Loving the Legend!
Just got off the Legend on August 26th. I have been on Carnival, RCI and NCL before. I went with my sister and my parents.
Embarkation was smooth. Stayed at the Holiday Inn Rocky Point the night before the cruise. It was a nice hotel, very clean and service was excellent. We booked the cruise package and got transportation to and from the cruise port. Side note: This hotel had great views facing the bay. However, there is nothing besides the hotels on the street so you are better off renting a car like we did if you want to do some shopping/sightseeing.
We took the cruise shuttle to the port around 12 noon and we were in the ship by 1:30pm. At the hotel, they make you sign up for a time you want to take the shuttle to the ship. There is 11am, 12 noon and 1pm only. After we got to the ship, we had lunch and then went to the rooms. My sis and I had an interior cabin and parents had the balcony both on the 7th floor. I was a bit worried b/c we booked an extended balcony for my parents and before I cruised I had found out that looking down you get a view of the lifeboats. However, it never bothered them once. While sitting or standing in the balcony looking out it was an UN-obstructed view of the water.
Summary of the cruise:
We had 4 stops -- Cozumel, Belize, Roatan and Grand Cayman. The weather was fantastic throughout the cruise. The beaches were beautiful except in Cozumel, hurricane Ernesto had gone by 2 weeks before and there was a lot of seaweed in the water. In Cozumel we went to Paradise beach, they charge $2 to get in and then they harass you to buy $10 worth of food there. Will not go back here again. Next time, I will find a public beach to go to.
In Belize, we just hung out in the port area. This is a tender port. You take a small boat from the cruise ship to the land. It takes about 15-20 minutes. Just a tip- You have to get the tix for the tender boats and then you wait until your number is called. Don't try to get the stickers without all your family members there. If they are not all there, they will not give you the stickers.
There were little shops around the gated port area, so we bought a few things. Our luggage broke so we had to buy another one so they had some great choices here as well as knock off bags/purses. I wanted to venture out into the city but shop owners were warning us not to leave the gate area. We still had a great time because there was a bar right beside the tender boat dock so we danced to a Caribbean band that was playing there and had a fun time.
In Roatan, we spent the day at the beach. It was a beautiful beach with clear water.They have free wifi in the beach area so that was great. We paid $12 to take the chairlift to the beach. Total tourist trap but fun anyway! We spent the most amount of time possible in the water and went in just before we had to leave the port.
In Grand Cayman (another tender port), I was planning to go to Royal Palms on 7 Mile Beach. We have been there before but now they charge a $2 entrance fee and they do not allow you to bring outside food or drinks. The taxi driver suggested a public free beach which is 5 minutes away from Royal Palms (still on 7mile beach) and this was PERFECT. There are little huts set up that you can put your beach stuff underneath and sit down. We brought our own food and drinks and had a great day. This beach is located beside Calico Jacks Restaurant, it was beautiful. Plus it had free wifi here too so I was able to check my email and check out the news about hurricane Isaac.
We made it back to the ship and had a Sea day the next day. During lunch time, the Captain came on and said that we were diverting to Port Canaveral instead of docking back in Tampa b/c of the storm. That night the boat was rocking a lot and I couldn't sleep very well. The next morning we docked in Port Canaveral we were up at 5am because we wanted to grab a quick breakfast and get ready to leave. Carnival had buses set up for people to get back to Orlando and Tampa airports and back to the Port of Tampa. Kudos to Carnival for being to organized. The main issue was that by docking here, many people were going to miss their flights. We were worried b/c our flight was at 2:45pm back to Buffalo through Southwest. We wanted to change it but they were going to charge us an extra $350 so we decided to risk it and just to go to Tampa airport anyways. It was a smooth debarkation process despite all the stress of people trying to get out of the ship and catch the buses. I have to say some people who lived in Florida were good and let people go ahead of them in the lines but some were just selfish and just wanted to get off the ship and did not care about other people who were desperate to catch their flights back home.
Side note: Carnival did let the passengers call home for free after they announced the change in the port so we called and let our family know what was going on. Overall Carnival did a good job despite all the stress that hurricane Isaac caused and handled the people very well.
It was a 2 hour drive from Port C back to Tampa airport and we got to the airport at 12noon which was perfect for us and caught our flight back.
Overall it was a fantastic trip, l definitely want to do another Carnival cruise again... here are some other important details I forgot to mention above:
-We watched the comedy shows every night in the Punchliner comedy club (Diane Ford and Jeff Jena) which were good. They had 2 other ones towards the end of the week but they were not as good
-The Food was EXCELLENT from start to finish. Everything we ate tasted great and we tried almost everything on the MDR menu since there were 4 of us. Our waiter also encouraged us to try different things as well. My favs from MDR were (not in any order...LOL):
-bitter and blanc dessert, tiramisu, crab cakes, lobster, prime rib, chicken in thai spices, fried shrimps, and all the pasta!
-Loved the buffet food on the Lido deck -- especially Chopsticks station.
-There was a taste bar almost every night from 5:30-8pm on Deck two. Look for it in the Fun Times. Great sample appetizers.
- We went to the MDR on Sea Days at 3:30pm for tea time (thanks CC for the tip)
-Formal nights were the first Sea Day and the last port stop. First night people dressed up alot and the 2nd night people did not dress up as much.
-We saw the shows in the main theatre almost every night. They were good for the most part.
-They had a Past Guest Party which was fun. They served free drinks and 3 different appetizers which were good.
Some advice: Bring all meds from home, even if you think you may not use them you will. My sister forgot her visine and ended up spending $12 for a small bottle on the ship!!!