Carnival Cruise Lines (CCL) in my mind always gets most things right, especially on the larger, newer ships. However, on the Sunshine, I think they may have missed a few key things on this ships update. First of all, don’t expect this ship to be anything like the larger newer (Magic or Breeze) ships as Sunshine was a refurbished ship that clearly shows its age on the exterior and in some of the common areas inside of the ship. It does however, have a few more key Carnival 2.0 updates (Guys Burgers, Tequila Bar, Alchemy Bar, Italian Restaurant, Asian Restaurant, etc.) which makes a big difference in space and capacity.
We stayed in a Spa Balcony Cabin which was very new, as it was the part of the ship that was added. The spa however, did not have a Thalasso Pool that you have come to expect on many of the newer ships. So, if you are looking to book a Spa cabin in hopes of getting those added goodies, they don’t exist on this one. Speaking of nonexistent, this ship only has one main pool in the center, of the ship (if you are used to a middle pool and an aft pool, you won’t find one here). In the same breathe of not existing, an adults night club is also not featured on this ship. They turn the 2-story theatre into a night club, kind of weird, after the last stage performance. So on many nights, you didn’t find many adults hanging out in there. Also, the limelight/comedy club is entirely too small. On many nights it was standing room only, 15-20 mins prior to a show time so, you have to arrive very early to get a seat.
In the getting it right category, the adult only area is by far, the best on any Carnival Ship I’ve seen. It is 3-decks highs with a waterfall, nice small pool, but adequate and always somewhere to sit.
Overall, I give this ship a solid B – as they clearly looked at increasing the capacity of passengers versus open deck spaces.