I always have given credit where credit is due but will also give my condemnation when I have received services that are well below what was expected particularly from such a world renowned organisation as the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line.
My wife and I first experienced the services of Royal Caribbean when we sailed from Sydney on the 5th April, 2012 for an 18 night cruise to Hawaii aboard the Radiance of the Seas. All aspects of this ship were absolutely superb and faultless. From the cleanliness and service of our cabins, the entertainment and the food in both the buffet and the main dining, we had absolutely no complaints. Even with my wife suffering Coeliac Disease, her gluten free diet was taken care of magnificently.
It was this experience of the wonderful association we had with Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas that we chose to book two cruises, back to back for 2013. We chose a relocation cruise of the Legend of the Seas departing Singapore on the 5th April, 2013 for a 14 night cruise to Dubai which was followed by a 15 night cruise departing Dubai on the 19th April, 2013 for Rome.
Again, the ship was wonderfully presented. Everything fresh and clean especially after a recent refit. We were very happy with our cabin and our cabin steward was a delight and would help us with anything we needed. We were more than happy with the layout of this ship except maybe the Schooner Bar was too close to the Centrum when music was being played in both venues.
Our one and only complaint is with the food offered to us in the Romeo and Juliet Restaurant. To put it bluntly, it was absolutely disgusting. Firstly, let me say, that for us, fine dining is a major component of enjoyment on a cruise. We enjoy the social aspect of meeting and dining with new people and we especially enjoy the dining experience itself. My wife and I are good cooks at home and we expect that qualified chefs would be able to prepare meals better than us. Unfortunately this was not the case with the Romeo and Juliet Restaurant on the Legend of the Seas.
The menus totally lacked imagination.
The menus were duplicated extensively for the second cruise.
The meat, Black Angus Sirloin steak was of very poor quality. Totally inedible.
The vegetables were presented raw and difficult to eat.
The same vegetables were repeated every night.
The Salmon was presented dry, overcooked and inedible.
Both nights that the lobster tail was presented it was overcooked and tough.
They did not understand and cater for my wife's Coeliac diet as well as the Radiance of the Seas had.
The food was always presented either tepid or completely cold.
We were totally disgusted with the quality of the dining experience and after just a few days into the cruise we had come to wish that we had not chosen to book the two cruises back to back. I might add that we had spoken to many of the other passengers and they also had the same view. I would be interested to know how many made comments in their critiques at the end of the cruise.
We complained to our Head Waiter and also at the Guest Services station and as a result we had a face to face consultation with the Maitre D. We were informed by the Maitre D that he had received many complaints concerning the quality of the food and he was taking measures to correct the issues. Unfortunately, the only amendment that we noticed was that the food was actually presented hotter than on previous occasions. All other negative aspects of the dining experience remained the same throughout the whole two cruises.
My wife and I sampled the offerings at the Izumi Restaurant and this was by far a much better culinary experience. It is a real pity that we had to pay for a specialized restaurant to be able to enjoy a meal on board this ship.
I find it totally extraordinary that two different ships within the same cruise line supply meals in their fine dining restaurants at completely opposite ends of the quality scale. We knew that this was a repositioning cruise and we also came to learn that many of the passengers, mainly from the USA, were given extraordinary good fare discounts particularly for the second cruise and maybe this is why Royal Caribbean chose to save dollars by reducing the food quality, but ourselves and many others, paid full fare for our cruise but were given a second rate dining experience.
The Legend of the Seas dining is nowhere near up to the standard we are used to from the Royal Caribbean line.
Very disappointed and will have to think twice before deciding to utilise Royal Caribbean again.
After returning home I have sent the above complaints to Royal Caribbean via their web site and I was going to post their response here, BUT unfortunately after now waiting over three weeks for their response they have chosen to just ignore me. Funny about that as I thought that they might.
Seriously though, if a wonderful dining experience is an integral part of your cruise expectations then stay well clear of the Legend of the Seas.