We have just returned from a cruise on the Carnival Sunshine. This is the most cumbersome ship we have ever been on. It is a remake of the Carnival Dynasty and it seems that he designer was not cruise savvy.
On decks 3 and 4 you cannot go from forward to aft without going to deck 5 to get around blocked areas. An example of this is you finish your dinner in the restaurant, decks 3 and 4, and want to go to the show on decks 3 and 4. You cannot just walk there, you must go up to deck 5, walk through the casino to the next bank of elevators or stairs, then go back down.
The public restrooms are very narrow as are the stalls. You need to squeeze between the door and toilet paper dispenser to close the stall door.
There are 2 pools, one for all guests and one adult-only. Both are too small for the number of guests. The adult pool limit is 18 people. The decking in the pool areas gets too hot to walk on barefoot, hence the area around the pools and hot tubs are More
crowded with flip-flops. There are 3 tube slides for kids but these were only open a few hours per day. If you are on one of the 3 Serenity decks you have to go either into the Marketplace buffet or to a bar one deck above the Serenity decks to get a glass of water.
As you walk through the ship at night, most of the seating and bar areas have “canned” music playing so loudly that you have to yell to talk to the person beside you. Most of this music was from 1990 onward even though the majority of the guests were in their 60’s onward. There is a piano in one of the areas that no-one ever seemed to play. The live entertainment was few and far between. As a result, when there was live entertainment in a bar, there was stand room only which often resulted in blocking walking areas. The atrium had no live entertainment.
The food in the buffet was well prepared and tasty. However, there were two serving areas with lines going up each side, meeting at one end where there was soup and sometimes potatoes. Selection was limited to 7 or 8 items, usually a fish, chicken, stew-type beef, rice and potatoes. The set-up for beverages was such that the lines were often very long and interfered with people trying to go into the buffet area.
In order to eat in the dining room for your time dining (I do not know about early or late seating), you first have to line up to sign up on deck 5. You are given a receipt and then go to deck 3 and line up again to be seated. If you are not among the first group to sign up, you are given a beeper which vibrates when you can go to deck 3 to line up to be seated. The food in the dining room was excellent and the service impeccable.
We went to some of the production shows. They were very good. The seating, however, was inadequate for the number of guests and many seats had limited view of the stage due to the support poles.
Needless to say, we feel the price of drinks on the ship is exorbitant.
At about 11 pm the night before we were to disembark, liquor we had purchased had not yet been delivered to our stateroom. We called the guest services and they checked for us to find out where it was. When they called back we were told they would bring it to our room. 30 minutes later we called to find out how long it would be for the delivery. The time was now 11:30pm and we needed to get to bed for the early departure the next day. We told the lady at guest services to hold it there and we would pick it up. When we got to guest services, the lady said “We were just about to bring it to your room but you said to hold it here.” She could not bring herself to just say “sorry,” rather attempted to deflect the problem onto us.
At Mahogany Bay, Honduras, we went to the beach adjacent to the port. Apparently, this beach is owned by Carnival. There were some chaise lounges that were free, others for $5.00 and some with clam shells. We did not get there early enough to secure free ones so we rented 2. Our backpack was stolen. When I went to the rental shack to report it, I was told “we don’t allow that here.” They had the backpack and said that someone had turned it in saying they had found it. Money, a watch and a camera were missing. We told security where there are just before you go onto the pier to return to the ship and we were told “that happens.” No-one seemed too concerned about it and neither the rental people nor the security guard offered to notify the police. When I told them at the guest services desk, the gentleman filled out a report and called the ship security for them to take a report. The security people took a report and said they would notify the local authorities. They seemed to take it seriously. We make the mistake of thing that we would be safe on a beach owned by the cruise company.
The ship was clean, the staff, for the most part, helpful and friendly. One bar waitress went out of her way to accommodate our requests for specific drinks. One bar waiter spent time with us helping us to decide what to order. He greeted us every time he saw us. Our room steward was excellent.
The comedians were very good and the last night production show in the main theatre was spectacular.
Embarking and disembarking was quick and smooth. Everyone was friendly and helpful. We realize some of the negatives are due to the structural design while some could be corrected. Less
Carnival Sunshine Cruises to the Western Caribbean
There is a lot of closet and storage space in this room. The shower is large for a cruise ship. The bathroom design leaves a lot to be desired. The door opens in and the toilet is angled almost to where the door opens. If you are tall, there is not enough room to sit on the toilet without putting your foot in the shower. Water is hot and water pressure great. There is no night table so I had to put things on the end of the couch.