September 18, 2004
Embarkation was very easy. Skippers Club prevented us from standing in the long lines. The ship cannot be boarded any earlier than 1200 noon. We boarded the ship and found our stateroom quickly. U-80, we had been upgraded to the penthouse suite. Our cabin was very spacious with a refrigator, sofa , and large bathroom. We went up to the Lido deck for a great lunch. The pool had been drained and was not to be filled until 8am the next morning. We enjoyed the balcony while the ship sailed through Tampa Bay. This part of Tampa Bay is very dirty and oily. Yuck! We sailed (barely) under the Sunshine Skyway Bridge and we were off to the caribbean. Our first day at sea had many activities to do with formal night in the evening. We ate in the dining room all but one night. The food was all very good. Although, nothing really stood out as being fabulous.
The shows were okay. We have seen better. Hey,Mombo was good but repetative. There were 2 comedians. Both were good. Costa Maya was our first port instead of Grand Cayman. Costa Maya had a large shopping area with a swimming pool, and swim up bar. All very clean. We took the Jungle Beach Break to Uvero Beach. After a 25 min motor coach ride, we arrived at the beach. It was very clean, with shops, water activities, restaurant, open bar (free), plenty of lounge chairs, lots of palm trees, powder sand beach, large swimming area, and running water restrooms. We found a palm tree, lounge chairs, and got some drinks made from rum that were red/white/blue. Very good. Cozumel was our next port. We went to Chankaanub National Park to swim with the dolphins. What a great experience. The park is beautiful and only 5min from the port. It has a small beach. I highly recommend it.
Our cruise director was Michael Mullane. He is hyperactive and at times annoying. The ship is very pretty with shades of purple and blue. It does not show it's 11 years of age. The service we received was great. We had noisy neighbors that tried to lean over their balcony to see into our cabin. They are lucky they didn't go overboard.!!! For three nights they yelled, slammed doors, hit the walls, and kept us awake. Finally, after a total of 15 calls to the pursers desk, Carnival talked with them. The next 2 nights were quiet. We were not the only ones that complained. We received a free bottle of wine at dinner one night for our trouble. Nice. At debarkation we did self assist, which is carrying off your own luggage. It was very easy. No problems. All in all it was a great cruise. The food and shows could have been a little better. I think all that cruise the Sensation will have a great time!!!!!!!