1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Carnival Cruise Line
  4. Carnival Cruise Line Cruise Reviews
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Carnival Sunshine - I was on the Sunshine in January 2018, out of Port Canaveral and went to Aruba, Bonaire, and was planned for Grand Turk but got re-routed to Dominican Republic/Amber Cove (a nice stop) because of two medical issues. ... Read More
Carnival Sunshine - I was on the Sunshine in January 2018, out of Port Canaveral and went to Aruba, Bonaire, and was planned for Grand Turk but got re-routed to Dominican Republic/Amber Cove (a nice stop) because of two medical issues. Though we couldn’t snorkel at Amber Cove, l I thought the island was beautiful, the shopping area looked brand new and there is a very nice resort area with swimming, chairs, zip lines, and a sky bar on the side of the hill with great views. The locals were extremely friendly, I’ve been to other islands where that’s not always the case. No hard sells. Aruba - Didn’t think the island itself was all that interesting looking, lot of construction going on too. We took a bus to Boca Catalina beach, and snorkeled from there. It was great fun. The bus ride is 2.50 or 2.60 per ride, cash only. Tell the driver where you want to get off and ask where to wait for the return bus. Way cheaper than a cab and a good way to see the island like a “local”. Bonaire - Gorgeous lush island. Shopping areas near pier, interesting jewelry and other items. Locals very friendly. We took a snorkel trip on a Sailboat with Compass. It was amazing. Only about 15 people on the boat, the captain shared LOTS of info about Bonaire, as well as other islands..she was funny, and interesting hearing about how her life got her to Bonaire. The crew were wonderful...after snorkeling there was an open bar and free snacks. It was an amazing trip and they posted pics on their facebook page to view when we got home. Ship Layout - To me it felt like whenever you were in public areas, it was quite congested. Pool area, waiting in lines, Bar areas where the activities took place. There was no mid-deck you could walk all the way around the ship. Deck three was the only outside deck for passengers (except the top of the ship) and you could only walk back and forth on the deck, not around. We wandered onto deck 5 which DID go all the way around but an officer came out and told us it was crew only. NO INSIDE SIGNS ON THE DOOR SAYING THAT! There was a very short wrap around deck up top in the sports area. Atrium - there was a huge round bar in the atrium, the area was very nice and conducive to fun and interacting. The Cruise Director held group activities there. Serenity Area - top deck, adult only, comfy chair options, bar service. Clam shell seats were nice but the cushions kept sliding off! Think they needed fixing. A very small pool, really not a pool, more like a hot tub sized hole with a waterfall that fed into it. Pretty, but not really functional. HAVANA BAR = We spent lots of time here for meals and just hanging out. Very nice spot. Food - We ate two times in main dining room, both times the meal was hot and delicious, and service was very good..waitstaff and hostesses great. We did Anytime Dining and lined up to sign up for a time and a beeper. The system seemed to work well. It was a good idea to have the podium on a different deck than the dining room so not everyone was hanging around outside the dining room, and there really weren’t any close by bars for people to hang out nearby while waiting. There were premium items on the menu like prime rib, filet mignon that you paid 20.00 for, don’t think I’ve ever seen that on a cruise menu before this. Buffet food was usually hot and good, though I felt that the selection was quite limited compared to other ships I’ve been on. Entertainment -staff were really good. Lots of talent. The cruise director was everywhere and when he walked into an area, you knew that fun would follow. The two shows we saw were very good, and could be because the themes (70’s and 80’s rock and Studio 54/Disco era) appealed to the average age group (in other words, we were all old!). But costuming, singing, choreography were all excellent. Main stage theater - smaller than I’ve seen on other ships, but side seating and balconies provided good viewing. The floor seating was movable chairs, not your regular theater seating so not much of an angle on the floor, in other words if you are short, you can’t see over the heads in front of you....just sit in the side seating that is raised. But the movable seating and smaller sized theater turned out to be a great way for entertainment staff to turn it into an intimate experience. The magician’s act, though interesting, felt like a big advertisement for his land shows and to sell his DVDs. Not impressed. The comedy club seating is weird like others have said, some seats wrap around the sides into the back of the room so you can’t see the stage. We got there 1 hour early to get preferred seats. When you left the earlier show, the line was enormous waiting to get into the theater for the next show. Comedians were pretty good. Piano Bar - It was the best piano bar experience I’ve ever had. The piano man had a great, dry sense of humor and knew how to read the audience. He handled an obnoxious group really well...BRAVO DUDE! Cabin - We had inside cabins on deck one. Clean and comfy. No fridge, no ice bucket, had to ask for one, my sis and hubby were next door, asked for one several times but never got it. No Hair Conditioner or moisturizer provided and no conditioner in the ship store, so bring yours! There were shampoo and gel dispensers in the shower and one small bar of soap. Shower curtain too short...floor got soaked. I clipped some clothespins on the bottom to hold it down and it seemed to help. There was a chair in my cabin, but none in my sister’s cabin...only the bed, end table, and a small bench for the vanity. Cabin stewards were good, quick and kept the cabin nice, always pleasant. Morning Room Service came on time, sometimes earlier than time requested, but that’s okay! Room service menu had some free items, but lots of items you had to pay for like pizza, wings, etc. Got the garlic parmesan wings on the last night and they were delicious. That being said, let me provide some not so great things: Casino - I can’t believe it but smoking is allowed “at the bar” (that’s a joke). It was horrible, people were walking through with their shirts over their faces. The smoke drifted out of the casino into outer areas and even down the steps to lower levers. It was just awful, and you had to walk through the casino to get to preferred areas. The only way to avoid it was to go down or up a deck and go around. Pool - this had to be the world’s smallest cruise ship pool. Kids loved it, but when an adult got in it, they looked like an adult in a kiddie pool...definitely no swimming! Lots of people leaving towels on chairs and disappearing, and the chairs have to be the most uncomfortable I’ve ever experienced. Weird angle, no cushions, smashed up against each other with no room for space in between to get up and down unless you moved to an upper deck. Activites - There were the usual trivia sessions which I no longer go to. People just get so competitive and it feels too much like work! Some game activities took place we went to watch but nothing spectacular...we kept ourselves busy during the day and sometimes at night playing cards and games from the library, and relaxing and reading. Buffet - limited selection - but there is a deli counter and pizza counter as well in the area. Try Havana bar for breakfast as well as lunch, the italian place and JiJi’s (or something like that) a mongolian food line, are there and are free for lunch and very good. Staff - Most were very friendly. But an unusual number of not so friendly, downright rude staff. Guest Services, Piano Bar bartender and waiter, and the Deli worker (a woman) in particular were awful...distant, not friendly or kind. It often felt like they were tired of having tourists on the ship... Cabin TV selection - I know many will say “you’re not there to watch tv!!!!” but here goes. There was very limited selection of channels..and the same movies ran all week, but they didn’t run continually...it think a movie started every couple hours and in between it was a constant repeat of previews for those movies, over and over and over and over again :) There were some channels with old sitcoms. And a few news channels of course. Other than the cruise related channels that’s it. And my sister’s TV in the cabin next door, didn’t even have all of the channels...weird. Embarking - You are issued a specific time to embark. We had 12:30 and waited to get to the port until then. It was packed! So I have no idea how that was supposed to work. Disembarking - Had to get out of cabin HOURS ahead of time to get off of ship...but I know this is usually the most uncomfortable parts of a cruise. IN SUMMARY: Any time on a cruise is better than being at work! We had a wonderful time, ate some good food, visited some nice islands, did some great snorkeling, enjoyed some good shows. Will I do another Carnival? Maybe. Will I do this ship again, probably not. There are enough other ships out there to explore and this ship did not do anything to make me want to try it again, it didn’t really ADD anything to our experience like other ships have. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Our cruise leaving San Juan was cancelled so we booked this in November so sort of last minute.... needless to say we ended up with dinner at 8:15 in the dining room ( not a hot meal all week long ) I kind a think this is to get u to ... Read More
Our cruise leaving San Juan was cancelled so we booked this in November so sort of last minute.... needless to say we ended up with dinner at 8:15 in the dining room ( not a hot meal all week long ) I kind a think this is to get u to pay for the steakhouse and pasta restaurants . getting on and off the boat- I don't not know why the have times for people - when they say ok everyone else can go - so all get on/off at once.( Long lines) The comedian did not show up one night and the other comedian shows were not good. The balcony cabin was ok- the steward was good however my husband and I do not require a lot of maintenance ... We did visit the steak house for dinner one night and that was great and the past bar was free at lunch(x3) and these were the only hot meals we received on the boat..... Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
We decided to take another cruise for this year's vacation. Our party consisted of myself and my husband, along with my 22 yr old daughter and her boyfriend. We live near the port, so we didn't have far to travel to get on board. The ... Read More
We decided to take another cruise for this year's vacation. Our party consisted of myself and my husband, along with my 22 yr old daughter and her boyfriend. We live near the port, so we didn't have far to travel to get on board. The embarkation and debarkation went smoothly. The ship itself is nice and very clean. The cabins were the same as on every other ship but we also had a mini frig in the room. The food was good for the most part. We did not enjoy Guys Ig n BBQ meal. It is open only on sea days from 12-2:30. After waiting all week, we were able to try it. We were very disappointed in all of the food from that restaurant. We decided to try Cocina del Capitano. Although it is an additional $15 per person, it was very good and well worth the money. We were only able to eat about half of the portion! The entertainment staff was really good. The shows were ok, nothing to brag about. The singing was off key, so much that on the 4th night, and thereafter, we left in the middle of the show. The shore excursions were good. Especially the snorkeling on the reef in Belize. Beautiful water and many different types of sea lives. I would definitely go again. The only thing we didn;t like was we found the staff to be less friendly than we experienced on previous Carnival ships. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
We joined the Carnival Sunshine from Cape Canaveral,FL to visit Aduba, Bonaire and Grand Turk.. I will segment this review in order to provide the best story of our experience. Boarding: I have mobility issues, but do not use ... Read More
We joined the Carnival Sunshine from Cape Canaveral,FL to visit Aduba, Bonaire and Grand Turk.. I will segment this review in order to provide the best story of our experience. Boarding: I have mobility issues, but do not use walkers/wheelchairs or powered scooters - normally I can walk the distances needed to board without major issue. This time was different as the walk to the terminal was long and up ramps. By the time we reached the security check point, it was pretty apparent that I was having some distress. Once I got through security, the Carnival shore support personnel noticed that I was having issues and did everything they could to make my boarding comfortable by providing a wheelchair which I did not actually ask for - they provided it. In essence, the shore side personnel were on the ball and helped me tremendously. Accomodations: The ship itself is showing its age - wood refinishing was needed in all areas of the ship exposed to the weather. A lot of rust on the balconies,in corners, etc. In places (notably near the entrances to the open Lido deck area), the floor was pitted and uneven - steel drains needed to be replaced as they were curved down and not even with the surrounding deck. In some places the carpet was worn although still serviceable - it was more an esthetic problem in truth. It was obvious that the ship needs a refitting. Room: Small, no refrigerator, wardrobe doors were loose and would open and close with ship movement,balcony door handle was very hard to open (reported to the Steward, but it wasn't fixed or repaired), bathroom was quite large, but the door wouldn't stay open. The bed was adequate, the TV mount was loose (also reported - no fix). As far as in room TV service, only CNN/HLN, TBS (spanish) and TCM were available. This is one area in which Carnival has created itself an issue. I will say that our cabin steward was attentive and very efficient - that was a plus. The room was clean, the bathroom sparkling so even with the other issues, it was a place to spend the night. Food: There aren't enough bad things to say about the food on this voyage. We did our time dining, but it often took a minimum of an hour to order, eat, dessert and leave. The wait staff had a tendency to order the food from the kitchen in bunches - several tables at the same time which created problems with hot food coming warm and warm food cold. I had a lasagna which was a congealed mass of fat - couldn't eat it. The Lido buffet was better with a variety of breakfast, lunch and dinner choices. I'm not sure what the issue was with the Our Time Dining. We did notice bread plates and saucers being wiped and reused which was reported to the office in charge. Excursions: Our first stop was Aruba - we did the Top Ten tour (bus tour) which really turned out to be a Top Six with meaningless stops for uninteresting sites. We spent more time driving than actually touring. This tour was run by De Palm Tours and was not worth the money spent. Second stop was Bonaire and we did the trolly tour which was wonderful, informative and fun. The Tour guide was Anita and she did a terrific job. Unfortunately, our third stop was Grand Turk, but the ship was diverted to the Dominican Republic due to two medical emergencies - went to Amber Cove instead and that was nice - not a place I'd return to again though. Overall, the trip was adequate. As most January passages, the weather played a big part and the ship captain did his best, weather and sea state is out of his control Normally, I'm not bothered by ships moving as I've spent most of my life on the water including a stint as a Charter Captain, but this time it was different. The motion was constant when at sea and made the balcony unusable - which is not Carnival's fault. Self inflicted wounds: The weekend we left was the NFL League championships until mid-day on Sunday, nobody was going to be able to see the game and there were no plans to make the game available. There must have been a lot of complaints because "arrangements were made" to show the first game on the outdoor screen, but not the second, then a half hour before the second game, "arrangements were made". This was a self inflicted wound as there were a large number of fans of all the four teams on this cruise - even the choice of the Lido deck was odd as there wasn't enough seating to go around. Debarking was a horror show. There were ten elevators available for the called decks to depart, BUT all ten elevators exited at the same choke point creating a mass of humanity all trying get past this narrow area. Very poor planning and design on getting guests off the ship. I had some real difficulty moving after standing, but the debarking crew in the terminal was hell bent and determined to get everybody off, in a line and out of their space. To add insult to injury, I couldn't get to the elevator because one of the terminal workers made me go down an escalator with my baggage. Half way down, the bags caught on a step and I fell down the escalator. To their credit, the supervisors were immediately present to help, but the damage was already done and I had to take a wheel chair out of the terminal. It was not a positive experience. I felt that the whole debarking process was not properly organized or coordinated - rushing to get passengers off the ship because it was two hours late arriving (due to weather) to get the new passengers on, creating traffic jams, inadequately trained shore side personnel (with respect to debarking) made the whole trip less than fun. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
We did not like the new design on the Carnival Sunshine. With the remodel they added a lot more cabins and made everywhere else smaller. All the places to hang out were very crowded.We tried 3 times to go to the piano bar and each time we ... Read More
We did not like the new design on the Carnival Sunshine. With the remodel they added a lot more cabins and made everywhere else smaller. All the places to hang out were very crowded.We tried 3 times to go to the piano bar and each time we could not get in because it was already full with standing room only, and this was at least an hour before the entertainment started. Tried 3 times to go to a comedy show, again standing room only,and the lounge is very small. On the other side, The crew were very friendly, and the food was good. Our cabin steward was always on top of it, he ask if we preferred morning or evening service which was nice. We had an inside cabin on the lido deck for this sailing, and it was an average inside cabin like all the rest of the Carnival ships, nothing special. The cleanliness of the ship was good, The pizza joint was not up to par compared to past cruises, very slow service. The bartenders at the Alchemy bar weer by far the best of the bars on-board, very friendly and personable. Over all, we will not sail on the Carnival Sunshine again Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Having sailed before, I was very excited to share this experience with my husband. I should not have pumped things up so much as so much fell short of what I expected. The pre-sail Muster was a major cluster! We were able to switch to ... Read More
Having sailed before, I was very excited to share this experience with my husband. I should not have pumped things up so much as so much fell short of what I expected. The pre-sail Muster was a major cluster! We were able to switch to early seating but our service was so bad/slow we ended up eating on the Lido at the buffet. Food was adequate, staff had trouble keeping up with clearing off the tables. Spa experience was awesome although my husband was shocked that I fell for a $530 detox plan! The ship's Captain circled the ship around one sea day to investigate a homemade floating contraption (boat?) with a small sail to ascertain that the 3 men on board were not in peril and in need of assistance. Maritime Law and sort of a neat experience. Arrived to Aruba too late to make any of the shops we had visited previously and since we docked at the industrial pier we were limited in what we could do and see. Stop in Bonaire was AWESOME and my favorite out of the whole trip! Floating through the mangroves and learning about the eco system was great. At midnight prior to our scheduled stop in Grand Turk (which I had never been to and was looking forward to) we were awakened by an announcement on the PA system that we were detouring to Dominican Republic due to a couple of medical emergencies involving one guest and one crew member. Can't fault the cruise line for that as it turns out one of the events was life threatening and the crew member's life was saved as a result. We docked in Amber Cove which is nothing more that a resort area with pool and zip lines and of course shops. The local pharmacy was not opened while we were there and my husband needed some decongestant for a cold he was coming down with. We noticed several other passengers making their way to the pharmacy as well only to find it closed. Debarkation went better that I expected and once everyone listened to the instructions given it was a breeze. We actually made it to the Orlando airport early enough to catch an earlier flight home! It is my understanding the Sunshine is due to go into dry dock for a couple of weeks and she sure does need some TLC. (launched in 1996). We had to call maintenance on a couple of minor issues in our cabin and we noticed throughout the ship the signs of wear and tear. I would sail Carnival again without a doubt but I will do my research on the vessel before I make any reservations. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
This was our second time on Sunshine because we loved it the first time. However, we immediately noticed the rust all around the ship, and the need for an update. The staff was wonderful as usual and the food as well. We were disappointed ... Read More
This was our second time on Sunshine because we loved it the first time. However, we immediately noticed the rust all around the ship, and the need for an update. The staff was wonderful as usual and the food as well. We were disappointed with the long lines everywhere we went, the lack of help to clean staterooms, all of the chairs on lido that had towels, but never had people, the inconsiderate and rude guests and the cancellation of Grand Turk due to a medical emergency. Our stateroom ceiling panel fell down twice. They came to put back up, there was dust and dirt on the beds which they left there- was disappointing. Embarkation was slow and debarkation was even slower, after a 3 hour delay coming back into port. I was actually ready to get home, due to not wanting to wait in any line ever again! Aruba was disappointing, the ship arrived in a commercial dock which was unsettling. Dominican ended up being a pleasant surprise. Will definitely be more careful about sailing newer ships moving forward. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
This cruise was about what we expected. We departed from Port Canaveral without issue and enjoyed our first 2 sea days. They showed the Patriots/Jaguars playoff game on the big screen and we were happy to see the Patriots win. There ... Read More
This cruise was about what we expected. We departed from Port Canaveral without issue and enjoyed our first 2 sea days. They showed the Patriots/Jaguars playoff game on the big screen and we were happy to see the Patriots win. There were some issues with the dining. There was a long line at the "your time" dining desk and it took a while to get seated. Service was also slow in the dining room but the food was excellent. We spent a lot of time in the casino but were disappointed with the smoking there. Even when we weren't playing, we couldn't pass through without going through a cloud of smoke. Our day in Aruba was great. We took a cab to Eagle Beach and enjoyed some time in the water. Then we took a cab to Matthews Restaurant and enjoyed a great dinner. They had a special on ribs so we all had and loved them. In Bonaire, we took the island tour which was very interesting. Our stop at Grand Cayman was cancelled due to some medical emergencies. We ended up going to Amber Cove instead and enjoyed a day at the pool. Two of us tried the zip line (only $20 for all day) that went over the pool and were glad we did. The shows on the Sunshine were very good. We saw 2 shows and one comedian. The venue for the comedian was too small and poorly laid out. People sitting on the sides of the room had to watch on TV screens. We also enjoyed several of the entertainers in the ocean plaza, which was often crowded. Our cabin was a basic inside cabin so it was small but the shower was great, perhaps the largest shower we have every seen on a cruise ship. Other than the smoke in the casino and the dining issues, we really enjoyed our time on the Carnival Sunshine and would go again, especially since we missed Grand Cayman. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
We boarded the Carnival Sunshine on a 70 degree day. It was the start of my husband's and my adventure. The boat was clean and in decent shape for a 22 year old boat. The cruise had 5 sea days and three islands (Bonaire, Aruba, and ... Read More
We boarded the Carnival Sunshine on a 70 degree day. It was the start of my husband's and my adventure. The boat was clean and in decent shape for a 22 year old boat. The cruise had 5 sea days and three islands (Bonaire, Aruba, and Grand Turks). The first two days were sea days. During these days the weather was cloudy, sometimes rainy, and very very windy. It was difficult to do anything much on deck because of the wind. The upper decks were mostly closed. Our first island was Bonaire. My husband and I took a motorcycle excursion offered by the boat. It was a fun day touring the island. The motorcycles weren't in the best shape but I would recommend the excursion for motorcycle fans. More rain, clouds and wind. Our second stop was Aruba. In Aruba we attempted to go to a nearby beach. Once we got there, we couldn't stay as the wind was so strong it was blowing the sand everywhere and felt like glass hitting us. As for Grand Turks, we never made it. Two people needed medical attention on board and the ship stopped at the nearest port in Dominican Republic. It was one crew member and one passenger. To be honest, I was very surprised that the ship changed their course. Most ships med vac people who are sick off the ship to a hospital. We were not given details of the illnesses, but I heard that the crew member was back on the ship working. The Dominican had no beaches, but had a private set of pools and stores. We were mostly confined to that area. Unfortunately, I was really looking forward to seeing Grand Turks and was very disappointed. The breakfast and supper food was decent. However the luncheon buffet wasn't all that good. My husband and I ate pizza and hamburgers after trying several buffet dishes that we didn't like. In my opinion the pizza was excellent. So I ate it mostly every day for lunch. The entertainment was super! The shows were great and the bands were great. The space was limited though for dancing and sitting. So here is my bottom line recommendation. I believe January and February are too cold to travel in the Caribbean. I didn't feel I got the best bang for our buck weather wise. I felt five sea days was too many for an eight day trip. I also would travel on a newer ship as I felt the ship was lacking some of the things a newer ship would have, for example a helicopter pad, space in the venues, and stairs into the pool. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
Disembarkation - an unorganized mess; couldn't find customers items purchased at port; didn't package Duty FREE items appropriately for boarding plane, although they said our items were ok for travel. CABIN - OK for slumber after a day ... Read More
Disembarkation - an unorganized mess; couldn't find customers items purchased at port; didn't package Duty FREE items appropriately for boarding plane, although they said our items were ok for travel. CABIN - OK for slumber after a day and night of drinking so you do not notice the mattresses need replacing DINING - WOW, the worst. How would you like to be served burgers,pizza and ice cream daily. Real cuisine seafood platters, snow crabs, shrimp,sushi and alike all cost extra. You couldn't even get a daily salad bar and fruit bar. The breakfast buffet was delicious and plentiful. ENTERTAINMENT and ACTIVITIES - no frills;FUN SHOPS opening organized for ship photo ops, not customer satisfaction SERVICE - my room attendant was great. PORTS and SHORE EXCURSIONS - FREEPORT and ATLANTIS BAHAMAS were both wonderful places to port; Freeport is the best! I have traveled on MSC and will travel with them again; I DO NOT PLAN TO TRAVEL on CARNIVAL LIBERTY AGAIN. Read Less
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise