This was my first cruise. I read tons of reviews on the Carnival Legend and talked to several people who had cruised before in preparation for our trip.
I am 43, my wife 40 and we are both middle class professionals. We decided to leave the kids with their Grandparents for this trip.
We flew in to Tampa Sunday morning and were due to leave Tampa that afternoon. We were a little nervous about flying in to Tampa with Isaac still in the area but I am a pilot and after checking all of my weather sources I determined we would be good to go for the flight. As it turned out it was an excellent flight, slightly overcast and a little windy but no issues. We found out while we were on the way to Tampa that the Legend was not able to make it back to Tampa as they had closed the port because of Isaac. So we were taken by bus across Florida to Port Canaveral, about a 2 Â½ hour ride. The port was very nice and very well organized, and within 20 minutes of stepping off the bus we were on the boat.
Our original plans were to leave Sunday, with Monday at sea followed by the usual four stops, Saturday at sea and arrive back at port on Sunday. Because of the storm we had two days at sea with only three stops. They deleted the Belize stop which we were looking forward to the most because my wife really wanted to see the ruins. However when you travel during hurricane season you have to expect some issues.
The boat was amazing. It was huge. By the last day on the trip I was still looking at deck plans, etc. to find everything. It had tons of stuff to do from different types of clubs and bars, a huge gym, miniature golf, basketball court, pools, hot tubs, a waterslide and lots of places to eat. If you get bored on a cruise ship you have issues. We ate in the MDR (Main Dining Room) several times during the cruise. We had anytime dining and never had to wait in line. Once seated the staff took care of your every need. The food was always excellent. We ate in the buffet several times as well. The food was always good and there was a large variety. I am a pretty picky eater but I never had trouble finding something I liked. Our room was generous in size. We had a balcony room which was nice. The balcony is big enough for two adults to sit comfortably. The bed was large and I slept very well each night. Our cabin steward (Harry Purba) did an excellent job. The room was always promptly cleaned and he was very nice. As a matter of fact, the entire crew of the boat was very nice. We were always greeted with a smile and kind words. They never seemed tired or grumpy as some of the other reviewers stated.
For the first few days the ride was not real smooth. I have never been on a boat that size so I can't compare it to anything else but you could feel the boat gently swaying from side to side. I am sure it was because of Isaac, but on the last day it was very smooth. They had to cancel the show Friday night because of the motion. My wife was afraid she would get sick on the boat so she packed all kinds of medicine but I don't believe she ever took any, even with the motion.
Our first stop was in Grand Cayman. We did the dolphin and stingray encounter. It was overcast and rained on us during the first part of the encounter but then it cleared up and was nice the rest of the day. My wife really enjoyed the dolphins. It was a fun stop. I would like to go back with the kids. Our next stop was in Roatan. We took one of the local tours (Boden) and had a driver for the day. He drove us around the island in a van. It was nice trip but it is a third world country so keep that in mind. We did the monkey encounter which was well worth the money and a must for anyone travelling with children. They let you hold the monkeys and they are quite hilarious. I had one go down my shirt and he did not want to come out. Our third stop was Cozumel. It is the most developed area we stopped at. We had an all inclusive day pass to El Cozumeleno Resort. It was very nice and I really enjoyed it. We are talking about making a trip back to this resort for vacation soon.
Overall this was a very enjoyable trip. I was really impressed with all the crew and staff on the boat. They were all very nice and really seemed to want everyone to have a good time. The food was very good, much better than I had expected from the reviews. I don't really like large crowds and was afraid the boat would be much too crowded for my taste but I never encountered that. There were always deck chairs available or places inside the boat to go without fighting crowds. I saw the usual deck chair hogs both around the pools and in the Serenity area. It is my understanding that Carnival is testing a fix for this issue and I hope they incorporate it on all their boats.
So the bottom line is we had a lot of fun and I would definitely do this same cruise again. We look forward to cruising again and would not hesitate to go with Carnival or the Legend.