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Stacey

Age: 26

Occupation:Engineer

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Monarch of the Seas

Sailing Date: 2010-08-6

Itinerary: Catalina Island

This was our first cruise ever, it was part of our honeymoon. We spent 4 nights on the ship and generally had a good time.

The food was ok, but I didn't cruise for the food. We didn't eat in the dinning room the first two nights, we chose to eat in the Windjammer Cafe so we had more time to explore the ship. The food in there is ok, not the best food I've ever eaten but by far not the worst either. Considering they are serving thousands of people all from different places with different tastes, I didn't think they did too bad on selecting the menu. The last 2 nights we ate in the dining room (and the other couples at our table were apparently wondering why we never showed the other nights). There were 8 people at the table I believe, counting us. They were all nice and we enjoyed their company. The food was not to our liking. We are burgers, pizza, spaghetti, etc kind of people. I dont recall exactly what they served but I do remember the one night was the seafood night but the options were just like this kind of fish or that kind of fish... I was hoping for crab, lobster, or even some kind shrimp but I guess thats too much. Guess I expected too much!

The room was tiny and let me tell you, do not ever select a lower level room in the rear of the ship. We heard the achors going down and large machinery running the whole time. We had an interior room because I didn't think it was work paying $100/pp for a window... but it is. It gets confusing when your inside the ship and cannot see daylight... cell phone time get all messed up... we had to turn the tv on in the morning to see the onboard cam to see if it was morning yet.

We didn't do a whole lot of onboard activities because we didn't want to pay extra (we were paying enough extra for the excursions each day). There was a rock wall, pool and hot tub which was pretty much ALWAYS packed, and some bars but there wasn't much night life on the boat. We had a few drinks (and they are not cheap or included) each night and was in bed before midnight each night.

Excursions:

San Diego- We went to the zoo. It was great fun and I'd highly reccommend it. When you get off the boat you get in line for this excursion, they give you your ticket, you get on a bus for like a half hour and they drop you off. The bus leaves every so often to go back and when your ready you leave.

Catalina Island- We did not do an excursion through the ship. We walked around Catalina Island and ended up renting a golf cart and exploring the island and doing a glass bottom semi-sub for less than we were going to spend for just the semi-sub through the cruise.

Ensada Mexico- We did an excursion here. We did the side-by-side ATV thing through the country, visited some garden, and a wine tour. It was a nice excursion. Our tour started by a shuttle bus driving us into the country with our tour guides, who were all teenage mexican boys that didn't speak much english but were friendly enough. We did the ATVs for a little while, then stopped at this garden which wasn't too amazing (I guess a green growing garden is pretty interesting to them since everything else is sand and dessert). Lastly we went to this little wine store and tasted some wine and they sold an optional lunch there (not part of the excursion). It was good, it was authentic mexican food... the elderly lady making the food didn't speak a word of english but our tour guides helped out.

Advice: I'd say do not book an excursion if your going to an island. The places where the ship docs at sea and shuttles you to land on a smaller ship are usually going to drop you at boardwalk type places were there are plenty of things to do without paying the ship extra to coordinate. The places like bigger cities where you are at a large port (like LA or San Diego) you pretty much need an excursion to get to somewhere, becasue the port is in the middle of an industrial setting.... unless you want to walk miles and miles or take a cab (which are first come/first serve and not enough to go around).

EXTRA COSTS I WASN'T AWARE OF:
* Pepsi and Coke products not included (only tea, lemonade, water, etc are). You have to pay extra for a all-you-can-drink pass... for 4 nights it was like $39/pp.
* The gym is included but they do not specify the classes are extra.
* The drinks, ok I knew they were not included but I didn't realize a "girly drink" would be like $6-$10. The metal bottles of beer my hubby was drinking were $4 each I think.

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