We are just back from a wonderful 12 days on the Legend. We had sailed last January on the Explorer out of Bayonne and found in our opinion, a huge decline in Royal Caribbean since the last time we had cruised with them about 5 years ago. On the Explorer the cut backs were very noticeable, the condition of the ship was not good, the food was just OK and overall it was a disappointing trip. So, when my husband and I, along with another couple wanted to do a mainly Italian port trip, the one we chose was the Legend, since they offered the best itinenary. I was prepared to have a low expectation, since the Legend is smaller and older. I was pleasantly surprised, the ship looks great and I have decided that I really prefer the smaller ships to the bigger ones.
We flew into Rome a day early and had pre-arranged for a taxi to drive us to Civitavecchia. We spent the night at the Hotel San Giorgio and were able to get into our room early, around 9:30 am. After a nap, we enjoyed walking on the beach, had an early dinner and then a good nights sleep. Embarkation, the next day, was a piece of cake, we were some of the first to check in, it only took a matter of minutes.
We purposely booked the least expensive cabin as we planned on spending extra money on doing a good amount of private tours, hotels, etc. Our cabin was a very small inside, but it had good storage, the beds were comfortable, but the bathroom was cramped and the shower was tiny. After a few days, it started to look like our son's dorm room at college, but our cabin steward did a good job. Something new, since our last cruise, you no longer have to take your life jacket to the muster drill, everything else with that is the same.
We had second seating for dinner and a table for 4. Our waiter was terrific and we were amazed every single meal, how excellent the food was. I cannot believe the difference in this cruise and the one I took in January. Maybe they really do read the comment cards, on the Explorer, I was brutally honest. We only ate in the Windjammer a couple of times, we love the main dining room for breakfast and lunch as well and no CROWDS!!!!!
We did not go to any shows, as a matter of fact, we never even looked in the theater. We were in port late some days and with the main seating, the show was early and then we would be getting ready, I have seen enough cruise shows to know we are not missing much. I thought the shops were much better than on the Explorer, there was a nice selection of clothing (was very surprised to see the Lacoste brand) and some nice different jewelry and the usual sidewalk sale items.
The staff at the Pursers Desk were very polite and helpful and we found that exchanging money on the ship was a better option than in the ports. One interesting thing, one morning I walked out of our cabin, and met face to face a ship repairman who along with others were replacing all the water pipes in the ceiling of the hallways on Deck 2. My first thought was "Oh no", but we were amazed at how quiet and neat the whole process was. Once we were in our cabin, we heard not one thing, they were as silent as a mouse while they were working. We were notified once that they would be turning the water off for a few hours, but it was after we left for the day and we were never inconvenienced and the water was back on when we returned at the end of the day.
Disembarkation was also easy, we had a driver waiting to take us to Rome. It was a great trip and was very happy with the Legend of the Seas.