Legend of the Seas, Dec 26, 2004, Ft Lauderdale to San Diego
The cabin- #2570, Deck 2, Outside cabin with large window
Tight but adequate for two. Everything worked. Problems- i) there was a muffled engine noise, which took some adjustment to get use to. First night woke us up several times, but thereafter became "background noise;" ii) Last night during rough seas added whining noise, likely from stabilizers; iii) AC unit could not keep the cabin temperature below 72- 73 F (felt warm at times).
Furnishings consisted of two beds (comfort could have been better) put together with queen sized bedding, located with headboard up against the large window (unlike NCL where you can sit in front of the window), small make up counter, two seat sofa with very small coffee table (would be a challenge for breakfast in the cabin = we never had room service), sufficient clothes closet to hang all clothes for a 14 day cruise with three formals, and plenty of drawer & shelf space for balance of clothes). Small TV which pulled out and could be swung to face either the sofa or bed (channels limited). Safe in one of the cupboards. Soft drinks in room- Cost- soft drinks $1.50 per can, Evian bottle water $3.50 for 1 liter bottle. Cabin Steward kept bucket of ice in the cabin full each day and cabin clean. Very creative towel designs (shaped as rabbits and other animals) left on bed which were turned down each night. Good, attentive service/could not have been better.
The ship -- Internet service is slow and expensive -- $.50/ minute, no way of connecting a laptop, no way of downloading or up loading a file to a disc. A further problem is that if your internet provider is AOL you will be able to receive your messages but ship's system will not let you send. Only discovered this by chance and all Internet charges were reversed when complained.
Casino -- Good size. Had a good time on the blackjack tables. Unlike other cruises, found the one arm bandits did not pay out = our luck or machine odds? From time to time casino became smokey.
Dining/Food -- (i) Romeo and Juliet -- Sat at table #90 (table of 10) on deck four, table centrally located in the dining room near stairwell. Very impressive décor, dining room is two stories, central entrance stairwell from fifth deck to fourth deck, surrounded with glass. Lose effect of the glass by Maitre d' leaving lights at night on bright while dining and not being able to see out. Acoustics poor/noisy room, sometimes making it a challenge to speak across the table. Nice background piano music. Memorable service by Charie, our waitress. Quality of food on average from good to excellent, with one or two exceptions, in particular were having problems with decaf coffee, and meal last night poor. Ship ran out of some food for breakfast on last day. At times, tablecloth marked and dishes chipped. Some of coffee cups not clean and were returned.
(ii) Windjammer Cafe -- On deck 9, buffet, again surrounded by glass allowing excellent viewing. Had one lousy meal for dinner; otherwise good food with exception of greasy bacon and pork sausage. Desserts were good to very good
Lounges -- (i) Viking Lounge -- Surrounded by glass providing outstanding vista. Excellent location to sit and watch scenery when too hot, windy or chilly on deck. Disco music, small dance floor. (ii) Schooner Lounge -- next to Casino -- pianist singer entertainer. (iii) Atrium -- seating around Atrium and small bar off Atrium. Nice place to relax and listen to entertainers, normally two persons singing and playing various musical instruments with electronic back up music. Some of entertainers could be better, but overall enjoyable. (iv) Anchors Away Lounge -- had a dance floor. We did not attend any functions in this room = no experience.
Gym facilities -- Very good, having same equipment we use at fitness facility in Thornhill. Outside track on deck 10 a bonus, four times around equals a mile. Back up walking area was deck 4, which went almost all way around ship (bow of ship blocked).
Getting around ship -- Good. Elevators, at times had a short wait, except when two of the three stern elevators broke down causing noticeable delays in this area only.
Entertainment -- That's Entertainment Theatre (Deck 4) -- With a few exceptions, good vista and comfortable seating. Entertainment a "mixed bag," overall good to very good with some poor performances. Dancers good but lead singers need help (might be the sound system).
Atrium -- Spectacular five story Atrium, extensive Xmas decorations, initially we felt tacky but grew on us.
Shopping -- Multiple shops. Would rate limited to fair.
Spa/hair salon -- Had a massage, which was less than satisfactory. Hair salon good experience.
Windows -- Dirty/needed to be cleaned, resulting in some loss of advantage of extensive glass envelope around the ship's public areas.
To & From Ship -- (i) Embarkation in Ft. Lauderdale -- Poor/long line ups, which took us over an hour to get thru. Then bussed us to the ship. A lousy way to start a cruise. (ii) Disembarkation -- Scheduled check out of room was 7:00 a.m., but we got up at 7:00 a.m. and out of room around 7:30 (left carry on bags in cabin, with permission of cabin steward, while going thru immigration and having breakfast). Note: Non USA citizens have to clear US immigration on board ship. Procedure -- go to Anchors Away Lounge to pick up passports and go thru Immigration -- we found long line up and instead went to Dining Room for breakfast. Returned to Anchors Away Lounge around 8:00 a.m. and with shorter line up obtained the passport and thru Immigration in approx 15 minutes. Back up #1 -- all non USA Citizens have to go thru one desk manned by RCI staff to give you back the passports and confirm that we had made out the declaration form. Back up #2 -- five immigration officers then processed you. They were still calling for passengers to go to the Anchors Away Lounge at 9:00 a.m. = did not start to discharge passengers until just after 9:30 a.m. Process extremely slow and we were still waiting at 10:50 a.m. -- nowhere near calling our number. Since already late we walked down to the fourth deck, made like we had the colour coded baggage tags being called and departed with group (did not check), walked down gangplank to terminal where another line of Immigration officers (3 persons) to view passports and take customs declarations (Was back up #3). Bags as expected were in the terminal and we were able to get our luggage. RCI needs to give their heads a shake -- expect you to get up at 6:30 a.m. and take 5 hrs to get off the ship = lousy way to end a vacation. We recently were on the Star Princess, a larger ship embarking in Venice and disembarking in Ft. Lauderdale. Had neither of the embarkation or disembarkation problem we had on the Legend of the Seas.
(iii) During cruise -- There was some waiting while in port if you wanted to get off first. When tendered, there was a back up, the ship attempting to overcome by issuing tender tickets by number with request not to assemble until number called. In Cabo San Lucas insufficient number of tenders, resulting in a long line up on pier to get back on ship (Carnival Pride, in port same time, line up was even longer). Worked much better than the Star Princess.
OVERALL -- Had an enjoyable relaxing holiday = received good value for the money spent (fare of Cnd $138 person per day. Some at our dining room table guests paid less) -- i) Relaxing itinerary (nice breaks at sea/in between port but loss of Costa Rica port due to illness of a passenger resulted in some of our dining room table guests having "cabin fever"); ii) New interesting ports for us; iii) Good excursions -- only one excursion (Acapulco) poor, others excellent; iv) Pleasant friendly staff; v) Impressed with Atrium and extensive use of glass in public areas creating excellent vistas; and vi) Interesting and enjoyable dinner group, which increased our level of overall cruise enjoyment.
Downside -- i) Some poor meals, ii) Disembarkation & embarkation, iii) Not a quiet stateroom -- Deck #3 should overcome muted engine noise (one of our dining room table guests in 3615 and reported no noise) and iv) On board programs not as extensive/as of interest to us as we found on Star Princess. Cabin to avoid -- one of our dining room table guests had Cabin 2519, an inside cabin and below the cabin was sufficient noise to keep them awake at night. Were moved after the third night.