First Time Cruiser Not Impressed

Monarch of the Seas Cruise Review to Caribbean - Bahamas

Contributor Level: Deck Hand
Experience: 1 cruise (first)
Reviews: 0
Helpful Votes: 0

Overall Rating:

3 out of 5
Verified Review
3 Night Bahamas (Port Canaveral Roundtrip)
Sail Date: November 04, 2011
Ship: Monarch of the Seas
Cabin Type: Inside
Traveled As: Couple
Reviewed: 6 years ago
So I'll break it down as best as possible because there were good things that were independent of what was poor. Gave an overall of average only because of the stellar service and friendliness of our assigned dinner and state room crew and the bartenders in Boleros.

First the Good (actually the Awesome):
I've gotta name names here. Our waiter in Vincent's, Yogesh, was great. He made sure that we had whatever we needed and even offered up suggestions that were spot on. When my better half mentioned she thought someone else's appetizer looked good, Yogesh brought that same dish out for her without even us asking. Wow! Along with Yogesh was Tiana (asst waiter) who was also very nice and always had a smile on her face. We were never without anything when we dined with them. Together they made our dining experience elegant without being stuffy or pretentious.
At the bar, Teodorico and Allan were the bartenders in Boleros and they rocked. I always had a drink in front of me and not because they were pushy with the drinks. They were friendly guys and very attentive. They made watching karaoke a blast.
Now for our state room attendant, Jennifer. She has to be one of the hardest working crew members on the ship. We weren't messy but our room was always made up whenever we got back to it from our adventures. She was very friendly and added little touches like towel sculptures to surprise us.

The Bad:
The Monarch of the Seas was built in1991 and it is showing its age. It was built when the Internet was in its infancy and wireless was only for brick sized mobile phones used on Wall St. There wasn't much technology on board except for tv/monitors in the common areas. Even the staterooms had 13" tube TVs and the casino had some outdated slot machines.
Apart from technology, the 20 years at sea was showing in our stateroom. It creaked and moaned with every wave (even the small ones) and the limited drawer space was almost off the tracks and hard to open/close. Our attendant kept it clean but there is only so much she can do.
I am guessing that the architectural technology in 1991 wasn't that good when it came to vibration suppression. We were on deck 6 and thought that would be far enough from the engine room, but we could hear and feel the throttle changes every time.
Apart from the ship, we didn't get to go to the private island, Cococay, due to "bad weather" or "rough seas". One of the primary reasons we booked this trip was for the private island experience so not going was a big let down. What made it worse was the decision to not go was made sometime in the middle of the night and we found out by getting a revised itinerary slipped under our stateroom door. There was no announcement made and crew member in guest relations said they "don't know what the captain is doing" when we asked.

Day of departure, there was an hour delay because "there were not enough customs agents" but we didn't find that out until 45 minutes into the delay.

Also, the age range of the guests was on the high side. I'm guessing that the 25-35 demographic was around 15% of the total guests (total of around 2500 guests) and that could explain the types of activities offered and all the Love songs sung in the karaoke If you want an all out party, this is not the ship/cruiseline for you.
Overall we weren't impressed with the cruise experience or the ship.

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
The food and the service in Vincent's and by our dining crew was very good. The food always came out as requested and we never were in need for anything.
We also tried the Windjammer and Jade buffet style dining and they were good and very good respectively. They had very good food choices and the preparation was good. For example, Windjammer had roasted duck and red cabbage as a choice one night and it was delicious.


3 out of 5
The ship has a casino, two pools, multiple bars/lounges, rock climbing wall, basketball court, gym, shuffleboard area and many shops and eateries. The activities included karaoke, scavenger hunts (like finding people from countries, digital image hunts, etc), various trivia games, some broadway style shows, etc.
The two best events were a Newlywed Game type show using actual guests (it was hilarious) and the Bellyflop contest at the pool.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Our waiter, assistant waiter, room attendant and the bartenders were above and beyond. We didn't interact with many other crew members but they were closer to an average rating. There were a couple of times when the crew members didn't have answers to questions we had so we had to find other staff to get the answers. The questions were basic ones like when an activity started or when we would arrive in port.

Ship Quality

3 out of 5
More like a 2.5 smiles than 3. It's a 20 year old ship that needs to be updated. Our stateroom on deck 6 creaked for the duration of the cruise. They have a decent amount of cafes, bars and eateries - mostly located around decks 5-7.

Cabin / Stateroom

3 out of 5
Cleanliness by our room attendant was great. The room decor needs refreshing and the furniture needs some TLC as well. The size of the room was like a 12'X12' room with a built in desk/vanity and a bathroom with a shower stall. It was an interior on deck 6 and was centrally located to all the shops/bars/restaurants. If I were to do it again, I would pick an exterior so it didn't seem like a cave.
3 out of 5
The straw market vendors mostly sold similar items, woven handbags, t-shirts, woven and baseball caps, wood carvings, some glassware, handmade jewelry, etc. The main market place downtown was basically two or three main streets with 7-8 block of cross streets. Most of the the stores were Diamond and other precious stone sellers. The Monarch offered pamphlets and coupons for free gifts just for going into the store. So if jewelry is your thing go get those coupons at the Explorations counter on the ship. Other than shopping, there were many little cafes and historical buildings to visit. We didn't do any of the excursions as we were planning on going to Cococay for the adventure stuff.
Don't Miss: Didn't find one - but we didn't do excursions.

Pros: Our waiter, assistant waiter, room attendant, and the bartenders were AWESOME!

Cons: Lack of technology on a 20yr old vessel, the lack of communication from crew and not being able to go to the private island.

Recommends Monarch of the Seas? No.

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