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Carnival Cruise Lines: Carnival Sensation

  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines

Carnival Sensation Review

The third ship in Carnival’s Fantasy-class, Carnival Sensation was launched in 1993. Although the ship has received numerous upgrades over the years, including the important addition of balconies to some ocean-view cabins and a secluded adults-only Serenity Deck, there is no word at this writing on whether the ship will be updated to feature Carnival’s "Fun Ship 2.0" upgrades. Carnival Sensation has two short cruises a week to the Bahamas from her home base of Port Canaveral, which is conveniently within driving distance of Florida’s Orlando airport and theme parks. Some of the three- and four-night itineraries include an overnight call in Nassau.

Bathed in fiber-optic light, glitzy Fantasy-class interiors added expansive six-deck atriums and a new dimension to the original superliner concept. To keep the fun going, these ships offer an almost wearying assortment of places to have a good time. As times and tastes have changed, the ships have evolved as well, with new lobby bars, dedicated club spaces for teens and tweens, miniature golf, and Internet centers. Even newer are Carnival’s WaterWorks water park and the Serenity Adult-Only Retreat, which increase the appeal of the older Fantasy-class vessels.

Only one level below the Lido deck, the indoor promenade connects major public rooms on a single deck, with only formal dining rooms, shops, and other small spaces one deck below. Large in size and ideal for a short itinerary, these ships have sprawling outdoor pool and sunning areas, but they can feel cramped when sailing at maximum capacity. Cabins provide calm oases from sensory overload. With the exception of Carnival Sensation, Carnival Fascination, and Carnival Ecstasy, to which balconies were added to existing cabins, you'll have to book a suite if you want the solitude of a private balcony.

The world's largest cruise line originated the Fun Ship concept in 1972 with the relaunch of an aging ocean liner, which got stuck on a sandbar during its maiden voyage. In true entrepreneurial spirit, founder Ted Arison shrugged off an inauspicious beginning to introduce superliners a decade later. Sporting red-white-and-blue flared funnels, which are easily recognized from afar, new ships are continuously added to the fleet and rarely deviate from a successful pattern. If you find something you like on one vessel, you're likely to find something similar on another.

Each vessel features themed public rooms, ranging from ancient Egypt to futuristic motifs, although many of those elements are being replaced with a more tropical decor as older ships are upgraded. Carnival is also introducing features either branded by the line itself, such as the poolside Blue Iguana Tequila Bar with an adjacent burrito cantina and the Red Frog Rum Bar that also serves Carnival’s own brand of Thirsty Frog Red beer, or in partnership with well known brands, such as EA SPORTS to create EA SPORTS Bars at sea and Guy’s Burger Joint, in partnership with Food Network star Guy Fieri. Implementation of the new features is scheduled for completion in 2015.

What You Should Know

Pros

  • Central atriums are stunning when sunlight streams in through skylights
  • Surprisingly large libraries are ideal retreats for reading or playing board games
  • Freshly made pizza and calzones are available around the clock

Cons

  • Despite upgrades, the decor is still pretty gaudy
  • These are ships designed for partying, so quiet spots can be difficult to find
  • Sushi bars earn high marks for their complimentary creations, but sake costs extra
Ship Stats
  • Crew Members 920
  • Entered Service 1993
  • Gross Tons 70,367
  • Length 855 feet
  • Number of Cabins 1,028
  • Passenger Capacity 2,056 (2,610 max)
  • Width 103 feet
  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Jan 28, 2017

Review of Carnival Sensation

Lynn Age: 45 Occupation:Receptionist Number of Cruises: 2 Cruise Line: Carnival Ship: Carnival Sensation Sailing Date: 2017-01-19 Itinerary: Miami to nowhere we were scheduled We left port of Miami late to find out 10 MINUTES later we would not be going to Jamaica. Carnival knew the weather but didn't care about their passengers comfort or safety. Mass maritime even delayed their trip to the sea by two days! Captain announced 20 to 30 swells with

passengers and crew member sick. Grand Cayman cancelled also. Instead of Jamaica and grand cayman they brought us to cozumel and freeport. Big difference! I paid for my family x4, to go to islands I didn't choose when I booked this over a year ago. I am very upset with carnival that they didn't give us a choice to go or not. Just an apology! No compensation or responsibility for carnivals bad choice! NEVER AGAIN! Food was a cheap buffet. But a variety of foods. My room was very small. But I did have a full room with four. Only one outlet. Shower was very small and no blow dryer in the room. Mostly trivia so you have to participate to enjoy any entertainment. All three of my excursions were cancelled. Worse vacation I ever experienced!

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By Lynn_CR

  • New

Jan 19, 2017

Miami to nowhere we were scheduled

We left port of Miami late to find out 10 MINUTES later we would not be going to Jamaica. Carnival knew the weather but didn't care about their passengers comfort or safety. Mass maritime even delayed their trip to the sea by two days! Captain announced 20 to 30 swells with passengers and crew member sick. Grand Cayman cancelled also. Instead of Jamaica and grand cayman they brought us to cozumel and freeport. Big difference! I paid for my family

x4, to go to islands I didn't choose when I booked this over a year ago. I am very upset with carnival that they didn't give us a choice to go or not. Just an apology! No compensation or responsibility for carnivals bad choice! NEVER AGAIN! Food was a cheap buffet. But a variety of foods. My room was very small. But I did have a full room with four. Only one outlet. Shower was very small and no blow dryer in the room. Mostly trivia so you have to participate to enjoy any entertainment. All three of my excursions were cancelled. Worse vacation I ever experienced!

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  • New

Sep 25, 2015

Bahamas

Great Cruise for the money. Carnival actually understands who is on board. Late 30s to 70s demographic. Royal Caribbean, which we have sailed on many times, is all about Black Culture, Reggae, and their shows reflect this. Carnival Cruises actually play pop/rock music from the 60s thru the 90s in all their public areas and you can dance to the music in the late night bars. Royal Caribbean has DJs from the Islands, and they have no idea about dance

music, and play stuff I have never heard. Great Production shows on Carnival, better than Royal Caribbean. Good comedians. Great cruise for the money, kids activities, lots of families on board. Food available 24 hours! Food was great. Lots of menu choices, even for vegans. Kosher available too! 24 hour food available. And remember newbies, If you don't like something, order something else, It's YOUR trip. the Staff will do everything they can to make it a great experience for you. The only problem I had was when I tried to get room service at around 5 pm. Apparently, no one was answering the phone. (I was on hold for 30 minutes) I eventually gave up. Carnival has the largest rooms for your money in the industry. typical Royal Caribbean room is about 117 sq. ft., Carnival is around 180 sq. ft. Larger bathrooms, very spacious compared to other companies.Stateroom attendant was in and out so quickly, we hardly ever saw him. Great clean room every time we returned. There were a lot of things to do, but we were doing the relaxing thing. This ship has an adults only area at the rear of the ship with 2 hot tubs, and a lot of lounge chairs and beverage service, so you never have to get up to get a drink. No children running around, beautiful view off the stern of the ship. Freeport is the industrial port for the Bahamas, we enjoyed staying on the ship while they were pulverizing coral rock next to the ship with big industrial hammers. The port of Freeport is still considered a no-fly Zone, which means tourists beware. There have been a few unreported incidents which have occurred. Try to grab a taxi and go wherever you need to go, avoid unnecessary walking around the port area. Save your purchasing for Nassau, which is much safer now. Nassau was having crime issues for a few years involving tourists, but now there are police and undercover agents on every street corner. Stay within a mile or so of the port, and when you stop seeing police on the corner, time to turn around. There is plenty to see and buy within a mile of the port. Must see: The Atlantis Hotel and their underground aquarium. Rip off: snorkeling excursion. OK: Dolphin Encounter, Snuba, Sting ray Island Had a good time. Relaxed. Alcoholic Drinks on board are cheaper than other cruise lines, and they actually make good mixed drinks on Carnival. I have had drinks on other cruise lines that I had to send back because they tasted so bad.Great cruise for the money. Great 1st cruise for Newbies. Hint: If you are an early sleeper, try not to book a room above the late night lounges. Enjoy your trip!

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  • New

Jan 11, 2015

Port Canaveral to Nassau RT

Review from a vegetarian family of 5 with three kids 6 and under. Our first cruise with kids. Overall, the cruise was mediocre. It worked well for our kids. Dining was mildly disappointing. Food was mediocre, for vegetarians and kids at least. Most of the time I thought to myself, I could make this dish as least as good if not better at home (I'm a some-experienced cook). Our kids did OK food-wise, though it was sometimes tricky to find something

they would eat, even on the lido deck. The one slightly more interesting food option, a wok station, had a 30 min wait almost the entire cruise. Also, we felt mixed about the dining experience interruptions, from the nightly "show" of the wait staff (mostly felt like a disruption) to the occasional rude way that some passengers would talk to the wait staff. We stayed in one cabin with no window and it worked out mostly fine. We got a call a few weeks before departure offering a reasonably priced upgrade and almost took it, but didn't. There were two pull-down beds our twin 6 year olds slept in (they loved it) and a smaller bed that fit in a corner for our 3 year old. It was tight, but we were basically only in the room for sleeping and changing. This was our first experiment with a full family cruise. The kids LOVED their camp experience - that was the best part of the trip. We never had trouble dropping them off (we had two in the 6-8 year olds, and 1 in the 2-5 yr old program). We saw no shows or entertainment because we basically went back to the cabin around 10p because of the kids, so we can't comment on it. The snippets of the comedy shows we did see were pretty raunchy. The entertainment is designed for night owls for sure. We probably won't go back - certainly not on this ship (we had a better experience on the Carnival Pride four years ago), and will likely pay more for the higher end Disney experience next time. I will say the ship staff go out of there way to live up to the "fun" brand identity. If you're looking for a reasonably priced getaway, and aren't worried about the details, go for it.

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By Rose_CR

  • New

Jun 14, 2014

bahamas

This was our first cruise. June 8th 2014 to Bahamas. Chose carnival due to dates, price and duration. Noticed on day 2 water was brownish. Washed my face in the morning and my face broke out. Went ashore and enjoyed the day in Freeport. Came back water was clear. Day 3 noticed maintenance crew working in hallways, toilet in our room flushed on its own twice, Maintenance guy said it was because of his work. Water was brownish orange Looked pretty

bad. Later that night when we went back to our room we noticed that the water was still bad went to guest services where the lady told us it was unsafe to drink and that our bottled water would be comped. We inquired about overall health/safety of other passengers and were informed that any one who had noticed and complained got bottled water free otherwise nothing. No safety message was ever made/published. Afraid to shower due to sewer backed up into water. I saved a sample of the water from the ship and am sending it off to be tested. Good Food! Clean and neat cabin! Ok kinda cheesy shows and entertainment

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