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A Legendary week Aug 31-sept 7th


bakechef

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I'm back from another wonderful Carnival cruise!

 

This was my big vacation this year, my only one actually, it was a long 12 months between cruises so I was more than ready for this one!

 

We started out on Thursday Aug 28th with a planned stop in Savannah, I had never been there and was excited to finally see this historic city. We packed up the car and headed out at 7:00am, sunny skys and light traffic made this leg of the journey a breeze. We arrived in Savannah at exactly 12:00 noon.

 

Since I had never visited Savannah, I researched the best way to see the sights in one day, I ended up buying tickets for the Old Town Trolley Tour, with on and off priveleges, I saved a few bucks buying the tickets online! We got the nicest tour guide named Cindy, she had a real thick southern drawl and loads of charm, she told stories and interesting facts throughout the entire tour, she was a gem.

 

Since I am a Food Network junkie, I really wanted to eat at Paula Deen's place, The Lady and Sons. The lady selling tickets at the trolley depot, bad mouthed the place pretty bad, I know that her fame is a bit too much for the locals, but I thought her comments were out of line. When we boarded the trolley Cindy said that the city was fairly quiet that day and we should be able to get in with little wait, she was right, we walked right in! I was excited to be there, on the verge of giddy! Well the lady and her sons were out of town, so we got no celebrity citings, but we were able to score some very good down home southern cuisine. We had our fill of hoe cakes, fried chicken, pork chops, macaroni and cheese, and many other things on the buffet. We were full and happy when we left. We visited her store next door, and I got a gift for my mom, and for me her two original cookbooks signed by the lady herself!

 

After eating we did a little more touring, we got on Cindy's trolley again! By around 4:00 we were pretty much beaten down by the heat and humidity and decided to check into our hotel for a shower and some rest. I had reserved a room at the Country Inn and Suites in the historic district. This hotel was very new and absolutley wonderful, the staff was very friendly and everything from the hotel to the employees were crisp and polished. The room was beautiful, it was decorated in the southern style with beautiful bedding, solid granite in the bathroom on top of beautiful cherry wood furniture. The bed was heaven, the mattress was soft but supportive, and the linens were fabulous. The room had a 32" flat screen LCD television, and free internet. I would recommend this hotel to just about anyone, and the price was better than most in the historic district.

 

We had tickets for the Ghosts and Gravestones trolley tour for 9;00 so we headed to river street a little early to check things out. We found a huge candy store and bought some chocolate and fresh made pralines, since we had such a big dinner, we opted for candy for dinner, Paula Deen would be proud! We boarded a special trolley decorated in a very spookey motif with branches and spanish moss hanging from the ceiling. Our tour giude was an absolute hoot, she was supposed to be dead, so she was wearing a black victorian dress and very pale makeup, she stayed in character the entire time. This tour was fun if not over the top corny. We were shown houses said to be haunted and told stories of untimely deaths. We arrived at the Sorrel Weed house and were given a brief tour complete with the tragic history of the mansion. The tour also included a stop off at a cemetary with more ghost stories. When the tour ended we headed back to the hotel, and than goodness for the Tom Tom, I would have been hopelessly lost in that city without it!

 

The hotel had a very nice breakfast, we took advantage of that and prepared for the second leg of our journey, Tampa!

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Well we headed out for Tampa around noon, and the weather began to deteriorate, making for a dreary ride. We saw a sign for Krystal burger and decided to give them a try, well at least I gave them a shot, really wasn't my style, I imagine that my blood pressure shot up after that meal!

 

We arrived at the Embassy Suites Westshore, this place was 1/2 the price of the Embassy suites near the pier. Even though this was an older hotel and not the typical Embassy suites, it was very nice. This hotel offers a cruise package, which allows free parking in their parking garage and transportation one way to the pier. You must reserve the specifc package that includes parking AND transportation to the pier.

 

The room was a 2 room suite, with a small kitchenette, with a fridge microwave and coffee maker. There were two 27" flat screen LCD televisions a nice desk area, a sofa, and tons of space. We had a balcony with a bay view on the 15 floor, we were very happy with the accomodations.

 

We attended the manager's reception with complimentary cocktails and appetizers, and the breakfast both mornings, we enjoyed both.

 

The rest of our group arrived on Saturday some by plane some by train. We all had a great dinner at the Maggiano's at the mall across the street. One in our group befriended a girl who had just come off the imagination and had to wait until the next day to fly home, so she joined us for dinner. It was a great evening of fun and food, a fun way to kick off our cruise, even if the weather was terrible!

 

I was obsessively checking the web and for any news of a possible delay for the arrival of the Legend, I worried for nothing, she arrived on time! We called the front desk and they called a cab company for transportation. Upon checkout each room was handed $20 in cash to pay for the cab, pretty cool and painless. Since there were 6 of us a van came and we loaded up and headed to the pier.

 

Carnival really has this embarkation process down to a science! We arrived at 11:00 and within 5-10 minutes we were checking in and getting our sign and sail cards. Before going through security we were handed a new itinerary explaining the cancelation of Grand Cayman and the addition of Key West. We were all prepared for a surprise itinerary, it was hurricane season after all, and there were storms everywhere, but we were pleased with the minor change. After checking in we caught up with the rest of our group and had a seat to wait for boarding. We chit chatted for about 20 minutes we had group 7 and on the boat we went.

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We sneaked into our rooms by opening the fire doors in the hallways and dropped our carryons in the closets and made our way to the Lido to get out of the steward's way and get our funship specials! We sat by the pool for a while and then went to get some food, it was very enjoyable.

 

A little later in the day we decided to make reservations for the Golden Fleece supperclub, when we arrived we were informed that jackets were required every night, and since we had all opted for the more casual cruise elegant attire without a jacket and tie, we were told that we were not allowed in, this was a bit dissapointing. We later found out from the person in charge that this was not true, but at this point we had decided not to go, we decided that we didn't care for the attitude we got earlier and it wasn't worth it, this employee lost $240 for Carnival, plus tips and cocktails. We got over it and enjoyed our dinners in the dining room very much.

 

We went to our 6:00 dinner and found our table, a nice location on the second floor with views out the rear of the ship and the dining room below. We got to meet our servers Gusti and Alvin, they would really enhance our dining experience throughout the week.

 

We went to the show, but since the seas were so rough from hurricaine Gustov that the dancers couldn't perform safely, so a comedian did a routine, and they played a game with contestants from the audience it was decent for something that they probably had to throw together in a hurry. We went back to our cabin and turned in, as the ship was rockin and rolling, there were barf bags out for anyone who needed them!

 

Our cabin was the typical balcony cabin setup, he had opted for the obstructed balcony cabin 5189, the obstruction wasn't bad at all, there was a clear view of the ocean straight out. I chose this location to be close to the bank of elevators and to be sandwiched between cabin decks, this was an ideal location for us, very quick walk to most everything. We never had much of a wait for elevators there are plenty for the passenger load on this ship!

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The next morning we arrived in Key West, we docked right in front of the Westin Resort by Mallory Square, a great location right in the middle of town. Our group all went their own way. My Partner and I went hat shopping, I am folically challenged and needed somthing to prevent a sunburn, we got our hats at the depot gift shop, and were off to Kermit's Key Lime Shoppe, I was on a mission for PIE! We arrived and my best friend and her travel mate were there so we enjoyed a snack outside and all went shopping on Duval St. After a quick stop at CVS for some juice and forgotten items we went back to the ship, just in time to avoid a rain shower! Had luch and just chilled out for the rest of the day. The evenings entertainment was a juggler, it was pretty good.

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The next day was a sea day, we just chilled out and gambled a bit, nothing too interesting, we just

enjoyed the beautiful ship and sunk even deeper into vacation mode. Cruise elegant night was moved to this night with the captain's cocktail reception, we attended the reception this year and enjoyed it very much the appetizers were great and every time I finished a cocktail, there was another one magically in it's place, I was a bit tipsy when I left for dinner! At dinner there was Prime Rib and Maine lobster tail on the menu, I was a bit skeptical when I saw Maine lobster on the menu, but when it arrived at the table it was indeed real Maine lobster tail (I was born and raised in Maine), not the spiney lobster served on every other cruise that I have been on. Those at the table really seemed to enjoy the lobster, I don't care for seafood, so I stuck with the prime rib.

 

Here are some pictures from around the ship.

 

The Follies Lounge

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Wednesday we arrived in Cozumel, no excursions planned here, so we shopped a bit. I had my high fructose corn syrup free Coke a Cola and took lots of pictures. It started to rain, so we headed back to the ship, and just before we got there the sky opened up and we got drenched! We had a good laugh and squished and sloshed all the way back to the ship. While we were out shopping the Carnival Fascination had pulled in. The ships in port today were the Carnival Legned, Carnival Fascination, and the NCL Sky, at the pier farther down was the Carnival Conquest and the RCI Enchantment of the Seas.

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storm clouds rolling in!

 

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Thursday we arrived in Belize, this would be our only tender port of the trip, we didn't have an excursion planned here either so we waited a while for the tender lines to die down and were able to walk right on to a tender. We shopped near the pier a bit, and then decided to leave the shopping area to see what else was out there. There was a flea market behind the pier area, with locals selling trinkets, I fell in love with some wooden cutting boards and bowls and ended up buying some. They were hand made from various local hardwoods each piece containing several different woods, they were beautiful. These were of better quality and less expensive than the little store in the pier area, I usually don't buy souvenirs but I loved these wood products. After a little more shopping and sweating we returned to the tender and to the ship for showers and lunch, and more relaxing.

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Friday was Isla Roatan, this day was too short! We booked the Tabyana Beach Break, it was wonderful what a paradise! The gentleman welcoming us to the beach suggested snorkeling saying that there was a beautiful reef just off the beach, so we rented masks and snorkels for $5 and explored the reef. The reef was incredible beautiful coral and hundreds of cool looking fish everywhere. If you go snorkeling here be aware that there are bouys marking where you should be snorkeling, me and another from my group didn't notice them and ended up in a part of the reef that was hard to manuver, it was kinda like a maze. There are guys in kayaks that will come find you and help lead you out of this part of the reef. Unfortunately neither one of us escaped without being scraped up by the reef, I am glad that there were no sharks around because my leg was bleeding! A little more swimming and I got out and enjoyed a Monkey La La frozen drink in the shade, it doesn't get much better than this! We went back to the ship around 12:45, the last bus goes around 1:15. The driver stopped a couple times so that we could take pictures, there are some gorgeous vistas on that route. We returned to the ship, showered had lunch and resumed relaxation. Tonight was the second cruise elegant night, the dining room was a lot more empty this time, I guess many were too burned and tired from the beach. This was the night for what I considered the best production show of the trip, it was called Take II, and it was wonderful, the singers and dancers worked their hearts out, this is a must see! Tonight was also the Grand Gala Buffet, I arrived early for pictures and they had opened early, so I had time to take lots of pictures before the crowds arrived!

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Saturday, the dreaded last day just about everyone in our group slept in. This was a day of leisure, some in our group joined the slot tournament and others did some last minute shopping. At dinner Prime Rib made it on the menu for the second time, Yum! We attended the Legends show, since we missed it last year, I would suggest going to this show, it was so much fun.

 

 

More pics around the ship

 

 

 

Billies's (Billie Holiday) Bar

 

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The stairs down to the firebird lounge and the lounge

 

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The day of debarkation was here, we had our carry bags together and on the sofa and went to breakfast, you had the choice of buffet or dining room, unlike some other cruises that I have been on, a full breakfast was served and the staff was still being nice to you, something that sets Carnival and NCL apart for me. We hung out for a while in the buffet and then went to get our bags and debark, the steward was cleaning the room when we got there so we took our bags, thanks him for a great week and debarked the ship. This process was crazy fast as well, I bet it was a less than 10 minute process from ship to curb! We got a cab back to the Embassy suites to get the car, the guy charged $10 per person, very reasonable considering the distance.

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I will be on Legend Oct 5th for second time.I loved the ship and 4 ports.This time I opted to book OCV Gurantee to save money and was upgraded to 7A obstructed Bal 5191 next to where you were.I never had obstructed before.Is view blocked that much? I had extented balcony last Sept. and was alittle spoiled ,but took a chance on guarantee(paid $599pp) so didn't do bad. Looking forward to the rest of your review,to see what you did in each port. I am going to 7 mile beach in GC but not sure where exactly. We booked Victor at BoddenTours in Roatan to hopefully go to Mayan Princess for the day and then some shopping in Coxen Hole.Belize just a little shopping and then chill on ship,and Paradise Beach to visit Tom for awhile and then some shopping again but don't tell DH as he HATES to SHOP! 26 Days and I can't wait!!!!!

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The cruise was wonderful. I really loved the layout of the ship, so easy to manuver and everything makes sense. I was a bit concerned that with the rising fuel prices that the food could be affected, well I did notice a few things like the steak available every day was flat iron steak instead of strip, and the chateaubriand was made with beef shoulder instead of tenderloin, and beef wellington was missing. The flat iron steak was very flavorful, and pretty tender, and the Chateaubriand was delicious and tender as well, so I was still pleased with the dishes. Carnival still can't seem to make a decent cheesecake, they are all pretty dismal, so after being stung once, I stuck with other desserts. My partner had the melting cake every night and it was pretty gooey, he loved it! The bitter and blanc was the highlight dessert of the trip for me, it is my favorite. I tried the baby back ribs on the last evening, if I knew that they would be that good, I would have had them more than once. The buffet area had lots of variety, each section was something different, Asian Station, Deli, International (different country each day) rotisserie with a different carved meat and sides every day, salad bar, 24 hour pizzaria, and a grill featuring hamburgers, hotdogs, chicken tenders(very good ones), steak sandwiches, grilled chicken, fries, onion rings, nachos with chili etc... there was also a dessert area. There truly seemed to be something for everyone.

 

I enjoyed the decor of the ship, it is very busy and detailed as you would expect a Carnival ship to be, but this one was a little more elegant looking than the Glory, I liked them both. I think that Carnival has done a great job of creating a great product, layed back, unpretentious, affordable escape from reality, it really seems to suit my personality.

 

This review ended up being a bit longer than attended, but I had such a great time!

 

More pics of the ship

 

Sachimo's

 

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Holmes Library (also the internet station)

 

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Rodeo Drive

 

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Medusa's Lair Disco

 

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I will be on Legend Oct 5th for second time.I loved the ship and 4 ports.This time I opted to book OCV Gurantee to save money and was upgraded to 7A obstructed Bal 5191 next to where you were.I never had obstructed before.Is view blocked that much? I had extented balcony last Sept. and was alittle spoiled ,but took a chance on guarantee(paid $599pp) so didn't do bad. Looking forward to the rest of your review,to see what you did in each port. I am going to 7 mile beach in GC but not sure where exactly. We booked Victor at BoddenTours in Roatan to hopefully go to Mayan Princess for the day and then some shopping in Coxen Hole.Belize just a little shopping and then chill on ship,and Paradise Beach to visit Tom for awhile and then some shopping again but don't tell DH as he HATES to SHOP! 26 Days and I can't wait!!!!!

 

Oooh great score on the cabin!

 

You will have very little obstruction with this cabin! The obstruction here is a lifeboat that the top comes about knee high, so you can see completely over it, just not down. You will love this location, it is so convenient to everything!

 

MAC

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