My wife and I live near Boston MA and love to travel. My wife travels all over Asia for work and we have been to Asia a couple of times together but decided we wanted to try a cruise in Asia this time since we love cruising. We like using Royal Caribbean and are both Platinum members on RCL. I must admit I was a little worried about how this experience was going to be in Asia after reading some of the reviews. Lots of comments about line cutters and some rude ness amongst other things. I must say we had a great time and did not experience any of the complaints I read in the previous reviews.
First the ship, Legend of the seas is an older ship but we really liked it. I have said on one smaller ship than this in the past and like the Legend much better. I read a lot of reviews of it being an old ship looking really dated, I didn't think it was that bad at all. The cabin was one of the biggest my wife and I think we have had for an interior room. We really like the room, the set up, and the size. The solarium was great as well.
The people were great on the ship. We read a lot of reviews stating some generic comments indicating some of the asians would skip in line etc, we did not experience this at all and found the other cruisers to be very nice. Now we did find out we were only one group of 70 rooms on board with Americans. To be honest that was more than I expected. The staff was outstanding on this cruise and my wife and I did feel we got some extra attention by the staff because we spoke English. A lot of the cruisers were from Japan and many only spoke a few words of English so the staff was very happy to be able to use English again and have people to talk to. Lets say we stood out like a sore thumb so they would come right up to us ask where we were from and walk to chat which was cool. Also, the staff was fabulous and helped us get around some of the huge japanese tour groups. Some of these huge groups would be trying to get off the boat for excursions etc and they didn't speak English, so the crew members would pull us up front and let us get off before them or would help us out in some way. Also, the cruise line did a great job of giving us our won table at dinner so we weren't at a table with a group of people that did not speak English. They really went out of their way to make sure we were comfortable and had a great time.
The ports were decent. We really wanted to see Jeju Island in South Korea but the weather was not great in the morning and we didn't have any planned excursions which actually hurt us at this port, we should have planned something in advance. Busan was just OK but the aquarium was really cool that we went to. Kagoshima was a nice port and we had some great food at a local Japanese restaurant.
We spent time in Japan before the cruise, we toured Osaka, Kyoto and spent three days in Tokyo. We took the train from Tokyo down to Yokohama to get on the boat which wasn't too bad. The pier was a 10 minute walk from the train station. Coming back we had to catch an early flight out of Narita so we took the shuttle from the cruise line direct to the airport which was expensive but was worth the piece of mind to ensure we got to the airport on time.
One other note about this cruise which I was very happy to see is the cruisline changed the menu slightly to adhere to the asian crowd. My wife and I love asian food so it was good to see the asian offerings. Most menus had a western and eastern option.
We flew the new non stop JAL 787 dreamliner flight from Boston to Tokyo and back which was fabulous.