We booked this cruise because of the low cost. We live in Winter Springs Florida so it is only an hour away for us. We arrived around 11:00 am and dropped off our bags. Patti parked the car and met me at the terminal. We went upstairs and waited for the Royal Caribbean people to start processing the documents. They started at 11:30 and the line moved quickly.
We had to go through the metal detectors and finally got to the ship. I had problems with the photographers on the Costa line so I had a small sign saying "No Photographs Please" I showed this to the photographer as we were about to board and he directed us to go past him and get in the line for entering the ship. They took our picture for the computer so that when we got off the ship and returned they could verify it was the correct people returning. We entered at the fourth deck at the Centrum. Our cabin was not available until 12:30 PM. The windjammer wasn't open for lunch yet so we went to the schooner bar for a drink. At 12:30, we went to our cabin on the promenade deck. It was small and the bed was made into a double. We asked Eva our cabin attendant to separate them and that gave us a lot of space. Both my wife and I are big people and there was enough room for our baggage and us. We then went to the windjammer for lunch, this was the only time we ate there and we found the food to be better then we expected from past reviews.
We went to our lifeboat station for the 4:15PM muster. The crew was very disciplined and made sure the passengers were there and orderly. I was impressed with the thoroughness of the drill.
The Ship had just come out of the yards a couple of weeks before. We didn't see any sign of wear or stains anywhere. Most of the carpeting in the public rooms was newly installed. Every morning the crew was cleaning the ship. The glass elevators had the smell of brasso first thing in the morning. They scrubbed the decks everyday and they were always clean.
We went to the welcome aboard show and really enjoyed it. We went to dinner in the Kismet dinning room. We had requested a table for two through our travel agent. We had received a change of table notice in our cabin. When we got to our table it was for eight people but we were the only ones there. Our waiter Dorel was from Romania. He was very proper and over the cruise warmed up to us. We enjoyed his service. Our assistant waiter was Eduardo from Peru. I really had a good time with him. He saw my Photographers sign and made sure the photographers skipped our table. We tipped him three times, what was recommend. He earned every bit of it. The headwaiter Paulo from Poland really impressed us. He worked with his waiters to insure that the meals went smoothly. He cleared tables, poured wine and drinks and never once had a cross word to any of his people. I normally ignore the headwaiter but in Paulo case I tipped him for his attitude. The food was excellent.
The weather was too rough for our stop at Cococay so we had extra time at Nassau. We didn't get off the ship there.
We really enjoyed all the shows and tried to spend as much time in the schooner lounge as possible to listen to Jason who was great.
We were so impressed with this ship that we booked another cruise on the Monarch of the Seas this Christmas while we were aboard the Sovereign.