Number of Cruises: 6
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Legend
Sailing Date: March 9th, 2006
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
Carnival Cruise Lines
Exotic Western Caribbean
We recently returned from the 09
March 2006 cruise aboard the Legend. Definitely the best value cruise we have
ever booked (we have cruised 5 times prior).
The embarkation was a breeze. We arrived at the terminal at 2:00 and was on the ship by 3:00. The ship was immaculate and I thought it was very easy to navigate. The staff were all very friendly and helpful. My husband and I were surprised how really good the food was in both the dining room and the Unicorn Café (buffet-style). We really enjoyed the various steaks, seafood, and especially the lobster in the dining room. Also the Unicorn Café was really kept clean by the attentive wait staff and the selection of food at lunch was really exceptional. The coffee was always awful unless you buy it from the coffee bar conveniently located near the bad coffee! The pizza bar was always available as well as a limited room service menu which had some high quality sandwiches and salads! Our server in the Dining room was very nice, but definitely the weakest service we have ever had. Her assistant was rarely seen, our water glasses were often empty and coffee sometimes came after the dessert was served. There was a great sushi bar open from 5:00 to 7:30pm everyday. There was also an ice cream parlor serving sundaes and banana splits between 3-5 pm on the “at sea” days!
Our room steward from Costa Rica was very nice and our room was kept extremely clean with surprise animal towels folded in different shapes every night. Our room location left a lot to be desired. We had tried to upgrade to another room and was told by our travel agent to ask at the ship. The ship’s purser told us everybody asks that, but from her experience of 5 months that almost never happens due to the ship being “full”. Our cabin was #1134. I think it was the WORST cabin in the ship! Unless you like too stay up late and dance at the club called Satchmos which is right above you…avoid this and surrounding rooms at all costs! Almost every night promptly at 9 pm the booming noise of the dancers pounding above your head would begin and not end until 1 am! However I can’t complain too much, the cabin was extremely discounted (we now know why!)
The entertainment was pretty good. I especially enjoyed the hypnotist and the talent show at the end of the cruise! My husband bought an internet plan on the ship $55 for 100 minutes which helped him stay connected. But in port there are some internet access sites available much cheaper (in Belize outside the terminal towards town 30 minutes= $2). My husband enjoyed the black jack tables and had a blast (he ended up breaking even at the end). We were surprised that the dealers only get paid $10 per day as a wage (please tip them well-if you’re having good luck!).
We booked local tour guides suggested by KCCab who had written a previous cruise review (thank KCCab!). We also got the same tours with more personalized attention for a lot less money. The lack of a huge group was a bonus!
We also went with Mario of myfriendmario on the tour. I made a reservation with him by email and went on the equivalent of Carnivals grand tour to the Indian village and the gutan locks. It is a long tour because you have to go into a remote part of Panama for the Indian village which makes for a very interesting drive. Our guide was really great and made sure we were back in time (we even had 30 minutes to shop at the port). Unlike the Carnival tour we also got to climb up a waterfall and go for a swim which was really refreshing! Since we had about 25 people in our group, he charged us $60 per person (smaller groups may be slightly more). The ship charged $145 per person. This is his email email@example.com
Limon, Costa Rica
We went with Charlie Soto tours here to the Jungle Breeze zip line (Awesome!) and to the Tortuguero canal boat ride (also a nice surprise- a baby Howler monkey jumped on me and was really adorable, others got to touch a sloth). We also went to a beach side restaurant for lunch which half of us balked at since we wanted to have some time in town to shop. However, the beach was really nice and I am glad we went (bring your suit and towel). You can just hang out on the beach or eat at the busy little tourist restaurant. George (our guide) stopped in town at the grocery store for some of the people who wanted to by coffee at some great prices. We got back to the boat with 45 minutes to spare to do some shopping in the shops on the pier. The price was $89 per person (the ship charges $135 for the zip line tour)
I would recommend these guys as well. The email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Belize City, Belize
We went with Timmy at CAVE-TUBING.COM. This is a really funny family guy (3 kids) who responded to all questions. He made it a point to give us exactly the tour we wanted. We went with 2 sisters from Canada who were really easy going. We went through 2 caves (quite an experience). What was really incredible was the hundreds of Carnival cruisers on their shore excursion pouring into the water all clustered together in a huge noisy group going through the cave definitely not peaceful! They also get promptly out of the river at the end of the cave and board a bus to go to this restaurant in the middle nowhere called “Cheers). We continued to float down the river another half hour and were then driven back into town where we got a short tour of the city. Cost $45-55 per person depending on group size (Carnival charges $85 per person). I also noticed while walking back to the ship cheaper snorkel excursions out to various cayes. If you are interested in snorkeling one might want to check these out and save a lot of money!
However, booking private
excursions, you run the risk of a car/van breaking down and not getting back to
the ship on time and Carnival really plays on this fear and uses it as a selling
point for their shore excursions. The groups I went with all had nice newer vans
and were real conscientious about getting us back in time so it wasn’t a concern
Overall, I would give the itinerary an 8 and the ship a 7. My biggest complaint other than the position of my cabin would be the short time in port. The ports of call all were really amazing places and much more time is needed to really enjoy them!
Debarkation back at Ft. Lauderdale was also a breeze. We elected to carry off all our luggage and we were off the ship by 8:15.