CruiseMates' Readers Cruise Reviews

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines Monarch of the Seas Mexico September 6, 2004

Summary: Wonderful time; excellent service all around; no complaints.

Our cruise was delightful. No complaints whatsoever. Everything was first class. Food was great - and one could eat in the formal dining room (very, very nice) or a buffet and a couple other choices. In addition to the regular meal times there was also a mid-afternoon buffet and a midnight buffet - one night all chocolate, another Mexican. The main dining room choices and service were always excellent. Nothing for a reasonable person to complain about. First class all the way. There was no hesitation to bring other choices if one made a mistake with a first choice, or even multiple concurrent choices - for any and all courses. We tended to eat our breakfast and lunch in the buffet and supper in the main dining room. There is just so much food, and it is all very good. Perhaps one should not eat for a week prior to a cruise.

We took advantage of the optional beverage card, purchased upon arrival, so we could have soft drinks and fruit juice whenever we wanted, but did not really use it that much. Although our cabin was one of the standard (small) sized ones, there was no space problem at all due to its layout. Our window was rectangular and good sized. In addition to the two beds, there is a dressing table, bathroom with shower, good sized closet (with hangers), six drawers (small) in the dressing table, and small storage shelves behind the mirrors on each side of the dresser. The latter can easily be missed if you don't know they are there. Plenty of space for two people, as the luggage fit under the beds.

Every single crew member with whom we interfaced or saw was very friendly and each was always helpful. Every experience with the crew was a pleasure. The ship had plenty of facilities, all attractive and very comfortable. For info, the buffets (two - Windjammer and Jade) and pools are on deck 11, and one can walk up to the Crown Room (on 12) at the rear of 11 also. We took the trolley tour of San Diego and one of the harbor cruises. I would recommend the trolley tour.

Catalina was our high point. Beautiful place. Plenty of land options, both from the ship excursion choices and all over the dock area when you go ashore.

Be sure and take your passport to at least reduce the very long waits to get on the road home after the cruise (debarkation). The passport lines are shorter, but that does not mean short.

At debarkation time (last morning) everyone's baggage is color coded. The luggage must be outside your room by midnight the night before departure. In the morning, breakfast is served in the buffet, starting about 6:30. Departure is by color code. The first color (white) is called about 7:15. We waited 2 ½ hours for our color to be called and then another one hour in the immigration line - with passports.

So, the debarkation wait was not a fun thing. However, the entire cruise was first class, thoroughly enjoyable, food excellent with many choices, and the crew was a collective pleasure.

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