Carnival Sunshine Cruise Review by travellanamama: Disappointment galore
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Having sailed Carnival 5 previous occasions, I was willing to give Carnival the benefit of the doubt. My children were teased at school about going on a Carnival ship with comments of going on a 'poop' cruise or a cruise that may not return.
I stood up for Carnival, noting that any given cruise can have problems, no matter the cruise line. However, I am sorely disappointed in Carnival. From the first night, our 2nd floor cabin smelled like sewage. I went to the service desk every single day of the cruise. I stood in our doorway, holding the cabin door open for several minutes many times, just to try to get fresh air. It was nauseating. My younger daughter got a migraine. At one point I felt very nauseated. Carnival just kept saying that they were trying to figure out the problem. They cleaned hallway carpets, and just came in and looked around the room a couple times, but nothing changed. So with five little girls and myself on Spring Break, I was very disappointed. And I More guarantee, they won't forget their FIRST and likely last Carnival Cruise.
In the end they refunded about $175 on our cruise bill. This cruise was $3514 for 5 people in one cabin. So they basically gave us 5 percent back. Not much really for a disgusting smell that they could not relocate us from. We did not have a balcony door that we could open to try and get fresh air.
And before leaving the ship we ran into another couple from the same floor with the exact same complaints. I knew it wasn't just us.
As if the smell wasn't bad enough, the food was substandard to say the least. We weren't even on the ship for 24 hours and I got a bowl of chopped fruit. I took one bite and it was that rancid taste of having left your chopped up watermelon in the refrigerator a couple days too many. I didn't eat another piece of chopped up fruit. Further, being one of only two people from Nebraska that probably loves grits, I have always told my children you can't mess up grits. I was proven wrong. They appear to have poured water over grits and barely stirred. There were chunks of dried grits in the bowl. How does one really mess up grits? Total lack of pride in workmanship. The food staff in the buffet area was less than friendly. And I didn't see anyone go out of their way to be inviting. Further in the evening, on the lido deck there were empty glasses, beer cans, and plates of food long after swimming festivities of the day had wound down. There really weren't specific areas for people to put waste, so it wasn't like everyone just left plates, glasses, etc...on purpose all of the time, there was no place to dispose of them. Yet, there weren't enough staff personnel out picking things up either.
I was way less than impressed and this having been my ninth cruise overall, I will NEVER cruise Carnival again. Less
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Cabin review: 2275
I stood up for Carnival, noting that any given cruise can have problems, no matter the cruise line. However, I am sorely disappointed in Carnival. From the first night, our 2nd floor cabin smelled like sewage. I went to the service desk every single day of the cruise. I stood in our doorway, holding the cabin door open for several minutes many times, just to try to get fresh air. It was nauseating. My younger daughter got a migraine. At one point I felt very nauseated. Carnival just kept saying that they were trying to figure out the problem. They cleaned hallway carpets, and just came in and looked around the room a couple times, but nothing changed. So with five little girls and myself on Spring Break, I was very disappointed. And I guarantee, they won't forget their FIRST and likely last Carnival Cruise.
Port and Shore Excursions
Chankanaab National Park Tour
The kids LOVED the snorkeling at Chankanaab. This was my second trip there. Went last March and again this March because we loved it so much. The older two girls, 15 and 16 went snorkeling and I felt safe knowing that they would be safe in a Taxi back to the ship as I had to take the 11 yr old back since she had such a horrible migraine that started earlier in the day on the smelly ship. She enjoyed the dolphins, but having had the headache and having to take some migraine medicine she needed to be back on the boat to rest. Would definitely return again for a third and many more visits.
Dolphin Swim & Encounter
I went last March and brought my daughters and two friends back again for the Royal Dolphin swim. I just watched this year. It was over $800 for the Royal Dolphin swim. That wasn't bad considering the kids loved it so much. It was a close second place favorite, next to the Grand Cayman Turtle farm. The problem I have with it was that they wouldn't allow me to take any photos and it was $196 additional to buy the photos that they took. So in total it ended up at over $1,000 for probably 45 minutes. I think that is taking 'the man' a bit too much. There should have been no reason for me to not be able to take photos. Seems a LOT on the greedy side if you ask me. That said, the kids loved the dolphins.
The crew on the boat out to the Stingray sandbar was super nice. They were friendly and imformative about the excursion. They caught a stingray for us to touch, feed, and have photos with. They let us take as many photos as possible. It was really a fun experience. The only drawback was that there were so many boats, it was like a parking lot. I understand that there are many people and many excursions, but I would think there should be a limited number of boats allowed out there. I booked our excursions very early to ensure that we would not miss this opportunity. I was a bit surprised by how many boats and people there were. Doesn't seem to me like such a great situation for the ecosystem. But I am not a scientist so I can't definitively say that, just seems like common sense though.
And Ernest T. Jackson, our bus driver was super awesome, friendly, and gave us much history of Grand Cayman. We were very thankful to have him drive us around in his personal bus.
This was by far the TOP experience for the kids aged 10, 11, 15, and 16. They are all girls. The LOVED LOVED LOVED the turtle farm. Keep in mind, it was the cute turtles that made it so special. It was super nice that there were some little pools with several turtles and only 4 could be in that little pool holding turtles. It worked out perfect. We have many many many photos that we were allowed to take there. And we weren't charged EXTRA for the photos. It was the BEST excursion of all. And Ernest T. Jackson, our bus driver was super awesome, friendly, and gave us much history of Grand Cayman. We were very thankful to have him drive us around in his personal bus.
Dunn's River Falls
The water fall climb was a lot of fun. But there were way too many people. I would think there should be a limit and first come first serve as far as making your booking early to get a spot. The guides were very much in a rush. And there was an elderly gentleman, that my kids and I basically guided up the falls. The actual guide asked my why I brought my 'old' father. Then I enlightened him that I was not related to this fellow nor with him on the cruise, but that it was the RIGHT thing to do to help someone older than myself and to teach my children to be of service to others. He went quiet after that and started to help a little more. The kids liked the waterfall climb. However, the big BUT comes with spending over 7.5 hours on a bus that day to get to and from the falls. That is partly my fault as the cruise states Ocho Rios, Jamaica as the stop and I had been there 20 years ago. It was a short ride to the falls, we saw a few other viewpoint stops and were back at the ship within a couple of hours. When I planned the excursion, I thought that the long day just meant we had several hours of stops to shop and have scenic view stops. Boy was I WRONG. I would NEVER have booked this had I known we were coming all the way from Montego Bay and seeing all the other cruise ships parked closer and one docked where I thought we would be docked. If I had it to do all over again, I would NOT do this excursion because it was like making the kids sit inside school all day(in the bus) and just look out at the sunshine and water from afar. The girls all agreed it wasn't worth it.