This is my first review on cruise critic so I apoligize if I miss something. First, a little about us. This was our fourth time on the Legend, our 7th cruise on Carnival and our 9th cruise total. I travelled with my DH, 39, my DS, 14, DD, 12 and DS, 7. We also travelled with my parents and aunt and uncle, all in their 60's to celebrate my parents' 40th wedding anniversary.
Embarkation: We live within an hour of the port so we simply drove to the port the morning of the cruise. We arrived at 10:30am, dropped everyone off at the terminal along with the luggage and parked in the port garage. You pay ahead of time ($105) and are given a "chip coin" to redeem when you disembark. I left the coin in the car and walked two blocks to the terminal to meet the rest of the group. The lines were very steady at this time of day and moved along nicely. We were given our Sign and Sail cards and given a "zone 4" boarding card. They began boarding at 11am and we were on the ship, eating on Lido by 11:20am.
Ship and Decor: I have read many reviews about the decor on the Legend. While I agree it is a bit "over the top", it's interesting to look at, especially if you know of any of the history behind the paintings, etc. For example, in the steakhouse there is a painting of Jason and the Argonauts and if you know the story behind it, it's neat to see...same goes for all of the art and decor including that which is in the elevator. The ship is a lot of rich wood, as opposed to brass which I personally prefer. We had a balcony cabin, midship on deck 6 along with an inside cabin accross the hall, and this location was EXCELLENT. We were always central to where we wanted to go and the midship elevator was a 20 foot walk away.
Room: We were allowed into our room at 12:30pm which was earlier than what is customary on the Legend. I have always seen it at 1:30pm. We did not go to the room right away (more on that later) but once we got there we had the "normal" carnival cabin. Our balcony cabin had a king size bed (very comfortable with 4 comfy pillows and soft sheets, supportive but comfy mattress), a couch and table, a vanity with mirror,a stool for the vanity, a hair dryer, 3 large closets (one of which has shelves for storage that can be stowed, if you need more storage space). The bathroom had shelving for all toiletries, shower gel and shampoo in dispensers on the wall (tip: bring conditioner), a little basket of amenities (these change but we had-deoderant, soap, toothpaste--all sample sizes). There is only one plug so bring a power strip. The room was very quiet, easy to find and with the kids accross the hall it was perfect.
Food: We ate in the MDR most nights. Our waiter, Kamen, and his assistants, Dan & Charles were phenominal. They made you feel like you were their only table (although they had 5 others). The food was always served perfectly. My aunt is rather picky and she returned a couple of things to have them warmed "piping hot" and Kamen did so with a smile. Everything I had was perfect. Great selection, although I did miss the lobster bisque. They had everything from the traditional steak, turkey, ribs to the exotic such as alligator, frog legs, shark...we tried everything, because you never know when that opportunity will arise again. The lido deck has a great burger grill section with burgers, hot dogs, chicken fingers, potato salad, fries, etc. along with a panini station, a 24 hr pizza station, salad and dessert bar etc. I elected to purchase the "bottomless bubbles" unlimited soda card and this was definately worth it to me.
Entertainment: There is always something to do on the Legend. The gym is wonderful with a large selection of machines, a nice indoor hot tub. Next to the gym is the spa...wait for a special, they offer them throughout. I got a full body massage, scalp massage, foot and ankle massage, body exfoliation, and facial for 129 dollars. The staff does a great job keeping you engaged if you like that. At the sail away party they taught guests new dances, the Love and Marriage show is a no miss, the "Big Easy" is my favorite show in the Carnival Fleet, the comedy club is always packed and keeps you rolling. The mini golf, ping pong and giant chess are must do's. There is trivia, Liar's club game, battle of the sexes games, etc etc...there's never a dull moment, (unless you want one) then head to the Serenity deck and relax in the quiet sans kids. :)
Kids Club: This particular cruise was light on kids because of the start of the school year. Normally my kids are bustling in Circle C (age 12-14) but it was a little less bustle this time. They still did things but it was a little less active related to the lack of kids their age on this sailing. My little one (age 7) had plenty to do and enjoyed it. We even paid for the after hours babysitting one night to see some of the later comedy shows and he loved it. He made sand art, blew up a volcano, got pucker powder to eat, danced, did arts and crafts, got a t-shirt and went on a scavenger hunt to find Funship Freddy, the ship's mascot.
Overall: I love the Carnival Legend. We are sad to see her leaving Tampa to go to Europe next year. Did everything go perfect? No, but if you expect perfection you'll never enjoy anything.