We chose the Legend of the Seas based on the Western Mediterranean itinerary and the news that the ship was in dry dock and being refurbished. We have taken two other cruises, one on the Serenade of the Seas, and one on the Celebrity Eclipse. I set a Google alert months ago to learn more about the ship and read what people were saying. I enjoyed seeing pictures of the improvements, but learned that this is a smaller ship and the oldest in the RC fleet. I was hoping for the best.
We took the RC transfer from the airport in Rome, about a 90 minute bus ride, and embarked in Civitavecchia. It was a quick, friendly, and smooth process. We had packed swim suits in our carry ons, and headed for a quick bite to the Windjammer, and then off to the pool. This was the only time I went to the Windjammer, as the buffet scene and food is not my favorite. A nice group called the Dynamic Duo was singing at the pool for sail away, and when the sun started to fade, we headed to our cabin to unpack. Bags were waiting for us. We met our room steward, who was very pleasant and efficient throughout the trip.
I had requested a round table for 5 for the second dinner seating through our travel agent, on the phone with RC, and by email. It seemed a simple enough request, but we were led to a table of 8 the first night for dinner. We actually enjoyed visiting with a wonderful family from Honduras, but again tried to arrange our table for 5. We were promised the moon, but go figure, the next night, same shenanigans. After a similar frustration on night three, I headed to guest services and expressed my disappointment. I alluded to writing a review on Cruise Critic, and honestly, those words seemed to do the trick. The next morning we received a phone call, had breakfast with the head waiter, and our table for 5 was waiting for us each of the following nights. We actually had an amazing waiter and assistant, who couldn't have been more professional, friendly, and attentive. The food was very good, although I was disappointed that lobster was no t an option on any of the menus. The lamb shank was delicious, as were the duck and prime rib. Desserts were hit and miss. Overall, we enjoyed the dining very much.
Our first stop was in Genoa, and we opted for our only RC excursion, the Beautiful Portofino tour. It was a longer bus ride than billed, and a shorter boat ride. Not sure why. But .Portofino was fabulous and we took pictures that looked like postcards! When we returned, we ventured out with our Google map in tow on foot to a highly recommended restaurant called Zeffirino's. It was worth the walk, the service was friendly and personal, and the food was delicious.
In Marsailles, we had arranged a wine tour in Provence. It was lots of driving through the country side with 3 winery stops. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and we had a great day. We stopped in Avignon for lunch and dined outdoors. We were back on the ship for formal night dinner and pictures.
Our day in Barcelona was wonderful! We booked a tour with Hi This is Barcelona. Our tour guide Mirjam was friendly, and very knowledgeable about the city and its history. She included sites to match each person's expectations and interests. We met on Las Ramblas, and went from there. Be sure to see the market. It was a real highlight. We shared tapas and sangria, before heading out on our own for the rest of the day.
Palma de Mallorca was beautiful. We stumbled upon the town of Soller, where we took in the most fabulous views of the beach and mountains. It was surreal. We had paella at a restaurant on the coast. It was delicious!
Last stop, Valencia, was flat land, so we opted for biking. We rented from Valencia Bikes and took a cab ride to get there. The bikes were of the highest quality, comfortable seats, and interesting, well informed tour guides. It was a fun morning!
We enjoyed the shows each evening, but found the entertainment to be of a bit lesser quality than the Celebrity Eclipse. Everything seemed to be on a smaller scale. They tried to appeal to the various cultures of the many passengers, and did an admirable job.
The cabins were nicely appointed, but showers seemed small after the Eclipse. Water pressure was sketchy most of the trip. Honestly, the smaller ship worked out very nicely in many ways. We were able to get chairs at the pool, didn't wait forever to get formal pics taken, and so on. Overall, I would say that the Legend of the Seas was a very nice home away from home, and a delightful way to explore the Mediterranean coast!