Length: 855 ft
One of the oldest "Fantasy-class" Carnival ships (1991), fine for short inexpensive getaways but the age shows in decorBest For People Who Want
Non-stop entertainment, lively casinos, extensive deck space for sunning, large, if very pink, facilities for fitness/spa and children's activities, large cabins, good food, and very informal service. Especially recommended for families, singles in groups and first time cruisers.Should Be Avoided By People Who Prefer
Sophisticated "seen but not heard" service people; cabins with private verandas; mega-ship action; understated elegance in a low-key environment; no children; dozens of varieties of food.Onboard Experience
Identical in all but décor, Carnival Sensation is the third of the eight Fantasy-class sister ships (Fantasy, Fascination, Ecstasy, Inspiration, Paradise, Imagination & Elation). These ships always seem to have something of interest going on, and thus are ideal for the up-and-at-'em style cruiser. Carrying 2,052 passengers, the ships are big enough to provide diverse entertainment, ample deck space for those whose idea of being entertained is basking in a warm sunshine glow, and separate facilities for passengers of all ages.
Having been launched in 1993, Carnival Sensation was chartered by the U.S. Government to aid in housing relief workers during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. That was followed by an extensive refurbishment in March 2006. The ship is now sailing four and five day Bahamas cruises out of Port Canaveral.
In any case, this is an older ship, and as such one can expect to find bargain sailings on her, in many ways she feels like a brand new ship.
Ideal as it is for the sort of person who likes to have loads of activities planned, Sensation also offers lots of out-of-the-way places to read or just contemplate the sea. During summer cruises, however, when there are hundreds of kiddies aboard, quiet contemplation might become a luxury reserved for another ship.Decor
Every Carnival ship, designed by fanciful designer Joe Farcus, has a unifying theme for the decor. The unifying idea behind Sensation's interior decor is the senses, especially those affected by evocative works of art and/or phantasmagoric light shows - that is to say the focus is on anything that evokes an emotional response. You'll find the the Kaleidoscope Dance Club with its rotating mirror balls, Michelangelo's Lounge, the Club Vegas Casino, the Fantasia Lounge and Sensation Boulevard.Public Rooms
The ship consist of 10 decks with most of the public rooms concentrated on Atlantic, Promenade and Lido decks (decks 5,6 and 7). The cabins are mostly concentrated on decks one through four; Riviera, Main, Upper (which is actually a lower deck 3) and Empress decks.
The ships centerpiece is their seven-deck high Grand Atrium, bathed in brass and glass and surrounded by carpet and wall decorations that are a mesmerizing labyrinth of blue, violet, purple and gold intertwining lines. In the heart is a large multi-colored lacquer sculpture that represents either a blooming flower or a nuclear mushroom frozen in time.
You can stroll on the "Sensation Boulevard", or plop down into a soft banquette to ogle passers-by. The two-level, 1300-seat Fantasia Lounge at the front of the promenade presents live production shows, comedians, magicians, and passenger talent shows, with exemplary sight lines and good seating throughout.
The ship's most fanciful decor is in such entertainment venues as the popular Touch of Class Piano bar featuring an enormous circular piano which doubles as a bar for those who like to sing along. You'll also find a vibrant disco and cabaret lounge along the boulevard.
An upgrade scheduled for 2008 involves upgrades to the pool area, staterooms and some public rooms. Some of the following are complete: a snazzy new pool area with teak decking, new umbrellas, a tile "beach" for the pool water to lap against and a new thatched roof for the hot tub. The kids will rave about "Carnival waterworks," the new water park featuring a 4-story tall and 300 foot long "Twister Water Slide." Another slide is three side-by-side tubes 82 feet long. This is all part of a waterpark with all kinds of sprays and other devices to keep the kiddies cool and fresh. There's also a new nine-hole miniature golf course. As of January 2008, this is almost complete.
As if that isn't enough for the kids, "Camp Carnival" received a makeover, and the ship has new interconnecting staterooms for families.
The adults haven't been left out; there will be a new "adults-only" area called "Serenity" with a deck of solid teak panels for soft cushioned loungers in sun or shady areas and two hot tubs.
New enhancements indoors include a coffee cafe with specialty coffees (for a price) but free pastries. A new art & photo gallery and the atrium bar will be in place. New sound and lighting systems have been installed in every public room, and the ship now has flat screen televisions in several places to keep up with sports and other vital information.
Other public areas include the Galleria shopping mall, the Virtual World arcade, and the ship's photo gallery. Joe's Cafe and Internet offers access for 75 cents per minute; for those who plan to spend more time on the computer, there are 100 minute packages available for $50 (50 cents per minute) and 250 minute packages for $100 (40 cents per minute).Cuisine
From the best pizza afloat (available 24 hours per day) to haute cuisine in the main dining room, Carnival really delivers on the food front.Restaurants
Total Choice Dining provides for four dinner seatings in the main dining rooms, alternative Bistro dining every evening, and an increased number of service staff. Passengers are assigned a table for dinner in one of the two main dining rooms -- The Fantasy Dining Room on Atlantic Deck, mid-ship, or the Pride Dining Room on Atlantic Deck, aft -- at one of four seatings; 5:45 p.m. or 6:15 p.m. and 8 p.m. or 8:30 p.m. There are very few tables for two in either of the two main dining rooms; expect to dine with four, six, or eight fellow voyagers. Both dining rooms are named after future Carnival ships that at the time were only a part of the founder's "imagination."
You typically have a choice of six starters, a couple of salads, and six or seven main courses (pan-fried fillet of red snapper, sweet and sour shrimp, rack of New Zealand lamb and Beef Wellington). The menu also includes Spa Carnival selections for those trying to reduce their intake of calories, sodium, cholesterol, fat, or meat.
Additionally, the poolside Lido eateries are converted into Seaview Bistros between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. each evening, offering buffet dinner with no reservations or advance notice required. The informal Seaview Bar and Grill (T-shirts and shorts are OK) Restaurant on the Lido Deck offers both inside and poolside seating. All meals here are served buffet style, with open seating for all three meals.
Other alternative eating options include a 24-hour pizzeria, a complimentary sushi bar and 24 hour room service. The "Evolutions of Fun" upgrades started in 2007 will eventually add a coffee bar in the atrium and New York-style deli in the Lido restaurants, if they are not there already.Service
Don't expect formality. Indeed, expect wacky dances after dessert - and then to come back to your cabin to find that your cabin steward, cutup that he or she is, has left a towel folded to resemble a dog on your bed. The hi-jinx never stop!Tipping
Carnival automatically adds $10.00 per person per day in gratuities to your Sail & Sign card unless you're under two years old, and if you're reading this, you're probably not. This includes $3.60 for the stateroom steward; $5.50 for the Dining Room team, and $.90 for service in the alternative dining rooms. Visit the purser's desk during the cruise to raise or lower this amount.
You may also prepay gratuities for all service personnel at a rate of $10.00 per person per day. On Cruises-to-Nowhere, gratuities of $10 per person per day must be prepaid.
A 15 percent gratuity is automatically added to all beverage tabs. Tip the maitre d', room service, spa, casino and other staff as you deem fitting.Entertainment
The prime entertainment venue is the 1,300 seat Fantasia Lounge theater, but karaoke draws big crowds to the Kaleidoscope Dance Club, while the Plaza Lounge offers a variety of dance-music combos from pop standards to even folk and country musicians. A variety of dance music is spinning nightly in the Micelangelo's Lounge Disco. Regardless of what sort of music you like most, you're pretty much assured of hearing it.
By day, there are bingo and Trivial Pursuit contests, not to mention such highbrow events poolside as the men's hairy chest contest.Cabins
Because they were built just before the shift toward lots of verandahs, just the 26 demi-suites (250 square feet) and 28 full suites (400 square feet) have balconies.
However, during 2008 all of the staterooms in the class of smaller Carnival ships will receive a facelift including new flatscreen televisions, for example, a subtle change but one that lends a significantly different feel to the room while also adding a little extra space - which never hurts.
The cabins on these older ships always appeared spartan compared to the newer Carnival ships due to their lack of wooden desks and cabinetry. The colors, fabrics and linens will be upgraded, but they are still light on amenities (a color TV with CNN, telephone, radio, no hair dryer, and a basket of "free-sample" toiletries). They are roomy, however, among the largest in the cruise industry: inside measure 185 sq. ft, outside 190 sq. feet. Even in the minimum category inside or outside stateroom you'll still enjoy ample space. for four and five are understandably popular with families, and go fast.
Oceanview staterooms and suites offer a mini bar, bathrobes, and fairly large bathrooms with a shower (with wand) and medicine cabinet. There are also 26 mini-suites (226sq.q. feet plus 36 square foot private veranda) and 28 suites measuring 350 sq. feet with 71 sq. foot balconies.Fitness/Spa
With no fewer than 12,000 sq. ft. devoted to fitness and spa facilities, these ships are a dream come true for those who like to keep in shape during their cruise. The "Evolutions of Fun" upgrades scheduled for 2008 will pay particular attention to the spa area by adding more elegance and amenities.
The gyms have a private trainer and 35 state-of-the-art exercise machines. There's a day-long schedule of aerobics, and stretching yoga, and Pilates classes (usually around $10 each), as well as body composition analysis and personal training sessions, $75 for 60 minutes. There's a fully jogging track and a volleyball court. Women who want to sunbathe topless will find secluded areas in which to do so.
Those who prefer to skip shore excursions and snorkel on their own can rent equipment for $26 for three days. The inescapable Steiner's of London operates the ship's spa, which offers lots of different kinds of massage - and pushes its beauty products rather more zealously than most passengers would prefer.Children's Facilities
Carnival's celebrated Camp Carnival program offers a full schedule of supervised activities, from finger painting and singalongs for younger children to photography workshops, late-night movies, and pool parties for their older siblings. The ships' 2,400-square foot "Children's World" play areas are stocked with a computer lab, a climbing maze, an activity wall, and an assortment of toys, games and puzzles.
The 2008 scheduled upgrade includes a nine-hole miniature golf course as well as a waterpark that is better than the larger Carnival ships. The kids will love these supervised diversions giving you plenty of time to relax by the pool. The exact date for finishing these items has not been determined, but as soon as we know we will update this page.Attire
On the two "formal" nights per week, most men wear a dark suit instead of tux. By day, nearly everyone wears shorts, T-shirt, sneakers/sandals, bathing suit, and a hat.
this is not a really good cruise boat is out dated food is awful same ole slop day after day service was horrible waiting 30 35 min for drinks no selection on food pool area way over crowded elevators are so slow mainly half to take stairs up or down drinks are so expensive 1.95 for can pop 3.95 for water and 4 beer deals 23.00 crazy people are friendly on there just needs some up keep good for first timers i guess
The Carnival Sensation, Is without a doubt the worst cruise ship on the high seas. The food is like something you would throw away. The service does not have a ratting that can be given. The service would have to get better to be terrible. Please do not try to find a restroom, because you will be lost trying to find one,and if you do ,it wont work.The Casino plan ,Stinks and so does the ship of what I do not know. Stay away from this ship unless you like feeling worthless. Disney will make you feel like a King or Queen,try them you will not regret it.
Precruise Rosen Inn at Pointe Orlando 9000 International Drive Orlando Florida, 32819
This hotel is located convient to many Orlando attractions. Right across the street from Wonderworks and easy walking distance to shopping and restaurants. The hotel has a small convenience store with sandwiches and other easy items for lunches. Right outside there is a nice patio area that is covered for shade and protection from rain. There is also a lounge and a nice restaurant within the hotel. There is a pool also for those that wanted to swim. The day we were there it was too chilly.
The room we had was non smoking and had 2 double beds. There was also a coffee maker and the usual assortment of sugar and powdered creamers. There is small refrigerator and a microwave in the room.
The room was very clean and for me that is the main thing I look for. I booked the room through Hotels.com for $39.99 In all the room was a great value and I will consider it in the future.
Parking Parking at Port Canaveral was easy and convenient to the ships. You just pull into theluggage unloading aea and leave your luggage with the porters. Then you drive around and take a parking space. It is an easy walk to the ship. In our case we had a wheel chair to deliver so when we dropped off the luggage we also got out of the van there and the van driver left us to go back to Lakeland. I had already parked my car and boarded the van to show the driver where to drop the luggage. We loaded our luggage on to the van and took it all at once to be dropped off.
Embarkation Very orderly and organised. We were in an area for wheelchair access to board as we had one person in a wheelchair. Boarding was announced around 10:30. Early!! The VIP section was called to board first and they all went ahead on to the ship. Then we were called and we went through a door to the elevators that took us up to the entrance. We had our security pictures taken and were free to go on our away. In all we were aboard before 11:00. Again, as I punched my card in at security a voice announced that I have a message at the Customer Service desk. I went and was asked if there was anything I would need for my c-pap. They also inquired if I would need refrigeration for insulin as I am diabetic. I reponded that I was not on insulin and thanked them for their care.
Carnival Sensation The ship is older, one of Carnival's Fantasy Class of ships. The decor is reflective of Joe Farcus early designs for Carnival. Very bright and some would say gaudy. I have not seen gaudy in any of the ships designs. A bit loud but always fun and in keeping with this lines themes. Mainly it was purple but it was tempered with other colors. I found it to be oddly pretty.
Food WOW is all I can say. In every venue this ship was outstanding. My recent trip on the Liberty found the buffet areas a bit lacking. This was absolutely not the case on Sensation. Being an older ship she does not offer all of the venues that the newer, larger ships offer. I tried the pizza, deli and the main buffet on a daily basis. All very good.
The Ecstasy dining room was nice and the food was outstanding. I was a bit disappointed in the service in this area. Several times we wanted more rolls or refills on water and the wait person was not available. The staff seemed to be around to take the orders and then disappear until the meals arrived. After serving then the staff disappeared again until it was time to serve dessert and coffee.
We went to the Fantasy dining room several times for lunch or breakfast. The service in this room seemed to be a lot better.
Service As I said before service could be better in the Ecstasy dining room. The Fantasy dining room was better. Cabin Steward was outstanding. Our room was always nice when we arrived ack from our activities. The ship was clean and kept very nice as always seems to be the case on Carnival ships.
Entertainment I went to the show the first night and it was standard welcome aboard entertainment. The CD was Chris, I did not get his last name. He was funny and entertaining. The old spoon game was played with 8 people from the audience. I regret that I did not go to the production show. I did not attend the deck party but from my companions I hear it was fun.
Freeport My friend Teddy and I went on the Dolphin Encounter tour. It was fun and we got in the water with the dolphin and posed while our pictures were taken as Andros "kissed" us on the cheek. We were taken by bus to where we were put on a boat out to where the dolphins are. I suggest that if you are not already in your bathing suit to change here. The facilitie here are clean and spacious. Once out to the Dolphin area the facilities are not so comfortable. When we got back I changed to dry clothes. The pictures that were taken while we were in the water were displayed here for sale. There was a bar and a nice outdoor area with pleasant seating. There was a menu available also. All in all it was a nice tour.
Nassau We did the Jeep tour on Nassau. We were told that tour would meet us on the pier by the ship. We got off the ship and no one was there so we walked across to the island. Finding no one there to meet us we went back across to the ship. The tour arrived but then found that we had to walk to where the jeeps were kept. This was nearly a mile away. I do not recommend this tour to anyone with walking issues. There were only 4 of us on this tour and I was surprised that it was not cancelled. Since we were just four they gave us 2 jeeps. We had a guide to drive in each jeep. usually there are four peope in a jeep and it is a drive ourself tour. We felt special to have our own chauffers. The tour was long and fun. I saw a lot of Nassau and really think this island is a great stop. There is a lot more to this island than the standard tourist area.
I liked the fact that the ship was overnight in Nassau. It gave some a chance at more outings than just the daytime tours around the island. A lot of passengers went to Atlantis for evening activities. We were asked to be aboard by 4:30 AM for departure at 7:00 AM. Everyone must have been aboard early as we left at 5:30AM well ahead of the published hour. I was up in the Seaview Bistro having coffee and was surprised that we were moving out.
The rest of the cruise was a sea day sailing back to Port Canaveral. The standard shipboard activities. I never did find the Serenity Area. I did find navigation around this ship to be confusing and difficult.
Disembarkation The usual confusion arond what to do and where to go was the scene as we readied for disembarkation. Those that chose to carry their own luggage were called and took themselves off the ship. Personally I like to leave the luggage handling to the crew. We went up to the promenade and sat comfortably and waited. We were off the ship by 8:30 AM and on our way to Lakeland by 9:00. I was in my home by 10:30AM
This cruise was a fun getaway and I would reccomend it for those that like shorter cruises.