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Jim Stinson

Age: 54

Occupation:Airline Pilot

Number of Cruises: 10

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Legend

Sailing Date: March 17th, 2006

Itinerary: Southern Caribbean

Carnival Cruise Lines
Carnival Legend Cruise Review
Southern Caribbean

Jim Stinson

Just returned from and 8 day Carnival Legend cruise to Southern Caribbean. Ports of call were St. Maarten, Barbados, Martinique. Ship was departed and returned to Ft. Lauderdale. Sailing dates were Mar. 17 through Mar. 25 2006.

For a little background, I am 54 and my wife is 53. Usually we cruise with 4 to 6 other close friends. This cruise was just the two of us for the first time since 2001. It was our 10th cruise, 3rd on Carnival. Previous cruises were Carnival Glory in Oct. 2003 and Carnival Pride in Feb. 2005. We like to have fun so the “party” environment is fun for us.
First let me say this. I am a bigger fan of Royal Caribbean (5 cruises) but really enjoy Carnival. I think the Spirit class ship is a wonderful design. It is, in my opinion, the best class ship that Carnival has. I like the more “sophisticated” décor of RCCL, but I think Carnival is on par with service and better for consistent quality of dining room food. Now for the review.

Embarkation: Very simple. We arrived in FLL the day before, and since I work for the airlines, we had to fly standby early in the day. We used Marriott Reward points and booked a room in Miramar, FL. in a Courtyard that was only 2 weeks old. It was a great choice. Since we were going to rent a car due to our early arrival, it was no big deal to drive. The Courtyard, being brand new, was very nice and we had a nice relaxing evening.
We arrived at the Budget office near the port at about 10:30 am. Needed to have the car back by 11:00. We waited about a half hour for the shuttle and got to the port about 11:15. Guess a lot of people are figuring out the “early” boarding thing. We were on board about 12:00 and dropped our stuff in the room. Went to lunch. No fuss, no muss, smooth as can be. Definitely an easy boarding process.

Dining: What can you say? Carnival has about the best meals (particularly beef dishes) out there. I stick to the “good stuff.” I was never disappointed. The New York steak on the first night was my least favorite. Still good though. I had salmon one night, very good. Beef Wellington, well… all I can say is don’t pass it up. It was absolutely wonderful. Same for the Duck. Prime Rib and Filet were also excellent. Forget the Pasta dishes. Word around our table was simply ok. Stick with the “good stuff.”

Buffet: Well, I like it. Good omelet bar. Lunches were very good. Had some good Mexican one day. Sandwiches were always good and a great salad bar. Got to do the Burgers at leas one day. And don’t miss the pizza.

Shore tours: Did the “Coast to Coast” tour in Barbados. Good way to see the island. Didn’t go downtown since it closes down about 5:00. Ship is there until 10pm. Most everyone was on board by about 7:00pm. Heard that the beach break was really nice. If you are going to hang out on your own it seemed that St. James (I think) was where the upper scale resorts and shops were.

Did the St. Pierre island tour in Martinique. Very narrow roads and big busses. Our A/C died and it was hot in the bus, but that’s life. The Rum Distillery is interesting as is the tour of the island. If you have never been there, that is a good overview. No time for anything else. That worked well for us.

St. Maarten is my favorite. This was our 3rd visit. Usually we rent a car and tour on our own. That is the best way to see the island. We simply took the water taxi to Phillipsburg and shopped. Was a fun day.

Cabins: Typically nice and fairly large cabins. We booked cabin 4120, obscured outside with French doors. Nice cabin and same price as inside so it worked out well. Always look at deck above and below. We were right over Billies Bar, the piano bar. Could hear it in the cabin. Fortunately my wife and I both enjoyed this bar so we spent a lot of evenings in it singing along. The pianist, Greg Alcock, is lots of fun. Not a great voice, but great pianist. It really is a fun place and had sort of a “groupie” following.

Anyway, to sum up it was a great cruise. As I said this class ship is my favorite Carnival ship. The service and food was terrific. The décor was nice and ship well maintained. All in all a great time.

Any questions, please email me at:

Enjoy your cruise.

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