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Brenda Graybeal

Age: 59

Occupation:Club Manager

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Holiday

Sailing Date: November 16th, 2002

Itinerary: Western Caribbean

We arrived to long lines at the Julia Street station to embark with one traffic cop trying to control and keep the lines straight. People kept trying to cut in front of us, but we finally managed to get up the luggage drop off area. We quickly found a skycap and he checked ID and collected our luggage. The terminal was very crowded and disorganized. Staff kept moving us around and lining us up, but would add a new line of newcomers in front of the ones that had already been in line quite a while, and people were getting frustrated. We received a cell phone call from family that said they had heard on the news that the Holiday was experiencing technical problems, but no one ever advised us of that fact. We finally got on board, went to our cabins then went up to get a drink and watch us pull out. We waited, and waited and waited. Every few hours they would come out with an announcement that we were waiting for clearance but couldn't tell us exactly when we would depart. We finally departed at ll:30, 7 and a half hours behind schedule.

At sea Tuesday, all the lights went out and the engines stopped. They announced that is was caused by an overload, but it was half an hour or so before both engines started up and we resumed travel.

Because we were so far behind schedule, they switched destinations on us. Instead of going to Playa del Carmen first (which I considered the lesser attraction of the two) we were going into Cozumel first and would arrive at 3:00 p.m. Of course, by that time it would be too late for most of the shore excursions. We actually arrived at 4:00 p.m., but had to be taken by tender ashore, so got in there at 5:30 p.m., and all there was to do was shop. We didn't get to see any of the island and had to take a taxi to where the Holiday eventually docked.

We still had one chance for an excursion on Playa so signed up for the beach snorkel tour. We docked a Calica, which is a 15 minute taxi ride from Playa, but bus was supposed to take us on our tour. We get off ship and start looking for our bus...but guess what? Our tour had been cancelled, but no one bothered to advise us. So here we were again, stuck with nothing to do but shop. (If all I wanted was cheap t-shirts and trinkets, I could have gotten then in New Orleans). We catch a free bus ride into Playa, shop, then go to the beach just so we could say we actually MADE it to the beach. Our $10,00 taxi turned into a $20.00 taxi ride, because they will only take four people in one cab, so we had to take two cabs.

We get back to the ship, pull out at 4:00 p.m. and head back to New Orleans. Still hadn't seen anything of Mexico.

I do have to say that dinning in the Seven Seas Dining room was great (they had messed up our reservations for dinner, assigning us early seating when we wanted late seating) but he was able to change that for us. Our dining team of Cruz and Delmar were great and really helped keep our trip from a total disaster. Our cabin steward Lauro kept our rooms clean, the beds turned down and cute towel animals.

I'm sorry, but based on mine and my friends experience, I couldn't recommend this cruise to anyone.

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