My first cruise was on the Monarch of the Seas. We enjoyed it so much we took the same cruise the following year. I wrote a review of this that you can read on the following website http://www.sealetter.com Go to the ship review list and chose RCI then read the review by Mary Martin. Of course when we sailed on her she was going to the Southern Caribbean on a 7 day cruise. She was very easy to navigate, and being she's only 880 feet long instead of 1020 feet like the Explorer (which we sailed on last week) you won't have as much walking to do. We had excellent service and great food.
Very relaxing cruise.
We went on Monarch in 1999 for our first cruise and loved it. Although it is an older ship, it still has lovely decor and wonderful staff and all the other great amenities that RCI is famous for. The pool area is very nice and the Centrum lobby is stunning. The cabins are probably a fair bit smaller and a little outdated compared to the new ships but they were cozy and comfortable with lots of storage room. The bathroom was very small though, but all that added to the fun of our 1st cruise, we just looked at it as cozy, not small. Although we went on Galaxy since then, which is a newer and more luxurious ship, there were actually some things we liked better about Monarch such as the pool area and the lobby. Also, we found Monarch was kept much cleaner and was a prettier ship on the exterior. One weak point were the low ceilings and noisier dining room. We really liked how you could walk around the entire ship outside and the Theatre was nice with tables for your drinks. Don't miss the Not so Newlywed game, the belly flop contest and I'm not sure the name of it but there was another game where the men had to put on ladies clothing (bras, etc.). These were all a blast.
Enjoy Monarch and give her a big kiss for me, she will always hold a fond spot in my heart. Let me know if you have any other specific questions and I'll try to help.
We sailed the Monarch in Dec, 2000. It was our first cruise as well, let me say it was the vacation of a lifetime. Being as we had nothing to compare it to, being our first cruise and all, It was spectacular. You will be in aw when you see it. Everything about it was great. We had absolutely no complaints. We loved it so well we are planning another as we speak. That was a Southern 7 Day, We are looking into a Eastern 7 day now. I will say if I were you I would definately go get a prescription for that patch for sea sickness. I laughed at the people wearing them the first night. but to no avail , I was in the cabin throwing up all night that night, (of course we had HUGE waves which are not common) don't want to scare you but better be safe than sorry. I will definately get on next time.. all in all it was worth throwing up to me.. Hope you have a great time. Enjoy the dinners. Wait Staff is excellent!!!!!!