I love leaving from Tampa, as they really do have one of the fastest embarkation processes around!
We drove down from Stone Mountain, GA and stayed at the Holiday Inn Rocky Point. We used their park and ride service, which was a little over 155.00, this included one night (smoking room), breakfast (pretty good)and transportation to and from the port. The room was nice, and the swimming pool was great! The hotel is right next to Bahamas Breeze restaurant, and we had dinner there the night before we cruised.
Our Cruise Critic Roll call for this cruise had been active for more than a year, and while we were waiting for our number to be called for dinner, two of our roll call members introduced themselves. What a nice treat to be hugged before our cruise!
After dinner, we went back to the hotel, and met more of our roll call. We sat around the pool area and talked until the hotel closed the pool(at 10) and we went up to our rooms. The next day was going to be embarkation, and we had a lot planned, so off to sleep we went.
We woke up early the next morning to violent lightening, heavy rain, and strong wind was whipping the waves across the bay. Oh dear! but never fear, by the time we got on to the ship, the rain had slowed, and by the time we had our muster drill the clouds were dissipating and by the time we were under the Sunshine Bridge, the skies were clear. We had one afternoon thunder shower later on during the week, and other than that, we had beautiful weather the whole cruise.
We had booked a 4K,-4197-Main Deck- interior with french doors, so we did have light coming into the cabin, but even though I had read that this cabin had a straight shot view, it did not. It was close to the elevators so we just walked down to the Main Dining Room at dinner, or took the elevators to the Lido deck. Very easy to get around from this location, and no noise from the decks below us.The Legend is port intensive, and we were watching our money on this cruise. We had sailed on the Legend for our Honeymoon three years prior, and this was our anniversary cruise. On the Honeymoon, we actually cruised with another couple, and my husband wanted to scuba, so we didn't spend that much time together in ports. This time he and I wanted to do things together, so we planned our own excursions based on snorkeling.
El Cid in Cozumel-Fabulous
Don Fosters in Grand Cayman-Wonderful
In Belize, we visited the Museum of Belize (I work in an arts center and wanted to visit the Museum for the antiquities)
Dining-On our first night we ate at the steakhouse-The Golden Fleece, since it was our anniversary. My husband had a half dozen long stem red roses delivered to the table-what a sweetie! And if you eat at the Steakhouse on the first night, you get a free bottle of wine. We no longer drink, so we gave the bottle to the women sitting behind us, some roll call friends. The food -steak-was very good. I was too full to enjoy the dessert.(So Sad!)
Food in the MDR, Truffles was excellent, and I have no complaints about the temperature of the food or the service at lunch or dinner. Service at breakfast was seriously lacking, and after two day of slow service, we decided that foraging for ourselves on the lido was a better bet at breakfast.
We also attended tea on sea days, and really enjoyed that time away from the bustle and noise of the Lido deck.We had a great steward-Harry. He took very good care of us. We actually don't require a lot, but we are kind of messy, so it was very nice to come back to a clean cabin each time we left it. How do they do that? Magic.
Entertainment-We didn't make it to any shows. Not even the Welcome Aboard show, nor the past guest party. We listened several times to a great band down in Satchmo's Jazz Bar, we went to the Piano Bar (one place I can sing and wont be thrown out). There is way too much noise on the Lido deck for old ears. We are smokers, and the only outside area for smoking is the starboard side of the front pool area. Music was blasted day and night on the Lido. It would have been nice if the noise could be turned off in one area besides the non smoking Serenity area.
What we did do on board was hang out with our roll call buddies. We created our own meet and greet on embarkation day in the Sports Bar, we had about 45 people show up, we had a slot pull on the first evening, we had 26 people show up-and while we all put in 21.00, we all walked away with 18.00-so I guess we were winners! We also had a Roll Call Putt Putt tournament on our last day at sea, and we had 20 people show up for that. We shared a table in the smoking area, so we always had a place to find a friend.We met up with some of them at the teas, and we shared a dinner table for a few meals with those that had anytime dining. My husband and I went snorkeling at two of the locations with our new roll call friends. This was the largest -most intact- roll call that we have had in our 5 Carnival cruises and it really helped us enjoy the cruise, knowing we had buddies-everywhere! And they were all wonderful!
Disembarking took longer than usual-for two reasons-one-the non Americans did not all show up for their customs report and disembarkation, and -two-so many people who are dragging huge suitcases think they are saving time using the self disembark-and they don't. Once our number was called-we were off in 10 minutes.
We got off the cruise, looked at each other and said that was the best cruise ever-We loved the Legend, the layout, the food, the destinations-and felt we really got our money's worth for this cruise-if the more you cruise the more you like it-this may be the cruise for you. Next year-back to the Bahamas, and once again on Carnival!