In August 2013 I visited the Brilliance of the Seas during it's call at Gothenburg, Sweden. We had lunch in Windjammer and were guided onbord for about one and a half hour. I enjoyed what I saw.
The same evening I attended a meeting where I came to discuss the visit on the Brilliance with a collegue and she told me that she and her husand are Diamond members of RCI and that they just had booked a Southern Caribbean cruise on the Legend of the Seas early January 2014. She asked us to join them and back home I suggested that we should do so.
Although we made our booking already on one of the last days of August 2014 there were not so many cabins left, but we got an outside on deck 2 forward. But it was not possible to reserve table for dinner.
Embarkation time was 12.00 - 15.30, we arrived at the terminal at about 14.00, we were informed that more than 1.300 of 1.800 bokked passengers had already checked in. The embarkation process was very smooth and it took only about ten to fifteen minutes from we left the hotel shuttle until we were in our stateroom including that we had to wait a couple of minutes because a scooter broke down on the gangway.
The quality of the food and service in the restaurants varied a lot. The first night the four of us were placed at a table for 14, after som arguing with the head-waitor we managed to get at table for four. The service was a little confusing, the first dinner we got the starters before we had ordered the wine. But after telling the waitress that we want to order and get the wine before we got the food it went better. The food in the dining room and in Windjammer was ok, at Chef's table, Chops Grill and Izumi it was excellent.
Our stateroom was on deck 2 forward on starboard side, it was quiet, the only noice was when the bowthrusters were running during arrival and departure manouvers, but this was not disturbing at all.
Although we had prepaid gratuities we tipped extra for the wine in the dining room and in the bars, this showed to be valuable as it was appreciated and resulted in some favours. One example: We used to take an afternoon drink in the Royal Viking lounge sitting at the windows. One afternoon it was crowded, but when the waitress saw us coming she asked us to wait for a few minutes, in the meantime she moved a table and a couple of chairs and suddenly there was a table at the windows for us.
I am 58 and my wife is 48 and the Legend was perfect for us, on this cruise there was people of all ages and we enjoyed the mix.
After departure from Fort Lauderdale there was rough sea for about three hours and on the seadays - two days from Ft Lauderdale tot Tortola, BVI, and two days from Phillipsburg, St. Maarten - she sometimes rolled a little. But that is one of the charming things when you are cruising on the Atlantic.
We made our own arrangements at the ports of call, by taxi or by mini-bus, this saved us some money and made it possible to individualise our stay. In all ports, except at Dominica we went to a beach - for us it was wonderful to swim in the sea in the beginning of January. The Legend called at five very different islands and we loved them all.
Our friends, who are Diamond members, also enjoyed the cruise very much. This was their first cruise on a "smaller" Royal Caribbean ship.
We really enjoyed our cruise and we will certainly come back to Royal Caribbean - but my wish no. 1 is to cross the Atlantic on QM2 in connection with my 60th birthday next year, but my wife is not so keen to cross the North Atlantic in November.
WiFi was terribly expensive - Free WiFi is State of the Art 2014, but apparently not by Royal Caribbean.
We went by minibus, together with passengers from "Ventura" (P&O) and Costa Magica (Costa) to Valley Church Beach. This was a wonderful beach. Before returning to the ship we went to a bar that offered free WiFi if you bought a drink, we sat there almost until sailing time surfing and emailing. The rates for Internet onboard the Legend are ridicoulus.
We did not take an excursion arranged by RCI, but we hired a taxi for an excursion to watch the waterfalls and the sulphur springs. Our driver was very skilled and proud of his island and we enjoyed his services.
We did not take an excursion arranged by RCI, but we took a taxi from the port to a beach about 20-25 km from the port. We really enjoyed the beach and the facilities there. For lunch we asked the waitress for a local dish and we got a very tasty dish of shrimps. At the port there is a large shopping area, my spouse went shopping, I went to a bar for some beers and to the National Museum that was very interesting showing the history of St. Kitts from Columbus to 2014.
Phillipsburg, St Maarten is wonderful. We went by boat to the city although we could have done it walking by half an hour. We spent some hours at the beach and at the Champagne Bar where they served Moët & Chandon Ice Imperial. We will definetly return to Phillipsburg.
We did not take an excursion arranged by RCI, but we went on a ride by minibus. We stopped at a beach on the other side of the island where we could take the first swim in the sea 2014, for Scandinavians it is wonderful to swim in the sea in the beginning of January. If you don't make a trip by bus or taxi Tortola is a little boring, but the island is beautiful.