Carnival Legend Western Caribbean Feb 12, 2012
Our cruise left Tampa on Feb 12. We arrived in Tampa on the eleventh and staying at the Quality Inn and Suites in Ybor City / Fairgrounds. This is a faily new hotel, so it was in excelent condition. They offered a "stay, park and cruise" package that included transportation to the curise port and a place to park the car for the week. Parking at the port is about $105 for the week, and the hotel offered parking and transport for $50 more for the week. The staff at this hotel was fantastic -we had several special circumstances and they went above and beyond to accomodate us.
The embarcation process was not too bad. We originally got there too early and couldn't unload. Once we were able to unload, the porters were very friendly and helpful. It took us about 90 minutes from the time we got in line until we were on the ship. My mother was in a wheelchair, so my parents were sped through the process and on the ship much faster. I do not have enough cruising experience yet More
to say if this is good or bad.
I will review each port individually, so this will just review the ship and activities.
The ship itself was very nice. Some of the art work / decor was not really my taste, but overall it was good. I did really like the atrium (i guess that is what it would be called) There is a giant painting of the Collus of Rhodes that is about 5 stories tall. This area that is open from levels three to eleven has glass elevators. This was my favorite part of the ship's decor.
The food was very good. We ate in the main dining room (Truffels) five of the six nights -the other was while we were in port and we didn't want to rush back to eat. All the meals were good or great! The dessert "Chocolate Melted Cake" was so good it should be illegal -by far the best dessert i've ever had! We ate at the buffet for all our breakfast and lunches -the food there was good, but not exceptional; it was very convenient, and that was our primary goal.
The main shows were pretty cheesy to me -Carnival is the "Fun Ships", we don't need to hear that over and over in every song! The comedians were all pretty good. I really enjoyed Scotty K's type of humor. The game shows and audience participation shows were a lot of fun, especially the Love and Marriage game!
I saved all my "Fun Times" schedules for each day so if you are interested in what is offered daily, i will be glad to share these with you.
The debarkation process went very well. We waited until the time we were told, and it did not take very long to find our luggage and get through customs.
My overall impressions: This was a great cruise for a group of our size and age / interest differences. The Caribbean cannot compare to Alaska for beauty and amazement, but we had a great time here and are looking forward to more cruise in the Caribbean in the future. On a scale of 1-10, i would say this cruise was about an 8.5. Friendly staff, good food, plenty of activities and an overall good time! Less
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Cabin review: 4E7111
We were in cabin 7111, an interior cabin near the very front of the ship. This was a very spacious cabin and our steward was exceptional. There was plenty of storage space for all our clothes and stuff. We put our empty suitcases under the bed so they were out of the way for the entire trip. There were some ship sounds, but not very intrusive. The bathroom had plenty of room for a basic room. We over-packed for this trip, but we still had room for everything we brought. We were very satisfied. (disclaimer: we are not the type to spend much time in our cabin, so we were only there to sleep, shower and change clothes -most of our time was spent being busy on the ship).
Port and Shore Excursions
We went cave tubing and zip lining here. We booked our tour through cave-tubing.com and it was a fantastic trip! Our tender pilot tried to set us up with his friend at a better rate, so we tried to save a few dollars. That was a HUGE mistake!!! We found his friend and got on a beat up van to head out to the tubing site (about 30 miles outside of town). He tried to pick up some extra passengers to drop off at the airport. Then he got us a few miles away from the port and stopped the van to tell us about the "Additional charges", which meant this would cost us more than it did with our original scheduled company. At first he did not want to return us to the port, but we were very adamant, and he finally took us back. We found our company (cave-tubing.com, with a van labeled "butts up!"). We got on a brand new van with a wonderful guide who took very good care of us on this excursion!! I cannot say enough about how good this company is. We booked this trip on-line directly with the tour company instead of through the cruise line -and saved about 45%. This is definitely a "Don't Miss" excursion!!
We tried to find a tour that all twelve of us could enjoy, but we were not successful. My mother is in a powerchair, so whatever we did would require accessible transportation. We walked around the port and found the transportation area that had people offering various activities. We found a guide that had an easily accessible van and would accomidate all six of us on this excursion. We wanted to see the lighthouse on the south side of the island, and he offered us a guided three hour tour for $25 per person. He was an amazing guide!!! One of our stops was a wooden boardwalk out to a tower where we saw crocadiles and other wildlife. Our guide helped life my mother and her chair over the step onto the walk so she could enjoy this overlook. He stayed with her and kept her company while we were in the tower; he went out of his way to make sure that she enjoyed herself. The lighthouse was very nice and offered some great photo opportunities.
We were parasailing through a company (I believe it was Discount Excursions) that is located very close to the pier -just about 2 blocks away. This was very convenient, and the price was far better than anything offered through the cruise lines. We had a great time!!! It was a beautiful day, and the views were stunning. With just a little Internet work, you can save about 50% by booking this yourself instead.
I am a novice at snorkeling so my opinion is based on my limited experience. We went to a location that is just off the tender pier, so it was very convenient. There were some very pretty fish, but overall this was nothing spectacular. I have heard there are several great locations if you get away from the port. The best thing about this was its convenience, and since we were parasailing first, we wanted to stay in the same area. This wasn't bad, but if you want to snorkel as your main excursion, check on locations that are away from the pier. I did purchase an underwater camera (Olympus Tough) that took great pictures and videos. I am planning on making snorkeling a vacation hobby, and i am confident that this camera was a great purchase.
Mahagony Bay, Isla Roatan is a beautiful port set up just for Carnival cruises. We did not pre-plan any activities, but i knew we wanted to zip line and snorkel here. We found a zip line company just outside the port shops and taxi stands. The company is called Clip and Zip, and it is very easy to find. Three of us were on this trip and we were one of their first groups of the day. The ride to the top of the tour was a bit uncomfortable on the back of a four-wheeler, but the zips were AMAZING!!! Because this was so close to the port, we were finished with most of the day still to enjoy. We rode the flying chairs to the beach -a touristy, but fun thing to do. I wanted to snorkel, but i was the only one in my group interested this time. I got a taxi to take me to the west end of the island where the snorkeling was supposed to be very good. Since i was alone, this was fairly expensive, but the driver waited until i was finished snorkeling and brought be back to the ship. The snorkeling was very nice. I found a company on the beach that took me out and provided a guide to show me around. This cost $25 for about an hour or more, and i left a nice tip because my guide was so good. Because the cost was high by myself, i think that next time will book through the cruise ship for this particular activity.