Our family of 6 (husband and I, sons ages 14, 14, 12, and daughter age 8) had a wonderful vacation aboard the Carnival Sunshine that we will remember forever.
Embarkation: We had purchased Faster to the Fun, and we will definitely do that again. Embarkation was fast and easy. We arrived at Port Canaveral at about 11:00. We walked right through security, checked in right away, posed for our embarkation photo, and walked right onto the ship. Our room was ready immediately, and we had our bags (and had them unpacked) by 1:30.
Cabin: Our deck 10 spa balcony rooms (connecting 10112 & 10114) were beautifully decorated, very clean, and more spacious than I had imagined. Our room stewards introduced themselves and were very friendly. The service they provided over the next five days was top-notch. They greeted us by name, always had a smile, and accommodated my special request of emptying the mini-bars in both cabins. They were very quick with their morning and evening work in the cabins, but what really stands out is their exceptional treatment of us when my son got very sick. They didn't bat an eye when faced with the extra cleanup.
Spa: We were on the spa deck, and I enjoyed the use of the heated tile loungers in the spa when I could get away by myself for a few minutes. The spa personnel were always very friendly and helpful.
Food: The food onboard was very good most of the time. We were all happy with the Lido buffet selections, we all loved Guy's burgers, the 24-hour pizza was pretty good, and the kids loved the 24-hour ice cream machine. The Mongolian Wok for lunch was absolutely delicious, as was the Cucina de Capitano pasta bar at lunch. The main dining room food was hit-or-miss; some things were wonderful, others just okay. However, service in the MDR was always excellent. The real hit for my husband and I was JiJi's Asian restaurant. Everything we ate was over-the-top phenomenal. I would put that meal in my top 3 best meals in my life! Also, service at JiJi's was exceptional.
Entertainment: We saw 2 of the shows in the Liquid Lounge: Motor City and Epic Rock. My husband thought they were great. I thought they were fine. We were able to get great seats by arriving 30 minutes before showtime. There were plenty of open seats even after those of us who waited for the doors to open were seated. We saw one adult comedy show in the Limelight Lounge. We both thought the show was very good. Again, we got great seats by getting there 30 minutes early, though the seats did fill pretty quickly.
Serenity: This area is very nice. We never had a problem finding a lounger/clamshell/hammock when we wanted one, though you may have to venture forward, away from the waterfall/pool to find one at more crowded times. We enjoyed several sunsets from a clamshell on Serenity after dinner when the kids were elsewhere = priceless memories. :) One morning I visited the Serenity waterfall with my cup of coffee, and loungers around the pool were plentiful, even at 8 a.m. Yes, during the day you could hear the big screen on Lido from Serenity if you were not forward on the ship, but it didn't bother me. On our sailing, the Serenity pool was pretty crowded mid-day with a lot of loud adults so the TV screen noise didn't really matter. If you want total quiet, you will have to go forward in Serenity.
Kids' stuff: All of our kids (and my husband) loved the water slides. They were open most anytime someone wanted to be using them, in our experience. The pool is very small, but it didn't stop the kids from getting in when they wanted. Our boys mentioned it was very hard to find a time that someone wasn't using the basketball court, to their disappointment. Our daughter didn't particularly love Camp Carnival. She went when we suggested, but she was happier to play in the pool and the water slides. The boys went to Circle C the first night and met several kids that they hung out with the rest of the cruise. For that reason, they liked Circle C, but I don't think they really went back for a lot of the planned activities. They just dropped in and out, which was nice. All of the kids ended up with some pretty nice freebie giveaways from the kids clubs.
Overall, I would give this ship a 5-star review, and we would definitely sail on her again!