Sailing on the Sensation, finding the port was very easy, we were dropped off by a friend, and within 20 minutes of handing our baggage to someone we were standing on the Lido deck eating some lunch. Embarkation at this port was very simple, walk in, smile for a picture, hand them your ID and birth cert. and a credit card for sail and sign, and we were handed keys to the room, and sail and sign cards. We were well on our way to a wonderful cruise. Around 1:30 they allowed us to go on to our cabins, most of our luggage was already sitting in front of the door, we were very stunned by this, as we had heard it would take well into the night to get everything to our cabins. We had all of our luggage by the time the lifeboat drills were completed. Around 4:20pm we started drifting out to sea...what an amazing feeling, this was our first cruise. I took my cousin along with me, as she never does anything for herself either, and on board I met a very nice lady whom I met on the internet almost 10 yrs ago. We have chatted every day since meeting, and become very good friends. She came all the way from Portland to go on this cruise with us. We had the time of our life! The food was amazing. Our server in the dinning room was Ritti, and Igusti. They were wonderful. We had to have the two best servers on the ship. Ritti always told us what to try if we were unsure, as some of those foods we had never heard of. He was extremely helpful to us all.
Our stateroom was very clean, and kept very neat and orderly throughout the cruise. It seemed everytime we stepped out and would come back the bed would have been made, or turned down, ice refilled in the bucket to keep our drinks cold. We often wondered where our room stewart was, as we never saw him! But he was always doing something in our room cleaning while we were away. Once I forgot my camera and walked back from the elevator to get it real fast and caught him turning my bed down...I just giggled...it was very funny, he was trying to sneak around when we weren't in the rooms to do his job and I caught him. His name was Edde...a very nice man.
In Freeport we didn't sign up on any shore excursions, we thought we would just go into the International Bazaar and shop for the day, and maybe go to a beach in the afternoon. Well, we were disappointed, once off the ship and asking for a taxi to the Bazaar, we were told no, that no one would take us there. That since the last storm, there were no shops there at all. We were told to go shop we must go into Port Lucaya. So we did, but once there we were smart enough to figure out how to take a city bus on to the Bazaar. And did so for a dollar each. The bus driver was very nice, he took us to the Bazaar and dropped us off, telling us he would come back at 11:30am and pick us up and take us to a beach. He was extremely nice. We shopped at the Bazaar, I got better prices and deals from there than in Port Lucaya. The workers there were stunned to find out they would not bring us there to shop. We were the only people there until just before we were leaving that area, another lady happened to come in the shop we were in, and she to had asked to come into the Bazaar area and was told no. I was very disappointed that we could not be taken to where we wanted to go from the port into Freeport.
Our formal night was alot of fun, getting all dressed up, doing the hair and make up, the food on formal night was amazing! However the captains party prior to the dinner was a disappointment. Where my friends and I sat in the upper part of the party we were not offered drinks now foods, and when there were servers that finally came over to where we were all sitting they were cleaning up. So we were never offered a drink, nor anything else at this captains party. It was very disappointing to us.
In Nassau, we booked a shore excursion, the history tour and pirates. I was a lil disappointed with the history part, I was at the understanding we would walk the queens staircase and didn't. We just drove past. The rest of the tour was great. We met locals at different lil spots where we were allowed to shop, that was alot of fun. After the excursion was over we headed to the ship to drop off all our items we purchased, and met up with our friends, and we all headed together to Paradise Island via the ferry boat. That was alot of fun. Riding the ferry was great, the cost is cheap 6 dollars a person round trip. Once on Paradise Island it started ranging, so we stopped in a shopping area on the walk in, I had to buy some flip flops as my shoes were soaked plum thru. Was so much fun! Then we stopped at Jamba Juice! A place that my Carnival Cruise Line guy, who books our cruises for us, recommended! It was great. So great in fact we got a smoothie on our way in to Atlantis, and stopped for another on our way back out! Thanks Gary!! They were everything you said they would be!
Next we headed to the straw market there at the pier. We haggled and had alot of fun. I brought my teenage girls home more purses than they will ever use. We had so much fun shopping and talking to the locals in there. My only suggestion to them is to stay open later! They were closing at 6pm, and we didn't leave Nassau until 7am the next morning, and we had nothing to do after they closed up shop. And we would have shopped for hours! Had they stayed open. By the time you do shore excursions and get back, the shopping is closed. That is sad. They could take in alot more money if they were open later.
We also bought shells off a fishermans boat that he had caught earlier in the day. He had cleaned out the fish and then came around to the pier where he was selling the shells, I brought home two huge shells. Beautiful!
Activities on the ship were great, we shopped, saw some great shows, a few comedians late at night, that was alot of fun. The dance club on board was great, we hung out there everynight until 3am when they closed. We danced until we couldn't move another muscle if we had to.
On the morning of disembarking, we had to get up early to go thru customs on board to claim things we had bought, they were only on the ship from 6:30-8:30 am, meaning we had to get up really early. That wasn't fun. It would have been nice had they been on there the night before, so we could sleep in later, afterall we had a 12 hour drive back to TN that next morning, and yet you want to stay up and make the most of your last night on the ship. We carried off our own luggage. I think if I had to do over again, I would send mine down. And just wait til those taking theirs got off that boat...that was the biggest biggest mess I've ever seen. All of those people pulling, tugging, dragging even luggage they couldn't handle, and was twice as big as some of them. There was no way to get on an elevator at all there. People were pulling their suitcases down the stairs, it was an over all mess if you ask me. Surely they could do one floor at a time and have the elevators running only between that floor and the one where the gangway is to get off, and do this in a much smoother manner.
Our overall cruise for the first time was great. We did have a few unpleasant moments here, but for the most part, we danced until 3am, saw some of the history of the islands, saw some of the storm damage done there over the past few years. Met some of the most wonderful people in the world in the Bahamas. We would do it all again!