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Ray

Age: 39

Occupation:Medical

Number of Cruises: 4

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Holiday

Sailing Date: 2009-07-9

Itinerary: Cozumel

My family and I decided to book a cruise for our summer vacation. I have taken 3 cruises prior to this and was well aware the Holiday was the smallest, oldest, shortest cruise I have taken. I took my partner and my mother on the Conquest after we went through a stressful new home build in 2005 and we had an awesome experience.

To begin we live in the Jackson, MS area so the Mobile Port was easily accessible and nearby. We were looking for budget cruises and the Holiday reservations we made were right on with what my family could afford. The port is nice and parking garage is close enough that you don't have to walk very far. The embarkation was uneventful and handled with great determination from all the Carnival staff (friendly and courteous).

We boarded the ship and quickly felt like we had stepped back in time. If you loved the smoky disco feel of the 80's you'll feel right at home. The decor is dark, with plenty of tacky, brass railings. There is NO atrium and about 8 elevators of which 2 were out of service during our cruise. Get used to climbing stairs and being totally confused about where everything is located. The Seven Seas dining room is only accessible by taking stairs from the upper/ lower levels. My mom is 70 and the stairs really did a number on her.

The food was TERRIBLE. I am no gourmet food critic, but we got so SICK of hamburgers, hot dogs, sauerkraut, potato salad on the buffet line. Every day was the same thing, thank goodness for the pizza. Oh and the pizza, it is available 24 hours a day but you will always have to wait for them to cook it to get some. The ice cream is good, but you have to find the staff to replace the cones, because there are NEVER any available. The Seven seas dining room food was very good and the staff were first rate.

Our rooms were on the Riviera deck (read: barely liveable). We had staterooms R11, R17, R12, R64. R64 was ok with a picture window and very cool. However, the other rooms were VERY HOT, so hot in fact that they had to provide us with box fans that blew hot air around in the room. The stateroom staff was EXCELLENT and the rooms were very clean. Very nice beds, soft towels and we always love the towes animals. Another complaint I have is that the Sign and sail card is not the room key, you have a seperate card for that as well as a seperate card for the Sodas if you purchase it. On other cruises we got one card for everything, the room key, a sticker for "Cokes", and the magnetic strip for purchases. Keeping up with 3 cards was a nusiance.

Compared with other cruises this was a big let-down. The enviornment on this cruise is Southern redneck, trailor park. The dress codes were not enforced, we dressed formal for that night while others wore shorts and beer t-shirts and flip flops ???

As a first cruise, I'd say you'll enjoy it and get a feel for cruising. However if you've cruised in the past this will be an experience you won't care to remember. They charged us gratuity for each person at the beginning of the cruise which we did not know anything about, we get ripped for $40.00 per person, which added up to $320.00 for the 8 of us seemed excessive, normally envelopes are provided for you to tip at your descretion, maybe this is a new policy or the clientele of this cruise is NOT the tipping kind so they had to take that into account and get their money up front.

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