Carnival Legend Cruise Review by CruiseKittyFL: Great trip on a nice ship
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Great trip on a nice ship
This is really a nice ship even though it's not new and doesn't look like it's getting upgraded to Funship 2.0 anytime soon if at all. I have sailed on the Carnival Freedom and missed a few amenities which that ship had - the outdoor movie screen, larger Serenity area and a more varied buffet....but let's dig into the Legend.
Since I live near Tampa, getting dropped off at the small terminal is a breeze and we got through the embarkation process in about 20 minutes. All the Carnival people were always polite and helpful as was our last experience.
Once onboard, we were told our cabin was ready (at noon) and we went to deck 4 to find our cabin and unpack. We had booked an obstructed view "inside" cabin which is really an outside with french doors that overlook a life boat (railing directly outside the doors). This room layout felt so much larger than a standard inside room because the bed is turned a different direction. There was also a small sofa and an additional More cabinet for storage. These are priced as interior cabins, but feel bigger. Being able to see the weather and open the door is nice even if just to figure out what to wear for the day. These rooms are not available on every ship so grab one if you can.
The layout of the Legend is good - very easy to find things. The decor is nice - not nearly as gaudy as the Freedom. The dining room is beautiful as are the themed areas such as the Unicorn Cafe and the main show lounges. Traffic flow is good as there are public seating areas scattered everywhere so there was never really a bottleneck when moving about. I am not a fan of casinos and avoided walking through it whenever possible because of the cigarette smoke. To me, it felt cold in many of the public spaces and hallways. Bring a sweater or light jacket - you may need it inside or out. The Serenity area is nice though not well placed all the way at the stern (back) of the ship. You have to go through the entire buffet restaurant to get to it if you are on the lido deck. Tip - go up through the aft elevators and you will be right there.
Plenty of entertainment kept us busy - the comedy lounge is my favorite - national acts are easy to come by on Carnival ships. We also enjoyed the productions in the main show lounge - especially the "Justin Illusion" show which combined magic, a great soundtrack and dancing. Definitely unique. I also took advantage of the pools, hot tubs, walking track and the gym. Very nice - all of it. (Tip - there is large indoor hot tub inside the gym/spa area.) The water slide on this ship could use an overhaul. It doesn't have enough vertical drop to keep you moving if you weigh more than 50 lbs. The pools (3) are all very nice and were well-used especially on sea days. One hot tub was out of order which was disappointing, but luckily for us the ship wasn't booked to capacity.
The service on the Legend was very good. Our room was tidied twice a day and our steward kept our ice bucket full. The wait staff in the main dining room were wonderful and went out of their way to accommodate a lady at our table with gluten-free menu options. The goofy singing and dancing is always fun and they actually seem to enjoy it. We certainly did!
The food onboard is great! It's sooo hard to choose what to eat sometimes - especially with desserts. My advice is to try everything you can't get at home and save room for midnight snacks. The pizza is really good - nice and crisp and goes great with a mug of hot cocoa...too bad there was no outdoor movie to watch. We tried brunch in the dining room on sea days this time and loved it. Eggs benedict with seasoned potato wedges is my favorite. I never got around to trying the specialty coffee on this trip.
Wrapup: Nice ship, great service, awesome food. I would recommend this ship as a nice first-time cruise. I am however looking forward to sailing on the Carnival Dream to see what goodies they have come up with. Less
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Port and Shore Excursions
I really enjoyed visiting the ruins of Altun Ha. It's fascinating how these structures are still here after a few thousand years. This is definitely worth the looooong bus ride to get out there. We did get to climb 2 of the structures and we took plenty of pictures. The guides were knowledgeable about the history of the site and told us all about the Mayan culture and practices.
The tour of Belize city was really disappointing - crumbling buildings with bars on the windows and trash everywhere. The guide tried to tell us that the bars are just there to hold the hurricane shutters in place......sure they were. After leaving the city, we drove out on a 1.5 lane wide "highway" road to the archeological site. All we saw along the way were more shacks and trash. I knew Belize was a poorer country, but if you believe all the fancy advertising about it you will be really let down when you actually see it.
Overall a good tour and you should see the ruins.
We didn't take any tours but just grabbed a taxi and went into the down town area to shop. All kinds of things to buy here. We stopped at a sidewalk cafe for a few beers. Try the Sol, it's pretty good. In true Mexican form, the waiter tried to sell us jewelry and postcards while we sat there drinking our beers. They never miss an opportunity!
There are many places where you can get hand-made things including beautiful paintings done on feathers. Plenty of items made from leather too.The people here were friendly and helpful; a little pushy at times, but that is to be expected in such a touristy place. Bring lots of money (cash) and your best haggling game face - they love to get as much as they can and we love a bargain.
We had lunch at Carlos & Charlie's close to the port. This place is crazy; between the shot girl and the clown making naughty balloon hats, you can have a great time. Watch your bill though - it's in pesos. Do the conversion before you get there so you don't pay too much.
Overall a great port to visit.
We went on a snorkeling trip with Jolly Roger tours in the morning. The weather was rainy, but the tour guys made the best of it. They were all friendly and really seemed to enjoy talking about the area. The water was warm and we swam out to a nice reef about 200 feet from the boat. There we saw plenty of corals and fish. If the sun had been out, I would have seen more. We did get pictures of 4 lionfish and all kinds of coral. The only downside to the place we were anchored was that there was trash in the water that had run off land from a recent storm. Apparently Roatan has a bit of a garbage problem.
Overall, it was a nice day. The sun came out later and after we were all out of the water, they served a tasty lunch and drinks.
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