Carnival Legend is the third ship in the Spirit Class, which introduced some significant firsts for Carnival, including alternative restaurants and onboard wedding chapels. Spirit-class ships also offer an impressive 80 percent ratio of outside cabins, as well as lots of nice little touches like museum-quality artwork and 'designer' martinis.
In early 2014, the ship underwent a $47 million refurbishment in readiness for its debut into the Australian market.
In a nutshell, the major renovation added the Australian-only Green Thunder slide, Splashdown children's waterslides and drenching bucket, Serenity Retreat for adults, Bonsai Sushi restaurant, RedFrog Pub and new Aussie beers (including the specially-crafted Thirsty Frog Summer Ale) and the Cherry on Top candy store. Australian power outlets were added in staterooms and Australian coin poker machines (slot machines) put in the casino. Other areas that were refurbished included the fitness centre and several of the public areas. New menus were added to the main restaurant and the specialty Nouveau restaurant.
On the entertainment side, Carnival Legend has introduced Playlist Production music shows to an Australian audience for the first time (think Motown and Epic Rock shows), as well as new family entertainment that includes 'Seuss at Sea' and 'Hasbro, the Game Show'.
Although refreshed, the decor of the main public areas remains unchanged, and the central theme onboard Carnival Legend -- great legends of the world -- is carried throughout the ship's 12 passenger decks, 16 lounges, and indoor and outdoor promenades. Many Australians not used to the glitz and neon of Carnival Cruise Lines' ships are likely to find the 'legends' and the Grecian urn motif a bit much, not to mention the huge painting of Colossus straddling the central atrium area (rather than Rhodes).
At 88,500 tons and carrying 2,124 passengers (2,680 at full capacity), Carnival Legend just skirts the high side of mid-sized -- large enough, but not particularly crowded. We found it quite easy to find our way soon after boarding. Its new passenger base will appreciate the 'Fun Ship' touches, such as an onboard golf program, duty-free shopping mall, video arcade, 1,800-square-foot (167.23-square-metre) children's play area and 'Green Thunder' -- as of 2014, the steepest and fastest waterslide at sea.