First I must say that the reviews on this website were very helpful in preparing for and taking the cruise. Much of the advice given here helped us a great deal. So look back at some of the reviews for helpful hints.
My wife and I sailed on 10/26/06 for a 3 nighter to Nassau and back. This was my first cruise and her second, the first being a senior class cruise 20 years ago. Seeing that the Sensation was an older ship and reading some of the earlier comments I was a little worried about the quality of our trip. But I could not be more pleased with our experience. This was the first real vacation away from our kids that my wife and I have had in more than 6 years and it was awesome.
The ship was great. ALthough I have no other experience to relate it to, it was nice to me. It was clean, well staffed and in good shape as far as I could tell. It took about a day to figure out how to get around, but there was never a wait for elevators and always someone there vacuuming or cleaning or something to help you with directions. we had some fair winds and surf coming back but never really felt the ship too much. Just a small amount of rocking. Smelled the bad smell just once coming in, but never after that.
Amazing. Having choked down my share of mass produced rubber chicken breasts and over cooked meat at weddings and business conventions I was prepared for the worst. I was shocked at how good the food was in the dining room. The buffets were good, but not as good as the dining room.
Must haves: Lobster; Prime Rib (surprisingly); Chocolate Melting Cake Don't bother: Veal Parm; Mozzarella app.
The Staff: Superb. My only complaint was the guy at the piano bar. Evidently he was new for this cruise and his name was Colin. Colin was a little to into himself and played a lot of depressing music when everyone was looking to rock out. In earlier reviews it seems this bar was crowded, but was dead when Colin was there and for good reason. If you are headed on the Sensation, go to the bar and heckle Colin. Maybe he will get the hint.
Carnival experience. Excellent. From start to finish everyone was very nice and helpful. They obviously took great pains to place you at a table with people like yourself and we got to know the other couples at the table very well.
We are already planning our next Carnival cruise (mainly because my wife won a free cruise for 2 playing bingo at the Fantasy lounge) We can't wait.