What’s Up With The Carnival Holiday?

Carnival’s Holiday is having propulsions problems and Carnival is having communication problems.

Some passengers got off the Holiday in Mobile, Ala., on Thursday feeling fairly hacked off about changes in their itinerary.The ship couldn’t sail fast enough to make both its scheduled port calls in Mexico, so it skipped one.

Now these things do happen, because of weather, mechanical problems, port scheduling or what have you. It has happened to me, and I generally don’t have a lot of sympathy for complaints about it.

But it does seem that in this case Carnival could have been more forthcoming with its customers.

Reports of propulsion problems with the Holiday began surfacing online two weeks ago, but the passengers weren’t notified of the itinerary change, eliminating a call in Progreso, until they reached the dock in Mobile. Passengers were given an opportunity to cancel at that point but, really, that’s fairly late in the game to disrupt a vacation.

As one passenger commented on Cruise Critic: “The reason why they don’t tell you in advance is that they know that by the time you take off work, drive or fly from however far away you will most likely go on the cruise anyway.”

Also, Carnival hasn’t provided much information about the just-scheduled dry-docking of Holiday. The Mobile Press-Register reports that two cruises on the Holiday have been canceled, and customers have been given refunds, so the ship can “undergo regular maintenance” from Feb. 28 to March 8. 

This just doesn’t add up. Why schedule regular maintenance when you have sold cruises at the same time? 

Holiday, Carnival’s oldest ship, is scheduled to be retired from the fleet in November. It has been home-ported in Mobile since 2004, and was rented out to FEMA for a few months after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

It has experienced propulsion problems before, most notably in December 2004, when passengers were notified as they boarded that a cruise to Mexico would be a “cruise to nowhere,” a round-trip into the Gulf of Mexico with no port calls.


2 thoughts on “What’s Up With The Carnival Holiday?

  1. Disappointed

    The Holiday needs to be drydocked. We were on the Jan 31 cruise because we weren’t given any advance notice of problems. More than just the propulsion system needs fixing. Coffee and juice machines broke down. Milk in cartons was spoiled though not outdated. Shower temperature controls didn’t work in some rooms. We felt sorry for the crew who have to do their jobs and try to keep people happy on a boat that is aging. We’ll be happy if Carnival really does refund the extra airline tickets we had to purchase to get home. Those cost more than the cruise.

  2. Extremely Disappointed

    We also sailed on the Holiday from Mobile on Jan. 31. Not only did we miss a port (Progreso) due to lack of maintainence, but we did not even get a full day in Cozumel! We were scheduled to arrive in Cozumel at 6:30 p.m. (ended up arriving about 4 p.m.)and we were leaving at noon the next day. Also, because the ship was slow, it was freezing the first full day at sea! People were walking around in hooded sweatshirts on their Caribbean cruise! Also, due to the ship’s speed, we waited hours for the shops & casino to open because they have to be 3 nautical miles out. Personally, we never had hot water, even after a plumber came 3 times, though other cabins complained about scalding hot water. Our water was also brown the entire time. Gross. Many other things broke during the cruise. The first day the public restroom on the Lido deck was flooded, 2 elevators broke, the coffee & drink machines & milk(as mentioned in another comment), 2 machines in the gym, one of the hot tubs (on the coldest day of the cruise!), and believe it or not, the gang plank. We returned to the ship to eat the night we got into Cozumel, and then we we tried to get off, we were told we had to wait because the gang plank had to be repaired. Because we were leaving port at noon, we had to be off the ship and ready to go at 6:20 a.m.! On the way back, we had strong winds and the outside doors were locked. I was afraid that old ship was going to break. We ended up getting a letter asking us to speak with the Chief Purser due to the plumbing problems in our room and she told us that we left with 3 of 4 engines working and blew another in the wind storm the night before, so we ended up limping into Mobile on 2 engines, arriving at 1:30 p.m. The entire ship was irrate. We also asked the Chief Purser what she could do for us seeing as how we never had hot water & it was brown. I told her I would not pay for a hotel room that provided cold, brown water. She let us know that she had no power to do anything and that when she send complaints in she never hears back anyway. We knew we were not buying a luxury cruise when we booked, but my goodness, there are some basics needed for a decent vacation & they should not be taking my money if they cannot provide what they are selling!


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