We just took our 4-year old grandson on his first cruise! We booked a three-day itinerary on the Carnival Sensation out of Port Canaveral. There were three reasons for picking this “trial run” cruise– 1.) The price was really good, 2.) It coincided perfectly with his parents work/school schedules, and 3) Three days was the shortest cruise we could book within driving distance. We usually book inside cabins but for Boppo’s first cruise we booked an ocean view!
The Sensation is one of Carnival’s older ships, but it has been upgraded with “2.0” features. The water park pictured above is one of them. It is located on the stern (rear) of the ship. Boppo was afraid to go down the slides, but he enjoyed all the water spraying around, and playing with the other kids there. He also enjoyed the putt-putt golf course which is located at the bow. Kids are allowed to go in the hot tubs by the main pool, and the three of us enjoyed this several times.
The stateroom had a king-sized bed which was two twin beds pushed together, and a bunk that swung down from the wall. With the bed down, the room turned into a giant playground, as you can see. As it turned out, the three of us took turns sleeping in the bunk.
There are many Dr. Seuss-themed activities for the younger kids. Thing 1 and Thing 2 were just outside the restaurant where a Dr. Seuss breakfast was being served. We took part in a Cat In the Hat parade and story time one morning.
The one hope that I had for the cruise was that Boppo would enjoy Camp Carnival. No matter how much you love the ones you are traveling with, the trip is better when you can have some alone time. The first day we took him to the club for 2 hours. He enjoyed it, but was ready to leave when we showed up. The second day we took him for two sessions of two hours each, and at this point he had made some friends there. The third day, we let him stay for about 3 1/2 hours, and then–the pièce de la resistance– we took him so that he could eat dinner with the other kids and stay the evening. Bruce and I had the evening to ourselves and actually saw a show.
Our one and only port was Nassau. I have been many times, and didn’t want to get off the ship while Boppo stayed on board, so I enjoyed an afternoon wandering the ship and looking at the scenery. Bruce had been in Nassau once about 10 years ago, but really didn’t remember it well, so he went ashore for a few hours. I love being aboard when everyone else is on shore! There were four other ships in port with us. Off the port side, we had Disney, MSC, and Norwegian ships. Off our starboard side an Oceania ship was docked.
Sometimes I enjoy just walking around a ship and looking at the artwork. The Sensation is a fine ship, but good art is not her forté. The painting (above) hung in the stairwell is a good example.
The Sensation is a fine ship, but I can’t really finish this tale without mentioning the decor. It is somewhere in between Peter Max’s Yellow Submarine and 80’s disco. I thought the red and green Christmas decorations clashed with the pink and purple finishes.
In my wanderings I looked through the gallery of art available through Park West Auctions. Here is an example of what was available at the art auction.
And now for the FOOD–it was good! We ate in the Lido buffet for all our meals. We just didn’t want to worry about behavior during sit-down dinners. We were pleased to see some of the same items that were served in the dining room were available at the buffet.
I consider the cruise to be a success. Already I am thinking what we’ll do for his next cruise. It will be from another port we can drive to, perhaps Mobile (4 1/2 hour drive) or Jacksonville (5 1/2 drive). We will try a four or five-day cruise. And we will try a sit-down meal in the main restaurant.