Travel tip: schedule your arrival in port a few days before embarkation. It allows you to relax and adjust to time zone changes, stop over in interesting cities, as well as build in time to work around possible travel delays. Our choice for this trip was to visit Tampa and sail on Carnival’s Legend.
A – Aquariums are big business and the Florida Aquarium is the crown jewel of Tampa’s Channel District. Home to over 20,000 aquatic plants and animals, it hosts seven million visitors annually. (www.flaaquarium.org)
Tampa’s World Class Aquarium
B – Bon voyage. The passenger terminal in Tampa is easy to navigate and Carnival’s check-in procedure moves passengers quickly from dock to ship.
C – Carnival’s 23 ships sail all over the world. Their website, www.carnival.com, is user friendly. Sign up for their specials and offers. If you prefer, you can contact a Personal Vacation Planner at 1-888-Carnival.
Carnival’s Legend and Valor at Dock
D – Daily Guide to Fun, Carnival Capers, is slipped under your cabin nightly. It outlines the schedule of events from 6 AM through midnight.
E – Exercise options onboard include a fully equipped ocean-view gym, fitness programs, jogging track, steam room and a full-service spa.
F – Folding towels really is an art form. Whimsical creations awaited us upon our return to the cabin each
G – Golden Fleece Supper Club, featuring gourmet dining, is worth the nominal surcharge.
The Golden Fleece Gourmet Restaurant
H – Hampton Inn and Suites is conveniently located in the historic district of Ybor City in Tampa. A daily breakfast buffet is included in the rate, plus free shuttle service, use of computers, wi-fi and parking for cruise passengers. (www.hamptoninn.com)
I – Identity cards. “Sail & Sign” is Carnival’s convenient cashless system which allows guests to charge purchases to their personal account.
J – Jewelry sales aboard ship are announced daily. Fashion Boulevard, the duty free shopping arcade, features dozens of shops.
K – Kitchens aboard the ship turn out 12,000 meals per day.
L – Legend features the fabulous Colossus Atrium, 12 bars and lounges, a Las Vegas style review, three restaurants, a spa and fitness facility, beauty parlor, barbershop, duty free shops, launderettes, Internet Café, library, photo gallery and studio, casino, card room, flower shop, four swimming pools, a waterslide and five whirlpools. Onboard, 80 percent of its staterooms have ocean views; of those, 80 percent have balconies. There are 920 crew members taking care of over 2600 passengers inhabiting 1062 cabins. (www.carnival.com)
M – Marriott Waterside and Marina, located along the Channel Riverwalk, is a bay front hotel in the heart of downtown Tampa. There are three restaurants, a pool, Jacuzzi, spa and full-service marina. (www.marriottt.com)
View from the Marriot Waterside and Marina
N – Nationalities of the crew aboard Legend represent 90 countries. It is a veritable United Nations with one goal; make every passenger happy.
O – O2 is a club for teens that keeps them busy throughout the day. Additionally, Carnival, which carries more kids than any other cruise line, offers the industry’s top-rated children’s program featuring a morning-til-night schedule for younger kids. Baby sitting is also available.
P – Ports of call on our cruise included Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Belize and Costa Maya.
Belize City Street Scene
Q – Quiet cabins and hallways were a pleasant surprise. Music, movies and TV are available in the cabin.
R – Returning customers measure the success of any business. Carnival’s repeat factor is above 35%, a testament to their standard of excellence.
S – Shopping is the number one vacation activity for travelers. If you can’t find something to buy on this trip, you’re not trying.
T – Tampa is terrific and worth spending a few days pre or post cruise. Tampa Bay & Company, formerly the Tampa Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau, is an essential ingredient in your pre-travel planning. (www.VisitTampaBay.com)
Tampa’s Trolley System Connects Downtown with Many Attractions
U – Unicorn Café, on Legend, is a casual favorite for meals and snacks throughout the day.
V – Variety aboard Legend; whether you are in the mood for port talks, games, Las Vegas type reviews, music, dancing, bars, casino action, or just an opportunity to relax, there is something for every taste.
W – Walking shoes, water shoes and a water wallet; three items you will need to pack if you are vacationing on or near the beach.
X – “Xtras” add to your cruise. Port tours, excursions, spa and beauty services, liquor, soft drinks and gratuities are additional costs.
Y – Ybor City features an eclectic array of shops and restaurants and is one of only two National Historic Landmark Districts in Florida. (www.yborcity.org)
Z – Zzzs: sleep for sale. On Legend, the stateroom is outfitted with the Carnival Comfort Collection, luxurious bed and bath products, which can be purchased at their website.
Safe Travels and Enjoy the Journey…
Thanks to the various websites for information. Before you go please check details, dates, rates and availability; some restrictions may apply.