This was my second cruise, having sailed last August on the Fascination out of the Port of Miami. Instead of flying, we opted to drive a lonnnng 12 hour drive to Port Canaveral. We stayed right outside of St. Augustine the night before, and drove approximately an hour and half the next morning. The drive to Port Canaveral was much easier than I expected. I was surprised how easy it was to get there. There was traffic backed up waiting to unload baggage, but that's expected when there are two large ships in port.
The embarkation process was fairly simple. We had a bit of a wait to get in, but it wasn't too bad. Upon arriving, we had to fill out a questionnaire about swine flu, which didn't bother me at all. It's nice to see they are taking measures to prevent sickness. I also noticed that there were hand sanitizer stations set up throughout the ship, and this wasn't something I had noticed last year.
Anyway, we arrived on the ship in plenty of time to have lunch on the lido deck and enjoy a few drink of the day specials. Our luggage arrived promptly to our cabin. The cabin was nice and clean. There were four of us sharing a cabin, and I will say that next time I cruise, I will not be sharing a room with that many people. There just isn't enough room for everyone to be comfortable. The beds were cozy and our room steward provided fresh towels, turned down our beds and left us a towel animal every evening.
We had late seating in the Fantasy Dining room. Our head waiter was great. He knew everyone by their first name and was very attentive. He was extremely friendly and quite funny when the waiters did their little "show" before dessert. We had fun and friendly table mates, and we were seated at the Captain's Table. The food was excellent, and many people at our table took advantage of the "all you can eat" aspect by ordering more than one appetizer or entree. I was a little scared, having read some other reviews about the food on the Sensation, but I must say, I was pleased. I thought everything was very good. Well, I didn't care much for the midnight Mexican buffet, but other than that, the food was excellent.
I also took advantage of the massage special the day we were in port at Nassau. We didn't arrive to Nassau until almost noon, so we were able to schedule our treatments early that morning. I had a facial, scalp massage and neck and back massage for $99. My friend had a neck and back massage, hand massage and foot massage for $99. It was a "mix and match" sale. It was very nice and relaxing and well worth the money.
In Nassau, we did not do a Carnival excursion. Instead, we took a taxi to one of the "free" beaches and spent the day. The water was amazing and we spent a lot of time floating and lounging in it. While they advertise as "free," as soon as you get there, people bombard you selling jewelry, hand made crafts and other things. You can also rent a beach chair and umbrella, which we did. There were also people selling mixed drinks in coconuts (5 drinks for $20) and unfortunately, we paid for this and did not receive all 5 of our drinks. The guy selling them conveniently took a break during the last few hours of our time there. The highlight and low light of our day at the beach was renting a jet ski. We decided to do this spur of the moment, and paid for an hour ride with two jet ski's. Two of my friend ended up falling off their jet skis and had to be rescued by a para sailing boat. At the recommendation of the guys renting them, we had put all of our valuables in the jet ski and when it flipped, our cell phones, cameras and other things were ruined. We ended the day by going back to the ship for formal night.
We spent some time in the Casino, the lounge for karaoke, and relaxed on the top deck at night. The fun day at sea was spent just relaxing and lounging on the deck. We saw the show "Curves" that evening. I'm a total theater dork, and the show was basically average. The singing was good, but the show bordered on "cheesy" in some spots. It was entertaining, but I didn't understand why it had such a strong PG-13 rating. The dancers were in thongs, yes, but to me it wasn't anything more than what you see on television. We didn't see the other show "Far From Over," but we did see this show last year on the Fascination, and I think I prefer that one. We also saw the R-rated comedy show. He was quick witted, but not always funny. It was almost as if he was cursing just to be cursing, and to me that wasn't funny.
All in all, the Sensation was a great ship. The food was great, entertainment was good and there was plenty of things to do on the ship. In fact, I had such a great time, I'm booked on the Sensation again this January!