Trip Review August Carnival Cruise - Carnival Legend - Sailing Date 8/26/07
Friday 8/24/2007 Our trip started on Friday around 12:30, after I had to work for part of the day and we had run a few errands. We decided to leave on Friday and stay in a hotel in GA, we live in NC. The drive to Georgia was un-eventful and we made in about 6 hours. We knew we were in no rush, so we took our time. We stayed at a Super 8 Motel and it was alright. It was clean and it was bed. For the price it was worth it.
Saturday 8/25/2007 We woke the next morning and decided to take our time to make it to Tampa. We left around 8:30 and got to Tampa around 12:30. We stayed at the Doubletree at Westshore. This hotel seems to be going through some renovations, but overall was very nice. We got a king size bed and the room was very nice sized. I had issues with the Internet access on my laptop, but they do have a business center and I was able to get on the computer with no wait every time. They even had a printer set up so you could print stuff. It was nice since I had to finish my reservation and stuff for Jamaica.
They tried to charge me $15 per person for the shuttle to the port. They say it was implemented about a month ago. I was able to get that waived because I told them I booked the reservation way before that and the website says the shuttle is free.
If you can not walk very far, or do not like walking, when you book your reservation, ask for NO Tower room. It seems like you walk forever just getting to the elevator. The pool and hot tub were very nice at this hotel. Nothing spectacular about them. Since we were meeting people later in the day, we just hung out around the hotel. We decided to go the Devil Rays - Athletics game. It was great! The seats were fairly cheap and they were great seats, right on the third base line, second level. As you know with any stadium, the prices for food and drink were high, but I expected that, so no sticker shock here. The Devils Rays ended up winning 13 -3 and the pitcher broke the single game strikeout record. I was also able to see my cousin who I had not seen in about 16-17 years.
Sunday 08/26/2007 Day of Departure! We are taking a modified cruise schedule. We are going to Key West, Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. We were supposed to go to Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Belize and then Costa Maya. Hurricane Dean made sure that was not going to happen. We got the shuttle from Doubletree around 10:45 A.M. we were on the ship by 11:45. They started letting people on at 11:30. We went straight up to the Lido Deck to go eat. The food was ok. I would say the food the whole trip was ok. There was definitely some great meals, but some definitely needed some work. After lunch we asked our room steward if we could drop our bags in our rooms early and they let us. When we got our cards, we were suppose to be linked together with another couple, we had to call Carnival and the Travel agents about 3 times and they never got it right. We ended up after having to go see the Maitre'd around 1:00. It turns out the assistant Maitre'd took our names and we had to see the Maitre'D in the evening. We had early seating. We had room 7300 Verandah Aft. It was a very nice room, plenty of closet space and drawer space. The shower was ample size. The extended balcony was very nice. It was very hot the whole trip so we did not spend as much time on the balcony as was would have liked, but we definitely liked having it. We had early seating for dinner 5:45 and we ended up getting seated at Table 179 on the lower level. Just behind the staircase to left. We have Dewa, Big D, as our head waiter and Iwamara as our assistant waiter. Overall, they were excellent. Since we were changed to their room their section at the beginning, they had no prior notice of our names and easily learned them quickly. Our Bar waiter did his job, but seemed anger that we did not order and alcoholic drinks. We left the dining room to watch the boat go under the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. That was an AWESOME sight. I would highly suggest you do not miss that. As for Entertainment for the night, I personally did not go to any of the shows. That is not for me, but my DW and friends and they liked the first show. They said they got confused a little but, still enjoyed it. They thought the dancers did a very good job. We then decided to go to Billie's Piano Bar. Jordan was good, he was very attentive to everything that was going on in the room. He was very interactive with the people going in and out. He had a lot of songs of books, but probably could have used a list for people to go through. Sometimes, you forget what the good songs are to sing in a piano bar are. We then ended up going to the Firebird Lounge(Karaoke). There were some very good singers on the boat. The lounge was nice, but the seating made it look very full, when there was a lot of empty space.
Key West - Monday - 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM We docked at the Naval base so security was very tight. You had to take a tram into town and it took about 10 Minutes total. The last shuttle left downtown at 3:15 and we had to be on the boat by 3:30. We walked around town for a while and headed towards the dock. We were scheduled to go parasailing at 12:00 with Sebago watersports. It took us a little while to find them, but once we did, they were First Class. Parasailing was great. I would definitely do it again. The guys were funny and definitely made sure we were safe. They tried to let me go up by myself, but they did not think it was safe so they brought me down and put me with someone else. They were still able to get pictures of me by myself going up. After Parasailing we walked around town to go eat and then to Fat Tuesdays. We got some drinks and headed back to the ship. This was the first Formal Night. The lobster and steak were alright. Lobster was a little tough and the Prime Rib was overcooked. I probably could have sent it back, but it still tasted alright. Not very many people got dressed up, still some people in shorts. After Dinner, we hung out, they went to show, I went to casino then we all met up and went to the different lounges.
Sea Day Not much happened this day, other then going to pool, drinking, napping and eating. The Filet was awesome at dinner. It was cooked perfectly, I have had better, but when cooking as many as they were, it was great. We ending up going to the Karaoke, then Satchmo's, then we checked out Medusa's lair(The dance club). I do not care for dancing so I left and went to the casino, while my wife stayed. They ended up playing music that she did not like, so she came and joined me in the casino. We then went up to lido deck to go get some food. I think that was the night I decided to drop the whole tray on the ground and broke a plate.
Ocho Rios, Jamaica Since this was not one of the original ports, we had to come up with something quick. Thanks to cruise critic, we were able to find Marva Shaw through knowjamaica.com. She did not have power when we originally e-mailed her, but she ended up calling us directly at our house to let us know that we had our reservation. We decided on the Dunn's River Falls, River Tubing then Reggae Beach Tour. The tour was $60 and she picked us up at the end of the pier near the gate to the road. We had to wait for some people to show up, but it did not matter because when we go to the falls, there were very few people there and we were the first one to go up the falls. She made sure to tell us that we did not have to go through the craft market. Since we were the first to go up the falls it only took us about 30 minutes to go up the falls. Please remember to bring Tip money for the guide that you have to use to go up the falls. After the falls, we went river tubing. It was a lot of fun. The tubes were nice because they had some hard plastic in the middle of the tubes so when you went over rocks in shallow water you did not hit them, the plastic did. You were able to stop at a spot and jump off a cliff into the water. We then went to Reggae Beach. It was a public beach but there was no one there. There was a bar and bathrooms. It was real nice since we were not crowded. After the beach we stopped at Taj Mahal shopping center to pick up some last minute things. That night we decided to just hang out and play games in the card room. Then I went to Satchmo's and hung out with some people from cruise critic. My wife checked out Medusa's and did not like the music they were playing.
Georgetown, Grand Cayman Doing research online, we decided to go with Neptune Divers. My wife went scuba diving while I went snorkeling. The first spot she dove at was a wall dive. It was not the best spot for snorkeling, but she said the dive was great. We then went to Stingray City, not at the sandbar, but at the original Stingray City. It was awesome. I was able to dive down and pet the stingrays and my wife went scuba diving with them. She said that was the best part of her trip. After the dives we then went to downtown right outside the tender pier. We went to Margaritaville and then were heading back to the ship when I realized I left my wallet in the Van of the owner of Neptune Divers. I was able to call her and she was able to meet me and bring me my wallet. Boy, was I lucky. We played games in the card room again, then went up to the lido deck to eat the Mexican buffet, which was nothing great, and then headed to bed.
Cozumel, Mexico We decided to do the Mexican Cuisine Cooking class through Carnival Cruise Lines. Since our dates got changed, our pickup time was later. We met the people from Playa Mia and they sent us and another couple in the cab to the place. We showed p to Playa Mia and we met our chef Luis. The assistant was Moises. They gave us alcoholic drinks as soon as we showed up. Since we did not have to cut stuff up, they did it for us, we did not have to worry about not being buzzed. Overall, everything was great and the food was awesome. We cooked a Sope for the Appetizer, Grouper for Lunch and a rice pudding pastry thing for Dessert. We were showed how to decorate plates and then enjoyed the food afterwards. After we ate, we were able to enjoy the all of Playa Mia and still have an open bar. We then got a bus back to the pier and then got a cab to downtown. We went through some shops and then went to Senor Frogs. It was crazy, we decided it was time to head back to ship. We decided to eat Dinner at the Lido Buffet because the Dinner Menu did not look good at all. It was also the second formal night and we did not want to get dressed up. So instead my wife and I got the $99 massages that they were offering a special that day. It was for a 50 minute massage. This night they had the Grand Gala buffet. They allowed you to take pictures from 11:30 - 12:15 AM and then opened up the buffet for eating at 12:30 AM. The food was alright, but I have definitely had better Midnight Buffet food.
Last Sea Day. As for the first sea day, this day was just hanging out and doing nothing. We went to the pool for a little while and then just hung out. The menu at dinner this night was probably the best that it was the whole week. They had escargot and just a number of items that I wanted to eat. We went to Legends show this night and it was good. The people that sang did great.
Disembarkation. Our tags said group 7. We decided to head down to deck 2 to wait for our number to be called when an officer came to the lounge and said if you want to disembark, you may go now. So we got off the boat and called our shuttle back to the Doubletree and then headed out.
Overall thoughts of the cruise I had a great time on the cruise and definitely would do it again. I thought the boat dEcor was definitely overboard, but it did not ruin my cruise. The art work was a little sketchy and I do not know if it belonged on a cruise with children. The food had it great moments and also had it bad moments. I ate almost everything that was on my plate, but my wife did not. Sometimes the food seemed overcooked, but at others it was perfect. The casino was nice and very loud. There seem to be plenty of people winning on slots, just not me. I did better playing blackjack. As for entertainment, I thought some of the places could have opened up earlier. The band playing at Satchmo's took a half hour break right around when people were starting to show up. The drinks at the Adult pool were strong, very strong.