Carnival Sensation 4 Night Bahamas

Carnival Sensation Cruise Review to Caribbean - Bahamas

Experience: 2-3 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 3

Overall Rating:

4 out of 5
Carnival Sensation
4 Night Bahamas (Port Canaveral Roundtrip)
Sail Date: October 19, 2014
Ship: Carnival Sensation
Cabin Type: Suite
Traveled As: Family (older children)
Reviewed: 3 years ago

I have not been on a cruise in 25 years, and this was the first with my family (wife and three children aged 17, 13, 11). Things I loved about the cruise were the ports (Freeport and Nassau Bahamas), the friendliness of the staff, never being bored, and once the cruise started I actually felt like I was on vacation. The ports were beautiful, fun, the beaches we went to and the ocean was beyond belief. The time I spent with my family experiencing all of this was beyond worth.

The neutral: the food seemed a bit more bland then I remembered it being and it seemed to me that carnival food quality has been sacrificed for quantity. You will have the opportunity to eat a "LOT" from the dinning room to the breakfast and lunch buffets but nothing I ate really seemed to stand out.

There were a lot of very drunk younger men who were very obnoxious and rude to the staff. I found myself getting up and leaving an area of the ship more then once to get away from such groups. I have nothing against people having a good time or getting their "drink" on, but I was on this trip with my family and wanted a family orientated experience.

I smoke (I know, boo hiss) and carnival has instituted a no smoking policy in not only rooms but also balconies. The reason stated made sense to me, to lower the risk of fires by a misplaced cigarette being tossed off the balcony and falling back into the ship and landing on another balcony or place where flammable material may be. I had no problem following the ship rules and only smoked in the designated areas (a part of the casino and at one poolside bar. I wish they had chosen a more open area away from the pool and non-smokers, also at any given time during daylight hours there seemed to be about 30-50 smokers on deck with no where near enough tables/seats and only 8-12 ashtrays for all to share. I do not enjoy smoking around children/teens and wish they had a more distant area from the pool for me to smoke in comfortably.

I mentioned how beautiful the ports were and they were but the local cab drivers, tourist shop employees, and street peddlers can be very pushy and I thought I was going to get into an altercation with one in Freeport that refused to take no for an answer and he almost grabbed my arm from behind. I have mild ptsd and constantly feel like I have to keep it in check and a surprise grabbing of my arms, shoulders etc never ends well. 

 My final observation was that The prices Carnival charges for excursions would have priced my family out of a vacation but we were able to go out on our own and saved huge. Example one we went snorkeling at Paradise cove and it cost us $80 for a family of 5 for the cab/shuttle to the beach and back, and since we brought our own snorkeling gear the only other thing we had to pay was $3 each for beach access. With a $20 tip thrown into for the driver it cost me and my family $115 total for 4 hours of snorkeling minus drinks and food I bought, Carnival wanted $75 each to take you to the same beach (they did cover cost of beach access and snorkeling gear) but still that would have been $375. Example #2 In Nassau Carnival wanted $55 each to take you on a small tour of downtown, then a visit to the pirate museum and they leave you to find your own way back to the ship. So for my family $275. We walked from the ship the grand total of approximately 3 or 4 blocks, paid $42 for the whole family to enter museum and used the extra money we saved for souvenirs . Example #3 at the same port they offer many packages to various private/semi private beaches for a premium cost. We walked from the ship to Junkanoo beach in about 15 minutes and swam for free in a beautiful setting with clear water and could still see our ship. I paid $10 so my wife could have a beach chair. Carnival does offer a 110% offer if you find a cheaper price for excursions they offer but seemed like a lot of work so we just went off and had fun on our terms and saved a lot of money.

And finally the bad: I actually could not find anything "Bad" about this cruise, some things I was neutral with as stated above but nothing that left me saying "we will never take this cruise again" as a matter of fact we are in the process of booking the exact same cruise for next year.

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
Food was so so, mass produced cafeteria food

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
We ate, gambled, strolled the deck at night nothing outstanding but all in all, very good.


3 out of 5
Didn't really partake of any during cruise

Children's Programs

3 out of 5
My Kids did not want to do camp Carnival but the kids I saw who did seemed to be enjoying themselves

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
The ship staff impressed me to no end with their courtesy to meeting basic request.

Ship Quality

3 out of 5
Ship is older and smaller then some carnival ships but it was still a great experience

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
Wife is now hooked on getting suites only

Ship Tip

Avoid bingo, also expensive, and very short. I spent $80 for my wife, son, and I to play. It took 20 minutes to complete. I could have thrown the $80 away in the casino and had more fun for a longer time with a better chance winning some money.

3 out of 5
Visit Cocoa Beach great beach
5 out of 5
Paradise cove was a great place to snorkel. Just google paradise cove and deadman's reef
5 out of 5
Junkanoo beach and just walking around the straw market will save you money vs paying carnival to shuttle you around.
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