Cruise Review Redux: Carnival Legend Cruise Review by SonictheGT
Overall Member Rating
Cruise Review Redux
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: All together took approximately 5 minutes. We took a flight that arrived in Tampa Airport at 1:50 P.M. We were a little late in landing by about 15 minutes, but we were still able to grab our luggage, and get on the boat before 3:00 P.M.
Room: We were able to go right to the room since we were late. We headed to the Lido for a quick bite since we haven't been able to eat all day. It was marginal at best. I didn't go hungry, but I wasn't satisfied either. That will be the recurring theme of this cruise. After that we unpacked. There was plenty of hangers to accomodate all of our clothes, and space to store our shoes/luggage/etc. The room was clean, but obviously very small. I spilled my first drink within about 5 minutes of being in the room, because it got bumped into. Speaking of drinks... Our luggage did not More arrive in the room. We had to go claim it. Turns out that even if you were a passenger that flew in, you still were required to put your allowed bottle of wine in your carry on only baggage, not your baggage that you checked at the airport. So they took both our bottles of wine, and did not return them until the morning of Debarkation. This caused an issue since we were trying to bring back some liquor, and there simply wasn't any room in our luggage. What a waste! Also they were hardcore about checking peoples soda/water/bottles. They checked the seals, and shook them to make sure they had bubbles. Our television was posessed. It would randomly turn itself on, or randomly mute itself, or turn the volume way up, even if the remote wasn't facing the tv. Very strange. The first night in the room was very rough. The sea was very rough, so that didn't help, and the wind was strong. So strong in fact, that it sounded like our damned room was haunted by a spooky ghost. There was a VERY loud whistle/howling all night. Luckily my lovely girlfriend got up in the middle of the night and shimmed the door with some of the towels that quieted it enough for us to get a few hours of sleep.
Sea Day 1: We always ate breakfast in the MDR. I highly recommend that. Food on the Lido looked very gross. After breakfast we tried to get out to the Serenity area around 9 AM. There wasn't a chair/clam shell/hammock one. All already snagged. So we ended up finally finding a spot on the 10th deck mid ship, away from most all the activity/crowd. After laying in the sun for a while, a spot in the mid hot tub finally opened up, so we went for it. There was at first just a few older guys, and us which was enjoyable. On a side note the temperature of the hot tub was probably around 93-94 degrees or so. Not very hot, but noticeably warmer than the pool. About 10 minutes later, there was a family from North Carolina, that brought in about 5-6 kids, along with 4 adults. Talk about over crowded. These are small hot tubs we are talking about. It got very noisy, and uncomfortable, so we excused ourselves back to the room. The entertainment throughout the day was lame, and for a "Fun Day at Sea" I felt disappointed. Dinner in the main dining room was the first formal/elegant night. Good lord there was some mega hoosiers on this cruise. I find it funny, they enforced a dumb ass rule about how you carry on your wine, but they allowed shorts/hats/flip flops/jeans/ etc in the MDR on formal/elegant night. If I would have known that I wouldn't have went through the trouble of packing my nice suit.
Cozumel: We did not do an excursion in this port, because we didn't really particularly like this port. We instead booked a tour to the Kaokao Chocolate Factory. This wasn't as much of a tour as it was a history lesson in how chocolate was created for the first time. While it wasn't what I was expecting, it still was very fun. You got to make some of your own hot chocolate mix as well. We bought several bars of chocolate here, they were really quite amazing. After the tour, we went to Wet Wendy's Margarita House. Here you will find some of, if not the best margaritas you will ever taste. The place is to the left of the main square, just down the road from Carlos N Charlies. We had the chocolate peanut butter, pink panther, and CCP (cucumber, cilantro, pineapple) margaritas. They were all very good and HUGE! We also had their fajita nachos which were absolutely delicious. Keep in mind, since the margaritas are so much, you must drink them fast, otherwise they will melt and overflow all over the place.
Belize: Cavetubing with cavetubing.bz. Once you find your way through the crowd and find Vitalino you are good to go. They take you right to your van, and off you go. We had a group of about 12, and we had 3 guides. Well within your 8 people per guide rule. Our guys were very fun, and informative. Very quick witted as well. The ride is easy except the last 7 miles is bumpy like whoa. Especially when you have to use the restroom. Lesson learned, but I made it! The area were you get your tubes had very nice restrooms and changing areas. There was a lot of people with different tour groups all over. I was very glad I made the decision to use cavetubing.bz, if only for the nicer equipment. And when I mean nicer, its night and day difference. Their tubes were new and nice. Very wide and comfortable, and have a back support so your neck doesn't strain. I didn't see any other tour company with that feature. Also most everyone takes the same trail to the caves, and we got passed up a lot, because our guides were teaching us about the rain forest, and trying to get some tarantulas to come out of their holes to show us. Sadly it was a bit damp, and too much vibration to get them all the way out, but we did get a glimpse. The only negative, was the same negative in any rain forest I have been in. Ants.... and lots of them in certain areas. There was leaf cutter ants, fire ants, and army ants. We saw all three. If you watched where you put your feet you were good, but if you stood in one area for a while, you risk getting bit. Luckily this year I didn't get bit once, but other members of my group did. It isn't exactly painful, but it doesn't feel very good, and they can itch like crazy if they get you a lot. So bring real nice water shoes, and some good insect repellent specifically for ants. Now back to the good parts. Once you got in the water and begun the tour, it was clear that we had great guides. There was someone policing the entry into the water to make sure they don't take more than 8 people per guide, but once they got into the caves I think groups combined, and the guys got out to bring more guests. I saw as many as 14-16 per guide. Many of the guides too pulled you through as fast as they could, and didn't bother to try to stop and explain much. Our guide took it nice and slow, and showed us all the cool formations and the waterfall. After we finish our two caves (a lot of companies only do 1 cave) we head back to get something to eat. I don't like rice at all, but their rice and beans was awesome. They had this hot sauce on the tables that was amazing, and also for sale for only 3 dollars. Good bet! Their chicken and rum punch was also fantastic. We took a gallon of rum punch back on the van with us for the ride back. It was fun. Word of wisdom though, don't try to take a drink when we are going over a pot hole, haha. Also please try the local beer if you like beer. I quite liked it, and it was only 3 dollars. Worth it for sure. So back to the only other partially negative on the trip. They got us back a little late to the tender. Last tender was supposed to be at 4, and we got back at 4:15. We stopped to pick up some other guests from a van that had a flat tire. That being said though, there was over 100 people on our late tender, and 1 more tender even later than ours, so it wasn't even a big deal. All in all, they did a great job, and if I ever find myself back in Belize again, I'll go again for sure.
Roatan: Snorkeling with Upachaya. After reading a lot of these reviews, I have to think that many people haven't really ever snorkeled at any places worth snorkeling at to call this the best snorkeling ever. It was an average experience overall. From the start it was a bit rocky. It rained very hard as we pulled into port. Once we got off the boat, it had stopped raining. The drive to the north shore was very short. Most of it was on the nice paved roads. The last bit was on a dirt road. It looked to be a type of reddish clay mud after the rain. We tried once to get up the hill and we didn't make it. We backed down, and tried again. This time, we slid into the ditch. Luckily for us, there were workers surveying the road to be paved, so they were able to push us out, otherwise we would have been really hosed. Al came in his pick up truck, and took us the rest of the way. Most of our group decided to ride in the back so we could get on with the tour. It was kinda sketchy. Also, just thought it was worth mentioning, to get to their retreat, you have to pass by the garbage dump. The smell was pretty foul, and it was very gross looking. I am not a travel snob by any means, but that was just not something I wanted to see on my vacation. Once we got there, the owner Barb came out and explained a bit about this place. It basically is a holistic wellness retreat. After a bit, we went on to the tour, where Al was our captain. He was nice and knowledgeable. We did two snorkel sites, which were not nearly as far out as I was thinking. We left from a dock off a mangrove. I was hoping for a little beachy area. The two sites weren't nearly as wonderful as I was hoping. I saw lots of great sites on the internet to go explore, and I was hoping they would take us somewhere almost as good. I was let down. There was almost no fish or wildlife of any kind in the water, just coral. It was pretty decent coral, but not the best I have seen. I don't think it helped that it was very cloudy, because it did not allow the colors to really pop. After we finished we went back and had some food. It was some noodles and chips and salsa. Nothing very filling, just more of a light snack. My favorite thing once we returned was the "Monkey La La". It is one of the local drinks in Roatan. It was very delicious, and only charged a reasonable 5 dollars each for them. Also, I didn't want to forget to mention that she gives out a board game that she created as well for free for anyone who wants them, so if you like games, leave a bit of extra room in your luggage for this. I haven't played it yet, but look forward to breaking it out at Thanksgiving. It looks fun. We made it back to the boat with plenty of time to spare. All in all, it is probably about a 3.5 star experience for me, but that wasn't an option. I am not regretful that I have done this, but next time, I will be looking for someone else to help guide me through better places in the reef.
Grand Cayman: Stingray City via Stingray Sailing. So I was on the Carnival Legend, which really wasn't a very great experience. It wasn't all together bad, but I kind of felt like my vacation wasn't all it could have been. Then I get to Grand Cayman. We met Chip the captain right at 11:15, and we proceeded to pick up 2 more guests from a hotel, and we were on our way to the Far Tortuga. We only had 6 people on our tour, and we had 4 crew members on board. His Catamaran was nice and roomy for 6 people. I'm not sure how it would be with 15+ because you'd be fighting to lay on the trampoline up front. We sail out to the sandbar first, and Chip explains how to handle and interact with the stingrays. I admit I was a bit nervous about this, because who can forget Steve Irwin? My girlfriend did it once before though, and said it was a must do... She wasn't lying. It was such an amazing experience. I will note that there was many boats around the sandbar. Most boats had between 25-50 guests on each. Again ours had 6! You can't beat that kind of personalized attention. Since there was many boats, there was many waves. The water was around 3 or so feet deep, but the waves sometimes made it 6 feet plus. That was the scariest part, because you could run into the rays. That did happen to me, a ray actually was pushed into me by a wave. It felt about like a sharp finger nail. Nothing serious at all, and it wasn't anyone's fault. We got to feed a lot of the stingrays, and hold one for an extented period of time and got some great photos. There was also on onboard photographer that would sell you his pictures if you did not have an underwater camera like we did. On the way back they had great fresh fruit, and a lot of beer. Good selection too of american beers like bud light and miller, and also had some red stripe and some girly smirnoff's. All in all, this trip was amazing, and I would go back again in a heartbeat!
Sea Day 2: This day started the same. Breakfast, then out to Serenity. This time however, we were lucky enough to have a lady offer us her clam shell. She appeared to be pretty liquored up that early in the morning, so she went in to lay down. We enjoyed about an hours' worth of sun, and then we sailed into a hell of a storm. It rained HARD for at least 3 hours. Luckily when everyone was running for cover I tossed our stuff under cover, and hoped in the hot tub. This hot tub was the hottest of the 3 on board at about 96-97 degrees. Two other couples joined us, and we sat there for over 2 hours just chatting and talked in the rain. It sucked and was fun all at the same time if that makes any sense. I definitely would have rather had some sunshine, but we made the best of the rain. The last bingo said $5,000 Powerball bingo. It was a bit of a pipe dream mis-advertisement. In order to get $5,000 you have to get a cover all bingo with less than 50 numbers called, and you have to call bingo on the number they designate the Powerball. I think if you have it on your card it should count. Once it gets over 50 numbers called it drops to $1,000 jackpot. We played bingo 3 times and always was within 1 or 2 numbers of winning, but sadly never won... oh well, I still had fun with it. Just thought that set up was weird. On a side note, bingo is expensive! The regular bingos were 20 dollars a card, and the high pay out bingos were 25 per card! After bingo was the finale show. Good lord it was friggin terrible! It was a bunch of passengers off the ship. They did James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Garth Brooks, Elton John, Frank Sinatra, and a few others. With the exception of about 3 of the 11 or so, they were terrible. The three that were decent, still wasn't show worthy. I didn't expect Vegas level shows on this cruise, but are you telling me they can't even find some old Branson performers to help out? The only show in fact that was okay was the marriage/love show, and that was just because the people chosen had some funny answers. And I enjoyed the train wreck of a couple that was the newlyweds on the ship. They were so thick, it made me cringe. When they asked a question, "when your man gets out of the shower does your man look like a stretch limo, or two other options I don't specifically remember" the girl was like... "are you talking about his penis?" Seriously? She asked that same kind of question like 2 other times. I feel sad if these people breed. Those kids are doomed.
Food: As a whole I can't say anything was good on the entire cruise. There was some stuff that wasn't bad, but most of it was merely edible. The only thing that saved any kind of experience for me in the main dining room was Astawa. We had him as our waiter the final three nights. He was absolutely amazing. If it wasn't for him I think I would have just ordered room service for the remainder of the cruise and been sad. He was very animated and fun, always involving my girlfriend in the nightly dining room shows. His two team members on his wait crew were also very good. If you go on this cruise before December 17th ask for him every night. He won't disappoint you.
Drinks: Outrageously expensive. Each drink was about 10 dollars after the mandatory tip, and none of them were particularly amazing. All of them were small too, so if you have a high tolerance like me, you won't be able to afford getting a good buzz on the ship unless you are making at least six figures, or are very loose with your money. The drinks of the day were sometimes as high as 14.25, plus 15%. That's just bonkers!
Activities: There was some trivia on the ship that was okay. Most of them were geared towards an older audience, which is understandable. The TV trivia was all about Bonanza, Bewitched, Rockford Files, etc... Tough for a 28 year old guy to get all of those right. We always seemed to lose by 1 answer. The trivia went on the honor system... I don't think you can have an honor system in a dishonest world. I heard a guy shot out 3 wrong answers when they were guessing, and yet when he turned in his score he said he only missed one, and beat us by 1. All of that for a lousy ship on a stick. Most all of the other activities on board weren't worth your time. It'd be better to just relax and enjoy the company of your traveling companion.
Service: As a whole I was wildly disappointed with all the service on the cruise. Most of the people either seemed inherently bad at their jobs, or just didn't give a damn. I think it was the end of a lot of their contracts and they must be burned out. Also some people will try to take advantage of you. I had a man in the MDR selling shots. They were Lemoncello. I instinctively said no, because I didn't need an overpriced shot which I didn't even much care for. However, he said that it was only $1.50 per shot, and you got to keep the shot glass. My girlfriend repeated it back to him. "Only $1.50" she said, "wow that's really cheap since the glass is worth $6.00" And he said "Yes, very good deal" So we took the shot and gave him my S & S Card. I came back with $8.50 each shot. I asked him, and he said that was right. We already took the shot, so I didn't have much choice, and I signed the ticket. I was trying to remain optimistic, and thought that since he had an accent that I misunderstood him. On our second to last night on the ship we ate with a couple that ran into the same issue that we did. I went down to customer service to tell them about it. I didn't even get an apology, let alone a credit on my account. I was pretty upset, considering he is intentionally misleading people, and they didn't seem to care.
Condition of the ship: Overall aside of it being very outdated with its decor, it was very nice. Everything was spotlessly clean the entire time. No dust anywhere, no dirt on any carpets/cushions, etc. I was very impressed with that aspect of things.
Things to avoid: Try to avoid all alcohol being carried around and offered to you. Usually it is marked up, and you can find it cheaper. The slide... I heard a lot of people get injured on it. I didn't go down myself for fear of injury. Most Lido food. Anytime I got anything aside of dessert up there, I found it to be pretty damned gross and cold.
Things that were decent: The Serenity hot tub was nice, most any of the chocolate desserts were good, hot chocolate was good in the morning, and lemonade was good to mix with vodka if you got some in your Bon Voyage program.
I am sure I am missing quite a lot of details here, but at this point, my fingers are tired, and I am sure you have lost interest. If you are booked on this cruise, I am sure you'll enjoy yourself... If you are thinking about booking on this, I think I'd shoot for NCL or another Carnival ship with the same itinerary, because this one was very subpar! Less
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