My husband and I went on this cruise to Cozumel, Belize, Roatan, and Grand Cayman the week before Christmas. We are both 25 years old. It was our 9th cruise, 6th with Carnival, 1st on the Legend.
We live in Orlando so we drove over the morning of embarkation. The cruise before us was delayed due to fog and did not arrive until 11:00 A.M. Carnival emailed me and called me to let me know not to come to port until later. They also gave use a $15 per person credit for lunch that day. We go to the port around 2:30 and the line was LONG! I overheard one of the police officers who was directing people say that the line was nearly a mile long. We had purchased Faster to the Fun and were on the ship within 15 minutes. Later, someone in the elevator told us that they had been waiting in line since 9 A.M. and didn’t get on the ship until after 4 P.M. We went straight to our cabin when we boarded the ship to drop off our carry on bag and then went to explore. There weren’t many people on the ship yet so we grabbed some lunch and went to check out the Serenity area. I LOVED THE SERENITY AREA! We were on the Freedom last year and the Legend’s Serenity area is so much nicer and it has its own pool and hot tubs!
We had booked reservations way in advance for the steakhouse the first night but I don’t really think we would have needed to. There were only 4 other tables seated while we were there. The food was amazing and the free bottle of wine was a nice perk. However, every other night at dinner my husband would comment that his entrée didn’t compare to the steak at the steakhouse!
The first sea day was overcast, chilly and drizzly. We explored the ship some more and spent a little time in the casino. I really liked the layout of this ship. It seemed like people moved really well through all the areas. There was never any congestion to get from one place to another. The casino was a little smaller than some of the other ships but it was nice and it was never crowded. Contrary to what many others have said, the casino did not really smell of smoke at all. I didn’t actually notice many people smoking anywhere. Maybe we just got lucky?
Our excursion in Cozumel was cancelled because it rained the whole day. We did get off the ship for lunch at Pancho’s but got back on again pretty quickly. We’ve been to Cozumel before (it’s been a while) and I don’t remember the port being so small.
We did not care for Belize at all. If I ever choose an itinerary that goes there again I’ll just stay on the ship. Since we had Faster to the Fun we got priority tendering. However, some people that we talked to at dinner said they had to wait over an hour for a tender. The tender ride was LONG and it was chilly/rainy. We tried to do a city/country tour. The first tour company tried to take our money and then told us that the next tour didn’t leave for 2 hours. So we moved on to the next one. They told us that it would be $25 per person but when we went to pay the price went up to $35 per person with no explanation as to why. We just decided to get back on the ship. The sun finally peaked out in the afternoon so we went up to the Serenity area to do some swimming and just relax. The night we left Belize we went through a major storm. The ship was ROCKING! One of the crew members told us that the winds were 50MPH! We just decided to go to bed early and hope for better weather in Roatan the next day.
When we woke up the next morning the skies were clear and it was downright hot outside! In Roatan we took the magical flying chairs over to the beach for $12 per person for as many rides as you wanted. You could also walk on a nice path to the beach. There were more than plenty of chairs and they were free to sit in! We got drinks from Fat Tuesday and relaxed. We were the only ship in port that day so it felt kind of deserted, but in a nice way. The way the beach is situated, there is a really nice ship photo op in this port. We both loved Roatan and hope to go back soon!
We have been to Grand Cayman a few times before and it had previously held the title of My Least Favorite Cruise Port. That changed this time (and not just because we hated Belize). We actually had a great day! We got off the ship (again, the priority tendering that comes with FTTF was amazing!) and decided to go on an island tour. We found a lady that was doing island tours for $10 per person (all the others were $25-$35 pp) and figured we would give it a shot. She was the most informative tour guide we’ve ever had in any cruise port. She took us around the island in a newer Toyota van with air conditioning and a speaker system so everyone could hear. She pointed out many landmarks and gave us background. She was very knowledgeable and answered all out questions. She made stops in Hell, the Rum Factory, and the Turtle Farm before dropping us off by the ship. It was a pretty amazing day.
The last sea day we sat in the Serenity area all day and relaxed. We never had any issues getting a chair, which was a nice surprise. Last year, on the Freedom, it seemed like all the chairs were taken before 8 A.M.
Debarkation was a breeze. Since we had FTTF we were given Zone 3. We got off the ship at 9:45 A.M., breezed through customs in less than 2 minutes, and were at our car in the parking garage before 10:00 A.M.
A few notes: We only saw one show, the illusionist, Justin Illusion. He was pretty good. I like to think that I’m not a gullible person, and I KNOW it’s not “real” but I still can’t figure out how he did some of that stuff! We’ve seen the production shows before so we didn’t see any of them. We tried a few times to see the comedians but we were either eating dinner or the lounge was completely FULL by the time we got there. The casino was pretty stingy, but most are. I didn’t hear of anyone really “hitting it big.” We enjoyed the food, but we aren’t picky. My husband loved the grill and the burgers/chicken tenders. The pizza was good. We had anytime dining and we didn’t really have to wait for a table at all.
One thing that really stood out for me on this cruise was the service. It was excellent in all areas. Our steward was the best yet. We had different servers in the MDR every night and they were all excellent. The photo staff was awesome. Overall, it was one of the best, if not the best, cruises I’ve ever taken!