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Family Friendliness
Shore Excursions

Age: 34


Number of Cruises: 3

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Sensation

Sailing Date: 2009-09-7

Itinerary: Bahamas

We were really excited about this trip. We were celebrating our 10th anniversary, and our daughters (ages 7 and 5) were coming with us, as well as our friends (who also have kids, ages 10 and 7).

We boarded in Port Canaveral. It was raining and the line was out the door. We were herded like cattle and spoken to on auto pilot. I felt that we weren't informed enough. The check-in woman said "You want a cash account, right?" And she set it up before we said anything. I then realized that we wanted to charge things to our credit card, not put cash up front. She said we had to change it when we got on the ship. We asked if we were sitting together with our friends at dinner, and we received our sign and sail cards, they had different table numbers. That was another thing we had to take care of when we got on the ship. We got on the ship, had lunch and then went to take care of our "issues". We went to the dining room to get our table assignments changed and were treated very rudely. We ended up getting two tables next to each other, which was fine. We had to wait in a long line to get our account changed. That night my friend and I went to the spa and got the head-to-toe treatment. It was not good, and then it ended up in a huge sales pitch for expensive spa items, which I had no intention of buying.

Day two was Nassau, Bahamas. We didn't dock until noon and the excursions didn't start until 1:00. We did Blackbeard Beach. We got off the ship and were herded for a long walk through the shops to the boat dock, for a long boat ride to the beach. I was checking my watch because it was already 2:00 when we arrived at the beach, and the boat was leaving at 4:30. We were going to formal night (our anniversary) and it would be a rush to get back and get ready for our 6:00 dinner. The kids enjoyed the beach, but there wasn't much near the beach. I was hoping to go shopping, but there was only a very small gift shop and a puny snack bar with overpriced food. We left at 4:30 and got back on the ship at 5:15 (after waiting in a long line). We did have to rush to get ready. The formal night was good - the food was good.
My kids went to Camp Carnival, which they loved. They had a great time.

At breakfast on the 3rd day, my husband was asked to remove his hat, which he did. At dinner that night in the dining room, we noticed men wearing shorts, bathing suits and flip flops. One man wore a hat. I was outraged. We dressed nice for dinner and these people just didn't care. And they weren't asked to go change or remove the hat.

Kids were running wild around the ship unsupervised. Kids as young as 5 or 6 were running up and down the stairs and playing in the elevators. They took over the hot tubs by the pool and cut in line at the buffet on Lido Deck. Late at night, people were standing outside our cabin, cussing and talking loud and saying rude things. We had kids with us and it wasn't pleasant. I called guest services and they said they would take care of it but never saw anyone come up. At breakfast the next morning in Seaview Grill, the same people were at a table nearby, talking very loudly, cussing and insulting each other. Other people were giving them dirty looks and we complained twice, but nothing was done right away. Finally, after 20 minutes, a security guard wandered over, talked to them for 10 seconds and went away. The people continued their cuss-fest. I know Carnival advertises as being a fun-ship but there should be limits.

We liked our stateroom. We had an interior room, but it was fine because we were hardly in the room.

We didn't do many activities but we went to the Newlywed/Not so Newlywed game and that was funny. We played Bingo, and hung out in the disco during 70's and 80's night. The casino was a joke - the slot machine ate my $10 and we didn't win anything. We saw the show Curves and I almost fell asleep.

My last 2 cruises were on Royal Caribbean, and they were much better than this cruise. RC is more elegant, the food was better and they didn't rush you during dinner. On this cruise, it seemed like the staff was on auto-pilot and was either rude or indifferent. The dining room staff was nice, however, and they were great to the kids. They even cut up their food at lunch and poured their ketchup, which I think is going above and beyond. I would definitely book with Royal Caribbean or another recommended cruise line next time, NOT Carnival.

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