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Review of the Monarch of the Seas
Cruise Date: September 2012
Booking: Cruise Line
Embarkation: PORT CANAVERAL
Destination: The Bahamas
Cabin number: 1556
Cabin category: JR SUITE
GOOD-BYE MONARCH OF THE SEAS GOOD-BYE
Monarch of the Sea 9/28 ? 10/1
The only reason we booked this cruise was because we read posts that Monarch was leaving the fleet and we wanted to make sure we saw her before she transitioned to Pullmantur
Since we had an early flight out of DFW to MCO the day of the cruise we opted to stay the night before the cruise at the Grand Hyatt DFW. We selected the Park, Sleep, Fly package which allowed us to park up to 7 days in any of the on airport parking garages. The cost was included in the night?s stay. The room was spacious and well appointed.
The morning of the cruise we ate breakfast in our room. I brought cereal and fruit along as nothing is open on the airport at 5 am. Checking out of the room was a breeze as was going through security and riding the skylink to our gate. The flight was packed but left the gate early and arrived in Orlando ahead of schedule.
We made arrangements to use the RCL transportation to the port. Since we were on an early flight we wound up waiting about 2 hours for our bus. We finally left the terminal around 11:30 made it to the ship right before 1. We breezed through check-in and took our bags right to our cabin. We then made our way to the Windjammer for lunch. We explored the ship a bit then went back to the cabin to unpack before muster drill and sail-away.
We had My Time Dining and sat next to some first time cruises. Lots of questions. The only differences we saw in the menu were the option to have a filet and/or lobster tail for an additional cost. Most other options were the same as previous cruises.
Monarch has the Jade Steakhouse specialty restaurant which we booked for Saturday evening. This restaurant is a la cart and for us the total cost wound up being less than a typical specialty restaurant. The difference is you cook your own meal. They bring out a plate with this hot rock on it and they explain how to cook your steak. While our meal was good we probably would not choose that option again.
Nassau: We did not arrive in Nassau until almost noon. We ate lunch, left the ship and wandered over to the straw market. Now if you remember the straw market had been destroyed first by a fire and then a hurricane. They finally decided to build a permanent structure to house the market. I was anxious to see the new structure. Suffice it to say that I was very disappointed. The ?old? straw market was this area that had booth after booth of the same stuff. It was very crowded and typically most booths sold the same things. The entire area was covered with a tent. The new building while much more substantial is just like the old straw market. Very crowded with booth after booth of the same stuff. I told John we do not have to bother to get off of the ship when we are there in December. The ship left port around midnight. I was very surprised that all of the shops and the casino were open all evening even though we were still in port.
Coco Cay ? We scheduled an excursion on Coco Cay, the glass bottomed boat. It was a pleasant excursion around the island pointing out not only sea life but what is where on the island. After our excursion we found a couple of loungers plopped our towels and stuff on them and went into the water. The water was perfect. Once back on our loungers I got a Coco Loco and settled in to wait for lunch. We shared a picnic table with a lovely couple from Canada and compared notes on cruises.
Entertainment ? Friday evening we had a comedian who was hilarious; Saturday evening was a juggler who just wasn?t up to par with the comedian. We skipped the farewell show.
Observations - There were a lot of groups on this cruise: girl?s weekends, guy weekend, and family reunions. It was a typical short weekend cruise. To add to the normal noise level this cruise had been sold as an all you can drink cruise by some TA and by the time we boarded on Friday some partiers had staked claim to their own bar stool. And as we all know the more they drink the louder they get.
We had a great weekend away.
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