Philip D Bridges
Number of Cruises: 2
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Holiday
Sailing Date: December 30th, 2004
Itinerary: Cozumel, Mexico
I feel compelled to let you know of my experience on the cruise ship Holiday originally scheduled to depart from Mobile on 12/30/2004 at 4:00 PM for a Cruise-To-Cozumel and to return to Mobile at 8:00 AM on 1/3/2005. My family of four along with several friends (23 Total Passengers were in our Group) decided to book this cruise through a local Travel cruise? We never got an answer to that question before boarding the ship. Fearing that we would not get a cruise or a refund if we walked and after much pleading from the children in our group to proceed with the cruise, we reluctantly voted 21-2 (I voted to walk) to proceed with the Cruise-To-Nowhere. We now have learned that just 5% (85) of the 1,700 passengers elected to walk probably due to the difficulty in convincing family members to walk after they had just spent a day or longer traveling to Mobile. We departed Mobile after a 90 minute delay.
As compensation for the itinerary change, each passenger was given a $100.00 credit to their Sail & Sign charge account which amounted to about a 22% cruise ticket discount. My primary objectives in selecting this particular cruise were: (1) to be able to visit Cozumel; (2) to enjoy a warmer climate; and (3) to relax with family and friends. None of these objectives were met on this cruise. In fact, we sailed only about 50 miles South of Mobile and experienced high winds and cool weather during the entire event.
I know that last minute mechanical problems such as what we experienced can occur even to the best cruise lines but I’m wondering if this propulsion problem with the Holiday occurred as suddenly as we were led to believe. I have noted from two recent cruise reviews of the Holiday from this web site by B Addision (12/11/2004) and K Dotson (11/12/2004) that Addison remarked that “a few weeks before our cruise, while turning around at Mobile, one of the propellers was damaged. We had to go to Progreso/Merida instead of Costa Maya for propeller repairs” and Dotson remarked that “upon arrival at the port we were handed a paper that stated the ship would not be going to Playa del Carmen as planned …due to maintenance.” Both reviews indicate to me that what happened to us on this Cruise with regard to the itinerary change was not a sudden and accidental mechanical problem but part of an ongoing problem with Holiday which began at least 30 days prior to our trip.
On the positive side, the food was enjoyable and the service excellent during the entire cruise. We experienced smooth seas for the most part and good weather. We elected to tip employees one-on-one rather than the using the customary method of $10/day/person stuffed in a steward envelope on the last day. We tried not to hold the ship's employees responsible for the itinerary change which significantly impacted our perspective and disposition on this trip. We have filed a complaint with Carnival and our travel agent and expect to hear from them soon.