On March 29, 2013, MrsMJ and I boarded Royal Caribbean’s Monarch of the Seas for the last time. No, we weren’t mad with the ship! This was her last cruise. From her first cruise on November 17, 1991 (gosh…I was a senior in college!!) to her final disembarkation day, April 1, 2013, Monarch of the Seas served millions of guests with style.

I’ve never had the opportunity to sail on a ship’s farewell cruise, and really had no idea what to expect. I knew Royal Caribbean would be doing something special for the farewell sailing, but I did not know what would be. We booked the cruise on a whim just 20 days before sail away. Three night Bahamas itineraries tend to be party focused with a younger crowd looking to blow off a little steam over a long weekend. There was plenty of partying, but Royal Caribbean still sent Monarch off in style.

There were a lot of special celebrations over the weekend, including the most well attended Crown & Anchor party I’ve been to with the exception of Allure of the Seas.

There were also gifts throughout the cruise…. some of the things only a frequent floater would love, but a nice touch, nonetheless.

Two commemorative year books and a final cruise certificate. Of course, I’m going to frame it! Oh yeah…we got a towlie too. 🙂

A swag bag full of stuff…. robes, slippers, etc. There was even a commemorative Monarch of the Seas crystal block. They had a great party on Coco Cay for us as well. They always host a top tier party on the island, but this was on was special….and again, well attended due to the higher than average number of Diamond Plus and higher Crown & Anchor members. The party was on Sunday, not just any Sunday, but Easter Sunday and came complete with chocolate bunnies. 🙂

While a special cruise, no doubt, there was still plenty of time for doing normal cruise things. The weather was beautiful, and the pool was nice. Just perfect for some of this.

Sorry for the poor iPhone night shot, but it was what I had available. 🙂

Our final evening was spent attending a big celebration in the ship’s Centrum. Captain Rune made a speech, the lounge band Liberty Hounds sang a song, and there was a cake cutting. The Centrum is 5 decks high and was packed all the way around.

After the cake cutting we booked our next cruise on board, and headed to the final dinner seating on Monarch of the Seas.

Watching Monarch sail away to Freeport for drydock the evening after we disembarked, I couldn’t help but think that the ship almost looked quaint. She’s literally tiny compared to today’s vessels, which is funny considering that when she was new, she was the largest cruise ship afloat. While Majesty of the Seas is our favorite just because she was the first ship MrsMJ and I cruised on together, Monarch is still special. She holds the distinction of hosting my 40th birthday party, and my first cruise from the west coast a few years ago. Enchantment of the Seas, the ship Royal Caribbean is transferring to Port Canaveral to take over the 3/4 night cruises is more modern, has larger staterooms, including many more balcony cabins. I’m sure I’ll have some great cruises on Enchantment, but I’ll miss Monarch.

-MJ, April 13, 2013