Seabourn Legend - Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)

Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)

Seabourn Legend


Berlitz’s Ratings

Ship: 413 out of 500

Accommodation: 171 out of 200

Food: 327 out of 400

Service: 341 out of 400

Entertainment: 77 out of 100

Cruise: 324 out of 400

Overall Score: 1653 out of 2000

Seabourn Legend Statistics

Size: Boutique Ship

Tonnage: 9,961

Lifestyle: Luxury

Cruise Line: Seabourn

Former Names: Queen Odyssey, Royal Viking Queen

IMO Number: 9008598

Builder: Schichau Seebeckwerft (Germany)

Original Cost: $87 million

Entered Service: Mar 1992/Jul 1996

Registry: Bahamas

Length (ft/m): 442.9/135.0

Beam (ft/m): 62.9/19.2

Draft (ft/m): 16.4/5.0

Propulsion/Propellers: diesel (7,280kW)/2

Passenger Decks: 6

Total Crew: 160

Passengers (lower beds): 212

Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 46.9

Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 1.3

Cabins (total): 106

Size Range (sq ft/m): 277.0-575.8/25.7-53.5

Cabins (for one person): 0

Cabins (with private balcony): 6

Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 4

Wheelchair accessibility: None

Cabin Current: 110 and 220 volts

Elevators: 3

Casino (gaming tables): Yes

Slot Machines: Yes

Swimming Pools: 1

Hot Tubs (on deck): 3

Self-Service Launderette: Yes

Dedicated Cinema/Seats: No

Library: Yes

Onboard currency: US$


A small, cozy, elegant ship for mature-age cruisers

Overview. Seabourn Legend can cruise to places where large cruise ships can’t, thanks to its ocean-yacht size. For a grand, small-ship vacation in fine surroundings, with just over 100 other couples as neighbors and excellent food that approaches gourmet standards, it’s hard to beat. It is best suited to sophisticated, well-traveled couples, typically over 50, but possibly younger.

The Ship. Seabourn Legend is a contemporary gem of a ship with a handsome profile, almost identical in looks and size to Seabourn Pride and Seabourn Spirit, but younger and built to a much higher standard, with streamline ‘decorator’ bars made by Mercedes-Benz located along the side of the upper superstructure and a slightly different swept-over funnel design. The sunloungers have thankfully been changed to a steel-mesh design, but they are hard-surfaced and need pads to make them comfortable for more than a few minutes. There is no walk-around promenade deck outdoors.

The ship has two fine mahogany water taxis for use as shore tenders. An aft water sports platform and marina can be used in suitably calm warm-water areas. Water sports facilities include a small, enclosed ‘dip’ pool, sea kayaks, snorkel equipment, windsurfers, water-ski boat, and Zodiac inflatable boats.

Inside, a wide central passageway divides port and starboard side accommodation. The finest quality interior fixtures, fittings and fabrics have been combined in its sumptuous public areas to present an outstanding, elegant decor, with warm color combinations and some fine artwork. There is no glitz anywhere. The dress code, relaxed by day, is a little more formal at night.

All drinks, except premium brands and connoisseur wines, are included in the fare. So are gratuities, fine aromatherapy Molton Brown bath products and large soaps by Bronnley, Chanel, and Hermès, short massages (‘massage moments’) on deck, open-seating dining, use of water sports equipment, one included Exclusively Seabourn shore excursion per cruise, and movies under the stars.

The three Seabourn ships, which provide a good hotel service product, are still not up to the standard of Europa’s better product delivery and hospitality. Indeed, there have been many recent complaints about falling standards aboard the Seabourn ships, particularly in regard to maintenance - they are more than 20 years old.

Niggles? The range of cigars offered is limited. The Club suffers from over-amplified music. Non-American passengers should note that almost all entertainment and activities are geared towards American tastes, despite the increasingly international passenger mix.

DHL can provide luggage pick-up and delivery service. Port charges and insurance are not included in the fare. Note that Seabourn Legend has been sold to Xanterra Parks & Resorts, parent company of Windstar Cruises; it will be transferred in April 2015 and renamed Star Legend. Sister ship Seabourn Pride (to be renamed Star Pride) was transferred in May 2014, and Seabourn Spirit (to be renamed Star Spirit) will be transferred in May, 2015.

Accommodation. This is spread over three decks, and there are several price categories. All suites are comfortably large and comprehensively equipped. They are, for example, larger than those aboard the smaller SeaDream I and SeaDream II, but then the ship is also larger, with almost twice as many passengers.

All suites have a sleeping area with European duvets and Frette linens. A separate lounge area has a Bose Wave radio/CD unit, DVD player and flat-screen TV, vanity desk with hairdyer and personalized stationery, world atlas, minibar and refrigerator stocked with soft drinks and two bottles of your favorite liquor at embarkation, a large walk-in closet illuminated automatically when you open the door, digital personal safe, and wall-mounted clock and barometer. A full passenger list is provided - a rarity today - as are a fresh fruit basket, replenished daily, and flowers.

Marble-clad bathrooms have one or two washbasins, depending on accommodation grade, a decent but not full-size tub (four suites have a shower enclosure only - no bathtub), plenty of storage areas, 100 percent thick cotton towels, plush terrycloth bathrobe, and designer soaps. A selection of five Molton Brown aromatherapy bath preparations can be ordered from your stewardess, who will prepare your bath for you.

Course-by-course in-cabin dining is available during dinner hours - the cocktail table can be raised to form a dining table - and there is 24-hour room service. Also provided are personalized stationery, and fancy ticket wallet, suitably boxed and nicely packaged before your cruise. Non-smoking cabins are available. Menus for each dinner are delivered to your suite during the day.

In 2001, 36 French (or ‘Juliet’) balconies were added to suites on two out of three accommodation decks. These are not balconies in the true sense, but have two doors that open wide onto a tiny teakwood balcony that is just 10.6ins (27cm) deep - just enough for toes. The balconies do allow you to have fresh sea air, however, together with some salt spray.

Four Owner’s Suites (Ibsen/Grieg, each 530 sq ft/49 sq m, and Eriksson/Heyerdahl, each 575 sq ft/53 sq m), and two Classic Suites (Queen Maud/Queen Sonja, each 400 sq ft/37 sq m) are superb, private living spaces. Each has a walk-in closet, second closet, full bathroom plus a guest toilet with washbasin. There is a fully secluded forward- or side-facing balcony, with sun lounge chairs and wooden drinks table (Ibsen and Grieg don’t have balconies). The living area has ample bookshelf space, including a complete edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica, large refrigerator/drinks cabinet, television and DVD player, plus a second TV set in the bedroom. All windows, as well as the door to the balcony, have manually operated blackout blinds, and a complete blackout is possible in both bedroom and living room.

Dining. The Restaurant is a part-marble, part-carpeted dining room that has portholes and elegant decor but it is not as warm and intimate as that found aboard the smaller SeaDream ships, with their wood paneling. The silverware (150g weight - the best available) is by Robbe & Berking. Open-seating dining means that you can dine when you want, with whom you wish. Course-by-course meals can be served in your cabin.

Dining can be memorable, if you choose the right thing. The menus are creative and well balanced, with a wide selection of foods, including regional dishes. Seabourn’s cuisine is artfully presented, with many items cooked to order. Special orders are available, as is caviar (at extra cost, although it will probably be of the farmed American Hackleback variety). Flaming desserts can be cooked at your table. The selection of exotic fruits and cheeses is good.

Each day, basic table wine is included for lunch and dinner, but the decent ones cost extra. The wine list is quite extensive, with prices ranging from moderate to high; many of the wines come from the smaller, more exclusive vineyards. The European dining room staff is hand-picked and provides excellent, unhurried service.

Relaxed breakfasts until 11am, lunch buffets, and casual, themed candlelight dinners (including a new ‘2’ tasting menu) can be taken in the popular Veranda Café, adjacent to the swimming pool, instead of in the dining room. The Sky Grill provides an above-poolside setting complete with candlelit dining and specializing in steaks and seafood.

Entertainment. The King Olaf Lounge is the venue for shows, cabaret acts, lectures, and most social functions. It has a sloping floor that provides good sight lines from just about every seat. This is a small, upscale ship, so the typically four-person ‘production’ shows are of limited scope because dinner is almost always the main event. You can, however, expect to see the occasional cabaret act.

Singers also tend to do mini-cabaret performances in The Club, one deck above the showlounge.

Spa/Fitness. The Spa at Seabourn, a small, well-equipped health spa/fitness center, is located just aft of the navigation bridge. It provides sauna and steam rooms with separate facilities for men and women, and integral changing room; plus a separate exercise room with videotapes for private, individual aerobics workouts; and a beauty salon.

The facility is staffed and operated by concession Elemis by Steiner. Treatment prices are equal to those in an expensive land-based spa. The beauty salon offers hair beautifying treatments, while in the gym, personal training, yoga classes, mat Pilates, and body composition analysis are available at extra cost.