I did monarch last january 4 day baja, and again a few summers ago. This past new years we did carnival "Paradise" for a quick 3 day. We only did carnival, because the RCCL dates did not work for the other couple who were going with us. We were willing to try our first carnival for a 3 day. Anyways, my husband and I were very disappointed with the carnival ship. We thought it was very dated/cheesy in some areas, ESPECIALLY the dining room. Our table, was actually a booth, felt like I was at an Outback. The life boats hang off the upper deck, above the pool deck. So, when you go up for a stroll you see mostly life boats, blocking your view. The monarch is much more "regal", and tradition themed. The dining room is wonderful. Anyways, sorry, I got off on a tangent. The moral to my story is, a 4 day baja on the monarch is a great getaway. I really didn't think the party atmosphere was any different on either ship. Please don't let us hear about you on the news. Enjoy. Lil' Lori
Now, I don't mean to be the voice of dissention, but....
I was generally a little disappointed with the Monarch in March 2004. I am advised that it was refurbished before March 2004, but it seemed to have a tired appearance with much attention needed to detail. Of all the cruises we have taken, this was my least favorite ship. We may have been spoiled the year before since we'd just come off the Grandeur of the Seas, and at that time, the Monarch was a step down. This was also the cruise where our head waiter did nothing to accomodate our wishes to sit with other guests, as opposed to being the only couple at a nice window table for 6.
Probably the thing that disenchanted us the most was the damp carpet and mold we sat in/next to while waiting to disembark (4th deck, inside bar I believe).
The decor itself was very nice; it just seemed a little run down, even after the recent refurbishment.
In light of all this, we still had a great time cruising. Like the old saying, a bad day (or 4) of cruising is better than a good day (or 4) at work!
I was last on the Monarch in 2004 and outside of the musty, Make that very musty, pool deck, it is fine for a ship that is about 15 years old. They have too much carpeting around the pool area and we all know what carpeting gets like when it gets wet.