My husband,16 year old daughter and myself took our first cruise on the Monarch in August 1998. The food, cabin service, and entertainment were all outstanding. Our first port was in Saint Thomas on a Monday. We had signed up for a day excursion via boat to a beach (which was approximately $150/3 people). We were quite dissappointed when we had a torrential downpour which began about 1 hour before we were to leave the ship. The weather report stated it was expected to get WORSE so when the group met in the auditorium most of us requested to have our money refunded. Royal Caribbean refused! The group left the ship to walk a long distance to the small boat--and everyone was drenched. Umbrellas were useless as they all insideout. The small boat only succeeded on the water for about 15 minutes before we were forced to turn around by the pounding waves and strong winds. I was never so frightened in my life. Everyone was chilled to the bone and saturated. Only then did RC agree to return our monies! The first thing we did was to CANCEL our future planned excursions--thinking we could sign-up if the weather was nice. Well the weather turned out great for the next few days and while we were docked in Barbados the excursions were booked. We took a cab to a nearby beach and were bombarded by natives selling beads, beachwear and jet ski rides. They were bothering us every few seconds and were very rude when we declined. We prearranged our cab to pick us up at 4PM and a few minutes before, I attempted to walk up to the beach bar for a coke--holding my wallet in my hand. A native brushed by me and said "miss-you're dropping your wallet". I knew I wasn't so I held it tight. He twisted my wrist and ran off with it. My wrist was purple and painful--and he had my credit cards and money. This put a damper on the otherwise beautiful vacation.
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