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Overall Rating
Family Friendliness
Shore Excursions

Age: 43


Number of Cruises: 3

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Sensation

Sailing Date: 2010-02-19

Itinerary: bahamas- Freeport and Nassau

My husband booked this cruse for me, my son (12), and my daughter (17) because he was working and was not able to take time off. Overall our stay on the carnival Sensation was decent, but nothing spectacular. The ship's decor is very outdated, and everything is disorganized! nothing is connected on the ship, we found ourselves getting lost numerous times. There are not enough elevators to compensate for the amount of people on board, and many of the elevators do not lead to one place- they stop on the 8th or ninth floor so you find yourself walking down long hallways just to find the center of the ship. Our room was small, it was on the Main Deck, but it was always kept clean and the housekeeping staff were very helpful.

What i found to be unpleasant is that there is only ONE pool on the entire ship, for a cruise that was almost filled to maximum capacity of about 2500 people! This pool was tinier than pools that you find at most hotels, and was always occupied by young children, as well as the hot tub. The area around the pool was always crowded as well, so we didn't spend much time there at all.

The food was okay- the buffet was nothing to brag about, and there were 1/2 hour lines to get your food. Tables were hard to find. The food on the outdoor lido deck was pretty good, they had hamburgers and chicken. There was also an area where you could choose your own vegetables, meat, and sauce, and the cooks would cook your stir-fry on a stove- similar to bd's mongolian barbeque, if you have ever eaten there.

We had dinner at the ecstasy dining room, I have to say that the food at dinner was the best on the entire ship, and the waiters were friendly and helpful- always willing to recommend to you what is best on the menu.. If you didn't like something that you ordered they offered to get you something else. One night they had lobster tail and shrimp on the menu, which was great.

There were kids clubs such as Camp Carnival for younger kids, ages 11 and under, Circle C for kids ages 12-14, and a Club 02 for teens 15-17 years old. My son attended Circle C for the days at Sea, since there were many scheduled activities throughout the day. My daughter didn't care much for Club 02 but there were many activities there as well such as battle of the sexes, movie night etc.

The cruise staff do not tell you anything though, everything is very secretive, you have to find out for yourself:

For example, the staff fails to mention that you can eat at the dining rooms for breakfast and lunch if you don't wish to wait a 1/2 hour for food, or if you want to avoid the crowd etc. When we stopped at Freeport and Nassau in the Bahamas, they don't even give you a map, or any recommendations as to what is there, so you feel like you are on your own in a different country.

We took a shore excursion in Freeport, The Bahamas , a deluxe beach break and shopping tour. The beach was nice, they gave you access to the beach and shopping around the Grand Lucaya Resort, however, it was not worth $45 per person. It was very cold, they take you at 9:30 and then leave around 1:00, just when it starts to get warm!

We later learned that anyone can have access to this beach and shopping, and that we could have just taken a taxi there, which would have only cost $5 per person each way and we could have stayed longer.

In Nassau we went to the Atlantis Resort and that place is HUGE.. we got lost throughout the resort but it was very enjoyable... the wave pool and lazy river was fun, and there were 4 water slides in a place called the power tower.. also a water slide that goes through a shark tank! It was fun but it was not enough time to see the whole thing or enjoy everything there was to offer.. It was a little pricey too.

The photographers on the ship were awful, there was not one picture of us where all three of us looked okay, someone either blinked, was looking the other way, or there were random people in the background of the picture..I saw a lot of people taking formal portraits and those seemed to be okay.. they were only $10.00 so a lot of people took advantage of that.

The shows on board were okay, but mostly for adults. There were not much things that the three of us could enjoy together, and the boat is so rocky that it is hard to enjoy anything onboard anyway.

Overall, it was a nice short cruse for some R & R, but I would never cruise on Carnival again. I have cruised with Royal Caribbean before on the Navigator of the Seas, and it is much much better. Everything is organized, there are much more activities and shows for the family- even the kids clubs are better. At royal Caribbean they give you points cards, so that every time you go, you get points. And at the end of the cruise you can select a prize. There was nothing like this on this ship. The food was much much better, and the staff seemed to care more. There was no waiting in lines, and there were much more restaurants. There were at least 3 or 4 pools and some of those were indoors in case it was cold. You were treated much better and they gave you maps and recommendations about the place that you stopped at- the captain would greet you every morning over the speaker system etc, tell you how the weather was like, etc. He actually showed up to the captain's formal dinner, on the Carnival Sensation, we did not even meet the captain nor did he show up at dinner.

Carnival is a big ripoff, as well, with hidden and extraneous fees that were not necessary- I tried to use the internet cafe once to print my boarding passes- it seems as if they purposely made the internet slow just so they could charge you more money.

Overall it was ok for a short vacation but there are better options out there.

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