Carnival Legend Norway & Europe Cruise
Carnival Legend in our first port: Ålesund, Norway Carnival Legend Norway & Europe Cruise Review
September 1-12, 2013
Just The Facts:
Ship: Carnival Legend
Ship Captain: Giuseppe Donato
Cruise Director: John Heald
Ports: Dover, Alesund, Bergan, Stravanger, Oslo, Hamburg, Amsterdam, Zeebrugge, LeHarve
Weather: Mixed, but Generally Good
We left Canterbury with another couple about 10:00 am for the easy drive to Dover. We dropped the
White Cliffs of Dover
ladies and luggage at the cruise terminal & then returned our friends rental car. We decided to walk across the bridge back to the pier as it would be a long wait for a taxi, but the weather was cool and only about a mile so off we go. Embarkation was smooth as they had been boarding for a while, we basically just checked in at the VIP Desk and walked onto the ship. After dropping our bags in the cabin we were up on Lido deck for lunch. Soon we began seeing our other friends and that’s all it takes for a party to start. I was able to sneak away to the cabin for a short snooze before the mandatory safety briefing. Just after 5:00 pm we had an excellent view of the ‘White Cliffs of Dover’ as we sailed out of the harbor and into the English Channel to begin our wonderful cruise. I was surprised to see all the large wind turbines in the channel. It was time to explore the ship as it is my first time on the Carnival Legend. First impression is good, but she has not had the 2.0 upgrades as yet. Most of the public rooms and lounges are located forward on the ship including the piano bar, comedy club, and of course the primary show lounge. We have two round tables located center in the Truffles Dining Room (MDR) for late seating dinner. DW and I had a nice salad in the Unicorn (Lido) before dinner so I only had the new Chicken & Shrimp entree, but had two desserts: the Creme Brulee and Black Forest Gateau. All were very good. Since we had two Carnival newbies in our group I insisted that we attend the 10:15 pm Welcome Show
presented by John Heald in the Follies lounge. It did not disappoint as JH was his usual very entertaining self and the newbies were rolling in laughter. Great start for all on the cruise.
Day Two--Monday--at Sea
Very blustery day with choppy seas as we sail from the English Channel and into the North Sea. Not too concerned as this is a sea day and weather is to improve as the day progresses. I started the morning with my usual 1st morning Carnival MDR breakfast in Truffles. I had the Melon, Eggs Benedict, Bacon, hash brown Potatoes, Juice, and hot milk. It was good so that is a good sign for the
Private Cocktail Party cruise. DW had her usual room service breakfast. Our cabin is located just below the lido beverage area so it is very easy to get juices, tea, and lemonade as needed. Also just below the Deli and Salad bar, very convenient for a quick snack. Cruise activities for the day have begun, but we finished exploring the ship and had a casual morning. We had our usual first sea day ‘Snoozemates and Friends’ cocktail party
in Billies Piano Bar at 1:00 pm. Our new and regular friends all attended and thanks to a good server and excellent bartender we had a great party and social. In fact they were very generous with drinks and it was a very happy hour. Following the ladies went to shop, one has her eye on a nice diamond, and a few went to the Carnival Deli for a nice late lunch. The Roast Beef Sandwich was very good. Being very content I had a very nice long afternoon snooze in the cabin. It was the Captains Elegant Night this evening so there were photo opportunities and cocktails on the promenade deck with the Captain and ships officers. Also the Captains Dinner with entree choices of Prime Rib, Lobster, Duck, and more. A few in the group went to the Punchliner Comedy Club and some to the casino. The main entertainment was Jazz Hot, but with a late show for late seating (10:30) we retired to the cabin as we have a big day planned for Ålesund.
Day Three--Tuesday—Ålesund, Norway
A beautiful day sailing around the islands into Ålesund this morning. I went upstairs (one deck) to Lido for a nice buffet breakfast and brought it down to my balcony so I could enjoy the views as we approached our first Norwegian port. We were docked about 9:00 am and were soon off as we have a big adventure to Geirangerfjord with another couple planned for the day. We walked to Avis and picked up a rental car and were off for the two hour drive to meet the 12:30 Geiranger tourist ferry at Hellesylt. En route we crossed one fjord by ferry, went through long mountain tunnels, crossed over several mountains and enjoyed wonderful scenery. The Geiranger ferry passes through the UNESCO heritage listed Geirangerfjord
between several large snow capped mountains with numerous waterfalls on each
Geirangerfjord Overlook side, a truly beautiful and unique experience. I even enjoyed an authentic Norwegian hot lunch of meat balls, new potatoes, mushy peas while on the ferry. As the ferry Captain approached Geiranger he began playing Con Te Partirè by Andrea Bocelli as a tribute to the Italian ship anchored there...very clever I thought and I doubt very few ‘got it’. The return drive was similar with one small ferry, ten consecutive hairpin curves up a very steep mountain, tunnels, and beautiful farm land and a few small mountain villages. The highlight of the return trip was a fantastic turn out with spectacular views up the Geirangerfjord. Beautiful views. Open the photo at left (double click it) and you will see the ferry returning up the fjord. It will give you a since of scale as well, this fjord is huge. We returned the car in Ålesund about 4:30 and were back on board ship by 5:00 pm. A great adventure indeed. We found a note on our cabin door upon return that the
Ålesund Salute group sail away party was scheduled for 5:45 pm. in our cabin. Makes since as we have a large balcony facing the port of Ålesund. We sailed at our scheduled 6:00 time and were escorted out by a fire boat spraying water and firing guns as a salute. We had a perfect view from our balcony of the salute, harbor, and mountains as we sailed away. It was soon time for dinner, tonight I ordered the Shrimp Cocktail, Fillet of Sole, a Shrimp entree to share, Prime Rib, and a Strawberry combo dessert. Brett Cave was the primary entertainment in the main lounge, but after a long busy day we retired to the cabin after dinner.