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Rob enjoyed 18 years of travel experience in New Zealand before making the warm weather move to Queensland. An avid traveller, he includes Canada and South Africa on his favourite destinations list, but loves looking after local cruise holidays too. When not cruising, Rob enjoys refereeing soccer and good wine (NZ of course)."Sea days when cruising are a great way to enjoy the ship and experience life onboard, so make sure you take advantage of them."
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30 Mar 2015
Westbound Panama Canal Cruise
Legend of the Seas - 15 nights ex Fort Lauderdale, USA
Take a break on board the Legend of the Seas experiencing 15 exciting nights aboard the Westbound Panama Canal Cruise exploring Panama & Central America. Your ship sails from Fort Lauderdale with an itinerary that includes 9 ports in 6 countries before returning to San Diego. This particular 4 star cruise from Royal Caribbean Cruises has forward departures, but is unfortunately sold out for this departure.
|Day||Date||Port of call||Arrival||Departure|
|1||Mon 30 Mar 2015||Fort Lauderdale, USA||4.30pm|
| Fort Lauderdale is a city on the Atlantic coast of the U.S. in the state of Florida. As well as being a major yachting centre, it has a large and intricate canal system that results in its also being known as the ‘Venice of America’. While once home to a series of forts, today there are three forts named ‘Fort Lauderdale’. The city is considered a perfect holiday destination mainly for its stunning beaches and palm-lined shorelines. It is also famous for its arts, and cultural events. Don’t miss shopping on Las Olas Boulevard, taking a gondola ride on the canals, and visiting the historic riverfront.
Take a narrated 90-minute amphibious tour of quaint Las Olas Boulevard, the historical districts, and the mansions and yachts dotting Millionaires Row. Experience swimming with the dolphins, taking an amazing Everglades Safari, and go scuba diving from Deerfield to Hallandale Beach. Nature lovers can ‘touch’ nature at Butterfly World, and go hiking or canoeing at the Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. Some visit the thoroughbred racing at Gulf Stream Park. Alternatively, "follow the red brick road" of Riverwalk and the landscaped park, to the Arts and Entertainment District.
Unusual and interesting to visit are: the numerous museums, such as the Bennet House Museum and Gardens and the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum; the International Swimming Hall of Fame that also houses a large aquatic centre; the activities at Hollywood Beach and Downtown Riverwalk; the Fort Lauderdale Antique Car Museum; and Fort Lauderdale’s greatest airboat attraction the Sawgrass Recreation Park where you can hold an alligator and visit wonderful mammals. Most come to see Fort Lauderdale’s 30km of beach-front and its award-winning wavewall. The beaches are some of the best in Florida, whether you're here for the sun, the ocean or simply people watching.
|2||Tue 31 Mar 2015||At Sea|
|3||Wed 1 Apr 2015||At Sea|
|4||Thu 2 Apr 2015||Cartagena, Columbia||7.00am||3.00pm|
| Cartagena is a large beach resort city on the northern coast of Colombia in the Caribbean Coast Region. While in recent years many new skyscrapers have been constructed, Cartagena's colonial walled city with its amazing architecture, such as The Vaults that were originally built as dungeons and from the top of which the Caribbean Sea is visible. There is also the Castillo de San Felipe, a fortress built in 1657 by the Spanish for protection against pirates. Both have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Nearby coral reefs, powdery beaches, impressive mangroves, and waterways complement the historic and urban beauty.
Close to the San Felipe fortress is the 150m high La Popa hill, which offers great views over Cartagena and the harbour area. The 17th century Santa Cruz monastery is here, which has a beautifully restored courtyard and a fine statue of the Virgin of La Candelaria. To learn the history of this fascinating city, be sure to visit the Palace of Inquisition, where the Spanish Inquisition tortured, judged and convicted people accused of crimes against religion. Almost all churches in the historic centre are worth visiting, especially Iglesia de San Pedro Claver built in recognition of work done with slaves.
Take the time to view the beautiful architecture in the port area where there is a delightful mixture of old and new. Eating out is another form of entertainment in Cartagena, with countless choices of new and exotic flavours in local and international styles. Cartagena offers all the enchantment of its history and the legacy of those who made it great and turned it into one of Colombia’s most important tourist destinations. A naval base occupies a large area, and throughout the city the importance of the port will become evident with numerous buildings belonging to the navy, as well as a good naval museum.
|5||Fri 3 Apr 2015||Cristobal, Panama||9.00am||7.00pm|
| Cristobal, part of the province of Colon, is a port city at the entrance to Limon Bay, at the Atlantic (Caribbean) entrance of the Panama Canal. (Interestingly, Cristóbal Colón is the Spanish translation for Christopher Columbus.) It was made a duty-free port in 1953, and is the world's largest Free Trade Zone outside Hong Kong. There’s a flea market where various Indian groups - including the Cuna Indians - showcase their local crafts where hand woven baskets, wood carvings, shell and silver jewellery, and souvenirs are plentiful. The Cuna Indian molas, made from a wide range of coloured fabrics, are very collectible. They are designed to be framed. There is a nature trail in the community woodlands of the San Cristobal community, and it is frequently visited by tourists who are looking to experience the region's natural landscapes and the customs of the native Ngöbe people.
Nearby places of interest include: the Soberania National Park with its exciting array of animals; the well-preserved ruins of Fort San Lorenzo, that was once a colonial fortress to help protect Panama from pirates; and Portobello, with its interesting historical ruins that were used in the 1660s as the Royal Custom House, where gold and silver was stored before being shipped to Spain. While Portobelo offers limited shopping, the pier itself houses a huge shopping complex where great bargains can be found.
|6||Sat 4 Apr 2015||Panama Canal, Panama||6.00am||6.00pm|
| Named one of the seven modern wonders of the world by the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Panama Canal is a 77 km ship canal in Panama that joins the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and is a key conduit for international maritime trade. Built from 1903 to 1914, nearly 850,000 vessels have passed through the canal. Interestingly, the 8-10 hour journey from the Pacific Ocean in the west and the Atlantic Ocean in the east is one from SE to NW. Crossing the Canal is something that we would all like to experience, and subsequently passenger ships provide a narrator giving excellent information during the crossing.
Of particular note is the man-made Gatun Lake, to the south of Colon, on the Atlantic side of Panama. It forms a major part of the canal, carrying ships for 33 km of their transit across the Isthmus of Panama. At the time it was created, Gatun Lake was the largest man-made lake in the world, and the dam was the largest dam on Earth. While the majority of the landscape is ‘just trees’, this is essential as the trees draw the rainfall, the rainfall feeds the lake, and the lake gravitates down into the locks. Subsequently, no pumping is required to fill the locks, and they empty into the oceans.
It is truly amazing to see how the locks fill and the big ships pass serenely between green lush mountains. The largest cruise ships to cross the canal are Costa Delizioso and Costa Luminosa (at 92,700 GT). With the Panama Canal Expansion project to be completed mid-2015, ships as large as Celebrity Solstice (at 121,878 GT) and maybe Queen Mary 2 (at 148,528 GT) could cross. It all depends on whether the ship can clear the Bridge of the Americas. Revenues from the expansion will transform Panama into a First World country. (Norwegian Pearl paid USD 375,600 to cross in April 2010.)
|7||Sun 5 Apr 2015||At Sea|
|8||Mon 6 Apr 2015||Puntarenas, Costa Rica||7.00am||7.00pm|
| Puntarenas is the capital and largest city in the province Puntarenas, on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, and is one of the country’s most important tourist regions. Its coasts are decked with plenty of islands, inlets, beaches and beautiful natural treasures, many of which lie within protected zones, and it is also home to some of the country’s highest mountain peaks. Of great interest is a small ‘old town’ where the buildings are of both historical and architectural interest. There are also many National Monuments, while the old San Lucas Penitentiary on San Lucas Island is very often visited.
There are many activities on offer, with the most important, for many, taking a ride through the amazing Valley of Monkeys. There you will see bird life - including macaws, toucans and parakeets - and the 100-year-old trees are draped with orchids, ferns and bromeliads. In addition, screams of the howler monkeys in the distance make this an amazing way to explore the rainforest. Also well worth exploring is the largest crater and some of the most varied flora in the world, on a breathtaking tour of Poas Volcano National Park.
Take the opportunity to learn the techniques of coffee-farming, harvesting, milling and roasting. A great place to taste excellent food is Pura Vida, where one can also appreciate the beautiful gardens and native deer. Shoppers who enjoy bargains should be sure to visit Sarchi, about one hour outside of San José, where many authentic arts and crafts, including wood figures, carved walking canes, toys, leather goods, wall hangings and much more are to be found. If possible get the thrill of the zip line, as you also get to enjoy walking through natural beauty, and see the waterfalls. Follow this with a delightful cool drink and snack.
|9||Tue 7 Apr 2015||At Sea|
|10||Wed 8 Apr 2015||Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala||7.00am||6.00pm|
| Puerto Quetzal is a city on the Pacific Ocean in the south of Guatemala in Central America. While the city offers family fun, upscale restaurants and markets, it mainly serves as a tourist's gateway to the inland attractions of the unique ecosystems and remains from the Maya civilisation. Many visit the UNESCO World Heritage-listed city of Antigua, about two hours away, and on the trip are amazed by the green tropical vegetation of the beautiful tropical lowlands, as well as the views of active volcanoes. There are also lovely towns south of Antigua to be visited and many coffee plantations.
In Antigua, with its historical buildings and cobbled streets, the Main Square, Cathedral, San Francisco El Grande Church, Convent of Capuchinas, Hotel Museum Casa Santo Domingo as well as some jade and silver factories, are all well worth a visit. There are also great opportunities for browsing and shopping. The more active may try out the amazing zip-line canopy tour through the forest, which offers panoramic views of three volcanoes. Enjoy an African safari in the hot and tropical Pacific Coast or explore the cool Mayan highlands where Lake Atitlan and the colonial city of Antigua are located.
History buffs will enjoy tours of Mayan ruin sites from Puerto Quetzal. The most visited is Tikal National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site that requires a two-hour flight from Puerto Quetzal. Tikal is home to a pyramid that is the tallest of all the pre-Colombian structures in the western hemisphere. Additionally, you can visit the Great Plaza and the Lost World Complex. Also on offer is a tour to the Mayan site of Yaxha, which is home to more than 500 pre-Colombian structures.
|11||Thu 9 Apr 2015||At Sea|
|12||Fri 10 Apr 2015||At Sea|
|13||Sat 11 Apr 2015||Puerto Vallarta, Mexico||7.00am||3.00pm|
| Puerto Vallarta is located on the Western Pacific coast of Mexico, and renowned for its beaches and its vibrant centre of art. Surrounded by the impressive mountains of the Sierra Madre and the sparkling waters of Banderas Bay, it is always waiting to offer visitors the very best choices. Initially made popular by Movie stars such as Liz Taylor and others as a great place to have a holiday home, visitors soon followed. The old part of Puerto Vallarta has its own architectural style. Its cobblestone streets and adobe houses topped with red roofs highlight the elegance of the Mexican style.
There are four movie theatres, while the Vallarta Theatre is a modern building with a capacity for over 900 people, offering prepared daily plays. Buildings of note include the Saucedo Theatre that has been converted to retail use, Plaza de Amas - the city’s main square - and the City Hall, laid out in traditional courtyard style, along with several picturesque churches. Try to visit at least one of the two local markets with their great collections of souvenir goods, and take a stroll along the malecón, the paved walkway along the seashore with its collection of contemporary sculptures.
Other options that Puerto Vallarta offers all its visitors are shopping malls, cultural and art festivals and music concerts. So browse in the quaint shops, dine in the stylish restaurants and wander through the picturesque cobbled streets. If the pretty town beaches aren’t enough, you can venture out on horseback rides, diving trips and day tours. Puerto Vallarta is a vacationer's paradise that has maintained its unique Old Mexico attraction despite the addition of many modern conveniences. Today, Puerto Vallarta reigns as one of Mexico’s most popular winter destinations because of its great diversity and almost perfect climate.
|14||Sun 12 Apr 2015||Cabo San Lucas, Mexico||7.00am||3.00pm|
| Cabo San Lucas, or just Cabo, is an interesting destination that captures the essence of the Baja Peninsula Mexico. Once a base for pirate vessels waiting to pounce on Spanish treasure ships, today with its many resorts, championship golf courses, world-class dining, and amazing outdoor activities, it is a great tourist attraction. Future plans include an artificial island to sit in the bay, complete with restaurants and bars. With some of the best all-around sports fishing in the world and every water sport imaginable, Cabo is the ultimate destination for travellers looking for outdoor adventure.
Cabo San Lucas's main attractions include: an underwater nature preserve only a few minutes boat ride from the harbour; and the striking Land's End rock formations at one end of the bay, with its pristine beach right around the corner. Visit the state of the art Cabo Dolphins Centre; the Los Cabos Winery to enjoy the wine tasting and great snack food treats; the Vitrofusion Glass Blowing Factory that recycles glass to make beautiful products, and you have just started. The Golden Corridor along the ocean front with its resorts and gated residential communities of the rich and famous is also of interest.
The numerous pretty beaches including Medano, Santa Maria, Chileno and Lovers’ beaches, with their turquoise waters are extremely popular. Visitors are made welcome at the golf courses such as the Cabo Real, with dramatic views of the sea from every hole. Take a glass-bottom boat to visit Land’s End, the southernmost tip of Baja California, and absorb the amazing geological formations. All in all, Cabos offers something for everyone in a natural wonderland where the desert collides with the confluence of the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez. Your last impression will be a bay full of sleek, radar-equipped fishing yachts.
|15||Mon 13 Apr 2015||At Sea|
|16||Tue 14 Apr 2015||San Diego, USA||6.00am|
| San Diego is a coastal Southern Californian city located in the SW corner of the United States. Founded in 1769, it is the oldest town in California and has an enchanting natural beauty and a pleasant, mild, climate with plenty of sunshine, which defines the city. Though it’s big, and growing fast, San Diego manages to ‘hang on to’ a resort feel, even amid the skyscrapers and brick facades of its revamped downtown. A huge influx of visitors helps add to the vacation atmosphere, from party-hearty undergrads to boozy conventioneers.
Just west of the city are some delightful beaches where many activities are on offer. If curious, then take the Hop on-Hop Off trolley to Coronado Island and take the Walking Tour to appreciate the locals, and the interesting history of this popular spot. Another very popular tourist attraction is the USS Midway Navy carrier, which is most impressive as it could carry over 4,000 people, and still has 25 aircraft on display. Many visit the Mediterranean style seaside town of La Jolla with its great views, food, and activities including ocean kayaking, and surfing at Wind and Sea Beach.
Visit downtown San Diego an area of restored late 19th and early 20th Century Victorian buildings, and trendy shops restaurants, and galleries. San Diego is also a favourite for family vacations, with kid-positive attractions like Sea World and, especially for little ones, Legoland. A must-see is the delightful Balboa Park, the nation's largest urban cultural park that is home to 15 major museums, renowned performing arts venues, beautiful gardens, a gift shop, the Prada Restaurant, and the world famous San Diego Zoo. Also of great interest is the Safari Park where lions and giraffes, for example, live in their natural habitat.
Legend of the Seas will be based in Brisbane from December 2015 to April 2016, and visit the Great Barrier Reef, the South Pacific, and New Zealand. In mid-April 2016 he departs for Hong Kong over 18 nights via the Great Barrier Reef, Darwin, Bali, Borneo and Manila. Take the return journey in October. Legend of the Seas then continues sailing from Brisbane to the Great Barrier Reef, the South Pacific, and New Zealand. The ship entered service in 1995, was last refitted in 2013, and at 69,130 GT she carries 1804 passengers.
Staterooms come in four main categories and 11 price points, with variations based on guests’ needs: Suite/Deluxe Staterooms, Balcony Staterooms, Outside Staterooms and Interior Staterooms. When selecting accommodation consider the view, the level of privacy, and location near to or far from activity areas. All staterooms come with private bathroom, vanity area, hair dryer, TV, interactive iPad to organise all their shipboard requirements, and phone. Many cabins are family-friendly with up to four additional bunk beds, and interconnecting rooms. There are no single cabins, and many are wheelchair-accessible. In-cabin service and dining is available 24-hours.
Food and Dining
For the Main Dining Room, spread over two levels, select from three dining choices before cruising: fixed seating at the same table nightly, at either early or late sitting; open-seated My Time Dining (with pre-paid gratuities) at a flexible time; and early sitting My Family Time Dining that allows children aged 3 to 11 years to leave for their Adventure Ocean kids club. Menus feature healthy, vegetarian and kosher options. Special dietary needs can be catered for by giving advanced notice. Menus change daily throughout the cruise. Evening dress is casual or smart casual. Expect one to three formal evenings in the Main Dining Room during your cruise.
A signature feature of RCI vessels is a Broadway-style production in the Main Theatre. A second venue hosts cabaret shows and late-night adult entertainment. Try your hand at gaming in Casino Royale. Live music features around the pool, in the main dining room, and in many lounges, bars and specialty venues. There are plenty of parties and parades to join. Alternatively, just stroll around and shop duty-free, or for a quiet time retire to the Library/Card Room or Internet Café.
What's onboard? ▼
- Atrium social centre
- Staterooms, room service
- Shops, Souvenirs
- COMPLIMENTARY DINING
- Main Dining Room (with Family Time dining)
- Windjammer Marketplace
- Park Café
- Room service dining
- Beverage packages
- Anytime, or traditional set-time, dining options
- COVER CHARGE DINING
- Chops Grille (dinner)
- Chef’s Table (14 guests)
- Izumi Japanese (lunch, dinner)
- CASUAL DINING
- Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream ($)
- Café Latte-tudes
- Bars, clubs, lounges (8)
- Broadway Production
- LED movies on pool deck
- Comedy, jazz, karaoke
- Swimming pools (2)
- Whirlpools (4)
- Solarium adults only/pool
- Sun deck
- Vitality Spa & Fitness
- Acrobatic aerial show
- Jogging track
- Rock-climbing walls
- Mini-golf course
- Games, contests, dancing
- Internet, Wi-Fi (pay)
- Enrichment lectures
- Library/Card room
- Conference Centre
- Wedding packages, Chapel
- UNDER 18
- Youth Program, lounge
- Video game arcade
- Babies & Tots Nursery
- Babies & Tots activities
- Laundry, drycleaning (pay)
- Mobile phone reception
- Wheelchair accessibility
- Medical centre
What's included? ▼
- Accommodation as booked
- Flight/s and/or transfers as specified
- All main meals on-board
- Coffee, tea, iced water, lemonade 24 hrs
- Anytime or fixed sittings, & multi-venue dining
- In-cabin dining at no charge
- Use of ship facilities - indoor & outdoor
- Entertainment - live music and/or shows, movies
- Activities - organised & individual
- Bridge director on select cruises
- Infant crèche, kids clubs & teen programs
- Cruise Director & all English speaking staff
- Special needs requests & service animals allowed
- Ship-shore-ship transfers
What's excluded? ▼
- Airfares, accommodation & transfers not specified
- Shore & land excursions and meals not specified
- Alternate specialty dining venues
- Alcoholic beverages, soft drinks
- Casino gaming, bar expenses
- Certain entertainment, fitness classes
- Passport & visa fees
- Insurances of all kinds
- Increases in third party charges or taxes
- Customary land tour gratuities are welcome
- Service charge: A$ 11.90/US$ 12) per guest (A$ 14.20/US$ 14.25 for suite guests) pp/night is included in pre-paid fare. Or, service charges can be paid onboard. For all ages. Modify for inadequate service.
- Service charge 15% automatically added to bar, mini-bar, spa & salon services.
- Items & services of a personal nature
- Medical services, vaccination costs
- Laundry and/or valet charges
- Wi-Fi, Internet, satellite/mobile phone & fax charges
- Babysitting, individual or in groups (from 1 yr)
"I wanted to send a quick email thanking you once again for your help with the cruise. We had an amazing time and I've heard everyone else did as well."
Emily from WA
"Terri remembered every member of our party from last year's Diamond Princess. She goes out of her way to say hello & is always ready with helpful advice."
Margaret from NSW
"Natasha made the usually arduous and stressful booking process enjoyable, fun and pleasurable. Her attention to detail was amazing."
Suzie from NSW
Other Ships ▼
- Adventure of the Seas
- Allure of the Seas
- Anthem of the Seas
- Brilliance of the Seas
- Enchantment of the Seas
- Explorer of the Seas
- Freedom of the Seas
- Grandeur of the Seas
- Harmony of the Seas
- Independence of the Seas
- Jewel of the Seas
- Liberty of the Seas
- Majesty of the Seas
- Mariner of the Seas
- Navigator of the Seas
- Oasis of the Seas
- Ovation of the Seas
- Quantum of the Seas
- Radiance of the Seas
- Rhapsody of the Seas
- Serenade of the Seas
- Splendour of the Seas
- Vision of the Seas
- Voyager of the Seas