Summary: I booked this cruise back in March 2015 as had been wanting to try RCCL and as we are restricted to school holidays for the next 2 years while my son is at high school the early January departure date suited us and the itinerary was one we had wanted to do.
As the time drew nearer for our cruise I became increasingly worried about the VERY negative reviews being posted. I took on board what people were saying they did not like and tried to see if this would also negatively impact us or if it simply wouldn't matter.
For example someone complained about no lanyards so I went and dug out some I had acquired through work. So that was a good tip we learned from another poster.
Another person said they didn't like having to pay extra for lobster and that on other cruises it was included in the price. Well our family don't eat lobster so that suited us down to the ground! We wouldn't like it to be included in the fare as then we would be paying for something we wouldn't get!
There were many comments about lines at Windjammer and the bars. We don't drink a huge amount so never experienced lines at the bar. Once or twice we had problems finding a seat at Windjammer. Once we just left and returned later, the other time, took our plates out to the pool deck and ate there. No problems.
We are not regular cruisers and so really have nothing to compare our experience on Legend to. I think a lot of people had clearly enjoyed their times on other ships/cruise lines and for one reason or another Legend did not stack up well against those. But for relative newbies like us we had such a good time, it has whetted our appetite for future cruises! We shall return!
We are a family of 3 (two adults in early 50's and 16 year old son) who live in NZ. We flew to Brisbane the night before, caught a taxi to the Kingsford Smith Motel. 800 metres walk to the port. Great motel, lovely owners/managers who are getting a shuttle at the end of the month and will introduce a transit package to include transportation to/from the port and have a day room clients can use at end of cruise while they wait for evening flights. In the meantime though we decided to catch a taxi to the port as we had 3 bags and there wasn't a sidewalk from the motel to the port. Some of it was over uneven ground and so we thought a $10 taxi ride was cheaper than buying a new suitcase if we ruined one over the rough ground!
On the day of the embarkation we arrived at 11.25am. Long lines but they were announcing deck 8 was boarding then and that was us. We were in the line about 2 mins when they came along saying suites and diamond members were allowed to queue somewhere else so we skipped to the top of the line, went through another couple of very short queues and were on the ship by 11.50am!
We went to Windjammer around noon but already very busy so decided to come back later and set off to explore the ship. Found the ice-cream soft-freeze machine on the pool deck. Great discovery, we had many many ice-creams there over the week. What amused us was often there were several people in the line for one of the machines, but the other one about 10 metres away was nearly always free so we just went to that one!
Went to our room as soon as they opened up the cabins only to find our sail pass/key things didn't work as my husband hadn't realised he should not put them near his phone and they de-magnetised so we hightailed it back to Guest services and joined a 20 mins line which grew quickly after we got in the queue. They reissued the cards and we were off to our junior suite - aft balcony Cabin 8082. GREAT CABIN!!! We used our balcony heaps over the week. Got a little soot a couple of times when it rained but it was cleaned up by Virginia our cabin attendant who was lovely and friendly.
We had my time dining booked for 6 out of 7 nights and Chops Grille for 1 night. in the MDR we got 3 different tables over the week so a little hard to bond with our waiters, we didn't get to know them very well but were happy with our food and tried different dishes each night (our son loved the steaks and whenever I suggested going to Windjammer for a more leisurely dinner he resisted and was happy to go the MDR just for the steaks).
We had originally booked Chops for last night of cruise but changed it mid-cruise with only just over an hours notice and it was done quickly and efficiently. We had found out that day that our son had passed his school exams so we wanted to celebrate. The extra cost was worth it and we would repeat the experience again if cruising with RCCL.
Did not book any of the ship excursions as did our own thing in the ports. I had visited there in the past so knew what I wanted to do. Went to Kuranda skyrail and the Scenic Railway which was a great day, though very hot.
We love the shows and saw most of them. One was a standout. A trio called Rock Rhapsody who sang songs by the band Queen. They were fantastic and got a standing ovation. Sadly they were only on once. Quite a few other entertainers were in the Centrum which while good I did think would have suited the Anchors Aweigh lounge more as more seats for the audience. Perhaps RCCL wanted more of a party atmosphere which you certainly got in the Centrum. But if you got there even close to show time then you were standing for the duration as not all that many seats around the railings.
Our son went to teen club a few times and enjoyed it but I think would have liked it more had he made more friends. He challenged himself and took on the Rock Wall. We have video of that and he is so proud of it.
Used both the main pool and the solarium pool. Both good, and did not see any "lounge hoggers".
Trying to get off the ship at Cairns as it docked at the pier in the middle of the city was a little chaotic (tendering into Airlie Beach was smoother!). There were people cutting in line and I think the staff handling it were quite new so handling the large crowds was a little intimidating. Perhaps more corralling ropes were needed. But managed it in the end and were off the ship by 10.00am (we had docked at 9.00am).
Getting off the ship at the end of the cruise was much smoother and we reported to the theatre at our alloted time and were off by 8.00am. We caught a taxi to a hotel near the airport (novotel brisbane airport) where we had a day room, used the pool (kind of cold) and walked across the road to an outlet mall and food court for lunch. Would happily stay here again.
All in all we had a lovely time, did not experience any of the bad times that others have stated. We will definitely cruise again. We will tend to pick by itinerary rather than ship, but would like to try a range of ships from the big ones like Allure or Oasis and smaller lines like Ponant.
By using Cruise Critic I felt I have benefited from learning of others cruise experiences and applied some of that to our trip which made it better. Hopefully some of what I have written here will assist someone else!
Great cabin - made the trip for us. Gave us double the room of a regular balcony and only $149 more for our family of 3 - When I was picking the cabin and saw an aft balcony was available for same price I snapped it up and was glad I did when I saw the room. We had heaps of storage, cabin kept very clean by Virginia, our stateroom attendant. TV worked well. Location suited us down to the ground, was very quiet and we used the 'secret staircase' quite a bit. Has spoiled us for the future!
booked direct as cheaper than cruise line. Paid the extra $AUD12 for diamond gondola but wouldn't do that again, I didn't think it was worth it. Very hot day but enjoyed our time on the gondolas as well as getting off a couple of time en route for the bush walks. Would definitely recommend this, but just the normal gondolas!View All 26 Skyrail Tour Reviews
walked around and used the lagoon area to swim in which was great. Lovely little shops and cafes,bars around the port. Sad we were not there longer. Would have been nice to have had the time to travel to Whitehaven Beach. We would like to return to this part of Australia in the future for a stayput holiday.