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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We have taken 5 cruises on Celebrity and Holland America; this was our first cruise on Carnival. Overall, we had a great time. As you might expect, the Carnival cruise cost about 70% of the price of cruising on the other lines, and ... Read More
We have taken 5 cruises on Celebrity and Holland America; this was our first cruise on Carnival. Overall, we had a great time. As you might expect, the Carnival cruise cost about 70% of the price of cruising on the other lines, and the food/service/entertainment was about 70% of the caliber of the other cruises. The cabin was exactly the same as the other cruises. So -- you get what you pay for. Overall, I would give the Carnival Sunshine high marks for a budget cruise experience! I would liken the difference in food to that between a Waffle House/Cracker Barrel (Carnival) and an Outback Steakhouse/Morton's (Celebrity/Holland America). GOOD: Beds were great. We had an aft balcony room on the 6th deck -- VERY quiet. Not much walk-by foot traffic and no noise from the parties going on. Room was nicely decorated and about the same as every other balcony room we have ever stayed in. The aft balcony was substantially larger than other balconies on the side of the ship. The dining room food was good and service was attentive although slow. The dining rooms opened on time or slightly before the appointed time! TIP: on sea days, the main dining room offers a sea brunch that allows you to order "steak and eggs" (filet) with no extra charge! You can get soft-service ice cream 24 hours a day as well as pizza. We LOVED the Mexican food station (made-to-order burritos and tacos with an impressive salsa bar), as well as the hamburger station. Deli food was good. The photographers as a whole turned out a higher quality of photos than some other ships I have been on. BAD: The buffet area (Lido deck) had grossly insufficient seating for all of the people on board. It was very difficult to find a place to sit there every meal. The buffet food as a whole was hit and miss: fried chicken was painfully crispy; lots of chicken nuggets and strips; not a very wide salad bar (although what there was, was fresh and tasty). Desserts were okay and they had a sugar-free one every day. the make-your own Asian bar was a huge disappointment -- small selection and overly watery over-cooked veggies. We went days without actually seeing our room attendant. He did his job but nothing more. I had the sense that they were stretched pretty thin. Ridiculously long line for customer service many days -- and only two people working, although there was room for additional personnel. My husband said that the two hot tubs on the 9th deck were only marginally warm. The adult only one on deck 14 is hotter (but no one under age 21 is allowed). OTHER: Milk only available for breakfast, so stock up and store any in your in-room fridge if you want some later in the day. As others have said, the ship is dated. Normally this does not bother me in the least, but there were several signs in our room of serious wear. For example, the door handle to balcony was partially disconnected from the door. There was a LOT of rust around the edges of the balcony. The sink looked permanently stained (we thought at first that it had not been cleaned well -- looked like soap scum). There was a minor odor of rotting wood (the balcony has wood on the floor and it was wet for a lot of our trip). I did not like the fact that you could not buy packages of photos. There was no volume discount -- every single photo was the same price as the first one you bought. We are not drinkers or gamblers, so there was a lot of activity on the boat that we did not get involved in. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We had never been to Canada and this cruise was the answer, or was it?? Upon arriving at LaGuardia Airport in New York, the 2 of us stood around for over an hour waiting for a Carnival Representative to greet us. Once this happened ... Read More
We had never been to Canada and this cruise was the answer, or was it?? Upon arriving at LaGuardia Airport in New York, the 2 of us stood around for over an hour waiting for a Carnival Representative to greet us. Once this happened there was confusion on how we were going to be transported to the Carnival Sunshine. After another wait, we got on a van and rode through New York for at least an hour. Upon arriving at the ship we had to go though security and fill out the customs card before going any farther. After getting all the paperwork completed to Carnival"s satisfaction we made it the Serentity Cabin, smaller than we had anticipated. The times we went to the Lido Deck, the food was not warm and not near enough seating for the 3,000 plus cruisers. The few visits we made to the Sunset Restaurant, service was slow, and the food was just O K, each night we were there, the food was basically the same just a different place on the menu. We took excursions into Boston, Portland and Saint John(Canada), we cancelled our shore excursion into Halifax. During this 7 day cruise the weather was terrible, remnants of a dying Hurricane, the ship rocked and swayed, fog was thick and temperatures were cool, lounged only 2 days on the adults only Serenity Deck. The most positive part of this disappointing cruise was the Room Stewart, very friendly, and accommodating. Also Guy's Burgers were wonderful and the hot chocolate on the Lido deck is to die for!!! After taking 8 Carnival Cruises, it is still the same mass confusion during debarktation, we had an early flight out of New York and people with afternoon flights were pushing and shoving to get to bus. Will Carnival ever get it right?? After standing in line for the bus, Carnival Personnel were taking people from behind us in line and putting them onto another bus. Finally, we were onboard and riding through New York to the airport. Upon arriving at the airport, more confusion by the bus driver, wasn't sure of the right drop off terminal. Everyrone departed and had to assist the driver in removing their luggage from underneath the bus. We rushed to the American Airlines Terminal and checked in for a return home. As for going on The Carnival Sunshine, absolutely not!!!! This ship is old, needs updating and/or to be retired!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
This was our 3rd Carnival cruise and we had a great time. The itinerary and timing was perfect for our 7 night getaway. We had perfect weather between all the disturbances in the Atlantic. The Sunshine and its crew made for a great ... Read More
This was our 3rd Carnival cruise and we had a great time. The itinerary and timing was perfect for our 7 night getaway. We had perfect weather between all the disturbances in the Atlantic. The Sunshine and its crew made for a great trip. We really like Carnival because it really does have the fun ships! The Cruise Director was very informational and she made the trip fun whether you participated or watched others getting involved in the activities. The performers in the show were excellent and the 80's Rock Theme one night was our favorite. (Yeah we were rock and rollers before we became grandparents) We had balcony cabin. While the ship is a little dated and it can be noticed in spots the steward and crew made us feel welcome and they delivered service with a smile. The food was pretty good. We mainly dined in the MDR in the evenings upon our return from port or the day at sea. The Lido Deck buffet was nothing to write home about but you could always find something good for your taste. The outstanding feature of Sunshine is its 3 level Serenity Deck. Great feature, we wish it was on our next planned cruise out of New Orleans. There was nothing better than after returning from port, going up to the top of the Serenity with a cold drink to people watch and enjoy the view as the ship left port. Then down for dinner and the rest of our evening. Nice job Carnival! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
This was a free cruise from a local casino. Our cabin Stewart was odd. I saw him the first day and he quickly asked if we really needed turn down service. I said I don't know yet. He quickly pulled out a form for me to initial and kept ... Read More
This was a free cruise from a local casino. Our cabin Stewart was odd. I saw him the first day and he quickly asked if we really needed turn down service. I said I don't know yet. He quickly pulled out a form for me to initial and kept talking about it over and over. I initialed and said "fine!". He turned, left and I never saw him again. Our cabin was made up early each day with towel animals. However we didn't get dailies for two days! I had to call twice and finally they were placed under our door each night. On the last day we did not receive our luggage tags. Had to call twice. A couple of hours later they arrived. The only other frustration was room service breakfast. First we had no order cards for 2 days. Then twice we ordered coffee and bagels for 7 am and they never arrived. I take medication and need to have something to eat first. This was a real problem for me. Everything else was great! The food, entertainment and contests were wonderful. Bar service always around. We had a great time, except for the cabin issues. Casino was small, but fun. I've been on 9 cruises in the last year, mostly NCL and I always tipped the cabin Stewart extra on the last day because they went above and beyond. Not on this cruise. He didn't deserve it at all. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
Small public areas, such as atrium and theater. Too many passengers for small spaces. Food was not great on buffet or in the main dining room. Our toilet was dirty when we embarked. We could not plug into the electrical outlet for ... Read More
Small public areas, such as atrium and theater. Too many passengers for small spaces. Food was not great on buffet or in the main dining room. Our toilet was dirty when we embarked. We could not plug into the electrical outlet for some reason. The room steward brought us an extension cord but that would not fit into the electrical outlet either. Toilet flushed 2 to 3 times on it's own after pushing it to flush once. Did not like the fact that there was no mini fridge in the cabin, while some other cabins had them. Only one night table was in the room. The remote functions were not accurate, click on menu and you got volume control. We were never able to access our sail and sign account on the TV. The steward brought us another remote but it had the same issue. A disappointing cruise due to the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
We wanted to take this cruise so we could experience the New England coastal cities. The Sunshine was better than what others have said. There was plenty of space and we always got into any show we wanted. The ship is smaller than the ... Read More
We wanted to take this cruise so we could experience the New England coastal cities. The Sunshine was better than what others have said. There was plenty of space and we always got into any show we wanted. The ship is smaller than the Dream class ships, but has all the features. The Ocean Plaza, which we have always enjoyed, next to the Red Frog Pub, which we have also always enjoyed, and the Alchemy Bar was a center of activities. This area was a favorite! The band at the Ocean Plaza was outstanding. The Cruise Critic gathering had only about twelve people, but we enjoyed everyone we met. The Santuary was also a favorite and we were able to easily find chairs. The whirlpool was popular, but we could always fit in or someone would leave giving us a short wait. The pool with the waterfall was very popular. The main dining room had great food and a good choise every night. The service was warm and attentive. The Lido at lunch also had a good choice and there was always something different and delicious! When we visited at dinner, as always, they offered most of what the main dinning room offered plus other dishes that were popular. Our room was clean and our steward was kind, courteous and attentive. The shows we enjoyed and were quite good. The comedy show were good with four different comedians! We enjoyed the PG shows the best. The ports were good for us as we like to walk and learn the history of each port. Disembarkation was the quickest we ever had, and the Customs agent the kindest and quickest we ever had. This cruise was a great experience on a great ship. Would love to do it again! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
I chose to take this cruise as I had to cancel one earlier in the year due to my DH's illness. We did this itiniery two years ago and enjoyed all the ports. This time I traveled with my two best friends and we had a balcony cabin for three ... Read More
I chose to take this cruise as I had to cancel one earlier in the year due to my DH's illness. We did this itiniery two years ago and enjoyed all the ports. This time I traveled with my two best friends and we had a balcony cabin for three which worked out just fine. I was pleasantly surprised on how much we liked the Sunshine. I had read some negative reviews prior to sailing. Sure, there might be some rust on the balconies and windows might need some re-caulking, but those type of issues are pretty minor. The staff was one of the friendliest I had ever encountered on my 20 cruises. Loved the serenity deck and the Havana Bar. Would not hesitate to sail on her again! The housekeeping staff was awesome Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Honestly, I've only been on a total of 4 cruises and 2 of them were when I was a kid. With that said, I boarded the Carnival Sunshine and was impressed with the beauty of the ship inside, as well as outside. Upon boarding, I was able to ... Read More
Honestly, I've only been on a total of 4 cruises and 2 of them were when I was a kid. With that said, I boarded the Carnival Sunshine and was impressed with the beauty of the ship inside, as well as outside. Upon boarding, I was able to enjoy a delightful lunch on the Lido Deck and then went to my cabin once they announced that passengers could do so. I was impressed with the cleanliness of the Cabin and on the way to the Muster Drill, I asked the Cabin Steward for a couple of items,which were delivered upon my return. After the Muster Drill I went to the spa where I took advantage of a discounted offer on the "Mens Grooming Treatment", which included a haircut that I really didn't need however I won't need another haircut until November. After the treatment, of courses was the obligatory sales pitch, which I had expected from my last cruise. I politely declined and went on my way. While I I was receiving the treatment, I found out that I had won a $50 credit to use in the spa, which I did the next day on teeth whiting and again I politely declined buying products. I also bought a spa pass for the cruise to use the "Thermal Spa", which was my favorite part of being on board the ship. I was in there on a daily basis beginning on the second day. The heated chairs were wonderful. I chose the "You're Time Dining" for dinner, which I had no issues being seated once I checked in. I had dinner in the Sunrise Dining Room all, but two nights, which I ate at the Lido Buffet due to wanting to see a movie that was being shown in the pool area. In terms of other entertainment options, there was a nightly stage show, which looked like an upgrade to my previous cruise in 2014 however I opted for other things. The comedians on board were hysterical and the lounge singers were also good. I only have one small complaint and that is with an activity called LGBT gathering. On my last cruise there was scheduled mainly in the late afternoon and this time they were scheduled at nighttime when I had early morning excursions and highlighting a stereotype about the LGBT Community at large by having each one in a bar. Even with the one small complaint this was an amazing cruise on a terrific boat. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
Carnival tried but just couldn’t quite pull it off. Transport from LGA was on time but the driver was not used to driving in NYC. It took an hour and a half to get to the port. The cabin was ready and almost clean. Notified in ... Read More
Carnival tried but just couldn’t quite pull it off. Transport from LGA was on time but the driver was not used to driving in NYC. It took an hour and a half to get to the port. The cabin was ready and almost clean. Notified in advance, Carnival dining service failed to take notice of my food allergy and every meal was an exercise in finding food. The Hop-on/Hop-off excursions were an exhausting time of breathing bus fumes or waiting. The guide in Portland was delightful. The St. John and Halifax guides sounded tired. The Kennebunkport tour was fun. The “art auction” is not really an auction but rather a fast and loud sale. The casino was smoke filled. Disembarkation is where true misery resides. Regardless of advance reservation for a wheelchair, we waited for two hours while loud obnoxious people got chairs and nice people did not. Finally, after most people had gone off the ship, we were helped into (more bus fumes) and a mad dash to the airport -- total time from 8:30am-2:00pm. We were minutes away from missing our flight. Some others missed theirs entirely. I will never do another Carnival cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
I loved the Carnival Sunshine! Yes, it is a smaller ship but very clean and I loved the hand washing stations. We did late assigned dining- overall the food was very good and the wait staff was excellent- Go Team Roger, Jorge and Margo!! ... Read More
I loved the Carnival Sunshine! Yes, it is a smaller ship but very clean and I loved the hand washing stations. We did late assigned dining- overall the food was very good and the wait staff was excellent- Go Team Roger, Jorge and Margo!! For my birthday cellebration we had dinner in the steak house- OMG it was so good and I had passed going to the steak house on previous cruises but it was a great value for the money so I will not pass an opportunity to eat there again.The cruise director Emma was funny and energic and I will miss hearing "Hello Lovelies", her energy made you want to join in on all the activities. Ports: Boston- never enough time to see everything, so much history- did the hop on/hop off through the whole loop then got off and walked some of the freedom trail. Portland- just got off and walked around, nice port. St John- did the Best of St John tour, my least favorite port but the people were very nice. Halifax- did the Peggy Cove and Titanic tour- lots of history but mostly on the bus- my favorite port. Read Less
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