After sailing on the Elation one year ago, I had the "grand" idea to host a business workshop on a cruise ship the following year. We chose the Sensation after negotiations with RCCL and Carnival. *Side note: when planning a large group event with a cruise line, make sure you book it with a TA you like. I did not realize the one I finally booked with would be my liaison for the next year..sigh! In any event, working with Carnival on this event went very well (150 people went.)
Port Canaveral has a very easy embarkation process; quick lines at 12:30pm and we were onboard in less than 15 minutes. Easily found our way to the lido deck and food; it was odd meeting someone you knew everytime you turned around:-)
Very painless muster drill (we only wore our vests for about five minutes in the air conditioned lounge) and we were off. Sailaway was f=dreary in weather but as a group we congregated on the aft verandah deck and had a blast. Dinner was the 8pm seating, and I was pleased that the food quality was fine, on par with the five and seven night cruises I had taken on Carnival before. I came to realize I actually ADORE the butter they use onboard (its from Denmark and luscious!) Really enjoyed the 80's show as we all tried to sing along!
Next morning in Nassau, hubby and I took off from the group and did the Atlantis Aqua adventure which we both loved. Pricey, but compared to the cost of staying at Atlantis, a bargain.
Missed the show that night, as our sea day was our workshop. Learned a big lesson: a cruise in which you work is not relaxing. Everywhere I turned someone stopped me to talk business. By the next morning I was tired and cranky as I didn't get to sleep in-lol! Discovered you cannot focus on business when tired, cranky and wanting to be in the sun!!!
The Sensation does NOT deserve a bad rap in anyway--she is a fine ship and the partials refurbishment she had was nice. I didn't notice the purple or bad wear and tear and the spa was completely new and gorgeous. The crew was extremely attentive and friendly, I had imagined less service on this three night but it was the same happy service I've come to expect on Carnival. I had to make several odd requests at the pursers desk and every request was promptly looked into and granted. The dining room officer took the time to make sure our meeting in his dining room was going alright and was extremely accommodating.
Dinner the last night was again fine (I consider anything I'd expect at an Applebee's or Red Lobster to be fine food. It ain't gourmet, but then again I didn't pay gourmet prices, either!) Have to admit I stuck to the 24hr. pizza for lunch the other days, and my breakfast is a cafe mocha I gladly pay for!
Disembarking was a hoot--our steward had to wake us up and kick us out. We were off the ship about twenty minutes later in the cold Florida gray. I would not hesitate to take a short cruise on the Sensation again!