Carnival Legend - Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)

Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)

Carnival Legend

★★★ +

Berlitz’s Ratings

Ship: 361 out of 500

Accommodation: 143 out of 200

Food: 223 out of 400

Service: 249 out of 400

Entertainment: 76 out of 100

Cruise: 266 out of 400

Overall Score: 1318 out of 2000

Carnival Legend Statistics

Size: Large Resort Ship

Tonnage: 85,942

Lifestyle: Standard

Cruise Line: Carnival Cruise Lines

Former Names: none

IMO Number: 9224726

Builder: Kvaerner Masa-Yards (Finland)

Original Cost: $375 million

Entered Service: Aug 2002

Registry: Panama

Length (ft/m): 959.6/292.5

Beam (ft/m): 105.6/32.2

Draft (ft/m): 25.5/7.8

Propulsion/Propellers: diesel-electric (62,370kW)/2 azimuthing pods

Passenger Decks: 12

Total Crew: 1,030

Passengers (lower beds): 2,124/2,680

Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 40.4

Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 2.2

Cabins (total): 1,062

Size Range (sq ft/m): 185-490/17.1-45.5

Cabins (for one person): 0

Cabins (with private balcony): 750

Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 16

Wheelchair accessibility: Good

Cabin Current: 110 volts

Elevators: 15

Casino (gaming tables): Yes

Slot Machines: Yes

Swimming Pools: 2

Hot Tubs (on deck): 5

Self-Service Launderette: Yes

Dedicated Cinema/Seats: No

Library: Yes

Onboard currency: US$


This ship is for a fun-filled family cruise in a contemporary setting

Overview. Carnival Legend is sister to Carnival Miracle, Carnival Pride, and Carnival Spirit, and shares the same layout and configuration. The ship is designed for families with children, and for entertainment.

The Ship. The open deck and sunbathing space is not extensive, but there are two swimming pools, one of which can be covered by a sliding glass dome in case of inclement weather. A Water Park and Kids Splash Zone was installed in time for the ship’s first cruise season from Sydney, Australia, with water wheels, spraying jets, water blasters, pull ropes, two Mini Racer slides, and more (watch out for the giant water bucket). But the really big attraction is Green Thunder, a thrill ride that starts 100ft (30m) above sea level. The floor suddenly drops out of the platform and you plummet in a near-vertical drop at about 23ft (7m) a second. When you hit the water in the fast water slide, you twist and turn through a transparent tube that extends over the side of the ship. Kids will love it, but need to be 42ins (1.1m) tall to be able to experience it. The open deck space is a bit tight when the ship sails full in warm-weather areas.

Meanwhile, an extra-charge, adults-only area, Sanctuary has its own bar, pool, hot tub and other facilities. Located at the ship’s stern, it is good for anyone seeking a quieter space for sunbathing and relaxation.

Inside, the interior decor is dedicated to the world’s great legends, from the heroes of antiquity to 20th-century jazz masters and athletes - an eclectic mix that somehow works.

Most bars and lounges are on two entertainment/public room decks, the upper featuring an exterior promenade deck. A walkway, named Hollywood Boulevard, connects many of the major public rooms on Atlantic Deck, one deck above Promenade Deck, which also sports a number of public rooms, including a large Club Merlin Casino (you have to walk though it to get to the main level of the showlounge from the restaurant, which is located aft). In a 2014 makeover, a Red Frog Pub (featuring Carnival’s own ThirstyFrog Red draft brew), Bonsai Sushi (a sushi venue with Asian-style decor and food items), and Cherry on Top candy store were added.

The colorful atrium lobby spans eight decks and has wall decorations best seen from any of the multiple viewing balconies on any deck above the main lobby level. Take a drink from the lobby bar and look upwards - the surroundings are stunning, with a mural of the Colossus of Rhodes the focal point.

The ship’s most dramatic room is the Follies Showlounge. Spanning three decks in the forward section, it recalls a 1920s movie palace.

A small wedding chapel is forward of the uppermost level of the two main entertainment decks, adjacent to the library. Other facilities include a shopping street with boutique stores, photo gallery, and an observation balcony in the center of the vessel, at the top of the multi-deck atrium.

While the cuisine is just so-so, the real fun begins at sundown when Carnival really excels in sound, lights, razzle-dazzle shows, and loud, late-night music.

Niggles include the small reception desk in the atrium lobby, which is often congested.

Many pillars obstruct passenger flow (those in the dining room, for example, make it difficult for proper food service by the waiters). Books and computers are cohabitants in the ship’s Holmes library/Internet center, but anyone wanting a book has to lean over others who may be using a computer - an awkward arrangement.

Families. Youngsters have their own play areas, with children’s programs divided into five age-specific groups under Camp Ocean (ages 2−11 - with children ages 2−5 called ‘Penguins’; 6−8-year-olds called ‘Sting Rays’; 9−11-year-olds called ‘Sharks’). Tweens have ‘Circle C’, while teenagers have their own ‘Club O2’ - a chill-out (no adults allowed) room/disco. Also, kids will just love the 187-ft-long (57m) Green Thunder and 214-ft-long (65m) Twister water slides in the WaterWorks Aqua Park.

By the end of 2015, the words and world of Dr. Seuss will have been rolled out as part of Carnival’s children’s program (check before you sail) − from ‘green eggs and ham’ for breakfast, served by waiters in Dr. Seuss-inspired uniforms, and characters such as the Cat in the Hat, Thing One and Thing Two, and Sam attending, to special showings of movies such as The Cat in the Hat and How the Grinch Stole Christmas (these will be shown outdoors on the poolside Seaside Theater screen on Lido Deck).

Accommodation. There are numerous cabin categories, priced by grade, location, and size. The range of cabins includes suites (with private balcony), outside-view cabins with private balcony, 68 ocean-view cabins with French doors (pseudo balconies that have doors which open, but no balcony to step out onto), and a healthy proportion of standard outside-view to interior cabins.

All cabins have spy-hole doors, twin beds that can be converted into a queen-size bed, individually controlled air conditioning (it can’t be switched off), TV, and telephone. A number of cabins on the lowest deck have lifeboat-obstructed views. Some cabins can accommodate a third and fourth person, but there’s little closet space, and only one personal safe - still, these are useful if you have small children.

Among the most desirable suites and cabins are those on five of the aft-facing decks; these have balconies overlooking the stern and ship’s wash. There’s no vibration - a bonus provided by the pod propulsion system.

Dining. This ship has a single, large, two-deck-high, 1,300-seat main dining room, Truffles Restaurant, with seating on both upper and main levels. Its huge ceiling has large murals of a china pattern made famous by Royal Copenhagen, and wall-mounted glass display cases contain fine china. Small rooms on both upper and lower levels can be closed off for groups of up to 60. Choose either fixed-time dining (6pm or 8.15pm) or flexible dining (between 5.45pm and 9.30pm). Note that the main dining room is not open for lunch on port days.

For casual eaters, the Unicorn Café (Lido restaurant) is an extensive self-serve buffet-style eatery that forms the aft third of Deck 9 (part of it wraps around the upper section of the huge atrium). The café includes a central area with a deli sandwich corner, Asian corner, rotisserie, and international (Taste of the Nations) counter. There are salad counters, a dessert counter, and a 24-hour pizzeria counter, all of which offer both indoor and outdoor seating. Movement around the buffet area is slow, and you have to stand in line for everything. Each night, the Unicorn Café becomes Seaview Bistro, for serve-yourself dinners (typically 6pm-9.30pm).

Other dining options. The Steakhouse is an extra-cost dining spot atop the ship, with just 156 seats and a show kitchen, featuring prime steaks and grilled seafood. Reservations are required. The decor features the Greek legend of Jason and the Argonauts (the bar includes a large sculpture of the Golden Fleece). Decent table settings, china, and silverware are provided.

Entertainment. The glamorous four-deck-high, 1,170-seat Follies Showlounge is the main venue for large-scale production shows and cabaret shows. Shows are best seen from the upper three levels. Directly underneath the showlounge is the Firebird lounge and bar.

Almost every lounge/bar, including Billie’s Bar (a piano lounge) and Satchmo’s Club (a nightclub with bar and dance floor), has live music in the evening. Finally, for the very lively, there’s the disco; and there’s always karaoke!

Spa/Fitness. SpaCarnival, spanning two decks, is located directly above the navigation bridge in the forward part of the ship and has 13,700 sq ft (1,272 sq m) of space. Lower level facilities include a solarium, several treatment rooms, sauna and steam rooms for men and women, and a beauty parlor. The upper level consists of a gymnasium with floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides, and an aerobics room with instructor-led classes.

There are two centrally located swimming pools outdoors, and one can be used in inclement weather due to its retractable glass dome. Adjacent are two whirlpool tubs. Another smaller pool is available for children. An outdoor jogging track is located around the ship’s mast and the forward part of the ship; it doesn’t go around the whole ship, but it’s long enough for some serious walking.