Let me start off this review with the fact that I have been in the Travel Industry for over 25 years and traveled all most of the cruise lines. I had a small incentive group on the Carnival Sunshine the week of February 9-16, 2014. It has been a couple of years since I was on a Carnival ship and my expectations from the reviews was that I was not going to have a good time nor would my group. Honestly, the reviews I read on here are not even close to the same ship I was on, the ship is beautiful and it was nice to see carnival change out the neon look for a more upscale LED lighting look. If you are looking for problems then of course you are going to find something wrong with a ship, plane, hotel or a destination but if you just enjoy what you have and the experience taking place, in my opinion all will turn out well.
Ship- I could not tell that it was an older ship as the billion dollars that Carnival put into this ship made it shine like it was brand new. I loved most everything about the ship and will highlight the positives and list out the couple of odd things (please do not read into this as negative, as I have no negative things to say in my review).
Food- The food was very good in the main dining room and I was pleasantly surprised every night. You must try the Guys Burger joint as they have the most delicious cheeseburgers. In general all the food was really good, would like to see the buffet change up a little each day and was not a huge fan of the scrambled eggs each morning. Now here is what I found to be odd, the buffet does not have an omelet station inside the buffet area, if you want a cook to order egg or omelet, you have to go to the Havana Bar which has a small breakfast set up offering a smaller selection of breakfast items. I found the location of the Havana Bar to be odd as on most ships the buffet area takes up the entire back of the ship but on the Carnival Sunshine the Havana Bar (also the location of the Chinese and Italian specialty restaurants during the evening) takes up the back of the ship.
Entertainment- As I told the people in my group on the first day – “if you are not having fun this week, then you just are not trying”. Carnival does the best job on the sea of keeping people entertained and the Carnival Sunshine did not disappoint. Not even sure where to start with this, the shows in the Liquid Lounge are top notch and I really enjoyed them. The live entertainment throughout the ship are all great and I have to comment specifically on Andy Ferguson who was the guitar soloist on this cruise, keep a look out for his name as he is going to be big one day, he is just that good and entertaining. Carnival just knows how to make people have fun and on this ship they did parties in the Atrium on a few nights and let me tell you it was a blast.
I will end my review talking about the ship staff. Everyone from all departments are just so nice and friendly and are genuinely doing so to make the trip fun and enjoyable. Butch (Cruise Director) is so lively and upbeat all the time and personable and just a joy to hear each day and see on stage.
I highly recommend the Carnival Sunshine and plan to travel on her again. I was working this trip and will say it was an “amazing” cruise experience and one that I will never forget. Wish I could say that about some of the cruises I have taken in the past on other cruise lines who sell themselves as “a good time”. Carnival knows how to have FUN and in my opinion the Carnival Sunshine is an amazing fun ship.