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broyles60

Carnival Legend Review

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Hi everyone, my husband Andy (40) and myself Lorie (39) just got off the Carnival Legend today after a wonderful 7 day New Year's cruise. I am sorry to report I have no photos since my husband's camera died but I will still try to convey our experience to the best of my ability. We left the port of Tampa and visited Cozumel, Belize, Isla Roatan, and Grand Cayman.

 

This was our 5th cruise on Carnival......Triumph, Conquest, Conquest, Destiny, Legend and our 8th cruise overall, Adventure of the Seas X 2 and Majesty of the Seas X 1. We typically prefer Carnival because the people seem so much friendliar and to be honest the price is right! We usually book early saver and did this time as well but because it was a holiday cruise, I received no on board credit for price drops. Boo hiss!

 

On a side, for those of Irish or English heritage or are as naturally pale as me, December is a great time to cruise the Caribbean. I could spray on my SPF 100 and pretty much stay outside all day without burning. In the past we either cruised in May or September (read cheap hurricane season cruisers here) and the weather would be hot and humid and I would fry like bacon. December is the answer for people like me and you too perhaps. You know who you are.

 

Having never flown in the winter and coming from Cleveland, we flew into Tampa the night before. Our flight was non-eventful and once we landed took a taxi to the downtown Tampa Courtyard Marriott. People who live in Florida crack me up. It was 50 degrees and the taxi driver had the heat on full blast! We were sweating in the backseat but we arrived safe and sound. The fee was 10 or 12 dollars per person (flat airport rate) and it is posted on the cab door.

 

The check in gal at the hotel was a sweetie and we were checked in within a few moments. The hotel is located on a busy street and it is somewhat noisy. But the room was clean and well maintained. We walked to Malio's prime steakhouse and while it was a little pricey, it was quite good. We both had filets, baked potatoes and salad. One hundred thirty dollars later (no booze) we walked off a crouton or two and headed back to the Marriott.

 

The Marriott offers a free shuttle within a 5 mile radius and they will take you to a local Walgreens, CVS, etc for wine, pop carry-ons and the morning of the cruise they will take you to the port free of charge. Just FYI-

 

I will now break down the cruise in segments for easier reading. I wish I had a picture or two to break this up:)

 

Embarkation- seamless! We took the shuttle at 11:30, flew through check-in and were on the ship by 12:15! Everyone was in a festive mood. I have nothing negative to say about the port of Tampa.

 

Room- great! We had room 8239. It is a handicapped room and we knew a year ago when we booked it, we could be bumped. But we weren't and the room was a generous size, with a huge balcony, right by the stairs, one deck below Lido, and steps from the Unicorn buffet, serenity deck, and Golden Fleece. That being said.........sewage smell very apparent most of the time.........toilet got clogged........Indian spices noticeable everyday during mealtime, balcony paint on ceiling rusted and peeling off in places. I recently read a review about the Legend and the writer said his tv was possessed. Ours was too! It would turn on by itself and the volume would increase at random times. And while many of you might love having the announcements muted, we never heard them in our stateroom. Not once.

 

Food- mediocre at best. I do not cruise for the food. As a child my favorite restaurants were Duff's smorgasbord and Ponderosa. I do not have a sophisticated palate and can typically find something anywhere. The food was pretty bad. As others have stated hot food was cold, cold food was luke warm and many dishes were under seasoned or over salted. The buffet choices were slim; however, I would recommend the turkey sandwich on a country role, the veal Parmesan, and the french toast. We ate at Golden Fleece twice and the 5 spice prime rib was tasty as was the filet. The Cesar salad was overdressed yet tasteless but the round rosemary roles were spot on. Worth the 35 dollar cover charge per person but the food is very filling and rich. READ: cream and butter laden. We did not eat in the main dining room.

 

Entertainment- Disappointing. Normally I do not even know who the cruise director or related staff are and they do not make or break a cruise for me. However, when they are obviously unprofessional or uninvolved it tends to detract from the overall enjoyment of the cruise. James Dunn was the CD and in my opinion he comes off as a pretentious stereotypical Brit. I do not believe Brits are pretentious, it's the cliche comic portrayal I am talking about here. He is not relatable, he is not funny, and i only saw him once the entire cruise. I have read on other reviews that as an assistant CD, people loved him but I never saw that side. We watched the murder mystery segment and it was so unprofessional and unrehearsed. I felt embarrassed for him and his staff. The tv segments each day were amateurish and unpolished.

 

We attended trivia twice with Bruce and he was fun but a little hyper. I will say that he was very enthusiastic and into his job but the comedy was a little lame. If you ever were subject to his jokes........you know what I mean here. I could see him being a cruise director one day though.

 

Played bingo and my husband actually won. Yea! Play early in the cruise when the prizes are a little more modest and you have better odds of winning because of less turn-out. We spent the winnings on the behind the fun tour which is totally worth it by the way!

 

Casino was great. We played the super fun Goldfish game which has tons of bonus games. There are only two of these games on the ship and they are super popular so get to one early in the day if you can. Collectively we played 8 or so hours each over the course of the week and came out about $40 ahead. Pretty good odds on the games in my opinion. If you earn I think 1500 points, you get to drink free on Carnival. But good lord that's a lot of playing! At 8 hours over the week, I earned 600 points betting about 30 cents a game. FYI, Persian Princess has a great free spin bonus round. Won $100 in 1 bonus round.

 

Ports- good and bad. All tender ports....Belize and Grand Cayman I'm talking to you ......were a debacle. Admittedly, we booked non-Carnival excursions but and hour and a half from tender sticker to port is insane! We missed cave tubing in Belize and we were late for wave runners in Grand Cayman because the whole process was a chaotic mess. We were led to the wrong debarkation station by carnival staff on both ports and had to either wait or be rerouted while other later sticker people went ahead of us. Irritating!

 

Loved Cozumel. Went to Chankanaab and did the dolphin swim. Highly recommended.

 

Belize.....missed cave tubing. Spent the afternoon in Serenity and met some great folks.

 

Isla Roatan....rented 1 of 8 cabanas available. Worth the $200! We had loungers, a hammock, an air conditioned refuge, and rafts. Be forewarned the 151 rum from the restaurant is strong! I was incapacitated the rest of the day!

 

Grand Cayman....we did the wave runner, sting ray, beach tour. Lots of fun but not for the faint of heart, those with back problems, anxiety, or fear. I sincerely thought I may not make it. The water was choppy and I literally could not see fom the salt water spray. I loved it though.

 

Debarkation-awful. Not sure whose to blame here but we waited two hours to debark.. It just seemed unorganized and a low point to an overall great cruise.

 

In summary, this was our favorite cruise to date. Yea, some things could have been better but overall it was pretty fricking fantastic!

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Great review! I am a huge Legend Cheerleader having been on her 4 times. I totally agree with you about the CD James Dunn. He was absolutely the Worst CD I have ever sailed with. Cruising out of Tampa is so easy and organized, that's one of the reasons we have sailed so many times on the Legend. :):)

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After reading your review - I'm trying to figure out how this could be your best cruise ever????? It felt really negative to me and if I wasn't already booked on the Legend Feb 3rd I don't know that I would even consider sailing on her.:(

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After reading your review - I'm trying to figure out how this could be your best cruise ever????? It felt really negative to me and if I wasn't already booked on the Legend Feb 3rd I don't know that I would even consider sailing on her.:(

 

I thought the same thing, I did not expect to hear that this was the best ever. Maybe we are missing something?

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After reading your review - I'm trying to figure out how this could be your best cruise ever????? It felt really negative to me and if I wasn't already booked on the Legend Feb 3rd I don't know that I would even consider sailing on her.:(

 

Don't worry, I sailed the Legend just this spring and it was fantastic. It is consistently one of the highest rated of the Carnival line.

 

I DO have a sophisticated palate and the food isn't that bad at all... in the MDR like very good wedding reception food... in the Lido buffet like a good hotel buffet. Don't worry they have something for everyone. Only gross dish I encountered was the Eggs Benedict.

 

One hint; we never had trouble with tenders, were always first off the boat, because we book our excursions through Carnival. About a 20% premium, but well worth it in my estimation.

 

Never base your cruise choice on a single reviewer. Everyone has an opinion and what makes one passenger unhappy may not affect you. Look at me; I'm booked on the Breeze in April and the CC rating is @ 57%!!!!! :eek:

 

I'm not worried. Really, I'm not.

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We had no trouble with the tenders in either Belize or Grand Cayman and we didn't have excursions through Carnival. Go and enjoy!!!

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Food- mediocre at best. I do not cruise for the food. As a child my favorite restaurants were Duff's smorgasbord and Ponderosa. I do not have a sophisticated palate and can typically find something anywhere. The food was pretty bad. As others have stated hot food was cold, cold food was luke warm and many dishes were under seasoned or over salted. The buffet choices were slim; however, I would recommend the turkey sandwich on a country role, the veal Parmesan, and the french toast. We ate at Golden Fleece twice and the 5 spice prime rib was tasty as was the filet. The Cesar salad was overdressed yet tasteless but the round rosemary roles were spot on. Worth the 35 dollar cover charge per person but the food is very filling and rich. READ: cream and butter laden. We did not eat in the main dining room.

 

This is a prime example of how two people can see things so differently - we were on the same cruise, and I can tell you it was the best Carnival cruise we've taken (been on the Ecstasy, the Triumph, and the Legend) -- and we ate in the MDR, the Lido and the Steakhouse, and had NO bad experiences, except for ONE instance (cold fries...once).

We had Any Time Dining, found Joel, who was an incredible waiter -- and our dinners were fabulous every night! The Steakhouse was good - too much food for sure - but the quality was excellent. Just don't eat it all! And we thought the Lido had the best quality of any of the Carnival ships we've been on -- go figure!

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I have a question please.

Did the Legend have Guy's Burgers?

we sail in March.

Thanks.

 

Sorry, the Legend does not have Guy's Burgers.

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Would you say the Legend is a good choice for travelling with a 17 year old daughter? Want to make sure it has similar activities compared to larger Glory or Liberty?

 

Brian

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Sorry, the Legend does not have Guy's Burgers.

 

Arghh!!

The Carnival web-site states the Legend has it.

Oh well, they got my hopes up then a buzz kill!!

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Thanks for the review! We sail her again in March and I'm keeping track of how many people get to go to Belize or not and what people say about the food. (yes, I know-very subjective).

 

And Hey! Don't make fun of us Florida folks-our blood is mighty thin!

Edited by cardbucfan

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I reread my review after reading a few comments and I just wanted to clarify a few things.

 

It was our best cruise because our cabin steward, the wait staff, the guest services folks, the random people in the hall we had never met before who said hi, the behind the fun tour guide Kat were some of the nicest folks we have ever met. The fellow passengers we had the opportunity to meet were friendly and warm. The human element outweighed the bad food, late tenders, sewage odor, chipped paint, etc.

 

We chose independent excursions at the recommendation of folks on cruise critic not because they were less expensive. The VIV Belize cave tubing group had newer tubes with neck support, mesh bottoms, and tubes linked by rope vs. person to person. Carnival did not offer a wave runner excursion at Grand Cayman so we went with an alternate tour. Going with an alternative tour group should not relegate someone to a 2 hour tender process. I would have gladly paid a 10% surcharge or more to book with Carnival to guarantee priority tendering but they were not offering what we were looking for.

 

I am sure anyone crusing on the Legend in the near future will have a great time. Just keep an open mind and don't sweat the small stuff. We didn't and that's why we had fun!

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Thanks for the review. :)

 

Luke gs Daddy, I'm not aware of any page on the Carnival website that says the Carnival Legend has Guy's Burger Joint. The Carnival.com Individual Page for Guy's Burger Joint has only 4 Carnival Cruise Ships shown to currently have Guy's Burger Joint (after you click Read More). Carnival Sunshine will make the 5th Cruise ship when it comes out. Could you provide a link to the page you say where Carnival claims to have Guys Burger Joint on the Carnival Legend? :)

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Would you say the Legend is a good choice for travelling with a 17 year old daughter? Want to make sure it has similar activities compared to larger Glory or Liberty?

 

Brian

 

The activities will be similar on all ships. The important thing is that she attend the meeting the first night. The kids get to meet and sort of set up their groups the first night.

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We were on the same cruise with our 16 and 20 year old daughters and it was AWESOME!!!! We loved it - only bad part was they made me go back to Tampa and get off! :p We also booked ViV for cave tubing and we made it no problem. They said to meet them outside the Terminal by 9:30 but they waited until everyone showed before we got on the bus and left. It did make us late so our guide practically ran us through the jungle to get to the cave but we had fun and got the last tender at 4:40 (even though Carnival says the last tender is at 4 - we weren't even the last one - that one came in at 5:30 and we finally left port at 6 an hour later than stated. I got the feeling that is common in Belize.)

 

We were in the middle of Deck 7 in a balcony room and never had bad smells (other than the occasional cigar - sorry - they make me nauseous). I had read in previous reviews that the ship stinks by the end of the cruise so I was paying attention but I never thought it was bad. The meals in the Main Dining Room were very good - my only disappointing meal was some overcooked Mahi Mahi but it is easy to overcook fish so I wasn't too upset - the desserts more than made up for it - I think they are all still with me on my hips lol! Our waiters were the sweetest! We keep lamenting that we couldn't bring them home! My girls looked forward to dinner in the dining room every night - they said it was their favorite part of the day! Mine too because we had a relaxed family dinner without electronics every night for a week - priceless!!!!

 

I will say Legend is getting close to needing a refurb but it was extremely clean and for a 10 year old ship I thought she was in pretty good shape - yes some things are looking a bit worn but comparing it to when we sailed Liberty when she was new I was impressed.

 

Time to start saving for the next cruise!!! :)

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