Carnival Legend Cruise Review by KJade
- Sail Date: March 2012
- Destination: Western Caribbean
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.
Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
Belize CityThe next morning we were in Follies again waiting to get on our boat "Manta Ray" to take us from the ship to Bannister Island in Belize. This was a much fast wait than the previous day in Cozumel. The ride took a good 15 minutes I'd say to get from the boat to the island. When we got there, we were pretty bummed b/c it just didn't look all that great. It was really overcast too and then it started to actually rain. My best friend and I were being crabby about the weather and how photos had impacted us to coming to the island so we decided to start fixing up some drinks at 10 AM!View All 2,217 Belize City Cruise Port Reviews
It didn't take long for us to eat our words. As soon as the sun came out, the island looked so, so beautiful. We walked around and got to see there was more to the island that what we first saw. The people were great and we really enjoyed our time just lounging around there.
From reading reviews on cruise critic, I knew there had to be some starfish out in the water. The water was cold, especially that it had only just stopped raining and I wasn't really into to snorkeling at that moment. Hubby is always in the mood for snorkeling and went out and brought back a beautiful star fish that soon had everyone near us on the beach coming over to touch and take photos. He also found a nice conch. Our day changed so quickly and after first getting to the island and being bummed out, we were trying to arrange not going back to the boat with our group and paying someone else to take us there later. The facility and boat was obligated to take us back to our ship as agreed with Carnival, so we understood and left Bannister Island wanting more. We didn't do anything interesting for the rest of the day/night other than hang out on the deck, eat, take a nap, get ready and go to dinner.
View Cruise Critic's Belize City Cruise Port Review
Bar HopWe then traveled to Hacienda Antiqua (sp?) and got an awesome tour of the ranch and I am so bummed I forgot the man's name. He was also so, so great. The tour was really interesting ... Everyone we encountered in Cozumel was exceptionally welcoming and friendly. I really liked that Adolfo our main tour guide would call us "my familia" when he was giving us information or rounding us up.View All 40 Bar Hop Reviews
Jeep TourThe very next day we were in Cozumel and we had booked a Jeep & Tequila excursion through Carnival and we were all really excited about it -- we love drinking tequila at home, especially the good stuff. We had to wait in the Follies lounge for quite a while -- they wanted us there a good hour before our we got off the boat for the tour. It was worth it though! The tour was so, so great and our guides made it a really amazing and memorable time. Adolfo & Nacho (his name was really something close to Inglesia though) were so phemoninal. The group they were with was "Explora Caribe". We had quite a few Jeeps (17 I think) and I thought it must be a hard job to keep everyone together, etc. They were great and fun. We first drove to the "Pee Pee Station" and got to see some of their customs and how they survive -- getting a pale of water from the well, how they build a home, tasting some of their tortillas with this yummy sauce and what I enjoyed most, seeing them make use out of vegetation for so many things.View All 103 Jeep Tour Reviews
After we finished at the tequila ranch, we headed to the beach. There was a great place with some souvenirs and a restaurant with facilities and a pool. It was located at a nice piece of beach with all the rocks at the waterline. You could go further down a bit and put your feet it where there wasn't all the rocks but it was really nice. The food was so delicious too. We wrapped it up there and headed back to town, did some shopping and got back on the boat.
Grand CaymanGrand Cayman was our first stop and one that we were most excited about. My parents had been there before and just loved the beach so planned to talk to some locals and take a cab to one of the beaches we researched (mostly on CC!) that wasn't so populated. I forgot the name of the taxi service who took us but boy, was it a full van. The driver was very nice took us to Royal Palms (part of 7 Mile Beach)which wasn't too far away and the fare was only $4 ... then $2 more to get onto the beach and use their facilities. My parents ate and drank there and enjoyed it. The water was so beautiful and though was a little cool at first, felt really good and refreshing once you were in. It was pretty hot! The sand was so perfect -- not powder sand, like frosting my mom was calling it. There were large chunks of coral on the beach and in the water. My husband tried to snorkel a bit but the water was a little rough and he didn't have enough clarity to see very well.View All 2,845 Grand Cayman Cruise Port Reviews
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RoatanOur last day in port was in Roatan. I had read so much about this place and how beautiful it was. We carried our snorkel gear with us to every port just in case and hadn't used it yet and were eager to. We knew this was going to be the place to use it. Walking through Mahogany Bay was really nice but very overpriced. I don't think we bought anything there. It was clean and beautiful though. We got a deal on a cab to West Bay for $20 each person there and back b/c we had 5 members in our party. It was quite a drive. We didn't have very much time in this port but were eager to snorkel since we hadn't gotten much and the trip was almost over. We took the plunge knowing the ride was going to be a bit long but it was even longer than we were quote -- I'd say at least 30-35 minutes. There was the driver and also a tour guide type person who stayed with you where you went. We thought this was odd, but he was a young kid and we enjoyed his company. I can't recall what we had to pay to get on the beach but I think it was $10? We weren't told this prior to and already felt like we were spending more than we bargained for between two people to tip, the cab fare and beach fare. I forgot the actual facility we went to but it was really nicely done to play up on beach and relaxation with shade, the bar and lots of comfy things to lay on. We walked out onto the beach and were mobbed with people selling stuff. They just wouldn't leave us alone. Sending all their children to push you to buy things, etc. My husband was getting pretty annoyed. Where we were on the beach was right in front of a bunch of small boats waiting for people to purchase activities on. Here we had spend all this time getting there and wanted to snorkel and were told to ride a boat further out to get 99% clarity when off the shore was only going to be 40% clarity. We weren't going to spend any more money so just hung out and had a few drinks. My parents ordered some food and we headed down to the end of the beach which didn't have anyone selling things at all. We wished we were at that spot on the beach! We got into the water and got to do some awesome snorkeling there. The beach was just gorgeous and it ended up being a great day -- we just had to get past the initial feeling of being screwed with.View All 2,529 Roatan Cruise Port Reviews
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