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Sensation Review *August 21-25 (2011)* Long with Pics!

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Hello! My name is Elizabeth.

I apologize in advance for the overzealous !!!! and happy faces that will appear throughout this review (as well as the excessive ( )’s because I just like them). Even though it has been a year I feel like I am reliving the trip all over again and I get excited thinking about the next cruise we are planning.

I’ve been meaning to post this since there were not many full picture reviews of the sensation when we went and I wanted to contribute to those who are planning their future vacations.

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We deemed this our ladies only birthday trip. Although our birthdays are not until the fall... This was my mother’s second cruise (Debbie-her first was RC) and my sister (Rebecca) and I’s first cruise. We chose a shorter cruise so we could make sure we wouldn’t get seasick and so we could spend some time in Florida during our vacation.

This is us before we left. I'm on the left, mom in the middle and sis on the right.

 

 

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We all met at the Eugene Oregon Airport early on August 20th. Our *chauffeurs* ...er i mean husbands/boyfriend (Whom I will call spouses from here on out to make things easier) lugged our bags up to the front desk so we could check in. Mom and I were so excited we could barely stand to stay outside security.

(It always feels like you need to have ticket in hand and go through security for the adventure to really begin! Although in reality the adventure began for our spouses last night as we were all calling and texting back and forth about what to bring and who packed what and “should I bring 2 pairs of jeans and a jacket?” And the guys were thinking “aren’t you going to the Bahamas? Do you really need jeans and jackets? Isn’t a blow dryer, hair straightener and curling iron a little excessive?” They also got to deal with the aftermath of packing and unpacking and re-packing and how the house never quite looks the same after one leaves on a trip.)

Anyhoo…We have started our adventure! We must look suspicious saying goodbye to our loved ones and leaving with cheery smiles and must be searched to make sure we are not carrying anything dangerous!

*Warning ladies, if you wear an underwire be prepared for a little extra friendly patting down on occasion.*

I also get my hands and bag wiped, I must have looked a little bedraggled already and mom gets a full body *massage* .....er..... pat down or maybe they were looking for something dangerous?!?

Taking the escalator upstairs reminds we have left our spouses behind and mom and I eyes water a bit before we realize “we are leaving our spouses behind! Ladies week-yahoo!" Sis didn’t get that message and being a newlywed has other ideas. There might have been some sniffing and tears and I am fairly sure she nearly changed her mind, but we hugged and reminded her of all the funto be had.

Off we go down the one long hallway to the gates. (Eugene airport is pretty small...) We sit restlessly for over an hour, wishing the flight let us know it was going to be late so beauty sleep could have been maximized. But we finally get onboard and are off for ----huh I forget where our connection was----i'm pretty sure it was San Fransisco, where we rush to make our connection for our arrival in Orlando!

We arrive around midnight and the heat is like a brick wall. We all start regretting our clothing choices, but airplanes are always chilly and who knew it would be so hot in the middle of the night? We follow the signs to the rental cars, wishing for our chauffeurs; only to find out we missed the rental car counter and must go back for the keys.

Upon securing the keys, we trek back to the cars dripping with sweat glistening and immediately turn on the A/C full blast. We used out printed directions (did I mention that since the girls are not good drivers or navigators that all directions have been preprinted and put in a folder with all our reservations?) and arrive fairly quickly at the Quality Inn in Orlando. It was just a basic motel, nothing fancy. We all fell asleep nearly upon arrival, only to wake up far too early so we would drive to Miami for our cruise.

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Wow-That picture was huge... :eek: Lets try something else.

The drive to Port Canaveral was uneventful and we have plenty of time to do a couple touristy things. Including mailing postcards to our spouses at this gigantic post box.

 

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We dropped the car off with Avis on North Atlantic Ave and wait with the other cruisers in the morning heat for the complimentary bus to shuttle us to our ships.

By 11 am we are beside the Carnival Sensation and soo excited! The porters take our larger bags and we all keep out should bags (or in my sister’s case a purse that is larger than my carry-on bag!) The terminal is practically empty and we get through security without any trouble at all.

 

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Fyi: I was expecting trouble and was prepared to lose at least half my stash of the infiltrated Pinnacle Whipped Vodka pouches. Before leaving home I bought 4 plastic pouches from ebay used for smuggling alcohol, packed a bottle of whipped and in the motel this morning poured into the pouches. I had two in the checked bags, one in my purse and one in the other girls’ purse. They didn’t give my tote purse a second look, I’m not sure it even got a first look truthfully. I’m not usually a rebel, but this is the only hard liquor I enjoy and I wanted to have a few drinks. If the line starts carrying Pinnacle, I won’t smuggle any more-promise.

There is a very short line to check into your berth/room/cabin, we add cash to our onboard accounts, get our photos taken and are onboard by no later than 11:45.

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Looking forward to reading more of your review. I will be on the Sensation in December as the second cruise of our back-to-backs. It is nice to see a review on the Sensation.

I have subscribed to your thread so I will be looking for more :)

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****Ah ha! Figured out how to make the pictures a little more manageable.****

 

The ship is beautiful in our eyes, I love the Grand Atrium. It is great for people watching, and the changing lights can be mesmerizing at night. (Possibly because you couldn't see the somewhat garish carpet as well- LOL)

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The very first thing we do on-board is go find the Drink of the Day so mom can have a souvenir glass. I decide it is a little pricey for me and don’t care for nick-nacks, so we start exploring the ship. What I really want is chocolate milk so I can make our own sail away drinks with the whipped!

We walk around on the decks and find the buffet, grab some chocolate milk and are off to our cabin to drop off our shoulder bags that now feel like they weigh 100 pounds a piece! I make us quick drinks of chocolate milk and pinnacle whipped (which are amazing and suddenly my mom and sis see why i love this stuff) and run back out to find a good place to wave goodbye to all the people we don't know. Haha

 

 

Cabin/Stateroom Info:

 

 

Our stateroom was on the Empress Deck (E127). It was an inside cabin and one of the few “sideways” cabins on the ship. It was around the corner from the Art Gallery and behind/beside the elevators. I think we were right below one of the dining rooms too. We did not hear any noise from anything the entire time. I was really worried about the thumps, and scrapes being a light sleeper but either we were exhausted and slept hard or there just weren’t any. There was this nice big window in our room and when we walked in i had visions of the sea, alas it looks onto nothing, but is a nice touch and a handy place to put things and forget them on this ship.

 

 

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Our room steward was really nice. His name was Alfredo. He offered to roll up the third bed every day and put it away, but we decided it would be better to have each person with their own space (aka:bed) to mess up and relax on. He was so sweet and anytime we messed up the covers or sheets he would remake it while we were gone. I think my bed was made 3 or 4 times in one day before telling him i didn't need it remade throughout the day.

 

This is a really horrible picture (because it is a video clip) of our room once we moved the little tables around and pushed the beds so that everyone could get to the powder room at night without walking over someone. The third bed fit between the pole and wall perfectly!

 

Sensatione127.jpg

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aaaaaah reliving this ship. She was my very 1st ship many many many moons ago. I believe it was 1994!:eek: She still looks that same so far!:p

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****Ah ha! Figured out how to make the pictures a little more manageable.****

 

The ship is beautiful in our eyes, I love the Grand Atrium. It is great for people watching, and the changing lights can be mesmerizing at night. (Possibly because you couldn't see the somewhat garish carpet as well- LOL)

 

SensationAtrium2011.jpg

 

IMG_0386.jpg

 

IMG_0422-1.jpg

 

The very first thing we do on-board is go find the Drink of the Day so mom can have a souvenir glass. I decide it is a little pricey for me and don’t care for nick-nacks, so we start exploring the ship. What I really want is chocolate milk so I can make our own sail away drinks with the whipped!

We walk around on the decks and find the buffet, grab some chocolate milk and are off to our cabin to drop off our shoulder bags that now feel like they weigh 100 pounds a piece! I make us quick drinks of chocolate milk and pinnacle whipped (which are amazing and suddenly my mom and sis see why i love this stuff) and run back out to find a good place to wave goodbye to all the people we don't know. Haha

 

 

Cabin/Stateroom Info:

 

 

Our stateroom was on the Empress Deck (E127). It was an inside cabin and one of the few “sideways” cabins on the ship. It was around the corner from the Art Gallery and behind/beside the elevators. I think we were right below one of the dining rooms too. We did not hear any noise from anything the entire time. I was really worried about the thumps, and scrapes being a light sleeper but either we were exhausted and slept hard or there just weren’t any. There was this nice big window in our room and when we walked in i had visions of the sea, alas it looks onto nothing, but is a nice touch and a handy place to put things and forget them on this ship.

 

 

IMG_0023.jpg

 

 

Our room steward was really nice. His name was Alfredo. He offered to roll up the third bed every day and put it away, but we decided it would be better to have each person with their own space (aka:bed) to mess up and relax on. He was so sweet and anytime we messed up the covers or sheets he would remake it while we were gone. I think my bed was made 3 or 4 times in one day before telling him i didn't need it remade throughout the day.

 

This is a really horrible picture (because it is a video clip) of our room once we moved the little tables around and pushed the beds so that everyone could get to the powder room at night without walking over someone. The third bed fit between the pole and wall perfectly!

 

Sensatione127.jpg

 

 

I have never seen a room with a "pole" like that. That seems odd and uncomfortable to get around

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The pole was an expected surprise and we had to manuver a bit around it. I'm wondering if it had to do with the room being sideways. It turned out to be okay because it held my bed so i wasn't nervous of rolling in the night.

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Our first port was Freeport. We had big plans for this island and it was exciting to be getting off on our first tropical island! Mom was up bright and early and went to eat at the buffet. When she came back her two lazy daughters were still sound asleep. We suffered a bit of seasickness the night before and had a rough time winding down. It really wasn’t bad, but I got the spins and was relieving some terrible memories of being drunk from many years ago, in retrospect we should have brought ginger candy with us and that would have helped. I had Dramamine and we took it, causing us to be extra drowsy. So she wandered around and ended up bringing a breakfast assortment (and sandwhich makings) to prod us into getting up. (You will notice a trend for the rest of the vacation of our waking up late quite regularly!) It really wasn’t very late at all when we left the ship, probably 9:30 or so and we had just made it down the gangplank when we realized that we forgot the stamps and someone’s camera.

 

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It was also close to a million degrees outside and the moment I stepped off my pretty clothes were getting damp from sweat. We decided that we may as well stop being prideful and put on our bathing suits and cover ups and call it good. So we tromped back onboard, changed and grabbed the camera and we were off again.

 

 

Officially on our first tropical island!

 

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There is a nice market area where you can buy all sorts of souvenirs. We passed this by because we had plans to go to Port Lucaya. I had read great reviews about Port Lucaya and we had heard there was a free beach and little straw market nearby as well as water sports next door. The cab queue is pretty organized and there was a board posting the approximate cost. Depending on how full the cab is will depend on the price i think. It was $5-$7pp each way. We met a family in line looking for a similar beach experience and decided to travel together to PL. Unfortunately our driver had other plans. I saw the sign for PL and asked about where we were going and she let us know the place she was bringing us was “better.” I’m still not sure where she took us, but it was a little run down “resort” with 2 or 3 little huts of souvenirs. Our cabbie told us to pay her for the round trip cab fare and that she would pick us up at the time we wanted (although there was no way to contact her.) This made us extremely uncomfortable and I refused to pay our return in advance since she was leaving. She got pretty irritated at that and I started smelling something rotten. Then she led us into the “resort” and checked all of us in and let them know she brought us. She told us we would need to rent chair right now and got even more upset when i told her we would look around and come back later if we wanted chairs. Now she was downright angry! It was so strange. So she must get some sort of tip or stipend for “kidnapping” tourists and dropping them off here. She offered to drive us back to PL for an additional fee, but we were already missing out on the day and didn’t want to pay more. (Obviously I am still a little bitter about this, since we spent so much time planning this day.)

 

 

We made the best of it and rented three chairs and a beach umbrella. We weren’t sure if it was safe to leave our bags behind decided to take turns in the water. Sis was still tired and decided to journal so mom and I went for a swim. The water was amazing!!! It was clear and beautiful blues and greens and the perfect temperature to cool off without it being chilly. *remember we are from Oregon, the most you can do on our coast is dip a finger or toe in the water before freezing.* We went back up and just decided to hide our things the best we could and all go in. It seemed pretty safe and family friendly, but I was on guard since we were tricked into going here. We walked (North?) up the beach to the bend and were able to see all sorts of tropical fish just along the water line. There was also a dock (South?) that the brave could jump off of and I think there were some little boats for rent.

 

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Hopefully someone recognizes the picture and can tell us where we were....

 

We ate our little sandwiches from the ship and the granola bars and snacks we brought from home for lunch and bought a few trinkets from the shops.

 

 

BahamasFavorites.jpg

 

 

Early in the afternoon- maybe 3 or 4 we noticed some dark clouds moving in. There was a tropical storm named Irene that would eventually become hurricane Irene; chasing us from the islands we longed to visit. Within a short time the sky blacked behind us with the coast still clear and blue.

 

 

 

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When we saw lightening and the growling of thunder in the distance we started thinking of heading back. One loud clap of thunder has sis scrambling to pack everything in sight and racing for the nearest cab. I was right beside her with us urging mom to come back to the ship. (Thunder storms are not our strong suit…) Just as we got in the cab it started pouring and we headed back to the ship. By the time we got to the ship it had let up and we were able to do a little shopping at the freshly washed and fresh smelling market. I bought postcards and found out the stamps I had gone back for don’t work in the Bahamas. You need stamps from the Bahamas. There were men guiding tourists into the store of their employment and they were sweet enough to help me find the only store that sold stamps. It was a cute little tiny convenience store hidden amongst the clothing shops. The mailbox was really neat, a tall red tube that was so obvious I walked around near it searching for the mail box. LOL.

 

 

The rest of the afternoon was spent on the ship enjoying the hot tub and wandering around. We watched the ship cast off and the ropes used are huge!

 

Goodbye Freeport

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I ran out of room on the last post and I couldn't bear to leave out this cute picture of the little souvenir stand on the beach we spent the day at.

 

Freeport2.jpg

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The pole was an expected surprise and we had to manuver a bit around it. I'm wondering if it had to do with the room being sideways. It turned out to be okay because it held my bed so i wasn't nervous of rolling in the night.

Raelene, Enjoying your review so far. Seeing the photo of the pole brought back fond memories of an inside cabin we had on the Fantasy last year. After the second time of walking into it late at night I had to wrap an extra pillow around it face high and secure it with a bungee cord. From then on I could safely go to the bathroom with the lights out:eek:.

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That is hilarious! I love that you wrapped it up with a pillow. I wish we would have thought of that. Stubbed toes were just as bad though. It is such a strange spot for such a little pole. They should totally pad them like the sports events to do posts and such!

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love the review so far!, thank you so much for adding a review on the sensation. ^_^ the taxi experience you had seems crazy! I couldn't imagine dealing with not going to where I paid to be taken to and then being harassed.

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So glad you are doing a review, I have a planned surprised 50th birthday for DH (with friends) aboard the Sensation in November, luv the pics! I luv purple!

Happy Sailing,

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Worst news- my laptop slide off my lap and is having some issues. Hopefully i'll be able to get backup photos from mom downloaded this weekend! I'll post once i have those pics!

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Worst news- my laptop slide off my lap and is having some issues. Hopefully i'll be able to get backup photos from mom downloaded this weekend! I'll post once i have those pics!

 

hopefully you get it all fixed. I can't wait to see more

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So it has been a looong time. The computer that fell never recovered. Luckily i was able to get photos from my Facebook, my mom and sis and put them on an online database for safe keeping.

It has been a busy year planning our wedding and honeymoon cruise to Alaska. Only 38 days to go, and needing a break from wedding planning thought i would pop back on and rejuvenate my sad little review. :)

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To try and get in the groove of things i thought i would post a food pic. Everyone's favorite! :)

 

Pictured: Fried Chicken, Chocolate Molten Cake with a dessert drink, Grand Marnier Souffle (my favorite!!!), Lobster, Strawberry Soup, Chocolate Cake and a non-favorite beef dish-lol.

 

SensationFoodCollage_zps05f60f7a.jpg

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Because of the oncoming Hurricane Irene, we had a much shorter time in port on Nassau then planned. Since we had already reserved rooms at the Comfort Suites for the included Atlantis entry we chose to spend the day at the Atlantis Resort. We took a cab to the hotel. Checking into the hotel was super easy, we didn't even go in our room. We just signed the forms and they pointed the way down this random windy hall that led to a path that we wandered aimlessly until we got to the resort. This part we hadn't planned well, but we found the resort without too many troubles.

 

We went right in and we were instantly in awe of our surroundings. We saw the most amazing artwork, sculptures, Venetian-esk ceilings and a gorgeous fountain. I can't remember why, but we had to go to the main room with the giant rounded ceilings, go down a flight of stairs and sign up.......to get our bracelets for the water park and aquarium.

 

Here is a collage of the various works of art we saw in Atlantis.

 

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The Atlantis Aquarium was included in our passes/bracelets from the Comfort Suites. You walk right through the aquarium to get to the water park, so i can't imagine paying extra unless you wanted to do something beyond looking. The aquarium is actually indoors and outdoors, we could have spent hours watching the cute little fish, baby and grown up turtles, baby stingrays the size of dinner plants and huge stingrays the size of, well the size of....ottomans... haha. We saw regular sharks, hammer head sharks, saw sharks, and who knows what other kinds. Ok i might have made those names up.... I wish we would have know more names of what we saw, but all in all the aquarium was phenomenal. Living in Oregon we have a great aquarium in Newport that used to house Keiki (fka Free Willy), but it doesn't come close to the Atlantis Aquarium.

 

The photo in the upper left has a several small woman/child size sharks, a couple large man size shark and the huggest shark/fish we'd ever seen. (Well except for Keiko the whale...)

 

AquariumCollage_zps300d3353.jpg

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Thank you for your interesting photo review...the collages were a little different and probably could have given you the opportunity to paste six collages per post as a collage like yours is just one image. :):):):)

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We are planning our third cruise and i thought i should read through my past reviews and imagine my surprise that my photos are missing! Oh photobucket - what have you done?

The Carnival Sensation was my first cruise and has turned me into a lover for life. I convinced my now husband to take a cruise on our honeymoon in 2013 and he is hooked now to. We are sticking to odd years and will go on our next cruise in 2015.

Now to add some photo back onto this sad little review. I imagine there may have been some changes since my cruise in 2011 to the Bahamas aboard the Sensation. But everyone enjoys a good pic review now and then :p

 

First Pic is another angle of our cabin E127

And a nighttime pic of our ship in Nassau

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We LOVED Atlantis on Nassau and are determined to go back again with our husbands.

The water park was so much fun and the resort was beautiful.

 

Three pics of various pieces of glass art in Atlantis

Atlantis Grotto and Shark Pool

Sensation Pool

Sensation by Night

Sensation by Day

Goodbye says the strange little running alien!

 

Its been great - now this photo review is complete sign found in the hallway of the Sensation. ;)

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