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Advice for Sensation Cruise

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LisaG

Guest
#1
Hello all,

Been reading the reviews and want to say -- THANKS -- first. We are taking the Carnival Sensation Cruise from February 3 - 8 ... leaving from Tampa. We = husband, myself, 11 & 8 year old daughters. We've booked a Category 12 Suite ... this is our first cruise and while it was expensive, we are hoping it will be well worth it. You see, the man in our house ... hasn't been in our house for almost a year. He's in the USMC and has been deployed for nine months now ... another three to go and he'll be home. The cruise is our CELEBRATION of his return and it is a SURPRISE for him. I've been tucking away the pennies to be able to go AND go first class.

I'm open to ALL advice about cruising!!!! Like I said, we are first timers. What's the best way to go with sodas? Is Camp Carnival a logistical nightmare, with pick-up and drop-off times, etc? We LOVE being with our children and they are very well behaved ... so we'd rather hang with them, than be on tight Camp Carnival time schedules.

Since we've booked a higher category cabin ... are we now expected to tip higher? The person we booked the cruise with seemed to indicate this wouldn't be expected. Do we only tip at the end or should we be carrying cash at all time to do so?

I'm sure I have BILLIONS of other questions ... please don't get too annoyed with me!!! Just want to have ONE perfect week after ONE high stress year!!!

THANKS

LisaG
 
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Sunshine

Guest
#2
Welcome:wave It sure sounds like you have an amazing trip planed. WHat a wonderful surprise for your husband, and I am sure it will be a wonderful family vaction.

Most kids love Camp Carnival's program and I am sure your kids will too. It is not logistically hard to get them dropped off or picked up. In fact your 11 year old won't need to be signed in and out by you.

Be sure you go to the Kids Program Orientation the first day. It explains the whole program and the kids can start making new friends right away and they will be more comfortable joining in if they know how it works. You should be able to strike anice balance btween family time and time where the kids will have more fun in the kids program, and you and hubby will enjoy that alone time too, without worrying about the kids.

You are not expected to tip higher because of being in a higher category cabin.

Have a great time.
 
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cruzman

Guest
#3
Ditto what Sunshine has said. Camp Carnival is very flexible as far as the way they operate. They are there to entertain your children, and they will do so with gusto. Wow, a cat. 12 cabin on your first cruise, you will be spoiled forever. I'm a "just get me on the ship freak", 'cause I don't plan to spend any more time in my cabin than I absolutely have to. I must admit however, that a couple of times I did spring for a balcony cabin and I really did enjoy it. Don't forget to bring a video camera and a digital still camera if possible. You will be able to relive your first cruise experience for years to come. As for tipping, with few exceptions it is done on the final day of the cruise. Carnival has recently implemented an automatic tipping policy on most of their ships. Your "sail & sign" account will automatically be charged at the recommended tipping rate for your waiter, ass't waiter, and cabin steward. If the Head waiter/ Maitre'd performs any special services for you during your cruise, you can tip him separately. The bar staff is automatically tipped as a 15% gratuity is added routinely to each purchase. The only other thing I can think of is room service. If you order food for delivery to your room, a tip is expected, usually 1 or 2 dollars for each occasion. Incidentally, you have the option of adjusting any automatic tip up or down simply by visiting the purser's desk and requesting the change.
 
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Sue Montgomery

Guest
#4
Lisa: I'm sure your counting the days down until your hubby returns. You've outdone yourself with such a wonderful celebration!!

Our first cruise was aboard the Sensation a few years ago. Our daughter was only 6 then but enjoyed the time she spent in CC. Like you, she hung out with us a good part of the time. The crew dotes on children and will make them feel very comfortable. CC will be good for the girls because it will keep them involved in things just for their age group and give you and your hubby some special time alone too.

Tipping is as stated above. One perk of having a CAT 11 or 12 is the Skippers Club. When you go to the pier, ask where it is -- this way you won't have to stand in line with everyone else as you will have a separate checkin and boarding location.

Enjoy yourself! If you have any other specific questions, just drop me a line.
 
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Shirley

Guest
#5
Just returned from a 4-day cruise on the Sensation yesterday. I'm having cruise withdrawals. It was my first time cruising with Carnival, and had a good time. The food was excellent, as were the broadway shows. The terminal at Tampa was one of the nicer terminals that I have been in. Hope you have a great time.
 
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LisaG

Guest
#6
WOW -- thanks for the advice -- it is REALLY appreciated. I've been reading TONS of reviews and getting even MORE advice!!!!! We are having THE hardest time not "spilling the beans" to hubby about the cruise ... but we have to keep it a secret until Christmas!!!!! That's when we get to see him again!!

Thanks again.

LisaG
 
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David and Laura

Guest
#7
We sailed the Sensation a year ago for 7 days. We just cruised the Explorer of the Seas last month and all adults involved (4), decided the Sensation had better entertainment, service, and definitely embarkment was better on the Sensation.
 
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Patricia Layne

Guest
#9
I have sailed on the Sensation and the Imagination they have pretty much the same layouts for their ships and When I took my kids the first time they were in two different camps and I think it did them a world of good. They could have their on friends with no competeing and they had plenty of things to tell us about people from different places and what they had done when we had our meals. You can also talk to your children maybe over breakfast and see the things that they want to do and not do, and plan yours and hubbies time around them. Some things they might not want to do with the camp and that also gives you time to spend with them to.
Patricia Layne