Differences between Carnival Sensation and RCCL Monarch
Hi everyone...I am looking for opinions from some veteran cruisers. I am looking at 2 Bahama cruises and not sure which would be the better choice? The first is on RCCL Monarch..4 nights, we will be in an inside room (i heard very small); the second is Carnival Sensation, 4 nights, inside room. I will be traveling with my hubby, 4 teens, and my daughter's family (hubby and 6 month baby). I have cruised only 1 other time and that was with RCCL on the Navigator and loved it. I understand that the Monarch is nothing like the Navigator. Also, I heard that Monarch will be drydocked this may....is that true and what does that exactly mean? Sorry for all the questions, but I am still new to cruising. If someone could give me more info than what I requested i would greatly appreciate it. Thanks
Rather than have two message threads going on for the same question, I deleted your other post in the Carnival section and we'll just use this one for the discussion.
Drydocking means the Monarch will be freshened up with new carpets, bedding, and so forth. No big modifications are going to happen.
The inside cabins on the Monarch are 119 square feet as opposed to the 185 square feet offered by inside cabins on the Sensation. That is something to consider with more than one or two people in a cabin.
Frankly, for a 4-night getaway cruise to the Bahamas I'd look mostly at the price and go with the cheapest fare and not dwell on the ship or cruise line. The Sensation is a nice ship and I think you might find Carnival to be a great choice. I like both Royal Caribbean and Carnival, but the Monarch is getting a little long in the tooth at 17 years of age.
Actually, the Monarch will be 20 years old in November. But the Sensation is right behind her turning 18 years old in November. I love the Monarch and have sailed on her recently. The service is great, food great, and I think the inside of the ship is looking good. The only place I really noticed wear was up on the Lido deck. The Sensation went through the big Evolutions of Fun renovations in January-Feb 2009 of adding cabins, the Water Park, and more. I would probably choose the Sensation for bigger square footage with all the people you have, and for more activities for the teens.
I need to bring my latest copy of Doug Ward's book with me when on the road! Then I'd keep the ship's ages right. I now recall being in San Juan in December 1993 on the Song Of America, and my then-agent was cruising with us and she did a tour of the then-new Sensation for her CLIA accreditation. The Sensation was docked next to us.
I agree with Susan. I can't believe the Sensation is going to be 18 years old!
Boy, time flies. I remember when the Sensation was new.
I have never been on the Monarch. I did see the Monarch docked beside the Sensation in Nassau last October. The contrast between the outside appearance of the 2 ships was stunning. The Sensation looked like a brand new ship - The Monarch looked in dire need of being painted. I was a little shocked they let the Monarch get in that kind of exterior condition. I am sure the dry-dock will fix that though.
I have done both of these cruises, although I sailed on the Majesty which is Monarch's sister ship. Sensation spends more time in Nassau but Monarch stops at Coco Cay(which is RCCL's private island in the Bahamas). Coco Cay was a great stop and unless you want to spend a long time in the casino's in Nassau I would chose Monarch over Sensation if I was to do a 4 day cruise again. You will have a great time which ever you choose!
I was on the Monarch when she was the Biggest, newest and Baddest ship out there....Where did all the years go...Yikes.....Now she is just a little old lady with lots of wrinkles....Bless her...Happy Sailing to us...