First I must say I that I did read negative reviews before my cruise but I never take the opinions of others to heart because some people can never be pleased.
I'll start with the good comments.....The ship is really pretty. I love the openness of the lido buffet. They had 4 buffet lines in the center of the ship. We never experienced any long lines at the buffet, ever. They have ample amount of seats...because the buffet opens up to the JiJi's Asain kitchen and the Italian restaurant. So even if you are not eating the Asian food or the Italian food you can go eat the meal from the buffet in that area. Tons of seats......oh and they do NOT have any bacon police on this ship. I really like the way that the theater turns into the nightclub at night. It was very spacious; however, it is hard to find. People I met in the cabin across from me didn't even know the ship had a nightclub because it's not very visible.
The ship is really nice but definitely has problems. I'll start with the sewer smell & leaks on the ship, especially the 4th floor. It is ridiculous that carnival does not have that fixed. I've been reading about this for months and can't believe it is being ignored. They had buckets catching the sewer as it dripped from the ceiling on the 4th floor the entire week. Our stateroom was one of the added rooms on the lido deck and it was the smallest room I ever had on any carnival ship. On the 2nd day my son found a pair of ear buds in his bunk bed that didn't belong to any of us. Obviously the cabin steward did not change the sheets from the previous cruise.
The food in the dining room and the buffet was the worst food I've had on any carnival ship. The buffet served the same food every day which was very unusual for carnival. The employees did not seem very friendly or happy. Normally the cabin steward greets you upon arrival and is overly friendly, as well as, the waiters in the dining room. Not on this ship. They all seem very unhappy. I have always done "your time dining" on every other cruise and it works fine....not on this ship. They are so unorganized.
The Limelight Lounge is where the comedians perform. It is so small that you really do have to get there at least 1/2 hour in advance to get a seat. Also, half of the seats in the lounge are situated so far on the side of the stage that those people have to watch the comedian on tv's instead of seeing the performance on stage. Long before the show begins they block the door with a sign showing it's full to capacity so you can't even squeeze in if you wanted too. This lounge is on the 4th floor....you go in through the front door and you must exit out the back door. There is no walking out after a show and getting back in line for the next show.....it's just not that simple. Problem is that when you go out the back door you can't go anywhere but up the elevator or stairs. To get back in line you must go up to the 5th floor, through the Ocean Plaza & Alchemy Bar, through the casino, to another elevator which brings you back to the 4th floor so you can get back in line for the next show. It's a bit ridiculous that you can't just go out the same door that you came in.
I was also disappointed that you cannot book a cruise while on the Sunshine. They do not offer this deal which normally provides you with a $100 on board credit as an incentive for booking. I thought all carnival ships offered this since carnival no longer sells future cruise certificates.
I did not let these minor problems ruin my trip but I'm very disappointed in Carnival for not taking care of the issues. I thought the reviews were exaggerated before I cruised on the Sunshine but now I know they are certainly not exaggerated.