Number of Cruises: 3
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Holiday
Sailing Date: July 19th, 2003
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
We sailed from New Orleans -- after arriving from NO airport, we purchased the $24 r/t transportation package from the airport shuttle service at the airport -- it seemed to be the most economical means of transportation to the port - Carnival priced this at $54/pp.
The Carnival agent assisting with our check-in was fantastic. Our party of ten consisted of six first-time cruisers, one cruiser required wheel-chair assistance.
We located our (three) cabins without any problems; however, one of our cabin's was one bed short, we simply modified our sleeping arrangements and sailed on.
After boarding the ship, we learned the itienary had changed, which worked out great -- we were in Cozumel from 8:00 a.m. - Midnight. We took a taxi ($10/car) and visited the national park ($10 entrance fee) to enjoy Scuba diving and Snorkeling ($50/pp for both)- this is a must! We returned to the ship for Dinner and then went downtown (taxi $6/car) for some shopping (most shops close at 9:00 pm). Get ready to haggle!!! The stores on the pier have just as good of prices --.
The next day were were at Playa Del Carmen. Once on shore we took a taxi ($60rt) to visit Tulume ($4pp). Tulume was okay.. once was enough, will not revisit. We cut our excursion short and returned to the ship for lunch. After lunch we did some shopping before boarding the ship at 3:15p.m.
The final day at sea was great.
Our favorite part of the trip/ship was our evening dining experience. Our wait staff (Junior @ table 133)and his assistant was simply delightful. They both demonstrated the mastery of service accompanied with an enjoyable sense of humor. Many of the wait staff have dual responsibilities; hence, while serving in the Lido deck in the mornings, early afternoon -- they were still full of smiles -- and always greeted us!
The least favorite was the ship itself. The Holiday is in dire need of some refurbishment. One set of the elevators did not work, which made for a long wait for elevator-riders.
In our opinion, the ship needs some TLC --
We arrived back at New Orleans, the exit (8:30 a.m.) was flawless...very smooth actually.
Since our flight didn't leave until 3:00 p.m., we walked a down a ways to ride the street cars in NO and enjoyed (french pastry) beneyas (sp?). We returned to the port and waited, and waited, and waited on the airport shuttle. After making a phone call to the shuttle service, a van picked us up -- and it turned out wonderful! We had the most incredible journey back to the airport. The driver took us through town and gave us a narrated mini-tour of the city! We learned so much about NO in our 45 journey. If nothing else, we will visit NO again.
Overall, we had a wonderful vacation -- hats off to the crew of the MS Holiday.