On the 17th of July 2011 we sailed out of Tampa on Carnival with the 7 day exotic Western Caribbean cruise ahead of us. Having sailed this exact cruise last year we thought it would be even better, as we knew what all was entailed this time.
We have 2 girls ages 11 and 15 and they are experienced cruisers. This was the 6th time for them both.
The Ship: The Legend is holding up well but the room stewards service, the food and the entertainment is falling off dramatically.
The steward seemed to care for the girls room slightly better than ours. The "make up" came later each day, the toiletries were not refilled, we once we even had to wait, out of our room, for him to finish.. late in PM. The beach towels were not replaced as we had left some at the pool and the insinuation was, we packed them away, and no more for you!
All the tips going right on your sail and sign card (or sea-pass) has the stewards assured, regardless of service, they are tipped well. $70 per cruiser.
The food was not as tasty and some corners are being cut. The 24 hr pizza cheese is like latex and milk.. Definitely different.
The portions are smaller, and in the Truffles Dining Room the fried zucchini is on every plate to "lift up" the smaller portions.. The dining staff, we found a little better, and seemed to tolerate your presence better, but still a few are not too friendly.
The Entertainment was by far my biggest let down.. The bingo was a nightmare she called numbers that were not drawn and when someone won... they did not check out. The Bingo Lady said to a gentlemen seated in the Follies.. Come see for yourself what was pulled.. And then , like, too bad folks, it is game over.. Having already taken $25 a head for 30 minutes.
The "come up and see if you can sing" has replaced most all the shows.. It is like Rep night in Spain for Brits.. You are now being entertained by the guests. A much cheaper route for Carnival I imagine and one I hope is quickly discontinued.
Karaoke ad' nauseum .. And even when we thought a nice goodbye show was in store... 10 guests were singing.. if you can call it that. Not everyone likes "American Idol" folks, especially on a $1000 per head cruise in the middle of primetime summer dates.
Cozumel is nice and orderly, Grand Cayman has all the money and does not need yours, Beize, you better have a tour booked and ½ price on-line away form Carnival, and Roatan is where Cranival is still choking out the locals... so go inland and spend some money. It is the best port.
My biggest beef was the port times.. Say "in Roatan until 3pm" on the itinerary ..well that means back at the ship at 2 pm as we are sailing at 3 pm.
Unlike last year, when the times we accurate and longer in port. The quicker we get you back, the more overpriced drinks we can sell you. You are preparing to leave the island at 1pm? Give me a break guys.. Loading at 2 and sailing at 3pm?? Do the long lines for the last tender or at the pier give Carnival a clue that it is too early to leave an island you have sailed for days to get too??
Overall, I would say the cruise line is still somewhat value for money but I noticed enough this time to give them a break (for the next few summers at least) and ask a lot more questions of Carnival before booking next time with them.
The ship was sailing full and the prices much higher than in 2010 so I at a loss to explain the corners being cut.. profits I guess. Another ship to build.
The credit card application and free $50 is a scam, never got the $50 bucks off this cruise as promised..