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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
1 Helpful Vote
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
1 Helpful Vote
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! First time I ... 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 smaller than what ... 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
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 ... 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
2 Helpful Votes
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
1 Helpful Vote
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 got on ... 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
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