The Monarch of the Seas is Royal Caribbean's oldest and smallest ship currently in it's fleet. This was our first time sailing on her but we have been on her sister ship the Sovereign of the Seas twice before. The ships are very similar in layout and design.
The Monarch was once the biggest and most advanced ship of her time but even though she is now the oldest, she is still holding up well for her age. The ship used to be located on the West Coast but she was relocated to Pt. Canaveral last year to replace the Sovereign. Her current itinerary is 3 and 4 night cruises from Pt. Canaveral to the Bahamas and Royal Caribbean's private island Coco Cay.
We chose the Monarch of the Seas for her itinerary, the date it was sailing and it's price. We were looking for a short cruise over the Halloween weekend and she fit the bill. We were on the 3 night cruise which departs Pt. Canaveral on Friday, stops in Nassau on Saturday and in Coco Cay on Sunday so there are no sea days on this cruise.
We were 2 adults and 1 eight year old child traveling and we booked one ocean view stateroom which was located on deck 4. True to the cabins we had when we were on the Sovereign, the cabins are the smallest we have ever stayed in on any ship. The room was set up with the 2 twins pushed together and a fold out bunk. My husband could lay on the bed and almost touch the walls on either side of the cabin. The room and the bathroom were extremely clean and well kept. The cabins do not have safes or refrigerators but they do have a blow dryer.
We ate in the buffet for breakfasts and lunches and in the dining room for dinners. The food and selection is both were excellent. There is no lobster or prime rib served on the 3 day cruise. I have been on Carnival cruises and Disney cruises and my family and I all feel that Royal Caribbean has the best food of the three. The wait staff in the dining room and the buffet were excellent. Our waiter and assistant waiter entertained our son with magic tricks and they were eager to know how you liked your meal and always checked to see if they could bring you anything else to try. This ship does not have a Johnny Rockets or to my son's disappointment a 24 hour ice cream machine. The other places to get snacks areSorrentos pizza and the Jade Sushi restaurant which was an additional charge.
The staff on the ship was outgoing and friendly. Whenever any member of the staff passed by no matter if they were a deck hand or an officer, they all smiled and said hello or asked how our day was. Like I already mentioned, I have been on other cruise lines and while they all try to greet you as often as possible, the staff on this ship had the most genuine approach and did not come across like they were as forced into it. They are also very good with children not just in the kids areas of the ship but the entire cruise staff in general.
My son took part in the kids program aboard the ship. We were there in the off season so there were only about 250 children total on the ship with us. The kids areas of the ship are large and each age group has a separate area with a separate check in so the little kids are not mixed in with the older ones. The program runs until 10 PM each night for free and after that there is a $5.00 per hour charge.
We thought the entertainment was a bit lacking on this ship. The ship has a team of dancers and 4 singers who performed for just a few minutes the first night, not at all the second night and their big show was on the third night. Other than the one female singer who nailed a Whitney Houston song, they were fair at best. The first night's main act was a comedian who also did an adults only show on the third night of the cruise and the second nights act was a juggler. We were so busy with other things on this trip that we did not take part in any of the other activities like Bingo, trivia, dance classes or any of those type things. Since it was held on the last night of the cruise, we decided to skip the Quest this time around too.
The second night of the cruise was both formal night and Halloween. My husband and I decided that we did not want to dress up in our formal wear and instead wore our costumes to dinner that night. We were the only ones that did but there were a lot of people that came up to us and said they wished they had worn theirs too but they did not think it was allowed. The kids club area of the ship as well as several other parts of the ship had Halloween decorations up. In the kids club they had Halloweenthemed games going on all day and night for the kids and they even took them trick-or-treating around the ship. They had the teens set up a haunted house in the teen club area and they took the younger kids through that as well. For the adults, there was a huge costume dance party up on the pool deck as we were sailing out of Nassau. It was also the night of the bigmidnite buffet up there so there was plenty of food and fun.