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Royal Caribbean International knew they had a legend in the making when they first unveiled their plans to build a new class of cruise ships back in January, 1993. Designed to be faster, roomier and more elegant than anything the line had built before, the new "Vision class" ships were to be true innovative cruise ships. Consequently, all eyes were

turned to the French yard of Chantiers de l'Atlantique in the spring of 1995, when they officially handed over the 69,130-ton, US$ 325 million Legend of the Seas to the proud new owners. Eyewitness reports that came in were unanimously glowing and already in her first year of service it was clear that she was going to be a Legend in her own right.

Some details: this legend measures 867 ft (264.2 m) by 105 ft (32.0 m), and she typically carries 1,800 passengers and 720 crew members. LEGEND OF THE SEAS truly has set new standards for Royal Caribbean, with larger cabins, acres of glass, an awe-inspiring glass-enclosed atrium, an equally impressive Solarium indoor/outdoor pool, and a brisk top speed of 25 knots. With more balconies than on previous ships, she first showed off her sleek lines in Alaska in the summer of 1995, with Panama Canal cruises scheduled in winter. Later, she inaugurated the annual Royal Voyages program, which virtually took her around the globe to far-away destinations like Australia and South East Asia. In 2001, she was introduced to Northern Europe, performing a very successful series of Baltic cruises. On June 7th of that year, right in the middle of a position voyage that took her from Barcelona to northern latitudes, my good friend Ilona and I boarded the ship in Hamburg, Germany and sailed along to Oslo and Copenhagen before disembarking in Harwich, England.

This Cruise Review was previously published right here at Passenger Ship Parade, but was updated where necessary and now features more photos. I have combined a Ship Tour with our day-to-day experiences. Please note Legend of the Seas was fully booked during our cruise, and consequently we were not able to view any cabins other than the one we were staying in...

Legend of the Seas in the North Sea Canal

Legend of the Seas in the North Sea Canal

Legend of the Seas in the North Sea Canal

Topped by the Crown and Anchor

 

All photos and text: 2001-2003 Bart de Boer - www.ShipParade.com. All rights reserved

First published on July 28th, 2001. This revised version was launched on December 25th, 2003.