29dawgs, she is an old ship. Just know she's not going to have all the bells and whistles the ships you have sailed on did. It's a great value, and I honestly had a fantastic time. I enjoyed everything I ate. The chocolate melting cake was my desert of choice. The salad bar was great and the deli sandwiches were wonderful. I had so much fun in Cozumel, it was one of the first times in a long time that I actually enjoyed Cozumel. We've been there so many times, that it had lost it's appeal to me. Not this time, we went to a resort for $20/pp, we had the use of their pool, great snorkeling area, nice beach, restrooms, restaurant/bar, and table and chairs. The Holiday is easy to get around. We did have really noisy neighbors, but that sure wasn't the ship's fault. There were copious amounts of family for a family reunion, and it seemed like we were in the middle of them. I just enjoyed the daylights out of the Holiday.
The sign at the place said "Club Cozumel Caribe" but I think they use a different name. Any cabbie will know where and what you are talking about. It is on the northwest part of the island. Don't panic as you pull up. The hotel was destroyed in the last big hurricane and looks like is was bombed. They are rebuilding it for condos. The actual beach and resort area is beautifully maintained and clean.
Let me add that I didn't mean to sound as though the Holiday is a disaster area. Just in comparison to our previous cruises on this ship, that last one had things that weren't as good as I remembered. Some things were expected. I should note that the cabins I saw were in great condition, and they had put new furnishings in some. Our suite had a new sofa and bedding, and I was impressed with Cruise Fanatic's cabin. It looked almost new.
I didn't miss any meals and the drinks were well-prepared.
29dawgs, I wouldn't worry too much. Most of the comments are from us that have sailed on her before when she was in better condition. I would do as you said and have a good attitude while being prepared for a different experience. It's not like the ship is falling apart, she's just showing her age. One good thing is you won't have to worry about getting lost like some of us do on the Glory. And as Penny mentioned, be prepared for a slightly different elevator experience. Especially the one's near the casino bar. You should make it an adventure and an opportunity to sail on one of the original Fun Ships. And as you mentioned it is a great value too.
Penny, I am sure you know this, but for some of our new cruisers. The reason the Holiday reminded Penny of the Jubilee is because they were sister ships, along with the Celebration with only minor differences.
Of the three ships, the Holiday was the first and is the last to remain in the fleet from what was once called the Holiday Class of Carnival ships.
Thanks, Dwayne, I really didn't know they were sisters. I should have realized it-duh! I sailed on the Jubilee so many years ago, heck I still looked good in my bikini It was a great cruise, we sailed out of San Juan. I got lucky in the casino and won enough to pay for my entire cruise, including air fare. Haven't ever been that lucky since. The elevators are a hoot!
Dwayne is right, 29dawgs... I didn't mean to sound so disappointed in the cruise. My inlaws have always done high-end cruising and this was their first Carnival cruise. As you can imagine, it's difficult to go from Regent(Radisson) to the M.S. Holiday. My father in law raised his eyebrows at actually having to pay for drinks but they were troopers. I spent so much time worrying about them being disappointed that I didn't realize that they were having a great time. My, normally quiet, mother in law was taking line dancing lessons and spending a lot of time in the spa (which she says is one of the best that she has encountered on any ship). She said the spa is not very big but it is also not pretentious and they give full attention to their customers. My father in law forgot his dress shoes for formal night. They didn't have his exact size so they gave him a pair 1/2 size too large. They fit well but they didn't charge him because they felt guilty for not being able to fit him. Understand, 29dawgs... She is not the ship that she used to be but she is still a mighty fine vessel. I had more problems with the staff than I did with the ship. Come to find out, my in laws were more than happy with the size of the Holiday. They considered her large since they are used to sailing on ships that are considered more of megayachts than cruise ships. My father in law is quite a character but he also has a serious nature about him. On the day the ship was rocking soooo bad, he was on the elevator when a couple walked in. Without breaking a smile, he looked at them and asked, "Which way are you going? Left or right?" He is almost retired but he is still a physician at heart. When people were vomiting and scared, he skipped the final night dinner and his all-time favorite baked Alaska, to don his doctor's coat and help others. No, he didn't administer medicine... just advice. People were grateful and it gave me even more respect for the man.
29dawgs, you should board the Holiday with the best of expectations. She is not a lifeless boat. She is full of wonder and grace. The refugees from Katrina may have taken a few years off of her life but they could never rob her of her dignity.
Thank everyone for their replys. We are looking forward to this cruise and cannot wait til we sail. We have never done a 5 day cruise, always done 7 day cruises. We are also looking forward to sailing from Mobile. It is an easy drive from Atlanta.
My wife and I are not very picky people so I think we will be fine. Plus who wouldn't want to be cruising on Valentines Day.
drlivingston, your father in law sounds like a great man. He sounds like the type of person that we all hope to meet when we are cruising.
You are right, Penny... I have much to be thankful for. We just returned from her OB/GYN and found out that we are having a daughter!!! It's wonderful news but now I have to worry about getting back in shape and renewing my pistol license to fend off would-be future boyfriends.