Frank Beckendorf MCC DS
Occupation:Travel Agency Owner
Number of Cruises: 4
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Holiday
Sailing Date: March 6th, 2003
By Frank Beckendorf MCC DS
Owner of The World Over Travel Silver Dollar City in Branson and several local scenarios. This came to fruition after sending in a video tape confirming the quality of the kids’ work. They would perform twice in Doc Holiday lounge and the other lounge, whose name escapes me at the present.
The focus on recruitment was, of course, the kids and their families. But, soon others were calling to book the trip. Cruisers called from as far as a hundred miles, or so. The youngest cruiser was six weeks and the oldest, in the eighties. There were grandmothers, great-grandmothers, uncles, aunts, cousins and friends. Several teachers booked as well as a deacon and his wife.
When the day of boarding arrived, no one could be found with a frown. Some of the largest smiles I have ever seen were pasted on the faces. There were mustaches curled up. Dimples. Wrinkled freckles, and so on.
My family and I decided to take advantage of the cruise right from the beginning. Two of our kids were in the chorus and a third, a sort of, mascot. All three-hundred-and-fifty of us arrived at the terminal eager to take on an adventure of a lifetime. We had been on two cruises before, but most of our customers had no idea what fund a cruise could provide. Why, even some of the parents we didn’t know said hello.
Our particular cabins were nice; although it was evident they had been used many times before. The floors were worn and the walls needing of a makeover. The bathrooms were clean but showing evidence of extensive use. Most of this we expected. What we didn’t expect was the problem with the plumbing in one of the cabins. Stopped up toilets can be quite annoying and uncomfortable. But, the ship’s maintenance workers were right on it quickly. Within minutes, it seemed, the problem was solved. Later, I would learn, others had the same problem. Our family was divided into two outside cabins, but only one room experienced these problems.
The room stewards provided superb service, like many of the others in earlier cruises. The rooms were well maintained and kept. We carried a lot of luggage which compromised space, but we adjusted nicely.
Our oldest child experienced problems with motion sickness almost immediately and after placing a patch behind her ear, was up and running in an hour. In fact, all three were running about within minutes of boarding.
As far as the overall condition of the ship, it was quite obvious that this was not one of Carnival’s gems. It was old and faded. The noise levels were higher than an earlier cruise on the Inspiration. Everywhere there was old paint caked on earlier layers. Nothing new was evident as far as the ship’s condition was obvious. But, this was not a real problem. For the price, this was overlooked. What made up for all of this was the service provided by the many employees. What we want, we got. When we wanted, we got. What we asked was answered to our satisfaction.
Looking back on the cruise, I know few that complained about the food. But they thought they should have the same quality as Brennan’s and Commanders Palace here in New Orleans. The waiters knew what beverage I wanted on the second day and had one on the table for the rest of the cruise upon arrival. Carnival is famous for providing things no other line provides. The Holiday was no exception. One of the most evident plus was the usual 24 hour ice cream, absent on NCL’s Dream. You wouldn’t believe how many people like this. Really.
The entertainment on the Holiday was superb. There’s bingo, horse racing, games and other events and things like other ships, but the cruise director and his staff made you come back for more. A lot of entertainment was indeed geared towards kids which was terrific. And, yes the adult themed shows were there. Carnival excels at entertainment, and the Holiday’s was no exception.
Many of our customers chose different shore tours, but a few of us decided to relax on the beach in Playa del Carmen. This was nice as the adult beverages were unlimited. No problem at all with the ice cubes. There were games and contests for the kids on the beach and plenty of lounge chairs, etc. It was inexpensive and worth it. Hot, but there was nothing we could do about the sun. Our tour at Cozumel was cancelled due to a problem with a tender’s engine.
Today, the ship is scheduled to go to Mobile. This is probably a way of saying thank you for their help with the Conquest. After the trip, I got several letters from customers who sent Carnival their comments. Some were good. Some were bad. I think the bad ones were a bit overplayed, but the good ones were quite praiseworthy. My hope that those who were on their first cruise do not associate the ship’s condition with the many others out there which are new and better maintained. I do not blame Carnival for anything of this nature. I believe they are doing the best that they can with an old ship. No one should avoid this veteran ship, it’s still a gem.