We never thought we would go on a cruise. Who wants to spend a week on a ship with other people and nothing to do? We always would go to a resort on a beach and plant is there the entire vacation (which does sometimes get a little old) HA! Were we ever wrong. We decided to try it with some other first time cruisers. We were on the Carnival Legend 12/5 - 12/12 out of Tampa. The boarding process was an experience. It does take a long time to go through the boarding area so you must be patient. When we finally walked onto the ship it was a little overwhelming. It took a few minutes just to figure out where we were. It was around 12:30 so we decided to get something to eat. We headed up to the Lido Deck (9) to the buffet. Now one thing we did not think about is that everyone getting on the ship is hungry so the lines were long, there were not very many open tables and we did a lot of wandering around until we could get settled. Plus we had our carry on bags and it felt congested. BUT that was the only day that it felt that way. Otherwise it was not really an issue and with all the people on board you would think it would be that way everyday. It wasn't! We had a great lunch and a few drinks and headed to our stateroom around 4 pm. It was ready for us and our luggage was in our room. I was pleasantly surprised at how large it was (we had a balcony room). Lots of storage space for all of our clothing. We were able to put the suitcases under the bed so it was easy to keep the room clutter free. I miss the shower - it was an awesome shower (very hot water and great water pressure). When the ship left the dock, we did not even know we were moving. BUT that was the only time it felt that way. We went to dinner that night in the dining room because it was "come as you are night". The food was excellant and the experience was great. BUT the ship was rocking and the dining room is on Deck 2 (bottom of boat) and in the rear of the ship. I was surprised at how loud it was and you could really feel the boat moving. I was not expecting that. I made it through dinner and then we hit the shops on Deck 3. BUT I had to go to our stateroom on Deck 7 to take some Bonine and lay down. I was never sick to my stomache just kinda dizzy with the movement. ( I took Bonine every morning after that and did not have a problem unless I was in the dining room) Let me say this - I could not feel the movement as bad the higher we were on the ship. We ended up eating half of our dinners in the dining room and half at the buffet on the Lido Deck. NOTE: the menu at the buffet in the evening is very similar to the menu served that night in the dining room. It was all very good! We actually like eating at the buffet for dinner because we could go anytime, had similar menu, great food, awesome deserts, and then we could enjoy the activities at night. AND we were so surprised at all the activities during the day and night. We went on excursions every day but next time we decided to maybe try and spend more time on the ship because we missed so many activities during the day! The comedians were awesome, the Superstar Karaoke was so much fun and the talent was amazing. The shows were very impressive. NOTE: stay up at least until 11:30 p.m. so you can get in on the late night snacks at the buffet. Yummy!!!! Don't forget to pack a few long sleeve shirts or a sweatshirt - the weather was cool and it was farily windy - remember you are not on a beach laying in the sun but on a moving vessel so the air is cooler than you might expect. There are quite a few protected areas for sun bathing but like I said it was cloudy most of our trip. Also, they keep the ship cool and I was not prepared for that.
It was our first cruise and our entire group signed up to get the Carnival voucher for our next cruise - we are already trying to decide where to go! We are going to try a Conquest Class next time - something a little bigger - need to compare and experience different ships! Oh - I did get my nails painted one morning as we were porting at Isla Roatan - that was amazing. Being pampered and watching the view of the island - I will never forget it! and it was only $19 (very reasonable). If anyone wants a first time cruiser opinion of the ports (Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Roatan, Belize) let me know - I can write all day!
We are definitely hooked! It was so much fun asking people how many cruises they had been on. Supposedly someone on our ship was on their 90th cruise (that is what the Carnival travel specialist told us) Thanks Carnival for the best vacation ever.
Sounds like you had a great first cruise. Many people think the way you did... why would you want to spend your vacation on a ship? Until you experience it you just don't know what you are missing. Us experienced cruisers turn that around and think "why would I lock myself into one beach for an entire week... what if the weather is bad?"
Sounds like you had some rough seas on your cruise, you don't normally have rocking that sever, either that or you are more sensitive to it having been your first time.
Book that next cruise.. sounds like you are hooked now!
================================================== ========== Carnival Cruise Lines:
Fantasy 90, Celebration 95, Victory 05, Conquest 05, Spirit 6/06, Freedom 6/08, Holiday 7/08, Victory 6/09, Valor 9/09, Dream 6/10, Splendor 8/10,Conquest 8/11,Magic 11/11,Triumph 4/12,Spirit 7/12,Freedom 11/12, Triumph 2/13 - The fire cruise, Magic 1/14, Freedom x 2 6/14
NCL Dream October 2006, RCCL Mariner OTS June 2007, Celebrity Silhouette 2013
Now you know why we warn people that cruising can be addicting. I've been on close to 70 cruises and only remember a few that had seas rough enough to feel any movement--including a transatlantic cruise. So, your next one should be even better.
I asked a few other past cruisers if the seas seemed rough to them and they said that it was a little rough - it was pretty windy the whole trip except for the last day and it was much calmer and much prettier. We could not port on the Georgetown (I think that is the name of the town area) side of Grand Cayman because of the wind - we had to take tender boats on the other side of the island. That was kind of a bummer because we did not get to go to any of the shops.
I made it through so I know what to expect now!!! Won't stop me from going again that is for sure.
Wow, sounds like we have another addict on our hands!
I agree about the rocking of the boat...it is usually not that bad. Another thing you can do is visit your primary care physician and ask for a prescription for the scopolamine patches before you depart. It is a lot cheaper to get them at home, possibly through your insurance that to go get the motion sickness shot on the ship.
Glad you had a great time and I hope you have many more!
I would love to hear what you thought about Belize. We are going to all of those ports as well in May, but don't want to do an excursion in Belize, we would like to relax and not have a tight schedule. Did you think it seemed safe to shop with out being on a paid excursion? Were there beaches to go to with out having to pay for an excursion??
Hi mistyhoffmann, we did a great excursion through Carnival in Belize. We did a snorkel on a fantastic reef, then they took us to a private island with our own private beach. It was wonderful. I was going to take the tender into Belize City, but the weather turned yucky and they stopped the tender service. A friend of mine did go into Belize City and said it was ok. He did go outside of the "tourist" area and did not feel threatened, but that would be up to your comfort level. He didn't say anything about a beach being there, so I can't answer that question, sorry. Both times I've gone to Belize, I've done a snorkeling excursion because it is fantastic snorkeling. It is almost as large as the great barrier reef. The water is crystal clear, great coral formations and plenty of sea life. Both snorkeling excursions picked us up at the ship, so I never got into the town. Maybe next time.