Carnival Reviews - Cruise Ship reviews by Cruisemates Readers
Carnival Cruise Lines

Carnival Legend
by Shelley
Western Caribbean
January 20, 2006

Brief background - my husband and I are 35; we went alone, on our honeymoon. It was the first cruise for both of us.

The positives:

We arrived on embarkation day at 2 p.m. and practically walked right onto the ship - no lines whatsoever. I heard someone say it usually slowed down around 2.

We had an extended balcony stateroom. It was great! The bed was far more comfortable than I expected, and the pillows were comfortable. There was lots of space, room to move, lots of room for all of our clothes. The bathroom was fine; it had six glass shelves that held all our toiletries. We brought an over-the-door hanging thing as recommended, but didn't need it; we had enough room for our things. The cabin had a bar fridge, hair dryer, and shampoo and soap dispenser, as well as a couch and table. It was all very clean. We were on the seventh deck, and it was perfect - handy for going up to the Lido Deck (9), where the buffet restaurant and pools were.

The Food
The food was awesome. I can't understand why anyone would ever complain about the food. The Unicorn Cafe is a huge buffet-style eating area with tons to choose from, lots of seating, and prompt service. Breakfast was pretty much the same every day. There is nothing I can think of that wasn't included at the breakfast buffet, from made-to-order omelettes to cereal, and everything in between, so it is easy to have something different every day. My only other comment is that the food 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, 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 extras. My husband asked for Caesar salad one night and got it, no problem. You can have more than one starter; I also heard people ask for two main courses, two desserts, etc. The staff was friendly, efficient and accommodating. I thought two formal nights was a bit much, 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 prices bad at all. Drink prices were similar to anywhere, and there were drink specials every day. And the liquor is all "good stuff." I have traveled many times and often found it hard to get premium booze at all-inclusive resorts. On the ship. they only used good liquor. T-shirts, sweatshirts, other clothes, jewelry, liquor, etc. were all reasonably priced in the shops, and there were 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 gaudy but immaculate. I couldn't help but feel like I was on "Titanic" a lot of the time - live classical music playing around the ship, the ornate decor, etc.

Shows
All the shows we saw 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.

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 never expected to feel the waves like we did.) We spoke to several other people throughout the cruise; one woman had cruised 12 times and never felt anything like it. Even the ship's staff said the Legend moved a lot more than other ships they had worked on. After about two days, the movement didn't bother me any more.

We assumed that because Carnival has "The Fun Ships," it would be a young, fun-loving crowd. There were some people like that, but our cruise was primarily an older crowd. (I would say maybe 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 seating, so we went a few times to the aft Lido deck, to the adults-only area, and had a hot tub at around 6 p.m. We were the only ones there every time but once. We couldn't figure out why, out of 2,000 or more people, we were the only ones to take advantage of this.

Because of the high winds, the water slide was only open a few times, and the top deck was closed a lot. This made it a bit hard 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 anyway, 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 U.S. citizens. Wrong - anyone who can carry, pull or push their belongings can do this. I have never disembarked the other way, so I 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 lineup was a little vague, and no specific area to wait was designated. We thought this could have been a bit more organized, but once we were 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 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 mph much 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.

Anyway, sorry for the length of this, but I hope it helps someone. I'd be happy to answer any questions!