I am just back from my 10th cruise experience. My second on Carnival. My boyfriend and I traveled into Barcelona one day early and stayed at the Marriott AC Hotel in Barcelona Sants. We traveled from the airport to the hotel by rail (Renfe) about a 10 minute ride. The hotel is right across the street from the metro stop. We purchased a T-10 ticket so that we could explore Barcelona and get to the port from the hotel.
This was the second sailing of the Sunshine. I will say that the look of the Sunshine was nice. Looked new just small with a not so easy layout, go up to go down. There were still a few areas of the ship that were not finished. The main pool and a water area for the kiddies located on the side (port or starboard - not really sure) that was blocked off. There were paint buckets and rags and dirt in the area. Because the main pool was still not functional we were given a shipboard credit. Most areas of the ship were clean and looked new but there was the smell of sewage that persisted throughout the ship especially on decks 3- 5.
Embarkation was a breeze no lines, but we got to the port early, we were on board the ship by 1pm. We rode the subway from our hotel to the stop nearest the port Drassanes then caught the pier shuttle called The Blue Bus to the ship. The total cost to get to the ship was much less than paying for the ship transportation service. If you have the time and not a lot of luggage I would recommend public transportation to the pier. There are some stairs you may have to navigate but you save money and you get to feel like a local by riding the metro and it is really easy.
Went straight to our stateroom on the 11th floor. Only two elevators go all the way up to the top floor and one was not working most of the cruise. First time staying in a spa cabin still not sure if it was worth the extra money. The cabin was nice, clean and a decent size. Although our cabin is listed as having space for 2 there was a pullout under the sofa.
Service: Great staff employed by Carnival. Always someone willing to help and listen. Always smiling with great customer service. One exception was the spiky haired guy with glasses in the spa, who so rudely told me that there was no Thalassotherapy pool although I could have sworn when I purchased the spa cabin I was told there was one.
Spa: Disappointed. No Thalassotherapy pool. Did enjoy the thermal suites, those heated chairs feel great and the robes that come with the spa cabins are really thick and plush. The water therapy showers did not work. I tried them on two different days and they did not work no matter how many times I pushed the buttons. The lights worked but no water. The steam rooms were sometimes too hot and steamy, could not breathe. One day the steam was almost gone and the smell was terrible. I did make use of the showers in the locker room because it was much bigger than the one in the stateroom and the showerhead was much better than the stateroom. The problem is the water would run out of shower and cover the floor in front of the toilet stalls. The attendant in the locker room would have a lot of water to clean up eventually she would put a towel down in front of the shower to keep the floor dry.
Dining: I think I may be getting tired of the food on these cruise ships because this was just boring for the most part. Even Guy's Burger Joint was just so-so. Greasy burger and fries. The Blueiguana Cantina was much better with really fresh ingredients. There are two dining rooms, Sunset and Sunrise both located on deck 3 one is forward and one is aft. Being on deck 11 forward with aft dining room we had a journey every evening. Down to deck 5 cross the length of the ship then down to deck 3. Kept going in circles one day trying to go the Punchliner brunch which was very good. I think the brunch was the best meal I had on the ship. Did not go to any Specialty restaurants.
Entertainment: Saw two very funny comedians on the cruise, James Johann and Rondell Sheridan. Sheridan played the father on the TV show That's So Raven. Great shows with great jokes. There were two other comedian but did not see them. Did enjoy the daily puzzles however the puzzles stopped on day 5 and did not resume until day 8. Don't know why maybe they ran out of paper. The show on Motown was fun and of course because it's Motown the music was great. The big screen by the mail pool showed two movies a night however there was a black spot on the screen, I thought this thing was new.?
Activities: No main pool however I don't think that it would have been used that much anyway because the weather did not cooperate. The slides were operating as well as the sportssquare ropes course. My hubby did the challenge while I looked on and froze. The Serenity area was great. Loved to relax in the cabana lounges. Could hear he music from the Lido deck, which was not all that bad. Serenity is very relaxing until the adults disregard the notices about No One under 21 allowed.
Disembarkation: Really disappointed. Carnival misplaced one of our luggage bags. We bought the transport to the airport because I wanted to make sure we arrived on time and did not want to transport bags via public transportation that early in the morning on such a tight schedule on a Sunday. We were scheduled to be in the group first off the ship, group 4. We were called to get off the ship close to 6 am however did not leave the pier until 6:30am because I guess some people just do what they want when they want to. Our bags were supposed to be on the bus for group 4. Two of our bags made it with us on bus one did not. Do not know how the last bag ended up in the group 27. The bag got to the airport two hours later around 8:30am. All bags where tagged and sat outside the door at the same time together. Why one bag did not arrive on time we will never know. Luckily our flight did not leave until 10:00am and it was a little late for departure.