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Legend Review - the "All Saints" cruise. Part 1


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Bare Necessities Travel, a company that specializes in clothing optional vacations, chartered the Legend for a 7 day clothing optional cruise leaving Ft. Lauderdale on February 7th and visiting St. Maarten, St. Lucia and St. Thomas (hence the "All Saints" cruise.) The cruise was sold out months in advance. This was our second cruise aboard the Legend. My wife, Gay, and I had cruised on her about 18 months ago from New York, and she is still a visually stunning ship.


Bare Necessities and Carnival hammered out the following ground rules before the cruise, and I'm happy to say that for the most part the rules were respected by the guests:


No nudity in Truffles, the formal dining room. Actually, this wasn't an issue at all. In fact, even though Carnival relaxed the rules to allow shorts and T-shirts in the dining room, Gay and I noticed that most of the gents were wearing slacks and collared shirts and the ladies wore skirts or nice suits.


No nudity on deck while aproaching or leaving a port until the Captain gave the "all clear."


No photographs without the consent of anyone who might be in the picture. This is a standard at any nude resort or club. Unfortunately we saw a few of our fellow cruisers snapping photos without regard to who might be in the background.


With that as a backdrop, following is the review of the trip and the ship.


Embarkation: Controlled Chaos. Since people from all over the country were taking this cruise, it seemed that most of them came to sunny Ft. Lauderdale the night before and bought up all of the available hotel rooms. Bare Necessities had chartered busses, taxis, motorcoaches, vans, and probably even a few bicycles to get everyone from their hotel to the port. This means that after gridlocking the traffic, all 2,500 of us arrived at approximately the same time. Outside of a handfull of sourpusses, everyone made the best of it. We were in line for about an hour, but it gave us a chance to get to know some of our shipmates. Coincidentally, Paul and Jory who were behind us in the line were from Massachusetts also. In front of us, Dave and Marilyn form Ohio owned a Harley dealership. I learned more about motorcycles than I'll ever need to know.


Sea Days: I really have to take my hat off to the Carnival staff. Our headwaiter Earl from Costa Rica and assistant waiter Made from Indonesia could not have been more professional and personable. Our Cabin Steward Oscar, also from Costa Rica, was a towel animal magician. His coup de'grace was a mother and baby monkey hanging from the ceiling of our cabin.


But it was Cruise Director Chris and hosts Adam and Mike that went the extra mile. As each day went by they got more and more into the spirit of the cruise. And, yes, on the last night at the guest talent show, while being urged on by the Legend Dancers and the band, they appeared "full monty."


Speaking of the dancers, by midcruise they began appearing on Sun deck.




St. Maarten - we spent the morning on the Dutch side of the Island. As a Valentines gift I had planned to surprise Gay with some diamond earrings that she has been wanting for a while. Prior to the cruise I had gone on line to review the "5 C's" of diamonds, and had even gotten the name of a good and reputable jewelry store in Phillipsburg.


How can you not like a store that serves Mimosa's and Heineken while you shop?


We went to Majesty Jewelers on Front Street and -after an hour and a half, two mimosa's and a Heineken,- purchased not only a pair of diamond earings, but also a pair of emerald earrings.


If you decide to shop for jewelry on St. Maarten (or anywhere else in the Caribbean for that matter) realize that paying the listed price is like paying the brochure price for a cruise. First we got a "Carnival Discount." Then we got a "you visited us on line" discount. Next we got a "first time visitor" discount. The biggest discount we received, however, was when I mentioned to Gay that we would also be visiting St. Thomas, and maybe the prices would be even lower there.


You could see the wind going out of our salesamn's sails. He literally deflated. Then he offered an obscenely low price for the stones, which we accepted and moved on. They are currently being appraised and GIA certified.


More to come.

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