Way better than expected: Carnival Legend Cruise Review by ojycart

Carnival Legend 5
Member Since 2010

Overall Member Rating

Way better than expected

Sail Date: November 2010
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Tampa
I always read reviews and have to remember everyone is different so you pretty much have to take them with a grain of salt. My first cruise was on a Carnival and my second on Celebrity. It was obvious that Carnival is your more affordable line. That being said - I was way more impressed with this cruise than I had anticipated being.

Embarkation out of Tampa was relatively painless but slow. The first group went about 11:00 and seemed to get through pretty quick. We went about 11:45 and waited in line about an hour. The third group went about 1:45 and walked right in pretty much. Rooms weren't ready so we joined the huge crowds on the pool/Lido deck for buffet lunch. While we were loading they handed out a piece of paper documenting a change in our ports on certain days. I called back to my mom still at the hotel loading up and she was able to quickly get out an email to the tours we booked to let them know. However I'm sure the tour companies are used to cruise lines doing More this and there was no problem when we got there.


We ate dinner in the main dining room for early dining every night as a group and they were able to put all 9 of us at one table. I had expected mediocre food based on the reviews that came out on Legend. I have enjoyed and can appreciate the finest of dining in many places of the world but still feel comfortable in ma and pa's diner. I was REALLY impressed with 90% of the meals I had for dinner. Everything was great from temperature, taste, and presentation. We were traveling with our 6 year old and the first two nights he ate off the children's menu with your basic pizza, burgers and chicken. Then after that he started ordering things off the adult menu - steak, pasta and even grilled salmon and loved it. Also made him feel big ordering like the rest of us. Most of the time we were off on an island for lunch but did eat the Lido buffet for at sea days. Here's where we weren't impressed. Food was okay for lunch but the crowds were irritating. Waiting in line to get everything then it was cold by the time you sat down. I thought the 24 hour pizza was terrible and feel it's hard to mess up pizza. I only got it once so maybe I just got a bad kind. The kids of course loved the 24 hour ice cream. Breakfast in the main dining room was great - but limited. Same menu every day but enjoyable to not fight crowds. We did eat breakfast buffet several times due to the early nature of the excursions. Same experience as lunch.

I didn't see much on the reviews with kids so didn't know what to expect. We had also an 11 and 17 year old nephews. they had a mini golf course, ping pongs (which were always busy) and basket ball court. They also had a water slide but it was at the opposite end of where the pools were so didn't really go to it much. There is an adult only pool at the back of the ship and two main pools mid ship. They were full of kids. We checked out Camp Carnival and there were a ton of activities and you could check in the little ones and let them play. My 6 year old only went one night for a movie. But it looked like a great program and would give adults a bit of time to themselves. Mine never seemed to be bored and managed to find things to do all over the ship.

There was a lot of smoking in the casino - it's a casino - go anywhere into one and you'll find this. But as much as i despise smoke, it did not bother me. It did bother me more on the back pool area where there are table to also eat. Seemed to be more smokers out there - that must be the smoking deck. No where else on board did I find it. Casino took all of our money of course but it was fun. We only went to a few shows, the comedy shows were only about 25 minutes long. The song and dance - although a bit cheesey - were entertaining. Because of the kids we didn't stay out too late and each port was early.

Day one, I signed up for the mixologist contest. It happened on day two and you had to create a drink and got judged by a panel. I got to drink the drink I made and got a great drink recipe book and a coupon for a drink (up to $5.95) so it was an easy way to get two drinks for free. :) They do hit you up for a lot of stuff extra between the constant waiters for drinks, photographers, art, water bottles on days of excursions, bingo, and the shops. I expected that so it didn't bother me. we brought liquor on board so we actually tabbed out at the end of the cruise with only our required tips on there.

Service was excellent in both the dining room and the cabin steward. the kids couldn't wait to see the animals made for them each night. Ice was provided in our cabin every afternoon and the beach towels replaced. Had NO issues with the service at all.

I'll post the reviews on the ports - I could do without Belize however. The embarkation for those that tendered were long and irritating. We booked only one tour through carnival and it was in Belize. We sat in the Folley area (their room for shows) for about 45 minutes waiting for our number to be called. Seemed like it could be better thought out.

Getting off the boat was painless but long. We left our cabin about 8:30 and didn't get off until almost 10:30. They really turn that boat around fast getting it cleaned up and ready for the next group getting on at 11:30!

Over all - I was extremely pleased with the trip and loved every minute of it. I see that it says I had an obstructed view on my balcony. Didn't even know that. It was perfect! Less

Published 12/01/10

Cabin review: 7A7156 Balcony (obstructed views)

Cabin was great - had the bed pulled together for a King and the couch was made up to sleep my son.

Read All Balcony (obstructed views) (7A) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

Not my favorite. We booked through Carnival a snorkeling tour on the great barrier reef. They picked us up directly from the boat and took us far out to a Caye. You had your choice of snorkeling from a beach or off the boat. Half of us went with the beach and half with boat. Not impressive snorkeling at all. Saw a few things but they were so far below that non came up and ate my cheese. the water was smooth and still beautiful. My son decided he wanted to stay on the beach and collect conch shells and dig so he ended up having a fantastic time there with his grandma. I guess the reef had been damaged in storms they said and it just wasn't as pretty as I expected. We snorkeled for about 45 minutes then played on the beach for a couple of hours. You could continue to snorkel if you wanted. We went back to the ship, changed clothes, ate lunch (at the buffet) then went to town. Not impressive. Just shop after shop after shop of fake designer handbags and Diamonds International. We stayed on land for about an hour and then back to the boat. Didn't see any part of this port other than the tourist shops.

we booked the day to stay at a private resort here. I'm blanking on the name... cochey yockum, nauchy coachey? something like that. GREAT! It was about $45 per person and they only take about 100 people there. You get swimming pool, unlimited great drinks, chair and umbrella and perfect beach and calm seas. We spent about 5 hours here just hanging out, playing frisbee, swimming, drinking. Nice break from the crowds. They served a great 3 course lunch as well. They have extra options and water sports and part of our group para sailed. Again booked directly with the resort and not through Carnival.

Read 5490 Cozumel Reviews

Booked Caymen in a nutshell directly through the tour company Captain Martin. We got off the boat and walked to the store where they directed us where we got on a tour bus and headed for a boat and went out to Stingray City. FANTASTIC!!!!! My 6 year old loved looking at them from the boat but was scared to be in the water with them. It was an incredible experience. They take great pictures for you on board and in the water of you and your group. But be prepared it's $100 for the CD. Our group bought it and split it up. There were like 100 pictures on there of us all. They then took us snorkeling but the water was a bit rough so I didn't go in. But the group says it was the best snorkeling to see things - just hard to enjoy in the rougher swells (perfect weather and sunny). We got back on the tour bus and went to "Hell". This part of the trip could honestly be left out. very boring - underwhelming. We then went to the Rum factory where it was soooo crowded you couldn't move anywhere. They were giving samples of the run cake and different rums if you had the patience to wait completely packed in the store. I couldn't take it and went out to get a drink at the bar next door. The prices of the rum cakes are the same as on board the ship so you don't have to buy and carry them back. The turtle farm was next and everyone LOVED it. We saw and held and got pictures with all kinds of sizes of turtles. That was a highlight of my sons. Lunch was included with the tour at a little local restaurant on the beach and great food. Got back to the dock with plenty of time to browse and hop back on board.

This was a fantastic port!!! I loved the island being hilly and lush unlike the flat Cayman. We booked again without the cruise line and got Victor Boden tours. We arranged a private tour (for only $25 pp!) and had a bus to ourselves and a fantastic tour guide, Al took us around the island. Also took us to a liquor store so we could make drinks on the bus driving around. we stopped by where they swim with the dolphins and watched them for awhile which was neat. He drove up to a peak and just drove through neighborhoods to see the island. Very humbling to see how others live. We had arranged the zip line tour already (again not thru Carnival) and everyone was able to participate from the 44 pounder to the 265 pounder. some ziplines have weight limitations and minimums. It was fantastic! Everyone had a great time there. It rained a bit there but we zipped through it. There was also monkey exhibit where you walk into the cages and interact with them. Take a bottle of pop in there and the monkeys will go nuts for wanting it and will climb on you. another favorite of the little ones! We then took up to a resort beach where we ate lunch and enjoyed the gorgeous beaches for a few hours. We always take cans of cheese wiz with us to snorkel and they were eating it up out there. After that we were delivered right back to the dock for a bit of shopping of the locals. Great prices on wooden vases and such (and a lot cheaper than the ones in Cozumel and Belize) Everything on this was Ala cart but was so enjoyable with no crowds and our own pace.

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