We had such a great time on the Legend last year that we decided to book the same cruise this year. The ports, Cozumel, Belize City, Mahogany Bay, and Grand Cayman were as wonderful as ever. But the ship was definitely a disappointment.
Dining has slipped badly in both quality of food and service. They forgot the mushrooms in the mushroom omelet and the English muffin came out cold, after the omelet was eaten. Coffee creamer and coffee always ran empty. Salad was forgotten, then offered after the main course. And on and on. And this was in the main dining room! Buffet choices were much more limited this year, with fewer stations open at any time during lunch, dinner and late night. 24 hour yogurt machine was turned off at midnight. The sushi bar no longer exists, even though it's still on the website.
The ship was clean, but not well maintained. Mirrored doors and surfaces were all scratched badly. Upholstery on dining chairs and banquettes in bars and lounges were very dirty and shopworn. Toilet flush buttons and safe lock buttons didn't line up, making for intermittent function failure. The plumber came within a half hour, but who wanted to wait in the room for him? There were two places where wires just popped out of floor and wall, going nowhere. Lights in common areas outdoors were all rusted and in need of painting. Someone had smoked in our cabin (a no-no) and burned the sink edges and vanity top, and these were not buffed out. Cabin mirrors were streaked and silver peeling along the edges. Artwork in the room is badly UV damaged and faded. Lots of little things that made the ship look "shopworn."
Entertainment in the main showroom was as good as ever, and also in the lounges, comedy club, piano bar. However, sailaways last year were run by a trio who played and sang reggae. This year it was a DJ who played rap type music, which did not appeal to many of the older guests. Last year the lobby entertainment alternated between a classical pianist and a duo who sang and played dance music. This year there was a vocalist/guitar player, who was nothing short of awful, and the DJ who played more rap.
The crowd of passengers needs to be controlled as well. Of course Carnival can't determine to whom tickets are sold, but security should be more proactive. The "adults" at the adults only serenity pool interrupted any attempt at serenity by getting very drunk, very loud and very obnoxious from 9 am on. I mean doing cannonballs in a pool that posts no diving or jumping, and doing so with beer in hand, which, of course, spills into the pool. And when lots of idiots are drinking and carrying on in a pool, people have bathroom accidents and throw up in the pool. Really not a place to seek serenity! Security came twice to tell a particular passenger to stop his cannonballs, but no one controlled the rest of the disruptive behavior. By mid afternoon the first sea day, the pool was filthy and cloudy and muddy looking. Somehow, they did, thankfully, clean it up overnight! We came in one evening for a quiet drink and found a couple with their toddler and infant in the ADULTS ONLY pool area. Why can't Carnival enforce its own rules for the comfort of most guests? Drinks are pushed constantly. Okay, that's where they make money. But some people should be shut off when they are disorderly.
There are more and more "extras" every year; and I'm feeling as though I'm being "nickel-ed and dimed," while the included features are minimizing and disappearing and slipping. Cutting too many corners. I'd rather pay an extra hundred dollars and not have to deal with this.
Our first cruise with Carnival was a nightmare, partly because of circumstances beyond their control, and partly through their own negligence; and they were very unresponsive to my complaint letter. We vowed never to sail with them again. But six years later, and after wonderful cruises on three other lines, we decided to try Carnival again because of the advantageous pricing. We had two great Carnival cruises, and booked this as our third in a row. I am so done with Carnival now! I guess you get what you pay for, and cheap is cheap.
One of our shore excursions was booked through Carnival, the others privately. We did the Snorkel and Bannister Island Beach Break in Belize, having enjoyed being there last year with a private tour company. We enjoyed it last year, but liked that Carnival picked us up at the ship by boat and took us directly to the excursion, rather than being tendered to port to then board another boat for the excursion. We figured we'd get more time. It cost $20 more per person, but seemed worth it to us. The boat was crowded and when we went in to snorkel, all the guests were bumping into each other. At first I thought "this is awful." But we went separate ways, thinned out, and it was really delightful. The crew had kayaks surrounding the swimmers, guides in the water with rescue rings, and people watching on board as well. They were all in radio communication with each other, so supervision was thorough. They were really helpful to all guests' needs. The reef is magnificent, and in spite of early morning rain, visibility was amazing. Bannister Island is pretty and calm and delightful, but we only had an hour and a quarter there, which was barely time to order and eat lunch, and certainly no time for the gift shop and water activities. I couldn't understand this. We were in port from 9 am to 5 pm, and the shore excursion had us back on the boat at 1:30. We probably should have just played in the water and waited until we got back on board to have lunch! But other than the inexplicably short time at the beach, the shore excursion was delightful.