1. Home
  2. Planning
  3. Cruise Tips and Advice
  4. 5 Best Carnival Sunshine Cruise Tips
Carnival Sunshine
Carnival Sunshine

5 Best Carnival Sunshine Cruise Tips

Updated August 21, 2018

If you seek a carefree atmosphere, variety of complimentary dining options and hopping nightlife, you'll find that on Carnival Sunshine. What you'll also get are unique features found on only a few ships in the fleet. From its Cuban-style Havana Bar to a thrilling pair of water slides dubbed the Speedway Splash, the 3,006-passenger ship takes the meaning of "Fun Ship" to a whole new level. Here are five Carnival Sunshine tips to help you make the best of your time onboard.

1. Make the Most of Serenity

Carnival Sunshine's Serenity -- the line's dedicated adults-only sun deck -- is one of the largest on any Carnival ship. Sunbathers 18 and over get their own three decks, tucked away at the front of the ship, with padded loungers, hot tubs, cabanas, a bar and a peaceful waterfall feature that flows into a plunge pool. The best part: Unlike other cruise lines' adults-only retreats, Carnival's doesn't bear a cover charge. For the ultimate in peace and quiet, head farther up and as close to the front end as you can get; areas near the Lido Deck tend to catch noise from the main pool.

2. Wash Down the Premium Cuts with Free Wine

Carnivores and seafood-lovers should head to the ship's steakhouse, Fahrenheit 555, where servers wheel out your chosen cut or sea creature beforehand for a pre-meal introduction and explanation. While it's not free to eat there (there's a $35 fee per person, including children), if you dine on the first day of the cruise you get a bottle of wine thrown in at no charge. Make reservations, as it books up fast.

3. Escape the Breakfast Crowds

The ship's main eatery, the Lido Marketplace, can get busy during its breakfast service. Those in the know, however, can dodge the buffet scrum by heading to the Havana Bar. Two main entrances lead to an abundance of seating and cooking stations where you can order up your morning eggs just the way you like them -- and get to enjoy them with plenty of elbowroom. Another morning alternative is the BlueIguana Cantina, which offers made-to-order breakfast burritos with savory fillings like chicken sausage, ham and hash browns.

4. Save the Water Park for a Port Day

There's no time for long lines at Carnival Sunshine's water park, which has the fleet's only Speedway Splash -- a set of dueling water slides that actually records racers' times and displays them on a scoreboard -- as well as one of the longest Twister water slides. If you're already planning to spend a port day onboard, wait until then to hit the water park. You'll save yourself minutes standing and waiting in the beating sun -- and you might even get to ride your favorite slide more than once.

5. Eat at Bonsai Sushi

One of our favorite sushi restaurants at sea happens to be on Carnival Sunshine, and it's definitely not to be missed. The a la carte menu at Bonsai Sushi serves up a handful of reasonably priced starters, sushi and sashimi (ranging from $1.50 to $5) -- as well as a splurge-worthy "Ship for Two" at $22 that includes soup, salad, California roll and sushi. Bear in mind: Because of the restaurant's popularity, it tends to fill up fast. If you need a sushi fix but want to steer clear of the crowds, go during its sea day hours.

Find a Cruise
Email me when prices drop

Popular on Cruise Critic

How to Find the Best Cruise Bargains in 2019
It's the end of a decade, 2019, and a lot has changed in the world of cruising -- race cars, haute cuisine, digital everything -- but some tips on how to save on your next sailing stay tried and true. To uncover the best ways to land a cruise bargain this year, we spoke to travel agent experts and consulted industry surveys. What we found is that cruising shows no signs of slowing down, but getting on the right ship to the right destination might mean taking quick action. We've narrowed down the who, what, where and when of finding the best cruise deals in 2019 so you can spend less money and more time enjoying the seas.
Secrets the Cruise Lines Don't Tell You
Cruise ship life can be a little mysterious. Your choices aren't always spelled out in black and white. The more you cruise, the more you pick up on the unofficial secrets the cruise lines don't tell you -- which give you more options, let you save money and generally allow you to have a better time onboard. Maybe it's knowing what your cabin steward is able to bring you or what the off-the-menu items are at the bar or dining room. Or perhaps it's a tip to getting a good deal on an onboard purchase. But why wait to figure these things out the hard way -- possibly after you've missed your chance? We trawled through all the great advice on Cruise Critic's Message Boards to bring you some of the worst-kept cruise secrets ... at least among our readers who love to share. But whether you're a first-time cruiser or an old sea dog, you might find there's something here you didn't already know.
6 Best Adults-Only Cruise Sun Decks
Cruise ship sun decks offer all the convenience of loungers, hot tubs and beverage service -- and all the headaches of screaming children, rock concerts on poolside screens and live bands playing "Hot Hot Hot" for the 20th time. Adults-only sun decks offer all the former in a much more serene environment. We have nothing against kids, but even on the most family-friendly cruise ships, an area explicitly excluding children gives parents a valuable hour or two of "me time," while maintaining the sanity of fellow cruisers who came on vacation for peace, quiet and minimal crying. Adults-only sun decks come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Many have amenities not available in the main deck areas and nicer loungers or sun beds; some also require an entry fee. We have not included adults-only solariums that are strictly covered pools. If the only "whining" you want comes with dining, then consider the following six sun decks that maintain a strict adults-only ambiance.