ABOARD THE CARNIVAL SENSATION – Chrome and silver. Gold and purple. Neon lights. Orange leather seats. Triangle-patterned bar stools. Plush sofas. Squiggles and curlicues galore. The Carnival Sensation décor, to me, looked like retro ‘60s mod.
I almost expected to see movie secret agent Austin Powers sashaying down the ship promenade. I lived through those times so I like the styling of the 25-year-old ship.
The heart of the ship is the soaring glass-and-metal atrium. Two rocket-shaped glass elevators zoom up and down for great views. The Atrium Bar is a hopping place with drink specials and live music on a raised stage over the bar.
The Deck 7 atrium is home to Guest Services, Shore Excursions, and a five-station Internet Café. Deck 8 has Fantasia Lounge and the ship’s Fun Shops offering Carnival souvenirs, toiletries, cruise clothes, handbags, designer watches, sunglasses, jewelry, liquor, cigarettes and more.
The Promenade on Deck 9 is aptly named. It’s a good place to walk, glance in the galleries, see the action in the casino, browse Pixels photo gallery, stop by the new Cherry on Top gift and candy store, and more.
The ship’s photographers do a good job and I’m sure those ship photos often become valued family memories. The photographers roam around taking casual photos and they also set up beautiful backdrop sets for special nights, particularly during the captain’s dinner which is the only dress-up night on our five-day cruise.
Photos are displayed on large boards and can be bought or not. Life goes so quickly and I know from my own experience that families often put off having a professional photo taken, thinking we’ll do it later. But later might not come. On my home office desk are two ship photos of a cruise I took with my grandson Logan and my sister Elaine. Brings back happy memories.
Can’t get there from here
Built in 1993, Carnival Sensation does have some inconveniences. It is one of those you-can’t-get-there-from-here ships. For my first night’s dinner, it was a bit of a hunt to find my Fantasy Dining Room on Deck 8 forward.
Sounds reasonable to walk up to Deck 8 or take an elevator there but if you arrive at the wrong end of the ship, you’re out of luck. You can’t just walk to the other end of the ship on Deck 8. There is no thruway. Instead, you have to either go up and come down or go down and come up.
Quite a few of us seemed lost that first night. One woman said she would just follow me. With my sense of direction, that might not have been a wise move. But we did find our Fantasy Dining Room.
On Deck 0 is the medical center. Two self-service coin-operated laundries are busy places on Deck 6 and Deck 7.
At the top of the ship on Lido Deck 10 are two whirlpools, the main pool and an activity stage where dance lessons are offered and games such as corn hole are played. Carnival Waterworks is on Deck 11. For folks at least 21 years old, Serenity Whirlpool is located on Deck 9.
Later, I’ll write about the theaters, clubs, dining room and other places on the Sensation. She’s a big ship. To me, Carnival Sensation is a grand old lady who is not ready to hang up her traveling shoes. And she shouldn’t.
Photos by Jackie Sheckler Finch