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We have been on different cruise lines and different Carnival ships and to my shock, this was the best cruise I've ever been on. This was a cruise for just myself and my son to celebrate his college graduation. This was a hurricane season trip so for one, we took a gamble because this was a great value. Secondly, a few days before sailing we were offered an upsell from our deck 5 mid ship ocean view to an Empress Deck balcony. The price wasn't bad and I took it. So glad we did. We typically always book balconies but since my wife wasn't going I originally booked an OV because I figured we would save the money since it was just guys, We flew to Ft. Lauderdale the morning of the trip from Cleveland. Everything from a travel standpoint went smoothly.We prepaid for Carnival transportation to Miami and that went smoothly as well. I appreciated being able to check in at the airport alleviating the need to stand in line at the port. When we arrived at the port, we walked right on the ship. We had to wait until 1:30 to access our room which wasn't an issue. A burrito from the Blue Iguana and burger from Guy's and we were ready to get to our room. This is one of the oldest ships in the fleet and the staterooms are where you feel it the most. Our stateroom was configured oddly since we asked for separate twin beds. This stateroom also had optional pull down beds as this was set up to accommodate up to 4 passengers. I wouldn't want to cram 4 people in there. For the two of us we had plenty of storage space. It was a small room compared to the other ships we had been on, but the balcony was a great addition. I love sitting on the balcony at night and listening to the sea so this was a great upgrade. We chose YTD for this trip. We packed light for this trip and did not bring clothes for formal nights. If you must get anything on day one, get the strawberry cake pops from the buffet. Those are a definite guilty pleasure. We ate in the MDR each night except formal night. We were never disappointed in the selection or quality. We have in the past had spotty service in the YTD MDR on previous trips. The service on this trip was spot on from the beginning to the end. We also ate in the MDR for seaday brunch. Many stacks of pancakes later we were stuffed. Kevin Donohue was our CD and for the first time ever an CD made a difference in our cruise. Kevin was fantastic. He was fun and entertaining without being over the top or obnoxious. He seemed to genuinely enjoy the interaction and kept the fun going every day. I was impressed with how he dealt with events and people. So much fun. Kudos to Kevin for being the best we've had. We attended the love and marriage show (awkward and hysterical). We went to the towel folding demonstration. This was my son's idea, but surprisingly fun. He won at trivia so he was happy to have his ship on a stick. Carnival had no choice as to what the weather would be, but the weather was perfect each and every day. You can't complain with 85-90 and sun every day. We did a private all inclusive in Nassau and enjoyed it. We missed Half Moon Cay on our last trip and was able to go this time. I absolutely love HMC. It's the softest sand and crystal clear water. It's a bucket list beach. We knew there would be a seaweed issue in Grand Turk so we booked the Snorkel and Stingray excursion through the ship. We had 24 people on this excursion and had a blast. If this excursion had 50-60 people it would have been chaos, but 24 was manageable. I just could not believe how much we enjoyed this cruise and this ship. We went off peak so there were minimal kids, no crazy rowdy parties. Just people having fun. Having only one pool meant the pool was shoulder to shoulder people. If you wanted a chair by the pool get there early. The chairs weren't being hogged, they were being used. If you don't mind an older ship this was a great option for us. Relax, chill and have a good time. take a chance on an off peak trip. We would definitely do this again to go back to HMC. Great time had by all.

Shocked at what we found

Carnival Sensation Cruise Review by Mr2Scents

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We have been on different cruise lines and different Carnival ships and to my shock, this was the best cruise I've ever been on.

This was a cruise for just myself and my son to celebrate his college graduation. This was a hurricane season trip so for one, we took a gamble because this was a great value. Secondly, a few days before sailing we were offered an upsell from our deck 5 mid ship ocean view to an Empress Deck balcony. The price wasn't bad and I took it. So glad we did. We typically always book balconies but since my wife wasn't going I originally booked an OV because I figured we would save the money since it was just guys, We flew to Ft. Lauderdale the morning of the trip from Cleveland. Everything from a travel standpoint went smoothly.We prepaid for Carnival transportation to Miami and that went smoothly as well. I appreciated being able to check in at the airport alleviating the need to stand in line at the port. When we arrived at the port, we walked right on the ship. We had to wait until 1:30 to access our room which wasn't an issue. A burrito from the Blue Iguana and burger from Guy's and we were ready to get to our room. This is one of the oldest ships in the fleet and the staterooms are where you feel it the most. Our stateroom was configured oddly since we asked for separate twin beds. This stateroom also had optional pull down beds as this was set up to accommodate up to 4 passengers. I wouldn't want to cram 4 people in there. For the two of us we had plenty of storage space. It was a small room compared to the other ships we had been on, but the balcony was a great addition. I love sitting on the balcony at night and listening to the sea so this was a great upgrade.

We chose YTD for this trip. We packed light for this trip and did not bring clothes for formal nights. If you must get anything on day one, get the strawberry cake pops from the buffet. Those are a definite guilty pleasure. We ate in the MDR each night except formal night. We were never disappointed in the selection or quality. We have in the past had spotty service in the YTD MDR on previous trips. The service on this trip was spot on from the beginning to the end. We also ate in the MDR for seaday brunch. Many stacks of pancakes later we were stuffed.

Kevin Donohue was our CD and for the first time ever an CD made a difference in our cruise. Kevin was fantastic. He was fun and entertaining without being over the top or obnoxious. He seemed to genuinely enjoy the interaction and kept the fun going every day. I was impressed with how he dealt with events and people. So much fun. Kudos to Kevin for being the best we've had. We attended the love and marriage show (awkward and hysterical). We went to the towel folding demonstration. This was my son's idea, but surprisingly fun. He won at trivia so he was happy to have his ship on a stick.

Carnival had no choice as to what the weather would be, but the weather was perfect each and every day. You can't complain with 85-90 and sun every day. We did a private all inclusive in Nassau and enjoyed it. We missed Half Moon Cay on our last trip and was able to go this time. I absolutely love HMC. It's the softest sand and crystal clear water. It's a bucket list beach. We knew there would be a seaweed issue in Grand Turk so we booked the Snorkel and Stingray excursion through the ship. We had 24 people on this excursion and had a blast. If this excursion had 50-60 people it would have been chaos, but 24 was manageable.

I just could not believe how much we enjoyed this cruise and this ship. We went off peak so there were minimal kids, no crazy rowdy parties. Just people having fun. Having only one pool meant the pool was shoulder to shoulder people. If you wanted a chair by the pool get there early. The chairs weren't being hogged, they were being used. If you don't mind an older ship this was a great option for us. Relax, chill and have a good time. take a chance on an off peak trip. We would definitely do this again to go back to HMC. Great time had by all.
Mr2Scents’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin 8D U87
The cabins on the Sensation are smaller than on other ships. The configuration of two twin beds was a little awkward, but not anything that would affect our trip. The bathroom was very small. We loved the balcony.
Empress Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews