We cruised on the Legend August 12-19. Every day was calm seas and beautiful weather. We got extremely lucky because some of our cab drivers were telling us of all of the problems that Hurricane Ernesto had caused just the week before.
My wife and I are are both in our mid-50's, third time cruisers, and decided to book this cruise to celebrate her successful fight with cancer. We had originally booked a balcony room but about three weeks before the cruise were contacted by Carnival and were asked if we wanted to upgrade to an Ocean Suite. After a bit of negotiations we booked it.
We were VERY lucky in that every day we had calm seas and just wonderful weather. The only time it poured was just as we started muster and everyone got soaked.
Our Suite--6197 0n the starboard side.
After cruising in a balcony room and a inside state room cruising in a suite is wonderful. Lots of room, lots of closet and drawer space. Bathroom had double granite sinks with Jacuzzi tub. The deck was huge with four chairs and two tables on it. Big king size bed that was so comfortable you had trouble getting out of it in the morning. A nice sized sofa and a small desk also. The only two complaints there is one, yes just one electric plug (110 volt) in the whole room and also I was under the impression that there are some perks that you received with booking a suite but there are absolutely none. We were told by the Carnival rep that booked us that you would get VIP treatment during embarkation and disembarkation. Didn't happen.
The Ship and the Crew on the Carnival Legend
The crew, everyone, were fantastic. Wait staff in Truffles, casino staff, cabin stewards were all smiling and friendly. The only bad experience we had was with the drink servers. Every time--be it at the pool, casino, restaurant--it would take at least a half hour to receive your drink.
The ship is very easy to negotiate around. At 2100 guests it is just the right size ship. Not too crowded and the ship seemed big enough that we never felt rough seas at all. But the decor is likre Vegas on steroids. As everyone else has said the urns are everywhere. Carnival must have gotten a great deal at Urns R' Us.
Our first day my wife was saying how they are everywhere and I told her that I had read that they contained the ashes of dead cruise sea captains. She actually believed me.
We saw three shows--Marcus Anthony ( MoTown singer) who was very good. We also saw the Jazz show and the Big Easy show in the Follies Lounge. Both the shows were very good, highly recommended.
Also took in the Married Couples show (a take off on the Newlywed Game). It was good but don't don't bring the kids because it gets a bit racy.
I've been on cruise ships where, for the most part, the comedians were awful but Jeff Jenna was hilarious. His whole act is to pick o members of the audience and I almost cracked a rib laughing. Warning---don't sit in the front row.
Five out of the seven nights we ate at Truffles Restaurant (any time dining).
We would usually eat about 630-7pm and never had to wait.
As main entrees we had lobster, chateau briland, chef salad (with shrimp, tilapia and scallops), petite sirloin, turkey with dressing and pumpkin squash, fried shrimp and St. Louis style BBQ ribs.
As appetizers I had Caesar salad every night which was very good but, then again, it's hard to screw up a salad. Other appetizers we had were mushroom soup, pumpkin soup, shrimp cocktail--I even tried oysters for the first time.
I have to say that every meal was very good. For review purposes I tried to find negatives with the food but could not find any. The service, thanks Carlos our waiter, was excellent also.
We ate at the deli and lunch buffets also. We had burgers one day when back early from a port day and also Reuben sandwiches. All very good. Also, we hit the ice cream cones continuously--that stuff was so damn good.
The one complaint we both had was the breakfast buffet. While the food was good (nope, the eggs weren't runny) it never varied. Even if Carnival would offer fresh cut Mangoes, pineapple, papaya, etc. it would have been a nice change.
Got an omelet at the omelet station three times and never had to wait. The omelets were fantastic.
Ports and Excursions
We booked a snorkeling excursion with Papa Hog's Dive Shop through Island Marketing. To be honest I wasn't impressed with them. The snorkeling at the Planacar Reef was very good but they put us on a small 16 foot boat--no bathroom and no comfortable place to sit for eight people on board. (It was a four hour excursion)
Our snorkeling guide was very nice, knowledgeable and helpful but the driver of the boat was a complete jerk. He actually yelled at my wife when her mask--hers not there's --broke.
Took a quit taxi back to the Mayan pier where there is very nice, new modern shops and restaurants there. Good deals and entertainment everywhere. A very cool, safe area.
We weren't going to get off here because we had read the bad reviews of Belize. We were just going to stay on the ship and relax but we decided, after sleeping in a bit, to head into Belize.
The tenders are about 15-20 minutes aboard big open tenders. A very nice boat ride to town. We just stayed on the pier, got some lunch and shopped for our kids and grandson. Nice area with a lot of security. We noticed that this is a gated area where the local craftsman have to pay a fee to be in this area. Outside the gate, guarded by heavy security, were taxi drivers and excursion guides jumping up and down to get our attention. Sad but funny.
We had friend that did the cave tubing excursion and they had a blast. Looking back on Belize I wished that we would have gone tubing too.
A beautiful area. The Legend docks next to a pier and it's a small walk to the shops, walkway and the ski chair lift to the Mahogany Bay beach area.
When you think of sitting on a tropical beach relaxing the day away this is the place. A small beach with lots of palm trees, so much so that there is plenty of shade.
There is a dock at the far end to jump off of and the water was fantastic. Took our snorkel gear and saw just a few fish .
There is a nice bar/restaurant right there and also good bathroom facilities. Take time and your camera to take photos of yourself with all the stone shoes, flip-flops, sharks, gators, etc, there on the beach. Makes great photos and memories.
The shops had the standard stuff but there was a nice Christmas shop which I thought was kind of funny. Ninety degrees out it's hard to think of Christmas.
After a short five minute tender you are in the city of Georgetown. We walked about a half mile to the downtown area and sat on the deck overlooking the streest at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville and watched the traffic drive on the wrong side of the street. For some reason, for the both of us, it was mesmerizing.
We booked an excursion with Captain Bryan's so Stingray City and to snorkel.
We took a nice big catamaran (this time with bathrooms) to Stingray City to swim with the rays. After a half hour here we went a few miles out to deeper sea for some nice snorkeling. I got to say this was a fantastic time and the crew was aboard the Buccaneer were great. Helpful, laid back and very patient with the 26 tourists on board.
The trip was great. This is the second time we had cruised with Carnival and our cruise two years ago on the Carnival Glory was ok but not memorable like this was.
Hell, I still have the post-vacation blues really bad.
I have read here on CC about Carniva being WalMart on the sea, crew being rude and not helpful,,guests onboard being jerks, gangs of teenagers roaming the ship being jerks, yada, yada. We found none of this.
The crew, dining room, buffet areas, DJs, cabin stewards whoever it was always acknowledged us with a smile and a "Good Morning, Sir".
We never saw, not once during the seven days onboard, a person, a child, a teenager have a outburst, tantrum, bad moment or whatever. No butting in line, no chair hogs, nothing negative I see mentioned in these boards and I frankly was looking for people having meltdowns. You would hear kids run down the hallways every once in a while but that was it.
Tips for taking this cruise
--Our cabin was on the starboard side. If you can get a room on the port side. You'll see more as the docks in Cozumel and Roatan were on the port side.
--Take a power strip. Switching battery chargers all the time in the room was a pain.
--As you walk into the casino from the bow on the left side is a slot machine where my wife won $185. If you talk to it gently it'll pay out (trust me)
--Enjoy Jordan in Billie's Piano Bar, the guy is really good. We were with a group of friends that would throw songs at him and, without one hesitation, he did a great job. Bennie and the Jets, Red Solo Cup, Toes in the Water , he even did Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody.
--if you can afford a suite get one.
--We stayed overnight at the Hampton Inn/Ybor City so we didn't have to scramble to fly down and get on the ship the same day. The hotel is just a few minutes to the Port of Tampa and they offer a free shuttle.
---if you have kids hide out in the Serenity area. Nice and relaxing. Loved that pool.
---Get up early at least once head out to the Serenity area on the stern of the ship and enjoy the sunrise. Take your camera.
--I'm a former newspaper photojournalist so everywhere I go I lug along my Nikon photo gear. Here was no exception. I took my Nikon 5100 DSLR, a zoom wide angle and a zoom telephoto lens. For this cruise I bought a Pentax WG2 underwater digital camera. Ninety percent of the photos I took were with the Pentax. It took great photos and 1080 video. I constantly kept it in my pocket and when I saw something to shoot it was right there. Much nicer than carrying the camera around especially when in port I didn't want to have a camera dangling off my shoulder for someone to grab.
--Watch for the specials in the jewelry shop. I've been eyeing a Citizen's watch that I have been wanting. Here in the States it's $495 regular price and $370 whenever there's a sale. On the ship I bought it for $295. Good deal--thanks for the birthday present babe.
--Take extra SD cards for your camera. I had a new one crap out on me on our first day of the trip. Luckily I bought extra ones. SD cards are unpredictable so be prepared.