My wife and I have been cruising for about ten years now and and the past used (and loved) our experiences with HAL, Celebrity, Princess and Azamara. When the agency we used promoted a 30 day b-t-b cruise starting in Singapore and winding up in Rome with stops in such exotic places as Sri Lanka, India, U>A>E, Muscat and Egypt we couldn't resist singing up. It was our first with RCCL.
We had read previous reviews on the Legend of the Seas on these boards and were a little apprehensive due to a lot of negative feedback reported there. However the destinations were so attractive that we decided to take a chance.
My first interaction with RCCL was by phone trying to get what should be readily available information - what countries required US (as opposed to the cruise line) to get the appropriate entry visas. After talking to at least four different offices I finally got someone who gave me a website to check. The other oonversations made me think I was asking the question More
in Martian. This repeated itself. Likewise, I was a little piqued at the idea that the cruiser is required to make his/her own luggage tags. Seemed a little cheap, but whatever.
Checking in at Singapore involved a very long delay for no reason anyone from RCCL could explain. Once on board, I found the "large oceanview cabin" to be anything but. So narrow that the TV set had to be put on a swivel arm so you could pass between it and the bedfrom to get into bed. But worse, the cabin had no refrigerator/minibar. You needed to depend on the cabin steward to make sure you had ice available while sailing in 95 plus weather. Seeing as they just finished a major refit of the ship I am astounded at this omission. Omitted likewise were the fun little amenities other lines usually have - bathrobes, shampoo, body lotion, etc.
The obligatory life boat drill was a disaster. Instead of ships' personnel conducting the drill it was done using the sales staff of the on board stores, almost entirely very young women with no experience.No officers were visible. The whole thing degenerated into a standing-around contest in direct sunlight for over a half an hour while they tried to establish some type of order which has never achieved, Finally we were allowed to stand down. A mess.
The ship itself was clean and bright and quite comfortable. Food in the Windjammer cafeteria was about par for the course, although a great deal of attention was paid to having multiple food choices for Hindus and orientals. The main dining room (Romeo and Julietta) had decent food, about the leval of a good Sheraton. I don't know if RCCL has always done this but, as opposed to its competition it only offers the choice of soup or appetizer. The wait staff, at least those we experienced were extraordinarily good.
If there was one glaring deficiency it was the service provided at the 'Ships Services' counter. Once again, the staff was almost entirely very young women, many of whom appeared to be doing the job for the first time. There was a pronounced language difficulty with some of them, whose English ability was clearly lacking. But what seemed to be the one common denominator was the absolute lack of interest in solving any problem for the passenger. No matter what the issue, large or small, it was almost always received by a "who cares" and "it's not my problem" attitude most commonly seen in the formed Iron Curtain countries. When information was finally given it was frequently incorrect. As a fellow veteran cruiser told me when we were discussing it, the ship was being transferred from the Orient to the Mediterranean and the staff just couldn't be bothered on this repo cruise.I think he was right.
In short, while the destinations made the trip a success I will think long and hard before booking with RCCL again. Less
Legend of the Seas Cruises to the Eastern Mediterranean