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Old May 21st, 2004, 09:57 AM
debshomespun's Avatar
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Default Just back from Sensation. . . . . .

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. My longer review was just submitted under the ship reviews.

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 (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 are layed out the same. 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 weather was beautiful. This is the evening of the Captains dinner, and beforehand, there is a captains party with free drinks and hor durvs. There was 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.

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. 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. Wonder what it would be like in a real storm? (Hope I never find out !)

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 from then on, I made sure I read the menu outside ahead of time so I knew exactly what was on it.

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.

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.

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NCL Dawn (Repo 14 nite) 11-1-09
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Old May 21st, 2004, 10:26 AM
mnhenderson
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Default Re: Just back from Sensation. . . . . .

Debbie, thanks for the great review. We are sailing on the Sensation in October and we are also from Ohio. We have booked an excursion with Captain Marvin in Grand Cayman. Do you know the best way to get on the first tender that is not reserved for Carnival tours? Thanks,Mariann
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Old May 21st, 2004, 10:37 AM
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Default Re: Just back from Sensation. . . . . .

I would just suggest you be ready first thing in the morning, and as soon as the carnival excrusions tenders have left, be on the first tender out. Or maybe you could ask to accompy the tender with these people.

We were on the Riveria deck, outside cabin, forward, right above where you got on and off tenders and at port. It was reallly neat to watch the people first thing in the morning. Then, we could just go outside our cabin, and down to get on ourselves! And in Cozumel, we got on towards the end of boarding, but was still lots of people left in line to get on, funny to watch them all stand in line waiting to board the ship.

I'm seasick already because I don't have another cruise booked, so I will have to try to remedy this very soon! . . . . . . . . . . . .

Have a great cruise!

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Old May 21st, 2004, 10:49 AM
sljhunter
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Default Re: Just back from Sensation. . . . . .

Thanks for the review! We are going on the Sensation on July 29th. There will be four adults, and 2 girls ages 3 and 17. Did you happen to notice if there were many kids on there? Any info would be great. Glad you had a great time! We are ready to go!

Steve
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Old May 21st, 2004, 11:17 AM
EDE
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Default Re: Just back from Sensation. . . . . .

Glad to read this...a group of 19 (mostly adults with 5 teens) are leaving 6/07.
Can you respond to my earlier post about smoking areas??

I can hardly wait til time to goooooooo !!!!!!
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Old May 21st, 2004, 11:33 AM
mnhenderson
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Default Re: Re: Just back from Sensation. . . . . .

Thanks for the information. I am glad you had a good time. Mariann
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Old May 21st, 2004, 12:41 PM
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Default Re: Just back from Sensation. . . . . .

Good review.....we are sailing Nov 1st on one of the first sailings out of New Orleans. Can't wait.........glad to hear you had a nice trip.
Happy Cruisin' everyone
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Old May 21st, 2004, 01:22 PM
FHall
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Default Re: Just back from Sensation. . . . . .

Every time I have been to Cozumel we have always docked at the Puerta Maya pier .


NCL Sunward 2 06/81
NCL Leeward 05/97
Carnival Tropicale 11/98
Carnival Sensation 11/99
Carnival Sensation 11/00
Carnival Inspiration 12/01
Carnival Sensation 09/02


Next:

Carnival Glory 10/04
Carnival Inspiration 12/04
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Old May 21st, 2004, 01:57 PM
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Default Re: Just back from Sensation. . . . . .

To Steve:
On our sailing, there were MANY college age kids, all over 21, as colleges had just finished. Before we left Tampa, they were all drinking very heavily, and I was thinking, "oh no, what have we gotten into?", but there was no trouble that I saw the whole cruise. We had our son age 20 and his friend with us, as they had just finished w/college also. There were kids, lots of ages, I was actually surprised with how many considering school was still in.

To EDE: There are certain designated smoking areas, some of the open deck areas, most of the bars, and you can smoke in your cabin. There is no smoking in the Dining Rooms, and don't think you can smoke in the buffet area either. I am a non-smoker, so not quite sure. It does list the places in the carnival caper papers, which will be in your cabin when you arrive.

Be sure not to miss the sail away party/buffet the night you leave Cozumel. It is the mexican buffet, and the food is really good. The desserts are the best part!

Happy Cruising to All!

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RCCL Mariner of the Sea (Mexican Riviera) 4-18-10
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Old May 22nd, 2004, 11:00 AM
Taylor
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Default Re: Just back from Sensation. . . . . .

We went on the sensation on the 15th and had about the same experience as you did. Great ship!
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