Background information: My wife and I love to cruise as a means to celebrate our couple's getaway. We have taken numerous cruise as it is a convenient way to vacation as we live 30 minutes from Port Canaveral. We booked our cruise on the Carnival Sunshine in March 2014 and prior to our departure our travel agent, was able to negotiate the rate down since the price of our cabin had dropped. We had looked forward to our cruise for a while; however, we were worried as we had read a lot of negative reviews on this ship. One of the reason why we selected this cruise was the port location and ship itinerary, 7 Night Eastern Caribbean.
The Carnival Sunshine was formally the Carnival Destiny. The ship was updated in several sections and although many reviewers wrote negative comments on the ship's layout we were not disappointed with the new layout. The lido deck was completely re-done as they added two new bars (Red Frog Rum Bar ad Blue Iguana Tequila), added two new eating areas, (Guy's Burger Joint and Blue Iguana Cantina) and the Serenity area was expanded to three levels to accommodate more adult guest.
Several bars were added and specialty restaurants made our experience more entertaining as we never found ourselves wondering where what to do next. The main dinning rooms looked the same as the Liquid Lounge was a little small. The Limelight Lounge where the Punchliner Comedy Club was at was way too small and it became a challenge when trying to find a seat for the comedy show if you got there late. The entertainment staff made sure everyone was well informed of the onboard activities and there was always something to do. The shows were good but not great; however, we watched a magic show with master magician, Bobby Borgia and it was outstanding!
We went to all the adult comedy shows ad laughed a lot as the comedians were too funny. We tried to see all the shows; however, you had to compromised one show for another due to the scheduling. The Lido deck was always full and the DJs played current music and made the pool time very enjoyable. We did not go to the Casino, although we had to walk through the smoky walkway to get to the Taste Bar where we had to check in for "Our Time Dining."
The service was outstanding and everyone on the ship were very helpful. The bar and dining staff were amazing and we had no complaints
•Port & shore excursions:
Our ports were Bahamas, St. Thomas, San Juan And Grand Turk. We only did a tour in St. Thomas as we had never been to this port before. My wife and I enjoy an active lifestyle and enjoy working out. We booked a tour with Active Island Tours and Events for our shore excursion. This tour company focuses on providing their guest a running historical tour. We truly enjoyed this tour although it was HOT as we started our tour at 4:30pm. Overall, St. Thomas was a good port, but no much to do if you are not into snorkeling or beach days.
San Juan was too busy as there were 3 Carnival ships (Sunshine, Glory and Liberty) at this port on the same day. We had been to San Juan several times so we walked to El Escambron Beach (2.5 mile walk) for some fun in the sun.
Grand Turk was the best!!!! The beach was wonderful, the island is small but the atmosphere is great as they capitalize on the "party" environment. We wished we were at this port longer.
We were in cabin #6217 (inside) on deck 6. Our room was large enough for two adults and although the bathroom was small we were use to being in small cabins anyways. The room attendant was great and very prompt with cleaning it and keeping fresh towels in our room. The hallways were noisy at night, but would quite down after a while.
We always choose the "self assist" debarkation process and had not issues getting off the ship.
Overall, I would highly recommend this ship and for all the negative reviews on this ship we did not observe or smell the foul odors. We will travel on Sunshine in the near future for the Western itinerary.