Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
CupKayke

K&K’s European Adventure ~ Carnival Legend Review May 2013

Recommended Posts

1_zpsea471352.jpg

 

Buongiorno!

 

My husband and I returned one week ago today from a 19-night European adventure including a 12 night cruise on the Carnival Legend. This trip included visits to 3 continents, 8 countries and 20+ cities. We enjoyed one Rome-in-Limo excursion (a fantastic day with Tony), one Smart Cruise Tour (aka Dumb Cruise Tours) and explored several ports on our own. This review will include all pre & post cruise travel. Overall, we had a good time and the cruise was nice – nothing AMAZING happened (though sailing out of Venice was a bit breathtaking) and nothing HORRIBLE happened (though Smart Cruise Tours did leave two of our CC friends in Rome). I plan to write the good and bad in this review. I may start out a little boring but I’ll add a bit of spice as I get into the ports… at least, I’ll try! There are lots of links in this review to places we visited and places we purchased tickets, etc. I wrote some of the review while we were on the cruise (sea days) so please forgive the present/past tense changes. Also, I have a simple point & shoot camera so no extremely impressive photos but I’ll do my best!

 

This is our story and I hope you enjoy it!

 

2_zps9e3811d6.jpg

 

 

Itinerary

April 30th – Flights from St Louis to Atlanta to Dublin, Ireland on Delta

May 1st - Dublin, Ireland

May 2nd - Flight from Dublin, Ireland to Venice, Italy on Aer Lingus

May 3rd - Venice, Italy

Cruise Day 1 – Embarkation in Venice, Italy

Cruise Day 2 – Venice, Italy

Cruise Day 3 – Dubrovnik, Croatia

Cruise Day 4 – At Sea

Cruise Day 5 – Athens, Greece

Cruise Day 6 – Izmir, Turkey

Cruise Day 7 – At Sea

Cruise Day 8 - Messina, Italy

Cruise Day 9 – Naples, Italy

Cruise Day 10 – Civitavecchia, Italy

Cruise Day 11 – Livorno, Italy

Cruise Day 12 – Marseille, France

Cruise Day 13 – Debarkation in Barcelona, Spain

May 16th - Flight from Barcelona, Spain to Dublin, Ireland on Aer Lingus

May 17th - Flight home ~ Dublin to Atlanta to St Louis on Delta

 

A little preview of what’s to come…

 

Porch of Maidens in Athens, Greece

3_zpsfd665441.jpg

 

Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy

4_zps3e587851.jpg

 

Leaning Tower of Pisa

5_zps28de2945.jpg

 

Blue Mosque in Izmir, Turkey

6_zpsf576aa70.jpg

 

One more thing before I get started…. If you have any questions at all… about anything… ask… I may have a picture that answers your questions. I took pictures of everything from the trains & people mover & P. Roma in Venice to the trains & buses in Pisa and shuttles in Marseille. I wrote down prices. I kept track. It was the good folks here on Cruise Critic that helped us enjoy lots of ports on our own – our favorite way to travel – and I would be glad to extend the same help to anyone with questions or requests for pictures. Just ask… I may have them!

 

So… here we go… I plan to finish this review ASAP… let’s see how I do…

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Monday, April 29th – Preflight Day

 

Our vacation was about to begin!! I was so excited and nervous that I had been unable to sleep well for nearly a week!! I worked until noon today. The morning went quickly and I was at home by 12:15pm.

 

The luggage…

Luggage_zps06be0273.jpg

 

The car was loaded, the fur babies were kissed goodbye, and we started our journey to St Louis around 1:30pm. I did not like leaving my precious dog at home for three weeks...

Simon_zps23311b7a.jpg

 

We had a four hour drive to St Louis. On the way, DH wanted to stop and pick-up a Godfather’s Pizza… a “luxury” we do not have in our small town. It was soooo good!

GodfathersPizza_zpsf0e9fd45.jpg

 

Tonight we stayed at Embassy Suites at St Louis Airport. It was a little expensive at $150 for the night but it was easy to find, nicely setup, and offered free wi-fi.

 

Our room…

EmbassySuites_zps1e0dd7ac.jpg

 

The hotel was just “okay” ~ nothing spectacular and a little overpriced in my opinion. Free breakfast was clean, plentiful and had an impressive setup of options – from coffee, self-serve fountain sodas and juices to donuts, made-to-order omelets, fried potatoes, etc. If you wanted it for breakfast, they had it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

April 30th - Flight Day

Today we were booked on Delta to fly from St Louis to Atlanta… then a 3 hour layover…. then fly overnight from Atlanta to Dublin, Ireland. This was an extra expense to our vacation and not something I’m sure I would repeat but my husband simply wanted to see a bit of Ireland and so we did for two days.

Our carry-ons consisted of a backpack each – perfect. Our suitcases, however, I was concerned about. I had ignorantly purchased a 29 inch suitcase for myself. We had a 50 pound luggage limit. When we got to the airport there were lines so I went to an empty kiosk and weighed both suitcases. My suitcase was 58 pounds and hubby’s suitcase was 38 pounds. I moved all the liquids (shampoo/conditioner/etc) from my suitcase to his suitcase. We stood in line and waited… I weighed-in at 48 pounds and he weighed in at 46 pounds. Where did the 2 pounds go?? Who knows!

 

Our first flight left St Louis early….

STLairport_zps2faf80af.jpg

 

 

 

We arrived in Atlanta – or should I say Deltaville – just after 3:00 pm. For those of you from the Atlanta area… do any other airlines fly in and out of the Atlanta airport?? I’ve never seen so many Delta planes in one place at a time!

 

Deltaplane_zps73adf167.jpg

At 6:30pm…our flight headed for Dublin, Ireland!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Love it, Ireland is wonderful. Looking forward to your review. What's the background on you and your man (yes, I am nosey, I love these details and like to find reviews from all age grouos, but do like finding them those around our ages)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DublinRowhouses_zpsfca78f1b.jpg

 

May 1st - Dublin, Ireland

 

After a long flight and a few brief moments of sleep...we arrived in Dublin at 7:30am on May 1st!

 

Dublin’s customs is super quick – we were in and out in seconds, literally. We walked to the shuttle bus area 14 and waited in mid-40 degree windy weather for our hotel’s free shuttle bus. We were cold but the fresh air felt wonderful compared to the stuffy train.

 

We had reservations at the Holiday Inn Express Dublin Airport (70 Euro or $96 US dollars per night).

 

Our basic room..

HotelroominDublin_zps9574168b.jpg

 

We arrived at the hotel before 9:00am Dublin time which would equate to nearly 3:00am Missouri time. We decided to ignore the time change and try to stay awake until at least the afternoon before taking a nap. There is a local bus stop about two minutes walk from the hotel which we knew would take us to the Dublin city centre. We stopped at a convenience store and bought a 1-day family bus pass for unlimited bus rides.

 

DublinBusPass_zps1124a3be.jpg

 

We took the buses to Kilmainham Gaol. Kilmainham Gaol is a former prison in Ireland. We spent over two hours here and it felt like two minutes. To imagine the prisoners living here in the dark – women and children included - is bone chilling. The youngest child ever sentenced to prison here was a 5 year old who received a 2 ½ month sentence for stealing. This is a must-see if you are ever in Dublin. Tickets are only 6 Euro per person and cannot be prepurchased. They were filming a movie here today so everyone got in free!

 

The "newer" area of the prison..

Kilmainham_zpsb5e121fd.jpg

 

 

After our “jolly time” in the prison… we decided we needed lunch. I tried the fish n’ chips. The warm brown bread with butter was also delicious.

 

fishnchips_zps21f6b3cf.jpg

 

We explored downtown just a bit prior to eating..

 

downtowndublin_zps80fded28.jpg

 

We were back at the hotel at 3:15pm and I crashed until 8:15pm!!. We walked next door and had an incredibly delicious dinner – mozzarella, basil, tomato, & grilled chicken on ciabatta bread!! It was sooo yummy! I forgot my camera, however. I can still taste that wonderful, warm sandwich! My husband had a version of the same on brown soda bread. Yummo!

 

Just a quick note about Dublin ~ the Dubliners are truly the friendliest people we've ever met!! Wonderful, happy, welcoming, good people!!

 

Tomorrow, we fly to Venezia!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow! What a fantastic itinerary. I'm really looking forward to reading about your adventure.

Question: How did you cope with jet lag? We are planning a cruise in the Med and would appreciate any tips you may have.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Love it, Ireland is wonderful. Looking forward to your review. What's the background on you and your man (yes, I am nosey, I love these details and like to find reviews from all age grouos, but do like finding them those around our ages)

 

You are correct - Ireland is wonderful. FRIENDLY FRIENDLY!

 

Our background...well... we are both slackers.... as in, we both finally graduated from college in our early 30s and we met & got married in our mid-30s. ;) No kids. Just a cat and a dog. I turned 41 this week and he'll be 40 in October. We are government employees. He works with juvenile delinquent kids who need therapy (Psychology Major) and I am the world's biggest cheapskate (Finance Major).

 

Here we are...

FacebookPhotooftheDay_zps83dfddac.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wow! What a fantastic itinerary. I'm really looking forward to reading about your adventure.

 

Question: How did you cope with jet lag? We are planning a cruise in the Med and would appreciate any tips you may have.

 

Jet Lag getting there was no big deal... we stayed awake for 32 hours...we were excited and it was actually easy!! Everyone told us to stay awake as long as you can your first day in Europe and so we did and it worked! We woke-up early for our flights, flew all day, got to Dublin and it was morning/daylight so we spent all day doing activities like it was a regular day for us - we pretended we had slept on the plane even though we had not. For us, it worked perfectly! I hit the bed at 3:15pm and was probably snoring by 3:16pm (Dublin time). We woke-up at 8:15pm, stayed awake about 2 or 3 hours and we were asleep again. It was fairly easy to adjust on vacation because you are forced to - you have activities planned and want to go-go-go.

 

Jet Lag coming home was terrible.... we were again awake over 30 hours. We have been home exactly one week... and last night I went to sleep at 11:30pm and woke-up this morning at 7:30am... my first full night of sleep. I had to work 8am to 5pm all week this week and I was awake at 1:30AM...2:00AM...3:00AM...or 4:00AM... every night/morning for an hour or two... I would do laundry and plan my next workday in the middle of the night! This is one of those vacations that you need a vacation-at-home after your cruise vacation, for sure! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Cupkayke -

 

Great job thus far, I'm looking forward to reading your review considering were were on the same ship together; perhaps we will show up in each others pictures (my review is linked below).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Love it! Did you go to the Main Post Office in Dublin, with the bullet holes? I remember great pub, just around the corner from the Maternity Hospital in Dublin, that was fun too.

 

Looking forward to your review

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

May 2nd - Venice, Italy

 

We were up early this morning -- 4:00 am! We had a 7:20am flight from Dublin to Venice on Aer Lingus. Our flights were slightly more expensive than the cheapest advertised price because I had paid for us to check one bag each. Total for 2 adults including taxes was 164 Euros or $224 US dollars.

 

We took the hotel’s free shuttle just after 5:00am to the Dublin Airport. I have never seen an airport so busy in my life and I have flown in and out of LAX at least 10 times!!

CrowdedDublinAirport_zpsc35f7793.jpg

 

The super efficient Aer Lingus check-in lady didn’t even blink at our bag weights!! Wonderful!

 

The Dublin Airport Terminal 2 is new and impressive. The duty free shops have great deals but we were not able to get them because we were flying to another EU country. For example, bottles of Skyy Vodka were 11 Euro for those flying back to America but those flying to another EU country would have to pay 29 Euro per bottle. Yikes!

 

We easily found our gate and waited for our flight attendant in her green suit to allow us on our green plane so we could sit in our green seats. It was cute but most of all…they were the most comfortable seats I’ve ever had on an airplane… more leg room than Delta Economy Comfort (by far) and built-in head rests.

AerLingus_zpsb959bfed.jpg

 

The flight to Venice was 2 hours 20 minutes and I slept for 2 hours and 10 minutes. DH said I was snoring at one point!! Gah!!

 

I woke-up to an amazing view of Venice…

 

Venicefromplane1_zpsfc9c9c4f.jpg

We took the ATVO bus from the airport to the Mestre train station area. I had pre-purchased our tickets online – 2 one-way tickets from the airport to Mestre for 11 Euros or just under $15 US dollars. ( http://www.atvo.it/index.php?lang=en ) We walked to the ATVO ticket office in the airport and exchanged our email receipt for an actual ticket. Prepurchasing only saved us 1 Euro but I like to prepurchase when feasible and I simply wanted to make sure we got on this bus because they take your luggage and store it under the bus for you and they only sell tickets for the number of seats they have – no standing-up being squished while trying to hold-on to your luggage – which is what I had read about the public buses.

 

Our bus traveling companion… Buscompanion_zps06dc18ee.jpg

By the way, the Venice Marco Polo airport is tiny. No way you can’t find the ATVO bus or the ticket station – there is only one small ticket station to your left as you are leaving the airport!

 

Also, I forgot to take a picture but they have a big sign in the airport – painted on a cardboard cutout of a cruise ship – reminding cruise passengers that you can ONLY check-in 3 hours early for your flight – MAXIMUM.. i.e… they don’t want you arriving at their tiny airport 3, 4, or 5 hours early for an outbound flight.

 

The ride to the Mestre train station felt like 10 minutes. The bus was full and we were not for sure where to get off so we asked the bus driver to announce when he arrived at Mestre and he did. If you look to your right out the bus window you will pass the “Ferovia” or train station immediately prior to your stop. If you look to the left out your window you will pass the Best Western Bologna Hotel immediately before your stop. This is the only picture I took of our hotel – and it was at night – sorry!

BestWesternHotelPics_zps0a8c2841.jpg

 

I nabbed a deal on this good hotel in December on Expedia – 2 nights prepaid for $313 – that’s US dollars and that rate included free wi-fi & breakfast. There was also a city tax of 11 Euro at checkout. I decided to stay in Mestre because I’m cheap. Frankly, it was very convenient to use the trains to get into Venice and it was nice to get away from the crowds.

 

Our room…

BWOurRoom_zps90054fdd.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are my pictures too big?? They look too big on my small laptop! :confused:

 

ShotoJuku - I was just going to post a link to your review!! Thank you! :) You and your were wife were a joy to meet on the cruise ~ always happy, always smiling!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are my pictures too big?? They look too big on my small laptop! :confused:

 

ShotoJuku - I was just going to post a link to your review!! Thank you! :) You and your were wife were a joy to meet on the cruise ~ always happy, always smiling!

 

Your pictures are fine on my iPad!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are my pictures too big?? They look too big on my small laptop! :confused:

 

ShotoJuku - I was just going to post a link to your review!! Thank you! :) You and your were wife were a joy to meet on the cruise ~ always happy, always smiling!

 

Loving your pics and loving your review. Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wow! What a fantastic itinerary. I'm really looking forward to reading about your adventure.

Question: How did you cope with jet lag? We are planning a cruise in the Med and would appreciate any tips you may have.

 

Try to sleep on the plane, especially if it's an overnight flight. When you arrive at your destination, stay up until it's nighttime. It was easy to adjust. However, I'm still struggling to get back to my old routine now that I'm back. I find myself going to sleep early and waking up early. :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 1 in Venice, continued…

 

 

Now that our trip is over, I will say….we would stay in Mestre again if I was still being cheap but I would prefer to stay in Venice – Venice is beautiful at night!! The train was 1,20 Euros per person each way so we spent less than 5 Euros going to and from Venice every day and it was super easy to hop on a train going either way at any time of day – we never waited more than five minutes for a train. At the same time, if we ever return to Venice, I will check-out THIS hotel and stay there…

 

SantaChiaraHotel_zps5d81e6f6.jpg

 

Santa Chiara Hotel. I have no idea what the rates are or what the reviews are but this hotel is PERFECTLY situated in Venice – directly next to the People Mover and P. Roma and at the end of the Grand Canal. You really could not get a more perfectly situated hotel if you tried… no hauling luggage and you are in the midst of everything Venice which would be nicer than Mestre, for sure.

 

 

Back to our first amazing day in Venice…

We left our luggage and bought train tickets from the reception staff at the hotel. We were off to see all we could see of Venice today….and this was our first glimpse of Venice after stepping off the train…

 

FirstViewofVenice_zps32c2ff89.jpg

 

 

And our second view of Venice…

2ndviewofvenice_zpsf9527ede.jpg

 

 

We walked around everywhere and it started raining quite a bit so we sat down at a covered outside area and ate an early dinner while watching other tourists…

pizzaandwine_zps47e64552.jpg

 

We were fairly close to the train station area still but the total was 15 Euro for the pizza, a glass of Chianti for DH and Prosecco for me. No cuperto was listed on the menus i.e. no cover charge.

 

 

 

We went window shopping and I saw these little Christmas ornaments that begged for me to go inside…

Christmasornaments_zps6cdfcb19.png

 

For all I know, they were made in China.. but I was smitten.. and ended-up purchasing a Santa-being-a-gondolier Christmas ornament and about 20 little glass pieces of candy – for a “candy dish” on my desk at work. I also purchased a couple of glass paper weights for work – one for me and one for my sister who I work with now. Total for all the items was less than 20 Euro so I’m sure they are fake but I don’t care.

 

 

We continued to walk until it was dark.

 

Venice is IMPRESSIVE.

FinalVeniceday1pic_zps5ec82a1b.jpg

 

 

And one quick tip about taking the train back into Venice… you can look on the departures board and see that 5 out of 7 trains stop at Mestre on their way to Rome or Milan or wherever… but if you simply always hop on a dark green train, you are guaranteed to stop in Mestre.. at least, that’s what the helpful Trenitalia staff told us – and there were train staff everywhere with blue suit jackets and ids on – so, no worries about the trains… the train staff are the most helpful people in this area of Italy, IMHO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Random pictures from our first day in Venice…

DSCF0605_zps14c113a8.jpg

 

Advertisements I found interesting…

DSCF0604_zps7618cc5b.jpg

 

 

 

A restaurant hostess …wearing sunglasses…

DSCF0595_zps8faf0e84.jpg

 

I had TWO gelatos today…

DSCF0593_zpsfdac974d.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

May 3rd - Venice Day #2

 

 

We took the train into Venice around 8:30 am this morning which was a mistake. Nothing opens until 9:30/10:00 so we found ourselves sitting and waiting around on the steps – just like everyone else.

 

 

It was foggy & cool this morning and this was my first picture of the day..

Firstpicoftheday_zpsc43c2f61.jpg

 

 

We went to a ticket booth and purchased Vaporetto dell’Arte tickets. We had seen the ACTV sardine cans the day prior and decided NO WAY we would be getting on one of those. The VA tickets are purchased from the same ticket booths. They were a bit more expensive but worth it to us. She asked if we wanted public transportation added for 10 Euro more per person and we did not. We walked to P. Roma (about 5 minutes from the train station) and caught the very first VA waterbus of the day – which does a full Grand Canal tour starting at 10am.

 

 

The VA...

 

VA_zps07ab6b9e.jpg

 

 

Here is a tip… and it’s sad that I have to say this but… If I had not decided to push through the crowd and insist for others to let us through to get on the VA, we would have missed the 10 am tour, despite our waiting for quite a while for the boat. You see, there are LOADS of people that wait for the ACTV waterbuses and they crowd around and don’t want to let you through. When you see the VA, push yourself through and say VA VA VA – because the locals don’t use the VA and frankly, hardly anyone does because the word is not out yet so they think you are cutting in line for a sardine can AKA an ACTV waterbus.

 

 

My husband took this picture of a typical, crowded ACTV waterbus…

Sardinecan_zps92a6f016.jpg

 

 

 

And this picture of our VA waterbus…

InsideVA_zpsff0877c4.png

 

You can sit outside or stand near the front on the VA and get plenty of great pics and a cool breeze – we did both on several occasions today.

 

 

We LOVED our Grand Canal tour on the VA! They give you headphones and a guide booklet when you get on the boat. It really is a great option in Venice and I highly recommend you try it versus the ACTV buses.

 

 

Some pictures going down the Grand canal today…

 

pic4_zps3fe91fb3.png

 

 

So hard to explain amazing Venice in pictures…

pic6_zpsd6468550.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Your pictures are fine on my iPad!

Thank you! I think I may need to shrink them a bit... it's taking forever for Photobucket to load them!

 

Loving your pics and loving your review. Thanks.

Thank you! :)

 

Sunshineo ~ Thank you too!

 

Deedle ~ We did not go to the post office in Dublin with bullet holes! Had not heard about it until just now! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 2 in Venice continued…

 

We got off the VA at S. Marco or St Mark’s Square. The amount of people everywhere was overwhelming at times but surprisingly, most people were very polite!

 

The crazy amount of people in St Mark’s Square…

Allthepeople_zpsc2ee0576.jpg

 

Busy gondolas today, despite the warmer weather... Gondolatraffic_zps356c0b0f.jpg

By the way, it was warmer in Venice than anywhere this trip - and very humid! Wear lightweight clothing and take your bug spray.

 

We were just outside St Mark’s Square when we looked-up and saw our ship coming-in!! YAY!!! It was the coolest feeling ever to see the Carnival Legend pass St Mark’s Square!! The decks and balconies were stuffed with people looking at Venice and Venice was full of people cheering and taking pictures of the ship! The ship's horn blew and it was awesome!!

 

Can you see all the people on the decks??

Legendinvenice_zpsc2166e68.jpg

 

The best thing we did today was get away from all the crowds, taking little side streets and canals – where it is cooler, less crowded, and soooo much nicer!! We walked until we couldn’t walk anymore and at some point in the day, I simply quit taking pictures. Amazing is the only word I can use to describe Venice. A-m-a-z-i-n-g!

 

A nice, cool side street…

SideStreet_zpsd8e368b5.jpg

 

After walking the back areas behind St Mark’s Square, we took the VA over to San Giorgio Island. It is a short trip from St Mark’s Square to there and back. It’s very scenic too…

GIslandpic_zpsc0de526f.jpg

 

The views on the way over and back on the VA were beautiful!

ViewsofVenicefromVA_zps51a64940.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 2 in Venice continued…

 

 

We had been walking for hours so we finally decided to take the VA from the S. Marco area up to another area, S. Stae, closer to the Ferrovia/P.Roma area. The VA attendant gives you a guidebook that has a big colorful map inside – very helpful.

 

 

The ride up the canal did not disappoint…

Rideupthecanalpic1_zps19e968de.jpg

Beautiful…

Dome_zpse39f5c57.jpg

Resting on the steps…

Restingonthedomesteps_zps814564f5.jpg

 

 

Once at the S. Stae area, we spent another couple of hours slowly admiring and meandering our way back to the train station. Everyone says you cannot get lost in Venice. They are correct. There are signs everywhere pointing to S. Marco or P.Roma. We loved wondering around and fell in love with the back street areas much more than the crowded touristy areas.

 

 

We stopped for a very late lunch at an outdoor café and again, we chose the pizza ..

LateLunc_zps47916c5b.jpg

Pizza, 2 large draft beers, and a very small cuperto (cover charge) per person came to 27 Euros. We could have done a lot worse and by this time of the day, we would have ate cardboard and drank anything…it was getting warm and we were tired.

 

 

We ate and then slowly walked back to the train station. Along the way, we came upon this piazza which had a large supermarket hidden in the corner. They had Coke Zero (my drink of choice) for half a Euro per can and we did not find this in Mestre so we picked-up a few cans to take on the ship.

 

 

The piazza…

ThePiazza_zps56d07c8f.jpg

 

 

 

 

If you are curious, there are grocery stores all over Venice if you look for them. Directly in front of the VA stop at P. Roma (to the right of the bridge) is a large Coppa which not only has liquor, sodas, and snacks but also a pharmacy and numerous other items. At this store we picked-up a four-pack of Fanta, some cough drops for me, and a bottle of Absolute vodka for a total of 18 Euro – about the same price we would pay at home. And yes, we were allowed to bring the Vodka onboard… not an eye was blinked or question asked.

 

 

Our final pic of walking the back streets of Venice today….

Finalday2pic_zps80b5367c.jpg

 

 

Tomorrow… CARNIVAL LEGEND EMBARKATION DAY!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

May 4th - Embarkation Day in Venice, Italy

Today we woke-up and realized we would finally be on the Carnival Legend cruise ship!! Yay!! I was ready to unpack one last time and have a little home-away-from home for nearly two weeks. We were awake early at the hotel, enjoyed the free breakfast, and walked across the street with our bags just after 10am. There is a row of taxis continually parked in front of the Mestre train station. It was a set price of 35 Euros for 2 people (and luggage) directly to the Carnival drop-off point. Quick, easy, perfect… but a little overpriced in my opinion. Still, it was worth it. No hassle. No stairs. Easy Peasy. If my suitcase would have been of reasonable size and weight, we would have easily been able to take the train and the People Mover for a grand total for 2 people of less than 7 Euro but unfortunately, I had bought that humongous 29 inch suitcase - which is currently on E-bay if any other suckers are interested!

Carnival impressed us today – big time! We arrived at the terminal before 10:30 am. Carnival staff and Carnival signs were everywhere. A lady greeted us at the luggage drop-off and no less than six luggage porters attempted to take our luggage. We were then directed to walk a couple of feet to terminal 107. A moment later at terminal 107…there were more Carnival staff holding Carnival signs and there were posted signs for the Carnival Legend everywhere. We were inside the building within 5 minutes, max. We went straight to check-in and they were obviously training lots of people today but they did a magnificent job with us and we were checked-in and had our Zone 1 boarding pass and our Sign & Sail cards within minutes. We went to sit and wait and my husband overheard a lady on her walkie talkie saying she was going to start boarding now! There were probably 50 people in front of us but we were on the ship in minutes. Stepping on the ship… again…there were no less than 10 Carnival staff waiting to greet us and answer questions. ALL over the ship were staff members with red shirts that said “Just Ask” if you have a question. We were allowed in our staterooms immediately. Lunch was already being served. Our luggage was at our door before 1:00 pm. There was food everywhere – a fantastic salad bar, fresh sandwiches at the grill, lots of desserts and Italian food, etc. John Heald also came on the overhead speaker and welcomed everyone aboard probably around noon. Staff everywhere were friendly and welcoming! Carnival could not have made embarkation or the WELCOME TO YOUR CRUISE feeling any better for us! I have never walked on a ship that had that “Welcome Aboard We Are Going To Treat You Fantastic” feeling before but that is what Carnival delivered today!

Best First Day Cruise Impression Ever!

 

A crew member in a "Just Ask" shirt...

JustAsk_zps37dac6d0.jpg

A quick note about our room… 7300.. Aft View Extended Balcony. I moved us to this room about 45 days out. I got a great deal ~ just $40 more than the port side extended balcony we had reserved. We normally get regular balcony cabins. I wanted to try an aft view once and see what we thought.

Our room…

OurRoom_zps0cee463b.jpg

 

The bathroom had PLENTY of shelves and there is a clothesline built-in in the shower…

Bathroom_zps44e592d3.jpg

We had a great room but… we would never choose a true aft room again. We like the overhang that keeps the sun and rain away and we like the wind when we are sitting on the balcony. To each his own I suppose.

And… another thing… I had seen tons of dark pictures of the Legend here on CC and thought the ship was going to be ugly. The Carnival Legend is an absolutely lovely ship! Not only was she kept clean constantly by the staff but the stairway carpet is very pretty, the paintings and murals and art pieces are magnificent and we loved all the mythology references. We thought the ship was just as beautiful as the Carnival Spirit and really, I thought the pictures/painting were prettier…. of course… I like all the mythology legends and seeing a picture reminded me of a funny tale each time. It was a nice touch to the cruise.

Beautiful Atrium…

BeautifulAtrium_zpsfb7458e2.jpg

 

Just a couple more notes about things I found different on this embarkation day...

They advertised in the Fun Times that the Lido Deck Unicorn Café would be serving “late night snacks” every day from 11:30pm to 1:00 am. The late night snack tonight was cheeseburgers, fries, potato salad, sautéed onions or mushrooms, coleslaw, etc. My husband indulged at 11:30pm…

LateNightSnack_zps2cc2998b.jpg

Lots of people had been in Venice all day or were simply still adjusting to time changes as we were out and about until after midnight and so were many other people – talking, drinking, eating, and generally acting like it was 9pm. This would not continue once the intensive port itinerary started – we were zonked-out by 9/10pm most evenings.

 

Also, if you sign-up for Internet today you get up to 20 free minutes. I purchased the 120 minute package for $59.99 just so I could stay in touch with family and friends via my travel blog. The Internet was slow but it worked fine for me. I got onboard knowing it was satellite Internet and it was super slow so I never had any complaints – besides I didn’t buy enough Internet time. I would definitely recommend you not attempt to use the Internet during sailaway or when the ship is arriving into port – something messes with the satellite and you literally just sit and waste minutes while nothing happens. Our neighbors down the hall agreed.

Also, because we had an overnight in Venice tonight, there were no shows or entertainment tonight. They were showing the movie Taken 2 however. Considering we were stopping in Turkey soon, I found that amusing.

John Heald also announced you could leave the ship and return as you wish all the way up until 1:30pm tomorrow at which time all guests must be onboard and then there will be an emergency drill directly before our 2pm sailaway. However, it is important to note that John Heald also announced that the 1 Euro per person People Mover stops at 10pm. I watched people returning to the ship in droves around 9/9:30pm.

The Fun Shops are closed today and all the way until 90 minutes after sailaway tomorrow due to European laws.

Overall, it was great to be on the ship and to be welcomed so warmly by Carnival!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't wait to read the rest of your review! The itinerary sounds amazing! We are doing a 12 day European in July!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • 2019 Cruisers' Choice Awards
      • NCL Sail-Away Giveaway Sweepstakes - Win a 7-Day Cruise on Norwegian Joy!
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Community Contests
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...