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Wonderful time on the Holiday

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canuk

Guest
#1
It would not be fair of us not to post a note to say what a wonderful vacation my wife & I had on the M.S. Holiday, a 5-day Carnival cruise out of Mobile AL, to Cozumel and Playa del Carmen (our 3rd cruise and first with Carnival).
The service was top-notch; not once did we encounter a member of the crew who was anything less than courteous, friendly and attentive. Usually they were a shear delight to deal with; they quickly learned our names and what we liked for dinner ( I always finished with the cheese plate and a glass of port. I did not have to ask for it after the first night).
The food was great and the drinks prices were quite reasonable. As a beer drinker I was delighted to find Pilsener Urquell (Czech) and Grolsch (Dutch) on board, two superb beers. Most days before supper we'd polish off a bucket of Pilseners (4 bottles) for $13.50. Yum.
Embarkation and disembarkation were a piece of cake - no more than 20 minutes from the time we got out of the taxi to the moment we were on board (and, yes, the ship was full) and vice-versa getting off. In fact, we took longer than most because, as the only Canadians on the trip, we had to have our passports dealt with specially and fill in extra forms.
In short, we can't say enough about this ship and its crew. How Carnival does it for the money, I don't know. The evening shows were well worth going to and there were so many things to do on board, we just had to skip things.
My only disappointment: Cozumel. There were nine cruise ships in port the day we were there and it was a zoo. But that said, we were amazed at how well the taxis ran. We went to Chankannab Park and, although it certainly wasn't overcrowded, the sea was rather rough and it made snorkeling off those coral rocks a bit dicey. But the fish were great!
Best shore day was Playa (Calica). We took a taxi to Peurto Aventuras ($10 south). I've never seen such fine white sand in my life. it is an idylic beach. Good snorkeling, too. We used the facilities of the Omni resort hotel, who just asked that we eat/drink there, which we gladly did.
Neither of these were ship-organized excursions - we went on our own. No problem. We used Pesos on shore and found that the locals appreciated that and things were cheaper (by about 10%) than if we'd used dollars.
We were glad to tip our favourite ship's staff over and above the amount billed as gratuities. they certainly deserve it.
Recommended? You bet! W'ed love to do it again.
 
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Amy2005

Guest
#2
Canuk,
I'm SO glad to hear a wonderful review about the Holiday, as my family and I are going on May 5 for a 4 day cruise to Cozumel. Its our first cruise so i'm all goes well. Thanks for the review!
 
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Cruzman

Guest
#3
Glad to hear that you had a great time at the Alabama Cruise Terminal and the Holiday! Those of us who reside here are quite proud of the facility and the great job that Carnival is doing with the Holiday. We are working very hard to get another ship home ported here that will do 7 day cruises.
 
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Terri H

Guest
#4
I have to agree, we were on the Holiday last October and had a wonderful time. I know alot of people enjoy the mega ships, but I enjoy the small ships that I can find my way around. I also have a cruise booked for July 9th and October 24th on the Holiday. I guess that means I really like the Holiday and it is 5 hours from home.

I have read a lot of bad reviews on the Holiday, so I am happy that others liked it as well as I did.

Terri
 
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Mbandy

Guest
#5
=yeah People always knock Holiday. We saw her in Cozumel two years ago just before she went in to drydock and she was looking pretty tired back then. Rust streaks running down the hull etc. Parked right next to the then brand new Navigator of the Seas was a sad contrast.

My point being that when they bring a ship in to drydock for refurbishing it makes all the difference in the world so a bad review from two years ago might be completely different today. Same goes for any ship.

Glad to hear positive things about Holiday. I sailed on Celebration several years ago and had a fine time. I'm glad you enjoyed your trip :thumb
 
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Amy2005

Guest
#6
Cruzman, It would be really exciting and convenient if they could get a 7 day cruise ship at the port in Mobile. I was looking online to see different ports, etc. The closest port to us, other than Mobile, is New Orleans. That's probably a 6 hour drive. Some of us are really limited in vacation time and driving to Florida would take 2 extra days. My husband won't fly so we have to drive. :grin
 
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coffeecups

Guest
#7
I think I did the drive from no to mobile some years ago and it took about 4 to 5 hours. But then you have to think of some congested traffic in Mobile and the montgomery turnoff before Mobile. With the new speed limits it might be quicker. I know I have heard some people say that it is about 4 hours driving from one to the other.

My point is that personaly, because I don't fly, a five hour drive would not be bad at all for going on a cruise from Mobile.

Glad to see that the Holiday was refurbished and is doing well.


coffeecups
 
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Cruzman

Guest
#8
Last time I drove to New Orleans from Mobile, it took 2 hours and 15 minutes driving approximately 75 mph most of the time. I think it was a total of 140 miles to the Julia St pier. I frequently drive to Montgomery from Mobile and it takes about 2 hours and 40 minutes, another 1 hour and 20 minutes puts you in Birmingham.
 
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SouthernLadyBlue

Guest
#9
Canuk, SO glad to hear y'all enjoyed the Holiday so much. She's by far my favorite ship. (Seems we discussed this before?) Amy will have a fun time, too, I just know it!

I have relatives in Mobile, so am there quite often. From here in N.O., it takes me approx. 2 1/2 hours to get to Mobile.
 
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Sophie

Guest
#10
am glad to see the good posts about the holiday; am in the process of booking our january family cruise and am trying to decide on the sensation (again) out of new orleans or the holiday. :)
 
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SouthernLadyBlue

Guest
#11
Sophie, of the two ships you mentioned, I have cruised on the Holiday 6 times, and the Sensation only once. It was a very different ship from the Holiday. The Sensation's Ectasy dining room, for instance, is down a 'half-deck' and very difficult to get to...no elevator at that end of the ship! (So you can't get to it from a lower level...duh.) Also - the lower level entrance to the main show lounge is entered THROUGH the gift shop - dumb idea, and very hard to maneuver through customers and merchandise. Somebody definitely wasn't thinking. LOL

The colors on the Sensation are SO VERY neon-purple everywhere, especially in the atrium (which is no big deal in itself), and the carpets in the public areas have a wavy pattern - which made me dizzy! There was one lounge that I particularly like, though....Touch of Class. It is unique, to say the least. The decor is all 'hands' - black and white with a touch of red. The bar stools are huge HANDS, and there are hands holding back the curtains, etc. Really, really cute!

All in all, the service and food were about the same as the Holiday, very good. BUT, I find myself booking another Holiday cruise - calling my PVP on Monday. I'm in N.O., but just can't bring myself to sail on Sensation again; rather drive the 2 1/2 hrs. LOL
 
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Amy2005

Guest
#13
Nanni, You got yourself quite a ride there! :grin
My husband had to take a work trip not too long ago. . .it took us 12 hours to get there because he won't fly. :) On the positive side, we got to spend more time together.
 
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jimlinalf

Guest
#14
I'm also glad to hear about the good cruise on one of the oldest Carnival ships. Too bad they can't use the old gal for a 7 day cruise. I also wish they could do something about the Carnival Celebration and extend it to 7 day cruises now and then. Sometimes I think the bad reviews are a combination of a tired crew and the person that took the cruise. Not blaming either entirely but the combination is hard to miss. I also look to see what previous cruises they have been on, whether they are used to fancier cruise lines.


Jim