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.