165 Carnival Sensation Cruise Reviews

I’ve been on a few carnival ships but Sensation would have to be the most boring that I’ve experience. This ship lacked entertainment!!! Although the cruise director Dion was very entertaining and super funny and friendly, the ship did ... Read More
I’ve been on a few carnival ships but Sensation would have to be the most boring that I’ve experience. This ship lacked entertainment!!! Although the cruise director Dion was very entertaining and super funny and friendly, the ship did not have much of anything going on while we were at sea... they not only need more shows but more variety. There was one nightclub(hip hop every night) which was only entertaining for the younger crowd that jumped in circles around each other the entire night. The pool (only seen 1) was occupied by kids the entire trip. The 2 shows I did attend (I don’t speak Spanish) were only 30 min long. Although The Dining area served the same menu as the buffet area every night we dressed up and ate there every night because they promised to sing happy birthday to my friends as we were on the cruise as a birthday trip. IT NEVER HAPPENED! We advised the host several times of this and she kept promising it would happen the next night, then the next night. Overall, I think this ship/cruise is best if you are looking for kid cruise! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Highly recommend priority boarding option. There was a very long line regardless if you had an appt. Loved George's food outside of the gate in Bahamas. Carnival should really allow/bring the Bahamas experience inside the gate ... Read More
Highly recommend priority boarding option. There was a very long line regardless if you had an appt. Loved George's food outside of the gate in Bahamas. Carnival should really allow/bring the Bahamas experience inside the gate giving people a cultural experience...we would have never know they were there if we didn't hear the live music outside the gate. Its wonderful, that's why people cruise to different islands Carnival....experiences!!! Carnival ran out of towels for people on the beach at Princess Cay..disappointing, when there is no other way but a water taxi back to the boat. Staff offered no apologies or alternatives. Shower curtain in room smelled like mildew, bring your bleach or lysol. Kind of weird. The spa was very expensive but offered no pre or post spa experience. Customer Service was terrible! We were not welcomed when we arrived, we went into what was supposed to be a relaxation room, but the chairs were regular chairs not comfortable at all. Not given any info about amentities. Save your money you'd have a better experience at a mall massage!!! Cruise Director Deon was very good and had great personality. The comedy show was great. Love and marriage show was entertaining. Recommend highly transportation transfer to and from airport you wont regret it. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
First of all—getting onto the cruise went really smooth and quick, that was great. Although, it was very difficult getting off. The crew blocked stairways and hallways so it was very hard to find where you’re supposed to go. I just ... Read More
First of all—getting onto the cruise went really smooth and quick, that was great. Although, it was very difficult getting off. The crew blocked stairways and hallways so it was very hard to find where you’re supposed to go. I just went with my mother, I wouldn’t say that it’s the type of cruise for that though—you would want to go with more than one person definitely. The ship was very interesting, it was very shiny and purple haha. When I walked through somewhere I thought I was going to bump into a mirror or something, kinda trippy. This is just my opinion, but it was very hard to find your way around if you are using the stairs. The cabin was pretty small, including the bathroom. The beds were comfortable. My only two complaints about the cabin is when you take a shower, water gets all over the floor and everything, and, on the last day of the cruise, at like, four in the morning, they put up the gangway so we could get of the ship. I was on floor 7, and that happened to be the floor where they put the gangway. Since the ship was in the water, there were small waves (duh) and that rocked the boat a little bit. So, when the gangway was up, the ship was banging against it making this god awful sound for HOURS. I couldn’t sleep for the rest of the morning. The food wasn’t that great, but it was edible. The chefs work very hard and I appreciate them very much, but I probably won’t cruise on sensation anymore because of the food. The dining room food was okay as well. The entertainment was pretty good, there was a lot of stuff that didn’t appeal to me, but I think that’s just me. The comedy was my favorite, the comedians were hilarious, especially Percy Crews 2. He was great. The service was good, the crew who cleaned our room was so nice and said hi every time we saw him. He left little towel animals every time he cleaned which I loved. Deon was hilarious and full of energy, he was so great, and the manager of the comedy shows, Andy, was very hilarious and very helpful. The excursions were great, I played bingo and won $250 and a dolphin swim in Cozumel! It was great. I wouldn’t go on carnival sensation again, but maybe one of their other cruise ships. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We visited Jamaica and grand Cayman. Both ports were amazing! Would recommend to anyone. The ship was an older ship, which we knew entering the cruise. This was our 3rd cruise so my husband and I are familiar with the embarkation ... Read More
We visited Jamaica and grand Cayman. Both ports were amazing! Would recommend to anyone. The ship was an older ship, which we knew entering the cruise. This was our 3rd cruise so my husband and I are familiar with the embarkation procedure and the cruising experience. We had been on 1 royal Caribbean cruise and 1 carnival. Our room was in the front of the ship on deck 6. We heard banging from closet, bathroom, cabin doors allllll night and all day. We felt music thumping all night long. We were extremely irritated as this was the first time we had ever experienced this on a cruise. Shows were lacking, activites were lacking and so was space around the pool and in the pool. Our hallway often smelled of cigarettes and marijuana which made no sense because I could pinpoint which cabin the small was coming from so it was hard to understand why they were unable to find it for themselves. Now the staff on the ship was amazing. Our room was clean, dinner server was amazing and everyone else on the ship was amazing. I would just recommend avoiding this ship! I do understand it is an older ship but the noise really did destroy our peace. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Carnival sensation was a wonderful ship. Although one of the oldest. I had read some bad reviews but I have to see for myself. I appreciate the reviews because it helped me decide. This ship was recently redecorated from what I read. It ... Read More
Carnival sensation was a wonderful ship. Although one of the oldest. I had read some bad reviews but I have to see for myself. I appreciate the reviews because it helped me decide. This ship was recently redecorated from what I read. It was beautiful! Our cruise director deon was so fun and hella funny! He made the cruise worth it. He is full of energy! Can sing and dance. Kept us up on the happenings. My only complaint is the food. Guys burgers was the best eatery. But if you don't eat pork then this ship is not for you. Room service wings were great for $5. Plenty of places to eat for free. And the wait staff in main dining gives great performances every night. Singing and dancing on the tables sometimes. Comedy was funny as hell in the comedy room. Kareoke was awesome. Great giveaways during the jewelry shows and just all around fun. Food needs an upgrade. Too much pork on board. No turkey sausages or bacon. Chicken sausages is nasty as hell! For your 1st time like me, I had a wonderful time for the low price. Looking forward to my next cruise but on a ship that serves turkey and chicken. With less pork! My cabin was great. Larger than a standard size hotel room. Plenty of storage. The steward john was friendly and very helpful. I tipped everybody at least $2 because the grituity we pay up front is sack. They deserve more than what they get from that. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We went on the Carnival Sensation Western Caribbean cruise. The ship is one of their older and smaller ships, but we paid the extra for a room with an external view, and so we liked our cabin. On the first day, we went to the Lido deck ... Read More
We went on the Carnival Sensation Western Caribbean cruise. The ship is one of their older and smaller ships, but we paid the extra for a room with an external view, and so we liked our cabin. On the first day, we went to the Lido deck for the buffet-style lunch, and the food was *terrible*. I had an eggplant dish that was burned and mushy, which suggests that it was totally overcooked. My wife got a sandwich from the deli bar, and she thought it was awful too. We (of course) never ate the buffet food on the Lido deck after that point. The food in the main "Fantasy" dining room was very good. On the last evening, though, my wife ordered the lobster tails as a treat (for a $20 surcharge), and she ended up with diarrhea the following morning. Word to the wise - *don't* order the lobster tails. They were clearly frozen (rather than fresh), and they contained some kind of pathogen that made my wife sick. The breakfast service was usually slow (in the Fantasy Dining Room), which was a problem on mornings when we had an excursion and had to be ready by a particular time. On one morning, the waiter took our order (after a long delay) and brought our food, but he *never* came back to our table. I had to go to the fruit bar myself to get some fruit for our table, even though only the waiters were supposed to go there. The Cruise Director was energetic and funny, and the comedy shows were good. The musical entertainment was good as well. I rate this experience as "average," because it was such a balance of good and bad. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
So let me start off by saying if this is your first cruise it will probably exceed your expectations because you have nothing to compare it to. However this is my third cruise and the third cruise line I’ve taken . In the past I’ve ... Read More
So let me start off by saying if this is your first cruise it will probably exceed your expectations because you have nothing to compare it to. However this is my third cruise and the third cruise line I’ve taken . In the past I’ve taken royal Caribbean and Norwegian. Carnival cruise line came in last place. I’m going o review the cabin, staff, food, and activities. The cabin: (3/5) The cabin space is a decent size. It does not have a couch or refrigerator. It does have a lot of closet space, a safe, and a normal size bathroom with shampoo and body wash. The things I didn’t like the bed which is 2 twin beds pushed together to create a king bed kept sliding apart from each other. There is nothing to hold the beds together. I also did not like the tv program was recorded shows and movies that kept playing over and over again the whole cruise. For those moments I wanted alone time in the room It was grueling watching tv. Staff: (2/5) The majority of the staff were awful. They had bad attitudes and acted like they did not want to be on board. I actually had a incident where a manicurist was talking trash about her client in front of me to her coworker. The manicurist called her client classless. I had another incident where I was asking a staff a question about the shi. he was so rude he interrupted me mid sentence, he was in such a panic so I told him to relax and asked him to let me finish. All he was doing was cleaning tables at the lido buffet room along with the 5 other staff , so I’m not sure why he was so rude. If you ask any of the other staff a question they either don’t know the answer, give you the wrong answer, or give you the right answer with an attitude. The staff was very lackluster. The only staff that I had a good experience with was our housekeeping,room attendant Rita and Deon the cruise activities director. Rita was very kind and helpful and Deon was fun, energetic and kind. The housekeeping made sure to smile and say good morning. Food: (2/5) The only food that was good was guys burgers. The lido buffet and fantasy/ecstasy dining room food has no flavor or seasoning. Activities: The activities onboard were average. The comedy was entertaining, comedian was funny. The music and show trivia was the best especially the ones the Deon hosted. Embarkation: This was a smooth, easy, and fast process. No problems here getting on or off the ship. Excursion: we did Damajagua waterfalls adventure through carnival. This was one of the most exhilarating and adventurous excursion we have done so far. Me and my partner jumped and slid down waterfalls into a river. First WARNING: there is a 40-45 minute hike uphill. This hike was so VERY difficult for someone like me who is not in shape however it is so worth it and it was a great way to work out. The first jump has 2 options to jump or take the ladder down into the river . 2nd WARNING ⚠️ The water is very cold. One lady went into shock when She went into the water she panicked because of the water temp and the floorless bottom of the water. We had life jackets so no one would drown. It is required to have water shoes they have rentals for $8 which were probably professional water shoes. I wish we would’ve rented versus buying them at Walmart. The tour guides are extremely helpful and they pretty much carried the terrified women down each waterfall. The tour included 7 slides and there was a guy who took pics and videotaped the adventure. At the end they sold the pics and video for $50. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
My cousin chose this cruise for her 28th birthday. We overall enjoyed ourselves because we have a good time no matter where we are. But i must say carnival nickels and dimes you for everything. The fee for wi-fi is outrageous. Fresh clean ... Read More
My cousin chose this cruise for her 28th birthday. We overall enjoyed ourselves because we have a good time no matter where we are. But i must say carnival nickels and dimes you for everything. The fee for wi-fi is outrageous. Fresh clean drinking water is a rare commodity. The water you get from the soft drink dispenser taste like sewer water. The only soft drinks they offer after breakfast is lemonade n green tea. WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT WASTE TIME CRUISING TO PRINCESS CAYS. Its an island owned by Carnival, n there is nothing much to it. Just another way to get u to put money in their pockets. Some of the halls smell like straight doo-doo. The staff is great. The seem over worked but still pleasant. The rooms r small n beds r uncomfortable. Plenty of activities for everyone. From comfy shows to karaoke to night clubs. I wish they were more strict on smoking. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
My fiancé and I were invited to go on this cruise with close friends and their family. We had never cruised with Carnival before, but did enjoy the ship. There were a few things that stuck out to me as odd: 1. There was a strong odor ... Read More
My fiancé and I were invited to go on this cruise with close friends and their family. We had never cruised with Carnival before, but did enjoy the ship. There were a few things that stuck out to me as odd: 1. There was a strong odor of sewage that either was in our room or on the main decks. 2. While there were activities to do, the activities that did not cost extra money lacked. There was only one ping pong table, and it was mostly hogged by younger kids. 3. The pool was small, and packed in by many adults and kids. Although they offer a “serenity area” (21+), it only included two hot tubs, about 40 beach chairs, and no pool. They also have a dress code for the serenity area which seemed strange to me. Besides those three things, it was a great experience. I would cruise with Carnival again, but not on the sensation. I believe there are a few kinks they need to work out. The dinning room was beautiful and the food was fantastic, especially for the price in comparison to other cruise lines. The service in the dining room and casino were fantastic! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this cruise solely based on price. We've been on dozens of cruises with all the major cruise lines. We knew going in that it was an older ship, and mainly just wanted a nice few days away from the cold weather. There were ... Read More
We chose this cruise solely based on price. We've been on dozens of cruises with all the major cruise lines. We knew going in that it was an older ship, and mainly just wanted a nice few days away from the cold weather. There were some things about this cruise that pleasantly surprised me and other things that were disappointing. Embarkation The embarkation was one of the easiest we've ever done. They let you schedule a time to arrive at the port. Miami is a pretty easy port to navigate. We walked right up and a woman scanned our pre-printed tickets and directed us onto the ship. There was no waiting or anything. They said our rooms wouldn't be ready until around 2pm so we went to the buffet. At around 1:15pm they called out to everyone and said our rooms were ready. Stateroom There were 2 of us in an interior stateroom. The room is definitely dated, but looks pretty much like every other interior stateroom on every cruise ship. It was cramped and tiny but I thought it was somewhat larger than other ships we've been on. The beds were pretty comfortable. The bathroom also seemed slightly larger than on other ships. The towels seemed kind of old and had stains on them. There was a handheld shower faucet and the pressure was pretty good. The walls are pretty thin so we could always hear people talking and kids running around outside. Entertainment/Activities The cruise director's name was Kevin. He looked kind of like Gordon Ramsay. He was pretty funny, but he made way too many announcements over the intercom. Every 5 minutes we'd have to stop our conversation to listen to a long announcement about bingo or whatever. We didn't really go to many of the shows. The guy in the piano bar was great. He played a wide variety of stuff (not just Piano Man and Sweet Caroline). They have a number of bands throughout the ship and I thought all of them were fantastic. We played trivia a couple of times. It's not the typical trivia but more geared towards pop culture (e.g. Friends trivia, etc.). Food The food was excellent on this ship. They have a 24 hour pizzeria and deli which had great fresh pizza. There was also a 24 hour self-serve soft serve ice cream machine. The buffet had a different theme everyday (e.g. Italian, French, Caribbean, etc.). On the whole, the food there was decent. They also had a great mexican place with really good tacos and burritos. And then there was a Guy Fieri burger place. Aside from the constant Guy Fieri catchphrases blasting from the TV, I thought the food there was excellent. The food in the main dining room was a little underwhelming in my opinion. Not the greatest quality, but not bad. They seemed to seat everybody at giant shared tables. I find on most other cruise lines, they tend to have smaller tables where you can have a private table. They did have smaller tables upon request but they seemed very reluctant to give them out even though they always seemed to be empty. Ports Our cruise went to Key West and Cozumel. We arrived in Key West around 8am and left early around 1pm. I really like Key West and wish we had more time there, but it was nice to walk around and eat some key lime pie. In Cozumel, we arrived around noon and left around 9pm. Most of the beaches close around 5pm so there wasn't much to do there after that unless your into getting blasted at Senor Frogs. Overall Overall, it was nice cruise. The worst part of the trip was that the entire ship smelled of sewage (especially in the hallways and staterooms). It was super gross. I think they need to take this ship out of commission for a few weeks and fix their sewage problems. Other than that, I ate a ton of food, got some sun, and relaxed a lot. So I can't complain. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Went on this trip with my family and a travel group. My second time traveling with this group and had a lovely time. We left from Miami to Princess Cay Island which was lovely. This island is privately owned by cruise company and the ... Read More
Went on this trip with my family and a travel group. My second time traveling with this group and had a lovely time. We left from Miami to Princess Cay Island which was lovely. This island is privately owned by cruise company and the you can use your room key to purchase here. Also Carnival provided lunch on the island. Next stop was Nassau, Bahamas we did a guided tour this time 20.00 per person which I could hear others saying different prices which varying from 20.00 to 30.00 pp. The guided tour was cool I got see a little more of the island. Food on this cruise was okay. Breakfast we ate at the omelet bar which was delicious with your your choice of fresh vegetables, cheese, bacon or ham. They also had a all you can eat side with pancakes, scrambled eggs, boiled eggs, hash browns, baked beans, bacon, sausage and breakfast burritos. There is also a area that offers brunch where they bring the food to you. Lunch they had typical burger joint which I stuck with. They had a salad bar and a taco bar. Drinks we got the free stuff (I learned from my first trip I do not drink enough soda to even bother with the plan) orange juice, lemonade, cranberry juice and water. Side note: bring a travel cup so you do not have to make a bunch of trips to the ice machine. We often are dinner in the assigned fine dining Restaurant. On the last night we went in the casual dining Restaurant and I was not too happy with it dried out pasta with vegetables that I had to mix with another dish to give some life back to the dish. Wait staff was SUPER AWESOME my 6 yr old niece was having a moment and the waiter went over and beyond to calm her down. Each night he would show her different ways to fold animal napkins, he did magic tricks for the kid and us adults. The room stewart was awesome too! He was very tentative to our needs. My heads up is about if you have a strong sense of smell you might have a problem. We smelled what at least think was the smell of raw sewage twice on this ship. Once in our room and the other time was in the Restaurant where they did brunch. The smell greeted you at the door but not in the back. The staff faces looked like they could smell it too, you know the look where you hold your breath so you don't smell anything and putting your hand right below your nose so you can smell your hand lotion. Overall: the trip was enjoyable we made some memories and that is all that matters. Will I travel Sensation again: Probably not due to the smell issues only. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We booked this 5 day cruise for the price and the ports. It was our 5 year anniversary and we decided on a cruise. Overall, it was "ok". We enjoyed the 3 ports (Nassau, Half Moon Cay & Turks) and our dune buggy excursion. ... Read More
We booked this 5 day cruise for the price and the ports. It was our 5 year anniversary and we decided on a cruise. Overall, it was "ok". We enjoyed the 3 ports (Nassau, Half Moon Cay & Turks) and our dune buggy excursion. There were too many children on the cruise, for my taste. The ship, on the other hand, needs some major updating and additional restaurants. We found the food to be bland. The burgers at Guy's burger joint were pretty good but you get tired of them after day 3. The deli, pizza and seaview buffett food was a "miss". We ate in the Ecstasy dining room and the food was "hit and miss". On a positive note, the staff were excellent...both the serving staff and the stewards. Very friendly, professional and helpful. I would suggest spending a few more dollars and booking a newer ship. We will cruise again but not on this ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I will start off with saying that I did not chose the Carnival Sensation to sail- I was part of a large group. I have previously only sailed NCL ships and was very hesitant to sail this ship due to all the reviews. Overall, the ship is old ... Read More
I will start off with saying that I did not chose the Carnival Sensation to sail- I was part of a large group. I have previously only sailed NCL ships and was very hesitant to sail this ship due to all the reviews. Overall, the ship is old and very outdated but let's be real people for the price you're paying. . . you are getting what you paid for in that department. We had a balcony room with no issues. The hallway did smell like sewer and there was a room in our party who had the smell in their room. Carnival should really do something about this! Our cabin was clean for the most part, it could have used a very good dusting however, clean. I had set my expectations low for dining due to the poor reviews and was surprised with the good meals I did get. Breakfast was typical breakfast food at the buffet or you could sit in the dining room. Lunch was not much to be desired and if you have the later dining time they close the buffet in the afternoon leaving you little to no snack options to hold you over. I have had worse meals and I have had better but I will say the Carnival lava type dessert was to DIE FOR! I have zero complaints about the service in either the buffet or dining room. The AC was not working in the buffet, which was kinda awful to come in from the pool and be just as hot. The entertainment on the ship was so-so. One comedian was great, the other not so much. The Cruise Director and staff were great entertainment. We traveled to Key West and Cozumel. Both ports were great. Our party did an excursion in Cozumel however not through Carnival. I also had a spa service while on the cruise. The spa manager was to put it nicely RUDE. The spa is placed under the mini golf so you hear people walking/running and a golf ball rolling around. A staff (not my masseuse) and fellow guest also walked in on me while I was getting undressed, I guess my masseuse did not change the outside of the door to "occupied." I didn't bother complaining due to my previous statement about the manager being rude. If you are looking for a cheap 4-day cruise to have fun and getaway this is for you! If you are looking for the 5-star cruise experience this isn't for you. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I chose this cruise for the price and to test the waters with my family. I have cruised previously on RC, with my mother and wanted to go with my own family. I should have went with RC. The Sensation is an older ship, but it wasn't as ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the price and to test the waters with my family. I have cruised previously on RC, with my mother and wanted to go with my own family. I should have went with RC. The Sensation is an older ship, but it wasn't as dirty as others have posted. Any of the food areas are a joke and if I never see another hamburger again, it will be too soon.There were some nights where my family and I were hungry because we honestly were tired of the food. (Didnt' have this problem on the RC) The cabins are extremely small and it was tight with three people (oceanview). The windows were dirty and it was hard to see outside when we reached port. The activities consisted of a lot of trivia and bingo. Other than that, you can drink! If you have children I DO NOT recommend this ship at all!!! (kids at any age) They will be bored! The service was great and everyone was friendly, but lets be honest, that's what they are paid to do and be! The ports were great, but my family and I went off the beaten path.You will find yourself having to make your own fun! When we arrived in Turks, there was a strong foul odor as the ocean (if that's what you can call it) was filthy dirty. My family and I went to Margaritaville instead and went to the pool. I honestly knew that I would not sail on this ship again before the end of my first day. (it was that chaotic coming onboard) My son literally stayed in the room one day and just watched television as he was that bored and said that the kids club was no better. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I choose this cruise for the entire family (14), 4 cabins. We had first timers and recurring cruisers. Our embarkation was fast and smoothly for all of us. I had every one doing their check in online , definitely recommend ,which help ... Read More
I choose this cruise for the entire family (14), 4 cabins. We had first timers and recurring cruisers. Our embarkation was fast and smoothly for all of us. I had every one doing their check in online , definitely recommend ,which help with the transition. For disabled assistance, the check in was fast too. I had requested wheel chair assistant for my parents ahead of time. We had 4 children during the trip, they loved the water slides, golf courts area, arcade, pool & the children clubs, recommend online registration for kids activities. This ship is one of the old one from carnival. Very simple, not much entertainment and activities onboard. Dance club not much options; DJ sucs no variety in music selection. Cabins were simple, small and some structures deteriorated.We had ocean view and inside cabins. The worst room service take long to bring your request. All shore excursions were bought at ports, cheaper.Yes will go again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was my first cruise with Carnival and it will be my last. Embarkation and disembarkation was somewhat chaotic but tolerable. The ship itself is older and a little outdated. Our cabin steward, Sean, did an excellent job and was very ... Read More
This was my first cruise with Carnival and it will be my last. Embarkation and disembarkation was somewhat chaotic but tolerable. The ship itself is older and a little outdated. Our cabin steward, Sean, did an excellent job and was very friendly. The room was nice enough but could of used some updating. My husband is 6'3" and couldn't stand up fully when showering which was a pain for him. The worst part of the cruise was the food. The buffet was bland and not made of foods I normally eat. Guy's Burger Joint was good but you get tired of burgers and fries. The pizza was normally burnt on the edges but my teenage sons ate it more than anything else on the boat. The entertainment was okay, but I was expecting more variety. The casino was fun if you have money to blow. The Bottomless Bubbles that we paid a lot for was a joke. My sons had to go to the BAR to get a soda which I found to be unacceptable. And, they only had canned soda on board the ship. Totally ridiculous! The ports were nice enough but the shore excursions were over priced for what we received. One had lunch included and it was bland rice, peas and carrots and chicken or pork. Maybe they were going for a local flair with the lunch, but it was disappointing. We cruised with Royal Caribbean in the past and they'll get our money the next time we go on a family cruise. Carnival nickel and dimes you for everything so you end up spending a small fortune when you think you've already paid for everything beforehand. Oh and be prepared for a 15% gratuity to be added to EVERYTHING from drinks to goods you buy at the Fun Shops. I feel that I should have a choice of when to leave a gratuity and not have it forced on me. The whole cruise left a bad taste in my mouth for Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
My sister and I have started to do a cruise every year around may/beginning of June. We first started with Royal Caribbean and decided to choose carnival this year. The cruise left out of Miami (would definitely rather leave out of Miami, ... Read More
My sister and I have started to do a cruise every year around may/beginning of June. We first started with Royal Caribbean and decided to choose carnival this year. The cruise left out of Miami (would definitely rather leave out of Miami, instead of Port Canaveral.) Since we had a suite we had the choice of getting on the boat between 11:30 to 3. Loved this because we could get on right away, unpack, and start vacation. We got onto the cruise ship around 11:30/12 and it was a pretty easy process getting through security, etc. But like I said we had priority/early boarding so that could be why. The ship wasn't as bad inside, being one of the oldest ships but it had a horrible smell throughout. Sometimes so bad at certain bars we couldn't even sit and enjoy our drinks. The smell was a mix between sewer and propane. The suite was huge for a cruise ship, plenty of storage, counter space, and enough room to comfortably fit two twin beds and a couch that turned into a full size bed (btw very comfortable beds.) Awesome view from our balcony and plenty of privacy from neighbors. The bars and buffet were already open and ready to go. Make sure you get the drink package!! 15 drinks a day "free"- wine, beer, mixed drinks, soda, water, etc. are all included in this. There was a great bar called alchemy that made some of the best drinks I've ever had- and for free! These drinks would be upwards of 15$ anywhere else, and probably on the boat as well. The buffet was terrible. Worst buffet food I've ever had. Not many choices for breakfast/lunch. If you have the dining package for the Fantasy or Ecstasy Dining rooms be aware that the service is slow and the portions are small-but you can order however many items you'd like. Make sure you make friends with the bartenders- bar service can be very slow and they will remember you and take care of you! I wish i remember some of their names because of how awesome they were. Others not so much. It shows a lot when a person can remember you name after meeting 2,000 other people for months at a time. Entertainment was eh, at best. Not the best performances so I stayed away from the shows. There is always great entertainment at the Fantasia Main Show Lounge (the closest bar to to the casino.) Casino was alright-nothing special. Port of call #1 was in the Key West. Make sure to get up early because you are only there until 1. More time would have been nice. Second port of call was Cozumel Mexico! I love mexico and had a great time. Definitely spend some money on an excursion. Theres not much to do right at the port and you need to uber to get anywhere else. We did swimming with the dolphins through "Dolphinarias." We had the "vip" package which was a small group, free lunch (really good food) and drinks. It goes from 1-5 I believe but we left after swimming with the dolphins and lunch. Disembarkation means get off the boat as quick as you can. They have only a few hours to get the boat ready for 2,000 more people so its understandable. But I wish it went a little differently. I would recommend this cruise for anyone really, but it was really fun for two girls in their mid twenties. Don't come with the highest expectations but expect to have a great time. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
I wanna be fair, this is a value cruise and I get that and I honestly had a very good time, state rooms are comfortable and where cleaned regularly, casino was fun, spent quite a few bucks in the slots and playing blackjack, the host ... Read More
I wanna be fair, this is a value cruise and I get that and I honestly had a very good time, state rooms are comfortable and where cleaned regularly, casino was fun, spent quite a few bucks in the slots and playing blackjack, the host treated me and the wife with "free drinks" and brought some cookies and a certificate for a bottle of wine to stateroom which I appreciated. Where I always have issues with Carnival and this was our second trip with them, is the food!! Main dining room dinner was fine on the 3 nights we used it, however the food and service at the main dining room for breakfast and brunch was terrible, very slow and almost not edible. Buffett we didn't do, just not our thing however we did try the pizza station which was good and you could get a decent deli sandwich or a fairly taste Guys burger, which had weird limited hours of 12 to 6??? Why? Pool area was always very crowded and the music was so loud!! I avoided it unless we had to walk through, upper decks where nice and the back serenity area was good but man it got crowded fast! (Best spot is forward near the putt putt top deck) Had a great excursion booked through carnival in Cozemel, it was called the elite Champaign catamaran, highly recommend this! Worse part of cruise was getting of the boat, they really screwed this up! You just wait and wait to wait some more, one que to the next, have done other lines that have this down way better! But if you want a short getaway and have a limited budget this is probally a good value, Myself I would try another line or go with one of carnivals newer ships. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Family of 5 with two teachers were forced to find a decent deal during Easter break. We liked the iternary on this cruise and the price for this Easter cruise was not obscene so we booked it. We booked two rooms - 3 people in 1 room ... Read More
Family of 5 with two teachers were forced to find a decent deal during Easter break. We liked the iternary on this cruise and the price for this Easter cruise was not obscene so we booked it. We booked two rooms - 3 people in 1 room and 2 in the other. Embarkation: What an ABSOLUTE cluster! We selected the second wave of embarkation reservations. So our slot was 11:30-noon. Our brother selected the first slot 11:00am-11:30am. We passed through security okay and thought.....this is going too well. Bingo - after security we walked into a huge waiting room with lots and lots of people. We found the last available seats (there must have been 600 or more people in this space) and camped out. We chatted with another group who actually had a 1pm time slot for boarding. WHY are they letting people in early? Doesn't that defeat the entire intention of breaking the groups into smaller manageable groups. Anyhow, becoming more frustrating by the minute it took 35 minutes for them to call up the FIRST boarding group - so it's well last noon and they are now boarding the first group? Good grief! After about an hour we were finally called up and slowly made our way onto the ship. The ship during this time was very chaotic. They blocked access to the staterooms so everyone onboard was forced to be in the pool (Lido deck) and crammed into the buffet. Guys, Blue Iguana and the Buffet were the only options. They were all very, very packed. It was near impossible to find a table. I am not sure why they don't offer the MDR as an option - if nothing else, it will help spread out the crowd. We finally gained access to our room and they did not have 3 beds like we requested. We asked the cabin steward and he said it would be done by 6pm. I was disappointed to see when we came back to the room that they just added a bed beside our current bed - completely blocking the isle to get to the head. I really thought they would have a better solution to 3 beds in an inside room.The bathroom was pretty nasty and when we showered the drains would not work and they would flood the entire bathroom. Nice! A couple of gripes: 1. The stairs had no floor numbers on them. So if you took the stairs and didn't want to keep track of every floor you climbed to you needed to take a couple of steps to view the tiny room number indicator on the elevators. I can't make this up. Stupid stuff like this drives my crazy that Carnival is so poorly run that they don't realize there are no floor numbers in the stairs. 2. There were very few public bathrooms. If your eating in the MDR and need to visit the restroom you basically needed to leave the MDR and go to the elevators for the bathroom that offered 4 stalls - really??? 3. Condition of the public bathrooms. Horrible. The mens rooms sinks and faucets were truly a joke. In one bathroom on the Lido deck the faucets were not really bolted down to the sinks and would flap around and leak when you used them. Again, more stupid stuff that a company this old should not be dealing with. 4. Karoke - this event always drew big crowds and the room they picked for the duration of the cruise could only provide seats for about 1/3 of the people in this room. A very high majority of people were forced to stand. Again, does Carnival notice this and do anything like bring in extra chairs??? LOL NOPE! 5. The bars - the main bars at the Casino and Lido deck were always packed and only had 2 bartenders that moved very slowly. I don't blame them for this but why does Carnival not staff with more people?? I don't think there was one instance where I went up to wait for a drink and had one, two or three other groups come after me, stand in a different spot at the bar and get served before me. Every. Single. Time. Beyond frustrating. We did a NCL cruise about 2 months prior and it was night and day - and didn't have to be. It was very noticable that NCL would notice something one day and fix it the next day. Carnival has given up on this ship. The MDR service was the highlight for us. Great service. Food was meh, but the service was top-notch. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Early March may not have been the best time to cruise as the ocean was wavy and many people did not feel well. However, the following issues had nothing to do with the swaying. 1. Ecstasy dining late - was slow and seemed to have no ... Read More
Early March may not have been the best time to cruise as the ocean was wavy and many people did not feel well. However, the following issues had nothing to do with the swaying. 1. Ecstasy dining late - was slow and seemed to have no busboys. The food was okay but even underrated for Carnival. The fruit soups were divine. The new almond dessert on the first night was a dud for our entire table. The molten chocolate cake was either too runny on Formal night or not runny enough on Day 1. 2. Cabin on E60 had excellent service. Although, we tip on first day so we have ice. They did bring me a hairdryer as the cabin did not have one. The normal middle drawer on the dressing table was not there on this ship. 3. There were elevator problems every day - unsure if due to ship movement or kids jumping. 4. Note the ship did sway and it was noticeable but all activities were held. However, we missed Half Moon Cay due to water conditions with the tender and ship - safety first. Therefore, this cruise had 2 sea days. 5. We paid for Faster to the Fun so embarkation and diembarkation in Miami would be smooth and it was. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Easy embarkation. Faster To the Fun meant our rooms were ready when we boarded at noon; luggage arrived not long after. A maintenance issue delayed our departure over 6 hours. I was very disappointed that there was no announcement about it ... Read More
Easy embarkation. Faster To the Fun meant our rooms were ready when we boarded at noon; luggage arrived not long after. A maintenance issue delayed our departure over 6 hours. I was very disappointed that there was no announcement about it until we were already eating dinner. It also meant that our visit to Grand Turk was even shorter than planned. Sensation is a small ship, definitely dated in its decor! It smells of smoke in many different places. Our balcony room was fine (U210). The bathroom was quite large and the bed very comfortable. The service was just ok. We definitely noticed a decline in quality in the dining room from our last cruise 4 years ago on a newer and larger ship. But we ate well. Our wait team was outstanding...friendly, fun, attentive. Stops at GT, HMC, and Nassau were all very smooth and enjoyable. We noticed a change at GT, locals are now charging for loungers and umbrellas. The shows were good, especially the Comedy Club. Casino was fun and never overly crowded...very smoky, though. The other passengers were really friendly and fun. It was a good balance of ages, too. The entertainment staff were the best I have had. Disembarkation was fine; however, we waited a long time for our luggage because they had the wrong numbers up! You can't go wrong with any cruise, but I don't think I'd choose Sensation again because it's age is definitely showing. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
The shows were not very good. There was an issue with the water on the boat where it was shut down for nearly a hour before dinner. The best parts were the cruise director and the taco restaurant. The gym is also a nice size. They ... Read More
The shows were not very good. There was an issue with the water on the boat where it was shut down for nearly a hour before dinner. The best parts were the cruise director and the taco restaurant. The gym is also a nice size. They really need to add more hours to the taco restaurant. The cabins are dated, as is the rest of the ship. I would not recommend this boat for any type of cruise that is very long because you will run out of things to do. The only real entertainment is lipsyncing hosted in the crowded atrium by the cruise director. There is also nowhere to escape children on this boat. With only one pool it is full of kids running and jumping and splashing. The adults only area has just a small hot tub. This boat is due for retirement or maybe just short cruises for a first time cruiser who might enjoy seeing what it is all about. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
This was my 3rd cruise, all of which have been with carnival and each cruise has been on a larger ship than the previous one. I paid for faster to the fun, which is supposed to allow me to get right on the ship and my state room be ready ... Read More
This was my 3rd cruise, all of which have been with carnival and each cruise has been on a larger ship than the previous one. I paid for faster to the fun, which is supposed to allow me to get right on the ship and my state room be ready as soon as I get on board. Basically I pay for perks that diamond and platinum cruisers have earned. However I had to sit in the cruise terminal for a long time before being allowed to board the ship and I had to wait for my room to be available. As far as the ship goes, there weren't many frills. The insides appear to have been updated. The carpet looked newer, but there was no steak house. The staff was just as friendly on this ship as the previous two ships and there wasn't really anything I wanted/needed that this ship didn't have. I wouldn't consider this ship for anything longer than a 5 day cruise, due to the lack of amenities available. Also the serenity deck is really small and will fill up very fast on sea days. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
No matter the situation my family always have a good time. This ship is very old and is in need of a face lift. I hate that Carnival did away with some of the things that people love about cruising on the older smaller ships. i.e. ... Read More
No matter the situation my family always have a good time. This ship is very old and is in need of a face lift. I hate that Carnival did away with some of the things that people love about cruising on the older smaller ships. i.e. (lobster on elegant night, calypso band playing island music, games out by pool on sea days, 2 shows a night). The lido deck food was okay. Never very hot just luke warm at best. We didn't eat out there as much as we usually do. Ate must of our meals in dining room. The pool deck area on this one was way too small. The shows in the theater were terrible. We always look forward to those. We didn't last 10 minutes. This was my 20th cruise. 13th on Carnival as a Platinum member. We love Carnival, but won't sail on this one again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
First of all, I must say that the embarkation process at the Carnival terminal was the fastest, easiest embarkation process I have EVER,EVER had. The bus arrived at the terminal at 12:30PM, and I was enjoying lunch by the pool at 1:00. Of ... Read More
First of all, I must say that the embarkation process at the Carnival terminal was the fastest, easiest embarkation process I have EVER,EVER had. The bus arrived at the terminal at 12:30PM, and I was enjoying lunch by the pool at 1:00. Of all the cruise lines' embarkation processes I have experienced, none has gone as smoothly or as fast as this one. When boarding the 4,000 passenger MSC Divina three years ago, We stood in line outside the terminal for hours. Once inside the terminal it was another hour at least. Yes, this ship had half the passengers, but MSC could take a page from Carnival's book. This ship was launched in 1993, which means it's about 100 years old in cruise ship years. I can understand why Carnival keeps it around.....for the short, cheap cruises; but seriously, even though this ship was recently refurbished, it is not the glamor and glitz ship you are looking for. Maybe it has been refurbished as far as common areas, but the theme of the decor is so 70s. A big disappointment is that there is no continuous promenade deck circling the ship. It is also inconvenient and confusing that not all decks go through from stern to bow. The "shops" primarily consist of duty-free liquor, cigarettes, jewelry, and perfume. The actual "Fun" Shop with logo items was the size of a dressing room. There is one pool and two hot tubs, and a fun-looking water slide and water play area for kids, plus a mini-golf course. The eating options are: two dining rooms with free-style seating, and places on the lido deck, including: the buffet restaurant with two lines featuring a different nationality of food every day at lunch. Away from the buffet line is a salad bar and the dessert station, plus a soft ice cream machine. There is also a deli station, and pizza station, but I never saw anyone eating there. There are two small machines where supposedly you can "pour your own beer", but the only time I saw an attendant there was at 10:00 in the morning. Really? Outside around the pool deck is a Guy Fieri burger station, another small buffet station that makes omelets in the morning, two bars, and a VERY limited taco and burrito place called the Blue Iguana. If you like Mexican food, this place is a joke. The food, generally, is palatable, but nothing special. Some of the dinner dishes in the dining room were exceptional, but the same food is served in the buffet restaurant in the evening, with the exception of prime rib and steaks. It is hard to find a place on board that was quiet to read, write in a journal, or relax. I finally settled on the Alchemy Bar outside the Plaza Lounge. The bar is only open when there is something going on in the Lounge, so it's pretty quiet during the day. The main theater is not wonderful. The floor is flat, and sight lines are interrupted by posts. Aisles are wide enough to have tables and a walkway, but all this does is provide for a constant stream of waiters taking orders or bringing drinks, or late arrivals to the show. Shore Excursions were mostly beach visits. I did enjoy the trip to Gumbalimba Park to interact with beautifully colored parrots and cute monkeys who like to get up close and personal. This was at Mahogany Bay of Roatan Island, Honduras. Our only other port call was at the island off Cozumel, off the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. The shore excursion I booked, lunch at a Mexican restaurant (duh) and dance show was canceled due to not enough people signing up for it. I have been to Cozumel before and been to Tulum on the mainland,which is most beautiful and interesting, and the water around Tulum and Playa del Carmen is a spectacular show of shades of blue and turquoise. Since I didn't want to go to the beach or have my hair braided, I stayed on the ship. The staff of waiters and cabin stewards was, without exception, very friendly and meticulous in their duties. No complaints here. Since I was on a charter, I cannot speak to the caliber of activities provided. I enjoyed the cruise immensely because of the entertainment provided by our hosts. It's just that the Sensation is an old gal, and has seen better days. Before the cruise I spent two nights at the Marriott Biscayne Bay. The stay was fine, nice dining venue and friendly staff. They can sign you up for transportation to the pier on a bus. It's $7/pp and cheaper than a cab. The post-cruise transportation to either MIA or Ft. Lauderdale sold by Carnival is efficient and well organized. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
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 3.8
Rates 3.0 4.3

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