Short Cruises to nowhere…….

Let’s face it, there is no better value for a weekend or midweek getaway than a Cruise to nowhere. You can often get them for around the $100 per person, per night mark and this price includes all meals, taxes, entertainment and use of ship facilities on board. Many of the Cruise lines do them and they all have a similar pretence. You get on, you have fun, you relax, you eat, you drink, you watch the entertainment provided, you participate in the numerous activities on board and then you get off. This type of cruise departs from many of the major cities around Australia including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Cairns. They are great as they give you a taste of what a longer Cruise has to offer minus the port stops.legend-2.jpg

I have experienced what P&O has to offer with these short cruises in the past, so this time I jumped onboard Carnival Legend to discover what the Carnival Cruise line had in stall for us. Carnival are known as the fun ships. Their target market is families and couples that are young at heart and like to enjoy themselves, and you do get this vibe once onboard. The Legend (ship) itself is a little “out there” in its décor, and I am happy to report it is due for a refurbishment in May 2018. It is thought it will become much more similar to it’s sister ship the Carnival Spirit. They are currently much the same however, Legend has darker décor and is missing Guy’s Burger bar. If they were to lighten up the décor and remove about 3000 Legend cups/urns it would look fantastic. Regardless though, the décor does not impact on the fun.legend-3.jpg

The dining options onboard are not as vast as I have experienced whilst sailing on other ships. The main dining room is called the Truffles restaurant and they do a good job in servicing the majority of the guests on board. I found Carnival to be the one cruise line where it is probably better to select a dining time as the lines for “anytime dining” can get lengthy at times. Usually when I cruise with my family we prefer “anytime” so we can dine when we are hungry and not when we are allocated a time slot. Often, the time you are hungry does vary depending on what you do each day, more so when you have days in ports. The options on this Cruise were 530pm, 745pm or when there was a spare table in “anytime”. We were allocated 745pm and it worked well, we could have dinner and then make the late show. There was usually some form of entertainment pre-dinner like a bit of trivia we enjoyed attending with a pre dinner drink.

Other dining options include the crowded Unicorn Café on deck 9 which to be 100% honest I was slightly disappointed in. Believe me, I love my buffets, and I love the casual dining option offered on cruises as there is pretty much any type of food you feel like at any time. They have the breakfast options, the sandwich options, the pastry options, snags and pies and everything else in between. Don’t hold it against me but I do prefer the pantry on P&O or the Windjammer on Royal Caribbean, I can’t quite put my finger on why, but it may be something to do with the lay out which sometimes causes lines to get the food and there is a lower amount of variations. To anyone who has not been on either of these other cruise lines the food would look amazing, abundant and delicious, so don’t let this comment put you off in anyway. We also sampled the goods on offer at Nouveau Restaurant the cruise line steak house and 5 star fine dining option onboard. At a cost of $45 per person extra the steaks are well worth it. It is a 4 course dining experience, you might even get an extra course thrown in compliments of the chef. We dined here on the first night when they had the special offer that also included a bottle of wine. Often the specialty restaurants will have deals on the first night with any cruise line. Dining at “specialty” the first night is a great way to get a little extra for your money.legend-4.jpg

Onboard entertainment is endless, I encourage anyone who Cruises to get involved. They put out a daily schedule of activities and they are all good. Very funny at times and definitely worth the effort to participate. You might get a hairy chest competition, a guess that 80’s song competition, a marriage show, a disco dance class or various forms of Trivia. There is so much on offer and even if you yourself don’t want to show your hairy chest, or answer questions about your marriage you can laugh at those that do. What might in theory sound like a boring Trivia event can turn into everyone getting right into it, singing and dancing along to the music. It’s all about having fun! There is also the option of doing nothing at all. We made great use out of the pods in the adults only area, which is called “serenity” onboard. It was so peaceful and relaxing just lazing by the pool gazing out at the sea, watching the world drift on by. This would have to be one of my favourite places on the whole ship.

This time we did see pretty much see the whole ship too. We were some of the lucky few who got to take the access all areas, “behind the fun tour”. At $95 each it does seem a little pricey for a ship tour/shore excursion initially but it does go for several hours and is well worth the money. This tour is also very popular and is usually offered on the first day but fills up very quickly as they are limited in the amount of people they can take around. If you are interested in seeing things like the kitchen, backstage in the theatre, the ship control room, the laundry facilities, cold storage, staff areas and even the Bridge where you get the meet the Captain, this tour is for you. The tour ends with a free drink in Nouveau Restaurant and a little bag full of goodies. The only downside was no cameras were allowed.

There are so many options for evening entertainment onboard, you are spoilt for choice. It really is hard to decide where to go and who to see. With many live music options being played in different venues, the 2 sittings for the theatre production, comedians, a movie screening, the casino or the DJ pumping out tunes in the nightclub, there is something for everyone’s taste and mood. Dance the night away, sing along or just watch in awe as you are entertained by the talented people onboard. Again, it is all about fun and this is reflected in what you find on offer.legend-6.jpg

In summary, short cruises to nowhere?, jump on them!, they are great!, there is something for everyone, it’s all about making great memories and having fun! Just do it! Book NOW!

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