We just returned from a 7-day Carnival Legend cruise in the Western Caribbean, leaving from Tampa, FL, and stopping in Cozumel, Belize, Roatan, and Grand Cayman. This was my first long cruise, and while the overall experience was good and it was awesome to spend quality time with my family, here are my thoughts on the cruise:
The Good: 1) Nice, clean, larger than expected cabin on the 6th deck, with a great big balcony. Shower pressure & temperature were always excellent. 2) All the excursions (and I did three) were very well organized. Our favorite was the snorkeling trip in Belize -- that gorgeous reef is not to be missed! 3) While the 2 dancing/singing shows we saw were just okay (think community college level), they flew in a guest singer from St. Thomas one night, and he was great! 4) Warm melting chocolate cake w/vanilla ice cream in Truffles -- delicious dessert when it was gooey and not overcooked. 5) Our wait staff in Truffles -- Jose & Boiana were slow to warm up, but they were always friendly and efficient.
The Bad: 1) Deli ran out of sauerkraut for reubens by 1:00 pm the day we boarded -- not a great start. And they only had one person working there at that time, the day that absolutely everybody is on board. We also had a problem with the deli later in the cruise, with them running out of cheese, and us standing there 15 minutes waiting "just 1 minute" while they replaced that. 2) Food in general -- both at the buffet, and in Truffles, was mediocre. Essentially banquet food for every meal. We were so excited to eat at a restaurant off the boat one day, just to have something "good". 3) The decor -- think Vegas, but gaudier, if such a thing were possible. 4) Our last "fun day" at sea happened to be torrential rain & winds due to Tropical Storm Debby. You would think that Carnival would have rainy-day, go-to plans, but no, events (like ice sculpting) were cancelled, but nothing fun was scheduled in its place -- would it really have been so hard to open the movie theater, and shown movies all day?
The Ugly: On every bar is a drink menu, showing their featured drinks. My favorite became Twilight Zone -- taken straight from the menu: "Midori melon liqueur, Appleton rum and Blue Curacoa with coconut cream and crushed pineapple". And yet -- every bartender in there insisted on making it with WELL (aka no-name) alcohol. I even had one bartender LIE to me directly, when I told him that I didn't see him put Appleton in it, waving at the well bottle he had just poured from. It was only when I told a bartender before the drink was even made that I wanted it specifically with Appleton & with Midori that it would actually be made that way. In fact, a bartender had to break out a brand new bottle of Midori -- I guess because all they ever do is serve the cheap stuff. Really, Carnival? Is this how you cut costs by cheating your customers? Do you really believe that people can't tell the difference between rot gut well booze, and top shelf? I challenge you to try a Twilight Zone both ways, and then let's talk about that nasty aftertaste left in your mouth after the cheap one.
I hope this was helpful to you all from a first-timer!