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Legend Review - May 27-June 2, 2012 - Long/Lots of Pictures


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FYI – This is going to be a fairly long and picture intensive review, so be prepared. My Victory Review from last year should be a good preview of what’s to come. On this trip I brought along my trusty Canon SD1400IS point-and-shoot camera and also a Canon Rebel XSi DSLR, along with (stock) 18-55mm and 50-250mm lenses. I didn’t take the DSLR off the boat, so the pics in port come from the point-and-shoot, which takes fantastic action shots and is much easier to carry around.


Welcome to my review of my 2nd trip on the Carnival Legend. After a crazy and busy spring, this was a very much needed getaway from everything for me. Originally, I had booked the Allure of the Seas for the week of 5/20, but things ended up falling through with the young lady I was dating and planning to go with. Her parents ended up buying out the reservation for them, and I walked away with all my money back and no vacation planned at around the end of April. So, after looking at lots of options (including paying an ungodly amount to cruise solo) I got my good friend of many years Mario to join me, and we decided the Legend was the best mix of price and itinerary for us, not to mention sailing right from Tampa. Nothing beats a 30-minute drive to get dropped off at the port.


Upon calling our PVP, we knew that cabin selection wasn't going to be great being a little over a month before sailing. Fortunately, she was able to find us a handicapped accessible cabin on Deck 6 (Empress) which had an oversized balcony and was larger overall. While there was a chance we could have been 'bumped' to another balcony cabin, our PVP noted that there were still 3 handicap rooms available at the time and most guests with disabilities that need the rooms would book a year or so in advance. We figured it was worth taking a chance...and as you'll see later, it was well worth it!


I went ahead and planned out excursions for all of our ports except for Grand Cayman. Here was what we ended up doing on each port:

Cozumel - Nachi Cocum Beach

Belize - Cave Tubing through cave-tubing.com

Roatan - Tabyana Beach Break through Carnival Shore Excursions

Grand Cayman - Nothing planned, just walked around and did some souvenir shopping near the port.


Day 1 – Embarkation/Tampa


Since this was Mario’s first cruise, he was slightly unprepared for everything. Fortunately I got him squared away a few days beforehand. He’s traveled throughout Europe with nothing but a backpack, and was initially planning to bring only a carryon suitcase for a 7-day cruise. Once I explained the elegant nights and all the things he would need to pack, he ended up getting just about everything into a medium sized suitcase and a backpack.


Sunday morning Mario’s parents picked me up and we headed to the Port of Tampa around 10am. I was already quite excited for the cruise to come, but once we got into Downtown it really kicked in that we were about to get on a boat for a week of epic awesomeness and long overdue relaxation.


Embarkation was very smooth, we dropped our bags with a porter and we were whisked up into the terminal. Getting there at about 10:45, there was absolutely zero line through security and up to the check-in counter. Once checked in, we got our S&S cards and were assigned to Zone 5 for boarding. We sat in the terminal for about 15 minutes before our zone was called and we were heading towards the jetway onto the ship. It felt so good to step into the atrium on the Legend. It looked exactly how I remembered it from 2010, and we quickly proceeded up to Lido deck to start off with a couple Funship Specials before heading to our room, which was ready just after 12:00pm.












Coming up next – Getting into our EPIC room, departing Tampa, and Skyway Crossing…

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Once we got to the room, we found out how absolutely awesome this whole accessible cabin thing truly was. We were in cabin 6281 and it was magnificent. Both the room and the bathroom were huge, and then there was the absolutely gigantic balcony. The only balcony more awesome would have been an aft wrap/suite balcony. Once we got all our stuff situated in the room, met and tipped our steward Japhe, we proceeded to walk around a little bit and enjoy some delicious burgers, fries, and chicken tenders up on Lido deck before heading for the safety briefing. After that, we were quickly moving and on our way out of Tampa Bay.


For the next couple hours, I did my best to get Mario settled into everything on the ship…24 hour pizza and ice cream (we would later find out this was not completely the case), sail & sign, what was on each deck, etc…


Room Pics:












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Getting ready to depart:








Mario thought he would need his lifejacket for the safety briefing…not the case.





Something I noticed while walking the Promenade deck (aft starboard)…a FLIR camera pod mounted on an arm sticking several feet out from the ship. While I’m quite certain it has any number of valuable uses, it’s the first time I’ve ever noticed one on a Cruise ship.



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Thanks to everyone for the positive replies...I'm going through pics and posting as my ADD occasionally flares up at the office. There's lots more ship pictures to come, most of those I took on Day 2.

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Going under the Skyway – I went up to deck 10 forward to catch this.






People also didn't believe me when I told them that the 'boxes' on the railing of the bridge are phones with a direct hotline to suicide prevention officers. The entire bridge has been CCTVd remotely (you can see one of the cameras in the next pic) and there's always a Florida Highway Patrol unit patrolling the bridge (you can always spot him in-between the toll plazas somewhere when you drive the bridge) ready to respond to possible jumpers, and always generate some extra revenue through speeding tickets (the speed limit on the bridge is 60, but its very easy to find yourself doing 90+ on the downslope without realizing it).






Pretty close to the bottom deck…it’s pretty amazing to see how saltwater corrodes everything - including reinforced concrete:





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