Not to further confuse you, but the ships do have different policies, so just pay attention to the capers and talks on the ship regarding this. On the Freedom last year on our Grand Med cruise, we received the blue numbered tags to add to our luggage and groups were called according to that number. On the Holiday in October they still were calling by the color tags as they had always done in the past. I feel like the biggest reason for the differences is due to a transition period of getting to the blue numbered tags. Those passengers with VIP status and early flight connections are normally unloaded first. Thank goodness, I have VIP status and can leave ahead of most crowds now. I cruise again mid April and feel sure that, the blue numbered tags will be used since they have done away with the colored string luggage tags.
The funny thing we noticed was that the Freedom was the newest and largest Carnival ship when we sailed her in April 2007 and the Holiday is the oldest and smallest ship (October 2007). The Freedom had completely emptied out and was making a last call for passengers to leave by 9:30 am, while the Holiday sometimes is not unboarded at 11:00 a.m. Go figure!
Been there - done that:
2005 Holiday, Sensation, Conquest,
2006 Conquest, Celebration, Holiday,
2007 Freedom Grand Med, Holiday
2008 Fantasy & Sensation,
2009 Fantasy, Holiday & Dream Grand Med
2010 Fantasy and B2B Elation
2011 Monarch of the Seas
2012 Booked - Breeze from Barcelona 12 days