Got back today from a great 7 day trip through Asia and wanted to pay back all the great advice I have found on this site by writing of our experiences.
My husband and I are in our mid (ish) 40s and our 20th wedding anniversary was looming and on impulse we decided we deserved a holiday. We booked this cruise only weeks before sailing when a great deal came on Vacations2go.com We had cruised a number of times before but my husband always aspired to a suite and when some particularly "sweet" deals were announced we jumped on. Then I trawled cruisecritic and found a forum for the actual cruise we were sailing on and met a great bunch of people before we even left home. It was an easy fun way to find out ideas for before and after the cruise, and for tours and activities during the cruise. We scraped up the required 25-minimum to register for a free meet n mingle of our little group on board, which gave us a little something extra to look forward to. And RCC really came to the More
party (literally), giving us a private area, free nibblies and non-alcoholic drinks, and some gifts for each of us and some nice lucky-door prizes as well. You can do this for any RCC cruise, just go into the roll call forums on cruisecritic, scroll down to Royal Caribbean and search to see if there is a group for your tour and start or join a meet n mingle.
The other great advantage to roll call forums (for any cruise, not just rcc) is an opportunity to organise private tours in ports with other cruisers, a nice way to meet people and most importantly to save a whole lot of money! this is exactly what we did! A number of our group were interested in doing the tour to Borobudur in Semarang but just couldn't afford it through the ship. Instead we all pooled our internet skills, and searched for local tour companies and information. In the end we organised a 24-seater air conditioned bus with driver and English-speaking guide to take us to the world-heritage listed monument. We read up and realized the local traffic could potentially be a huge problem, and negotiated to have the tour company also organise a police escort for our group. The tour included a buffet lunch at a wonderful local Indonesian restaurant, and we visited another nearby temple, a silver factory and several photo opportunities. And all for the total price of $70US per adult, $50US per child! The ride was as exciting as the destination, there are millions of moped-riders in Indonesia, maybe more per square inch than road, so we dodged and weaved, crossed to the wrong side of the road (or the right side, depending where you came from!), drove through red lights and squeezed between impossible spaces. It was like being in a legal police chase! The temple / monument of Borobudur was beautiful and quite manageable for all our group. Lunch was delicious, and the tour company and our guide Awun were both exceptionally good. If you are touring this area, email Hans at firstname.lastname@example.org. We found them to be professional, reliable and friendly, a great day out enjoyed by all and we were back onboard with plenty of time to spare.
Our other Port on this cruise was in Bali and we had a similarly wonderful day, this time as part of a group of six with a lovely local tour guide, Narok. He had a very nice van which seated us all comfortably. Narok was a friend of a relative of one of our group, so we decided to leave the itinerary up to him. He took us out of the city for a wonderful, multi-faceted day which included shopping, local industry inspections (batik and timber carvers), visiting the monkeys in Ubud (beware, they BITE! Caution advised when carrying bananas!), shopping, and the most wonderful visit to the mountains behind Ubud where we lunched looking out over the lava-trail from an eruption in 1963 on one side and the beautiful lake on the other. On the way back we came down little winding roads that tour buses could not manage and saw beautiful rice-paddies and villages that were much less "touristy". Narok had great local knowledge and good English and was so lovely and polite, I can't recommend him enough - if you are looking for a guide in Bali contact him on email@example.com, I'm sure you'll be happy with his tour service.
In terms of Legend of The Seas, it was quite nice - not the best ship we've ever been on, but comfortable and nice staff and nice food - nice. I agree with other reviews that the ship is looking tired - scratched furniture, lumpy floors, wobbly door handles for example, but nothing shocking. And for the price we paid, I really think we got a good deal. The food was quite good and definitely heaps of it (far too many heaps of it! I need to exercise for weeks now!), drinks were reasonable, the shows were quite good. There was a fairly even mix of locals and western cruisers, and always someone new to meet at breakfast and lunch. The buffet was massive and a bit too chaotic for us, we preferred the sit-down option, but both were fine. I can't imagine anyone hating this cruise, but also can't imagine anyone saying it was the best cruise ever - nice sums it up I think. Only having two ports was relaxing as you got to enjoy sea days. Having looked at the variety of cabins, I don't think the suite we were in (a Junior Suite) was worth the extra over a normal ocean-view cabin. I really expected it to be significantly more luxurious than a regular cabin, but it was really the same just bigger. The inside cabins did not look nice, too cell-like. But if you could afford it, we also visited friends in the Royal Suite and it was absolutely heavenly, a complete contrast to our suite standard. So overall, we had a nice holiday on a nice ship and if we could we'd be back there tomorrow to do it again! Less
Legend of the Seas Cruises to Asia
Family & Children
Fitness & Recreation
Value for Money
Cabin review: Junior Suite
Nice location, near enough to the lifts and stairs for convenience but far enough away to be quiet. Furniture needs updating, but quite comfortable, nice flat-screen TV, bed very comfortable too.