Royal Caribbean InternationalMonarch the Seas ReviewBaja, MexicoJennifer DeVoll
Number of Cruises: 3rd
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
Ship: Monarch of the Seas
Sailing Date: March 27th, 2006
Itinerary: NOT FOUND
Royal Caribbean International
Monarch of the Seas Cruise Review
Just returned from our cruise and like many others I read as many reviews as possible and was a little worried on the negative ones. This was my 3rd cruise, the other two were on Carnival. I traveled with my family, we have two children. We had a great time.
The ship was great and I really felt the itinerary was surprisingly good too. We drove over from AZ so I decided to book a hotel in Long Beach as they had a park and cruise option. Since I had only been on Carnival before I did not realize there are actually 2 ports-Long Beach (where the Queen Mary is) and San Pedro. The San Pedro port is not far from Long Beach but I didn't think it was as nice. Not sure if I would do the park/cruise again because when we returned we waited at the port for about 45 minutes for the hotel shuttle when if we had our car there we could have just gotten on our way.
If you can, I would recommend you try to get to the port as early as possible-by about 11:30-12:00. That way you can get on the ship by about 12:30 and it makes the cruise seem longer. We had lunch and walked around a little before our room was ready. Getting on the ship was very easy and the luggage comes to your room so you're not dragging it around. The first port San Diego was okay-we did not sign up for anything there-we just took one of the free shuttles that takes you to the shopping areas. We looked around at the aircraft carrier.
The second port Catalina was very nice. We rented a golf cart for an hour which gives you a great tour of the island and then we walked around a bit. Ensenada was typical Mexico to me but we did go to La Bufadora and that is definitely worth seeing. I have been to a lot of Mexican towns and do not really like to shop in that atmosphere.
I thought the food on the ship was very good. I do have to say that I thought the lunch on the Carnival Pride was a little better-they had a few more "stations" that gave you a little better selection but all in all it was good. The dinners were very nice-good selections and great service. A couple of picky things-we wished the pizza section was open more-it didn't open until 4pm and then was open late at night. They didn't have then ice cream machines as they did on Carnival because of course you could buy ice cream at Ben & Jerrys.
Some of the reviews said the ship was worn-it may be a little worn but I thought the crew did a great job keeping it clean and nice despite most people being such slobs! The entertainment was great-dancing/singing and comedy.
We had an oceanview room and for 4 people it is a little tight but this is a cruise ship after all. Maybe in hindsight for a little extra we could have gotten our kids their own room (they are 14 and 8) As many say, for the value this was an excellent cruise. I would do it again for sure. If you like warm weather on your cruise do not do this one in March-it was pretty chilly most of the time. One more thing, even though it was spring break there was a good variety of people on the cruise-there were older people, families and some teens/20's.