The real entertainment onboard Seabourn Legend occurs at The Restaurant or whatever theme eatery is being offered in the Veranda Cafe. A leisurely meal, good wine, delicious food, and stimulating conversation meant that many folks spent two hours plus at the table, and that was a highlight for me, night after night. The passengers, in essence, make their own entertainment. Beyond that, this is not a ship for those who want round-the-clock activity.
The second most rocking spot onboard was found at sailaway, almost always at just about sunset, at the Sky Bar; the outdoor bar, a deck above the pool area, has small cocktail tables undercover and larger ones -- all covered with white linen cloths -- scattered around the deck. Every night was like a cocktail party.
Editor's Note: Seabourn's three ships all feature an inclusive beverage policy, so there's no charge for house wine, liquor, beer and sodas. You can opt to purchase "top shelf" items; the house wine choices in particular seemed a bit pedestrian, and I was tempted to buy a better bottle one night.
There were a handful of evening musical shows -- and while all three of the main performers had beautiful voices, the pace -- quite frenetic, with lots of costume changes, and music that spanned decades every night -- was exhausting. As well, the King Olav, the ship's primary theater venue, is a fairly intimate space -- and low ceilinged -- and so these high energy shows seemed out of place.
A pre- and post-dinner option was Viva, a husband and wife duo -- she sings, he plays the piano. They held court in The Club, the ship's secondary venue. They, too, were a disappointment -- she sang out of tune. This was the place to dance -- and it was sweet to watch couples perform the obviously well practiced ritual. The place to go for music, I discovered just in the nick of time, was the Midnight Sun Lounge with jazz and favorites offered at tea time and after dinner.
On a couple of nights movies were shown; and they were good ones ("The Queen" and "The Last King of Scotland") -- right after they'd won major Academy Awards.
Easily the most joyful and plain-old-fun evening bash was the ship's Fruit Flambe Under the Stars, an after-dinner event where chefs created a beautiful array of desserts out on the pool deck and the Navigators, the ship's fantastic all-purpose band, played for people to dance. Just a lovely evening and yes, we were rewarded with a sparkly black sky.
During the day, activities are fairly limited -- this ship appeals to people who can find their own fun, whether it's meeting fellow travelers or curling up in your suite with a good book or movie. But you can participate, on sea days, in a range of activities, such as tour talks, cooking demos, bridge, casino gaming lessons, a matinee movie, galley tour, ice cream social and golf putting competition. Or you can have a long lunch and take a nap! On port days, when most people are off the ship on shore tours, social bridge games are offered. But that's pretty much it.
Speaking of shore excursions, Seabourn Legend offered a solid selection of offerings, ranging from standard island tours for less mobile passengers to more adventurous options (kayak rides, nature hikes, and horseback rides, among others).
What proved disappointing however was a lack -- at least on our cruise -- of really unique options. Ironically, the two most interesting were offered in St. Kitts (so you had to choose); one was a tour of artist studios and another was a day at Rawlins Plantation, a charming small island hotel. I opted for the second, and while it was indeed a lovely experience (complete with a West Indian buffet lunch, use of the pool, grounds, and even the grass tennis court if desired, as well as roundtrip transportation in a minivan), there were a couple of disconcerting issues that perhaps show a carelessness on the cruise line's part in monitoring shore outings.
First, Seabourn's own brochures on the tour listed spa options as an a la carte part of the day. Rawlins, it turned out, doesn't have a spa (though the owners told us they can request massage therapists and the like to perform treatments in a room onsite; reservations must be made 24 hours in advance). Obviously, the tour company that Seabourn uses on the island was responsible for the discrepancy, but a little bit of quality control by the line would have eliminated the inaccuracies. As well, the $280 per person price, which seemed outrageous at first glance, was also outrageous in reality. Pleasant as it was, that tour was embarrassingly overpriced, and fellow passengers did complain about it to the shore excursion personnel onboard.
And yet Seabourn offers one of the great experiences in cruising with its "Exclusively Seabourn" program. On our Caribbean voyage, officers and crew take over a private island with a beach bar in Virgin Gorda; there's a fabulous barbecue, open bar, watersports, and a spa hut, where ship's therapists offer 20-minute rubdowns. The piece de resistance: Two waiters wade through the surf with a surfboard on which is perched a huge mound of caviar, complete with fixings; champagne is served; and guests mix and mingle in the surf. The whole day passes like a dream -- for this Caribbean veteran, it was the most magical, relaxing, pleasant beach outing ever.
And it was clear that the hard working crew, plowing through the sand to serve drinks, provide towels and fulfill all manner of requests was having a ball, too.
Editor's Note: Folks traveling on Seabourn Legend in the Mediterranean also experience an "Exclusively Seabourn" outing, but these vary depending on itinerary. You could go to an exclusive reception at Els Calderers, a historic country manor house dating from the 13th century, in Palma de Mallorca. Or in Sousse, Tunisia, passengers enjoy traditional local delicacies and enchanting Tunisian music in an aristocratic Moorish home in the Old Town. And in Dubrovnik? It's a private evening in the medieval Revelin Fortress, enlivened by an internationally acclaimed Croatian folkloric troupe.