Carnival Sensation Cruise Review to Caribbean - Bahamas

Deck Hand

7+ cruises


Helpful Vote

4 out of 5

Great Pre Christmas Getaway

Sail Date: December 18, 2011

Reviewed: 4 years ago

Traveled As: Family w/young children

Room Type: Oceanview

We love cruising, this was our 26th. We had stayed away from Carnival for awhile due to a bad experience on the Tropical many years ago. We came back to Carnival due to their pricing and numerous itineraries. The online registration was a breeze and I was able to print out everything I needed including the luggage tags. The paperwork was much reduced from other online registrations I have done in the past. Embarkation was fairly simple but did end up waiting outside in the wind much longer than needed given the amount of open space once we got inside. I guess our biggest complaint was that the rooms not only were not ready until sometime after 1:30pm (which was a first for us), we had to use the stairs to get to a deck where we could wait and we had a couple of carry on pieces to keep up with (yes we could have checked them with our other luggage, but we've never had to wait so long to have access to our room). We had to use the stairs because every elevator was in service mode (presumably to get the luggage on board). Also a bit odd for us was that the access to the cabin area was blocked by doors and a fairly arrogant and somewhat foul attitude attendant. In the past we had been able to drop off our luggage even if the room was not yet 100% ready. Dining we had great assigned table mates who had kids near our 6 year old's age, so that made for a good time at meals and a chance to meet new friends. The assistant dining room manager was also very unfriendly and insisted that we show her our table assignment on the card so she could verify rather than take our word for our table number.. I guess in hindsight folks end up at the wrong tables alot and she was trying to avoid confusion, but its not difficult to match up table 377 on our card with the 377 on the table itself. Given this is an older ship, it still is a great ship offering many spots to enjoy and pretty good entertainment. We loved the laser tag although it was not promoted a lot on board. The new water slides are also awesome. We give the Captain credit for taking it slow on our sea day return to port as he kept us in the sunshine most of the day. We did not do any of the ship offered excursions as we had been to the Bahamas a few times already. We did however catch a taxi to Ardastra Gardens which was a lot of fun and much cheaper to do ourselves including the taxi than booking on board. It is fairly close (maybe 1.5 miles) to the port and so we opted to take the short walk along the beach back rather than catch another taxi or the #10 bus. The casino was one of the largest we've seen and offered a great variety of electronic and table games. We did buy a few pictures shipboard but noticed the prices have been creeping up over the years, we hope the photo staff will soon find better ways to package photos or offer discounts on multiple purchases. Also it would be a lot greener and easier to locate your pictures if they could adopt a electronic format and use you cabin number or boarding pass to scan you to index pictures. Disney does this VERY well. As it is you are stuck looking through thousands of printed pictures to find your own and at the end of the cruise those thousands of unsold prints go to the dump. Also electronic formats would allow them to sell thumb drives or discs which are much more common these days. I think first time cruisers would do not better than this ship and itinerary. Party cruisers can always count on Carnival. Parents with preteen kids also will find the activities to be great. Seasoned cruisers may not enjoy it as much especially if they have sailed other lines. Overall it was exactly the cruise we wanted, getting home in time for Christmas, but at least getting away a few days.

Pros: Day at sea, Capt took it slow and kept us in the sun all day.

Cons: No hair dryer in room. Staff was not "happy" as in past cruises. Also not having room access til nearly 2pm.

Recommends Carnival Sensation? Yes!

Food and Dining
Normal cruise fare, no midnight buffets. Pizza was good
Service and Staff
Assistant Dining Room Manager was not friendly at all and was confrontational.
Ship Quality
Great ship for first time cruisers or folks just wanting to get away for a few days!
Cabin / Stateroom
No complaints here.
Show were good, but in one show "Curves" there is a PG13 rating due to wa sno worse than what you'd see poolside. However one number, 3 Baseball players singing "I Fell Pretty" seemed to carry a message that did not fit in the show. Laser Tag was great, our 6 year old competed with teens and adults and had a great time.
Children's Programs
Camp Carnvial Rocks, the kids at our table loved it! Staff was great!

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