August 2007 Destination:
Western Caribbean Embarkation:
We took a cab to the Port of Tampa and saved some money...standard rate of $22 for the whole cab is cheaper than Carnival's transfers which are per person. The port is beautiful...much nicer than Miami...lots to do if you are early. We were able to board right away...pretty smooth embarkment. We gave our luggage to a porter...big mistake! If we had carried it on we could have taken it to our room in an hour or so...instead we waited over 6 hours for them to arrive! We missed out on the pool and dinner because we couldn't change. I would pack swimsuits and a change of clothes in a carry on the next time. The Legend's decor was a big disappointment....I think they ran out of ideas for themes and used a color-blind decorator! Tacky artwork with a lot of nudity...not exactly family friendly! The adult pool is nice...and quiet! The other 2 pools were for families. Our biggest complaint is that people didn't watch their kids...they ran wild all over the place. Lot of running, jumping, More
climbing...not relaxing. We hardly used the pools...our son couldn't go in the adult pool (he is 13) and we didn't enjoy the family pools at all. The entertainment was at the family pool so we missed out on all that too. Service is Carnivals best feature....everyone is very pleasant and smiling all the time. Dining room food better than Lido buffet....lido buffet after 6pm is terrible...only one line for hot food and one for sandwiches. Our waiter Ragu was great....told us what was good and not so good...he was always right! The show the waiters put on needs help...not very entertaining but the tried. Room service in he AM was prompt and got the order right...didn't use it for anything else. The room was great...very comfortable. We had a teen with us so we opted for a room with a balcony...bigger I think. One complaint we have with Carnival is that they allow people in wet swimsuits, no shirts, no shoes to walk through and dine in the Lido restaurant! We slipped on wet floors several times and did not appreciate big hairy men with no shirts while we were eating. Camp Carnival was not what we expected....not much for teens. The activities were lame and the counselor didn't understand English well at all! They changed locations for activities without notice and screwed things up like forgetting the ice cream for the ice cream making contest! My husband and I didn't couldn't really relax while our son was with the camp. Our stop in Keywest was nice but very hot...all the ports were. Our second stop was Jamaica...Ocho Rios...for the life of me I can't figure out why Carnival would ever take people there! It is a awful place. My advice is to stay on the ship unless you book an excursion with Carnival...otherwise you are at risk. Not much to do there anyway. Dunn's River Fall is dangerous..one boy fell and broke 2 ribs. The shopping is not good...enormous pressure to buy from locals at the flea market and the beaches are small and run down. I wished we could have spend 2 days in Grand Cayman...lots to do there and beautiful beaches....we did the sting ray/ snorkel trip on our own...very nice. You don't need Carnival to book excursions here...lots of short trips right at the pier with air cond. buses right there too. You can bargain with them too..got a $40 trip for $35....Carnival wanted $59 for the same trip. Cozumel was another story....should have booked through carnival I think...or researched better. We got a cab and asked the driver for advice...big mistake. They take you to their friends businesses and get paid off for it! Shopping at the pier is the same as downtown...would go back downtown again. We negotiated prices on almost everything....lot of pressure to buy downtown. Duty free liquor was cheapest in this port right at the pier. Next time we will take a cab to Playa Mia beach...$15 for the cab and $20 per person for beach, water sports, cocktails and mexican buffet! I am still kicking myself for missing that one! We had an early flight so we chose self assist disembarkment. We got in line early...7:30. The doors were opened 7:45 and we were in a cab by 8:10! Not a problem at all. I will definitely pack light so I can take my own luggage on and off next time! Much easier. We will not sail with carnival again...too many wild kids and tacky decor. Less
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