1 Shanghai Holiday Cruise Reviews

Countries and ports visited this cruise - Russia (Vladivostok) - Japan (Fukuoka) - South Korea (Busan and Jeju Is) - China (Shanghai) Check-in: We caught a taxi to the Shanghai International Cruise Terminal, which took about 15 min ... Read More
Countries and ports visited this cruise - Russia (Vladivostok) - Japan (Fukuoka) - South Korea (Busan and Jeju Is) - China (Shanghai) Check-in: We caught a taxi to the Shanghai International Cruise Terminal, which took about 15 min from the Hilton, Shanghai. Cost 30 RMB approximately. That's the last time for the next two hours with any sense of order. We rated the check-in process a one but we could have rated it a zero if selectable. There were no porters to take bags, not enough RCL staff to advise where to put the bags before the documentation process inside. It was crowded, confined and unorganised. Eventually a young lady in an RCL uniform told us to leave them on the sidewalk and someone would take them. Anyone could have taken our bags in the melee but we took her advice. Clearly the number of people over whelmed her. Beyond the glass doors there was a Congo line of guests with many Asian groups. Here the wait time was horrendous as tour leaders with clients would intersect and join our line and also friends, family, latecomers belonging to groups, those sitting down waiting or getting gifts or beverages would join the line ahead of us. In short it was plain cutting in without apology and something we had not been used to in other parts of the cruising world. Once inside and if you were lucky, you were handed several immigration forms to fill out while waiting in line. We thought we had gotten through all the bureaucracy, but then had to photocopy our passport, also found in another line up. We didn't mind that this was a process needed to visit the ports, just minded the way it had been managed overall. I suggest check-in much earlier or later if possible to beat the crowds. The Legend never left on time at any of the ports this cruise. It took an hour and a half just to check-in and receive our Sea pass. Embarkation: After check-in we lined up for a security check, got a refreshment bag, hopped on a bus, and spent the next hour getting to the Legend at Baoshan down river. This other 'new' terminal is still being built and Legend is too big to fit under some bridges near the terminal where we checked in. Not too many ports are pretty in Asia and this was no exception. Still we were finally glad to be on board after the 'free for all' we had experienced. The Ship: The colours of the ship and cabin were pastel, glass and polished brass throughout. Beautiful artwork and understated elegance were the norm on most of the decks. The corridors, stairwells, seating and floors were always beings cleaned by energetic staff. As Legend is a smaller ship we could easily walk from one end to the other very quickly. There is a good-sized gym, beautiful spa area;a few small shops; the walking track on the top deck was in great condition. The only thing we missed on this ship was not being able to walk completely around promenade deck. Plenty of bars, a cafe, quiet areas and outdoor seating. The indoor pool area was the best part of the ship, as there didn't seem to be anyone in it most of the time. Here you could get pizza, hot dogs and fries but like all the dining on Legend only had certain hours. The main outdoor pool was mostly a wave pool because we had a little rough weather at times but still had good seating and came in handy when Windjammers was full. Soft serve ice cream and beverages were available here. Sports deck had mini golf, rock climbing and other useful games. Overall we liked the ship and layout very much. Cabin: 7588- Deck 7- Balcony- slightly aft. Legend is the smallest in the RCL fleet. However, small ship doesn't mean small cabin. Normally Princess cruisers, we found our cabin's shower much larger with a little more space to manoeuvre. The bed made up into a large queen and was comfortable. Pillows are OK but we brought our own. Large divan to sit on that would make up into a big double bed. Useful work desk with a chair, free tea and coffee making, a mini fridge with drinks for purchase and a little space on top with shelves. The storage space was amazing as there was a double wardrobe, several drawers each side of the desk, a tall side cabinet with several shelves, very tiny bedside drawers and opening glass mirrors above the desk with shelves. Our bags fitted neatly in the wardrobe or if smaller they would fit under the bed. Two chairs and table on the small balcony with an unvarnished railing and glass side petitions from which you just see over into the next balcony either side of the railing. This cabin suited us just fine. Dining: Overall, it was the food on board that was the most disappointing aspect our cruise. As a rule we never go to the dining room unless on a much longer cruise. Every meal was taken in Windjammers. We had a few fast food meals particularly on port days and one or two room service meals. Several reasons why the food was ordinary; It was always cold without exception in the buffet, all fast food items and room service. Food is not changed as regularly as other cruise lines at the buffet. The plates are not heated being melamine so the food would cool even further. Food variety was good but was either under or overcooked. Many Asian flavours, because of the number of Asian guests. We love Asian but it tastes better piping hot! The tongs were spongy so we could not pick up the food properly. Deserts were good and had plenty of variety....the best part. Only had one or two breakfasts and they didn't vary at all. One thing that we never understood; we were told to (and wanted )to sanitise our hands before entering the buffet.For some reason staff never insisted the other guests who were mostly Asian to sanitise hands as if it was voluntary. The buffet was normally full at breakfast and lunch and seating hard to come by so even on the cool days we had to sit poolside. Room service meals were always cold and once a yogurt was like water when delivered at 0600am one morning. Just a small warning on this type of cruise...if you are waiting in line for something,don't be surprised if you get queue jumpers...it's the norm. Entertainment: Overall this was outstanding. Thumbs up to RCL for the quality and variety of the artists. They had a solo violinist, different singers and small bands, jazz music, pop and the shows were very professionally done. Staff: Thumbs up again to all staff on the Legend. Without fail all staff wished you a good day at every level and status. Very polite and helpful and would outdo any service required. They came from all over; China, the Philippines, India, Australia, Britain, Norway, America and many more we suspect. Tours: We did a couple on this cruise.Normally we don't but as one port was Vladivostok it seemed prudent to have a Russian speaking guide. This was a walking tour and was not value for money. The second was on Jeju Is and we were glad we did this one as the tendering port had nothing in the way of transport to the places of interest and also the time in port was just enough to complete it. Summary: RCL does an outstanding job in the training of their staff, the entertainment was great and as the weather was a bit difficult they had to change itineraries twice. Substitute ports were added, deleted and added again but it worked out well in the end and the organisation would have been very difficult for them. This meant that conditions at sea were better than it could have been if we had continued to one of our original ports of call Otaru-(Hokkaido - Japan). RCL had the needs and comfort of guests in mind at all times. However, perhaps because of the initial difficulties and the food quality we probably will not sail in Asia again on this cruise ship. Happy Cruising! Read Less
Sail Date September 2011

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