I read lots of reviews about the Carnival Sunshine before the cruise, and I was prepared to face many problems during the cruise. So I have to start and say that I honestly don't know where the bad reviews come from. There is not a single bad thing I have to say about the ship (well, I had an elephant towel animal one night with a short nose, but I don't think that's really a downside).
I'll say, right at the begining, that never once had I encountered one of the famous (well, they are famous if you read the reviews) buckets, or bad smell, while on the ship. One night I saw some big air-dryers near the elevators next to our room, but that didn't effect me in any way).
I took a 7 nights exotic eastern caribbean cruise, from New Orleans, stopping at Isla Roatan (Honduras), Belize and Cozumel.
Boarding and Debarkation were very easy. Boarding took us about 20 minutes from the moment we arrived at the port until we were on the ship (we arrived at the port around 12:30). Our room was ready when we boarded (and the luggage arrived about an hour later).
Debarkation was amazingly easy. We took our own luggage with us, left the room at 7:40 and less than 15 minutes later I was on the taxi, after passing passport control.
The ship itself is beautiful. I never sailed on the Destiny, so I didn't find the layout confusing. I understand that for someone who is used to the Destiny, the new layout can be a problem, but not for someone on the ship for the first time. While you can see that's not a new ship, the Sunshine has lots of new venues.
The shows are great. My (11 years old) son, liked the Hasbro Gameshow very much (we watched it twice, and missed dinner in the dinning room). While there is no "broadway show", it's indeed a huge step up from the usual Carnival shows.
Food... There is too much. You must try JiJi's and Cucina during lunch. During the evening they turn into speciality restaurants (12$ per person). I tried both of them, and it's really worth the money (but when they tell you in JiJi's that something is a little bit spicey, be careful...). The Steakhouse (at 35$ per person) is something not to be missed.
I even enjoyed dinner at the dining room, and the food at the buffet (at the lido deck) is not bad at all. I think that all the new dining venues are also a real step up for Carnival.
The room was nice. It was a porthole room (has two portholes instead of a picture window). You get an oceanview for the price of an inside room. The bathroom was a little small, but the room itself was more than enough.
The room was clean and quiet. It was at the front of the ship, so you can hear some noises and feel some movement, but nothing disturbing.
The slides, rope course, sports deck, are really great. I also enjoyed the Spa a lot - I feel that the sales pitch at the end of the massage was not that aggressive.
The crew was friendly, and I have nothing but good things to say about them.
The bottom line - Don't fear the bad reviews, and take a cruise aboard the Sunshine.