Background: We are empty nesters, have been on a total of 6 cruises. RCL & Carnival brand in the past, but we only sail RCCL now. We love to cruise the Caribbean during the winter/off months. I must admit, I had adjusted my expectations to prepare for the Monarch, thinking it's an old ship, (and nothing in our cruising experience thus far can compare to the Freedom OTS, which we LOVED!) But, we got this cruise on short notice for a song, so with much anticipation, and honestly, a slight bit of trepidation due to some recent reviews... off we went!
Embarkation was a very smooth, check in super quick - we arrived at the port appx. 10:45 AM and were on the ship, eating lunch by 11:30. The ship itself is beautiful, clean & she has been well-cared for. Next up was our stateroom, which was small, but comfortable & more than adequate for a 4 day cruise. Service by EVERYONE we encountered was fantastic, from our room attendant to our dining room waiter & assistant waiters, and especially the maitre d' who took excellent care of us for MTD seating. You will not find a better crew on any ship, imo. Our favorite venue onboard was the Schooner Bar, probably enjoyed it more than on ANY ship we've sailed. Service was great, drinks were good... and strong! :)
Ports were Coco Cay & Nassau, which we've been to before, and really enjoyed. This cruise was all about just some quick down time and R&R, and the Monarch OTS REALLY delivered. Our only regret is that we waited so long to give her a try! RCL is retiring a real gem from the fleet... and if you get a chance to sail with her before she leaves, take it. You won't regret it. We might have to see if we can squeeze in one more quick trip next month! Freedom vs. Monarch is like comparing apples to oranges, but they both rank as our top two cruise experiences! Thank you for a wonderful week & a fond farewell, Monarch of the Seas!