We are Diamond Plus RCI cruisers so obviously favorably inclined toward the company. We live in S Florida and cruise every 7 to 8 months, primarily on one week cruises. Last year we really enjoyed a 10 day cruise on Vision of the Seas in the Southern Caribbean so we thought we'd try for the 11 night in the same region.
We love the big ships (3X on Oasis class) so last year we were hesitant about going back to a smaller older ship but we liked the idea of more interesting ports and I do believe the older ships were more beautifully outfitted in terms of artwork, furnishings and decor. Legend is the oldest of her class of ships and she was not as magnificent as Vision but still quite attractive. Both trips we enjoyed going to ports that we don't go to every year on our standard Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings.
Being the Caribbean in season, even these smaller ships have excellent entertainment which is the area in which RCI has always excelled. We enjoyed the shows on this trip although we missed having a rock or Motown group. We had an unexpected treat when the music director did a classical piano concert when a scheduled performer did not make his connection to the ship. The productions shows were excellent with four very solid singers, wonderful costumes and sets.
The new renovations to Legend allow for aerial performances in the Centrum. This feature I really believes gives the smaller ships a way to stand out, even though they don't have the Promenade most of us enjoy in the newer classes. The aerial shows were terrific, allowed passengers to congregate as a group in a new way and had terrific production values in terms of costumes and lighting. We really enjoyed them. The athleticism of the performers is fantastic. Cirque du Soleil at sea is the idea and I don't see what people criticized in other reviews.
An outstanding feature on this ship was the food and dining. I have seem some critical reviews here of the food and I am truly baffled. Our food was excellent. We are sophisticated diners, used to spending money on food and wine and seek out Michelin starred restaurants in our frequent travels abroad. We never expect cruise dining to match the experience of the best land based restaurants but they compete very well in the area of service and variety. We found our dinners to be exceptionally well prepared with beautiful presentation and a very nice variety. The lines have all had to reduce costs in this area so we no longer get caviar, filet mignon and Maine lobster as we did way back when but fresh ingredients and imagination go along way toward keeping the menus tasty and interesting. Soups were outstanding on Legend and we had a tremendous variety of appetizers. We also ate lunch in the MDR on our 4 days at sea and the lunch menus were excellent. I could have enjoyed everything and had trouble choosing.
For fine dining we tried the Chef's Table for our first time. Wow!!! Fantastic. It is expensive as it serves only 12 guests with a dedicated sommelier/server as well as a chef who explained every course. Our pair were wonderful hosts. A printed place card and menu told us the names of all our fellow guests and description of each course and wine pairing. I wish we had done this earlier in our cruise as this was such a convivial setting that we easily became friendly with the other folks at our table for the remainder of the trip. A nice plus for us as we always get a table for two, prefering to dine alone. The food was truly top notch,equivalent to any restaurant we have locally. At $95pp, it is costly but the value is genuinely there.
We are not big fans of the specialty restaurants but we did eat at Chops as our travel agent gave us a dinner there. I believe this might be a source of some of the complaints as the beef was not outstanding (nor was it in the dining room). I prefer the MDM for most of my cruises because it offers an experience one cannot get on land-the relationship and personal service that can develop with a waiter who learns your preferences, likes to please you with surprises and, when you get a good one, acts as the ultimate fine host. People who do My Time Dining really miss out on this unique experience available only on cruises. Our waiter was one of the best, Dragos from Romania. He really added to our enjoyment of our trip.
We made a great deal of use this time of the concierge lounge. There was a separate lounge for Diamond members but we found this lounge first so just kept coming back. Our young (and very handsome) concierge was Luca from Rome and he was very helpful and pleasant. The room itself is very nice on this ship, a nice intimate size with plenty of windows. I don't really like the lounge on the Oasis class ships, it just doesn't have a friendly feel to me. We had two waiters who remembered our drink preferences and this was a regular stop for us most evening.
Overall, we had a great time. Another wonderful vacation thanks to RCI.