Review of Monarch September 19, 2011
This was a birthday cruise for mom, so off my sister, hubby, mom and I left for Port Canaveral at 7am from Crystal River. We arrived at Port Canaveral at 10 am, dropped off the luggage and went inside for our sea pass cards. Embarkation was a breeze and at 11 am we were on the ship.
Lunch in the Windjammer, and then picture taking around the ship until 1 pm. We all had OV cabins on the 2nd floor. Small, but comfy, and we didn’t plan on being in our rooms all that much.
Muster drill at 3;45.. The crew makes it quite enjoyable, and then a meet and greet for our roll call at sail away. We did have some rain before departure, but only a small 15 min. shower.
I’ll try and condense this or it will be a huge post!
ROOMS: clean, small, and if you want ice, you must request it. No safes in rooms, and sometimes room service trays were left in the halls (minor complaint). Towel animals were only on the 2nd and 3rd night, so we got a monkey and an elephant. Jayson was our room steward, and very attentive. We always had clean pool towels and robes for our use.
SHIP: The ship was always clean, no odors like other people reported, and never had to deal with not having chairs or tables in the pool area. Cleaning was always happening, and according to the video, she was just refurbished in May.
FOOD All I can say is WOW. They have really stepped it up, and the service in the dining room was top notch. Our waiter was Valfino and by far the best on the entire RCCL fleet. Albert was our assistant and also wonderful. We learned the first night that the Chef from Sovereign, Nestor was the chef on Monarch, so we were able to do a behind the scenes Galley tour.
ENTERTAINMENT AND STAFF: Marc Walker (Bing Bong) is the cruise director, and his staff kept the entire week full of energy and plenty to do. The entertainment shows, and specials were of high energy.
DIAMOND and above. Every night from 5pm till 8pm was a private area in the Viking Lounge with free wine and sodas. Wednesday morning was a special event breakfast and Wednesday night was welcome back party.
The Caption’s reception and formal night were typical... some formal attire, but more on the semi formal attire. We never saw hats, t-shirts, etc in the dining room.
Coco Cay was a wonderful day, but a word of warning. JELLY FISH. Many were stung, and some snorkeling was cancelled due to this. No rain, hot and sunny. There are now umbrella type things above the tables, so it really discouraged the birds. A great improvement. Tendering was painless.
Nassau was the same other than the straw market is now along the street, and once you are in there, it’s almost like a trap situation. Starts out wide at the end and tapers in near the end. Very claustrophobic and you can’t find an opening to get to the street. They have a new building that is almost ready to open for them.
EMERGENCY: during the Quest game, there was a medical emergency, and I have to saw the professionalism and dignity the staff showed was to be commended.
Debarkation was self assist for us. We met in Claude’s dining room at 7am and arrived at our car at 7:45. 3 hours later we arrived safe and sound at home.
This was very short 4 days, and I am so ready to go back. The staff makes you feel like family, and appreciates that you are there.