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Legend of the Seas Cruise Review by Metsfan30: Not Quite a Legend Anymore


Metsfan30
5 Reviews
Member Since 2011
7 Posts

Member Rating

Cabin 4.0
Dining 3.0
Embarkation 5.0
Enrichment Activities 3.0
Entertainment 4.0
Family & Children 2.0
Fitness & Recreation 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0
Rates Not Rated
Service 4.0
Shore Excursions 5.0
Value for Money 4.0

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Not Quite a Legend Anymore

Sail Date: February 2014
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)

Background  This was my eleventh cruise, fourth on Royal Caribbean (first time on the Legend, 2X on the Explorer, and once on the Majesty). We will be going on Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas next February (we booked on the ship.) We have been on 3 NCL cruises, 2 Holland America cruises, one Carnival, and one on MSC.

Embarkation / First Day

If you've read any of my previous reviews, I've had some extremely easy check-in/embarkation processes (Baltimore, Boston, Cape Liberty, etc.), as well as some more difficult ones (Manhattan). We have only sailed out of Port Everglades once, back in 2009 on MSC Orchestra, and that wasn't the easiest check-in. We didn't quite know what to expect going into the terminal, but I figured it must be quick and easy considering we were leaving from Terminal 18, a terminal specifically built for the Oasis and Allure of the Seas, ships more than 2X the size of ours. Well Terminal 18 was a very smooth and easy check-in, and More that was with only half of the terminal in operation (the other half was closed off as it was not needed.) We got to the terminal around 11:15 and we were on the ship by 11:30.

Once we were on the ship, we decided to go sneak into our stateroom to drop off our bags, but the cabin attendants wouldn't let us off the elevator to get onto the deck at all. They sent us up to Deck 9, the Lido Deck. Overall, there wasn't much that was open for lunch on embarkation day, just Windjammer and the Park Cafe (no MDR). We had our lifeboat drill at 4 pm, and we left right on schedule at 4:30.

Service

Service on the Legend of the Seas was nearly perfect, with the exception of a few flaws. For example, our cabin steward Luban was not the most helpful (even with a bit of an additional tip at the beginning of the cruise.) he was often rude to my family (who were in another cabin three doors down) and he did not do everything we asked him to. He also didn't deliver any Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle invitation, simply because he "didn't want to." Nobody in our party received their invitations either. But at least we met our cabin steward this time (a reference to my last cruise on the Dawn, when we never met our steward.)

The other major flaw was the absolutely Adventure Ocean/OPTIX staff, but I'll get into that later. Other than that, service in the MDR, Windjammer, Pool, etc. was near perfect. A few service members that I'd like to recognize are: Dragos, our waiter from Romania, Mario Minchev, the Maître' D (who made it a point to become friendly with everyone at my table,) Joao, a pool attendant who gave excellent service, and Sheldon Smith, another pool attendant who was very friendly and also gave excellent service.

Cabin

Our cabin was rather inconveniently located towards the aft of the ship. We chose to be near the aft elevators thinking that the ship main amenities (Windjammer, pool deck, etc.) would be centered around the aft like most ships. But the Windjammer was all the way in the front, so that became a bit of a nuisance. The cabin itself was rather small (in fact, our ocean view on this ship is smaller than our inside on the Independence next year.) It was also very loud in our cabin, being with an older ship, there was a lot of creaking late at night, and we were all right under the Centrum.

Activities

Being that Legend of the Seas is a 19 year old ship, we weren't expecting to have as many activities as there would be on the newer ships, but we were shocked by the EXTREME lack of activities. In fact, there was such a lack that the spacing between activities on our Daily Compass was almost double-spaced some days. There was a lot of empty room on that Activity Planner. Besides the pool and it's very few poolside activities during the day, there was nothing really going anywhere else. The Anchors Aweigh Lounge on Deck 5, FWD was closed off to everyone for about 5 hours during the day to act as a glorified Diamond (Plus) and Pinnacle member only lounge. I say a glorified lounge because there is a lounge on Deck 9, MID that was a full time Diamond Club. Also, the few activities that the ship did have were geared towards the crowd of the ship, which were mostly senior citizens over the age of 85 (the median age on the ship was 75.)

Adventure Ocean / OPTIX Kid's and Teen's Programs

Now, we traveled with two 14 year olds (1 Boy, 1 Girl) and a 9 year old girl, the same kids who were with us the Explorer of the Seas and loved the program. This cruise, they HATED the program, the staff, and the actual places themselves. The nine year old went to Adventure Ocean once, and had a fun time with her friend, but that was it. They were by themselves in there with 3-4 four year olds, and two of them didn't even speak English. The OPTIX teen club, on the other hand, was terrible for the teens but they went because there was nothing else for them to do on the ship. There were 12 teens that registered for the program, most of whom because friends with our teens. OPTIX, the teen club, was inconveniently located in a small corner on Deck 10, FWD adjacent to the Adventure Ocean room. Both spaces were very small and gave the feeling that Royal Caribbean didn't really care about the kids when they built the ship.

We had a huge problem with the teen staff on the ship, and it started on Day 1 when a friend who travelled with us needed to ask the staff member, an American named Jessica, a question about the program for her teen (the girl aforementioned.) She quite impolitely snapped at her demanding that she leaves. The staff member Jessica later went on that night about the family, claiming, "she doesn't know what to do with them" and that "they were going to be a handful." The other teen staff member, another American named Craig Gates, was very rude to the teens the whole cruise. They played a game called Gaga (which is basically the Israeli version of Dodgeball) one afternoon and the staff member had said the name incorrectly or something (he called is GaaGaa Ball or something that was incorrect.) One of the teens (the boy) corrected him because he knew the game is Gaga (he has been playing it since he was young), to which Craig shouted and said "I have been working at the company for 21 years, and I know that it is not Gaga, but GaaGaa Ball." The point is, it was something stupid that he had no right to shout at.

The third staff member, who's name was either Malva or Melva (I don't remember), made the teens raise their hands if they wanted to speak, and made it quite clear that it was either to follow that rule or follow the exit signs out of OPTIX.

Entertainment

Entertainment on the ship happened to be quite good. The three production shows [which I'll get into a bit later] were on Days 3, 6, and 9, were amazing and the guest performers, while they weren't as incredible as they were on EOTS, were very good. The performers that stood out were John Bressler, a pianist-turned-comedian who sang about his life and gave many impersonations of famous artists and Steven Thomas, a comedian who has been on several world tours.

The only show that was just OK was 'The Comedy Stylings of Mario and Daniel: Two Funny Guys." I didn't find them that funny, and neither did the audience.

Other than the Headliner shows, entertainment was at a lack around the ship. I do have to commend Schooner Bar pianist Kelly Goodrich however. I thought he was great and I enjoyed listening to him every night in the Schooner Bar, which was located just outside of the Centrum on Deck 4, FWD.

The Three Stage Production Shows

Swing City (night 3): In all honesty, this was my least favorite of the shows. Swing City took a dive into the swing songs of the 1900's.

Absolutely Fab (night 6): This was probably my favorite of the three. This show featured music of the '70s-80's British Invasion and other rock/pop songs, from artists such as Elton John, Dusty Springfield, Rod Stewart, etc.

Invitation to Dance (night 9): We had seen this show twice on Explorer, so I decided not to see it again.

Dining

The Legend of the Seas had a rather limited choice for food. There was the Romeo and Juliet MDR, Windjammer Buffet, and Park Cafe, as well as the for-fee Chops Grille ($30 pp) and Izumi Asian ($5 PLUS a la carte pricing.)

We had Windjammer for breakfast every morning, and for a ship buffet, we weren't all that impressed. It had the normal options (waffles, bacon, pancakes, etc.), but nothing special really. It was still a good breakfast.

For lunch, we avoided the buffet and had Park Cafe every day. Park Cafe, in my opinion, had the best food on the ship, featuring sandwiches and salads and cookies and other things like that.

The Main Dining Room probably had the worst MDR food we have ever had on a cruise, but it was still pretty good. In my opinion, the best food was actually on Night #1.

Disembarkation

Disembarkation was mostly smooth, with the exception of waiting on line for Customs. Disembarkation was also much earlier than on cruises from the Northeast. We chose to take the Luggage Valet service, where upon leaving our luggage outside our cabin on the last night, it would be taken straight from the ship to Miami International Airport where it would be valeted straight onto our plane. We put our luggage outside on the last night and we didn't see it again until we arrived in LaGuardia Airport in NYC Monday evening.

We also pre-arranged with the cruise line for a coach-bus transfer to Miami International, and our bus left at 9:45, so we left the ship at 9 am Monday and arrived in Terminal 18. It sure felt good to go straight past baggage claim and to the customs line. The customs line, however, was extremely long due to the lack of customs officers. Again, smaller ship, so the terminal wasn't in need of using all of the facilities. Well, they were wrong, and we were on the line for about 35 minutes, almost missing our transfer. There were only 6 customs officers present, with a crowd of 2000 passengers ready to leave the terminal. You can figure out the rest.

Overall / Final Thoughts

Overall, I thought it was a fine ship... for senior citizens and those not traveling with kids. Still, it was all fine in the end and everyone had a great time.

Some more things to point out: The casino closed in between 1 and 1:30 am nightly, which was a bit ridiculous. Also on a sadder note, two people died of unrelated heart attacks on Days 2 and 3, respectively. The first heart attack, on Day 2, resulted in the ship making an unexpected, brief early morning stop in Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos at 6 am on Day 3. The person that suffered a heart attack on Day 3 was originally going to disembark at another pitstop in San Juan, Puerto Rico at 2 am on Day 4, but that person died before we had gone too off course, resulting in us just going direct to Tortola, our intended Port of Call, the next morning.

The ship was very nice, but again it was very small. Entertainment was pretty god, staff was mostly good, food was ok, the ports were beautiful [read my Ports review for more], and overall, we had a good cruise on the Legend of the Seas. Less


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Cabin review: Legend of the Seas 3074

Our cabin was rather inconveniently located towards the aft of the ship. We chose to be near the aft elevators thinking that the ship main amenities (Windjammer, pool deck, etc.) would be centered around the aft like most ships. But the Windjammer was all the way in the front, so that became a bit of a nuisance. The cabin itself was rather small (in fact, our ocean view on this ship is smaller than our inside on the Independence next year.) It was also very loud in our cabin, being with an older ship, there was a lot of creaking late at night, and we were all right under the Centrum.

Port and Shore Excursions


We have been to St. John's once, on the MSC Orchestra back in 2009. Antigua may have had the best in-port shopping of every island. The area around the port was also very nice, one of the nicest I had ever seen. In Antigua, we took a taxi to Jolly Beach, which was beautiful. The water may have been the nicest color blue we have ever seen. It was even nicer than in Bermuda. Overall, this island may have been the prettiest island of the five we visited this cruise.

Read 808 Antigua Reviews

River Tubing

We pre-booked an excursion, which is something we NEVER do, unless it was to the Beach at Cayo Levantado, Samana, DR. This tour was to go to Hibiscus Falls and see the waterfall for awhile before going on an hour and half long river tubing expedition down a 1.5 mile track. We only did the excursion knowing how poor the island is, and there really isn't much else to do on the island (we have been here twice before, also on the Noordam.) The excursion was great, and Dominica remains high up there on my list of favorite islands, despite the extremely poor conditions on the island.


Terminal 18 is a beautiful terminal that also really sped up the embarkation process. getting to the pier was smooth, check-in was smooth, and sail-away was also very smooth. Not really much else to say here.


Basseterre (Port Zante) was a new port for us this cruise, so we didn't know what to expect. We stepped off of the ship and we were amazed by how beautiful the terminal area was. It was really nice, with ample shopping, taxis, and tour offerings. It sort of resembled what St. Maarten looks like, if not nicer. We went on a half-day island tour/half-day beach tour with a driver that found us almost immediately after we stepped out of the terminal. We went to the Botanical Gardens and saw that part of the island before going back in the taxi to the other side of the island to Frigate Beach. Our driver actually took us to the wrong beach, as we had wanted to go to FRIAR'S BEACH, not FRIGATE beach. But either way about 30 minutes after we got there, it started to pour and we left to go back to the ship then. Overall, it was a very nice island.


St. Maarten has always been our favorite port, and this was my sixth time there (and we will be there again next February on the Independence of the Seas). This was the first time in three years that we didn't go to the Westin Hotel on Dawn Beach, but instead going to Maho Beach. Maho Beach is about a 1/2 mile away from the famed Airport Beach, so we saw the planes just off to the side of us. We left the beach early and went down to Front Street, where we went shopping. I hadn't been there since my first time on the island. The port area in Phillipsburg was actually under renovation, so by the time we dock there next February, we may be talking about a completely different Phillipsburg, St. Maarten.


We have been to Tortola twice, both times on the MS Noordam of the Holland America Line. Both times, we only had the afternoon and not the full day, so being there a whole day was a first for us. This was probably our least favorite port, as it was boring and there really wasn't much to see, just like how it was the first two times we were there.

Read 502 Tortola Reviews

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