Length: 439 ft
Best For People Who Want
To feel as though aboard a yacht; gourmet dining; large cabins; exotic itineraries; exemplary enrichment program.Should Be Avoided By People Who Prefer
Cabins with private verandas; diverse nightlife; extensive fitness/sports facilities; a casual dress policy; children's programsOnboard Experience
Legend's European staff seems to derive profound pleasure from indulging your every whim, and the food's deliciousness humbles our powers of description. The ships visit some of the world's most glamorous ports of call, many of them off limits to megaliners. But there isn't much to do but dine, and then wait to dine again.
Recent drydock maintenance and interior refurbishment, you will be further enticed to learn, included the installation of DVD players and flat-screen televisions in all suites and improvement of the indoor/outdoor Veranda Cafe alternative dining venue.Decor
There are those find the Scandinavian decor just a bit…chilly. But handsome prints line the walls and nearly everyone looks her best in the low lighting at night.Public Rooms
For people used to soaring atria with marble walls embellished with brass and glass, at first these ships seem too modest for the price of admission, however, the luxe is in the small details such as the finest quality fittings, furniture and finishings which make the entire ship look just right for the casual elegance they promote as their style. The Horizon Lounge also serves as the observation lounge decorated in ochre-colored leather furniture with floor-to-ceiling windows for a great view ahead. Popular for pre-dinner cocktails and dancing is The Club, a stylish room with an adjacent small casino. Areas in the room are partitioned for more intimacy and the pale beige colors of the room create a wonderful contrast to the unfolding blue sea beyond.Cuisine
A gourmet's dream come true, dinner is that to which everyone looks forward most avidly all day. The chef is given plenty of liberty to create, using locally purchased goods at times. There are always vegetarian and heart healthy selections offered. By the way, Everyone dresses to the nines and pre-dining dancing is encouraged. Even the Captain is known to cut a rug.Restaurants
You probably won't have eaten in many more elegant settings than the main restaurant, where a small ensemble entertains as you savor the description-defyingly delicious food. Arrive when and sit where you please. Casual breakfast, lunch and some evenings, dinner, are available in the Veranda Cafe.
Situated in the ships' Veranda Cafes each evening, the new casual dining room '2' offers a tasting that will make you feel as though you've died and gone to Heaven. Three different menus are offered every seven days. Reservations for the 50 seats are required, but there is no charge. Dress is casual most evenings.Service
A match for the food. The extraordinarily attentive, extraordinarily solicitous staff seems to know what you crave before you crave it.Tipping
Gratuities are included in the fare. is neither required nor expected onboard the yachts of Seabourn.Entertainment
Rather an afterthought, it seems; typically, a small floorshow that might make you wonder if you'd have been better back in your cabin watching CNN. There's a good dance band aboard, though. Nighttime activities now include the occasional deck party with live bands and dancing in the moonlight. Seabourn also lays claim to having invented shipboard "Movies under the Stars" poolside at night. For the more cerebral, it is "Legendary" that you won't find a more cut-throat bridge or team trivia crowd on any line than Seabourn's.Cabins
Legend offers some of the most expensive cruises you can go on, and huge staterooms, but until 2000 only six of the larger suites had private verandas. Mortified with embarrassment, the line added "French balconies" -- mini-veranda accessed through sliding glass doors - to 44 standard Seabourn Suites, creating a new category they imaginatively called Seabourn Balcony Suites. Inside, Seabourn Suites and Balcony Suites are the same, measuring 277 sq. feet, with separate sitting area, walk-in closets, marble bath with shower, tub, hair dryers and designer toiletries, TV/VCR, tables that convert for in-suite dining, fully-stocked bar, and large marble vanities. In addition, there are 400-sq. ft. Classic Suites; Double Suites measure 554 sq. ft., Owner's Suites 530 and 575 square feet.Fitness/Spa
Aft, Seabourn Legend has a water sports platform much beloved of water-skiers and swimmers when the sun is shining warmly. There's a beauty salon with masseuse, and two whirlpools on deck. All ships recently had their formerly pint-sized gyms upgraded to nearly twice the size as before. Expect them to fill up quickly with the newly involved younger Seabourn clientele.Attire
If you're not going to pull out all the stops on this ship, you're never going to pull out all the stops. Tuxedos are de rigueur on formal nights, when women unveil their most cherished designer attire. Shorts are welcome in the Veranda Cafe at breakfast and lunch. Plan on elegant casual wear for dinner there.
It does not take long to realize you are in for something very special when you board the Seabourn Legend. We just completed our fourth voyage on the Legend and I have no question there will be more. You walk up the gangway and enter the Reception area, where you are promptly handed a chilled flute of champagne. An attentive crew member has already insisted on carrying all your bags as he escorts you into the King Olaf Lounge for registration. You have two free hands and tell the young man that you're perfectly capable of helping carry your own things. But he will not hear of it, so we proceed to the Lounge, your hands swinging free, the young crew member laden down like a camel. At registration, as in everything on Seabourn, there is no wait. Within minutes of entering the lounge, you are registered and your picture IDs and room card keys handed over to you. The young man carrying your bags suggests you have a bite to eat before he brings you to your suite, so you hit the table with finger sandwiches, cookies, pastries andall kinds of beverages. Champagne, soft drinks, and iced tea are there on the table, while a strolling waiter serves rum punches from a tray. When you are ready, and there is never any hurry, the young man brings you to your suite.
A short stroll down an ornate circular staircase brings you to your suite, an elegantly appointed oasis that you figure you will have no problems calling home. All Legend suites are ocean view, some with "balconies." While the balcony suites allow you to open the windows and enjoy the sea breezes, the balconies are really more like French windows. There are no chairs, nor room to put one. Our suite has a large picture window, refrigerator, flat screen TV, CD and DVD players, walk in closet, and a marble appointed bathroom. The suites have all the bells and whistles one could reasonably hope for. The refrigerator is stocked with the beer, soft drinks, bottled water and mixers you had requested on your pre-cruise order form. Each suite is entitled to two liters of the alcohol of your choice and they will be dropped off in your suite the first evening. Of course, there is no charge for any of this, as it is all included in your fare. Above the refrigerator is a glass cabinet with beautiful crystal glasses; champagne flutes, wine glasses, rocks glasses, etc. It is almost a shame to pour a Diet Coke into this beautiful crystal, but I got over it. Soon, there is a gentle tapping at the door, then shortly after, another. The first is the arrival of your check-in luggage, faster than I've ever had it happen anywhere. The second knock is your Cabin Stewardess who has come to introduce herself. She has brought fresh canapés to go with the iced champagne sitting in a bucket in your sitting room, along with a bowl of fresh fruit. She also has brought a tray of toiletries for you to select your soaps and shampoos. The soaps are L'Occitane, the other toiletries Moulton & Brown of London; very nice stuff. Get a good look at your cabin girl, because chances are you will not see her in your cabin again. These girls are masters at seeing to every possible need you could possibly have and keeping the suite turned down, made up and spotless without ever actually being spotted in the suite. To say they are not intrusive is an understatement. They are like ghosts; very competent ghosts. We take a few minutes to unpack and hang up our clothing and it is off to the top deck Sky Bar to meet our fellow passengers as we prepare to sail out of St. Thomas harbor.
The typical Seabourn passenger is successful, affluent, well-educated and well-travelled. Most of the people you speak with are returning guests like ourselves, and usually we know at least a few of the guests from previous cruises. Seabourn passengers are very loyal to the brand, so if you travel with Seabourn often enough, there are familiar faces and sometimes, old friends from prior voyages. But this time, so far, we have not seen anyone we know. But just as we are preparing to sail, a couple from Ohio comes out on deck who we had gotten to know and like very much on another cruise line several years ago. We see each other, our jaws drop and a friendship rekindled. That's how it works on the smaller ships. It is a pretty small fraternity. As we pull out to sea, my Wife Susie and I run down to the well-stocked library to pick out some books to read and head back to our suite for a short nap before showering for Dinner.
Conde Nast Traveler's latest Reader's Poll named Seabourn Legend's cuisine the best at sea. All the Seabourn vessels were rated at or near the top, but the Legend the very best. Seabourn's menu and recipes are created by famed Chef Charlie Palmer, and dining is a big reason we are aboard the Legend for the fourth time. The food and service are sensational, and the servings modest enough that it is possible to try every course and leave the Dining Room content but not bloated. While the Dining Room is consistently wonderful, try the reservations-required specialty Restaurant "2" at least once on your trip. The theme changes every night. The night we were able to get a reservation, it was a French Bistro theme, and the meal was possibly the finest I have had at sea in 89 cruises. A tip: put yourself on the waiting list for"2" every night. The place is very small and difficult to get in. Most of the passengers seem to like the Veranda Restaurant for breakfast and lunch. You can eat inside or outside and enjoy the sea air. My Wife and I like to go to the Dining Room for both meals. At breakfast it is virtually empty, which suits me fine as I like to have my coffee and look at the paper in peace. I was a morning person most of my life, but since retiring, I like to ease into the day. The solitude of the Dining Room in the mornings accommodates this. For lunch, it is nice to get out of the sun for a few minutes and have a real meal. I do not like to eat hamburgers and other things I have at home when cruising, particularly on the Legend. There is a culinary treat waiting around every corner; try things you don't get at home. One story occurs to me that exemplifies the Seabourn approach. One evening, the Chef came out of the Kitchen to go from table to table asking if everything was satisfactory. My Wife Sue mentioned that the chocolate chip cookies that had been put out that day at afternoon tea were the best she had ever had. The Chef did not ask our names or suite number, but every evening for the rest of the voyage, when we returned to our suite in the evening, there was a plate of chocolate chip cookies and two tall glasses of milk. That is how Seabourn does things.
This voyage is a Caribbean sailing out of St. Thomas, calling on St. John, St. Barth's, St. Maarten, Antigua, Jost Van Dyke, St. Kitts and Prickly Pear Island, which is off Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands, before returning to St. Thomas. We are beach and sun people, and Caribbean cruises have become our most frequent voyages due to the laid-back nature of the itinerary. We have done more Caribbean cruises than I can count in our 89 cruises, and thus have seen just about every island most ships call upon. This removes all the urgency about rushing off the ship in every port, since we've seen all the islands many times. On European cruises, the pace was very different, as there were so many things we wanted to see ashore. But we have cruised extensively, and been all over the world, and the Caribbean seems to fit our current mindset. On this cruise, we did not even get off the ship in St. Maarten and St. John. We find lying on deck and taking dips in the pool while most of the other passengers are ashore to be very relaxing. And the Seabourn staff onboard takes very good care of you. As I stretch out on my chaise lounge, one waiter comes by with a refill of my favorite sunning libation, an Arnold Palmer (iced tea and lemonade). Another comes by to spritz your baking body with a mist of cold spring water while offering a choice of sunscreens. The Spa sends out a girl for complimentary Massage Moments on deck. The Water Sports Marina at the stern is opened up for sailing, kayaking and a swim in the ocean. I awaken from a nap to find another waiter handing me a goblet of fabulous raspberry sorbet topped with a dash of champagne. It is a rugged existence, but sometimes you have to take one for the team.
The Beach Barbecue
On all Seabourn cruises, there is a unique event scheduled which varies according to where in the World you happen to be. On Mediterranean cruises, for instance, there is a private classical music concert among the ancient Roman ruins at Ephesus. On Caribbean sailings like ours, there is the Beach Barbecue featuring Caviar in the Surf held on Prickly Pear Island. The Maitre'D and the restaurant staff, wearing their dress whites, go waist deep in the surf to serve caviar with all the trimmings and champagne from what appears to be a surfboard, or the body of a Sunfish.
The barbecue is not your usual beach fare, either. Served off porcelain Dinner plates with linen napkins and real silverware, you are treated to steaks, barbecued ribs, lobster tails, a whole sucking pig and a potpourri of salads, fruits and desserts. Strolling waiters serve trays of beers, cocktails of all descriptions and soft drinks. There is a banana boat and water skiing, as well as an outdoor massage salon and live music. It is quite a party and Prickly Pear has a lovely white sand beach for swimming.
The Yachts of Seabourn is the Carnival Corporation's entry in the ultra-luxury cruise category. Before you think Carnival Cruise lines, understand it is the same parent company but a very different product. Carnival Corp. owns Seabourn, Princess, Holland America, Cunard, Carnival Cruises and Costa, as well as a host of lesser-known, fast-growing cruise lines all over the world. As such, Carnival Corporation transports almost half of the world's recreational cruise passengers. The Seabourn Legend and her two small sister ships, the Seabourn Pride and Seabourn Spirit sail all over the World, carrying 210 passengers and 200 crew. Seabourn has recently introduced three stunning new ships which carry 460 passengers and around 400 crew. The Seabourn Odyssey and Sojourn are already in service, while the brand new Quest is due to make her maiden voyage in May, 2011. If there is virtually any place on Earth you want to sail, Seabourn can take you there is the lap of luxury. Well, maybe not anywhere. I think Yemen, Libya and Somalia may have been given a "time out." But take a moment, and do your research, as this is a must do travel experience. We think Seabourn is as good as cruising gets.
Embarkation was in Civitavecchia announced at 3 pm but passengers were already allowed on board a lot earlier and seated in the lounge where cold drinks, coffee and refreshments were served. Friendly staff did escort us to the cabin - another welcome by the stewardess introducing herself and offered (French) Champagne and canapes , and some luxury soaps. A complimentary bootle of Champagne, a fully stocked bar, fresh fruit and some flowers all made it great.
The service on board was great: the 3 barmen were fulfilling every wish.
The food was very good, only the very talented chef Michael Batoux was a little bid limited as he had to follow recipes of Charlie Palmer. It is urgent time Seabourn ends his cooperation with Palmer and give full freedom to his own chefs!
The service in the dining room was supervised by a great maitre dé Luca and 4 assistants.
On the itinerary only North Sardinia was borrying and could be replaced by Cagliari.
The people at the reception desk were very friendly and helpful at all times.
Due to a medical emmergency the captain did not hesitate to go back to Civitavecchia but he didreach Nice just on time : all passengers were pleased by his prompt and attentive action.
Entertainment was decent - a small ship is not the place where you can expect flashing shows.
Caldera, Costa Rica to Ft. Lauderdale - Dec. 5 - 19, 2004
How beautiful the country of Costa Rica is with its green foliage and mountains.
To find that we had been given a balcony suite on the highest deck (Deck 6.)
To find that there were only 190 passengers on board.
There is just nothing major that I can write about for this cruise.
We were met at the San Jose airport by the Seaborn representatives and escorted to a waiting minibus for the ride through the mountains to the port of Caldera. It was an air conditioned small bus that on this trip only had four Seaborn passengers to transport. The country side was beautiful although the roads were rather primative and filled with many pot holes. On arrival at the ship the check-in procedure was done on board in the Lounge and the champaigne began to flow imediately on going aboard. This is being written on the ninth day of the cruise and the drinks have never stopped flowing. At any meal, at any bar, at anyplace on board one can order any drink desired; plus extra bottles of favoritesfor the suite as well as a constantly, fully stocked refrigerator with soft drinks and beer of your choosing. At meals the wines flow freely and are all of excellent quality. We have had French, Italian, Chile, Californian, and many other countrie's wines as well. We have yet to find any of the wines that did not appeal to us. Any cocktail desired is also promptly brought to your table if requested.
The entertainment has been on a smaller scale than on the large ships but they are well attended and very enjoyable and relaxing. There is never any feeling of crowding on this ship and we have always had no problem with finding seating in any of the lounges or shows in the evening. The dress on this ship is a bit more formal than we had expected. The dress of the evening is given each day and most all of the passengers are quite happy with the results. The only comment that can be said in this regard is that there has been few occasions to go to the Restaurant in casul clothing. The very first time aboard was one occasion so far to be in casual attire during the evening and probably the very last night as well might be the same. Tonight there is to be a declared casual night as it will be dining under the stars on the open deck for a barbeque dinner. So far we have had two formal nights and there will be another before the cruise is over. The rest of the time it has all been "Casual Elegant" which means jacket and trousers with dressy shirt for the gentlemen and similar evening attire for the ladies. The Veranda Restaurant is available for those who have a different definition of casual clothing or formal attire. As a rule, this is a cruise line for those who prefer to dress for the evening in their fine attire and most of the men are in tuxedos.
The food on this ship is among the best we have experienced aboard any other line. Most notable is the daily fare to be found on the buffet at the Veranda Restaurant. As for the food in the Restaurant, it is sometimes a bit too fancy for us but the chef will prepare anything one would like from the alternate menu or any other thought for any course of the meal. Like any good restaurant all food is prepared to your order. If you find anything wrong with any item is will be prepared all over for you from the beginning. One thing of special note is the bakery aboard this ship. Breads are baked twice daily and are the freshest and best I have found on any other ship. At every meal there are always four or five different types of bread to choose from and the assorted Danish pastries just melt in your mouth. As you can tell, we love our breads.
We have found no flaws with the service aboard this ship. The staff will do anything in their power to see that you are being well served. We have never experienced such devotion to service on any other ship on which we have sailed to date. This covers the suite stewardess' as well as the restaurant staffing. It is no wonder that there is such a repeat rate of cruisers favoring the Seabourn Yachts. Our suite is very well designed and we think it is the largest that we have occupied on any ship. With all of our belongings that we brought along we have not been able to fill all of the various storage places and drawer space provided.
Our cruise is truly an international one. With the money exchange rate in their favor, there are many Europeans aboard. We have 30 from Luxembourg and 29 from Germany. Other European countries are also represented. In fact, on this cruise I believe the U. S. natives are possibly outnumbered. Most of on the service personnel on board are bi-lingual and most of these passengers are as well. All passengers are very friendly and no language problems have presented themselves to us at all. In fact, some of our most stimulating conversations have been with those from other countries.
The ship personnel, as well as the guest lecturers, host large tables at each evening meal in the Restaurant. Each table holds about ten people and are a very nice touch for this ship. So far we have been invited to join hosts at their table on four different occasions. Seating is assigned by name plate and no one is seated with their mate. Instead, seats are assigned at the table alternately male and female which quickly begins to get one acquainted with other passengers aboard. A complete passenger listing is provided to each cabin which also aids in remembering newly made friends at these Restaurant meals.
Each Seabourn cruise offers one Exclusive Seabourn Experience. For this cruise it was to spend a major portion of the day at the Gamboa Rain Forest Resort in the Panama Canal Zone. This unique and luxuious resort was the former Officer's Club during the American administration of the Canal. It is located in a Rain Forest and a highlight of the visit was an aerial tram ride in gondolas to the height of a mountain top; gliding over the canopy of the trees of the forest. No animals were spotted by us except for one large iguana but the different foliage and flowers were described by the guides who traveled with the guests in each gondola. As guests we were permitted to use any of the resort's facilities and some took advantage of the beautiful pool. An elaborate luncheon was provided for us in the grand ballroom and native Panamanian dancers and musicians provided the entertainment. After their tradition dances many of the cruise guests were "drafted" to join in the dancing with both the men and ladies of the dance troupe. As the beer and wine was flowing, a good time was had by all.
We have come to the opinion that this cruise line is now offering the most value for the money of any cruise we have taken. When you factor in all that is offered and experienced on these ships, it is not difficult to see why Seabourn has won so many acculades and awards. We have met many on board who will not cruise with any other cruise line and we can now follow their reasoning. We look forward already to another Seabourn cruise; even before this one has reached its final docking in Ft. Lauderdale. In fact, we, like many others on this cruise have now place an Open Booking with Seabourn for a future cruise.
Postscript: All good things must end eventually. Tomorrow morning we must depart this wonderful ship as we arrive in Ft. Lauderdale. New friends met, nostalgic goodbyes, and a last grand banquet in the Restaurant - a fitting end to the best form of vacation ever.