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Dennis Kirkland

Age: 30

Occupation:Computer / Network Specialist

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Holiday

Sailing Date: January 3rd, 2004

Itinerary: Western Caribbean

We have recently returned from our first cruise aboard the M.S. Holiday out of New Orleans. While I have no previous experience to compare it to, we had a great time. The very night that we returned we started looking for the next cruise we would want to take.

A word or two about packing:
My wife and I way over packed. She had enough clothes to last 4 weeks and enough shoes to last 6. I read some where when preparing to go that you should pack every thing you plan on taking with you then throw out half of it. My advice: DO THAT. I had 5 pairs of jeans, 2 pairs of slacks, 7 pairs of shorts (2 of which were swimming trunks), 5 dress shirts, 4 shirts with a collar, 8 t-shits / shirts with out a collar, a suit with 4 ties, and 3 pairs of shoes. Most of this stuff I brought back unused.

The cabins:;
The cabins were spacious and very comfortable. We weren’t tripping over each other while trying to get dressed. The restrooms were large and well lit.

The service:
What can I say about the service? Absolutely beyond my expectations! Everyone from the cabin steward to cruise director was there to serve and entertain us. Our headwaiter Cerillo (Sir) was from the Philippines and has been with Carnival for 8 years was funny and polite. The running joke when he would come to take our order was that he would say, “I am ready.” I give it 4 out of 5 smiley faces because it seemed to me that the bar staff took a lot more time to bring you a soda than it did to bring me an alcoholic beverage. Also in the dining room and elsewhere on the ship the bar staff did not come back to the table to see if we needed more sodas.

The The M.S. Holiday was a very clean and well-maintained ship. She is a smaller vessel when compared to the newer mega-cruise ships but it was just right for a first time cruise. One night while we were walking around the open decks we notice a gentleman scrubbing something on the railing. As we passed he stopped to acknowledged us then returned to what he was doing. I realized a few minutes latter that he was polishing the brass end caps on the railings and commented on the attention to detail the crew displayed. Everyone I was walking with had a similar comment.

The entertainment:
The entertainment was good. I enjoyed the comedy and bands, but the dance shows were not my taste. The jazz bands and instrumentalists that played along the Promenade were top notch. The game show type games that were played in the Americana Lounge were fun. In the Tahiti Lounge, a group called The Breeze played. These two were phenomenal! The voice range and repertoire that these two had was amazing.

Ports of Call:
This trip was billed as a trip to Cozumel with a stop at Playa Del Caeman, but we spent more time in Playa. The beaches at Playa are beautiful and there were plenty of huts and hammocks to go around. I took a picture of the beachfront that looked as though it came from a brochure. I could not get over the color and clarity of the water. If you plan on shopping during this trip, wait for Cozumel. There are a lot more options there and the pricing (after a bit of bartering) is great.

Over All:
Over all this was the bet vacation that I have been on. I had the chance to be entertained, pampered and treated to the most beautiful sights in the world. I am going to do it again, soon.

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