8 Carnival Sensation Cruise Reviews for Cruises for the Disabled Cruises to Bahamas

Our 7th Carnival cruise, took the kids, grand kids on first cruise, weather was lousy but Carnival can't control that. Heavy seas first night, 4 family members got ill . Not a good start. PROS: Kids loved water slide, nice pool, ... Read More
Our 7th Carnival cruise, took the kids, grand kids on first cruise, weather was lousy but Carnival can't control that. Heavy seas first night, 4 family members got ill . Not a good start. PROS: Kids loved water slide, nice pool, liked the Palm trees on deck, lots of hot tubs, always like the steam and sauna on ships. Smaller ship made it easier to find things and learn way around. Easy embarkation and Disembarkation. CONS : While service was good too many seemed to be just doing their job, other cruises we seemed to make a little personal connection with staff . Food was very slow to arrive each night and was often cold when we received it. Not wait staff fault they were hustling. Smaller ship meant you felt the seas much more, didn't seem to be as much to do. Only one main show, was rather disappointing. Still way too many smokers in casinos and one of the open bars near the casino ..sickening smell ! Freeport ??? Why stop there ? Could never recommend it. Heavy rain in Nassau so really couldn't do anything . Carnival has ponchos for guests ..to bad they only have enough for about 5% of guests. Suggest you get one as soon as you get on board in case of bad weather. Ships still not very handicap accessible, steep ramps, public bathrooms that are not accessible, poles in way in dining room just a few of those issues. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This was our second cruise, as well as our second on the Sensation. This time, I was a little nervous because I have a broken leg. From the moment we entered to check-in, we were whisked away, and quickly on the ship. I would recommend ... Read More
This was our second cruise, as well as our second on the Sensation. This time, I was a little nervous because I have a broken leg. From the moment we entered to check-in, we were whisked away, and quickly on the ship. I would recommend filling all paperwork sent by Carnival if you have some type of medical condition like I did, they were aware of it and as soon as we got there, everything was made easy for my husband and myself. We were sitting on the Serenity deck within thirty minutes of arriving at the port. I cannot say more wonderful things about the staff and how concerned they were for me and my time on the ship. Each time we entered the Lido restaurant (the buffet) a waiter would come to me, fix my plate, take it and me to the table, and go back to fix my drink so my husband could get his plate fixed without pushing me and making a ton of trips. When we arrived at each port of call, a member of the staff sent us down first and allowed us to get off before everyone else for safety reasons (basically so I wouldn't get pushed over). I read so many reviews about having a cabin on the Empress deck was a bad idea due to noise. Well, the only handicapped cabins available when I called were on that level. We were in E65, which was right at the elevators. If you are at guest services looking at the bar, we were the second room on the right behind the stairs in the atrium. We were basically center of everything and I have zero complaints! Our house keeper met us at the door and explained everything to us about how I would exit the ship in case of an emergency, etc., etc. He was super nice and kept our room superb. He called us by name as we were putting our key card into the door. I was so impressed that he hadn't even met us, but knew our names. The food was not as good as it was three years ago. The menu was not nearly as impressive, either. I was disappointed by our waitress, but I believe others were too and an awesome waiter took over our by the end of night two. Everything I ate was good, just not as good as I remember. However, the melting cake was still as delicious as ever! This go around, we only did one of the comedy shows, and it was really good. Three years ago, we did the Love and Marriage show (which we were contestants on), the main show, and a few comedy shows. As I remember, they were all wonderful! All-in-all I loved this cruise as I did the previous one! I would highly recommend taking a cruise with Carnival if you have a broken leg and really need an escape, they make it so easy on you and truly care about your time aboard! Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
We were a group of 5 ranging from 13-77 with 1 mobility challenged Senior. We have cruised RCCL and CCL in the past and had a pretty good idea what to expect. Fortunately, except for 1 5 day, we've always done 7 day cruises on the ... Read More
We were a group of 5 ranging from 13-77 with 1 mobility challenged Senior. We have cruised RCCL and CCL in the past and had a pretty good idea what to expect. Fortunately, except for 1 5 day, we've always done 7 day cruises on the larger ships and now we know why. Pre-Trip Booked a 2 room suite at Comfort Inn & suites for the night before. $171 total covered room, 4 beverages in the lounge, breakfast for 5, parking for the whole cruise, and round trip transfers for 5. Not a bad hotel not a great hotel, just your typical beach motel but definitely no complaints. Had dinner at Jazzy's Mainely Lobster. GREAT PLACE!! Looks like a hole in the wall and it is but food was great and fairley reasonably priced. 3 lobsters or 3 lobster rolls for $25!! Embarkation: Pt Canaveral was a great embarkation port. We arrived and were taken straight in since my mom has to use a wheelchair or scooter to go more than a few steps. From the time we arrived at 11:30 to on board was less than 20 minutes. Super friendly staff and great facility. Ship: A little dated and ALOT PURPLE!!! The decor was nothing spectacular but not horrible either. Ship was pretty easy to navigate once you learned which elevator to use to get to the front of which dining room. If you are going to choose your time dining I recommend a mid ship to forward cabin since you cant get to the Fantasy dining room from any aft elevator. Entertainment: Trivia staff was fun and engaging shows were a little dated. The 2 shows were okay but do not compare to Dancing in the Streets on the Dream. Probably our least favorite shows on the ships, not because of performers, but just not the best shows. SCOOTER AND WHEELCHAIRS: no problems navigating the ship. Staff was friendly and eager to help whenever needed. The only problem is you can't drive the scooter off the ship without lifting it up over a hump on the gangway. Dining: Food ranged from not so good to great. The lobster this time was perfect but both times someone in our party tried the flat iron it was dry enough to be inedible even cooked medium rare. Chocolate melting cake ranged from perfect to caked topped syrup, but mostly towards the perfect side. ONE POINT ON YOUR TIME DINING: If you get a good waiter (I highly recommend Ferdinand) request him every night. We decided not to wait for Ferdinand 1 night and the service was horrible, empty water glasses not refilled and almost 2 hrs for a dinner with a waiter with no personality. Ports: Freeport is not a very tourist friendly port. You basically get off the ship in an industrial area and have to take a cab anywhere. We cabbed to Our Lucaya and paid the $10 for the facilities beside the Treasure Bay casino and it was great. Nassau was a much more tourist friendly port with most things in walking distance. Walked to Junkanoo Beach (free) and spent a few hours there. The beach there is very rocky near shore and the chair rental prices are very high but drinks are cheap. Cabbed over to Atlantis and was a little UNDERwhelmed after all I'd heard. Not a bad place just doesnt compare to the vegas casinos. Disembarkation: Again no problems great port The only real problems on our cruise were fellow cruisers. With this being a short inexpensive cruise it seemed like there were more rude people and more drunk partiers than on most 7 day cruises. It seemed like everyone was in a hurry to cram as much in as they could in 4 days. This trip, and to some degree our Feb. 2012 trip on the Elation, have shown us that for our family a 7 day cruise is the best fit for us. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
We booked adjoining cabins for this cruise... my wife and I, and my daughter and her two children, ages 4 and 10. Being wheelchair bound, we were leery about the children. It was unfounded! In fact, the 10 year old boy did most of the ... Read More
We booked adjoining cabins for this cruise... my wife and I, and my daughter and her two children, ages 4 and 10. Being wheelchair bound, we were leery about the children. It was unfounded! In fact, the 10 year old boy did most of the pushing, giving my wife a respite. The food was HORRIBLE on the first night! The escargot tasted weird and, as anyone would tell you, ALL food was good... some was better than others, but ALL food was good to me. We wondered just what we were getting into. Carnival always had great food... no worry, as the next night and for the rest of the cruise, the food was excellent! Also, Ronaldo, our waiter, was very friendly, and he really helped us with the handicapped stuff. Carnival did a GREAT job entertaining the kids, and we didn't worry about them (well, not much) The weather was bad... it rained most of the time, but that's Mother Nature's fault, not Carnival. The only problem we had was the rocking of the boat. My wife became sick and I nearly needed a seasick pill. Is that because of the size of the ship? Carnival Glory and other ships that size that we were on were stable... All in all, the cruise was enjoyable, and we wouldn't hesitate to invite the kids again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
We were originally assigned cabin E17. When we got into it, we found that the last inhabitant of that cabin had smoked like a chimney. The cabin was fully saturated. Both my husband and I are severe asthmatics, and immediately felt ill. We ... Read More
We were originally assigned cabin E17. When we got into it, we found that the last inhabitant of that cabin had smoked like a chimney. The cabin was fully saturated. Both my husband and I are severe asthmatics, and immediately felt ill. We had to raise a hell of a fuss at Guest Services to get switched to another cabin, and at one point were told that there was nothing that could be done, that we were not to be allowed to leave the ship even though it was still docked at the port, and that even if we could leave we would get no money back. We both are suffering from respiratory illnesses as a result. We decided, on the advice of a friend, to try the Chef's Table. Both of us came down with food poisoning afterwards. I had to visit the Cocoa Beach ER immediately after disembarking. The staff were useless. After we finally were able to relax on the Serenity deck, we found a small child running around, bouncing in and out of the hot tubs. After it became clear that the parent of the kid would not remove him on their own, I politely asked the attendant on the deck if the deck truly was 21 and over. His response was "I can't do anything". I went back up to the buffet area and asked if someone could help the attendant out and remove the child; her response was "Can't you talk to the attendant down there? I'm busy." When I told her that he couldn't do anything, she rolled her eyes and said "Fine". The Sensation is extremely unfriendly to the handicapped. I am often wheelchair-bound, and I found very quickly that every time there was a doorway, there was a large steel band across the floor. These bands make it extremely hard to get around; it's impossible to roll over at normal speed, and the only way to get over them is to speed up and try to run over them... which is a huge jolt, runs the risk of ejecting me from my chair, and is rather painful. These bands happen about once every minute or so of walking time. There are also hallways that are uncomfortably small for a wheelchair, and the Serenity deck is completely inaccessible. We also had mentioned when making the reservation for the cruise that I would be bringing a wheelchair, and were given seating in the Fantasy dining room that required me to get out of my chair and walk up steps. The hostess in the Fantasy dining room, Nicoletta, interrogated me about my disability. As I said before, I am often wheelchair-bound; not always. After finding out that our dining room reservation would not allow me to use my wheelchair, we had to ask Guest Services to find us another seat at dinner. Nicoletta, the hostess for the second night, had seen me around the ship earlier that day and able to walk; as she sat us at a new table, she started asking extremely personal and abrasive questions about what my disability was and why I'd been able to walk before. She then began making comments on my appearance, stating that my "face didn't look right", in front of the other diners. It was humiliating. The food was of extremely poor quality. The food on our first cruise - especially in the dining rooms - was fantastic. The food on this cruise was often undercooked and unseasoned, and it took the Chef's Table meal to even begin to equal the quality we'd enjoyed on the Inspiration... which we're pretty sure would not have caused food poisoning. Carnival double-charged our bank account and completely wiped it out. We got back to our house to find that we were $20 in the negative. It's been worked out, but dear God, it was frustrating. If you're disabled, do not sail on this ship. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
Overall, the cruise was excellent and my elderly friend had a great time. But there were a few glitches that downgraded this cruise to B+, rather than A. First was a challenging embarkation. Because of confusing signage at Port Canaveral, ... Read More
Overall, the cruise was excellent and my elderly friend had a great time. But there were a few glitches that downgraded this cruise to B+, rather than A. First was a challenging embarkation. Because of confusing signage at Port Canaveral, we went straight to the handicapped parking area, only to find there was no one to assist us with luggage. A man came by in a golf cart -- but only to tell us to move our vehicle 3 spaces. He could see us struggling with 4 suitcases, but sped away. We did finally make it into the terminal building after my friend Griff caught his breath at a couple of benches along the way. (Afterwards, we learned we should have unloaded our luggage at the terminal entrance first before going into the parking area.) The terminal itself had a steep escalator that was difficult for my friend. He slipped and wrenched his knee, but hobbled on. Tour guides standing by offered no help. Once we did get through the embarkation sign-in process, things improved. We were able to go directly to our cabin, unpack and recover. Ship access was reasonably comfortable for the elderly and disabled. It's best to get to the show theater early, so you can get seated before the lights dim. We had requested early-seating dining, but were wait-listed for that, and ended up with second seating. We had asked for a table of 6 for easier conversation, but ended up with a table for 10. After the first evening, we switched to Lido deck dining, which was more convenient and appealing. At the Freeport stop, we took a group taxi to a modern Disney-eque waterfront shopping area. Quaint and pleasant but it hardly seemed like an authentic island village. In Nassau, we borrowed a ship's wheelchair so Griff wouldn't have to do a lot of walking with his still-sore knee. However, the wheelchair had broken welds, and footrests fell apart every few blocks. Eventually, we repaired to Bahama Joe's, a bar about a half block from Senor Froggy's -- less touristy and more laid back. An excellent place to kick back and get out of the sun. Say hello to Biana, the barmaid. Once we got back to the ship, we exchanged the rickety wheelchair for a less dilapidated model and did OK from then on. The ship's crew were very pleasant and accomodating, and frequently engaged my buddy in friendly banter. We enjoyed the poolside drinks, but thought Carnival could have offered a better deal on drink specials (prices ran about $1-2 more per drink than I found on an MSC cruise earlier this year.) Show entertainment was excellent. Too bad Carnival doesn't offer a "meet the cast" type party. Disembarkation went more smoothly, and a porter was available to help with luggage. Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
I just got home from my first cruise. We selected Carnival Sensation because of the price and it was suggested as a good first time cruise. We stayed the night before at the Radisson Resort at the port. It was beautiful. We were able to ... Read More
I just got home from my first cruise. We selected Carnival Sensation because of the price and it was suggested as a good first time cruise. We stayed the night before at the Radisson Resort at the port. It was beautiful. We were able to leave our van at the resort while on our cruise for no additional cost. The hotel shuttled us the port and picked us up when we returned. We got on the ship and had to hang out a while before going to our room. The pools, bars, and buffet were open. Once we got to our room (ocean view on the Empress deck) I was happy with our room. It was bigger than I expected. It was very clean and spacious. When we were out we'd always come back to a room that was nice and tidy. There was so much to do on the boat that was fun and entertaining. Our first stop was in Freeport. We really enjoyed the food and selections. The dining hall was nice and our two waiters were AMAZING! I was not ready to leave when we got back into Florida. I've read reviews from people saying that the Sensations is a "ghetto" cruise. Well I must say they were wrong. It was a great experience and we truly had a great time. I can't imagine a much better vacation. ***There are only two things I wish had been different. 1. There weren't many clocks around so it was hard to know the time to keep up with things on the schedule. Would love to have seen more clocks. 2. Kids were everywhere and unsupervised. They were running around being loud. They were constantly playing in the elevators and this made it difficult to catch an elevator and bless those in wheelchairs it was nearly impossible for them when the kids were playing. There definitely should be a curfew for kids to be in a supervised location. Read Less
Sail Date April 2010
The Introduction: I am a 24 year old male in the public service field. This was my fifth cruise with Carnival, and my second on the Sensation. I was accompanied by my girlfriend, mother, aunt and grandparents. The cruise was scheduled for ... Read More
The Introduction: I am a 24 year old male in the public service field. This was my fifth cruise with Carnival, and my second on the Sensation. I was accompanied by my girlfriend, mother, aunt and grandparents. The cruise was scheduled for three days out of Port Canaveral to Nassau. Both grandparents are elderly, and my grandfather is wheelchair bound due to a stroke. That makes this review possibly useful for disabled or elderly passengers, or those traveling with them. The Embarkation: We arrived at the cruise terminal around 12:30 PM and quickly unloaded the luggage and parked. The process at Port Canaveral is very smooth. I have sailed out of Miami and Tampa; neither can match the ease of Canaveral. This is mainly due to the port not being in a metropolitan area. The Bee-Line expressway (SR. 528) takes you right to it, and there is no city traffic to deal with. There is no parking garage at the Sensation's pier, only a big lot, which is either bad or good depending on one's preference. Once inside the terminal, embarkation went quickly. There were elevators for the handicapped that were easily accessible. There were also attendants at the gangway to help us get my grandfather on board. They also sent two crewmen to their room before the life boat drill to assist my grandfather and escort him through the process. They lead him back to the room afterwards, and were very friendly. This was very nice, since he is in his 80's, and had trouble navigating the ship. The Ship: I took a seven day cruise on Sensation in 1999 when it was based in Tampa. The ship has held up fairly well, and was immaculately clean. There were visible signs of wear in the staterooms, but nothing out of the ordinary for a 15 year old "fun ship" that has seen its fair share of kids, teens and blue collar folks. The ship got minor upgrades to certain areas, but not the staterooms. If Carnival fully remodels the Sensation like they did the Fascination, it will look great again. Anyone planning a cruise on the Sensation needs to keep in mind that it was built in 1993, and the dEcor has not been upgraded much since then. There is lots of neon purple everywhere. Being a fan of the 1980s, I always got a kick out of the "Touch of Class" piano bar. It has two huge plastic hands (one black, one white) complete with nail polish that frame the doorway to the bar. The same huge hands adorn the walls, and act as bar stools. Every time I entered, I thought I would hear Duran Duran playing in the background. My grandparents had a fully accessible handicap room. It was set up very well, and they had no problems. It had an even floor from the room to the bathroom, where the normal cabins have a step up. There were rails around the commode and shower. It also had wider doors to accommodate my grandfather's power chair. The Food: As with any cruise, there is never a shortage of food. I found the meals in the dining room during dinner to be top notch. We had the 5:45 dinner in the Ecstasy dining room. Our wait staff was superb. Our waiter was excellent and even cut my grandfather's food for him since he has no use of his right side. The food in the Seaview Bar and Grill was also good. The Sensation's 24 hour pizzeria was the best I've had so far. The Entertainment: The only show we attended was the Newlywed Game, it was funny. We wanted to see the late night comics, but were too tired to stay up late. The live performers on the Promenade at night were also very good. The Port: Getting off at Nassau was easy, but the pier was very crowded. There were three other large ships (Enchantment of the Seas, Disney Wonder, and Carnival Glory) there with us, as well as another smaller one (Regal Empress). We figured that there were approximately 10,000 people exiting the ships. It was also very crowded in Nassau, and hard to get around all the people. We went back to the ship early to get away from the melee. If it wasn't a family cruise I may have gone back into town to go to the bars since the ship was in port overnight until 6 AM. The Debarkation: Unlike other Carnival ships I've been on, the Sensation does not provide for early-off "self assist" debarkation. We still carried off our own bags, but had to wait with everyone else. They did provide assistants for my grandparents to help the over the gangway. If you're not in a hurry it is much easier to just sleep in, eat breakfast and wait for everyone else to get off before traversing the gangway. It is much less stressful that way. The Bottom Line: This was another great cruise that I recommend for almost anyone. Carnival went out of its way to accommodate my grandparent's special needs. They had a good time in spite of rough seas the first night. We all came away happy and full. I can't say much for Nassau, but it's nothing that Carnival can control. There are some people who judge Carnival harshly for being the "Wal-Mart" of cruises. I prefer an analogy that I read in another cruiser's review; that going on a Carnival cruise is like going to your friend's house. The ships are nice, but not super fancy, so your kids can run around without you worrying that they will break something. The crew treats you very well, but not like royalty. The food is great, but tailored to the masses. I like that! I'm a blue collar kind of guy, and I don't want to have to wear a suit on vacation, or worry about using the right fork at dinner. If you are looking for an ultra premium cruise, then Holland America or Celebrity Cruises can give you that. If you want a high value, reasonably priced, fun and relaxing vacation then Carnival is for you. I am a confirmed Carnival fan, and I plan on taking many more cruises with them. We are already booked on the Carnival Glory for a seven day cruise in September, so I will hopefully have another positive review then! Read Less
Sail Date May 2007
Carnival Sensation Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 4.0
Dining 3.5 3.7
Entertainment 3.5 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 3.8
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.6
Family 4.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 2.0 3.2
Service 4.0 4.1
Value For Money 4.5 3.7
Rates 3.0 4.3

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