First Time Cruise- Awesome!
First time cruiser and was a little bit concerned. Had been trying to talk my wife into a cruise for years and finally convinced her to go (with a little help from my daughters).
Without much to go on in the way of experience, we had a fantastic time. The crew on the Legend was awesome, the ship was beautifully kept and it was a great experience. Food was very good, crew's hospitality was fantastic, and we just simply had a wonderful experience.
Ports of call were also good. I wasn't overwhelmed by Grand Cayman, but that may have been more of our fault, since we didn't really plan ahead (other than renting a Jeep) and kind of "winged it." Cozumel was great (went to Nachi Cocum), where we did some parasailing, got a massage on the beach, and spent a log of beach time.
Belize was also nice; we missed our Carnival-booked snorkeling and beach day. They cheerfully refunded our money, and we were able to find the same excursion through a local vendor for $140 More
cheaper for the four of us.
Roatan was the last stop on our tour; we booked a driver through Victor Bodden and he was fantastic (Tex). He took us for a tour of the island, brought us over to a beach which overlooked the dolphin experience area (we didn't actually do the experience), then brought us to Victor's where we held and fed the monkeys, parrots, and fed the deer. My daughters, both teenagers loved it. We then went to a private beach area near Tabyana and spent several hours there.
Overall, great trip, great ship, great excursions...what more can you say? Less
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Cabin review: 8169
Cabin was good, although because it was under the main activity deck, you could hear a lot going on in the middle of the night (crew cleaning or whatever), however it wasn't terrible. Being right in the middle of the ship toward the top, the motion was not bad at all.
Port and Shore Excursions
Belize was interesting. We missed the meeting for the tour we had booked through the Carnival. When we got to the port, I went to the Carnival rep. and she told me that we had "missed the boat" so to speak. She took my information and said they would credit my account. Disheartened and feeling we would just spend the day on the ship, she told me to check with the local tourism bureau in the terminal and they could assist me in booking something on my own. I went to the tourism desk, and she directed me outside to where there were several "locals" who operated tour companies...she said they were all permitted, legitimate and safe. Mind you, there were TONS of security guards in the area so I was glad to hear that this was legit. I found someone who was running a snorkeling and private island tour for $49 each, however he told me that he could "get it" for me for $30 each if I gave him a $5 commission. After doing the math (the Carnival excursion for the same thing was $74.95 each) I figured $35 was a bargain, which it was. We had a good time, went snorkeling for about an hour, then spent around 2 hours on a private beach with our own waitress who brought us drinks and lunch. Total spent was around $200 out the door. Not bad.
Cozumel was simply beautiful, although we only saw it from the resort we went to (Nachi Cocum). It cost us $49 each for my wife and I, $29 each for my teenage daughters. For this, you got open bar, all the food you wanted including a private waiter, and a shaded beach chair. We decided to opt for the $40 massage on the beach, which was wonderful. I wish I sprung for the full treatment but for $40 you got a half hour massage that was great. We also parasailed, which I believe cost us around $40 each, a lot cheaper than the version offered by the cruise line. All in all, a great day. The cab ride for 4 from the port to Nachi was $25, which gave you a thrill ride in a Mexican taxi....words can't describe it, but they're basically nuts!
Rated 4 more due to the fact that we didn't plan ahead. We tried to get a Jeep through the cruise line, but it was sold out. We rented one through Avis for around $120 for the day, including a GPS (which I definitely recommend). The jeep was a standard left side drive, however the roads in Cayman are "backwards" for us Yankees. Also, there are a TON of rotaries, and it takes some getting used to if you decide to drive. We went to a turtle farm, which the girls enjoyed, then seven mile beach where we spent the rest of the day. Cayman is very "Americanized" and you can eat at Burger King, Wendy's, etc. if that floats your boat. For us, we went to TCBY and got a nice frozen yogurt.
Had a great day on Roatan. Originally I had planned on booking the Tabyana beach excursion through Carnival, however after checking both the Carnival and Cruise Critic boards I decided to go through Victor Bodden tours. I had a driver named Tex who picked us up at the cruise terminal (as an aside, we had to put in to the secondary port because the winds prevented docking at the primary port). My daughters were interested in getting their hair braided, but he told us that we would probably have to wait a bit until the locals had time to get out, so he took us on a driving tour of Roatan. This is an interesting location because a lot of the "beautiful people" have discovered it and have built some rather impressive homes; however there is also the poorer side of the country so the contrasts were interesting.
We went to Victor Bodden's monkey area, where we got to hold and feed the Capuchin monkeys. We had a blast, and my teenage daughters loved it. There were also parrots, as well as deer which we could feed. It was a great experience and we spent around 30-45 minutes there. He also took us to a private area near where the "swim with the dolphins" area was, and that was neat. He answered all my questions and was extremely knowledgable about Roatan...he also was very funny. Finally he took us over to the Tabyana area, where we enjoyed the same area as those who paid $45 (I believe) for free. There was an ocean-front bar where my wife and I ordered drinks. It was a great day, and we would love to return to the resort at Roatan for a winter vacation. A condo for a week in December was around $1400.