Carnival Sensation Review

Carnival Cruise Lines
U.S. News Travel

Check Prices for this Ship

  • Overall Rating: 3.5-stars 3.5
  • Expert Rating:3.0-stars 3.0
  • Traveler Rating:3.5-stars 3.5
    • Couples: 3.5
    • Families w/ young children: 3.6
    • Families w/ older children: 3.6
    • Singles/Friends: 3.7
    • Groups: 3.3
  • Health Rating:
  • Price: $$$$
  • Year Built: 1993
  • Refurbished: 2012
  • Ship Size: L
  • Total Cabins: 1,028
  • Restaurants: 4
  • Pools: 1

How it Ranks: Carnival Sensation ranks #13 out of 24 Carnival Cruise Lines Cruise Ships based on an analysis of expert and user ratings, as well as health ratings.

Though Carnival Sensation first debuted in 1993, thanks to an update in 2009, the ship boasts a revamped pool area, an adults-only sun area and a sprawling water park, among other facilities. But despite its facelift, Carnival Sensation feels a bit old-fashioned according to past cruisers and critics: There are still a large number of rooms that lack balconies and there are no specialty restaurants on board, features that are available on many other Carnival ships. However, this 2,056-passenger Sensation does offer a higher level of personalization than other fun ships, with one crew member tending to every two cruisers. Plus, there are plenty of action-packed facilities and programs to keep cruisers busy throughout their days at sea, from the mini-golf course and resort-style pool to the casino, Serenity Adult Retreat and Punchliner Comedy Club. In terms of dining, guests can pick between the main dining rooms or the Lido Restaurant (where pizza, continental cuisine, grilled dishes and sandwiches abound). The ship also offers daily appetizers at the Taste Bar, cookies and cake at the Coffee bar and a unique three-course Chef's Table culinary experience ($75 per person), as well as 24-hour room service. As far as rooms go, Sensation offers four cabin types: Interior, Balcony, Ocean View and Suite category staterooms. Interior cabins are more compact (185 square feet) than other room types, but make the most budget-friendly option. Meanwhile, Balcony and Ocean View staterooms (185 to 240 square feet) provide extra legroom and ocean vistas; and Suites, which range from 250 to 445 square feet offer even more space to stretch out on sweeping balconies and come appointed with minibars. Regardless of which cabin category you select, you can count on standard amenities flat-screen TVs, safes and small sitting areas.

Read Carnival Sensation Passenger Reviews»

Carnival Sensation Cabins

Carnival Sensation offers a wide range of accommodation options. Browse cabins to find the stateroom that suits your needs.

See all cabin descriptions» Carnival Sensation Cabins

Carnival Sensation Deck Plans

Carnival Sensation contains 10 decks. Find out which features are available on each Carnival Sensation deck.

See full deck plans»

You might also like:

The Best Cruise for You

How To Choose Your Cruise

Contemplating a cruise? To help you compare cruise lines, ships, amenities and itineraries and choose the cruise that's right for you, first answer these questions.

How to pick a cruise »

The Best Cruises of 2015

U.S. News Ranks the 2015 Best Cruises

Toying with the idea of taking a cruise? Convenience, affordable rates and the chance to explore diverse destinations are just a few reasons cruise vacations are rising in popularity.

Discover the Best Cruises for 2015 »

Disclaimers about ship ratings: A ship's Health Rating is based on vessel inspection scores published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If a ship did not receive a CDC score within 22 months prior to the calculation of its Overall Rating, its Health Rating appears as N/A; in such a case, the ship's Overall Rating is calculated using the average Health Rating of all CDC-rated ships within the cruise line. All ship Traveler Ratings are based on ratings provided under license by Cruiseline.com.