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Kim

Age: 46

Occupation:Self-Employed

Number of Cruises: 6

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Monarch of the Seas

Sailing Date: 2009-12-26

Itinerary: Caribbean

I have enjoyed cruising on Princess, Carnival and Royal and consider it my favorite way to vacation for the value and experiences. I go with my husband, son, and friends when opportunities present themselves. For the value, I recently went on the same 5 day Monarch of the Seas cruise with a friend that I took with my husband in June. I cannot say enough about how much I enjoyed both times with Royal. So much so that I am now looking to book a Royal cruise with my husband in March.

I was surprised at how much I liked the food on-board. Princess seems pretty, but not too tasty. Carnival was tastier, I thought and this surprised me as well. But my dining experience on Monarch was lovely. As a matter of fact, I went with the chef's recommendation every night at dinner because each night I was extremely pleased with the choice! For lunch, I enjoyed sandwiches i made from the buffet. I like the sturdy breads and buttered rolls. I was never disappointed in the dining rooms and always felt that each member of the staff worked very hard to ensure we had satisfying and great meals.

I had inside cabins for both RCCL trips. I was comfortable, but my husband complained of back pain both times but we are at a loss as to what might be contributing to it. The bed, the stair climbing, the different water affecting his kidneys...? we're not sure but i slept comfortably even though I wished the mattresses were a bit thicker. I usually showered in the ladies spa as I have more room there, even though I'm not a large person, I am tall so I prefer to do this whenever I can. I felt our cabin had plenty of room for our things. Wewere able to unpack and hang everything so lots of hangers is very important to me. Monarch is an older ship, but they keep her very clean and it felt "homey".

Lots to do on-board - I enjoyed watching the rock climbers even though I don't participate and the games poolside were very fun to watch as well. It's my opinion if you find nothing to do on any cruise ship, you aren't looking very well. I like to dance and work out, so I enjoyed the gym and disco. The gym isn't very large, but I managed 20 minutes on bicycle, elliptical trainer, and treadmill easily. I love hot tubs in mountain cabins when I visit Gatlinburg TN, but I know they empty and refill every cabin tub prior to and after each guest so I love to sit in a tub with great jets and enjoy a cold beer or glass of wine. I can't say I've done this yet on cruises. They always seem too crowded, or the jets don"t work, or they just aren't open! I wish there was a way cruise lines could figure this one out for me. MORE HOT TUBS; THAT ARE HOT AND CLEAN AND BUBBLY!

I really like Coco Key island for the trail they have. I like to hike away from everyone and this is the island for it. I like it better than Princess Cay.

I have loved Monarch of the Seas and I hope I can sail her again. The staff is wonderful and she stands out in my mind. For the price I paid, it is a beautiful bargain. If you think cruising is for wealthy people, think again - it's for the saavy traveller.

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