The Royal Caribbean line legend of the Seas catering for some 2000 passengers sailed on February 17th 2013 from the new, spacious and stylish Marina Cruise Centre in Singapore.
The larger Mariner of the Seas is said to be locating to Singapore in June 2013.
Embarkation for the 5-day Asian cruise which would navigate the Straits of Malacca was smooth and efficient with luggage collected as you alight from your taxi. You are able to advance print your luggage tags and other documentation.
Cabins were clean and well-maintained through out the cruise.
Aside from the first lunch after boarding when one was asked to buy drinks 8 times within 15 minutes of being seated, the casual dining Windjammer restaurant is thoroughly recommended . It is well laid out and the food was always of very good quality. There is really no need to eat anywhere else.
The more formal Romeo and Juliet (no shorts for evening dinner) was quite frankly a waste of time with a limited selection, the Windjammer being more than adequate. Whilst the Romeo and Juliet was a pleasant dining atmosphere we were over-serviced with the waiter asking every minute or so at breakfast everything was ok. This was well-intentioned but unnecessary and annoying.
The ship also has a Park Cafe where a good variety of free snacks together with free tea, coffee, water and a lemondade are available at certain times.
The ship was always clean and everything was well-maintained.
The Casino however was a simply a basket case. All currencies had to be changed into $US at rip off exchange rates. Some slot machines used a printed voucher ticket when monies were collected whilst others used $US quarters - annoying and highly inefficient. Casino staff, almost exclusively of Chinese origin, left much to be desired in terms of customer service. Young children wandered unchallenged through the casino.
Where staff from China throughout the vessel exhibited forced greetings, staff from a plethora of other nations (e.g Philippines, Mauritius, Dominican Republic, Bulgaria, Australia, Indonesia) were genuinely pleasant and polite and performed their tasks exceptionally well.
Staff seem to be paid minimal wages and are seemingly encouraged to seek and rely on guest tips to provide them with a reasonable income.
The shows in the theatre were of average quality however the Australian cruise director Dave Chapman gave a very talented performance of 70's music in the Centrum (middle of boat ) area.
Royal Caribbean take note - the practice of making announcements exclusively in Chinese, for whatever reason, is a NO NO ! It is unprofessional and disrespectful towards guests who do not speak Mandarin / Cantonese. Whichever rocket scientist thought this was appropriate should really give up their day job.
Disembarkation was well organised and efficient.
All in all the cruise would be rated higher than a similar experience on Star Cruises Superstar Virgo and we would rate this 5-day Asian cruise with Royal Caribbean and 8/10.