well. We have been on the 7 day cruises aboard the Carnival Conquest (a HUGE ship), so we expected the Holiday would be much smaller and tighter and our expectations were correct! It is the oldest in the fleet and is being retired this fall, but we were not disappointed, because we went in knowing all this! The ship is well-maintained and beautiful... and first-time cruisers we spoke with were very impressed! The main differences between the Holiday and the newer ships is the ergonomics and engineering of space and materials. For instance, the stateroom wall construction must have come a LONG way since this one was built in 1985, because we could hear our neighbor speaking through the walls (even when they weren't yelling). Also, the engineering of public spaces has come a long way in 24 years.... but, again, we went in knowing this was a very economic vacation for our family, and we had an absolute blast! I would highly recommend this cruise and this itinerary to anyone! You just gotta know some things going in!