On August 24th, 2014, my husband, my five year old and I went onto Carnival Sensation from Port Canaveral. This was our first cruise and because of our experience on this cruise, we plan on going again sometime next year. First off, we ... Read More
On August 24th, 2014, my husband, my five year old and I went onto Carnival Sensation from Port Canaveral. This was our first cruise and because of our experience on this cruise, we plan on going again sometime next year. First off, we booked ONLINE to park our vehicle at the gated Radisson parking lot in which we paid $40 for five days of parking. (http://www.parkportcanaveral.com/) I recommend booking online because I learned that it is cheaper online then going in person. When we arrived at the parking lot, we had to park our car and the staff helped us load our 4 luggage's and three carry on's. Yes we come with a lot of baggage. We tipped like $3, any who they drove us to the port in which these men who are not affiliated with the cruise line helped take our luggages to the ship and we tipped the man like $5.
Anyway, when we got to the port, you have to go through security, they checked our boarding passes, our bags went through the scanner and they checked ID's and birth certificates and or passport. We sat and waited about an hour (Staff passed around chips and water for free) and must I say we did not purchase that Fast to the Fun passes and we were glad we didn't because it went quick. Upon boarding,we took pictures with our own camera and went to the pool area. I recommend bringing your bathing suits in a bag and a change of clothes because luggage's don't get to the rooms till 3 hrs later.
We also purchased the ocean view room and we were happy with it. We had a king size bed and there is also a wall pull out bed. We were on the Riviera deck. We were greeted with alcohol which was $8.75. We bought one and shared it. At 4 pm, they were serving lunch. The food is delicious I must mention. It does get PACKED and People do get Greedy!!! So let me fast forward a bit. That same day, the captain announced that we were no longer going to Nassau Bahamas which was suppose to be our second stop before going to FreePort Bahamas because there was a Hurricane and Nassau port was closed. We were supposed to go to Key West, FL after FreePort Bahamas. However, the Hurricane passed and we still went to Nassau. On Monday August 25th, we arrived at FreePort, we were greeted by Taxi Drivers, and vendors. We decided and I do recommend going to Lucaya Beach, it is FREE and the water is AMAZING (NO WAVES). We paid $5 for each person to get onto the taxi, but they charge $10 so that you can do round trip and they give you a card which means you paid round trip. After a 30 minute ride, we got to Lucaya Market Place, we bought some stuff, took pictures and headed on over to the beach. Don't rent those beach chairs, I didn't because it was dirty and they rent them for $10. The man who rents them is rude. We just put our towels down. Also, I forgot to mention that when you get to Lucaya Market Place, there is a woman that sells coconut with Daiquiri ($7) it is very delicious at a coconut stand. Oh yeah, look around before buying shirts, souvenirs, and other stuff because I noticed that we got ripped off several times. The same stuff I bought at FreePort, Nassau was selling some of it for cheap. For instance, at FreePort we were charged $5 a shot glass and at Nassua $1.95. Yes I know!!!! My husband and I did not buy any food because throughout the day Carnival Cruise serves food so we never went hungry, I think we actually gained like 10 pds from our entire trip eating on the cruise.
Moving on, you can bring coconuts and alcohol on to the cruise but they will have you give them the alcohol until the last day of your cruise ship in which your steward will bring it to your room at 9 pm. Our steward was Eufrancio. He was nice and sweet. After coming back from FreePort, we ate, hit the swimming pools, the water slides and the jacuzzi. By the way, children take over the Jacuzzi's.
If you are bringing children, Carnival does provide FREE daycare services but after 10 p.m. they charge a fee. The next day when we got to Nassau, we first walked around downtown and found a FREE beach called Junkanoo. It was about a 10 minute walk from the port. There were no waves but we left because we heard people saying that Atlantis was a better beach. We ended up paying $4 for a taxi to Atlantis. Must I say that everyone who went to Atlantis Beach regretted it. It seemed so ghetto there and no one got into the water because surprisingly the waves were HUGEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. Even the life guards kicked people out of the water. We got bored and took a taxi back to Nassau Downtown. When we got to downtown, we explored, bought so many things even liquor and I bought Quenepas (a fruit found at most islands like Puerto Rico) it was a $1 a bag. Nassau downtown stores sell some cheap stuff. After some time, we went back on to the boat a bit early because the line to the ship gets packed.
The next day is all ship day. If you're wondering, they do take pictures of you but it is $21.99 a Picture, not a package but a picture. The picture frames are affordable though. There was liquor tastings, shows, there's the casino, bar's, etc. If you do not want to dress elegant for the fine dining then you can always eat at the buffet on the lido deck 10. By the way, pizza and ice cream is 24-7. Fine dining is free as well as the buffet and so is Mangolian Wok. We chose our own time dining. It does get packed but we didn't mind. If you do fine dining, the waiter's are strict. They will put your napkin on your lap if you don't. Our waiter cut our son's meat and fed him twice (it was weird) but whatever. Also, my husband and I bought 9 bottles of liquor from both the ship and Bahamas in which four bottles of Bacardi was $35, and he bought other alcohol bottles and also from the Bahamas. If you're wondering about Customs, don't be because mu husband and I were TOLD that custom's might give us problems for buying 9 bottles of liquor and for bringing fruits back to the U.S. and we were honest on our customs paper about the fruits. There was no metal detectors, or scanners, we just presented our ID's, birth certificates and passport and our customs paper once we got to customs on the very last day and we were sent off to our shuttles. Our whole trip was great. We did not purchase any excursion's. Glad we didn't. One last thing, people complained and even my husband and I noticed the ship moving way too much. Many times we had to grab onto something because the boat rocked back and forth.. Good luck newbies. Read Less