Ernesto Changed Cruise: Carnival Legend Cruise Review by T2C

Carnival Legend 5
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Ernesto Changed Cruise

Sail Date: August 2012
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Tampa
We chose this cruise because we'd never been to Roatan before..., and thanks to Ernesto (the storm) we still haven't. CCL changed us to 2 sea days, then Jamaica, then Grand Cayman, then Cozumel and then another sea day. I prefer less sea days so this was a negative to me however my wife loves sea days and it was a positive for her :-)

CCL was right in changing our itinerary, we had smooth sailing the entire trip. When we were in Jamaica the Magic was there and we heard from some of them that they didn't have the same luck. Whether it's true or not we were told that they hit really heavy seas in the Gulf and were told they should remain in their cabins for a 24 hour period.

Even though I don't like sea days I have to say that the Legend really never seemed crowded except lunch time in the buffet but there are so many options it didn't really bother me, I say me because I hate crowds and lines, my wife it doesn't bother. 2 years ago we went on the Conquest and that ship, More even to my wife, was crowded all the time and every where on the ship. We were told before this cruise that we'd see a major difference with the Legend and all the Spirit class ship and we did.

As I said, we didn't do any excursions, we had one scheduled in Roatan but that was obviously cancelled and we had the stingray one scheduled in Grand Cayman but because we were going there on a different day then was originally scheduled our ship had to leave at 3 instead of 5 and they moved our time from 11am to 9am and that's to early for us so we cancelled that one also. My 3rd time in Grand Cayman and I still haven't gotten to the stingrays, oh well, just a reason to go back.

In Jamaica we just visited the shops at the pier, looking for flip-flops for me as I had forgotten to pack mine but those stores wanted Macys' money for them. Another thing about Jamaica, even though we were there 1st we had to use the pier farthest from the shops because the Magic was coming, bunch of bull-crap as far as I'm concerned.

In Grand Cayman we tendered in and again because Magic was in port behind us we had to tender to the opposite side of the pier, that's not as built up but ha ha CCL, that put us closer to where we wanted to go anyway :-)
We found some flip-flops for me at a reasonably priced store and we stopped by the $5 store there, we'd been there 2 years before, they now have many different hats (caps) for $5 and they sew your name on them for free. 2 years ago they had t-shirts for the same deal but I guess the cost became to much for them.
We then went to our destination, well, our alternate destination. 2 years ago my ole military friend visited a little hole in the wall restaurant and had a turtle burger and raved how great it was. We had seen it also but I cheaped out and said lets just go back to the ship and eat there, I've been waiting 2 years to get back. Well, that place is no longer there, looks like they put a small parking lot there now but just down the street is a restaurant called Paradise and they had turtle burgers. They also had cracked conch which I want to try but I got the turtle burger and it was good, especially with the spicy sauce they give you with it. My wife stuck to just the fries and a smoothie.

Next was Cozumel and we stayed on the ship and enjoyed the Serenity area, mostly just us older folks (50 and older) for most the day. We tried the water slide also and for some reason Legend doesn't run enough water for the slide so you pretty much have to 'walk' yourself down most of the ride and this was for the smallest kids to the fattest adults. Never had that problem on the Conquest and the difference was how much water was being run down it. Conquest had about a 12 inch wide stream going down while the Legend had about a 3-4 inch stream going down it. Don't know if this is a change mandated by higher ups or not but several people went to the customer service desk and I called the customer service 777 number but no one seemed to have the power to increase the water level.

YOUR TIME DINING! I heard so much about this before leaving, so many people saying that the service was slow and that the food came out cool or cold. Our service was GREAT! WE were finished every night in a little less then an hour to just over an hour. Every item was either we were served was piping hot (soups) to hot and at the least was at a temperature that we loved eating it at and the food was great tasting.

That said, the only exception was the last night, it seemed like the chefs said, they are gone tomorrow so who cares. My wifes crabcake came out cold and undercooked, my frog legs (which I love) came out cold and bland, extremely bland and my mahi mahi (which I love and cook myself) came out extremely over-cooked and bland. Well, the Grand Mariner Souffle was great and hot.
Just to add, the servers were still spot on that last night, wasn't their fault and I made sure they knew we didn't blame them.

We stayed the day before at Holiday Inn Express-Rocky Point (their stay and cruise package). They were fantastic. Called after we got our bags from baggage claim and the ride was there within 10 minutes. They allowed us to check in early but we had an hour wait before we could check in but they stored our bags in a secure room while we walked around (we got there really early as we fly in the early mornings for better air rates).
The shuttle to the ship the next day (which you sign up for when you arrive) actually left 15 minutes early because everyone showed up early for it.

The shuttle back was easy also. We called once off the ship and they told us to go to the far left side of the parking garage across the street (don't worry, there's a crosswalk and a police officer directing traffic and he was giving the pedestrians the right away). We got there and a Blue One person called for a van and they were there in 5 minutes. Can't say enough about this HIE package.

Something about the airport in Tampa. By the time we got off our flight and got to the baggage claim area they had our flights baggage on the belt and rolling to be claimed. On our flight back to Baltimore my wife said she hoped BWI was the same with the baggage. I told her no way, not in Baltimore, different type of people (and I was born and raised in Baltimore). Sure enough it was the same old BWI, a wait for the belt to even start moving.

It was a great cruise and we really enjoyed ourselves and will never hesitate to cruise on a Spirit class ship again.

Also, embarkation was a breeze, just like it was when left from Tampa years ago. Debarkation, well, the Legend could do better for the self assist, which we did.
Also, the shows were great, my wife even went to one, finally, and she really enjoyed it, My complaint is there are only 2 shows and the rest of the entertainmen didn't start till 10 to 10:30 at night. Less

Published 08/12/12
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Cabin review: 7A5185 Balcony (obstructed views)

For us 5185 on the Legend was so so and it may have been because for the 1st time ever we had some lousy neighbors. When they weren't yelling at each other they were smoking like crazy on the balcony and I can't handle smoke, hate the smell (upsets my stomach) and I have a bad heart. For the price though 5185 had plenty of room, all 4 suitcases fit under the bed and my wife and I had plenty of hangers and closet/drawer space for our clothes. 5185 is an obstructed view because of the lifeboats but they are the smaller lifeboats and the opening between two of them is at this balcony, on the left side of the balcony.

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