The Carnival Holiday has lived life for the past decade as the smallest and oldest ship in Carnival’s fleet. At a little over 46,000 tons, it is dwarfed by the newer ships that exceed 100,000 tons. It is also about 300 feet shorter than many of the other ships that Carnival owns and operates. Since it can only handle about 1,400 guests, it lags other cruise ships by at least 1,000 in passenger capacity. Since it was put into service in1985, Carnival cruise lines has operated the Holiday mostly in the Caribbean. In recent years, it has sailed from New Orleans. After hurricane Katrina, the Holiday was based from Mobile, Alabama running four and five day cruises to the western Caribbean.
The Holiday does not match the majesty and glitz of newer cruise ships.
The Holiday does not have a soaring atrium to wow passengers as they board the ship. Guests enter at the area where guest relations is located. It is just a large open lobby. Even for first time cruisers, it seems a little plain and unexciting. For the last year or two, the Holiday has been criticized for a lack of cleanliness and having an odor. However, for the majority of its existence, this has not been the case. While smaller and older, the Holiday often led the fleet in positive customer reviews.
Very few balcony rooms are found on the Holiday.
Because guest expectations have risen as more people have become regulars for the cruise industry, ships offering huge numbers of balcony staterooms have become the norm. On the Holiday, only the more expensive suites will allow guests to have a private balcony. For those needing to experience the sea breezes, a trip to one of the upper decks will be necessary. Like most cruise ships, the Holiday has more than ample area for passengers to get some sun or just enjoy the feel of the wind on their face without being overly crowded or uncomfortable.
Since 2000, the Holiday has gone through two renovations.
The first renovation happened in 2003 and was intended to just put the Holiday back into pristine condition. During the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, the Holiday was used as a hotel for workers. This caused the ship to need another round of dry dock work before being put back on the sea to carry paying passengers.
The staff of the Holiday made up for the ship’s lesser amenities with a higher level of service.
For most of its declining years, the Holiday has maintained itself proudly for its owners. In the dining room, the quality of the food and service tended to be slightly better and more personal than on larger ships. The cabin stewards are more friendly and less business like while still doing a great job on the state rooms. The cruise director and other staff are easier to access since the passenger totals are much smaller. These things helped to offset the lack of balcony state rooms and activity options on the ship.
The Holiday offers all of the standard shore excursions.
This is still a major league cruise ship. While in port, guests will be able to take advantage of any excursions, shopping, or other amenities offered at each stop. Passengers looking for experiences in foreign ports of call should not be disappointed by the Holiday’s options. Carnival keeps all of the choices of any other cruise ship available to guests who cruise on the Holiday.
Guests can continue to enjoy the Holiday in its new home.
In May of 2010, the Holiday was transferred to a European subsidiary of Carnival. It has been renamed the Grand Holiday and will continue to sail with cruises originating in foreign ports. It has undergone another renovation and will probably serve the cruise industry for another decade or two.