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Patty Carr

Age: 34

Occupation:Accounting

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Holiday

Sailing Date: March 1st, 2003

Itinerary: Western Caribbean

This was the first cruise for my husband and I. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Before the cruise we did have people telling us not to take the Holiday because of its age, but we had never been on a cruise and decided to go anyway since we had no other ships to compare it to. The only downfall to our trip was the time we chose to depart. We left from New Orleans on March 1, 2003, which was right in the middle of Mardi Grai and the starting of Spring Break for that region. This meant there were a lot of spring breakers (age 17-22) and Mardi Grai Partiers. For some it would have been a perfect party time, but for us we wanted some quality private time and that was a little hard to find on the ship. When on deck we mainly stuck to the Adult Only Topless Area, it was the quietest place to be on deck.

Cozumel was AWESOME !!!!! We had the best time we went on a fairly new Excursion. Catamaran Sail & Snorkel, it was a blast we got off the ship and stepped right onto a brightly painted sailboat playing Jimmy Buffet music. The crew was fabulous they took us about 10 minutes down the shore and we snorkeled in about 25 feet of water. The underwater free was spectacular. The crewmembers were in the water attracting fish, by waving flour tortillas under the water for the fish to feed on. There were so many fish they just pushed you out of the way. We snorkeled for about 40 minutes and then are trip continued down the beach about another 10 minutes to a public beach. There was a variety of things to do (volleyball, ride horses, float in the water on a beach mat, or just relax in a shaded Mexican hammock, which was very relaxing) the excursion was reasonably priced at $35.00 PP, which included all the soda, beer and margaritas you could drink. On the ride back to the ship the crew entertained us with dancing, YMCA, Macarena, Electric Slide and concluded with the always famous Conga Line. The shopping in Cozumel is great (never pay the asking price they always come WAY DOWN on prices). We found the Tax and Duty free shop at the pier to have some of the best prices. You have to stop in there first before going downtown. The shops right outsight of there have the best prices on t-shirts.

Our next stop was Playa Del Carmen, but we ported at Calica instead. Calica is not much of a port but it is a breath taking view of the water. At this port we took the Tropical Jeep Safari, which had about 30–40 jeeps. We were a little disappointed with this tour at the beginning we thought it was going to be more in a tropical rain forest setting, with lush green vegetation and waterfalls. Instead we drove through Calica, very run down, and then to underground caverns. We were able to swim in the caverns, which was GREAT. The water was crystal clear and very cold, which felt very good since we had 90-degree temps. Just watch out for Bats they are flying around, but they don’t bother you. Once we left the caverns we headed for the beach (30 minute drive) and a buffet lunch. We were not prepared for this side of Mexico, it was down bumpy, and dirt roads we got to see the sides of Mexico that tourist don’t normally see. There were no brightly colored buildings here, it was broken down cars in front of ran down shacks. It really made me appreciate living in the United States. I had never experienced a Third World Country, and never really thought of Mexico as one until this tour. Once we arrived at the beach we were treated to a Mexican Buffet, which was very tasty. Then relaxed on the beach for about 1 hour and 45 minutes, then traveled back down the Mexican freeway (20 minutes) to the ship. The guides on this excursion were GREAT, there we very nice, informative and funny. The price of this excursion was $89.00 PP, and we feel was worth every penny. Just the experience of driving on the Mexican Freeway was worth it. The Mexican freeway is NOT for the timid driving, or the driver that experiences road rage easily.

The next day was a full day at sea which went way too fast. The whole trip was wonderful and would recommend it for everyone. Just be prepared once in the Mississippi River the ride can get bumpy and if you here a noise around 1:30 in the morning that sounds like the ship is falling apart don’t worry it is just Tug Boats escorting you into the Mississippi River.

Just one more thing we found a very low price on this cruise. I booked it through carnival about 1½ weeks before departure and got and Ocean view double occupancy room (Main 141) for $692.821ncluding all taxes. The couple we sat with at dinner paid over $1200.00 for the same type of cabin on the same deck. Just remember there are really good deals out there if you look for them.

Hope you have as wonderful of a time as my husband and I did.

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