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Royal Caribbean InternationalMonarch the Seas ReviewBaja, MexicoKatherina Turner

Age: 45

Occupation:Claims Administrator

Number of Cruises: 4

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Monarch of the Seas

Sailing Date: May 22nd, 2006

Itinerary: NOT FOUND

Royal Caribbean International
Monarch of the Seas Cruise Review
Baja, Mexico

Katherina Turner

I just returned from a last minute get-a-way cruise (stateroom 2000) that was perfect save for one negative experience. My husband purchased this 4 day birthday get-a-way for me and our 2 kids since he had to work.

I did similar cruises on the Serenade and also Ecstasy a couple years back. This cruise exceeded both by far.  Let me start by saying that my waiter, Abraham and his asst. Albert, both from the Philippines, were the gem of the cruise. They were so pleasant, and solicitous of me and the kids. The presentation of the food in Vincent's dining room was the best I have seen to date. Menu included things like watermelon and pear gazpacho, lamb, duck, escargot, filet, tiger prawns, & incredible deserts. Every night Abraham told us what was going on on aboard ship and what we could expect the following day. A perfect experience. These two gentlemen are a credit to Royal Caribbean.

I have to admit I was a little nervous about traveling without my husband and feared I might be lonely, as I'm not really the party type. But I had two very nice conversations with ship members; one a Hindu from India and another coffee room server (surfer) from South Africa. I was drinking lots of coffee trying to stay up for the midnight chocolate buffet. I was glad I did!

My room attendant was always maintaining the room and had ice in the ice bucket. He always ensured fresh towels and towel animals for the kids. I must mention the first night I got separated from my kids and I panicked after not finding them for 15 minutes. I went to guest relations desk and security was notified. My kids were brought to the front desk within 2 minutes. The young African lady at guest relations desk was very poised and professional. Wednesday, to my son's delight they had a teenage dance troupe from Calgary perform in the Sound of Music room. (This should have been advertised more) It was charming!

Now I will tell you about the only blemish during my cruise. Thursday, the final day of the cruise, I was going to stay on board as I did not want to take kids by myself into Mexico. I thought it would a perfect day to do spa treatments, (they offer reduced prices while the ship is in port), pack, and let the kids rock climb, and read. I took the kids over to the rock wall and encountered a very curt, disinterested, and unhelpful attendant. She advised that it was too late to climb. I silently noted that 2 people were still climbing and they had open spots,  and it was still 10 minutes before they closed. I asked if they had any cancellations and she said no that I would have to return at 4:00pm to sign up later. I sat down with the kids who were quite upset and promised we would return at 4:00pm. She and the crew then closed up the station while we watched and left the area. I thought about her manner and believed that Royal Caribbean would never like this kind of attitude shown to their customers. I went to guest relations and told the empathetic desk clerk what had just occurred. He was very surprised and immediately got her supervisor Scott on the phone. Scott said he would call me in the afternoon. At 4:00pm I returned to the rock climbing wall and attempted to sign up my daughter again. As my daughter was wearing shorts and no socks I was denied service again by the same woman. Unfortunately, I had already packed and no longer had access to the socks (it would have been nice if something had been said that morning when I could have had a chance to do something about it) Now I was angry. I left and informed the guest relations clerk of the second refusal. Scott called a couple hours later and apologized. My children never did get to climb the rock wall. I didn't go to the final dinner and made my apologies to Abraham and Albert, who could tell I was upset but they were professional and did not pry. I believe this rock wall attendant does not represent Royal Caribbean's spirit or their commitment to excellence. Will I cruise again with Royal Caribbean, or would I book my Alaskan cruise with Princess? If I based my decision on the rock wall experience (which is what I believe sets Royal Caribbean above Princess traveling with kids), I would now have to say no. It is disturbing to pay for something, anticipate the experience and then have it denied you. I suggest that Royal Caribbean use their closed circuit TV system to educate passengers on schedules and required attire to avoid other disappointed patrons. Further, I suggest that this disinterested employee be shifted to a department where she has limited customer interaction.

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