Although Royal Caribbean's Legend of the Seas was launched in 1995, it emerged from a 2013 dry dock looking pretty darn spiffy. Just about everything was upgraded, including the carpeting, soft furnishings and overall decor in cabins and most public areas. A total of 13 new cabins was added on decks 7 and 8, and Deck 6 cabins, which previously had no verandahs, were outfitted with balconies.
So what else did the ship receive during its $50 million worth of renovations? Its signature top-of-ship Viking Crown Lounge was spruced up and decreased in size to make room for Izumi and Chops Grille, two of the vessel's three alternative dining venues. Similarly, part of the upper floor in the Romeo and Juliet Dining Room is now cordoned off to serve as home to Chef's Table, an upscale for-fee dinner experience. Meanwhile, the Park Cafe, a gratis bistro-style eatery, was added to the Solarium, the ship's indoor pool area.
In the technological arena, Legend was outfitted with a giant outdoor movie screen, which resides on the pool deck, and digital "Wayfinders" were added throughout most elevator areas. They feature multilingual touch-screens that allow passengers to check the date and time, view deck plans, access the daily Cruise Compass and map directions from their current location to wherever they're headed next -- all with the push of a button.
Further, the R Bar was added to the ship's hub, the five-deck Centrum, which is also home to what are probably the most impressive bits of entertainment onboard: aerialist shows, which feature costumed acrobats dancing in midair.
While we didn't notice much aesthetical wear and tear thanks to the aforementioned refurb, the food and entertainment were hit-or-miss, and we did witness several communication breakdowns among the ship's staff. To be fair, we were told that there were a lot of new contracts onboard, but the problem is that it showed. Service was generally decent, but a couple ill-informed and rude crewmembers did detract from the experience.
Overall, Legend of the Seas feels comfortable and cozy, as it's smaller than most of the line's other, newer, more shiny ships; because there are fewer bells and whistles, life onboard moves at a slower pace. It's also a great option for anyone who likes longer cruises to a variety of interesting locales, including the Panama Canal (for which Legend's smaller size is absolutely necessary).