Embarcation in Tampa was pretty smooth. The port waiting areas are not as nice as some of the other ports we have traveled from (Canaveral or Miami for example) but they were more than sufficient. The boarding was delayed a little but once they called our zone it went very quickly.
After boarding we went to the Lido deck for the buffet lunch which we found to be better than usual. While we have historically gone to the buffet for lunches and dinner while on the ship, I found the food to be a somewhat better on the Legend. The variety wasn't quite what we've seen on some of the largest Carnival ships but there was still plenty to choose from.
Staterooms were ready at 12:30 which is earlier than I have seen on most ships and when we arrived we found the room configuration was not what we had asked. We have two kids and usually book a room with two upper bunks and have the lower beds together into a king but they were not set up that way. We quickly located our More
stateroom attendant (I cannot remember his name) who proceeded to explain why he could not put the beds together. We were on the Carnival Glory only a few months prior in the exact same configuration so I had a hard time understanding why it couldn't be done here. It actually required a bit of an argument for him to ultimately agree and when we returned from dinner that evening the room was set up correctly.
In all of my past cruises I have always found our stateroom attendent to provide one of the best levels of service of anyone on the ship but this trip was the lone exception. I don't know if the guy was new or not, but he regularly picked up wet towels and replaced them with one less, always leaving us short a towel. By the end of the trip we were down to only two pool towels despite four people in the room. The room was always cleaned twice a day, no complaints there, just little things that we never had to worry about before.
The main dining room was a terrific experience as we have continuously found to be the case with Carnival. The wait staff was great and the entertainment portion, which was not every night but probably every other, was fun. I cannot remember any of our server's names (I am terrible with names) but they were very good and the food was fantastic.
My family and I do not generally go to the song and dance shows but we went to one this trip and were very impressed. I did feel it went on a little too long. The comedy shows were the best we have seen on any Carnival cruise to date. All four were incredibly funny and they did a great job of including the audience in their routines to make the show fun. In the past, we have generally seen the comedians do 30 minutes one night and then again the next but the shows were basically the same. This time they had both of them in the same show, doing 15-20 minutes each, and then the same the next time around with new material. We found this to be a much better approach and hope that this will become the new way these are run.
We ate in the steakhouse on the last night and the food was amazing as was the service.
I will talk about the ports below.
The ship layout was different from any other ship I had been on and it took a little while to get used to it. I found it a little more difficult to navigate but all in all it was fine. The one thing I didn't like was that you needed to talk through the smoke smelling casino to get from one side of the ship to the other on deck 2.
All in all the trip was great and we plan to cruise on Carnival again in the near future. Less
We purchased a snorkeling excursion through Carnival which including snorkeling and some beach time on Rendevous Caye. Since this was a tender port, this was absolutely the right way to go. The tender rides to shore were 30 minutes and the best snorkeling sites were 30 minutes or more the other way! The excursion took us directly from the ship allowing for more time on the small island as well as a more relaxed trip back. When I say the island was small, that is really an understatement - it cannot be more than 1.5 acres in total size - but we were the only group there so there was plenty of room for everyone. The equipment they supplied for snorkeling was great although they were a little disorganized in leading us out but the trip was still lots of fun.
The weather wasn't that great but we had planned to take a taxi to Chankanaab Park for the day so we decided to do it anyway and it was well worth it. The beaches were closed due to high winds but the park was still a great time. We had a nice lunch in their restauarant on site. We didn't buy tickets through Carnival and instead purchased them at the park upon arrival. We even found a $2 off coupon on line which they honored. There was a wonderful tequila tasting shop which shouldn't be missed.
This was the best stop, mostly due to the amazing excursion we booked directly through Island Marketing. They arrange for us to go out on a 31' caramaran which said they would take 10 passengers. When we got there, it was only the 6 of us so we had the whole trip to ourselves! The ship was captained by an Italian man named Roger (his company is called Roger's Cat-Cruises and I would HIGHLY recommend him). He took us into a beautiful cover behind the reef for amazing snorkeling and then swimming. I expected the trip to be 1.5 hours but we were out for 3 hours and it was the highlight of the trip. Beware of the roads on the island though, lots of pot holes and cliffs on both ends!