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stefi

Age: 63

Occupation:retired

Number of Cruises: 2

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Legend

Sailing Date: 2010-11-19

Itinerary: western caribbean

One of the best cruises I've taken. Service and food were superior. There are lots of things for kids to enjoy so that the parents and the kids can enjoy the experience with plenty of "private time." Our cruise was in November. I am comparing this to a cruise around New Zealand on Royal Caribbean's Rhapsody of the Seas, which my companion and I went from New Year's till a couple of weeks ago.

Although the service was wonderful, the food was not as good as the Legend's. Shore excursions were good on both trips. Onboard activities on the Legend were a lot of fun and the entertainment was just that. On the Rhapsody, however, the Cruise Directors were over the top. I should mention that the only disappointment on the Legend were the on-shore shopping shills. Also, if you don't want to take advantage of the "official shore excursions" there are ways to bargain with local tours for better prices and the not so commercial areas; its always more fun and you can even rent your own private van with a tour guide for the interiors of the ports of call. In the Western Caribbean we visited Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Belize and my favorite, the island of Roatan in Honduras. What may enhance your enjoyment would be to check the seasonal and regional weather forecasts. It's no fun if its raining or if you're trying to avoid a hurricane during the summer and early autumn months, I took so many excursions I can't remember them all (the two cruises were pretty close together.

Carnival's food is superior. Royal Caribbean's - not so much. Dining services were very good on both ships.

Canival's were bigger and more comfortable. Stewards couldn't have been more accomodating.

There were so many things to do offshore in a week's time that I didn't do much, but from other passengers who did take advantage of the activities they reported lots of fun.

Really study what's offered. Some are pretty expensive and others less - also you may want to do more than one thing on a day where you are on-shore hours are all day but the excursions times may not allow you to do what your could/should be able to enjoy. Also you have the option to take the prearranged shore excursions or hire your own personal tour guide; Prices are negotiable in most instances. The advantage is that it's easy to stay near the commercial areas are ( for which the ship gets kickbacks from the stores they take to to, but the private tours can take you to the "real" areas inland, and its fun to sample local foods rather than McDonald's as well as getting a more authentic experience whatever the port.

Since our cruise was only a week long things were pretty intense and lots of fun. Passengers were friendly and from all over the place. Staff, too, were from all over the world; as a matter of fact there were not many from the same country. Their English is both understandable and understood, so don't worry about communications. One other thing - many of us have computers or may use the IT sections of WiFi access. Find out about the costs before you blithely sit down for 15 minutes to check your emails, etc. Although you can buy some discounted time packages you really don't save that much. Personally I prefer to go ashore and find an internet cafe, which charge $4-5 per hour. Huge savings there. Basically its economics; ships have to make profits and that's one way to do it, just as hotel's do.
Also, check the weather forecasts, both local and seasonal.
I really had fun on this cruise, and I've been on lots, so go ahead and take a Carnival Cruise. Cruising is definitely the most affordable way to travel - think about it; you have your great meals, transportation and different ports all the time. The kids will love it too.

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