This Thanksgiving, I wanted to go somewhere tropical with my husband and three kids, so we decided to spend the holiday aboard the Carnival Legend.We paid just under $3,500 for our five-person, seven-day trip. Of course, that price doesn't include gratuities or extras.We did purchase two family-shore excursions, which cost extra and accounted for $494 of the total, but didn't buy any special restaurant meals or drink packages that weren't covered by our all-inclusive package.When I made our cruise reservations in April, Carnival required guests to provide proof of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test before sailing.Then, in late October, I received an email from Carnival saying that vaccines, proof of vaccination, and testing for unvaccinated guests are no longer required on cruises of 15 nights or less.I wasn't thrilled with this update but hoped most of my fellow passengers were fully vaccinated like we were.Carnival recommended wearing masks indoors on the ship, but they weren't required, and few people wore them. However, dispensers of hand sanitizer were stationed around the boat, and we used them frequently.Our family drove about five-and-a-half hours from Cleveland, Ohio, to get on board in Baltimore, Maryland, so we also fell into that category.The ship's capacity was 2,124 people, but it didn't feel stuffed or overcrowded.Believe it or not, my husband and I have never stayed in our own room on vacation, so we enjoyed a little taste of privacy in our adults-only space. The children — ages 14, 11, and 8 — were close enough to reach if they needed my husband or me.Carnival Legend didn't have a giant movie screen outside as some other cruise ships do, but our in-room TV featured a selection of movies that played on two channels throughout the day.Unlike most hotels, most cruises don't offer free Wi-Fi, so the five of us spent the week without full access to our devices.However, we wanted to be able to communicate with the kids so we paid $25, $5 per person, for an onboard chat service.I wasn't surprised that Carnival made us pay extra for this feature since cruises are all about upcharges, but it would've been nice if messaging was complimentary on the Carnival HUB app.We spent Thanksgiving at Princess Cays in the Bahamas. It's a private resort on the island of Eleuthera, and Carnival provided an on-shore lunch and a lot of activities during the day.Guests could also go swimming in the crystal-clear water, rent boats and gear, or just lie on the warm, sandy beach.Initially, we were slotted into a late-dining spot every night at 7:45 p.m., but guest services moved us to 5:30 p.m. so that our kids didn't have to eat so late.One of my favorite things about cruising is trying unique foods. During this trip, I had escargots, alligator beignets, and frog legs. I've tried all these before, but I also got the kids to sample them this time.Carnival's Thanksgiving spread included turkey, yams, mashed potatoes, cranberry relish, giblet gravy, and pumpkin pie.The waiters in the main dining room were incredibly impressive and performed a different dance routine almost every night between serving entrées and desserts.Our mini fridges were excellent for storing leftovers. The only bummer was that we couldn't find any whipped cream at the buffet.There was a turkey scavenger hunt, a broadcast of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and some Thanksgiving-themed trivia, but not much else. Coming from the Midwest, I associate Thanksgiving with chilly weather, a house filled with relatives. and dirty dishes.So even though it didn't feel like a typical Thanksgiving aboard the Legend, I didn't mind sunbathing in the Bahamas and having zero clean-up for one year.Since this was a Thanksgiving cruise, I expected the ship to have more of a holiday vibe.Carnival ships do decorate for the holiday season, but the Legend didn't start decking its halls until December 4, after our cruise ended.The lido deck featured a deli counter, a salad bar, a station serving Asian-inspired cuisine, a pizza place, and a classic lunch buffet.There were also two specialty restaurants on the lido deck. Guy's Burger Joint serves burgers and fries, and BlueIguana Cantina specializes in tacos and burritos. Both places delivered memorable bites without any out-of-pocket costs.We went during our first full day at sea and enjoyed cucumber sandwiches, lemon cakes, and other sweet goodies.We received an email before this trip letting us know Swirls would have a limited operation and only be open between 11 a.m. and midnight.The email explained that Carnival shifted the schedule to reduce food waste. It was still a tasty afternoon treat.One family pool was outside and located in the mid-ship area. The other one had a retractable dome that made it possible to swim on cold or rainy days. When we left Baltimore, it was 30 degrees Fahrenheit, so we definitely got some icy weather on this trip.The ship also had a Carnival Waterworks area with two waterslides. The large yellow slide was more traditional and twisty. My kids loved it. The green slide was a fast-paced drop slide. My kids refused to try it, but my husband went down it once, which was enough for him.The Legend had Serenity, an adults-only area, which had an additional pool and seemed like a relaxing kid-free space. This trip was about family, so my husband and I didn't spend much time drinking alcohol or doing adult activities without our kids.Carnival offered a free babysitting service called Camp Ocean, but my kids wanted nothing to do with it. On a cruise we took a few years ago, they cried every time we left them, so we didn't even try on this trip.There were more than 100 activities per day posted on the Carnival HUB app. One day, we watched an ice-carving demonstration. We also did a towel-folding class with our cruise director.Our rooms were also near the Follies Main Lounge, making it easy to pop in for nightly shows with or without the kids.If you're looking for more to do onboard — like ride a roller coaster, pedal a SkyRide, watch a movie in an IMAX theater, or jump around a trampoline park — you're going to need to book a bigger Carnival boat.There were a lot of things to love about this vacation. We went from 30-degree Fahrenheit sweater weather to 80-degree beach weather — not a bad way to spend a week in late November.Though the price was reasonable at roughly $100 per person per day, I didn't think the cruise had enough unique amenities and ports of call to make it worth repeating the trip.Still, Carnival Legend had a lot to offer for those near the Port of Baltimore searching for a simple, budget-friendly getaway.