Chose this cruise mainly for the ports and a good experience with Carnival Spirit last year as well as good value. After refurbishment Sunshine didn't get off to a good start with early cruises not getting the best feedback so had major reservations regarding our choice + a long way to come from Australia for our dream Med cruise if it didn't go well. All this vanished once we got on board - embarkation in Barcelona went so smoothly we were wondering if we had missed something!
Our balcony cabin was a good size plenty of wardrobe space, drawers and room to put our suitcases away, a couch, coffee table, good lighting, comfy bed plus a bathroom with everything compactly laid out. We spent many evenings on the balcony watching the port we had just visited disappear as we made our way to the next one - this was how we wanted to remember the med.
The ports were all fantastic - we chose shore excursions from Livorno, Rome, Naples, Messina and were happy with the information provided by the Shore Excursions desk. The tours were all excellent with local guide/s and drivers who happily answered questions and enthusiastically gave us their local knowledge. We chose to 'go it on our own' in the other ports and found this could be a little daunting if you didn't have your own guide book as no maps were available and not much information on the local transport so did get lost getting to the Old Port in Marseille despite having done some homework on it beforehand. The ship did provide shuttle buses which were usually around €15 ea whereas local transport was much less. The emphasis was " take a shore excursion to be safe".
Food- we ate in the dining room (chose anytime dining as we like the flexibility), Buffet, Guy's Burger and sampled the pizza. No complaints about the food or the variety. Entertainment - we enjoyed the live shows but didn't get to the comedy ones . Bars - we liked the atmosphere in the Red Frog Pub bar great staff. The Spanish tax added to all purchases on board was a bit of a shock and the lack of information about how to claim it back annoying.
Also the wifi was too expensive - would suggest free wifi on board while in port. Also the TV was disappointing - dismal choices and no access to check on your account via tv in cabin (like on Spirit) or book shore excursions. Had to wait in line at a kiosk or Customer service to get account update details. Having access to laundry on our floor made it easy to freshen up clothes and the amount charged $3 per wash and same for dry was reasonable. Didn't use the spa or the pool area as we were out every day and back just in time to have dinner. We found the staff courteous and helpful and our cabin steward always smiling. Arriving in Venice was truly the hi light and a wonderful way to end our first Mediterranean cruise. Disembarkation was also well organised. We are glad we chose this cruise despite our initial reservations and are sad to see Carnival has no cruises in the med next year as we would happily return.