...is what Carnival is known for.
Carnival is affordable and is not a luxury cruise line, and therefore you will not find the same amenities or quality of service as you would on a luxury cruise line. For being a budget cruise, Carnival Legend was fantastic. Of course, the services were not on-par with more expensive cruises, but you get what you pay for.
I don't understand why some of you compare this budget cruise to your luxury cruises. Also, read the dress code. People are allowed to wear shorts and sneakers to the dining room on non-formal nights, and they also don't have to wear tuxedos and gowns on formal nights.
This was my eighth cruise, and my fourth Carnival cruise. I am writing this review in comparison to other Carnival cruises.
Embarkation was easy for us, we were the first to board as we arrived early (we live in the Orlando metro area). We had to wait for a few passengers whose flights were late and for two other cruise ships to leave before us, but leaving port went smoothly.
ACTIVITIES AND ENTERTAINMENT:
Entertainment was spotty in areas-- there was never a live band (except in the theater, but that was more of a show) in any of the lounges. Only Juan could be found nightly, in the Colossus atrium. However, a mixture of performance shows in Follies and comedy shows (adult-only and family-friendly) in Firebirds is available.
I also did not like how seemingly every activity during our days at sea was scheduled during the same time, and then another activity would not be scheduled for an hour.
There was only the MDR, buffet, and one alternative restaurant-- a $35 pp steakhouse-- to choose from for dining. The MDR had two menus: their everyday selections, as well as a menu that changed daily. The buffet had similar dishes daily, with one station that changed. On the last day, there was a chocolate buffet, which was excellent.
We ate in the dining room every night except for one. I can hardly remember what I ordered most days, but I do remember that the warm chocolate melting cake is a must-try! We had YTD, and twice our waiter was Orlando, who we thoroughly enjoyed.
The 24-hour pizza was mediocre, but the 24-hour ice cream and yogurt was nice to have. The deli was open late (until 11?) as well, and had a selection of around twelve sandwiches (half hot, half cold) to choose from.
I was somewhat disappointed with hours of the buffet, and the lack of available food at times.
I did not go to the MDR for breakfast or lunch, as the time frame for seating was only ninety minutes for each, and I always woke up too late or was busy during those times. I also did not go to the steakhouse.
I turned sixteen while on the ship (which I'll discuss later), and I attended the teen (15-17) club onboard (Club O2). There was a nice schedule of activities, usually commencing an hour before departing ports, or noon on sea days, and ending at 1 am. Roscoe, the counselor, was involved enough and played video games and foosball with us when we wanted. :)
My younger sister attended the 12-14 club, Circle C, with Ramone from the Philippines as the leader. Most of the children usually travelled as a group, and didn't stay in the club very often.
We originally booked an interior stateroom, but we were upgraded to an interior stateroom with French doors due to booking late. The French doors open in, with a view of the lifeboats. They were nice to have, although the view wasn't much... but it was a free upgrade and had an obstructed view, so I can't complain!
Our steward, Jose, was relatively unseen but did a wonderful job. As usual, we loved the towel animals!
We were originally to port at Cozumel, Belize City, Mahogany Bay, and Georgetown. However, upon check-in on embarkation day, we were informed that Belize City was to be changed to Costa Maya, due to too many ships scheduled to port.
Cozumel was... Cozumel. It was a poor, touristy part of Mexico, so such a quality of the buildings can be expected. We booked a shore excursion, "Mayan Ruins and Beach", through the ship. The ruins were nice to see, as was the wildlife at them-- we even got to see a javelina! We were disappointed in the beach club (Playa Azul), which was very rocky and had probably thirty feet of actual sand. The food at the beach club was decent.
On the day we were supposed to port in Costa Maya, it was announced that the seas were too rough for Glory (which had the same itinerary as us) to dock, and instead we were refunded port fees for Costa Maya and given another day at sea.
Mahogany Bay is Carnival's private port on Roatan. The shops were nice and new, and the beach was very nice. We did not buy tickets for the Magical Flying Beach Chair, as the beach is a quarter-mile (if that) from the dock. We did not book an excursion for Mahogany Bay, and instead let this day be our beach day.
We independently booked shore excursions for Georgetown. My father and I took a catamaran to snorkel in the coral reefs and go to Stingray City, and my mother and sister went to the turtle farm, where they got to hold and swim with sea turtles. All of us enjoyed our shore excursions, although going to the turtle farm outside of an excursion is probably a better idea, as the excursions are packed and admission (we were told) is only $13.
Due to a number of non-US citizens failing to report to Follies when asked to (although that announcement was not broadcast in the rooms...), disembarkation ran almost an hour late for each zone. However, once your zone was called, disembarkation went smoothly, and we completed the process in less than twenty minutes.
As earlier stated, I celebrated my sixteenth birthday while on the cruise. If you put in a comment card for the afternoon show and tell James that you're celebrating an occasion, he may give you a present. My mother did this for me, and I got one of the coveted plastic ships on a stick (which you can win during trivia) and a cute signed picture of the ship. A small cake can also be purchased and customised from Formalities for only $9.
The gym was relatively small, and the classes highly priced-- like everything else on a cruise-- however, the fitness and spa staff were friendly. The sales they had in the stores were usually good, albeit small.
Overall, I thought the ship was a normal Carnival ship; not "gaudy", but instead heavily decorated. The theme of legends was nicely done and evident throughout. Although the ship has been redone, its age is apparent in spots. The staff were friendly and loved to chat, and I cannot think of a single unfriendly staff member. I feel the Legend was worth our money and would definitely sail again.