Carnival Legend Cruise Ship: Overview and What to Do

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With a name like “Legend,” you do admittedly expect something pretty legendary. While Carnival Legend may not be quite the ship it once was, as it’s on the older side and hasn’t received a major overhaul in a while, you can still see why the ship garnered the name it did when it was floated out in 2001.

If you’re considering taking an upcoming cruise on Carnival Legend, here’s everything you need to know.

Carnival Legend Stats

This ship has never been considered particularly huge, but it’s not exactly a tiny ship either. That said, if you’re accustomed to sailing on more modern ships, you may be shocked by the size. Carnival Legend is about half the size of many of today’s newer options. Here’s how she measures up:

  • Gross Tonnage: 88,500
  • Length: 963 feet
  • Decks: 12 (for passengers)
  • Staterooms: 1,062 staterooms and suites
  • Passenger Capacity: 2,124 (double occupancy)
  • Passenger Capacity: 2,680 (maximum occupancy)
  • Crew: 930

Construction and Refurbishments

Carnival Legend was floated out in late 2001, after being built at the Helsinki New Shipyard in Helsinki, Finland. The actual christening and inaugural cruise didn’t take place until some time later, with actress Dame Judi Dench christening the ship in the United Kingdom in August 2002. Following, Carnival Legend set out on its first public voyage, around Europe. 

While on the small side, Carnival Legend did bring a few firsts to the Carnival Cruise Line. The ship was the very first to provide alternative dining, as well as the first to feature its own little wedding chapel. The ship cost about $375 million to build.

Over the years, the ship has undergone a variety of refurbishments. A dry dock in 2008 added children’s amenities. In 2011, the ship received the Serenity adults-only area that’s pretty standard on Carnival ships today.

Carnival Cruise Ship Funnel
Carnival Legend cruise Ship (Photo Credit: abid juventini / Shutterstock)

In 2014, in the Bahamas, refurbishments included adding several different venues and spaces that are now Carnival classics, including RedFrog Pub, Bonsai Sushi, Playlist Productions, Cherry on Top and WaterWorks. The 2018 refurbishments in Portland were particularly extensive, adding a lot of the dining options that you’ll see today, such as BlueIguana Cantina and Guy’s Burger Joint. 

Most recently, the ship received very minor changes in 2021, in France, when the ship received its new hull design and paint scheme. An additional dry dock is slated for April–May 2024. 

The ship is a member of Carnival’s Spirit class, which includes six ships that were built intentionally to be able to fit through the Panama Canal. Uniquely, the Spirit-class ships owned by Carnival Corporation aren’t just set aside for Carnival Cruise Line’s usage. Some also sit beneath the Costa Cruises umbrella and some have been sold or transferred elsewhere.

However, as of today, Carnival Cruise Line operates four of the Spirit-class ships, including namesake Carnival Spirit, Carnival Pride, Carnival Legend and Carnival Miracle, listed in order of debut. 


Carnival Legend features 1,062 guest staterooms, inclusive of suites, and these can be broken down as such: 

  • 277 interior staterooms
  • 103 ocean view staterooms
  • 632 balcony staterooms
  • 17 accessible staterooms

All staterooms feature standard amenities including:

  • Telephones
  • In-room climate control
  • Carnival Home Signature bedding
  • Hair dryers
  • In-room safes
  • Non-stocked mini bar units 
  • Flat-screen TVs 

So what can you expect in these staterooms? Well, given the age of the ship, don’t expect anything wildly spectacular. The vibe in most is that of a budget hotel. Things are small, furnishings are subpar, and there’s a lot of décor that’s stuck in a bygone era. 

That said, you probably won’t be spending a lot of time in your stateroom during a Carnival cruise anyway. The point is to get out and enjoy all the fun amenities, activities, entertainment and venues (of which Carnival Legend has plenty).

Carnival Cruise Line Balcony Stateroom
Carnival Cruise Line Balcony Stateroom

If you book an interior stateroom, expect tight quarters, but enough room for two (comfortably). If you book an interior stateroom with an obstructed-view window, you’ll get some added benefits, such as that obstructed window that does at least allow for some natural light, and extra lounging space with a sofa.

In the ocean view staterooms, you’ll find more space and lounging areas, plus a rectangular window on the far side of the cabin.

Balcony rooms are more spacious, but do note that there are several different types of balcony staterooms that you could end up with. There’s the standard balcony, but also balcony staterooms with obstructed views, extended balcony staterooms and premium balcony staterooms. If an obstructed view is going to put a damper on your trip, be sure to double and triple-check that that won’t be an issue in your booked cabin. 

Otherwise, if you want the best balcony room possible, go with the spacious, breezy, premium balcony room.


Suite options aboard Carnival Legend likewise range. Suite options include:

  • Junior suites
  • Ocean suites
  • Vista suites
  • Grand suites

If you book a stay in a suite, you’ll enjoy extra perks, including:

  • Priority check-in and boarding
  • Priority Main Dining Room time assignment
  • Priority debarkation at homeport
  • In-room bottles of water
  • An upgraded mattress
  • In-room bathrobes
Carnival Cruise Line Suite
Carnival Cruise Line Suite (Photo Copyright: Cruise Hive)

Junior suites are on the smaller side, but still feature plenty of living space, a walk-in closet and a whirlpool. Ocean suites feature the same, but with a big balcony for taking in all the views. Vista suites take things even further with panoramic, wrap-around balconies.

Lastly, the grand suite is the biggest and best, with a large bathroom, dressing area with a vanity, lots of lounge space, a desk, balcony with multiple forms of seating and more.

Free Dining

Thanks to the multiple series of renovations that this ship has undergone, you can expect to find the many different dining options that are standard on most Carnival ships. Free dining options include…

BlueIguana Cantina
  • Guy’s Burger Joint, for casual bites from celebrity chef Guy Fieri
  • BlueIguana Cantina, for Mexican eats
  • Lido Marketplace, the classic cruise ship buffet
  • Truffles Restaurant, aka the main dining room
  • Pizza Pirate, for getting your pizza fix
  • Swirls, for ice cream and more
  • Sweet Spot, for desserts

Specialty Restaurants

If you don’t mind spending a bit more, you can upgrade your dining experience while aboard Carnival Legend, at one of the ship’s specialty restaurants. Options include…

  • The Golden Fleece Steakhouse, for standard steakhouse fare
  • Bonsai Sushi, for Japanese bites
  • RedFrog Pub, for Caribbean eats and drinks
  • Legends’ Café for specialty coffee drinks and sweet treats
Carnival Cruise Line RedFrog Pub
Carnival Cruise Line RedFrog Pub

Otherwise, you can also order room service or pizza delivery for a fee, as well as book special dining experiences, like the Seuss-themed Green Eggs and Ham breakfast.

As you can see, Carnival Legend doesn’t offer a ton in the way of dining options, but you’ll have enough to get you through a short cruise, especially if you don’t mind splurging a bit on the specialty restaurants, for variety’s sake.

Bars and Lounges

Just as is the case with Carnival Legend’s dining options, when it comes to watering holes, the options are fewer than you might get on other, larger ships. That said, there’s still a nice selection and you certainly won’t go wanting for a beverage. Carnival Legend offers up…

Carnival Cruise Line's RedFrog Rum Bar
Carnival Cruise Line’s RedFrog Rum Bar
  • Alchemy Bar, for mixed drinks 
  • RedFrog Rum Bar, for beer and rum drinks
  • BlueIguana Tequila Bar, for tequila-based beverages
  • Medusa’s Lair Dance Club, for late-night DJing
  • Dream Team Sports Bar, for sports on the big screen
  • Club Merlin Casino Bar, for drinks while you gamble
  • Legend Lobby and Bar, for live music, dancing and drinks while you people watch
  • Billie’s Piano Bar, for singing along to famous tunes
  • Odyssey Lounge, for live music and drinks

You can also order drinks in the Serenity adults-only outdoor space.

Activities and Entertainment

So what can you do when you’re aboard Carnival Legend when you’re not drinking and eating your way through the ship? Here’s what to know.

Family Fun

While Carnival Legend has lots of venues that cater to one or two members of your family, so that everyone can go their separate ways when desired, the ship primarily focuses on activities that everyone can enjoy as a family.

Lip Sync Battle Carnival
Photo By: Carnival Cruise Line

So, you can all enjoy some entertainment when you go to a Lip Sync Battle, or when you participate in the Hasbro Game Show, competing against your fellow cruisers for fun prizes. You can also attend a family-friendly musical theater show, or a comedy skit. 

For some family active time, there are plenty of pools to choose from, as well as waterslides, and a mini golf course, ping pong tables and shuffleboard. 

Fun for the Adults

Singles and couples will also find plenty of ways to stay entertained, sans kids. The Punchliner Comedy Club offers adults-only shows. The theatrical performances from Playlist Productions appeal to a range of ages. You’ll also find adult-geared daily activities taking place around the ship, especially on sea days, ranging from classes to competitions.

Punchliner Comedy Club, Carnival Cruise
Punchliner Comedy Club, Carnival Cruise

Options for Couples

For couples or parents who want to spend a little alone time together, Night Owls provides you with nighttime babysitting, so you can visit any of the date night-friendly dining options aboard Carnival Legend, or even hit the dance floor at Medusa’s Lair.

Whatever you and your partner like to do together, you’ll find something fun for date night aboard this ship, from delicious dinners to live music, spots to just relax, or even shopping.

Stay Active

If you’re the type of traveler that worries about keeping up your fitness regimen while you’re on the go, no worries. Carnival Legend ensures that you can keep active, no matter your preferred way to work out.

Beyond the stellar fitness center, with its state-of-the-art workout equipment that all faces the glass wall for ocean views while you work out, Carnival Legend also offers a jogging track at the top of the ship, so you can get in a morning run.

Onboard Sports

Feeling a little competitive? There are several sports areas, if you prefer to stay active with a little game of pick-up basketball or another sport (like the growing-in-popularity pickleball!). If you’d rather play against the house than your fellow cruisers, you might want to head to the onboard casino.

Ways to Relax

Head over to the on-board spa for a massage that’ll have you feeling as good as new. You can also check out the adults-only Serenity Retreat for just that — a bit of serenity in the great outdoors, with ocean views, drinks and plenty of loungers.

Carnival Legend Cruise Ship
Carnival Legend Cruise Ship

Kids Venues

There’s a reason why Carnival is a favorite brand for families. Beyond the affordability and the ease of access (Carnival travels to just about every cruise port in the United States), Carnival gives everyone their own spaces to have fun, and that includes the kids sailing aboard Carnival Legend.

Your kiddos, ages 2 to 11, will love the experiences and cool counselors at Camp Ocean, who put together fun activities that are both kid-friendly and educational. The trained professionals are beloved by both parents and children alike. 

For those in the awkward preteen years, ages 12 to 14, Circle C is a super-fun spot where they can hang out with kids their own age, while getting away from both their parents and their younger siblings. 

And for the teenagers, there’s no better place than Club O2, for award-winning fun that ranges from karaoke dance parties to wild games to all the latest entertainment. 

Carnival Legend Itineraries

So, where can you sail on Carnival Legend? This ship goes a little bit of everywhere, with cruises around the Caribbean and Europe, as well as to Alaska, Hawaii and Mexico. You can even take select transatlantic itineraries. Check out what’s upcoming and book your perfect Carnival Legend cruise today!

Final Thoughts

While Carnival Legend may be on the older side, thanks to more recent (and upcoming) renovations, it manages to still appeal to those who love the classic Carnival vibes and who don’t mind a more intimate (and thus less-overwhelming) setting.

This ship makes a great fit for those who just want to dip their feet into the world of cruising, don’t need a bunch of fancy attractions, and would prefer something smaller.

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