Carnival Sensation Cruise Review by Happy2Cruise4Fun: Carnival Sensation - Bahamas
Overall Member Rating
Carnival Sensation - Bahamas
Embarkation: Port Canaveral (Orlando)
This was our 2nd cruise and first cruise on Carnival and first cruise for our son. Our first cruise was on Princess (Crown) and there is no way to compare these lines. They are not even close. I will end up being negative on this review of the Sensation and Carnival, but we did enjoy the cruise as a family.
First things first, your get what you pay for so keep that in mind when you book on this ship. There is a reason the price is low compared to other lines. The sensation to me was not better then an old Holiday Inn that floats. We booked this cruise to see how our son liked cruising, he is 8 and we did not want to waste money on an expensive cruise and find out he hates cruising. Needless to say he thought it was great.
General Information: The ship is dirty and needs a major overhaul in the rooms and most public places. There is a constant smell of sewage around most of the ship. Others have stated this in the reviews and you would think Carnival would supply More some Glade Plug-Ins to help. They are always cleaning the ship, this is a good thing. But when you are sitting at a table eating at the Lido deck buffet, I think the personal could wait for you to finish your meal and get up before trying to clean the carpet under your feet.
*********************************************************************** Be sure to bring your own hand sanitizer, there is none to be found on the ship anywhere!!!! You will feel like you need it most places on this ship. ***********************************************************************
The staterooms are old looking, the bed was comfortable and bathroom was sufficient. Besides the entire bath room flooding while taking a shower I would not complain. They served their purpose. Our cabin steward was terrible in my opinion. On Princess we swore that they were hiding in our room and every time we left, they came in and emptied our garbage or straightened our bed. On the Sensation for our sea day, they never even came to our room to do anything until 1930 (730pm) to make a towel animal and turn down our bed using the same sheets. Oh and to leave our extra envelopes for tips even though I pre-paid them. Needless to say they came home empty with us.
Embarkation was a breeze, debarkation was better than Princess which was surprising. They called our number and we were off the ship with luggage in hand and on the bus back to MCO in less then 10 minutes. Transportation purchased through Carnival was easy and very good. It was a bus ride how can you mess that up. The staff at MCO upon arrival was very friendly and there are no complaints on this. Yes you can probably find cheaper transportation to and from MCO to Port Canaveral. To me it was easy and worth the lack of hassle to package it all up upon purchase. We had a late return flight home so we checked our bags, rented a car for the day and spent time at Downtown Disney. Beat sitting in the airport for 7 hours and it only takes 20 minutes to get there.
Freeport: Freeport is a wasted stop. The Island has been hit hard with hurricanes over the years and there is not much to due. If you are going to take a tour, do it here and make it a fun one, snorkeling/diving etc. Port Lucaya, has the shopping and a nice beach to visit, though we will not return. It was fun to walk around and be hassled at the straw market. I have experienced it before , DW and son had not. They loved the taxi ride, always an experience so be prepared.
Nassau: Nassau has all the action and stuff to do. Do your shopping early when the stores open up then go to the Atlantis. Purchase your day pass at the resort VS from carnival. For the 3 of us it was $285 for the all out whole day thing. I am sure you can get them cheaper if you do a tour or vacation sales pitch, I was ok spending the money. If you purchased from Carnival it would have been almost $400 for the 3 of us so be careful. Add $30 for a taxi round trip for 3 with tip or $4 each way per person. Be sure to bring a credit card to the Atlantis as they are a cashless resort just like cruising. If we return to Nassau we would go straight to the Atlantis resort.
The streets of Nassau at night can be dangerous so travel in a large group. While walking down the streets after the stores close and the day fades away to night you can see a change in the area.
The food on the ship was ok, not great but average. The buffet was ok but very limited. Compare the choices to the Grand Buffet on Princess and it was a 1 to 10 ratio. For every choice you have on the Sensation you had 10 items to choose from on Princess. The dining staff was good though service was sporadic. My glass of tea and water would always be refilled, my DW always had to ask. For my baked potato I could only get sour cream one night. It seemed to be hit or miss each night. I realize they work multiple tables, I don't expect them to remember each night. For the Lido buffet the pizza line worker was great. Always new what I had when I hit the line and seemed to be right on the spot with my selection. The shows were good and we enjoyed them. My son got hooked on bingo and had fun yelling SHIP!
Overall as stated before we did have fun on the trip as a family. A vacation is always what you make of it. We did expect a lower class of ship based on the total price paid. We knew that going in. I would say our overall expectations were met, of course they were not set that high to begin with. Nothing was done by the staff that would exceed my expectations. If asked would I cruise this ship again the answer would be no. Would I cruise Carnival again, that depends on the location, ship and price. If looking at a cruise between Carnival and Princess and considering all things equal: destinations, travel dates etc with the only thing being different was price; I would pay the extra money and sail with Princess. It is amazing that two lines owned by the same group can be so far apart. Less
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