Sailed on the Carnival Legend August 19th-August 26th. I have cruised 13 times and I have wrote reviews on most ships but some I have chosen not to. I feel compelled to write a review on this ship only because I feel after reading about 30 reviews on her on this website I think she gets a bad rap. Please keep in mind while reading this review to take everything with a grain of salt. Its one persons opinion. Please do not form any opinion on the ship, or the itinerary because of what I say. Have an open mind.
I don't read reviews for ship information. Like I said everyone's opinion is different. I read them for shore excursion ideas, hotel info, etc.
I wish I had done more research and realized the Republican National Convention was there the week after we returned. Tampa was insanely busy, Carnival actually provided all guests with road closure information in Tampa. Thought that was awesome especially considering we drove.
I also wish I had researched the hotel better. I basically trusted reviews I had read online and heard the Chase Inn and Suites in Rockypoint was a nice hotel. They offered the cruise and snooze package which was nice. $129 for the night, breakfast in the morning, and free parking all week. They actually took us and picked us up from the port as well. Problem was the Hotel smelled terribly. Our room smelled like urine. We also had little nats all over our room. I actually attributed that to Florida, so I don't blame the hotel for that. They didn't reserve our shuttle time for the ride over like we asked them to on Thursday, so the first shuttles were booked. I wasn't happy so I complained and they ended up riding both of their shuttles in the morning to accommodate us. The other problem was the breakfast. They show free hot breakfast in the morning, but what they forget to include is that on weekends they don't offer Hot breakfast. Ummm...yeah they would be nice to know. Kind of false advertisement if you ask me. One of the employees at the hotel actually came over to our table and whispered to me, that the website and pictures are very misleading aren't they? I laughed and thought how ironic one of their own employees told me that. Just beware when booking the hotel. Not really as advertised.
I am always baffled at the food reviews most cruises get. Especially Carnival. I have sailed RCI, Disney, Carnival, and Norwegian. I cant say the food is better or worse on any ship or line I have ever sailed. If you think the food on this ship is bad I think your crazy. What do you expect? I love reading the reviews that say breakfast is the same old thing everyday....ummm, what do you expect? They serve every breakfast food imaginable. Everyday, so what do you want? The cruise line doesn't force any one person to eat the same food or different foods on any given day. Eat something different everyday. As far as lido deck food, again, what do you expect? Its a buffet that serves 2800 people breakfast and lunch daily. I am just baffled by food reviews. If you cant find something to eat your crazy. The food was very good, good variety everyday. Something new in the chopsticks area, some days they had french food, some days Italian. If you are going on a cruise for food then I think there is something wrong. Again, my opinion. I didn't try the Golden Fleece because I didn't want to spend $70 on 2 people for dinner.
The ship was very nice. The decor was not bad at all. I actually liked it. I know Carnival sometimes can be over the top, but I thought the Legend was very nice. Again, I love the criticism of how worn a ship looks. Are there rust spots on the hull...yes, are there scratches on elevator doors, yes, but what do you expect for a ship that is 12 years old and houses 3500 people a day everyday for 12 years. Come on people.
The service on board was fantastic. Crew members were smiling, and greeting my family everyday, or room steward and waitstaff were awesome. Jeffrey from the Philippines was awesome. He was a senior team waiter. He made paper animals and towel animals everyday for the kids at our table. He went above and beyond every night. Bar waiters were typical, they hate serving people with soda cards. I always laugh at that.
The ports were the norm. Cozumel, awesome as always. Did Paradise beach this time. Really nice there since the last time we were there. The pool was awesome. I think there was more people at the pool than in the ocean. Belize was still just Belize. Not a lot I can do there with 2 kids under 10. We just went ashore and shopped no biggie. Only there probably 3 hours at most. My daughter wanted so bad to go back to the ship and have it to ourselves with everyone off on the island. so that's what we did. The pools on board were nice ans warm, but the hot tubs weren't. The last couple cruises we have went on we have encountered this. All cruise lines seem to have this issue lately, I don't quite get it. Hot tubs should be warmer than the pool, but not on the Legend for some reason. Roatan was awesome, booked a private cabana. Highly, highly recommend it. Nice private beach, hammock, air conditioned cabana. So awesome, cant even describe it. Not a whole lot of shopping on Roatan, at least at the port. Grand Cayman was nice, we went to the turtle farm. The kids loved it. Not a very big deal, kinda pricey. $10 for half the park, which included the hatchery, where you could see baby turtles, a short movie on describing the life of the turtles, and a huge lagoon filled with them, and touch pools. Picking up the turtles, going in a pool with them. it was nice. $45 for all the park which included everything I just mentioned plus snorkeling and swimming.
The only real bad wasn't really any fault of Carnival. Isaac affected us. We were on our way back Friday from Grand Cayman, and were rounded Cuba heading for Tampa, and the damn US Coast Guard closed the Port of Tampa. We were lucky the Legend is a faster ship because we were able to sail around Florida and head for Port Canaveral. It was the only cruise port still opened because of Isaac. We then had to bus to Tampa, 2 and half hours to Tampa. Yuck, no thanks to the bus trip. Finally got to Tampa, and in our car as we drove from the Detroit are at about 230. we like to do self assist and get off the ship around 7-8 am. Not this time though.
All in all, what a great cruise. So happy with everything. I try to not let things bother me so much like the little things. i know its human nature to expect perfection especially in our vacations but its virtually impossible for that to ever happen. Go and enjoy yourself. Don't sweat the small stuff, and when you read the reviews on this site, don't take everything so literally with what a lot of people post. Carnival provides some of the best vacations for price, they really do. 8 Carnival cruises and planning number 9 and 10. Want that Platinum status before Dec 31st of next year.