Sail Date: March 2019
I was invited to join a family group to celebrate a birthday, and as the group was amazing, I did have a good time on this cruise. However, the decor of the ship was definitely the ugliest I have seen. The predominant color was dark ... Read More
I was invited to join a family group to celebrate a birthday, and as the group was amazing, I did have a good time on this cruise. However, the decor of the ship was definitely the ugliest I have seen. The predominant color was dark purple, with lots of neon thrown in. As Carnival does not have any side windows open on the pool deck, many people like to go up one level, where there are lounge chairs and you can enjoy the ocean breeze...but on the Sensation, you cannot enjoy the ocean views...as this is where the lifeboats are kept, blocking your view. There are many nooks and crannies throughout the ship, which means you often 'can't get there from here'. My room was by the midship elevators (my preference for getting around easily), but this elevator did not go all the way up to the pool. Had to walk a flight of stairs to get there from mid ship. This was true for the Serenity deck as well...stairs only to reach. In fact, there were many instances where you needed to use stairs...and for this reason, I would definitely not recommend this ship for those with mobility issues. Also, many of the staircases needed seemed hard to find (like hidden passageways!). On the positive side, embarkation was a breeze (15 min. from drop off to onboard), the Serenity Deck was a wonderful oasis, and the food was not as bad as I had been led to believe (though not great either). If you are looking for an inexpensive option and find one on the Sensation, go with a good group and make the best of it. That's what I did. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Let me start off with this was my first cruise, although I was traveling with a sensoned veteran. Possibly my expectations were too high but this cruise delivered on almost none of my main points. The first look at the cruise ship.. it’s ... Read More
Let me start off with this was my first cruise, although I was traveling with a sensoned veteran. Possibly my expectations were too high but this cruise delivered on almost none of my main points. The first look at the cruise ship.. it’s OLD. Everything needs to be updated. Actually the ship just needs to be sunk. The pool is SOO small and so lame that I actually never got in it once the whole trip. It was layers on layers of people trying to wade in a small area. The “adult” only zone was nothing of excitement. Actually I hardly noticed it was there. The whole boat took about 6mins to lap around. Casino lame, club lame, improve comidians we’re awful. We often found our selves with nothing to do on the boat. The food was horribly. Low standards of cafeteria frozen food. Even the not so formal dinning rooms had awful food. We found ourselves searching for one decent meal the whole time. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
First, we are avid cruisers with over 25 cruises. Although we take a few different cruise lines Carnival has been the one we have been on the most. We chose this cruise for my wife’s 60 Birthday because it was only 5 days and we had ... Read More
First, we are avid cruisers with over 25 cruises. Although we take a few different cruise lines Carnival has been the one we have been on the most. We chose this cruise for my wife’s 60 Birthday because it was only 5 days and we had just came back from the Carnival Breeze 7 day cruise 2 weeks prior. Let me say that we knew it would be a small ship and was one of their first, and we tried our best not to compare till the end. First thing is you should know there is not a great selection of food to eat which was disappointing. There is only 1 buffet for breakfast,lunch and dinner and it usually had the same thing everyday. If it wasn’t for Guys Burgers or the Pizza pirate it would of been salad everyday. The deli although wonderful on other Carnival ships was extremely disappointing on the Sensation. We both ordered a Reuben and it was all and I mean all fat and forgot the saurkraut. We did try a little something from the buffet everyday but one bite you just move the plate to the side you do not want to eat it. To the pizza pirate we go, which is very good. Also, the buffet closes at 2:30 everyday and they don’t care if your in line or not, they just start taking the food away. I went to the sweet bar to get a cookie and as I was reaching the tray went right out from me and the guy said, we’re closed. Not the friendliest crew around. The sweet bar we did try a little of everything, some good some not so good. We went to the restaurant a couple of nights hoping it would be better, well...whatever you do, do not order fish. It is so well done and over cooked you can’t eat it. The best thing we ate was the prime rib and shrimp pasta. Their signature dish for dessert is the Melting cake, which I have every time I go on a cruise. It was well done every time I got one. If you don’t know what it is you would probably love it. The cake should be in the middle filled with chocolate that is just like a liquid. It is usually a chocolate lovers dream. On the last night I figured I try one more time and again well done. I asked our waiter if they changed the receipe and he looked and said, oh my well done,let me get you another, he brought out 3 and finally there it was, The carnival chocolate melting cake the way it should be. The last night was southern fried chicken. You could not chew it, we saw table after table sending it back. Sea day brunch wasn’t bad, but beware of the eggs benidict. It was hard boiled eggs, not once but every time I ordered them. With that being said, even though you have much fewer selections to eat they should at least have the same standards of food they have on other Carnival ships. If they did I wouldn’t even be writing this. As far as our room, we have had all different types of rooms from suites to interior rooms. As long as the room is comfortable no biggie, we only sleep in it. We had a porthole room which to our surprise was extremely roomy. The only complaint is there is no refrigerator so if you bring your own soda or order water there is no way to keep it cold. They will bring you a refrigerator only if you have medication to keep cold and you have to ask. There is a safe in the room but you have to use your drivers license or a credit card to use it. No charge but who wants to carry around 2 important items all the time. Also, if you need a make up mirror bring one, these rooms do not have one like the other ships although they do have a hair dryer. We always bring our own toiletries because they stopped putting them in the room. I mean they give you little packages of soap and there is shampoo and body wash. They will also only do your room once, your choice morning or night. No more morning and night. Also, bring something to stay warm in your room, like a parka lol, You can only control the fan speed, there is no thermostat so you pretty much freeze all the time. The entertainment was ok, comedians so so, nothing great just ok. Although Dion (Cruise Director)is a hoot he can only do so much. The Quest is a lot of laughs so I recommend getting there early and don’t miss it. Although it says scavenger hunt you do not leave the plaza and believe me you have never seen anything like it. Most were first time cruisers so if you don’t know what it is you won’t stay. Everyone we saw that were first timers we told them not to miss it. But if your easily offended it’s not for you and it’s for adults only. Absolutely no children and if you go you will understand why. Now let’s talk about the shops, they have beautiful jewelry but they are extremely pushy and don’t let go. If you go in for one thing they try to talk you into spending thousands more. One guy was chasing me out the door trying to get me to purchase something I just wanted to look at.. so if you ask to look at something that you like and are considering buying they will try to push you into buying something else. Look on the islands first before buying on the ship, although they can be just as pushy on the island they can take no for an answer. Now onto the spa. Enjoyable yes, but wait for their specials or go to the ladies pamper party. That’s were they give you the best deals. Instead of spending 200 on a message at the pamper party it’s 100 dollars. But again also beware, they try to sell you Elemis products for everything. I made the mistake many years ago and bought what they suggested for the tune of 300. Well, you can get they same products on Amazon so beware. Just take the card they write everything down on and if you like it get it elsewhere. Now the cruise itself was all in all nice and relaxing and we met a great couple to do everything with. The last day of the cruise did not have a lot of activities to do. It was mostly Jewelry blowout sales. We did have a good time and if the food was up to Carnival standards it would of been a great getaway. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
This was my first cruise ever. 30 years old, surprised my husband for his 30th bday this week. Decided to take my 5 yr old along with us. Trip was Miami to key west to Cozumel and back to Miami. I’m surprised I’m the first one to ... Read More
This was my first cruise ever. 30 years old, surprised my husband for his 30th bday this week. Decided to take my 5 yr old along with us. Trip was Miami to key west to Cozumel and back to Miami. I’m surprised I’m the first one to review because we just got off the ship today but it was a hell of an experience! Being my first cruise I didn’t know what to expect. But we traveled from NC(13hr trio to Miami) ONLY because I didn’t want to go to the Bahamas through Charleston. I purposely drove the extra 10hrs to go further south. Well Key west was ok. Just shops and restaurants. Second day should have been Cozumel but we were woken at 6:30am with an intercom call that we had to reroute to Nassau due to a crew member being hurt and needing no to be airlifted. So Nassau was the last place I wanted to visit, hence the drive to Miami. Nassau was dirty, boring, much cheaper trip than a Cozumel trip, so I believe I should be refunded in some way. But the kicker is...we were woke up at 3am this morning by people yelling “fire!!!” Outside our room. Ship was on fire on our hallway, the whole floor 6 was evacuated to the Lido deck. I had to wake my 5yr old up, with lifejackets fearing for our lives! They handed out blankets and we were made to wait. We were there til 5:30am so of course we didn’t get a bit of sleep to begin this 13hr trip home. Our room smelled horrible of smoke and our kid has lung issues so we should have never been sent back to the rooms. (Had to get luggage and had three hours to kill til we docked). Then when leaving, floor 6(who was up since 3am due to a fire!) was not priority to get off the ship. We should have been pushed first because we have had a terrible night, no sleep...but I felt like we just got kicked to the curb and were made to sit on the deck waiting for our floor to be called. Rude. Being my first time cruising, I will prob never go thru carnival again. Ever. Unless they apologize in some way and offer some sort of compensation for one of the worst experiences of my life! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
I’ve gone on four cruises including this one. This is my third ship; i went on the Carnival Victory twice and on a Royal Caribbean ship once. I enjoy carnival’s friendly staff and excursions and affordability. This was the best value ... Read More
I’ve gone on four cruises including this one. This is my third ship; i went on the Carnival Victory twice and on a Royal Caribbean ship once. I enjoy carnival’s friendly staff and excursions and affordability. This was the best value trip around this time of year considering number of nights, ports, and total cost, according to a spreadsheet I had put together. The cruise director, Deon, was great. Very energetic and friendly with an infectious joy. The staff were all pretty friendly. I like that they make the effort to remember your name and smile and say hi when they see you. The ship itself is in poor condition. There is a very distinct smell of sewage at decks 3 through 7 in the hallways. There are only two laundry rooms with 3 W/D combos and 2 ironing boards each. The ship’s body has a lot of rust and old water stains. Our bathroom had half its lightbulbs out. There is only one outlet in the room we were in (interior double porthole), as well as one outlet in the bathroom that will only work if you have the light switch on. The shower water pressure is good, and the water gets hot almost instantly. It’s pretty difficult to get drinking water. There aren’t any water fountains of any sort. You can buy bottled water for $3.75 or go to the dining halls, or drink the water from the sink. Activities on the ship weren’t too varied. Karaoke, live music, and shopping took up most of the docket. I was happy to see the love & marriage show in the schedule, but wish there was also a battle of the sexes game and some other games with audience participants. With three of our five days being at sea, a better variety of hands-on events and not just performances would have been more stimulating. The excursions we took were amazing! Dunn’s River Falls and Zip line in Ocho Rios Jamaica was adventurous and fun. Rides to excursion weren’t too long. The Kayak and stingray City was absolutely the highlight and my favorite thing out of all cruises I’ve taken so far. We kayaked at a leisurely pace through the mangroves and saw lots of iguanas and even got to hold a jellyfish. We had ample time in stingray city. Everyone got to hold the stingray and take pictures, with time to spare. Be prepared to bring cash to tip your excursion guides and drivers. Despite the great excursions, the poor quality of the ship really brought down the experience for me. I’m not a seasoned cruiser quite yet, but in comparison to the three others I’ve taken, this is the worst ship by far. I just couldn’t get over the smell. They also didn’t have any staff performances at dinner time, which was always my favorite part of the carnival cruises. Any time we had to disembark the ship, it took almost 30-45 minutes and it was hectic and unorganized. They could easily have cut the time in half if they had opened another line (which they definitely could have—there was a whole lane just not being used) for onboarding and offboarding. I hope they retire this ship soon. Dining options were good. Our server always forgot my soda whenever I ordered one, though. They would charge me and then I would have to ask for it again halfway through my main course. I personally don’t think the soda package is worth it unless you drink 2+ sodas at lunch and dinner. You have to go to the bar to get sodas for lunch. Other ships I’ve been on had Coca Cola Freestyle machines to dispense soda at your own leisure. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
This ship is old and needs to be taken out of Carnival's fleet. When I walked into our cabin it smelled like raw sewage. I thought that maybe the staff had used the bathroom right before we came into the room. We had an interior room ... Read More
This ship is old and needs to be taken out of Carnival's fleet. When I walked into our cabin it smelled like raw sewage. I thought that maybe the staff had used the bathroom right before we came into the room. We had an interior room and the bed for me and my husband were twin beds (a top and bottom bunk). The chair and bench in the room were dingy and torn and I had to put a towel over them to sit down. I went to Guest Service and informed them of the smell and about the bed. They came and sprayed the bathroom and brought in another fold out bed and put it beside the bottom bed. The mattress was so soft (just not a good bed). I didn't smell the sewage smell anymore in our room, but did smell it in the hallway. The towels were dingy and hard. There were sink holes in the hallways and in the staterooms. The lunch and dinner on the Lido was not good (breakfast was good). It took us over an hour to get our food in the Ecstasy dining, so we stopped going. Deon, the Cruise Director was great and the entertainment was great too. I will not cruise on this ship again and wouldn't advise other people too. Pay a little more money for a better ship. We enjoyed our excursions. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Chose this cruise as a quick get away weekend with my daughter. there was a hurricane in the gulf and it did impact our trip, but really was happy with the direction of the Captain. Staff is so overworked. Our steward appeared to have ... Read More
Chose this cruise as a quick get away weekend with my daughter. there was a hurricane in the gulf and it did impact our trip, but really was happy with the direction of the Captain. Staff is so overworked. Our steward appeared to have little time to meet us but he did a very good job considering he had more than 20 rooms each day. The cruise is very inexpensive but with that come a less desirable type of guests. Rules of decor and dress are not enforced and cheap and tacky was the clothing in the dining room. In the past, if a guest was not properly dressed, they were "encouraged" to either change or go to the buffet. Bathing suits with see through cover-up, cut off jeans with rear ends hanging out, baseball caps on sideways and saggy jeans were seen each visit to the dining room The recreation staff were efficient but once again way overworked. You could see them running from one event to another it appeared as if the entertainment staff consisted of 4 people. I am sure they are dead at the end of each day. The low cost of the cruise may be bringing in more people, but the service and quality has gone down considerable. I doubt I will come back to Carnival for future cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This was our third cruise on Carnival (5th overall) and, to be honest, I don’t think I will cruise with them again. This ship was very rundown and dirty. Our stateroom was not that bad except for the carpet, which was filthy. I don’t ... Read More
This was our third cruise on Carnival (5th overall) and, to be honest, I don’t think I will cruise with them again. This ship was very rundown and dirty. Our stateroom was not that bad except for the carpet, which was filthy. I don’t think our stateroom was vacuumed the whole time we were there as there was a piece of food or something under the desk when we got there that was still there when we left. The mattress was a little hard but the rest of it was OK. The worst thing, though, was the excursion we did in Ocho Rios. It was the Island Tour and Bamboo Beach Break. It was supposed to make 4 stops before ending up on the beach. At only two of those were we allowed to get off the bus. Mainly they were restroom stops where the line to use the facilities was long and then it was “get back on the bus.” After the first stop, we pulled over in a parking lot and were told there was something wrong with our bus and we needed to wait for them to bring us another bus. They didn’t say what was wrong with the bus, just said it was for our safety and that it wouldn’t take away from our beach time. We waited maybe 1/2 hour for the new bus after being told, “It’s 10 min away.” “It’s 5 min away.” and it ended up taking much longer than that. Next “stop” was the old church built in the 1500s. We basically just drove up to it, turned around and drove away. Our guide said we were not allowed to get out and enter the church unless we were Catholic but I saw someone else’s YouTube video of the same tour and they actually got out, walked around the church and even when inside. So, that was a lie and I think it was really due to our long wait for them to bring us another bus. We ended up at the Bamboo Beach Club where the tour description said we would be “shown to a chair on the beach and brought a cool drink.” In reality, we were handed a drink from a tray when we exited the bus. Our group of chairs were actually the furthest away and on a very rocky, tree lined part of the beach. By the time we reached the area where we were told to sit, the ice in my drink was melted so I asked for more which, of course, never materialized. We had to step over rocks and tree roots while carrying a drink and then down a rocky slope to even get to the beach. I had seen other’s pictures where the chairs we right on the shore so you could walk directly into the water without all the climbing. The description also said food would be available for purchase, so I assume there was little snack bar something on the beach. It ended up being a three-course lunch for either $17 or $22 and you had to buy the drink extra. It was either that or you got nothing. I ended up purchasing the jerk chicken meal for $17. To be honest, it was not that great. The chicken was good but the rice and coldeslaw seemed bland to me and she kept forgetting my soup. When it finally arrived, it was good, some sort of fish soup and the best thing about the meal. My sister had the fish option for $22 and was served first but they kept forgetting her silverware. So, her meal got cold while waiting for utensils. They also kept forgetting my brother-in-law’s beer, so he actually did not get it until he was finished with his meal. I went to the restroom, which was back by where the bus was parked and, when I came out, was told it was time to get back on the bus. We hadn’t had out desert yet so they ended up bringing us our desert to eat on the bus. It seemed mostly a setup to put Jamaicans to work, so you can’t fault them for that. I just wonder how much of the money they get for those meals. The activities on “sea days” seemed kind of rushed and were always late starting. My husband likes to play corn hole and, for this activity, they only let you have one throw the first time. If you didn’t make it on the board, you were automatically out. Also they were positioned at the end of the bar so you could not see the rest of the participants from where we sitting in the bar. We saw two comedians, one of which was great and the other was not good at all. He even kept commenting about how people weren’t laughing. The variety show was music and dancing was just so so. But, the biggest thing I noticed is that the staff seemed less attentive than on other Carnival ships I’ve been on. On other ships, if you order a drink the first night, that drink is waiting for you on other nights or at least they ask you if that is what you want to drink . On this ship, I had to ask for my drink every night and sometimes it was not brought to me until mid-meal. Also, it seems like a small thing, but we did not have towel animals in our room every day, haha! Only the first, fourth, and fifth days. As I said, it’s a small thing, but we look forward to opening our door and seeing what the animal will be! Carnival is billed as “the fun ships” and we’ve always had a great deal of fun on every cruise but this one. I guess our expectations were just too high! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Very disappointed in the Carnival Sensation. Cruise date was September 6th thru 10th, 2018. My boyfriend and I were in need of a relaxing vacation. Boarding was quick and easy just had to wait for room to be ready. We get to the room it ... Read More
Very disappointed in the Carnival Sensation. Cruise date was September 6th thru 10th, 2018. My boyfriend and I were in need of a relaxing vacation. Boarding was quick and easy just had to wait for room to be ready. We get to the room it was good until.... I see there was black mold in the shower (I have attached pictures). As you can see in the pictures there is a lot and completely visible (not sure how that got missed in the cleaning process). I have allergies and on prescription medication.Then the king bed would not stay together. We told room service after the first night and he said he would take care of it and he did not. Dining took 35 minutes to even get the first part of what we ordered. Then to top it off walking down the hallway there was a strong smell of someone smoking weed in their cabin and nothing was done about it until the last night. When we returned from our excursion it was to late to go to the dining room, so we proceeded to get pizza well that was not happening there was a line of about 10 people with one person making pizzas and they were not very friendly.. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
After planning this family vacation for 28 people for over 13 months, carnival let me down extremely. I want to make sure i am transparent on this review so that others can use this to make a better decision than I did when planning. 1. ... Read More
After planning this family vacation for 28 people for over 13 months, carnival let me down extremely. I want to make sure i am transparent on this review so that others can use this to make a better decision than I did when planning. 1. My carnival travel agent was Yanely Pardo. Very courtesy and friendly young lady. She helped book over 25 persons on this cruise for us. We thought that most of us would be book in side by side rooms, but when we arrived for some reason we were very scattered on the ship making it hard to enjoy being together, but that was a very minor issue. 2.The ship was fair. It seem to be a very old ship but it was kept fairly well and was clean enough to be comfortable. We had an ocean view cabin on deck 4 and it was okay. Everything worked properly and we were able to be comfortable while in the cabin. 3. Dining was a very unfortunate part of the cruise. The food was tasteless. The buffet served a different themed food every night (ex. Caribbean, French etc), but food was not seasoned well. For dinner at the Fantasy dining room the food was the same; tasteless. Portions were small, but fair. 3a- the bottomless and cheers programs are a rip off. For the cheers program they ask that every adult in the room purchase the package at 50+ dollars a night which is not fair especially if there are others that do not drink in the room. The bottomless drinks we purchased for the kids did not include bottled water (this is stated on the site, but i over looked it so this is not on them, but I do find it unreasonable to not add water in a package with juice and soda). 4.Water activities for the kids. on this particular boat there was 1 water section for the toddler kids. The website states that toddlers are not allowed to wear swimmers or any thing of that kind that resembles a diaper and we also failed to notice this fine print, but the issues was not with the rule but more the RUDENESS of the staff when trying to address us about my nephew wearing a swimmer. When I inquired on why they explained so then I asked what they would suggest because he has paid the full amount to enjoy all activities on the boat. The staffer (who had no sincere concern on helping the situation) tells me that he take it off and just wear the trunks. While he was explaining this to me the Housekeeping supervisor comes in and starts to impatiently tell me why he could not wear the swimmer and annoyed he starts to speak slowly as if I didn't understand English. Even went as far as telling me that I could do what ever I needed to do. Which then made me irate and i went down to guest services to ask for his supervisor only to get someone under him! Very poor customer service in this situation that created a unpleasant mood for our family on this cruise. 5.Servicers on the ship drive on getting you to purchase more more and more because they get tips off of everything you purchase. My husband purchased several buckets of beers (which includes 4 beers for $24 yes $24) One of his servers brought back a ticket for 8 beers (this is double the amount as well as in tip amount). 6. Since there were almost 30 of us we decided not to use any of Carnivals excursion they offered on the site (extremely expensive). We ended up going to Playa Mia Grand Beach park. Each adult paid $45 for entry & buffet (only juice and water included). Kids under 11 years paid $35 for the same. 7. Guest services- Although most guest service reps were kind and helpful there was one gentlemen who seemed to be annoyed with having a job. I reviewed my invoice and found a $51.80 charge for service (maid, kitchen staff). so I asked what it was for and he then told me that it was a mandatory charge per person. So i left it alone only to find out the next morning that it was only a recommended charge and that i prepaid for it for myself and husband prior to the cruise. I asked another young lady to remove the charge for the children (3 kids) and she did and handed me a receipt for the removal of the charge, but the next day once I received the invoice i was charged the $51.80 for each child anyway. Although this was my 1st cruise and I was not sure what to expect the overall experience wasn't as grand and wonderful as we had hope it would be. Planning for 13 months to arrive and having staff be insensitive and unaccommodating as well as having servicers nickel and dime us at every chance did not make the trip fun or relaxing at all. I would not recommend a Carnival cruise to anyone and would not spend my own money on booking with them again. So much confusion and extra fees. I plan on trying another cruise line soon to see how the experience is suppose to be before determining if i am going to cruise regularly. Read Less
Carnival Sensation Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 0.0
Dining 3.5 0.0
Entertainment 3.5 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 2.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.5 0.0
Rates 3.0 0.0

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