Love the Spirit Class: Carnival Legend Cruise Review by Eileen2

Carnival Legend 5
Member Since 2007
381 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Love the Spirit Class

Sail Date: October 2011
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Tampa
We have cruised during these months for the past four years and experienced super weather on this cruise we missed ports but were kept informed but stayed safe and enjoyed our vacation. We are long time cruisers with RCL but have to say we really enjoy Carnival and I love the Legend
We have travelled x 3 on the RCL's legend of the Seas, Carnivals legend is very different, I expected it to be and I think it is a wonderful ship. I like the fact that one can walk from one end of the ship without having to climb up or down a deck and especially when I mixed up "aft "and " Bow "and had to detour. I can't wait to try another spirit class ship.

We flew in on the 22nd from Buffalo via JFK into Tampa on Jet blue, airfares from Toronto would have cost more than the cruise and then some. Our party consisted of Self, Husband, Daughter and Grandson.

We stayed at the Hilton Garden Hotel{ West shore Airport} The Hotel provided a free shuttle to the Hotel and we More waited around ten minutes. While the Hotel is clean and offers cruise transport at a cost of $8 pp we found there was nothing around the area. That said, there was a free hourly shuttle to the "Mall" We opted to visit Ybor City the Taxi was $25 each way.{incl Tip} The taxi Driver gave us his card and we called him for the return journey. There are taxis available outside some of the businesses' If you haven't visited this area I would recommend it. There are several good eateries and it is a lively street with vintage cars and motorbikes. We were unable to eat in the recommended Columbia Restaurant {reservations needed } and so we wandered down the street to "Gaspar's Grotto", good Latin food at decent prices. { They make a powerful Margarita}
The Hilton Garden Inn offers a breakfast Buffet for $11 PP, there is a star bucks in the lobby{AM} and light pastries at a cost. We paid $100 for the room. There is a restaurant on site some of the prices seemed high end and not what we really wanted. There is a small bar in the lobby with limited snacks. We found the rooms clean, with usual amenities i.e. Fridge, Microwave, coffee maker, pleasant, friendly staff, but I would advise a Hotel closer to the cruise port unless one is arriving on later flights. Internet was free and there was a well stocked Gym and outdoor pool.
Sun Oct 23rd.
We had booked the shuttle the night before for 11:30 am and the desk person told us another couple had also booked the same shuttle. We were first in line, placed our luggage at the curb along with the couple who had booked ahead of us. By 11: 30am around 50 people joined the queue and when the shuttle arrived all thronged forward I think these extra folk were from the surrounding hotels. I spoke with the driver who initially told us we would have to wait until 12 30pm for another shuttle. I pointed out that we were in first in line as were the older couple going on a NCL cruise. The older couple just stood there dumfounded. Finally I persuaded the driver, {who told me most in line had no booking. }to let us board in order of arrival, he did and we arrived at the port around 12 noon. No problem handing off our bags to the porter and followed what seemed a large crowd into the terminal. The lines dwindled fairly rapidly and we were on board by 12;45 We each had a bottle of wine in our carry on and a few bottles of tonic water, we just sent them through the scanner and retrieved them without a question .
First Impression: I liked the decor of the Legend Lobby, a bit garish I know but having the theme of "Legends" the depictions and colours seemed to grow on me.
As usual we made for the Lido found a table {after a few minutes} and I had my favourite corn beef on Rye from the deli Unfortunately I dropped one of my bottles of wine, within minute's service personnel cleaned it up and removed all the broken glass. Had it been a mirror I would definitely have blamed that on missing our ports.
Cabin. Deck 4. Interior French Balcony Obstructed view.
We usually travel in Inside rooms and on our last cruise had a Porthole cabin, I like the idea of being able to check out the weather. My husband doesn't know but I am working upward to get a coveted balcony!! Anyhow I loved the cabin, despite the view being blocked by a lifeboat I could still open it and see the water. Ernesto our wonderful steward introduced himself and explained his hours he was a gem and a credit to carnival. I emptied the Fridge of the beers and sodas and noticed one of the spots that should have held a small liquor bottle was empty, I mentioned it to Ernesto and he said not to worry. Anyway I placed my solo bottle of wine and tonics in it and had lots of room for more.
Lifeboat drill went by quickly. We decided to wait until others lined up because being small I always seem to squashed along the back of the crowd. Not having to trail our Life vests helped as well. Afterward we joined the crowd on Lido Deck for a drink and the sail away party. Weather cooperated and the" Island Sounds Of Innocence" Calypso band added greatly to the ambience.{ as did the drink} We enjoyed their music all cruise.
We were wait listed for first seating but after visiting the Maitre D he explained that if we turned up between 6-7pm we would have no problems getting a table for four also, we could request the same waiter. We never had trouble seating and after the first two days of eating at 6 we switched to 7pm and had no difficulties. I now like anytime dining
I read a lot of comments on CC regarding the comfort foods, some not complimentary. My husband did try the burger the first night and pronounced it fine but neither of us could eat the meatloaf it really was horrible. The Chocolate Melting cake was as good as I remembered.
All in all we were quite satisfied with the food. I love not having to cook and appreciate others doing the cooking. My grandson loved the Lobster { 2 of them} The whole of the dining staff went out of their way to ensure good service and always with a smile. I do not however enjoy seeing the wait staff singing and dancing. Simply because I think they are overworked and it's not necessary. {just my opinion}
Activities / Entertainment
We enjoyed the comedy shows. The lineup was always long but the room seemed to fit everyone in. The Comedy club manager Dee however was bland and had a ready same spiel every show as though she had a script and she didn't deter from her memorized lines. I heard later that it was her first tour so I expect she will get more polished in time. I did not enjoy having to leave the room and line up again though.
The headliner shows were well performed but some singers were weak,{ except for the female lead } the costumes and choreography made up for the lack of good vocals. We participated in the Trivia, bean bag toss, mini golf. Didn't spend much time in the Lounges except for karaoke and comedy shows
Our CD Ralph Valente{ wee Jimmy} had a good sense of humour unfortunately we only saw him at the show in the main theatre and when he compared the marriage show. { I didn't see him around the ship but we didn't attend all activities. } He was hilarious Megan his assistant was also very good and personable however I thought a couple of his entertainment staff lacked enthusiasm, many times the hosts didn't show or turned up late for Trivia, etc. Piano bar player did try but for the most part the room was empty I don't know why she did a good job of "name that Tune and was personable.. Satchmos was good.{ I love Jazz} The serenity area was always crowded we never did get a spot there but we did enjoy the calypso band on the Lido deck, and found good vantage points for the Mixology contests and people watching. I did notice many young children in the hot tubs wearing diapers and a few young children unattended spitting in the tubs {playfully} I did not notice the no diapers rule enforced.
Shore Excursions.
Because of Hurricane Rina we visited Belize before Cozumel and we tour of the town and area via a private tour booked dockside we did not see the beaches due to the short duration of the stay. Cozumel beach excursions were cancelled and so we just walked around the duty free shops at the Dock, . In Progresso we went to a small beach, but it was covered in seaweed due to the ocean churning. We had looked forward to seeing new ports but we will perhaps have better luck next time.
We purchased a soda card for our Grandson{ $52 I believe incl Grat} and prior to boardin had purchased drink coupons for our use on board . We only had to pay the small difference to the drinks above $5:75
We encountered some anxiety re the disembarkation process. We had booked early flights based on our past experience of being able to self disembark. However, we were informed the night before that only US residents could avail themselves of self disembarkation.

I spoke with the guest services{ the night prior to disembarkation} and was informed that once we had presented ourselves to Immigration we would receive permission to self disembark. Due to having early flights. The Immigration officer stated it was the ships rule re Canadians not being allowed to use the self disembarkation process and as far as U. S. security was concerned we could disembark once the ship was cleared. When we attempted to disembark {after they called our zone} one of the disembarkation crew refused to allow us to depart but the lady from guest services came down and we were allowed to leave. A lesson for me; check the rules of the ship before assuming one can participate in self disembarkation. I don't know why the ship only allows U S residents to take off their own luggage it is not a homeland security rule {even though some members of the entertainment staff working on disembarkation repeatedly stated it was} Next time I will definitely check before I book tickets for a return flight. { A cruise critic member remarked that it was the Rule of the port of Tampa and that puts a perspective on that situation. It was our first cruise out of Tampa.
Apart from the disembarkation angst we really enjoyed many aspects of our cruise It was a great family time and I am planning our next cruise on Carnival. { One of the Spirit ships?} Less

Published 11/19/11

Cabin review: 4K Interior with French Door (obstructed views)

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Port and Shore Excursions

I thought the port of tampa to be the easiest of the ports we have ever experienced . However taxis do have to queue when dropping people off and there was a line up causing a 15 min wait. When we disembarked we easily found a group Taxi with no waiting or too many crowds. Signage was good and easily followed. Also because we are Canadian citizens we had some difficuly utilizing the self disembarkation , Only US residents are offered this . I do not know if it is true but a cruise critic member stated that this is a Tampa port rule. we cleared US customs onboard at 7 30 am . If you have a early flight it might be difficult. We were allowed to disembark but we were pretty stressed. I will choose Tampa again and book a later flight.
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Member Since 2007
381 Forum Posts
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