We are a family of four who took the second voyage on the Carnival Sunshine. I just wanted to get a quick review out there so future cruises have an idea about the ship.
Rooms. We don't care so much about the room. For a 9 day cruise around the Mediterranean with 8 ports, we spent very little time in the room. We could have used more drawer space, especially for a family, but there was plenty of hanging space. The bedding and pillows were comfortable and it was nice to be in a brand new room. Of course 4 people in an inside cabin was tight, but expected. The bathroom was small and has very little storage. The only problems we had with the room was the bathroom. It had an ammonia like smell the whole cruise that even though they tried to fix, kept coming back. The water never got hot in the shower. The first couple of showers had no hot water. But it was lukewarm the rest of the cruise.
Food. We all don't like breakfast, so we only went to the Lido Marketplace for cereal and yogurt. Seating was limited early in the morning, but we either went outside or into the two restaurants on the same floor. Coffee was better than most cruise lines and they had good juice choices. We only ate lunch at Guy's Burger Joint twice, because we were on excursions until late every day. I love the dinners at the main dining room. The service was exceptional and the dinners our family ordered we almost always very good. The deserts could be hit our miss, but we always ordered a two or more.
Ship. The pool was closed so we received a $100 OBC. The kids were allowed to use the Serenity Pool, but it was cold, and we only went there one day. I have mixed feelings about this. I wanted my kids to be able to swim, but the people who are there deserve to have quiet time without splashing children. My daughters are older, so they quietly swam for about 1 hour. The slides were open and they loved them. Part of the Sports Square was still closed, but the basketball courts, climbing ropes, etc. were open. Not many kids on this ship, though. Everything on the inside of the ship was clean and new. But there was rust on the outside of the ship and the windows were old?
Entertainment. We liked all the shows and the Family Game Night. We saw a real improvement in the quality of the effects and the entertainers from previous cruises. We also enjoyed the trivia games and towel folding demonstration. The casino was fun and I didn't lose too much money. But be prepared to see some serious gamblers with a lot of money to spend. When it is a $5 table I spend $5 a hand. Others were putting $100+ each hand of blackjack.
Extra. We wound up with about $450 of OBC to compensate for some of the issues with the ship. We never visited the spa, bars, gym or specialty restaurants, so I don't have any feedback about them. We used a independent tour line to see the ports. The savings were about $1500 and we had great tour guides. The staff on the ship is worth their weight in gold. Wonderful service from everyone!
Overall. I wish I had more to add, but we were out all day and exhausted by 9PM at night. The ship was ok but what made it a great cruise was the phenomenal ports of call and the exceptional staff. The price was unbeatable and I would recommend it to anyone for their first taste of Europe.