Carnival Legend Cruise Ship Review

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Ships > Carnival > Carnival Legend > Review

carnival legend grand cayman

7-day Cruise Aboard the Carnival Legend

From Tampa, FL - November 3 - 10, 2013

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Exterior photos     Interior photos


Why This Cruise?

We booked our cruise vacation on the Carnival Cruise Line website approximately four (4) months in advance. We chose the 7-night cruise aboard the Carnival Legend leaving from Tampa, Florida, November 3-10, 2013. We received a Florida resident rate – the fare for an obstructed view balcony stateroom started at $483.00 pp and with the deck upgrades we paid around $650.00 pp located on deck 7, midship.  We chose this cruise for the port-intensive itinerary and the embarkation port.

About us:

We are two middle-age adults, married with grown children, and traveling alone. We’ve sailed a combined twenty-one (21) times with various cruise lines including: Carnival, Celebrity, NCL, Princess, and RCCL. One of us prefers a smaller ship and cruises for the serenity. The other prefers bigger ships for the extra amenities and cruises for the party. All our cruises have been to the Caribbean, traveling as far south as Trinidad.   


Overall score gold stargold stargold star gold stargold star5 out of 5 stars


We live about an hour away from Tampa and drove to the port the afternoon of the cruise, leaving our house around noon for a 4:30 sail away. We expected to be at the terminal no later than 1:30, however, we were delayed by a detour on the Selmon Expressway. We arrived about an hour behind schedule after crawling along through the bumper-to-bumper traffic. Normally we arrive at the embarkation port city a day before embarkation to ensure we get on the ship. Next time we leave from Tampa, we won’t stay overnight but we will leave about two-hours earlier than we did this last time.

After all the preparation and planning and experience, I still forgot my comb, hairspray, hair tie, my favorite black jeans and long sleeve shirt, dental floss, husband’s deodorant, and for the kicker, the 3-way-outlet adapter. Our stateroom has two plugins. One 110V and one 220V with none in the bathroom except for the “electric shaver” outlet. Video camera, laptop computer, two phones and a hair dryer -- needless to say we were switching appliances non-stop.

The Ship

Overall score gold stargold stargold star 3 out of 5 stars

The one great thing about getting to the pier later in the afternoon is you miss all the crowds. We chose to use the valet parking service and the process was way too easy. The same goes for check-in. We were through security and onboard within 15 minutes of parking the car. We did miss the lunch buffet, which closed down at 2:30, but pizza and room service was always available.

It took a little bit of time to find our accommodations. The ship flows nicely except when it comes to locating your stateroom. The hallways are not progressive and you turn blind corners and go around the elevator shafts to find the next hallway.

The public rooms were glitzy, but not over the top like other Carnival ships. The rooms felt large and the seating was comfortable in every room. My only issue with the interior public rooms is the same gripe I have with all cruise lines - the air temperature is COLD for petite passengers like me who may or may not live in a warm weather climate. I felt I was part of a sisterhood of women who walked around all bundled up and still rubbing arms and shoulders to keep warm. I packed a sweater, a workout jacket, three pair of sweat pants, and athletic socks. I also wore a sweater onboard and still I wished I had brought along more warm clothes.
We skipped eating lunch and found our way around the ship. The ship is fairly easy to traverse with very few chopped up decks. The atrium elevators accessed the passenger decks as well as the public areas so we had two sets of elevators to choose from. We never waited for an elevator on this trip, even during the busiest times like embarkation and after the muster drill.
Elevators are usually shut off to passenger traffic for about fifteen minutes during the drill and run again shortly after the drill, however, you may have to wait a little bit for your ride.


Interior photos

Overall score gold stargold stargold star gold star4 out of 5 stars

Our extended balcony stateroom was located on deck seven (7) midship. The cabin structure and amenities are the same as a standard balcony stateroom but our veranda offered about 1.5 ft. of additional width space. We were provided three deck chairs, one being a lounger, and a small square table.

balcony bay view

The stateroom décor looked dated but the furnishings were comfortable and in good cosmetic shape. Closet and drawer space was very good for the size and age of the ship. We had a king-size bed and pillows that were very comfy and, for someone who has a sleep number mattress, I was good to go every day with no neck or back problems. Thank you Carnival for a restful seven days. Compared to other companies in their class, Carnival offers the most comfortable beds, hands down. The green bathroom took a few days to get used to, but the layout is good and there was adequate storage for toiletries.

The weather wasn’t predictable, it rained at least once every day of the trip and the wind howled every night we were at sea. Still, the Legend is built to sail and she did really well in high winds and waves; we barely felt anything onboard until the Captain sailed for home at 20.5 knots in 35 mph winds. 


Overall score gold stargold star 2 out of 5 stars

Interior photos

Overall, there was little crew interaction. We saw the Cruise Director only once walking around the exterior decks and he had his head down checking his phone as he walked past us on the Lido deck. We would of never known his name if we didn't watch Carnival TV.
Few people showed up for the deck parties throughout the week, partly because of the weather. The other part is open to argument. My personal opinion is this: the cruise director is paid to squeeze every last dollar from passengers from art sales, casino games, duty-free shopping, and bingo, rather than make sure passengers have a good time. 

I'm not saying our cruise director was never seen around the ship or didn't participate in deck games. We're just saying we didn't see him as regularly as cruise directors on past trips.
We didn’t notice until dinner how few children were onboard. We knew we weren’t full to capacity, but I must say I have never been on a cruise with so few kids and we normally cruise the same time every year. It was a welcome surprise. Don’t get me wrong, I love kids, but it’s nice to have an adult vacation throughout the cruise. There were so few kids that we didn’t find the need to hangout in the Serenity lounge area. Who knew!


Interior photos

Overall score gold stargold stargold star 3 out of 5 stars

The addition of the Punchliner Club and the Serenity deck on LIdo deck-aft serves those of us traveling without children and the kids-free zone is very much appreciated. Once again I have to say I love kids but.... Follies Lounge offered quality Broadway-style entertainment and shows that include passenger participation like the "Marriage Show", a version of the Newlywed Game. A Magician was also onboard who made rounds at dinnertime and performed in one of the smaller venues in the early evenings.

Deck parties were low-key, but we heard from other passengers the nightclub, Medusa's Lair, stayed busy with the younger crowd. Kids have an area on Atlantic deck three (3) midship named the "Enchanted Forrest".

Two pools and two whirlpools are featured on Lido deck offering a good amount of deck space. Serenity offers one whirlpool on the aft deck (adults only). The mini-golf course was popular with passengers, as were the sports deck areas. The workout room was a good size and offered forward views with dark tinted windows.


Interior photos

Overall score gold stargold stargold star 3 out of 5 stars

We made it a point to eat in the dining room every night except one. We made our selections from the Lido buffet one time for comparison. Overall, the food on the Carnival Legend is the same compared to the other Carnival cruise ships we've sailed on - average.

Lido Buffet

Carnival does it right when it comes to food at the Lido buffet. Food is located at individual stations: Pizza, American Grill, Deli, Caribbean, Chopsticks, Salad Bar, Dessert Station, etc. We rarely had to stand inline to fill our plate at the buffet. The buffet area was clean and usually well stocked with cups, glasses, and utensils. Pizza was served 24/7 as well as coffee and tea. The Deli opened at 11:30 a.m. and closed at 11:00 p.m. Overall we have no complaints about the food on Lido deck.

Dining Room

We chose anytime dining for our evening meal just in case we had things going or wanted to nap before dinner. The Truffles dining room is open to anytime diners between the hours of 5:30 and 9:30 p.m. It worked out that we ate about the same time every with the same tablemates throughout the week.  

Menu offerings featured a three-course meal with appetizer and/or salad entree, and dessert. Typical of any cruise line, you can order as much or as little if you want. We saw many passengers double and even triple their orders -- two or more appetizers, salad, soup, two entrees and a couple of desserts. Every night the menu featured a "Did ya ever" selection offering exotics such as alligator fritters, frog legs, and escargot. The feature was popular at our table and a highlight of the meal for other passengers we spoke with.

Sea Day Brunch

We were happy to find Carnival offering brunch on sea days. We've never been the kind to eat first thing in the morning and strolling into the dining room around 11:30 a.m. to find eggs benedict on the menu was a plus. We had breakfast in the dining room only on sea days and we found the breakfast buffet on Lido deck to be more convenient and just as good as the dining room if you frequented the omelet station.


Overall score gold stargold stargold star gold star4 out of 5 stars

Overall the service was good throughout the ship, however we did experience another first by not meeting our cabin steward. We waited the evening to meet our steward and thought for sure they would appear, but never did.

We had some minor issues along the way, like our cabin thermostat staying at 62 degrees all day and night. We slept with the balcony door propped open and I had extra covers and socks on my feet. Honestly, I was miserable and called guest services first thing in the morning. Our room steward dropped by 20 minutes later and quickly introduced himself. He confirmed the problem and the technician came by about five minutes later to fix whatever he needed to fix. We also had a problem opening our safe after we had it loaded with our stuff. The housekeeping manager advised us we shouldn't use our "cruise card" to lock the safe and instead use a credit card and he left. Later on we tried to open the safe with the credit card we used for our sign and sail account but it didn't work. We never used the safe again the rest of our trip. Another first. 

We spoke briefly with our steward again that night and saw him walking down the hallway one other time, and spoke with him of the final night of the cruise. He told us then he was debarking the ship when we returned to Tampa and suddenly it all came clear. Now we get it. We're pretty good tippers compared to industry standards and we've never not tipped our cabin steward extra for all their attention and hard work. This time was different and we feel guilty about, but we couldn't justify the extra gratuity.

Our dining room serving staff made up for the lack of attention we received from our cabin steward. Joel and his assistants provided the best service we've ever had on a cruise ship and they were tipped accordingly. They missed nothing and you'd be lucky to have Joel and his team serve you.


Overall score gold stargold stargold star gold star4 out of 5 stars

Overall we rated this cruise good and had no real complaints. Embarkation and debarkation was a breeze and the food and entertainment was as expected. The staff was welcoming as always and provided five-star service. We appreciated the tasteful decor of the ship interior and we loved the way the Carnival Legend sailed in high winds and 12-foo waves. We recommend this cruise for any type of cruiser.