Just sailed the Monarch of the Seas. This was my first 3 day cruise. Was a much much younger crowd that definately likes to party. Watching the remaining hundred or so passengers getting back on the ship at Ensenada was, to say the least, entertaining. Had "Girls gone wild" scenes in line a number of times.
Ship was the oldest one I've been on but it was clean and well maintained. Our stateroom was small but I expected that... no big deal. Attended the Captain's party. He mentioned that since the Monarch has moved it's permanent home to San Pedro, it's gone out full for every cruise. Had a great time but as always, the cruise was too short.
Embarkation and disembarkation was a breeze. Waited in line less than 5 minutes to check in. We took our own luggage and were among the 1st to disembark. Customs was a breeze and we were in the parking lot at the pier before 7:00am. I know there was a post here earlier about how much time to allow and that customs could take a while. People (me included) said you should allow for departures no earlier than noon. Don't know why we were able to get through so quickly.
The only disappointment was the transportation RCI provided (paid for in advance) from LAX to the dock in San Pedro and back. We were met by an RCI representative at baggage claim at 11:20am. She kept saying 20 minutes, 20 minutes for the transportation to arrive. The bus finally showed up around 12:40.
When we got off the boat, there was no RCI rep or no bus. After our experience at the airport, we had no idea how long we would have to wait.
We saw a taxi stand with about 5 cabs. They have a set fare from the pier to LAX of $40.00. We took a cab to the airport and got there right before 8:00am. We were originally going to catch a 1:30pm flight and wound up catching a 9:15am flight.
This probably should have gone to some cruise review site but I'm trying to get my "cruiser" ponts. Hope this helps anyone who may be planning on going on this ship anytime in the future.
Tim (brand new RCI Crown and Anchor Platinum member)
RCI Monarch of the Seas - May 05
RCI Mariner of the Seas - Mar 05
NCL Norwegian Dawn - Jun 04
RCI Mariner of the Seas - Feb 04
Golden Princess - Sep 03
RCI Vision of the Seas - May 03
RCI Brilliance of the Seas - Sep 02
NCL Norwegian Star - May 02
Thanks so much for the posting of your trip. For you and others, one reason to expect a long wait at disembarcation is, sometimes customs doesn't clear the ship until THEY are ready. They may have a report of a stowaway, bomb scare, believe me it happens, some weirdo calls in a bomb on board for whatever reason... a passenger may need to get off early for a medical emergency. There are lots of reasons, so its better to be prepared, than to plan a super early flight home and not make it.