Our family ( husband, wife, 16 year old son and 11 year old daughter) just returned from an 8 day cruise on the Carnival Legend. We sailed from New York on 8/16 to the Eastern Caribbean, visiting San Juan PR, St.Thomas and Tortola, BVI. This was our first cruise as my wife had always been reluctant to spend any time on the open ocean ( deep water, no land in sight etc.) She has had a change of heart after this vacation and we are making plans for our next cruise! We traveled with friends (husband, wife and 15 year old son) and we opted to be driven to the port by limo, saving the traffic headaches, not to mention the parking fees for two cars. We arrived at the Manhattan Pier from our homes in Northeastern PA at approx. 11:30am and were promptly checked in and on board the ship by 12:30pm. The Carnival personnel at the pier were very friendly and helpful. We were not allowed to get into our staterooms for a little while but we all ate lunch on the Lido Deck while waiting. We were given the OK to proceed to our cabins at approx. 1:45pm. Our cabins were balconies on the Verandah Deck 7; starboard side, slightly aft. with a king bed, 1 single and a single drop down that my 11 year old found to be very comfortable. We all miss the pillows and mattresses as we all slept well the entire voyage. The cabin could not be described as spacious, but it had ample room for storage and for the relatively small amount of time we spent in it, was more than big enough. The balcony was wonderful and money well spent. With room enough for two chairs and a small table, we loved having a great view while the ship pulled in and out of harbor, relaxing with morning coffees or watching the stars at night. The stateroom was spotless when we arrived and our cabin steward, Mano made sure it stayed that way every day. Mano not only took a bit of time to get to know all of us, but always greeted each of us with a smile. The stewards put in long hours ( as do the rest of the crew ) but never failed to honor a request. Throughout the trip the entire staff remained friendly and attentive with no exceptions. The Legend is a beautiful ship. 3 Pools, lots of varied theme bars, many activities (if you want)nice shops. Well cared for and clean. (Though constantly mopped, the pool decks are slippery-- watch the kids! We saw quite a few slips on the deck and especially on the steps exiting the Jacuzzi. The handrails are too high for small kids to use.)
We were fortunate to have fantastic weather for 95% of the sail. It rained for a few hours in the morning of our second sea day and a few hours in the morning on the way home. The retractable roof covering one of the 3 pools on the Lido Deck insured that we could still spend time by the pool even when it was showering. The food was amazing. Plentiful with a variety that had something for all. We ate breakfast and lunch at the Unicorn Cafe most everyday. The food was presented very well and none of us had a unsatisfactory meal. We chose the late dinner sitting at Truffles. On Deck 2, Truffles was situated over the engines and our daughter found the rumble made her a bit nauseated at times. Great food, great service. In Old San Juan we took a cab to the top of the hill and walked down, visiting the shops along the way. It was beautiful but a bit pricey. We spoke later with people who went kayaking on the bio-luminescient excursion and wished we had done the same. Unless you are going clubbing into the night, San Juan has little to offer a family. We were in port until midnight but we returned to the ship around 8:30pm. St.Thomas was beautiful. After grabbing a cab($9.00 per person- each way) we made our way to Coki Beach. What a great place to snorkel or hang on the beach. Food and beverages are right on the beach and very reasonable. Snorkeling equip. rental, umbrellas, chairs are also right next to the beach. Crystal clear water, loads of colorful fish that ate the dog biscuits from our hands ( brought our own ) We had a awesome day.
We sailed to Tortola in the BVI next. My wife and daughter had booked the Dolphin Swim Adventure and the rest of us booked an excursion to Lambert Beach. The Dolphin swim was amazing but expensive for the little time they actually spent in the water with the dolphin. We purchased a DVD of their swim for $50 and 4 pictures for around $35. Even though the time was limited, both said they would do it again. As for the Lambert Beach excursion, lets say we were not quite satisfied. Although the beach was beautiful, the water wasn't idea for snorkeling and there weren't many fish. The Lambert Beach Resort ( where we were )was nice but the service stunk. We ordered 3 Pina Coladas but were told they only had enough mix to make one. We settled for 2 Straw. Daiqs and 1 Pina Colada ($22!) Then we found that they didn't put any alcohol them!! We assumed they knew we were coming. Also, we seemed to be rushed as the ship was leaving at 2:00pm ( too early ) We were all very impressed with the ship, the crew and Carnival in general that we are planning our next cruise already. Our daughter had so much to do at Camp Carnival and made so many wonderful friends. Never had to worry about her. Our 16 year old son was mostly on his own onboard ship. He was busy enjoying Club O-2 and making new friends of his own. He says this trip was "AWESOME!" Back in New York, we were asked to be out of our cabins by 8:30am. We waited on Lido deck until our Deck was called at approx. 10:30 to disembark. Within 15-20 mins. we were curbside waiting for our limo to pick us up.