My husband and I decided to take our two grandchildren, ages 12 and 10, on a 3 day cruise without their parents. Just "Grandpa and Grandma" time. They looked forward to departure day for a little over three months. We chose the Carnival Sensation mainly for the water slides and the price was attractive as well.
We arrived at the port at around 11:00 am and were onboard by 11:30. Embarkation was a breeze. We could not go into our room until 1:30, so we proceeded to the Lido deck for the buffet. It was our plan to have a relaxed, no dress up weekend, so we packed only shorts and bathing suits and planned on eating at the buffet for dinner each night. The food was "ok". Salad bar was sufficient. I will say that my first impression of the deli was a little disconcerting.....I have never seen a fly on a cruise ship before, but there were many buzzing around the deli area. Yuck!! And only one man making the sandwiches, so that took a little while, even though there weren't a whole lot of guests onboard yet. The ice cream machine (the highlight for my husband and grandkids) was at the back of the Lido near the deli and pizza. 24 hour ice cream and pizza. I never tried the pizza, but my husband and grandson liked it. Beware of the grill.....lines for hamburgers, chicken nuggets, fries, etc. were always very long. ALWAYS....and the grill was not open for too long at meal times.
We normally always book a balcony, but for this trip we were looking for value so I booked an inside, watched the prices drop, and ended up getting an oceanview cabin for the price of the inside. The cabin had two twins, pushed together to make a queen (I have never before felt the split between the two beds on a ship before, but this one we did). There was also a bunk that pulled down from the wall and finally a trundle that went under the bunk. A little cramped, but do-able. The bathroom was one of the largest I have seen on a ship! That was a plus. I did not take a blow dryer, because EVERY ship has them in the cabins, right? WRONG! No blow dryer, no refrigerator. So my granddaughter and I were never able to blow our hair dry......well, we could walk outside and let it dry! Our cabin was in a great location on deck 7....the deck that you embark and disembark when in Port Canaveral. Very convenient.
The first afternoon and evening the kids were able to enjoy the slides. We all enjoyed playing putt putt golf that evening, too~ along with a game or two of ping pong. We had an enjoyable evening.
Morning # 2. This was Nassau day. We decided to go to the dining room for breakfast. We told them we were a party of 4, expecting a table for 4. They sat us with 5 other people which would be okay if we were alone, but we were not comfortable with the strangers around our grandchildren. We didn't fuss, but made the best of it. The omelets were good. Turkey bacon was tough. We decided to have lunch on board before getting off to visit Nassau....so did everyone else! Again, long lines.
After a quick shopping trip to the island, the kids were eager to get back and swim. So we went back to the ship and they enjoyed the pool, slide and putt putt. Another good day.
Day three.....DISASTER!!! This was a sea day and we were looking forward to more water slides, putt putt....etc. EVERYTHING but the pool was CLOSED because of "high winds". Seriously, the winds were really strong on the first night and nothing was closed. On this day it was breezy, but nothing like the first night. We complained and tried to find out of this was a usual occurrence, no one could (or would) tell us. Our grandchildren had no interest in Camp Carnival, they wanted to spend all their time with us. So we ended up with two bored and disappointed children. We took them to the arcade and let them play there, and eventually ended up sitting in the cabin watching a movie. You ask why we didn't let them swim in the pool? It was packed with adults with alcoholic beverages just sitting and drinking. There were even a couple of women playing "sex" games with a life sized blow up doll. Seriously! And a man taking pictures of them. Not appropriate for children. So disgusting. An okay ship for partiers.....not okay for families.