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Legend Report - Panama - 02/20/05

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Going to try this again - Put this on a few days ago and it seems like it disappeared.



Well what can I say that can adequately describe our cruise! It truly was the trip of lifetime and we were thrilled with RCCL and the service we received. Here's a run-down:


Embarkation - we stayed overnight in Fort Lauderdale and decided to store our luggage at the hotel and go shopping instead of trying to fight the line-ups. We finally went to the ship about 2:30 and walked right in the door, up to the counter and were on the ship in no more than 10 minutes. We figured we had our rooms and the ship wasn't going anywhere until 5 pm. so what was the rush. In the past, we've gone about about 12 and stood in the line-up so tried something different this time and we will do this from now on.


Room - we had an aft balcony cabin - 6124 - and it was just great. The bed was comfortable ( note it had a foam pad on both beds ). Lots of towels, tons of storage and room to move around. The shoe bag over the bathroom door trick was the best thing I learned from this site. It worked perfectly and kept the area around the sink uncluttered. The balcony is larger but it does get a lot of sun so we actually did not use it as much as I thought we would. Besides, we were having too much fun deck side to stay in the cabin.There is also a fair amount of soot so be careful if you dry any clothes outside. We had a couple of rough nights and there was a fair amount of movement and while others said they noticed it also, I think the aft cabins have a bit more than usual. It was not uncomfortable or annoying but it was noticeable. Our cabin steward, Richard, was excellent and brought us an extra chair ( in fact - 2 brand new chairs ) as well as a lounger. We ordered breakfast in our room every morning and that is really the way to go. We tried the Windjammer one morning and that was the last time - it was a mad house - people pushing and shoving for toast for crying out loud. There is something about a buffet that brings out the worst in people.


Food - We were very pleased with the food. Excellent selection and we learned very quickly to listen to our waiter who would give us the low down on what was good that day. He was right 100% of the time! We also ordered things that he didn't suggest and only 3 or 4 of those were not up to par. They were immediately replaced with something else. The soups are fantastic! The french fries in the Solarium are the best I've ever had and I don't even like fries that much. We ate lunch there nearly every day as the burgers were very good and the roasted chicken is excellent. We bought a 14 day wine package - $241.00 - and ended up not drinking it all, which is a first for us. There was a couple of more expensive packages but we looked at the selection and felt that the wines offered on the $241 pkg. were adequate. Note that you can order Eggs Benedict for breakfast every day if you want even though it is not on the room service menu. Actually, you can order anything you want. Room service was quick and the food came hot. Usually no more than a 10 minute wait. Drinks are affordable and the daily special is usually around $3.95 - and they don't scrimp on the booze so watch it - especially in the hot sun.


Crew - Absolutely bloody incredible. Everyone was truly exceptional and made you feel that they were very happy that you were on board. The group that we hung around with commented on this one evening and someone said that this was truly a happy ship - you could tell by the way you were treated. We talked to a number of crew members and everyone we talked to said they loved working on the Legend. They are treated well and RCL even threw a Hawaiian party for them one night - there were a few green faces the next day! Our head waiter - Yasa - was the consumate professional. This is the first cruise we have been on, where the head waiter acutally takes an interest in you and spends time at the tables. He found out we liked hot food and from that night on, he brought us a Sambal sauce from his own supply from home. He even had the chef cook our table a delicious chicken curry, complete with all the fixins. Our main waiter - Wayan - was a treat. He kept us on the straight and narrow by telling us flat out what was good and what not to bother with. When dinner was finished, we gave us a presentation on our next day port of call, told us not to eat food from any strange restaurants and to be safe on the streets. We started to feel like he was Dad and we were his family. All of us just loved him. I was told by one of the other head waiters that he is one of their top servers, so if you ever get a chance, ask for Wayan. We also met some other fabulous crew members who helped make our trip. Ladies - keep an eye out for Edwin the heartbreaker waiter!!! I can't say enough about the crew except a big thank-you for making us feel so welcome.


On-Board shopping - the shops were pretty average with the usual daily specials - T-shirts, costume jewellery, watches, booze etc. The supplies on-board like tooth paste, bandages for blisters, aspirin for the you know what are pretty limited, so make sure you take everything you need or you will likely have to buy it in town. The photos are expensive and we spent too much but they provide such great memories that we figured they are worth it. It probably is a good idea to wait until the end to pick your photos. That way you won't buy too many. The large portraits are $19.95 so they add up.


Amenities - the golf course is a hoot. It is so bumpy and lumpy that it is best played after a few drinks. We held a girls against the guys tournament and had some great laughs. We didn't try the rock wall. It was shut down a good part of the time because of the wind. The pools are both salt water and very refreshing. They were not crowded. We sat in the Solarium a few days and liked it but somehow it just didn't feel the same as sitting outside. Watch the sun though! We saw a lot of burnt bodies. The spa is great but it is expensive and they try to tell/sell you things that you supposedly can't live without. I toured the gym but did not find the staff there too helpful with regards to using the equipment so I never used the facilities. There were lots of other excercise classes and 2 walking groups - 7 am. and 4 pm. each day. The shows were average and enjoyable but not exceptional. We actually played Bingo for the first time and that was fun. #35.00 for a big card and $50.00 for the card plus an extra card for the jackpot. Some lucky fellow won over $7000 on the last day. One of the best spots was the Schooner lounge with a superb piano player - Jim - he was lots of fun and has an amazing repitoire of songs. It was packed every night.


The Casino - well what can you say! There seemed to be a few very lucky people but on the average, there didn't seem to be too many winners on the slots. It seemed that they would pay off between 4:30-6:30pm. - right around the time folks were out and about for dinner. Later at night, say after 9 pm., you might as well have thrown your money overboard. I learned to play 3 card poker and it is a blast. Your money lasts longer and it is easy to learn. The staff is wonderful with friendly dealers and even the pit bosses seem to be having fun. The only complaint was that they started to close earlier and earlier. It's the first time I've ever been bribed out of a casino by the offer of a free T-shirt - at 12:30 at night. Lots of complaints but the staff just said that there weren't enough people playing.


Dinner hours - We had originally asked for the 5:30 sitting as our travelling companions wanted to eat earlier than 8 pm. After 3 nights, we realized that this was far too early and it was really messing up our day. Can you imagine starting to put on your formal clothes at 4:30 in the afternoon! We were still wanting to be by the pool or enjoying our port of call. There were quite a few older folks on this cruise so I guess that they were pleased but inour opinion it was far to early. We switched to 8pm. with no problem. The other thing we liked is that we did not feel rushed. If we felt like lingering over coffee etc. then we could do so.


Ports of Call - My favouite - Well, what I can remember of it! We hit Cabo San Lucas on a gorgeous day and headed into town because one of the guys just had to go to the Cabo Wabo bar to buy this special tequila. Well, we thought we'd try one the famous margurita's and that was the beginning of the end. We had an absolute blast and 8 of us sang and danced all the way back to the boat. We missed our snorkel excursion ( they took one look at us and said we couldn't go). Very smart on their part! Cabo is a great place - clean, good restaurants etc. Our least favourite - Puenturanus (sp?) Costa Rica. Nothing to see expect rows of booths, all with the same junk. The Panama Canal trip was fantastic and we were fortunate because we ran back and forth from a beautiful suite on the 8th. deck to our aft cabin, so we saw all of it without having to stand with the crowds. If there is ever a reason to book a balcony cabin, this is it!


I am sure there are other things that will come to mind but this is it for now. We met some wonderful people on this cruise that we already know are going to be lifelong friends. In fact, we're now thinking about a reunion cruise for next year. The reason we met was because of this site and the Meet and Mingle, so I want to say a big thank-you to whomever for creating the site and having the M & M on board. We really appreciated the RCCL pins and neck wallets and the snacks and drinks. I'm so darn jealous when I come on-line now and see people's clocks showing they are leaving a a few weeks. I hate making my bed and breakfast!! Get me back onboard!

Last edited by Qualicum : March 14th, 2005 at 10:39 PM.

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