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Carnival Cruise Lines: Carnival Legend

Carnival Legend Cruise Review

Insider Take


One of our favorite "Spirit-class" Carnival vessels due to its smaller size but modern amenities. Lovely staterooms, best Carnival service.

Best For People Who Want

A budget/mid-priced cruise; a high energy, Las Vegas-style atmosphere with a vast array of activities in a glamorous atmosphere at a budget/mid-priced range; spacious spa and fitness facilities, plenty of activities for children; large fitness/spa facilities; large cabins, many of then with balconies, many for three and four passengers; many choices of excellent nightlife; an expansive casino, above average food and friendly, although unpolished, service.

Should Be Avoided By People Who Prefer

A quiet vacation away from large crowds and children; a more subdued atmosphere.

Onboard Experience

The 2,124-passenger Carnival Legend is the third ship in Carnival's new Spirit-class of ships (sister ships Carnival Spirit, Carnival Legend and Carnival Miracle). As with her sisters, this ship has some great new ideas for carnival including a wedding chapel. With 80% of all outside cabins on this 88,500-ton ship having balconies, from the outside the ship looks more like a hotel than a cruise ship, which is appropriate because from the supper club located high in the funnel down to the the dance club tucked away literally on deck one, the amazing "turned on its head" interior decoration on these ships is so state of the art that the fact that the entire vessel actually moves on water becomes ancillary to the experience at hand, which is just enjoying your vacation. These are some of the most well-designed ships in the industry, with Azipod navigation outside, and easy to navigate insides with good crowd flow and lovely cabins with everything right where it is supposed to be.

Public Rooms

Deck 2, the Promenade, is the deck from which one learns to navigate the corridors from the atrium to the Follies Showroom in the bow to the Truffles Restaurant in the stern. At the base of this spectacular atrium is the lovely Legend Lobby with a bar and a stage featuring a pianist or string trio playing relaxing music. The Shore Excursions and Purser's desks are also on this deck. Most of the action on the ship is on Decks 2 and 3 where the shops, main dining room, lounges, and casino are located. The shops offer perfume, jewelry, and $10 bargains - all duty-free.

You will find the Satchmo's Dance Club across from the Legend's Cafe, and a sports bar entitled The Dream Team Bar (featuring large portraits of famous athletes). The generous (in proportions, anyway) Club Merlin Casino spans the entire width of the ship and features slots and and a variety of table games. Four glass elevators take you to the Lido Deck (number 9), which features the ship's spa, pools, and fine dining, including alternative options, along with the glass staircase to the Golden Fleece Supper Club on deck 10. This swank restaurant requires jackets and reservations to enjoy their famous stone crabs from Joe's Stone Crab Restaurant and prime beef.

Follies, three decks high on Decks 2, 3, and 4, is Legend's primary showroom, and it has everything a state-of-the-art cruise ship theater could ever boast of including great sight lines and plenty of seats. Also on Deck 4 is the children's video arcade called "Gigabytes Arcade", while the children's club Noah's Ark is on Deck 5. Kids can be kept busy with the computer lab, PlayStation area, candy-making machine, and sand art area, all connected by tunnels. The Enchanted Forest on Deck 3, while skirting the showroom, provides a peaceful rest-place to recharge before heading back to the excitement. The passenger cabins are on the remaining decks.


As we have mentioned before, the dining room food on Carnival is surprisingly good, much better than one would expect from a mid-price ship formerly known as a party boat. Carnival deserves a lot of credit (and they have a lot of experience) for getting this part of the cruise experience right. There are standard items on the menu every night, as well changing entrees that include low-carb and vegetarian selections.


Truffles is the one dining room for all 2100+ passengers serving up to 1000 people at any given time surprisingly effectively. There are booths as well as tables for two (and four, six and eight), and an annex called the Private Club with tables for eight and sometimes 10. The main dining room has early (5:45 p.m. or 6:15 p.m.) and late (8:00 p.m. or 8:30 p.m.) seatings. The Supper Club is open from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Table service is also available in the informal Unicorn Cafe from 6:00 to 9:30.

The Lido restaurant, Unicorn Cafe, also features a variety of specialty food stations in addition the usual buffet line. The international stations offer such tasty choices as Japanese, Indian, Chinese, deli-style sandwiches, pizza and other pasta, and hamburgers and hot dogs. There is a different meat featured at the carving station daily.

If beef is your passion, you will be very pleased with the 18-ounce prime rib and porterhouse, 14-ounce New York strip, or 9-ounce filet mignon found at Golden Fleece Supper Club, where reservations and jackets for men are required (and a $25 charge is added to your Sail & Sign card). Obviously specializing in special occasions, they also offer champagne and caviar (at an additional charge).

Room service is available 24-hours a day, but is not really a great reason to skip a meal outside your cabin. You don't want to miss the coffee bar's delightful desserts and pastries. The pizza bar, including an excellent Caesar salad, and New York deli are also available 24/7. For dessert, there is a self-serve soft ice cream and frozen yogurt stand.


Carnival has developed a new way to serve its guests that ensures prompt and efficient service from friendly and courteous staff. This 'team service' concept entails four tables being attended by a headwaiter and several assistants. The enthusiastic staff learn the passengers' names and preferences, resulting in their favorite drinks, bread, and extras being on the table when they arrive. The nightly entertainment and dances performed by the staff give the whole ship a warm and informal feeling.


Gratuities include $5.50 for the Dining Room staff, $3.60 for the stateroom steward, and $.90 for the service in the alternative dining rooms. This makes for a total of $10.00 per person per day (excluding children under two). You can prepay this charge or have it automatically added to your Sail & Sign card. The pre-paid gratuities are mandatory on the Cruises-to-Nowhere. The purser's desk will increase or decrease this amount at your request throughout the cruise. The $10 charge does not include tips for the spa, casino, room service, maitre d' or other staff. All beverage tabs have a 15% gratuity already included.

A 15 percent gratuity is automatically added to all beverage tabs. Gratuities for the maitre d', room service, spa, casino and other staff are at the passenger's discretion.


Along with regularly featured entertainers such as magicians, comedians, jugglers, ventriloquists, and various types of musicians (all at the Versailles Lounge), the Carnival's main entertainment is its Vegas-style show. This multi-million dollar production includes two singers, five male and nine female dancers, along with special guests, and is sure to leave you feeling well and truly entertained. The costumes alone cost half a million bucks!


During the day casual attire is the norm, but don't try to get into the dining room after 6 p.m. in shorts or jeans. There are two formal nights, but most men wear dark suits rather than tuxedos. Other evenings, men typically wear a sport coat and tie or other resort-type clothing. For the Alaska cruise, you are encouraged to bring warmer, waterproof clothes, along with comfortable shoes for outings.


Carnival Legend features (what else?) "Legends" as its unifying theme. While at times the irrepressible Joe Farcus goes for more ethereal themes such as "inspiration," this is one of those ships where the theme is obvious and pervasive, almost like a theme park interior. It begins with a large mural of the Colossus of Rhodes filling the nine-story atrium. All over the atrium one finds the banisters and pillars take on the shape of a congratulatory loving cup. It is hard not to feel like a hero in such surroundings, "Congratulations, you've arrived." Unlike her sisters, Legend has more carpet on the floors instead of marble, making her a little quieter. The colors tend to be more muted as well.


The spacious cabins, 180 sq. feet, are cleverly designed with a subdued decor of peach and beige along with wood-toned furniture in warm caramel colors. Their layout features a sofa and vanity near the twin/king bed configuration and ample closets. Other amenities are the several movies found on the color TV everyday, hair dryer and safe. The bathroom has a shower and enough shelf space for two people, along with a complimentary basket of toiletries. Other room options are the 230 sq. feet deluxe ocean-view balcony cabin and the 245 sq. feet cabin with a 220 sq. feet wrap-around balcony. Other suites are the 300 sq. feet suite with a 115 sq. feet balcony and the 275 sq. feet suite with an 85 sq. feet balcony. The highlights of the suites and Oceanview staterooms are the well-stocked mini bar and cozy terry cloth robes. Cabins for disabled passengers are available.


Legend's 13,700 sq. feet, two-deck gym is simply not to be missed, not even by the resolutely indolent. With floor-to-ceiling windows providing panoramic views, you may find yourself enjoying your time on any of the stairmasters, rowing and hydraulic weight machines, elliptical walkers, stationary bikes, or treadmills more than ever before. There's a jogging deck surrounding the forward Sky Deck; 15 times around equals a mile. Saunas and steam rooms are available for both sexes, along with an adult only whirlpool. Steiner's of London operates the nearby Helen of Troy Salon where guests can indulge in any beauty treatment or massage they desire. Ladies are very apt to feel like Greek goddesses in the salon, which features Doric columns and Greek vase motifs as part of a beautiful mural.

Ship Overview

The third ship in the Spirit-class, Carnival Legend entered service in 2002 and will receive a major refurbishment in 2013, when Carnival’s "Fun Ship 2.0" upgrades are introduced, including new casual dining options, poolside bars, and additional entertainment options. Carnival Legend passengers explore ports of call in the Western Caribbean from her home port in Tampa and also have the opportunity to sail transatlantic crossings when she repositions to Europe. Once she crosses the Atlantic, the ship offers 12-night Mediterranean cruises from Barcelona and Venice, as well as 12-night voyages through northern Europe from Dover.

Spirit-class vessels may have seemed like throwbacks in size when they launched, but these sleek ships have the advantage of fitting through the Panama Canal's original locks and, with their additional length, include all the trademark characteristics of their larger fleetmates. They're also racehorses with the speed to reach far-flung destinations. Carnival Spirit—for which the class is named—makes its home port in Australia, primarily serving the Australian and New Zealand markets.

A rosy red skylight in the front bulkhead of the funnel—which houses the reservations-only upscale steak house—caps a soaring, 11-deck atrium. Lovely chapels are available for weddings, either upon embarkation or while in a port of call, and are also used for occasional shipboard religious services.

The upper and lower interior promenade decks are unhampered by a mid-ship restaurant or galley, which means that passenger flow throughout the ships is much improved over earlier, and even subsequent, designs.

The world's largest cruise line—and one of the most widely recognized—originated its "Fun Ship" concept in 1972 and has been launching party-packed superliners with signature red funnels ever since. The line's ever-growing fleet features entertainment and activities designed for passengers of all ages, from game shows and lip sync competitions to twisting waterslides and mini golf. These ships are a reliable choice for families as well as young singles and couples who want a vacation that won’t break the bank.

Nearly all onboard dining options are included in the fare, as are comedy and production shows, children’s programs, and use of state-of-the-art fitness centers. With some of the most comfortable accommodations at sea, large new ships are continuously added to the fleet and rarely deviate from a successful pattern, while older vessels are updated with popular features, such as the poolside BlueIguana Tequila Bar with an adjacent burrito cantina, the Red Frog Rum Bar that also serves Carnival’s own brand of Thirsty Frog Red beer, and Guy’s Burger Joint, created with Food Network star Guy Fieri.

What You Should Know


  • The enclosed space located forward on the promenade deck is quiet and good for reading
  • For relaxation, his-and-hers saunas and steam rooms have glass walls and sea views
  • Complimentary self-serve ice cream dispensers are on the Lido deck


  • These are long ships, and some cabins are quite far from elevators
  • Connecting staterooms are relatively scarce
  • The video arcade is almost hidden at the forward end of the ship
Ship Stats
  • Crew Members 930
  • Entered Service 2002
  • Gross Tons 88,500
  • Length 960 feet
  • Number of Cabins 1,062
  • Passenger Capacity 2,124 (2,667 max)
  • Width 105.7 feet
  • New

Feb 1, 2017

Carnival Legend Review

grace Age: 50 Occupation:adm Number of Cruises: 5 Cruise Line: Carnival Ship: Carnival Legend Sailing Date: 2015-09-13 Itinerary: Hawaii Cruise from Honolulu Overall okay. We were on the 11 night cruise from Honolulu on May 7, 2015 Average food; many items repeated, not much selection except on dessert-lots of that Room was good! Entertainment LACKED MOTIVATION, ENTHUSIASM, RATHER HUM-DRUM. NEVER USE "" for your

excursions. They don't keep their word on cancelled excursions. We even bought the insurance and they still told us they couldn't help us, yet they pocketed over 300 dollars from us! Trip was our first to Hawaii. Saw the main islands. We didn't know what to expect. Overall it was good, but next time we'd rather go on our own so as to not be rushed with time frames (and miss out excursions due to slow tender boat process)

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  • New

Jul 7, 2015

Hawaii Cruise from Honolulu

Overall okay. We were on the 11 night cruise from Honolulu on May 7, 2015 Average food; many items repeated, not much selection except on dessert-lots of that Room was good! Entertainment LACKED MOTIVATION, ENTHUSIASM, RATHER HUM-DRUM. NEVER USE "" for your excursions. They don't keep their word on cancelled excursions. We even bought the insurance and they still told us they couldn't help

us, yet they pocketed over 300 dollars from us! Trip was our first to Hawaii. Saw the main islands. We didn't know what to expect. Overall it was good, but next time we'd rather go on our own so as to not be rushed with time frames (and miss out excursions due to slow tender boat process)

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By Amy_CR

  • New

Mar 10, 2013

Wester Caribbean

Overall, we had a good time. This was our second time on Carnival. Our other cruise lines we have been on are RCCL & Princess. I have to say I still prefer RCCL but the cost of this cruise made it very appealing to us. I have to say, I think Carnival is growing on me. You get a lot of bang for your buck. I laugh when I read reviews about people complaining about small things. I always say you make your own fun. If you can't have fun on a tropical

vacation, there is not much hope for you! The food overall was pretty good. Some nights in the dining room were better than others, that's for sure. I think they try to have a variety to please the masses of people but it does not seem to have the quality of food I have had on other cruise lines. But, I did gain 4 pounds, so I don't really have much to complain about do I? I would highly recommend the steak house for a night. It is $30 a person but the steaks, lobster, atmosphere, and service is definitely worth every penny. You are on vacation, make the kids go get pizza for the night and treat yourself to a great meal! We were lucky enough to get a great deal on a premium vista balcony room (7301). It was a beautiful room. The balcony was huge! The 3 closets also come in handy with all the wardrobe changes we have. If there is any way to get yourself a balcony room please do. Having stayed in all levels of cabins, I can tell you having a balcony is the only way to go. I don't care what anyone says, there is nothing like sipping your room service delivered coffee while watching the sea. It's amazing! There is quite a bit to do on board. One secret on this ship most people don't know about is that everyone is allowed to use the spa facilities even if you didn't pay for services such as a massage or facial. They have a great steam room & sauna in both the male & female locker rooms. There is also a whirlpool tub in the center that over looks the workout room and front of the ship. Most days my daughter & I had them to ourselves. Check it out. Very relaxing! We are not really show people but we did enjoy the comedy shows. The family ones are a little cheesy but our girls had fun. Cozumel- the beginners snorkel trip was amazing. Had a blast. Belize- Very disappointing port. I was so looking forward to going there but after a very long wait to get on a very long tender ride )about 30 minutes) we were dropped off to visit a few crappy shops and then wait for another tender back. If I was ever going back there I would not get off the ship. Roatan- No need to pay for any excursions if you like the beach, as it right next to the dock. You can take the chair lift (our kids did) but my husband & I took the pleasant walk down a paved and beautifully landscaped path to the beach. Even though it rained a lot of the day, we had an incredible day. Beautiful beach. Bring $$. They have some great food and drinks for sale. My husband thought the chicken with red beans and rice at the Hurricane Hut (love the name!) was some of the best he has had. Grand Cayman- took an excursion to 7 mile beach. We were able to snorkel right from the shore. Incredible! Don't miss it!!! Don't worry about any negative reviews. Relax. Enjoy being pampered. Go with the flow. Drink fruity libations with umbrellas. Dance on the Lido deck. Judge a hairy chest contest. Eat lobster. Eat self serve ice cream at 10am. You are on vacation. Bon Voyage & smooth sailings!!

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  • New

Jan 14, 2013

Western Caribbean

The staff was very friendly and courteous. Food was mediocre. Everything was too loud. Guess they think that loud equals good and very loud equals very good, but it equals irritating and obnoxious. Mid-ship pools were unusable as obscenely loud rock music was almost always blasting. Entertainment (?) was also very loud. Would not recommend to anyone over 30 as almost everything was geared to the young and immature. Drinks were grossly overpriced.

Everything was geared to getting one to spend more money. Shore excursions were overly expensive. Ports of call were merely excuses to get one to buy junk at outrageous prices. After this terrible experience my wife and I agreed that it was our last cruise. Q. Which styles of cruise is this ship best suited for? A. None. Some good, some poor, mostly average and after a few days, boring. No complaints about the room. Staff was very nice. Much, much too loud to be enjoyed. Best place was the card room where one could close the door to drown out the noise. In the area there was a lounge singer that screamed so loud that it came through the door. If you say away from this ship you will stay away from the grossly overpriced excursions (I suspect that Carnival gets a huge kickback from booking these excursions.) Went on the dolphin swim in Cozumel. Touted a three hour excursion. Most time spent waiting. Actual time with a dolphin was about one to two minutes. They took lots of pictures. Only $29 a picture! No one in our group bought a single picture at this price. If the fools charged something reasonable, like $5, they would have sold hundreds of pictures but, like every one else on this trip, they were out to gouge the tourists. Swimming with the dolphins was great but way too expensive, about $146.00 a minute. Will never cruise again! Enough said.

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  • New

Jul 30, 2012

Western Carribean

This was our first cruise we went as a family and had a outstanding time after reading some of the negative comments it makes me wonder just how critical people can really be, but if you are looking for a great vacation with great food and service that is outstanding this is it. Now to sum it up we have already booked two more cruises to different ports for next year, oh by the way I won a decent chunk of change in the casino enough to pay for 2 different

excusions for 4 people. Buffets were pretty good can't say I liked everything, but the restaurant was a great place to eat we got to know our waiters very well and enjoyed all of our meals. Keep vey clean, the room had plenty of space and remember you don't live in them just sleep and shower so save your money for the excursions. Plenty to do all the time if you get bored it's your own fault, let go and enjoy life. Helmut dive in Cozumel was a lot of fun the Mexican people are very hospitable so relax and enjoy the party. The cave tubing and lunch in Belize was a lot of fun. Grand Cayman land and sea excursion will be the most memorable touring the sea turtle farm and the town Hell,and off to the boat ride out to get in the water with the sting rays on the way there dolphins were swimming along side of the boat. Well worth the money plan for the excursions and extras.

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