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A Great Family Cruise!
This is the second cruise we (myself, husband, and 3 boys 11, 8, and 5 years of age)have taken with Carnival or any cruise line. We enjoyed our first cruise last year so much that we paid a deposit while on ship and I booked our trip for the Carnival Dream within 2 weeks of our return. After reading many poor reviews of the Dream on several websites I then decided to change our reservation to the Legend, as it had the same itinerary and far more positive reviews. I am so glad I made the change. We ended up with connecting balcony rooms to fit our entire family. The rooms were so spacious and were kept in immaculate condition (thanks Victor).
The food was also great. We ate in Truffles (main dining) twice and enjoyed the food both times. We prefer the buffet, pizza, deli, so ate most of the time on the lido deck. The variety of food was impressive and we always enjoyed the new foods we tried. My husband and I also ate one dinner at the Golden Fleece Steakhouse. Wow, what an More
experience. The service and quality of food is fantastic.
All of my children really enjoyed the Camp Carnival activities. In fact most of the time (my youngest especially) would be upset when we came to pick them up. Bravo to all of the folks that have the patience and energy to entertain our kids and give mommy and daddy a little bit of grown up time.
My husband saw all of the comedians' adult shows, while I saw 3 of them and we saw 1 of the family comedy shows with our oldest. We enjoyed all of the them very much, especially Mark Rubben (ventriloquist). We also watched the comedic juggling show by Dana Tison. That man is amazing, to say the least, and the show was very funny. We were very impressed with the level of service we received and are starting to get a little bit addicted to cruising, thanks to the wonderful experience we had on the Legend. Less
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Cabin review: 5253
Our adjoining rooms (5253 & 5257) were in a great location. The rooms were just around the corner from the laundrette (which was extremely handy) and on the same floor as Camp Carnival (my children practically lived there while at sea, so extremely handy). Plus we were only a short walk to the stairs and elevators. We had an excellent view from our balconies (which we had opened up to one large balcony). There was more than enough space for all of our belongings. Our cabin steward, Victor, did a great job keeping our rooms very neat and clean. I would definitely recommend these rooms, especially if you are traveling with kids that you would like to keep a close eye on, but would like a separate space.
Port and Shore Excursions
This was our first time in Belize, so after reading many reviews, I decided to book cave tubing through Major Tom. My entire family really enjoyed this excursion. The entire crew were extremely nice and Mike was full of knowledge and very entertaining. The cave tubing itself was like nothing else. It was amazing to be floating in complete darkness (minus your headlights) in these beautiful caves. We also had a great meal of local food while we waited for those that were also ziplining. What I enjoyed most was the drive. I think it is important for our children to see for themselves how others live get by day to day. Belize is, obviously, a struggling country. My oldest son was so moved that he is already trying to put together a way to send soccer balls to the kids there, since it is such a popular sport.
We had been to the Tulum Ruins on our previous cruise (amazing tour) so we decided to something on the island instead. We went to Chankanaab Park so my husband and 2 oldest could snorkel while my youngest and I hung out in the lagoon. The park was very nice. I pre-paid admission and snorkeling which saved some money. We simply took a taxi ($15 each way for all 5 of us), showed our proof of purchase, and we were in. The beach was very nice and clean. It was fairly empty when we arrived, so we had no problem getting lounge chairs. There are vendors there, but they weren't pushy and left us alone when we said "no thank you". We all enjoyed our activites and didn't feel rushed, liked on a lot of tours. We normally opt for activities to see the "real" area we are making port in, this is not it (we saw a lot of that on our private tour last year). This is great if you are looking for anything from a dolphin experience, to snorkeling, to relaxing on the beach.
For our last port we were making our second visit to Grand Cayman. Last year we booked an excursion to Stingray City and snorkeling. We enjoyed it so much that I booked a similar tour through Island Marketing to visit Stingray City again and go to 2 different snorkeling sites. Once again, the staff was top notch and did a great job getting our entire family snorkeling gear and taking care of us at each of our stops. We had drinks on board (water and fruit punch) and plenty of space to sit and stretch out. My older two boys and husband got to enjoy snorkeling last year while I hung out on the catamaran with our youngest. This year my husband and I traded off and I got to try snorkeling for the first time. I'm hooked. We snorkeled at the barrier reef and in a coral garden. I couldn't believe all of the amazing fish I am used to seeing in an aquarium. Now I want to try diving. Aside from my youngest freaking out any time a stingray came near him, we all really enjoyed Stingray City. It is so cool having these huge creatures just swimming around and rubbing up on you like a cat. I can't imagine a better excursion on Grand Cayman.
This is our first visit to Isla Roatan, so I decided to go with zip lining and a private island tour, all booked through Victor Bodden Tours (through recommendations from several websites). We could not have been happier with our choice. My husband and 2 oldest boys had an amazing time doing the zip lines and we all enjoyed hanging out with the monkeys afterwards. Then, our wonderful tour guide and driver Kenny, took us around the entire island and showed us areas I am pretty sure most tours don't get to see, as we were the only ones there. We prefer to really experience the ports we are visiting and I can't think of a better way than taking this private tour. What a beautiful island and an experience we will never forget. This was my family's favorite shore excursion and we are already trying to figure out a way to vacation on Isla Roatan.