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AryMay

Aug. 15th Legend Family Cruise...with Photos

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Thanks for the review and pictures! I sail on Legend on 10/31 and fly out of MSP too. I think I have the same flights on Delta that you did as well! I was wondering what to do with my day with a 2pm flight. :)

 

You have a lovely family... I'm looking forward to reading more! :)

Edited by BoooBooKitEFk

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I am loving your review. My daughter and I are sailing on the Legend next year. It is a "family" cruise for us as a I am a single Mom. For the last few years, we haven't gone anywhere together because it takes all my $$$$ for her extracurricular activities and some church/leadership trips she has been doing. This is her senior year and she CHOSE (which is very poignant to me) to spend the senior trip $$$ on a trip with just me.

 

Your story touched my heart. You have a beautiful family and I am so happy you were able to have this family time together. The smiles DO tell it all.......

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We loved the Legend:)looking forward to your report.

 

ps always wanted to see the mall of america;)

 

For me the Mall of America is a great place to go if you aren't looking for anything! It is SO HUGE that if you are on a mission to find something you will walk your legs off. (It is pretty impressive to see though!)

 

This trip we spent most of our time at the food court! We were meeting up with our "Minneapolis kids" at the hotel so didn't have much time to shop.

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Thanks for the review and pictures! I sail on Legend on 10/31 and fly out of MSP too. I think I have the same flights on Delta that you did as well! I was wondering what to do with my day with a 2pm flight. :)

 

You have a lovely family... I'm looking forward to reading more! :)

 

Thanks for reading! I envy you with a cruise to look forward to in the near future! Good luck on those flights...Delta sure managed to scatter our group of 7 all over the place! On our flight home, DH and I ended up in the VERY LAST ROW while DS3 & GF were at the very front! On both flights one person in our family ended up totally separate by themselves.

 

It would be so much nicer if we could fly from Sioux Falls, SD since we are less than an hour away. Instead our drive from Minneapolis takes as long as the flight to Florida!

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Great review! We're sailing on the Legend 11/14/10. Love the details and background you supply, keep up the good work, looking forward to more.

 

YB Nrml, would love to have you join our roll call. We are going to have a great cruise November 14th.

 

Wonderful review. You have a lovely family and seem to really enjoy spending time together. Can't wait to read more. Thank you for sharing. ;)

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I am back! Before I start covering what we did in the ports, I will go through what I will call "ship life"! This review may turn out to be kind of haphazard and random. I have a notepad by my computer and jot down things as I think of them. Sorry it isn't more organized and sequential!

 

Door Decorating

 

Decorating our cabin doors was something I had never done before...but decided it would be fun since we were traveling as a bigger group. I found a package of “tiki god” decorations at the Dollar Tree store and thought they would be an easy way to decorate the doors. I used poster putty from Walmart to stick the stuff up and that seemed to work very well. I didn’t put much effort into this project, but it did make our doors easier to find…and I think it helped our room steward learn our names!

 

Before the cruise I had emailed packing lists to all of the kids…more than once. They know I go overboard in cruise planning so I figured they wouldn’t even look at the list. One of the items on the list was post-it notes. I explained that they would be good for leaving notes on our cabin doors.

 

Each day we would wake up and find 2 or 3 notes stuck to our door…and usually they didn’t really make sense. We found out later that a friend of DS1 had “pre-written” a whole pad of post-its so he would have plenty of “notes” to put on our door!

 

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I also added a happy anniversary sign for DS2 and DIL and a happy birthday sign for GF.

 

During the week one of the "heads" was stolen and another "relocated" to a cabin down the hall, but the rest were left alone. I didn't see any other door decorations but I chuckled when I walked down our hallway each day. A few doors down, someone had left a small note taped the the mailbox that read: "Grandpa, this is your cabin".

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Enjoying your review - sailed on Legend June 6th & will again in 44 days - Oct. 24th!!!!! Great ship and crew..... :D

 

Come over and join our roll call. we are having our own meet and greet.

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Crew

 

I mentioned our great waiters in a previous post…but will mention again…they were awesome! Our kids still talk about the fun they had with our waiters on the Victory five years ago. Can you imagine their surprise when we were sitting in the Unicorn Café and looked up to see our waiter from the Victory, Bobalito, walk by! Not sure where his table was in the MDR because that was the only time we saw him all week.

 

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DIL is a middle school geography teacher so on the day we boarded she got the idea to keep track of how many countries she could find that were represented by the workers on the Legend. We all took a guess as to how many she would find…and I am happy to announce…I won with a guess of 39! DIL is very outgoing so would engage many of these workers in conversations asking about their countries.

 

Our room steward, Putharat Jeeraurit (Jerry) was the most personable of all the cruises we have been on. I’m not sure how many cabins he was responsible for, but it seemed like he worked very long hours. In spite of the workload, Jerry knew everyone of us by name and took time to talk when we met in the hallway.

 

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Pool Time

 

On both of the sea days we took our time eating breakfast in the MDR and didn’t get to the pool until 10 am or later. Can you imagine my surprise when on BOTH DAYS we were able to find 8 chairs all together at adults only pool!! We never did spend any time at the mail pool so we missed out on any of the activities going on there.

 

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We did make it down the waterslide…but just once. Just to be safe DS3 (who is 6’3”) had to make sure he met the height requirement before he got on the slide!

 

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The kids thought it was funny that I ended up behind Mr. Speedo.

 

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I brought along my Canon D10 camera and wanted to test it out underwater at the pool. DS2 and DIL were happy to do a little underwater smooching in the name of research!

 

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One interesting discovery that we made was that pre-made box lunches were available at the adults only pool. For those not willing to miss a minute of sunshine to go inside to the buffet you could get shrimp focaccia, turkey wrap, Caesar salad, or eggplant sandwich. I think the sandwiches came with a salad and a pickle.

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Tea Time

 

I love tea time on the ship. It is such a welcome contrast to the hot busy pool area on sea days. I made it known that I was going on our first sea day and anyone was welcome to join me. I knew the girls were looking forward to their time in the sun so was surprised when everyone showed up!

 

Tea time was held in the Atlantis Lounge. A piano player was playing softly and waiters would come by with wooden boxes of assorted tea bags and hot water. There was also a cart of small sandwiches and one with sweets.

 

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I know the kids only came to humor me, but I enjoyed it anyway.

 

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At least DS3 was able to get his daily allotment of smoked salmon!

 

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Activities & Entertainment

 

Most nights (except Wednesday) we all went to the shows in the Follies Lounge. Here is the line up for the week.

 

Sunday – Welcome Aboard Show (pretty much the same as on other ships)

 

Monday – Jazz Hot (ok). Instead of just one guy and one gal as the featured singers, there were four…Barbi, Julie, Jason and Chism. In addition to the big production shows, they also performed individually in other spots during the week.

 

Tuesday – Motown singer Marcus Anthony (excellent). DIL and GF went up on stage when Marcus performed “Brickhouse” and I caught it on video (they are on the far left.) Everytime I watch this I smile…DIL really dances up a storm!

 

 

Wednesday – The Marriage Show. The kids went, but DH and I did not. In the past this has been offered as an afternoon show. Not sure if they changed it on purpose or were trying to fill in a night when they didn’t have an entertainer lined up.

 

Thursday – Physical comedy of Max Winfrey. This guy was a juggler…but a funny one!

 

Friday – The Big Easy (very good). This show was also performed on the Freedom last summer but I loved seeing it again. Lots of costume and scenery changes...plus some interesting laser & pyrotechnic affects.

 

Saturday – Carnival Legends (passengers performing as various stars) Some were good and some not so much! The gal that was “Aretha Franklin” was outstanding.

 

Besides the main entertainment the kids did karaoke a couple of nights and went to the dance club (they said not much was happening.) One night we all went to the piano bar and it was very disappointing. Paul, the piano player could not sing and most nights the club was empty. The kids thought he looked like Bill Nye the Science Guy (just an observation!)

 

The Legend had the Punchliner Comedy Club in the Firebird Lounge with several shows each day…some PG and some R rated. We never did make it to any of these shows…just too busy doing other stuff!

 

I have all of the Fun Times so if anyone has any questions about ship activities I can try and answer.

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Ship

 

This was our first cruise on a Carnival Spirit class ship. I’ve read many posts where people claim that these ships are their absolute favorites in the fleet so I was anxious to experience the ship first hand. Our past cruises have been on the Paradise (twice), the Victory and the Freedom.

 

After discussing this with my DH, here is a list of some of the likes and dislikes of things unique to the Legend (or other Spirit class ships.):

 

Positive – I really liked the way the adult pool at the back of the ship was open to the water. I spent a lot of time at the adult pool on the Freedom last summer and did not like that it was enclosed…not just the sides but sometimes even the roof was closed.

 

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Positive – I did like getting the French doors in our room for an inside price.

 

Positive – DH said he liked the smaller sized ship and also the layout in the gym.

 

Positive – You could get from one end of the ship to the other on any deck. On the Freedom & the Victory it required going up a deck or down a deck to avoid the galley that blocked the area between the two dining rooms. I also liked that it was possible to completely walk around the ship outdoors (or at least almost all the way).

 

Negative – I missed having the “secret doors” where you could go to the front of the ship. DH and I spent a lot of time in this area on past cruises…it was a great place to go at night and also a good spot to watch as the ship pulled into ports. The front area of the Legend had large glass panels that you had to look through.

 

Negative – I really missed having lounge chairs on the outside promenade deck under the lifeboats. On past cruises we spent most of our sea days in this area. It was quiet, shaded and a great place to watch the ocean. I asked Jen Baxter (CD) why there were no lounge chairs and she said it had to be kept clear because this area was a muster station.

 

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Negative – The lobby area of the Legend felt very closed in to me. There were windows where you could look down on this area from above, but not the open railings like on the other ships. In spite of the atrium being very high it still felt a bit claustrophobic to me.

 

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Negative – I absolutely hated the fact that you had to walk through the smoky casino to get through on Deck 2. Yuck.

 

In the end we were on a cruise and life was great. None of the negatives would stop me from booking this ship again…just observations that we made. One feature that was neither positive or negative was the hallways on the decks with cabins. The sides of the Legend jut in and out depending on what section you are in so you never had that experience of the hallways going the full length of the ship…you know what I mean…it looks like the hallway will never end! I am pretty directionally challenged, but I seemed to get lost even more on the Legend than on the other ships we have cruised. Weird since this ship was smaller!

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Next up…ports of call! But first…I wanted to mention a little bit about booking this cruise.

 

Future Cruise Certificates

 

Last summer DH and I bought two of the Future Cruise Certificates when we were on the Freedom. These can only be used “one per cabin” so we bought one in my name and one in DH’s name. In late December we were ready (almost) to book the Legend cruise. There was still some question as to whether DS3 and GF would be able to go.

 

Working with the PVP we did some “creative booking” and shuffled people around in order to get the best possible price. By putting DH and I in separate cabins we could take advantage of the $100 OBC in each cabin (from the FCC.) All but DIL and GF were past guests so we were also able to take advantage of that savings for each cabin also.

 

The glitch in the planning came when we got on board and tried to switch around room keys to get everyone in the cabin they were supposed to be in. In all we had to do 3 changes to make it work. BUT…as mentioned earlier…the computers were all down on the day of embarkation so guest services could not do anything for us. It was the next afternoon before we were finally able to get new S & S cards made and everyone was set…or so I thought. (They must have had a lot of issues that week because we got letters the next 2 days after telling us we needed to have our credit card swiped again.)

 

The $100 OBC was split between each person in the cabin so even though DH and I were now in the same cabin we each only got $50 on our accounts. My sister and DS1 ended up with the rest of the money…they thought it was great until I informed them I wanted my refund!!  I am still trying to collect!

 

We bought another FCC on this cruise…but only one this time since our next cruise will most likely not involve the family. There has been a change since last summer in that the FCC’s must be used within 4 years (not 5 anymore). If you do not plan to use them in this time period then you can return them for a full refund.

 

The certificate we bought last year specifically stated that the OBC could not be used for gratuities or games of chance (casino). My bar bill for the week consisted of just one drink and they did indeed put the rest of the OBC towards the tips. I just checked and the new certificate does not include these restrictions.

 

Although it is a bit of a hassle to use the FCC since they must be mailed in by certified mail…it is worth it to spend $100 and get $200 back.

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Great review so far! I love the way you've split it into sections so people can find the information or feedback they want quickly!

 

Thank you!

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We were on this same cruise, and just down the hall from you. I remember walking past your door decorations. I think my daughter even left you a stickie note one day that said she was enjoying seeing your decorations. I am enjoying re-living the cruise through your review and photos. Thanks for posting that.

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Awesome review. I also like the way you have split it up. And the pictures are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing. My family will be on the Legend for our first cruise in February and we can't wait!

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Grand Cayman

 

I don’t want this to be taken in the wrong way…but I don’t really care for Grand Cayman. I know I am on a cruise in the Caribbean…to me that is paradise…but when compared with our other ports, Grand Cayman comes up short.

 

The two girls were the only ones who had not visited Grand Cayman previously. I suggested we do a tour to see the stingrays (even though I have done the tour twice already)…because that is just what you do when you are in Grand Cayman! I didn’t want them to miss out on something that is so unique to the island. BUT…neither of them wanted to go nor did the guys. Sister had also done the stingray thing 2 times so she was open to new ideas.

 

DH and DS1 are both certified scuba divers. The last time we visited Grand Cayman they did a shore dive at Eden Rock. This time they wanted to do a boat dive and took the easy way and booked through Carnival. Not being with them I can only pass along that they had a great dive and were well pleased.

 

So…what could the other six of us do? Before the cruise we took the kids to a dive shop and got them all nice snorkel equipment. We have learned the hard way that snorkeling with cheap equipment means you won’t enjoy snorkeling. Since Eden Rock is such a short walk from the ship I suggested just snorkeling on our own. A cheap plan and one that we could do on our own time schedule.

 

The morning we arrived in Grand Cayman we had breakfast in the MDR since there was no rush to get off the ship. By the time we had finished eating, it was easy to just hop on the tender and go to shore.

 

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The girls wanted to do a little bit of shopping. The last time we were here DS3 almost had a “meltdown” due to the heat so I was a bit surprised that he was willing to wander in and out of the shops. (Just goes to show how love will make you do strange things!)

 

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Grand Cayman continued...

 

 

Sister and I weren’t interested in shopping so we split up and told the kids to meet us at Paradise Restaurant at Eden Rock.

 

We sat for awhile at one of the outdoor tables, and although no one said anything, I think they expected us to order something (which is totally understandable.)

 

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Since we weren’t really wanting anything to eat or drink at this point, we walked over to the lounge chairs set up in a patch of sand. Once we left the shaded area of the restaurant it was HOT. Sister and I decided to go ahead and get in the water and do some snorkeling while we waited on the kids to show up.

 

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As I started to get in the water an employee came running up and said “You MUST wear a snorkel vest.” Rats. I hate snorkel vests. I’m not sure that he really had the authority to MAKE me wear the vest, but I didn’t want a confrontation so we each spent $5 to rent a vest.

 

There were stairs to enter the water…and right by the stairs were about a half dozen HUGE tarpons. The guy that had talked to me was feeding these fish so they were staying close to get a free meal. I am not exaggerating…the fish were over 3 feet long!!

 

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I'm enjoying your cruise review. We'll be on the Legend for the third time in just 2 months. (been waiting for almost 8 months since booking)

I've been on the larger ships and agree that the deck plan is difficult to manuever. I much prefer the Spirit class for this reason. We also enjoy the open feeling at the adult pool. However, I don't feel the lobby is closed in. I didn't get that feeling. Oh well, personal preference. Overall the ship is wonderful. Never had a problem with staff or guests.

 

Thank you for your pictures too. I can almost feel like I'm on the ship. :D

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Thanks for taking the time to write this excellent review! I have enjoyed it sooo much.

 

Your husband (and your families story is very touching)

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Grand Cayman continued...

 

Eventually the kids showed up and we rented vests for everyone (so much for our “free” day of snorkeling!) Wearing the vests was the main reason that we didn’t have much fun. The stupid things ride up under your neck while at the same time giving you a major “wedgie”.

 

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Sister will kill me for posting this...but it illustrates my point...you feel like you are being choked!

 

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I am blessed with natural buoyancy (fat) and find it very easy to float, even when not wearing a vest. Without the vests we would have stayed longer and definitely had more fun.

 

GF was terrified of the big fish and wasn’t sure she was even going to get in the water. Eventually DS3 convinced her to get on his back and he would swim out past the fish…what a funny sight that was! Eventually she did relax and have fun. This was her first time snorkeling!

 

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DS2 and DIL were a little more experienced.

 

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In theory our plan was a good one…but in the end we didn’t stay as long as we had planned…and we spent $30 renting the vests. The snorkeling was pretty good…but we just got tired of fighting the life vests and decided to head back to the ship. I guess the positive was that by not waiting until the last minute we didn’t have any wait to get on the tender.

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