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Carnival Sensation Review

3.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
958 reviews
2 Awards

Un-Sensational Disaster

Review for Carnival Sensation to the Bahamas
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Chuck Yarborough
First Time Cruiser

Rating by category

Value for Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: May 2008

Please enter your review. Living in Central Florida we are less than two hours from three cruise ports, (Jacksonville, Tampa, and Port Canaveral). I have served as a group leader on many Carnival cruises and enjoy each of them with our large groups. My wife and I are retired seniors and we decided to go on a four day cruise alone. So, on May 11th, we made our 15th cruise in the past ten years. Thirteen of our cruises have been on Carnival and we have found them to be a great value and most enjoyable. This was our second time on Sensation and we were surprised to find the old ship in good repair. The crew works hard to keep it ship-shaped. As Platinum members our check in was really a snap. We arrived at Port Canaveral at 2:00 PM and twenty minutes later we were escorted aboard the Sensation...which was our third cruise on this ship. The dreaded life-boat drill with those choking life jackets was the surprise of the cruise. We all were instructed on how to put the jackets on and once we all had them on we were told to remove them. The drill was informative and very brief compared to all the others we have been through. This is a great improvement and a compliment to Carnival. We were assigned to table 222 (early seating) in the Fantasy Dining Room. As always, the waiters were great. However, they did not entertain each night as they have on previous cruises. We missed that. The NY strip steak was very good. One member at our table complained about the Keylime pie not being very good. On Monday we had the formal night and most of us at our table had the lobster. This was to be the beginning of a disastrous dining experience. The lobster tails were just a shade larger than a jumbo shrimp. Added to that was the fact that the 'hot' butter was actually cold. The desert selection was the same every night. The iron skillet fried steak on the third night was very tough and impossible to eat. All six people at our table complained about the food, and other strangers we met during the cruise also complained. Most every night we pushed the plates back and went to the Lido deck to get food that was considerably better than the dining room food. Having cruised so many times on Carnival we were looking forward to the Prime Rib and Beef Wellington as well as alternate dinners that they always offered. It simply was not there on this cruise. In all my past reviews, I have always praised Carnival with high marks for their food. Not this time. It was a disaster. Hopefully, this is not be the case on our group cruise with 40 people on the Legend in November. If so, then I will have to look for another cruise line. Ship activities were below par. The grand buffet was missing. Also missing were the on deck ice carvings and many other activities we had come to expect and enjoyed on previous cruises. As always, the shows were good...as were the musicians.

The debarkation was very smooth and orderly. We were in our car by 8:45 a.m. and on the way home. I'm glad this was not my first cruise with Carnival. If it were, I probably would not cruise with them again and that would have been a shame because in all our previous cruises we have found Carnival's standards very high. WHAT HAPPENED?? Was this the exception, or, WILL IT CONTINUE TO HAPPEN??

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