(Be forewarned that this a repost of what I put on the Community page, where there is a similiar thread, but that had scrolled off to the back pages before I could respond.)
Thanks to Greg (aka. Mr. Utley, for those who donÃ¢â‚¬Ëœt know him) for the heads up on this review. Greg has been reminding me to write a review of my own, in rebutal, but the review is not done yet, and may never be, I'm so far behind. But this post might well be the start of one. If I tweak it some and add a bit, I may turn this into a review and post it later.)
The review from Linda was an interesting read. I honestly feel that some of her assessments have a basis in fact, but her interpretation of them is unnecessarily negative.
Oddly enough, the nice things she had to say about her cruise, were items that didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t go well on ours. (Greg, do you remember that embarkation line? Wow. )
Boarding for us was delayed due to some customs problems for the off-going passengers. We had huge lines, and a long wait. And as for all that nice seating in the terminal, there was none when we embarked. Although we did get a look at all the hundreds of bright, new chairs that were in place on our disembarkation day. The big difference for us, was that, by and large, we didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t mind the wait. Most passengers took it all in stride, and spent the time chatting, getting to know fellow passengers and generally maintaining a cheerful attitude; and commenting that we felt sorry for the off-going folk who were, very likely missing planes that day.
On the topic of room amenities: well if no one sends you any flowers or fruit baskets, and you didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t order any, why would you expect to get them. The only cabin gifts weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve ever gotten were compliments of our thoughtful travel agent. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t expect them from the cruise line. Which lines do that?
There actually was a very nice little basket of personal toiletries in our aft verandah cabin's bathroom. Ours was not a suite, but we were given sample shampoos, and conditioners, hand lotion, tooth paste, his and hers razors, floss, and a full size bar of soap (Lever 2000). I was under the impression that Carnival gave this to all cabins, since it was almost the exact same basket of items that weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d received on the Victory both times that we sailed her, even when we had an inside cabin. DidnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t everyone else get them?
More on the cabin, I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t like those swing open verandah doors either. Much prefer sliding doors, but I knew about those in advance. Saw them in on-line pictures. If anyone really wants to sleep with the door open on this kind of ship, you need to pack a bungee cord. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d brought mine along, but the weather never accommodated us. Oh well.
Now quality of the food is always a matter of personal preference, and individual experience. But I thought the food was really very good. I liked almost everything I tried. And the dinners were excellent, as good as any weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve had in 12 cruises. And our wait staff was efficient, accommodating and friendly. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d never ask for more than that.
The gal who wrote that review apparently had some unfortunate events occur on her trip, but it would be a shame if other people thought that was the usual. We had very few problems, if any, on ours. And our experience of the general staff was that they seemed to be hard working, and maybe a bit shy. They didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t interact with us as freely as on some of our past cruises, but we never encountered anything less than polite respect. I honestly had the impression that a language barrier was the cause of problem. They hesitate to talk because they don't understand what we are saying, and don't know enough English to say much back.
Actually my only real complaint was with the room service. If you didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t place your order the night before, it invariably took ages for breakfast to arrive, sometimes as long as 45 minutes to an hour. Once it never arrived at all. Even calling to place the order usually left me on hold for several minutes, once for over half an hour. They really need to revisit their organization for handling room service breakfast.
I have to agree that the most enjoyable entertainments of the week were the big production shows in the showroom. Much of CarnivalÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s entertainment does not usually suit me, but the rest of the passengers seemed to be having a wonderful time. And much was the same youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll find on other cruises. I did really like the cruise director, BrettÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s show with his birds. Definitely worth seeing.
Carnival does tend to put some very talented performers in unsuitable places on the ship, where you really canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t enjoy them. For example, a singer tries to perform in a noisy casino. And thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the piano player who sits on a platform, high above and behind the lobby bar. You can barely hear him above the noise in the lobby, and certainly canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t interact with him in any way, like to make a request. In the end, no one pays him any attention. What a waste .
And by far, the very best offering of the week was a brief, one man show, done by one of the shipÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s regular production show singer/dance group, Jason French. It was all vocal selections from Broadway shows, including some of my absolute favorites, and not at all the usual for Carnival. I got the impression that this show was just a little something they were letting him do, a little something extra, since it was offered at a very inconvenient time in the late afternoon. Mr. French was wonderful. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s unfortunate that Carnival didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t make better use of his talents. If they were regularly offering more shows like this one, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d quickly become a confirmed Carnival passenger. Unfortunately, Mr. French was leaving the ship at the end of that week. A big loss for Carnival.
Overall though, we had a wonderful cruise. Carnival lives up to their claim of being the fun ships, mostly because they manage to pull in a lot of fun loving people. They set the stage, and the passengers make the cruise what they will.
For us this was an exceptionally fun trip, mostly because we met some really fun people, like Mr. Utley here, and his wife Sally. ( BTW, Greg does a pretty mean Ã¢â‚¬Å“ElvisÃ¢â‚¬Â at Karaoke ). We met here on CruiseAddicts and arranged to meet on the ship. We all had such a good time together, weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve got to do that again some day.
And add in our tablemates, Brent and Terry, who were really great fun. Our waiters might have been incompetent too, but we would never have noticed, since we had lively conversations going every evening. We were so lucky to be at the same table with them.
ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the key. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the people who make the cruise. The rest is all secondary.
We live in the desert for crying out loud!!! Don't get much snorkeling in up at Lake Mead. An inch of snow on the ground here in Vegas today.... 84 degrees in St. Thomas...hmmmm I'm countin' down :thumb
I have 12 cruises under my belt with 3 on Carnival, 3 on HAL, 2 NCL and then a mix for the others. We loved the Legend. Maybe Linda should pay the price to sail on Seabourn or Sea Dream Yacht Club, or Radisson.
Thank you Gayle!!! Way back last April we convinced (well,it really didn`t take too much convincing) a group of friends and colleagues to take the Jan 6/05 ,Legend cruise. As it turned out, we couldn`t make it (long story) After reading that awful review, I`ve been kind of biting my nails , wondering what to expect when they get back. I knew rationally that it couldn`t have been that bad..VERRRY dramatic but still there was that little niggling worry. Thank you for putting it in perspective.