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queenpailhead

legend v magic v glory- please help!

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My husband and I are novice cruisers- one cruise last summer on the Allure of the Seas. We'd be cruising with 3 teens and a preteen, 2 rooms (unless we get a great deal on 3). Has to be certain dates so the ones that work as of now are:

Legend out of Tampa- ports are Grand Cayman, Mahogany Bay, Belize, Cozumel

Magic out of FL- half moon cay, grand turk, amber cove

Glory out of NOLA- Montego Bay, Grand Cayman, Cozumel

 

Prices are similar although the Magic is a day less. Ports are most important to my husband (and I know they can reroute us with no notice), ship is more important to me. Keep the kids in mind as well. Anyone have suggestions on which to do? I've read so many reviews my eyes are crossing. Pros/cons of any or all of these ships or ports?

 

I know all of these will be a step down from Allure but also half the price (and no RC cruises fit our dates and are similar in price).

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If I was picking a cruise for the ports, I would go with Legend. If I was picking the cruise for the ship, I would go with Magic. There is also a lot to be said for a cruise that is a day longer for a similar price.  One point you didn’t mention is traveling to the port. Would you be flying or driving to these ports?  That would be another issue I would factor into my decision. 

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Posted (edited)

I think this is a tough call queen.  First off, none of these ships will anywhere approach Allure in terms of amenities.  Many Carnival loyalists (myself included to a point) actually prefer that.  I have exactly zero desire to go to sea and practically not even know I'm at sea with all the do dads if you understand my meaning.  So I'm just bracing you for that.

 

The 3 ships you mention are from 3 separate Carnival classes ranging from Legend at 88k tons up to Magic at something like 120k.  I have sailed on all 3 classes and like them all with Magic being perhaps my favorite ship to date.

 

Here's what I think I'd do if I were you.  Take the Legend.  Those are the best ports on the list and a nice ship that is MOST different from your prior Allure experience.  It'll give you a real point of comparison to the actual type of cruiser you are.  Perhaps you'll really love being at sea on a vessel completely unlike one of the big monster floating hotels.  Make sense?  Not saying it'll happen when you have a ton of kids but my wife and I now lean toward small ship cruising (so much more personal with out of the way ports) aboard brands like Windstar, etc.  By going from Allure to a smaller Carnival ship, you'll get a little taste for that at a 'mass market' price point.

Edited by jsglow

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21 minutes ago, PhillyFan33579 said:

If I was picking a cruise for the ports, I would go with Legend. If I was picking the cruise for the ship, I would go with Magic. There is also a lot to be said for a cruise that is a day longer for a similar price.  One point you didn’t mention is traveling to the port. Would you be flying or driving to these ports?  That would be another issue I would factor into my decision. 

We would be flying to any of the 3 ports. Connecting through Atlanta on all 3. I also looked at the San Juan sailing but due to some family stuff I don't think we can get there the day before and  really really fear not making it the day of

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I've been on all three, and although I liked the Magic a lot, I also liked the Legend.  The Legend has a pool instead of just hot tubs in the adult Serenity area which is very nice.  Since you're more interested in the ship than the ports (and I'm sure you're interested in keeping the kids occupied), I would spend some time looking over the deck plans to see what's available on each ship. 

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14 minutes ago, jsglow said:

I think this is a tough call queen.  First off, none of these ships will anywhere approach Allure in terms of amenities.  Many Carnival loyalists (myself included to a point) actually prefer that.  I have exactly zero desire to go to sea and practically not even know I'm at sea with all the do dads if you understand my meaning.  So I'm just bracing you for that.

 

The 3 ships you mention are from 3 separate Carnival classes ranging from Legend at 88k tons up to Magic at something like 120k.  I have sailed on all 3 classes and like them all with Magic being perhaps my favorite ship to date.

 

Here's what I think I'd do if I were you.  Take the Legend.  Those are the best ports on the list and a nice ship that is MOST different from your prior Allure experience.  It'll give you a real point of comparison to the actual type of cruiser you are.  Perhaps you'll really love being at sea on a vessel completely unlike one of the big monster floating hotels.  Make sense?  Not saying it'll happen when you have a ton of kids but my wife and I now lean toward small ship cruising (so much more personal with out of the way ports) aboard brands like Windstar, etc.  By going from Allure to a smaller Carnival ship, you'll get a little taste for that at a 'mass market' price point.

Thanks so much for this! I'm leaning more and more toward the Legend simply because that takes us off the ship more days. I fear that my kids may get bored onship. On the allure we basically let them go to the teen club til dinnertime on sea days then they had a "curfew" thereafter but there was never a lack of things to do or places to explore. I'm thinking the Legend may not be the same for them.

 

Question- any thoughts on shows and food? We only did a couple shows on Allure but did enjoy the gameshows. We are dining room people for dinner but what about breakfast/lunch on these ships?

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The Legend was my favorite ship until the Dream Class came. The Conquest class(Glory) is my least favorite. So, I’d likely go with Legend or Magic. Because I’m doing the exact same itinerary on the Miracle in a few days, I’d probably go with Magic. I’ve also done that itinerary on the Legend once before. One of my favorite cruises. 

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3 minutes ago, queenpailhead said:

Thanks so much for this! I'm leaning more and more toward the Legend simply because that takes us off the ship more days. I fear that my kids may get bored onship. On the allure we basically let them go to the teen club til dinnertime on sea days then they had a "curfew" thereafter but there was never a lack of things to do or places to explore. I'm thinking the Legend may not be the same for them.

 

Question- any thoughts on shows and food? We only did a couple shows on Allure but did enjoy the gameshows. We are dining room people for dinner but what about breakfast/lunch on these ships?

 

Most folks will say that Carnival MDR food is on par or possibly better than RCCL MDR food.  Obviously there are fewer specialty restaurants.  Legend has one, the upscale steakhouse, as I recall.  Buffets are similar.  When we cruised as a family of 4, dinner in the MDR was an every night event.  For our teen kids, it amounted to 'fine dining'.  We really appreciated that time as a family and it was always special.  Carnival shows are 'fine'.  Decent but not spectacular entertainment.  They'll be comparable regardless of your ship choice.

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1 minute ago, mom2girls said:

The Legend was my favorite ship until the Dream Class came. The Conquest class(Glory) is my least favorite. So, I’d likely go with Legend or Magic. Because I’m doing the exact same itinerary on the Miracle in a few days, I’d probably go with Magic. I’ve also done that itinerary on the Legend once before. One of my favorite cruises. 

I see you're a mom... are your kids older and do the cruise with you? if so did they have enough to do on the ship?

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42 minutes ago, queenpailhead said:

My husband and I are novice cruisers- one cruise last summer on the Allure of the Seas. We'd be cruising with 3 teens and a preteen, 2 rooms (unless we get a great deal on 3). Has to be certain dates so the ones that work as of now are:

Legend out of Tampa- ports are Grand Cayman, Mahogany Bay, Belize, Cozumel

Magic out of FL- half moon cay, grand turk, amber cove

Glory out of NOLA- Montego Bay, Grand Cayman, Cozumel

 

Prices are similar although the Magic is a day less. Ports are most important to my husband (and I know they can reroute us with no notice), ship is more important to me. Keep the kids in mind as well. Anyone have suggestions on which to do? I've read so many reviews my eyes are crossing. Pros/cons of any or all of these ships or ports?

 

I know all of these will be a step down from Allure but also half the price (and no RC cruises fit our dates and are similar in price).

I have not sailed on any of those ships, but....

Love sailing out of Tampa and like those ports

Have sailed out of FL, but I don't like those ports

I also like the NOLA ports.

So for me Magic would be out.

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Here's one other thought queen.  Have your kids help pick the excursions.  It'll help them develop a love for traveling and experiencing different things.  Our best one ever, a day with the native Embara indian peoples in the jungle of Panama after a dugout canoe ride on Thanksgiving day when they were perhaps 17 and 15.  Opened their eyes to folks that were very different from them

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Just now, jsglow said:

Here's one other thought queen.  Have your kids help pick the excursions.  It'll help them develop a love for traveling and experiencing different things.  Our best one ever, a day with the native Embara indian peoples in the jungle of Panama after a dugout canoe ride on Thanksgiving day when they were perhaps 17 and 15.  Opened their eyes to folks that were very different from them

Thanks! Great idea. I definitely want one "just leave me alone on the beach" day lol. But I'll give them some choices in whatever ports we decide to do excursions. We did a snorkeling trip in St. Martin that was amazing, 4 different areas. We all loved it.

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1 minute ago, queenpailhead said:

Thanks! Great idea. I definitely want one "just leave me alone on the beach" day lol. But I'll give them some choices in whatever ports we decide to do excursions. We did a snorkeling trip in St. Martin that was amazing, 4 different areas. We all loved it.

 

Now your figurin' this out girlfriend.  Enjoy.  May you never set foot in another Diamonds Intl., ever again.  (Unless you actually like that.)

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Just now, jsglow said:

 

Now your figurin' this out girlfriend.  Enjoy.  May you never set foot in another Diamonds Intl., ever again.  (Unless you actually like that.)

ha no. I am definitely a shopper but not really on cruises.

 

I'm not in love with Cozumel but I'm sure the other 3 ports we can find unique things to do.

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20 minutes ago, queenpailhead said:

I see you're a mom... are your kids older and do the cruise with you? if so did they have enough to do on the ship?

My kids have been sailing since they were 3 and 5. They are now 18 and 20. They’ve always had plenty to do. When they were younger they did kids club. Now, they do trivia, shows, comedy, pool, etc. 

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I think the Legend is a gem in the fleet.  There are two pools center ship and one adult pool in the back.  The layout is very comfortable and not crowded.  It's been updated in dry dock and has a good itinerary.  The Magic is nice too, but if I could get an extra day for the same price, I would take Legend in a heartbeat.  Tampa is a very uncrowded port, piece of cake in and out.  Love the Legend, and we have been on just about everything from HAL, Princess, Carnival and RCCL.  We like all ships, from 60,000 ton HAL ships to 230,000 ton RCCI floating Malls.  They are all good in their own way.  Legend is a great ship in my opinion.  We will be on her the week before Christmas.

Edited by Richjoxyz

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I have two teens. Last summer, we sailed the Glory (used Circle C and Club O2). Last month, we sailed the Magic (they went to Circle C & O2 again). The two ships seem very similar to me (Magic seems less crowded). We have not sailed on the Legend but are very familiar with those ports. 

 

As much as the Magic is my new favorite, it would be my third choice. Although we haven't sailed her, I would choose Legend. The kids make friends on board and with all the activities, I don't think the ship makes as much a difference to them. But (to me) the ports... that's what makes the difference. I know that's not what's most important to you, though.

 

  • Grand Cayman is our favorite (we even spent a week here two years ago) - you have amazing snorkeling within walking distance of the tender area OR you can take a tour to stingray city. Happy to answer any questions on this port.
  • Mahogany Bay (Roatan) is fantastic! From amazing mountaintop zip lining to snorkeling in crystal clear waters... Love it!
  • Belize - you have to take a tour to really enjoy this port. We love Goff's Cay.
  • Cozumel - this would probably be the best day to rest on the beach. 🙂 
  • Grand Turk - Great beach day and great snorkeling. Another day to rest on the beach. 🙂 
  • Half Moon Cay - Nothing but beach. 🙂 
  • Montego Bay - Haven't been here (only Ocho Rios). 
  • Amber Cover - Haven't been here either.

I like the idea of including your teens as you look at excursions. 

 

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