We just got back from a 3 night cruise aboard Royal Caribbean's Monarch of the Seas. This was our first cruise and we loved it all! Check in was amazingly quick and we were on board before we knew it. The greetings we received were friendly and festive. Of course, there were plenty of drinks being handed out (for a charge), but you can choose them or not. One thing I discovered is that you can be as busy or relaxed on a cruise as you want. It's very individual for each person. There is ALWAYS something to do, but you don't have to do anything but relax if you so choose. Our first night, I wondered with the slight rocking of the ship if I'd be able to sleep, but I slept better on board in our very comfortable queen sized bed than I have in years.
To say the food is plentiful is an understatement. You can pretty much eat anytime you want and we did. When you hear that you will gain weight on a cruise, believe it. The food was very good. The drinks......WOW......only top-shelf liquor and many varieties of wine and beer. We had the late dinner seating (8:30) and were seated in Vincent's Dining room on deck 3. What can I say but an amazing fine dining experience with great food! Our waiter, Donald, remembered our names and was a joy to be around! He made sure everything was perfect and if it wasn't (which only happened once), was quick to fix it and make it perfect. We had a bit of a problem with Harry, the bartender, but he's been with the ship for years and years and simply had a hard time remembering some drink orders at times.
Nassau was great! We took a taxi ($4 per person) to Paradise Island and Atlantis to walk around and found the public beach to laze on for the afternoon. Then a taxi ride back to the port. We looked around some of the shops and enjoyed the people of Nassau. Back to the ship for a shower and quick nap so we would be fully awake for the Sail Away party that night at midnight. Tons of food again and a band, then DJ. Lots of dancing and happy faces.
Sunday, we were tendered to Coco Cay after breakfast and spent the day in the sun and snorkeling. Amazing sea life!! What an experience! The only damper on that day was the sea gulls. The open air lunch is nice, but the seagulls actually stole my burger!! They were dive bombing everyone. More under cover dining is a must on Coco Cay in my opinion.
Back to the ship late afternoon and another evening of wonderful dinner and then off to the casino for some fun. We turned in late on our last night aboard.
We got up early on Monday to eat breakfast in Windjammer and took advantage of the express check out service (you carry your own bags off the ship and through customs) so we could meet our early shuttle back to the Orland airport.
We are ready to go cruising again right now and the service aboard Monarch of the Seas puts Royal Caribbean in the lead for the cruise line we will choose again!