Originally Posted by AMae
The two ships are the Legend and the Liberty. Does anyone have experience with both of these and have an opinion on which is better? Especially for young adults? Liberty has more passengers... does it seem crowded? And does that make for a longer wait when tendering? Liberty leaves from Miami and Legend leaves from Tampa.
I can personally vouch for the Legend. I sailed on that cruise 3 years ago and loved it. I have sailed on 11 cruises with Carnival and the Legend has the "Most Favorite Cruise" spot.
That being said, there are advantages and disadvantages between each ship.
The Legend is a slightly smaller ship, part of the Spirit Class, and many on this forum will
that they are well constructed, and easy to navigate around.
The Liberty is a larger ship, part of the Conquest Class. It does have more space, but more passengers, bigger lines, etc.
The Legend has only one extra large dining room at the back of the ship, with the kitchen (galley) on the bottom deck at the back of the ship.
The Liberty has 2 smaller dining rooms, one at the back, and one in the middle of the ship with the galley in between. This is the more traditional carnival design. Because of the position of the dining rooms and the galley, it cuts the ship in two on decks 3 and 4, so it can be rather challenging to navigate around the ship. In order to go from the lobby to the aft (back) dining room, you would need to go down to deck 2, walk to the back and then go up again to deck 3.
The main advantage to the Liberty is that it has now been upgraded to the "Funship 2.0" standard. This is a new marketing initiative that Carnival has come out with so that all the ships will eventually have a makeover of their public spaces. The Breeze had them as a new build, while the rest of the fleet will get then during drydock. The Liberty had them installed last year, the Legend will get them next year.
Now as for assigned vs open dining, I tried the open seating and didn't like it, so I asked the dining room staff for an assigned table. The problem is that the ship I was on (Fascination) didn't have enough tables for open seating, and everyone wanted to eat at the same time. By the time we got our table, it was 7:45, so I might as well move to the 8:00 dining.
That is another thing to consider. If you like to eat early, go with the 6:00 assigned dining. If you like to eat late, go with 8:00. If you want to try open seating around 7:00 - well get in line ...
One other thing to consider is total cost to get to the cruise terminal. Are you going to drive or fly? The tie breaking vote may in fact be the cost of the air fare.