April 2014 - Legend of the Seas to Panama Canal, Central America
What can we say? Overall, good cruise, but when broken down, not so much. We took this cruise to take Panama Canal off our bucket list, however, should have paid more attention to which ship it was on. We were on the Legend years ago in Europe and it was a mess, so, so much wrong! We heard it was going to be de-commissioned yet instead it was only dressed up some. But, we thought it had to be better, so we booked it anyway. Once again, service as always was outstanding, but food and activities appalling.
We splurged and booked a Grand Suite for this special trip as it was our 20th anniversary and we wanted it to be special - which this suite certainly is. Enjoyed the suite immensely, didn’t enjoy the noise. In looking in their books it appears all of the GS are on the floor under the pool and this is a huge mistake. We spent all day and every night listening to chairs being dragged around overhead. We couldn’t figure out why it was so continuous, we thought we got the answer when we realized they moved all the chairs for the dancing by the pool at night, but that didn’t explain all morning and during the day too! (With the dancing we also heard the music from that.) Didn’t hear a peep from the rooms next door so why couldn’t the ceiling be soundproofed as well? In speaking with friends on our return, they stated that they were just on a four day cruise with RC and someone on their floor in a GS had the same complaint! We feel strongly that as nice as the GS is, it was still a waste of money.
Meals in dining room were just “OK” nothing to make us say WOW, or want that meal again, while the Windjammer was a total shame. Same things for lunch and dinner every single day for two weeks, throwing in a stew or something to make it look different. One day with the everyday pasta’s you had Primavera Sauce…we watched a gentleman in a chef’s hat take a bowl of the days steamed vegetables, dump it in a silver tray and pour Marinara sauce on it….not quite anybody’s idea of Primavera! Can we talk desserts? Nothing original or good, pudding or mousse in everything, cakes with pudding as the layers, always with vanilla sauce or whipped cream 24/7 to hide it. What happened to the joy of cruising and the amazing pastries and desserts? Obviously we weren’t alone about the food, we watched so much food being tossed out that it’s shameful. Couldn’t wait to get home and have some good food and dessert! Heard alot of conversations in elevators, hallways, theaters and even the concierge lounge about the poor food. Someone in the Solarium mentioned that was the best place for lunch….pretty sad!
We understand they didn’t get a couple containers in CA, however, that’s poor planning on someone’s part and we shouldn’t have had to suffer for it. A huge shopping trip should have taken place! Several locations were out of Caffeine Free Diet Coke completely after just a few days and you’d be done with dinner before they found one somewhere, butter was down to two pats per table, etc., etc. My wife doesn’t drink a lot of things, but she can’t have caffeine or she gets stomach bleeds, so she was stuck for most of the trip with water, lemonade or juices, like it or not! Funny, missing containers was the same thing they said the last time we were on the same ship (the Legend) in Europe!! Then there were also empty shelves in shops, a camera sale with only two cameras, “OH, we didn’t get a couple containers!”
We don’t often partake of destination opportunities, yet it seems like you try to force people to go ashore because the activities onboard while in port are very poor. Sit in the Solarium, do trivia, watch a movie or stay in your room and watch TV….oh yeah, TV is hard to do because you got rid of two movie channels and everything on the TV repeats day in and day out or something you DO want to see is only in French or German, etc.! First movie we went down to see had no sound and they had to cancel it, 2nd one the big screen was broken so all they had were the two tiny TV screens on the side for everyone to try and see the Hobbit?? How about the entertainment, we’re used to some great shows on cruises, but not on this ship. Magician’s that should have been doing kid’s parties! One night the only thing for both early and late seating was an old, old movie??
Unfortunately, we’re the ones complaining and we don’t have the answer either. It’s just that activities are always the same and I don’t really know what else you could add for curmudgeons like us. I guess, once you partake of wine tasting, napkin folding, etc., you don’t really care to do it every cruise. Mini golf, shuffleboard, trivia get old also. How about mini-15 minute chair massages by the pool; cooking classes; beer varieties tastings; golf simulator; mixology classes; internet classes; something, anything unusual! We don’t know, they’ve got the staff to think of things, not us. And why is it that now every other item on the Cruise Compass calendar has a $$ sign by it? Don’t we already pay enough that you could provide lots of things to do without charging??
Oh yeah, how about the “Royal Replenishment” package (or even just the Coca-Cola package), it was good for everything but a can of Coke, why is it you can’t get a can of coke? Everyone said “Sorry” they had to open it and pour it for us. What a waste, what if we don’t ask for more, it goes flat and gets tossed or the next person gets flat Coke? Excuse me, we paid $300 each for this and we can’t drink out of the can if we want? If we’re going to pay that kind of price, it should be for whatever we want of the available items, can, bottle or whatever, how dare they restrict us, but those paying for a single coke got the can??? Hey, I paid for several single cokes!
Since money appears to be the only object of RC, on a couple other cruises we have brought up a great money maker for them, but no one carried it forward. The glasses given with the Coke package are nice, but who is going to carry it around all the time and lose it somewhere? Maybe that’s their idea, if they don’t have the container, they get a small glass instead of a full can! Anyway, I have a container like a fanny pack, but it holds a water bottle. I also have a plastic circle on a lanyard for the same purpose. However, their container won’t fit in them. If they sold something like this to carry the container easily, I’m sure I and others would gladly buy them. Heck, I’d probably have to buy one every cruise cause I’d forget mine!
We’re confused right now, we’ve been on many cruises with others before, but for the last several years, other than Celebrity, we’ve been loyal to RC. We were thinking of booking another trip for next April while onboard, but we chose not to book as we think it’s time to check out other lines again.
However, on our return, friends asked us to join them this December and we booked it with RC. Luckily it’s on a bigger ship, but still unfortunately, we’re not even looking forward to it.
When prices go up and quality goes down this badly, just maybe it’s time to look elsewhere….we just don’t know yet……