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Old 09-17-2007, 10:19 AM
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Iím back from the Holiday and had a wonderful first cruise. The Holiday may be the smallest ship in the fleet, but I donít know if I could find my way around a larger one. We drove down on Monday and boarded about 1pm. We walked around a little familiarizing ourselves with the layout and grabbed some pizza for lunch. Our luggage arrived in plenty of time for dinner. We did the lifeboat drill then hurried to get ready for our 5:45 early dinner seating. We were assigned a booth with one other couple. They ate with us the first two nights and the rest of the week we had the table to ourselves. Our waiter each evening was Martin from the Republic of Czech. He was a cutie! I would have loved to bring him home with me.
I think because this was our first cruise things were pretty overwhelming for us the first couple of days, even though I had learned so much from this site. But we finally settled in. Our room was nice and the bed was wonderful. I slept like a baby all week. The gentle rocking of the ship was like being rocked to sleep.
The next morning we went to the dining room for breakfast and sat with a younger couple who were real nice. The rest of the week we ate at the buffet for breakfast and they usually had it ready before the set time listed in the Caper. We laid out by the adult pool on Tuesday afternoon and saw a storm and a water spout in the east. We think it could have been the beginning of tropical storm Humberto that formed so quickly in the gulf last week. Tuesday night was Formal night and the Captainís reception. It was very niceÖ.free drinks and danced a couple of times.
In Cozumel, we docked at the International pier and took a taxi to the main shopping area. Our first stop was Los Cinco Soles. It is a great place to shop. Anyone going shopping should definitely go there. They are a little expensive but good quality. We worked out way down the street stopping in a few shops. Beware that the shop clerks stand out in front of the shops trying to get you into their stores. That got really old so we caught a taxi to Margaritaville for lunch. Then we went back to the ship, changed clothes and headed to Chankanaab Park for the afternoon. We could have spent the entire day there. It was so beautiful. We snorkeled and walked around a little before heading back to the ship.
The next morning we docked at Calica. This is just a port, nothing else. We took a bus to the Tulum Ruins. Our guide on the bus was Tito and he was great. He gave us a lot of good info about the area and the Mayan people. We spent about 1 Ĺ hrs. at Tulum. It is a very interesting place with absolutely beautiful views. I could have sat on that cliff overlooking the beautiful turquoise waters all day. We had ordered a box lunch, so on the drive to Xel-Ha we ate our lunch and I got to drink a Coke light which I had wanted to try while we were in Mexico. It was very good. We arrived at Xel-Ha around noon and stayed there until 3:30. It is absolutely beautiful there as well. We snorkeled and then just walked around. The path that leads to the sandy beach area was closed off due to some minor damage from Hurricane Dean. I could have spent the entire day there.
We had a relaxing last day at sea. The cruise director was Steve Cassell and he was great, the shows on the ship were fantastic, the food was exceptionally good and our cabin steward was great as well. We couldnít have asked for anything better.
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Old 09-17-2007, 10:26 AM
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It sounds like you had a great first cruise!
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Old 09-17-2007, 12:31 PM
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Welcome back maryannb, sounds like you truly enjoyed yourselves. Get busy booking your next one, it's the best cure for the debarkation blues. Best wishes!
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Old 09-17-2007, 02:01 PM
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maryannb -- I am pleased to read your review. As you know, we returned on Holiday the same day you embarked upon her. It rained the first two days, but that didn't stop us from having fun. The weather was beautiful in Cozumel. We spent the first part of the day at an all-inclusive resort where we dined, drank pina coladas, snorkeled, and lazed in the sun around the pool along the shoreline. The last 3 hours we spent shopping in San Miguel. We bought several things at Los Cinco Soles where we got a discount on everything...standard if your're a cruise passenger. They have the best price around on Kahlua. We also bought several carved wood and clay masks from street vendors. We found everything we had hoped to find. We were very pleased.

The couple that we dined with was delightful. We had so much in common it was uncanny. They live in Orlando. He's an air traffic controller and she is a trainer with the FAA. And thay had been looking into transferring to B'ham where we live. It was interesting that the more we talked, the more we revealed the similarities in our views and lifestyle. We're planning to cruise together in the near future. They want us to visit them when we go to Orlando after our Halloween cruise on Inspiration out of Tampa. They also have annual passes to DisneyWorld that expire the same date as ours. That's wierd.

Did you go to Reflections on the ship? During the teen hour before it switches over to adult time, I liked the music. We relaxed on a sofa while we loosened-up on alcohol. When the adult time began (when I finally felt like dancing), they played nothing but Rap and Hip-Hop music for 4-hours straight. I liked our waitress so much I didn't want to leave. I can't figure out how their market research determined that Rap/HipHop was the only thing people wanted to hear. I guess I'm turning into a old fuddy-duddy, but I do enjoy dancing to techno-rock, and the first 3 songs on Madonna's most recent album for which she received a Grammy Nomination only to lose out to Kelly Clarkson. I told the DJ I had the CD in my cabin, but he said he was only allowed to play the CDs he had in his binder. I understood that concept and did not argue.

Anyway, one of the comedians, Brad Tassel, was hilarious. Better than most comedians I've seen on TV. And Steve Cassell, cruise director, is perfect in his position. He keeps the positive attitude going, never skipping a beat. I enjoyed Don in the piano lounge. I asked him to play an Italian song. He played five Italian songs for me. He was delightful.

Holiday is like the little sister you want to protect, and you love her no matter what her shortcomings. She is perfect for a quickie, last minute cruise. It's close to B'ham and very inexpensive. We'll cruise her again. Who knows, may we'll slam into each other on the Promenade Deck when the ship lists to one side.

To cure the after cruise blues, we booked a cruise 3 days after returning home for this October. It will be on the Inspiration. We are very excited! It's nice to have something to look forward to.

Happy cruising!
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Old 09-17-2007, 02:23 PM
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Glad to hear you enjoyed the Holiday! It is my favorite Carnival ship.

So - did you get to hear Steve play the fiddle?
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Old 09-17-2007, 02:41 PM
 
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I am leaving on the Holiday next Monday. Your review made me wish I left today. Sounds like you enjoyed your self. This is our 3rd on the Holiday. It is my favorite ship and goes to my favorite port, Cozumel. I can not wait. Do they still begin boarding around 11? We like to board early and people watch...plus it gives us extra time on the ship.
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Old 09-17-2007, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Beers:
Glad to hear you enjoyed the Holiday! It is my favorite Carnival ship.
So - did you get to hear Steve play the fiddle?
Yes. He played in the country show. I'm not crazy about country music, but I thoroughly enjoyed the show. Both my husband and I were very active in theatre when we were in high school and college (though we did not know each other then, and I am 5 years older than he). So, we have a great appreciation for stage productions, and the hard work that goes into them. We saw Steve juggle, also.

We attended the debarkation seminar...Steve has funny stories to tell about crazy questions people have asked. For instance, one lady wanted to know if the pools were fresh water or sea water. When she learned it was sea water, she said "so that must be why the water is so rough." You've probably heard those stories a million times. Steve is excellent at what he does.
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Old 09-17-2007, 06:04 PM
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Maryannb,

Thanks for the review, sounds just like the feeling we had on our first cruise on the Celebrity. I think they are about the same size. This next cruise we are on is a longer 8 day on a much larger ship and I think we are going to be wowed. You are right though...I thought the Celebrity was pretty big so the Liberty is going to be like a carrier in comparison.
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Old 09-17-2007, 11:20 PM
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Something funny happened during the muster drill. Upon returning to our cabin to drop off our lifejackets, I noticed several (8-9) smudges on my husband's shirt. Grease, diaper-do, or chocolate. There we were, looking at each other like we were in a Cheech & Chong routine. So I smelled it. It was chocolate. We looked at his lifejacket and there were still some chocolate smudges on it. I guess the last person that wore it enjoyed some chocolate during the drill. So, you might want to inspect your jacket before putting it on. I'm sure this has never happened to anyone, and will probably never happen again.

Our door was open and the steward came by with ice. We showed it to him, laughing about it. He took the shirt and brought it back the next day, no charge for cleaning. We tipped him $10 and graciously thanked him. Fidel was a terrific steward. I wanted to take him home.

Another thing, we always straightened our cabin before leaving for breakfast and dinner. Yes, I have OCD. I didn't want him to think we were pigs. One time we were in a big hurry, so I put the "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door.
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Old 09-18-2007, 06:39 AM
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Yes, Steve was awesome on the fiddle. He is an all around talented man. I loved the entire country show. The Holiday dancers are professional class dancers in my opinion. I missed the comedy shows, not really into it.

Another funny question he received was: Does the ship run off of generators? He wanted to tell her no, we have a long extension cord from Mobile to Cozumel!
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