Just returned from a 7 day cruise on the LEGEND. It was 2nd cruise for DH and myself. This time we took our 3 teenage sons who are 15, 16 and 19. We were with about 12 other people from my family and we were part of a group of 40 going from my hometown.
We drove down to Tampa the day before our cruise was to start. Stayed at a Holiday Inn Express in Rocky Point which was very clean and nice. It had continental breakfast the next morning which was very good. The hotel was located right beside the Bahama Breeze which is where a lot of people go to get the party started. The food was excellent and there is a beautiful view of the Tampa Bay from the outside of the back of the restaurant where there's a nice deck and you can eat out there.
We used Premier Parking to store our SUV for the week. It was gated with a security guard. They loaded and unloaded our luggage and delivered my entire family to the Tampa Port. We arrived at the port about 1115am and it took about 20 minutes to get through customs, check-in and we were up on the lido deck.
A lot of passengers think the ship is too ornate and the interior decorator was over the top. I think it is a beautifully made ship. It is very ornate but in a very tasteful way. The staircase leading up to the picture gallery was gorgeous and of course the photographers took lots of pictures of passengers from both entrances. The food was good. Of course we had the lobster on the first elegant night. Which was on the first sea day. We ate dinner in the truffles dining room every night. The menu had something new and exotic to try nightly. There was snails, shark, frog legs, calamari, oysters. We purchased soda stickers for our teenage boys which was the best deal for us as they would rather drink that more than sweet tea or water. The 24 hour pizza buffet and ice cream was also nice. Our waiter knew how I liked my steak after the first couple of nights and service was good.
The port days were Cozumel, Belize, Mahogany Bay, and Grand Caymen. We took a taxi tour in Cozumel which only cost 20$ per person. It took us to the places we wanted to go. We ate at a pretty famous restaurant called Carlos and Charlies. It was party central including the loud hip hop music and the chugging of the tequila. We visited a farm that makes organic Tequila the same way it was made hundreds of years ago. They let all of us try every kind of tequila for free and did a little tour of how the tequila is made including the tree and the way it is aged. We went to the beach and did some shopping. After doing some shopping right at the cozumel port I would recommend catching a taxi as I enjoyed the history and tour of Cozumel the driver gave us.
Belize was a tender port. We could only walk and shop so far in Belize. We were told it was pretty dangerous to go into the city unless you were doing an excursion. So we shopped in the little shops near the boardwalk where tender dropped us off. Make sure you offer less money when you shop as they will accept lower price if you offer.
Mahogany Bay was our favorite stop. This little island/ beach is owned by Carnival. It has a chair lift which takes you up over the island and it's the most gorgeous view. It will drop you off at the beach where there are lounge chairs set up in the sun and under coconut trees. There is shopping, water rides, and several bars within very short walking distance. It only cost 12$ to spend the entire day there. I even saw some cruisers fishing in the water but of course you can't keep the fish.
Last port was Grand Caymen. I would recommend getting a taxi. It only cost us 20$ per person for a 3 hour tour of the whole island. Our driver told us about the history of the island. Our tour included seeing the governor's home, HELL, 7 mile beach, Rum cake tasting, Dolphin show and shopping. All of that was free and only cost 20$. While Carnival charged 62$ for the same tour because some of my family did the carnival tour instead of doing a private tour like we did.
The second elegant night was the day we visited Mahogany Bay. Of course the pictures are so good we spent another $400 on those Carnival pictures again this cruise. Our Steward was Neil and he knew all of us by name. Room was always clean and we had a cute towel animal every night. The cruise director was James. He's English and very funny. He is very good at his job. He was on the elevator with me one day and asked how I was enjoying the cruise. The shows, bands, nightclubs were all good. We had balcony rooms and the view was always good. Make sure you are up on the top deck when you go under the Bay Bridge. You will go under it about 6pm. View is breathtaking as the sun is going down while you are watching the sun set.
Cruising is the best value and fun for your money. Where else could you have a hotel nightly, 24 hour food, broadway shows, room service, housekeeping, dinner with great waiters, endless alcohol, karaoke, swimming pool, ping pong, mini golf, spa, dance clubs, casino, and meeting new friends. The chocolate melting cake and shrimp cocktail are my favorites. Oh, and the love and marriage game. We didn't spend much time in the Serenity because our boys were traveling with us. The eather was clear and sunny and I would not have known that we were on water if I hadn't looked outside. The staff always spoke to us in passing and said good morning. I didn't hear anyone complaining but I am sure there was someone who didn't have anything else to do but complain about something. You should definitely sail on the LEGEND. We are already planning our next cruise and it will definitely be on Carnival.