Carnival Reviews - Cruise Ship reviews by Cruisemates Readers
Carnival Cruise Lines

Carnival Sensation
by Debbie
Western Caribbean
May 10, 2004

This is a short review of our cruise on the Sensation on 5/10/04. If you have any specific questions, please let me know.

On the first day, we arrived at the pier at 11:30AM, went through the sign in process and were assigned a group number to board. Ours was #7. They did not start boarding until about 12:40PM, and each group takes about 5-10 min. to board. We went directly to our cabin, put on our swim suits, and headed up to the Lido deck for some lunch. There is a nice variety of food, however, there is only 1 carving station in the back on the starboard side (not the same on both sides), and they have a poolside grill area that serves hot dogs/hamburgers/fries every day for lunch. Then we went to explore the ship, very easy to navigate, as this was our 3rd Carnival cruise. All the ships decks are set up the same way. The centrum is gorgeous, bright brass, and lots and lots of purple colors. The casino deck also has most of the nightclub activities and bars. It is called sensation boulevard. Really nice the way it is set up.

The first day at sea: we got up and realized we had no water in the cabins. Thankfully the toilets flushed. There was some sort of problem with the water, and we were without water for about 4 hours. In the breakfast area, the waitresses served fresh water from gallon jugs. The water problem was fixed shortly with no real problems.

This is the evening of the Captains dinner, and beforehand, there is a captains party with free drinks and hor durvs. The dinner menu serves lobster and prime rib as their main entrees, along with 4 other choices. They have many different photo opportunities set up for formal sittings, and many informal with various backgrounds. You can have your pictures taken, with no obligation to purchase them. There was an evening show, followed by a comedian at midnight and he was very good, (very X rated).

The next day, we tendered into Grand Cayman. We got off the ship about 8:30, and we got a van down to the seven mile beach. We only had couple hours there, as the last tender leaves at 1:15. Our son (20) and 3 others did the snorkel excursion through the ship that was snorkelling and a shipwreck. The cost was $39.00 each. I just saw the underwater photos, and now I wish we would have gone. There were lots of colored fish, and the ship wreck is an actual wreck, not a homemade one. Lots of people complain about this being close to where the actual ships drop anchor, but if that is where the snorkeling is best, then I see no problem with that, but you do have to tender over to the island, then get on the excursion boat to come back out. I know next time I get back to Grand Cayman, I will do this.

The next day, we docked in Cozumel. From all the websites I had read, It was stated that the Sensation docks at the International Pier. We docked at the Puerta Maya pier. This is actually right next to the International Pier. Right at the pier, there is lots of shopping, and rental cars. We rented a van (there were 7 of us in our group), went downtown to San Miguel to check things out, then stopped back at the ship for lunch. We then drove south to visit some of the beaches. Our first stop was San Franciso beach. No entrance fee. I didn't care for the attitudes of the people at this beach. We then headed over to Mr. Sanchos beach. This is our favorite beach. We were just there last month. The little shops have lots of great stuff in them for less $$$ than in San Miguel, or the stores at the pier. You can get buckets of beer, cold drinks, and they have restrooms at this beach. They also have a small freshwater pool.

We than made the cirle around to the bottom of the island, and back up the eastern side of the island. The scenery is just beautiful and there are lots of photo opportunites along the way. The eastern shore is full of rocks, and large waves, so you can't swim on these beaches. There is only 1 road that goes around the island, so you cannot get lost. Be sure to have gas in the vehicle, as there are no gas stations along the other side of the island.

We then stopped in San Miguel to visit Carlos & Charlies, Senor Frogs, and any last minute shopping. We returned the rental at the pier, and went to Fat Tuesdays and had drinks while the sun went down, and saw the ship all lit up. A really beautiful sight to see.

On the way back on the ship, the photographers were snapping pictures. This was a little different, but we laughed about taking pictures of all the drunks getting back on. Guess what? It was the picture I bought!

The last day was at sea. The ocean was a little rough. white caps, and waves maybe 8 ft. I didn't think they were to bad, but lots of people were talking about how rough it was. Again, the weather was wonderful.

The service in the dining room was excellent. The only problem I personally had was our waiter was a lady, and she would recite the dessert menu. After the 2nd night, I asked her if I could see the dessert menu, and she said, it is what I told you, like she didn't have them to give out. Not that is was really a problem, but I like to look at the different selections, then decide which one or two I might want. So fromm then on, I made sure I read the menu outside ahead of time so I knew exactly what was on it. Each night, they have about 6 appetizers, 2 types of salads, 6 main entrees, and 4 desserts to choose from. Everything will change every night. The food is served gourmet style. Portions are not large, but very tasty. You can order more than one entree if you would like, or as much as you would like, as some of the appetizers are very tasty and is hard to choose just one!

There is a midnight buffet every night. First day at sea was the Grand buffet, Day of Cozumel was mexican buffet (best dessserts), and the last night was crepes buffet. Can't remember the other nights. Pizza is excellent, and they have a deli for sandwiches in the very back beside the pizza. They also have tables outside right along the siderails of the ship to eat at. They were really neat.

There is a welcome back party on wed. evening for people that have cruised before. It is an hour long with free drinks and hor durves too.

Overall, this was a great cruise. I just love being on them. It is inexpensive for 5 days. The only reason I wouldn't go on this ship again is that I want to go on as many different ships as I can, but I would highly recommend this cruise.

I know I forget lots of things, but I do still have the Carnival Capers. If you have any other questions, let me know.

This was my 5th cruise. We are in our mid 40's and from Ohio. I can't wait to cruise again, but don't have one booked right now.

Hope everyone has a great cruise.
Debbie