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When in August are you booked?
We'll be on the Sov for the Aug 23 sailing. Haven't been on the Monarch, so I can't help with your original question.
Sovereign is, of course, the Monarch's older sister, and while Monarch has recently gone through a refurbishment, Sovereign has not. So that may give you some idea.
'til Sovereign of the Seas
Sovereign 01/02, 11/02, 6/03, 08/03, 09/03
I sailed on Sovereign in June 2001, and then on Monarch in December 2001. At that time, the two ships were nearly identical. I knew they were sister ships, but I had no idea how similar they really were. Seriously, from having been on Sovereign just a few months before, I knew where everything was. It was laid out the same.
However, I know that Monarch has recently undergone renovations, so I don't know how similar the two ships are now. Somewhere on these boards, there are pictures of the refurbished Monarch. I looked at them and couldn't believe it was the same ship. I do remember that the dining room was very different.
I wish I could remember where I saw those pictures. If I find them again, I'll post the link on this board.
I have been on both ships twice and at the time, they were basically identical. But since the refurb, I imagine that the Monarch is in better repair. The ships are the same size and the layout was the same. I do love that class of ship but it is smaller and very user-friendly. Contrary to a recent poster's experience, I have found the staff of the Sovereign to be very friendly and helpful. The SOS is going in for a refurb in November, unfornately after your cruise.
We did have a wonderful time on her over Easter.
Monarch 6/02, 4/03
Sovereign 12/03, 4/04
Voyager to Canada 7/04
We sailed on Sovereign in 2001 and Monarch in 2004. Liked both. Food and service was much better on Sovereign. Monarch has been given a major re-do and looks pretty good. Entertainment was better on Sovereign. Overall, more similar than not. With Monarch we had great weather and visited all the scheduled ports. On the Sovereign we couldn't go to Coco Cay so that was a big disappointment. Both have equally small cabins!
16 Voyages completed 1999-2004, 81 wonderful days at sea
dreaming of ....
Norwegian Crown 8/04
Carnival Fascination 11/04
I sailed on Monarch back in 1996 (obviously before the refurbishment) and on Sovereign earlier this year. The only edge I'd give to Monarch is that she has balcony cabins available; otherwise, they were too close to call.
We sailed Sovereign back in 1996. It was our first cruise and our 10th anniversary. So Sovereign holds a special place in our hearts and always will. Have not been on Monarch.
While we loved our cruise we found the ship to be quite crowded in the public areas. Other than that no problems. We have, however, based on the number of people per ship, switched over to Celebrity for our last six cruises.