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Our Carnival Legend Pictorial Review--August 12-19, 2012

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**THIS IS A LONG REVIEW, WITH LOTS OF PICTURES, AND LOTS OF DETAIL**



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Ports of Call: Cozumel, Belize, Roaten, Grand Cayman

Our Captain: Giuseppe Donato

Our Cruise Director: James Dunn

 

If you enjoy pictorial reviews, then this review is for you! This review will be long, but I guarantee there will be over 200 photos posted in this review by the time I am finished. This review highlights our experiences aboard the Carnival Legend and her ports of call—the good, the not-so good and the in-between. Since it takes considerable time to write, download and post photos, it will take me several days to get everything posted—but I will be posting something every day until completion.

 

So, if you are ready, here is my review:

 

 

 

After 6 months of much planning and anticipation, the day of our cruise vacation finally arrived. With much excitement, my DH, three DS’s (ages 20, 17 and 13) and I stuffed our suitcases into our Camry, dropped off our beloved pooch at my parents place and made the 2 hour trek over the border to the Buffalo airport.

 

Tropical Storm Ernesto pounded through the Caribbean just the week prior to our sailing. This caused the Legend to cancel its port tops to both Belize and Roatan as the ship diverted to Montego Bay, Jamaica instead. On the tail of Ernesto was another storm brewing—Tropical Storm 7. It was this storm that threatened our cruise plans as it was projected to follow the same path as Ernesto. Not knowing if this storm would cause another change to the Legend’s itinerary or not, we did not know what surprises would lay ahead for us. Luckily, while waiting in the airport, we discovered that TS 7 had dissipated. This was good—no—this was wonderful news for us! Actually, weather-wise, we were very lucky. We cruised right after Ernesto and before Isaac. We had great weather, calm seas and no changes to the ship’s itinerary.

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Day 1—Tampa



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We arrived in Tampa after 1:00 in the morning on August 12. We made our way to the Embassy Suites—Airport/Westshore which was our hotel stay for the night. The Embassy Suites provided free shuttle pick up from the airport to the hotel which was very convenient.

 

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We had a very nice 2-room suite on the 15th floor, complete with a separate kitchenette area.

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In the morning we looked out our window to check out the view. Boy, were we excited when we saw… way off in the distance…something familiar. The whale tail of the Carnival Legend!

 

The view from our hotel room. Look carefully. Can you spot the Carnival Legend?

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To make it easier for you, I zoomed in closer. Can you see the familiar Carnival smokestack now?

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After enjoying a very good hot, complimentary buffet breakfast, we walked two blocks from the Embassy Suites to Walgreens where we picked up bottled water and soda to take onboard with us.

 

The breakfast area in the Embassy Suites/Airport Hotel

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Yah! Another Legend review! We leave in 27 days - so you are just in time!

 

I love picture reviews!

 

Thanks for taking the time to do this - I know they can be time consuming.

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Once back at the hotel, we stuffed all our bags into a minivan taxi. Seeing our cases of soda and bottled water, the taxi driver informed us that the cruise ship does not allow passengers to bring drinks on board. After installing some doubt in our minds about bringing drinks with us, I tried to convince DH that we are allowed to bring 1 case of soft drinks and water/person as that is what I have read on CC. Anyway, we thought we would just go ahead and take our chances—if Carnival confiscates our soda and water, so be it!

 

After driving for about 15 minutes, our excitement mounted once again as we approached the terminal and caught a closer-up view of the Carnival Legend—our floating oasis for the next 7 days! We paid the taxi driver the $25 cab fee and left our large luggage with a porter.

 

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Embarkation was smooth and moved fairly quickly. It took us approx. 20 minutes from the time we passed through security, to waiting in the seemingly long registration line (which moved quickly), before we boarded the beautiful Carnival Legend. BTW—we had no trouble bringing our cases of soda or bottled water onboard! Thanks to CC for that bit of information!

 

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We did not have to wait for any zone numbers to be called. After registration, we got our embarkation photo taken and boarded the ship right away.

 

We’re ready for an exciting week onboard the Carnival Legend to begin! Image0049.jpg

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With our S & S cards in hand, we stepped onto the Legend before 1:00 pm.

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After sailing on two Destiny class ships in the past, this was our first time on a Spirit class ship. We did notice that although the Legend is a large ship, it is smaller than the Victory and Triumph (the two Carnival ships we previously cruised on). However, my first impression on seeing the Legend was, “wow, does that ship ever look long!” In fact, it is long. The Carnival Legend is 963 feet long, which is 70 feet longer than the Destiny class ships. The Carnival Legend is also one of the fastest cruise liners on the water!

 

Once stepping into the Legend Lobby from deck 2, we could see what a true legend this ship actually is. The ships lobby is uniquely decorated in an ornately neo-classical design—and yes there are urns everywhere. The railings on the stairs are Greek-style urns. Urns are used as pillars, urns are used as a base on lamps and tables and you can even see urns used as stool pedestals.

 

Legend Lobby Bar

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Looking up 10 stories from the lobby Atrium towards the glass stairs.

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Looking down, a large mural of the Colossus of Rhodes fills 9 stories in the Legend Atrium.

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Artwork under the Atrium mural.

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Walking through the Dreamteam Bar with our carry-on’s.

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Before exploring the ship more or even going for lunch on the Lido (with carry-on’s in hand), we thought we would check out our staterooms to see if they were ready. We made our way down to the Riviera Deck where we met our room steward Luis. Yes, our O/V cabins were ready, so after dropping off our carry-on’s (we were glad we did not have to lug these all over the ship) and taking a few pictures of our cabins, we were free to begin our adventure on this spectacular, legendary ship!

 

Looking down the Riviera Deck—it looks like it stretches for a mile!

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Our O/V room, portside 1108

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On every cruise my DH surprises me with a bouquet of roses. This cruise was no exception—although since this was the year of our 25th wedding anniversary, I am sure this had something to do with it this time!

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Cabin 1110--DS’s portside O/V room for 3

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(The boys are resting already!)

 

The bathroom

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Unlike our cabins on the Triumph or Victory, our ocean view staterooms on the Legend where equipped with a small bar fridge. This came in real handy for keeping our bottled water and soft drinks cold. Of course our room steward, Luis did a great job filling our collapsible cooler with ice so we could keep our drinks cold whenever we went ashore.

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Then it was up to the Lido Deck and the Unicorn Café for lunch. Up here, is a selection of food choices from Pizza, to the Grill, the Deli, Asian and an International station. Today the International station was Italian.

 

The Unicorn Café, in keeping with a legendary theme, is decorated in a medieval style complete with gothic arches…

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computer created tapestries…

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and of course, unicorns!

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I don’t remember exactly what DH and I ate, but the food was always good and tasty.

 

A view of Tampa Bay outside the window from our table in the Unicorn Cafe.

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The boys enjoyed lunch (burgers and fries from the Grill and Pizza) and soft self-serve ice-cream outside on the Lido Deck. I never did try the new pizza (too many other choices, I guess), but my DS’s said that although it wasn’t as good as it used to be, they still liked it. They mentioned the new pizza tasted like frozen pizza, whereas the pizza they ate on previous cruises tasted more like it was freshly made.

 

My DS's enjoy their lunch poolside on the Lido Deck.

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After lunch we walked around the ship and explored it some more.

 

The Serenity Area (adult only) and waterslide.

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(that's the Unicorn, adult-only pool on the right)

The whale tail.

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On the Sports Deck overlooking the Camelot Pool. As you can see rain clouds are starting to roll in.

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One thing we noticed that was different from our previous cruises was the fact that the pools on the Legend were opened on embarkation day. It was tempting to go swimming before departure, but we knew the Muster Drill would be held soon so we thought it would be better to wait.

 

The Avalon Pool has a retractable roof and is one of three pools on the Legend.

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We even took in a quick tour of the Fountain of Youth Spa and exercise facilities.

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The Spa Pool

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On the jogging track (Deck 11, Sports Deck), ship forward. The Spa Pool is located under the glass dome behind us.

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By 3:30 we were at our Muster Station located outside on deck 3. We did not need to bring or wear our life jackets. This is also something new since we cruised last. During the Muster Drill the skies broke open and the rain came down hard. There was thunder rumbling and lightning flashing through the Tampa Bay sky.

 

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The ship set sail a little late--around 4:20 in the afternoon. I am not aware there was a sail away party on the Lido Deck as advertised in the Fun Times. I assume the rain storm had something to do with it! Since this inclement weather prevented us from wanting to go swimming now, we explored the ship some more.

 

A stroll through the Enchanted Forest (follow the yellow brick road)

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There are even strobe lights flashing in here to mimic lightning—pretty cool!

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Gigabytes Arcade

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Holmes Library and Internet Cafe

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Wedding Chapel

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Medusa’s Lair (Dance Club)

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Medusa’s Lair features large 3 ½ foot high Medusa heads with snake-like hair that lights up—pretty scary, eh?

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Atlantis Lounge

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Approx. 2 hours after sail away, we approached the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. It was a good thing the rain stopped, as this allowed us to go out on deck to take pictures and watch the Legend approach and pass under this amazing 21,877 foot long bridge.

 

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To add more excitement to this part of the sail away, my two younger DS’s went up to the front of the ship (just before it approached the Sunshine Bridge), then just before the ship went under the bridge, they ran along the Sun Deck towards the back of the ship. Unfortunately for them, the ship sailed faster than they could run, but they thought it was pretty neat that they remained under the shadow of the bridge the whole time.

 

The Carnival Legend approaches the Sunshine Skyway Bridge

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It looks like a tight fit, but we made it under!

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At 6:32 we passed under the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. Did you know that the smokestack on the Carnival Legend was specially designed to fit under this bridge?

 

On the other side of the Sunshine Bridge

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Before we knew it, it was time to eat again (we did a lot of that on this cruise)--but this time in the MDR. Another difference we noticed between the Destiny class ships and this Spirit class ship is the number of MDR’s. Whereas the Destiny class ships have two MDR’s, this ship has only one. The Main Dining Room on the Carnival Legend is called the Truffles Restaurant. We dined during the late seating (8:15 pm).

 

The Truffles Diningroom

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The Truffle Restaurant has two levels. The lower level of the MDR is for assigned seating. That’s our table right infront of the first post.

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The Upper Level in the Truffles Restaurant is reserved for Anytime Dining.

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Within the Truffles Restaurant are numerous display cases housing china collections.

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What a great review already! Love all the pictures! We will be sailing on the Legend this coming Sunday! We can't wait to see more pictures and your adventures on board! Thank you for taking the time to do this review!

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We always found the food in the MDR to be very good. Our server was Slavsia from Serbia. We asked him about the cutbacks to the dining room and Slavsia informed us that he used to serve 20 guests, but with Carnival’s cutbacks, he must now serve 30. In general, we noticed the servers were extra busy running from table to table—but even so, Slavsia did a wonderful job ensuring our food was always served hot.

 

 

Hope you are hungry, as here come the food pics.

 

Our starters:

Beef and Barley soup with diced root vegetables.

Both my middle DS and I ordered this starter. Whereas I liked this soup, my DS did not care too much for it.

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Guacamole and tomato salsa, ordered by my DH

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Fried Chicken Tenders with marinated cucumbers and lettuce ordered by my other two DS’s. They thought it was only ok—not as good as some of the other starters they had during the course of this cruise.

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The main course:

My youngest DS ordered the grilled flat iron steak with a side order of fries from the Everyday Menu. He enjoyed this.

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Broiled fillet of Atlantic Salmon ordered by my second DS from the Everyday Menu. He liked this dish.

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My DH tried the pan sheared fillet of tilapia and also enjoyed this.

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I ordered the Southern Fried Chicken from the Everyday Menu, also very good.

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My eldest DS ordered the tender braised beef brisket in gravy.

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Edited by dz63

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Then it was time for dessert.

 

Both DH and I ordered the Vanilla Crème Brulee.

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DH also tried the black forest gateau. He liked this dessert better than the crème brulee.

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All three DS’s couldn’t let their first night on the cruise go by without ordering their favorite dessert of all! You guessed it—warm chocolate melting cake! So rich, so gooey, so good!

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Now, that we are thoroughly stuffed, we ventured over to the Follies Lounge to take in the 10:30pm Welcome Aboard Show.

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The Follies Lounge is named to remember the day of theatre from the 1920’s.

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The Follies Lounge is 3 decks high and designed to mimic an Italian courtyard.

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Welcome Aboard Show.

This is the only time we saw Friendship Freddy on this cruise.

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Our cruise director, James Dunn.

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Comedian and juggler, Tommy Drake.

We really enjoyed the comedy and antics from this guy!

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(and yes, he really is balancing a lounge chair on his chin--amazing!)

Edited by dz63

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More photos of the Follies Lounge.

 

The staircase between the upper and lower levels of the lounge.

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Looking down the staircase from the upper to lower levels

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Looking up to sunshine!

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So this concludes our first full and busy day on the Carnival Legend. We went back to our staterooms, to find our first towel creation--a little seal waiting up for us.

 

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And that is all for tonight. I will be posting more tomorrow.

 

 

Coming up next: Sunny skies, calm seas, more food and the Legend pools on our following day at sea.

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Loving your review & pictures!!! We are sailing on the Legend for the fourth time in 71 days!!! but who's counting?? Your pictures are awesome!:)

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