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Old January 29th, 2006, 09:57 PM
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Default Trip Report Carnival Legend (warning - it's long)

Just got back yesterday from the Carnival Legend, thought I would write a trip report while it was all fresh! Where to start...!?
Brief background - my husband and I are 35, we went alone, on our honeymoon - first cruise for both of us
The positives: We arrived on embarkation day at 2:00 in the afternoon and practically walked right on to the ship - no line up whatsoever. I heard someone say it usually slowed down around 2.
We had an extened Balcony Stateroom. It was great! The bed was far more comfortable than I expected, pillows were comfortable. Lots of space, room to move, lots of room for all of our clothes, bathroom was fine, it had 6 glass shelves which held all of our toiletries. We brought an over-the door hanging thing as recommended, but didn't need it at all, we had enough room for our things. There was a bar fridge, hair dryer, and shampoo and soap dispenser. Also a couch and table. All very clean. We were on the 7th floor, and it was perfect - so handy to go up to the Lido deck (9th floor), where the buffet restaurant and pools were.
The food - Awesome. I can't get over any one ever complaining about the food. There is the Unicorn Cafe - a huge buffet style eating area. Tons to choose from, lots of seating, prompt service. Breakfast was pretty much the same every day. I read a review that someone complained about this, however, I just can't get over that. There is nothing I can think of that wasn't included at the breakfast buffet. Made to order omelettes to cereal, and everything in between. So it is easy for a person to have something different every day if they wished. My only other comment about this was that it wasn't exactly hot sometimes.
The main dining room "Truffles" was wonderful. First class food and service all the way. We had great servers (Roger and Aleksandra and Sarah). Don't be afraid to ask for something if you don't see it on the menu, and don't be afraid to ask for extra of something. My husband asked for Caesar Salad one night & got it, no problem. You can have more than one starter, I heard people ask for two main courses, two desserts, etc. They were friendly, efficient, accomodating. I thought 2 formal nights was a bit much myself, but fun nonetheless. This restaurant was also available for breakfast and lunch.
We paid the $30 extra and went to the fine dining restaurant one night. How incredible! We thought that Truffles was fine dining until we went to the Supper Club. It was well worth the extra money. A few choices were Surf & Turf, a 16 oz. Lobster Tail, and a 24 oz. T-Bone, to name a few.
Prices on Board - we didn't find them bad at all. Drinks were prices similar to anywhere here & there were drink specials every day. No complaints about that. And the liquor is all "good stuff". I have travelled many times and often find it hard to get Premium booze at all inclusive resorts, Vodka in my case. They only use good liquor on the ship. T-shirts, sweatshirts, other clothes, jewellery, liquor, etc. were all reasonably priced. Various sales every day.
The casino - for the cheap or occasional gambler, it was great to be able to play $5 blackjack any time of the day or night! I don't know if it is common, but we never had any trouble getting a seat at a table.
The ship was overwhelming at first, pretty gawdy, but immaculate. I couldn't help but feeling like I was on "Titanic" a lot of the time - live classical music playing around the ship, the ornate-ness, etc.
Shows - any of the shows we did go and see were good. We went to watch karaoke a few times but it was always the same people going up, so that got a bit boring.
Ok - now the downsides.
The Carnival Legend is a narrow ship, we have come to learn. We experienced quite high winds during the first few days of our cruise, and could you EVER feel it. It rocked and rolled like crazy, and I was sick for the first few days. And I will admit, a bit scared! I did not ever expect to feel the waves like we did. We spoke to several other people throughout the cruise - one woman had cruised 12 times and had never felt anything like it - even the ship staff said it moved a lot more than other ships they had worked on. After about 2 days, the movement didn't bother me any more, but was still more than we ever dreamt it would be.
We assumed that because Carnival is "The Fun Ship", it would be a young, fun loving crowd. Not to say that there weren't people like that, but our cruise was a primarily "older" crowd. I would say 70+? We found that couples like ourselves, or even some of the small groups of single people would wander around at night, wondering where everyone was - the disco was empty any time we went there. I think if you went with a group, it would have been better, you can make your own fun. We had the late dinner sitting, so went a few times to the "aft" (back) of the Lido deck, to the adult only area and had a hot tub at around 6:00. We were the only ones there every time but once. We couldn't figure out why, out of 2000 or more people, we were the only ones to take advantage of this?
Because of the high winds, the waterslide was only open a few times, and the top deck was closed a lot. This made it a bit harder to find a lounge chair sometimes, but we only really had any trouble the last day. We would often wait until later in the day anyways, so that the sun wasn't quite so hot, and by then other people were done for the day.

Other odds & ends: We chose to self disembark. I read somewhere on a message board that this was only available for US citizens. Wrong - anyone who can carry, pull, push all of their belongings can do this. I have never disembarked the other way, so have nothing to compare it to, but it was a fine option for us. There was a lot of confusion and complaining while we were all trying to get off the ship - the line up was a little vague, no specific area to wait was designated. We thought this could have been a bit more organized, but once off the ship, the process was fine. I didn't want to have to put my luggage outside our room the night before, so this all worked out fine for us.

I read all of the posts about things to bring. I can't figure out a lot of it. Like I said, we had high seas - winds were over 40 a lot of the time, and that boat was rockin'! I did not see a door or drawer ever fly open, so I am not sure how I could have used duct tape. Someone else said to bring your own tea bags, as the tea was instant. Not on this ship. It was different than what I drink, stronger, but it was a tea bag, not instant.

Anyways, sorry for the length of this, but hope it helps someone. Happy to answer any questions!
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Old January 29th, 2006, 10:32 PM
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Please consider submitting this as a reader's review. That way it is much easier for someone to find it when they are looking for information on this ship. Thank you for taking the time to write this review.
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Old January 30th, 2006, 06:31 AM
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Over all, It sounds like you had a great time, and enjoyed the cruise. Since this was your first cruise, would you cruise again Did you do any shore excursions If so, please tell us about them.
Thanks for sharing.

Happy cruising;
David
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Old January 30th, 2006, 08:28 AM
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Thanks for the nice revew. I will be leaving on the Legend this coming Sunday (Feb. 5). It was nice to hear all the good things about the ship.
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Old January 30th, 2006, 10:47 AM
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Terrific and thanks for posting it. I recommend also adding it to CruiseMates' member review area. Many more people will see it and get the advantage of your experience.
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Old January 30th, 2006, 01:16 PM
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We did do some shore excursions. In Panama we did the Grand Tour. You board a bus, right outside the ship and take a short (1/2 hour maybe?) bus ride to a hotel/resort. You are then put on small boats and go along the shore of Gatun Lake, looking for wildlife. We saw 3 sloths and an Iguana. I think others saw some monkeys. We then arrive at the Embera Indian Village. This was interesting (FYI, they have a pet monkey there, like Marcel from Friends). They have local crafts on sale, talk about their culture and do a few dances. We enjoyed this tour. From there we went back to the resort, to our bus and went to the Gatun Locks. We were there for about 45 minutes. This was informative, but in all honesty, I wasn't terribly interested in the locks. I already had an understanding of how locks work, but didn't want to go to Panama without at least seeing them. There were about 3 large ship in while we were there. There wasn't a lot of "adventurous" type tours in Panama, so we took this one, as we thought it covered a lot. You don't necessarily do it all in this order, depends on what time your tour left. I have to add, that in all three ports, our guides were wonderful - incredibly well informed of their heritage, culture, economy, environment, everything. We chose to do our tours through the ship, as we were guaranteed the ship wouldn't leave without us! Plus, as I will explain later, we had one of our excursions cancelled due to conditions & I don't know how we would have found out about that if it was a private tour?
Anyways, in Costa Rica, we went Zip Lining. The zip lining was a lot of fun, but warning, it is a long bus ride - about 2 hours each way. I believe that the bike tour went out of the same place we zip lined and I saw a post that someone said they rode the bus for that long & only biked for 1/2 hour. The tour guide on our bus was amazing. On the way back from zip lining, we stopped and saw some sloths and howler monkeys. He showed us various vegetation, would get off the bus & bring things on to show. I didn't mind the bus ride, as I thought it was a good way to see more of Costa Rica than the unattractive port. Ports are not a good indication of what a country has to offer! The zip lining itself - awesome. I am not athletic & it was pretty easy. The trees swayed a bit, so that was kind of scary, but I managed. You can't even see down very much once you are up there, as it is all tree below you. Fun, fun, I am glad I did it.
In Belize we were supposed to go Cave Tubing. I really really wanted to do that. Well they apparantly got about 10 inches of rain the day before, roads were washed out and the river was running too fast. We got a full refund, and rebooked ourselves to go snorkelling. This tour was fine, we went to Goff's Caye, snorkelled for about 45 minutes. We didn't really see much that I hadn't seen before, but did see some beautiful coral, some small jellyfish, parrot fish, angel fish, etc. We were able to tender in to Belize first thing in the morning & do a quick bit of shopping and be back out to the ship to do our tour.
Note about the tours: You can book them right from your TV, in your stateroom. This was very handy, we had our tours picked out already, so booked them about 10 minutes after getting on board. Tickets were in our room the next day. We tried to book the earliest tours we could, so that we could get back to port, do a wee bit of shopping (promised our kids something from each stop), and then back on board. The ship was really nice & quiet at these times - deck chairs plentiful, waterslide open, not windy like it was at sea.
Hope this helps!
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Old January 30th, 2006, 01:36 PM
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I forgot something - we did the trip to Goff's Caye based on our Shore Excursion desk's recommendation. We snorkelled for about 45 minutes and then were left sitting on this island (we could have continued snorkelling, alone) for about an hour. No food or drink - they said something about water on the boat, I never saw that. It was very windy & I just hate the wind, so didn't really find it that pleasant just to sit there, myself. Another tour was there at the same time, I don't know who it was with, but they had a cooler of beer & rum punch and they made them a meal there on the beach. Also, we watched a different tour boat pull up to our ship & it looked like they were having a Blast!!! It was Belize Catamarans, it was a snorkel tour of some kind, but more of a pary atmospere for sure! They were up on top dancing away. More my kind of tour! And don't get me wrong, I am not a huge complainer, I like to make the best of my situations, just seemed to be better tours out there.
You also asked if we would cruise again? Not any time soon and only if a group is going. Not to say it was terrible, but just not really our cup of tea. Any holiday is a good holiday, right?
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