I sailed on the Legend of the Seas 8/12/09 sailing from Rome (Civitavecchia) to Greece and the Eastern Med. (12 nights) and I thought I would share with everyone my cruise! A little about myself I am 28, I was a travel agent for 10 years and I am now a teacher. This was my 26th cruise and I have been on all the major mass market cruise lines except Princess. For the last four years I have cruised twice a year. My last few cruises were on the Norwegian Spirit, Queen Mary 2, Explorer of the Seas, Disney Wonder, Costa Magica, NCL Dawn. For this trip I sailed with my partner who is 31 and two friends who are in their early thirties.
PRE-CRUISE I have been to Rome before but I stayed three nights prior to the cruise at the Hotel Majestic on Via Veneto. Very nice hotel that I would say is 4 star +. Location was great and the hotel had an old world charm to it. I love Rome so I enjoyed my stay but was exhausted! We toured the Vatican again as well all the major sites and this time I went to see the Borghese Galleria which was great, I recommend it.
I know food is subjective but I found the food in Rome to be good but I still am not blown away as so many people are. I am Italian American, my father was born in Italy my mother Italian but born in the US, so I get many of these dishes at home plus I live in the NYC area and we have lots of Italian food (albeit some is Americanized) nevertheless I love my mom's Italian gravy (or sauce ?) better! I know I am a mama's boy. But still I ate and ate in Rome and the Gelato is really excellent so I should not talk...I ate enough.
EMBARKATION From Rome I used a wholesaler in the US that can only be booked through travel agents. I won't say the name on here because I know we can't advertise. I used this company because I used them for clients in the pasts and knew they were reliable and they were. Left hotel at 10:00am and got to the ship in Civitavecchia at 11:30. Embarkation was a breeze we literally walked right on the ship! We were on by 11:45!!! I think we were one of the 1st onboard as the ship was barren. I took all my photos of the ship's public rooms then!
CABIN We had two Category Q standard interior rooms on deck 3 next door to one another. Cabin#s 3719 & 3721. I stayed in cabin 3719. The cabins were nicely furnished and small which is a staple on most cruise ships. I believe they measured 138 square feet which made them the smallest on the ship. The cabin appeared to be well maintained with some wear and tear nothing major and the beds were great! Decent closest space which allowed me and my partner the ability to unpack our suitcases. Normally I don't unpack fully but it was a 12 night cruise and we wanted all the suitcases away so we had room to actually "live" in the cabin. While you don't spend much time in the cabin it is nice to have some space!
FOOD Again I know it's subjective but I have to say the food was very good especially in the dining room. I had all my dinners except one in the dining room and they were all very good. The wait staff team was also great as well. We did my time dining which I liked, especially for a cruise such as this were we had so many ports that had interesting things to see so if we got back late on some nights we could eat later and we were not locked into a seating, though most nights we did eat around 7:30/8pm. I did notice that on this sailing main seating started later at 6:30. There were two main seating and two late seating's. My time worked for us and most nights we made a reservation prior to our arrival but we winged it a few nights and waited maybe 5 minutes. Because this sailing had a lot Europeans on it, mainly Italians, I believe the my time was bombarded at the 9:00 hour so I believe diners at 9pm and after had long waits so much so they extended my time until 9:45pm instead of the 9:30pm closing time.
I also thought the buffet food was pretty good. I ate breakfast and some lunches here and on one night I ate dinner here as well (the day we stopped in Egypt as the tour came back at 9pm). I have read reviews that there was a small selection at the windjammer...I like to eat and I thought the selection was extensive if not predictable as in the case of breakfast.
You can also get pizza and ice cream from noon until late. I saw people getting pizza well after midnight.
I think there was one midnight buffet but I did not attend. There is no need for midnight buffet as there was too much food.
Bottom line the food was good and plenty of it!
PORTS This is really the draw of this cruise. We stopped at wonderful ports: Naples/Athens/ Mykonos/Rhodes/Kusadasi, Turkey/Alexandria, Egypt and Corfu, Greece. We took the ship's tours in all ports. I contemplated doing private tours but some years back I did that in Barcelona and had a bad experience....long story but almost missed the ship so I just wanted things to be easy and we booked the ship tours. Overview of what we did in each port: Naples - Sorrento visited town and cheese farm and also went to Pompeii. Athens - Visited Parthenon/Arcopolis and had hours to wander through the Plaka Mykonos - Excursion to Delos to see ruins (amazing) then walked Mykonos Town Rhodes - Visited ruins of Kamiros and walked the old town Kusadasi - Visited Ephesus and terraced houses then walked the bazaar near ship. Egypt - Took Cairo, Pyramids and Tombs tour...this was a full 12.5 hours tour Corfu - Visited Achillion Palace and walked through the old corfu town.
Loved all the ports put Egypt, Turkey and Mykonos/Delos was a personal favorite.
BUT keep in mind Myknonos port call can be canceled because it tends to get very windy there and the sea gets choppy. We were lucky and the Legend got in to dock. But many times (because the dock is already taken) she has to remain ashore and you have to take a ferry into Mykonos. If the sea is choppy they can't ferry you in...it's for safety.
ENTERTAINMENT I am not one for floor shows so I don't go to salute Broadway and the 70s and the 80s and the 90s. But I did see part of one show and honestly I thought it was not very good we just all walked out. In fact one night we came out of the dining room and we heard singing. We all looked at each other and thought they were doing karaoke in the centrum. We all thought that was odd because it was never done there. So we go to follow ere the singing was coming from and found it was the Legend's dance team singing 70's songs in the centrum! They really did not sound good....it sounded like amateur karaoke.
They had a magician and I thought he was okay. One night they had an Elton John impersonator at 1st I thought that it was going to be lousy and cheesy but I have to say he was great and I really enjoyed the show! He was very good!! Other entertainment was karaoke superstar challenge which was entertaining. There was also a band that played in the Anchors Aweigh lounge...Vicki and the Holding Company....they were passable in my opinion. Went to the nightclub up in Viking Crown Lounge and it was fun. The cruise entertainment staff seemed to be a cast of characters and I don't mean that in a great way. The cruise director Bill seemed so rehearsed and "phony" though I did like Cat the British hostess and Simone the Italian cruise director. The games were amateurish but entertaining.
The only thing I found amusing and I really don't know what to make of it was a Michael Jackson Tribute. In my 26 cruises this was the weirdest thing I have seen. I like MJ's music...he was the king of pop for "our" generation no disrespect to him but this tribute was just strange to me.....nevertheless it was a hit! The lounge was packed. They showed some of his music videos and then the concierge guy...Julian came out and did an MJ routine that looked like a strip show at 1st. It was so popular they had an encore nights later!
SHIP I really don't understand some of the negative reviews about the Legend of the Seas. So long as you realize her age and size and set your expectations at that threshold the Legend is a lovely ship. The Legend of the Seas is an older, smaller ship in comparison to the large new ships that are coming out today. She debuted in 1995 and was the 1st cruise ship to have a mini-golf course and she was the 1st RCI ship to utilize so much glass incorporated into her design. In the end she has beautiful walls of glass that connect her passengers to the sea and the ports! In my opinion she is maintained very well. I did see some wear and tear but overall she is clean and maintained in fact they were putting new carpet down in her theater while we were onboard.
I have read reviews on here that she is more of a sedate ship.......she is not the Voyager, Freedom or Oasis class ship......no Royal Promenade, ice rink, zip lining, central park. Instead you will find a nice sized ship with many amenities that one would find on a ship this vintage. I liken the Legend to a large hotel not so much a resort ship as is the Voyager, Freedom and Oasis ships.
The Legend boasts a Theater for shows, a secondary show lounge, shopping arcade, library/card game room, concierge club, schooner bar, Viking crown lounge - observation lounge and nightclub, champagne lounge, 8 story centrum with lounge area, mini golf, rock climbing wall, fitness center and spa, jogging track, lattetudes coffee shop, photo gallery, children's center, teen club, video arcade, conference rooms, 2 pools (1 indoor and for 16 years and older) and two restaurants (main dining room and windjammer buffet).
WHAT I LIKED -The ship ...I really liked the Legend. All of us had sailed the Explorer and while we loved her and she knocks your socks off....the Legend was designed on a human scale and we immediately felt comfortable with her layout. I guess we were not expecting much but were surprised. -The itinerary is great! My only suggestion is they should add more time in Mykonos...if they could. -Food was great. -Service overall was very good especially my cabin attendant and the restaurant wait staff. WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER Don't kill me over these comments! I don't cheerlead for one cruise line as I see some people do on these boards. I love all cruises...period! But here are some gripes: - Took RCI's return transfer back to the Rome airport. Had a 2pm flight back to NYC and RCI gives me a 6:30am transfer. Basically they gave this to me because the 6:30am transfer is the LAST transfer that goes to terminal 5 at the Rome airport. The other transfers that go to the Rome airport that operate later just let you off at the main terminal. My flight required me to check-in at Terminal 5. I really tried to contest this with Janet Canoa at the pursers but she really dropped the ball and in the end I took the 6:30am transfer. I had a lot of back and forth with Janet (peacefully of course) but she did not try and go the extra mile. It's a long story but basically she kept telling me that if I took a later transfer I would have a hard time to get to terminal 5 where I needed to be and I kept telling her all you have to to do is to take the shuttle between terminals!! It really is not hard. She kept insisting the Rome airport is too big to do this but as I told her I have been to the Rome airport before and I am from the NYC area I am used to very big airports. Unfortunately she was overburdened with other requests and did not go the extra mile for me. Anyway I sat at the airport for hours.....nothing is perfect....just keep smiling. -Also the Legend had this port shopping team: Ralph and Martina...supposedly they were engaged. So I attended one of their port talks and all it was is a sales pitch which I knew it would be like that but they were not only "recommending" stores they were selling European travel books made just for cruisers....as they put it..... "this book does not exists!" "It's a 1st" Many travel publishing companies do infact make such books. I have one by Frommers and one of the shops on the ship sold a book just like the one they were promoting but by a different company. Whatever, you had to be there to see it. They seemed like scammers!! -The muster drill was the worst of almost all of my 26 cruises! While you don't have to bring your life jacket which is nice...the drill was so unorganized and people carried out loud conversations and were drinking during the whole ordeal. RCI should at least enforce quiet and no drinks. Can't people just take 20 minutes out and listen to a very important announcement? In case of an emergency they would need this info. I guess they just figure they will blame the cruise line since some people don't want to take responsibility!
Nevertheless my gripes are petty, except the muster drill (safety is always important); I had a wonderful time and hate to be home! I booked this cruise over a year and a half ago and can't believe I went and I am already home.