I just don't understand it... I was looking at the review section of cruise-addicts and there are numerous posts about how the food on it was bland , the employees were meloncoly , and the ships staterooms were peewee . Can anyone shine a light on this one?
The Monarch has some of the smallest cabins in the fleet. The food on all the ships seems to be "bland" with recent cruisers. You can't please everyone. The crew on the Monarch are the best. Most have been sailing together since the ship came out. It's still my favorite ship. I just wish it was still sailing on the southern route.
those reviews were over the past 2 months , and one guy had nothing good to say at all! he even said that RCL hired a waiter that couldn't speak english and found himself repeating his order over and over again
Our waiter on Mariner (Ahmet from Turkey) had previously served on the Monarch and he was, hands down, the best waiter we have ever had, on land or at sea. He was terrific, as was our assistant waiter (Ivan from Peru, an RCI first-timer).
If Monarch is Ali's favorite ship, I am certain there is much to recommend it. Her knowledge of cruising and the RCI fleet in particular is downright encyclopedic.
Take all reviews with a grain of salt. Some people are never happy. Yes, I've heard about the food but every cruiselines been getting pretty poor reviews lately. Relax, have fun and enjoy planning your cruise.
Unfortunatley I have to say the same about our last cruise on the Grandeur. Granted, we had an inside stateroom but this has been the smallest room of the 3 ships we've been on. Must be the design of the RCCL fleet. Luckily we didn't spend much time inside.
Food was somewhat bland, the employees were great but a little more subdued than what we have seen on other cruise lines - except for the cruise director staff. They were "nuts".
"Our waiter on Mariner (Ahmet from Turkey) had previously served on the Monarch and he was, hands down, the best waiter we have ever had..." -- cfurry
This makes me wonder how many others didn't make the move to the LA port? Although cabin size IS something you know in advance (and RCCL's earlier ships have SMALL cabins!); and I usually attribute bland food (on any cruise) partially due to trying to please everyone and the number of elderly that have numerous restrictions on their diets.... our servers at dinner left ALOT to be desired.... don't know if it was a coincidence that we were also about 3 feet from the kitchen door (??!! - did we piss someone off our last cruise ?)
BTW, cabin steward AND his assistant were very good.
I have sailed on ships that I have read reviews on , that if they were to be believed they should not even be afloat :lol I guess what I am trying to say is that some people seem to be more and more picky. I have read about bland or bad food on each and every cruise line on this site, or service not being good or the ship rocked and rolled to much, this is not limited to the Monarch or RCI. The cruise lines for the most part do an excellent job trying to please thousands of people all day for however long your cruise is for. I don't and wouldn't recommend taking all the neg. things to heart that you read.Go with an open mind and a desire to relax and enjoy.
We've been on the Monarch twice recently. Something that makes a BIG difference in your experience is your cabin. Like Ali said, the reg. outside cabins are TINY and I mean TINY. They're 122 SF. I'll never do that again! When we had a Cat. GS suite, we really enjoyed the cruise.
The other 'biggie' with this ship is the itinerary. If you do the 3 nighter, you're encountering a totally different crowd. They're there to use the casino and the bars. It's a party atmosphere. On the 4 nighters, there's a much more relaxed, more upscale feeling (for West Coast Cruises, that is).
I do have to say that the dining room service we received in April was the pits. Seriously, it was the worst we've ever had. They seem to have quite a few Eastern European waiters that are new and don't seem to care about their job. They seem to know their clientele doesn't expect the best and live up to that expection, IMO.
It's a good 'getaway' cruise, but not much more. It's certainly light years above anything Carnival can offer on the same itineraries.
After doing a 10 night cruise on the Coral Princess right before our Monarch cruise in April, I would definitely disagree with the food in the Windjammer. It was top notch in our opinion compared to Princess' buffet. If you want bland, boring food that belongs in an old folks home, go to the Horizon Court buffet on Princess ships. The Windjammer has new selections all the time, it's hot, spicy and unique. Princess wins in the formal dining room category and pizza category, IMO, but RCI wins in the buffet area. :grin
If you do the Monarch, just remember to go all the way to the back of the Windjammer. The food is fresher & hotter back there and it's much less crowded and hectic.
RCI is better on their cabin size than they used to be. It is the older ships like the Sovereign class (ie.Monarch) that have the tiny cabins. If you want tiny you should try NCL :lol now they are tiny!
Well from RCI's older ships Carnival's are a lot larger, but from the newer ones not so much.Here are 3 Carnival ships cabin sq. ft. and 3 RCI ships sq. ft. From older to newer in age.
........... Carnival Fantasy ...........standard oceanview cabin 186 sq. ft.
........... Carnival Destiny.............standard oceanview cabin 186 sq. ft.
Balcony cabin.......................185 sq. ft. balcony 35 sq.ft.
........... Carnival Legend.............standard oceanview cabin 187 sq. ft.
Balcony cabin................. 185 sq. ft. balcony 60 sq. ft.
.......... RCI Sovereign.................standard oceanview cabin 122 sq. ft.
..........RCI Explorer.....................standard oceanview cabin 180 sq. ft.
balcony cabin ................ 188 sq.ft. balcony 50 sq. ft.
.........RCI Serenade...................standard oceanview cabin 170 sq. ft.
balcony cabin........................179 sq. ft. balcony 41 sq. ft.
We just got back today from our 4-day Monarch cruise and we had a terrific time! We had a junior suite, and it was small, but lovely and perfect for my son and I. However, I definitely agree with Ali and Lady Jaq regarding the size of the other cabins. I peeked into a few of them and I know now that I must really save my $$ because there's no way I could handle the smaller staterooms.
The service in the dining room was exceptional! Perhaps we just got lucky, but it seemed like every waiter, asst. waiter, and head waiter were enthusiastic and extremely efficient. One of our tablemates was a diabetic, and they went out of their way to accommodate his needs. Everyone was friendly and helpful.
The same goes for our terrific cabin steward and the rest of the crew. Everywhere we went people were friendly and helpful. The only sourpusses were a couple of crew in the photo area, but we didn't let that bother us.
Please take Lady Jaq's advice re walking through the Windjammer to the Jade area -- the same food is served there (except for a Caesar Salad Bar), and it's much more relaxing and less crowded. People were pushing and shoving for food and seats in the Windjammer, but when we walked through we always found a table and never had to wait in buffet lines. Besides, if there is something you like in the main Windjammer area, you can always load up your plate and then escape back to the quiet of Jade. Also, in addition to everything they have in Windjammer, you'll find some yummy Asian dishes, so you get even more! We didn't go to the upstairs Jade sushi restaurant, although my son loves sushi. I told him we had to stick to the budget and eat where everything was included. However, it did look quite good.
Overall, the food was very good. I also think that a lot of the Windjammer entrees, salads, and desserts were better than the food in the dining room, but we had a few dishes in the dining room that were great (scallop risotto and vidalia onion tart come immediately to mind). A couple of the pasta dishes at the buffet needed salt, but overall everything was very fresh and tasty. Desserts were delicious. Salad dressings also yummy. I thought the selection in both the dining room and the buffet was quite good. Again, the crew was friendly and consistently made sure that all the dishes in the buffet were refilled promptly.
I hope you have a wonderful time. Feel free to e-mail me with specific questions, and I'll do my best to answer them based on our experiences this week.
I have not been on the Monarch yet, going Sept. 24 for a quick 3 day getaway. However, I've been told that the Monarch is Royal's training ship. Don't know if thats true or not. But it would explain why there seems to be some inconsistencies in reviews. Also, on the other cruise board there are varying opinions regarding the Monarch. These opinions have been within the last few weeks.