by Linda P.
October 11, 2003
Yes, it is me again! We were just on this same cruise in July. We did have a wonderful cruise, again, but there were some changes. (good ones) At the past cruiser party, they gave us lapel pins with the name of the ship. So now we have to start collecting those. They have added a :Legends: competition in Karaoke and one male winner and one female winner get to sing in the Talent Show on the last night. We had a different CD ( Paul Santley ) and he was absolutely delightful. He even had some new material. Jeremy (kick the pig) was gone...but Rebecca Llewellynn (sp?) was super, super, super. She is definately CD material.
Cozumel - We spent the morning at Mr Sanchos and had another wonderful time. Be sure to tell Gabrielle we said hello! He is the best!
We also love little "hole in the wall" places and we discovered a couple of those. The neatest one is Riley's Bar. It is 3 blocks north of Viva La Mexico (on La Mission). It is owned by an American named Stuart Riley. He is a very interesting character to talk to if you are into learning about Cozumel living from a transplant point of view. And of course we had to stop by Sally's Putt Putt Golf course which happen to be just a few blocks across from Riley's (toward the downtown area)
Embarkation was fine. We were on a little after noon. (We were on the first row to go.)
Service was excellent. (Thanks John - Cabin Steward and Ronald and Adrian (waiters)
The Music was the best combination we have had. Piano Bar was Jane Milliken from Canada - wonderful
Since this was our 4th family cruise this year, (all Carnival) we knew what to expect with the food and it was fine. The one thing I do like about Carnival is their consistancy from ship to ship. We know what to expect!
We were the lucky ship to be tendered into Playa Del Carmen right downtown. They are doing some major improvements like adding a CarlosnCharlies etc. We just stayed at Senor Frogs while the boys swam and played on the beach while we watched them.
For the first time ever, our color was the first one called! We were in the car and on the road by 8:30 AM! Our cabin was R79 Inside and very comfortable. There were no smells or excessive noise. An excellent room.
This was also the first "Norwalk" cruise of the season...but we used common sense and good personal hygene and had no problems. Do pack hand sanitizer and use it faithfully upon entering and leaving the room. If you make it something you automatically do, you will not have a problem. This was our 3rd Norwalk cruise and none of our family have been affected. And with two boys who live in the arcade...that is saying something.
The only drawback was the smoke. And I just don't know what can be done about that. In July, we had very few smokers. Only 2 during Karaoke. This time the ship was full of them. Particularly those who left their lit cig in the ashtray, as they walked away. They did not even have the decency to put them out. But then, this was the same group who talked all through the past cruisers party as Paul and Captain Donato tried to speak. Lack of manners isn't Carnival's fault. But the smoking thing is just the luck of the draw. The Holiday is the oldest ship, but that doesn't seem to have any bearing on it as the Conquest (the newest) was just as bad with holding the smoke. Just a warning if you have bad reactions to second hand smoke...I don't know how well the other cruise lines handle this...but it is the only weak spot that I know of in Carnival's line up.
Captain Donato works very hard to maintain this older ship and it shows. He does an amazing job.
Great ship and wonderful crew.