Number of Cruises: 1
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Holiday
Sailing Date: December 23rd, 2006
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
Carnival Cruise Lines
Holiday Cruise Review
I booked the 5 day cruise with stops in
Costa Maya and Cozumel as a surprise for my wife for Christmas. To fully
understand this review you would have to know that my wife likes to travel and
loves to say, “I’ve been there”. So a big part of deciding on this cruise was
the fact that it had to two ports of call
Boarding the ship was easy and well run. I thought that the $60.00 for the parking garage was a little steep but in all it was worth it when I returned to my truck to find everything like I left it.
Our only other cruise was nothing more then a boat ride with a 5 day stay in the Bahamas. It was not really a cruise just a boat ride there and a 5 day stay. We really enjoyed that one and wanted to cruise again.
As I said, boarding the ship was a breeze with the usual pre-board photographs being taken. The staff was friendly and the process moved along very well. Our luggage was in our room in about an hour as promised.
We found the staff on the boat to be excellent, with the exception of the Pursers Desk. Our brief stay on the Holiday resulted in two visits to the Pursers desk with absolutely no help on either trip. One request was simply for an updated weather report for our second day. We were told that they would not release the following day’s weather report until 7am that morning.
What we did not expect was all of the photographers on the boat. Seemed like you could not turn around before an employee was stopping you to take a picture. It probably does not sound like much but these people were almost pushy, wanting to place this life ring or this trinket around your neck to take a picture of you.
As we entered the gulf, we settled into the Lido deck around the forward pool. There we found a pool of 5 waiters roaming the area, seriously pushing drinks on you. It got to be irritating until we met Miroslav who turned out to be about our most pleasant experience on the boat. We cut a deal with him that he would be our waiter and that we would “take care of him”, if he would keep the rest of the waiters off of our back. If we wanted a drink, we would give him our business. Miro, as he is called did an excellent job and it only took a few minutes before he had warned all of the other waiters away from our table.
Our cabin had a king bed that was actually two beds pushed together. While ours was great, we did hear complaints from others that theirs would split apart during the night.
The formal dining room was a treat with our waiter Jun, who treated us like kings and queens. He did not let a glass or fork get out of place and was on top of everything. Feeding that many people in such a short time is no small feat and Jun was certainly critical to the fact that it went off flawlessly. The food was good, as was the company and the atmosphere.
However it was in the formal dining room where we had our first disappointment. It was the evening of Christmas Eve when our dinner was interrupted by a ship wide announcement. Carnival was canceling our first port of call. It was reported that there was a medical emergency on board and they were diverting to the closest port with a major hospital, Cozumel.
We are figuring, no problem, they will just reverse our ports and we will still get to say that we have set foot on Costa Maya. WRONG, they announced that we were going to do two days in Cozumel. Next we are thinking, not too bad we will have two full days and a more relaxed time frame on Cozumel. WRONG AGAIN, off the boat at 7am, back by 4:45pm to set sail for nowhere! We could not justify it until we were told by a crew member that they wanted to cruise so that they could open the casino.
To add insult to injury, word spread around the ship that the medical emergency was an attempted suicide. Carnival will not confirm or deny this so we may never know for sure. I guess we will also never know for sure why this person could not have been air lifted from the ship.
Cozumel did not offer very much. The first day was spent shopping all morning with torrential rains all evening. The second day we were on the back side of the front and it was rough so all water based activities were cancelled. We never like being on someone else’s time frame so we rented a car and went on an adventure, making the best of everything that was being dealt us.
All in all the cruise was nice and a welcome change from the hustle and bustle that Christmas has turned into back in the states.
I do not want this review to in any way reflect on the workers on the Holiday as most were very good or even great.
Aside from the incident above, the only other problem that we had was this unmistakable sewer smell that would come and go. It only hit our room a couple of times but it would come and go in the hall. The crew responded by checking on the situation almost continuously. I fully understand that it is difficult to correct something that you cannot find.
My biggest complaint is the way that Carnival has handled this. For missing a port of call with no formal explanation and the other problems, we are offered a $25 credit to our sign and sail card. A call to Carnival resulted in a CSR telling us that that was it, no need to let me speak to anyone else, oh she did say that they would send me a letter of apology. Somebody with Carnival needs to wake up, your grunt level employees are doing their jobs, management needs to tighten up………