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739 Carnival Canada & New England Cruise Reviews

I’ve waited 20 years to take this cruise but it was my worst experience. The debarkation process was chaotic. We had FTTF, checked in, breezed through security, and then were called to board immediately. Everything was looking good until ... Read More
I’ve waited 20 years to take this cruise but it was my worst experience. The debarkation process was chaotic. We had FTTF, checked in, breezed through security, and then were called to board immediately. Everything was looking good until we tried to board and they said a couple of us weren’t checked in. I did everything online before and it appeared to be complete. Few minutes later and we were on the ship. We had two rooms with a balcony and an inside room across the hall for the kids. Our steward, Christopher, seemed to be annoyed when we mentioned the beds were not configured as requested and the trundle was not set up. We never saw him again until the final morning of the cruise. He didn’t ask if we had any requests and the service of our room was mediocre when it was done. It certainly wasn’t daily. Odd and very different from my previous experiences. Halifax and Saint John were beautiful but there wasn’t a lot to do around town. Our stops in Portland and Boston were cancelled due to tropical storm Melissa so we spent a second day in Halifax and an additional sea day (of hell) was added. Huge swells had the entire ship rocking and passengers sick everywhere. No comedians for the second half of the cruise and no additional activities were added to fill the time. It was beyond boring watching the ship map showing us crawling along. Ship areas are cramped and just boring. Same breakfast every day and you’re lucky to fine anywhere to sit. The dining room didn’t include the great shows with the staff. If they did perform, you were lucky to see anything because the design of the dining room includes walls that obstructs many tables. The service was rushed and impersonal but they made sure the last night to make a pitch for extra tips. I had a thermal suite pass but it was a waste. The locker room includes showers but no hair dryers. Who wants to shower and then go out with wet hair? The other facilities in the thermal suite were ok but I prefer those that include therapy pools and hot tubs. I had a few treatments in the spa that were fantastic. Highly recommend the massage therapists. If this is how refurbished looks, I can’t imagine how bad it was before. This was my third Carnival cruise in 18 months but I think I’m done with them. It’s too much planning and money for a mediocre experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Sunrise is beautiful, recently been refurbished. But... with all the concerns about germs, why did they put hand push buttons to open auto doors on Lido deck? Dirty hands repeatedly touching these then sitting down to eat. Makes no ... Read More
Sunrise is beautiful, recently been refurbished. But... with all the concerns about germs, why did they put hand push buttons to open auto doors on Lido deck? Dirty hands repeatedly touching these then sitting down to eat. Makes no sense!!!. Food on buffet just ok, nothing bad but nothing great. Guys Burgers always great! Food in dining room always good, there again only few selections were great. Staff from waiters to room stewards worked very hard as usual. Maitre'd at one restaurant was not very accommodating or at least appeared like he couldn't care less, so we got on Carnival Hub and reserved our table to be ready when we got to restaurant. Worked really well the 3rd night on. Cruise Director was awesome. Just seems like Carnival has taken quality down a notch and replaced it with quantity of passengers. Example: no linen table cloths in dining rooms except formal night and dirty silverware found at our table every night for 7 nights. Will we go Carnival again-yes of course. Port is driving distance and cost can usually be found discounted. But dont expect Quality and Excellence on this ship Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
My wife and I are fairly frequent cruisers, but we recently took our first cruise on the Carnival Sunrise, from New York up the eastern coast of New England and Canada with scheduled stops in Halifax, St. John, NB, Portland ME and Boston, ... Read More
My wife and I are fairly frequent cruisers, but we recently took our first cruise on the Carnival Sunrise, from New York up the eastern coast of New England and Canada with scheduled stops in Halifax, St. John, NB, Portland ME and Boston, then back to New York. Unfortunately, because of bad weather we had to skip both Portland and Boston, which was a disappointment but of course with "safety first" in mind it was nobody's fault but Mother Nature. The stops we did make were good, although most every other cruise line includes Bar Harbor on their similar itineraries for this time of year and surprisingly Carnival didn't, so that was a disappointment. We had never been to this part of the world before and the shore excursions were decent with good guides, albeit a bit on the expensive side. Prior to the cruise we didn't have a very favorable opinion of Carnival from reviews we had read and people we had talked to, and that impression was only marginally improved during the cruise and afterwards. We generally prefer smaller ships, willing to trade off shipboard activities for more personalized service, better food and usually quieter ship time. This ship itself was actually nicer than we thought it would be, as it had been refurbished fairly recently. That was the good news. The bad news was that (according to some of the crew) during the refurbishment they added more cabins and reduced the size of the main dining area. (They also took out the library which was a disappointment to my wife but I won't speculate as to whether removing the library is indicative of Carnival's perception of its clientele.) So, any meal requiring a trip to the Lido dining area for the buffet was a complete zoo at any and all times of the day. Total passenger count was just about 3,000, and it seemed as though every single person chose to jam the buffet lines at the same time and remain there every minute of the restaurant's serving hours. Total chaos ensued with very limited seating when the rush was on at the buffet lines. On the plus side, there was a pretty good supply of other, smaller eating ares with other specialty food types around the ship, but most of them were either fully outdoors or partly open to the elements, and with the bad weather along the way they weren't great options for comfortable eating. For dinner, we had assigned seating each night with our group of ten, so no problem getting a table at our appointed time, although the tables were pretty much on top of each other and the restaurant got noisy. The servers delighted in singing ""Happy Birthday" and "Happy Anniversary" or "Happy Anything" pretty much every night at various tables as circumstances warranted. So much for quiet dining. As for the food quality, the Lido buffet was ordinary to decent, nothing special. Typical cruise ship fare; nothing to kill you but nothing to make you think you were in a really good restaurant. Service was again pretty ordinary, mostly because of the crush of humanity during buffet hours. In the sit-down restaurant at night, the entrees were generally decent to pretty good. I remarked almost every night how good the salads and soups were, among the best of any cruise line I've been on. Not all of the entrees deserved the same high marks. We were in a group of ten people and comments varied from bad to exceptional for the quality of each person's meals throughout the seven-day trip. I have to admit that I didn't have any meal that was not edible, but neither did I have any that I would rank as exceptional (other than the salads and soups which as I mentioned were really outstanding). Ironically, lobster tail was offered one night as one of the included menu choices. Everybody but me got it and loved it. Another night I paid $20 extra to get a lobster tail and could hardly eat it. The meats (pork loin, roast beef and a small steak on various nights) were okay, pretty much done to order but generally not very hot by the time it got placed in front of me. I'm also a dessert guy and they were pretty good, both for variety and quality. Our cabin was actually pretty nice, not cramped but not overly large, with good storage and with a comfortable "king" bed if you managed to avoid the subterranean crack running down the middle from joining two twin beds to make it into a king. Our room attendant was excellent and we tipped him accordingly, along with the gratuities added onto the bill at the end of the cruise. Other than the crack running down the center, the bed(s) was (were) comfortable with nice pillows and covers. The bathroom was small-ish, but since neither my wife nor I are overly large, no problem fitting into the shower. The shower in fact had great water pressure and lots of hot water. We could barely get water out of the sink, either hot or cold. Go figure. My only real complaint about the bathroom was that the shower curtain (what, you think Carnival would have a glass shower door?, LOL!) seemed to have a really musty smell. The ship's entertainment ran the gamut from just plain lousy and insulting to our intelligence, to some of it being actually pretty good. One comedian comes to mind as being both clean and very funny but he was only there for one night. The three electric violin players who performed as a group in the lobby every night were wonderful, albeit a bit on the loud side. I won't make any more comments on the entertainment because everybody's tastes are different. The only other problem we had was that the ship is VERY NOISY. Carnival seems to think that splitting their customers' eardrums with loud music and announcements adds to the overall cruising experience. Our cabin seemed pretty well insulated (walls and ceiling) but music from the entertainment areas of the ship still got through the door. I thought embarkation could have gone a bit more smoothly as it was a bit of a mob scene. Debarkation, given the number of people, was very well organized both on the ship and in the port area and when our turn came we were out of our cabin, off the ship and in a cab in under twenty minutes. In closing, I titled this review "You get what you pay for" and with Carnival you pay towards the bottom of the cruising spectrum, and for that you get an experience that's worth just about every penny. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise because it was near our anniversary. The day we got off ship was our anniversary. We had been on this ship before. We celebrated our 10th, and 20th anniversaries on board this ship when it was the Carnival Triumph. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was near our anniversary. The day we got off ship was our anniversary. We had been on this ship before. We celebrated our 10th, and 20th anniversaries on board this ship when it was the Carnival Triumph. We would be getting off on our 30th anniversary. We had been on this ship on our trip to the Panama Canal just four months before. It was much better when it was the Carnival Triumph. The embarkation went fairly smoothly even though a Carnival employee gave us the wrong information at the front door of the terminal. The rest of the check in went smoothly. Different from the disembarkation. Our stateroom was nice. The service in the stateroom started off nice, but, as the cruise went on it became not good. They even asked if we wanted them to come to the stateroom twice a day or just once? Don't they know what they are supposed to do? Sometimes they came in and put the next days ship paper in while on other days they just slid it under the door. Dining was pretty good in the MDR. The buffett was good many times, but, on others had to bus a table so we could sit down. The pizza was very good. Like the Deli. We didn't actually eat at the Pasta Place or at the BBQ place. The service in the Main Dining Room was better on this cruise than it was on the cruise four months before. Entertainment wasn't bad. Saw many of the shows before. Liked The Flying Scotsman's show even though we saw it several times. Liked playing BINGO. Love playing in the casino. Since we have been to these ports many times we did not take a tour. Walked around near the pier at Halifax. Saw an interesting exhibit at a college at Halifax that had a campus presence next to the Immigration Museum. It was about aging and was put up by an expert in the field. The first day at St. John was a religious holy day for me. The second time at St. John walked to the Marketplace and bought some coffee to take home at The Java Moose. Then we stopped off at the Beaver Tail place to get a bite of local food. The disembarkation from the ship when we got back to port was terrible. They took our luggage from in front of our stateroom. None of the pieces were together. One piece wasn't even near the number it was supposed to have been by. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Sunrise is a good ship. Cruise director, Chris Williams the Flying Scotsman, was fantastic. We had tropical storm Melissa and our last two ports were cancelled resulting in three straight sea days with bad weather outside. My suggestion ... Read More
Sunrise is a good ship. Cruise director, Chris Williams the Flying Scotsman, was fantastic. We had tropical storm Melissa and our last two ports were cancelled resulting in three straight sea days with bad weather outside. My suggestion would be to have more inside activities and offer more discounts or day rates for the sauna and steam room area. We were all safe but lots of bored people. This is not a complaint as carnival is my favorite line. Debarkation was the fastest yet and well organized. We tried different venues for food on lido deck and these were all worth trying. Some of my favorite food items are different andnot as good like the escargot and the gran Marne soufflé. We did receive 25% discount for future cruise and our tour and port taxes were refunded immediately. Think the organization should be able to make individual ship changes as things happen. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was a great ship...the service...the staff...the food...not over crowded at all...yes breakfast buffet lines were long...but they were typical buffet lines...and we avoided them daily by going to the mini buffet stations and the ... Read More
This was a great ship...the service...the staff...the food...not over crowded at all...yes breakfast buffet lines were long...but they were typical buffet lines...and we avoided them daily by going to the mini buffet stations and the omelette stations...omelette station at the seafood shack, never a wait...cruise director mikey was the best...sorry for you new guys...mikey was shipped off to the sunshine at the end of this cruise...big shout out to yulia and sonya and ivana at alchemy, best martini makers on the seas...playlist dancers were good...previous reviews had me nervous, but kept an open mind and had a great cruise...we did our own shore excursions except in halifax, where we did the hop on and hop off on the big pink bus...didn't see any problems occur on the ship...no fights...no drunks...and 8 days of beautiful seas...a little chilly in the outdoors bur this was a new england/ canada cruise...thank you carnival... Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
13 cruises and never wished a cruise to end until now. Staff was not trained. Seemed to have a lot of new employees but an “I am sorry I do not know” always preferable to “yes, it will be taken care of” and then no action. It ... Read More
13 cruises and never wished a cruise to end until now. Staff was not trained. Seemed to have a lot of new employees but an “I am sorry I do not know” always preferable to “yes, it will be taken care of” and then no action. It took three phone calls and three trips to customer service desk and 36 hours to get air conditioning operating in stateroom. About 1/3 of our food orders were wrong and This is ordering from the menu with no requests for changes. Not enough staff For the dining room. I question the ratio of staff to guests that carnival quotes. Had a lot of difficulty making myself understood by purser’s staff. Have cruised with four other lines and don’t hold the bar high for carnival but the lack of service was unacceptable. And CONSTANTLY bombarded with upsell offers for specialty drinks, meals and excursions Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our first Carnival cruise. My wife and I are in our late 50’s early 60s. We’ve sailed with Royal Caribbean, Princess, NCL, and for our honeymoon, Home Line. We hesitated sailing with Carnival due to its rep as a beer and ... Read More
This was our first Carnival cruise. My wife and I are in our late 50’s early 60s. We’ve sailed with Royal Caribbean, Princess, NCL, and for our honeymoon, Home Line. We hesitated sailing with Carnival due to its rep as a beer and pizza cruise line. After reading numerous reviews on how they’ve upped their game, we gave it a shot and were not disappointed. We sailed on the Sunrise, to Canada and New England. First, this cruise attracts an older audience. 90% of the passengers were older than us, and that was quite OK. The ship is a rehab, with Carnival adding additional passenger rooms to the detriment of common areas. They were very overcrowded, including the buffet, which was no loss, as cruise buffets in general arent stellar. It was difficult to get seating at the piano bar and the comedy club. We went to the comedy club once, 45 minutes early, and were able to get a seat. The ship was not nearly full, which gives me concern about how it would fare when full. We had an inside cabin, as we love the dark for sleeping. It was amply sized, and we didnt feel at all cramped. The food was really good. The Guy Fieri restaurants (note, theyre not really restaurant, just take out) were stellar. Some of the best BBQ anywhere and great burgers. Terrific! Make this your first meal when you wait for your room. Lucky Bowl was also exceptional. A cross between pho and ramen for lunch; delicious noodle soup. For breakfast, they serve breakfast bowls. Skip the buffet for lunch and dinner, youre best off at the taco bar (also good for breakfast), the sit down formal main restaurant or the Fieri stops. You can always grab something from the buffet if the other meals dont fill you up. The only meal that was disappointing was the for-pay Cucina del Capitan. The service was poor, and the food mediocre. If you want to splurge, order the lobster for a $10 dollar premium in the main dining room. Or the seafood tower. I’m sorry we didnt. We saw one the last night, and it was huge. At $60 for two people, it’s a bargain. Also, on the first formal night, they serve lobster for no surcharge. So, dont book the specialty restaurant for formal night. If you want more than one of anything, ask. If youre too timid to ask, ask them how big the lobster tail is and they will heap them on you. Passive aggressive ordering. Youre welcome. The activities were fun, and the shows were really good for what they were. The only total ripoff is bingo. On the first night, 8 people split the $200 jackpot. On the last night, they advertised a $5000 jackpot. This was a fill-the-card game. What they didnt tell you was that if there wasnt a winner after a certain amount of draws, they wouldnt award the $5000 jackpot. This wasnt advertised, and the winner walked away with a $1000 prize. A lot of angry people. All in all, it was a great cruise with really good service and food. Good value. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Bad reviews first: Boarding was terrible. We booked the Capitan suite which is supposed to be a top notch suite, but we were not treated as VIP's as the other cruise lines like NCL or Holland America. All suites guests were hoarded ... Read More
Bad reviews first: Boarding was terrible. We booked the Capitan suite which is supposed to be a top notch suite, but we were not treated as VIP's as the other cruise lines like NCL or Holland America. All suites guests were hoarded into two small rooms. The PA kept announcing "priority boarding will begin 11:30 AM" even 15 minutes after 11:30. We were finally boarded the Sunshine around 12 noon. No concierge service and complimentary upscale dinning for VIP guests. Disembark was a nightmare. Our Ship arrived at the New York Cruise Port around 7:30 AM. The hotel service director made the announcement that priority guests will be able to pick up their luggage after 9:00 AM. We made the big mistake of asking Carnival to move our luggages. Our flight from JFK to LAX was 11:30 AM. We thought there should be no problem from our past experience with NCL and Holland America. But this is Carnival, our first and definitely is the last cruise with them. One of our bag was mis-grouped to a different group. It almost took us an hour to find the misplaced bag. We missed our original flight and had to take the next available flight 8 HOURS later. Now comes the good reviews: Gym workout equipments are first class. Room service personnel were friendly and efficient. Food quality in the buffet restaurant is above average. In conclusion, if you decide to choose Carnival, do not waste your money on the suite stateroom. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We just returned from a 7 day cruise through New England on the Sunshine. In summary--long lines for everything, worst food I have ever had on a cruise, good, but limited, entertainment, and our aft balcony room was below average in ... Read More
We just returned from a 7 day cruise through New England on the Sunshine. In summary--long lines for everything, worst food I have ever had on a cruise, good, but limited, entertainment, and our aft balcony room was below average in layout and condition. Details below: Lines: We waited in line (not sitting but standing in line) an hour and 40 minutes to check in Manhattan, even though we were assigned a boarding time and arrived on time. We waited in a long line, snaked around a parking lot, for 50 minutes to get back on board in Portland Maine. You had to get in line at least 30 minutes early if you wanted a seat for a show (both the production shows and the comedy club). We bought a shuttle back to the airport at the end of the cruise. It was mayhem. There were people going to the three major NY airports. No signs for which bus to take, nobody setting up lines for the buses. People were fighting over buses and who was next in line, I do not understand how they can be so disorganized. Food: Food and choices in the dining room were below average. The best thing that we had was the lobster, which was cooked very nicely. Our soufflé (the one night it was offered) was overcooked and had the consistency of dry cake. None of the steaks or chicken were good, and the stew was terrible. The buffet was worse. For breakfast the toast and the bagels were pre-toasted and put out cold. How hard is it to prepare toast? The meals felt like low grade cafeteria food. The pizza and burgers were pretty good, but I did not go on a cruise to eat pizza and burgers. The workers in the buffet area never smiled and looked like they hated to be there. Our server in the dining room was great and learned all of our names. Room: We had an aft balcony, which cost more than a standard balcony. Our room had a refrigerator that sat on the floor under the dressing table (where the stool would normally go). It was old and did not work. The stool was shoved under the coffee table in front of the couch. We had no night stands next to the bad, no place for a clock or to put a book. The bathroom smelled like a urinal. Our room steward did not learn our names. We had to ask for an extra towel twice, got it for a couple of days, and then it disappeared again and we gave up. We sent out some one day laundry and after two days asked what happened to it. Our room steward apologized and said she forgot to pick it up and return it to us. Overall we enjoyed the itinerary and the ports, but we really did not like the ship at all. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
The embarkation was a nightmare. Not sure what caused the delays and the backup, but there were not enough Carnival agents on duty to help expedite the check-in process. We booked this cruise to see the New England fall colors and ... Read More
The embarkation was a nightmare. Not sure what caused the delays and the backup, but there were not enough Carnival agents on duty to help expedite the check-in process. We booked this cruise to see the New England fall colors and visit Halifax, NS. The late itinerary changed caused us to cancel part of our private tour in Halifax, and plans in the other ports. Why shorten the time we had in Halifax where there is much to see and not St. John? Did anyone get an explanation of what "operational considerations" mentioned in the email caused the change? As for the refurbished ship, it seemed to be too darn cold to us, and appeared to be equipped for cruises in a warmer climate. We noticed the on-board shops had several items related to Caribbean destinations but very little pertaining to the ports we visited. Other than that, we thought the ship was nicely decorated and met expectations (except for being too cold). The entertainment was excellent and Emma did a fantastic job of keeping things going. Cudos to Emma! The food in the main dining areas was very good. We had excellent service from the waiters, especially Conrado and Jose. Both were very friendly and entertaining. However, food on the Lido deck was limited in choice and could be improved upon. The Cabin was kept clean by Gede, and he was very helpful with our requests. We may use Carnival again but will take a look at others. This was our third cruise with Carnival and all three had issues (stranded in St. Martin in 2013,missing a port on an Alaskan cruise in 2014, and a last minute itinerary change on this one). Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
My only complaint is they turned the 4th floor theater into a Nightclub after the show and we could hear pounding music until 2 AM, hard to sleep through. I complained and Carnival moved us to the 8th floor, very much appreciated. I feel ... Read More
My only complaint is they turned the 4th floor theater into a Nightclub after the show and we could hear pounding music until 2 AM, hard to sleep through. I complained and Carnival moved us to the 8th floor, very much appreciated. I feel for the 100 or so cabins on 6 that had to put up with that noise. The food options are excellent, especially Guys burgers and the Mongolian Grill. I loved the shows and the comedians. I think Carnival has something special with their entertainment and their comedians. The Lip Sync show was my favorite and a pleasant surprise. The comedians we saw were very funny, I prefer the family friendly comedians but they were all great and funny. Our excursions were good, we particularly enjoyed Saint John. It was a beautiful place and the reversing rapids were very unique. All in all, Carnival had a good cruise experience for us. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 50th Anniversary because of the dates and itinerary. We were not disappointed with the New England-Canada itinerary but Fall colors have not arrived yet! We were, however, disappointed in several ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 50th Anniversary because of the dates and itinerary. We were not disappointed with the New England-Canada itinerary but Fall colors have not arrived yet! We were, however, disappointed in several areas. 1) Check-in took much too long. Even though we were repeatedly asked to choose a port arrival time, airlines arrive about the same time in NYC. Therefore, hundreds arrived at the port approximately the same time. Lines were very long and took a long time to check-in. 2) While we all know and appreciate the Safety Drill prior to sailing, there was much confusion about the exact time and location to meet. Once it FINALLY started, the Cruise Director took so much time going over the details and scolding everyone to stop talking. It was very warm and we were lined up outside an open deck in the sun. Several passengers became sick and rushed inside as it FINALLY ended. Too long and not inside in comfortable surroundings. 3) Disembarkation took a long time bc Customs would/did not clear off-loaded luggage promptly. This, of course, was not Carnival's fault but only added to everyone's frustration. 4) Transportation from the port was a nightmare. We had pre-purchased transfers to the airport. No Carnival representative was available to assist or direct. It was a free for all as thousands of us rushed to waiting buses with no visible signage directing us to proper bus. No lines so much pushing, rushing and bullying to get on the bus before it filled and you missed your flight. Better to get a taxi next time and pay any additional fees. Lots of negatives but lots of positives, too! 1) Service onboard was excellent. 2) The food was amazing. 3) Entertainment was lively and talented performers. Just, please fix the before and after and this will be a great cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We had a wonderful time, and would absolutely take this cruise again! The ship was beautiful, the staff was very accommodating, always available to assist, always with a smile. Food was to be expected, always available, and always ... Read More
We had a wonderful time, and would absolutely take this cruise again! The ship was beautiful, the staff was very accommodating, always available to assist, always with a smile. Food was to be expected, always available, and always something for everyone. If we have to identify a "problem" it would be embarkation. Carnival had more than enough staff available to process all arriving guests (some staff members were even bused up from Baltimore for the day), but then, we were stuck. There was a total backup in the building, no passengers were permitted to enter the ship. We can only guess, as there were SEVERAL ships in port (New York), that maybe the ground crew at the Port of New York was having problems keeping up. Once it started moving it was all good. We had research all 4 of our ports (Boston, MA, Portland, ME, Halifax, NS Canada, Saint John, NB Canada) prior to departure and had plans on what we wanted to see a do, all was accomplished. Debarkation, there was apparently a delay with Customs, but once the ship was give the okay it went very quickly. For us it was a breeze, as we did not need to be anywhere till 12:45 we stayed on board till the end. I'm already looking forward to my next adventure with Carnival in April 2018! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Just got back yesterday from NE/Canadian cruise aboard the Sunshine. Traveled with my husband and sister in 2 inside cabins (we are all in our 60's) Here's a quick (or not so quick!) review - Embarkation was awful! ... Read More
Just got back yesterday from NE/Canadian cruise aboard the Sunshine. Traveled with my husband and sister in 2 inside cabins (we are all in our 60's) Here's a quick (or not so quick!) review - Embarkation was awful! First time I ever said that...there was a hold up that lasted about 45 minutes. That may not seem long but when you are standing in the middle of the of the long line it seemed like forever. It was very warm in there and it got pretty annoying when you saw all the agents standing around with no explanation. Once we got moving again, all was right with the world. Appreciated the express elevators going direct to the buffet on the Lido deck or the barbecue at the Taste Bar on deck 5, which is where we went. Few people and a very tasty, quick lunch. The muster drill was torture...longest I've ever been to! We left NY over 2 hours late which was kind of nice because of seeing the city with all the lights on at dusk. Cabins - Cabin 5333 and 5337 on deck 5. The cabins are pretty standard interior rooms but I found it a bit odd that there was not one piece of "artwork" in the room. Completely blank walls. Don't think we've ever stayed anywhere that didn't have at least one picture on the wall! Loved the location on deck 5!! One deck down to dinner, elevators nice and close and Ocean Plaza and the casino were about 1 minute down the hall. Michael, our steward was fine. Met him the first night when he had us fill out a form for morning service, night service or both. We choose both because I think that is what makes a cruise special/different from staying in a hotel. I like ice twice a day and love having my room freshened up twice a day. I requested extra hangers and never got them so we just doubled up a lot of clothes. Also asked for the closed captioning to be taken off the TV and that never happened...got used to it. Our toilet stopped working twice and it was fixed immediately. The water pressure is very low, not sure if that was ship wide or just our area. The room temperature was never cool enough for me! Had it all the way down and it never got below 72 degrees - I have a clock I bring aboard that shows the temperature. Bed, sheets, pillows were all very comfortable...slept like a baby! Food - I had requested a table for 3 for the 8:15 seating and when we arrived we had a table for 3 at the 6PM seating in the Sunset Restaurant. Quick call to the maitre'd and it was changed to 8PM in the Sunrise Restaurant which was awesome because it was one flight down for us, actually directly below our cabins. We had Roger, Jorge and Heriberto and they were all great! Prompt, courteous service. We ate there 5 out of 7 nights, skipping formal nights. We were next to a service station and that kind of made us feel rushed with all the waiters buzzing around. We noticed that they never asked if we wanted a beverage before dinner and only once asked if we wanted coffee with dessert. No biggy, just strange that they didn't ask. We enjoyed most of the food. Food was served hot and the portions were good sized (except the "side dishes" were pretty tiny). Buffet was standard fare, a lot of food was not hot. On the 2nd formal night, the medium rare steak was well done and the top sirloin at the carving station was extremely rare (and I LOVE rare) but was too chewy to eat. Felt terrible leaving both on my plate. Desserts were surprisingly good. Absolutely loved Guy's Burgers and the fresh made pizza - my favorite was the 4 cheese! Awesome! At lunchtime we tried the made-to-order pasta at the Pasta Bar - delicious! Also enjoyed a burrito one day and loved the Cuban bites. I wanted to make sure and try a little something from everywhere, except the pay restaurants. Never got to try the Mongolian Wok though, always a long line. We ate breakfast several mornings at the Taste Bar! Hardly anyone there and plenty of food. Very relaxing. We ate breakfast in the main dining room twice and it was excellent. Should of gone there everyday! Loved that breakfast was available until noon somewhere everyday...no rushing! Hub App - Loved it!! We bought the "chat" feature for $5 each for the week and used it all the time. Very convenient! Loved keeping an eye on our spending and it was very handy to see what was happening when. It also had the evening menus on everyday. Fantastic app!! Crew - Awesome, awesome, awesome! Everyone we encountered smiled and said hello. Everyone was more than helpful answering any question. We had a few conversations with crew about where they were from and their lives. Entertainment - Emma, the cruise director is lovely. She is very pleasant. I did think the activities were somewhat lacking though. "Your time: Laid-back Lounging by the Sea" - Open Deck, 3 Mid".... really? I don't ever remember a cruise not having a farewell show on the last night. Kind of missed that. The music around the ship was overall good. The nightly singing/dancing shows were good. Those kids work their butts off. I think Norwegian has the best entertainment with Royal in 2nd place. Just my opinion. Itinerary/Shore Excursions - I should of known better...we choose this because we have gone to Bermuda/Bahamas/Caribbean several times and decided to try something different. I never felt comfortable in this decision, especially since we're from Massachusetts and have been to Boston and Maine many, many times. I associate cruising with palm trees and balmy weather. But we figured we'd be on a ship and that would make us happy enough. So, we decided to stay onboard in Boston - it rained intermittently all day and my sister and I took advantage of the empty hot tubs. Portland - we got off the ship and walked around and did shopping. Halifax - got off the ship and strolled the river walk, went to the Maritime museum, had a "Beaver Tail" and just enjoyed the beautiful day. By far, our favorite port on this trip. Next and last was St. John. We booked the "St. Martins and Bay of Fundy" tour the night before we docked - I wanted to wait to see the weather and it was going to be another beautiful day. It cost $64.99 each and it sucked. We were picked up a little after 2:00 - there were 4 busses going to the same place. Our tour guide, Barbara, was a pleasant enough lady, just boring. She talked for the entire hour ride through residential areas (with very little scenery-unless you were on the right side of the bus then you could catch occasional views of the ocean) about Canadian facts. She was just monotone. I saw several people dozing off. We've taken lots of tours through the years and a good tour guide makes the trip! She, unfortunately, did not. When we arrived at St. Martins -"working harbour, a favorite with photographers and painters, where a lighthouse, lobster traps, fishing boats and two covered bridges create a charming scene". omg. The "lighthouse" is where the public bathrooms are - we waited 10 minutes to use it - there was a covered bridge but not what we're used to in New England. I didn't even take a picture of it. We were allowed a half hour here which was more than enough because there was nothing there! A couple of tiny stores selling local crafts and a pile of lobster traps. We then drove through the covered bridge to the Bay of Fundy when Barbara told us to hurry, if you wanted a snack, be sure to tell them you need it to go! It was a rocky beach and she told us of a legend about rocks with a complete circle around it so everyone searched for a perfect rock for good luck. We could only see one sea cave in the far off distance because it was high tide. All 3 of us thought this was an extreme waste of money and time. We talked to guest services (shore excursion desk was closed) when we returned as we were completely dissatisfied. She took all our information and told us the manger would be contacting us. No one ever did. Ship/Passengers - The ship is showing it's age here and there, especially outside. But, we loved her! It is spotless! The casino could use a smoke-eater...it is pretty smoky in there. The Limelight Lounge is the only place that wasn't great - way too small for the comedy shows. But, all in all, she's great! The passengers were a mostly older crowd, polite and friendly. Debarkation was a breeze! We self-disembark and were off the ship and in our car by 8:30! Final thoughts - We had a great week. The weather cooperated and was much warmer than anticipated and sunny! Only one bad day out of 7. I would definitely sail on the Sunshine again. Being from the Northeast, we will not be doing a New England/Canadian cruise again...been there, done that! The warm tropical breezes are more our style. Happy to answer any questions! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We always wanted to see the change of leaves in the North East, so we choose this cruise as a way to get us 'up there' in October. While the weather didn't cooperate (unseasonably warm) the cruise was good fun. Ship is ... Read More
We always wanted to see the change of leaves in the North East, so we choose this cruise as a way to get us 'up there' in October. While the weather didn't cooperate (unseasonably warm) the cruise was good fun. Ship is smaller than what we've experienced in past but not overly so. Ship sponsored excursions didn't appeal, so we only did one (Portland, ME). In all other ports we did out own thing, hiring cabs or transport available at the pier. Food in dining room was very good, as was the service of the wait staff. Ate dinner every night in the dining room. Haven't done that on a ship in a while. Also, enjoyed the Guy Fieri's burger option for lunch. Found the entertainment on the ship, especially the piano bar, lacking in quality. The dancers and shows were good - just not offered each night. Highs: food; service; cabin; itinerary (Boston; Portland; Halifax; St. John) Lows: Embarkation process; Narrower passageways; entertainment; ship excursions Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
The itinerary suited me and the price was a little less than other cruise lines but I regret that decision. Just a few days before we were due to sail they changed the times in several ports of call. I have never had that happen before! I ... Read More
The itinerary suited me and the price was a little less than other cruise lines but I regret that decision. Just a few days before we were due to sail they changed the times in several ports of call. I have never had that happen before! I had booked a non-Carnival excursion and this completely negated that choice. The cattle herd mentality of registration on embarkation set a negative tone. My worst decision was to believe a review of cabin 3143, an interior cabin with the picture window located right close to guest services. Having a window to the outside was a plus since no one ever walked in front of it. The cabin is also located a few steps from the atrium bar which doesn't quiet down until 11 PM at night. Of course, there is the frequent conversation of guests who, understandably, are not aware that there are cabins close by. NEVER pick that cabin! On the bright side, their cruise director, Emma, was unfailingly charming and kind to all. The staff, in general, were very pleasant. The real highlight, though, was the food. I have traveled on three of the other brands in the Carnival group but none of them have equaled the quality and taste of this ship's cuisine both in variety and taste. The shows are very good, too. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Arrived before our check in time of 11:30, went smoothly, however we did have to wait to board, it was 12:30 or so. Room was ready at 1:30, cabin stewart was very nice. He took care of all our requests and called us by name, ask how our ... Read More
Arrived before our check in time of 11:30, went smoothly, however we did have to wait to board, it was 12:30 or so. Room was ready at 1:30, cabin stewart was very nice. He took care of all our requests and called us by name, ask how our day and dinner was. We only did one cruise excursion it was in St. John, it was ok, informative, the bus was full and space tight. Our guide was a cute little older lady dressed in period clothing. With the exception of one night, the food in the dining room was very good, service was good, staff friendly and called us by name. Shows were good, there was plenty of seating, the theatre was never full at the shows we attended, bar service was prompt. Enjoyed days when we played trivia with other guests. The only thing is there was not bar service we we attended functions in the Ocean Plaze during the day, would be nice to get a coke at that time. The boat was rocky, but that was just Mother Nature. There were two days when some of us noticed that the cruise director did not announce that we had arrived in port and had been cleared by customs and you could leave the ship, someone on a 1st cruise may have not known to ask if debarkation was ready. The biggest draw back was embarking, we had #10 tags and we still did not get off the ship until 10:30, which made a long day driving home. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
The holiday included flight to Toronto, Canada,2 nights in Niagr, AMTRAK to New York 7 2 nights there & the Cruise up the East Coast to Canada & return to New York with flights home. The Embarkation wasn't that good but we ... Read More
The holiday included flight to Toronto, Canada,2 nights in Niagr, AMTRAK to New York 7 2 nights there & the Cruise up the East Coast to Canada & return to New York with flights home. The Embarkation wasn't that good but we got on board by about 1pm. The ship was delayed leaving New York until 7.30ish which was great. The New York Sky line was fabulous in the Night sky as was the Statue of Liberty as we passed by. The Cabin was an inside cabin which was as good as many others & no complaints. We had opted for Anytime Dining as we like to sit with others & enjoy their Company. However every night we tried this but when we got to the dining room we were set to eat alone. On one occasion with delight the young lady arranging the seating said with a smile 'Yes we have a sharing table for you tonight'. Of we followed the young lady to the back of the restaurant & on reaching the table the couple on the table made it know in no uncertain terms that they did not want to share with anyone. We then had the walk of shame back to the table seating area!! The food was not as good as we had hoped there did not seem to be much choice as we have experienced on other ships. And as for the DRESS CODE it was a joke. I would say that 20% of men were in shorts & flip flops in the Dining Room. I pointed this out to the Head of the Restaurant who just shrugged his shoulders & said he would not be thanked for turning away so many customers. So much for the Celebrity Clothing Policy. The entertainment however was one of the best night shows I have seen onboard for a little while & the Comedians were also very good. Overall then an OK Cruise the ports we had visited before & did not take up any excursions & did our own thing which you could do in most ports. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This was my second cruise on the Sunshine, so I knew about the wacky layout (you can't get anywhere on 3 - use deck five or 9 to position yourself fore/mid/aft, then take the appropriate elevator bank.) and didn't expect a ... Read More
This was my second cruise on the Sunshine, so I knew about the wacky layout (you can't get anywhere on 3 - use deck five or 9 to position yourself fore/mid/aft, then take the appropriate elevator bank.) and didn't expect a million bells and whistles. Its a decent ship - not so small you get bored, not so big that you get tired walking to the other end of it. Its clean, and the new hand washing stations are cool (and a big draw for a 2 year old.) The cabin was a disaster - Carnival staff outright lied when they said it would be quiet enough for me to have a child in, and we were offered NOTHING for having to give up our room for a day and a half while it was dried out from the toilet overflowing and not stopping. Dining was meh. Having a very active toddler along always means that you get forced into eating on her schedule, so we rolled with that and didn't sit down to dinner every night. I appreciated that there was always something available, I get way less picky when she needs a snack right now, not 15 minutes from now. The taco bar and nearby soft serve station were great - the staff was happy and energetic and took good care of us every time. We did drop the baby off at camp and go to the steakhouse and Cucina. The steakhouse chef is enamored with fungus - everything was mushroom or blue cheese based. I don't eat either, so it limited my enjoyment, my husband said the food was very good. Cucina was perfect - beautiful view, friendly service, great food. The pastry chef wrapped our desserts to go so we could catch a show, and added an extra sweet for the toddler. As far as her experience went - she had a blast. She wanted to go out and party every night. She loved the music and dancing, the handwashing stations, the kid's camp, the bartenders, the playground on 10, the pool... everything except the fog horn. The staff around the boat was great with her and with us when we had to change plans to accommodate the moods of a non sleeping 2 year old. The Lido staff found chocolate milk and extra napkins with a smile - and would talk with her about her day and activities. Camp Carnival was better than we expected, and we used it less than we thought we would. The Camp staff just took care of her - called us when she couldn't handle anything anymore, and changed her when she had a potty accident, and made sure she had fun as one of their youngest campers. Several times they made up goody bags for her even when she didn't come for that session's activity. So many of the general staff were greeting her by name and high fiving her on the way off the boat that the couple behind us in line joked it was like following a celebrity. The shows we caught were good, the magician was excellent and good with the crowd. The strings were a bit off, but keeping strings in tune in that kind of humidity is a bear. Guest Services was awful. Wouldn't answer a phone - once I managed to get downstairs and there were multiple people at the desk with no line, so I guess they just don't like to answer the phone? Never once asked what they could do to help or improve the situation, just looked at and typed into their computers and did ... things... I had no input or understanding. Very cold. Accused me of not reading the ship's map when I mentioned I was concerned about being lied to about the noise - then offered to shut a fire door to keep it down. Didn't shut any door that night. When I went back (again, and again, and again) the same staff member said that his map wasn't accurate and they couldn't shut the fire door by my cabin, but another one further down. Said I could take it up with the Safety Officer, but didn't tell me how to get ahold of them or offer to arrange that discussion. Every issue was a long wait with either a sleeping child I was desperate to keep asleep (in a noisy lobby) or a hyper child who I couldn't let run around. I enjoyed the good family time, but I hate to think what Carnival would fail to do if anything more serious than running sewage or all night noise issues came up. You're on your own, buyer beware, wild west style with Carnival, that was highlighted for me this trip. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Went on this trip with my husband, 2 brothers and their spouses, all in our 60's. We enjoyed our time together and it's hard to complain about a cruise, but it wasn't our favorite. We all had balcony cabins and were ... Read More
Went on this trip with my husband, 2 brothers and their spouses, all in our 60's. We enjoyed our time together and it's hard to complain about a cruise, but it wasn't our favorite. We all had balcony cabins and were happy to have a shower that was larger than what we were used to, but we had trouble not flooding the floor each time we showered. There is a drain in the shower and one right outside it and now I know why. The shower curtain seemed too short to contain the water, so don't leave anything on the floor when you hop in the shower. Otherwise, our bed was very comfortable and the room was small but fine. Our cabin steward, Tennyson, was nice and efficient. Embarkation in NYC went pretty smoothly, although their process could be a little more efficient when issuing the cruise card. The worst part were the cars, cabs and people all trying to embark and disembark at the same time along the curb with people going every which way. It was crazy! We had great weather for Boston and Portland and enjoyed our tours both places, although I would suggest that Carnival's tour let you get off the bus for 10 minutes or so as they show you the beaches in Kennebunkport. It would be nice to have time to get out and take pictures of the Bush compound too but I guess the road is too narrow for the bus to stop. Fog rolled in and for the next 2 days, we could barely see the sea from our balcony and the fog horn had to blast so often that you couldn't stand to spend time outside on the Lido deck (nothing could be done, but it sent everyone indoors for about 2 days). We finally had sunshine again on our final sea day, but it got so breezy by noon that we went back inside again. The layout of the ship is a little strange. We got used to the Lido Marketplace and usually ate in the Havana Bar area, although it was hard to find a seat anywhere a couple of times. The food was good, some very good, but not actually great. My hubby's favorite were the burgers from Guy's and we ate at JiJi one evening and loved it. We have sailed Princess most often and we liked the food and desserts better there. We enjoyed all of the Production shows except the Latin Night but it was pretty loud. Didn't get to see the comedians because most of the PG shows were at 7 while were were still eating and I wasn't interested in the R rated shows which were later. The crew was nice but we noticed that it was difficult to get someone to bring you a drink, even when out on deck, and they weren't particularly friendly either. We usually had to walk over to the bar instead. In the buffet area, you usually have to go get your own drinks and refills which was different than what we had experienced on Princess. We had early dining and had wonderful service from Roger, Margo and Jorge. They were friendly, very attentive and fun...first rate! We usually like anytime dining when it's just the two of us, but it was great getting to spend time with family every evening and catch up on the day. We tried to not compare this trip to others, but it was hard not to. I'll be going back to Princess next time, but it wasn't any fault of our steward or waiters. We just liked the way many things are done better on Princess. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This is the second time we took this cruise. We chose it to avoid flying and the Caribbean during hurricane season. Jose did rough up the seas for us, but it It did not impact our fun. We drove to the port so parking was easy. We ... Read More
This is the second time we took this cruise. We chose it to avoid flying and the Caribbean during hurricane season. Jose did rough up the seas for us, but it It did not impact our fun. We drove to the port so parking was easy. We purchased Faster to the fun so as soon as we checked in we went straight onboard. We dropped off our bags and headed to the buffet before the masses. The cabin was a typical inside, no frills but adaquate. We dined in the steakhouse on the first night. Excellent service and food. All our other dinners were in the dining room. We had your time dining so we checked in on deck 5 before proceeding to the restaurant. Most nights we did not have to wait more than 10 minutes. Some nights we were sent right down. The staff were excellent. We went to the productions shows, magician and comedy shows. All were very entertaining. Emma the cruise director was energetic and highly visible throughout the cruise. Overall we really enjoyed the cruise and have no issues to complain about. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and the time of year. We were celebrating our 10 year anniversary and were happy to be travelling while the kids were in school. The Sunshine is a lovely ship and the added dining experiences were ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and the time of year. We were celebrating our 10 year anniversary and were happy to be travelling while the kids were in school. The Sunshine is a lovely ship and the added dining experiences were wonderful. The steak house and bonsai sushi were exceptional and priced very reasonably. The service as always was fantastic and the staff in the Steak House and Main Dining Room made a pretty big deal for us with cake and singing for our anniversary. How fun! It was also great to meet up with members of the Cruise Critic community and nice of Carnival to donate prizes etc. Carnival organized a Cruise Critic Meet & Mingle and it was great to meet everyone from the Roll Call in person. Overall a fabulous time despite some rough seas due to hurricane Jose. Everyone came together and the captain navigated us safely through. It is too bad the Sunshine is leaving New York because I would easily book this ship again on this Canada and New England itinerary. Aside from a few annoying issues with our names not being on the mainfests for the airport transfers it was an incredibly enjoyable cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
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