A fun ship for kids

Carnival Sensation Cruise Review to Caribbean - Bahamas

Experience: 4-6 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 0

Overall Rating:

2 out of 5
Verified Review
3 Night Bahamas (Port Canaveral Roundtrip)
Sail Date: May 10, 2012
Ship: Carnival Sensation
Cabin Type: Balcony
Traveled As: Family (young children)
Reviewed: 6 years ago

Let me start with the positives. My 8 yr old son loved the pool slides & meeting all the other children on ship. He had a fun time and was more annoyed when the kids camp was closed than I was. Also there are two outstanding staff members on board, Vladimir in the dining room and Franklin who was mostly poolside. These two guys were AMAZING and really tried to ensure a great experience. Also the spa was a great experience, completely overpriced but that is expected in this setting.

However, no one else on ship seemed to give a crap about anything customers were saying to them. Most were pushing their drink of the day and uber eager to get your order but then were MIA for 30 minutes to bring it to you. However, if you just wanted some ice or a soda w/the unlimited soda card they couldn't help you to save your life. You literally had to order an alcoholic drink in order to get their attention. They also allow each passenger to bring an unopened bottle of wine or champagne on board but then yell at you for drinking the stuff or dare asking for a glass or ice. Well, if they had the wine or champagne I like then I wouldn't have to bring my own. Furthermore, don't charge $27 for a bottle of $7 champagne and people will be more inclined to buy yours. Duh!

Cleanliness: First of all, the smell of sewage on board Day 1 was horrific and never explained. We could not escape it either in our room or outside by the pools, ridiculous! The windows in both our balcony cabin, the dining room, and seemingly throughout the ship could use a serious pressure washing so you can actually SEE out the windows. Speaking of pressure washing (which I watched the Disney crew do while they were at port the entire time), the steps to the slides could use a lot of that considering they smelled of urine the ENTIRE trip. I told both the lifeguards and the dude in white about it and no one ever even apologized let alone said they would clean them. I understand accidents happen but then its up to the cruise line to take care of it.

Finally, to the Kids Camp director: when we are spending a day at sea, can you save your "preparing for the next load to come on" for the evening so the kids can actually be at the camp for more than 5 hours during the long day? I certainly don't mind closing for lunch and dinner but considering you were closed for 3 hours for lunch and 2 hours for dinner and then I had to pay per hour at night while were just sitting off the coast of Florida wasting time, I was less than impressed.

My family and I have traveled with Royal Caribbean several times. And while we didn't have a bad experience with them, we wanted to try Carnival because it brands itself as the "fun ship" and it was more fun for my son with the slides. But between the outrageous prices they charge for the excursions (always cheaper to cab it over to your destination and deal with them directly) and the lack of customer service, I highly doubt we will return despite the slides! It may not be fair to compare it to another cruise line, but its human nature. Carnival was less than organized, looked like a strip club in Vegas, had smaller cabins, and far less than superior service. And we took an equally older ship on Royal but never had these issues.

Was this a nightmare trip, not at all. But it certainly wasn't a "fun ship" either.

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
The food was mostly good, especially the mac n cheese. I liked the dining your time option.


3 out of 5
The comedians were quite funny!

Children's Programs

3 out of 5
The hours they were open while spending the day at sea were awful. I think they were open more while we were at port than that day at sea. Also, I didn't expect them to charge by the hour in the evening which is when most parents really want child care. Let alone add the gratuity as well. But my son did have fun.

Service and Staff

1 out of 5
As I said, with the exception of a couple, no one really seemed to care about customer service.

Ship Quality

1 out of 5
It looked like a strip club in Vegas. Some elevators never worked. Never found a trash can on ship so people would just leave stuff scattered throughout the boat. And the common area bathrooms, at least for women, were gross!

Cabin / Stateroom

1 out of 5
Cabins and common areas (like lounges & clubs) were smaller than the equivalent rooms on other cruise lines. Also was very rocky even in calm seas. We had a balcony cabin on the upper floor.

Pros: The slides & a couple staff members

Cons: Everything else

Recommends Carnival Sensation? No.

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