My husband and I cruised on October 21st for four nights on the Carnival Sensation. We've both cruised before, and enjoyed this cruise. We were celebrating out 10th wedding anniversary!
We arrived to the port around 12:00 and parked at the cruise terminal. We wanted to be able to quickly get back to our 3 year old that we were leaving for the first time. We dropped our bags at the drop off area, and then parked. The entire check in process from start to finish was probably 20 minutes. We were on the Lido deck having lunch at 12:30 p.m. We had done all necessary paperwork online, so we didn't have to do too much to check in.
We had lunch on the Lido, where I had the Mongolian Wok. I love hot, spicy food, and the hot was VERY HOT!!! I almost couldn't eat it. And I had mixed it with the medium. Also, oddly enough, they spray some kind of cooking spray on the wok's, and it caused the entire line (about 15 of us) to cough terribly. It felt like I had inhaled it directly into my lungs. It was not a pleasant experience. Not sure if it was something that they were cleaning with, or if it was the cooking spray, but it burned your lungs. The food was good though. Hubby had food from the other side (burgers, chicken tenders, fries, etc), and he said it was good too!
Just a quick side note here... the area by the drink station was leaking some kind of liquid. We saw a young lady slip and fall in this area. I did notice that there was a yellow wet floor sign always in that area after she fell. Just be very careful in this area.
We hung around on the serenity deck until our room was ready, which was around 2pm. We had a balcony cabin (E236) that we loved!! You could smell a lot of cigarette smoke while you were out there (we are not smokers), but it wasn't something that I was going to let get us down. It's great to sit out there with the plush robes that are in the rooms.
The muster drill was easy enough. We met in one of the lounges, and then they took us to the actual life boat area. It took probably 30 minutes all together. Then it was sail away time. ? We had our favorite frozen drink "kiss on the lips", and watched the shoreline disappear.
We had chosen to do anytime dining, so we went to dinner around 7:30 that night. We did not have to wait for a table for two. We promptly were sat and had a nice dinner. It took 2 hours, and we were tired, so we headed back to the cabin to call it a night. The menus were the same as the ones that I had seen online.
Monday morning we were in Freeport. We just got off the ship and walked around the small shopping area at the port. I got some lotions and an ornament, placemat, and hot sauces. Nothing too exciting. I will say that the prices were somewhat less than what we saw in Nassau. So I was happy that we bought it there. We got back on the ship and I stayed at the pool area studying and reading all afternoon. I never had any issues with finding a lounger by the pool area, or in the serenity area. They are constantly offering drinks, so it's not too hard to find someone when you need one. I also did the soda card which worked out great! I bought it the second day, and it was about $20.00.
That night we decided to eat at the buffet because we didn't feel like having a 2 hour dinner. They had some of the same items on the buffet that were on the main dining room menus. I noticed this every night. The buffet was good. Nothing spectacular, but it was good. I did sample the infamous pastrami deli sandwich and it was AWESOME!!! I ended up eating there at least once a day.
Tuesday was Nassau. It was windy and cloudy when we woke up. We have been to Nassau at least 15 times, so there is nothing exciting for us to do there except go to Arawak Cay and have fresh conch and seafood. (This place is also called Fish Fry). We walked there and it took us about 30 minutes. I know that you can also take a local jitney or cab to get there. It was so delicious! We feasted on conch salad, conch fritters, and cracked conch. (Can you tell I LOVE conch???) We decided to walk back to the ship so that we could walk off some of the food we had just had. There are some great photo opportunities from this walk. We walked around the straw market and Bay Street, and looked for some souvenirs for our little guy. They are very aggressive, and I really don't like bargaining (just not my thing), so we headed back to the ship. We went to the hot tubs on the serenity deck and relaxed there for a long time. It was kind of cool because of the winds (this was when Hurricane Sandy was starting to make her way through the Bahamas), so we eventually ended up taking a long nap. There were a lot of people who were doing the same thing.
Wednesday was a Sea Day, and we got up and had breakfast and then I was on the pool deck by 11:00. To me it didn't seem like there were any issues with people hogging chairs. I always saw a few available. They had the usual games around the pool deck that a lot of people participated in. It was fun to watch. We tried to win "ship on a stick" with the 80's music trivia game, but we lost by Â½ a point. Oh well... next time!!
We went to the early showing of the dance/music production. It was 80's music, and we enjoyed it a lot. They did a great job. The activities crew were all great and really got the crowd involved. We saw some hilarious game shows and I felt that they did a really nice job.
We sat out on the balcony that night and watched the HUGE wave's crash against the hull of the ship. The weather was deteriorating pretty quickly, and the waves were really picking up. That night was really rough. I literally grew up on boats (in the Keys), so I was not seasick, but we saw quite a few others who were having a rough night. They had to close a lot of the outside areas due to high winds.
Disembarkation was easy. We did self-disembarkation, so we carried all of our own luggage (and the liquor that we purchased). We docked at 0700, and we were off the ship and in our car at 8:45 am.
Overall, it was a great trip! We will definitely sail Carnival again, but we will try to go on a cruise with different ports. We are thinking of going out of Tampa, just to get to see different places. We will also take our little guy, since we saw lots of kids having fun. We needed a getaway and loved every minute of it, but we also missed our son. The crew was awesome, the ship was in good condition ( I love the Fantasy class of ships), and really... what can you complain about when you are on a cruise ship?