Carnival Sensation Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Contributor Level: Purser

4-6 cruises


Helpful Votes

3 out of 5

Three and a half stars!

Sail Date: May 19, 2016

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Traveled As: Singles/Friends

Room Type: Oceanview

I chose this cruise for it's itinerary.  I needed to have one over a weekend and I wanted some beach time.  I have taken Carnival once before about 25 years ago, so I knew that this would be a "fun" ship.  


 The service was exemplary.  We had a cabin with a window, which was really lovely.  I thought that I had booked a "cave" so this was a welcome surprise.  The bathroom was a bit larger than the one we had on a Princess ship to Alaska, too.  Furthermore, this room was a bit larger than the one I had had on NCL for a Mediterranean cruise.  So, it was fine.  Our room steward, Reydon, did a fine job and surprised us with towel animals nightly.  I haven't seen that on any other cruise line.   It was so fun to anticipate it.


My companion celebrated a birthday during the cruise.  Carnival surprised us with three nice gifts: 1. a free on board photo, 2. $25 toward a bottle of wine, and 3. $25 toward a spa treatment of her choice.  We thought that that was really wonderful!  Then, at supper, I asked for a birthday cake and they obliged us with that and a song!


The Cruise director couldn't have any more energy.  He was everywhere and created lots of fun!  Cheers to Matt for a great job well done.


Natalie, the songstress and piano artist, was a highlight for us each night.  She made the piano bar more than a party!  


The rest of the staff were always polite and willing to help.


The food was about 3.5 stars.  It was tasty with a lot of variety.  They were just not that exotic or unusual.  The desserts were never really that great, though.


The ship's pool was way too small!  We never went in it because it was standing room only.  To cool off, and to have some peace, I had to go to the water park at the back of the upper deck.  This is where families with children were.  

Furthermore, this ship is all about reliving spring break, I think.  I am not against drinking, but I do believe in moderation.  It seemed that most people's goals were to get drunk and make merry.  If that's what one wishes to do, this is the ship for you.  Again, to have a bit of peace, I had to hang out at the water park with the families.


Our disembarkation into Key West could have been smoother.  Since folks didn't know what to expect, they crowded stairwells and elevators .  I would suggest that they print it out in the daily paper that they deliver to one's cabin each evening.  They did that for our final disembarkation, which went very smoothly.  


I think that I would consider a different cruise line that is a little more sophisticated for future sailings.


Cabin / Stateroom
Embarkation and Disembarkation
We liked the preboarding provided at Miami Airport. However, we were told at that time that our Sail and Sign Card would suffice for all disembarkations and embarkations. In truth, we needed our ID with that card.
Ship Quality
it's smaller than some others and the pool is tiny and crowded. The decks seemed worn out. It was clean, though.
Destinations and Excursions I've been to both and am not impressed by either. I didn't like having such a short time in Key West. It's also very touristy.

Cozumel is not a beautiful island. That hasn't changed. It's very touristy, too. Beware of taxis. We were charged two different fares going the same distance. That isn't the Carnival's responsibility, though.

I booked both of my excursions with United and they were great.
Onboard Activities
we enjoyed the trivia.
The Welcome Aboard show was just average and seemed geared to a younger crowd. The final show, however, was very good! We also heard one of the comedians and he was pretty funny.
Natalie was a comedian and party unto herself!
Service and Staff
Matt, the cruise director, Reydon, our room steward and Natalie the piano bar singer/pianist.
Food and Dining
The desserts were never that great.
Miami, Florida
The airboat tour is just ok. I expected the boat to be faster and more thrilling, which it isn't. Also, I had to sit in the middle and couldn't see so much. You might not see much of anything, but grasses, anyway! The alligator show afterward was interesting, though. South Beach is loud and crowded, which I expected. The beach was not visible until one walks across the street and between a berm to get to it. Then, its large and fairly hard packed. Lots of jet skis, parasailing and chairs to rent.
Key West, Florida
The Jet Ski excursion from United was awesome! We spent about 90 min. going around the Key and it's thrilling. I could have done that all day. Otherwise, it's hot and lots of shopping and bar hopping in town.
Cozumel, Mexico
We did the Resort for a Day excursion via United. That was another great highlight for us. It makes me want to do that for a vacation instead of a cruise in the future. It was way less crowded, noisy or obnoxious due to people's vulgar behavior.


There wasn't a hair dryer. I didn't ask my steward for one, though.
Expect loud, boisterous, and sometimes, rude people if it attracts similar guests that I had.

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