Every year my Mom and I go on one cruise vacation. I live just outside of Washington DC in Bethesda, Maryland, Mom lives just outside of Tampa. Mom only desires to depart from Tampa to avoid plane travel. Usually that gives us the option of two ships for 7 day vacations- The Holland America Ryndam and The Carnival Legend. We have been on both and I usually select the ship giving us the best bang for the buck.
Our December 9, 2012 sailing was on the Carnival Legend. Just as we entered the Town Car to head to the dock I received a phone call from Carnival advising us to wait, the ship had been delayed because of heavy fog. We were already on our way I thought it was just best to continue to the ship. I am glad we did! As we arrived at the dock our ship was not there. We got in a very short line, went thru security and were told it was going to be "awhile" before the ship returned and boarding would begin. They allowed about 400 people to enter this area and partially check in. They did update us with the status and we were given $15 ship account credit for lunch and it was recommended that we visit the local area for some lunch. We waited, hoping the ship would arrive soon, but with no luck. Oddly most everyone was still in a good mood waiting for the ship to arrive. Next we were told it would be about 6:00 - 7:00 PM before the ship would arrive, and would receive an additional $25 ship credit for dinner, for a total credit of $40. At that time Mom and I decided to take a walk around the area and look for something to eat. As long as we had our check in papers with the approval sticker we could get back into the building. As we were exiting we saw the remaining people waiting on the sidewalk in the warm weather. I am so glad we went to the dock and were able to wait in the nice clean building with A/C. We walked around and had a nice meal at Pizza Precinct, NY. Service was good, food was hot and reasonably priced. We went back to the waiting area and were happy to see that the ship had arrived. They still had to get all of last weeks passengers debarked along with their luggage. We were then able to complete our check in - picking up our room keys, that only took a few minutes, and soon after that they welcomed us to board the ship!
Since we have been on this ship before, this was our 6Th time, it felt like being right at home. I was a little nervous because some of the recent reviews had a few negative comments.
I still think this is a great ship for many reasons:
1. Every staff member did a wonderful job, that included the wait staff in the dining room, the buffet area, the spa, the front desk, and the picture staff.
2. The ship was extremely clean - everywhere! Since our last visit on this ship they have replaced some of the deck furniture and some of the furniture in the buffet area. They were also replacing some of the high polish stainless steel doors on the elevators that someone had damaged.
3. The Broadway style shows were excellent. They had eight female and four male dancers, and four lead singers. Everyone in the show did a very nice job!
4. The food in the dining room was excellent. Some of the notable dishes included Oysters, s spinach salad, and the lasagna was superior, they had several eggplant dishes that I also enjoyed. In the buffet the salad bar was included nice fruit at breakfast, and nice salad items at lunch. For some reason they still have the "Bacon Police" at breakfast, is bacon really that valuable these days?
I did not see the Cruise Director or his staff very much around the ship, but that could be because of the activities I selected to do or not do.
There are only a few items that need improvement, they include:
1. The steam room in the Men's spa area was down for the week? Why? No one could give me an answer.
2. The chicken nuggets by the pool area were always hot and good, but the fries were often cold. The hamburgers in this area we both selected one day were way too rare to risk.
We had such a nice vacation on this ship I may book the same week and room for next year!
Oh yes, and the ship was fully decorated for the holidays, nice!
Certain things continue to change with cruise vacations over the years, very major changes since my first cruise over 20 years ago. One is less and less smoking around this ship, the only place that was too smokey was the casino. Another change over the years is how people dress....all I can say is some people just do NOT even take a quick look in the mirror, or if they do they are NOT wearing their glasses or contacts. Talk about a few visions of beauty and kodak moments.....
Also, because of the delayed arrival of the ship at embarkation Carnival also gave us a ship credit for one day's worth of tips for both of us.