Carnival Sensation Review

Our not-Cuba cruise that became a great get away

Review for the Eastern Caribbean Cruise on Carnival Sensation
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10+ Cruises • Age 20s

Rating by category

Value for Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Nov 2019
Cabin: Interior

We are a 40'ish couple from Texas traveling without our kids. We chose the cruise to get to visit Cuba and had it booked before the latest change in June that Americans cannot travel to Cuba, so cruise ships would not longer be able to stop there. Carnival offered a free cancel or a generous OBC due to the change. The airline offered no generous change option. We are not Carnival's target audience; we are not fun enough and don't stay up late partying. We stayed on the cruise, and it was a great get away.


Embarkation was super quick. We had the 11:30-12:00 check-in time slot. We arrived and the boarding passes that I had printed did not have or printed without the barcodes, so they sent us to a lady standing nearby who quickly printed us each a boarding pass from a mobile device. It was then 11:27am, so they put us in the early/late line. There was no line, so we showed our passports, husband got his picture taken since his passport is older when he looked younger, went through security quickly, the allowed 12 can soda went through the x-ray machine with no extra table with people ripping them open. Then, we walked right on with no wait, just some twists and turns which seemed like a good amount of walking :). They also take your picture right before entering the gangway for face recognition that was used again at disembarkation.

Cabin Review


There is an adjustable AC on the ceiling. We were on deck 4 which always seemed colder; as one went down the stairs it got colder. Our shower never got hot until last night. The toilet stopped flushing one morning. Our vanity/desk lights, next to the bed, blinked all night while off like they had low voltage current always running through them (bring an eye mask). The fake inside window did not do anything for me. We took bets on how many times we would try to look out. They need to at least put a pretty picture behind it :).

Room steward was great; he always kept us in plenty of towels, towel animals every day, and ice twice a day. For the most part the room was quiet with some creaks at night and mooring sounds one morning during docking. We like the ship to rock us to sleep, but a few nights it was shuttering instead of a nice rock. The TV was missing the navigation channel/with the ship location on the path and current weather. Also, missing a channel with the announcement over the TV that were not made in the rooms. For our next cruise with kids, I was happy to see that they had Cartoon Network and Nick still.

Port Reviews

Grand Turk

The port provided free chairs and umbrellas -- go left after getting out the port area. We brought snorkeling equipment and snorkeled. There was some cool stuff to see, though not the best Caribbean snorkeling. Husband also tried snorkeling on the right side of the port, which had a very rocky entrance. He said the other side that we did together was better. We then walked around a little; the port area reminded me a little of Mahogany Bay in Honduras.

Princess Cays

We also snorkeled here; it was better snorkeling than our previous day. Many cool, big fish and more coral. We went to the snorkeling area past the crow's nest, left from the tender dock. Snorkeling first was not a good idea; the buffet lines were empty when we arrived about 11am but crazy when we finished snorkeling. We visited the crow's nest and did a little shopping and then went back to the ship to eat. I read that all the vendors took ship cards, but there were local vendors ("straw market") that only took cash, which we did not bring.

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