5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
This was our first cruise with Carnival and I have to say that I think it was our least favorite. That's not to say that it was bad, it just did not come up to the standard, overall of other cruises we have been on, this being our ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Carnival and I have to say that I think it was our least favorite. That's not to say that it was bad, it just did not come up to the standard, overall of other cruises we have been on, this being our seventh cruise. Embarkation was smooth, but very little information was displayed and the staff did not tell you much at check-in. Other cruise lines issue the room key at check-in, but Carnival have it an envelope at your door which was not told to us until we asked and two different people told me different things???, The decor of the ship is......... how do you say.................unusual. Very dark and very unusual to the point of being gourde. Not to everyone's taste I am sure. Dark wall panels, lots of ancient style paintings and most of the coulombs were made to look like an urn. Our room was spacious and well appointed and the hotel staff, as always were excellent. The room was well laid out and even if it is the same size a other cabins we have been in it appeared larger and more spacious. We chose an inside cabin and ended up with a window with an obstructed view which was excellent. No you did not have a view of the ocean, but a large window with a view where you could see the sea whooshing by. Much better than just an inside cabin. The food, while of good quality, was not as good a variety as we expected. The Lido deck was very popular and busy and the amount of food outlets was too small to cater for the numbers. The free Pizzas and Hamburgers were good, but the wait could be considerable. The Truffles restaurant menu was not very appealing so I think most people chose to eat in the Lido deck buffet. As to the bar service, Carnival have chosen to have seats all around the bar leaving no room for service. Lots of people buy drink packages now and particularly on the first night you could not get near the bar. They need to take out three or four seats and have a sign "Service Only" so others can get to the bar and the bar tenders know who is next in line. Bar staff were very busy all the time because lots of people order cocktails, which take time to make. I just wanted a beer and my wife a wine, so we are always waiting for ages to get served, and only take a few minutes to serve and be on our way. The price for the three day cruise we did out of Melbourne was quite expensive for the three days. We have been on two day cruises that were a quarter the price. Overall, we enjoyed the cruise and the break, but of the seven cruises we have done this would be our least favorite. It would be appealing to people with children as they cater well for the younger set ad they boast that their cruise line carries the most families and children. Although very busy, all the staff were very helpful, happy and extremely hard working and we have no complaints about any of the staff. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
First time on Carnival line and chose this Cruise as we had a last minute discounted cabin. Have cruised over a dozen times with Princess, Celebrity Solstice Solstice and P&O. We were worried that our indoor cabin under the Red Frog ... Read More
First time on Carnival line and chose this Cruise as we had a last minute discounted cabin. Have cruised over a dozen times with Princess, Celebrity Solstice Solstice and P&O. We were worried that our indoor cabin under the Red Frog Bar would be noisy, it was extremely quiet except for the occasional scraping of chairs. The cabin was spacious with heaps of hanging space and a good sized shower. Overall cleanliness was very good. The entertainment was probably the best we had experienced and the Cruise Director Jen was energetic and the love of people and her job was obvious. We ate just about everywhere. Found the Truffles Restaurant fabulous for breakfast and lunch. Could be hit and miss at dinner. The free pizza was great, as was the hamburger station and Mexican. Buffet was just a pass. Salad bar was great, and desserts very good, however except for the vegetables the rest of the buffet was pretty ordinary. Meats seemed dry and over cooked. This was a small negative, as considering the market Carnival gears itself to (families) we expected this. Carnival Legend has plenty of sitting areas inside, and we never found it a problem to find a sun lounge at the adults only Serenity area. Some people will grizzle just about everything given the chance, we found many many positives. No need to rush dining and head to showroom early to bag a seat, as there were always plenty in the two tiered showroom. Lifts were quick and no breakdowns. Waiters bursting into song some evenings in Truffles bought a smile to many a face. Carnival Legend is a fun ship...go with the flow, we certainly would travel with Carnival again if you want a relaxed holiday. We didn’t find the children on board a problem...some adults could learn from them. And...there was always the free Adults Serenity area to escape if need be with it’s own bar. Yes, you can wear shorts into the evening dining room (except for formal nights) and we found this wonderful. Not so many clothes to pack. Most people were always smart casual. All in all, thanks Carnival....we will come back. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
We choose this cruise because of the itinerary -travel person recommendation. This was the worst cruise we have ever taken and we have been on many and other cruise lines. First and last time with carnival. The decor was overwhelming ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of the itinerary -travel person recommendation. This was the worst cruise we have ever taken and we have been on many and other cruise lines. First and last time with carnival. The decor was overwhelming and heavy - not for a fun cruise. Rooms were large and good. Food not too good in fact they ran our of a lot of items. No marmalade jam. No english muffins - these were on the dining room menu. They weren't brought on board when cruise started from Sydney. Commercial bread - not made on the ship and the dinner rolls when microwaved for dinner came out as little bricks. Even when boarding and departing the process wass terrible., Who ever decided to leave all the luggage in the elevator areas need t review who this should be done. Perhaps they should go on other cruise lines to see how smooth this process can be for the passengers. Shore excursions was not easy - we had to find our own way to the buses and then had to wait for latecomers - so the trips we shorter than advertised. Other cruise lines have all the passengers waiting in a specific area, tagged then escorted to the waiting vehicles. Way to go!!!. Entertainment was geared for children - nothing for adults until; the 15th day of a 17th day cruise. My husband was bored out of his mind. Couldn't arrive in Honolulu fast enough. I can say a lot more - but I think the above is sufficient. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
The crew, security and cleaning staff were all stellar. Melbourne folks are an absolute blast to party with. Carnival Liberty sells more alcohol than any other ship in the fleet largely due to the good folks from Melbourne's love for ... Read More
The crew, security and cleaning staff were all stellar. Melbourne folks are an absolute blast to party with. Carnival Liberty sells more alcohol than any other ship in the fleet largely due to the good folks from Melbourne's love for celebrating life to the fullest! If your looking for a glass-half-full trip then this is the one. It's also largely suitable for families, we could see no evidence of any impropriety.. just great great times. Truffles restaurant was great and they would break the dinner up with their dancing cabaret through the enthused diners. We didn't really try the buffet up on the Lido deck except for cooked breakfasts. The staff were so very courteous and helpful. They made the whole experience very personable one which I really love. The best advice I can give is don't try to participate in all the activities all the time - you will exhaust yourself. Just pace yourself and give yourself a little buffer to go and enjoy the view of Bass Straight from the observation deck. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
This was our third cruise on Legend and our second with the same itinerary so we knew what to expect. There's lots to do, great entertainment, excellent food. We tended to go to the restaurant each night to avoid the temptation of too ... Read More
This was our third cruise on Legend and our second with the same itinerary so we knew what to expect. There's lots to do, great entertainment, excellent food. We tended to go to the restaurant each night to avoid the temptation of too much food being available on the Lido deck - great service and lots of variety at the restaurant changing every night. The Nouveau Restaurant was worth a visit - charge was $45 but good value. Shore excursions were available but we did our own thing - in Noumea we went into town and got a ticket for the Hop on Hop Off bus ($A12 as opposed to the $A20 being charged on the ship) and went straight to Citron Bay for swimming and a visit to the brewery. Buying a bus ticket was the only way to get to the beach at Mare (snorkeling disappointing as little to see). Snorkeling at Isle of Pines was excellent - we saw a sea snake and two large turtles which was unexpected. Service was always excellent, staff friendly and helpful. If you have children make sure you supervise them at the pools as there are no staff for that purpose and there are lots of children jumping around and seemingly unaware of other children. Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We chose this cruise because the price for 8 nights in a balcony cabin was very reasonable. The good.: Embarkation and Disembarkation quick, efficient and the best we have experienced. Better than Celebrity Solstice and Pacific ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the price for 8 nights in a balcony cabin was very reasonable. The good.: Embarkation and Disembarkation quick, efficient and the best we have experienced. Better than Celebrity Solstice and Pacific Princess. Having Circular Quay as our views first and last day was lovely. No one hassled us to get off so we had a leisurely breakfast as we said our goodbyes. The lunch on the first day while waiting for bags to rooms but a bit hectic but the pools and spas were open so I advise you to use them. Lots of lifts and good stairs so didnt have to wait long at any time. The trip to tenders for excursions was long and tedious. A lot of standing around in stair wells. Not sure how else they could have done this to improve the process. Slow service and ordinary food in main restuarants on Celebrity and Princess but fabulous service and delicious food all meal times in Truffles restuarant on Carnival Legend. You don't have singing and dancing waiters with different themes each night on other ships we have been on. Legend had singing and dancing waiters every night and we had the option to join in. Our waiters were amazing. Knew our names, our likes, that we liked fast service so we didnt miss shows and even what we liked and how we liked it served. Our water waiter always topped up without our asking and any request was addressed. The buffets were fabulous. No idea why other ships get rid of buffets. On this ship although it was full there was no waiting longer than a couple of minutes and 24/7 pizzas made to request were yummy. Best of all was the huge amount of outdoor seating in 3 different areas by the 3 pools. so much nicer to sit outside instead of inside. The overdone decor everywhere was very to our liking. Lots of history, guady mirrors and vases and murals all over the place. We loved it compared to the clean sterile look of Solstice. Solstice was plain and beautiful, clean lines and sophistication but the fun gaudiness of Legend was more to our taste. Doesnt say much for us of course but that is just our taste. Fun all the way. Nothing sophisticated about us. Trivia games ... lots of and great fun. Prizes should be things like Tshirts and bottles to give Carnival free advertising but the ' ships on a stick' trophies and medals were lots of fun. We didnt do Bingo but the loooonnng lines to be involved showed it's popularity. The shows for a small ship were excellent and the many many kids seemed occupied and happy. Take care re the comedy shows, even the PG was naughty and the late night shows were hilarious but also very R rated which isnt really us. also get a seat early as the comedy shows were always very crowded. Having 3 pools, one adults only was terrific. the kids pool was very popular with adults and children. The ports OK so our ports on other cruises were Mediterranean and NZ. All ports there magnificent. The South Pacific ports are lovely but not all that interesting. Lifou, Mare, Isle of Pines and Noumea all have plenty to do in relation to shopping and swimming but not much else. Make sure to take shoes as the coral reefs are everywhere. Snorkelling and kayaking at Lifou was great, catamaran and turtles lovely at Noumea, not much at Mare but nice beaches and a magnificent excursion to a resort at the isle of Pines. Wish we could stay there one day but there are nice resorts closer in Australia that dont need a plane trip or a passport. The people in Noumea were especially nice to us and we did enjoy that as a last port. Great shopping at the port terminal, much better and cheaper than the islands. The ' watch out for'. Don't waste money getting an extended balcony. It gave us no more room than an ordinary balcony on Celebrity and Princess. Also visited a suite and apart from a double balcony and a little dressing area we thought our balcony at $2,000 less was quite adequate. Apparently the service in the suite room was absolutely amazing and our friends were very happy they paid the extra. Dirty smelly and some not working public toilets by the end of the cruise. Grumpy guest services workers and grumpy buffet food servers. Still the buffet food servers were under lots of pressure each meal but the guest services don't have that excuse, especially as they were there to help face to face not serve food. Don't waste your money on the acupunture in the spa. Didnt hear much about what else was good in the spa but they have the best adults only whirlpool. Huge and quite underutilised as it is indoors but lovely for a night time session. Large, water on hand and towels galore. The compulsory evacuation drill was very poorly done. Everyone crowded and those in the back couldnt see or hear anyway so it was a long time to stand and not know what was going on. Quite useless. On other ships this drill was always done very well. Legend needs to improve this procedure so all understand what will / could happen. Would we go again Yes. I wish Legend would go to New Zealand. More interesting ports than the South Pacific. We didnt do many ship excursions in the South Pacific and people who did were all apparently disappointed by what little they got for the large prices. Read up on the excursions before you go as many are not suitable for the elderly or the young and many offer little for the price. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2013
We were extremely disappointed to basically lose half our port stops. Yes, we understand that a port can be missed for various reasons but the ship not being mechanically capable of providing the trip you contracted for isn't ... Read More
We were extremely disappointed to basically lose half our port stops. Yes, we understand that a port can be missed for various reasons but the ship not being mechanically capable of providing the trip you contracted for isn't acceptable. While some folks on CC will say "hey, you were on a cruise! How bad is life?!" and others will say "if you wanted to go to a specific place you should just do a land vacation" I'd say the vast majority of cruisers choose their cruise based on the itinerary and price. We cruise to get a taste of different places and then decide if we want to return for a land vacation. Sometimes we want to return to specific locations for one reason and a weeklong trip isn't warranted. We really wanted to dive in Grand Cayman. I know several folks on our cruise who were so excited to go cave tubing, diving, snorkeling, or see Aztec ruins in Belize so yes; the loss of those ports really affected our enjoyment of the cruise. Costa Maya is not an acceptable substitute for Belize and by the time a lot of folks found out the itinerary had changed and made it to the shore excursion desk a lot of stuff was sold out not to mention forget trying to book something independent. We basically ended up with 4 sea days! Not what we wanted at all.Embarkation: We splurged on this cruise and booked a suite for DH and I and an inside for our two sons. This gave us priority boarding so we had the cab pick us up at home around 10:35 and we were tipping the porters at 10:50. (I love living that close to the port!) There was a separate door for VIP/priority but we were still required to stand in the regular line until we got to the place where you would go in the terminal with the regular line. DH was like "why don't we just go in here" and I said "they have separate lines inside". Well, no they didn't. We merged back into the same line to go through security. What the heck is that about?? Luckily, the line wasn't terribly long at that time of day so it didn't affect us and maybe as the line got longer they had a separate line for VIP/Priority but it really didn't make any sense. Security was ridiculous. They only had 2 lines open (again, maybe they opened more as the line got longer) and since this was a spring break cruise they were being extremely vigilant with looking for alcohol. According to one of the security guards, they already had a room full of alcohol they had confiscated! Once through security, we got our sail and sign cards (had a bit of an issue with our kids not being priority since they were in an inside and had to insist that their accounts were linked with ours and they are minors but it only took a few minutes to resolve-again thankfully because we got there so early and there wasn't much of a line) and before we even had a chance to sit down in the priority boarding area, they were calling our zone to board. We were close to the first ones on the ship and were sitting down in the Lido by 11:20 getting lunch. Not too shabby! Our rooms weren't going to be ready until 12:30 so in the future I would do FTTF since we had so much stuff we carried on with us. At 12:30 we headed to our rooms and our suite was ready but the boys wasn't so they dropped their carry-ons in our room and headed off to explore. Our luggage arrived around 3:30 even with our getting there so early.Food: We ordered room service quite a few times and it was always prompt and exactly what we ordered. A woman I spoke with said the chocolate cake from room service is delicious as an FYI! We went to breakfast in the Main Dining room our first sea day and the service was ridiculously slow. We ate in the Lido every day after that. I ate the same food but was able to get refills on my coffee, juice and water when I needed it. The breakfast food was hot and good and there was plenty of variety. Some stations had the bacon police and others you served yourself. What's funny is they always gave me more than I would have taken by myself! We went to the Steakhouse one night. This was our first ever visit to a specialty restaurant on 8 cruises. I ordered the lobster bisque as an appetizer, DS's both ordered the French Onion soup and DH ordered the shrimp cocktail. It was all good. The Caesar salad left us unimpressed. The waitress didn't prepare it tableside and it was definitely overdressed. I ordered the surf and turf entree with baked potato and sauteed mushrooms. DS16 ordered the 9 ounce filet with the 3 peppercorn sauce and a baked potato. DS18 and DH both ordered the 18 oz. ribeye-one with baked potato and the other with the creamed spinach. Wow. The meat was delicious and perfectly cooked. DH didn't like the creamed spinach (he actually had it in the MDR another night and said it was much better there) but the mushrooms and the little accompaniments on the plates were outstanding. We all joined the clean plate club! DH and DS18 ordered ice cream for dessert and DS16 and I ordered the chocolate sampler. The sampler was good but dang, it was so much food! I ate a couple of bites out of each glass and gave the rest to DS18. The meat was definitely better than anything we had in the MDR but I'm not sure if I'd do it again. Dinner was any time dining in the MDR every other night. We let our kids off the hook a couple of nights and they went and ate with their new BFF's on the Lido. We usually got to the dining room around 6:30-6:45 and never had a wait. By the time we would leave at 8:00 the line would be out the door and back by the art gallery place! Choose your time wisely! Our food was very good and always hot. We had the best waiter most nights-Carlos-and he would give us his recommendations. They were spot on. We became so dependent on him that when we couldn't get one of his tables, DH would take the menu to Carlos' station and ask him his opinion! I had had Carlos on my previous cruise on the Legend 3 years ago and was quite happy to see him still on the ship. I'm not the type to cozy up to the crew but he's awesome. Service: The crew was fabulous and the service was excellent. They did a good job of keeping us informed with what was going on with the ship other than the delay with Costa Maya. Everybody we dealt with was friendly, helpful and wonderful. Our cabin steward did a great job (especially with our boys' cabin-yikes!). Entertainment: We went to Jazz Hot one night and while the singers were decent (although I could hear Simon Cowell in my head making comments!) they were pumping smoke into the theater and it really aggravated my contacts and my breathing. We had to leave! Not even sure why the smoke was needed. We saw a couple of the comedy shows and they were jam packed, standing room only. Definitely need a bigger venue. They made me laugh so they did their job. The illusion show Justin Illusion was just O.K. The music was great but the illusions were pretty typical and in some cases you could see how he did them. It kept me entertained though so again, he did his job. More smoke though but this time I was seated on the main level and it didn't affect me. Ship: Here's where things aren't so great. The ship is looking a little sad. There are burnt out light bulbs all over the place-hallways and Follies lounge especially noticeable. Even the clock in one of the stairwells didn't work properly! The carpet is worn and frayed in places. I hate the Lido on this ship-the layout is fine but it is sooooo dark and depressing I hated eating in there! The safe is ridiculous-they are the type you need a swipe card to use. Luckily we had a few non-essential things with us we could use but the safe kept freezing on us. We had to have guest services come open it for us a couple of times! Only one outlet in the entire suite! Really?!? One outlet?!? And it's in the dressing area not even in the room itself. I tried using an outlet expander and it didn't work (and the expander works at home so it's not that.) The bed wasn't that comfortable either. Kinda lumpy. (loved the bedding though!) And with the propulsion issues, the ship was really, really creaky and rocky at night. Even when we were docked in Tampa overnight on Saturday (and really? We got back that early but you couldn't have given us some time in Grand Cayman?!??) the ship was shuddering! Disembarkation: What a joke and a nightmare! We were in zone 2 since we were in a suite and were told we could stay in our cabin until they called our zone. They were still trying to clear non-US citizens at 9:00! Our poor steward finally asked us if we would go to a public area so he could get started on our room at 9:30. We headed down to deck 3 and the line for self-assist was still longer than you could see. Finally at 10:00 they called our zone and we were able to get off. It was very smooth at that point-through ship's security, get our luggage and through customs into a cab. We were home by 10:30. Conclusion: All in all I would say we had an O.K. time. I certainly won't be sailing Carnival any time again in the near future until some time goes by without ship incidents. Yes, I get it the media is blowing it out of control, but three incidents like this in such a short period of time makes me question the corporate philosophy and maintenance behind them. We had lots of friends questioning us before we left about going on a Carnival cruise so soon after the Triumph and our answer to them was always "we'll have the best cruise EVER because they don't want another incident like that!". Well, we see how that worked out for us and our friends on the Dream! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2013
Embarkation We had pre-reserved parking at Capital Parking. Half the cost of the garage and about 5 min walk from the ship. Great Deal. We arrived at 10:30 and with Faster to the Fun (FTTF) were checked and waiting for the ship to be ... Read More
Embarkation We had pre-reserved parking at Capital Parking. Half the cost of the garage and about 5 min walk from the ship. Great Deal. We arrived at 10:30 and with Faster to the Fun (FTTF) were checked and waiting for the ship to be cleared to board. The process was smooth and well run. Once on board our cabin was ready as promised and luggage arrived by 1:00 pm. Spent most of day expolring the ship and a meet and greet with fellow cruise critics at the Avalon Bar. Sea Day Enjoyed the balcony and reading a book watching the ocean go by. Cozumel Did the Mayan ruins tour thru Carnival. Good trip, some interesting history. Nothing spectacular but a nice trip for the family. Belize Did not get of the ship. Been here before, just not much to see or do. Isla Roatan Booked the relax on the beach package thru Carnival. Rides on the Chair Lift, reserved Clam Shell's and beach floats. Great value and best relaxation day of the cruise. Started with an Attitube of bloody mary's then on to Corona's then a nice nap on the beach. Costa Maya Just wondered around the shopping village at port. Had planned to go to Tropicante but wife and kids to tiered to venture away from port. Sea Day More relaxing on the balcony with my book. Debarkation Smooth and Efficent. Highlights Chef Table is a must if you have not done this you should try it. Wonderful food, very interesting tour of the galley. DJ Anthony (Main Event) - you will see him everywhere, on the Lido, in the nightclub, at the buffet. Make sure everyone is having fun and knows how to the get the party started. Interior Carnival put a lot more effort and work into to the interior spaces on this ship and it shows. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2012
We just returned from another wonderful Carnival cruise. We are a family of 4 with 2 boys aged 7 and 9 on this trip. Embarkation- easy enough. From past experience, we decided to eat lunch first at Channelside and then board a bit ... Read More
We just returned from another wonderful Carnival cruise. We are a family of 4 with 2 boys aged 7 and 9 on this trip. Embarkation- easy enough. From past experience, we decided to eat lunch first at Channelside and then board a bit later. This allowed us to skip the hectic Lido scene upon embarkation. We also only had to wait 20 minutes to get our room. The line to board was a bit long, but moved quickly. Once we got our sail and sign cards, the rest was a breeze. The port itself was a bit hectic as it was a small area to drop off luggage and passengers. Everyone was friendly, though. Sea Days- there were 2 sea days. 1 at the beginning and 1 at the end. On these days, we spend our time sunning, swimming, eating, and just relaxing. The kids usually went to Camp Carnival for part of the day. More on that and the dining room service later. Grand Cayman- we went to 7 mile beach, specifically SeaGrape Beach (public). We paid nothing to flop down our towels. The kids had a blast in the water and sand. The water was crystal clear and warm enough, though refreshing for a hot day. We got some beers from Calico Jack's, which was very busy as the morning went on. Tip- instead of paying $5 pp for a taxi, go to the bus depot area by the library (or just hail one down as we did) and pay only $2.50 pp. There is no difference in the vehicle- both are air conditioned minivans. They dropped us off right at SeaGrape Beach. On the way back, a taxi driver snagged us and gave us the bus rate to ride back to the port with him. In a taxi, they wait to fill up the whole minivan before moving (which is why it's better to get a bus for the price). Cozumel- we did Paradise Beach after seeing good reviews. $2 per chair and $12 per bracelet. The bracelet allows you to use their non-motorized water toys: inflatable slides and trampolines in the water, kayaks, snorkel gear, life vests, paddle boats, a regular trampoline, and water floats. The water this day was not very good- it was murky and had a strong seaweed smell. The bracelets are optional and in the future we would only get them for the kids as my husband and I didn't want to get in the water. Even the kids weren't too thrilled with the water. The pool area is beautiful and next time we'd spend more time there. It's a huge pool with refreshing water. Taxis are $13 each way for a family of 4. Belize- next time we won't get off the ship here. The tender process is ridiculously long. They wait for the tender to be full before they left either side, which took us 30 minutes each time. It's another 15 minutes to get to each side. So you're looking at potentially 45 minute tender ride each way, counting the wait time. We went to the Wet Lizard which is directly in the port area, as we had heard that Belize is not good to do on your own. The Wet Lizard was not a favorite. We didn't mind the semi-party atmosphere...or even the slow service...but the fish tacos are probably the worst we've ever had and we don't consider ourselves picky at all. They were tiny pieces of breaded fish with cabbage and a lukewarm mayonnaise dressing. The nachos were ok and the fries were good. Not worth taking such a long tender process for, however. Roatan- we did a tour with Victor Bodden. Tex was our tour guide. Good price- $25 per person for a family of 4 or more. Tex took us around the different villages, took us to some lookout points for pictures, and took us to a dock where we could see a tourist place with trained dolphins that we could watch from a decent viewpoint. We also saw the monkeys at Victor Bodden's center- a highlight of our cruise. The tour guide was very friendly and made us comfortable with the animals. They will take you to the younger monkeys, who will climb around on you. They were very sweet and friendly. They also have some other small animals such as fox squirrels, parrots, etc. We ended the day in West End at the beach in front of Bananarama. We ate at the Thirsty Turtle, which had great service and food. The beach there is beautiful, though the actual beach (sand) was small. On the way back, Tex took us by a grocery store where I could buy a large bottle of vanilla and Honduran coffee for only $4. A great day! If you get motion sickness on winding mountainous roads, you might want to take something ahead of time. We felt a bit dizzy by the time we got back to the ship. Dining Room and Lido Buffet- both were great. We rarely had to wait in a line at the buffet due to multiple stations available. We had Your Time Dining in the Truffles Dining Room (MDR). We sat with three different servers and especially loved Elmer, Budi, and Wilfred. Budi, one of the assistant waiters, went out of his way to talk to us and our kids. He was very sweet. We also enjoyed having William as one of our waiters for some of the breakfasts we had in the MDR. The food was delicious- we never had a bad meal. Golden Fleece steakhouse- this is worth the $30 per person! The food was decadent. I had the surf and turf and the filet mignon was to die for...and I'm not a huge steak eater. Room- Plenty of storage, even for a family of 4. A bit cramped, but to be expected. The shower was ridiculous- we could barely move in it, it was so small. The sink area was spacious and plenty of storage available. Our room steward, Fernandez, was nice enough, although rather slow on our first day. He did get us what we needed each day and we aren't picky. The extended balcony was 2 feet deeper than a regular balcony. We wouldn't pay a lot to upgrade to extended, but we were able to do it for $40 total, so it was worth it in this case. Camp Carnival- Our kids *loved* Camp Carnival. They have been on previous trips, but seemed to like this one the best. They ate dinner with them twice and participated in their many activities. Rare was the day we didn't have a kid begging to go to Camp Carnival. The staff was very nice here. Debarkation- Slow, slow, slow. We didn't get docked until 7:30 and it was 10 before our zone was finally called. We ate a large, leisurely breakfast on the Lido and then sat around the Serenity area until we were called. Overall, this was a great cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2012
This was our 18th cruise, and 6th time on Carnival and 2nd time on the Legend. We stayed at the Intercontinental Tampa on a very reasonable cruise/park/stay package and all went perfectly. Comfortable hotel, great location, easy to use ... Read More
This was our 18th cruise, and 6th time on Carnival and 2nd time on the Legend. We stayed at the Intercontinental Tampa on a very reasonable cruise/park/stay package and all went perfectly. Comfortable hotel, great location, easy to use shuttle system through Blue One, and trouble free parking. The Good ( actually Great). I love the size of this ship, with only about 2100 passengers it doesn't feel too crowded. The serenity deck is very relaxing with comfortable loungers and hammocks for adults only. The spa is really nice with free use of the hot tub, the steam room, and sauna. The staff are all (for the most part) really nice, our room stewards and dining staff were very professional and did a great job! The food was very good. The lobster, seafood, Italian dishes were all amazing. Now the buffet doesn't have a large selection of choices, but there was always something that was really delicious. For example a seafood pasta with lots of delicious seafood in it, the fish was always tasty, fettuccine with a porcini type of sauce, and crab cakes full of real crab which was astonishing because they were on the all you can eat buffet and they were really good. I was definitely happily surprised! Our location of our cabin 7327 was really nice since it was very quiet, located in the aft part of the ship near coffee in the am, and near the Serenity Deck where we hung out most of the time. As for the Entertainment: the comedians were all hilarious! Scotty K was my favorite only because of his quick wit, and he was just outrageous! The ports were all pretty good! Cozumel: As always, we rented scooters from a company across the street from the port for $33 per scooter for the day. We drove out to Punta Sur and along the coast road which was so beautiful. We stopped and had a picnic on the beach which we had all to ourselves. I just love that area! Belize: Although the tendering process is extremely annoying, our tour of the Altun Ha ruins was pretty good. We booked a tour through "Experience Belize Tours" for $40 pp which was suppose to include a city tour, admission and tour of the ruins, beer and soda, and a return ride to the ship. The tour guide was waiting for another group who was going to be another hour, so he farmed us out to an independent guide by the name of Denise. While her tour did not include drinks or the admission to the ruins it was still pretty good and as an added bonus it was private. The ruins were pretty cool. We got there early and it wasn't crowded at all. In fact I was the only person on the largest ruin for awhile. Denise was very personable and even stopped at her favorite grocery store for me so I could buy some local coconut oil and cooking spices. I would definitely recommend this tour, we were back with plenty of time. Roatan: My favorite port! Gorgeous beach right next to the ship, although it was tempting just to hang out there, I had booked the Saddle and Swim West Bay through El Rancho Barrio Dorcas! Now I would not recommend this excursion if you are a real big person, as the horses are smaller and bit skinny. The ride was amazing! We rode through a residential area right through the funky little beach town of West End, ran the horses along the beach, and then rode briefly through the forest. The ride along the rode is a little nerve-wracking but the horses did fine and the cars seemed to notice us. Our guide, Isabel was just great. Very informative and laid back. This was one of the best horseback riding experiences I have ever had! Grand Cayman: We walked to the left of the terminal to Cayman Auto Rental and rented another scooter for $50 and headed to Rum Point . Rum Point is beautiful with free loungers under shade trees and crystal clear water! We brought our own flotation device and relaxed in the water under the shade of the trees! The Bad: Our first night in the Anytime dining was painstakingly slow! The waiter just sat and stared at something at his station for at least 5 minutes before coming to our table and we were one of the first tables to be sat. Dinner took at least 90 minutes with really long waits between courses. The next night we got another server named Ringo and he was great. We were finishing our dessert when the table in the other guys section who had sat before we did was just getting their dinner. We started to think the other server was really slow, since there was little incentive to move faster, he would get paid the same regardless, so why rush. The other minor annoyances are there are no chairs or loungers on the 3rd deck which would be a great place to relax. Also, the doors are locked to the bow of the ship, so you can only see forward through the tinted glass. The Ugly: The casino still seem rigged to my husband who sat down and instantly lost hand after hand of Blackjack. He had more money budgeted to gamble with but decided the odds of losing it all were 100% so he stayed away from the casino the rest of the cruise. The other really bad experience happened to us in the Punchliner Comedy Club. One server who called himself K-Man but wasn't wearing a name badge, got really nasty with us when we wouldn't buy a beer. He welcomed us into the club "hello my friends, here is your table, what would you like to drink?" When we told him "No thank you" to the drinks, he informed us the seats were for his "drinking customers". Wow! We moved to another seat, not a big deal. The next night he did it again. He set 2 unopened Bud Lights on a table and when my husband sat down, he said they were saved for someone who had ordered the beers, when he kept trying to steer people walking in towards the beers, they just looked at him and walked on. My husband told him " I know your scam and I am not moving". Finally he picked up the beers and did not harass us again. I guess I somewhat expected to be kind of hustled in port, but that kind of small time hustle on the ship itself was a bit of a shock. Besides the shows are free, there was nothing in the rules stating we had to buy some Bud Lights to sit there! Despite a couple of negative experiences, this was a really nice cruise and this continues to be one of my favorite ships and we would definitely cruise on it again! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
First time I've written a review here..so bear with me. We've been on several cruises and I have to say, this was the worst one! There were 6 of us, (3 couples) and one of the girls had never cruised before. Checking in was ... Read More
First time I've written a review here..so bear with me. We've been on several cruises and I have to say, this was the worst one! There were 6 of us, (3 couples) and one of the girls had never cruised before. Checking in was fairly quick, then we had to wait for 2 hours to board. We were told it was because of the time change, that most passengers did not set their watches or alarms forward and so they over slept. REALLY?? So, we sat and waited. When we finally were allowed to board, it was like herding cattle. People were shoving and pushing. Unbelievable. We got on board and went up to the Lido deck to eat. The food was awful, no variety very bland, and there was no where to sit. The crew in the Lido were not happy to see us. Our cabin was nice, over sized balcony, lots of closet space, a bath tub/shower & separate vanity area. We went to Muster. I was expecting it to be a little more serious in light of the Concordia disaster, but it really wasn't. People were on their phones, talking, laughing, not paying attention at all. And the crew member at our muster station was off in la-la land. I did see another crew member take a bucket of beer from a passenger and tell him he could get it back after the drill. CUDOS TO THAT CREW MEMBER!! Like I said, one our party had never cruised and she really wanted to hear the safety drill, but couldn't because of the rude passengers and lack of authority by the crew member. Our friends had chose the MY Time Dining, which I'm not a fan of, but went along with it. Still don't like it. We waited in line for 40 to 45 minutes to get a table. And then food was not good at all. It was cold and had no flavor. Our liquor bill on this cruise was probably the cheapest it's ever been. The bars were never open. The only one open most of the time was the pool bar, but we didn't like going out there because the music was too loud and awful. I'm not saying the singer was bad...but the sound system was terrible. It sounded like she was screaming the songs at us. The other singer only sang slow, mellow songs. Kinda put you to sleep! So much for a 'fun ship'.We went to a show in the theater one night. I ordered A (1) beer. The guy brought me a bucket of beers. I told him I only wanted one and he argued with me! Told me it was a better deal to get the bucket!! He did the same thing to our friends. He would not take it back. So, I drank the ONE I wanted, and put the others in the fridge in our cabin and had them when I wanted. I would've forced the issue, but we had already gone to guest service just to ask a question and found those crew members to be in a bad mood as well. So, I just blew it off. Which brings me to tipping. I don't mind tipping, we tip very well. But I should have the choice to tip or not or how much I want to tip. This automatic gratuity just ticks me off. I understand the crew work very hard. I also know that some people DO NOT tip at all, and that is not right. I just think as a consumer, I should have the right to tip at my discretion and in accordance with the service provided. The decor of the ship was dark and depressing to me. Way too much "legend' decor. As for entertainment...it was lacking also. The comedy shows were good, but that was about all there was to do. Sea days were kinda boring. Getting off the ship was another issue. We went to our designated lounge area at our designated time to wait for our number to be called. Again, no seats. We had to wait for 45 minutes to an hour because some NON-US citizens did not report to immigration as required, which held up clearing the ship for debarkation. The bridge kept calling for them to report and finally security started looking for them. Passengers were getting testy because they had flights to catch. They were finally found, cleared and we were allowed to get off the ship. We had a good time with our friends, but the one who had never cruised was very disappointed and said she probably would never cruise again. We love to cruise. We do prefer Royal Caribbean, but just recently took the Azamara Journey on the Titanic Memorial Cruise. Now THAT was a FINE cruise!!I received a customer service survey from Carnival, which I filled out and basically told them the same things. Still have not heard from anyone regarding the concerns. And probably won't. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
This is my first time actually trying to write a review, so excuse any errors/inconsistencies on my part. Just to preface our group and the tone of this cruise, let me say that I went on this cruise with my husband, parents, ... Read More
This is my first time actually trying to write a review, so excuse any errors/inconsistencies on my part. Just to preface our group and the tone of this cruise, let me say that I went on this cruise with my husband, parents, grandparents, best friend and uncle. We are all from FL with the exception of my Uncle being here from CA visiting. Everyone had cruised before but it was my best friends first time. We only had about an hour and half drive to get to the Tampa port, but we still got up and at 'em so we could get on the boat ASAP! Checking in was pretty easy and getting on the boat was smooth - it probably took us about 45 minutes to valet our cars, carry our luggage up, wait in line, check in, board boat, etc. Upon boarding, our friend asked us where our garment bag was and my husband and I looked at each other with disappointment as we never took the bag out of our closet. We had went shopping for new dress clothes and were so excited to wear them. We were pretty bummed out but nothing was going to stop us from having fun! We quickly found our way to a good spot on the Lido deck at the front pool. Muster was pretty quick and painless as well. Sailing out of Tampa was beautiful with the sunset and the bridge. I was pleasantly surprised at how nice of a boat the Legend was. This was only my third cruise (all Carnival) - my first was the Freedom and second was the Fascination (not comparable to Freedom!) and my husband and I were a little worried that it would be more like the Fascination but it was big and clean. The TV in our cabin was pretty thickly covered in dust which I found odd but it was promptly cleaned after my husband wrote "clean me" in the dust. Our cabin steward did an excellent job after that and he was very friendly. The rest of the family was on Deck 6 and their cabin steward was so nice as well. I think they were the nicest employees on the ship. There were a few bartenders that were very nice too, one named Silvia (I think). The seas were really rough all week but we'd heard that from many others we met in port from other ships. Many of our days (sea and port days) were overcast but the clouds (and even small amounts of rain) blew out pretty quickly. We really enjoyed the ship and found it to be very easy to navigate and laid out well. As a whole, the food was pretty Golden Corral-like. There were plenty of things that we enjoyed, but nothing stood out other than the beloved chocolate melting cake. The lobster was of course good and the steaks as well. They had a few different steaks available between the daily meal options and the classic flat iron steak. Both were very good. The Chopsticks area of the Lido deck was also tasty the one day I tried it ... of course the burger/hot dog/grill area was always good. The last night there was a crab cake appetizer that surprised me in how good it was. I really enjoyed all the soups I tried also: beef and barley, navy bean, black bean and chicken noodle. The only negative piece of this vacation was the staff aboard the Legend. Almost every person myself and the group encountered was awful. Most of my family prefers to sail on other cruise lines but my husband and I convinced them to let us plan one for us all on Carnival. They said it was definitely obvious the difference between the two. Everyone agree there was ZERO customer service focused staff members. Twice, we encountered staff being blatantly rude to us. We couldn't stand our waiter, he had terrible table side manner (had his notepad poking my head and hair while he took others orders, reaching in front of other people and he also couldn't see or hear very well -- he was just awful!) and spoke down to my mom at dinner one night after she asked him for A-1 sauce for my steak for the third time. A man in the photo area spoke to me in a similar manner, telling me that he'd told me three times. It's not my fault that you aren't speaking clear English for me to understand. I went to someone else to get the help I needed and the gentleman that helped me was one of the few people on board who went out of their way to take care of a guest (that we encountered). They were just very rude and most of our inquiries to staff were replied to with a "no" or an "I don't know". These people didn't want to help, plain and simple. The Lido deck lines were always closing earlier than the hours in the FunTimes. Our last day on the ship (sea day) they changed the time (DST) a day earlier without notice. We woke up for breakfast to be in the MDR at 9:30 and was told they were closed and that it was 10:30. They changed their time on Saturday at 2 AM instead of Sunday. I understand this saved a lot of confusion on the day we debarked (actual time change) but we needed notice. The Lido line was, as usual closing early again and I didn't get any breakfast. I wasn't very happy. The time change messed us up all day, and we were definitely late going to the Lido deck for lunch but it was 3:25 PM and they are supposed to be open until 3:30 but every single station was broken down, clean and without workers. As I said, I know we were cutting it too close, but for them to be done and out of there before time to close up? It's ridiculous. I was very upset visiting the deli once again. The maitre'D made little effort to accommodate us in terms of MDR seating ... we had our party split in two groups of four at two tables next to each other. We have two deaf, lip-readers and my grandfather who is hard of hearing and in a wheelchair. It felt like we couldn't really be together at dinner without someone feeling far away. More than half of our party has/does work in the hospitality industry and the behavior of the staff was just something we couldn't believe. My husband and I had never went to any shows on our past two cruises and were told by my parents that we needed to see some and that they are a great perk to cruising. We did a comedy show one night and also the Big Easy show on the last night. The Big Easy show was FANTASTIC -- we have definitely been missing out. The performers were so incredibly talented and the show was really fun to watch and participate in. I was usually pretty tired after our late dining, sun and drinks at the pool, so I often times headed to our cabin to get comfy and read the FunTimes after dinner. We enjoyed the casino numerous times and also Satchimo's Lounge. The band and singers were so great too. The slide was a lot of fun too but oddly was closed the bulk of our last sea day where we hoped to spend some of our day. When I asked a worker about it, I got three "I don't know" replies. I just shook my head and thought, why bother! We had some fun in Medusa's Lair on our first Sea Night as well -- everyone was dressed up and having a good time dancing. The boys enjoyed the gym a few times as well. This was also our first time doing excursions! We have went our own way in the ports we have visited as we are beach bums and mostly just like to find a quiet beach to relax and snorkel at. My parents are always doing fun excursions so we all went through tons of choices before we left and booked a few things together so we could get a mix of excursions and relax time. We booked through Carnival and weren't disappointed. I'll elaborate in the review of the day below. I figured I'd get some general information and thoughts together before breaking down the days. Debarkation was very easy for my husband and I, but I can't say the same for many others on the ship. We opted, as usual, to do the self assist option with our bags. We got off pretty quickly as we were on Deck 1. Customs was the easiest I've experienced. We had to wait over an hour for the rest of our family to get off. I guess there was some immigration issues with a few passengers and it was holding those up who hadn't gotten off yet. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2011
We scheduled our cruise almost a year in advance for our kids (all boys ages 18, 15 & 13) Spring Break. We drove from Virginia to Tampa and booked a room at the Holiday Inn Rocky Point for their stay and park package. It was a good ... Read More
We scheduled our cruise almost a year in advance for our kids (all boys ages 18, 15 & 13) Spring Break. We drove from Virginia to Tampa and booked a room at the Holiday Inn Rocky Point for their stay and park package. It was a good deal and we are Priority Club members so we thought it was a convenient to nab a few extra reward points from Holiday Inn. We checked in pretty late since we were driving down and got a 1:00 reservation the next day for the shuttle to the port terminal. I'm a bit of a control freak and like to be early every where and thought that it was going to be awful getting to the terminal so late but it turned out to be amazing! We got out, tipped the porter for our bags and headed inside. It took us about 15 minutes to get through the line and get our coveted sign and sail cards. Pretty fast! We headed on to the ship and while I was signing the kids up for the soda card, my dh was at guest services requesting our balcony door be opened between the kid's balcony and ours. We then went directly to our room which was ready and dropped off our carry on bags. We had taken a twelve pack of Pepsi, a 12 pack of sprite and a decoy 12 pack of Dr. Pepper. My husband had carefully unpacked the soda and repacked it with beer. We planned this year and had pre-purchased whiskey and Malibu to add to our sodas to keep our bar tab to a minimum. The Bon Voyage department had the alcohol in our room upon arrival packaged with a nice little bow. We also brought on a 12 pack of water. That was a pretty heavy bag and DH was happy to be rid of hauling it around. We then went up to the Lido deck and got our slices of pizza and first drink of the day. Soon we were underway and happy to set sail. We had early dining...we had the same early dining last year and it worked better for us last year. Our kids last year really enjoyed the Club O2 and Circle C clubs in the evening on the Carnival Sensation. They had lots of different activities and we rarely saw our kids. We were disappointed that although there were a lot of kids on board for Spring Break sailing the clubs had very few activities...mostly just karaoke and dance parties. Not really my kids cup of tea. There was plenty of drinking going on in the age group that was able to be in Club O2 and it got a little obnoxious. I don't blame Carnival as I mostly saw the parents buying the booze for their teenagers. Pretty sad but nothing that Carnival could do about it. I mostly felt sorry for the camp directors having to try to corral the kids. Anyway, early dining this year was a bust...we had Michael & Martin as waiters. Not a good experience at all...we were usually one of their first tables seated and we were always the last to leave. The timing is just off. We didn't even go to the main dining room on the last 2 days of our trip because it truly got to be a painful experience. A lengthy dinner and would usually make us miss the first pg comedy show and then we couldn't see the later shows because we were at the later pg show. Also missed all the sunsets....Food quality seemed to be a little off on this cruise as well. It wasn't bad but not anything that you would be raving about...the best food we had all week was the Chicken Fajita Wrap from room service. First Day was a Sea Day...we slept in (the beds and pillows on the Carnival ships are amazing. I haven't slept that good in years!) DH loves to gamble so he did some of that all week. He was a smidge irritated that Carnival now has a "Drinks On Us" promotion in the casino. The only caveat is that you have to earn 1500 points. The only way to earn the points is on the slot machines. My DH prefers that table games and I think we can all agree that more money is lost on the table games and they should probably find a way to "reward" their big players. A great little tip here though is that the sports bar just off the casino offers pitchers of beer. If you visit when a certain not to be named bartender to be protect the innocent is on duty he will give you 5 glasses of beer instead of the pitcher. So you can get a glass of beer and he will write on your receipt how many glasses he still owes you. It's $14 for those 5 drinks. Cheaper than the bucket of beer and you don't have to carry it around with you. We visited the Serenity deck this day too. What an amazing piece of paradise this is...the last sea day I was so jealous of the people that had nabbed one of the coveted hammocks to lounge and read all day. It just doesn't get much better. First port stop was Grand Cayman...loved it! What's not to love? Beautiful place and perfect weather. We had arranged to take the Pirate Encounter. What a fun shore excursion. Not great for sensitive little kids as the pirates will gather them on deck and make them scrub the deck and dump water on them. But for our teenagers it was awesome! I loved watching them swab the deck like real scallywags! After a short little tour of the bay they anchor up and let you jump from the pirate ship into the brilliant blue water of the Caribbean Sea. What an experience! (Safety note: Don't do a cannon ball from the top deck...it's further down than you think. One poor man on our trip did and it was the only time he jumped. I think he hit the water a bit hard in a certain region...ouch!) Anyway, great fun! We hit the Hard Rock for a yummy lunch before visiting a few shops. Not great shopping in Grand Cayman for you bargain hunters. We left empty handed except for some great pictures and a handful of fun memories. Next up...Cozumel, Mexico. We didn't plan any excursions on this trip. We spent the day bargaining with the locals. My eighteen year old learned the valuable lesson of negotiating while picking up some souvenirs from the region. My 15 year old got a t-shirt. My 13 year walked around all day with a big sombrero and happy grin on his face. And I found some great deals on pearl necklaces that DH did some negotiating and managed to get me 2 necklaces instead of one (guess who else had a silly grin on her face?) And DH visited the duty free shops for Crown Royal (2 liters for $35) and some cigars. What a fun day! Third port stop: Belize...again no shore excursion booked here...we just did some shopping around the port area in the safety zone. Interesting to see a few glimpses outside the safety zone and you learn real quick why they tell you to stay inside this area. When we booked this cruise, this was the destination I was most looking forward to...it sounded so exotic. In hind sight, I wish we could have skipped this day and had an extra day in Isla Roatan.Last port stop, Isla Roatan...or as I like to call it my future home! What a neat place! We had booked the Zip lining and Tabyana Beach Break. This was the entire family's favorite day. The zip lining was an absolute hoot! Only complaint...it went by too fast! Afterwards they take you by bus to the Tabyana Beach Resort. Fabulous place. The sand couldn't be whiter and the water a beautiful turquoise clear blue. I had a delightful nap on the beach here. The water was still a bit chilly but plenty of people were out in it snorkeling and swimming. Even by the shore you could see schools of fish and we even had two bigger fish come in for a snack from the little fish. Great times here and if you don't leave completely relaxed then you probably should have stayed home. You take a nice little bus drive through town. As with any third world country you see heartbreak and simplicity to life that makes you smile all in the same journey. They have recently built the pier area here and it is beautiful but again not a great place for shopping. In short, spend your money in Cozumel...book your excursions in the other ports and enjoy! This is a great cruise! We wouldn't hesitate to book this same cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2011
This was our first cruise and we took our 7 year old daughter and also travelled with another couple who have twin 8 year olds. Departure Day We live in the Tampa area so we didn't have to pay for parking. We used a shuttle ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we took our 7 year old daughter and also travelled with another couple who have twin 8 year olds. Departure Day We live in the Tampa area so we didn't have to pay for parking. We used a shuttle company and got dropped off right in front of the entry into the port. We arrived to Port 2 around 11:30am and it only took about 20 minutes or so to get onto the ship. Without getting into too much detail we were successful in getting our booze on board with no issue. We had a bottle of vodka and 1.75ml of Captain Morgan in "different" containers that all made it on board. Lunch on the Lido deck was crowded but that is too be expected with everybody waiting for their rooms. We were able to get into our room right at 1:30pm. Our cabin was a rear facing balcony and it was nice but I don't think I'd spend the extra money next time. We didn't have any issues with cigarrette butts or anything like that but there was a pigeon on board who left behind some "stuff" one of the days. Ship public areas I thought the decorations on the ship were great but this was our first cruise. I didn't find anything to be too over the top. The casino was really smokey but we didn't do any gambling so it didn't bother us. The pools were a decent size but were pretty busy on the sea days. We had a difficult time finding lounge chairs for the 4 adults together because people got out there early. Not a big deal because by the 2nd day we learned to get out there early as well. But it was pretty ridiculous seeing people put their towels out there and then just leave for an hour. It seemed like none of the adults were policing their kids with regard to the hot tubs. Rules say no kids without adult supervision and no food. But of course there were tons of kids in the tubs with ice cream, etc. Wasn't a big deal but if you want a hot tub with no kids you'll have to go to the serenity deck. Speaking of the serenity deck. I was only able to spend about 30 minutes up there since we had our daughter on the cruise with us we spent most our time at the other pools. It was nice to sit back there but not alot of chairs so it was slim pickings when my wife and I tried to find a spot one of the days. The dining room was great. We did the my-time dining and only had to wait 20 minutes on the first formal night. All other nights we were seated right away. Our first waitress wasn't very friendly so we made sure to sit somewhere else the 2nd night and found a great waitress (Roselle). All 7 of us sat at the same table and we were able to get her table every night for the rest of the cruise. We usually ate around 6:30pm and never had a problem bringing our own plastic tumbler glasses with lids and booze right to the table. One night we even brought our own wine bottles that were already opened. Roselle was great with the kids and made sure they had a great time. She brought them milk every night without asking and took extra time to make the kids feel special. She was the greatest!! The food was nothing to write home about and I usually stuck with the flat iron steak. The first night it was overcooked but after commenting about that it was perfect the rest of the week. Entertainment We went to a few shows and my wife did a few of the arts and crafts stuff during the day. I thought the shows were great and the juggler they had one of the nights was really good. The big New Orleans style show was pretty good but the ship was rocking that night from the choppy seas and I wasn't fealing the best. The comedy shows were alright. The woman who did the first R rated show was pretty funny but "Ramon" was pretty lame the next night. If you are going to do a comedy show you better get there early because the seats fill up fast. The piano bar had a sing a long one night and we went only to find out the lady was terrible. She could play the piano really well but she had a really bad accent or something and we left after 3 songs. They had different kinds of trivia and we did a few of them only to get 2nd or 3rd place each time. But it was fun and something to do. The 2 guys on the Lido deck stage did their ragae stuff and they were pretty decent as well. Camp Carnival The kids camp was decent but our daughter didn't prefer it so we only had her there 3 or 4 times for a couple of hours at night. They had alot of different activities but it was really warm in the play area and I don't think that helped. The twins that were also in our group didn't really like it either but we just bribed them with "pool time" so we could have some adult time a few of the nights. Debarkation Day The night before debarkation we had all the luggage tags delivered to our room. We packed and put our suitcases outside in the hallway at 10pm as instructed. We were group #7 which I thought was the number based on our cabin number but that isn't the case because we saw people with #17 on their luggage!! We got up fairly early and we were out of the cabin around 7:30am and up to the Lido deck for breakfast with our carry on luggage. The ship was docked by 7:45am but there were a few "non-American" citizen's who failed to follow directions and go to the show lounge for immigration. So Wee-Jimmy came on the speakers for a good hour telling those idiots that they were holding up the clearing of the ship. Once that was taken care of we were called around 9:00am and it took about 30 minutes to get through the line and through customs. We are already looking to book another cruise because we had such a good time on the Carnival Legend. I would highly recommend this ship and itenierary to anybody who is looking for a great vacation with their family. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2011
April 3, 2011 Carnival LegendBackground:I am an avid fan of Carnival Cruise Lines. This was my 11th Carnival Cruise, so I feel I have a good sense of the product and quality they strive for. Carnival is simply the line that offers the best ... Read More
April 3, 2011 Carnival LegendBackground:I am an avid fan of Carnival Cruise Lines. This was my 11th Carnival Cruise, so I feel I have a good sense of the product and quality they strive for. Carnival is simply the line that offers the best bang for an inexpensive buck. They do not pressure you in to buying things like other lines do. It is offered, but not over killed. Their rooms are larger than most. The product is consistent. If a situation arises - they always do at some point - no matter the cruise line - Carnival seems to work things out. Why this cruise? Price, ship, and Itinerary! Tampa, FLWe arrived at the port a day ahead of schedule. We ended up staying at the West Shore Embassy Suites. Excellent choice. We took a cab for about $20.00 with tip to the hotel. We had four of us together in the vehicle. We walked over to the mall across the street and ate lunch at P.F. Changs. Always a favorite. For dinner, we were blown away with outstanding seafood at Mitchell's Fish Market. Sean Wetherington is a fantastic manager there and was very personable. Try the Halibut! It comes from Skagway, and it tasted exactly like it did when I was in Skagway. The restaurant was also part of the mall along with Maggianos. Breakfast was included with the hotel costs. We left the hotel at 11:00 and took a cab from the hotel. The cost was about $30.00 with tip. They can arrange drivers for $10.00 a person too. The Port at TampaI like this port. It is simple, and it is located in the downtown area. If you are their early, feel free to see the Florida Aquarium which is next door. The Rydam was in port also. The process was standard. We got their at 11:30a.m. We were on the ship before noon. The rooms do not open up until 1:30, which is standard. We ate lunch at the back of the ship - Serenity section - recently added in January. The ShipIf you like the Miracle, Pride, or Spirit, you will like the Legend. It is much different than the "everything goes through the Casino on deck five" concept that was started with the Destiny. The decor is a little over the top on the Sprit Class ships, but this one was a little tamer. The ship was recently in Dry Dock, so you can tell that things have been taken care of. Legend (Spirit Class) is essentially, floors 2 and 3 are the main activity parts of the inner ship while the 9-11 th levels contained all of the outside pools. One of the mid pools is the covered type, but it stayed open due to the wonderful weather the entire trip. Layout was easy to get around, and the elevators were plentiful. We had room 8272 - great back room. First time with a room on the back. View was great at ports. Kept finding myself looking at the wake and not the scenery. Less light at night makes it great for star gazers. There is a constant shimmy that might bother some due to the engines. My family had 8235 - awesome - I think it is a mini suite for the price of a standard balcony!!!! Get it!Since this was Spring Break for GA, Indiana, and Michigan (lots of people from there!), there were several kids of course. These kids were very mild mannered and did not create any issue for us. We spent most of the time at the back of the ship in the adult only section. It was extremely well policed. One of the Carnival Team members was amazing at making sure it stayed that way. Dinning I am a traditionalist with this. As much as cruise lines like to play with the idea of "Anytime dining," it is not my style. I like the connection we have with the staff. For this cruise we did see an issue with the bar staff in the main dining, but it was addressed quickly. Our assistant waiter at table 308 was almost non-existent. We give all of the credit to Natalia. She was wonderful! The food was a little different than past cruises, but the main staples were there. Lobster night was the first formal night. The staff had fun with their standard songs and routines. The service was great. The food was great. A well done job Carnival Style. (Non-Carnival folks who travel with Celebrity and Holland - please understand that this is not at that level. It is wonderful, but please go into it knowing that.)Shout out to the Lido on the Legend!A sore spot for me on other cruises. Not the Legend - I am not a huge fan of any Lido decks, but this one has to be my best. The food and crew are amazing. Everything was fresh and hot. Items were picked up and food was plentiful! Way to go Lido crew!Casino One downside to this class of ship is that the Casino seems to capture and retain smoke more than any ship I have been on. It must be due to location, but it seemed to me to reek of smoke in the Casino more than other ships. Several others I talked to mentioned that. The casino seems smaller than its smaller 70k ton counterpart ships, but that may be just my perception.ShowsIt is carnival. The opening night show, seen it many times, was lackluster. The performers really seems bored and not happy to be there. Come on Carnival - 8 years now - let's make a new one. The Motown Show with Marcus Anthony was the biggest hit. I have seen him before, and he was amazing. The Jazz Hot show was pretty good. The Big Easy show is a fun one, but the performers did not really make it happen for me. It was flat until the Graveyard/scare house set. Carnival - let's move on to some new shows... First time cruisers will not notice this stuff. You will enjoy it!The ports of callGrand Cayman - Great port for shopping. It is all about the Stingrays. Lots of options here. Safe! We booked the Tiki Beach through the ship - avoid it big time. Get a cab and go to seven mile on your own. The area we were at was covered in old rock coral. It hurt your feel to walk on it. We spoke to the cruise excursion folks about this. We have never asked for a refund or partial refund for an excursion, but we did this time. The shore excursion office and customer service desk got around to it with the wonder help of Assistant Cruise director "weezy." They took care of us with this small, but frustrating issue. Cozumel - Wow - as always - a great variety of things to do here. The excursions are all fun. Go swim with the Dolphins here! We did that last year and loved it. Great sporting excursions too! Shopping is wonderful here too. Belize - Cave Tubing is the best thing going here. Snorkel and diving are a close second. This port is really being built up better and better. Keep it up Belize. The whole tender issues was no problem. I could tell the tender staff still have some issues to resolve with themselves. They were vocalizing their complaints to the people on the tender. They were safe - most important thing! Rotan - WOW!!!!! Love this port! Top three ports for me in the Caribbean. We went to Tabyana beach - oh my gosh!!!! Wow! The snorkeling costs 10$ at the beach and boy was it worth it. The best seaside snorkeling since St. John. Beautiful water. Wonderful beach club. The port was brand new and they were willing to deal with the Jewelry! The port in town that the Grandeur was at was in no way as good as ours. Simply Beautiful!!!!!Getting off the ship....Simple process. We like to do the Self assist. It works well with us. We were off in no time. If you have more than one piece of rolly luggage, you will have to wait for the elevator. They will make you take it when you get inside the terminal to go down to the street level. Customs was standard with no delay. We took the cab for $25.00 to the airport. We were at the airport before 9:00 am. Overall:This was not our favorite Carnival experience. It was in no way bad though. It was a fun cruise! The itinerary was wonderful. It is the best way to see the Western Caribbean. Experienced cruisers and new cruisers will like it, keeping in mind that this is a Carnival - not Seaborne. Enjoy it, relax, take in the excursions, and enjoy the food. Great job Carnival! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2011
We cruised Carnival Legend the week of 4/17. Overall, it was a fantastic cruise. It was my son's and my 3rd cruise, my boyfriend's first. We were celebrating my son's 16th birthday, my boyfriend's 30-something ... Read More
We cruised Carnival Legend the week of 4/17. Overall, it was a fantastic cruise. It was my son's and my 3rd cruise, my boyfriend's first. We were celebrating my son's 16th birthday, my boyfriend's 30-something birthday and spring break. Embarkation:Was a breeze. We took the 10:00 a.m. shuttle from our hotel (The Tahitian Inn) to the port, we dropped our bags with the porter, got in line and were through security and checked-in in probably 20 minutes. We waited for about 30 minutes before they started boarding and I think we were on board and on the Lido by 11:30 a.m. Got a drink, hit the buffet and just basically hung out until we could go to our rooms. Our bags had already arrived when we got there so unpacked and headed back out to explore the ship. If you're not directionally challenged, the layout is fine and it's easy to get around. If, like me, you don't know your aft from your starboard from your port, well, it's still easy to get around, if you don't mind longish walks. We were in cabin 8175, somewhere under the Lido deck. I was expecting some noise in the cabin but was pleasantly surprised. We could hear some noise from our balcony, of course, but the cabin itself was quiet. We did have a couple of instances of being able to hear some running, deck chairs being dragged, etc but they were brief and generally not bothersome at all. We had an informal meet and greet with the cruise critic roll call up on the Lido after the safety drill, that was nice. Met a lot of people we'd been talking to, had a drink, the usual stuff. Then, off to dinner at Truffles. We had Anytime Dining, which was great. They seated us right away at a booth for 3, prompt service (though long waits for bar service, even sodas), the waiters were friendly and helpful. Son ordered the flat iron steak, said it was just ok. He's a steak-lover and didn't order it again so, well, there you go. Boyfriend and I ordered the southern fried chicken, which was really surprisingly good. I'd heard some negative comments about the food quality, portion sizes, temperature issues etc. Having loved the food and dining room on previous cruises, I was expecting somewhat of a letdown but I have to say, I thought it was absolutely on par with past experiences. The food was good to excellent, hot things were hot, cold things cold, portions were, if anything, too big. I don't think I finished a meal there once. The service was also good to excellent. Perhaps not as much small talk as before but that's not something I mind one way or the other so it wasn't a negative for me at all. I won't go into details on the rest of the week, suffice to say, all in all, the dining room was excellent. Day 2We basically just explored the ship, hung out on deck, relaxed. We had our formal meet and greet in Billie's piano bar. Wee Jimmy (hilarious!), the captain and the rest of the senior officers came by. They were as pleasant and gracious as can be. Wee Jimmy hosted a Carnival trivia and gave out lots of medals, some ships on a stick and some champagne. He was as nice as could be and super funny. Just loved him. We had dinner at the Golden Fleece, which was absolutely wonderful and well worth the $30/person charge. I had the lamb, boyfriend had the filet and son had the 24 oz porterhouse (and ate the whole thing)!. It was FABULOUS! Went to the Punchliner comedy club, the comedians all week were tremendously funny. Day 2 - Grand CaymanHad an early stingray snorkel with Captain Marvin, which was great. Getting off the ship on a tender was fast and easy. Ditto returning. Be aware, though. They do require picture ID at the port when returning on the tender. Cozumel as well checked IDs. Roatan and Belize they didn't even ask for our passports. Day 3 - CozumelWent to Mr. Sanchos. It's a nice beach but I have to say, check how many ships are in port before you book. They were booked solid and they didn't have nearly enough staff on-hand. We had the all-inclusive booked and it was a waste of money. I don't mind going to the bar to get drinks myself but it took over an hour to get my lunch (everyone else got theirs) and when I did, it was so salty it was inedible. Never even saw the waiter after he took my order the first time so couldn't order anything else. Complained (politely) to the manager, who was very concerned with making it right but by that time, we were ready to go. He offered free t-shirts to my son and his friend (both 16) but they gave them youth larges instead of adult, so that didn't work out so well. But still, we had a good time and it is a nice beach. Day 4 - RoatanLoved Roatan. Booked a tour with Victor Bodden, he was excellent. Basically just did some sightseeing around the island, went to the monkey preserve (which we all loved), had some lunch and did some shopping. One complaint. That hill at the port that you have to walk over to meet the private tours? It's a killer, especially in the heat and humidity. I saw people pushing wheelchairs, strollers, on crutches etc and they were having a VERY difficult time. Carnival said there were cabs that would take you over for $2/person but when we got to the cab stand, they said they were for Carnival excursions only. So, don't know what's up with that. But, that is something Carnival should address, that hill is a lawsuit waiting to happen. Day 5 - BelizeHad a Carnival excursion to Altun Ha and the River Wallace boat cruise. That was absolutely amazing, highlight of our trip, I think. The ruins were breathtaking, we had an excellent guide and the River Wallace tour was beautiful (if maybe a touch too long). We saw howler monkeys, crocodiles, manatees and iguanas. Note, though, on the boat there is absolutely no shade, you will be in full sun. Hat, t-shirt, water and sunscreen are must haves. Day 6 - Day at SeaMore relaxing, hanging out, shopping and packing everything up. How I got it all in our bags I will never know! Day 7 - home againI think the disembarkation process would have been a lot better if the non-US citizens had bothered showing up for customs when they were called. As it was, they had about 40 cabins who didn't go to customs. Took about an hour to track them down. Once they were cleared, it went pretty quickly. We did self-assist and were off the ship and on the road by 10:00 a.m. Not Carnival's fault, they did the best they could under the circumstances but it was a little frustrating. General notes:We saw several shows, overall they were very good to excellent. We had a Motown Review show with Marcus Anthony who was absolutely fantastic! The casino was fun, I lost money, always do so no surprise there. The only "bad" thing was Billie's Piano Bar. I was so looking forward to finally getting to go to one of the piano bars and the woman singer was bloody awful. We tried a few times during the week, thinking maybe she was just having an off-day but no, she was just terrible. Apparently I wasn't the only one who felt that way as there were never more than a dozen people in there at any one time and most people were walking in and walking out in 10 minutes or less. Kind of disappointing but there's always next time.What I saw - lots of kids (about 800). What I didn't see, misbehaving kids. In my experience, the kids were behaving pretty well and I didn't see any instances where they were being so grossly misbehaved that I wanted to throw someone overboard.What I saw - lots of people. What I didn't see, chair hogs, people smoking in non-smoking areas, non-smokers spraying Lysol at smokers, drunk people throwing up in the pool (though one poor child did), long lines at the buffet (except at the chocolate extravaganza, WOW, that was a popular buffet lol), surly waiters/room stewards, disorganization, chaos or anything else. All of the things people b!*)(, moan and complain about, I didn't see. All in all, I'd give this cruise an "A," it was great and I can't wait to do it again soon! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2011
So my 7 fun and sexy best friends and I decided to go on the Carnival Legend for our senior year spring break. After spending 3 months writing a thesis on things, we were ready for one hell of a time. As we approached the loading dock we ... Read More
So my 7 fun and sexy best friends and I decided to go on the Carnival Legend for our senior year spring break. After spending 3 months writing a thesis on things, we were ready for one hell of a time. As we approached the loading dock we were anxious to see cute boys also boarding but were quite surprised to see the age group excessively exceeded our own as most of the members averaged between 65 and 95. If not, the closest boy to our age might have been 13. We walked onto the boat and were greeted by a sexy foreign pirate who we later found out was named Miodrag. It was around this time that the heavy drinking for the week began, which was paralleled to our shrinking college budgets, seeing as a shot cost $8, where as at school these days I can buy a handle of vodka for $12. So complaint #1, we were ripped off with alcohol. We enjoyed the comedy club since the main act was a cynical older lady who resembles what I imagine I may be like in the future. Duh because I am pretty and fun. We thoroughly enjoyed serenity, minus the fact that we actually had to fight people off for our seats, including the embroidered sweater vest man (you know who you are buddy, and guess what you are a complete jerk who will probably be alone forever) and also got into a fight with a rude little boy who stole all the chocolate froyo. We also really enjoyed our meals and wait service. Everyone was extremely nice, especially Denissa. However, we did not that the crew had demanding hours and low pay. We also loved the casino. That turned out to be a huge hit as I personally became a blackjack addict in a matter of an hour. The excursions were awesome as were the places we visited. The gym was really really hot and needed air conditioning, also there was only 1 freaking outlet in the entire room. 3 girls in a room with 1 outlet? NOT OKAY. We also managed to find some friends on the boat who we really loved / love. The general "design" of the boat was absolutely heinous. Legends? Really? Serenity looked great and was named accordingly, but what happened to the rest of the boat? The "Unicorn Cafe?" Like honestly? Oh and one last thing, we had an absolute blast taking pictures every night before dinner. So if you were on this cruise I am talking about, I am sure that you can personally identify the group of girls writing this review. I would like to take this time to apologize if you found us to be annoying. Though I am sure we are also saying things that you personally agree with. So Carnival, overall here are some tips.1.) Make a spring break cruise AIMED at ONE age group instead of all. 2.) Please give your crew better hours and more respect. They were all soooo nice and deserve higher pay. 3.) REDECORATE THE BOAT. On an end note I had one of the best times ever. Just making some suggestions.... Read Less
Sail Date: March 2011
My husband suggested we have a special family vacation and planned this trip a year ago knowing our oldest would be a senior in high school this year and it could be our last family vacation while our kids are both still kids. He ... Read More
My husband suggested we have a special family vacation and planned this trip a year ago knowing our oldest would be a senior in high school this year and it could be our last family vacation while our kids are both still kids. He researched different possibilities and suggested a 1 week cruise out of Tampa (which worked well since we could visit his sis in the Tampa area before the cruise)on the Carnival Legend. The travel agent informed us there were newer Carnival ships but we wanted to leave out of Tampa. We are happy we choose the Tampa departure and the Legend. A few months ago friends decided to join us, they 2 have 2 teenage boys.The Legend experience was great for all of us. Those who wanted relaxation could lay out on the adult ony Serenity deck (although it was often challenging to find an empty chair) and those who wanted to go, go, go had opportunities for that too.I was impressed by both the embark and debarking processes which went smoothly, although the muster station safety instruction required drill wasn't as impressive. OUr room was very nice (ocean view with extended deck) and our kids were right across the hall in an inside room with no window or deck but they were thrilled to have their own space. Our room steward, Paulcy, was kind, professional, helpful, always smiling and willing to go the extra mile to make our experience wonderful. He kept us well stocked with towels and kept our room very clean. Each night we returned to find our bed had been turned down, chocolates for each of us and cool towel animals. All the room stewards and "room cleaning staff" always greeted us, smiled and were polite. The 4 teenage boys had a blast with 02 Club and met friends that I'm sure they'll stay in touch with through Face Book. It's not always easy to find something besides video games for teenagers to do, but they were very happy with 02 Club. We had a good balance of family time and time for the adults to hang out without kids and vice versa.The dining room experience was great. Our staff of Argentina and Eke were wonderful. They were very attentive, polite and kind. The food was quite good and there were lots of choices. There were a couple times where someone didn't care for their food and it was not a problem for them to get something different. I recommend the Warm Chocolate Melting Cake w/icecream which was offered every night as a dessert choice. There were lots of choices on the 9th floor for breakfast and lunch. Most of that food was pretty good. Pizza is available at most any hour and there's a self serve icecream station w/soft serve.Drinks are very expensive. Water, lemonade and icetea are free. Juice at breakfast is too. Any soda or alcohol is expensive though. Soda is $2.24 per can which includes tip. Any time you purchase soda or booze a gratuity is automatically added. I didn't feel that the bartenders were pushy about selling these items as I read in other reviews. A pina colada w/tip was about $10. It was very good, but $10 is a fortune! You must put it on your room card and you get billed at the end which means you could be in for a quite a surprise. You can purchase a soda pass which includes a cool Carnival tumbler/cup w/lid, unsure how much that was we didn't do it.The shops on board had a decent variety of items. The jewelry shop had drawings most days for free jewelry. The staff there was nice and helpful. The young man who conducted the jewelry raffles (you could get a free ticket) was really funny and upbeat. The other store had t-shirts, rum cakes, booze, postcards, cigarettes and an assortment of nice things and typical junky souvinirs. The salesperson there was a little pushy. Every time you would make a purchase he would not only remind you that you could get a 2nd one for less, but would ask who it was for, wouldn't you want the 2nd one for yourself, and on and on. That got annoying.We loved the cruise director, Wee Jimmy who was wee in height but not girth. He was fun, engaging and made us laugh like crazy. He was born to be cruise director and is fabulous at it!! The last night there was a Legends Show with the dancers and singers from the cuise and also passengers could try out and get a part. My husband was Garth Brooks and had a fabulous time rehearsing with the crew and performing at the Final Show. That was really fun and special.Overall I would recommend Carnival. All 8 of us had fun, had time to relax and play! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2011
Our cruise on the Carnival Legend was planned for a year and something that we all looked forward to. Our family group included me, my husband Paul, my daughter Chelsea (18) and my son Andrew (14). Since Chelsea was a senior in high ... Read More
Our cruise on the Carnival Legend was planned for a year and something that we all looked forward to. Our family group included me, my husband Paul, my daughter Chelsea (18) and my son Andrew (14). Since Chelsea was a senior in high school, I looked at this trip as the last time we may all be able to take a family cruise together. This was my 6th cruise (4th with Carnival), my husband's 4th cruise (3rd with Carnival) and the 3rd cruise (all with Carnival) for the kids.We started our journey on Thursday, March 17th. As soon as the kids were out of school, we drove from the Quad-Cities to Chicago, where I had booked a Park & Stay package with the Marriott Midway. Normally, we fly out of the Quad-Cities airport put the airfare prices were so high, I ended up booking tickets on Southwest out of Chicago Midway. Check-in at the Marriott was very smooth and we carted our luggage up to our room. None of us slept very well that night. Maybe it was the anticipation of the trip but it was probably more likely the fact that all 4 of us were in 1 room with 2 queen beds and we knew it was going to be a short night. Oh well, we were on vacation.At 3:10 a.m., the alarm went off. I jumped out of bed, took a quick shower and got dressed. Everyone else slowly got up and got dressed. We secured our luggage and hauled it back downstairs to the lobby. We were to catch the 4:00 a.m. shuttle to the airport, as our flight was scheduled at 6:00 a.m. I was surprised at the number of other people who got on the same shuttle. It was a quick ride to the airport and we got in line at the Southwest ticket counter to check-in. I had printed off our boarding passes the day before, so we just needed to hand over our checked luggage and show our ID's. Driving to Chicago to catch a flight (2 ½ hours from Moline) might have been a pain, but we did have some advantages. The biggest one was that Southwest still lets you check 2 bags for free. Because of this, we ended up taking 2 garment bags. With the 50 pound weight limit, this really helped us out. We could pack a lot of our cloths in the garment bags and have plenty of room in our suitcases for everything else.Once we were checked in, we headed for the security line and on to our gate. No problems to this point and we were at our gate with an hour to spare. This was the first time that my husband and I had ever flown Southwest so we were not familiar with the boarding process. Once we figured it out, I thought everything went very well. Before the trip, I told the kids that it would be possible that we could all get separated and get stuck in a middle seat. We would just need to make the best of it. This turned out not to be a problem as we were in the "B" boarding group and on each of our flights, we were able to at least get 2 seats together. Andrew & Chelsea would sit together and Paul & I sat together. Paul was nice enough to always give me the window seat and take the middle seat. All flights were full and they were asking for volunteers to give up their seats. The flights down to Tampa went very smooth (return flight was another matter) and we arrived on time. When we arrived in Tampa, we headed off to collect our luggage and get our Hertz rental car. The sun was shining and the temperature was warm. We were definitely in Florida.Several months before our trip, I had tried to make hotel reservations at the Marriott Waterside in Tampa but rooms were never available. As we were prepared to leave for our trip, I understood why. The first round of the men's NCAA Southeast region basketball tournament was being held in Tampa and this hotel was right next to the arena. The hotel was completely booked. I ended up making reservations at an Embassy Suites in Brandon. It was approximately 20 minutes from the airport and 20 minutes from the Port of Tampa. It was located in a quite area but we were also close to the freeway. Since we really were not planning on spending much time at the hotel, this hotel worked very well. The price was right and it included a 2-room suite, free parking, the manager's cocktail reception each evening and a full breakfast each morning. On Saturday, March 19th, we headed down to the Sarasota / Bradenton area. As a meeting planner, I had worked with the Hyatt in Sarasota back in October, so I wanted to stop by to say hello and show the family where I had been for almost 2 weeks. After leaving the Hyatt, we grabbed a quick lunch and then headed to Bradenton to attend a Red Sox Spring training game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Paul is a huge Red Sox fan, so this was something that he was really looking forward to. He purchased the tickets as soon as they went on sale. The stadium was a lot smaller than a major league park but it was really nice, as you were so much closer to the action, even when sitting in the outfield bleachers. The weather was beautiful with sunny skies and temperatures in the 80s. Even though this was a Pittsburgh home game, there were at least 50% Red Sox fans. The Red Sox lost the game but we got see a lot of the current players and enjoy a great day. We took the long way back to Brandon so that we could go over the Skyway bridge. It was really tall. We knew that at the same time tomorrow, we would be going under the bridge as we sailed away from Tampa. Embarkation DayWe woke up on Sunday, March 20th, to another beautiful day. It was sunny, the skies were blue and the temperature was going to be in the mid-80s. What a great way to start off our cruise. After having breakfast, we checked out of the hotel and drove to the Marriott Waterside hotel to drop off our rental car. Hertz had a location here and they made the process very easy. We just dropped off the car with the bell staff and Hertz had a shuttle to take us to the Port of Tampa, which was located less than a mile from the hotel. The hotel was very congested with departing basketball fans but we made our way to the port without incident.We arrived at the port by 10:00 a.m. As soon as the shuttle dropped us off, a porter found us right away and took our luggage. Tipped him $10 and headed to the line. I thought we were really early, but there were several people who were already in line in front of us. We noticed a lot of people dressed up for a wedding and we learned there were going to be two weddings onboard the ship that afternoon and there were several people who would be attending the wedding and reception but would then get off the ship before sailing. By approximately 10:30 a.m., they opened up the doors to the port building. We slowly made our way inside and headed upstairs where we went through lines similar to what you see at an amusement park. Once we went through security, we went to the VIP check-in line, where we didn't have to wait at all. Paul & I had booked a Vista Suite and this entitled us to VIP check-in. We were in cabin 4237, which was an aft cabin with a huge wrap-around balcony. We also booked cabin 4233 for the kids. This was an inside cabin right across the hall. The check-in process only took a few minutes and the friendly carnival rep escorted us to the VIP waiting area. It was just an area in between the wedding parties and the general boarding group, but it was fine.Shortly after 11:00 a.m., they began boarding the wedding parties and one other group that was touring the ship. By 11:25 a.m., they came to escort the VIP group onboard and within 5 minutes we were walking into the atrium of the ship. We were finally here! While we were able to get onboard early, we were told that our rooms would not be ready until 1:30 p.m. We went up to the Lido Deck to grab some lunch. We got a table that was close to the new Serenity area in the aft section. Before getting my food, I went out and took some pictures of the area before it got crowded with people. At that time, there was no one there. I knew I wouldn't see it this way again for the entire week, so I took advantage of it. I ended up getting some pretty good pictures. I also took Chelsea with me so that I could get some pictures of her without a lot of people in the background. With Chelsea being a senior in high school, it was natural that I would want senior pictures taken of her. She really didn't want senior pictures taken. I was really surprised. I thought everyone had senior pictures taken. I ended up making a deal with her to take pictures during the cruise. I didn't know if I could get a ship's photographer to take pictures of her the way I wanted, so I thought that I could take some. Much to my surprise and delight, I found out that Carnival now will set up private photo shoots. Dreams Studio was onboard with a professional photographer and you could set up a 1-hour photo sitting. The pictures were a little more expensive than the normal 8" x 10" photos you buy on the ship but they did edit and retouch these. After talking to the photographer, we booked a sitting for 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday. This would be a couple of hours after we got back from Grand Cayman. Another nice thing about this photo sitting was that there was no sitting fee and you were not obligated to buy any pictures. This was just what I was looking for, so I was very excited.Once 1:30 p.m. came, we were able to go to our cabins. We first stopped by cabin #4233 where the kids were going to stay. It was your basic inside cabin with 2 beds, 3 closets, a desk and chair and bathroom. I was glad to see that the Bon Voyage gifts that I had purchased for them were waiting for them. For Andrew, I got a cute Carnival collapsible cooler with a glass mug with the Carnival logo etched on the side and a six-pack of Coke. For Chelsea, I had purchased a pink drawstring tote bag with a pink t-shirt and visor. Both the tote bag and t-shirt had some bling. The t-shirt had the words Bon Voyage spelled out in tiny crystals and the tote bag had Carnival in tiny crystals. Very girly! After taking some pictures of their cabin, it was off to our cabin. Paul & I were in cabin #4237. When you first walked in, there was a hallway to the living area. In this area was a couch, chair, bar shelf, desk & chair, television and refrigerator. On either side of the living area was a walk-way. On the left side, the walk-way led to a dressing area. In this area, was a granite countertop with wall-to-wall mirrors. There was also a stool and several drawers. You could also access the bathroom and walk-in closet from this area. Between the dressing area and the living area, there was a pocket door that could be closed. Also, between the dressing area and bedroom, there was a door that could be closed. The bathroom was a nice size with double sinks and a spa tub / shower combination. The faucet in the tub was a little different. It took me a few minutes on that first day to figure out how to make the shower work. The walk-in closet was really nice too. There was plenty of space to hang up all of our clothes and there was a long shelf on top of that. To the side, there was another deep shelf area. There was a door that closed this area off too. The bedroom was on the other side of the dressing area. In the bedroom, we had a king-size bed, several drawers, a safe and another TV. There was also another walkway that connected the bedroom to the living area. Off this walk-way was the door to our balcony. The balcony was huge. We had two lounge chairs, two regular chairs, one chair with a lounger back and two end tables. This balcony was the major reason we booked this cabin. We spent a lot of time out on this balcony all week.It wasn't long after we got to our cabins that our luggage started to arrive. This was the quickest I have ever received our bags. One by one they started arriving and we started unpacking. Within 20 minutes of when the first piece arrived, we had everything but Paul's main suitcase. Since it was still early, I really didn't think anything of it and we continued unpacking. It was nice to have everything out of the suitcases and garment bags and put away. Then we just slid the suitcases under the bed. We were still waiting for Paul's suitcase when we received a knock on the door. Great, his bag had arrived. Not exactly. There was someone there who handed us a piece a paper. Apparently during the baggage screening, they found some prohibited items in his suitcase. Oh no. :oWhile we were in Tampa, Paul had purchased a six-pack of Dos XX beer. He had drunk 2 of them and thought he wouldn't have a problem bringing the other 4 bottles on board. They wouldn't nab him for 4 bottles, would they? They sure did! The note told him to report to a lower deck right after the life boat drill, with keys to his luggage so that they could open it up and check things out. He went down there and had to stand in the line of shame with several other people. He opened his bag and they took out the 4 bottles of beer. They told him that he could pick it back up next Sunday morning. I'm surprised they did that. I thought they would just discard it. Paul then brought his suitcase back to the cabin.The lifeboat drill was held at 3:15 p.m. and was relatively painless. In past cruises, we always had to drag the life vests down with us. Now, they don't require you to do this. We just had to go to our muster stations where we listened to the safety briefing. Then after a few minutes, the ship's horn blew (very loudly) and the drill was over. While Paul headed to the line of shame, the kids and I went up to our balcony to prepare for sail-away. I was hoping that Paul would make it back in time. Right at 4:00 p.m., the thrusters started churning and the ship was moving away from the dock. It slowly turned around and we were headed out of the port. It always amazes me how effortless the captain can maneuver this huge vessel. Everything was so smooth and the Tampa skyline started to fade away into the distance as we made our way out to sea. Paul made it back to the cabin with his suitcase and we were all able to enjoy our sail-away. It took us approximately 90 minutes to reach the Skyway Bridge. We took several pictures from our balcony as we went under.After relaxing on our balcony for a while, we went out to get the tux's we rented through Carnival and then on to the photo studio to book Chelsea's private sitting. Then before we knew it, it was time to get ready for dinner. We decided to book the late dinner sitting at 8:15 p.m. and were assigned to a table for 4 on the 3rd deck in the Truffles dining room. Our table was close to the entrance of the dining room, which was fine. We met our waiter and he asked all of our names. From that night forward, he always addressed us by our first names during every meal. I thought this was a nice touch. Our wait staff was very friendly and efficient throughout the week and made our dining experience enjoyable.On the first day of our cruise, Paul and I decided to purchase one of their wine packages. They offered three levels with each level being a little more expensive. Within each package, they offered several bottles of wine to choose from. We looked them over and decided to go with the basic package. There were several wines we have had before, so we felt comfortable purchasing. In the package, you received five coupons and could use these anytime during the cruise. We really enjoyed this feature and we used the coupons at dinner. The nice thing was that if you didn't finish your wine, they would cork it, store it and bring it out the next evening. These five bottles lasted us all week.After dinner, we attended the Welcome Aboard show at 10:15 p.m. We met our Cruise Director, Wee Jimmy, and some of his staff. I thought the show was entertaining. I always like going to these shows because it really gets your cruise off to a good start. During the show, they brought on a couple of comedians that would be doing shows over the next couple of days and they were both very funny. One thing that is new from the last time I cruised was the schedule of the comedians. They have turned the Firebird Lounge (the lounge that is under the main show lounge, Follies) into a comedy club. From 7:30 p.m. each evening they will rotate their comedy shows every hour. The first shows are considered family shows and then starting later, they offer the adult-only shows. I really liked how they did this. You had several chances to see one of the shows and in the middle of the cruise they brought on new comedians. Paul & I went to several of the shows and the lounge was always full. After the show, it was time to head back to the cabins and call it a night. Couldn't wait to crawl into the comfortable Carnival bed!Monday, March 21st - Day at SeaToday, we woke up to warm weather and blue seas. We had breakfast in the dining room and then headed off to enjoy the day. Paul spent a lot of time on our balcony reading. The kids and I went up to the Sports Deck to play miniature golf. It was a lot of fun but very windy. It was difficult to make any kind of longer putt, because the wind would totally take the ball way off course. It was still fun. After golf, we participated in the digital scavenger hunt. That was a lot of fun also. We didn't win, but came in a close second. If we would have won, we would have received a medal. No ship on a stick. For that, you can upgrade by turning in three medals. We participated in several events throughout the week, but never won. This is the first time we didn't get a prized trophy. I'll just have to keep the one I received on the Pride. We also joined up with several people from the Cruise Critic message boards. A private cocktail reception was planned and there were over 50 of us who attended. The price for cocktails & dry snacks was approximate $12 for adults and $6.00 for those under 21. They served the standard variety of drinks they offer during the past guest reception. If you wanted anything different, you had to wait at the bar. There was only one bartender, so the service was a little slow, but we received plenty and enjoyed meeting several new people. Thanks to MagnoliaFly for putting this together.Tonight was our first formal night and I wanted to make sure we had some photos taken. I told everyone to be ready by 6:15 p.m. We would go to the Captain's Reception and then get some photos taken. Well, when Andrew got dressed and came to our cabin, I was horrified. The sleeves on his tuxedo jacket were so short. It looked ridicules. This was not going to do. Instead of going to the reception, we headed down to the Formalities Shop. The clerk looked at his jacket and re-measured Andrew's arm. The shirt was fine but the jacket was way off. The problem was they didn't have any additional jackets of that size. She ended up giving him a larger jacket and rolling up the sleeves. I was pretty disappointed to say the least. I wanted a formal family picture and this ill-fitting tuxedo wasn't what I wanted. What else could I do? We just had to make the best of the situation. While Paul's tux fit ok, he noticed that the zipper pull on his pants was replaced with a safety pin. Even though we were able to tuck this so it wouldn't show I was disappointed again at the product we received. I did end up sending a note to the Bon Voyage department after we got back and requested a partial refund. I will be interested to see if I hear back from them. For the money we paid for these tuxedos, I expected better.Once we finished up in the Formalities Shop, we headed off for pictures. We had several taken in front of various backdrops and on the stairs. I was hoping that some of these would turn out well. I really wanted to buy a few. After we finished up with the pictures, I did go to the photo gallery and bought our embarkation photo. This would be the first of several photos that I would buy throughout the week. We still had a few minutes before dinner, so we went to the Enchanted Forest and sat for a little while. This is the area that was next to the Follies show lounge. I remembered this area from the Pride and that no one went there. It was the same way on the Legend. We just relaxed here for a little while and then headed to dinner. We had a very nice meal. In fact, the meals all week were very good. I had no problems with the food on the ship. There was a great variety and something available all the time. At the conclusion of dinner, Paul just wanted to go back to cabin and get out of his tuxedo. The kids and I went to the Follies Lounge for the Jazz Hot show. The dancers and singers were very good and the live band was excellent. We really enjoyed the production but we were getting pretty tired, so we left before they were completely done. Off to our cabins and those comfortable beds.Tuesday, March 22nd - Grand CaymanToday was our first port of call, Grand Cayman. We had booked an independent tour with Captain Marvin's for snorkeling and Stingray City. I had done quite a bit of research prior to our cruise and Captain Marvin had many positive reviews. Since we didn't have to meet at their office until 9:30 a.m., we were able to have a leisurely breakfast before catching a tender to the port. The tender process went very smooth. We just walked down to deck level A, got in line and within a few minutes we were on the tender heading in.Once we got off the tender, we headed to the tour office. When we checked in, the clerk told us that they had closed the sand bar for Stingray City due to rough water but they thought they would open it back up on a limited basis and we would be able to go there. I was really hoping so, because I was really looking forward to this. When it was time to go, we hopped on a bus for a 15 minute ride to where the boat was. We all got in and headed off to our first snorkeling stop. The boat was a good size, but there were probably only 35 to 40 people onboard. When we got to the snorkeling spot, the kids and I got in the water. Paul is not a great swimmer and wears glasses, so he didn't get in. He just took pictures from the boat. The water was really rough and it was difficult to snorkel smoothly. I would put my head in and snorkel a bit while being bounced around. When I looked up, the current had taken me quite a ways from the boat. I was concerned about this and told the kids to stay close to the rope that they had thrown off the back of the boat with a life preserver. Even with the choppy seas, I was able to get some pretty good underwater pictures of the coral, several kinds of fish and a stingray that was hanging around.After swimming here for a little while, we all got back in the boat and went to our second snorkeling stop. Again, the water was pretty rough and we were being tossed around pretty good. The kids knew the drill and didn't swim too far from the rope. Once we were done here, it was on to Stingray City. We did notice that there was a patrol boat in the area and he was only letting a few boats at a time get close to the sandbar. We did have to wait a little while but were then given the green light to go in. The experience here was awesome. There were so many stingrays of various sizes. Once the squid came out, they were all over us. They would swim up to you and rub up against you. A few times, they even came up out of the water right at me. I wasn't really scared, but I couldn't help screaming like a little girl. Something about this was just a little unnerving and the feel of the stingrays was so different. I was able to get some good pictures even though the water was still pretty rough. We did find out after we got back to the ship that the Carnival tours to Stingray City had been canceled. I'm glad we booked an independent tour.We finished up with the stingrays and then it was time to head back. On the boat ride back, we were able to see a sea turtle and a very large stingray. When we pulled up to the dock, we saw two very large iguanas sunning themselves and checking us out. We gathered up all of our belongings and headed back into town. We didn't have a lot of time before the last tender, but we did have enough time to pick up a few souvenirs, including a Cuban cigar for Paul. We then hopped on a tender, got back to the ship and headed to the lido deck for a late lunch. Then we all headed to our cabins to see sail-away and then we all showered and freshened up.At 5:00 p.m., Chelsea & I met with Gabor at the photo studio for her sitting. He took us to several locations on the ship, both inside and outside and took several photos. When he was done, he told us it would take a couple of days for him to have the prints ready. I was anxious to see how these would turn out. We went back to the cabins and spent some relaxing time on the balcony before it was time for the show. It was a Motown theme featuring Marcus Anthony. He was a great singer with a lot of energy. We all really enjoyed his show. After the show, we headed off to another great dinner and then Paul & I went to the late comedy show. The place was packed and the comedian was really funny. After this, we checked in with the kids and called it a night. We knew that we would have to get up early tomorrow for our tour in Cozumel.Wednesday, March 23rd - CozumelToday, we got up early and grabbed a quick breakfast on the Lido Deck. We had purchased the Mayan Ruins of Tulum tour directly with Carnival a couple of months before we left. This was the only ship's tour that I had purchased. Because of the distance from the ship, I just felt safer doing it this way. We had to report to the Follies Lounge at 7:45 a.m. and as soon as they cleared the ship, they started calling tours. The Tulum tour was the first one they called and it ended up that we were the first ones off the ship.They escorted us to the next pier over where there was a ferry waiting. Once we were all on, we headed over to Playa Del Carmen. The ride took approximately 45 minutes. From there, we walked over to several motor coaches. The bus ride to the ruins took almost an hour. We did stop along the way for a restroom stop / shopping stop. The kids got a couple of t-shirts but overall, I thought the souvenirs here were too expensive. After a short time, we were at the ruins. This area is actually a national park and it was really well kept. Our guide told us what time we needed to be back on the bus and he told us that we had about 3 hours in the park. We all walked to the entrance to the ruins and the guide gave us information about what we saw. It was pretty warm that day and the sun was really beating down. After about a 30 minute narrated tour, we were on our own. We walked around a little more and went down to the beach for a while. It was pretty crowded, so we headed back up, walked around more and took some pictures. While we were walking around the ruins, we were amazed at the number of iguanas. They were all over the place. Some were very small and then some were pretty big. We even saw a couple of fights between some larger males. Once we got back to the entrance of the park, we had a quick snack at the cantina that was there. The food was really good but the service was pretty slow. I'm sure it was because of the amount of people there. We were able to finish up quickly and then headed back to the bus. There were some local vendors that I would have liked to visit but we just didn't have time. When we got to the bus, they had cold towels, bottled water and snacks waiting for us. This was really nice. The bus ride back was a bit quicker because we didn't make any stops. We got to the ferry and headed back to the ship. We were supposed to be back onboard by 5:30 p.m. for a 6:00 p.m. departure, but our ferry didn't get back to the dock until 5:35 p.m. There was a Carnival rep waiting for us, so I knew we had no problems. I would have been nervous if this was an independent tour. We got on the ship without incident and headed to our balcony for sail-away. As we were heading out, I saw a small boat approaching the ship. Looks like a few people missed the 6:00 p.m. departure. Watching my ship sail away while I am still on port is one of my biggest fears. I wonder what these people were feeling.We all got cleaned up for dinner and had another great meal. After dinner, the kids went off to the Lido Deck and Paul & I headed to the Liars Club show held in Follies. This was listed as an adult-only event but I did see several kids there. The cruise director Wee Jimmy, the assistant cruise director, Wheezy and the social host Juice Box were on stage. There were given an unusual word and each of them had a definition. It was up to the audience to decide who was telling the truth. It was pretty funny. The words sounded a little PG-13, but the definitions were not bad. The first word they had was fullfart and they all had some pretty funny definitions. Wee Jimmy's definition was the correct one. It is when a ship is going full speed ahead. Who knew! They had 4 or 5 different words and I think I only guessed one correctly. After the show, we headed back and checked on the kids. They were both tucked in and ready for bed. We wanted to do the same thing, as we knew we needed to get up early again for our tour in Belize.Thursday, March 24th - BelizeBelize was another tender port and we were approximately two miles from the port. I had made arrangements with Wendy, from the Cruise Critic roll call boards, to join on the cave tubing tour through CaveTubing.com. Since she had a group of over 10, we were able to get a discounted rate of $40 per person. This was quite a bit cheaper than what the ship was offering. We needed to get on the first tender to shore, so we went to the Follies lounge and they grouped us by Carnival tour vs. independent tour. We were given a sticker for independent tours, but we were early in the group. Carnival did a good job by prioritizing people. Those that came into the lounge first, would be first out. They first called out the Carnival tour groups and then they started taking the independent tour groups. We were on the first tender of the independent tours. As soon as we got to the port, we walked through the shops and found the CaveTubing.com buses waiting for us. We got on the bus and as soon as they had everyone, we left. The drive to the cave tubing spot took close to an hour. Once we arrived at the location, we were all assigned our tube, life jacket and head lamp. Then the trek started. We walked for quite a while. Our guide did stop from time to time and pointed out the various varieties of plant life. This was very interesting and it also gave us a little break from the walk. Once we finally got to the river, the guides helped us all get into our tubes and then they connected us together in groups of 8. Then there was 1 guide for each group of 8 and they would pull us through the cave and river and would let us know when we needed to have "butts up!" Some areas were pretty shallow and the river bed was rocky. After floating through the cave, they brought everyone over to a sandy area on the side. We took off our head lamps and life jackets and would could get into the stream and cool off. The water was very refreshing. After a while here, we all got back on our tubes and floated the rest of the way down the river. Once we got close to our ending spot, we were able to un-hook from our groups of 8 and float down individually. This was a lot nicer as we didn't need to grab onto someone else's tube and could float at our own rate. At the place that we got out of the water, it wasn't too far to get back to where the bus was. We had time to walk back and use the restrooms. Then we got on the bus and drove down to where they have their ATV tours. They had a nice tamale lunch for us all. We had to buy our drinks but the lunch was included in the tour price. We didn't have a lot of time here, but we were able to eat and buy a couple of "Butts Up" t-shirts. After lunch, we got back on the bus and headed back to the port. We did get back with enough time to do a little shopping at the port before we got on one of the last tenders.We got back to the ship and headed to the cabin for sail-away. The sail-away isn't quite as dramatic when you are already 2 miles out to sea, but we still enjoyed it. There were not late passengers chasing the ship today. After a little while relaxing on our balcony, we all got ready for our Past Guest party in Follies lounge. The place was full. We received a couple of the free drinks and a couple of appetizers that the waiters were passing. Paul & I did go up on stage with several other couples to dance. They had a Carnival trivia contest for all those on stage, but we were eliminated after a couple of questions. Too bad. Another chance to win a ship on a stick was eliminated. We then saw the video of all the Carnival ships, both past, present and future. We also learned on this cruise that the Spirit will begin cruising in Australia in 2012. I would love to be on that repositioning cruise. The only thing that I really missed from previous past guest parties was the little funnel pin they used to hand out. I guess only platinum members get those now. I would have bought it, but they were not even available for sale. Tonight we enjoyed another great meal in the dining room and Paul & I headed out to see another comedy show. The comedian that we were expecting to see did not make it on the ship due to the fire that had taken place at Miami International. We saw someone else, but he was very funny, so we would just have to come back tomorrow night to see the other comedian.Friday, March 25th - RoatanWe woke up to the sounds of pulling in the port of Roatan this morning. It was another beautiful day and as the ship was backing into the port, we could tell that we were really going to enjoy this island. The port area at Mahogany Bay was new and everything looked very clean. Today, we had a private tour booked with Victor Bodden. We were going to go horseback riding and then tour the island. We knew from the communication that we received previously that we would need to leave the port area and walk over the hill. At the bottom of the hill, we could see several people with signs, so we knew we were going in the right direction. We checked in with them and they introduced us to our driver, Tex. He was a nice young man and quickly got us going on our way. We went directly to the horses and since we had arrived a little early, we had to wait a few minutes. A couple of other people joined us from the ship, so we had a group of 6 on the riding tour. Once we were all on our horses, our tour guide led us on our adventure. He took us to some very beautiful areas including the beach. When we got to the beach, we were able to take our horses into the water. The cool water must have been very stimulating to the horses because most of them pooped in the water. I felt bad about this as I wouldn't want to be swimming anywhere around this. Hopefully, this was washed out to sea quickly.You could tell when we were getting close to the end of the ride because the horses started picking up pace. I grew up on a farm and had horses and anytime we would go out for a ride, they would want to return home at a faster pace. We did a lot of trotting and bouncing, bouncing and trotting. Even though I hated the ride to be over, I was glad that the bouncing was over. I would estimate that our ride lasted approximately 90 minutes. At the conclusion of the ride, we paid our horse guide and Tex was waiting for us to continue with him. He asked again what we wanted to do and I told him we wanted to see the island, find some places where we could take pictures, do a little shopping and grab a quick bite to eat. He certainly didn't disappoint us. He drove us around and showed us some breathtaking views. He stopped so that we could take pictures. In one location Chelsea mentioned something about this being a computer wallpaper. Tex thought that was a great idea, so he took out his iphone and took a picture himself. He took us to several locations, including Victor Bodden's house. We paid for our tour there and he had restrooms and a little shopping area. There were many things made out of wood that were really neat and well priced. I bought a wood basket weave-style trivet and a wooden ice bucket. The ice bucket was very solid and was made from several types of wood. It was really pretty and looks very nice in my home.After some great stops for pictures, Tex took us to a beach-side bar. We ordered some drinks and appetizers and sat staring out at the beautiful blue water. I could just sit here forever. It was so calming and relaxing. Alas, all good things must come to an end. It was time to head back to the pier. We had a wonderful day with Victor Bodden tours and for the 4 of us; they only charged us $25 per person. This did not include the price for the horseback riding but for the time they spent with us and the fact that we had our own private driver that would take us wherever we wanted to go, I thought the price was very reasonable. We wouldn't have gotten any ship's tour for that price. We gave Tex a $20 tip and said our farewells. We did have a little time before we had to be on the ship so we did do a little shopping at the stores near the ship. Then it was time to head in. It didn't take us long to board and we headed back to our balcony for sail-away. It was hard to believe that it was already Friday and we were leaving our last port of call. Where had the week gone?After spending some relaxing time on the balcony, it was time to get ready for our last formal night. Our show was before dinner but I wanted to stop by the photo gallery to view Chelsea's photos from her private sitting, so I told everyone to be ready by 6:30 p.m. We then headed to the photo gallery and met up with Gabor. He showed us (12) 8" x 10" prints that he created. I thought they all turned out great and I wanted to buy them all. I had also talked to him previously about getting a CD with all the pictures so that we could order more prints when we got home and use one of her pictures for her graduation open house invitation. After some negotiation we agreed upon a price for all 12 prints and a CD. He told me they would be ready for pick-up on Saturday. It made a dent on our Sail & Sign card but I told my husband that we would pay similar prices back home and at least Chelsea would have senior pictures different from everyone else in her class.The show that night was called the Big Easy. They had music and dancing that related to New Orleans. There were many costume changes and great visual effects. The production was fantastic but you could also sense a feeling that our cruise was almost over. After dinner, Paul & I went to our last comedy show. This was the comedian that had trouble getting to the ship the previous day. This comedian was a ventriloquist and he had his dummy with him. His show was hilarious and I was so glad we went to this. After the show we headed back to the cabin and prepared for our last full day. We knew the cruise was almost over but we had one more day at sea and we would enjoy it to the fullest.Saturday, March 26th - Day at SeaToday we woke up to another beautiful day. Paul and I let the kids sleep in a little, so we headed to the dining room for breakfast. Since we were only a group of two, they sat us with another group. This was the first time all week that we sat with someone we didn't know. We ate several breakfasts and a couple of lunches in the dining room but since we usually had 3 or 4 in our group, we always had a table to ourselves. I don't mind meeting new people and actually expected this, so I was a little surprised that this only happened one time.When we finished up with breakfast, we went back to the cabin and called the kids for them to wake up. I wanted to start the packing process early so that I could spend some time out on deck in the afternoon. The kids brought their suitcases over and all of their clothes that they didn't need for the rest of the trip. As they went off to the Lido deck for breakfast, I started packing. I would pack one bag; weigh it and then go on to the next one. Prior to the cruise, I had purchased a handheld luggage scale. I looked like a handle with a hook on it. You would turn it on and when it read 0000, you put the hook on your suitcase and lifted it. Once it beeped, you could set the bag down and the weight of the bag would still be listed on the read-out. This worked out great and took very little space in our luggage. It wasn't long before I had both garment bags packed and 3 out of the 4 suitcases packed. I still had plenty of room in our 4th bag. This would work well, as we wanted to buy a couple of bottles of liquor from the ship gift shop later that afternoon and I wanted to pack it. I was very pleased with our progress and knew that I didn't have much left to do later that day.We wanted to have lunch in the dining room for the last time, so we headed up to Truffles for a great meal. After lunch, Paul went back to our balcony to read and write out some post cards. The kids and I went up to the Lido deck to try and found some lounge chairs. I thought we would have a really difficult time but we found three chairs together right away. We were not by the main pool. Instead, we went up a level and found chairs near the kid's pool and entrance to the water slide. Since I just wanted to lie out for a while and soak up some sun, this was perfect. When we got a little warm, we would head to the water slide. This was a lot of fun. Once I learned to keep my mouth shut after my first trip down, it was even better. That salt water is nasty.The rest of the afternoon was spent getting our last taste of ice cream on the Lido deck and doing a little shopping. On the last day of the cruise, they had a sale of their Carnival t-shirts. You could get 2 for $20. They also had a boxed watch sale. You could get a watch and 2 other items for $19.99. Some boxes had a necklace and earrings or necklace and bracelet. Some of the men's watches had the watch and a wallet or various other things. We also purchased out 2 bottles of liquor that day. If you bought this after 3:00 p.m. in the gift shop, they would let you take it back to your room. This worked out well for us as we could pack it right away. From what I understood, if you bought liquor in the gift shop prior to the last day at 3:00 p.m., they would hold it and then deliver it to your cabin the last evening of the cruise. If you bought liquor in port, they would hold it and you would have to pick it up on the last morning of the cruise. This wouldn't have worked well for us because we were doing the normal debarkation where you had to have your bags outside your room by midnight on Saturday night.Prior to dinner, we went to the Cruise 411 show in Follies lounge. Some of the social hosts were there and they would answer questions from the audience on what it was like to live and work on a cruise ship and any other questions they had. This was very informal and informative and people had some great questions. I always thought it would be great to work on a cruise ship but it would be so hard to be away from your family for long stretches at a time. Our last dinner onboard was great, as usual, but I was sad to say goodbye to the staff and to the great meals we had all week. After dinner, we went to the Legends show in the Follies lounge. This was basically a talent show made up of a few passengers. Some were better than others but I give them all credit for getting up in front of an audience like they did. After the show, we made our way back to our cabins to get our luggage out in the hall. Everything was packed and locked and ready to go. I double-checked with everyone to make sure they had left our clothes and underwear for the next day. Once the bags were gone, there would be nothing we could do. Luckily, everyone had the proper attire set aside, so we would be good for our trip back home. It was then off to bed for our last night in those wonderful beds.Sunday, March 27th - Debarkation Day (Heading Home)You could tell that the ship was getting closer to Tampa. The ship was slowing down and there seemed to be a bit more shuddering. Not sure what was causing this but it did wake us up earlier than we wanted. Shortly after 6:30 a.m., the Legend pulled up to the dock at the Port of Tampa. We were back and our cruise was over. This had to be the worst part of the trip. We all got dressed and headed to the dining room for one last breakfast on the ship. You could tell it was the last day because they didn't have any bananas left. They were either all gone or too ripe to serve. After breakfast, Paul headed to pick up his confiscated bottles of beer and the kids and I headed back to the cabins to get our remaining items packed. I was surprised that Carnival didn't throw out his beer, but they didn't. They taped the 4 bottles together and I packed them away safely in the small roller-board that I was going to take off the ship but check through at the airport.When we were given our debarkation tags, we also received a note that instructed us to meet in Satchmo's lounge by 8:30 a.m. We had also gotten the Zone 2 luggage tags. I think this lounge was for VIP cruisers because we were escorted off the ship shortly after the self-assist passengers were gone. They didn't announce our group. They just came and got us. I didn't request early departure tags because our flight wasn't until after 1:00 p.m. but we were still in one of the early departure groups. The debarkation went very smooth and we were off the ship a little after 9:00 a.m. We got a porter, found our bags and sailed through customs. All in all, this was probably the smoothest debarkation I have ever had.I had booked our transfers to the airport through Blue One for $10 each. Our porter took our bags across the street from the port terminal building, into the large parking garage. We waited a few minutes for our van to arrive and then we were off to the airport. We did make one stop at the Marriott Waterside to pick up a few more passengers but we had plenty of time before our flight, so we were fine. As we drove away, we could see the Legend fade away off in the background.We had a flight on Southwest Airlines back to Chicago and our check-in at the airport went very smooth. Once we got to the gate, we still had over 3 hours to kill, so we got the computer out and sent notes and pictures out to everyone and I event posted some pictures out on Facebook for all my friends and family to see. We also had time to get some lunch at a Chili's Too restaurant. Before too long, it was time to board our flight. Everything on our flight went fine until we were near Atlanta. The pilot had told the flight attendants to discontinue the beverage service and sit down because we were going to experience some turbulence. Boy did we! We hit the worst turbulence that I have ever experienced in my life. The plane was violently shaking and people were screaming and crying. Beverages ended up on the ceiling of the plane and snacks were all over the place. People lost books, Kindles and all sorts of stuff. I could see Chelsea across the aisle from us and she was very upset and crying. All I could do was mouth to her that everything was going to be ok. What else could I do? After what seemed like forever, the major shaking subsided and things smoothed out. We were sitting in the last row of the plane and the flight attendants were sitting in the galley behind us. Someone looked back to them and asked the how bad that was on a scale from 1 to 10. They said it was about a 7. I couldn't image much worse than that but I guess it does happen from time to time. The pilot did come on the intercom later to let us know that we had gone through a major thunderstorm that had developed quickly and they had no choice but to fly through it. He also told us that the remaining trip to Chicago should be much smoother. Thank God it was and we landed at Midway safely. I think everyone was glad to get off the plane.It took us a while to get our luggage and find our shuttle back to the hotel, but we were finally on our way. We got back to the hotel and our car was sitting just where we left it, with no damage or flat tire. ? We loaded everything up and started our drive back to Moline. We didn't make any stops, so we were home within 2 ½ hours.Overall, I thought the entire trip was fantastic. The weather was perfect and we got to do everything we wanted to do. I would book another cruise in a heartbeat but there are other trips we need to take first, so it will probably be a while. I will just have to be content with the memories and pictures from this cruise to get me through until that time.Miscellaneous Comments / Observations? We did laundry a few times on the ship. We were very fortunate that there was a laundry room just down a few cabins from us in the aft section of Deck 4. There was one washer and two dryers plus an ironing board, sink and vending machine for detergent and fabric softener. It cost $3 to wash a load and $3 to dry. I thought it was a bit pricey, but we took plenty of quarters and it was nice to keep up with the dirty laundry. We were close enough that we could put in a load and relax on our balcony while we waited for the load to finish.? We were told that the ship was full and we figured it would be due to many families being on Spring break (including us), but I never felt like it was crowded. We were able to find lounge chairs on deck and there was always places to sit at the shows. In fact, I was surprised at the lack of people at some of the shows. I can remember those always being packed in the past. The only shows that were really full were the comedy shows in the Firebird lounge.? I was very happy with all three of our independent tours with Capt. Marvin, CaveTubing.com and Victor Bodden. I would not hesitate to use them again or recommend them to others. They were all very contentious about getting us back to ship with time to spare.? When we went to the Cruise 411 Q&A on the last day of the cruise, someone in the audience ask what was one thing that they would like all passengers to know. Juice Box answered that passengers can either decide to enjoy their cruise or not enjoy their cruise. If they complain about every little thing that may not go right, they won't enjoy their vacation. I totally agreed with her. If I nit-picked the few negative things we experienced, it would not have served me well. Things happen all the time and it's up to us to make the best out of it. I went into this cruise expecting that I would have a great time and nothing that happened changed my opinion. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2011
We are a family of 4- me, husband, son (17, turned 18 on cruise), and daughter (14). We have cruised before, but this was our first time with Carnival, and we enjoyed it. We live in Ontario, so we were glad to get away from a cold and ... Read More
We are a family of 4- me, husband, son (17, turned 18 on cruise), and daughter (14). We have cruised before, but this was our first time with Carnival, and we enjoyed it. We live in Ontario, so we were glad to get away from a cold and snowy winter! We had driven down to Fort Myers, FL, the previous week, then drove up to Tampa on the Sunday, to start our 2nd week of holidays. My husband parked the car, in the parking garage, for $98, after he dropped us off with the luggage. While we waited for him to return, there were alot of people already filing into the terminal/building at !0:50. There was just a sporadic line-up outside, but more of a line-up, further inside. Once on board, we ate at the Unicorn Cafe, then started touring the ship.Stateroom: It was a bit larger than we thought it would be, and we enjoyed having the balcony to sit on, during the week. It made a difference, not having to leave the room to go out and get fresh air or to enjoy a sail-away. We also enjoyed our continental breakfasts out on it, and always stepped out on it before bed. We found it did get hot out there, on the port days, when the ship wasn't moving. Our attendant (Luki) kept our room very tidy, of course. I only saw/spoke to him on our first afternoon, but my family saw him other times. He did a good job moving all our things around our room, as he tidied, from my messy family! It was good seeing all the towel animals he made. The beds were very comfortable, with lots of pillows (we moved the extras elsewhere, at night). Since we had an Aft. Room, there was a bit of motion, especially more noticeable on the Sea Days, and when in bed. But...we liked that!! We all liked the movement, which got us to sleep faster (my son said he's never fallen asleep so fast!), and I enjoyed waking up, to a slow rocking motion, when arriving near to a destination. There was a bit of a hum, which was like a little 'white noise', but not really noticeable/not a bother.Dining/Food: Some of us started with a Continental Breakfast, which you order the night before, to come around a certain time, the next morning. It was actually our wake-up call, most mornings! We always ate at the Unicorn Cafe/Lido Deck, for breakfast. Lots of selection, and covers most breakfast items you can think of. Drinks are: coffee, teas, hot chocolate, apple juice, orange juice, mango/passionfruit juice, and water. All of these are in dispensers throughout the food areas. Cartons of white and chocolate milk are available, on ice, over by the food items. We ate lunch in the Unicorn as well, and lots of variety, as well. The cold drinks changed from the above juices to lemonade and iced tea. The food was mainly good at the buffets, but some foods were bland. There are food choices at various stations. The stations are spread out, so we found it easiest to just stick to a couple of stations, instead of moving to different areas all the time. You have to go to a totally different area, to get the other food stations, and the outside grill area. All the stations are not close together! On the Lido deck you can find a table anywhere from the forward, outside pool areas, all the way into the inside eating areas, to the entrance to the aft., Serenity area (just for adults). So, plenty of tables to eat at!The dinners we had in the Truffles Dining Room were quite good. We never sent any food back, or we would just leave a bit on our plate, usually due to fullness. We dined there every night. Lots of choices for different meats/fish entrees. One night I ordered an entree, but also wanted to try the lamb, so I asked for just the lamb from that entree, and not the whole 2nd meal, and they brought it on a separate plate. Sometimes we chose 2 different appetizers for the 'starter'. Great choices for dessert as well. My teenagers had the chocolate melting cake, except for 2 nights, and one of those nights was a birthday cake for our son, so we had chocolate cake that night, and it was really good (you can pre-order a cake for an occasion). Several birthdays occurring, as we heard at least 2 songs each night, and one night about 6 of them. We had bedtime snacks, up in the Lido area; pizza, ice cream/frozen yogurt, or deli sandwich. A couple of times, room service was called (20-30 min. wait), and the kids had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, with extra items piled on the dinner sized plate! All that just before bed!! For any room service, you tip $1, or $2, at the time they bring it, as the 'pre-paid' tipping is for the other staff.Service: We found the service on board pretty prompt, and in a friendly manner. Many of the 'front line' staff would usually smile, nod their head, or say hello, when we'd walk by (in the corridors, main areas and in the eating areas on Lido). We thought about how they did their jobs, day after day, week after week, for their 6 month stint, and wondered how they could do it!! They didn't look robotic, but doing their job the same way for so long, it could seem that way, especially the staff clearing the tables. There is no break for the food preparers, from one passenger 'load' leaving, to the next group coming on. We were leaving the terminal just before 10 am, with more people to follow behind us, and the next group of passengers were waiting in line, to enter the terminal!! Our waitress, in Truffles, said she usually worked 10 hrs. a day. The 'maitre d', never said hello to us, when we entered/exited the dining room, and we dined there the 7 nights. He always seemed to be facing another staff member, and chatting to her. He did speak every night, before dessert, wishing everyone a good meal, and to introduce the staff's song or dance.Entertainment: We went to several different shows in the Follies Theatre (yes, as some have mentioned, get to the Theatre as early as you can, as some seating isn't as good, due to wide metal/brass posts, and the top part of glass panes, blocking the view- I had to sit lower or lean my head down to see properly), and enjoyed them mostly; the Jazz Hot, and the Big Easy shows were great, with all the song and dance, and the juggling show was quite funny! The Motown Show started off good, with that music, but then my husband and I felt it kind of 'died', when it went off track with the singer Marcus Anthony, trying to sing some country songs, for fun and also having couples come up on stage, at one part, to slow dance, and he danced with a lady from the audience, and kept having her squeeze his 'cheeks' and he would sing to her romantically, and it wasn't realistic, as he didn't know her. It wasn't funny after awhile. Did we really need to see these people slow dancing? He should have just stayed with the Motown sound. On the first night, we heard 2 comedians in Follies, at the Welcome Aboard Show, and they were good. On the 2nd night, our son went to the Firebird Lounge (a cozy, dark room, in the front of the ship, 1st level), to again hear the comedian he liked, Thomas Brown, but he said he wasn't as good as the 1st night. When my husband and I went the third night to hear him, we weren't as pleased either. We realized, the 1st night, he had a comedy 'routine', but the other nights, he got into a more laid back talk with the audience members, and without me going into detail, it really wasn't funny/comedy, it was just conversation (suchas, with a man about his dogs), which he likes to do, and people just laughed for the sake of it sometimes. It keeps it fresh for him, but it's not true comedy, with just a bit of giggles at times. He would sometimes have a pause, muttering words, until he could think of something, or somebody would say something, that he would 'go on'. Maybe the comedians do better during the X-rated shows (?) Maybe this is why some people rate some of the entertainment as 'fair' on the ship. My family also liked the ventriloquist show in 'Firebird', and later in the week we liked the Superstar Live show, where you could get up and sing with the Legend Band. On the last night, in the Follies, we saw the final show of 'Legends', where some guests had been chosen, and rehearsed thru' the week, to sing as certain entertainers. Some were really good, but I think the favourite was (by the laughter) Wee Jimmy, dressed up (I won't give it away), and his 'big' ending. It was great these guests took the time during their week, and got up in front of a big audience! Thru' the week on t.v, my kids enjoyed watching, The Morning Show, or Afternoon Show, with Wee Jimmy, Wheezy (asst. c.d.), and usually one other staff member with them. They enjoyed the call-in trivia time. My son called-in a couple of times with answers. It was entertaining at times, the way they carried on. W. J. likes to laugh alot and talk alot! Some people like him, some don't.Ship Info: Some people have commented that they find the atmosphere/decorating of the ship, not to their taste. It looked good! We didn't care about the look, we weren't going to let any look/areas of the ship bother us, we were just glad to be on a ship and on a good holiday!! Some people said there was wear and tear, here and there. Why look for that?; it's not really noticeable, unless you look for it, I guess! Book on a newer ship, if you're going to wonder if an older ship might be getting worn! Our 4th level balcony glass, was just a bit 'unclear', from the sea spray, I guess, but they come around thru' the week, and clean it. Some of the elevator entrance areas are narrow, and harder to find, than another ship I was on, but we learned where to find them, after awhile. An area of the promenade was closed, due to high winds; no big deal. At the Avalon main pool, the whirlpool/spa needed repairs several times, my husband mentioned. We didn't use it anyway.. The doors on the ship are quite heavy/harder to open, probably so that the wind doesn't blow them open, I guess. One night my daughter and I tried to get back in a door off the promenade, and had a hard time opening it, due to the wind. She got in first, and it slammed shut behind her. Then she and a man had to open it again to get me in. We thought it funny tho'. Some people should be more considerate re. their balcony doors, as they are heavy too. We opened ours, and then held onto it until it was shut again. Neighbours of ours, used to let them close on their own and they bang shut, which is loud. This would occur anytime they would go out for their cigarettes;early morning, and late night. Some people have rests in the afternoon, after coming in from a port/before dinner, and the slamming door can be bothersome! It doesn't take much to hold it until it's shut. I would like to come back on this ship another time, but there are other places to see, and the Legend will probably be gone, by the time I would want to go back on her. Disembarkation: Just a note, that I had not read on here before: all non U.S. residents must be cleared thru' Customs first, (to meet at 7:00 am in the Follies Theatre), before any passenger zone numbers for leaving the ship, could be called. Once that has been completed, then the zone numbers for self-assist are called, then the other zone numbers (for those who set out their luggage the night before). So, if you don't want to wait around too long in the morning, you may want to do self-assist, if you can manage to carry your bags thru' the ship, then the terminal! Thanks to past C.C. reviewers, for their comments, hints and tips, as I read most of them, over the past year of waiting! It is beneficial to read about the ship and ports,(and on other sites as well) to know what is normal/usual, as some reviewers have seemed surprised or upset about certain things that have occurred, and may be standard on most ships, that they could have known about ahead of time. Message boards can give you info., or you can ask questions.Ports: We found it quite hot, and somewhat humid at the ports, so we didn't have as much energy, to walk about! Probably because we had come from a colder, snowier winter than usual (?) If you didn't already know: For 'tendering' ports, the last tender back to the ship, leaves the port, 1 hour prior to the ship's departure time. For 'docking' ports, you have to be back on the ship ½ an hour prior to departure time. So you may want to get off the ship earlier in the day, since you have to be back by an earlier time than you thought. Grand Cayman- We didn't get to do, what I had hoped to do. We were hoping to hire a taxi, to take us around the Island, for maybe a few hours. At first we were quoted a rate of $35. pp (4 of us), for 1.5 hrs., which wouldn't be long enough, as I wanted us to stop at certain places. She then gave a rate of, I think, $250 for 3 hours, but we declined. I really wanted to see Rum Point, but she said it would be about $50, one way, and we would have to get a different taxi back later, and pay that rate again. All the taxis we saw were vans, so maybe since there were only 4 of us, that's why she had to charge us the maximum rate, I don't know for sure tho'. So, my husband said we'll just catch a taxi tour, with a tour company, so we had a 2 hour tour, of different sites, including the Rum Factory, and Hell, which I really didn't care to see. We had an older lady driving the taxi, and it was hard to understand her at times, as she held the mic. right up to her mouth, so the words were muffled at times. We made out okay tho', and she spoke about different things along the way, especially all the places harmed by Hurricane Ivan, years ago. I would have rather gone to a section of 7 Mile Beach, instead of the tour, but my husband made a quick decision, for us to do something. We shopped after the tour, in Georgetown, but my husband was only interested in walking thru' stores, and not really browsing. He and son went back to the ship, and my daughter and I stayed a bit longer shopping, until the heat got to us, so we went back to the ship. I would have rated this higher if I enjoyed what I wanted to do. The Island is pretty, and we would go back if we could.Cozumel- After looking thru' some shops, at the Puerta Maya pier, we went to the taxi area, to get a cab to go downtown(El Centro). I told the driver, Carlos, I was also interested in having a tour of the Island later, and he told us he could start the tour now, with a stop for downtown shopping, and then over to the east side, to Mezcalitos Bar/Grill, to Playa Chen Rio, El Mirador, back to a western beach, then back to the port. The places on the east side were all the places I had read about, and wanted to stop at anyway. It would be about a 3 hr. tour for the 4 of us, for $25 pp. Great! After shopping for about 40 mins downtown, at a few different stores, we drove for abt. 20 mins, over to the east side, known as 'the wild side', and stopped at Mezcalitos first. They weren't open yet, but we wandered along the beach, and with me being a beachcomber, I kept wandering with my head down most of the time. On this coast, the waves come crashing in, so there is no swimming, as it is too dangerous, with rough surf, rip tides, and undertows occurring. This is a quieter side, with not alot of tourists around, but there were more people coming and going on this side, than what I thought there would be. There were people on mopeds, rental cars, and one or two large buses, with tours. When the bar opened, my husband got a beer and headed to the hammock to relax, as I kept puttering around. Later, we headed off and went along the scenic, coastal road, where we constantly viewed rows and rows of waves in the turquoise waters. My husband loves windy, rough water beaches, so the view was perfect for him, and he could enjoy seeing it all, without driving. I knew he would enjoy this tour, and he didn't know much about this side. Later, we stopped at Chen Rio, which does have a little area for swimming, but caution is still advised, I had read. Another beer, and we stayed for a bit, with the kids just getting their feet wet, to cool off, as it was hot, and then onto the next stop, El Mirador. A last beer, and my husband and kids wandered out onto a large rock, which juts out into the water, that looks out over the Sea, and a great spot to take pictures from; very picturesque. We later headed back to the west side, and our driver asked if we wanted to go into the Playa San Francisco Beach Club area, for 40 mins, but we had gotten out at the other beaches, and we felt ready to go back to the port. Besides, our 3 hours was almost done. We had enjoyed the tour, seeing the remote beauty of the 'other side', and our driver was good, mentioning different things along the route, or answering my questions. He also gave us a time frame for each stop, but if we wanted to change that, it was okay; (whatever we wanted), and if we wanted to stop elsewhere, he would accommodate us. There was no strict schedule, like a bus tour. There is no electricity on that side, and we noticed coolers of ice, for drinks. It can be more expensive to buy items/meals at the restaurants here, I've heard. At Chen Rio, for a can of Sprite, a bottle of Gatorade, and a can of Pringles chips, it cost me $10.00. We felt very safe, wherever we were on the Island! Back at the port (which is nice/new looking), we bought items in the stores, enjoyed a snack of nachos and drinks at Fat Tuesdays (which is right beside the pier), and enjoyed the view of the water and docked ships, and then we went back onto the ship. I would love to return here someday.Belize City- after the long tender ride, we basically looked around at the shops, When my husband came upon the booth for a city tour, he decided to take the Calypso Train Tour, with the kids tagging along. I just wanted to stay inside the gated area, and shop more. It was a one hour tour, in an open air trolley, and they saw places suchas: the Caribbean shoreline, with the affluent homes, and several neighbourhoods of different districts, noting different building styles, and viewing some poor sections, re. buildings. They had a stop for a bottle of beer, for hubby to enjoy on the tour. Towards the end of the trip, they got off, to do some quick shopping at the Handicraft Centre, close to the Tourism Village. They went back to the ship shortly thereafter, while I stayed behind, as I didn't want to rush away yet. My husband said he thoroughly enjoyed the tour, and not being stuck in the tourism village. He said he would like to go back to see more of Belize, someday.Roatan- after departing the ship, we took the kids quickly, to find the Clip and Zip, zip lining tour. They are located beyond the shopping area. The staff yell out occasionally to let the tourists know where they are located, because it is not too obvious. After the kids got 'hooked-up', they got in a truck to be taken up to the top of the mountain, to start their trek downward. It was a bit of a wild ride going up, they said. Some kids were in the back of the pick-up truck and had to be held onto, firmly. Our kids were glad they were in the passenger compartment! They had 13 stations to go down along. They thought it was good, but not an exhilarating thrill. They said the staff weren't speaking English, and seemed to be talking about certain tourists (?) My husband had walked along to the beach, to get us some lounge chairs in the shade, while the kids were 'zipping', and I went back into the port shopping area. There was nothing I needed/wanted so I went back to wait for the kids to arrive back and try to get some pictures. The shopping area was nice looking. We walked about 10-15 mins. in the heat, and we eventually met up with hubby. The beach area is very nice, lots of lounge chairs, soft white sand, and a large swimming area, that is 'roped-off' further out. There is a long dock to walk along too. There is a restaurant/bar, further back, where my husband kept going to get us drinks, to cool off. A staff member from the restaurant comes along too, by the lounge chairs, with a menu, to see if you want a drink/food, so that you don't have to leave the beach area. The restrooms are just back a bit, in a building, with 2 stores. I did think the beach area was going to be longer, and I had hoped to beachcomb, but there are signs, mentioning against picking up 'stuff', but it was 'all good' anyway. If I come here on another trip, I would probably do an island tour. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2009
We pulled into the Port of Tampa with two vans and 11 people total. The valet parking was a welcome surprise. Embarkation went rather smoothly given the number of guests who showed up at the same time. I think we arrived at the port around ... Read More
We pulled into the Port of Tampa with two vans and 11 people total. The valet parking was a welcome surprise. Embarkation went rather smoothly given the number of guests who showed up at the same time. I think we arrived at the port around 1:00 pm. We had a balcony cabin and it was great. Lots of room and storage. We thought the food was as good and better on some cases, than past cruises. The service was good and the dining room servers were really good to the children. We liked the "showtime" in the dining room at night. It really provided a festive atmosphere unlike any other cruise we have been on. The negatives for us were the layout and decor of the ship. It seemed to be be very dark and a bit overdone with all the grecian urns and dark decor. My other negative observation was the cleanliness of the Unicorn cafe. They wiped the tables off with a damp cloth, that many times simply smeared around some of the leftover food. The edges of the tables showed food residue. We made sure to lay out napkins on the table top as placemats. I loved the hot/cold sandwich line and order pastrami and corned beef combo more than one. I would cruise Carnival again, but would probably try to choose another ship that is brighter in decor. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2009
here's what I learned: Southwest: *Log in early online so you can get an 'A' boarding pass - friends of ours on the same plane (not cruise though) didn't know this, and their family was forced to sit all over the ... Read More
here's what I learned: Southwest: *Log in early online so you can get an 'A' boarding pass - friends of ours on the same plane (not cruise though) didn't know this, and their family was forced to sit all over the plane and not together which caused one of the daughters some stress *Its great to have family in a port town (no hotel info) *Tampa is a great port - use the valet parking if you can afford to - it made debarkation very easy (see bullet point below!) $112 for the week. It's prepay, cash or credit card. *Once again - if you can afford to - Go Cat 11. Rooms are not that much greater, but added perks are nice. VIP boarding so worth the extra $$$. Think, 10 minutes from valet parking attendant to embarkation picture, that's including security. *If you like scratch off tickets, play them at bingo. Pay attention to who is 'sponsoring the bingo'. Some of the 'loser prizes' for the scratch off tickets are awesome prizes and some not so great. I won 4 of the 'loser prizes' because I saved my losers and used them all on drawings that didn't have a ton of entries (less attended bingos - like mornings). So instead of putting 1 or 2 in every time, I did 7 or 8 in only a few! *The legend is a great ship - our favorite to date. It may be an older ship, and showing a little age, but its clean - and never once did it feel like there were 2000 people on board - we decided that it was because of the way the boat was laid out. so many nooks and crannies and different rooms to hang out in, that it never seemed like we were crowded anywhere. *No matter what your opinion of food is, you ought to be able to find something you like to eat. We aren't picky, or fussy, or snooty. Carnival food is decent, people. No, it's not Ruth Chris (we heard the supper club was fantastic from several people, but didn't do it this time). But considering how many people there are to feed, they do a good job at it. Some key notes: Lobster was good. Fillet with shortrib confit was yummy. Beef stroganoff was my favorite! Our server Mihaela from Croatia was fantastic, and I think my husband was secretly in love with her! LOL He's a dentist - she had a fantastic smile (and was gorgeous to boot) so dinner time was especially enjoyable for him! LOL The buffet - was a buffet. Some food better than others, but always something that all of us could enjoy. The burgers poolside were a favorite - fresh, big, and juicy with lots of fixings! *Only one day did we have to fight for space by the pool. Ended up a level, but it was still in the sun, close to our daughter (who lived in the water every moment she could) *My 10 year old would rather play in the pool than do camp carnival, but she did do the late night party and had a blast! *Buy the raffle tix to win a free cruise - I bought 20 and WON A FREE CRUISE! If you can find someone who has cruised with carnival before, have them buy your tix (I did for several people...maybe that was my karma that helped me win! LOL) You can get 20 for $20 instead of 10 for $20. I bought 20 for myself, and can't wait to go on my next almost free cruise! LOL *Tampa is the port of debarkation. Probably 10 minutes from breakfast buffet, to valet guy handing over the keys to the car. Seriously easy, well managed, and uncomplicated disembark. (we did NOT do self assist) Read Less
Carnival Legend Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 3.5 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 3.5 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.0
Family 4.5 4.0
Shore Excursion 3.5 4.0
Enrichment 2.0 3.6
Service 4.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 4.2
Rates 4.0 4.3

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