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LMaxwell

Just off Legend of the Seas (following Allure) and the survey says...

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Fantastic Voyage - An excellent trip all around 10 days with stops in Tortola, St.Maarten, St. Kitts, Antigua, St. Croix. I had many reservations about taking the smallest ship (and 2nd oldest in the fleet) after a holiday trip on the Allure but I have to say we had an excellent time. There were some areas/venues/designs I actually preferred on the Legend in fact and highlights (to me) included:

 

-Wonderful sea views from Decks 4, 5, 6, and massive ocean view windows in the dining room

-Wide exterior promenade deck, great sea views unhindered by lifeboats (although does not go 360°)

-Somewhat hidden Aft sun deck complete with real teak decking; a great quiet place to spend a day in a lounge chair watching the wake go by.

-Air conditioned Solarium with Park Cafe

-Diamond Lounge overflow was in Anchors Aweigh which still had nice sea views compared to the coal mine...I mean Blazes on Allure. Diamond Lounge food (rotating hot appetizers) was pretty poor, but also had nice cheese and veggie platters. Our go to server was Francis and he was personable and had our drink orders ready within seconds of spotting us walk in.

-A total breeze to navigate the ship; everything "close by"

-Specialty dining - Chops and Izumi both have great views from within the Viking Crown

-Sauna/Steam room have no extra fee for use

-Shaded outdoor seating near pool just outside of Windjammer with a dedicated drink station. Try doing that on Allure. I double dare you.

 

Some misses - Not really negatives, just some reflections - Chefs Table - location at rear of dining room and near service entrance to galley. Very loud and hard to hear chefs presentation. Even a glass partition would help this immensely.

 

Entertainment - Very good quality but aimed at an old crowd. This was a mixed age crowd cruise and I felt like one of the few younger people at the headliner and production shows. Come on Royal, bring on one act that people under 50 years old may know. If you openly wept at the passing of Frank Sinatra, well, this was the cruise for you. Those under 40 we spoke to felt similar to us...throw us a bone Royal.

 

Late night food - Not that we ever went hungry, but only a couple of limited items in the Park Cafe late at night and ended by midnight. If you were out later than that you were out of options (or pay for room service delivery). A lot of guests were commenting how much better Carnival was in this area.

 

Casino - It stinks. It is fairly small casino and it really stinks terribly in there. This really limited my game play. They had some $1 - $3 tables on sea days but I just couldn't sit in there. I smoked for 15 years and my eyes watered after just a few minutes. This is a universal issue with all smoking casinos. I was up, I was down, and I left the ship just about even which is fine with me.

 

Plusses-

Staff -

Our MDR staff was phenomenal. My Time Dining ran head and shoulders above Allure. My experience on Allure with MTD was sub-par, on Legend it was probably a model of what Royal wants guests to experience. We had Mr. A and Mr. K (Alfredo and Keith) as well as Pol and Franky (we were on the border of two sections, and made friends, so depending on availability we dined one section or the other, but all four took equal and excellent care of us).

 

Our room attendant Mariana was friendly and our room always spotless. We had no special requests, but she was very efficient in her work.

 

Entertainment staff - CD Paul Rutter, Moe, Desmond, Laura - Good energy, you can tell they take pride in their work. You see them all over the ship all the time. With only 1800 guests versus 5500+ on Allure they knew us by name mid-week (we were the newlyweds in the love and marriage game and I'm pretty sure my new bride made quite the impression on the CD...)

 

Royal hosted a nice get together on Day 2 (sea day) for cruise critic meet and mingle with some food/drinks as well as some small gifts and upper level staff. Other cruise lines do not do this, and it is a nice touch that Royal puts forth the effort here. There was a fairly active roll call and we got to put screen names to faces and met some truly excellent people that we enjoyed talking to and seeing around the ship and ports of call.

 

We had an inside cabin, deck 6, almost exactly halfway between the Centrum and forward stairs. Dead Silent cabin. Everything worked flawlessly. Excellent water pressure, toilet perfect. New Samsung flat-panel TV on swivel mount. A/C kept room comfortably cool. Had a mini-loveseat, not a sofa. The supplied hairdryer was very strong and used one of the non-US plugs. Storage was plenty adequate.

 

Sure, this is an older ship that had a fairly extensive renovation in 2013, but overall this is a very nice ship. Will you find a cruddy fixture or a rail in need of varnish here of there? I guess; if you really are spending your time looking for such things (some of the reviews on cruise critic are absolutely absurd in this regard, beyond ridiculous would be an understatement).

 

Would I recommend this ship to family or friends? Yes, with the caveat that it will not have all the entertainment or attractions of the latest and greatest ships, and that the entertainment is likely geared towards an older crowd. However, a smaller ship is easy to get around and very conducive to making new friends which is part of a great experience.

 

Would I sail on this ship again? Yes, for the right itinerary. Anyone who has seen me post here before knows I am itching to get on board a Radiance-class ship though.

 

We booked excursions for 3 of the 5 stops through the ship, as well as had pre-paid dining package. We did not buy anything from the Centrum shops. Any purchases handled through Royal had absolutely no issues with billing or execution and over 10 days we only made one stop at guest services just to check our bill. No issues; so again, better than our Allure experience.

 

I have over 1K pics from our trip and will upload and share some throughout the week.

 

Please feel free to ask any questions you may have and I'd be glad to answer.

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Thank you for the excellent report. I’ll be on her in about a year for 15 days. I’m really looking forward to it!

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My first RCL cruise was on the Legend and I loved it! Having said that, I have never had a bad cruise. (Probably Fred Olsen would be the worst). However looking forward to the Allure in June, although I am wary of such a big ship - always said I wouldn't go on one but got the opportunity so will let you know my thoughts when I get back. :-)

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Thanks for posting your thoughts!

We will be on the 11 night itinerary in March 2015 and we are definitely looking forward to it!

I understand your "itch" to sail on a Radiance class ship as we have enjoyed cruising on both Radiance and Brilliance.

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We will be on The Jewel in September and Antigua and St. Croix are 2 of our ports. Can you share what you did in those ports when you have a moment? Unfortunately for us, we will be in St. Croix on a Sunday (our first port) when alot of things will be closed.

 

Thank you.

 

Bridget

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We will be on The Jewel in September and Antigua and St. Croix are 2 of our ports. Can you share what you did in those ports when you have a moment? Unfortunately for us, we will be in St. Croix on a Sunday (our first port) when alot of things will be closed.

 

Thank you.

 

Bridget

 

In Antigua we booked (through the ship) the Catamaran Sail, Snorkel, Beach tour. It was either $49 or $54 per person. No bus needed, the catamaran was at the end of the pier. It was one of the best excursions and best values of the trip. We motored out to a reef and had 30-40 minutes or snorkel time, then after another 30 minute boat ride to a secluded and protected beach area. During this time they served finger sandwiches and the unlimited rum punch started flowing. We had about 45 minutes at the beach (the catamaran pulls right up to the beach). By then the rum punch was hitting everyone; it was a 20 minute ride back to the pier with music, conga line, limbo party, dancing, more rum punch. We wandered town a bit (congested with 4 ships in port)

 

In St. Croix we just wandered Frederiksted. It was our 5th port in as many days and we were worn out. There is a small Fort at the end of the pier but it is good to see for only $3 per person. There is also a small flea market set up near there. Then we wandered town and back to the ship. There is a beach with a beer/food spot only 1/4 mile from the ship. We didn't go but I suspect you could have a rocking good time there with food for less than $20 per person. St. Croix was relatively clean/not pushy at all.

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St. Croix

 

1912125_10203486605710659_1925174321_n.jpg

 

1969288_10203486609670758_757499277_n.jpg

 

You can see the beach just to the left of the fort; there is a paved path to walk down.

 

1975009_10203486609070743_1829474564_n.jpg

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Thank you so much for your excellent report. We'll be on her in 14 days doing the PC, can hardly wait. :)

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LMaxwell, Great review and fantastic pictures. We were on the 2/3/14 11 day sailing and had a fantastic cruise, also. We didn't have your luck with our cabin attendant or wait staff (traditional dining) but that was luck of the draw and more of an annoyance than anything else. It definitely didn't make or break the cruise. The rest of the staff and crew were absolutely wonderful from the activities staff to the Windjammer staff. We also really enjoyed getting to know the other passengers on the smaller ship with a longer itinerary. Hopefully you get to sail on a Radiance class ship in your near future. I love them but I have never been on a mega ship.

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I love your pictures - thank you so much! One question - the excursion in Antigua - was that an all day excursion?

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Thank you so much for your excellent report. We'll be on her in 14 days doing the PC, can hardly wait. :)

 

I believe you will have a different Cruise Director on board but I am not sure who. But you should have Moe (big Fijian guy, can NOT mistake him for anyone else) Desmond (very skinny/small guy but super friendly/entertaining) and Laura (blonde Spanish lady, perky and fun).

 

If you are on My Time Dining ask for Mr.A and Mr.K; they were just the best.

 

If you have any questions in particular ask, would be glad to try to assist.

 

Two areas very few people seemed to be aware of

-Café Lattetudes - Deck 6-Centrum area - Great scones, muffins, cake are Free (coffee and ice cream are for a charge)

-Aft sundeck - Access is via a staircase way aft on Deck 10 port side (adjacent to mini-golf) or else you can access by walking through the gym.

 

Keep your eyes peeled for "Chocolate Breakfast" in the dining room. It will be printed on a menu the day before it happens, but not necessarily in the Cruise Compass. It is held in the MDR.

 

If you enjoy "interesting" things you could spend a few minutes on Deck 9 near the aft stair case looking at plaques, awards, and gifts given to the ship from various ports of call around the world (some are also down on Deck 1 when that is used as a gangaway).

 

We also had great service from Jonathan and Marina in Chops and Park Café as well as Virgil in Park Café.

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I love your pictures - thank you so much! One question - the excursion in Antigua - was that an all day excursion?

 

It was a bit over 3 hours. We had the morning time slot, I believe they had an afternoon time slot as well.

 

Here is the blurb from Royals Site

http://www.royalcaribbean.com/shoreExcursions/product/detail/view.do?sourcePage=cruiseDetails&packageCode=VI10L037&date=&selectedCurrencyCode=&ProductCode=AN03&DestinationCode=

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Thank you for the review,so happy you loved the Legend.We will be on the Legend for a month doing a b2b2b starting in April.Transatlantic,Fjord's and Baltic cruise's.I had read some bad reviews so was happy to come across your's.

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Working on my photos but here she is 3/14/14 in St.Croix, USVI.

 

1513974_10203486609710759_714038818_n.jpg

 

That is a beautiful picture! Did you use a special filter for it?

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Great review! I agree with you about the entertainment on the ship...nothing really for the under 50 crowd. Also, I never noticed the "wear and tear" on the ship that other posters harp about either. Our next cruise is the Oasis, so it will be interesting to see how the two compare.

 

Lisa

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.I had read some bad reviews so was happy to come across your's.

 

I shared similar concerns; some shockingly harsh reviews coupled with potentially (on my end) expectations set by the Allure that no smaller and older ship could match. CC has provided me a wealth of information and so I felt it right to provide an honest review.

 

All elevators worked without undue delay, none were ever out of service as far as I could tell. All automatic doors worked without issue. Toilets and Air Conditioning worked perfect (have you visited the Holland America forum? Non-functional toilets are acceptable and apparently they cut the A/C mid-night; this is considered normal over there). All public rest rooms were always spotless and had both the new style blade hand dryers and always fully stocked with soap and paper hand towels. I can't recall anything I touched, used, stepped on, etc. that would indicate a lack of maintenance or disrepair. Ice machines always were stocked/working.

 

If you choose to wear a white glove and play ship inspector you'll find a ruddy corner or two and a scratch, ding, or scuff here or there.

 

I hope you find this assessment honest and helps to set your expectations appropriately and to not start your vacation with any cloudy thoughts. Bon Voyage!

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That is a beautiful picture! Did you use a special filter for it?

 

None at all. I do add a bit of sharpness and contrast to my photos, but they are all taken on a 6 year old, $75 bottom of the line digital camera (Fuji A170). I take photos at the highest quality setting and then resize them using a free program called FotoSizer. Unfortunately when uploading to any free photosite they get compressed a bit grainy and cruddy looking.

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Great review! I agree with you about the entertainment on the ship...nothing really for the under 50 crowd. Also, I never noticed the "wear and tear" on the ship that other posters harp about either. Our next cruise is the Oasis, so it will be interesting to see how the two compare.

 

Lisa

 

Your review was very useful to me in preparing for this trip.

 

It is pretty hard not to be blown away by Oasis/Allure. Your jaw will be dropped the entire week. The detailing, the number of venues, the entertainment and activities, the technology/engineering are all pretty phenomenal. It's a viable alternative to any other resort you'll find anywhere. I just happen to love the ocean and love the feeling of being on a ship and that's a feeling missing from the big twins, but provided well on Legend. Just my opinion.

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Your review was very useful to me in preparing for this trip.

 

It is pretty hard not to be blown away by Oasis/Allure. Your jaw will be dropped the entire week. The detailing, the number of venues, the entertainment and activities, the technology/engineering are all pretty phenomenal. It's a viable alternative to any other resort you'll find anywhere. I just happen to love the ocean and love the feeling of being on a ship and that's a feeling missing from the big twins, but provided well on Legend. Just my opinion.

We booked an oceanview balcony just so we would be able to connect to the ocean. I read a bunch of reviews before selecting our cabin location regarding the disconnect compared to the smaller ships.

 

I am happy that my review was helpful...that makes me smile. :D

 

Lisa

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Your review was very useful to me in preparing for this trip.

 

Thanks to both of you for your reviews! Lisa helped me with my decision to book the Legend for January and this review gets me excited again! I do wish they would give us one 80's night or some entertainment geared to the 40's age group. :) regardless we will have a good time.

 

Keep the pictures coming!

 

John in NC

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