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41 Orlando (Port Canaveral) to Caribbean - Southern Cruise Reviews

Took this ship to see if we could take New Years cruise on same ship. Well the minute we disembarked we cancelled our New Years cruise to rebook on Royal Caribbean. We have 30+ cruises behind us on Carnival, Royal, Norwegian and ... Read More
Took this ship to see if we could take New Years cruise on same ship. Well the minute we disembarked we cancelled our New Years cruise to rebook on Royal Caribbean. We have 30+ cruises behind us on Carnival, Royal, Norwegian and Princess. This ship is too small for our liking. We have read reviews about the poor layout, and we agree. One reviewer wrote about circumventing the smoke filled casino to get to ocean plaza. Well this is not always the case. We were successful however at times they had doors shut to complete the cross through which caused you to, you guessed it, walk through the smoke filled casino. The food was not too good in the MDR as well as Lido buffet. Thank goodness for the guys burgers! We have cruised 5 previous times on Carnival with the last two on the Breeze. The live bands on the Sunshine were really fantastic. Much better than Carnival cruises we have been on in the past. Also, Eden the piano guy was awesome. The room however not so much. It was too small. Standing room only most nights. Due to the overcrowding it became very hot inside but he was worth the trouble, trust us. Overall the crew did not seem happy. Too bad because in our experiences/opinions the crew can really enhance the cruise. Now this is not to suggest all crew, as Thelma the guest services mgr was very helpful as was the maitre de in Sunset MDR. One thing we did not care for is that our cabin attendant actually asked us when we wanted our cabin made up, morning or evening? According to guest services he should not have asked and that they make up cabins twice daily. Well we spoke to three other guest, one of whom was in a suite who told us their cabin attendants asked them the same question. We called our relative when we got back who cruises Carnival only. They too said that they have experienced this. So it seems gratuities continue to go up while service continues to lesson. Overall we enjoy the mega ships and will go back to them. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This was our first cruise. Therefore we went thru a travel agent to make sure everything would go smooth and be planned. We chose The Oasis of the Seas due to the reputation and it being a large ship. We had been told in the past that ... Read More
This was our first cruise. Therefore we went thru a travel agent to make sure everything would go smooth and be planned. We chose The Oasis of the Seas due to the reputation and it being a large ship. We had been told in the past that the food was awesome. However, this wasn't our experience. The food was awful. I ordered a steak in the dining hall and it just didn't look like a steak at all. The consistency was mushy to say the least. After that dinner, we resorted to going to the Wind Jammer buffet. Again, the food wasn't great, some was cold, others were greasy. Day to day the selection didn't change much. Due to size of the ship, it took alot of time to check on when dining places were open as they would have scattered hours. So if you find something you like, make sure to know where it is and the hours it is open. I asked about the fabulous desserts and seafood that everyone raves about, and never found them. Until we went to one of the pay restaurants, at that time we experienced a good meal and a great dessert. This is the one we had in the 7 days. If you choose to go on this ship, pay for the upscale restaurants. We also had booked shows before the trip as instructed. However, when it comes down to the shows, anyone can go, and you who reserved in advance will have NO where to sit and have to stand for the show. For example, the water show. We also had a bad experience with guest services. I had cancelled my drink package on the second day of the cruise and it took 5 attempts and trips to guest services to get it straightened out. (I had to go down there to get straightened out, while I was sea sick) Also, as said in earlier review, watch your bill. I followed the steps to take for booking dinners at the pay restaurants. It took me 4 times to get a booking set at the place we wanted. Due to the guest services not completing the reservation correctly after 4 attempts, I didn't get my desired dinner time and had to resort to day we were at port instead of a cruising day like I wanted. So we had to rush back from port to get ready for a 5:30 dinner when I wanted a 7:30 dinner on a cruising day. Ports were good, Bahamas was so-so, St. Thomas, and St. Maarten were good, but time there is short and goes to fast. The cleaning person was wonderful, cabin with balcony was nice. Due to the food and customer service not being good, I wouldn't recommend this boat. I have heard great experiences on other cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We chose this ship because it was sailing on New Year's Eve. It was festively decorated for the occasion. Pros: Getting on and off the ship was flawless! For the ship to be as big as it is, it was seamless. There is plenty ... Read More
We chose this ship because it was sailing on New Year's Eve. It was festively decorated for the occasion. Pros: Getting on and off the ship was flawless! For the ship to be as big as it is, it was seamless. There is plenty to do on the ship. If you are bored, shame on you! The pools are beautiful and very clean. The towel stations are always open and ready. Starbucks is a real plus. The workers were some of the more pleasant we encountered. The ports were nice except Puerto Rico and we were only there a few hours. The crew did a fabulous job of a "cookout" in Labadee. What a fun day! The specialty restaurants are fabulous! Indulge Great room housekeeping Cons: So many of the store workers and especially the excursion desk people were curt and rude. Avoid them if you can. The food in the dining room is just ok. The servers are superb, but the food is just so so. The amusement arcade room games were not working. You would not redeem your tickets. There was no one around to help. Johnny Rockets is terrible food. The ship appears dirtier than expected for RC. Perhaps too many people...... We will not be going on that ship again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
First off I must say the look of the Sunshine is awesome since its remake from the Destiny it's definitely modern looking and new looking. It's very well maintained. We had a Balcon on deck 9. Room 9143 to be exact. First ... Read More
First off I must say the look of the Sunshine is awesome since its remake from the Destiny it's definitely modern looking and new looking. It's very well maintained. We had a Balcon on deck 9. Room 9143 to be exact. First time we splurged for a balcony but we didn't use it much. The room itself was great. It would be nice if there were outlets near the bed to plug in your phone though. The bed itself was not very comfortable but I'm use to a Tempur-Pedic mattress. It was an 8 day cruise with stops in Aruba, Bonaire and Grand Turk. Not much to say about those places. Aruba is our favorite for Palm Beach it was our second time there the other two ports were meh. Mother nature was not nice to us during the sea days with a 60mph wind making for a rough ride enough to cause the shows to only sing and not perform every night. Food is just not what it use to be. If you don't mind Golden Corral type buffet food on the Lido deck then you won't be disappointed. Every protine was over cooked and not editable. Event the eggs were always way over cooked, whoever told them eggs bendict should be cooked to death so that the yoke is solid should be fired. Dinning room is not like it used to be the service is meh, is REALLY REALLY loud so don't expect a nice restruant type experience in the dinning room its more like a cafeteria where you won't be able to hold a conversation with the person across from you because it's so loud. The steak house as expects was great and did not disappoint. Also the Chef's table food and service was awesome highly recommend this as well which I try to do every cruise I go on. Bar service is slow but it's always been slow, don't expect to get more than 1 drink in any show/entertainment room. If your looking to drink you'll have to sit at the bar and wait. With the drink package you can only order a drink every 5 minutes but as slow as service is you'll be waiting 10-15 min between drinks anyways. Sunshine is a small boat you will find things easy to find but hard to get to. For example to get to the Aft Dinning room which is on deck 3 and 4 you can't go directly to it. Deck 3 the kitchen is between the mid dinning room and aft so you can't go through. On the deck for the Lime Light lounge is in the way but you can sometimes pass through it to get to the dinning room other wise you have to go to 5 walk across and then go down to 3 or 4. Being we were on Deck 9 fwd this took some time to get to. We had FTTF for the first time. I could see where it would be nice to have but this trip it was a waste. When we got to the port to embark there wasn't a line for regulars either so the people traveling with us without FTTF got on the same time we did however we did have access to our cabin before they did. FTTF at the ports they only did that for 1 port which again didn't make much difference. There was never a priorty line to get back on so you always had to wait in line. The FTTF line at guest service always had a longer line then the regular line. Debarkation again FTTF was nice as we got off with all the platinum and diamond card holders. The regular type shows in the main room (liquid lounge) well lets just say the cruise director Chris the flying scotts man is a better singer than they are. The first night at sea was rough so they couldn't perform only sing and well it was horrible. Tried a few other shows and well the special effects are awesome their singing and dancing is just plain horrible. There were better singers at karaoke. The comedians were great as well as the variety show juggler. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Nephew got married on cruise so this was our chance to experience one. Getting on and off went pretty smooth for the amount of people. The ship is amazing. We had on ocean view with balcony which would have been perfect but some idiot ... Read More
Nephew got married on cruise so this was our chance to experience one. Getting on and off went pretty smooth for the amount of people. The ship is amazing. We had on ocean view with balcony which would have been perfect but some idiot three rooms upwind was smoking on their balcony which made me get off of mine on occasion. The complimentary food was amazing. The "specialty" restaurants were terrible. Service was terrible and the food was not desirable. And you pay extra for it!!!! The main dining and Windjammer complimentary restaurants had excellent food and excellent service.. Entertainment was AMAZING. Just reserve your seat early. We had a wonderful room attendant who was helpful and fun! Only did one shore excursion and it definitely was an adventure!!! Monster jeep riding... If you want to challenge the jeep... This is the ride for you.. Pretty crazy but fun! If (and that's a big if) I would ever go again... It would be on this ship because the ship itself is one of a kind.. It dwarfs all the other ships in every port and has a lot to offer... The language barrier is frustrating at times and sometimes I just gave up. They messed up our pier to hotel transfer ... Took 5 hrs to get to our hotel. If cruising is your thing I definitely would recommend Oasis of the Sea But Its a lot of money to spend for 7 nights and 6 days .. Just so you don't have to clean or cook Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We choose this cruise because it was 7 days and went to Tortola which was a desirable island for us. We had never cruised on Norwegian before and were excited about being on one of the "mega" ships. Our first encounter ... Read More
We choose this cruise because it was 7 days and went to Tortola which was a desirable island for us. We had never cruised on Norwegian before and were excited about being on one of the "mega" ships. Our first encounter unfortunately was the boarding process. We were asked to pick a time to arrive. We choose between 12:30 - 1:00pm. We got there at 12:45. There was a very long long and it looked so daunting. We got in line and stood in line in the hot sun for an hour and 1/2. Once inside the actually building - things didn't get much better! They literally had 2 security lines....for 4000 guests that had to check in. We didn't get on board the boat and in our cabin to drop off our bags until 3:45pm. All we wanted was some lunch and a cold drink - but guess what....all food and beverage had been halted due to the safety briefing that we had to attend at that moment. When I say that my husband was irritable, hungry and thirsty - is understated! He went to Guest Services to complain - but all they said was "we are sorry". It's only the second time they have used that terminal and things just didn't go as planned. We went up to the pool deck - which had the 2 smallest pools I've ever seen on a boat. The 1 bar they have on the pool deck had 2 bartenders and 2000 people trying to get a drink! It was so ridiculous! After watching the boat sail away - we went to our cabin to shower and get ready for dinner - only to find out that our air didn't work in the cabin. We notified the room steward and they said it would be the next day before things could be fixed. Then the shower didn't drain - we stood in dirty water while shower. Again - they promised to fix it. One the plus side - the air did get fixed. The drain never got resolved - even though we told them several times about the issue. Pros of the Cruise: Cagneys Steakhouse - wow this the best food on the boat! The steaks were so amazing, the sides were great and the servers very nice! Moderno - this Brazilian Steakhouse was good - a bit too much food - but excellent and a great ambiance! Tappenyaki - the hibachi grill was so much fun! Everything you love about Hibachi grills was there along with great food! The Spa and Fitness Center - FIRST CLASS! we had many spa treatments and took advantage of some of the fitness center opportunities. For sure a must do while on board! The Cirque Circus Show - WOW!!! These performers were breathtaking! This is well worth the cost it takes to attend the show! Burn The Floor Down - Dance Show - Again - WOW! They danced their way into everyones hearts - they were so passionate and personable! Makes you want to just get out and dance! Cons of the Cruise: Terrible Pool Deck Designs - the pools are too small, a lot of wasted space Only 1 bar on the pool deck - you need more bars!! The boat is poorly laid out - very compartmentalized and feels cramped and crowded instead of spacious and large. They nickel and dime you for everything! We had the drink package - but red bull wasn't included, specialty coffee wasn't included, and buckets of beers were included. Drinks are inconsistent - we ordered a painkiller at 4 different bars and had 4 very different drinks! No place to dance - unless you want to stay out until after 11. The boat has many bars - but no place to dance. This made us sad! Overall we had a good time - because my husband and I could have fun anywhere - but we won't go back to the Epic. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
This was my seventh Carnival cruise, eighth overall and we had a group of 14, most of whom have sailed before. We chose this itinerary because we were looking for a very relaxed cruise, with less ports. PreCruise: We flew into ... Read More
This was my seventh Carnival cruise, eighth overall and we had a group of 14, most of whom have sailed before. We chose this itinerary because we were looking for a very relaxed cruise, with less ports. PreCruise: We flew into Orlando on Friday and headed to the Radisson at the Port via a shuttle the hotel assisted us with. There were fourteen in our group, so I was able to secure a group booking, which included the assistance with the shuttle from the airport, parking for those that drove and the shuttle to and from the pier. The hotel itself is a bit dated, the Tiki bar service was ok (they didn't have enough bartenders) and breakfast the next morning (not included in our rate) was a buffet that you could skip and buy the pastries only. Skip it or eat the full breakfast - there was very little in the way of something small to tie you over until you get on the ship. Regardless, the hotel service itself was great and I would stay here anytime I sail out of Port Canaveral. Friday night, we dined at Milliken's, which is right on the ship channel. The restaurant had amazing food, fabulous service and the back of the restaurant is an open air area with a Tiki bar, stage and a sandy area in front of the stage. I tried to get us into Grills, but they wouldn't take a reservation and the other restaurant on the water (the name escapes me at the moment) was booked for a private party. I've been to Grills before and in my opinion, Milliken's was so much better! The hotel is only five minutes from the restaurants, and we used Uber to get us back and forth. Cruise: Saturday morning, we convened in the hotel lobby, put our name in for the shuttle and waited to be called. It took a little over an hour to get on the shuttle (even though they give you an appointment time) but getting to the ship a little later makes embarkation go much faster! Had we not had a group, we would have been on that ship within a half hour. Once on board, we headed to the Lido deck for lunch, which for most of us was Guys Burgers and of course, they are still amazing! After lunch, we headed to our rooms to drop off our carry on luggage and headed to the Aft bar. We spent the remainder of the afternoon exploring the ship, the bars, muster and joining in the sailaway festivities. As previously mentioned, we chose this cruise for the itinerary. We sailed for almost a full three days before we arrived in Curacao on Tuesday evening. This was my favorite port for it's gorgeous waterfront and architecture. Most of the stores were closed, but we were able to walk around and take in the scenery. The floating bridge is cool! We also found an open air restaurant where we had a few cocktails and enjoyed the warm ocean air. We arrived in Aruba on Wednesday morning. The reef on the starboard side of the ship is amazing! Ten of our group did a deep sea fishing charter and had a great time. The owner is a former professional baseball player who is from Aruba whose family runs the charter. It was purely by accident that they booked his company, but it was a cool backstory. The rest of us went into Aruba and shopped at all the typical stores. At no time did I ever feel unsafe here. Another day at sea and we pulled into Grand Turk on Friday. The color of the water in this port is amazing! I've never seen anything like it! The island itself is very small and we took a taxi van to the lighthouse. Very uneventful trip but if you are into scenery, this is for you. Afterwards, we spent the day in the cruise ship area, where we shopped a little, then hung out at Margaritaville. Fun drinks, yummy nachos and then it was time to get back on the ship and head to our last day at sea. The ship itself, like all of the Carnival ships, is laid out fairly well, and has most of the upgrades found throughout the fleet. Our group favored the Blue Iguana tacos, Red Frog Rum bar on the Lido, Guys Burgers and the Alchemy Martini Bar was our favorite spot to meet at on the ship. We always found deck chairs at the pools, didn't really hang out at Serenity and found the dining room to be our least favorite this time around. We always enjoy that experience but this time, we had two tables, separated by a wall, which made it difficult to enjoy the group as a whole. In addition, we had two different sets of waiters and one set wasn't as good as the other. The food itself in the dining room was hit or miss - we've definitely had better on other ships. Do try Guys Pig and Anchor BBQ (awesome) and I am embarrassed to admit that I spent a fair amount of time in Cherry on Top buying red licorice. A few did the Seaday brunch and enjoyed their experience and being from Chicago, pizza is never as good as it is at home, but it was good for a late night snack. They also served giant hot dogs late night at the Tandoori Grill and my husband said they were awesome. Our best meal of the cruise was in Cucina del Capitano. They had a table large enough for the whole group, the food was amazing and the service was fabulous! We've been to the steakhouse before - this was so much better! One last comment about food and beverage. We did purchase the Cheers package and it was well worth it. I could easily spend $50 on martinis, frozen vodka and lemonades and Miami Vices throughout the day. If I didn't drink a lot one day, I made up for it the next. In addition to alcohol, it also gets you specialty coffee, water and soda. We also bought two 12 packs of water and a bottle of vodka for the cabin. $85 for a bottle of vodka is crazy, but it was convenient and FYI, they are very large bottles. We could have easily shared it with several of our friends, and we did, but we still had a lot left over throughout the group. By now you probably figured out that we like to drink a lot on our cruises. It's true, but we also used it for all of the other items it includes. 24 hours on a cruise ship is a long day. You'll be surprised at how much you can spend on all of this during that period of time. The package is not just about how much booze you can drink and if you like a few frozen drinks at the pool and a couple of martinis before or after dinner and then soda or bottled water, it's definitely worth it. Crew: The Good Reverend Dr. E was our Cruise Director and he was really fun! I very much enjoyed his style and found him to be very entertaining. The bar staff was very good and friendly, once they got to know us. Our cabin steward kept our room in tip top shape and kept the ice bucket filled. Elizabeth in the piano bar had a great voice and was very fun. Excursions: The only excursion we did was the Behind the Fun tour. This is a fabulous tour that takes you to places you will never see in the general cruise population. It's amazing to learn how the ship operates and the best part is heading to the Bridge and meeting the Captain. Well worth the money for this excursion but be sure to book it as soon as you get on board. It sells out quickly. Cabin - We had seven rooms in a row on Lido. Standard balcony cabins, where we were allowed to open up the dividers for one, long balcony. It was a great place to catch up with the entire group and plan our days. If you choose to open the divider, you will need a bungi cord to keep the door from slamming into the wall. The cabin itself is a decent size, plenty of storage and the air conditioning was really good in our room. We brought a multi use plug for all of our electronics, hair dryer, etc. Debarkation: This went fairly smoothly but the lines in the terminal a little crazy. After finding our luggage, we had a bit of a wait to get through customs. Keep this in mind when booking flights! There was an issue with customs when the ship first got into port, so I think that contributed to our delay. Once out of the terminal, those that had to go back to the hotel grabbed their shuttle and the rest of us headed to the rental car shuttle, where we grabbed two vans and headed on to our next stop. The rental car facility is very convenient. We had planned to visit Kennedy Space Center before our flight, but had to change those plans due to the debarkation delay. We ended up having lunch at Miller's Ale House in Orlando and catching football on one of their many TV's and then headed to the airport. Overall, great cruise! I've never had such a relaxing trip! Carnival continues to be our cruise ship choice because they are affordable for our group and suits our cruise style. I didn't think we did a lot, but after reading through this, I realized we really did have a cruise full of activities. Despite the few minor issues, we will continue to sail and recommend Carnival for cruises! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. The cruise was a celebration of multiple anniversaries and a graduation; there was a total of 14 in our group. We are experienced cruisers, many of us are gold level VIFP. We were quite ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. The cruise was a celebration of multiple anniversaries and a graduation; there was a total of 14 in our group. We are experienced cruisers, many of us are gold level VIFP. We were quite disappointed in the steakhouse experience as well as the food in the main dining room. We usually eat in the dining room for breakfast as well as dinner; not this time. The lido food was much better. There was nothing special about the steakhouse experience and in hindsight, we should have spent the money on something else. My husband and I will be on the Carnival Dream in April 2017 with a different group of people and we hope that we have a much better experience. The upgrades were nice and we especially enjoyed the Alchemy Bar and Guys Burgers. We stayed in an extended aft cabin for the first and last time. There is not much privacy on the balcony and if it rains, there is no cover. Our bed was not at all comfortable and I have never gotten a bad bed on a Carnival ship. I was disappointed in the cleanliness of the ship as well as the frequent malfunctions of equipment. Oftentimes in the restrooms there was little to no soap for handwashing and many times the coffee dispensers, ice cream machines etc on the lido deck were not functioning. Commodes were out of service. Not at all the Carnival quality we have come to know and love. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Embarkation was fairly fast and easy although the traffic at the port was a nightmare. Booked an accessible cabin (8304), which was NOT accessible to say the least. It was no larger than a standard inside cabin and with the beds ... Read More
Embarkation was fairly fast and easy although the traffic at the port was a nightmare. Booked an accessible cabin (8304), which was NOT accessible to say the least. It was no larger than a standard inside cabin and with the beds together, you had to climb into the bed from the foot, no room to walk along side. Our shower leaked water into the cabin and soaked the carpet. Maintenance came and worked on it twice but it still leaked A LOT. Also this cabin is extremely noisy as the housekeeping closet is next door. This ship needs updated stabilizers as it rocked and rolled a lot the entire cruise causing even some of the shows to be altered or cancelled for the safety of the dancers. The Serenity decks were very nice. We enjoyed the ports of call, in Aruba we took Mi Dushi snorkle and sunset tour and loved it. Grand Turk was our favorite with a beautiful free public beach right next to the ship's pier. Debarkation was slow but ok. We will probably not do Carnival again. We prefer Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was our first Carnival cruise, and it was lovely! We decided to risk it and sail in August (hurricane season), which definetly played an impact on our ports. We weren't able to get to St. Kitts or Grand Turks - which were the two ... Read More
This was our first Carnival cruise, and it was lovely! We decided to risk it and sail in August (hurricane season), which definetly played an impact on our ports. We weren't able to get to St. Kitts or Grand Turks - which were the two islands I most wanted to see :( But instead, the Captain took us to St. Thomas was just beauitful and the weather was perfect! And Nassau which has gone completely downhill since the last time I visited with my family. All in all, the vacation was great, 8 days of pure relaxations, cocktails, gambling, swimming in the caribbean water! Only complaints are: the casino gets filled with smoke at night and is tough to stay in there for the non-smokers. Our crowd on the ship was weird, we are young and don't have children yet and felt like there wasn't many people our age on the boat or even out at the bars past 10pm. That was a bummer :( Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Went with grandchildren...but the service was terrible Our room steward and dining waiters were very good...but the food was only so so! Nothing exceptional! The lido self serve cafeteria was awful! Like cattle! The Guy Fieri ... Read More
Went with grandchildren...but the service was terrible Our room steward and dining waiters were very good...but the food was only so so! Nothing exceptional! The lido self serve cafeteria was awful! Like cattle! The Guy Fieri burgers were awful...he needs to check out this for his name sake...very greasy! We had 3 incidences...2 medical and 1 mechanical which was unfortunate....we diverted to an island to off load a patient...but we turned the ship around to off load a patient in San Juan...which didn't make sense! The cruise director wasn't overly involved with passengers...couldn't hear announcements at all and had no direction. With all the passengers there were, it was very difficult to find a place to sit by the pool area...some saved lounges sat empty for up to 3+ hours...no one cared! The brochure said they remove belongings after 45 minutes of non use....NEVER saw anyone's stuff being moved! Also the Casino was VERY smoky! They seemed more involved pushing drinks and taking pictures at every opportunity! You can certainly count us out on future Carnival cruises! Not a pleasant experience! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Getting on-board was a snap. Cabin and cruise staff was exceptional. The ship holds about 4500 passengers, but never felt crowded. We had a balcony room and loved viewing the sea as we travel. The entertainment was terrific, the ice show ... Read More
Getting on-board was a snap. Cabin and cruise staff was exceptional. The ship holds about 4500 passengers, but never felt crowded. We had a balcony room and loved viewing the sea as we travel. The entertainment was terrific, the ice show was awesome. Drinks were very pricey (10.00) for one mixed drink, but it was okay other than that. Again, the service was absolutely fantastic. We look forward to our next cruise. (Serenade of the Seas)Dining in the Main Dining Room was terrific. Our wait staff was friendly, attentive, prompt and attentive to details. Eating breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer( all you can eat buffet) was great. Food was tasty. Hot food was hot and cold food was cold. Everything tasted and looked fresh. Service was not as good as the main dining room, but I have no complaints. Ports were neat and clean, and we felt comfortable and welcome. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Very fast embarkation. We (family of four) arrived at the port around 1:30pm and there were no lines, walked right to our cabin to unload. Interior cabin on Lido deck, extremely quiet and dark made for 8 nights of good sleep. Dining room ... Read More
Very fast embarkation. We (family of four) arrived at the port around 1:30pm and there were no lines, walked right to our cabin to unload. Interior cabin on Lido deck, extremely quiet and dark made for 8 nights of good sleep. Dining room was not as cold as I remember of previous cruises. Food was good. We had your time dining, no lines; service was very slow several nights, close to 2 hrs. The family enjoyed Guys Burgers, BlueIguana Cantina and Mongolian Wok. Lines were not bad on the Lido for lunch. I actually thought the lunch choices were better than dinner. Breakfast was okay, nothing special on the Lido. Entertainment was just okay. It seems as if Carnival has had the same shows for decades now. Small pools, but we always were able to find a chair/lounger. Kids enjoyed the one waterslide, spent a lot of time in the arcade, mini golf and played bingo. We choose this cruise because of the itinerary.We took a cab to Eagle Beach in Aruba. The snorkel in Bonaire was amazing, one of the best excursions. Grand Turk we went to Margaritaville, adults drank and kids swam in the pool. Wish they would have thrown in one more port, four full days at sea is a lot. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Picked for itinerary - 4 sea days, plus St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Barbados, and St. Maarten. Sunshine: old, barely remodeled. Pros: pizza - fantastic and fresh! Softserve improved from other Carnival ships. Java cafe' with super ... Read More
Picked for itinerary - 4 sea days, plus St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Barbados, and St. Maarten. Sunshine: old, barely remodeled. Pros: pizza - fantastic and fresh! Softserve improved from other Carnival ships. Java cafe' with super nice barista "China", good espresso. Guy Fiori burgers fantastic, fries "out of this world", and free/included!! Cabin stewart from Indonesia Buddiharma, the best we've had in our 15+ cruises. Cons: During cruise, they were hammering/repairing daily, causing complaints by fellow passengers. We had ear plugs and tried not to care. They called us and asked if we experienced that too, and we said yes. Our cruise bill was taken care of plus a future discount, so that was nice. Waited for 1.5-2h in the sun in Canaveral to get checked in. About 3h late pulling out Pt Canaveral, leading to shortened stay in every single port (come on...). Felt crowded, never room to walk or sit in the buffet. Overall impression: did not think we would want to book Carnival again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
After reading other reviews I have to share our experience. We had a blast! The ship was nice, yes some wear and tear but that is to be expected, it has been around a long time. We never smelled any sewer smell like I have read in previous ... Read More
After reading other reviews I have to share our experience. We had a blast! The ship was nice, yes some wear and tear but that is to be expected, it has been around a long time. We never smelled any sewer smell like I have read in previous posts, and the water tasted fine. It has been updated with great additions, water slides, Guys burger joint, lots of activities and a great fun squad with the most fun cruise director (yeah Donkey!)we have had in 14 other cruises. Was it perfect? Of course not. There are not enough deck chairs and if you wanted one on a sea day you had to be in it by 8 AM and not leave it unless you wanted your stuff taken and given to the towel station. Also the food could use some help, not a lot of gluten free choices even in the dining room. And wait service gets interrupted when on time dining people are sat with nightly diners and the wait staff have to start serving people all over again. Also there were a lot of unattended children running around wrecking havoc making messes banging on cabin doors, yelling down the halls at 1 AM, hanging out in stairways etc and nobody on the ship seemed to notice which was aggravating. But we had beautiful weather, beautiful ports. lots of activities and a really fun time! Your vacation is what you make of it, you can't expect perfection and need to just make the best of things. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
My husband and I have gone on about 10 or so cruises, so we’re seasoned cruisers. Getting on the Ship was delayed several hours because the ship needed to be cleaned due to the norovirus. The staff at the port handed out water and ... Read More
My husband and I have gone on about 10 or so cruises, so we’re seasoned cruisers. Getting on the Ship was delayed several hours because the ship needed to be cleaned due to the norovirus. The staff at the port handed out water and snacks to try to keep the crowd happy. I felt bad for the ones that had to wait outside! It appeared most people handled this ok however. Here are the things I liked: The crew was one of the friendliest, nicest around!!! The cruise director, Donkey, was funny and friendly! Can’t say enough about the crew! The best! I did not smell any foul odor as described in earlier reviews. The ship was clean everywhere we went. They did police the saving of chairs somewhat! I did see someone’s stuff taken away the first day! After that, people wised up and made sure they were back before the 45 minute deadline. Children were kept out of the adult area! Although there were not that many children on board. Our balcony room on the 8th floor was clean and roomy and had a refrigerator. But it was an upper class balcony room. Some other balcony cabins did not have a refrigerator. Victor, our room steward, was great! This is the big thing I didn’t like: The Sunshine was once a smaller ship made larger. They added more state rooms. However, the public areas are just not big enough to hold the new larger number of guests! This meant: 1. Not enough lounge chairs in the desired areas. I’m being honest when I say that if you hadn’t “saved” a lounge chair by 6:00 am you either were in a crappy area or had no chair at all the entire day!! Hated having to get up so early on a vacation!!! 2. Casino was too small to handle the amount of people wanting to be there nightly! And yes it was extremely smoky as mentioned in other reviews. Not enough variety of slot machines. So crowded it was hard to walk around or to find a slot machine to sit at. Additionally, bar service was extremely slow –at the very least ½ hour once ordered! But I did see some people win large amounts and they did have some special drawings every night so that was still fun. 3. Shows were in rooms too small to handle the crowd. If you didn’t get there at least 45 minutes to ½ hour early you had no seat. 4. Lines at the food areas, especially the pizza area, were extremely long. Sitting area hard to find, although I took people’s advice and went back into the Havana Bar area. But other’s learned that as the cruise went on. 5. Main pool very small. I only used it once when we were at port when it wasn’t crowded. Adult pool was always crowded, but manageable. It was kept very cold (and I’m from the North!!) so people pretty much just sat around it instead of going in. Misc: Food – some things were very good, others not so good. My husband loved the fish dishes (very unusual for him!) I’m not picky and just love the fact that I’m not the one cooking. Hated that I always had to look for a salt shaker and butter! Desserts, however, were kind of blah for my sweet tooth (except for the Chocolate melting cake). The “Your Time Dining” instead of schedule dining times was sometimes good/sometimes bad. Don’t use if large party and eat early if you don’t want to wait in line to schedule your dinning and then wait again to be seated! Some of those lines were very long! I wouldn’t choice that again! Entertainment –A matter of opinion. I enjoyed the shows we saw but I don’t hold high standards either. There was one Diva show we walked out of due to boredom. Again, it’s a matter of opinion. We did enjoy the game shows and the comedy shows very much. Specialty restaurants – We did the Fahrenheit 555 steak house and the Cucina Del Capitano (Italian). Food was good but not worth paying more for it. I noticed on the regular dining room menu that you could order a steaks or Surf and Turf from Fahrenheit for $20. That’s $15 less than if you go there!! So if you want a specialty steak, order it at the regular dining room and save yourself some cash. Also the Cucina Del Capitano and the JiJi are open for free for lunch so eat it then and save some cash. I would also like to point out that the Fahrenheit 555 atmosphere is supposedly very upper class, which I found uncomfortable. The cook sent over complimentary appetizers that we just couldn’t figure out! Mine was a thick slice of lime with a dot of some cream on top about the size of ½ a dime. I guess I’m not very sophisticated as I had no clue how or what I was to do with that!! Then again, either did the very distinguished gentlemen at the next table! We’ve been on most of the other cruise lines and will continue to cruise with Carnival as well. Although we had a very good time, I have no plans to ever cruise on the Sunshine again. It was just way too crowded. Having to rush to get a chair either at the pool or a show or the casino just took away from the relaxing vacation we go on cruises for. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Read reviews and had concerns but went any way. Embarkation was great people friendly and quick, room was ready. Ship décor was great, looks really good. The issues that we had were; crowding on Lido, crowded more than any ship we have ... Read More
Read reviews and had concerns but went any way. Embarkation was great people friendly and quick, room was ready. Ship décor was great, looks really good. The issues that we had were; crowding on Lido, crowded more than any ship we have been on, buffets were crowded and harder to navigate than on other ships they are square and in center of floor causing traffic flow issues. Seating "cut up" into several areas so that you have to navigate narrow areas carrying food while searching for seating. Pool area was crowded, it actually appeared smaller than Fantasy class ships if you don't count the upper tier seating and with twice the passengers, and 2 bars, and Guys, and burritos it was uncomfortable to navigate during busy times. Most of the staff we interacted with were friendly and good with a few exceptions. Our dinner seating was incorrect but it was corrected before dinner the first night, our wait staff had too much to do evidently because we would wait EVERY night between 30-45 min between courses with 2 large tables empty in our area. Finally I complained on the 5th night and the next night was actually too much service, we could not even talk without one of them trying to help us with something then the next night it was back to the original way, poor service. Almost forgot to mention that when we went to room we heard a knock on the door and the room steward was there, the first thing he said was " What is your name?" before welcoming us or anything, then 15 min later he knocked on the door and when I answered it he only said "OH, I met you before" and walked away. I guess he was new and he did an OK job but this is not very professional. (again I try to remember that a lot of this is because of staffing cut backs) While visiting with the ships staff in different areas, I kept hearing from a lot of them that they would be glad when they could get off of the ship. The casino for the first time in 10-12 cruises did not send strawberries or wine to dinner. I don't need the snacks and I always give the wine away but I thought it was worth mentioning. I gambled more on this cruise because I did not like going on deck and venues for comedy and shows were very crowded and long lines to get in. One positive aspect was that I took a lot of naps. We had fun and enjoyed it but I would not recommend this ship, I realize every one has a different take on things, and maybe we enjoy different things, but this is my take on the ship with input from the 13 that traveled with us. We actually have a cruise booked on the Sunshine to Aruba next year and all of our family asked me to change it to another ship if possible. Hope if you go you will have an enjoyable trip by avoiding problem areas and taking it in stride but I don't recommend. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
This is our 10th cruise and the 6th on Carnival. For the money it is our favorite cruise line. We were leery to go on the Sunshine ~ our last 2 Carnival cruises was on the Breeze, one of their newer ships. Although the Sunshine had a ... Read More
This is our 10th cruise and the 6th on Carnival. For the money it is our favorite cruise line. We were leery to go on the Sunshine ~ our last 2 Carnival cruises was on the Breeze, one of their newer ships. Although the Sunshine had a lot of the same amenities as the Breeze, our dining room in the Sunset Lower was very disappointing. The balconies are also very small and rusting away. One of the changes made recently that is a huge plus is Wi-Fi is no longer timed! $60.00 gets you unlimited Wi-Fi the entire cruise! But then on the other-hand a huge disappointed is the soda. Unfortunately Carnival does not include soda in the cruise price (a huge disappointed to our kids that are used to Disney), so we had to purchase the unlimited bubbles package, but in order to get a soda our kids had to go to the bar. At times they wanted 10 + minutes for a sprite! If Carnival can have PYOB (Pour your own Beer) then why the heck can't they have Pour your own Pop (PYOP)??? In fact in 8 days I never saw 1 person pouring their own beer! Formal night was also a HUGE disappointed. There was probably less than 20% of people in our dining room actually dressed up. Most where wearing what I would consider Cruise Casual, and on cruise casual nights I actually saw men wearing wife beater shirts!!! It was very tacky. When did they start allowing cut off jean shorts in the main dining rooms? The staff was all very friendly and nice on the Sunshine. One suggestion however ~ do whatever you can to get seated in the Sunrise Dining Room. The Sunset Lower were we were sat was very blah and dated. The Sunrise from what we heard from other families on the ship was very pretty and the wait staff was fun and efficient. Something we never experienced in the Sunset. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
The comedians in show room were AWEFUL. DONT WASTE TIME. Dive-in Movies had a POOR SELECTION. FOOD WAS TERRIBLE Pack a lunch or eat in port. the coffee, tea and lemonade machines were always BREAKING and NOT WORKING. NO EMPLOYEE Was ... Read More
The comedians in show room were AWEFUL. DONT WASTE TIME. Dive-in Movies had a POOR SELECTION. FOOD WAS TERRIBLE Pack a lunch or eat in port. the coffee, tea and lemonade machines were always BREAKING and NOT WORKING. NO EMPLOYEE Was willing to help. ************THE SOLICITING was out of control. from the contracted out MEARS Transportation from MCO the LADY driver was acting homeless and BEGGING for tips all the way to cape Canaveral. Tendering in and out of belize the boat drivers also were SOLICITING HARD because they knew you had no other option to get to and from belize without them. THANKS CARNIVAL you can really pick your OUTSOURCED companies. Trying to get to Belize was the WORST EXPERIENCE EVER. To tender in you have to arrive in showroom 30 minutes prior. You are greeted by Jeff, Kyle and some female black lady(No Name tag). They did NOT want to be there and did NOT want to be bothered by people and did not want to speak with you. They were wanting to discuss with each other there other job options in life and not carnival. They put on a movie with lots of PORN and sex in it with children present in showroom to buy the time. When trying to get off the ship we were LATE BIG TIME because belize officals didn't know we were coming and could not clear the ship . FINALLY when we were able to go, we had to go down 3 FLIGHTS of STAIRS (sorry if you were disabled carnival did not help those) DO NOT BOOK EXCURISON. you will not make it. On the LIDO deck buffet. The BLOND FEMALE Manager from EUROPE was a REAL blank (Female DOG) She had ATTIDUDE and was RUDE. She had to have been keeping the captain happy to keep her job and not the guest. THE JAVA COFFEE BAR, BE PREPARED TO WAIT. EMPLOYEES are FIRST and cut in line with other employees and guest have to wait. With only one person working. They need to have a second employee or another location for guest. I had to wait more than 14 minutes to order a coffee. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
I just wanted to leave a brief review of my trip on the Carnival Sunshine. I have to give a full disclosure here, my wife and I have been sort of ‘cruise snobs’ and have never really considered Carnival. The trip we just completed ... Read More
I just wanted to leave a brief review of my trip on the Carnival Sunshine. I have to give a full disclosure here, my wife and I have been sort of ‘cruise snobs’ and have never really considered Carnival. The trip we just completed was the 8 day southern Caribbean trip, and we just returned yesterday. First of all, when reading the other reviews of this ship I was very anxious because so many absolutely panned the ship as overcrowded, nothing to do, dirty, etc., etc. As I stated before, this was our first Carnival cruise. We have cruised with NCL, Celebrity, and Royal Caribbean, having taken maybe 7 cruises over the past 14 years. This cruise, without a doubt, was the best I've ever been on. THE BEST. I went with my wife and 13 year old son. I (we) had a blast! The food was so much better, tastier, and more available (all hours) than on the other ships I’ve cruised. My son really enjoyed the Circle C for young teens program, and made many friends who he continues texting since we’ve been home. The layout of the ship -- where most of the kids are towards the back with the youth programs, the sportsquare, and waterpark -- seems to separate many of the younger patrons from adults who want to simply chill out and enjoy the environment. The ship was very clean (great new upgraded decor from the Destiny), and our cabin steward friendly. As far as entertainment, I found the nightly shows very compelling. On those nights that we didn’t go to the movies, the comedy at the Limelight was hilarious. There were also guitar players (Tim especially) that were perfect to just sit, relax, and watch play. I did do the slides, and played basketball (to the best of my ability). However, my favorite part was the Dive-in movies, where we would sit out under the stars in the middle of the cool ocean breeze and watch shows on the big screen. Not sure if they do this on other lines, but I certainly have not had this experience before - wonderful. Our cruise director Jamie was the most engaged and energetic of any cruise I’ve been on. I had a nice personal conversation with her on the second day – very friendly. As for the crowds, well, we had the 6:00 dinner seating and I never waited in any line for dinner. Of course there are so many stations at the buffet it was never an issue. Great, I mean GREAT, burgers at Guys Burger joint (outstanding seasoning on the fries as well). Sat with two other families and had great conversation each night; we were always the last table to leave. The obstacle course was fun, and I did do the waterslides - okay, not outstanding though. Cons – not many. The comedy club was almost always standing room only, but simply getting there 10 minutes early was all that was needed to get a great seat – both there and at the Liquid lounge for evening shows. This initial disembarkation at Aruba was a bit of a cattle call, but at the other two ports we had no problems. The ship is so large, and there are so many things to do I think that naturally people just tend to gravitate to where they want to be and crowds (at least for me) were not an issue. One other disclosure – we did have a balcony, although I didn’t use it much. Overall, I can honestly say that I will cruise Carnival from here on. My kid loved it, my wife loved it, and I loved it. It was a great time. I will be back. DEFINITELY! Read Less
Sail Date May 2015

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