Until recently, I would agree with Jilly on Royal Carribbean being my favorite. 7 of my 22 cruises have been with her but we just got off the Monarch of the Seas two weeks ago and while the service and ship was up to standards, the food was definitely NOT. Don't get me wrong--I didn't starve, lol! But the offerings in the Windjammer, which appealing to the eye, left much to be desired, taste wise. I found myself resigned to hot dogs and fries. Unimaginable.
In the dining room,their salads, soups and desserts were ok, nothing spectacular except the tiramisu. But the entrees were mediocre to not only myself but the other 14 adults on our family reunion. The beef was the best but I dont eat beef. Everything else was overcooked, dry, and much arrived cold. My salmon was decidedly old, to the point I tried another entree. The menu was varied with health-wise and vegetarian offerings. Our waiter & assistant waiter could not have been better, nor could the maitre de. They were very solicitous and noticed that we were not enjoying our food and brought other items for us to try. Having cruised the Monarch last year I was definitely surprised at the slippage.
On a positive note, the wine tasting was the very best we'd attended. Instead of trying to rid themselves of wines that didn't sell, like many ships do, they offered some great choices of very enjoyable wines.
The sail away party was also one of the best with every section of the ship's features represented. There were giveaways of massages, cigars, wines, and samples from the sushi bar. Music aboard the ship was varied and enjoyable to all ages. The rock wall was in high demand and the spa was always busy. This was perfect for our multi-generational group.
As a devout reader, I always appreciate the Monarch as she has comfortable, quiet areas where you can read as well as nooks for chatting without clamour and kids running about. As a senior citizen, I like the size of the Monarch better than the big behemoths--easier to get around and you're likely to encounter someone you've met again. Will I sail RCCL again? We'll see. Princess still has two of her smaller ships that I love and we're platinum members on her as well, so it will depend.
What's our next cruise? 10 days in October on HAL's Ryndam to Mexico--Riviera and Sea of Cortez. No kids, less hype, simply relax in the traditional manner of cruising. No wet leg contests, etc.