216 Carnival Sensation Cruise Reviews

5 day Sensation Miami Nassau Half Moon Cay and Grand Turks. Embarkation fastest ever about 10 minutes.   Ship was at Port D if you take Uber.   Not allowed in state rooms until 130 pm so if u come early just know that.  Lunch is ... Read More
5 day Sensation Miami Nassau Half Moon Cay and Grand Turks. Embarkation fastest ever about 10 minutes.   Ship was at Port D if you take Uber.   Not allowed in state rooms until 130 pm so if u come early just know that.  Lunch is open of course.  Luggage took about an hour. Cabin steward came by and asked if we wanted morning or evening cabin service and his sheet also said both so we said both and he did.  Also asked for ice and he supplied a bucket of ice all cruise.  We tipped extra at the end. We had a back balcony which was good.  Most beds in most cabins run parallel to the ship, meaning as the bow goes up and down your foot end of the bed goes up and down slightly if that make sense.  However for the few cabins at the aft the beds run perpendicular to the ship meaning the bed goes up and down left to right instead of foot to head.  It was just weird to be rocked that way all night. Nassau is the only port on this cruise you need both your key card and I.d.  a driver's license is all you need for this cruise. No passport.  The other parts needed just your sign and sail card.   We walked 3 blocks south and 3 blocks east from the port and took a city bus on an unnarrated island tour for a buck and a quarter.  You pay at the end.  Bus 19 is a good one to see behind the scenes of you have done this island alot.   Private island... No tips...it was very hot.  Bring lots of sunscreen.  Excellent cell phone service.  Grand Turks.  It was so hot the locals were swearing badly.  There is limited free beach  chairs and cabanas and such right off the boat on the left of their pier so you want to be the first off.  The green umbrellas are free and the blue chairs behind them are free. First come first served.  The others are $25 for 2 chairs and an umbrella.   The 2nd night is formal night and an upgraded menu.  Be sure to try the rare finds like frog legs if that is your thing.  Most of the dinning room tables were for 8 to 12 people. Long gone are the days of tables for 2 and 4.  Every night they would stop service and the staff dance.  It use to be 1 night on cruised we took in the past.  Now everynight.  The background music is the same track each night.  We are dessert to Kenny g, entrees to a remake of Richard Marx, each night. It became a joke at our table.  Oh, this song is on, must be time for the bread..etc. By far the best part of the cruise was Deon the cruise director.   On 3 nights he had an event in the atrium about 845 pm. This is a must do.  It might be listed as name that song or something but just go. He had hundreds of people leaning over the edges of all the levels in the palm of his hand. IMHO one of the best vocalists at sea that we've seen is with the band Sixth Element.  They played most nights midship level 9.   Mostly standards from the 80s and 90s.  Some before.  They nailed so many songs so close that my phone app was showing the titles and original artist.  They have a new big fan   the crowds got bigger each night as passengers learned of them. The ship is old and worn out.  They have worked hard with upkeep but the price was right to overlook stuff.  The cabins have a hair drier and in the shower there are soap and shampoo dispensers.  One power outlet in cabin and 1 in bathroom.  We brought a very small splitter to charge 3 devices. Internet and cell phone...nassau if you have TMobile its local.  Others international plans work.  Half moon cay cell tower right by where dock is.  Turks the same.  On the sea day about 4 pm and off and on all night you are nearby towers on the islands you pass to get phone and internet.  In other words just make sure you are not on cellular at sea which is the ships towers, and you can stay connected without buying the ships internet package.  Overall a Nice cheap getaway. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I’ve travelled on this cruise ship 3 years ago and I remember the food being so amazing and I was super excited to have that again. Unfortunate, that was not the case. Guys burgers and all those workers there 100% saved the day. We had ... Read More
I’ve travelled on this cruise ship 3 years ago and I remember the food being so amazing and I was super excited to have that again. Unfortunate, that was not the case. Guys burgers and all those workers there 100% saved the day. We had an awesome waiter every night Herbert so amazing at what he does and so very sweet, Milovan made sure to put a smile on our faces throughout dinner and the show they put on, Juno and Budi very prompt and polite which made us feel more than welcome. Overall service was always superb and I am convinced that made the trip so memorable. Because the food wasn’t as great as expect we often ate at the sushi spot with Eduardo (I cannot remember the other gentleman’s name) and I can guarantee the $70 I spend on sushi in a week was well worth it. He described what was what and made the experience delightful and makes bomb sushi. Up on the deck, Iwan will always greet you by name, which is insane because there were well over 2000 people on that ship, made us feel so special. Our room was so cold, just the way I like and was always spotless. Jeerawut did an amazing job and was so patient when we would stay in during the cleaning times we set. Him and his crew are such hard workers even though we left a huge mess of confetti every night. (they deserve a raise!!) Overall, the cruise was pretty smooth sailing and our cruise director Andy made the experience worth while (even though the food wasn’t as great and we couldn’t enter the twerk contest) Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My mom and I booked this cruise solely to go to Cuba, as it is one of the few ports in the Caribbean we have yet to travel to. When the travel ban was enacted on Cuba two months prior to our cruise, we were beyond disappointed. Carnival ... Read More
My mom and I booked this cruise solely to go to Cuba, as it is one of the few ports in the Caribbean we have yet to travel to. When the travel ban was enacted on Cuba two months prior to our cruise, we were beyond disappointed. Carnival compensated us with $100 onboard credit per person (plus I believe $27 back in port expenses), or the ability to cancel our cruise with a full refund. In comparison, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian gave guests on their canceled Cuba cruises 50% off of the cruise fare. Our replacement port was Grand Cayman. So, this sub-par ship and itinerary did not have us overly stoked for this cruise. Upon boarding, it was evident the ship is old and in need of some help. The decor is outdated and the ship is a bit rusty. There is not anything exciting to do on board. However, this was made up for by the AMAZING staff. I was honestly shocked to find that the staff was so phenomenal on such a lackluster ship. Jai at guest services gave us four free drinks and complimentary steakhouse selections at dinner to compensate us for various disruptions on our cruise, such as the fact that our stateroom had an odor to it, which they took care of quickly. The cruise director, Deon, was lively, energetic, and kept the party going. His whole staff throughout the week made sure we were never bored. Our waiter at dinner, Joszef, remembered our names after the first night and made sure to always say hi to us wherever he saw us around the ship. The staff just made us feel so welcomed and appreciated throughout the entire cruise. We were disappointed to learn there was no steakhouse onboard, so we opted for the Chef's Table Experience. It was exquisite. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to expand their palate. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Platinum cruisers. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and cruise length. Embarkation in Miami was the best we have ever experienced in Miami. Parking garage could use a bit of TLC but overall the experience was good. ... Read More
Platinum cruisers. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and cruise length. Embarkation in Miami was the best we have ever experienced in Miami. Parking garage could use a bit of TLC but overall the experience was good. Arrived at 10:50am and we were on the ship at 11:00am. Cabin was ready so we were able to drop off some carry on items and go to explore the ship. Cabin was a bit small for a balcony. No couch just a chair. Ship is older but overall in very good condition. Lido buffet never seemed over crowded in lines. Most lines were for pizza and the deli. Main dining room dinner service was good...not exceptional. Food in dining room was okay. As was our experience on our last Carnival cruise. Just not feeling the dining room dinner cuisine. Guys Burgers, and the Cantina were great as always. Bar service was quicker to go up to the bar rather than wait for wait service on pool deck, which is fine. Only visited Alchemy Bar one time on this cruise. Entertainment in the main lounge was very good. The shows were good, and the the performers were good. Deon the Cruise Director was always around and did a great job. Our excursions were great and I will review separately. Sea Day Brunch was not as good as previously. Dining Room breakfast was okay...had the avocado toast. We self assisted leaving the ship for the first time and all went very well. Overall this was a great cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We always have great experiences on Carnival. You could definitely tell the ship was in an older class. The paint was chipping and rusting all over the ship. That is the only reason I did not give it a 5 star rating. The cabin was ... Read More
We always have great experiences on Carnival. You could definitely tell the ship was in an older class. The paint was chipping and rusting all over the ship. That is the only reason I did not give it a 5 star rating. The cabin was very clean and comfortable. Our room steward, Leonardo was very personable and was there for all our needs. The dining was EXCELLENT whether you ate in the formal dining room or buffet. I always love all the food selections, e.g., Guys burgers, Cantina, buffet, deli, pizza. The entertainment was par on this ship. The piano man, Sam Martin was AMAZING. Sam is a very talented pianist and singer. Service was wonderful. The staff is very attentive to all our needs. Disappointed because one of our stops was Cuba, but was cancelled. Our cruise Director, Erin, was very energetic and always had the crown engaged with all the activities. Loved Erin and her crew. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose this cruise because the itinerary included Cuba, which we wanted to visit. I most likely wouldn't have chosen this ship otherwise. That said, I don't get what all the complaints are about! I'm on my 20th Carnival ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the itinerary included Cuba, which we wanted to visit. I most likely wouldn't have chosen this ship otherwise. That said, I don't get what all the complaints are about! I'm on my 20th Carnival cruise so I've seen a lot of ships. It's true this one is smaller and doesn't have a few amenities like the Seaside Theatre but it still had plenty of other things you would find on other ships like Guy's Burgers, Sushi, Punchliner Comedy Club, mini-golf, Serenity deck, etc. It had a few very chill areas to relax on that you don't find on other ships too that I appreciated since the layout is different (in a good way). The smaller size meant fewer people which wasn't a bad thing either when it came to lines for food, port debarkation, etc. The food was decent too. Perhaps not quite as good as some of the other ships but other reviews had me expecting trash and it was far from that lol. Cabins were like any other ship for the most part imo (we had an Oceanview). The entertainment was good as far as music and comedians go. There was actually a live Salsa band in one of the lounges and dance lessons on one of the sea days which was fun. The cruise director Erin was just as good as other ships as well, so there was plenty to do. Room steward, waitstaff, etc also all gave the same high level of service I always have on Carnival so not sure why some people had a bad experience there. Bottom line, don't try to compare this ship to the Breeze or Vista. That would be like comparing Lake Michigan (which is indeed nice) to the Caribbean Sea (which is next level nice). The one thing I will caution is that final debarkation took a long time. There were only TWO customs agents that morning and there were probably about 2K people getting off. A few folks missed their flights so if you book a cruise to Cuba and have to fly to Miami be careful with how early your return flight leaves. Also, if you're looking for a tour in Havana go with Blexie. Much less expensive than Carnival's tours and far better. Rosio was the best! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was my first cruise, so I don't have anything to compare this ship to. Embarkation was fast for me. The food was decent. I didn't eat as much as I thought I would. I think the heat suppressed my appetite a little. I ... Read More
This was my first cruise, so I don't have anything to compare this ship to. Embarkation was fast for me. The food was decent. I didn't eat as much as I thought I would. I think the heat suppressed my appetite a little. I enjoyed the cafe, bars, comedy shows, casino, and parties. The shows in the theater were good. Most of the staff was very friendly. I think I will enjoy smaller to mid sized ships, and I didn't get seasick at all. The rocking was soothing at night, and it added to my experience of really realizing "Hey, I'm on a ship in the middle of the ocean!" Plus, I enjoyed the spots on the ship where you could just sit alone and relax for a while. I don't imagine the ships with 5k people have many quiet public spaces. I probably wouldn't get the drink package again though. I think I would've come out cheaper if I just paid for each drink. I scheduled an excursion in Miami due to a late flight, so my debarkation was not typical. We were off the ship by 8am, I believe. I don't know how it was for everyone else. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We were looking for a quick long weekend getaway. I was a little worried based on reviews and a co-worker's experience. We were pleasantly surprised! Yes, the ship is older and shows wear and tear. The bathroom did not have a vanity ... Read More
We were looking for a quick long weekend getaway. I was a little worried based on reviews and a co-worker's experience. We were pleasantly surprised! Yes, the ship is older and shows wear and tear. The bathroom did not have a vanity like older ships. However, we found it quite clean. The color scheme is quite electrifying. It's great if you like purple....which I do lol If you are familiar with cruise ships, this one can be a bit confusing to navigate. For example, the casino and promenade are usually Deck 5. Not on this ship. The crew? Fabulous....every one of them! Of our 17 cruises, this was probably the friendliest crew we've met. On the last sea day, something happened that caused our shower to back up. We came back to our cabin and our steward made sure to find us before we could even open the door. He explained what happened. They had a large fan in the room and a letter explaining the accident. We were offered another room which we declined since it was the last day. We were then given a Steak House selection in the dining room that night and a bottle of Moscato. We appreciated this consideration. The food...on par for cruising. We never had a problem finding something to eat. We cruise Carnival frequently so the menu was familiar. The dining staff were excellent! We were fortunate to be seated with a great group of people who we became friends with. The shows...typical Carnival shows. 88 Keys is a favorite of ours and this version was pretty good..not the best but entertaining overall. We did not go to the Cuban music one. We liked this ship enough to book it again for August 2019. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
The Carnival Sensation was a pleasant surprise! Although I’ve been on more than a dozen cruises, including 3 other Carnival cruises, I wasn’t sure what to expect on this 5-night itinerary on one of the older boats in the Carnival ... Read More
The Carnival Sensation was a pleasant surprise! Although I’ve been on more than a dozen cruises, including 3 other Carnival cruises, I wasn’t sure what to expect on this 5-night itinerary on one of the older boats in the Carnival line. I’m happy to report that it is a great deal for your dollar if you’re looking for a low frills, high fun cruise experience. What the boat lacks in décor from this millennium, it more than makes up for in enthusiastic entertainment and customer service. Despite the dated look and feel of the ship, everything on board was clean and we did not experience any of the funky odors reported in other reviews. The onboard activities were plentiful and well run. The buffet is small and the selection is not as diverse as other similar cruises we’ve been on, but the quality is good. The Guy Fieri’s burger bar was particularly tasty. The dinner selections were also good quality, and we were happy to see some of the vintage cruise fare options like escargot and baked alaska on the menu. The waitstaff shows were entertaining, but one would have been enough. We enjoyed listening to Tequila Mockingbird after dinner each night as well as “performing” karaoke with our fellow cruisers. Deon the Cruise Director was awesome. The mega-deck party on the second to last night was a blast, as was the 80’s/90’s trivia that he emceed on the last night! Also, the embarkation and debarkation was the BEST we have ever experienced. We were on the boat within 5 minutes of arriving at the port, and in a Lyft within 10 minutes of our floor being called for debarkation. This cruise definitely exceeded my expectations and I would not hesitate to cruise on Carnival again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Husband and i took this trip as our first getaway kid free. We booked this particular one as they were places we hadn't been and at a great price... plus was just the right amount of time away. I was a little nervous after reading ... Read More
Husband and i took this trip as our first getaway kid free. We booked this particular one as they were places we hadn't been and at a great price... plus was just the right amount of time away. I was a little nervous after reading some reviews, but we had a great experience! The staff were friendly, room was always clean(outside room with picture window), the ship was clean, food and drinks were good, and the cruise director Deon was amazing! It is a smaller ship and older, so there is less.. but we always found things to do between shows and other things going on around the boat. Deon was awesome about letting everyone know what was happening and keeping everyone entertained. Our ports were Ochos Rios and Grand Cayman. Getting off the ship was a bit of a hassle at both ports, but have had the same experience on other ships. we would absolutely go again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
As I first boarded the ship, I wasn't prepared for how small and aged the ship was going to be. Being my 7th cruise, this was the smallest ship I have cruised on. The overall decor of the ship was outdated (carpets, walls, signage, ... Read More
As I first boarded the ship, I wasn't prepared for how small and aged the ship was going to be. Being my 7th cruise, this was the smallest ship I have cruised on. The overall decor of the ship was outdated (carpets, walls, signage, etc.) and everything was purple. As far as entertainment on board, the broadway style shows and comedian acts were both fantastic. Our cruise director, Deon, was funny, energetic, and new how to keep a crowd entertained. The food quality on board wasn't terrible, but I have had better food on other Carnival ships. The selection of food was great though with many different options at both the Lido deck buffets and in the dining rooms. The dining experience in the dining room was great. All of the staff are friendly, remember your name and food preferences, as well as put on some good entertainment during dinner. I have always been a fan of Carnival's drink selection and quality of drinks. I highly recommend the Cheers Program if you are going to have more than 5 drinks a day. The Alchemy Bar is my favorite bar on board. They have the best quality drinks and the bar staff is always friendly and knowledgeable. The ports that we went to were Princess Cays and Nassau, Bahamas. This was my first trip to Princess Cays, which is one of Carnival's private islands. You are able to get off the boat and find a beach chair right by the water. The food on the island is included so you don't need to go back to the ship for lunch or buy lunch like at most ports. You are able to buy drinks from the bartenders that will come right up to your chair and charge them to your stateroom and not have to worry about having any cash. As far as Nassau, I must say that I am not usually a fan. You have to take a taxi to pretty much anywhere you want to go, there is not much to do right when you walk off the ship. This is definitely a port you want to book an excursion at so that you have something planned getting off the boat. Overall, I thought this cruise was a good value for what you pay for. Staying in a suite made the trip better. Having our room accessible very close to the Lido deck was great. Having priority embarkation/debarkation as well as priority getting on the water shuttles was well worth it as well. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I was invited to join a birthday group traveling to the Bahamas. We cruised on the Carnival Sensation. The staff was quite friendly, I must say! Our steward was very outgoing (the three times we saw him), our dining room service team of ... Read More
I was invited to join a birthday group traveling to the Bahamas. We cruised on the Carnival Sensation. The staff was quite friendly, I must say! Our steward was very outgoing (the three times we saw him), our dining room service team of Alex, Soe, and Karla was magnificent, and the cruise director Deon kept the party going! Those were the very best parts. The cruise ship is kept pretty clean. I could not rave about our housekeeping team or our steward, who was never available by the direct line that he offered to us on the 1st day. Bathroom was not kept clean or stocked until day 2/3 or so, which was disappointing. Regarding the food...the reviews on this site are accurate in that the buffet, IMO, is terrible. I chose to stick with Guy's Burger Joint (surprisingly delicious), the Blue Iguana (tasty taco bar), and the Main Dining Room fare. I really wish that there were other dining options; I got pretty tired of having burgers and tacos almost every day for lunch. The main dining room was the best bet (brunch/dinner only). The portions are tiny, considering the limitless dining offering (you can enjoy as many dishes as you'd like--the entire menu can be had for dinner). We chose open dining, too, which was a nice flexible option. We also enjoyed the Cheers alcohol package, which I HIGHLY recommend. The bartenders are pretty slow-moving, and not super friendly, unlike the rest of staff...however, the package pays for itself in 5 drinks or so throughout the course of the day. The cruise ship director Deon made a BIG impact on this trip. He livened up every night (and day) with his beautiful singing voice, great sense of humor, and vivacious personality. My sister is booking another trip solely because of him, so...there you have it! The nightly entertainment, games, and shows were available almost everywhere, so there truly is ALWAYS something to do. There are also quiter activities like board games in the library, yoga/morning stretch, gym time, and more. The ports-of-call were delightful. Princess Cays was beyond beautiful. Nassau was more authentic, but I found it to be a lot less clean than expected. The straw market was full of repeated stalls, but I was able to get great, "handmade" gifts well within my budget. I also especially enjoyed a vendor in the promenade near the Tortuga store (where I also tasted some great rum and cake, and the ladies were so friendly). I would have liked to have traveled off the main thruway, but was nervous about going it alone. I also voided the jeweler's row that we were encouraged by the cruiseline sales team to visit; it was not for me. Overall: a nice and relaxing trip with the girls. You could not beat the options for "fun," for which Carnival is known. There are activities abound and a lively spirit brought about by the Cruise director and friendly staff. The affordability, as well, probably can not be beat. I would like to try cruising again, perhaps on another line or a nicer ship (the Sensation is outdated, apparently), as I would love to have more dining options. I looked forward to eating well on this trip, and was a little disappointed. I enjoyed my vacation nonetheless. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
The dining room was our favorite place to dine. The food was great and we enjoyed being waited on. We were not a huge fan of the buffet lines so decided dining was best for us. ALL of the staff we encountered were happy and helpful. The ... Read More
The dining room was our favorite place to dine. The food was great and we enjoyed being waited on. We were not a huge fan of the buffet lines so decided dining was best for us. ALL of the staff we encountered were happy and helpful. The ship itself is old and felt dated but our overall experience was fun. We did beach excursions in both the Jamaica and Grand Cayman ports. I highly recommmend doing an excursion. You get to see more of the island and have an accommodating beach visit. The on ship entertainment was great. There was always something fun to entertain us. We loved the comedians! Being at sea was gorgeous so we equally just enjoyed grabbing a lounge chair and soaking up the sun. If you are sensitive to motion have your doctor prescribe a patch. My husband and I both wore them and we didn’t have any problems. I wouldn’t want to risk it and go without. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We picked up this cruise as part of a timeshare promotion. The travel dates were convenient to our work schedule and we were avoiding going to Mexico or Cuba. We upgraded to the porthole room. I was very happy with the porthole, as its ... Read More
We picked up this cruise as part of a timeshare promotion. The travel dates were convenient to our work schedule and we were avoiding going to Mexico or Cuba. We upgraded to the porthole room. I was very happy with the porthole, as its primary purpose was to give us a daylight wake-up call. Last cruise we had a window, which we couldn't see out of anyway. We chose early seated dining. No complaints. Service and food were good. I was a little surprised that they nailed the jerked chicken wings. We really enjoyed the hot Jamaican coffee. The alchemy bar was cool, with neat drinks. The bartender could have used a personality infusion. Bar service on the Serenity deck was terrible and only went to 17:00. The entertainment troupe was good, far and away better than our last Carnival cruise. We booked the Ocho Rios excursion through Carnival, Bamboo Beach Club VIP. The VIP part of the beach was nice (plenty of shade), but it wasn't far from the rest of the beach. Not quite as loud. The staff provided constant food and drink service. No snorkeling at this beach. As a whole, I wish we had not booked through the cruise line. At Grand Cayman we did not book an excursion. We walked over to Eden Rock dive center and rented a locker. I count this as one of the better decisions in my life. We snorkeled until we became concerned about sunburn. Rinsed off and changed at the dive center then went shopping. This will now be our go-to stop in Grand Cayman, and I suggest anybody else interested in snorkeling or diving do the same. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I chose this cruise due to the destination ports of Jamaica & Grand Cayman & the low price. After reading previous reviews and comments, I really wasn't looking forward to cruising on the Sensation but decided to just have an ... Read More
I chose this cruise due to the destination ports of Jamaica & Grand Cayman & the low price. After reading previous reviews and comments, I really wasn't looking forward to cruising on the Sensation but decided to just have an open mind. Much to my surprise, I actually enjoyed the ship and cruise. Of course it is an older ship so theres obvious wear and tear throughout the ship. But nothing that made me uncomfortable or dampened my mood. The entire cruise I chose not to eat at the buffet due to the previous negative reviews and chose to instead eat at Guy's Burger Joint, Dining room(Breakfast on sea day & dinner nightly), and had an ample amount of pizza which were all better than expected. Never went in the pool because there was always a crowd since there is just one pool on the entire ship, but did hop in the Jacuzzi in the Serenity(21 & up) section quite a few times. Our cruise directer was Kevin, and he did a really good job and was enjoyable. All in all i enjoyed myself on this cruise, not saying that it was "the best cruise" or anything but if you just go wanting to enjoy your time and not worrying about nitpicking any and everything you see, you'll enjoy yourself as well. (Also the entire staff was awesome and always friendly and willing to help especially our room steward Sigit, who was AWESOME. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose this cruise for the reasonable price, and we knew that the ship was a bit outdated, but that didn't deter us. We loved all of the activities that were going on,and there was always a good selection of things to do. Our ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the reasonable price, and we knew that the ship was a bit outdated, but that didn't deter us. We loved all of the activities that were going on,and there was always a good selection of things to do. Our favorite person on the ship was Phillip aka "Sassy"! He was working the Trivia, and I absolutely love how infectious his personality was, and he is such a sweetheart! Our Cruise Director was Orlando, and he was really funny, and was good at keeping people laughing! Deon was great, and boy, that guy can sing! I loved what he says "Always give a little piece of your heart to everyone you meet". Between Phillip, Orlando, and Deon, they all made our first carnival cruise SENSATIONAL! There was a good selection of food, I thought the food at the Dining Centers were good, but the Lido Deck (Seaview Buffet) was kind of hit and miss. I liked the Blue Iguana Restaurant the best. All of the shows were fantastic! If you get a chance, become a VIP at the 70's show, it's so fun and well worth it! You'll get to go on stage and dance, and get to meet the cast at VIP Party the next night! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I wanted to have one last huge vacation with my kids as my oldest heads off to college in the fall. A cruise to the Carribean sounded fun as we all like the beach, and it was an area we hadn't been, and further, my girls had never ... Read More
I wanted to have one last huge vacation with my kids as my oldest heads off to college in the fall. A cruise to the Carribean sounded fun as we all like the beach, and it was an area we hadn't been, and further, my girls had never been out of the country. We booked this through a travel agent, so all those details were taken care of through someone else. I did a lot of research on the ports and the ship itself once I got my itenerary so I would be able to make good decisions on excursions, etc. I wound up throwing it all out the window and going with what I found on here and with some information gathered out of Trip Advisor. The excursions listed through Carnival and my travel company were horrifically expensive, and as I'm working on my teacher's salary and my income tax refund, I was trying to stick to a budget. The embarkation was.....interesting. I purchased transportation from the airport to the dock, and apparently they were backed up. Some people complained they had been there since 8am (it was around 11:30 or so when we got off our flight) and the man from Carnival directing it was rude. Told us all to come on, so all 35 of us started to move, he then told over half of us to go back and sit down. He then took the people that had just walked up forcing the people that had been waiting for hours to keep waiting. It was a little like a circus. Or carnival? Once actually on the ship, it wasn't bad. We had to wait around until close to 3 to actually get into our room. Our room was better than I expected. Very clean, roomier than I expected, beds were great. Only one outlet though, and the shower temperatures were set in Celcius so that took some getting used to. The dining room was excellent. The wait staff was beyond reproach. The food was really good, although sometimes the selections were not to our liking. It didn't matter, because we could always go grab something later elsewhere. We never saw our housekeeping staff, so as far as gratuities there, the minimum was all I'd give. I wish I could've given more to the wait staff. I traveled with a 12 year old and an 18 year old. My 12 year old had a blast with Circle C club, the pool, slides, and goofy golf. My oldest? Absolutely nothing for her to do. Too old for the kids clubs, too young for all the other stuff, plus I don't gamble, and am not a big drinker. She got bored really quick. We're not into shopping either. You couldn't always hear the daily announcements, so we missed a lot of things. The daily guides can be hard to follow since they don't really tell you how long things last, you kind of have to guess. You have to be prepared to WALK. Most of these ports are a LOOOOOOONG way from the ship. And the elevators have their own agenda, so you take the stairs a lot. Nassau was one port that was about a good 5 or more minute walk from the ship. Look for the free bus at the dock!!! It will take you to town and back. Where I was most disappointed was in the 'hidden language' that wasn't explained clearly by either Carnival, or my travel agent. You won't really need much spending money (cash) on you for this. Some for the ports for gifts and whatnot, or food/drinks, but there is absolutely NO cash on the boat. Your ship & sail card is your cash. It works like a credit card. Everything on the ship- food, soda, alcohol, Bingo tickets, purchases in the stores, everything, gets put on the ship and sail card. At the end of the trip they cash out your purchases onto whatever credit card you gave them at the beginning. This was not properly, nor clearly explained to me beforehand, so I thought that I would only pay for our souvenirs off the boat and the mandatory gratuities. Nope. $330 later.......which included the mandatory gratuity, three coffees, three purchases from the Cherry on Top store, two runs in the arcade (that doesn't even take coins!!!) and a trip to the medical center for aloe which didn't clear TSA like we were told it would, I was frantically transferring money on the day we returned to Miami. Half Moon Cay is owned by Carnival, so they only take your ship and sail card there as well. Didn't know that either. Disembarkation was pretty smooth. They apparently changed their process, and were calling individual floors down, and you could put your bags out the night before to be checked, or get numbered tags if you want your bags checked. But everyone kind of went together so I'm not sure how this saved time. Perhaps someone who has been cruising for years could weigh in. I might cruise again. Maybe with another adult. I'd like to try a bigger ship next time. It was fun, an experience, glad I did it and especially glad I did it when my kids were old enough to appreciate it. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Let me start by saying we picked this trip for our Anniversary based on the cost to get away for a few days as we have a trip to Europe planned next month. We flew into Miami the morning of departure, which I do not recommend. Due to ... Read More
Let me start by saying we picked this trip for our Anniversary based on the cost to get away for a few days as we have a trip to Europe planned next month. We flew into Miami the morning of departure, which I do not recommend. Due to weather up north, we weren't sure we would get out. We ended up getting out fine. Took a Lyft from Miami Airport to the cruise terminal. Definitely do this as it's the cheapest option (approx. $18 each way). Embarkation were extremely smooth. We were on the boat within 15 mins of arriving! They now have portable kiosks setup and the Carnival Representative just scans your boarding pass and passport. As easy as that! The sail and sign cards are available in your room mailbox when you arrive. I thought at first this was a safety concern, but they stress if the envelope has been tampered with, go to guest services and they'll take care of everything. As the rooms were not available until 1:30 PM, your printed boarding pass acts as your sail and sign card and already has your unlimited drinks package added to it! We reserved a porthole room on the 7th deck towards the front. As this is an older ship, you can feel the movement a bit more, but I would definitely recommend a room at the very front or very back as the hallways tend to be a bit noisy. Our room steward, Dewa was great! He knocked on our door to talk as we were getting settled in and had us fill out a survey for when we wanted our room done up. This was very new to me as I was used to having the room made up in the morning or evening. You CAN select both. As I know how hard these stewards work, I elected for AM only to make his job a bit easier. We brought a bottle of champagne from our honeymoon to drink on our anniversary and Dewa made sure he put it in a bucket of ice for us so it was chilled. He also presented us with a gift card to the spa to use. I know this was from Carnival, but he had a nice written note to accompany it. The food was pretty good most nights. I opted for the $20 upgrade to the surf and turf on the last night, which was worth it. Our waiter, I Made, was fantastic. The entertainment was meh. We did not enjoy the singing/dancing on the first night, so we skipped it the rest of the cruise and opted for the comedy club, which was pretty good most nights. Some nights bombed, others were hilarious. Roland, the guitar player in the atrium was the highlight. He was fantastic. We loved sitting at the bar and listening to him. The bartenders were great for the most part. Tamara in the atrium bar and Budimir in the casino were highlights. Top notch service and they were extremely personable. Can't say enough about the Cruise Director and his staff. This was my 14th cruise and Orlando was one of the best. Deion was a fantastic addition to his staff and always had us cracking up. While we did have a hiccup with one of the casino dealers one night, we got an apology from the pit boss the next day and we were there every night. Most dealers just wanted everyone to have fun! Al Glenn, Marcos, and Errol deserve special recognition here. As for the ports, Nassau was great just to talk around. We did some research and went to Pirate Republic Brewing, which I can't recommend enough. Only craft brewery in the Bahamas. Beer was great and staff was friendly. After, we walked around the straw market (didn't get harassed as much as we thought we would). We really enjoyed the woodcarving section and bought a turtle. Definitely barter! We spent the rest of the day at an "Island Dive Bar" called The Bearded Clam to watch the World Cup. Food was good, drinks were great, and the staff was friendly. Due to rough waters not allowing safe tendering, Half Moon Cay was cancelled for us and we enjoyed another Sea Day. The Cruise Director Staff tried to add some entertainment for us, including discounted Bingo and trivia, but it was mostly just a relaxing day. Disappointing, but you have to understand safety first. We did an independent excursion in Gran Turk through Exclusive Escapes and can't say enough. We did a snorkel, conch dive, and stingray interaction trip and it was amazing. The drop they take you to to see the reefs was breathtaking and getting to swim with the stingrays was great. USE THIS VENDOR. The owner's were incredibly kind and the crew was great! Before you book this cruise, take it for what it is. It's an inexpensive cruise on an old ship. Just have fun instead of nitpicking everything! The clientele was different than what I have seen on RCL, Princess, and other Carnival ships, but everyone was friendly and just looking to have a good time! Just note that people may not dress how you've seen in the past. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
I was a bit apprehensive after reading some of the reviews. This ship is older but it was clean and the service was awesome. The food was average but I'm not a big eater so that didn't bother me any. The food in the dining room ... Read More
I was a bit apprehensive after reading some of the reviews. This ship is older but it was clean and the service was awesome. The food was average but I'm not a big eater so that didn't bother me any. The food in the dining room was better than the buffet food though. I'd definitely get a balcony room again, we spent quite a bit of time out there chatting and listening to music. The elevators were really slow, we only used them once in 5 days. We didn't mind climbing stairs but it would be difficult for anyone with mobility issues. We never used the pool, it was always pretty crowded. They may want to look into adding another pool. We spent our days at shore on the beach anyhow so the pool was really a nonissue for us. There weren't a whole lot of kids on this cruise which was a plus for us. We were looking for peace and quiet. I'd do this cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Overall, this was the best cruise I have taken so far with Carnival (my 3rd one). This has mostly to do with the amazing ports that this sailing visited. I had an amazing time in the Dominican Republic and Grand Turk was by far the most ... Read More
Overall, this was the best cruise I have taken so far with Carnival (my 3rd one). This has mostly to do with the amazing ports that this sailing visited. I had an amazing time in the Dominican Republic and Grand Turk was by far the most beautiful place I have ever been in my life. As far as the ship, believe the majority of the reviews, the ship IS older and definitely shows some signs of wear and tear. There were no areas or spaces that were down-right decrepit, but from the staterooms to the common areas, you can definitely tell that this is an older, smaller ship that lacks a lot of the luxury of the newer, larger ships. The only pro to this was that areas were less-crowded which resulted in better, faster service (most of the time), however it was still a fight to find a beach chair on days at sea. Overall, if it involved being able to travel to such amazing destinations for a somewhat reasonable price, I definitely would hop on the sensation again, however in the future, I will definitely be on the lookout for larger newer ships. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Ok. We knew going in it was a older ship wanted a low cost 3 to 5 day cruise to Caribbean. Not all the latest accommodations as other ships. The ship was very clean . Dining room experience good .They should allow more food options on ... Read More
Ok. We knew going in it was a older ship wanted a low cost 3 to 5 day cruise to Caribbean. Not all the latest accommodations as other ships. The ship was very clean . Dining room experience good .They should allow more food options on Lido deck. The burgers were very good. Kids had a great time. Entertainment was non stop. The staff was friendly and helpful. For the cost and length of the cruise I think we got our money's worth. I would recommend for 1 time cruise to try the Sensation. You have to try it yourself and not go by all the reviews. Kids had s nice time at the camps. Age groups 6 to 11 you have to pay after 10pm fee and 15% gratuity for night activities. Do not wait till the last minute to get your pictures. Could not locate my family pics. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
This was my very first cruise and it did not disappoint. I loved the crew on board, the shore excursions, the ship itself, the entertainment, the food, etc. We ate in the buffet-style restaurant for breakfast and lunch, and then in the ... Read More
This was my very first cruise and it did not disappoint. I loved the crew on board, the shore excursions, the ship itself, the entertainment, the food, etc. We ate in the buffet-style restaurant for breakfast and lunch, and then in the main dining room for dinner every night. We chose Your Time Dining, and had to wait for a table for maybe fifteen minutes maximum one night. On the other nights, however, there really wasn't a wait at all. The food was delicious and there were many options on the menu each night, including certain meals specific to the ports and cultures we had visited that day. Side note: I highly recommend the Carnival Melting Chocolate Cake, which we made sure to have every single night. It is easily the best dessert ever and SO delicious! Each night, the dining staff put on a performance and line danced/sang in the dining room, which was so fun to watch. They were always very quick with the food and offered pleasant/friendly service. In terms of entertainment, we had Orlando and Deon for cruise directors. Both guys were extremely friendly, upbeat, high energy, and outgoing. We went to the Hasbro Game Show, karaoke, the 18+ scavenger hunt, a trivia game in the atrium, and two comedy shows, just to name a few -- all of which were great experiences. There were multiple opportunities offered for most of the events, so it wasn't like we had to plan our entire schedules around a certain event we wanted to participate in. We chose the smallest (aka cheapest) stateroom option possible, and there were three of us sharing the room. It had all of the necessities and was very clean. The beds were comfortable and the shower was bigger than we had anticipated. Overall, the cabin was comfortably small, and not in a claustrophobic way. The stateroom crew was incredibly sweet and helpful, especially our personal stateroom crew member Andrea, who made the experience all the more wonderful. She made the effort to learn our names and greet us every time she saw us. The only con of the cabin was that there were only two outlets- one next to a bed and the other in the bathroom. It made things difficult for the three of us to alternate usage of the outlets while charging phones, but we made it work. Although there were four hot tubs and two water slides, there was only one pool. I had expected there to be at least two pools and was surprised that there weren't more. Surprisingly, the single pool didn't get too crowded considering the fact that it was the only one. I was happy that two of the hot tubs were 21+ because the other two hot tubs by the pool were almost always filled with kids. In terms of shore excursions, my friends and I went to the Blue Hole in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, where we jumped into the swimming holes and waterfalls and then tubed down the White River. I highly recommend you bring water shoes for this shore excursion because you will need it. The tour guides were super friendly and nice, as was the bus driver, who locked our belongings on the bus while we did the water activities. Our tour guide at the Blue Hole, Javier, offered to hold my prescription glasses for me when I jumped into the water so that I wouldn't accidentally lose them. Overall, they were very accommodating and informative about local culture. The second shore excursion we did was swimming with turtles and stingrays in Grand Cayman. That morning, there were high winds that made it difficult to dock in the original port, which delayed our ability to get to shore. However, because we booked our excursions through the cruise line, the cruise staff made sure that we got the full shore excursion experience, and it was well worth it. We had an incredible time and, once again, the tour guides were the greatest! It was really hard to leave the ship, but I'm excited to take another cruise some time soon! I really can't emphasize how wonderful the crew onboard was, and how much that made for such an incredible experience. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We got there the night before and stayed in Ft. Laud. w/ family got to the port 1040am .First off Miami port was a breeze we had priority boarding. We were on the boat at 1140am. I love Carnival! I read so many negative things on here ... Read More
We got there the night before and stayed in Ft. Laud. w/ family got to the port 1040am .First off Miami port was a breeze we had priority boarding. We were on the boat at 1140am. I love Carnival! I read so many negative things on here about the sensation. Its an Old ship. We had a blast. People always pick on the decor and carpet. who cares you are not working,you have people waiting on you. Enjoy life and that what I did. The food was ok not terrible like everyone said .There is something you will like,salmon was good,ceasar salad was excellent. Pumpkin soup was awesome.Chocolate melting cake was the Bomb. Ive had better food for sure.The longer the cruise the better the food for sure. Lots to choose from. The Mexican place and Guys burgers were great!! The pizza was ok .The deli was really good. We went to all the Comedy shows they were really good even the PG. If u dont like R shows dont go cause it was R rated.They were really funny. The piano bar was ok not great .He was slow.We left. The casino bar (the smoking area) has the Best Band ever!!! It was very smokie. The casino is always a Blast. I lost my butt though. Super slow on getting your drinks though esp. if there free.The serenity deck (adult only) was really nice. !st stop key West Im from S. florida so ive been many times. It was fun.We didnt have long it was chilly and early u really dont feel like drinking at 730am .We went on a Trolly ride all around town,u ca get off and on when ever u want. It was nice and scenic. Best Conch fritters around and Key Lime pie. We left Key west around 130 pm and headed to Cozumel that was a blast. We took dune buggie tour and snorkel/lighthouse and island tour. wwwcozumelcruiseexcursions.net we did it on our own not through Carnival. It was a blast Lunch was included. We drank/shopped and partied. All and All We had a blast. It is what u make of it. Dont listen to Bad reviews. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We selected Carnival as we wanted a fun, family friendly vacation with our two sons (age 15 & 20). We were very happy with the ship, our stateroom (small but manageable and amazingly comfortable beds!), the entertainment, and the wide ... Read More
We selected Carnival as we wanted a fun, family friendly vacation with our two sons (age 15 & 20). We were very happy with the ship, our stateroom (small but manageable and amazingly comfortable beds!), the entertainment, and the wide variety of food options. The staff were so friendly - Orlando the cruise director was hilarious and our room attendant Shawn always had some clever quip for our teenage sons and was a pleasure to chat with. We missed out on the Cays as we could not tender safely but our other ports (Nassau and Grand Turk) were fantastic and we loved our excursions (two-reef snorkel/tour and Open Air Jeep island excursion). When we had an unexpected "at sea" day the staff worked hard to put together a fun day with extra activities so although we were disappointed to miss out on the beach day we still had a lot of fun and it did not negatively impact the cruise. I was really impressed with the food - so fresh, lots of variety, and the dining room dinner was a special experience each evening. Guy's burgers and the sushi were highlights. Our oldest loved having "second lunch" and "second supper" on many occasions! Haha! Oh to be a teenager! The ship was large enough that we could always find something to do but not so large that we couldn't find everything or spent too much time wandering. I loved the funky purple decorations/lighting and we all thoroughly enjoyed our vacation. Definitely something for everyone! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Great 5 day Caribbean Cruise on the Sensation. Yes this is a smaller ship, but I actually preferred it over ships like the Oasis of the Seas. Much more laidback, do as you please type of attitude. Entertainment- could have had more ... Read More
Great 5 day Caribbean Cruise on the Sensation. Yes this is a smaller ship, but I actually preferred it over ships like the Oasis of the Seas. Much more laidback, do as you please type of attitude. Entertainment- could have had more show options, and could have hosted the Deck Parties longer. After a couple songs, the Fun Squad disappear. We never had an issue getting on/off ship. super quick process. Dining- Blue Iguana for Breakfast, Guys Burgers for Lunch....both are great options!!! Lines always moved fast. Also, Pizza was always good. Main Dining- Good, im a picky eater, but could find something. Appetizers always good, Entrées hit or miss. Dessert always good. Staff- all very nice, bar staff were all good, great bands playing near Casino bar. Loved singing along with Rohan in the piano bar. Good times :) Grand Turk- got off ship, walked down the beach to the left of the ship to Jacks Shack. Beach is not rocky there. Had a few local beers. Then walked back closer to ship for Margaritaville. Great day. Also small space shuttle exhibit, to the right side area of the ship about John Glenn and his visit to the area "via" splashdown ! Cute to get pics of the monument. Half Moon Cay- get off the ship and enjoy the best beach :) go up to the top of the pirate ship for a good view and picture stop. Nassau- got off the ship start heading down to the right, where the Ferries are for Paradise Island. $8 roundtrip per person- the ride is beautiful and entertaining- may better than being in a cab. Walked thru the Atlantis Marina village, and then head to the free public Cabbage Beach, one of my favorite beaches. The waves here are strong, makes it fun, but be cautious. Got 2 chairs, and 2 unlimited coconut drinks, for $60 Good getaway, met expectations for the price! Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
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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