My husband and I are just back from the Oct 8th four day Bahamas cruise on Monarch of the seas. It was a good price and we got more than we expected for the money.
Much has been made here of the condition of the ship which will be leaving the fleet next April. The carpets were a little worn and some things were a little run down as expected. The bed was also tired.
The ship layout was great in my opinion. The Schooner Bar and Boleros Lounge were very large. Over all the public spaces on this ship were more open and spacious than on many of the newer ships. There was a Viking Crown lounge and a third large club "The Circuit" as well. The Schooner bar was wonderfully totally non smoking so you did not have to go through smoke (Casino) to get to the showroom. We had no trouble finding seating in either the showroom or the Windjammer. There was a non-smoking night in the Casino on formal night.
It appears that all this public space is needed because the majority of cabins on this ship are very (122 sf) small. We had a superior ocean view on deck 9 which was 157 sf. We missed our usual balcony. We were very happy with the room, so much storage, nice and bright with a flat screen TV and corner settee. The bathroom was tiny and it had the fabric shower curtain but it was workable. The room did have a safe and mini bar (not all have these features). It was one of the quietest rooms we have ever had on any ship.
We found the food to be good especially in the main dining room. We are not extreme foodies in any case. I am surprised the food was this good at the price we paid. We are Crown and Anchor Diamond members and there were four very good special events for us on the four day cruise. This was a great WOW and made us feel very special.
Entertainment was good. Lots of fun events, game shows and trivia as usual but none of these were considered main entertainment. There were two variety shows and two production shows. I thought the singers were very good. The Liberty Hounds rock band was great, a nice change from the usual lounge acts. We spent the whole evening dancing on disco night.
The ports were OK. We had never been to Coco Cay. It was relaxing and the water was nice. RCCL needs to improve the provided BBQ lunch, it was the worst food of the cruise. In Nassau we took a taxi to Paradise Island to see the casino. Cab cost $11 each way plus $1 bridge toll.
One last notable item about this cruise. Both the cruise director and Captain Rune were excellent at interfacing with the passengers and made a great impression on us. Again a big step above what we have seen on many of the larger ships in the fleet.