Good party ship...maybe not 4 families
Monarch of the Seas Cruise Review to Caribbean - Bahamas
Sail Date: August 27, 2010
Ship: Monarch of the Seas
Cabin Type: Oceanview
Traveled As: Family (young children)
Reviewed: 7 years ago
This ship has definitely seen better days. But for the price (super discounted resident rates) it was a reasonable value. We've cruised before on Carnival and it seems like RC folks on this ship tried to affect the same party-like atmosphere but didn't quite meet the Carnival "fun ship" benchmark. The ship is definitely showing it's age but that wasn't a huge deal for us...e.g., wooden boards worn down/not shiny, lots of peeling paint throughout, screws missing in stateroom bed, table in stateroom scratched, walls and ceiling with small stains, etc. The dining room and other interior main areas seemed to be fairly well maintained.
The food was fair to an occasional great e.g. well cooked steak in dining room, perfectly cooked scallops, but overcooked shrimp. The layout of the dining area creates a lot of out of control lines. We realized after the first meal in the Windjammer that they also open up the Jade for breakfast and lunch with smaller versions of the main buffet- ample seating, better views, less people. Pizza from upstairs was always a good option and we did room service a couple times. The spinach dip was blah but at least we got chips. Did the soda card. Unfortunately, the bartenders are less than thrilled when you present your soda card. I had one exchange with a bartender when his only words consisted of "what kind of soda do you want" ...no hello, thanks, good bye, have a great day, etc. Certainly NOT super friendly when it comes to redeeming the soda card.
There weren't a lot of kids on the ship since Florida (and so many other systems) had started back to school. That was probably a good thing since often the drunk adults on board were outright rude. First day we got on board only one of the two pools was operational. As you can imagine fitting ALL those people into that little pool, besides being a health hazard, just didn't work out so swell. The shallow end- designed primarily as a baby pool was filled with a group of 7-10 obnoxious adults who weren't shy about calling out kids if they happened to get splashed. I get that kids can be a PITA on a cruise BUT I was sitting right at the edge of the pool- as was every parent who had a kid in the shallow end- and they weren't acting overly crazy or out of hand. There were just too many kids to fit in such a tight space made even tighter by 10 adults laying in their play space. One drunk gal actually called a little girl who stumbled and fell down "a brat" and said "don't you have to go to dinner soon". Interestingly, most of the drunks were actually 40+ , not the younger crowd. We were actually on the way to muster and two women were on either side of another woman who couldn't stand (note: muster happens BEFORE you sail). Sadly, that was just one of about a dozen falling down drunk, food falling from their mouth, episodes we witnessed over the course of three days. Evidently, the bartenders and servers don't seem to have to worry about ABC laws on board. Nonetheless, our little family of 3 just trid to skirt around these folks. And thank GOODNESS they opened the 2nd pool by the 2nd day. Just a shame they didn't have it operational on the busiest pool deck day of the cruise.
They have a decent offering of activities, but the vast majority of activities are adult oriented- not very kid friendly. I think the RC plan on this particularly boat was for you to throw your kids in the kids club and let them take care of things. The club was lovely but we didn't use it because we actually enjoy spending time together. The rock climbing wall was fun, there was a pingpong table and basketball hoop outside and arcade that was pretty overpriced. We really missed the waterslide and mini golf from Carnival.
We LOVED the long days in port and enjoyed Coco Cay.
We chose to carry off luggage to disembark. Glad we arrived 45 minutes before that time b/c the dining room filled quickly. As soon as they started to let us leave it was total chaos
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
Ports of Call
Pros: Long days in port
Cons: Sooooo many drunk adults