Carnival Sensation

Former name: MS Sensation

Specifications of Carnival Sensation

Year of build1993  /  Age: 29
BuilderKvaerner Masa-Yards (Helsinki, STX Finland)
Building costUSD 250 million
Engines (power)Wartsila-Sulzer (42.24 MW / 56645 hp)
Speed22 kn / 41 km/h / 25 mph
Length (LOA)261 m / 856 ft
Beam (width)31 m / 102 ft
Gross Tonnage70538 gt
Passengers2056 - 2467
Passengers-to-space ratio29
Decks with cabins5
Last RefurbishmentAliaga-scrapped in 2022
Sister-shipsCarnival Ecstasy, Carnival Elation, Carnival Fantasy, Carnival Fascination, Carnival Imagination, Carnival Inspiration, Carnival Paradise
Former namesMS Sensation
Christened byVicki Freed, Roberta Jacoby, Cherie Weinstein, Geri Donnelly
OwnerCarnival Corporation & PLC
OperatorCarnival Cruise Line

Carnival Sensation Review

Review of Carnival Sensation

The 1993-built/2022-scrapped Carnival Sensation cruise ship was the third of CCL's all eight Fantasy-class liners, with sisterships Fantasy, Elation, Imagination, Inspiration, Paradise plus the "balcony ships" Fascination and Ecstasy.

The vessel (IMO number 8711356) was Bahamas-flagged (MMSI 309697000) and registered in Nassau.

On February 3, 2022, was announced that in 2022 the fleet will leave two boats - Carnival Sensation (1993-built/29-years-old) and Carnival Ecstasy (1991-built/31-years-old). The official announcement triggered the following deployment changes:

  • In Jacksonville, Ecstasy was replaced by Carnival Spirit, starting April 23rd. Ecstasy was repositioned to/homeported in Mobile for the period March 5 thru October 10. Carnival Sensation's Mobile schedule (Oct 15, 2022, thru April 27, 2024) was canceled.
  • In Australia, Carnival Splendor's schedule June 10 thru Sept 26, 2022, Carnival Spirit's schedule June 5, 2022, thru October 5, 2023, were canceled.
  • Following the operational pause (due to the COVID crisis), Sensation didn't restart operations for CCL. Ecstasy's last voyage for CCL was scheduled for October 10, 2022, from Mobile AL.

A total of 166x Carnival Sensation cruises out of Mobile Alabama (departures planned for the period March 5, 2022, thru April 27, 2024) were canceled. The itineraries included:

  • 4-day and 5-day Western Caribbean (Cozumel)
  • 5-day Western Caribbean (Cozumel and Progreso)
  • 6-day Western Caribbean (Roatan, Cozumel) / Nov 21, 2022
  • 10-day Eastern Caribbean (Key West, Grand Turk, Amber Cove, Grand Cayman, Cozumel) / Sept 12, 2022
  • 10-day Panama Canal (Colon, Puerto Limon, Roatan, Cozumel) / Sept 11, 2023
  • 10-day Eastern Caribbean (Bimini, Grand Turk, Amber Cove, Grand Cayman, Cozumel) / Jan 29, 2024

History - construction and ownership

Carnival Cruise Lines (CCL) is a US shipping company, trademarked brand and subsidiary of Carnival Corporation (shipowner). CCL was founded in 1972 as an independent company by Ted Arison (1924-1999, co-founder of NCL Norwegian). 

CCL has the Corporation's largest fleet as number of vessels and GT-tonnage (ship sizes/volumes and passenger capacities). In 2023, CCL had ~9% (by revenue) and ~19% (passengers) share of the cruise industry's worldwide market. In 2024, the parent company (Carnival Corporation) had ~51% stake in the US$64+ billion industry.

Carnival Sensation cruise ship

The 2056-passenger ship Carnival Sensation arrived and was beached at Turkey's Aliaga Shipbreaking Yard on April 5, 2022, at 9:11 UTC. Her last voyage (Transatlantic crossing from Florida to Turkey) departed PortMiami on March 18th, at 18:37 UTC.

The vessel's AIS transmitted for the last time on April 7th (at 16:18 UTC).

Decks and Cabins

Carnival Sensation staterooms (1028 total, in 26 categories) include 54 Suites, 98 Balcony, 466 Oceanview and 408 Inside cabins. Most cabin balconies are sized 35 ft2 (3 m2). Most staterooms are sized 185 ft2 (17 m2). CCL Ecstasy ship has 25 wheelchair-accessible cabins (ADA staterooms adapted for passengers with disabilities). The largest (Grand Suites) are sized 330 ft2 / 31 m2 plus 115 ft2 / 11m2 terrace and accommodate up to 5 passengers. They feature sitting areas and spacious bathrooms with whirlpool bathtubs, separate shower, VIP services and amenities.

The boat has 13 decks, of which 10 are passenger-accessible and 5 with cabins.

Shipboard dining options - Food and Drinks

During dinner hours, the two dining rooms - Ecstasy and Fantasy accommodate all Sensation's guests in two seatings (early at 6 pm and late at 8:15 pm) or with the flexible option "Your Choice Dining" program - anytime between 5:45 and 9:30 p.m. The Sea View Bar and Grill located on Lido Deck has a big traffic flow, but even when crowded, the tables are enough and offer purple plastic seats. The Star Wars decor meets largely high school clientele. The pizzeria is 24-hour open; fat-free yogurt and ice cream are also offered round-the-clock.

Carnival Sensation cruise ship

Unlike other Carnival ships, there is no specialty restaurant or Supper Club onboard Carnival Sensation. However, as is also available on all of the Fun ships is Chef's Table - a dining experience that affords a dozen guests a multicourse dinner with a private cocktail reception, a tour of the galley/kitchen and a master chef. This dining option takes place in a non-traditional venue, like the library or the galley, and can be booked onboard for US$75 per person.

Follows the complete list of Carnival Sensation restaurants and food bars.

  • Fantasy Dining Room (658-seat, forward Main Dining Room, with two fixed dinner seatings, or Your Time Dining; offers themed breakfasts - Seuss At Sea, for $5 cover charge)
  • Ecstasy Dining Room (650-seat, aft Main Dining Room, with two fixed dinner seatings).
  • Seaview Lido Buffet Restaurant (722-seat, complimentary self-service restaurant with various food stations; operates as a bistro in the evenings).
  • Sushi Bar (complimentary).

Shipboard entertainment options - Fun and Sport

Carnival Sensation is still an amazing value for families and first-timers, despite her age. The vessel has the signature Camp Carnival with programs for youngsters among the ages of 2 and 17 years, an immensely congenial and up-for-anything crew, and worthy sun deck additions (waterslide and adults-only place).

Fantasia Lounge hosts always-popular Vegas-style show productions that are high-energy, with great lighting and special effects. In addition to Fantasia's song-and-dance revues, a late-night comic entertains adults in Plaza Lounge. Classical music is often scheduled in the atrium. Live dance and music venues are available daily.

The Touch of Class piano bar boasts bar seats that are shaped like big hands. This unique hot spot often turns out to be a standing room as guests enjoy the sing-alongs and can take part in the music without having to face the audience a la karaoke. Even though young people make up much of the bar's audience, some of the music appeals to George Gershwin and Irving Berlin fans.

Carnival Fantasy-class cruise ship WaterWorks slides (Fantasy, Elation, Imagination, Inspiration, Paradise, Fascination, Sensation, Ecstasy)

Follows the complete list of Carnival Sensation lounges, clubs and other entertainment venues for kids, teens, and adults.

  • Sensation Grand Atrium Plaza (7-deck high midship open area served by Grand Plaza Lobby Bar)
  • Internet Cafe (24-hour Internet computers room)
  • Fantasia Theatre (1300-seat, 2-level main show lounge)
  • Sensation Boulevard Promenade (230-seat)
  • Joe's Cafe (58-seat specialty coffee bar)
  • Michelangelo Lounge and Bar (109-seat, with karaoke and dance floor)
  • Kaleidoscope Disco and Nightclub (230-seat Dance Club)
  • Polo Bar (92-seat cigar bar with piano)
  • Plaza Lounge and Bar (540-seat, hosts Punchliner Comedy Club/brunch)
  • Art Gallery; Photo Gallery and Shop; Formalities Shop (tuxedo rentals, special occasion gifts); The Fun Shops (offer Bon Voyage store menu, souvenirs, watches, jewelry, logo merchandise, duty-free liquor, fashion boutiques)
  • Circle C (kids' complimentary club lounge with movies, video games, parties, planned activities)
  • 24-hour Video Games Arcade; Club O2 teens' lounge for movies, karaoke, parties
  • Vegas Casino (450-seat, served by Mirage Bar)
  • Serenity (adults-only sundeck with padded lounges, hammocks and two Whirlpools).
  • Sensation Lido Pool area; Carnival WaterWorks Aqua Park (features the 4-deck high Twister Waterslide, two racing waterslides, fountains, jets, splash pool, kids area)
  • Camp Carnival (kids' club lounge with a complimentary program and play area)
  • Spa Carnival (Spa and Fitness complex with Relaxation Room, Steam Rooms, Saunas, Massage Rooms, Beauty Salon, Gymnasium with Aerobics Studio)
  • Basketball/Volleyball Court, Jogging Track, Tennis Tables, 9-hole Mini-Golf Course, Shuffleboard.

The ship's 2017 refurbishment added all the Fun Ship 2.0 venues and amenities, including Guy's Burger Joint (complimentary poolside burger bar via partnership with Guy Fieri), BlueIguana Cantina (complimentary poolside Mexican food bar for burritos and tacos on homemade tortillas, toppings, salsa bar), Alchemy Bar (cocktail lounge served by professional mixologists), BlueIguana Tequila Bar (Mexican-themed poolside bar serving frozen drinks and draft beer), Cherry on Top (Carnival's signature bulk candy shop), Camp Ocean (kids complex for children ages 2-11).


Carnival Sensation itinerary program was based on 4-day and 5-day Western Caribbean roundtrips departing from homeport Mobile Alabama to Mexico (Cozumel, and Cozumel with Progreso or Costa Maya).

In 2019 were offered a total of 17x new 5-day itineraries to Cuba leaving roundtrip from Miami. Each itinerary featured a day-long port stay in Havana. The other call ports were Grand Turk, Grand Cayman, Bahamas (Nassau, Half Moon Cay, Princess Cays). With the new voyages was expanded CCL's Florida to Cuba 2019 program, which also included Carnival Paradise (out of Tampa).

Due to the Coronavirus crisis, the Carnival ship Sensation was to be paused for ~2 years (between March 2020-2022). The restart was scheduled for March 5th, 2022 (Mobile to Western Caribbean). However, in February 2022, the Australian program of Carnival Spirit was replaced with Sensation's Caribbean schedule (based on homeporting in Jacksonville Florida) and soon was announced that Sensation will leave the fleet in 2022. Sensation's Mobile schedule (Oct 15, 2022, thru Sept 30, 2023) was canceled.

Carnival Sensation - user reviews and comments

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Carnival Sensation Wiki

Fun Ship 2.0 upgrades were started in 2014 and completed in 2017. Sensation is one of Carnival's oldest (Fantasy-class) liners with sisterships Ecstasy, Elation, Fantasy, Fascination, Imagination, Inspiration, Paradise.

The vessel was christened by four godmothers (all Carnival Cruise Line's VPs/Vice Presidents - Roberta Jacoby, Vicki Freed, Gerry Donnelly, and Cherie Weinstein.

Carnival Sensation (Helsing shipyard/hull number 484) was powered by Wartsila-Sulzer marine diesel engines (models 8ZAV40S and 8ZAL40) generating total power output 42,24 MW.

The Inaugural Cruise/Maiden Voyage started on November 1, 1993. The homeporting in Tampa Florida started in December 1998, with 7-day roundtrips visiting Grand Cayman, Cozumel Mexico, and NOLA-New Orleans. In 2000, the liner was reflagged from Liberia (Monrovia) to Bahamas (Nassau). In October 2004 started the homeporting in New Orleans, for 4- and 5-day roundtrips to Mexico (Cozumel and Costa Maya). Following Hurricane Katrina (2005) Sensation was charted for 6 months by the US Government to serve as a hotel ship for refugees.

Following a major drydock in 2006 (the 9-hole Mini-Golf Course was installed), in March started the homeporting in Port Canaveral/Orlando for short breaks to The Bahamas. In 2007, MS Sensation was officially renamed "Carnival Sensation".

The vessel was extensively drydock refitted in February 2009 ("Fun Ship 1.0" / "Evolution of Fun"). During the 35-day refurbishment were added new balconies (98 total) to existing cabins, as well as the "Serenity" (adults-only resort sundeck), Carnival WaterWorks (aquapark) and the children's complex Camp Carnival.

In February 2016 started the homeporting in Miami, with 4- and 5-day Caribbean roundtrips visiting Mexico and Bahamas. In 2019, for a short period Sensation operated roundtrips from PortMiami to Cuba (Havana). On March 9, 2020, Carnival Sensation departed on her last cruise. The 5-day Miami roundtrip visited Grand Cayman and Jamaica (Ocho Rios). On February 3, 2022, CCL announced the liner's retirement, and on March 18th she left PortMiami en route to Aliaga Turkey for scrapping.

Next table shows the very last voyage scheduled for Carnival Sensation.

(2024) 5-day "Western Caribbean" itinerary, priced from US$ 335 pp with double occupancy

Date / TimePort
27 Apr 16:00Departing from Mobile, Alabama
29 Apr 13:00 - 21:00Costa Maya, Mexico
30 Apr 08:00 - 16:00Cozumel, Mexico
02 May 08:00Arriving in Mobile, Alabama

Carnival Sensation refurbishment 2017 review

The ship's 2017 drydock refurbishment (February 9-22( was done in Freeport Bahamas and resulted in the following deckplan changes.

  • (Lido Deck 10) Guy's Burger Joint was added (complimentary poolside dining venue serving hand-crafted burgers and fresh-cut fries)
  • (Lido Deck 10) BlueIguana Cantina was added (complimentary poolside Mexican eatery for fresh-made burritos and tacos on homemade tortillas, with salsa bar and a variety of toppings). Also here was added the Blue Iguana Tequila Bar (Mexican-themed outdoor bar for frozens and beers).
  • (Promenade Deck 9) Alchemy Bar was added (Carnival's "cocktail pharmacy" lounge with professional mixologists and made-to-order drinks). Also here was added the RedFrog Rum Bar (rum bar for frozens and beers, serving Carnival's private label ThirstyFrog Red /draught beer).
  • (Promenade Deck 9) Cherry On Top was added (bulk candy store, also selling Carnival Cruise Lines logo apparel, gifts, toys)).
  • (Verandah Deck 11) the old Camp Carnival kids complex was redesigned and transformed into Camp Ocean. Also here (aft) was installed Carnival Waterworks (aquapark with Splash Zone, 2 mini racing slides for kids, and the Twister Waterslide).
  • Various technical enhancements were also implemented, including shoreside power capabilities.
  • Routine maintenance works included new hull coating.
  • During refurbishment 2017, the crew area was also renovated.

After the ship's previous (2015) refurbishment (Fun Ship 2.0) was introduced new show programming - Hasbro Game Show, Playlist Productions, Punchliner Comedy Club.

Drydock 2020 (January 6-17, Freeport Bahamas) was a USD 25 million project that included general maintenance works, technical upgrades, new carpeting and tiling (shipwide).