Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)
Legend of the Seas
Ship: 379 out of 500
Accommodation: 142 out of 200
Food: 240 out of 400
Service: 262 out of 400
Entertainment: 75 out of 100
Cruise: 272 out of 400
Overall Score: 1370 out of 2000
Legend of the Seas Statistics
Size: Mid-size Ship
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean International
Former Names: none
IMO Number: 9070620
Builder: Chantiers de l’Atlantique (France)
Original Cost: $325 million
Entered Service: May 1995
Registry: The Bahamas
Length (ft/m): 867.0/264.2
Beam (ft/m): 105.0/32.0
Draft (ft/m): 23.9/7.3
Propulsion/Propellers: diesel (40,200kW)/2
Passenger Decks: 11
Total Crew: 720
Passengers (lower beds): 1,800
Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 38.3
Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 2.5
Cabins (total): 900
Size Range (sq ft/m): 137.7-1,147.4/12.8-106.6
Cabins (for one person): 0
Cabins (with private balcony): 231
Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 17
Wheelchair accessibility: Good
Cabin Current: 110 and 220 volts
Casino (gaming tables): Yes
Slot Machines: Yes
Swimming Pools: 2 (1 with sliding glass dome)
Hot Tubs (on deck): 4
Self-Service Launderette: No
Dedicated Cinema/Seats: No
Onboard currency: US$
A ship with refined European decor for mature-age cruisers
Overview. Royal Caribbean International (RCI) has designed a ship with much larger standard cabins than in any of its previous vessels except Splendour of the Seas. The ship is based in Britain in summer, and operates Europe/Med cruising for American and British passengers. It can be difficult to find relaxation areas without music, except for the Viking Crown Lounge during the day.
The Ship. Legend of the Seas has a contemporary profile and a nicely tiered stern, although the stern was fitted with a ‘duck-tail’ in 2013 to aid stability. The pool deck amidships overhangs the hull to provide an extremely wide deck, while still allowing the ship to navigate the Panama Canal. With engines placed midships, there is little noise and no noticeable vibration, and the ship has an operating speed of up to 24 knots.
The outside light is brought inside in many places, with over 2 acres (8,000 sq m) of glass. There’s a single-level sliding glass roof over the more formal setting of one of two swimming pools, providing an all-weather indoor-outdoor area called the Solarium.
While not as large as some of the newer ships in the fleet, Legend of the Seas is perhaps more suited to couples and families with children that don’t need all those bells and whistles, but want to cruise with up-to-date facilities and have multiple dining choices for more convenience. In a 2013 makeover, RCI added some of the dining options found on the larger ships, and enhanced the overall onboard experience by adding, for example, ship-wide Wi-Fi (it costs extra if you use it), flat-screen televisions in all cabins, and finger-touch digital ‘wayfinder’ direction screens.
Inside, two full entertainment decks are sandwiched between five decks full of cabins, so there are plenty of public rooms to lounge and drink in. A seven-deck-high atrium lobby - called the Centrum, is the real focal point within the ship, and the social meeting place. In 2013, the whole area was revamped, and new features were added. On its various levels it houses an R Bar (for some creative cocktails), several passenger service counters, an art gallery, Casino Royale (for table gaming and slot machines), the popular Schooner Bar, with its nautical-theme decor and maritime art, a 2,000-book library (outside of which is a bust of Shakespeare) and Café Latte-tudes (for coffee). Aerial entertainment happens in the Centrum, too.
Accommodation. There are many different cabin price grades. Some cabins on Deck 8 also have a larger door for wheelchair access in addition to the cabins for the physically challenged, and the ship is very accessible, with ample ramped areas and sloping decks.
All cabins have a sitting area and a queen-sized bed, and there is ample closet and drawer space. There is not much space around the bed, though, and the showers could have been better designed. Those cabins with balconies have glass railings rather than steel/wood to provide less intrusive sight lines.
The largest accommodation is the Royal Suite, which is beautifully designed, and nicely decorated (a baby grand piano is a bonus).
Dining. The 1,050-seat Romeo and Juliet Dining Room has dramatic two-deck-high glass side walls, so many passengers both upstairs and downstairs can see both the ocean and each other in reflection; it is quite noisy when full, and would perhaps have been even better located at the stern. When you book, choose one of two seatings, or ‘My Time Dining’ (eat when you want, during dining room hours).
Other dining options. A large indoor-outdoor Windjammer Café, located forward (above the bridge), has good views on three sides from large ocean-view windows. A good-size snack area provides even more informal eating options.
A Park Café, Chef’s Table, Chops Grille (for premium steaks and other meats), Giovanni’s Table (for Italian fare) and Izumi Asian Cuisine (high atop the ship, with some fine views) were added in a 2013 makeover. These venues provide more dining choices (most at extra cost).
Entertainment. That’s Entertainment Theater seats 802 and is a single-level showlounge with tiered seating levels: sight lines are generally good from almost all seats. Strong cabaret acts are also presented here. A second entertainment lounge, the Anchors Aweigh Lounge, is where cabaret acts, including late-night adult comedy are presented. Other lounges and bars have live music for listening and dancing, and aerial entertainment is featured in the Centrum - the atrium lobby.
Entertainment throughout the ship is upbeat - in fact, it is difficult to get away from music and noise - but is typical of the kind of resort hotel found ashore in Las Vegas. There is even background music in all corridors and elevators, and constant music outdoors on the pool deck. If you want a quiet relaxing holiday, choose another ship.
Spa/Fitness. The Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center has a gymnasium, located on the port side of the ship, aft of the funnel, and a small selection of high-tech muscle-pumping equipment. There is also an aerobics studio,, a beauty salon, and a sauna, as well as treatment rooms for body pampering treatments. While the facilities are quite small when compared with those aboard the company’s newer ships, they are adequate for short cruises.
A rock-climbing wall, with several separate climbing tracks, is located outdoors at the aft end of the funnel.