WE are going on our first cruise in January and I was wondering if anyone had any pointers on things to do/excursions that are worthwhile? Also if anyone has been on Carnival Holiday, what do you recommend?
Hi there! We (the family) were on the Holiday in May (as soon as school was over). The cruise director (Steve) will give a brief of things to do in Calica (nothing) and Cozumel (everything). Calica is basically a rock quarry and dock facility, either a cab or excursion is a must. Playa del Carmen is a short ($10) cab fare away. Fifth Ave. is a decent place to shop, and the beach is pretty good (warning, it's occasionally topless). With Calica and Cozumel so close, the excursions are pretty mech the same. Cozumel has some of the best shopping in this hemisphere, plus the ruins are pretty cool if you've never seen them. But if you have young ones, there is Xel-ha (Google search it, it's a good web-site). My daughter (12) wants to go there instead of shop next trip.
Steve the CD is a little goofy, but he's been at it for 19 years now. And he plays a mean country fiddle, don't miss the shows. Holiday might be the oldest in the fleet, but she's still a classy lady, they take good care of her. I'd go again in a heartbeat (dang paying jobs...) Have loads of fun.
If you like snorkeling and watersports, Xel-ha is fantastic. We did a swim with the dolphins in Chankanaab (sp?) Park that was awesome (pre-hurricane). The park is open, not sure if the dolphins are back. There a couple of beach areas, a couple of shops, a place to get some food/drink, and some decent snorkeling (Xel-ha) is better. If not into water activities, the Tulhum ruins are great. There's always shopping as well. Have a wonderful cruise!
Totally agree with Penny. Cozumel has numerous things to do, depending on your tastes. We have done snorkeling. Great shopping and beaches. If you are a drinker, get the $1 Corona's. Best bargain on the island. Be wary of anything with ice. We had someone on our ship who just got a Coke with ice, and got a major stomach virus. I guess it's just where you go. We did a beach excursion to Paradise Beach. They had frozen rum smoothies that were excellent. I was leary at first about the shaved ice, but was told by someone who had visited there before that they were fine. So, what the heck. I had a few and never felt better!! So, whatever you're in the mood for, you should find it at Cozumel. Haven't been there since the hurricane hit, but I hear they have rebuilt pretty quickly. Have a great time!!
Playa del carmen - we took the TULUM tour that included Xel HA. That was a memory not to forget. At the ruins you learn so much that the myans invented like the calendar / time / etc. it's interesting. Be sure to do with tour guide. Also, like they said Xel Ha is a beautiful water park. Nice for first time snorklers.
Also, at Cosumel you can't miss Passion Island. So romatic & peaceful & serene. Just beautiful. Its where they made the Corona commercials. Also the shopping is great. The other one tour that is good is the Playa Mia Beach break. ALSO we once did a cooking thing where we cooked (& DRANK) an authentic mexican dinner including a fish entree that was also a wonderful memory. You can even have fun if one of the group doesn't like to cook. They help you out but it is fun & the drinks aren't better ANYWHERE. Its in an area on Playa Mia Beach Resort area. But most of all have fun.
We were in Cozumel end ofJuly. Paradise Beach is wonderful. Their restaurant (open air) is wonderful - gotta try the guacamole! For $8 per person you get to use their kayaks, snorkel gear, everything. good chance to try out these things before booking a more costly excursion
Vision of the Seas April 2003
Ecstasy July 2006
We have been to Playa Del Carmen twice (once on the Holiday) and both times we were lucky enough to be tendered it .... so we landed right at Senor Frogs (and the beach). We sat in Senor Frogs on the patio and watched the boys swim and play on the beach (they were 12 and 15 at the time I think).
Paradise Beach is another great beach spot in Cozumel. But if you only want one beach day...I would make that Playa and use the Cozumel day for something like snorkeling at Chank Park.