Embarkation: This is the second time out of Tampa. We got into line after dropping the car off with Capital Parking at about 11:00. We did a cash deposit of $700 for our sail & sign, they had a special line for this and we were the only ones in it. The credit card line was very long, glad we did cash. We were on the ship by 11:30-11:45.
Ship: Room 4124 (interior with french doors) was wonderful, great layout (king bed, sleeper sofa and 1 upper) for family of 4 and a great central location on the ship. General layout of the ship was good, it never really felt crowded and we quickly figured out how to get around.
Our first time locating Camp Carnival and Circle "C" was a bit confusing, but we kind of liked it being hidden so we did not have to worry about some drunk finding the area late at night.
We did dislike having to walk through the heavy smoke in the casino on deck 2, we avoided the area by going up or down a deck.
Great Serenity Deck as long as you got there early enough to find a chair in your desired location, my wife and I used it a few times but we spent most the time near the regular pool area with our kids. It wasn't too much trouble finding 4 pool chairs as long as we didn't mind if they were on the shady side of the ship, which after 12:30 or so the entire deck was sunny so it didn't matter really.
I really liked how they have the Firebird Lounge (where we spent most evenings) located directly under the Follies Show Lounge (which we did not spend much time in, more on that later).
In general my wife and I were not really into the interior decorating of the ship. The dark moulding with gold detail was kind of hideous along with the peeling posters of the various gods and the other obvious wear tear which is expected on a ship of this age. Everything functioned correctly and was always clean, it is just time for an overhaul of the Legend. We didnt let this small stuff affect the great time we had, my son loved the mythology theme.
Food/Dining: Lido was normal lido food. Usually hot and tasted fresh, lines were not bad. We liked the sandwiches at the deli and the choices at Chopsticks. Only did pizza once, they took way too long over there though it did taste good. We actually ate breakfast in the MDR most of the mornings. This is our first cruise doing this and we loved it.
For dinner the MDR food was very good, we never had a problem with it being cold or taking a huge amount of time. We had the anytime dining and tried a few different times, 3 of the nights we arrived right at 5:45 so we could have plenty of time to get to the family safe comedian. 3 other nights we showed up between 6:30-6:45 and one night we didnt show up until 7:30-7:45. The longest we ever waited was 10 minutes.
We requested the same waitstaff each night and we were not disappointed, head waitress was Elena from Bulgaria, assistants were Galina from Bulgaria and I-Dewa from Indonesia. Elena and her husband have been with Carnival for 11 years and she knows the menu very well and by the end of the second night she had us figured out as to our likes and dislikes.
She did a wonderful job with our 11 year old son who is very picky, each night she brought him an appetizer without him ordering one just so he would try it, if he didnt like it she knew I would and she praised him for at least trying it. We got to know Elena pretty good and discovered that her 14 and 13 year old children are living with her Mom back in Bulgaria, so if you have kids between 10-14 I would recommend requesting her. She is wonderful with the kids and I hope we see her on a future cruise.
I cannot say enough good things about Elena and her team, we hated leaving them at the end of the cruise. I personally handed each of them a pretty hefty tip at the end of the cruise because of the great service and attention to detail and I rarely do that on the cruises now that we have to prepay.
Pools: Not too crowded especially on the last sea day when the ship was rocking pretty good in the 10-12 foot swells. We really enjoyed the pools in Cozumel when everyone was off ship.
There were some kids acting like turds in the spa which I had to take care of myself because the Carnival security folks were no where to be seen.
Entertainment: The shows in the Follies Lounge were subpar compared to what I have seen in the past. The singers were not very good and the dancers looked out of synch. Production costs looked lower than what is found at a high school play. Thats why I was glad the Firebird was directly below Follies, we could stick our heads in to check the main show and only had to go down one deck to the comedian.
The comedians in the Firebird were great! Scotty K, Diane Ford and Steve White were hilarious. The kids loved them also. The comedians saved the entertainment portion of our cruise for sure, if it wasnt for them I would rate it a 1. The goofy marriage shows and other gameshow type of stuff is getting old after going on several cruises. I think it might be time to try a different line just for this reason.
Debarkation: We did self assist. The process was slowed down because they could not locate a foreign national, they could not begin letting us off until that happened. We were on deck 4 which was scheduled to depart between 0850-0900. We did not leave the ship until closer to 0940.
Overall this was a great family vacation! We will be going again next year, though that will probably be an Eastern Caribbean. I really think they could eliminate Grand Cayman from this itinerary and leave it on the southern or eastern trip. 4 ports in 7 days is a bit much, I prefer 3 so we get more sea days.