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Carnival Sensation (Aug 2014)

Sensation

Carnival Sensation

3-Night Bahamas 

08/28/2014: Cape Canaveral, Florida (Port Canaveral)
08/29/2014: Nassau, Bahamas
08/30/2014: Sea Day
08/31/2014: Cape Canaveral, Florida (Port Canaveral)


"Such a sensational time!"


For the first time we are traveling out of Port Canaveral. Ended up driving up the morning of the cruise and took around two and a half hours or so to get up there. So every time when we told someone that we were going out of Port Canaveral they kept asking why!?! Well we first ended up booking since our friend was cruise director on the ship at the time, however he ended up staying on another ship and we were unable to cancel or re-book. Glad we decided to take the cruise. This was the smallest ship we have ever been on, weighing in at a little over 70,000 tons. Now the ship was still well kept up for being over 20 years old, some issues here and there with smell and air condition issues, but a lot of ships have very similar issues.

We did have some news as we parked our car and got out to head to the terminal. Christine got an email from Carnival about a change in our upcoming cruise which was on Carnival Valor in 2016. Okay it is far away but we wanted to get plans for our five year anniversary and taking our honeymoon ship which would have set sail exactly five years to the day from our first ever cruise. So the letter read that the Carnival Valor was being relocated to Port Canaveral and Carnival Liberty would not be taking over. Upside was not having to fly but the downside was losing all of the exotic ports. So once we got home we were going to see if we were able to change it back to Valor since that was the reason we booked. Unfortunately we could not muster having to pay over a thousand more for ports we go to all the time. Just wasn't worth it to us. So back to the drawing board we go.


Back to the Sensation, our last cruise was a year ago on Carnival Victory, which wasn't the best of cruises but still managed to have some good qualities about it. We heard the Fantasy Class ships were all party ships since the shorter routes. We were a bit skeptic on how we would enjoy the ship. It was actually a really enjoyable cruise for the most part. The entertainment staff onboard was great, Kevin Donohue was the Cruise Director and he was one of the best we ever had. Loved the way he did the Love and Marriage Show, I don't want to spoil it but if you have the chance to sail with him you must do so! We saw him a few times and hung out for a quick bit. Always at the shows and around the ship, really enjoyed him as our CD. Now the rest of his staff, ACD Adam along with Misty & Kylie were the best we ever sailed with. Such a great chemistry these four have with one another. Some of them were new to the line but you could never tell, they just had it! So much fun with them!



Another great feature of this ship even-though at first looked very painful was disembarkation. We always dread this day for many many reasons, mostly it is very different from one ship to another and it's either a dream or a horrible nightmare. The ship was voted number one in the fleet with disembarkation. They proved it! We got downstairs and saw a line going down the hallway, once we got into the hallway however we just kept walking, and walking and walking down toward the near back of the ship. The hallway is the same hallway that several rooms are located. I can understand how people would complain when they walk out their door and see hundreds of people with luggage waiting to get off. We literary stood in line for five minutes before it started to move, once it did in no time we were off the ship. Only hold up like usual was Customs who had no clue what was going on.

Pros
- Entertainment staff was amazing. We had a lot of fun with them, from being on stage almost everyday to talking to them on a one on one basis and getting to know them. Such great personalities and again the chemistry between them is amazing.
- Our stateroom steward was great, she handled our ever need that we had. Also the notepad left in the room can come in handy if you need something from them and you're not able to find them or they are busy. Just simply leave a note and they will respond.
- Disembarkation was a breeze. Off the ship in no time at all!
- The production shows were good, Far From Over was everything 80s! Music and dancing, a lot of fun!
- The show lounge was small but the stage was massive, spanned width-wise was impressive.
- Our two comedians, Mike Macy & Manny Olivera were great, really funny material. Shows ran back to back with little time in between so no getting kicked out. Also plenty of room for everyone. Only people standing were the ones in for a few seconds to see what was going on.
- Loved the decor of the ship, so much to see.
- The Lido deck was one of our most favorite pool decks. It was setup with a pool on one side and a dancing area on the other with a stage in the middle. For the size of the ship it felt really large.
- The Sensation Promenade was perfect, getting from one end to another was a breeze. No fighting through the casino, at a few points we forgot it was even there. Almost tucked away from everything else.
- Room service was FAST! They said at some points between 30 to 45 minutes well not even close. Maybe about 10 to 15 minutes. Talk about fast!
- Seating was never an issue wither it was in the main show lounge or comedy club always a seat.

Cons
The grille was a wreck for the most part. When we got on and went to the buffet to get a burger and a hot dog, we waited over 20 minutes to get to the counter and the person serving the burgers to just leave on the phone and not come back and the other crew member just staring and not serving to the other person by the hot dogs just looking dumbfounded about where the hot dogs were since the spot was empty. On top of that people just casually cutting in front of everyone else because they felt they can, whoa that would piss anyone off.
- The regular buffet really had no options at all, everyday was some non appetizing foods and a few breads. Think we skipped eating it for the most part, poorly setup.
The pizza wasn't as horrible but still waiting for pizza was something that never got old. Okay handmade pizza would be good if it actually tasted good and people could make it in a timely manner. Get a pizza press and make life simple and fast for all of us. Plus keep some pizza out other than a slice of something that's been sitting there for three hours.
- Breakfast service in the dining room took forever, we waited for about 20 minutes before we even got our order taken and another 30 before the food even came. Once it did we took two bites and left since it was ice cold and overcooked.
- Dinner service wasn't the best either, we think between breakfast and dinner the lack of help was the issue. Both times we only had one waiter and no assistance or help at all. Made things really slow.
- Food was sometimes overcooked but never under cooked which was a good thing in a way. At one point our waiter came over to ask if we wanted a correctly cooked steak since he saw ours was over. 
- The elevators were horrible on this ship! We did use the stairs a lot, however being on a ship where most of the common areas are only a couple of decks above or below makes going up and down much easier. Walking wasn't a bad choice.
- The temperature changes throughout the ship were hot in some areas and ice cold in others. Luckily our stateroom was fine, no issue there. Other parts were horrible with the heat. It got musky and unpleasant at times. 
- Bathroom locations were horribly laid out. Some floors only had one set.



Carnival Sensation

Loved this ship, and the entertainment team! This was the smallest ship we ever been on but starting now to like the smaller ships. Had a better time on this sized ship vs a much larger one like Carnival Breeze. Here are a couple of pics of the amazing team onboard the Carnival Sensation.


Me (Patrick) with Cruise Director Kevin Donohue and Assistant Cruise Director Adam.Miller.


One of our favorite people around the ship was Misty. Very energetic and so much fun. Definitely see her becoming a CD one day. Also you may notice her holding a Carnival Paradise ship on a stick. That was an accidental prize I got during one of the shows from being on stage. It was really funny!



Carnival Waterworks

Great addition to this ship. Love these types of slides vs the green ones that some of the ships currently have. Never got a chance to go down any of them since we were only on for 3-nights, but still looked really fun!











Club 02

Here is the hangout area for kids. Which we never saw anyone at. Mostly they were in the nightclubs.












Club Vegas Casino

Perfect location of this place on the Promenade. Not in the way and no temptations! Spent a dollar on a claw machine and lost then walked away. Never really saw it to be packed like usual.









Ecstasy Dining Room

Here is the dining room for the assigned dining. Not anything to big, neither was the Fantasy dining room. Both named after other ships in the fleet.









Fantasia Main Show Lounge

This was a first for us with such a small lounge for a show lounge. Luckily like I said about seating was never an issue if you got there a bit early. However some parts you could barley see the stage, really didn't make any sense on how they constructed this room. We had two shows, the first being Curves which wasn't the greatest of shows, none of the show really made sense to us on how it was presented from one song to the next. The other show was Far From Over which was an 80s show, we enjoyed that one more. Game Show Mania and the Quest was also here along with Bingo and shopping talks. I (Patrick) was on stage on several different occasions, first was the Game Show Mania then for Gender Showdown and later on the first night I was on for the Welcome Aboard Show. The next day I was chosen for 60 Seconds or Less. I just love winning, which I came close on Game Show Mania. 









Fantasy Dining Room

Here are some of the food we had on our trip. Again dining here for breakfast, brunch and dinner was not really the best we ever had. Service was slow, mainly due to being understaffed.


Veal Parmesan


Eggs Benedict


Stuffed Mushrooms


Lobster Tail w/ Shrimp


Huevos Rancheros


French Onion Soup


Punchliner Brunch Menu (1 of 2)

Punchliner Brunch Menu (2 of 2)



Fun Shops

Shops were scattered all over the place. Some here and some there, most annoying was every time that the shops were opened someone was yelling and handing out this or that and getting you to stop and shop. We bought the usual shot glass and model ship. Didn't care for some of the shops being right outside the main show lounge. Especially with tables setup right outside and dozens of people pushing at the same time. Did like the layout of the jewelry store, very big like a normal one.











Grand Atrium

Liked this atrium a lot, very large and very beautiful. Except for the parts that were blistering hot from the sun beaming in. Pictures did make this look larger than it actually was. Still impressive. The Guest Services and Shore Excursions desk along with the internet station and bar are located on the floor level as well.











Joe's Cafe

Stop on by for a cup of Joe or how about the football games? Um yeah, people will find any tv and any way to watch the games. Makes it an inconvenience when trying to get coffee or a shake. 







Kaleidoscope Dance Club

Never saw any dancing here, day or night. Did house the art auction a few times. Enjoy the pictures.









Lido Restaurant

Above explained the service around here along with the options available. On the plus side there was always room to sit and eat.








Towards the very back is the Deli. To the right a bar for drinks and cocktails, to the left pizza. 


The Pizzeria is located to the left of the Deli. 




Before the Lido Restaurant you hit the Grille for Burger, Dogs and Chicken. Followed by a small section named Rotisserie. Finally the Mongolian Wok for the stir-fry lovers. Lines for the Wok and Grille were usually long, the Rotisserie were kept to a minimum.



Michelangelo Lounge

Another lounge that we never saw anyone in. Loved the statues inside. Here are some pictures.

















Mini Golf & Jogging Track (City Sports Park)

All the way up top in the front of the ship is the Sports Park, where you can either jog around or play mini golf. Even check out the views from high up.









Mirage Bar

Right outside of the Casino the Mirage bar usually had someone there grabbing a quick drink, nighttime got busy along with music being played to lighten up the Sensation Boulevard.







Nassau, Bahamas

Here we are in Nassau........AGAIN! Only benefit at this point for us is the other ships that are usually in port with us. On this day we have the new Norwegian Getaway and my (Patrick) birthday present the Disney Dream. We did receive an advisory to be careful getting off in Nassau due to the rise in the crime rate. We usually just stay on and take pictures of the ship since a lot of people get off. Other times we just get off for a few and go to the straw market and see what's new.









Pixels Photo Gallery

Something we never knew was if you're on this wall for the Photo Gallery your picture is FREE! So next time you walk by, check it out!





Plaza Lounge & Bar

Comedy was held here, don't worry about finding a seat. Odds are you can always find some. Not like larger ships were you can even find standing room. Our comedians were Mike Macy and Manny Olivera. Both were super funny with their own styles. Really enjoyed them a lot. Nice to have comedy on a ship for a change and having it be good was another plus. Bad thing about this place was in order to get to the Serenity area you had to cut through here. Not a big disturbance, depending on where you sat. Also shows that we were in ran right into each other with maybe a 10 minute opening between showings. Which you were not kicked out of, unlike other ships.











Pool Lido Deck

Loved this Lido Deck. Very well laid out. Pool on one side and dance floor on the other with a stage in the middle. The party we attended was very enjoyable and a lot of fun with the prizes being tossed around left and right. Was kinda waiting for furniture to start being thrown around. Again a lot of fun and the pool itself was a good size as well.











Port Canaveral (Homeport)

First time here at Port Canaveral. Very easy port once you find the parking lot, which can be confusing at points. First time we paid for parking before a cruise, which was a good. We were in port on the first day with our December cruise (also in Nassau and home again) the Disney Dream. The terminal we were in was a bit small and didn't have much room for seating. We were all mushed together in a area waiting to be called. Checking in wasn't too bad. Once we got back we were bumped to the terminal next door because of the Carnival Sunshine, which we didn't mind since it was actually closer to the car. We also got to see our 2nd ship, well kinda. When we went on it was the Carnival Destiny. Still a beautiful looking ship. When you're here look at the water, we saw for the first time ever, dolphins. Getting off the ship was quick, easy and painless. Customs like usual was a hold up. Almost forgot, while you are up here and have a little bit of time you can head up north a few miles and check out NASA or if you want to see some cute animals head south to the Brevard Zoo. Or stay central and go to Disney! Not for us, we headed home.















Sensation Boulevard

Along this strip you will start at the atrium and pass by the Taste Bar, the Casino, some shops, some bars and a few lounges and eventually ending up by the Serenity area.











Serenity Deck

Never had trouble getting a place to sit here, always somewhere open. I want to mention that we did not go on our sea day. Great views from this location as well.









Stateroom M70 (Oceanview)

Our stateroom wasn't the smallest and not the largest. Somewhere in the middle. Bed was comfy, lack of room in the bathroom for storage, just a shelf for a few items. Closets were a good size, never even used the last one. Plenty of storage in the desk area along with space around the bed. The bed was a bit close to the wall, you did have enough space to get in and out of it without an issue.









The Oak Room

We found this place outside of the Fantasy Dining Room. Relaxing place to either read a book or play some games. Which we always bring with us.











The Taste Bar

Miss the sushi! Not a fan at all of the Taste Bar. Really wish Carnival switches this up with something more useful. It features different items from the places that are not even onboard. Such as the Red Frog Pub and the Fahrenheit Steakhouse. On the main dining room menu you now have a choice of the steakhouse options if you're interested for a surcharge.





Touch of Class Piano Bar

Across from the Oak Lounge and next to the Fantasy Dining Room here is the Touch of Class Piano Bar.







Video Arcade

Here are some pictures of the video arcade.









3 comments:

  1. Really awesome love the pictures

    Jackie Styles

    Virgina

    ReplyDelete
  2. Awesome pictures...thanks for the pictures of the food...not too many reviews do that. Loved the pics, loved the review...thanks for the honesty the pros and cons and the candid review. Cant wait to sail her on 9/28/14

    ReplyDelete
  3. I really enjoyed your review. These are the best pictures of the Sensation! My son, Robert, and his girlfriend, Chelsea, are dancers. They are the two that dance the duet to "Time of my Life" at the end of the Far From Over Show. I am glad you enjoyed the shows. I think the Sensation makes for a great little vacation.

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