A small ship with a disappointing Windjammer experience: Legend of the Seas Cruise Review by BonnieJB
Overall Member Rating
A small ship with a disappointing Windjammer experience
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Thanks to some wonderful ports, excellent weather and the friendships we made through Cruise Critic Roll Call, we had a lot of fun, and an enjoyable cruise. However we were very dissatisfied by several aspects of the ship cruise experience, and I will review them.
1. Excursions. We booked only one excursion through Royal Caribbean and it was to Catania, Sicily. We were unsure of whether to select excursion CQ 24 or CQ 25, both of which included a visit to Mt. Etna. I sent 2 emails to Shorex asking for clarification on the visit to Mt. More Etna on both excursions and never received any answer. Finally I called and was on the phone for 30 minutes while someone checked to get my answer regarding the visit to the volcano crater. I was assured that in both excursions you are taken to the crater and would get to walk on the volcano rim for 30 minutes. As a result of that we chose CQ 25 which also included a winery tour and our friends chose CQ 24. In actuality, our tour did not go to the volcano as we were promised, but only made a stop at a lava flow for 5 minutes for photos, while the other group spent the time walking on the volcano crater. Certainly RC should have been able to tell me the correct itinerary of their excursion.
2. Bar service. We were excited about the new R Bar that is featured in the Centrum. We spent a lot of time in this area of the ship and didn't realize that if you purchase a drink there that the price of some drinks purchased there might be more than double the cost of a regular drink. The bartender there is a "mixologist", some sort of drink mixing specialist. I ordered a Cosmopolitan at that bar and the cost was $20!! He put a curly orange rind in it, but we didn't realize that it would cost more if ordered from that bar. My husband didn't dispute the charge (but he should have). Another drink we bought there was very expensive also. After that we ordered drinks from other bars and paid less. Check the drink prices on this ship! Others reported prices varied from one bar to another. My husband tried to order a beer in the dining room that was featured on the menu and was told there was no beer like that on the ship. He went to another bar and of course they had it. A friend tried to order a Crown Royal and was told they were out of it. He was able to get it at another bar.
3. Windjammer. Normally we enjoy the Windjammer. It is fun to check out all of the good looking food and try lots of different items. Not this time. The food was not displayed in an appetizing way and there was very little variety. Normally when you enter the Windjammer, the first display table has a big salad bar with yummy vegetables or fruits displayed. The first table on this ship had three giant bowls of yogurt. Yes, no more individual yogurt containers. You spoon your yogurt out of a bowl. Yuck! Milk is in a dispenser, and isn't chilled. There were no bananas, or grapefruit. Other fruits were limited selection. There was no spinach, even on the day that spinach was featured on the menu'our waiter made a joke out of it. He said they had "no spinach, spinach salad" where they used arugula instead. Wait staff rarely came around to wait on us. I told one staff person that the floor was slippery in one spot and asked him to check it. He looked down and said it's not wet. I said it's not wet, but it's slippery. He said it was my shoes fault. Of course none of these things are a major deal, but when you add them up, it was a disappointing experience in the Windjammer.
4. Deck 6 Balcony Cabins. We spent a lot of time researching these cabins and booked one because they were a bit less expensive than the deck 7 balconies. Due to a sale in cabin prices, we were able to upgrade to a JS and we were not on deck 6. But we knew someone else who was and we looked at one of the cabins to verify. It is important to know that these cabins are much smaller than the deck 7 balcony cabins. They have much less storage and it is difficult to unpack your suitcases because there is nowhere to put anything. RC does not have photos posted of these cabins and they list the square footage as the same size as deck 7 but they aren't.
5. Overall staff friendliness just wasn't there. As a whole the staff didn't make this a WOW experience for us. They just did their job, but didn't seem to enjoy it. I wonder if the prepaid gratuities have anything to do with it. We did not receive any envelopes to give extra tips, something which we have always done. We did give extra cash to our room steward Jesus, who gave us good service, as well as one of our bar servers.
6. The captain, Kjell Nordmo, was nearly invisible. He was rarely seen and rarely even made announcements. We wondered if his lack of involvement could be the reason for the lack of enthusiasm of the staff on this ship.
7. There was a sewage smell in several places around the ship. One couple we spoke too said it was terrible around their cabin. We noticed it occasionally.
8. We usually love to explore the shops on the ship and always buy several items, but not this time. The shops were small and didn't seem to have anything of interest.
1. Our main dining room experience was about average, with most meals delivered as expected, tasty and well prepared. We were happy with our meals. We used MTD and had a different table of 8 and waiter each night. However it did take nearly 2 hours for dinner each night and finally the last night we asked the maitre d to please seat us where we could be out of there in a more timely manner. He seated us alone and the waiter served us promptly.
2. The entertainment was very good. We only saw one show and it was well done, but other friends said that all the shows were good. RC singers and dancers were above average! The musicians in the various groups provided us with excellent music for listening and dancing. The orchestra played several times in the Centrum which was lovely. The aerial performance in the Centrum was interesting, but the performers are not highly skilled. I don't know when they are able to practice because everyone would be able to watch while they practiced'
3. Ship was clean and well cared for, although we rarely saw anyone cleaning and doing daily maintenance.
4. Crowd management during the tendering process at two ports was handled well and seemed more calm and organized than on previous ships.
In conclusion, while there were many positives, we have decided that we would not like to sail on this ship again. We were booked for a 10 night Caribbean cruise on the Legend in February and have decided that that the size of the ship and the limited choices in the Windjammer would not work for us on a cruise where we have 4 sea days. We switched to a larger ship, the Independence, which hopefully will have more entertainment and food choices for sea days. Less