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Legend 1/27/13 Sailing Review and Some General Carnival Observations

JohnBoy in NC

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We started an annual tradition in 2012 of sailing in late January to help break up the winter. We now of course have the cruise bug and this time two sets of our good friends decided to join us, one of which has never cruised before. One set of friends had some family in Tampa to help babysit the kids so we chose the Legend to make it easier on them (plus I liked the itinerary and Spirit class ships).



I got a great rate at the Crown Plaza Westshore (near the airport) so we stayed there and dined at PF Changs after arriving on a Southwest non-stop. We thought about trying to see some of the Gasparilla Pirate Festival, but my wife was not feeling well that night and it would have been a crazy, crowded and loud experience. Maybe next time!



Tampa Port – The cab picked us up at 10am – arrived at the port 10:15 or so. No traffic on a Sunday morning. We were checked in and sitting at 10:30am. Nice facility. 11:15 am they started to call priority boarding….so having Zone 3 we were on board pretty quick. We threw our carry-ons into the room before heading up for lunch.



As far as debarkation – it was slow. Zones didn’t start until 9:30am or so, I surmise they had delays with the non-U.S. citizens getting off first or whatever they do because they had to announce 3 cabins to proceed immediately to Follies Theatre for non-citizen processing, but we had late flight so we were not in a hurry. Zone 19/20 were called around 10:30am. Worst day of the cruise…being kicked off the ship.



The Ship


I thought the Legend looked great myself. I enjoyed the décor on this ship, better than the Miracle. Yes you can find minor cosmetic issues but overall she was clean and neat. We were on the Riveria Deck for the first time- an inside cabin. Loved it….quiet and very convenient to many things for us. We like insides and I had heard that the passage around Belize can be rough so with our newbies on board I decided to book us mid ship low deck to minimize any rocking. Boy I was glad we did – the swells/waves were rocking the boat all week long (almost missed Grand Cayman because of this, we had to dock on other side of island). Some times at dinner or on upper decks you had to grab hold of things while walking….but our rooms were pretty stable. Weather was GREAT all week…except cloudy on the return sea day.



One night we came back to our room (middle of a LONG hallway) and we could see buckets and water coming down from the ceiling. A pipe had burst in the ceiling right beside our room and water was coming down pretty good. Yes I did ask the crew member if it was sea water J , but they had it fixed in a few hours. Kinda reminded me of a scene from Titanic when water was in the hallways…:eek:



Wayan our room steward was great. There was no ice bucket for wine bottles in the room (I had brought 2 bottles with us) but Wayan gave us the Carnival white plastic beer bucket. Not as nice as the usual ice bucket we have had from previous Carnival cruises, but he kept it full of ice the whole week. :)


The Waterslide was awful. I may have made it 10 feet before stopping. Took 10 minutes to make it down! My friends tried to improve their sliding distance but no avail…..just not enough water to push you down. Even a little girl stopped several times on the way down.



The Taste Bar

Miss the usual sushi cart (I know people said it is now located on the Lido in buffet area but we never got around to trying to find it). However the Taste Bar offered some good apps that we tried several nights.



The Golden Fleece Steakhouse

Even though I verified with steakhouse manager about each couple receiving the free bottle of wine, the waitress said one per table but since it was a big group, they would give us two. Since our friends do not like wine I didn’t want to argue with the staff about how we should have 3 bottles. Food was excellent as always!




Did anytime dining….Rupert was our 3rd waiter that we tried and he was great. Food was always good, no complaints. BTW I asked for non vegetarian Indian meal the 3rd night and they brought me a different dish every day for me (my wife made me stop after 3 nights in a row – she doesn’t like the curry smell or the looks of the dishes). I had no idea what I was having but the indian food was great!



The Shows/Entertainment

Big Easy was good, Jazz Hot was ok. However the highlight in entertainment was a new high energy magic show featuring Justin Illusion. I think it just started on the Legend. This show was awesome! It featured great upbeat music (Florida Right Round, Tainted Love, Welcome to the Jungle, etc etc. – you will not close your eyes from boredom in this 50 minute show for sure. We watched it twice to try to catch how he did some of the tricks (making girls disappear etc.). Best show I have seen on a boat so far. I would see it every time on a cruise if offered. Motown with Marcus Anthony, we did not have the opportunity to see it since Marcus had flight issues and didn’t make the cruise.



At Satchmos Lounge was a Filipino cover band – the Best Sellers. They were good and we enjoyed listening to them…they mainly played slow dance or easy rock music….and multiple nights they played the same sets.

James Dunn was the cruise director…he was ok.



The Drinks

VIFP drink coupon. Waited till last sea day to use (almost forgot about it) at lunch in the MDR. I though I was smart and went in at 1pm but it was packed. After 10 minutes of standing in the middle of the room I finally got maitre’d to get a bartender to come over to take our order. There were other guests sitting waiting as well. It took 35 minutes (I timed it because it got hilarious waiting around if you know what I mean). Never worked so hard for a free drink! Maitre’d came around and took our cabin number to report it to the bar manager but nothing came out of it. Not upset, just a learning opportunity for me. Remember next time to use earlier in the cruise….or maybe the Beards will allow a person to redeem at dinner or anywhere else on the ship!




Point of discussion on another thread—change in bar coupon policy. I had some bar coupons (purchased for this cruise and a few leftover from last sailing), and I noticed that they charged gratuity even though the coupon says gratuity was included. This happened every time and bar on the Legend. I usually tip a dollar as well in some cases, but from another CC post it seems Carnival changed this policy and will stop accepting these come February 1st. Now I have 2 extra and won’t be sailing Carnival anytime soon.



Past Guest party – very crowded and we did not get the appetizers until 10 minutes to go. Very hard to flag down someone. However the Mai Tai’s we received were the strongest I have ever had on Carnival. Very nice. My wife and I managed to get one more round of a different drink before the party was over.




Mastercard Promo ($50) last fall

We used two FCCs so our friends could get the $100 OBC in the their cabin (switched rooms at guest services upon boarding). We also had TA $75 OBC per cabin as well as some early saver OBC. So I wanted to verify cabin OBC after switching and lo and behold they gave us $100 Mastercard OBC for our cabin after moving my wife to mine and they gave my friends cabin a Mastercard $50 OBC even though they didn’t have a mastercard! I guess since my wife was originally in their cabin they applied a credit somehow, even though our sign-sail accounts were never tied to our friends.




Cozumel – Palancar Beach (food, ambiance, snorkel). Cab ride was $40 from the dock to Palancar. As discussed on the Cozumel board, this place was nice – great beach, ambiance, food, activities, and no one pestered you. Food (shrimp/fish tacos and nachos) and drinks (coco loco) were delicious. Snorkel trip to two reefs was $35 each. Even though is was cloudy half the time, you could still see 25 feet deep pretty clearly. Saw two sea turtles, huge eagle ray, and several sting rays. Snorkel guide would dive down and kick them up from the bottom.



Belize – We did the Carnival excursion beach/snorkel at Rendezous Cay. This was the first ship excursion (we like to do independent private tours) we have done, mainly since there were a lot of ships in Belize that day and I didn’t want to tender to the dock and then go on an excursion. We used the 10% promo code from awhile back and this excursion took you directly from the ship to a little spit of land with a few palm trees in the middle of the ocean. It was worth the $54 that we paid. The water was rough that day but the snorkeling was still pretty good.



Roatan – Victor Bodden driver, was going to Tabyana beach but driver said they raised the entry fee to $10, and you have much better facilities for $10 a person at Bananamara. Nice place- would go back. Also the driver asked about what we wanted to do --- and he arranged a Snorkel trip on a boat for 6 of us for $100. The snorkeling was awesome, best I have seen since Hawaii…Tortola was a close second.



Grand Cayman

Due to rough swells had to dock on south side of the island, so missed my planned Eden Rock snorkeling near the boat. Took a bus with others to Sea Grape on Seven Mile beach. No negotiating for a group of 6 for beach chairs/umbrellas near/around the Tiki club. Finally found someone who would cut us some sort of deal, and we enjoyed the large waves/water on Grand Cayman. However our chair vendor packed it up after a few hours (so much for a “day” rental) and we went back to the ship early. Not my favorite port but still enjoyed the warm sun and beautiful waters.





All in all enjoyed our Legend cruise…it was so much fun watching our friends experience cruising for the first time. They want to go with us every January now. I was looking at doing the Breeze to Aruba next January but it was too expensive - found great deal on Princess so I booked that instead. I am ready for a change anyway since we have sailed Carnival 4 times in a row.



John in NC

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We were on the sailing just before you! Just wanted to say, we loved the Justin Illusion show, he was great! He sat across from us on the tender back to the ship from Belize, seems like he flies there on Wed., catches the ship and then goes home for a few days when the ship gets back to Tampa on Sunday morning. For anyone sailing the Legend, don't miss this show!

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  • 1 month later...

I had a quick question for you. Would you recommend a certain side of the ship for views when docking in Cozumel and Honduras? Or do you think it doesn't really matter? I kind of like watching the "runners" :p

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