Monarch of the Seas (RETIRED) 221 Cruise Review to Mexico

Contributor Level: Deck Hand

1 cruise (first)


Helpful Votes

4 out of 5

Excellent first time cruise!

Sail Date: January 01, 2007

Reviewed: 10 years ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Inside

The ship is attractive and very large. The five-deck high atrium is attractive, as in a nice hotel lobby. The public areas are all clean, appropriately lit, and easily accessible. Safety appears to be taken seriously, but not obtrusively. There are plenty of elevators and stairs, and leaving and re-entering the ship for day excursions is only minimally difficult. While the ship itself is wonderful, the actual cruise itinerary--San Diego, Catalina, Ensenada--is not particularly interesting, but that is no one's fault. The cruise, though inexpensive as cruises go, did not feel inexpensive; if fact, there were many nice extra touches all throughout the cruise, such as chocolates left on the pillows each night, and a special little cake and serenade from the waiters for our 30th anniversary. Plus, a lot of the on-ship activities, such as the guest entertainers and the weight room, are first-class all the way.

Pros: Food and entertainment

Cons: Tiny room, tinier bathroom, microscopic shower

Recommends Monarch of the Seas (RETIRED) 221? Yes!

Cabin / Stateroom
Very small, with a smaller bathroom and microscopic shower. But, quite functional: the water temperature and pressure in the shower were just right, soap was provided. The room was pleasantly warm, and the bed was comfortable. We had an inside room, so it was absolutely pitch black at night; bring a night light if you want one!
Service and Staff
A bit brusque and slow at check-in (on land), but almost uniformly high on the ship. Most members said hi every time you passed, and they were all courteous and efficient. When our toilet stopped flushing, it was fixed within a couple of hours of reporting it; when I discovered I had lost my room key, I went to the guest relations desk, and it had already been turned in and was waiting for me.
Ship Quality
No complaints at all.
Food and Dining
Quantity is *not* a problem! Not with three squares a day, two of which (breakfast and lunch) are at an all-you-can-eat buffet, plus both afternoon and late evening snacks. It is very easy to overeat; I did. Quality is high, without being ultra-gourmet. The buffets are quite extensive (all standard breakfast items, plus my favorite, lox, bagels and cream cheese; the lunch buffet has probably half a dozen main dishes, numerous sides, three soups, a salad bar and a dessert bar). Dinner is in a sit down restaurant with assigned times and tables. The dinners are excellent, with carefully prepared dishes, artfully presented. You can order as many appetizers (and for that matter, entrees) as you want! There is one specialty each night (think braised lamb shanks with rosemary, filet of beef in mushroom sauce, or citrus-lime glazed salmon in a tomato relish), but they also have a dish for everyone (beef, pork, chicken, fish, vegetarian). Lobster is not offered. A four-star restaurant.
You would have to make an active effort to be bored. There were two shows or major events each day, plus literally hundreds of various on-board events, from live music and karaoke to bingo, salsa dancing, trivia, classes and seminars on everything, and many others, as well as what is always available--the spa, weight room, lounges, sports, pool, and (in the evening) casino and shopping. And that doesn't even count the 10-15 possible on-shore excursions available each day. There is even a walking/jogging track all the way around the 7th deck, and quiet places to read.

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