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Ballymote

Back From a LEGENDary 8 Days 1-6-05

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I know how much I looked forward to reading reviews of the Legend in the weeks and months leading up to my cruise so I thought I would provide future Legend cruisers with my feelings about the past eight days visiting St. Martin. Barbados and Martinique. Hopefully, many of your questions will be answered herein or feel free to bombard me with others. I will be happy to answer any that I can. OK, where to start? I guess Embarkation would be the best place to start.

 

First, I was traveling with a large group that included my wife, my son and his wife and another son and his fiancee. Additionally, our neighbors, and their kids and spouses were also in our party. There were also ten people that I work with on board. None of these include the wonderful group of strangers from Cruise Critic that I had chatted with daily for the past 8 months. It's difficult to spend the time with all of the people you would like to spend time with when you are in such a large group so I apologize for those I missed.

 

EMBARKATION

 

We arrived in Ft Lauderdale at 10 AM on a flight from Atlantic City, NJ. After gathering our luggage we commandeered a large van who took 12 of us to the Pier for $70.00. We had him stop at a Liquor Store first and I added to my wine and spirits collection since I didn't want TOO many bottles in my luggage for the flight down. After all of us had stocked up we proceeded to the Pier and arrived at 11:15. The line was long but moved well. We expected to spend two full hours in line but we were on board and sipping drinks at the Lobby Bar by 12:40 PM. No complaints about Embarkation. That alone separates me from hundreds of others.

Luggage took a long time to arrive in the room but we had a change of clothes in our carry-on bags so it wasn't really a problem except that I had to worry whether my 8 bottles of wine and three large bottles of Mudslides would make it safely abaord. We got a notice that my bag was chosen for inspection and figured "Uh oh..they got me". At about 6PM, the bags arrived and the "booze" was still there. Whew!!

 

The SHIP

 

The Legend is a beautiful ship. The decor is a bit over the top but it is well done. The Atrium is magnificent. The Public spaces are attractive. The many bars are all over the decorative chart from subtle to outlandish. It all seems to work. Although the layout of the ship is not difficult to get used to and despite the fact I spent four years in the Navy, I never seemed to turn the right way when I emerged from an elevator and headed for my cabin. My wife caught on right away and I was still struggling on the day of departure. The Truffles Dining Room is nice, the Unicorn Cafe is functional and all the areas seem to flow well.

The Follies Lounge where the shows are held in the evenings never feels overcrowded and there are good views from every seat. The Golden Fleece Restaurant is a first class dining area (more on this under FOOD).

You WILL feel some movement on this ship. I think it's inevitable but it was never a problem. No one in our party became sick from it but from time to time you WILL know you are on a ship at sea. Hey, that's what you paid for, enjoy it!:p

 

The CABIN

 

We booked a Guaranteed Balcony and Guaranteed Inside Rooms for the kids and received grey luggage tags when our docs came which means we were in the dark as to what cabins we had until we arrived at the pier. We got what we booked, a balcony. Both kids were upgraded to window rooms so that was nice. We were in 7263 (starboard mid-ship on the Verandah Deck). All rooms, with the exception of suites, appear to be the same size. The rooms are very economical and well designed. There is ample space for lots of clothes and drawer space and the luggage bags fit nicely UNDER the bed. The bed is comfortable. I had heard complaints about the pillows but they were fine. Hey, maybe I'm just easy to please although my wife would debate that. The bathroom is small but functional. You have all the space you need. The shower is GREAT. I am only home one day and I actually miss that shower. So easy to use, adjust, position, and everyone agreed. They loved THAT shower! Elevators are conveniently located at 3 points on each floor and there is never a very long wait for them. Stairs are available but, we seldom used them.

 

The FOOD

 

Ahhh, the food. Let's start with the main dining room (Truffles Restaurant). The menus provide enough choices and if you can't find anything you like they will always make you a steak of your choice. Service there is excellent (more on that under Staff and Crew). Desserts are good and our waiter brought our kids a brownie sundae whenever they couldn't find something else they liked or in addition to something else they liked. We had wine with each dinner there and were NEVER charged a corkage fee. The alternate dining spot at dinner is the Unicorn Cafe on the Lido deck but we never had dinner there. We did have breakfast and lunch there and were never disappointed. For breakfast, you can order what you like in Truffles or head for the Unicorn and have them make you the omelet of your choice. The danish and other pastries they serve in both places almost melt in your mouth. The bacon is always perfectly done unless you want it crisper, which they will do for you in Truffles. Lunches in the Unicorn were varied and there was always something good. In addition to daily fare there is a Taste of Nations station that features food from a different country each day. If none of this appeals to you there are hot dogs and hamburgers by the pool and a 24 hour Pizza Station that also serves calzones (they take 8 minutes). The pizza is wonderful, by the way, as are the calzones. Arrgghh...writing this is making me hungry!!

We had dinner TWICE at the Golden Fleece. The first time cause that was our plan and the second time cause the first was soooooooo GOOD.

The food in the Golden Fleece Supper Club doesn't appear to be good because it is better than in Truffles; it appears to be good because it is world class dining at $25.00 per person. They do charge you for corkage here. They have a nice wine list at reasonable prices should you choose to not bring your own. Everyone raved over their entrees, I had the filet once, it was perfect (cut some of it with my fork!). I had the lobster tale the next time...Mmmmmmmmmm..and helped my wife finish her 24 ounce Porterhouse. Desserts are yummy and the chef always adds a few treats. There is soft music played by a live band and dancing too. it's a three hour experience so don't make any early plans. Make your reservations early and try and make then for nights that are NOT Formal Nights cause thats when they have the best menus in Truffles. The service in the Golden Fleece is top shelf. You will feel well taken care of all night long. The tip is not included in the $25.00 fee so remember to add it to the bill. They deserve it!! (SEE Part Two)

 

Happy Crusin

 

Frank

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Here is Part two

 

The STAFF and CREW

 

The entire Carnival Staff works hard to make your cruise experience exceed your expectations. They really do a great job at everything from bussing tables to keeping the ship clean. Our cabin steward, Ignaticio, did a great job keeping us stocked in ice for our Mudslides and had a cute towel animal for us every night when he delivered our Carnival Capers and chocolate mint. One night we thought he forgot our towel animal until we lay in bed and saw this "monkey" hanging by one arm from the light fixture. Our dining room staff, Alvin and Jigson, both from the Philipines were awesome. They were both just absolutely the BEST. My wife wanted to take Alvin home with us. She told him that and he replied with a smile..."To be your butler?"..and my wife said.."Noooo...to be my Son!!". The Ass't Maitre D, Thomir solved an early seating problem that looked like it could be a bad experience and went on to become a friend as the cruise progressed. Overall, just a great staff of dedicated employees. We had, ok, I had, one bad experience. I purchased a roll of film, opened it and discovered it was not the right film for my camera. The girl at the Photo Booth would not refund my money. She kept asking me "would you buy a roll of opened film?" I pointed out that it wasn't like a candy bar that I had taken a bite out of.....I finally walked away and she called me back...."Sir, you forgot your film"...I told her what she could do with the film:mad: .....and left it with her. One bad experience in 8 days. Not bad!!

 

ENTERTAINMENT

 

Plenty to do on board. If you are bored you have no one to blame but yourself. Are all the shows great...Nope, I didn't think so. The two that are not to be missed are "Jazz Hot" on Day Two, and "Singin With The Big Band with Christopher Allen Graves" He is terrific. You will leave the Follies wondering why he is performing on cruise ships and not a major recording artist appearing in Vegas and on TV. The Guest Talent Show was well done. We didn't care for "Take Two" or The Opening Night Show featuring the cruise director and the audience. if you have socks to sort, or something that needs ironing, doing it instead of attending that show might be a good idea. Sorry, Bret, it was bad!

Speaking of Bret Allen....I had read a ton of negative stuff about him on these boards prior to the cruise. He's ok, he will not affect your cruise and he does have a wealth of information. He just needs to learn to take a breath every now and then while speaking and speaking and speaking...Mike Lawless in the Piano Bar is a lot of fun and will play just about anything you request. The Casino has lots of slots and a good variety of table games. There is truly something for everybody in the way of entertainment.

 

MISCELLANEOUS

 

Finding lounge chairs in the pool area was never a major problem. It wasn't always easy but, it can be done despite the "reserve towels" so many people use to save them.

A nice quiet place to read a book alone would be the "Enchanted Forest". Not even gonna tell you where it is...you gotta find it yourself.

Always try the Drink of the Day at $2.99. Some of them are excellent. My favorite was the Caribbean Breeze. Also, from 9 to 12 each morning they have Bloody Mary's, Screwdrivers and Mimosa's for $2.95.

Photos must be a MAJOR source of cash to Carnival cause they push them almost as much as they push the FOUR, count em, F O U R, Art Auctions held at sea.:eek:

My kids got a massage at the Spa onboard and raved about them.

I had no idea how lengthy this had become so I don't even have the time or strength to mention the three islands we visited. Let me sum it up by saying it was a great vacation. I am keeping my Carnival stock. They do a nice job. Remember, your cruise is what YOU want it to be.:)

 

Happy Crusin

 

Frank

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Satchomo's Club--How was the entertainment? I am geting married on board on May 29th and may have my reception in Satchomo's with what ever music comes with the room.

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Thanks so much for the review of the Legend, Frank. DH & I will be sailing her this Sat. So excited! If you get a chance, I would be interested in hearing about your port experiences. We've never been the southern route before and still haven't completely decided what we want to do.

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Hey Frank, great review. Cindy and I enjoyed meeting you and your family. You are right about the El Tigre excursion - what an incredible time.

 

Glad to hear you all made it home fine and good luck today. I guess after 8 months you have us converted - Go Eagles!!!!!

 

And also, thanks for the cigar. Kathy and I enjoyed it on Pat's wraparound balcony on the last day.

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Engaged....Satchmo's would be a good place for a reception. One of our group hosted a cocktail party there. They have a nice stage and a dance floor. The decor is a light wooden, maybe oak, motif. Pretty simple for the Legend where most places are "over the top". The band was a Filipino group with a female lead singer who did a nice job on the songs. They were real good with the Beatles, Stones, etc. You should have a great time.......and it's only a few steps away from your "honeymoon suite" sooooooooooo...

 

St. Martin....we had , dare I say it, RAIN, the dreaded "R" word. We rented two mini-vans ahead of time and they were waiting for us at the pier. We did it online thru a place called St. Louis Car Rental and a man named Marius. I had heard good things about his place on a web site and decided to take a chance. Marius was terrific. Met us at the Pier and did the paperwork there. When we got back he drove us all to the ship. The price was $111.00 including all insurances and mileage so it came out to about $18.00 per person. We drove all over the island and saw as much as we could despite the weather. We stopped where we wanted and had a few Carib Beers and finished with lunch and shopping in Phillipsburg. We had a nice day but I am sure it would have been more impressive in the sunshine.

 

Barbados...more RAIN but...after sitting in a bar drinking Banks Beer over-

looking the street in Bridgetown, the rain stopped when we went to meet our hosts for the El Tigre Catamarran Cruise ($35 per person). The weather was great, the booze was perfect and we had a great day. The Cat dropped us off at The Boatyard where we drank until I somehow got back to the ship. I truly don't remember going back onboard so THAT's a good sign!!

 

Martinique....SUNSHINE.... We rented a van and driver (Bobby..spoke English...$35.00 per person) and he took us on a great tour of the beautiful island. Up into the mountains, thru the rain forest, to a rum factory, saw Mt. Pelee and the town of Fort Pierre destroyed in 1902 when the volcano exploded. It was a very nice 4 hours. Walked thru the Parc Savanne in Fort de France and then returned to the ship. Nice day.

 

Happy Crusin

 

Frank

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Hi Frank,

Really enjoyed reading your very well written and interesting review. Glad you and your family had a wonderful time on the cruise. It was nice to finally meet you in person - even though it was very briefly at the first cocktail party. :)

Cindy

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To the couple getting married on the 29th, can we come? LOL We will be on there also.

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to the person that asked.....

 

Our wine was in glass bottles....the 3 bottles of Mudslides...were in large Plastic bottles.

 

EAGLES WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now...we have Atlanta next week.

Happy Crusin

 

Frank

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Hey thanks for sharing your review with us. Like Judy I also love to read about the Legend. She is by far our favorite ship.

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Lauri32

Isn't the cruise on the Legend that you are going on...the.ummm..the....NUDE Cruise?

I had heard that the 22nd was the date for that "special" cruise" I mean, if it IS, that's fine....you certainly won't need a lot of time to pack.

Happy Crusin

Frank

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Lauri32

 

Isn't the cruise on the Legend that you are going on...the.ummm..the....NUDE Cruise?

I had heard that the 22nd was the date for that "special" cruise" I mean, if it IS, that's fine....you certainly won't need a lot of time to pack.

 

Happy Crusin

 

Frank

 

Nope, Frank. They are after us. Glad it's after and not before.;)

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Gonna go out on a limb here and guess that Lauri32 and Neverenufcrusin......are a COUPLE!!

I love seeing just 4 more days on your countdown clock. You are both gonna have such a great time on the Legend even WITH your clothes on!!

Happy Crusin

Frank

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Gonna go out on a limb here and guess that Lauri32 and Neverenufcrusin......are a COUPLE!!

 

I love seeing just 4 more days on your countdown clock. You are both gonna have such a great time on the Legend even WITH your clothes on!!

 

Happy Crusin

 

Frank

 

That's a pretty short limb as your observation is correct.:D

 

We're looking forward to it. First time on the Spirit Class.

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Heh Thanks a lot for the review. I like you have read a ton about this cruise. I appreciate those who take the time to write about their experiences, it is much appreciated. Glad you had such a wonderful time. I'm sure we will too. We've met some fun couples on the cruise boards, so we look forward to meeting them soon.

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Nice review, I try to read all of them so I can keep up with what the consumer has to say. sometimes that is more valuable than the professional reviews. It was good to hear your embarkation went smoothly, when we toured the Legend about 6 weeks ago the embrkation was a total nightmere. Had I been a passenger I may have turned the other way and just gone home. Well of course I wouldn't have done that, but it was pretty bad to say the least.

 

NMNita

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Embarkation

 

In this Post 9/11 era there is simply NO WAY to get 2200 guests thru security and onto a ship in a hurry. If you allow two hours in your mind you will be pleased if and when you find it over in less than 90 minutes.

 

Once aboard, it was all worth it! Enjoy your cruise NMNita.

 

Happy Crusin

 

Frank

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