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 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.