This is our review of the Legend. We arrived in Tampa about 10:30 am. We used a parking service about a mile away for parking called Premier. It was a prepay at $7.50 a day. They quickly got us over to the pier and we began the embarkation ... Read More
This is our review of the Legend. We arrived in Tampa about 10:30 am. We used a parking service about a mile away for parking called Premier. It was a prepay at $7.50 a day. They quickly got us over to the pier and we began the embarkation process. We were in group 2. We were held up getting on the ship until after noon due to customs and immigration and muster training for employees. We left the port of Tampa under nice weather. Once we boarded, the lido music was LOUD and it was pop type bubble gum music. My kid is 11 and she enjoyed the music. I went on this ship in 2009. It was in need of some TLC then. The ship itself (spirit class) is a marvelous ship as far as the lay out goes. The current cruise director is named Willie Lee. He is about as obnoxious as Hennie from the Freedom. The assistant CD is named Mike and he made it a bit more tolerable. The ship was in dry dock in February to upgrade to a Red Frog Pup and add some fun water slides. Other than that, there was no real maintenance we could see done as there were so many places on the ship where there was quite a bit of rust, inside and out. When we were on the Legend in 2009, we noticed that on two of the marquis under the artwork on the forward stairs, there were typos in the descriptions of the art on the walls. Guess what, the typos were still there. (on a side note, I had mentioned to carnival staff in 2009 on board and off, as well as called carnival to let them know, apparently they must think know one reads it so it doesn’t need to be fixed.) In addition, the signage to the recently replaced Satchmos with the Red Frog Pub was never changed., so all over the prominade deck, there were signs telling you which way to Satchmos, not red frog. (trivial , I know).
We booked through Driect line cruises, and they were very helpful with our planning, as we originally were living in Texas and had booked on a NCL ship, then we moved to Florida and she helped transfer our paperwork to the Legend. Our cabin was a balcony with obstructed views, CABIN # 5155. Even though it is an obstructed view cabin, we chose it as we were happy to have a balconey cabin for the same price as an interior cabin. The lifeboat is at the top of the railing level, so you cold not see down, but you certainly could see the ocean and enjoy the breeze, and most importantly for us, it allowed natural light into the room.
We decided to try pre tipping this time to see if there would be any difference in service. There was not as you will read. We gave him a $20 and a box of Girl Scout cookies. (My daughter brought many boxes so she could give out as her "tips" too). I had asked our room steward to keep the ice carafe full. The first day at sea, I had called him 2 times to refill it, the last time; he told me he was off duty and to call room service. Well, it was just as easy at that point to go upstairs to the ice machine and fill it as opposed to tipping someone to being it to me. Our room had a few problems right off the start. The vanity mirror had 4 lights out on each side there are only 10 lights total. We addressed this first evening with our room steward as well as the front desk. Replacement bulbs were never put in, thus it made sitting at the vanity to apply make difficult, and I needed to use the bathroom to apply make up. I use a c-pap machine and brought an extension cord, however it was not long enough and Samidi brought in a long orange outdoor cord. The socket was damaged and the cord kept coming unplugged. The first night I could not even use my own blow-dryer as it kept coming unplugged. That night I plugged in the cord for my c-pap machine and it worked for a while. A few times in the night I had to get up and jiggle the cord a bit because the power kept shutting off to my machine thus awakening me to a suffocating feeling. I called the guest services desk the next day and they sent someone to fix it. Later that night, I had to call them again about 11pm as it was falling out of the socket again. It was finally fixed late that night. I always take an inventory of all the sodas, spirits and beer in the fridge and the shelves. We bring our own wine and booze so there was never a need to use any of the supplied beverages, however, we were asked several times our last night where the 4 Heineken beers were and I told him we didn’t drink a single beer on the Legend. Another issue was since were traveling with our kiddo, the bed was already made for her from the pull out couch. Previously, after morning beds were made, the additional bed was converted back to a couch, and this was not done after the first day. Since our room steward was like a room ninja and we only saw him the first day and the last night, I had called guest services to request it be made into a couch during the day to accommodate our family better, this was NEVER done any of our days.
The first night we had late dining as we were wait listed for the any time dining. Our 11 year old fell asleep before her desert came and I mentioned to the maître that we would be in need of earlier dining time. He said it most likely would not be a problem as many folks change the first day. Our food came out hot and delicious. The crème Brule was not cooked through nor was the top layer hard, but it was tasty. My daughter woke up to have the melting cake, but hers had separated or was under cooked as once she cut into it with her spoon, a big oil spill of butter rose to the top. We found this was the case with every warm melting cake she had ordered as well as one I had ordered. We just held it sideways to allow all the butter oil to drain out, the taste is still delicious. The first night as sea was non eventful.
The next day was a fun day at sea. The weather was beautiful. We had only been on chartered cruises with Carnival, Costa, and HAL before and there were never children allowed. This was our first cruise ever with kids on board and there were many children. This was apparently spring break for North Carolina, Georgia and many from Minnesota and New Jersey. I signed up my kid for the camp carnival program and the first day we went, there were only 3 kids in her group. Thats because they were EVERYWHERE on the ship. I left her there for the few hours before lunch and at lunch she begged me not to go back citing that the girls and 1 boy were bullies and that when they were to go on the scavenger hunt around the ship, that the others were running erratically and being obnoxious to adult passengers and she was generally upset they were not following the rules given to them by the camp staff, they left her behind and she had to find her way back to the Medusas Lair club alone. I did not use camp carnival again. There were kids in the serenity area when we were apart from her a few times, as well as the parents screaming at them to stop doing what ever it was, so it was not so serene. The kids around the pools and hot tubs were defiantly in charge! The parents would scream at them from across the lido deck as well as the kids were screaming at the adult for towels, goggles, food, etc. This made for a lousy time to try to relax by the pool. Another problem was there were more than 10 kids in the hot tub at any given time, and usually 10-15 in the pool. I only saw adults venture into the pool 2-3 times and never in the hot tubs on the lido deck other than the serenity area. I am guessing the kids just pee in the hot tub all afternoon as one group of 7-11 year olds sat in the hot tub for over 2 hours with out getting water, or getting up to pee. There was a lot of crying going on from the kids as well. I suspect they were too tired and over stimulated and were not given a break to go take a rest. My daughter just went in the pool and played a bit with some girls a few times, and usually sat in the shade and read books as she cant be in the sun too much due to her complexion. That night we were changed to any time dining and our head waitress was Mary Grace. She was very nice, and her assistants were Mariela and Michael. Our bartender was Yurry. We enjoyed them so much that night we asked to sit with them every night, and though we usually went to dinner between 6pm and 6:45, we only had to wait about 5 minutes once. My kiddo brought some magic tricks to do for the dining staff and Mariela was smart as a whip and figured them all out. Our assistant waiter Michael also showed a trick to my daughter. There was a magicain named Leo who visited the tables but he was pretty demanding of wanting applause, that if we did not oh and ahh loud enough, we would say....how about a little appreciation or applause. geeze....
The next day we arrived in Cozumel. When we got to Cozumel, we did the Chankanaab dolphin park. We hadbooked off the web site as it was cheaper and we would get there faster than the ships tour. The taxi ride was $11 to it. We arrived about an hour before the folks from the ship and got a great shaded cabana near the lagoon and bar. We brought our own pringles and peanuts and booze, so we only paid for a few cokes to mix with our rum. It was well worth the $ to swim with the dolphins, and as an added treat, we got to swim with the manatees even though we did not sign up for it. The cost to buy the pictures starts at $35 for one picture. The place is great to just enjoy with out the dolphins or manatees. Their beach is quite long, well maintained and they have places to snorkel, a little lagoon area for the kids to do snorkeling bar and food service on the beach as well as a restaurant and a large gift shop. One can go and enjoy the facilities for about $20/pp a dayif you chose not to swim with dolphins, which is a great deal! We did see a rainstorm moving in and decided to leave and we got back to the taxi terminal just in time for torrential downpour! Most of the shops closed down so we didn’t have time to shop, but we had been there many times, so really we didn’t need any junk anyways
The next day was Belize. We should have just stayed on the ship. What a dump. I am not sure why carnival and other ships even stop here. It was filthy, and the shops had the EXACT things as the next one, we tried to haggle a little and made a bargain or 2, but really, it is just a filthy port and not worth the time to get off the ship for the 30 minute tender ride to the port. Beer was expensive as was anything from the so called chocolate shop. Every place has wifi, but they make you hand them your device to imput the secret code. Ridiculous. The ride back to the ship took about 40 minutes, but would not leave till they loaded the small tender, and it was HOT inside with limited windows, they packed you in like sardines and the motor was kept running and so the noxious gasses were filling up inside and many of us got off and waited till more joined and the boat was full.
Next day we arrived in Mahogany Bay, Roatan. It is a very clean port that carnival paid a lot of money to fix up. There is a "village" of all the tourist shops like Del Sol, Diamonds International, and Piranha Joe and Fat Tuesdays and so on. It was well manicured and looked like a botanical garden. We booked a tour through the ship to Mahogany Bay island retreat with snorkel and lunch buffet. This was suggested as there had been alot of recent crime and assaults. We found out upon return home, that there was a murder of a NCL employee with in sight of the ship the week we were there. The ride to the beach was on an overcrowded boat and about 20 minutes. It was a nice section of beach that is also very well maintained. There is a small "zoo" really just birds in cages and some ocicats. They also have nice snorkel gear and a large well maintained gift shop as well as very nice restrooms and changing rooms. The long pier to go snorkeling off is very well maintained. Once you get in the water, there is a small place to stand and get your gear on properly, and then there is a path that you follow to get between the coral reef out to the drop off area. There is a pool with many tables and loungers and on the beach there are many loungers and tables to enjoy both in the sun and the shade. The lunch buffet was pretty wimpy compared to ones on half moon cay I have been to. Also, you could only go thru the line one time, so when I went to get salad, they marked my wrist tag, then when I went to get the main meal, they tried to deny me, and I was trying to explain that I had not eaten my meats and beans. After about 5 minutes of arguing, they finally let me eat my meal! Once again the rain found us while we were enjoying lunch, but it was a brief hard rain and then it was over. We would definatly do the tour again!
The last day port day was Grand Cayman. What a lovely Island. It was so beautiful and clean. We rented a car off the web from Grand Cayman Auto and it was only $80 total. We even got upgraded. The cost once there was a bit more (about $120 for the smaller car, $140 for the one we were upgraded to). DRIVE ON THE LEFT! It was fun driving all around. First we went to Hell, and then 7 mile beach. We then drove all the around the island, stopping at various beaches and visited the blow holes, and the pirate caves. We had lunch just before we got to rum point. The folks from the ship were there already as well and there were still plenty of chairs to enjoy. The water was a bit murky, probably because of all the people.
The following day was our last day at sea. We awoke in the morning to towel animals all are around the pool and siting on the chairs. It was cute to see and as I had gotten up quite early for my coffee, it was nice to see people’s faces as they walked wearily to the coffee machine to get their coffee. Once they got a look at the animals, even the grumpiest folks smiled. Our last sea day was a bit boring as the standard games around the pool were played with intermittent loud music. We did ride the new Mean Green slide and it was awesome! The smaller yellow slide was not nearly as invigorating, and my daughter got stuck mid way down.
The entertainment was varied and included song and dance reviews, and illusion show and a Hasbro game show. The Motown review was good, the costumes and singers great, the studio 54 show was entertaining as well as well choreographed and sang. The British invasion show was again well choreographed and the costumes were nice, however, the singing was a bit weak. The rock and roll show was by far the worst due to the fact that the songs selected were too difficult to preform by the singers. I love rock and roll and the snippets of songs were from Queen, Journey, Aerosmith, Meatloaf and a few others. Unfortunately, the singers were wither tired from the other days of singing or the songs were just too hard (Freddy Mercury and Steven Tyler are hard) but most all the singers voices cracked, strained, or sounded too whiny. The costumes were amazing. The Hasbro game show was an audience participation show, while I prefer to watch professionals, this show allows audience members to preform. I was selected and had a nice time, however, I hated the fact that it was played on a continuous loop on the TV and nearly every time I turned it on, there was my cameo. (UGH)The best show by far was the illusionist. We wanted go back and watch the second show, but deiced against it. He was absolutely amazing. In addition, the singers preformed along with him on certain numbers and did choreography that was amazing.
The dining was very nice ever night as out waiters made sure we had all we needed. Every meal was delicious that we had but the items that really stood out were the seafood Newberg, the appetizer of eggplant with tomato and balsamic reduction. It was so good, I asked to have it another night as my main meal. The sad part was that as much as I adore the melting chocolate cake, it was undercooked nearly every time, thus having me to try other deserts from the menu. The Soufflés were always delicious as was the tiramisu. The same ole song and dances were preformed on the ship by the wait staff on particular nights. That’s Amore, dancing to gangham style and dancing to apple bottom jeans. It’s a little silly and really and unnecessary.
Debarkation was very simple. We were zone 15 and were one of the last groups called. The ship had no line to get off and we found our luggage easily in the terminal. The line was huge at customs, so we just stood by our luggage, (we had a lot) until the line weaved all around the building and waited until we had a straight shot at the customs line. It was a very simple procedure. Once outside I called premier and told them we needed to be picked up. The guys are most likely Cuban with heavy accents. They did not have a placard or any signage telling us where they picked up and we waited about 20 minutes, though they are less than a mile away. I called a few times, and they said to wait in 3 different areas. After dragging our luggage around, we finally got picked up. It was exhausting. Then to top it off, my kiddo only had 1 piece of carry on to keep track of and we found out she left if on the shuttle about 10 minutes after arriving home. We live about an hour and a half from Tampa. My husband has to go for to Tampa Friday for work, so he will pick it up then.