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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 07-20-2009, 09:03 PM
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Hi, I'm new here to this site, but I've just returned from my 4th cruise (July 9-13). My family and I (8 of us) wanted to go on a summer cruise instead of driving to another city. We all confirmed and unfortunately their budgets warranted us going on the Holiday's cheapest available staterooms. I was unable to reserve a balcony room (Every other cruise I've been on I've had this) so I settled for the rooms that my other family members could afford. ($350/person)

I booked us 4 rooms on the Riviera deck (bottom). Our rooms were some of the farthest forward R11,12,17 and 64. 64 had a picture window and was nice, but the other rooms had portholes and were VERY, VERY HOT. SO hot in fact that we had to have box fans brought into our rooms to TRY to keep them cool. We spent plenty of time in the lounges/casino/bus stop trying to stay cool. The fact of not having a balcony became a non-issue as the room was ok in size and I spent most of the time with them at the pool or on deck reading. But the heat was unbearable and I have logged a complaint with Carnival regarding this. I am also booked on a Princess cruise in December out of Singapore touring Australia... so if they can't sympathize with me with this I'll be changing reservations as Carnival is the parent of Princess.

This is a SMALL ship. The pool areas, buffet lines, gift shop all are OVER CROWDED!!!

The food at the buffet is AWFUL!! AWFUL!! I got so sick of hamburgers, hot dogs, sauerkraut, potato salad...every day......AWFUL!! The pizza line was at least 30 people deep during peak times.. The ice cream is a big hit, so big that there is NEVER any ice cream cones/bowls available. The Seven Seas dining room food and staff were first rate, I'd even go so far as to say world class. We did late seating and thus thoroughly enjoyed dinner every night and breakfast on 2 days.

The decor is 70's disco, brass, maroon, golds. The elevators are s l o w and inadequate. My mom is 70 and we had to take the stairs many, many times requiring her to rest between floors. There is maybe 10 elevators total and 2 of them were out of service during our cruise.

As a first cruise for you, you should have a blast. My family had a blast, aside from the heat in our staterooms. Maybe I was spoiled by having cruised other larger, better ships but be forewarned that there are a lot of inconvienences.

The port transfer in Mobile was very easy and well handled. I'm about 3 hours north of Mobile so it was very easy for me to drive down, park and get into the cruise terminal.

I almost forgot, hence the edit.... we for some reason did not have a choice in gratuity. It was automatically deducted from everyone's charges, $40.00 per person which added up to be $80.00 per stateroom, which to me was outrageous!!! EVERY other cruise I've been on I had the choice to leave any amount of gratuity I wanted without having this option chosen for me. Be forewarned..

Have fun and let us hear from you....

Ray
  #12 (permalink)  
Old 07-21-2009, 04:36 AM
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my wife and i love the holiday. out of the 10 carnival cruises,we have done 2 on her.. yes she is small,but she makes you feel at home on her.she is a good value for the buck to. We will all miss her and wish her well in spain. We have been on the big ships and they are so nice,but she has a quality they dont have..you will have a blast on her. i wish i was going 1 more time before she leaves mobile
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 07-21-2009, 06:03 AM
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Crayb
Welcome to Cruise-Chat. Too bad you didn't find this site before your cruise. We could have helped you know what to expect with the Holiday. Buying a cruise based on price only is not wise, especially with an experienced cruiser who has set expectations.

Several of us went on the Holiday together last July. I don't recall the buffet having hamburgers and hotdogs only.

I don't know who or how you booked your cruise, but if your gratuities were pre-paid with your cruise per diem, then they can't be adjusted on the ship. If they weren't pre-paid and only placed on your Sail and Sign once you checked in for the cruise then you should have been able to adjust them. As far as $40 per person being outrageous, it isn't at all. That's only $10 a day per person and that covers your cabin attendant, waiter,asst waiter (busboy), and head waiter. They work very hard and work long hours.
Since you've already been on other cruises you already know that, so you also know $10 per day per person is the norm in the industry. One cruise line has gone to $12. The crew should not be punished by having their pay taken away because of issues with the ship.

Your comment about cancelling your Princess cruise if Carnival Cruise Lines doesn't sympathize with you doesn't make sense. Carnival Cruise Lines doesn't own Princess. Carnival Corporation and PLC is the parent company. Carnival Cruise Lines and Princess operate individually.
  #14 (permalink)  
Old 07-21-2009, 06:20 AM
 
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Crayb what do you want carnival to do?
  #15 (permalink)  
Old 07-21-2009, 06:36 AM
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Hi Crayb, welcome to Cruise-Chat. Sorry to hear your room was hot, but I'm sure the ship was full or they would have switched you to another cabin. We never had any trouble with the buffet only having hot dogs and hamburgers. There's also an area that you can get some killer corned beef/rye sandwiches towards the bar area (aft). Sure wish you would have tried some of their deli sandwiches there, they were yummy. The food in the dining room was very good, too. I was bummed because there were no balcony cabins on the Holiday, only suites, but for a short cruise it was fine. I liked the Holiday because it brought back memories of what cruising used to be, the elevators were definitely a hoot However, we normally use the stairs anyway (trying to burn off some of the additional calories).

As Cruise Fantatic stated, Carnival cruise lines has nothing to do with Princess. They are totally different entities. When I first heard the news, I too thought that Princess would become more like Carnival. Princess is still Princess, and is still our favorite line. Please don't think that the two are the same and not take your cruise on Princess. We sailed on the Royal this past December/January. She was a small ship, but we really enjoyed her. We've also sailed on the Emerald and Caribbean Princess, two of their largest ships. Both sizes have their pros and cons.

We do hope you will post more often on our site. Please, if you have questions, let our members try to answer them before your cruise. We sure want your experiences to be pleasant Best wishes!
  #16 (permalink)  
Old 07-21-2009, 06:39 AM
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some people dont realize these ships never stop for repairs.. things happen.
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 07-21-2009, 07:22 AM
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Quote:
It was automatically deducted from everyone's charges, $40.00 per person which added up to be $80.00 per stateroom, which to me was outrageous!!! EVERY other cruise I've been on I had the choice to leave any amount of gratuity I wanted without having this option chosen for me.
Your other post shows you were on the Carnival Conquest in 2005, so this shouldn't have been new to you as Carnival has been automatically charging tips to your account for at least 7 years now. Actually I think they started in 2001.

Last time I was on Holiday (last summer) the buffet had lots of choices and not just burgers, hot dogs, and potato salad. Also the deli station with the great corned beef Penny mentioned. Every Carnival ship I've been on has had a line at the pizza counter during peak times. Holiday is the oldest ship in the fleet and has a high passenger density.

Quote:
I was unable to reserve a balcony room (Every other cruise I've been on I've had this)
Actually the Holiday has 10 balcony suites but these sell out quickly. Given the ship's age, having any balconies at all is surprising. When built in 1985, Holiday was the largest purpose-built cruise ship in the world and was considered highly innovative. It really isn't fair to compare the Holiday to newer ships.

I'm not sure what you expect Carnival to do, but canceling the Princess cruise isn't going to accomplish anything other than disrupt your travel plans. The corporate relationship between the two is akin to General Motors. So, what you propose is the same as blaming the Chevy dealer because the Pontiac dealer wouldn't meet your price on a new car.
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 07-21-2009, 08:44 AM
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dave,you are correct on the buffet line. i wish i could have a rueben sandwich there are more than burgars and fries,, same food on all the ships..
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 07-21-2009, 07:17 PM
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I only gave "MY" unbiased review of the experience I had "2" weeks ago not "Last summer". I booked the cruise through Carnival, I was NEVER asked about prepaying gratuity, I was never asked about luggage tags either, both turned out to be a suprise. I also didn't feel the need to ask whether the rooms were air-conditioned or not, this is 2009.

While others may have had a wonderful experience and thought it was great, I'm sorry I did not, as I stated in my review I may have been spoiled since I worked my way down the ship chain instead of up. The food was AWFUL, I don't know what you had on your cruise whenever you took them.

It was requested to share our experiences on the Holiday, I did just that. I don't feel like I need to be poked in the side and laughed at b/c I shared my experience and didn't have "delicious Reuben sandwichs".

On the Conquest in 05 we were given envelopes for the gratuity to be placed in, Fact, not "I think". I had no problem with the gratuity being what it was, the staff were great and at the low wages they are paid deserve everything they can get. Some of my family members were traveling on a limited budget and we were not aware of the added in charges (some of them did cash deposits, I ended up loaning money).... of which they were not allowed to remove or adjust.

Rethinking being a part of this forum, when I can't even state facts without "When I sailed it was magnificent 2,3,4 years ago". My cruise was July 9-13 2009.

I've booked the Princess cruise through Costco, so it will leave Carnival out of the loop, although my complaints still stand with Carnival. Live and learn.

Ray
  #20 (permalink)  
Old 07-21-2009, 07:55 PM
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Quote:
Rethinking being a part of this forum, when I can't even state facts without "When I sailed it was magnificent 2,3,4 years ago". My cruise was July 9-13 2009.
Part of being a member of this forum is to also expect feedback. Feedback is not always going to be in agreement with your views. Nobody who has responded to you is making things up. As you stated: "you worked your way down the ship chain instead of up". If the Holiday didn't meet your expectations it is your own fault for thinking it would be more than what you had previously experienced.
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