Hubby and I just got back from our very first cruise. May 6- 13th on the Legend to the Western Caribbean. We live in Harrisburg, PA. Drove down to BWI (Balt/Wash airport) for an early morning flight to Tampa, FL on AirTran. From there, the Bayshuttle (great bargain at $11 per person) to the pier. Embark. went smoothly and before we knew it, we were in the stateroom. Very nice and roomy w/ a balcony. !Towel animals!!
The Legend is a beautiful ship; very clean and covered with various mythic murals, etc. Truffles dining and casual was very good (Note: take Tums for the first day....you'll thank me later) The chocolate melting cake is not to be missed. Lots of bingo, trivia, etc. on board. Stewards were wonderful. Room service is super fast. We thought they were hiding outside!
Don't miss: Grand Cayman - At least a few hours walking along the Seven Mile beach and a visit to the post office in Hell (say hi to the chickens) and turtle farm. Great snorkeling
Belize - cave-tubing.com with Yhony and the guys. Best shore excursion!! The guys were wonderful; trip is unbelievable. P.S.Tell the Cruise Director/Excursion desk the you MUST be allowed to disembark at the same time as those who booked lesser excursions thru the ship. If not, they'll push you to the back of the line. Predatory? You bet. This is 1 of 2 black marks against Carnival. (see more below).
Hubby, me and several other outside excursion passengers arrived early in the Follies to await the transport to Belize only to be told by C. Director David that he would "try" to find room for us but that the Carnival customers came first. A general murmur went through the crowd. So, if we weren't Carnival people as well, what were we? Didn't we pay our way on the ship, too? Not a good vibe. My suggestion to Carnival: post your "policy" regarding preferential treatment shown to those who shell out of your excursions on your website.
Cozumel - shopping around the pier (remember to bargain) and people watching at Senor Frog's 1/2. Grab a table, order a drink and lunch.....watch the show! If you have time, Mayan ruin tour.
Costa Maya - long walk from the pier to ground port. Great snorkeling.
At sea days were great. Got up, had breakfast, sat at a table or deck chair with a book and chilled. Lots of friendly people on board. Ladies, have at least one Spa service; discounts are always offered in shore days. Good stuff! Casino neat (made me hungry for Vegas, baby); odds are horrible. Don't miss a show in the Follies! Comedians on board very funny w/ "dirty" show at 12am. Jugglers cool, too.
Disembark - Was....not good. Very unorganized. Those with carry on luggage were told to meet at 7:30am at the Follies (again w/ the Follies) with their luggage. The line went Waaaaay back. One the Cruise Directors (CD)told people to place their luggage outside the Follies and get in line. When the aisle filled up, people dragged their luggage up the stairs into the Follies. That was before another CD showed up (the 1st had run off....somewhere)and told passengers that they could use the ramp to bring up their bags.
It's funny; Cruise Directors are personality plus when knocking off one liners and shouting out Bingo #. But, in tough spots.. needs improvement.
Would we do it again? 'Course.