This cruise consisted of my husband, me, my husband's brother and his wife. I want to thank our Carnival Cruise planner for the assistance he ALWAYS gives us and always with a smile!!!!
All of us have cruised before and are just over the age of 50. We flew to Tampa a day ahead of time as always, because you just never know what kind of weather we will be having where we live or at our destination. I will break my review down into the ship and then tell about the excursions.
We stayed at the Quality Inn Airport on S. Mabry in Tampa the day before the cruise and the day we got off the cruiseship. They have an airport shuttle. The hotel was not the best, but definitely not the worst. Definitely in need of updating, but it seemed clean enough. People were nice, decent area and there was a Wal-Greens a couple of blocks away and several eating establishments within walking distance.
We were scheduled for the 11:00 a.m. hotel shuttle from the hotel to the Port of Tampa ($8.00 per person). Arrived to the port in just a matter of minutes. There was a bit of a line, but not too bad. After checking in and finalizing the paperwork, we were probably on the ship in less than 45 minutes. Everyone at Carnival is always very friendly and easy to deal with.
As usual, the lunch buffet was being served on the lido deck and was pretty good. I did not see too many kids on the Legend. Saw quite a few children under the age of five, but not many over that age. The children and adults seemed to be well behaved this time. Usually, there seems to be several drunken passengers that seem intoxicated from the start of the cruise til they leave the ship. It was nice not to encounter that on this ship.
This was my ninth cruise, and I have sailed mostly on Carnival, but have also sailed on Princess, NCL and Disney. I will be honest, if this had been my first cruise ever, I don't know that I would recommend Carnival to someone else. But since this is the first time we have actually not thoroughly enjoyed a Carnival ship, I still highly recommend Carnival. The decor seemed very blah in colors and detail to us and not glitzy Vegasy like the other ships. The Legend had a lot of murals painted on the walls and the atrium staircase and rotunda looked like it had 'urns' around the edges. I also found the layout of the Lido Deck EXTREMELY confusing and didn't think that the food lines flowed very well.
We got in our staterooms at the normal time and I found out that I had reached Gold Card status on this cruise and had some surprises waiting for me in my stateroom, one of them being two free "Specialty" Drinks ($9.00 value) to be obtained from the main dining room during the whole week of our cruise at breakfast, brunch or lunch. Nice touch. Our room steward Ryan was amazing and kept our ice bucket full every day and chilled our complimentary bottle of champagne for us. Had a few problems with the AC in the room not turning off and ended up having to open the balcony door to get the AC to shut off...still didn't. Ryan contacted maintenance and they were there in a matter of minutes. Fixed it for a bit, but not for long.
The food was just okay on this cruise, compared to AMAZING on the other Carnival ships I have been on. We ate the Pizza, the Asian food, in the Dining Room, at the Pool Grill. It was pretty much lackluster everywhere.
The Pizza counter seemed to not be fully staffed. The ONLY MAN serving the pizza would constantly have to go into the kitchen area and continually put more pizzas in the window and then come back to the front and slice and serve the pizzas. He was very nice, but definitely needed assistance.
We had two issues in Truffles, the main dining room. Since we elected "anytime" seating we had to go to Level 3 of the dining room. Level 2 is for the Reserved Seating. I don't know how the service was for the Reserved Seating, but we were sometimes in the dining room for 2 Â½ - 3 hours. They were so slow. There were nights where we would have 15 minutes after we were done eating between courses. Some of the waiters, I recognized from other cruises I have been on so I don't know if it was a training issue or what the slowness was all about. On the Honduras night, we had a waiter who seemed to be an older gentleman from Bulgaria. He seemed quite stuffy and was none too friendly and did not seem happy when we requested more than one appetizer. When the dining room crew did the normal dining room entertainment, he did not participate with a good attitude and was just not pleasant like the waiters we have had in the past.
We went to the shows, which were fine. The first comedians onboard were Diane Ford and Lance Montalto. They were amazing and funny. We loved the family and the "Adults Only" show. Unfortunately, they left the ship in Belize and on came two new comics, Valerie Storm and Stephen Eblin. Carnival wasted their money on these two. I was amazed at how many people walked out of the Adults Only show. Ms. Storm seemed to focus on one part of the man's anatomy and seemed to do almost the whole thirty minutes on that one subject. REALLY???!?! The next night, Mr. Eblin must have thought he would try the same but focus the majority of his show on Oral Sex between men. This is when the theater started clearing. A few minutes would have been okay, but it was the basis for the most of the show.
We went to the casino, but really didn't drop a lot of money here, as we really were not seeing anyone winning much and there were too many other things we were interested in.
One of my favorite things about the Carnival ships is all of the photo opportunities around the ship. Every night there are different backdrops and the photographers are for the most part patient and fun. Sarah, from S. Africa on this ship was one of our favorites. I do wish that Carnival would look at a better way to display the pictures so you don't have to search for all of them. I also wish they would get a photo plan. Carnival does have extremely crazy pricing for pictures. For these two things, I wish they would take lessons from Disney cruiseline.
My sister-in-law and I visited the Salon on the ship on the second formal night. We were assisted by Victoria, from London, England and Lorren from Australia. Both girls were incredible and very helpful and a lot of fun just to chat with while we were there.
Walked through the Serenity Area a few times, but it was extremely busy and rightfully so. The area had hammocks and round lounge chairs and overall looked to be a great place to relax. The bar in the Serenity area is where we went most if we needed something to drink and the staff there was always very friendly.
Our Grand Cayman night on the ship we ate dinner in the cafe on the lido deck. There was no wait staff anywhere to be found about 5:45. About 6:00 p.m. we saw maybe three or four wait staff come into the cafe. The restaurant was in dire need of help that night in the common area. Then we went to the Punchliner Club for the comedy show. All week there had been at least three waiters, waitresses working the lounge. This night there was one waiter working the lounge. Don't know where everyone was. Carnival has always seemed to be fully staffed on other cruises everynight, so I was a little amazed that there really was practically no one working as wait staff. Even the staff behind the counters were struggling. Lots of dirty tables, low on silverware and cups.
PORT OF CALL:
Cozumel -- We chose a Carnival excursion of Clear Kayaks and Snorkeling. However, due to the winds that day and the lightness of the Kayaks, the excursion was canceled. Instead they offered a discounted version of just snorkeling and beach time and then credited our account for what would have been the Kayak portion. I am not a fan of snorkeling, so after quite a bit of questioning, I actually got to tag along free as an observer and spent the day on the beach. Next time, I will just go to Mr. Sanchos Resort.
Belize -- This day we had pre-booked a tour through Island Marketing to go to the XUNANTUNICH MAYAN RUINS. However, due to a ferry being busted on the river, they offered us Lamanai Mayan Ruins, and we could get there by "speedboat". First, we boarded a bus for at least 45 minutes while we listened to the guide tell about the land. He was very interesting, but we ended up with a flat tire. It was an inside tire, so the driver slowed down and we continued our journey to the river access. We made it to the Ruins and rushed through a delicious lunch and then were rushed through the ruins in order to get back to the cruiseship on time for departure. The shuttle bus tire had been fixed and we were back on the road. We were running a bit behind schedule but the tour guide was in constant communication with the ship and explained that we would get back to the ship as quick as we could and that we would be okay on time. Our guide explained that if we missed the tender boat, the Island Marketing Company would take us to the ship themselves on a boat. Yes, I was getting panicked, but we did make it in time and there were still Carnival excursions coming in after us. All in all, a great day, and we got to see and hear howler monkeys. BONUS!!!
Isla Roatan Honduras -- For this day we purchased another excursion from Carnival for ZipLining and Tabyana Beach. This was a wonderful day and experience. We loved the zip-lining and then got to the beautiful beach where the others rented snorkel equipment for $5.00 for the rest of the day. My sister-in-law got a thirty (30) minute massage on the beach for $15.00. Beautiful place, we loved it here.
Grand Cayman -- We just did a beach day here through Carnival and went to Tiki Beach. Another beautiful beach and the weather was wonderful. However, the snorkeling here was $10.00 for thirty minutes or an hour. The last "Carnival" bus picks you up a few hours before you need to be back on the ship, but you can stay and get a taxi. Since we wanted to walk around a bit, we chose to go back on the last shuttle.
What was to be the last morning of our cruise turned into a long day on the ship. Our ship at this point, is 45 miles out of Tampa due a fog bank and we do not know when we will be let into port.
We went to the Truffles dining room for breakfast at 7:30 that morning as we still had not used our "drink coupons" as we did not have time to eat breakfast or lunch in the dining room the other mornings due to excursions (other than sea days). Our waiter this time was an older gentleman from India. When we finally got to order breakfast (20 minutes after being seated), I explained we had these free coupons for a specialty coffee. I was told the bar people would come and take the order. While we are waiting for our food, our waiter starts yelling at another waiter to go to another table and pour coffee and a few other orders. The other waiter was clearly trying to assist another table at the time. I was SHOCKED. Very uncalled for and very rude. I again inquired about the drinks (specialty coffees) about fifteen minutes later, still nothing. They brought the food about twenty minutes later, I asked again about the specialty coffees, still no bar waiter. We ate breakfast and on the way out of the dining room, I asked the hostess about it and explained no bar personnel had come to take our order. I was informed the bar closed at 8:30 a.m. and that it was my fault for waiting until the last day of the cruise. Excuse me CARNIVAL....my coupons said the whole week of my cruise.
We go back to our room and gather our things so Ryan, our room steward can do his job and prepare our room for the next cruisers coming onboard. We head up to level four to wait further instructions. Around noon, we head to the pool deck to sit outside and to get some lunch. The Captain of the ship at this point is very concerned and very apologetic for the circumstances that we cannot proceed until the fog lifts. Unfortunately, several cruisers became unruly and decided the fog was the Captain's fault. Not for sure an announcement was made, but I know several cruisers went back to their staterooms, but never heard an announcement that it was okay to do so. Therefore, we just hung out in some of the seating areas around the ship where we could find plug-ins for our phones and computers. My husband decided to go back to the bar by the dining room and get a couple of beers with the coupons. However, this time he was told that our cruise is essentially over and they are no longer valid. I believe we are still on the cruiseship and therefore, it still was "MY CRUISE", but whatever. This again further explains the lack of customer service on this ship. Eventually, a pilot came onboard the ship and we were able to get into the Port of Tampa to hear the cheers from the crowd of cruisers more than ready to board this vessel. We were in Group 9 and I believe we finally exited the terminal at 8:30 p.m. Overall, a great cruise. Just not up to the standards I have seen on the other Carnival ships.