First Time Cruiser Not Impressed
Monarch of the Seas Cruise Review to Caribbean - Bahamas
Sail Date: November 04, 2011
Ship: Monarch of the Seas
Cabin Type: Inside
Traveled As: Couple
Reviewed: 6 years ago
Review SummarySo 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 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 Even the staterooms had 13" tube TVs and the casino had some outdated slot machines.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 lounge...lol. 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
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.
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
Cabin / Stateroom
Ports of Call
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.