Several of my co-workers have sailed on the Monarch and are very happy with the ship. I am sailing on this ship on April 29th on my honeymoon so I will post my impressions then. In the meantime will be very interested in the responses to your query.
WE WENT ON THE MONARCH 5 YEARS AGO. IT HAD BEEN 8 YEARS SINCE OUR LAST CRUISE SO WE HADN'T SEEN THE "NEW" CLASS OF CRUISE SHIP. WE WERE SO IMPRESSED! YOU WILL REALLY ENJOY IT. I REALLY LIKED THE "ICE CREAM PARLOR" STYLE DINING AREA OF THE WINDJAMMER CAFE AND THE OPEN AIR SEATING THERE AS OPPOSED TO THE NEWER SHIPS WHICH ARE ALL CLOSED IN. THE NEWER SHIPS SEEM TO HAVE LESS OPEN SPACE. IT REALLY DOESN'T MATTER WHAT THE SHIP LOOKS LIKE, IT IS THE CRUISE ITSELF THAT MAKES YOU EITHER AN ADDICT OR A "NEVER AGAIN" PERSON. FOR MY PART , IT WAS THE BEGINNING OF A BEAUTIFUL FRIENDSHIP WITH ROYAL CARIBBEAN.WE HAVE GONE WITH THEM EVERY YEAR SINCE. IF YOU HAVE SAILED BEFORE, ON THE BIGGER SHIPS, YOU MAY BE DISAPPOINTED. IF THIS IS YOUR FIRST CRUISE, YOU WILL BE HOOKED FOR LIFE OR COMPLETELY TURNED OFF. I LOVE CRUISING WITH ROYAL CARIBBEAN AND I WOULD GO ON THE MONARCH OR OTHER "OLDER" SHIPS IN A HEARTBEAT. I JUST LOVE CRUISING! WISHING YOU A GREAT VACATION!
My husband and I sailed our first cruise aboard the Monarch. We are hooked on cruising for life! Monarch is a great ship, easy to get around in. We called 1-800-621-7752 and ordered their ship video before we went (about $9.95 you can pay extra to get the video quicker usually takes 4 to 6 weeks otherwise) and WOW!
it made us even more excited. You can get reimbursed the 9.95 if you give the card that comes with it to your travel agent before you book the cruise, but who buys a video before booking? At any rate it makes a great keepsake. We had the best time, the food was great the help was great, we were so impressed that the first Monday after we got back we booked the same ship same trip for the next year. We will be sailing the Explorer of the Seas in just a few days March 24th.
Hope you enjoy yourself as much as we did.