Carnival Legend Cruise Trip Report (1/15/12-1/22/12) Our Second Carnival Cruise
OK -- here you have it -- the much awaited (ok not really) trip report of Tigtink and family. The opinions expressed are Tig's and Tig's alone (except for Mr. Tig of course, who must by marital contract agree with everything I say)
First, let me say I booked with a PVP through Carnival that was recommended by a friend. She was nice enough -- but nothing over the top customer service wise. She did call me once to remind me my final payment was coming due and called one other time just before the cruise to make sure all was well. No fantastic upgrades or even $5 in OBC -- but again nice enough. Not really sure what I expect -- but I see how people rant and rave about how great their PVP is -- don't know what that means. But I have the name of another that I may try.
Now on with the show.....
Flew Delta Airlines from Rochester to Tampa with a stop in Atlanta -- all went well except nieces brand new luggage ripped. They gave her a claim ticket to send in after our trip to get a new piece of luggage -- will see how that goes. No other real problems and the bag was still very functional.
HOTEL: Hampton Inn, Rocky Point: Well oiled machine!! OK - this was a GREAT choice for us!!! I booked two rooms - one for daughter and niece with the cruise package (they pick you up at the airport take you to hotel, then to a shopping stop in town, then to the cruise port in the morning and then pick you back up at the cruise port and take you back to the airport or back to the hotel - your choice) and one free room for us (Hilton Honors reward night). The pick up at the airport went very smoothly - no problems at all. Check in with Wendy was fabulous - she is a great multi-tasker and deserves a raise - holy cow she can take great care of her customers. Hotel itself was away from everything really - but we did not care - they took us to Walgreen's to get our water and bug spray - and we went to Seasons 52 for dinner which was really good too and then we called them and they came and picked us up. The rooms need some updating but were clean and comfy for sure. We got the kids room for $133 total which included the cruise package for all four of us and free breakfast in the morning. Scott then took over the front desk and got us on the 'super secret early van to the cruise port' LOL - he was too funny - staff continues to go above and beyond! Breakfast in the morning was more than ample and quite tasty. Again staff is superb. We were able to get a 10am shuttle to the cruise port and just walked right through the line. Then upon return - we were picked up within minutes and they had us to the airport in no time. They obviously know what they were doing and we did not have to worry about a thing. Would definitely use them again and if we cruise out of Tampa again we will be back.
One little note - very small pool - but they have a nice little workout room.
DINNER: Seasons 52 Grill in Tampa:
Ok - this restaurant was recommended by the clerk at our hotel. So being from upstate NY we were game for something different. The food was very good and the atmosphere a bit upscale - I felt underdressed in shorts and t-shirt - but no one seemed to mind. It is more of a business casual type restaurant versus casual. We had a lot of fun testing each other's food and even ordered all the desserts and shared a bite of each with all at the table - so we probably busted our calorie count - but who cares we were on vacation. I think the total bill with 20% gratuity for the 4 of us was right around $180 - a little more than I wanted to spend on the first night of cruise vacation - but glad to have had the experience. Staff was nice.
CRUISE PORT: Excellent all the way around too. Went very, very quickly because we were there early. Had to wait an hour to actually board -- but who cares? We were there and got to see the ship through the window! Helped build the excitement. Staff was very nice indeed.
ON SHIP: YEAH!!!!!! So Excited, super easy and quick process -- they actually shook our bottles of water to ensure it was water. Boy they do not know us at all -- we are old time military and just follow the rules because we do. We had already ordered too much rum from Bon Voyage and had to bring one bottle home. Lesson learned -- the Tig and family are not drinkers -- One bottle of rum for 4 or more people is ample!
Lunch was yummy and so began the 7000+ daily calorie intake. Forced family to use the stairs everywhere so I felt justified in eating more -- LOL. Then we had a wonderful meet and greet. So grateful to all who showed and made some really good new cruise buddies with Jen and Hal (hoping to make it to NC for Cinco de Mayo -- will bring a bottle of Rum -- LOL). Sorry we missed some of you for sure!
Then onto rooms which were balconies on the Veranda deck -- we had an aft balcony. Nice enough and it was bigger than a regular balcony -- but I would not spend the extra $$ for it again. Could feel the vibration from the propeller or propeller shaft -- not too disturbing at all -- but you could feel it. I definitely would not do anything less than a balcony -- but I am spoiled. They had the beds set up wrong -- but no biggee at all -- they were corrected by the time we got back to the rooms. Housekeeping staff awesome as well.
Our first dinner was a bit disappointing -- but not horrible and not because of the food but because of the way the tables were set up. This is where we found out we were not intermingled with other passengers -- it was just our group of 4 at a table for 4. Since it was the girls (Niece -- 31 and daughter -- 27) first cruise we wanted them to meet others. When we asked about being seated at a bigger table -- it was said this is how they do it on the Legend. Ok -- I like my family for sure so not a problem -- just part of the fun is meeting new people! Food and waite staff are of course excellent. Jorge, Juniawan and RamÃ³n were fabulous each and every day!
DAY ONE: Ship at sea and I did not even spend one penny in the casino -- but don't worry -- Tig did make her contribution to the financial security of Carnival later on. Ate and ate some more. Took care of guest services issues. Went to the arcade (I had purchase some tokens at a discount so was hoping for a great arcade) which was in terrible repair -- and difficult at best to locate. Air Hockey table was functional but broken, a couple of video games and not much else. Crammed into a little dark room -- there was no one else there and it was no wonder. Not much into video gaming myself -- but thought if it was a good one the girls would enjoy it and young people would be there -- but it was not. Brought home most of the tokens we took -- no biggee will try on another ship. Also spent time wandering around the ship and sunning ourselves. Lovely.
FOR DAYS TWO - FIVE SEE INDIVIDUAL PORT REVIEWS
DAY SIX: At sea -- here is where Tig made her contribution to the financial security of Carnival -- but no worries -- had a great time in the casino. Daughter actually parlayed $60 into $200 and I made her cash out and buy her future cruise certificate -- which she did -- but then she went back and contributed the other $100 back to Carnival.
DEBARKATION: set our bags out the night before - marked them for early flight and had NO problems whatsoever.
1) The rooms were very lovely. Our preference from now on will be a balcony at mid-ship though - you do get some of the engine vibration in the aft section but nothing too disturbing
2) Food -- you do not have to eat everything in sight -- learned this as I went along -- only put on 4 pounds during this cruise and it is already gone -- Yeah TIG - but it is oh so tempting to eat every second of the day
3) The juggler show was the best in our opinion but it was only 1 of two shows we watched
4) The Mardi Gras show was ok -- glad we went -- didn't get it all but glad we went
5) The singer in Billie's Bar was really good -- just repeated songs a lot -- but we spent 3 evenings with him just the same
6) Watched the funniest ever Marriage Show -- loved the older couple!
7) Daughter loved Karaoke
8) Had a massage at the spa -- cost was a bit high -- but I knew that going in -- they try to get you to buy products over $100 -- but they did not try to 'hard sell' me - must have known I was not an easy sell
9) Arcade in desperate need of upgrading - YIKES
10) Would enjoy mixing it up a bit with others for dinner
11) Bought our future cruise certificates and have our next cruise picked out -- Carnival Liberty 11/24/12 out of Miami!!! Anyone care to join us? WE ARE BOOKED ALREADY
12) LOVED the 80's theme at Medusa's Lair and danced like a fool
13) Note to self -- bring $5's and $1's ashore for taxis -- they do not make change well
14) Loved spending time with Hal and Jen -- even if she does cheat at phase 10!
15) Housekeeping and wait staff are great
16) Learned that in order to see the shows - I must not return to my room cause if I do - I am sleeping and miss everything - was able to stay out and enjoy
17) Platinum Cruiser here we come - #3 booked