We decided to take this year’s cruise to the Caribbean for 7 nights aboard the Carnival Cruise Ship the Legend. It is home ported during the winter in Tampa Bay, FL. Since we winter in Florida, this was very convenient and we could just drive there from our campground in a couple hours.
We made all our reservations and planning over the internet. We booked our cruise using Carnivals Main Web site. It was simple and quick. We then had to complete all the other online check-in requirements such as our passport info. After all this was completed, we then were able to print out our luggage tags for the cruise and we were ready and waiting for the big day to come. The whole online check-in process took approximately 30 minutes to complete. You will need a credit card for this, as they will ask you to set up your on board charge account during the process.
The boarding process was actually not a lot of fun on this Cruise. I have heard all these horror stories of long lines and standing for hours, this is one of those stories. Our ship was late coming in due to fog so we had to sit for 7 hours before we could board. The Cruise line did everything they could to keep people happy with free water and snacks, but there is still only so much you can do with that number of passengers waiting to board. They did however give everyone $30 dollar on board credit for this delay to help offset the costs of food for those that left the waiting area to go eat.
Our room was great like all others we have had on Carnival. We had the Grand Suite. It had a couch and sitting area separate from the bed. The room also had a walk in closet and a full bathroom with tub. I think the extra space is worth the additional costs, especially when my wife and I are the type that enjoys spending time away from everyone and the room is the only place to do that on a ship.
Things to do on the ship:
1) Casino: the casino is where my wife and I spent most of our time. We love to gamble when at sea. The casino cannot open till they are in international waters so it opens and closes about 30 minutes from port. It had plenty of slots and tables to entertain anyone are gambling urges. The only thing I wish they would do is enforce the no Smoking unless you are gambling rule. There are many people just standing around smoking and not gambling because they didn’t want to go all the way on the top deck. I don’t like smoke and it just makes the room even that much more difficult to handle.
2) Dinning: Dinning was outstanding. You could either go to the dining room or have a nice sit down meal with many different menu options and you can order as much as you like, or you can go to the back of the ship and eat at the 4 different buffet type meals. There is no reason to ever go hungry on this ship as it serves almost around the clock and room service is available 24×7 for free. The Steak house is top of the line. We enjoyed it so much we went twice. It is not included with the price of the cruise but for $35 per person it was well worth the price for the meal.
3) Shows: The shows were excellent. We usually don’t spend a lot of time going to shows but after this cruise my wife and I have decided to spend much more time as they were so enjoyable.
Cozumel was the first port we stop at on our trip. Due to being in Mexico and not feeling very comfortable at all withal the drug issues, we spent very little time ashore and what we did was only at the port where it is secluded from the rest of the area. The shop keepers were nice and we were able to purchase souvenirs as usual.
Belize was our second stop. It was a wonderful port and we took a trip up river to by boat to see the ruins and then enjoyed a nice bus ride back. The ship anchors out at sea and you ride tenders in to port. Wish we could have spent more time there to explore the local shops but our excursion took the whole day and we got back just in time for the last tender to leave for the boat. We hope to go back here one day.
Roan was our third stop and after Belize in the sun all day we decided just to skip our plan excursion and try and relax a little. We did walk off the ship to the local shops and they were nice and there was a ski lift ride over a small bridge to a beach area for those that want to go swimming nearby. Ur friends went to one of the other beaches about 8 miles away and they had a wonderful day in the sun,
Grand Cayman was our last port of call. We took a bus ride of the island and also toured the Turtle refuge. This was wonderful. They had small 1 and 2 year old sea turtles that you could hold and touch. There are over 300 turtles here and some are as heavy as 600 pounds. This is also a tender port and is a very enjoyable ride because the water is so crystal clear.
In closing this trip was one of the best things my wife and I do during the year other than travel in our Motorhome. We have actually already booked another trip with Carnival, but this time for a 7 days trip out of San Juan over Christmas.
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