Carnival Sensation Cruise Review by KenD17
- Sail Date: April 2012
- Destination: Bahamas
- Cabin Type: Balcony
Room: Our room was ready immediately, which was a plus. This balcony room was equipped with a pullman bed that was located directly over where your head would sleep in the queen sized bed. As a light sleeper, who tosses and turns frequently, I banged my head several times throughout the cruise while I was sleeping. NCL's pull out couches seemed like a much better design for a third person option. That being said, the rest of the room was VERY intelligently designed. Three large closets, a bathroom that wasn't cramped and under-bed storage allowed the room to remain clutter free for the duration of the trip. One other very minor negative is that the LCD TV is mounted at about five feet high and has no tilt. While laying down and watching TV, shows that had very dark tones were difficult to watch as the pictures were heavily shadowed.
Formal Dining: Could not have been more satisfied with the quality of service by our head waiter, Mohammed. Simply the best. As far as food quality, the food in the dining room was mostly good in my opinion. My wife, who is usually much more pickier than I am, found it better. The flat-iron steak was good when ordered as Rare or Medium Rare, but when ordered Medium it came out very well done. The melting chocolate cake dessert was phenomenal and we enjoyed it every night. There are two dining rooms - one seemed to be recently remodeled and the other could use some updating. Going into the cruise, I was most concerned about the quality of the food, coming out, it was much better than I expected. That being said, breakfast was pretty good, but the scrambled eggs were very runny....
Buffet Dining: While I enjoyed the Asian station of the buffet, I wouldn't recommend the rest of the buffet. Pizza left a lot to be desired. Pasta was worse. Hamburgers were routinely overcooked and the Deli line needed additional staffing to be worth the wait.
Entertainment: The 1980's song review was great, especially the tribute to Madonna (whom I am not a big fan of). The trivia contests were relatively small. Karoake was fun. Initial sail-away party was a nice treat. Mini-golf on the top deck was EXTREMELY difficult due the high winds. There's only one pool which was overrun by preteens (but this was a Spring Break week for schools). The slides and water sprinkler areas were well designed and not at all overcrowded despite the large number of children on the ship. We didn't get to experience the Serenity deck because we out 5YO with us. The kids club was okay, probably would have been better if our DD was 6, because the 2 to 5 YO group was geared more towards the younger end of that age spectrum. Having the attendants tell us that our daughter was too mature for her group didn't make us feel any better, but she did love the magic act.
Casino: Was told on the first night that they don't rate you unless you are betting at least $25 per hand for at least a couple of hours. The electronic hold'em tables take a rather large rake (15%), but it seemed as if the players sitting at the table were more interested in playing at the table than winning money. If you are a strong poker player, there is money to be made here.
Other public ship areas: The public bathrooms have been recently remodeled and look so contemporary that they don't seem to fit the decor of the rest of the ship. The theater is decently sized, but get to a show early or find yourself on the sides of the ship where support pillars will somewhat obstruct your view.
Grand Bahama Island: Having been here several times before, we booked a Snorkel Adventure with Pat and Diane Tours. The 2.5 tour was just the right length for our family and reasonably priced and it was definitely worth purchasing the transportation from them as they used a tour bus for the transport.
Nassau: We walked to the British Colonial Hilton and purchased day passes for $50 for each adult which gave us full use of their grounds and non-motorized sports as well as $30 meal/drink credit each. We had read that this had more of a business feel, but didn't find it that way. Perhaps it was because it was spring break, but we found several families that we were able to interact with. If we were looking for a resort to spend several days at, this resort would definitely be a candidate.
Overall: Definitely a pleasant experience and a good value for the money. We had a great time and will consider this itinerary/ship again in the future.
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