Legend of the Seas Cruise Review by CruisinCadie
- Sail Date: February 2015
- Destination: Southern Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Superior Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony
The Legend is a lovely ship in the classic ocean liner tradition. Think understated elegance. True, other than a rock climbing wall and mini-golf, she doesn't have the modern amenities Royal is known for, but if I want to spend the money on an amusement park experience, I'll go to an amusement park. And yes, she's showing signs of her age (20) and probably won't be with the fleet much longer, but none of those signs of ageing interfered with the cruise experience.
The Legend also has the most friendly, cheerful, helpful staff I've experienced on any cruise. My husband is recovering from hip replacement surgery, and everyone went out of their way to help him. And even crew members we passed in the corridors were always polite and smiling. Rod, the cruise director, said staff are eager to sail on the Legend because over the course of a year, she truly does circumnavigate the globe.
We had Cabin 6054, a balcony cabin on the port side of Deck 6. It was perfectly adequate for the two of us. We could have used a couple more drawers but managed. I didn't get to use the balcony as much as I hoped because of the wind. Two negatives: On the website, the description says there is a refrigerator. They lied. Fortunately I found out about it by reading CruiseCritic, because I need to refrigerate some medication, and our TA was able to arrange for a medical refrigerator. It's a standard dorm room fridge with no shelves and fits under a corner of the desk. The other problem was safe. For some reason, they are converting to safes that open by sliding your ship card or a credit card instead of the push button type. Well, after having maintenance come up several times to reset the safe so the ship card would work, they finally reset it for a credit card. It worked fine from then on, but we didn't feel comfortable leaving a credit card in the room outside the safe. Many other passengers we talked with said the same thing. One big positive was our cabin steward Carlos. He was really great. We didn't always see him, but leaving a note was always met with a prompt response.
Dining: We chose MyTimeDining. This first day, I went down to make a reservation for 6:30 for the four of us. The Maitre d' said there would be nothing available at that time, and suggested we come at 7:15. I think he told everyone to come at that time. We wanted a table for four, so we ended up back in the far corner. The minute we sat down, bread magically appeared and our water glasses were filled. And every time the water got low, the glass was refilled. Little things like this make the dining experience much more enjoyable. In fact, we were so impressed with Romil and his assistant, Idewa A., that we immediately reserved that table for the rest of the cruise. By the third night they knew our names and preferences. My daughter has food allergies and every night, Romil would bring the next night's menu so she could preorder. Idewa even looked for us in the Windjammer and found seats for us and brought us our prefered sodas.
MyTimeDining seems to be aimed more at people who want to share tables. They have lots of tables for 6 to 10 people, but relatively few for 2 or 4. If you want a smaller table, I suggest you reserve one in advance.
Food in the main dining room ranged from good to excellent. My biggest complaint was portion size. The entrees were often larger than I could eat.
We also ate breakfast and lunch in the dinimg room whenever we had the chance. Since it was just my husband and myself, we sat with others most days and enjoyed comparing experiences. The breakfust menu was the same everyday with 2 specials. The lunch menu was more varied, and there was always a help-yourself salad bar.
Realizing the RCI is aimed at families and the buffet caters to the hot dogs and french fries set, there was plenty of room for improvement. The pizza crust could have been made of cardboard. We learned that it was premade and brought on board frozen. You could tell. They also needed more of a variety of lunch meats for sandwiches. Two good things: a build-your-own salad bar and a broad selection of international items. I also liked the layout. It was easy to find your way around and there was plenty of room between stations.
We tried the Park Cafe once and were not impressed.
Our TA treated us to dinner in a specialty restaurant. We chose Chops. All four of us had the filet mignon and we all agreed it was outstanding. One of the best steaks I've had anywhere, land or sea. The ambiance isn't great--you can tell it's been carved out of one of the lounges which gives it an odd shape and layout.
Being on deck 6, 3 cabins forward from the Centrum, we quickly discovered Cafe Latte-tudes. Getting an iced coffee and listening the the afternoon music groups was a pleasant way to pass the time before getting dressed for dinner.
Which brings me to the entertainment. The music acts performing around the ship included Lorenzo, a guitartist (outstanding), 12 Bar band (very good), Upscale Trio (good to very good), and Mystical Groove Duo (forgettable). There were also pianist in the Schooner Bar and a DJ in one of the lounges.
The aerialists performed in the Centrum 2 nights. The first night, early in the cruise, was a 5-minute show, and the second, near the end, was about 20 minutes and included the other singers and dancers. Both were fantastic. Get there early to find a spot by the railing.
We didn't see any of the guest entertainers, but saw all three of the production shows. These were fun, upbeat shows sure to leave you with a spring in your step and a song or two running through your mind. They're not great theatre, but they're a fun way to pass an hour.
Ports and shore excursions: We had booked our excursions last summer, before we knew my husband will need a new hip, so the first sea day, we visited the shore excursion desk to review our choices. The young woman looked over all our tickets and suggested we change the one in Aruba from one that uses school buses to one that uses a motorcoach. Other than that, our choices were good. She was right.
Aruba: The biggest drawback was that we were the fourth ship in port that day, so we were docked out by the container port. It was 1.3 miles to the shopping district, and RCI provided NO shuttle service. We learned later that an entreprising local runs a shuttle bus, a big yellow and red school bus, for whatever you want to pay him. Our tour was Aruba's Natural Wonders, a bus ride to the site of the Natural Bridge, which collapsed in 2005, but there is now a "Baby Natural Bridge." We also walked through the Ayo Rock Formations and visited a butterfly farm.
Bonaire: We took the "Bonaire Highlights" tour, a bus ride including stops at the Cadushy Cactus Distillery and the Slave Huts near the salt flats.
Grenada: We took the "Spice and Waterfall" trip, with stops at the Concorde Waterfalls, where people could take a dip in the pool at the base, the Dougaldston Estate, where nutmeg is processed using centuries old techniques, and the Gouyave Nutmeg Processing Station, a cooperative where farmers from all over the island send their nuts to prepare them for export.
Barbados: We took the "Harrisons Cave and Island Drive" tour. We did this trhough the ship, but you could easily do it on your own, The cave is an underground passage that has been improved for a tram-ride through the caverns to see the spectacular stalactite and stalagmite formations. Round-trip, it covers about a mile so don't expect anything like Luray Caverns or Mammoth Caves, but they are working to expand the facility.
St. Lucia: Another bus trip, "Best Views of St. Lucia," with stops for photo ops.
Antigua: We had been there before so did not take a tour. We just walked around the shopping area by the port and bought souvenirs at the Vendors Market.
With two sea days at the start of the cruise to familiarize ourselves with the ship, and two sea days to decompress at the end, this was a very port intensive cruise but still quite relaxing. The seas were calm. The weather was a wonderful change from the subzero temperatures we left behind. The ship was lovely, and the service was exceptional. I would not hesitate to sail on the Legend of the Seas again.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
Ayo Rock FormationsWe started at the back entrance and walked down through the formations with plenty of time to explore and take photos. The bus driver then met us at the main entrance at the bottom of the walk. This was great for people with mobility issues.View All 29 Ayo Rock Formations Reviews
Butterfly FarmOur guide was very knowledgable and I learned how butterflies form in the coccoon.View All 26 Butterfly Farm Reviews
Harrison's CaveThis was a one-mile round trip in a tram through the improved portion of the cave to see the rock formations. Although it doesn't compare wilh larger, established cave systems, this was a very enjoyable tour with fascinating formations and groupings.View All 80 Harrison's Cave Reviews
Island TourWe had an interesting bus tour with an informative guide. The Ayo Rock Formations were fascinating. We were also supposed to see the Natural Bridge, but it collapsed in 2005. Instead, we saw the now-forming Baby Natural Bridge. We could either pay $1 to use the restroom at the Natural Bridge gift shopor use the ones at the Butterfly Farm for free.View All 217 Island Tour Reviews
Island TourExactly what it says, a bus ride around the island with a stop for photos overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.View All 123 Island Tour Reviews
Island TourOther than the van being very cramped, this was a fun tour. Our guide was a hoot! We stopped several places for photos. We also visited the Cadushy Distillery in Rincon Village to use the restroom and sample the product.View All 86 Island Tour Reviews
Island TourGreat tour guide, lovely island, standard bus tour with photo stops.View All 250 Island Tour Reviews
Spices and WaterfallsThe Concorde Waterfall was lovely but, if you chose not to go swimming, the stop was too long. We also stopped at the Dougaldston Plantation to see traditional methods of processing nutmeg and at the Gouyave Nutmeg Processing Plant to see more modern methods. I wish we had had more time to shop in the Nutmeg Plant gift shop and support local industry.View All 31 Spices and Waterfalls Reviews
AntiguaSince we had been here before, we chose not to take an excursion. We walked to the shopping area and found the Vendor's Market. Here we bought souvenirs and gifts for our grandsons. Even though the items were probably not made locally, I prefer to support local vendors except for big-ticket items. At least the profit will stay on the island. Thw whole area was clean and very safe.View All 1,546 Antigua Cruise Port Reviews
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