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First of all and up front - my long term partner left me while I was on this cruise, so i'll do my best to not let that get in the way of the review. The good: Jen Baxter - The Cruise Director. After many many cruises across several lines, Jen is a stand out. Her quick wit and sense of humour manages to balance that all too difficult line between appropriate and inappropriate with perfection. She's the equivalent of a pixar film - entertaining for the kids with plenty of hidden gems for the adults to enjoy. She's a rare beast amongst cruise directors - as she's visible just about everywhere and works hard to make a connection with everyone. There is a striking gap between what the public expect of a cruise director, and what a cruise director is 'physically' able to do (or endure). The only downside to Jen is that she makes all other cruise directors I've encountered seem lazy and the equivalent of an FM radio drive time host going through the motions in a desperate bid to appear 'fun'. The difference with Jen is, she actually seems to 'be' fun, and as a result, if she's putting it on you'd never know. The entertainment: Terrence (might have been assistant CD?) is tops. He's like SNL's Kenan Thompson in a carnival uniform. Plenty of variety and they worked hard to keep it interesting on a cruise that was almost 75% sea days. The Average: Food: The food was nothing special. Often too salty, overcooked and chewy. It was also nothing to write home about, as chances are those at home would be eating the same thing. It's a shame - and something Carnival Australia could work on improving. The service at the restaurants would always triumph over the (often inedible) uninspiring 'nanas on a thursday' style food (if nana was drunk and jacked up on amphetamines). Ship: The ship is in need of a bit of a refurb. The decor seems less 'in your face' than Carnival Spirit, but only so far as sorbet is generally less unhealthy than ice-cream. The Bad: Staff Tensions With exception to Velmir in the dining room and Rai (our steward), there was obvious tension between the asian staff and the eastern european staff. On opening night, some of the asian staff were in tears. The eastern european staff (again, with the exception of Velmir) seemed to be disinterested and very abrupt. Cultural I know, but not what one pays for aboard an american cruise line. The 18+ area on deck 9: The age limit seemed more of a guideline, as the security staff sat idly by as toddlers and teens ran amok. On a Christmas cruise where there was a large number of kids onboard, (as a reasonable person) some concession could be made - but not to the level of nonsense that existed with kids being served at the bar! Tendering in Queensland: As a QLD resident, I would urge the cruise lines to avoid QLD until such time as they introduce suitable berthing arrangements. A 45min ride on a packed tender at Airlie Beach is both uncomfortable AND totally unacceptable. Docking at Fishermans Wharf in Brisbane, almost an hour and $15 on a bus to the CBD - unforgivable. Carnival would have been better off stopping at tangalooma on moreton island (just off brisbane) and tendering again. Room Service: Most of the food served was available free from the buffet - so why not a tray charge of $5 (for the labour) instead of the overpriced 'per item' fee? The ship's best feature is the stateroom balcony - so why not encourage the use of said balcony by introducing a better 'in-room dining experience' with an expanded menu and simple tray charge. Airport transfer staff: This was a domestic cruise. Two different carnival employees at Sydney Airport had DOZENS of passengers in a 'twist' in Terminal 2 when upon arrival (pre-cruise) they were informed by these staff that they would definitely need a passport as 'the captain has decided to take the ship more than 12nm offshore'. NONSENSE, as was confirmed after quite a nervous conversation with the call centre, and upon check in. Shore Excursions: Another prime example of why cruise lines should avoid Queensland. The offering was abysmal! Port Douglas had 4 tours available, most of which had sold out before the ship left Sydney. All other ports had bugger all, most 'advertised' options on the website weren't available due to the 'holiday season'. What a load of garbage - tour operators once ashore, including those who advertise on the carnival website were spruking as hard as they could. Saved money (sure), but with no guarantees, whats the point? Overall: 7/10 - Below what i'd expected but satisfactory.

Mixed bag, but overall positive.

Carnival Legend Cruise Review by skywil

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
First of all and up front - my long term partner left me while I was on this cruise, so i'll do my best to not let that get in the way of the review.

The good:

Jen Baxter - The Cruise Director.

After many many cruises across several lines, Jen is a stand out. Her quick wit and sense of humour manages to balance that all too difficult line between appropriate and inappropriate with perfection. She's the equivalent of a pixar film - entertaining for the kids with plenty of hidden gems for the adults to enjoy. She's a rare beast amongst cruise directors - as she's visible just about everywhere and works hard to make a connection with everyone. There is a striking gap between what the public expect of a cruise director, and what a cruise director is 'physically' able to do (or endure). The only downside to Jen is that she makes all other cruise directors I've encountered seem lazy and the equivalent of an FM radio drive time host going through the motions in a desperate bid to appear 'fun'. The difference with Jen is, she actually seems to 'be' fun, and as a result, if she's putting it on you'd never know.

The entertainment:

Terrence (might have been assistant CD?) is tops. He's like SNL's Kenan Thompson in a carnival uniform. Plenty of variety and they worked hard to keep it interesting on a cruise that was almost 75% sea days.

The Average:

Food:

The food was nothing special. Often too salty, overcooked and chewy. It was also nothing to write home about, as chances are those at home would be eating the same thing. It's a shame - and something Carnival Australia could work on improving. The service at the restaurants would always triumph over the (often inedible) uninspiring 'nanas on a thursday' style food (if nana was drunk and jacked up on amphetamines).

Ship:

The ship is in need of a bit of a refurb. The decor seems less 'in your face' than Carnival Spirit, but only so far as sorbet is generally less unhealthy than ice-cream.

The Bad:

Staff Tensions

With exception to Velmir in the dining room and Rai (our steward), there was obvious tension between the asian staff and the eastern european staff. On opening night, some of the asian staff were in tears. The eastern european staff (again, with the exception of Velmir) seemed to be disinterested and very abrupt. Cultural I know, but not what one pays for aboard an american cruise line.

The 18+ area on deck 9:

The age limit seemed more of a guideline, as the security staff sat idly by as toddlers and teens ran amok. On a Christmas cruise where there was a large number of kids onboard, (as a reasonable person) some concession could be made - but not to the level of nonsense that existed with kids being served at the bar!

Tendering in Queensland:

As a QLD resident, I would urge the cruise lines to avoid QLD until such time as they introduce suitable berthing arrangements. A 45min ride on a packed tender at Airlie Beach is both uncomfortable AND totally unacceptable. Docking at Fishermans Wharf in Brisbane, almost an hour and $15 on a bus to the CBD - unforgivable. Carnival would have been better off stopping at tangalooma on moreton island (just off brisbane) and tendering again.

Room Service:

Most of the food served was available free from the buffet - so why not a tray charge of $5 (for the labour) instead of the overpriced 'per item' fee? The ship's best feature is the stateroom balcony - so why not encourage the use of said balcony by introducing a better 'in-room dining experience' with an expanded menu and simple tray charge.

Airport transfer staff:

This was a domestic cruise. Two different carnival employees at Sydney Airport had DOZENS of passengers in a 'twist' in Terminal 2 when upon arrival (pre-cruise) they were informed by these staff that they would definitely need a passport as 'the captain has decided to take the ship more than 12nm offshore'. NONSENSE, as was confirmed after quite a nervous conversation with the call centre, and upon check in.

Shore Excursions:

Another prime example of why cruise lines should avoid Queensland. The offering was abysmal! Port Douglas had 4 tours available, most of which had sold out before the ship left Sydney. All other ports had bugger all, most 'advertised' options on the website weren't available due to the 'holiday season'. What a load of garbage - tour operators once ashore, including those who advertise on the carnival website were spruking as hard as they could. Saved money (sure), but with no guarantees, whats the point?


Overall:

7/10 - Below what i'd expected but satisfactory.
skywil’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Vista Suite
Cabin VS 5266
Ignore the nonsense reviews about it being different and badly laid out compared to vista suites on other decks. It's GREAT. Open plan gives the feel of a huge space compared to the other decks which I got a peak at. The downside to 'living' at the stern of the vessel is that you feel EVERY bump. The stern thruster (when used during early morning berthings) was enough to shake the refrigerator out of the cupboard and knock things off shelves - guessing thats probably not normal. My (now ex) japanese partner compared it to a magnitude 5 earthquake in the room every time they used it.
Panorama Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins