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Sail Date: April 2013
Just returned from a good to great week on the Dawn. We were a little apprehensive as we previously sailed on the much-newer Epic but the Dawn has a lot to offer. Getting on was a breeze, getting off was delayed for some unknown reason. ... Read More
Just returned from a good to great week on the Dawn. We were a little apprehensive as we previously sailed on the much-newer Epic but the Dawn has a lot to offer. Getting on was a breeze, getting off was delayed for some unknown reason. We carried off our bags and headed out to line up at 7:30am. Go figure, a long line had already formed and we all stood around grumbling about the delay - by 8:30 the ship was cleared through customs and we were on our way. Shame on us for booking a 9:45am flight but we made it after all. Balcony room was nice though small, much better layout than the Epic. Towels could definitely use updating, we noticed all other cruise ships had much nicer beach towels in port - seriously, does anyone attempt to steal these ratty things, I think not. Casino has lots of games to offer but our week was super tight. In fact, we never witnessed a single jackpot getting paid out and we gambled a lot. DAWN Management - if you read this message, please do something about the smoke in the casino. The low ceilings do not help, there has to be a way to better ventilate the area!Food quality was excellent in the paid venues, not the case in the main dining room or buffet. Do not waste your money on the Blossom but all others are definitely worth the upcharge - Le Bistro and Cagney's were great, La Cucina and Teppanyaki very good. The buffet manager needs to check out the Epic's set up... dining stations with different fare opposed to the same offerings day after day. One can only be expected to eat so many hotdogs and hamburgers in a week! The main dining room's food was okay but way too many people for our taste. The paid venues offer excellent service and an intimate setting. Entertainment was good, we attended almost every show - not exactly the Epic but good. Lots of talent on the ship... Overall the service was good and the staff helpful - no real standouts but everyone we encountered was pleasant and hardworking. Ports: We loved this itinerary and booked all of our own excursions except golf. Golfed in Roatan, Cavetubing.com in Belize, Tropicante in Costa Maya (our favorite stop) and Mr. Sanchos in Cozumel. Had a great time in each port and had just enough time to do what we needed to do without rushing. We'll definitely cruise again, particularly if the cruise is 'free' through Casinos at Sea. I'd recommend NCL and the Dawn - so much can go wrong with thousands of passengers and seven days at sea... NCL gets most of it right - no small task, I'm sure. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
Embarkation was slow because their computer system went down. Debarkation was the quickest I've ever seen as long as you're good with wheeling your own bag(s) off yourself. Didn't like the way they made you sit with other ... Read More
Embarkation was slow because their computer system went down. Debarkation was the quickest I've ever seen as long as you're good with wheeling your own bag(s) off yourself. Didn't like the way they made you sit with other people for breakfast & lunch if you wanted to go formal. Serving sizes were a bit on the small side and service was SLOW and had to ask for things multiple times, despite multiple people standing around. That led us to eat more of these meals in the Windjammer...which had a very nice selection of food. Dinner in the Tides was EXCELLENT. We got switched from 8:30 to 6pm seating and Janet Jackson in the host area got our group of 9 the captain's table (455). Props to her for such a wonderful seating. Our waiters Mircea & Ivan were amazing ...very knowledgable and attentive. All around great guys. Meals at dinner were very good too. Some of the announcements bordered on being rude in the manner which they told passengers they were responsible for their children's behavior (really? NO KIDDING?) They also seemed too eager to let you known they could disembark you at the next port. Much nicer ship than your typical Carnival ship in the same class but cant say that the food and overall "value" justify the price. There is definitely a higher caliber of cruiser on this line so if you want to avoid the typical riff raff of a 4 day Carnival cruise that could justify the difference in pricing. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2012
Had to cut my earlier review due to time but wanted to take this opportunity to conclude my experiences on the Legend. I left off with the food and although the food was not 5 star quality you must be realistic with yourselves and ask this ... Read More
Had to cut my earlier review due to time but wanted to take this opportunity to conclude my experiences on the Legend. I left off with the food and although the food was not 5 star quality you must be realistic with yourselves and ask this question. Where can I go and have a 5 star meal morning, day and night for 7 days and not pay out of your @$$ for it? I wanted to end this review on a positive note and commend the crew of the Legend for the fantastic service they provided for my wife and I. From the housekeeper to the excellent servers we were pampered for the whole trip and that's the real reason I give this ship 5 stars! PS For all all you leaving 2-3 stars reviews I have a little bone to pick with you. I understand that some of you might not of had a great experience unlike me and over 85% of people who went on this ship and I am fine with that but some of the negative reviews I'm reading are just idiotic and sometime downright unfounded. Its runs the gamut from "the urns in the decor where made of plastic instead of glass so I'm going to give the ship 3 stars" to "the deli ran out of Sauerkraut at 2:30am for my Ruben sandwich so I'm giving the Legend 2 stars!!!????" There are also stories of how the weather was a little rough so the ship sucks to there were little kids running around having fun(GOD forbid they can have fun on a cruise ship, shame on them). Really people? After reading some of these reviews I'm just shaking my head in disbelief in how people can nitpick the smallest of things and have that ruin their experiences even though they admitted they had a good time. I have a suggestion for all of you complainers. Enjoy life, don't sweat the small thing. But then again, some people are just never happy no matter what I guess. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2012
This was my partner and I's 2nd cruise, but we were both too young on our first to really enjoy it fully. It was his first time with RCCL and my 2nd time. They haven't given me a reason to not cruise with them yet. Stateroom: ... Read More
This was my partner and I's 2nd cruise, but we were both too young on our first to really enjoy it fully. It was his first time with RCCL and my 2nd time. They haven't given me a reason to not cruise with them yet. Stateroom: We loved our stateroom. It was one of the lowest category rooms but it was great. I don't mind small spaces so I was pretty content. The way the room was organized made it feel pretty spacious. We never felt cramped. The room was beautifully re-decorated and the bed was SO COMFORTABLE. We also loved the bathroom. Most people decide to go Interior because they don't spend much time in the room anyways, but we spent a fair amount of time there and still really liked it. The only downside was that the closet doors only opened halfway, so only 1 person could stand in front of the opened closet at a time. Overall, I would not hesitate to book an Interior on the Jewel again. Ship: The ship was GORGEOUS. It was a little confusing to get used to at first, but we were pros by the 2nd night. We loved riding the side elevators that faced out. It was great to start our day off with a beautiful view of the sea or port. The pool was a little small, but most people sunbathed anyway. There were so many places on the ship to just lounge and chat with my group. We especially loved the Cards room in the Safari Club. It was mostly deserted and we had the place to ourselves. It's located to the right of the dance floor in the Club. Entertainment: The shows in the Coral Theatre weren't that spectacular. We only watched 2 of 5 shows. We had some great cruise directors but the one that stood out is Becky aka Bingo Becks. She was the life of every room and OH SO CUTE! We especially enjoyed the activities she hosted. We spent a surprising amount of time in Casino Royale. The only downside to that was being constantly emerged in cigarette smoke. There was always something going on and when we weren't doing something, we were lounging on the pool deck with plenty of loungers to go around. The Solarium was great and especially nice around 10pm when it was practically empty. Shopping: It's best to do this on the last 2 nights of the cruise because that's when the deals come out. Not bad for a ship of this size. Dining: WE LOVED THIS. The Windjammer has so much variety and lots of good food. We didn't buy any of the drink packages but never felt thirsty, there were so many drinks to choose from. Our favourite was the Unsweetened Iced Tea. The curry dish was always good and there were always great options. Tides dining room was beautiful and we had a great seat close to the window. The food wasn't spectacular every night, but it would be very good on some nights. I think I only didn't fully enjoy on of my dinners there. The only thing different about breakfast here and the Windjammer was the awesome Granola Bar. Same thing for lunch, they had a GREAT Salad Bar. The Seaview Cafe is really a hidden gem. It was mostly empty the whole cruise but had some great eats. The fish and chips were so juicy and the sandwiches scrumptious. The Solarium was the best place for a late night snack. Not a whole lot of variety, but satisfying enough at 11pm. The pizza was pretty good. Crew: The service was incredible. We adored our waiter, Cornelius. Everybody was always so nice and accommodating. Our stateroom attendant always kept our room looking its best, despite our habit of tossing everything EVERYWHERE. I would return to this ship just for the crew. Em/Debarkation: We arrived around 1:30pm and despite a long line, everything went really smoothly. Our bags arrived in a room after we grabbed a lunch in the Windjammer As a Canadian citizen, we had to go through an Immigration Clearance on our debarkation day. Even though we had to do this really early in the morning, we didn't have to wait too long. It was handled very well and also went very smoothly. They even provided some drinks and morning pastries for us. We had plenty of time to get breakfast. We were one of the last groups to be called off the ship and it was a breeze. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2011
We took the Carnival Legend out of Tampa for a Western Caribbean cruise in December of 2011. I traveled with my husband and 2 ½ year old son. This is just a brief review of some of our experiences. I learned some tips and tricks ... Read More
We took the Carnival Legend out of Tampa for a Western Caribbean cruise in December of 2011. I traveled with my husband and 2 ½ year old son. This is just a brief review of some of our experiences. I learned some tips and tricks from CC which helped me greatly but I also learned that I need to take some tips with a grain of salt too! Flying in and out of Tampa with Delta from Detroit was fine. We stayed at the Wyndham using some credit cards points. In some ways, I would not recommend. The free shuttle took forever to get us at the airport; they forgot us. The hotel is very beautiful and the breakfast buffet was good. The free shuttle was so overbooked you would wait forever for it. Service was not very good, even though it seemed to be a high class hotel. As recommended here, we went to Walmart on the shuttle to buy diapers, wine, and toddler snacks. This is my biggest regret. We were pushing ourselves to drink the wine (although we do drink wine at home); we just never were in the mood; too much else to do and see. DS barely ate the crackers and snacks since there was so much else on the ship. And I only used ½ the diapers I had planned since we were off the ship and swimming a lot. I wasted most of my first vacation night in a crummy city Walmart. In hindsight, I would just pack the diapers and purchase drinks on the ship! Our only other past cruise experience was with Princess in Alaska 3 years ago, following a week long independent land tour. So, this cruise is about as different as you could get. We chose Carnival for the kids club for our son age 2 ½. Much to our surprise, there were about twice as many mobility scooters on board as there were children! I would say 80% of the guests were retirees. Now, everyone was nice to us and no guests seemed to mind we had a rambunctious toddler with us, but I was so surprised! I expected tons of kids and families. It might have been timing (a few weeks before Christmas)? We booked room 5228, which is an obstructed view balcony, towards the aft, so the lifeboat only came about to the floor of the balcony. As was said here on CC, you could see out and all around, just not straight down. It didn't bother me one inch and I would not hesitate to book a cabin like this again for the great discount. I wanted a balcony so we could sit outside while my son napped, but to be honest, when he napped, we usually did too. With a young child, you could get by with an OV cabin but the balcony was nice. We were on the same floor as the kids club. Our room steward was very good and the couch was already made into a bed for my son by the time we boarded the ship. He had no problems sleeping there although he sleeps in a converted crib with half toddler rail at home. No rails here, he had no problems. It is not a very tall bed but he never fell. On the ship, I found the layout and design of the Legend to be nice. Maybe it was darker than the Princess boat we went on, but overall I like it. It was always clean. The food was good. Service was very good. I wish the pools were bigger but it was OK. Never went to the Serenity Deck. The steel drum band that played near the pools and other places throughout the ship was SO great; we loved to sit and listen to them and my son liked to dance. We went on deck for sail away which was beautiful and fun. We were up front when we went under the bridge. One thing I do not recall reading here was: the ship sounds the VERY LOUD horn when passing under the bridge! I think my son had a heart attack and was scared for 15 minutes afterwards. It was much too loud for him. The first night was so rocky it woke me up. I never had sea sickness in Alaska, although I can get sick on small boats. I was worried about feeling sick with a toddler the next day so I took a Bonine. I went back to sleep. In the morning it was calmer but still rocky. I decided to try the patch. I did and I felt fabulous. I think maybe I did have some dry mouth and the first night or two was a little more drowsy. But we were so tired from activities it didn't much matter; nothing a complimentary expresso at the MDR couldn't fix. Sea day 1 was great, sunny, we swam in the pool, ate, drank, napped. It was a great day. The saltwater pool bothered us only a little at first then we got used to it. We decided to try the MDR. My son does NOT sit through dinner and does not eat hardly anything. Well he sat for a two hour dinner and even ate a little bit; I had some movies downloaded on my phone for him to watch and lots of toys. The wait staff was so nice and friendly to him. Dinner was great but the fish I had was just OK. That fish was the only food item on board that I had that was so-so. Everything else was very good to excellent. The breakfasts were good in Lido; lunches great in Lido and near the pool. One night I had a steak sitting in a warming pan at the buffet. Guess what? It was awesome. We had some sushi that was very good. Deserts including the chocolate melting cake were great. The deli would make a PB&J when I asked for my son. Day 2 Grand Cayman we booked Captain Marvins to see stingrays. I think I chose them because there were two snorkeling sites and they would drop us off at 7 mile beach. Also the 10 am departure worked best for our schedule. There were 4 or 5 other boats in port and it was a zoo. If my son could have taken a ship tour I would do that instead of an independent. We had to walk far to check in, it was kind of hot and a narrow sidewalk for a busy toddler. I think without a little kid and not so many people around it would have been fine. On the tour it was a little rougher than I expected and my son was sick on the boat. When we got to the stingrays, he completely turned around and was so excited to go in the water! We had a life jacket, the puddle jumper: http://www.amazon.com/Stearns-Puddle-Jumper-Deluxe-Jacket/dp/B003648OKK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1323882127&sr=8-1. It was the best, he loved it. He loved the waves and he loved seeing the stingrays swimming underwater. He wanted to touch them, but did and then said Eww! But was just as thrilled with us holding him and watching them go all around. He laughed the whole time. Now, I talked to him a lot about this before we left and got a library book about rays and he was excited to go. He did not freak out. So, I would take a toddler again on this excursion, but if it was rough I've heard you can give them some benedryl for motion sickness. I didn't snorkel but my husband said it was excellent. After the tour we just went back on the ship; didn't feel like 7 mile beach at that point. Day 3 at Cozumel we went to Chankanaab. It was the best day. We love Mexico, having gone to many AI's there pre-baby. If you aren't used to the tourism culture there you might not like it, but we are fine with it. You haggle, you get asked for tips by everyone, who cares. It is such a beautiful place. Taxi I think cost $10 or something; rates are regulated. Lots of people trying to get a taxi, we just kept moving closer to the front and got in. Took 5 minutes to get there. Went right to the small inlet beach which was very fun and safe for DS. Had great wait service. Excellent drinks, great ceviche and guacamole. There is a fabulous pool there! Large and beautiful and some shallow areas for little ones. Saw the sea lion show and DS loved it. This was a great day, a beautiful location and we were very sad to leave. Day 4 was Belize. We went all the way to the tender deck and when I saw the rough water I bailed because I didn't want DS sick. If we had tendered, we would have only shopped and came back anyway. Maybe this is a nice place but my opinion is: If the boat is anchored 30 minutes from land, this is not a port nor a stop. It is a hiccup in planning, nothing else. I would not take a ship that went here again. If you cruise to have transportation to different areas, to mean another 30 minute rocky tender on top of the cruise ship ride just doesn't make sense. But I know others like the place and that's fine. We stayed on board. Day 5 was Roatan. We walked to Mahogany Bay and took our stroller. Glad we did; it was better for the little guy. The flying chair only takes you so far. The beach is nice but even better when you walk a bit farther down past the cabanas. I think the cabanas were a rip off. We got chairs, DS played in the water and napped in the stroller. We ate some yard sized drinks and beers and nachos. When we wanted to go it started pouring so everyone ran back in the rain; a bummer but we were all wet already anyway. This was a nice beach area and a nice place for drinks and music and food. It had a fun little playscape for kids too. Last sea day was not so sunny or warm. But we relaxed and enjoyed our last day. Disembarkation was a little tense. Our flight left at 12:20 I think. So we got an envelope in the cabin to either self disembark or zone 3. We had a stroller and everything else so figured we do zone 3 so they'd take our luggage off. Well morning comes and they call self disembark for such a long time, then take a huge break before starting zones. We were worried we wouldn't make it. Finally they call zone 3, but it still took a few lines before getting off the ship, then find your luggage in the huge warehouse. Then, go outside to find one scrappy looking guy thinking he is in charge of lining up taxis for hundreds of people! There was no clear line to get the next taxi and several taxis were lined up one behind the other. A family to our far left stood at an open curb and a taxi pulled up and loaded them up. This "director" for taxis ran over there yelling that they could not get in that one and pulled their luggage out! They were not trying to cut in line but there was no clear method; and he was not pulling taxis in fast enough or letting them leave. After I saw that I thought to myself, heck with this crazy guy, I am not missing my flight. When a line of 4 taxis pulled in I walked towards one and the driver said "wait...". I said "No problem, that guy (attendant) just told us to get in here" and we piled in and took off. We got to the airport, checked in, security, gate exactly at an hour before the flight took off. So just in "legal" time. Next time I would self disembark. Overall, we had a great trip and I would definitely cruise again as a family get away. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2011
I sailed on the Western Caribbean tour the week of Thanksgiving. This is my 7th cruise -â€" 2nd on NCL and I would give them a solid "B+". The holiday week probably changed the normal demographics of my fellow travelers ... Read More
I sailed on the Western Caribbean tour the week of Thanksgiving. This is my 7th cruise -â€" 2nd on NCL and I would give them a solid "B+". The holiday week probably changed the normal demographics of my fellow travelers somewhat. I met a lot of multi-generational families celebrating the holidays. The "children" ie mid 40's seemed to enjoy the atmosphere of the ship. The "parents" 60's + complained frequently about the lack of service and poor attention to detail. If you are a traveler who likes to slip the Matre D some cash to get preferential treatment and your idea of an excellent vacation is to be pampered by the staff then stop reading now because we have nothing in common and we probably won't like the same trips. The overall atmosphere of the ship was casual -â€" in line with NCL's freestyle approach. A decent percentage of the guests did "dress up" in the evening -â€" however at the shows one might see someone in swim trunks and a tank top seated next to someone in a fancy dress. NCL does a good job getting folks on and off the ship for the early morning shore excursions. The most I ever waited was 5 minutes. A pleasant change compared to other lines I have sailed. The quality of the food available in the main dining room (dinner), buffet and market café was average. Even though there were daily changes to the menus in the dining rooms I felt like after 5 days I was pretty much eating the same food. Service was prompt and on par with my expectations at the "free" food venues. I ate one meal at the Tex Mex "pay" restaurant and it was a step up in taste and quality but I had to ask repeatedly for more water, sour cream, etc.... I heard positive things about the Pay Steakhouse and Pay Japanese restaurant. In fact several people I met on tours went 100% the pay route for dinner based on feedback they had received prior to the trip. The entertainment was hit or miss depending on your particular taste. Second City does a pretty good scripted comedy show -â€" however 30+% of it I remember from another NCL cruise 2 years ago. I enjoyed the hypnotist and the "Elements" show -â€" but found the "musicals" to be lacking in content and honestly talent. The more "adult oriented" shows in the nightclub were entertaining. They offer the normal "newlywed game", "who wants to be a millionaire" type -â€" and then added a great adult themed show with the hypnotist and a less successful non scripted Second City comedy review. There were plenty of lounges to sit with your old and new friends for a drink. It is a plus if you like jazz or piano as you could always find a lounge with that laid back atmosphere. I much prefer the pub vibe -â€" big screen TV blaring Rock music and regrettably there was only one such place on the ship and during certain times of the day it hosted karaoke or a singer doing a Simon and Garfunkel best of show. The bar staff was pleasant and attentive. Drink prices are exorbitant (as expected) but most staff gave a generous pour - even more so the next time if you threw them a couple of extra bucks as a tip. As a negative I did not find much to amuse myself during our two sea days compared with other lines I have sailed. I have zero interest in shopping, spa treatments, art and bingo. They had ice carving and towel folding demos that attracted a crowd.... Luckily the weather held and we could sit outside and enjoy the sun those 2 days. The atmosphere on the pool deck was good. Most of the time you could find a chair in the area you wanted to sit. They had an area near the pool with live entertainment. They had a hot tub area in a quite zone (ie no kids). They had a kids pool area and then some nooks that were in the shade for those people who forgot to lather up the first day. They had an excellent kids program and those kids that were out and about on the pool deck were well behaved and adequately supervised by parents and staff. The overall condition of the ship was good -â€" The stateroom, towels and linins were clean. My steward did a good job keeping everything fresh. However the carpet on the stairs was worn at the place where everyone pivots to descend to the next level. The lights in my vanity stopped working for 3 days and most annoying to me - fellow travelers left drinks/plates of food around the pool deck and strong winds blew the trash all over. Wait staff routinely just stepped over the blowing cans and went about their business. Most of the deficiencies seemed to be esthetic and not functional. I had read previous reviews that getting on-board the ship in Tampa was a nightmare as they were new to this terminal. They seemed to have mostly worked out the bugs on embarkation-â€" We got through the rather long line in < 30 minutes. However I saw some older people struggling as you were required to first queue up in the hot sun to go through security and then once again inside to get your sea pass. They need some strategically placed chairs for these folks to sit on. I can not say the same for the debarkation process. It was a nightmare. I was in the last group to exit based on my 5 pm flight time. There was no organization to exit through customs. Porters had their own line and for a "tip" one could grab a porter and jump the rest of the line. People just followed the porters and then when they could not exit through the porter only customs checkpoint they just tried to merge with the other folks who had been patiently waiting in line for 30+ minutes. The well being and happy atmosphere quickly vanished as people cut the line and pushed their way toward the exit. Since I was on a bus and in no hurry I waited in the line and it took me nearly 45 minutes to get through customs. In summary I recommend NCL to travelers where the expectation is the ship should be a pleasant vehicle for getting to the various ports of call. This is my personal view on cruising. If I can be off the ship exploring I will be. If the ship is supposed to be the end all destination of the vacation then I think people may be disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2011
My husband and I went on the cruise February 26th, 2012. Western Caribbean. Room 8162. I did a lot of looking and reading reviews prior to going. If i was to believe all the things that people wrote on here i would not have gone. But ... Read More
My husband and I went on the cruise February 26th, 2012. Western Caribbean. Room 8162. I did a lot of looking and reading reviews prior to going. If i was to believe all the things that people wrote on here i would not have gone. But lucky for us we had gone on 2 previous cruises and knew better. Most of the people that take the time to write the bad reviews are just wrong and need to get a life or at least enjoy life. This is your vacation and it is what you make of it period. So with that done.... We had a very nice location on the ship this room is awesome room 8162. It is indeed right below the Lido deck and not noisy at all. Lunch area.. chairs NOT a problem. I heard it maybe 2 times. This room was an awesome location mid ship. The steward was awesome. Sure wish i could figure out how they new you were gone. Always had a clean room and a fun animal at night. As for people saying it is a gaudy ship ha it is art and very beautiful. Sorry this ship is leaving the area. The service on the ship could not have been better. I never met any grouchy employee the entire time. Again not sure what these people are complaining about. Getting on and off the ship was very easy. Do as the instructions and all goes smooth. We spent a lot of our time on the ship getting involved in the activities. There is so much to do if you look. We played games ext. Watched all the shows. They were fantastic. The Comedy shows were so good i think we went to all of them. Yes some are very late and adult only comedy. The early shows are family. The games all that was fun. We are not gamblers but many are and yes they all looked as they were having fun. We were on the anytime dining. We opted to let them sit us with others as it was only the 2 of us. That was fun we met some great people on the ship that way. The food was fantastic.. why would it not be? I not only did not have to prepare it but it was served to me anyway i wanted it. The chocolate melting cake is awesome. They also have other fantastic choices if you are not a chocolate fan. They also at every meal have a sugar free option. I found the food to be great in the dining room. on the Lido deck is where the other food in found. They have a great spread for lunch buffets. Many choices. Salad bar, a Sandwich bar. china buffet type bar.. rice chicken ect. On the back of the ship they have hot dogs ice cream pizza. Guess what i am saying is if you go hungry its your own fault period. Breakfast: You can eat in the dining room we did that twice just because we could and it was very good. They have a breakfast buffet with Omelette bar 2 running actually. Never took very long and was always fantastic. The ports of call were all fantastic as well as the excursions that we went on. We spent one day at a beach, went Zip lining that i can say i can cross of my list but Hubby really loved it. In Belize we did our own thing. Not sure i would recommend that. I hope that this will help if you are looking to take a cruise with carnival. I for one have gone on 2 with carnival. One time with my parents and they enjoyed it just as much as we did. It is a great way to see many places. Next adventure for us will be Alaska cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2011
We have cruised with several lines and hadn't booked with Carnival since 1999 because we really enjoyed Freestyle Cruising on NCL unless there was a specific itinerary we wanted on an alternate line. That said, since March, 2010 until ... Read More
We have cruised with several lines and hadn't booked with Carnival since 1999 because we really enjoyed Freestyle Cruising on NCL unless there was a specific itinerary we wanted on an alternate line. That said, since March, 2010 until our departure February 27, 2011 we have cruised on Carnival 3 times because of several birthday celebrations. During the past year we've been on the Glory, Triumph and now the Legend. We came back to Carnival because we wanted a cruise with affordable prices for a balcony room, anytime dining and interesting itineraries. We were very pleasantly surprised by how much the dining and entertainment has improved since 1999 and allowing you to each bring a bottle of wine onboard to enjoy in your room is a definite bonus. As noted on the information, corkage is only charged if you take your own wine to the dining room. Several reviews have compared Carnival to Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Holland America. I don't believe this is a fair comparison as there is a significant difference in balcony pricing between these lines and Carnival and lets face it, reductions have to be made somewhere if there's a savings passed along to the customer. Embarkation was very smooth and we were on the ship by 12:05. We were pleasantly surprised that even though the buffet was very busy, there were lots of tables, especially outside on the Lido deck by the pool. Beautiful to be out in the open air after leaving the snow in Canada. We found the Carnival Legend to be a very well kept ship, staff were very friendly and seemed to enjoy their jobs. Our cabin stewards were rarely seem but did a wonderful job cleaning the cabin, re-stocking and we were welcomed back every evening by a different towel animal and those yummy Carnival chocolates! We had anytime dining arriving at the dining room between 7:45 and 8:00 and usually the pager was going off within two to ten minutes, which was great. Staff can't give you an approximate time to wait because it just depends on when people finish. Our friends booked last minute and had the late seating without being able to change, which is understandable. Food was exceptional in the dining room and the buffet always had a great selection. Nice salad bar, Asian and grilled sandwich stations...yummy. We've heard Carnival has the best pizza at sea and it seemed so to us. The stations on the Legend did seem more confusing because there are so many but it was greatly appreciated that they kept the buffet open longer than the stated hours on port days so we were always able to have a nice lunch when we got back late. Two people that were outstanding in Truffles were Rima and Carlos. We did find that the assistant waiters did not assist at the tables as much as on previous cruises, however, the service was still impeccable. These headwaiters refilled water, butter, cleared dishes quickly and we never waited long between courses and always were there with a smile. We did notice their assistants running back and forth with trays of food and dishes and sometimes waited the tables. We also saw Carlos several mornings in the Lido area cleaning tables by the pool and the man never stops....he's constantly on the look out for dishes that need to be picked up and tables that need to be wiped. He also has a wonderful personality and always took time to speak with us while doing an awesome job. Production shows were very good and we also enjoyed the Legends show and when people sang with the Legend Showband who were very talented, especially the guitarist. The piano bar was very enjoyable, however, people may have not stayed long due to the smoke, which was the case with us. Found that some nights seemed to be all comedy and others all music so it was hard to choose which one we'd have to miss. Crazy John was great and took requests changing his voice from Elvis to Willie Nelson to Ray Charles and we'll never forget his rendition of "Wild Thing" for us!! Cruise Director Josh is a great guy and did an awesome job keeping everyone up to date on what was going on without being intrusive. As "Big Sexy" in the Legends show he certainly gave us a laugh and we never laughed harder than when our new found friends Fran, Belinda and Maryann were on his afternoon show...hysterical. Best wishes to he and Susan his fiancee this May as they marry. Usually do shore excursions at each port but since we'd been there a few times previously just booked the swimming with the Stingrays for the second time with Rum Point Beach added and loved it. What a beautiful spot and well worth the money. Great guides that made sure everyone got a chance to hold the Stingrays and get a kiss from them giving us lots of time for photo ops. Just poked around the ports in Cozumel and Belize and enjoyed a drink on shore. Roatan is a great beach which Carnival invested heavily in and it certainly paid off for their customers. Tons of lounges, beautiful beach with white sand and sparkling water. Great last port to relax. Lots of options to purchase drinks, food and souvenirs. Had to leave at 2:30 which I assume was because we needed the time to get back to Tampa. We would most definitely cruise on Carnival and the Legend again, the only complaint was that we were only on it for 7 days and that was our own fault! Did not want to debark in Tampa but Josh gave us a great send off....Oh My Gosh Josh!!! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2011
We arrived in Tampa after an on-time flight from a cold Minnesota looking forward to a nice warm break. The weather in Tampa was warm but not quite hot and that was ok with us. A fairly quick taxi ride to the port is a flat-rate $25. Upon ... Read More
We arrived in Tampa after an on-time flight from a cold Minnesota looking forward to a nice warm break. The weather in Tampa was warm but not quite hot and that was ok with us. A fairly quick taxi ride to the port is a flat-rate $25. Upon arrival we learned that departure would be delayed to 3:00 am but that we would still arrive in our one port of call, Cozumel, on time. At first I wondered if this was to do with the Norovirus outbreak on a previous cruise but it turned out to be from some routine maintenence. This gave us some unexpected time to look around Tampa and we took advantage of it by riding the streetcar to Ybor City, then to the downtown area and then back to the ship. This is a great bargain as an all you can ride ticket costs only $5.00 and there is a stop right ouside the port entrance. We had checked in prior to our little shore excursion with no delays or problems so when we reboarded all we had to do was explore the ship and have a snack. We awoke the next morning at sea and as we sailed south the weather gradually warmed up. This was a sea day and we enjoyed some challenging trival pursuit conducted by the very pleasant cruise director himself,Dan Whitney. We didn't win but did win at a subsequent game, so we didn't leave the ship without at least one win. The ship is beautiful and very well maintained. The Colony Club has warm wood paneling and is designed to be like an English private club. This was one of our favorite spots and was the location of receptions and music performances. The Windjammer buffet was one of the most pleasant buffets we have encountered in or many cruises and the Seaview Cafe was also a good spot for burgers, hot dogs, reubens etc. Both dining areas have outdoor seating sections adjacent which was really nice when the weather warmed. Our only port of call on this short four night cruise was Cozumel. We have been there many times so we decided to try walking into town to get some much needed exercise, and then just look around all of the familiar places there. RCI now docks almost as far out of town as Carnival corps. ships do so this is a pretty long hike and I would not suggest doing it unless you are looking for the exercise. Even then you might want to catch a ride back to the ship. But the weather was perfect on this day, sunny and in the mid-seventies, cooler than when we have usually been there. There are sidewalks the whole way (in various states of repair) and in one spot on the land side of the street there was a whole block where there were numerous Iguanas sunning themselves. There are also several outdoor pubs if you want to take a break and ponder whether this walking notion was such a bright idea after all. No worries about that-there are plenty of taxis cruising this main street looking for a fare. The next day was another sea day and a chance to relax and talk a bit with our fellow cruisers. This cruise departed six days after the changes in the Crown and Anchor Society took effect. There was much confusion among the members about how past cruises would be credited. Those who had taken many short three day cruises were ecstatic because the they were credited for seven days for each of those short cruises. Those who had taken longer, more expensive ten and eleven night cruises were extremely upset to find that they had only been credited for the eqivalent of a shorter one week cruise. I must say that I was disappointed when I went to the onboard Crown and Anchor loyalty representatives to get the exact information about these changes. Unlike Celebrity where these people are there to help past cruisers, on RCI they were there mostly to sell future cruises and were not very atuned to spending time dealing with providing help to memebers. Even when I spoke to Ms. Yao, the C&A manager at the Platinum and up reception (the only time I could find her free and not selling cruises, which by the way you have to sign up for an appointment in advace to do) she seemed anxious to get away and do something else, rather than discuss the fact that we had not received one of the new benefits described on the information sheet that listed the new changes. Having said that, the staff on the ship were uniformly excellent. Our waiter and his assistant were very good. As others have mentioned about this ship, there were an unusally large amount of staff specifically asking (more or less) for you to give them excellent ratings on the survey. It is good that the cruiseline is focusing on great service but perhaps they got a little carried away with the survey itself. We enjoyed this ship and our cruise very much. The talk by Capt.Andersen was one of the highlights. We look forward to our next RCI cruise, but like others we hope they will address some of the oversights in the new C&A points system. We also hope that the upcoming remodeling scheduled for the ship will not eliminate any of the things we particularly enjoyed, such as the outside seating areas on the back of the ship, near the dining areas. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
My partner and I were very much looking forward to this our first cruise. This little four-day jaunt would be a "practice run" for a longer cruise booked for October 2011. I really have nothing to compare our experience with, ... Read More
My partner and I were very much looking forward to this our first cruise. This little four-day jaunt would be a "practice run" for a longer cruise booked for October 2011. I really have nothing to compare our experience with, except a Yangtze River cruise we took in May 2010. Boarding Radiance of the Seas was very quick and easy. The friendly staff greeted us and processed us onboard within only a few minutes' time. Once on board, our large oceanview cabin was surprisingly spacious and comfortable. I was impressed with how much storage was available, some of it rather cleverly concealed. The food, both in the dining room and at the buffet, was plentiful and of good quality. Predictably, I weighed more at the end of the cruise than I did at the beginning! The only port of call on our brief itinerary was Cozumel; we elected to take the Passion Island shore excursion. We attended every show that was offered in the ship's theater. We were impressed with the high quality of the entertainment as well as the theater venue itself. This cruise was in December, so the weather was iffy, alternating between sunny and a bit warm, and gray and chilly. Again, since I have no other cruise experience to compare it to, my report is one of first impressions. And first impressions are often correct. We found the ship to be just beautiful, and the staff was extremely accommodating. The housekeepers in particular practically fell over themselves to take care of us. My only criticism is about neither the ship nor the staff. It relates to the customers. I certainly did not expect to see tuxedos and evening gowns, but - wow - to say these folks were casual would be putting it mildly. A large percentage of those onboard were dressed as though they'd just come in from mowing the lawn. Cut-off shorts, wacky tee-shirts, a lot of skin showing, backwards baseball caps, beer bottle in-hand. And this represented all age ranges. There were LOTS of kids on the cruise, which were not a problem, except that they pretty much had a constant monopoly on the swimming pool and hot tubs. I hadn't considered the fact that it was the week before Christmas and the kids were out of school. I chalked up the extra-casual dress and behavior to the fact that it was a brief cruise during the holiday season, the price was right, and the one port of call wasn't exactly a cultural draw. This all spells party boat. On the one formal night it was encouraging to see that some of these folks did have the wherewithall to make an effort to put some appropriate clothing on. None of this bothered me to the extent that it probably sounds here; after the first day I grew accustomed to it. It's just that the high standards maintained by RCI and this particular cruise stood in sharp contrast to the crowd being catered to. Disembarking in Tampa was extremely organized and moved quickly; in fact we were a bit ahead of schedule. All in all, this cruise was relaxing and very pleasant, and I look forward to October's cruise. We really didn't see much of Cozumel. Since we'd signed on for the Passion Island shore excursion, we got off Radiance of the Seas and onto a catamaran to the island. We were in the immediate "holding area" near the pier for maybe a half hour, where there's nothing much to see except the usual tourist souvenir stalls. Passion Island has a beach that is just beautiful. There's nothing much to do there, but that's the whole point. There are chairs on the beach and a little pavilion with hammocks to lay in. There's a large thatched pavilion that serves all-you-want Mexican food, which was quite good. The excursion included drinks such as margaritas, which to be honest, were mostly ice. No one was going into the water because it was too chilly, which was a real shame, since it was very enticing. The sand was white and powdery, and the water was that perfect Caribbean turquoise color, very shallow so that you'd be able to walk out a very long way and still be only waist-deep. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2007
What a great experience! We arrived in Tampa after visiting our son and his wife in Norfolk, VA. The transfer to the ship went smoothly and we were boarded within 30 minutes of reaching the pier terminal. Our room was ready by 1:30 and our ... Read More
What a great experience! We arrived in Tampa after visiting our son and his wife in Norfolk, VA. The transfer to the ship went smoothly and we were boarded within 30 minutes of reaching the pier terminal. Our room was ready by 1:30 and our bags arrived at about the same time. We went up on deck to look around and just to take a quick walk through the ship. This was our second cruise with Carnival and the first time we were on the Legend. The ship seemed well laid out and we were able to find everything quite readily. Our room steward was Marco and he was most pleasant and arranged for my wife to take a class on folding towels, the animals they create are just wonderful. Our Table waiter was Yako and he made our dining experience great fun. He went out of his way to get us whatever we needed. Service and food were great with a lot of variety. We dined in the Golden FLeece one evening and it was also a great experience. Entertainment during the day offered a great deal of variety for all ages and there is always the casino for some fun as well. We truly enjoyed the floor shows each night and also appreciated that we could go to family entertainment early and adult entertainment at a later time if we wished. Our shore excursions included Sting Ray City (Captain Marvin) at the Cayman Islands along with some shopping; A helmet dive in Cozumel; Shopping at Belize and visiting the town in Roatan Honduras. I really liked the lest commercial markets and stores in Roatan Honduras. Debarkation also went quite smoothly, we waited on Deck two for about 30 minutes for our number to be called and then we were off the ship and being transferred to the airport in another 30 minutes. All in all a great trip with a very competent cruise line and wonderful staff. 2fortravel Read Less
Sail Date: April 2007
It was our 50th Anniversary and we really wanted to do it right. We have been on several cruises in the last ten years both here and in Europe. Our nicest and fondest of them was on the Holland America Veendam. When we found out that they ... Read More
It was our 50th Anniversary and we really wanted to do it right. We have been on several cruises in the last ten years both here and in Europe. Our nicest and fondest of them was on the Holland America Veendam. When we found out that they had a Trans Atlantic crossing with some great Mediteranean ports of call and on the Veendam it was like additional insurance. Eighteen days would be the longest of any cruise we have ever taken. We worried how bad the crossing might be, would we get bored and what about the ever strenghtening Euro? Well thanks to this site I found some valuable information my travel agent did not know about for instance that they have a wine card that you can purchase that runs each glass to less than $4.00 not bad I cant do that at home.And information on excursions. Also I found out about what to expect at ports of call, although I had worried about pickpockets in Barcelona, which I found to be like any large city in any part of the world. All of the ports were excellent choices, moving off and back on to the ship was pretty faultless. What was remarkable was that even a few obviously disabled people in wheelchairs were able to make this trip without too much problem. I ran into an old Marine Corp vet in a wheelchair, traded salutes. Hats off to Holland America.My Veranda suite was fantastic, I had sailed in one before. Great beds, roomy refrig. lots of space for clothes. A great table in the dining room with the smilingest and happy crew you could ask for. I remember this from my last trip on the Veendam. Our cabin Attendent was so pleasant for the whole eighteen days...we just had to dig in to our pockets for a few more bucks for him. An added plus was, we had taken a cruise on anothe line in December and a liter of bottle water was $5.00 the same liter here was 2.00. The meals and veriety were fantastic in the dining room but since it was our 50th anniversary we decided to splurge and dine in the Pinnacle Grill, I have only had Rib eye better in my life and it was in Fort Worth Texas at Lowrys. But hey it was great,we ate there twice. Entertainment was not bad after all this is not Broadway or Vegas, but you got to admire effort, and they did. Great dancing and some good comedians. Complaints.....?? 1. of course you never have enough time in the ports. We all would like to stay aweek in each port, but to tell you the truth a lot of these folks were glad to get back to the ship and cocktails. 2. The casino slot machines are smarter than I am. I tried everything, sneaking up on them, next time I will try a disguise. Happy Crusing! Read Less

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