Best cruise so far: Legend of the Seas Cruise Review by Vivienne Windle

Legend of the Seas 5
Vivienne Windle

Overall Member Rating

Best cruise so far

Sail Date: November 2010
Destination: Asia
Embarkation: Hong Kong
We took this cruise as an additional trip on our own once our daughter had settled into college. From the check in (easy, the terminal at one end of a shopping centre, our overnight hotel at the other) to the departure, we could not have been looked after better.

The ship is smaller than we have been on previously, the shops were fewer than we expected, but stocked what I needed (tissues, paracetemol etc.)

I had been ill with a cold, and once aboard I began to suffer with a chest infection. The medical team looked after me so well, and after four visits, with antibiotics and nebuliser treatments every day, I was well enough to enjoy my holiday. I would feel confident bringing someone with a serious condition on this cruise, the doctors and nurses are knowledgeable and the medical rooms well equipped. They wrote me a sick note for one of the excursions so that I got a refund, and although it was disappointing not to go ashore, it meant I was well enough to go to Ho More Chi Minh city, as I have always wanted to see it.

The star of the cruise ship was Bobby, the cruise director. Not only did he compere the game shows and variety shows in an entertaining way, but he unobtrusively went around the ship making sure that it all ran well. Every now and then I spotted him clearing away bingo cards, checking on repairs, and once I saw him pick up the phone to report a door which had suffered in high winds. Previous cruise directors have been frustrated DJs/children's entertainers, I have never seen one who was so professional and who worked so hard.

We had heard that the ship was dirty - it was spotless, and I couldn't go past any of the decks without seeing someone cleaning and polishing. We had heard that the food was bad - it was delicious, both in the Romeo and Juliet restaurant and the Windjammer.

The majority of the passengers were charming and very civilised, there were no disputes over loungers etc. and on excursions we got to meet interesting people, as well as at our assigned table in the restaurant. The largest contingent on the ship was British, with I believe Australians the next largest.

The shows in the evening were quite good, although as we were on the late sitting for dinner, we were sometimes too tired to go to the show, which started at 10.15pm. However, we saw a violinist who had won New Faces in Australia years ago, the 3 Chinese tenors who performed at the Sydney Olympics, and the regular singers and dancers who were excellent.

There were lectures about the culture of each country we were visiting, plus China, from a professor. His English was not very good, he had prepared powerpoint slides with bullet points, and he just read from them. My husband went to them all because he felt sorry for him!

The disembarkation at Singapore was very well handled. We had booked a tour which ended up at the airport. We didn't see much of what had been advertised, but had a nice visit to the botanical gardens and saw the front of Raffles hotel and the Merlion. Our luggage went with us, so it was a good way to see the city without having to worry about the luggage.

Overall, a lovely, if slightly small ship, with excellent crew, who made this a most enjoyable experience. Less

Published 12/08/10

Cabin review: N6113 Interior Stateroom

smallish cabin. We didn't think about the lack of daylight, slept in till afternoon the first day. Just about enough wardrobe space, and plenty of drawers. Sixth floor quite good location, photo shop on one side and coffee shop on the other, one floor up to library, one floor down to pursers and shops. A very long walk along the corridor before you get to lifts, stairs or anything else, and you have to say hello to all the cabin staff on the way. At least this makes it quiet at night.

Read All Interior Stateroom (N) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

After Vietnam, we didn't much like Thailand, we were given 'opportunities' to make donations everywhere we went. However, the tour we did of Bangkok, Venice of the East, was wonderful. It really is like Venice, all the big hotels have their landings with motorlaunches for guests, there are waterbuses, and you can access a lot of it by boat. We saw the Royal Barge museum, where you have to pay if you want to take photos, and the Grand Palace and temples, which were a bit overwhelming, but quite an experience. We were docked for two and a half days, so the second day we went to Nong Nooch, which is like a garden centre crossed with Disneyland. Lots of strange pottery frogs, giant ants and flamingos. An elephant show, where the elephants throw darts, play football and paint tee shirts which are then sold. A cultural show which we couldn't see much of because we were at the back and people came and stood in front of us. There are elephant rides, but we took a trolleybus tour - it is a really strange place. Some people stayed over in Pattaya, we just drove through it, it looked like quite a garish resort.

I missed out on Nha Trang, but at the Danang port we visited Hoi An, a merchant town, and bought the usual fake designer polo shirts etc. Excellent local delicacies available in some of the restaurants, I would recommend trying them as well as the local beer.

Some of the traders in Hoi An were a little insistent. A couple on our bus ordered shoes to be made, and we had to leave before they were ready. The girls from the shop chased the bus miles down the road in the pouring rain on their mopeds and flagged it down a few miles from the ship.

Read 61 Da Nang Reviews

Excursions I did manage to go on were - Hanoi in a day, which was very tiring and stressful. The long drive was in a less than comfortable coach, with many potholes on the road, and a lack of road signs and rules meaning that the driver had to press his horn every time he encountered another vehicle or one of the many motorbikes. I think it was probably too far to go, and we didn't get to go into any of the places of interest apart from Ho Chi Minh's little cottage behind the Presidential palace. The buffet lunch in a nice hotel was absolutely delicious, though. We went on the Halong Bay by boat tour which was absolutely beautiful. We boarded the boats straight from the ship, so no coach ride.

A good (free) experience was coming into Halong Bay very early in the morning. We couldn't sleep, so got up and sat in the Windjammer before it opened, and all the strange rocks sticking out of the sea appeared in front of us as the ship made its way forward. Fishermen in boats waved to the ship. Everything was quiet and peaceful.

Read 48 Hanoi Reviews

Ho Chi Minh city was very interesting, the coach journey wasn't too bad, and once again we got an excellent buffet lunch included. The guide was keen to keep our spirits up, and started singing to us as we entered the final stretch to the port. The old Presidential palace was a good visit, they don't use it, they keep it open so people can see the excesses of the previous regime. The basement is the HQ for the war, with different coloured telephones, 1970s communication equipment supplied by the Americans, and maps on the wall. Upstairs are all the formal rooms where ambassadors and dignitaries were received, and the apartments where the president and his family used to live. Apart from associations with the old regime, apparently it was designed by a famous modernist architect from Europe, and it failed the feng shui test.

Cu Chi tunnels were extremely interesting, but a very old man in our group got stuck in one of the tunnels, causing a back up, so instead of a few minutes in a hot tunnel, some of our group were trapped in there for a while. Didn't much like the AK47 shooting range and the bullets for sale, but it did give us a picture of life as a Vietcong soldier. The restaurant on the way back was very good, it was owned by a former guerilla fighter who trained new recruits during the war.

Read more Legend of the Seas cruise reviews >>
Read Cruise Critic’s Legend of the Seas Review >>
Vivienne Windle
Enrichment Activities
Family & Children
Fitness & Recreation
Onboard Experience
Public Rooms
Shore Excursions
Value for Money
Share feedback
Thank you!  Cruise Critic values your feedback.
How can we improve this page?