My family and I traveled on the Legends of the Seas for the 4d3n Best of Malaysia cruise. We have cruised before in the Bahamas, Caribbean and Alaska on different cruise lines and this was the second Royal Caribbean cruise for most of us. I was on the Enchantment of the Seas in the Caribbean about 2 years ago, so I will be making some comparisons in this review.
Ship - Legend is an older ship and slightly showing its age on its exterior and in the stateroom. Public areas are well kept and the furnishings and colors are classic, comparable to the Enchantment. I read that it is the smallest ship on RCI's fleet, but it was a decent size for our short trip and was much easier and faster to get from point A to point B than a larger ship. I think I would opt for a larger ship if the cruise was longer.
Embarkation - The Singapore Cruise Centre is not far from city center, about a $16SGD taxi ride from our hotel at Pan Pacific Singapore. The Cruise Centre is a small shopping More
complex with some restaurants and check-in is done on the 2nd floor. Check-in was a little confusing because we had to fill in immigration paperwork first and then head for the RC check-in line. There was very little signage directing people where to go, but the RC staff was there to help people out. The rest of check-in was quick and easy, the staff was helpful and friendly. We had printed out our Set Sail passes beforehand, which I would recommend, so you don't have to fill out all the paperwork at the pier.
Stateroom - We had two large interior staterooms on deck 6. The size is comparable to the outside staterooms. Lots of storage space for luggage as we had many. There are also hidden shelves behind mirrors to store things. Normally you can store some luggage under the beds, but ours were so big they didn't fit! Good thing for the big closet. Bathroom was quite small (same as the Enchantment) but adequate. It would've been nice to have a window as we didn't know if it was night or day when we woke up, but we slept well in the complete darkness. Most importantly though, no one should spend too much time in their stateroom on a cruise! Some things to note: bring a clock as there are none in the stateroom and bring your own toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, etc) as only soap and shampoo is provided. You can also buy those things in the shops onboard.
Food - I think the food on RC ships is very good. I personally prefer Western food from growing up in the states, so I think RC food is well-suited to my taste. The clientele of Legend is mostly Asian, with the majority being from Singapore. Some of the food in Windjammer is Asian, for example congee, dumplings, sushi, and curry. Because of this, I felt that the selection was more limited than on Enchantment. But there was always something good to eat and I got to try some new things (the papadums are really delicious!). The menu in the Romeo and Juliet dining room included all of RC's classic dishes which was excellent in taste and presentation. There are Asian dishes on the menu too. Legend is too small for specialty restaurants but you can get the Chops Grille Filet Mignon in the dining room for $14.95 (very excellent steak!). Some people prefer casual dining in Windjammers but I found looking for a table and standing in lines a bit stressful. Pizza, burgers, hot sandwiches and hot dogs are served in the Solarium until 2am-- I recommend the fries there, hot and crispy! I don't recommend room service though, you will have to wait at least 45 minutes for cold, stale food.
Service - Not bad, but not as good as my previous cruise with RC. I remember the stateroom attendant on the Enchantment knocking on the door and introducing himself on the first day, also knowing all our names and out to greet us every time we went to dinner. On Legend, however, I didn't know that our attendant was a woman until the last day and can't say that I ever saw her in the hall. I understand that some Asian customers don't like being "bothered" by service staff, but the lack of personal touch was a little disappointing. Service in the dining room was good but not as good as I know RC service can be. Maybe it was a slight communication barrier (because of the clientele and the vast background of the staff onboard), but the small talk seemed less friendly and more forced, some of staff didn't even smile! However, there were a few really friendly and fun waiters and entertainment staff trying to make our vacation enjoyable. No huge complaints about service, but I would choose another cruise to experience the great service RC can provide.
Activities - Lots of things to do on board, so many that we didn't even get to the rock climbing wall or putt putt golf. First of all, you can eat and enjoy drinks (alcoholic or not) throughout the day. I was there for a small family reunion so we spent lots of time eating and enjoying each others company. There were many karaoke events on board, at least two a day. But be aware, Asian people love their Karaoke, you will have to wait in line. There was a towel folding class, cake making demonstration, bingo games (very fun!), and of course, gambling. Other things to do included watching a movie, taking some dance classes, and playing some board games in the card room. I recommend reviewing your Cruise Compass (daily schedule) and highlighting all the things you want to do and try to make it to all of it to make the best of your cruise vacation.
Entertainment - Shows after dinner every night. The first night was a pianist who played musical tunes, second night was a dance show and last night featured a juggler who could sing. Except for the dance show (which didn't require speaking), the entertainers spent half of their show speaking/singing in Mandarin. I can understand Mandarin, but can't speak it well so I can't imagine what the shows would be like for someone who didn't understand Chinese at all. I can see how the entertainment onboard and even the music played throughout the ship (yep! Chinese songs) could be a little off-putting to non-Chinese guests, but then again, RC notes that this cruise is sold mainly to the Asian market. I did enjoy the shows, but 3 days was definitely enough for listening to "The Moon Represents My Heart." The Entertainment Directors Paul and Andy were very funny though.
Ports of Call - The ship docked in Penang and KL, Malaysia. It was quite hot in Malaysia so I'm sorry to say that we didn't spend much time off of the boat. Many guests left the boat to see Penang but most Singaporeans stayed on board at KL (I suppose because Singapore is so close to KL). You can still have an enjoyable vacation without leaving the ship.
Disembarkation - Fast and easy. We chose the latest departure time at 9am as we didn't have to get anywhere fast (our flight was on the next day). Breakfast was served in the dining room and Windjammer. You can leave as early as 7am if necessary. You can pick up your passport and leave your bags outside your room the evening before, so all you have to do the next morning is walk off of the ship. You have "assigned" departure times, but just pick up the right tags for the departure time you prefer.
Overall, this was a great family vacation. I wouldn't recommend this cruise to a first-time RC customer though, go for a bigger ship and other destinations to be really impressed. I would recommend this cruise if it was a convenient vacation at the right price, and if you just want a bit of great food and good service. I think this is a great cruise for families to enjoy their time together. Less