Got back last week. We absolutely loved it. Celebrated our Empty Nest Feeling. Take $$$ to Cozumel for jewelry, clothing, and Carlos & Charlies. I loved the bartering on the shopping. Grand Cayman was not the bartering place! The English are rich enough I guess. Spend your time there on the 7 mile beach or snokeling. We went to the beach on our own and spent less money than booking with the cruise. I want to go back with more money to Cozumel and spend more time @ Carlos & Charlies. Yes, the ship was older, but always clean and kept up. As a 1st timer, I didn't know what to expect, but the evening meal was great. The food was not "out of this world" but still very good. They do a great job for the masses of people they must feed in a short time. Shops were very decent on the ship too. Don't miss the comedy show, the newlywed show and the belly flop contests. I know that you don't know anyone else on the ship, but participate, participate, participate! Where will you see these people again in the your life???? Our cabin was always kept and on the last night, our steward turned our small cabin into the "jungle". We had all of the animals! Monkey, elephant, dog, rabbit and swans! What a treat! Already talking to the extended family about all going together next summer. Spoke to many veteran cruisers who said bigger is not always better. They always came back to the smaller ships. Anyone recommend where to go with the inlaws, sister in law and her 2 high school girls and our 2 college boys next summer?
Glad you had a great time! Did Isadore effect you at all? I hope not. I agree - participate. We did the Quest game (even though as veterans we knew what we were in for) and we don't talk about it to this day - how embarassing but we were glad we participated - many many many people on the ship got a lot of laughs at our expense and even I'm smiling now - I can after 2 years. a Debbie
Glad you enjoyed your trip. We just got back on 9/26/02 from our 2nd cruise on the Monarch - We loved our first trip and the second cruise was even better. Clean ship, great service and great food. Our itinerary changed due to Isidore. We had sun every day as our great captain avoided the many tropical storms in the Caribbean.
We also went on Monarch for our first cruise (25th anniv) and loved it! Yes, we certainly did participate. My husband could not keep his rear-end in his seat and volunteered us for EVERYTHING. We were even contestants on the Not so Newlywed game. I actually really enjoyed all of it, even though I wouldn't have had the guts to volunteer myself.
Monarch will always hold a special place in my heart as it was she that got us addicted to cruising. As you say, although smaller and older, it was a great cruise and a beautiful ship. We go on Voyager in January...I'll let you know whether "bigger is better".