Finally, the day we were so eagerly anticipating had arrived. After a quick ride to Port Everglades (first time sailing from this port). It seemed very chaotic, there weren't enough signs or Carnival reps. Indicating where the lines were going (the lines were very long). At one point there was a huge line of people that were incorrectly on line at the Skipper's Club desk. They weren't very happy to have been waiting for so long without knowing that they should have been somewhere else. My husband left the line for a bit and came back to tell us that there was a glass door right behind the Skipper's Club desk that lead to a large room where people were waiting to check in. We walked right into the air conditioning room and immediately went through the line for check in. I felt bad for the people waiting on the other line, but like I said earlier Port Everglades is not very "user friendly". Unless you know your way around, it can be very More
confusing. Regardless, once you get past the check in line - it is smooth sailing. We boarded the ship at approx. 11:30 and were able to have access to our cabins. We were on the Verandah Deck - forward. We unpacked and proceeded to Lido Deck where my husband had a cheeseburger with his name on it. Did I mention that once you board the dEcor of the Atrium is overwhelming. Very beautiful and it grows on you after a couple of days but definitely a bit over the top. Plenty of urns!!
I was pleasantly surprised to see that the lunch buffet was in full swing and there were many options. The Taste of Nations buffet was open as was the Deli, Pizza Shop, one area always has meat, chicken & ribs. By the way, the grill area where you get hot dogs and hamburgers also has steak sandwiches and chicken sandwiches.
Hot Chocolate - Great!!!! (Except on the last night where if you don't eat at the Truffles Dining Room) You have to make it yourself (Instant)
Day 2 Day at Sea
The Lido Deck offers a buffet breakfast, they also have an omelette station and they will make fried eggs for you, on request (This is available every morning). Travel and Adventure Talk on this day was very informative, however, you do not need to spend 1 hour listening to the Cruise Director talk about the Ports of Call, etc. Because there are 3 days at sea before you reach your first Port, just wait and hear the taped session, in it's entirety in your stateroom while getting ready for dinner or just resting in your cabin. They will play it over and over again and you don't need to spend time there, when you can be enjoying your vacation somewhere else. Tonight is Formal Night (Lobster) preceded by the Captain's Cocktail Party - Basically, this party is just an opportunity to shake hands with Captain Claudio Cupisti on your way into the Follies Lounge. Once there they have small selection of "free" drinks (Champagne, Mellon Balls, fruit punch, wine) and appetizers (croquettes, chicken nuggets, beef wrap). Our waiter was pleasant, it was his first day back from being on vacation for 4 weeks, so he seemed a little off but he met expectations. The Legend has plenty of seating for 4 and for 2, we tend to like having dinner by ourselves so that was perfect. The show tonight was good, it was Christopher Alan Graves in Singin' with the Big Band a tribute to Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. It was very nice. If you enjoy the Dancers, this show does not have much of that. Mostly singing. There was a midnight Late Night Adult Comedy show with Mrs. Hughes, which was o.k. Taste of Nations: Caribbean
Day 3 - Day at Sea
Shopping Talk - If you can avoid the talk but drop by towards the end, you can catch up on tv with what you missed but pick up the coupon at the very end of the talk that will entitle you to a free Charm Bracelet from Diamonds International. The bracelet will then entitle you to pick up charms at different ports of call in the Caribbean. Charms can be obtained from the following ports: Antigua, Aruba, Barbados, Belize, Cabo San Lucas, Cancun, Costa Maya, Cozumel, Juneau, Key West, Ketchikan, Las Vegas, Mazaatlan, Nassau, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Vallarta, Skagway, St. Lucia, St. Maarten & St. Thomas. They also raffle some things including a tennis bracelet at the end of the talk. One of the activities today is their version of Survivor (Owen is one of the Activities director and apparently he is supposed to be the son of a famous rock star and supermodel, he looks a little like Rod Stewart but people were guessing all week long and he would just deny it) We never knew who he way, let me know if you are able to figure it out. Tonight there's a special Old Time Dress Up in the Lobby from 7:30-8:30 and 9:30-10:30 They'll have one area set up and will take pictures of you dressed up in old time costumes (definitely different and worth it)... If you are interested I suggest you do it on this day because people don't realize that this is going on and you can usually get it done with a small wait. They repeat it on the 6th Day and the line gets pretty long with people that missed it on the first day. There was a pre-dinner show A Tribute To Broadway with Jason French. It was o.k. The show tonight was The Magic of Brett Alans(Cruise Director) and Roger Homefield (Multi-Instrumentalist & Vocalist) Taste of Nations: Japanese
Day 4 St. Maarten Today is the Shopping Day! Check your caper because you will have free items at participating stores. We did the Explorer Cruise and Island Tour for $59.00 pp. In my opinion, nothing more than a very expensive ride. This tour takes you on a bus to a Marina where you get on a two floor Catamaran you sail over to Marigot (Marina Royale). You get off and do a little shopping (there's a very strange, unpleasant odor on this side of the island. You then get back on a bus and they take you back to downtown or the ship. Not a lot of bang for our money! We were dropped off in Philipsburg and did some shopping - we paid an additional $3 pp to get back to the ship. We had lunch at Taloula Mango's which was good, a bit pricey but it was right by the beach and very nice. I heard others raving about the Golden Eagle Catamaran tour which is $79pp. The show tonight is called Jazz Hot and has a lot of dancing. The singers are Jason French, Chaundra Cameron, Trent Webb and Kathy Vepley. The show was spectacular. There was also a Midnight Adult Comedy with Jeff Laub (we didn't make it, so I don't know if it was any good) Taste of Nations: Indian Food
Day 5 Barbados (Our favorite port of call)
We did the Barbados Coast to Coast tour and it was great. We took a bus at the Port and it took us all over the island. $45pp. It makes 2 stops which provides a great opportunity for picture taking. Truly a great tour. I also heard that the Atlantis Submarine tour and the Island Safari Adventure were good. I actually won at the Love, Sex and Romance Game. This game is no more than answering questions as per Dr. Ruth. It was fun. We were fortunate enough to have a great group of passengers entertain us on the night of the Talent Show. There was an amazing latin singer named "Armando" and he was great. Great buffet tonight with fun and games on deck at 11:30. Taste of Nations: Mexican
Day 6 Martinique
We didn't have anything planned and figured we would just take a cab to the beach. Wrong: The taxi cab drivers wanted $12/pp just to take us to a ferry that would charge us another $5/pp to take us to the beach. We decided to just shop at the port and head back to the ship. I later heard from others that the snorkeling tours were great and also one couple we met rented a car for $70 and toured the island on their own without any trouble. I wish I would have thought of that and I would have done it. The view of Martinique was spectacular from the ship so maybe next time. Today is your second chance for the Old Time Dress Up. Now that we are officially on our way back home, depression starts to set in. L. What a treat tonight, we were fortunate enough to catch the act of Hypnotist Jac Rene and what a great time that was. We even went to the late show which was even better. Kudos to Carnival for signing him on. I hear he's going to be on the Spirit ship soon. Hopefully he'll be on for your cruise as well. If you go to his show, jump up and down and make him pick you. You will not regret it. You can also try to sit in the first 2 rows and if someone on stage does not go under and you do at your seat he will come get you. For all of you country western fans Trent Webb does a Late Night Show that is really good. Tonight is the Buffet Gala, it was worth seeing, here's my tip: It is scheduled to be open for viewing at 11:30, however, we showed up at 11:15 and walked right in, no line no waiting. Now we made a mistake and did not come back for the eating portion of the event (11:30-12:30 is just for picture taking) until 12:45... the line was really really long and the desserts were almost gone by the time we got to them. I suggest, getting to the buffet by 12:15. Taste of Nations: French
Day 7 Day at Sea
Look for toppings during the afternoon in the Lido decks lounge. The chocolate truffles are to die for and you can make yourself a nice ice cream with toppings. Debarkation talk: Enjoy the rest of your cruise this information is also replayed all the time on the tv in your cabin. By the way, did I say that ABC, CBS and NBC can be seen in your cabin while we are at sea.... For all you Survivor, Apprentice fans you don't have to miss your shows. I wish I would have taken 2 hours out of my time to watch my shows. My not so reliable vcr did not tape my shows. My husband did the backstage tour on this day and was very impressed, he liked it so much he wants to get a job as a stagehand for the Carnival Legend Dancers. Should I be upset? Heck no, free cruises. YIPEE! The show tonight was the comedy of David Sayh (***) and Love Songs and a tribute to Motown by Melinda Chatman. Melinda was seen walking around the ship with the hypnotist (they might be cozy) and were very friendly, she said she would recognize my daughter while on stage and she sure did. She really took the time to meet and greet the fellow passengers which made her very personable. Very nice! She's sang background for Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson and other Motown greats. She was also the answer to a question on Who wants to be a millionaire recently.
Day 8 Debarkation was fine, we did not go to the debarkation area assigned to us, we stayed in the cabins and when our color was called over the speakers, we proceeded to Level 2. If you want to leave in a hurry get a porter and they have a separate line where you breeze right through. If you don't have any money left over, (like we did) you can make the short 15-20 minute line. Now, it's back to reality and to planning our next cruise. If you have any questions, send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org. I have all of the capers and can answer any questions you may have. I also have the Camp Carnival capers for the 6-8 age group.
Misc. Tips: Don't buy your pictures until the very last night. Portraits are expensive so if you are on a budget, just take a few (reduce temptation). An 8x10 is $20, so if you start buying pictures from the very beginning you can end up with a pretty hefty amount of money spent on these portraits. Keep in mind, you can take your own pictures at any of the very many beautiful spots on this ship and enlarge on your own and save a ton of $$$$$. q Towels can be checked out at the pool. You can exchange wet for dry towels at the pool at any time as long as they are returned by 8:00 p.m., if you take advantage of this, you do not have to take your room towels up and down with you all day. q I saw people bringing Sodas and Water on board. I wish I would have done that as a Coke on board is $2.88 q If you are a past Carnival Guest, make sure they now as you will receive a complimentary souvenir pin in your cabin on the 4 or 5 day. q The information binder that is in your cabin has 2 really nice postcards of the Carnival Legend - Don't forget to take them home. q The Shop on the Legend has pins for Barbados and St. Maarten - they also have shot glasses for the Ports of Call. The prices are compatible with what you can get at the ports. q No passport needed for Barbados q I have the Caper for the 6-8 kids Camp Carnival. My daughter chose not to go but she had so much fun with her new friends at the pool that it didn't matter. If you want any information on activities. Email me and I will gladly answer any questions that you may have. 1 For $15, you can fill a Carnival bag with dirty laundry and it will be washed, dried and folded for you. (Day 6/Martinique day) 2 Cruise Director: Brett Alans, he's actually head cruise director for the entire fleet (but I've seen better) He had a nervous laugh that was a little scary by the end of the 8th day. There was actually an assistant cruise director by the name of Brent and he was GREAT! He's actually getting his own ship in a couple of months, he's getting a well deserved promotion to cruise director. 3 For those of you concerned about the smoking on board. Everyone seems to be very aware of the smoking etiquette, you are allowed to smoke on one half of the ship while on the Lido Deck, no smoking in the Follies Lounge. However, the Casino, the Cigar Room and Disco's are smoke central... 4 Have plenty of small bills at the ports - Taxi Cab Drivers will have no change for you so that you are forced to tip. Same applies to sidewalk vendors. Less