Sailed the 5 day Bahamas Cruise on the Sensation, July 2019
ARRIVAL: We flew into Miami Airport, and were able to check in to the ship there. It was quick and convenient, and we only had to go through security once we got to the port. There was virtually no waiting at all 😊
We were on board by 1:30. I was expecting the Lido to be crowded, but it wasn’t bad. We queued up for a Guy’s Burger. The line moved quickly and the burger was still warm. MMMM. Topped it off with a rum punch, and our cruise was in full swing!
THE ROOM: Having sailed on other Fantasy Class ships, I was still disappointed when we opened the door to our cabin. The room was small – smaller than the room on the Paradise last year. Gone was the small couch and table where we would eat our Room Service BLT (surprise!! It is just a delicious when you order it at the Deli and eat it in the Lido!). The TV was tiny. There was no refrigerator or hair dryer. The walls were paper thin. I wondered how I hadn’t known this cabin would be so….. lacking. Turns out, not one of those things mattered. We ended up LOVING the ship. The warmth and sincerity of the crew outshone any perceived shortcoming of the room.
Our steward, Hamid, came to introduce himself. What a nice man! He was friendly, pleasant, and efficient. I mentioned that the room was a bit warm. He agreed and had a supervisor come check it out immediately. The supervisor said he’d get a technician in right away. By the time we returned from dinner, the AC was humming along at a cool clip. There were no further problems with the air conditioning.
ENTERTAINMENT: We enjoyed the musical shows very much. There were 3, and we were able to see them all. After the show, the CD, Deon, moved everyone along to the atrium where we stood around on 5 levels to see him sing, dance and entertain us with a musical trivia contest. He had us all singing, clapping and swaying to the music. It was great fun!
We always look forward to the comedy shows and these did not disappoint. Even more than the comedians, the Comedy Club Manager, Andy, was hilarious. We ended a few nights with laughter! Ordered a Kiss on the Lips drink at the show. DELICIOUS!
THE PORTS: Honestly, I could go forever without seeing Nassau again, but there it was. We walked through town and stopped at Del Sol to get our granddaughter a cute Tshirt. Then, sweated our way to Senor Frogs, for a cute onesie for the new baby. Always enjoy Senor Frogs. A Security Guard offered me an unusual fruit. You slice open the tough skin with your finger nail and there is a round, juicy, grape like fruit inside. Then, back to the boat for some quiet relaxation while everyone else is ashore. As this was one of our more relaxed cruises, we took time to enjoy watching the boat pull away. We saw the lines loosened and released and got to watch the people running down the pier to get to the boat. 😉
We love Half Moon Cay. It is a perfect, relaxing, fun, beach day. The water is a beautiful, clear, blue. We floated around and then relaxed in a chair until lunch. Of course, that was plenty of time for me to pick up a bright red sunburn ☹ I really enjoy the jerk chicken lunch. We were the only boat there and there was plenty of room to sit and enjoy the food. Then, back to the ship before the crowd. The tenders did a good job.
Having been to all our ports several times before, we did not schedule any excursions. Grand Turk was no exception. We wandered through all the stores and found cute little outfits for our grand daughters at Piranha Joe’s. We explored the space capsule memorial and stopped for a creamy, refreshing Pina Colada. We sipped and watched the water from a shady spot. Then, back to the ship to cool off. Grand Turk is HOT.
The last day was a Sea Day. We planned on Scrabble in the library, but they did NOT have a game. We enjoyed sitting quietly in the cool Library watching the water. As you get older, different things strike your fancy. On the cruise, it’s almost like discovering new things all the time.
We took advantage of the Tshirt sales (we always do), and then donated to the ST Jude’s fund raiser and got another Tshirt. Hubby was happy.
FOOD: Of course, we always look forward to eating at Guy’s. I enjoy the Blue Iguana for breakfast and lunch. I tried a delicious breakfast burrito one day, and had huevos rancheros and an areapa (sp?) two other days. I wanted to try the seafood tacos for another lunch, but ran out of time…. So many delicious choices. Also, they have a tasty mango margarita. Ole!
The Deli serves a delicious BLT, with fries or potato salad. Never tried the fires, but skip the potato salad. They have pretty good salted caramel cookies at the Deli. My husband had several varieties of Pizza, and seemed to enjoy them all.
We liked Our Time Dining and the wait staff was wonderful. We had a different waiter every day and none of them were bad. Our favorite was Nenja. Courteous and accurate. The warm chocolate melting cake never disappoints. Tried some cured salmon (Yum). Had the fruit plate a couple nights. Sweet, ripe delicious fruit every time. One night I had the crème brulee, but it didn’t have that hard sugar shell. Still tasted good….
DEBARKING/CUSTOMS/MIAMI We were a little worried about debarking. Last year the ship we were on had horrible debarking. Handled it completely different from any ship I’d been on before. Sensation was more in line with the other ships and things were going smoothly. On top of that, we booked an excursion for Miami. We took Miami’s 10 Best. It wasn’t the best excursion I’ve ever been on, but it was waaay better than sitting in the airport for hours on end. It was a large, air conditioned bus with a driver and a guide. The guide was quite knowledgeable and pointed out many things throughout the drive. We saw South Beach (from the bus), Little Havana, and Windwood. We got out (and got soaked) in Little Havana. We went to a Cigar shop, a shop giving out Cuban Coffee, and stopped for some ice cream. I had Mango and my husband had very berry. We were both pleased. There was an opportunity to go to restaurants, but we didn’t. We headed to Windwood and were able to get out and view the fresco paintings…grafitti?
ISSUES: Booked on a lower deck in an Ocean view, one of our neighbors in an inner room, was a pot smoker. The steward was aware, and I assumed the matter would be addressed. It was not. The neighbors smoked everyday. And it was terrible smelling: like a skunk. The steward sprayed our room with room deodorizer and that helped, but only for THAT instance. I was surprised that the smell would go across the hall. I was also disappointed that Carnival did nothing. Before leaving home we received a form letter from Carnival reminding us that while Marijuana is legal in some states, Carnival goes by Federal law. Therefore, no pot smoking would be tolerated. Of course, NO smoking is tolerated in the rooms...well, I guess they don't really enforce that....
FINALLY, we had a wonderful time on this ship. The crew was absolutely wonderful. They always had time to smile and chat. They didn’t just ask questions, they shared some of their lives with us, too. And while they stopped to smile and chat, don’t think that the ship suffered. It was one of the cleanest ships I have ever been on. Turns out, my only real complaint was the pot smell (and that was more a worry about fire, though the smell was unusually awful). Everything else was less significant compared to all the fun we had. I would sail Sensation again. If you do, I hope you enjoy!