Legend of the Seas - Trans-Atlantic: Legend of the Seas Cruise Review by Ernie Carlton

Legend of the Seas 4
Ernie Carlton

Overall Member Rating

Legend of the Seas - Trans-Atlantic

Sail Date: April 2006
Destination: Transatlantic
Embarkation: Tampa
Royal Caribbean cruise from Tampa, Florida to Southampton, England from April 15 to April 28, 2006

Jimmy Hoffa is alive and well and cruising Royal Caribbean. Katrina has not only devastated New Orleans but was a force to be reckoned with in the Solarium on the pool deck aboard the Legend of the Seas. And last but not least, Mr. And Mrs. Bucket (pronounced bu- kay) of the British sitcom, Keeping up Appearances, have aged well and enjoy cruising.

If the joy of cruising is really about the people you see and meet, our recent cruise on the Royal Caribbean International, Legend of the Seas from Tampa, Florida to Southampton, England was one of the best. The first day out of Tampa my wife and I started our routine for the cruise. After a delightful breakfast in the Windjammer we retired to the Solarium where we warmed up in the spa and then did our water aerobics in the pool. We then relaxed in a lounge chair until the newspaper came out at ten oclock, read and More worked the puzzles until noon and then had a snack in the Solarium for lunch. Our routine was shattered at about eight oclock on the first day out when Katrina swept into the Solarium like a hurricane and began collecting all the towels that other passengers had placed on the lounges to reserve them until later in the day. We even had to call her off when she started to collect ours. When we got out of the hot tub, we complimented her on her efficiency since one of our pet peeves on cruising was the people who put towels on lounges to save them while they did everything from eating breakfast to shopping or even taking tours.

A short time later my wife engaged a passing man in conversation and mentioned Katrina and how she was going to write Royal Caribbean and mention how good Katrina was. The man admitted that he was one of those who saved lounges by putting a towel on them. Later in the conversation when she asked the man what his name was, he said, we could call him Sam Spade since he was afraid that I would give his real name when I wrote up the voyage for Cruise Critic. When my wife inquired as to his previous employment, since it was obvious that he was retired, he said that he had been in organized crime.

Later that day when my wife and I were discussing the conversation we decided that since Sam Spade was a good guy we would rename our friend Jimmy Hoffa and Jimmy Hoffa he remained for the rest of the cruise. Jimmy said that he was from Florida but would have to move since we knew so much about him. The poor guy also was having plastic surgery so we would not recognize him the next time we saw him. Jimmys wife said that we should not believe a thing he said.

Among the nearly 1800 passengers on board the Legend were nearly 800 Americans, 350 British, and 110 Canadians with the remainder from another 18 countries. We observed a British couple that reminded us of Mr. And Mrs. Bucket from the British sitcom, Keeping up Appearances.

Each morning at about eight oclock in the morning the couple would enter the Solarium and proceed to make a nest. The man would make several trips to get about twelve towels for their lounges; four to cover each lounge, two for a lumber supports, two for neck rests and four more to cover them after lying down. Mrs. Bucket would then sit on the side of the lounge while Mr. Bucket would put the small side table in front of her. He would then shuffle to the breakfast bar several times to bring her coffee, cereal, milk and water. After breakfast they would settle down and sleep until lunchtime when Mr. Bucket would serve his wife lunch.

After lunch my wife and I would leave the Solarium to go ashore, seek out some music or just rest until dinner. We found the food abundant if not as good as we have had on other cruise lines. Afternoon ice cream that I enjoy on other cruise lines was non-existent on RCI. It might have had something to do the ice cream bar where you could get ice cream for a small additional charge.

The entertainment was a mixed bag. The big production shows were the worst I have seen in my thirty-odd cruises over the last six years. However, several of the individual acts were outstanding especially the violinist and the pianist. The modern dance and magic act was also outstanding. The others were typical for cruise lines.

The entertainment lounge was also the locale for another pleasant experience. After a performance a couple came up and asked if I was an electrician from Cincinnati. I was not but during the conversation it turned out that his wife and I were in the same high school graduating class and we had not seen each other for 58 years. This has happened several times in our cruises. It is a small and you never know whom you might run into on a cruise.

After the evening show there was plenty to do. Quiz games, dancing, and other entertainment was everywhere. The sea days were not the least boring. However, a late coffee before retiring was nowhere to be found. The one coffee urn available late in the evening was on the pool deck and if there was coffee in it at all it was strong enough to melt the plastic cup.

I must compliment Royal Caribbean for their unique ways of promoting fitness. In addition to the usual aerobics classes, walking groups, exercise center etc, they had two ways that I think were truly unique. They had two elevators that did not work for the entire cruise promoting a lot more walking up and down stairs.

The really unique fitness program, however, was their decision turn advance hours for time zone changes at 11:30 am each day that we lost an hour. This coincided with the time that lunchtime started so that passengers lost an hour of eating instead of an hour of sleeping. What a unique idea.

Overall, I would rate the cruise as great; however, I would only rate Royal Caribbean on a par with Norwegian but not up to the standards of Carnival, Celebrity, Princess or Holland American. However, the low cost I got from my TA and the fact I could sail from my home town of Tampa to visit friends in England made the cruise an outstanding value. Less

Published 10/10/06

Cabin review: F6586 Large Ocean View Stateroom

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Ernie Carlton
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