We recently had the pleasure of taking a 12 day cruise on the newly refurbished/renamed Carnival Sunshine. We selected this cruise last Fall because of the itinerary, but we really came to like the ship as well. The new décor is great. It is perhaps out of place in the Mediterranean, but Sunshine will be a Caribbean ship in November, and it is perfect for that scene. The refurbishment project was quite ambitious on an aggressive schedule and the craftsmanship wasn't always the best. Still, it is a very nice ship and after we returned home, we booked the November 1 repositioning cruise from Barcelona to New Orleans.
We book inside cabins to save money and because we stay out late and sleep late in the morning. Our cabin was a 4F, it was large enough for 2 people. The bathroom was well laid out, not elegant, but quite adequate. There are nominally 3 closets, but one has the safe, a lot of life jackets, a blanket, etc. There are never enough hangers, we always bring 10 to 20 wire hangers. The bed was quite comfortable, the lighting was adequate, but there could be more. There was a new 28 to 32 inch flat screen HD TV.
We had a problem with the ventilation and a recurring odor of cigarette smoke in the cabin. We were told that the ventilation serves a block of rooms and if people in the balcony cabins leave the door open when they smoke on the balcony, the odor can be drawn into other cabins as well. I have been on 16 other cruise ships and never experienced this before. Carnival brought an ozone generator into the room whenever we requested it. The machine would run for 30 minutes to an hour and we had to be out of the cabin while it was on. This would freshen the air for the rest of the night.
The itinerary for this cruise was ideal; Barcelona to Marseille, Livorno, Civitavecchia, Naples, Dubrovnik, Venice, Messina Sicily, and finally back to Barcelona. It was so full, we really enjoyed the 3 sea days. Dubrovnik, Venice, and Barcelona were our favorite cities. In an attempt to see as much as possible in the time available, we took Carnival tours in Florence/Pisa and Rome. Being hustled around by tour guides and living on someone else's schedule just isn't our style. We enjoyed doing the rest of the cities on our own, even if we did miss something.
The highlight of our time on the ship was dancing the night away with Mambo Magic del Peru in the Havana Bar. I recommend them to anyone who likes Latin music. We will be highly disappointed if they are not with us on the November crossing!