Carnival Sunshine Cruise Review by ktjansen: Disappointing
Overall Member Rating
Ok, don't get me wrong here, this was still a cruise, and it was our honeymoon, and we had a great time.
However, it's probably the worse ship we've been on. Except maybe the one where we got bed bugs, maybe.
Down to business:
Pro: Food was AMAZING. Definitely get the Caribbean chocolate cake, everything else was great as well. The Mahi Mahi on the last night was a bit dry, but it tends to be.
Con: Buffet was blah. They had these really great mac n' cheese tots once. Just once. Other than that, breakfast was weak and repetitive, but the line for omelets was actually quite fast...once you found them, since they weren't even in the same room as the rest of the buffet. Odd.
Guy Fieri Burgers. Good. There was supposed to be chipotle ranch sauce, but they never filled the dispenser, not sure why because I asked at least three times.
Tacos: Also fine, but the breakfast burritos were AWESOME. I'm sad it took me a while to More discover them because I could've had them every day without getting bored.
SO disappointed in the entertainment. First of all, the theater is very small for a 3,000 passenger ship. It's also horseshoe shaped, but the stage goes back, so if you're sitting along the sides at ALL you're going to be missing half the show. People also figured this out very quickly so people were lining up 30-45 minutes before each show and seriously pushing and shoving to get a good seat. It was pretty awful. We were "late" once, only 20 minutes early and had to stand in the back.
Also, they do not do live music for the shows, probably because the stage is too small, so it's all recorded. We had heard that Norwegian has gone to no live music, but figured that's because they're a low budget operation, but apparently Carnival is as well. We thought they were better than that. The shows were only 30-40 minutes, which seemed REALLY short, and there was definite lip synching. Sorry, but when the singer's mouth is closed but a note is still being held...it's pretty obvious.
There were a lot of comedy shows, but we weren't really impressed. Jokes about child molesting and prison rape get less funny every time you hear them.
I don't know if this was because we were in Europe or what, but there were no less than three comedy juggling or magic shows. Um, 1 is enough, trust me.
Other than that, as others have said, the ship is rather plain, and the colors are very 70s.
This was the weirdest part. None of the employees seemed to know what they were doing. The seaters in the dining room couldn't ever find the right table, and they were numbered! They didn't move! The clearers in the buffet dining room would stand around in the way of traffic and at one point were lining up to go into the back with their trays and blocking like 20 people. It was just strange.
Our steward did not bring us ice. In the past there's always been ice, but as you'll see later in the review, our cabin was so hot, it would have just melted anyway.
We had a spa cabin, which was awesome and HIGHLY recommended. Once in a while the thermal suite would get a little crowded, but it was pretty rare. The employees were seriously all about selling, but I can't really blame them, and they were super nice and remembered us even though we didn't buy anything.
There are only three "hot"tubs for the whole ship. Two of the three are on deck 11 and were luke-warm to cool the entire time. We complained to the customer service desk and they told us to tell the people on that deck, we talked to the people on the deck and they told us to contact customer service. It was some seriously ridiculous buck passing.
The third hottub was in the Serenity area and was a 10 person tub. It was actually hot, but that meant it was in high demand and I frequently counted 12 people jamming into to with a line waiting.
Two pools, one in the serenity area with a waterfall, which was cool. But they were pretty small, and filled up fairly quickly. The waterslides were awesome though!
Oh yeah, AND when it rained there were leaks EVERYWHERE. Seriously, EVERYWHERE. The gym was half covered in tarps to try to protect the equipment. The carpet squelched.
As previously stated, the spa cabin is worth it. However, the a/c never worked. We would go from a fairly reasonable temperature first thing in the morning to mid 80s by the warmest part of the day. We complained and they came in and took the temperature at 8am. It was 75 degrees and they said "that's normal." We said, for 8am, when the a/c has been on max all night, that's NORMAL? After 8 days they FINALLY gave us a fan, which helped a little, but we had to open our cabin door and then the outside door and get a nice draft going to cool it down. It was pretty irritating.
Ultimately, we won't go on this ship again, and we'll probably avoid renovated ships in general. However, we will be getting a spa cabin again on our next cruise! Less
Read more Carnival Sunshine cruise reviews >>
Read Cruise Critic's Carnival Sunshine Review >>
Cabin review: 12021
Don't get this room! (12021) NO a/c. Our neighbor said they were freezing, so go with any other spa cabin!
Cruising in Europe
Western Mediterranean Cruise? ...
The boat that rocked
Norwegian Moving Down Market (...
All in all a great time
Carnival cruise Sunshine--real...
Sunshine is a great ship
Wine and cheese on the balcony...