3rd – Legend – Christmas 2011

Christmas Cruise 2011

Sunday, Dec. 18  –  Tampa
Monday, Dec. 19  –  Key West, Fl    11:00 am – 6:00 pm
Tuesday, Dec. 20  –  SEA DAY
Wednesday, Dec. 21 – Grand Turk  9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Thursday, Dec. 22  –  SEA DAY
Friday, Dec. 23  –  Ocho Rios, Jamaica  8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Saturday, Dec. 24  –  Grand Cayman  8:00 am – 4:30 pm
Sunday, Dec. 25  –  CHRISTMAS DAY AT SEA
Monday, Dec. 26  –  Tampa

We offer the perspective of mature travelers who love children but not on the Serenity area. We save up each year to cruise and this is only our third cruise. I think when I am ready for the nursing home, I will instead spend my money on perpetual cruises (same prices!!).

Flying out of Syracuse NY is a chore as we have virtually no direct flights anywhere. So we decided to start our vacation early by driving to Rochester, NY, spending the night and flying out early the next morning. They had a great deal on “Park ‘n Fly.” We left early for our cruise because we have a daughter who lives in St. Petersburg and we can have a wonderful Christmas visit of sorts. Our grandson is growing up so fast that each year that passes can make all the difference. When it comes to computer skills, he really has a talent and I would love to see him develop that.

We were very fortunate in getting an upgrade to first class on a direct flight to Tampa, which also allowed all our luggage to fly free (that alone made up for the upgrade charge). To my hubby’s pleasure, complimentary cocktails are served (but he was good, he selected a Screwdriver because orange juice is good for you in the morning).


Staying at the Embassy Suites downtown this trip. It’s a beautiful area, right alongside the trolley tracks.

I love the Embassy because of the Manager’s reception each evening and the breakfast in morning. We tend to eat a bit light in the evenings when we’re traveling.


Another great choice in downtown Tampa is the Marriott. It’s right on the water, has a wonderful walking path in the rear along the water.

Both hotels are in the middle of a great area, very close to Channelside which is where the “action” is and where the pier is located.

In between the hotels is the trolley station. Trolley is $2.50 per ride OR $5.00 for an all-day pass. They also have discounts for seniors, children, handicapped ($2.50 for all-day adult pass).

Riding the trolley is an absolute blast, it’s just a great opportunity to soak up the sights and maybe pick out places to go to when you get off. During the week, the trolley doesn’t start running until 12 noon, so we jumped on the first trolley and headed to the Port to see if there were any ships in.

Not a whole lot happening at the port, but that was to be expected. I was just hoping that the Paradise would be in port.

It’s fun just to ride the trolley around, seeing where everything is located and what’s available. Then later you can get off the trolley and make the rounds of all the great places you saw from the trolley.

We did see the RCCL Jewel of the Seas from the trolley (it was at Terminal 3).

Tampa, Florida

Didn’t visit the Aquarium this trip, but it is a spectacular place.

Followed by lunch on the water at Opa’s, a Greek restaurant in Channelside. The only thing that could have made it better was to have had all of you at our table.

While at Channelside, you just have to go to “Wet Willie’s” — like a candy store of adult beverages.

Attitude Improvement
Call a Cab®

Pina Colada
Sex on the Beach
Monkey Shine
White Russian
Shock Treatment
Naked Willie
Bahama Mama
Chocolate Thunder
Green Apple
Monster Melon
Weak Willie
Mojito Mojo

And any combinations you can think of!

Tomorrow is finally OUR TURN. This is our third cruise and

its always so hard to remember “everything.”  But I think we’re getting better at it.

I’ve read everything I can on “what not to forget.” I have stuff that I don’t even know what it’s purpose is – other than to fill up my suitcase (but I’ve got it!!!!!).

Join us for Day 1 Embarkation on the next page.


4 Responses to 3rd – Legend – Christmas 2011

  1. Barbara Snipes says:

    This entry was so great and you two looked like you were having such fun!! I was especially glad to see the Afternoon Tea, as this was one of my selling points to my mother about taking a cruise! Well, after seeing all of this I have to say I now want to take a Christmas cruise.

    • Peg Martin says:

      Thank you so much, Barbara, for your kind words. This Christmas cruise was the highlight of my holidays. It is difficult to do, because everyone wants you to be with them during the holidays; but it is something that should be done at least once in a lifetime. Words cannot describe the solitude and peace of Christmas Eve on the deck of a ship at sea.

  2. Grace says:

    Hi Peg…thanks for sharing your adventures!! We were on the Legend back in January and had a wonderful time. We did a brother and sister cruise, since we don’t get to see my brother and sister-in-law as much as we would like too.
    I see your booked for the Fantasy. She is an older ship but has a great crew on board. Hope you plan on spending a day or two in Charleston before your cruise. She is a beautiful city to explore.
    If you haven’t booked hotel arrangements already and you were planning on doing so, check out http://www.charlestoncvb.com They usually ave some good stay/play packages and hotel offers.

    Happy Sailing…Grace

    • Peg Martin says:

      Thank you, Grace, for your comments. We’re going to try different ships, but everytime I think of the great time we had on the Legend, I would love to go back again. We are going to go into Charleston early and visit some of the great places that have been suggested. We’re staying at the Doubletree which looks great. On some photos of downtown taken from the ship, you can see the hotel just a few blocks away. Happy sailing to you also and stay safe.

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