i am a carnival employee and have just finished a 7 month contract on the HOLIDAY!! it is our oldest ship (built in '85) but she is in great condition! if you are a first time cruiser i think you will like it! if you have been on bigger ships and are trying to compare...then the holiday will probably disappoint she is not HUGE...in fact she is the smallest! but she is cozy and with only 680 crewmembers (bigger ships can have up to 1800!!!) everyone is unbelievably friendly!! there aren't many lounges..but the entertainment you will find there is great!! the shows are fun, the piano man is wonderful, karaoke is a blast, casino is..well lucrative if you know what you're doing!!!...the back lounge band is amazing!!! you are sure to have lots of fun! and when you get there...say hi to ronaldo and kevin!! they are my replacements and i know you will have loads of fun with them!!
The holiday is a great ship. For some reason it seems less crowded than the bigger ones. It seemed like we had whole areas to ourselves at certain times. The food in the dining rooms is great and the buffets are good although the buffet eating areas can be a bit warm. Lots of glass and people coming in and out from the pool seem like too much for the A/C. We avoided the buffet except on the first day and one day in port for lunch.
The crew really is fantastic, everyone is all smiles and it doesnt seem fake like on other ships. The rooms are clean and tidy and of a nice size. The beds are very comfy but the pillows are awful. Entertainment was very good we saw an excellent comedian and the first dance show was very good. The second dance show was a bit campy but still enjoyable. Overall a really great ship. I recommend going to the dining room for breakfast lunch and dinner and avoinding the buffet though. Much cooler and excellent food. Its also not very crowded for breakfast or lunch. Also dinner time many seemd to opt for the buffet and tables were never packed full.
I have been on the Holiday twice already since it has made it's home in Mobile and will be on it again on October 24th. I think the size is much nicer that the bigger ships. I don't have to have the grand entrances to have a good time. There are ships for all people and I enjoy the Holiday's size it seems to have personality.
The larger ships are great if that is what you are looking for, but I enjoy meeting people say at breakfast and then bumping into them again at the midnight buffet. I think the size is what I like most about the Holiday, where I am sure the size is what some peole dislike most about the Holiday. It is according to you needs and wants.
I think as far as the casino, lounges and entertainment goes it is much the same as other ships. I know some of the commedians are on other ships of larger size. And as far as bingo, pool games and so on are on other ships. The Holiday doesn't have some othe the thinks such as movie theaters, but that is not what I book my cruise around.
Becka: Do you know who the karaoke host will be on our October 6th cruise (first one out of drydock) and will Paul Santley still be the CD? We sailed the Holiday twice in 2003 and loved it. Having been everything from the smallest to the Conquest...the Holiday is very special. (except for the fact that it does not have an atrium....which I personally like). Obviously, that is not a big enough drawback to stop me from sailing her.
If you know Terrence and Melinda......(from the Holiday ) the update is that they are both "retired" from Carnival and are currently working for the Art Auction company that handles the Art on Carnival ships. I believe they are currently on the Legend...they were on the Triumph (or vice versa). I am Terrence's "cruise Mom".
well doughboy...i can't say that i have any tips for the casino! crew are not allowed to gamble?! and even if we could i would still have no idea what i was doing! ahahah! sorry! if you do make it to the holiday...say hi to chris the casino host! he is a great guy and if you stick with him, he will keep you well stocked with drinks and freebies!!! he'll teach you how to be a gambling pro!!!
linda! glad to hear that you enjoy the holiday as well!!! i do not personally know terrence or melinda but i do believe i have heard their names and it has been in conjunction with park west...so i am assuming they are still working with them!! currently the karaoke host is a former production singer and his name is rodrigo! i know that his contract was due to end shortly after i left...but i am not sure exactly when?! he may be gone by then?! the CD is not paul...paul has gone to the fantasy i think! great guy i agree!! the CD is actually steve cassel! he will be there for a while! he is a pretty goofy guy...but he gets some great laughs and actually is incredibly talented as well! he began his career with carnival as a flyon act (he juggles and has an amazing fiddle act!!) you will have to check him out!!! he is kind of dorky...but he is genuine....he loves to make people laugh!! and the hosts are great! you will love them!!! when you do get aboard...tell them all that BECKA said hello!!!!
10 of us just got off the Holiday 8/25/05. I have been on about 10 cruises about 7 with Carnival. It was the best fun we ever had. The cruise weather was perfect - we lucked out before the Hurricane. The entertainment was out of this world. You are correct - the ship is not as glamorous as the other ships but the crew made up for it with all the fun and entertainment. Met Renaldo (Kissee Kissee) and Kevin and our waiter Fernando table #267 was one of the best waiters we ever had. My sister won a cruise for two on the cruise ship by buying $20 ticket. We can go on any Carnival cruise ship we want but we enjoyed the Holiday so much we are booking another Holiday cruise December 10 and bringing 6 other people.
Your experience just gives me another vote of confidence!! We are traveling on the HOlDAY Dec. 15-19 with a group of 45 (family reunion). It's always nice to hear something postive about this ship. Hopefully the port will be up and running way before that.
How can this be? I live in birmingham and hear gas is scarce. How would they get supplies. We leave on our first cruise OCT 15TH is this possible. My heart goes out to all the people hurt by the hurricane. God Bless EveryOne!!!!
Well, I guess it'll be a while before I get to check out the Holiday. My TA called Saturday morning to let me know that the cruise was cancelled. I think it's great that Carnival is trying to help out and it isn't really anything that I could get upset about. I was a bit disappointed, but my TA was on the ball and has already got us booked on the Inspiration for the same dates.
GiGi, I saw in another thread that you'd rebooked, but it looked like it cost you a good bit to do it. We're only paying $70pp more which will be more than covered by the $100pp onboard credit. Are you going to be on the Inspiration with us?
Yes, We will be sailing same time. Do you have a out side cabin. All together 226.00 For three Witch I guess is not bad. We have to fly also. But I have felt very guilty planning my vaction while so many people are hurting. My Co. will match anything we donate to red cross so thats what we've done. Hope to see you there.
We live in Birmingham AL and alot of the gas stations are out of gas. They may not have any for awhile. Were are you from, are you driving or flying to Tampa?
Yeah, we're supposed to be staying with the oceanview guarantee. Right now our plan is still to drive down there from Atlanta, but that might change if I find a good deal on airfare.
We were actually in Birmingham Fri-Sun visitng with some friends. I think I saw a station or two there with no gas, but we didn't have trouble finding any. People went crazy and had a run on gas here last Wednesday I think it was but most of the stations have been able to restock. The pipelines are running fine so there shouldn't be anything to worry about gas-wise.
And don't feel guilty about trying to keep your vacation. It doesn't make you mean or insensitive. Life has to go on, even after a crisis.
I don't have my booking number yet. My TA said that she wanted to call the travel insurance company to see if they'll cover the difference in the cruises since the original one was cancelled. She said there's a good chance they won't, but it doesn't hurt to try. She's calling them on Tuesday and then will be able to email me the booking number and such so I can redo the funpass.
At the moment I should be in bed but am instead pondering whether or not I should book airline tickets tonight. Found a good deal on AirTran ($158 roundtrip pp out of Atl). I'd like to talk to my TA about it but don't want to miss out. I figure the $300 isn't bad considering it'd be at least an 8 hour drive down there. Saving stress on vacation is a good thing.
Glad it worked out for your trip and you're right, less stress flying. In GC, I recommend Stingray City! At first DH was not too sure about getting in the water with the stringrays but now he says that was one of his favorite excursions. We booked ours with the ship.
Teresa and Larry
#36-Carnival Splendor 9/16/12
7 night Mexican Riviera
#37-Allure of the Seas 11/11/12
7 night Eastern Caribbean
Hi GIGI and Doughboy. I live in Mobile and was booked on the Holiday for Oct 15th. I have secured a spot on the Inspiration for the same date for our group of 12. We are trying to find more people to carpool with us. If you know anyone let me know.
Also, it would be cool to meet someone on the ship that I talked to on the web.
We had minimal damage during but alot of friends and family without places to stay. I have been in touch with them and helping them get through this rough time. One couple is even going on the cruise with us.
ET in Mobile, AL
CA Cruiser, I was looking at Stingray City and thought it looked like lots of fun. Gotta hit the rum factory as well.
ET, it'll definitely be fun meet up with some people from the web while we're on the ship. We'd be up for carpooling but Atlanta isn't really in between Mobile and Tampa. It's good to hear that you made it through the hurricane ok and I'm sure your friends and family appreciate the help. Oh, my wife keeps asking me if there'll be anybody about our age on the ship. We're in our late twenties, is anybody from your group close? I've told her I'm sure there'll be plenty of great people to meet, both young and young at heart, but could always use more info to give her. We'll be seeing you soon!
Hey, ET and Doughboy77
Theres three of us going on the Inspiration 10/15. We've been friends 27 yrs. We were all 13yr old when we met. WE are celebrating our 40th birthdays! Leaving the DH and Kids at home. We would love to meet up.I live in Birmingham but my friends dont so we are flying. So many of us have gone from Holiday to Inspiration it's sure to be full. Looking forward to a lot of R&R. See you there!
Doughboy and GiGi
I am 28 and my husband is 29. Two of the guys are 28 and one girl is our group is 29. Also my parents are going and they are party animals. Maybe I should make a sign and put it on our table out by the pool cause that prob where we will be during the days at sea and in the club at night. It will probably say 'Cruisemates meeting'
The names of our group are Erica(me), Chris, Neal, Shirley, Ollie, Penny, Randy, Jeremy, Samatha, Claudia, Glenda, David.
I have been to these same ports before on the Conquest and I did the Stingray and Rum Factory in GC. We loved it. At first I was terrified of the stingrays but they come right up to you and brush the side of your leg like a cat. They are very calm. Way cool experience.
Sovereign of the Seas 04/04
Carnival Conquest 03/05
Inspiration Sailing on 10/15/05
I was looking at the stingrays and thought it sounded like a lot of fun. The rum factory sounds fun too, just a different kind. We haven't made any decisions about Cozumel yet. Probably gonna hit Paradise Beach and I'd like to try some SCUBA diving, gotta check on that. Thought about taking a cooking class there also. Guess we're running out of time to make up our minds, but that's a good thing!
Next step though is to find a hotel to stay at in Tampa the night before. Sounds like a good time to try Priceline. Wish me luck.
Got back yesturday from our cruise on the Holiday, 9/3/05-9/8/05. It was my first cruise and I had a blast. We had about 25 in our group and many had cruised before, they had fun as well. We expected the crew to be alot nicer than they were...one waiter in the 7 seas dining room actually told me he wouldn't smile because he was to tired, we couldn't believe it, but other then that we had the time of our lives. I will definitely be going on another cruise and can't wait!! Maybe I will try a newer ship but the Holiday was very very clean and nice, just want to try something different.