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11 Southampton to Europe - Western Mediterranean Legend of the Seas Cruise Reviews

This review is on Legend of the Seas, from Southampton on 22/05/06, we have sailed on Legends sister ship Splendour before so we knew the layout of the ship, but have never sailed from Southampton before. Following the route given by ... Read More
This review is on Legend of the Seas, from Southampton on 22/05/06, we have sailed on Legends sister ship Splendour before so we knew the layout of the ship, but have never sailed from Southampton before. Following the route given by another cc reviewer we found Southampton docks easily and quickly, arriving at the docks at 11.30am we were directed where to drop of the luggage and where to return to park, very easy, parked the car and walked the 100yards to the terminal, having printed the sea-passes of on-line (this is a fantastic invitation saving lots of queues and time) we walked straight up to the desk were processed and told that we could board straight away, walked straight on the ship, found the Windjammer, where they were serving lunch and was eating lunch by 12.15pm, this is the very best we have ever boarded a ship, so top marks to RCL for the embarkation. We had just finished lunch when the announced the cabins were ready, so found our cabin and was very pleasantly surprised, there had been a good few comments on the fact that Legend was showing her years and in places was very tatty, we did not find this, and our cabin was spotless and looked lovely with the new bedding that has just been replaced, very soon the luggage arrived, and it was time for lifeboat drill, the necessary if tedious drill was carried out more quickly than any other ship I have been on and we were released to start enjoying our cruise. I had been a bit apprehensive about whether the first couple of days at sea would be a waste of holiday time, but they weren't infact the two relaxing sea days were fantastic,one gripe the sun loungers on the pool deck were a bit like sardines in a tin squashed together, but I suppose that meant more sunbeds for everybody, We tended to go to the solarium pool where there was more space, and we always managed to find a bed maybe not exactly where we wanted, but we always got one. The only problem there was the groups of young teenagers 14-16year olds who would hog the hot-tubs for hours, and even when asked by other passengers if they would mind giving somebody else a chance could be quite rude, the deck staff would talk to them but then just walk away and leave them there, even when it was stated quite clearly in the rules that no under 16's were allowed in these hot-tubs and that the maximum time in the hot-tub should be 15min. This was the only real problem I had with the whole cruise. We were 2nd seating for dinner which was our 1st choice as we like to be able to relax and not rush if we have been ashore during the day. The dining room was very nicely laid out and we had a table for eight right by a large window. The service was 1st class always and the food of a pretty high standard, it is three years since our last cruise and I liked the way the menus were laid out now, instead of seven or eight courses it was laid out in three courses, although it was pointed out to us on our first evening that we could have as many course as we wanted from each section. Our food was always hot and the waiting staff could not be faulted and were always very eager to help, we had a couple of young teenagers at our table who sometimes did not like what they ordered but were to polite to say, this was always noticed by out waiter who would offer to get them something else from the menu. The menus themselves were very comprehensive. We took organized excursions in most of the ports, and although we thought the were expensive, on the whole they gave reasonable value for money, my one flaw is that I feel they try to pack to much into each trip, I would have rather have had more time in certain places ie: The Panthenon in Rome where we only had five min to look around. and maybe not visited so many different places on the one trip. Entertainment, overall I was not overly impressed by the standard of the shows, although to be fair we only went to two of three, we did enjoy the BeatleMainacs, they were very good, and we attended some of the entertainment in the lounges, but on the whole we preferred to have a drink in the viking lounge in the evening. Disembarkation went as smoothly as embarkation, we were called at 8am and were of the ship, in the car and on our way home by 8.20am. Overall the cruise was fantastic, with a very good mix of ports and sea days, yes the ship is showing her age in a small number of places, but aren't we all and the service on board more than makes up for that, the staff were fantastic, and they seem to go out of their way to make you feel that you are the most important person on the ship, there was a very good feel to the ship and I think that this comes from the Captain, who seems to run his ship very well.I would not hesitate to go on this ship again, or from Southampton. Read Less
Sail Date July 2006
Legend of the Seas ~ Classic Mediterranean 14 night cruise 22 July- 5 August We have just returned from an absolutely brilliant cruise on Legend of the Seas. We were a bit worried about the some negative reviews but honestly there is ... Read More
Legend of the Seas ~ Classic Mediterranean 14 night cruise 22 July- 5 August We have just returned from an absolutely brilliant cruise on Legend of the Seas. We were a bit worried about the some negative reviews but honestly there is nothing at all to worry about. Anyone sailing on this ship should have a fantastic time too! We have only travelled as a family on Ocean village before, so only have that to compare to. We stayed overnight at Express by Holiday Inn in Southampton a few miles from the port. We had free car parking at the port. Embarkation was quick & easy as we had completed on line form in Southampton and were on the ship by about 11am. We felt the ship was in generally good condition throughout. We saw the odd worn chair in a public area but otherwise it was in excellent shape. There were always cleaning staff in the public areas polishing the beautiful brass handrails and glass. The crew were fantastic, always smiling and really did appear to enjoy working on the ship. Public loos were always clean and in working order! We felt there were plenty of sun beds on the deck. We heard people moaning about sun beds being saved but deck patrol did remove towels saving beds if you asked. The pools were lovely & clean. On first sea day, the pool was emptied and cleaned because a young child had pooed in the pool. It took hours to clean and so they let the children use the solarium. We had a 4 berth inside cabin. It was small compared to similar on Ocean Village, but we managed well with some organization! There was just enough storage space for clothing. Our cabin attendant was Mario. He kept our cabin clean & tidy and left towel animals some nights & chocs. The beds were really comfy. We preferred eating evening meal in the Romeo & Juliet restaurant. We had main sitting at 6pm. We were seated at our own table which was wonderful but we had the pleasure of the company of guests at the adjacent table who frequently invited us over to join them after our children had left the table. We found the menus to be very interesting & varied ~ sole, perch, salmon, prawns, snails, chicken, steaks, pork. We enjoyed every meal. The restaurant service was terrific ~ waitress Lucille & assistant Lloyd were very attentive throughout the cruise. We ate twice in the Windjammer at night. There was a good choice but we just preferred to be service in the main restaurant. We ate breakfast in the Windjammer. The choice of food was amazing. We loved the fried eggs & omelettes. We rarely ate lunch as still full from breakfast but managed the occasional cream scone or cookie for afternoon tea. Free tea, coffee & chocolate are always available outside the windjammer. My children also enjoyed the free ice creams from the deck. They also liked Ben & Jerrys but limited them one a day as this could work out costly otherwise. Entertainment was good but we felt that some of the ships production shows were not as good as Ocean Village. They did not have the wow factor and we wouldnt have wanted to sit through them again like we did on OV. The guest entertainers were all good especially the 2 comedians, magician, Renata & the Beatle Maniacs. The disco in the Viking Crown was excellent. The DJ played a good selection of songs and there was a brilliant atmosphere up there. We often stayed till the early hours. Fellow travellers on board were mostly pleasant however, we did unfortunately meet some miserable people who complained about childrens behaviour (school holidays), dont go then! We found most of the children well behaved, ours were and they thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Some people were rude & abrupt to us, when using lifts and on one night a woman asked my husband if she could take my chair when I had nipped to take a photo of the deck buffet. When he told her someone was sitting there she said they must be invisible then! Most of the moaners were older! My husband, 3 friends and I entered the team trivia quiz just for fun. We won all 4 rounds but were accused of cheating by an American team! We had a great holiday on this wonderful ship & would most definitely sail on her again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2006
I am a first time cruiser. The first ship I went on was a ferry to Ilfracombe , and that wasn't a proper cruise, just a day out, so my expectations were pretty low. We arrived, My wife and myself, in Southampton by train and walked to ... Read More
I am a first time cruiser. The first ship I went on was a ferry to Ilfracombe , and that wasn't a proper cruise, just a day out, so my expectations were pretty low. We arrived, My wife and myself, in Southampton by train and walked to the port. We made it to the terminal via a coffee shop, which had run out of coffee. There was a big queue formed that snaked around about 5 times, it looked a bit like Argos at Christmas, well maybe not that bad. Free cookies were on offer and some squash and the queue kept moving so that was good. Then, for the first and last time of the whole two weeks I produced my passport, you never have to show it to anyone again, if you don't want to! Once past the check in desk it was to the first photo opportunity with the ships photographic team with the Ship under the sea background. This is something that happens allot, every time you get off the boat in fact, and all formal dinners, you get your picture taken. You could say no, but then you might feel you weren't joining in with the cruise sprit so I just grinned my way through them. You should also bear in mind that all your pictures go up on public display, everyone gets to see them. I found myself looking more at other peoples photos than my own, so bear that in mind when you've got a face like thunder on. We got on the boat and another part of your cruise is sanitizing your hands. I splashed mine all over until they told me what it was, but you can never be too careful. I had to ask directions on the boat for our cabin. It took all of thirty seconds to explore. But embarkation is nice for me in comparison to other holidays, no flights, no long queues at airports, baggage claim, check in desks, just down to Southampton and thirty minutes later your in your room. We had stateroom 3535, which I wouldn't recommend to anybody. Let me give you first timers a nugget of advice; Check your room out against the ships floor plans before booking. Line it up exactly as to what is above it and what is below it. We were told to pay extra to upgrade and the higher the better. We did this for one floor and above us was the champagne terrace bar kitchen. The bar closed at 1 AM but this was when the cleaning began and some clumsy oaf would drop a tray of cutlery and the noise was akin to a whale trying to make love to our stateroom. At first this didn't bother us, we were so tired we slept through it and I originally thought this was a passenger in his room above us until I went upstairs to remonstrate with him and had a dime bar moment. I asked the pursers desk what they could do and the answer was nothing much except to ask the work crew to keep the noise down, and the noise went away for a that night and then it was back with a bang! This was the only dampener to the holiday overall really, not just being woken up every night but the fact that Guest relations wouldn't even talk about it or answer or letters I wrote to them and the Pursers desk just offered sympathy, not allot of use to me. The most obvious solution to me would be to give that cabin to crew member who works in the night, like the guy who cleans up in the champagne bar for instance? I am sure there are other rooms that are affected like this, in hindsight deck 2 would have been better and cheaper. Personally I don't know what the point of paying extra for a window or a porthole anyway because we didn't think we would spend much time in our cabin, just for sleeping and on this itinerary that was about right. 9 ports in 14 days. If we wanted to read a book we always went out onto deck 4, the quietest and most pleasant of areas on the ship! Pay more for a balcony not a window in my opinion. We did the muster drill, I was hoping to sneak out of this but with no luck as they come looking for you, close everything and check your cabin numbers off the life jackets. I still don't get it, so if the ship gets torpedoed, catches on fire or is attacked by a giant octopus we have to go to deck 4 and form a very large crowd where we all squash together? How is that going to help me when I have a giant tentacle wrapped around my neck? Even though the cruise was fully booked it never seemed crowded, which was good. The pool on the top was busy though, lots of families and kids love the pool ,and table tennis apparently. This is a family ship and so expect to find lots of children. I don't mind them at all as long as they don't follow me and call me baldy grumpy bugger like they do in my local park.  The Passengers were mostly British, although there was a Brazilian conference being held on the ship and there were about 250 Brazilian freemasons on board. I've always wanted to join the Freemasons, I'm led to believe that when you join this secret handshake group you are told the true identity of Jack the ripper, The name of the man who shot President Kennedy and the 11 secret herbs and spices that go to make Colonel Parkers southern fried chicken pieces. If I spoke Portuguese then I might have been able to pick up an application form but no luck this time! If you are a member of the freemasons perhaps you could send me an application form as I am up in court for a parking offence on the 17th and I need all the help I can get. I thought the ship was in good condition, but I don't have another to compare it too, the lift area and Centrum looked really nice to me though, and I especially like the theatre, very comfortable seats, which are good to fall asleep in as you watch the Royal Caribbean singers and dancers go through their routines. I liked also the Library which was never crowded, there was one book i found to read and this lasted me the entire 14 days. We set off on time and it was pretty cold and windy, but that's Britain for you. The first day across the bay of Biscay was very rough, a bit like a ride at the fair ground that makes you feel sick and want to get off but you just have to be sick and get on with it. I heard lots of sea sickness cures but the one that works for me is to eat something and also to take the free tablets they give you. I felt allot better after that however allot of people stayed in their rooms I think feeling pretty green. I still went to the Dancing class as I thought the tossing and turning would give my two left feet a valid excuse. My Wife and I took all the dancing classes on the trip. They had two instructors there who were on a cruise themselves, so had obviously got the trip at discount. I wish I knew something that I could teach to passengers?. I used to be a postman so dog handling might be in order. I should have trained the RCI staff as 3 out of the 5 articles of correspondence I received were for other staterooms. One was an invitation for a welcome back party . I got very excited about this, saying to my wife how nice of Royal Caribbean to treat us like this and that we would have to get dressed up until I realized it was for the cabin next door, I was going to go anyway, but on the advice of my wife, gave it to our neighbors in the end. Reading other peoples mail brought back memories of my life as a postal worker, and why I got sacked . All the other letter I received in error were bill demands which I read anyway, old habits die hard folks. I will tell you some of the things I thought were a right Royal Caribbean rip off 1. The stateroom coca cola or water. £1 a can or £1.30 a bottle of water. Even in budget motels you get free coffee and tea in your stateroom so I thought these were complimentary, no chance. I wouldn't mind a fair price but £1 for a can of pop isn't. 2. In at number two is the internet. It's 20 p a minute. What's wrong with that ! I hear you cry, well that works out at £12 an hour which isn't cheap. There was a cabin in Villefrance, where the launches arrived and he charged 3 euros an hour as well as a good deal on phone cards and a phone to use them on. If you can hold on til then. I was glad they charged so much anyway because it kept me off it, and do you know what everyone? I didn't miss it! 3. The Laundry. It's a small sized bag which you can only put smalls in, no suits, no trousers, no big shirts, jumpers, jackets or anything like that. And its £11. Take travel wash or buy  A mano and bring an iron, or they will be taking the shirt off your back! 4. The bus into town. Why do they charge 5.60 euros when the municipal bus only charges 2.50 euros? If they want to take me for a ride then they have to lower the price. 5. The phone. Even ET couldn't afford to phone home at these astronomical prices £4.95 a minute! 6. Anything in the ships spa, I heard that it even costs £5 to change your mind in there. 7. The wine list. It really is a mediocre selection but with an executive price policy. However don't forget folks that all of the above are optional, your not forced into taking any of those services so it's a take it or leave it situation, I would have taken it if I didn't feel they were trying to squeeze my wallet like a ripe orange. In reference to the crew I thought in General, they were good. They treated us well. Our waiter seemed like he had seen it all before, and I guess he had. Throughout the whole cruise the ships crew make you feel pretty special, and for us it was a really special holiday. For them, in reality it is just another two week treadmill of customers. This was evident in the waiter service, I liked the welcome aboard song from the staff and headwaiter and I also liked the friendship parade at the end, but they go through the same thing every two weeks. Some of the waiters and bus boys in the Romeo and Juliet in the morning, especially the Filipinos, seemed to be not trying very hard to be nice, on two occasions One waitress would just drop the napkin in my lap as if she were throwing it over a dog doodle and say  pleasure and walk off, another waitress would always try to give us a table for 10 when we asked her for a table for 2, then she would try to give us the worst table in the restaurant, there are a few of these two seater tables which are part of the aisle. Another day the waiter completely forgot to take our order until a headwaiter noticed we still had the menu. The Waiter then came over and said  why didn't you tell me you hadn't ordered, like I was going to tell him how to do his job. Then he wanted to be friends and said  where are you from?  Wales I replied, Why are you from Wales? he said. I wasn't ready for such a philosophical question at breakfast, but it went downhill from there anyway. Mind you, if I could take any solace from the service that morning was that they probably weren't getting paid. On the whole I thought the food selection and quality was good. I enjoyed the Romeo and Juliet, for the evening meals although on two occasions when asked how I would like the steak cooked I asked for Medium rare, however if the Steak which they brought had been any rarer than it was it would have walked out of the kitchen itself, on 4 legs and with a bell around it's neck. Lucky I can stomach rare. I did notice that our poor waiter didn't have a night off on the whole trip, When do you get one I asked one night,  Six months he replied, now that's tough, I suddenly forgave all surliness. I managed to find out some company secrets as well. Did you know that when the bus boys have to work in the Windjammer buffet, which is two weeks out of 6 they don't get paid, at all, anything, no wages. Does that stink or what? I read somewhere, in the royal Caribbean brochure that tipping was my way of rewarding good service, why don't they reward good service, they may as well say  We hope you pay our staff, because we wont be. Mind you I also read in the P&O brochure (supposed question from customer)  I love shopping, can you help? Oh mama! So its the Royal Pirates of the Caribbean when it comes to paying staff, because some of the others are begin paid less than $2 dollars a day. The bar staff get paid the 15% service charge and nothing else, work for 8 months, get 4 off, no pay. I was surprised they were still smiling at me and not going through the safe in my room. Then I found out the room attendants only got $50 a month and that they had first dibs on the safe. It's hard to enjoy your sloozie cocktail next to the pool when you know your luxury holiday is made off the backs of poor, hardworking people isn't it? I genuinely felt so bad for them that I decided to take all the friends I made among the staff out for dinner one night!, I feel sad to report that it was a table for one, facing the wall in the Windjammer that night. The staff I found the hardest to get to know were the South Africans, they wouldn't have any of the friendly questioning and were very much company people. Especially the personal trainer. We attended a seminar entitled Natural remedies, now you have to be careful when attending some seminars and free lectures as they are nothing other than a  info commercial for something sold on the ship, and all of hers were to do with treatments in the Spa. This was no different. She promised us that if we didn't exercise now we would be in wheelchairs at fifty, that's a fact. She told us that the sea was the cleanest thing on earth because of algae and that if we came to the spa we could get some rubbed in our faces for £50 or something like that. Then she told us she had the answer to why we felt tired, why we get ill, why we are prone to infections, why we can't lose weight, why we have no energy, why the sun shines and all of that and pulled back a curtain to reveal a device that looked like a 1980s fax machine and it was such a holy, magical piece of equipment that no one was allowed near it ( unless they had £16.95 ). Another interesting part of the cruise, which intrigued me, was the art auction. From reading other cruise reviews it seems that allot of the cruise lines are at this, but I must admit I was suspicious. I have a limited knowledge of art and the auctioneers kept telling me that any purchase was an investment. I would never invest in anything I didn't know anything about and I would give that advice to anybody, however I did witness some people, 5th glass of beer in hand buying artwork. I became more suspicious when my wife won a competition to guess the value of a Picasso they had there, she's quite good at that and the auctioneer proudly announced that she had won a $300 piece of artwork. Wow, I thought, that's great. So what she won was an art print just like the ones you get at Ikea for £10, not signed by the artist or anything, just a print. Doubly unfortunate that it wasn't held on the ship either but at their gallery in Chicago so they would have to send it to me in the post which costs $90. That must be one heavy print!, what's it on? A brick. This is all packaged in a tube, no frame you see. So I'm sure when customs see the docket and the  valuation certificate they will slap on 17.5 % and add to that handling charges from postman pat and your looking at a hefty price for a poster, especially when you can get prints from the same artists on ebay for $19.99. We never took them up on their offer.. They were giving away $50 prints just to turn up for a seminar or to hand back your bid card, now, no one gives away $50 artwork, so I began to be a bit suspicious about all of this and stayed away from bidding on any art pieces I would be very careful about this but if you know what your doing then that's fine. I did have a little joke with the yellow stickers you are supposed to put on the items you want included in the auction, I put them on everything I could find that wasn't in the auction, Ships pictures, photos, plaques commemorating voyages and some of the poker machines too. I wanted to put a sticker on Derrick, because he looked like a Picasso but I knew I would get in trouble if I did. They did auction a Mohammed Ali signed poster for around £1200 pounds Sterling. I have seen the same thing locally for £800. the auctioneers seem enthusiastic about the savings you can make by buying art at sea, like  no rental fees for the gallery this didn't make sense to me because I doubt 100 % that RCI give the Park West Gallery floor space on their ships for nothing. So do your own research, make sure the paintings are dry by the time you pack them in your suitcase, and don't forget there's only one L in Dali. Time to turn my attention now to the ships entertainment. On the whole I was very pleased with the selection of entertainers for the two weeks. A comedian magician who's act was criminally out of date but very funny, Gary Lovini who we thought was very accomplished and very entertaining, as were the others. Pete Matthews comedy juggling was excellent and the man of a thousand voices was entertaining too even if I didn't recognize any of his voices, for he first thirty minutes I thought he was the warm up! We also had Paul Adams,  He worked in the Royal Albert hall Crowed Gordon, as a cleaner, we found out later. He wasn't very funny and it was lucky that the theatre was empty ( Barcelona night ). The funniest line of the night came from the audience; Paul Adams-  I'm trying to emigrate to Canada, but I have to prove to the Canadian Government that I can make a living out of making people laugh Heckler-  When are you coming back then? Spent the rest of the night wishing I had said that. If there was another downside to the entertainment then it was the in house entertainers, Royal Caribbean show dancers and singers. Their productions stank big time and their male singers, Josh was one, I renamed Fred West and Ted Bundy because they serially murdered every song they touched, If dear old Rod Stewart isn't dead then he would be turning in his grave to hear his work dragged through the Ab Fab night, which was a celebration of British music and included Kylie Minogue As British as a Shrimp Barbie. Even funnier was that the member of the cast who looked least like her in EVERY way played Kylie. The Female singers were good, but even as I write, the recollection of the Male signers is reminiscent of a man dragging his nails down a blackboard, just like in the film, JAWS. Ab Fab had some very very thought provoking Music interpreted as Dance which left me mystified, I wonder if I took drugs would see the same thing? Another of their un-entertaining stinkers was the From footlights to Hollywood Which had some show numbers which were the least popular in the whole world of musicals and I wondered if there were copyright issues which stopped them doing anything anyone had heard of before. As you can guess, I'm not very entertained by people singing and dancing. I Saw the cruise compass out for the next cruisers, Day 1 , on our last day and I kind of felt sad to be getting off. We had a knock on the door of the last morning and I hoped that it was the guest relations manager to apologize for the countless interrupted nights, it was just the cruise director who lifted me up by the ankles to shake me, trying to get some more money out of me! The Disembarkation process was smooth, I had plenty of time to eat something beforehand. I think they clear the rooms out in the order of which guests paid the most. All the suites go first and anyone with an early train connection, so there's your tip if you can't wait to get off. I did go back to my room for one final goodbye and found Gordon Wantmore with his hand down the back of our little settee. I didn't feel very sad disembarking but later on, when we got home, I did begin to feel as though I wished I was sailing from Southampton that day instead of going to the supermarket, I was wishing that I had another cruise to go on! So in the end I would repeat the process. But I would say I have learned this, research the room, and what's above or below it, buy all the cigarettes and alcohol from Gibraltar, you wont find them cheaper anywhere else, I would choose the later seating time for dinner as on some port days you would get back to the ship at 4pm hungry, go to the Windjammer, have more than you originally planned and then end up having to go to dinner at 6.30. I wouldn't pre pay the tips again and would rather do it at the end of the cruise, you have more control over the process and who receives what. I wont mention names because I don't want any of them to get in trouble. Read Less
Sail Date July 2006
This was our 2nd cruise on Legend, we did a similar cruise last year and loved it. Legend didn't disappoint. Embarkation is so easy. We had free parking at the dock, so drove in. We had a balcony cabin for me and my husband with an ... Read More
This was our 2nd cruise on Legend, we did a similar cruise last year and loved it. Legend didn't disappoint. Embarkation is so easy. We had free parking at the dock, so drove in. We had a balcony cabin for me and my husband with an inside cabin for the children (2 boys aged 13 and 14). The cabins were fine, plenty of storage, clean and tidy. They do show their age slightly but nothing more than you'd expect on a 10 year old ship. My children didn't use the teen club, I think they found the behaviour of some of the other children a bit overwhelming. As mentioned in a previous review, some parents allowed their offspring to run riot, much to the annoyance of other passengers. Despite this they found plenty to amuse themselves and spent many happy hours at the golf course, table tennis, swimming and Ben and Jerries. The entertainment varied from excellent ( Beatles tribute band) to pretty grim. We used the casino and found the staff, on the whole, to be very friendly. All the waiters and bar staff were lovely and obviously enjoyed their work. We mainly dined in the Windjammer restaurant and the food in there was consistently of a high standard with plenty of choice. The ports were a good mix of beach stops, culture and sight seeing. We tendered twice and the service was efficient. We avoided peak times , having a leisurely morning and getting off at about lunch time without any queuing. Disembarkation is easy. We were off the ship by 7.30, no problem for us early risers. All in all a fantastic holiday, very little to fault. Read Less
Sail Date July 2006
We are regular cruisers, but this was our first experience with Royal Caribbean. The embarkation went smoothly enough and we were happy with our balcony cabin, even if the decor and furnishings were looking a little tired and dated The ... Read More
We are regular cruisers, but this was our first experience with Royal Caribbean. The embarkation went smoothly enough and we were happy with our balcony cabin, even if the decor and furnishings were looking a little tired and dated The quality of the food in the Windjammer (self-service) restaurant was excellent-although the evening meal in the silver service restaurant was rather ordinary-a mere 3 courses with an unimaginative wine list and rather slapdash service. However,the waiting staff were charm personified and this was true of all the staff on the ship. As with most cruises the entertainment on board was dire-very much end-of-the-pier stuff and terribly dated. One chap did a Jake the Peg routine circa Rolf Harris 1976! We enjoyed all the ports of call and the Captain made sterling efforts to call at Gibraltar when we were unable to dock there on the outward bound part of the journey. Although we enjoyed our cruise, be warned-Royal Caribbean makes offers of "children travel free" on various cruises throughout the year  Our cruise was one of these and it was irksome to find babies in the bar at midnight and packs of semi-feral youngsters taking over the lounges and entertainment centres at night. Of course, this is all down to poor parenting-but there was no intervention by the staff that we could perceive. We have never experienced this problem before on other cruises, so it must be down to the type of client group Royal Caribbean attracts. Read Less
Sail Date June 2006
This cruise was Western Europe cruise from Southampton down to the highlight of the trip Lisbon, Portugal on leaving Southampton on 20th May 2006. Booked this trip 3 months before departure as it seemed a good itinerary and wanted to try ... Read More
This cruise was Western Europe cruise from Southampton down to the highlight of the trip Lisbon, Portugal on leaving Southampton on 20th May 2006. Booked this trip 3 months before departure as it seemed a good itinerary and wanted to try a bigger cruise ship. Having done 2 Mediterranean cruises on Thomson Sprit 2005 and the old Thomson Topaz 2000, this has now retired. These were small ships 33,000 tones and 1200 passengers max. This was our first RCI cruise. Both times these cruises were amongst the best holiday I have had to date. Travelled on British Airways from Glasgow to London Heathrow and then via Royal Caribbean coach transfer to the Southampton docks which both were as good as can be expected. Transfer to the ship I thought was going to be a long experience having read some pervious reviews of RCI dock transfers. Arrived at 2.00pm and was in the room by 2.15pm having completed the sea pass check in on line. Arriving on the ship there was no one to direct you to your room or even ask, having been taken to the room on the 2 previous cruises. We booked and upgraded to a Junior suite which was quite small on this ship and looked a bit dated, but was OK. Cabin Steward was very nice and always helpful. We only paid and extra £115 UK pounds, each for the upgrade and would have been disappointed if I had paid any more. Went to the Windjammer for some lunch, the food was typical hotel buffet style, lots of choice but never really impressed. The cooked breakfast was not good especially the bacon. Had a couple of room service breakfasts which were much better. Started to explore the ship which seem a nice ship although it does need updating especially some of the chairs the lounges. I did feel sorry for the duo who were playing at the outside pool in big jackets because it was very windy and cold. We left port on schedule at 5.00pm and the captain came on the intercom welcoming us on board saying that the weather in the English Channel could be a bit rough but it takes quite a lot to through about a large ship like this. Our cruise was to take us to Day 1 St Peter port, Guernsey, Day 2 La Rochelle, France, Day 3 at sea, Day 4 Lisbon, Portugal, Day 5 Vigo, Spain, Day 6 at sea and Day 7 Back at Southampton. Arriving at St Peter port Guernsey at 7.00am we did not stop just kept going sea was quite rough and was going to get worse. As we were tendering that day we would not have been able to get back on the ship according to the Captain who eventually came on the intercom informing us of this fact at 8.00am, which as we kept on going, we already had guessed and Guernsey was now in the distance. So he was going onto La Rochelle, in France. I dont know if this captain just could not read weather charts or just was mad but he took us into a force 12 storm and later that week at the friendship parade made a joke about bringing us through the storm which did not please me and many of other passengers. Needless to say we did not stop at La Rochelle either, eventually stopping after 3 days 3 hours of cruising in Vigo, Spain, which was mostly very rough. A window got blown in on the second or third day of sailing on deck 3 at 5am during the worst of the storm. The Doctor was very popular on this trip. Never had any problem with rough seas before but 3 days of nearly constant rough seas took its toll on lots of the passengers. We stayed in Vigo from 8pm till 6pm the next night having to miss out on Lisbon due to having to go slow because of the weather. The Captain in my opinion should not have left Southampton if he knew the weather was going to be so bad and should have taken a different route like the 2 other cruise ships that left Southampton at the same time the Sea Princess and the Oriana did. We eventually made it back to St. Peter port on Friday but the tender transfer was very rough. Sea Princess was also there on the Friday. Entertainment on the ship was extremely poor at night was OK but nothing extra was organised by Gordon the cruise director who I got the impression could not be bothered. Even went to the art auction just to do something as we were so bored and this was a day that we should have been at sea. Everyone that I spoke to said that this was not a typical RCI cruise as there was just NOTHING to do during the day, no themed nights in the dining room, the waiters sung twice but that was it. I have to say that the staff were first class always happy to help especially Joe our dining room waiter and Leabert on the Viking crown lounge (freak boy, you will know if you have met him) In all it was a very bad cruise experience as the Captain admitted but was made worse by the lack of day time activities. We were offered a 50% future cruise credit on what we had paid for the cruise portion of this cruise, but lots of passengers did not want to sail with them again. We did get a refund of the shore excursions we had booked and we never got to the destinations. Read Less
Sail Date May 2006
Background I have just returned from a 2-week Mediterranean cruise on the Legend of the Seas. I have previously cruised on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Cunard, with the last cruise being on the Explorer of the Seas in 2004. To give you ... Read More
Background I have just returned from a 2-week Mediterranean cruise on the Legend of the Seas. I have previously cruised on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Cunard, with the last cruise being on the Explorer of the Seas in 2004. To give you an idea of my expectations/standards, I usually stay in good 4 star hotels in the USA. We are a family of 7, with ages ranging from 11-79. We booked Legend of the Seas because some members of the party wanted to sail from the UK, instead of flying anywhere. We had a good idea of the standards of RCCL, from Explorer 2 years ago, and were fully aware that this product is somewhat middle of the road in terms of quality. We are probably more suited to something more luxurious, but we like the many activities and slightly more relaxed ambience on RCCL. Nevertheless, having read some cruise critic reviews, I was becoming apprehensive as to whether this ship would be good enough. Embarkation Extremely easy. We drove up to the ship (no queues) at about 1145. We dropped off the luggage and then parked the car about 200 metres away. We then checked in (no queues) and were on the ship by 1200. We had previously completed the check-in details on line. We were allowed in our cabins at 1pm, and the luggage was there by about 2pm. Stateroom We had 2 deluxe balcony cabins and one superior interior. All were very spacious and very clean. We took 2 large suitcases each, but there was plenty of storage space. I guess the furniture was a little cheap looking, and possibly the sofa was a little tired, but it wasn't that bad for a ship. It was no worse than on other ships. The air conditioning worked fine, the shower was OK (I've had worse, even in 5 star hotels). The towels were average. I must say that the cabin was in better condition and MUCH cleaner than on the Explorer of the Seas. Our attendant, Elizabeth, was excellent -- very hard-working and always there if you needed her. I did not find any problem with noise from adjacent rooms. Dining The food was excellent. It really exceeded my expectations, and I am a very fussy eater. The variety and quality of the food in Windjammer was far superior to similar restaurants on the other ships I have been on. The only problem with the Windjammer was that it was always very busy and difficult to find a table. In the dining room, the food and service was excellent at dinner time, and our waiters, Constantine and Sjolt were wonderful. At breakfast time, you get different waiters and although very pleasant, they seemed less experienced. There were some unsatisfactory experiences at breakfast, but on the plus side, they were very accommodating if you wanted to go off-menu. The head waiters were always very helpful and on the ball if something wasn't right. We would have preferred to have breakfast in the Windjammer, but it was such a tiring experience that we often preferred to put up with the hit and miss service in the dining room. For lunch, we always ate in Windjammer. If you can wait till about 2pm, it gets much quieter. The afternoon teas were also spectacular. Entertainment We always enjoyed the evening show. Obviously it wasn't West End quality, but it was OK. The theatre was very comfortable. Beware, if you sit in the front few rows, you may get chosen by the entertainer to participate! The only thing that I found slightly disappointing, and a little embarrassing, was the strong focus on Britishness. Everything was geared towards us Brits and I wondered how the few Americans on board felt. I appreciate that 99% of the guests were Brits, but I would have preferred a more international theme to the entertainment. Activities We participated in rock climbing, dance classes, golf, towel folding, etc. All activities seemed very well organised and the activity staff seemed pleasant, efficient and competent. I was pleased to see there were lectures on the ports of call that were unbiased and not geared towards earning revenue for RCCL (unlike Explorer). However, one inaccuracy -- shopping is NOT cheaper in Gibraltar than at home. Some members of the family played bingo, but the prize money was very low. Pool/Sunbeds It was difficult to get sunbeds unless you got there very early and saved them, which we were not prepared to do. There were plenty of beds in the shade but the weather was too cold to make use of these. This is one of the downsides of cruising -- nowhere to sit outside. Deck 4 was quite pleasant, but away from the pool activities. Spa I had a facial which was very pleasant, but to tell you the truth, I didn't look any different afterwards. I also tried to have a reflexology and massage session, but the reflexologist was so rude and aggressive that I had to walk out before we started. Her customer service skills leave a lot to be desired. This was the only instance of bad service though -- every other employee I encountered was very helpful and polite. Shore Excursions We booked 5 shore excursions -- in Praia da Rocha, Rome, Villefranche, Corsica and Barcelona. In Gibraltar, Lisbon and Vigo we did our own thing. We probably should have done our own thing in other places too, as certain members of our family did not like the discipline of staying with the guide and kept wandering off. Very annoying to the rest of us. The excursions were well organised in terms of getting everyone efficiently off the ship and onto the bus. The Rome excursion was a total disaster though. We were expected to queue in St Peter's square to get into the Vatican. There was a thunderstorm happening at the time, with hailstones bombarding us, but we still had to queue. Not an orderly queue, I must point out, but a totally chaotic one, with hundreds of people pushing in and making it virtually impossible to follow the guide. We probably queued for about 45 minutes in these terrible conditions and then had about 10 minutes in the Vatican. We later drove to the Colosseum, but could not go inside. Instead we had to stand outside in the heavy rain to listen to the guide. She may as well have told us this on the bus. We then went to another church and the guide took us through a crowded rail station in order to get there. People were quite frightened because they couldn't see the guide and didn't know where they were going. Dreadful. I think they need to have a plan B in case of weather like this and give people a choice about whether they want to get soaked or not. The other excursions were fine. In Corsica we did the Prunelli Gorges trip. The scenery was fabulous, but the roads are not for the faint-hearted. There were tenders in Praia da Rocha and Villefranche, in the others we were docked. Some tenders were out of service at praia da Rocha, meaning there were very long lines to return to the boat, and it was a 20 minute ride. Disembarkation Very fast and efficient. Trolleys were available to put your luggage on. You can then either walk the 200 metres to the car or take a shuttle bus. We were away by 0815. Summary I enjoyed the cruise and the ship was better than I expected, having read other reviews. Apart from the reflexologist, the staff were excellent. However, I was disappointed that nearly everyone on board was British. Although there's nothing wrong with us Brits, I prefer to have a more international mix of nationalities when I go on holiday. This is probably the downside of sailing from the UK. The average age also seemed much higher on this cruise than on the other cruises I've been on, and some of the more elderly guests did not seem to appreciate the RCCL style.   Read Less
Sail Date May 2006
We have just returned from a 2 week sailing on Legend of the Seas from Southampton (2 adults 9 year old and 11 year old). Fantastic holiday. The fact of getting on the ship in the UK was a new experience for us and a bonus. Embarkation ... Read More
We have just returned from a 2 week sailing on Legend of the Seas from Southampton (2 adults 9 year old and 11 year old). Fantastic holiday. The fact of getting on the ship in the UK was a new experience for us and a bonus. Embarkation went very smoothly and as soon as we had checked in we were on the ship. I wish you were still brought onto the ship via the atrium as we were on our first cruise as that overwhelming feeling of WOW is not the same when you enter the ship via the cabin floors, but I suppose this is not always possible. We located our cabin which was an inside stateroom for 4, but which was very nice and very clean on arrival. Our cabin boy was excellent never bothering us and keeping our cabin in excellent condition. We were delighted with the ship even though it was the oldest ship we had been on, to say it was an older ship it is still in excellent condition. We ate mostly in the dining room in the evening, only eating in the Windjammer on a couple of evenings as we didn't feel like going to the restaurant. Food as a whole was excellent and our waiters could not have been any better, they were fantastic (especially roy from India. I prefer the 3 course evening meals rather than the 6 we have been used to on Princess - although the food did not live up to Princess standard it was excellent none the less. The first 3 evenings our meal could have done to have been a little hotter but is the only thing I can find to complain about the food. The variety was excellent - we even had our own curry one night as we happened to mention we all like curry. The captain was the most charismatic captain we have come across and could often be seen around the ship and was very comical on the evenings/organised functions that we saw him at. The children's club was not the best we have had by far, there seemed to be so many staff but the facilities were not the best, security was not the best and entertainment as a whole was not the best. The cruise we sailed on had free children which is excellent value for money but many parents were not in control of where there children where or least of all what they were doing. There was many complaints of unruly children (and that is from one who took their 2 children). Unfortunately children took over the main pool which I do not think is fair, I heard lots of complaints of children darting up and down the lifts (and saw it myself)and to be honest there were too many children for my liking. I will not do another one where children are free for that reason. There was even rumour that one family were asked to leave the ship because of their children's behaviour. One added bonus was free fruit juices and ice creams daily around the ship, this was enjoyed very much. Entertainment was excellent but not enough of it. There is only one show a night but what there was was much enjoyed and very good. Casino we didn't use. The bars on board were all ok but got quite packed in the evenings and some were a little too smoky. We had an elderly disabled gentleman with our party and the help and support that him and his wife were given was nothing short of fantastic. For anyone wondering should they or shouldn't they if they are disabled - the crew on this ship are the best we have ever had, very kind and caring. I never heard one bad word from a crew member - first class crew. The rock wall was an added enjoyment for our family, especially for my husband and son who regularly scaled the wall and excelled themselves every day. The indoor pool was excellent but again children were often in the pool when the rules were that they should only be in at certain times, there are always those that flout the rules and spoil it for everyone else. Disembarkation was the best we have ever had and everyone was off the ship very quickly and efficiently. Excellent gratuity programme were you can opt in or opt out of gratuities, we chose to opt out and made sure we tipped generously those who had given us excellent service. The itinerary in general was very good, excellent ports of call - the trip to Monaco and Monte Carlo was excellent and one of the best trips I have ever been on, the fact that we had a good guide made it even better. Not much else I can think of to say, but I am sure I have left a lot out, happy to answer anyones questions. Read Less
Sail Date August 2005
i could not wait to board this ship this was to be our third cruise in ten months -- the other two were Carnival in the Caribbean. I am married with two boys aged 8 and 10 and set off early for the 5 hour drive to the port. I did it in ... Read More
i could not wait to board this ship this was to be our third cruise in ten months -- the other two were Carnival in the Caribbean. I am married with two boys aged 8 and 10 and set off early for the 5 hour drive to the port. I did it in 3 hours 20 minutes such was my excitement to be there early.  I checked out this and other sites and came to the conclusion RCI was the best cruise line for families. How wrong they turned out to be. The ship was fine very clean the food was fine and the beer was reasonably priced. The ports of call were mainly very good however many older fellow passengers were not, thinking they owned the covered pool area. If you don't like children don't travel in the school holidays. And I was challenged about taking my 8 year old in the covered pool by a very rude member of staff. Also the cafe located in that pool area was unwelcoming to children. One day the boys wanted a burger and one a pizza we had to wait for the pizza so when i asked if it was ready the cook simply said yes and put it on the used plate my other son had eaten his burger off. When I challenged her about this she got a clean plate and took the pizza off the dirty plate and handed it to my son to which I gave her a real rocket and did not hold back on would she have done this to a pensioner. Many people we met though were having a good time and I would not let a few ignorant people and crew put me off and had a good time although not lively enough for me in the day or night.  I cant wait to get back on the next carnival ship -- I wonder if it is because almost everyone was British that they toned things down and some of the crew were rude to many people. I hope not 'cause i really want to go on Freedom of the Seas. All in all we met some really nice people and my wife and kids enjoyed it in the end I was sad to leave although it would have to be a very bad ship indeed for me to look forward to getting off. Read Less
Sail Date August 2005
Legend of the Seas August 2005, Classic Mediterranean (14 nights) Two adults (30s) and two children (8 and 5) My wife and I and had previously sailed Celebrity's Constellation (Caribbean February 2004). We liked the idea of taking ... Read More
Legend of the Seas August 2005, Classic Mediterranean (14 nights) Two adults (30s) and two children (8 and 5) My wife and I and had previously sailed Celebrity's Constellation (Caribbean February 2004). We liked the idea of taking the children on a cruise from our local port Southampton (we live in Salisbury), so we were intrigued when RCI offered us the chance to sail the Legend from Southampton, with the kids going for free! We were a little concerned as to how this cruise would shape up against the wonderful cruise we had on the Constellation. We tried our best not to compare the two, especially as the price we paid for a family of four for two weeks on the Legend was not much more than we paid for an outside cabin for two in the Caribbean on the Constellation. However the comparison was inevitable and my comments should always be viewed from that perspective. Pros • Excellent value for money (kids travelled for free) • Excellent overall holiday experience • Proximity to home! • Good waiting and cabin staff • Children enjoyed the Kids Club • Interesting ports of call (Rome, Monte Carlo (Cannes) and Vigo were our highlights • Food was good (although there was no silver service and all dishes came pre-plated). Cons • Ship is over 10 years old and is showing its age through poor design • Despite recent refurbishment, certain areas are a bit drab • Our inside room was very cramped for four, was very dreary and showed its age • Not a 'resort' ship, and more demanding families should look to newer, better designed, and bigger ships. Minor points • The Guest Relations staff were poor and seemed to be just going through the motions of providing customer service. You had to be very persistent to get anything done. • The difference in staff numbers (from the Constellation) was quite noticeable in the pool area; e.g. cups, plates and food were left hanging around for quite long periods of time and sometimes it was difficult to get bar service. • You will be sailing with the great British public (out of 1975 people on board on this sailing 1800 were British). • Plastic cups and plates are used in the Windjammer and around the pool area (Glass and china were used on Constellation). • Our cabin girl was very good, although I felt that she almost shared the cabin with us! She was ever present. The corridor to our cabin was always littered with trolleys of towels, Hoovers, ice buckets, etc. On the Constellation we never saw any of this and our room was beautifully kept! • No trays available in the Windjammer, so there was a lot of getting up and down to get food, especially if you had to help a child select food • The sun loungers were 'bagged' very quickly on sea days and would be very difficult to get one • The Windjammer got very busy at peak times and it was sometimes difficult to find a table • Again, the internal design of the ship is poor. For example, if you are in a bar, you have to walk miles to find a loo. Likewise if you are in the theatre or dining room you have to walk up (or down) flights of stairs to find a loo. (Not a problem for us, but there was many older guests, for whom this was no joke). Suggestions/tips if you are considering this cruise If you have a very young family (under 3’s) look for a larger ship with better facilities. We spoke to a number of families who felt their very little ones were not being catered for, i.e. the pool was 5ft 6in deep, etc. If you are looking for a child free cruise do not book this cruise in July or August or whenever RCI offer free kids places as there will be lots of children on the ship. I lost count the number of times I (over)heard mutterings of disgruntled passengers concerned about the number of children in the pool/solarium/lift/corridors/dining room/using sunbeds, etc! This may look a minor point but I did witness a couple of altercations between the older and younger generations over the conduct or even just the visibility of children! RCI Shuttle buses are available at most ports of call to take you into the centre of the port. The charge is £4. Pay for these on the day at the bus, that way the children will travel free! (We learnt the hard way and had to argue hard to get a refund from ‘Guest Relations’) Drink prices: Wine from £10 a bottle, G&T c£2.20, Cocktail of the Day £2, Stella £2 Summary We had a good holiday, met some nice people and did enjoy ourselves. Even my 5 year old daughter cried when she had to say goodbye to the cabin girl!! The cruise was very good value for us as a family. However, I would not have been happy paying any more for this cruise/cruise ship and I would look for a larger/modern ship if this were the case for a family or a more select ship as a couple. Read Less
Sail Date August 2005
Legend Of the Seas - Firstly we wouldn't have put this on here unless asked to by others - so to those that find offence (for some bizarre reason) then don't read any further. Last year we wanted to book on Oriana (I think it ... Read More
Legend Of the Seas - Firstly we wouldn't have put this on here unless asked to by others - so to those that find offence (for some bizarre reason) then don't read any further. Last year we wanted to book on Oriana (I think it was X614) for Venice - but simply couldn't afford it. Two kids in tow means we must go during the school hols and the prices go through the roof. Enter Royal Caribbean and Legend of the Seas - not only did we get free parking for 2 weeks but we paid a similar amount for a junior suite that we would have done for an outside 4 berth on Oriana 16 nighter Still, it is an American ship and the experience will be different we thought - we were very apprehensive - but (even the minute before we got on the ship) we kept saying - remember that this is not P&O - it even became a bit of a joke between us. The thing is, others on the ship would have been in exactly the same position. Normally, we stay overnight in Southampton and then like to be in the terminal at around 11.30 - to try and make the most of what is a hectic but exciting day. Legend sailed from berth 110 - we didn't know where this was but found it simply by accident. We called in at Comet on the waterfront to pick up a wire that hubby forget to pack with camera and then got a coffee from McDonalds - we saw the ship and wanted to view it from the West Quay but got stuck in the traffic heading for the ferries as it was Cowes week (a good tip to remember for next year as the traffic was bad in Southampton) - so we turned off by the Holiday Inn roundabout to be faced with - you guessed it - gate 10. It was 10.45 by this time - there didn't seem to be many people about but we asked if we could park the car - the lady had no problem and there were already some there. We drew up to a trailer pulled by a electric tug and unloaded our luggage straight onto it and immediately parked up - only around 100 yards from the entrance. As we went in it looked efficient enough and we were more or less straight on the ship. The photographer embarkation was disappointing as there wasn't the same sort of set up for a nice "snap" - still once on board by 11.00 it was the earliest we have ever been aboard - and certainly sometimes we have not got OFF before then on some cruises. Having got on we thought we would get a coffee - the rooms were blocked off by fire doors etc so you could not get to your cabins. We ended up in the Windjammer and by that time it was noon and we decided to get some lunch. I felt the Windjammer beat the Conservatory and Orangery hands down for the quality of the food and the variety. One point of note here is that on your every visit to the Windjammer there was always a crew member ready with the sanitising gel to do your hands. True the plates were plastic and the cups too - but then again that wasn't a big thing. The seating was nicely arranged and some of the seats were facing the sea in a "bar style" arrangement. Bar service was available in the Windjammer but less so than on P&O. After something to eat and a short wait, we heard that the doors were open and we could get to our cabins. This was at 1pm. On entry we were greeted by our stateroom attendant who explained the basics. We had a Junior Suite (8544) on the Starboard side. I had chosen this cabin as it was the only one left that was not underneath the 5 foot hangover of the deck above. You could tell that this would affect any private sunbathing so we felt it was better away from it. The room was decorated with streamers a bon voyage cake that we bought before going aboard on the "Internet" for about £30 and we felt it was worth it although the streamers could have been better. It was a good sized room and loads of hanging space that we didn't fully use - the bed was massive - supersized even - there was six cans of fizz in the room that you could buy but we didn't bother - and the ice bucket was kept full every day. As an American ship it would not take the UK 3 pin so take your adapter. We also took an extension lead with 3 further plugs on as I use my laptop and other bits which we found useful. A hairdryer is by the main vanity unit that you can plug in. There is no on board laundry so we took a full sized steam iron and used it in the room - priceless. In the suites, robes are normally provided FOC (for use only) but we didn't get any until we asked for them around 3 days into the hol. Not really satisfactory. Room service is available but clearly marked that "tips" not included - so have change ready - we didn't use it that much as we were so close to the windjammer anyway. Room attendant didn't really see him much but did like us to put the little card in the door on the outside that says don't disturb or make up room etc- wouldn't come in unless he could tell for sure. Don't really know about morning calls these days as it was last year when we cruised on Aurora last but certainly it wasn't even mentioned by him on introduction. That let the room down a tadge as there was no in cabin tea or coffee making facilities - so if you need one - bring your own mini boiler and stock up on tea coffee milks etc from the Windjammer. Everything else just the same in the bathroom - but the bath again was supersized - again for the American market probably. The TV scheduling was totally confusing and the same Scooby Doo cartoon repeated over and over again throughout the cruise - there wasn't any way of finding out what was on and it was really annoying. Luggage eventually arrived at 1930 hours - we must have been nearly the last - yet first on board! We attended the muster drill which was a bit like Butlins with American Marines barking instructions standing out on the prom deck. Once done - back to the room - a word of note here is that the life jackets are not as easy to put on as P&O's . Arrived at our second sitting meal at 2045 - this went on until 2225 - the menus had more steak and fresh shrimp etc than P&O's "cheaper chicken" meals - lots of fresh salmon too. Our waiter was Richard - with his assistant William. Trouble is William was just there to fill up the water glasses and wine - not serving or doing anything else - Richard did all that and had the lions share of the tips as a result. You couldn't ask William anything about the food as he always directed you to the waiter. Time after time (and don't get me wrong its not something that keeps me awake at night) the table was set wrong with us using up our allocation of cutlery during dining without replenishment by the attendants. It could be embarrassing for them and us so we just made do. The head waiter was very good and very entertaining - always singing to us and entertaining the kids. Simply nothing like any P&O I have seen before. The is no silver service- all your meals come ready plated up - and the biggest thing you notice is the near complete lack of vegetables. Don't know why this is though. The menu can be confusing too - the P&O menu clearly indicates the starters and then guides you through the meal - but these menus were confusing as you could have more than one starter but it wasn't indicated clearly. Once we tackled that we were fine - and often asked for a bit extra if we liked something. As I have said, there was lots of red meat - and cooked to the American taste too. We find that the cheaper chicken is often used on the lines these days for obvious reasons. The disappointment was the cheese - basically four water biscuits on a plate with some cling film over the top and various bits of cheese underneath. Overall - the food was good but didn't have the finesse of P&O service. That doesn't mean that they weren't cheerful or polite - its that "x" factor that was missing. At times they really did surprise us by breaking out into song - even one night duet arrived at our table playing the violin to any tune we wanted - Vivaldi, Mozart and our choice of "Is this the way to Amarilo" by Tony Christie. We dined most days in the restaurant for breakfast and lunch - we found the service to be as good no matter what time of day you ate. Most of the waiters were very attentive and always introduced themselves to you when you arrived at the table. The entertainment provided was fabulous - from the American Drifters (who were absolutely fabulous) to the pianist and magician. Sorry names escape me - we didn't get to see the comedian and missed some of the shows of the stage crew but they really tried too hard. Drinks on board were quite expensive - in the restaurant a bottle of Periquita (Jose Fonseca) cost £16 plus your 15% tip which is added to your bill making it around £20 and that's for the cheapest bottle - so wine wasn't high on my list as I thought it excessive. The ship did have a redeeming feature around the pool and that was free juice, lemonade and ice cream and cones all day every day. That's something that you cant get on P and O. The kids (little and big) enjoyed it all day. The pools incidentally are not "chlorinated" water but sea water and really salty too - so kids beware The ship itself had had a refit this year in Lisbon - I understand that carpets were replaced and furniture in the restaurants too. Overall though I thought the ship looked "tired" and needed painting - the same sort of care and attention to detail that P and O take over, say the handrails, was just not evident. True inside the ship the cleaning went on and on - but outside it was the painting and general upkeep that needed looking after. There was a Promenade deck but this was on deck 3 and was of a tar type decking - which only went around ¾ of the ship. Prom deck on Oriana is (I think) on deck 7 and gives you a better view of things. Overall I felt that the ship was internally smaller than Oriana - don't know why - the layout just didn't seem right - the rooms were not laid out right. Before evening meal everyone seemed to congregate around the "centrum" where the lifts went up and down - as it didn't seem there was anywhere else to go - nothing like Andersons, or lords or crows nest etc which was disappointing. Captain Nick was very accommodating but it was as frustrating as heck trying to listen to him over the tannoy as you could only hear it on deck and not in your cabins. He would walk around the deck and if you had something to say he was all ears. We felt that the kids clubs were poor - ours are 9 and 11. It was very odd that on sea days they opened at 9 and shut at 12 until 2 then reopened until 5pm. Then closed until 7 and would stay open until 10pm. You could book in for a midnight pick up however the cost was £4 per child per hour. incidentally if you were late you were charged at £1 per minute!! Compare this with port days when they not only stayed open all day but you could get off the ship without your children - leaving the kids with the crew even for meals. Didn't really seem right. The room wasn't set up for the kids either - you had to walk past the teenagers area (which was just a lounger) to book in your kids and then let them run wild in what is a room without any thought. You cant compare this with the P and O facilities which were by far and away superior. I went to the gym every day and found the equipment in good order and new. There was Around 6 walkers - 3 bikes, 2 rowers, 3 cross country thingys, dance area and weights - very good - shame no water fountain though Excursions were ok but I was disappointed with the biking in Barcelona - have a look at the pictures to see the pic of my "bike" and you will see what I mean. The rock wall was good - and daughters completed it with the safe hands of the crew - didn't try the golf bit - spose it was fun but as the ship is seriously short of deck space for loungers I wonder if this will be reviewed. There were two pools - the centre one and the solarium which was for adults only. This was covered ala Aurora but the roof was never retracted. This was a peaceful area. The ship is a fast one - 24 knots and when you consider the itinerary as follows you can see why - its super really Sat Board and depart Sun At Sea Mon At Sea Tues Praia De Rocha Wed Gib Thursday At sea Fri Civitavecchia Sat Villefrance Sun Ajaccio Mon Barcelona Tue At sea Wed Lisbon Thu Vigo Fri At sea Sat Home So you can see this is some going - especially with the number of ports of call. I don't know if this is the reason why I didn't feel too good at times and took a motion sickness pill - in fact I got through a whole packet - on the first Thursday most of the ship felt it as we went through a force 7 in the Med - not really strong but very rocky - don't really know then about stability in high winds/seas. Arriving back at Southampton - we were docked by 2am and watched QE2 and Arcadia dock. Our luggage was off and we were about 8th in the queue of luggage colour labels - we thought we would be off by about 10 but we were called by 0730 - and home by 1000!!! I could go on for ever I suppose but would I go back? Probably not - it was an experience but we are already booked on Arcadia later this year and on Oriana next year (Venice at last) Reasons are varied but it was the overall thing that we needed not just one thing Hope you found this useful Happy to answer any questions - check out the pics at www.wdavies1.photosite.com and don't forget to sign my guest book - thanks! Read Less
Sail Date July 2005
Legend of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.9
Dining 3.0 3.8
Entertainment 3.0 3.5
Public Rooms 3.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.6
Family 4.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 4.0 3.2
Service 4.0 4.1
Value For Money 3.0 3.6
Rates 4.0 4.1

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