It’s easy to get in a reflective mood sitting on the balcony, watching the waves go by on the final day of the cruise. A week always goes by so much faster on vacation than it does in the rest of our lives. We took this cruise because it was a bargain escape from the cold and we definitely have accomplished that goal. Carnival is not our favorite cruise line because much of the the entertainment is not all that entertaining to us, but we do have to give them high marks for the evening entertainment. The production shows featured a large live band rather than the prerecorded lip synch material that other lines skimp by with. These shows included original material and made use of media in an impressive way. Lots of ships create atmosphere with smoke machines, but on these shows performers move in and out of projected footage in a seamless way that made the show feel much bigger than the confines of the stage. Last night’s show ended with bubbles cascading over our heads in an awesome grand finale. Costume and wig changes were frequent and creative. Comedians were the stars on the nights without musical entertainment. There was a different one each time and they were of high caliber. They did not simply tell one joke after another, but interlaced their stories with humor that had us rolling in the aisles.
The food although well above our usual fare at home, was less impressive. The smoked salmon and papaya that are my favorite cruise breakfast were never available. At dinner we’re used to a huge array of silverware before us. As the courses proceed, we work our way toward the plate using a different piece of tableware for each course. On this cruise we sometimes had to save the knife and work and use it again. Not a big deal, but something we noticed. But a week when you get to enjoy lobster and prime rib and gooey desserts is a good week indeed.
We missed learning a bit about the places we visited. There were lengthy presentations about where to shop and what to buy, but our stops in Belize and Honduras raised questions in our minds that we will have to find answers to ourselves. The so called library has two shelves of books. The rest of the shelves are decorated with false fronts that look like books. For informative lectures no one is better than Holland America.
Most of the ports we visited had other Carnival ships berthed along side us. We have taken more Princess cruises than any other, because overall, they have the most interesting and unique itineraries. Carnival concentrates on the Caribbean, Alaska and Europe. There are so many ships afloat these days, such duplication is hard to avoid.
Our photos give a hint of the over the top decorating style favored by Carnival. The same interior designer has also done many Costa ships. Understated elegance is not in his vocabulary. Since this ship is named the Legend, every area of ship features a legend. This means that the Colossus of Rhodes who stand tall in the main lobby is near the Satchmo lounge which features photographs of Louis Armstrong. An adjacent hall is decorated with pictures of prominent Hollywood glitterati. The legend theme is meant to be unifying, but the end result is not.
The crew is warm and friendly and works so hard to make the week a special one for us all. The server who handed me a sandwich, beamed as if it was the high point of his week. The man who cleans our cabin twice a day leaves clever towel animals on the bed as well as chocolates. After a few days the server knows that Ken needs lots of ice in his water and I need very little. He stops bringing us bread since we never eat it and keep the coffee cups full. These days we no longer have the jarring experience of going back to work, but it will be sad to march up that gang plank back to reality tomorrow. Bring on the next cruise.