Prior to departure I was a bit disheartened to read all the unfavorable reviews the Sunshine had received since its launch earlier in the year. My expectations were not high when we flew to Barcelona. I was excited about the itinerary not the ship. I am happy to report that in the end I give a couple of thumbs up for both the ports of call and the Carnival Sunshine.
I should have prefaced this review with the information that I had only 1 previous cruise experience and that was back in the day of snobbery amongst cruise lines and cruisers. Friends of mine explained that Carnival is not known for luxury and to that end, I would agree. It was nice but not luxurious. The food was very edible but I would not consider it gourmet (we did not pay for the premium eateries). And our room, was nicely sized (outside with a view)- very comfortable for two and always cleaned well. Except for one disgruntled staff member, we found most people who worked on the ship friendly and polite. I was ready to stay on for the return 12 nights...but alas we could not.
To the negative, I will say there were a number of water leaks on many floors so seeing a bucket below a leaking tile was common place. And for the first day or two our room had an odor from some work being done on the outside of the ship. I'm sure time will fix these issues which, in my opinion were not important. They also flip-flopped on one port so people who had made arrangements for off-board activities were VERY unhappy. I'm sure their reviews would prove to be less favorable.
In the end, I was happy with the trip. And John Heald made a special effort to book a room and send raffle prizes for our cruise critic meet and greet showing that Carnival does appreciate their cruising public.