1 Helpful Vote
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 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
2 Helpful Votes
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
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
2 Helpful Votes
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
1 Helpful Vote
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: July 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
3 Helpful Votes
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
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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