27 Carnival Sunshine Caribbean - All Cruise Reviews

We sailed on the Sunshine New Year's Eve, Cabin 11019 Serenity. Had the most awesome time. Cabin was very clean and comfortable. Deck 11 & 12 only have 2 elevators to them compared to the 6 elevator 1 deck down. Some people ... Read More
We sailed on the Sunshine New Year's Eve, Cabin 11019 Serenity. Had the most awesome time. Cabin was very clean and comfortable. Deck 11 & 12 only have 2 elevators to them compared to the 6 elevator 1 deck down. Some people complained the entire cruise about only having the 2. I seens no issue with it ! I mean come on we're in no big hurry to get anyplace ! If so walk down 1 filght if your capable of doing so. Deck 11 walks right out onto serenity. If you expect a good lounger get out there by 6am. The "CHAIR HOGS" are out in full force taking like 6-10 loungers at a time. THe view from the cabin was awesome. Food on the ship was great. Entertainment was excellent. Staff was 99% friendly and helpful, you always find that 1 person having the worst of worst days. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
The first three days of the cruise was bad due to the weather not the captain. I was in the room on those days. They need to put fridges in the rooms because some people have medicines that need to be in the fridge. They also need to ... Read More
The first three days of the cruise was bad due to the weather not the captain. I was in the room on those days. They need to put fridges in the rooms because some people have medicines that need to be in the fridge. They also need to put the menu on the television so that people know what is being serve for that night. Some people don't like fish food and fried food, Speaking of fried food that was all that was on the lido deck for lunch and diner. They also need to give the schedule for the next day for tours or entertainments the night before so that people could book their excursion tours or know what to plan for the next day. When we went on our tour in Aruba it was three in a half hours long which was fine, but when we got back to go shopping the stores were all close and no one got to shop in Aruba. The smoking areas for people were close due to bad weather, so I do think that they need to give one side of the lido deck open to smokers, not only for the adults but for teenagers too because the teenagers can not go into the casinos. Otherwise the trip was soso. Very disappointed. Also when we got off the ship and got a porter he broke my luggage and did not report it. I like Carnival cruise line but not this ship. Will not go on it again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
have been on 5 cruises this was 2nd time for the carnival and Im just so very disappointed in the whole experience, to begin with the lay out of this ship is terrible you have to go through a very smoky casino to get to dinner the ship is ... Read More
have been on 5 cruises this was 2nd time for the carnival and Im just so very disappointed in the whole experience, to begin with the lay out of this ship is terrible you have to go through a very smoky casino to get to dinner the ship is way to small for the amount of people. Not much to do. The main shows in liquid lounge where awful they need to change them they really can not sing. the food was the worst i've ever had although our waiters were great Wisnawa and Kermith and a few others but our table placement was bad we where next to a pole and every night 2-3 times during our meal 3 of us had to get up push our chairs in so people could get by with walkers and wheelchairs. Never have i had such bad food. some of the crew where also very rude which i have never experienced before . My sister was told I didn't ask you if you wanted a drink when she was approached by a waiter and said no thank you she thought he was going to ask her if she wanted a drink I was shocked by how he talked to her. Then we had teenage kids running up and down our hallway screaming at anytime between 1-4 in the morning we where awoken 7 of the 9 nights with this kind of behavior we did complain but nothing was done. Our room service tags where also removed by these kids We are not the only floor that had this problem my daughter and her family where on deck 7 we where on 8 and they had the same problem also talked to people on deck 6 that also had this problem. My sister who is 76 was almost completely knocked off her feet twice by 5-7 teenagers when we was walking around pool area by the same group of kids. they never even tried to apologize or even act respectful at all. Disembarkation was a complete joke didnt get off until 10.45. We had hired a driver to be there at 10. I thought that was plenty late enough. well he wouldn't wait so we had to try and find another ride which ended in us having to take 2 cabs at double the cost of our original driver.. We did however never have a hard time finding a chair around the pool at anytime. This cruise cost me almost the same as my last cruise on the Celebrity going on a 14 day trip. I would never recommend this ship to anyone. Save your money go on a Celebrity  Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
6th cruise, 4th with carnival. i knew this ship was almost a 20 year old ship but i went in with an open mind. If this was your first cruise or is going to be your first cruise. You will be fine. you will enjoy it and you will be ... Read More
6th cruise, 4th with carnival. i knew this ship was almost a 20 year old ship but i went in with an open mind. If this was your first cruise or is going to be your first cruise. You will be fine. you will enjoy it and you will be happy. those of you are have cruised before.. Whether on rcl, ncl, celebrity or carnival, chances are this will be the worst cruise you ever been on. There is no party for past guests unless you are a diamond or platinum member. so they saved money that way. the food is a step up from hospital cafeteria food. the same food is served in dining room and in buffet. so if you don't want to get dressed.. You don't have to. These rooms are small. those of you who have been in prison-- these rooms are smaller than the 8 by 10 cell you are accustomed to. these rooms are for 2 grown adults. That's it. that's as long as both people are not in the room at the same time. the rooms are outdated by many years. some guests complained of mold in their rooms. we were promised a room with a pull out couch.. Got a trundle bed that is really a mattress on a 3 inch box spring. slept on lido deck with 15-20 other people experiencing the same other issues. Kids on the serenity adult deck. kids running. Screaming. Breaking things. security did absolutely nothing. fyi-- do not leave from nyc ports unless you really have to. very low class clientele. **the shows are the same shows from 2000. you seen 1 you seen them all. ** no need for faster 2 the fun. the boat docks and everyone is on and off at the same time. **the cruise director emma is definitely not like the carnival splendor cruise director malcolm "woo hoo" burn. Could not understand anything she said If you win any games you get an 18 cent plastic ship on a stick. all this money and they cant give adults a free drink voucher? ***embarkation and debarkation was extremely easy. BEST OF ANY SHIP I EVER BEEN ON** Folks, this ship is 20 years old. that's it. They stretched it 40 feet and added 1000 more passengers. If you can avoid this ship... I would. be warned ahead of time. th staff on this ship hates the ship and some are trying to relocate. hold off. Save your money and if you have to leave from NYC take the Carnival Vista or leave from Jersey and take RCL **piano bar 88-- patrick the piano player is hilarious!!.. plays dirty rendtions of songs! Carnival only wants as much $$ as they can get. the casino points are a joke and they only give you free drinks or a free cruise if you lose alot or win alot. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We choose to cruise as this was one that was available departing from New York. We enjoyed the cruise to Bahamas visiting Grand Turk, half Moon Cay and Nassau. The staff work very hard and no bad experiences with them. The serenity area ... Read More
We choose to cruise as this was one that was available departing from New York. We enjoyed the cruise to Bahamas visiting Grand Turk, half Moon Cay and Nassau. The staff work very hard and no bad experiences with them. The serenity area was lovely and we spent most of time here as it is adult area only given that on this trip there were a lot if children, it was nice area to go to. The entertainment was really good we enjoyed the shows in liquid and limelight lounges . The performances in the shows were of. a very high standard so too were the comedians you could tell that a lot if effort was put into the entertainment . My only critic is the dining room sometimes long wait for a table and had to queue for dining time then had to go two floors down to dining area. The dining room menu was hit and miss a lot of fish food which we are not fond off and standard of food not always very good, food sometimes received not very hot and often had to wait a while for food to arrive. My suggestion is that Carnival could look to improve the dining room experience . Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
The food was good. The staff was excellent. They have added cabins, making the deck space smaller, hence, the pool area was overcrowded and people would mark their chairs and leave. The comedy lounge could not accommodate too many people ... Read More
The food was good. The staff was excellent. They have added cabins, making the deck space smaller, hence, the pool area was overcrowded and people would mark their chairs and leave. The comedy lounge could not accommodate too many people and you had to wait in a line outside the lounge about 35 minutes before each show, just to get in. People in any time dining had an average of 1.5 hour wait. I still had a good time, adjusted to, 'it is what it is" and enjoyed myself. Our cabin had an a/c problem and it was 58 ° in it. They could not fix it. Being from Florida, we froze the entire cruise. Being a cruise-a-holic, when I am looking at cruises, and I see the Sunshine, I quickly pass. I will not consider going on it again. Not when I love the Breeze, the Dream, the Legend, the Vista, the Liberty, the Sensation, the Valor, the Conquest and the Magic. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We thought the ship was very small and needed an update. The bathroom in the cabin was very tight! My boyfriend had to put his left foot in the shower while he was going to the bathroom. It would have been better to make the cabin a ... Read More
We thought the ship was very small and needed an update. The bathroom in the cabin was very tight! My boyfriend had to put his left foot in the shower while he was going to the bathroom. It would have been better to make the cabin a little smaller so the bathroom could be a little bigger. The entertainment was hit or miss. I had a hard time going to the casino because of all the smoke. The itinerary was great with 8 ports of call and that is why we picked this cruise. My boyfriend ended up getting norovirus at the end of the cruise and had to stay on board at the last port. Good thing was that we had already been to St. Thomas on a different cruise and we did get some money back for the missed day. It wasn't a terrible cruise, but we have decided that we probably won't cruise with Carnival again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
I believe that if you look for the good on a cruise, most times you will have a good time. We have been on 3 other Carnival Cruises and I felt this ship didn't compare to some of them, however we managed to have a great time! The ... Read More
I believe that if you look for the good on a cruise, most times you will have a good time. We have been on 3 other Carnival Cruises and I felt this ship didn't compare to some of them, however we managed to have a great time! The boarding process was painless. A porter met us outside, took our luggage and since we had filled out the preboarding information online, we were on the ship within 15 minutes. We headed directly to the lido deck to get familiar with the buffet options but never quite made it. Started with Guy's Burgers which is located at the corner of the pool- we loved them, but I only indulged in one helping of those delicious greasy fries! The other corner of the pool housed the taco and burrito bar. Definately suggest you try the burritos! Our room was ready by 1pm, but our luggage didn't arrive until 7pm. Since they give you a free bottle of wine if you book the first night, we took that option. EXCELLENT dinner and the cheesecake was so great we took it back to our room! The shrimp cocktail had a beautiful presentation and the crab bisque had a nice flavor profile. No regrets on the 5spice ribeye, mashed yukons, spinach and garlic were one of the best meals all week. We were in room 6351, a balcony room toward the back of the ship. Great location for the pool and buffet, so we were pleased. The worst odor we noticed was the smell of steak cooking (seriously)...noticed it mostly at night! This room seemed to have more storage space then other cabins we have had. My husband also found an extra outlet for charging our devices behind the tv. The beds were comfortable and the bathroom was typical. This room DOES have a refrigerator which I guess is not the case in all rooms. If your room has one, you will want to bring some baggies to bring food back to the room. I loved to grab some cheese chunks off the buffet and bring it up to have drinks on the balcony. (Which by the way is small but the chairs do recline. Long gone are the days of getting samples in the bathroom or chocolates on your pillow at night. If you are an experienced Carnival traveler, you will notice quite a few financial cutbacks. While roomservice used to be free, only a selection of the items still are. There are more pay options on the roomservice menu then I can ever remember. We also order a water package so we have bottled water. Spring water is no longer available, the only water you can purchase is Carnival's "purified" water. It tasted fine, but I usually opt for spring water over purified. In the shower there are two dispensers, one for shampoo and the other is bath gel. BRING CONDITIONER...the shampoo is not great quality and if you have long hair, its going to be screaming for a good product. The food overall was good, and what wasn't, I just didn't eat. One thing we noted was that if you ate early in the dining room, there is a chance that the meat or meal may not be cooked all the way. Was a total bummer when the lobster tail was uncooked. Vegetables were available, but most were heavily cooked. The salad bar was reduced to include processed salads. It wasn't until the last night that a more complete salad bar was offered. I found fresh vegetables in the Wok afternoons. I tend not to love spicy foods, but got bored quickly with the black bean option...don't hesitate to ask them to mix it up...they will happily mix meat options and sauces. Here is the best food tip I can give you. Mornings and lunch time, grab your lunch and head to the Asian and Italian restaurant in the back of the boat. The view is spectacular and the energy is much calmer then the buffet dining room. The Mongolian wok and the omelette bar are located there. (You have to leave the buffet area, walk past the elevators and go into the restaurant area). The coffee is VERY strong. Many people chose to buy their coffee at the Java hut on the 5th floor. I diluted the coffee with boiling water and was pleased with the end result. We also bought thermal cups that we kept filled with cold beverages during the day and hot at night. Bring one from home or you will pay $10 each in the gift shop. Will definately bring it again next time. Also bring a laynard from home or be prepared to pay $7-15 for one in the gift shop. Handy way to carry your room key. We ate 6 of the 8 nights in the dining room. On this ship, if you have anytime dining, you have to go to the 5th floor to get your seat assignment, then down two flights to the restaurant. We had a different waiter group each night and some were remarkably better then others. The wine stewards are gone...the first night they asked if we wanted a drink and then never asked again. I had some uncooked food and started ordering a caesar salad each night in addition to my "starter". The first night's menu was probably the weakest (a good night to do one of the restaurants). The limelight is where they host the comedy shows. This is a very small venue and if you don't get a seat in front you are watching from a TV screen. We found we had to get there 30-45 minutes to get a good seat. YOu also cannot do shows back to back by staying in your seat. They make you exit at the back of the room which forces you to go up one floor to get back down to the front of the venue. Only one comedian disappointed, the rest were actually quite good. They do repeat shows, so keep track of the ones you have seen or you will be waiting in line for a repeat. The bigger theatre is used for the productions and game shows. The Love and Marriage game show was entertaining as was the Hasbro game show. What kept the entertainment moving was Jamie the Director. She has incredible energy and works long hours with a smile on her face. I did three sessions at the Spa. I have never had a Carnival spa be so focused on selling. DONT prebook any spa appointments. They offered 10%, 20% and 30% off if you booked the first day. What they don't tell you is that it has to be a signature service. So if I switched my deep tissue massage to a bamboo massage, they would have given me the discount. Make sure you get the price before the service. Even with a full ship (over 3,000 people) it was never hard to get an appointment. The first day they do tours. If you get there very early, you might be asked to participate in a treatment so others can see you getting it. If you don't mind people watching you get a facial, its free! At your first appointment they will give you a questionnaire. DON"T check any boxes about areas of concern. If you do, they will zero in on what you claimed to be worried about and will have the perfect product or service to sell you! The services I had were good. Lilli gave an excellent reflexology session. The serenity area has great all adult seating and a small pool with a waterfall. The top floor is closed off from the outdoor stairs, but you can access by taking the inside stairs to the top floor. There are chair cabanas and some sofa entertainment areas under shade. I went up daily to read and catch some sun. Although this cruise was very geriatric...there were enough kids to keep the hottubs full afternoons through evenings. The maindeck pool were also full of kids. It seems that none of the rules regarding kids, food or drink in the hottub were enforced. In fact I didn't see the 40 minute empty chair limit enforced either. People came down and claimed their deck chairs making it difficult to find a place to sit, while there were rows of empty (but taken) chairs all day. The fist day the casino was busy and there were many winners. Unfortunately the rate of winners decreased by the day only to finally pick back up the last night. I think they must set the odds on the machines because there were many unhappy gamblers walking around. The casino is very smokey. I would hope they would do something better with the air exchange in the future. You have to walk through the casino to reach the Alchemy bar and the back elevators. The Alchemy bar by the way is a nice place to sit and read on a rainy day. The tasting bar is right there as is the java bar. We really enjoyed the Dive In movies. We got rained out of one, so I highly suggest getting a seat on the top level under the overhang (right under the serenity floor). They offer popcorn and the blanket and towel hut is open. Pizza and the deli are available if you didn't get enough at dinner. The Pizza is a bit weak...very very thin crust, barely any sauce and unless you want to wait a while, you take what ever kind they are pulling out of the oven. The Deli thought was pretty good! We used walky talkies to keep track of each other during the day. Don't forget to turn them off at night or you will get interference squawking through. I was amazed at how many people had them. The last night was extremely rough seas..so much so that the empty safe door was flopping back and forth and the toilet seat crashed down in the middle of the night. We were holding on to each other and laughing as we rolled from side to side. Glad it only was one night and not the entire cruise. Debarkment was fine once we got going. We had to be out of the room by 8:30, so we went up to the back restaurant to have breakfast and wait. We set our luggage out the night before. YOu pick it up at customs at the numbered row you tag it with. Very well organized. The three ports were all good..we snorkeled at Arashi beach in Aruba ($5 taxi ride OUTSIDE the port on the street). We snorkeled at Spice Beach in Bonaire (another $5 taxi ride) which was crowded but had the best variety of fish. At Grand Turk, we just swam at the beach by the docks. Free beach chairs, so get there early. It was nice to talk to people from other cruise ships. So to sum it up..we had a good time. It rained a couple times, but we made the best of it each time. Although it was an older crowd, we met some very nice people. The ship was not as nice as some, but it was good. If you read this far, you are probably booked and wondering what to expect. I hope this helped some. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We had 3 balcony rooms and 1 handicap room on deck 7 aft for the New Years eve cruise. Everyone had a Great time. All but one in our party of 9 had sailed before. The ship had its quirks but over all was doable. We had the most trouble ... Read More
We had 3 balcony rooms and 1 handicap room on deck 7 aft for the New Years eve cruise. Everyone had a Great time. All but one in our party of 9 had sailed before. The ship had its quirks but over all was doable. We had the most trouble with CHAIR HOGS and elevators. The chair hogs were out in full force early but we still managed to get lounge chairs on the serenity about 2-3 in the afternoon. The elevators were terrible. I have bad knees and needed the elevators to keep my pain down. Waited long time for elevators as they would pass you up for other floors. A lot of times we rode them up to go down or down to go up. We tried several trivia it was ok. We did several comedy shows a night and loved those. We would race out and around to catch the next show,only had the tv seats once.(seats where you did not see stage had to watch on tv.) Rock show was really good and piano bar was so funny we were almost crying. Service was outstanding. Our any time dining staff we requested each night. We only waited about 15 minutes one time. We got to the waiting line for dining about 1/2 hour early on elegant/new years to get our wait staff and secure a table on those busy nights. We ate at the buffet several nights but only enjoyed selections about 2 nights. Not bad food just did not enjoy what was offered. Lunch was good and took advantage of specialty food Asian and Italian for lunch. Guys burgers were excellent as always. Did not do specialty dining at dinner . The weather was sunny but rough seas. We had vibration in our aft cabin 7300. Really liked the location.Close to Havana bar and eating but quite a walk to Serenity. There was the slight smoke smell in the hallways around the middle of deck 7. We also thought the casino needed better ventilation or a more secluded smoking area. There was a few buckets catching water but not a problem. Had FTTF and enjoyed the perks. Embarking and disembarking was very smooth compared to New Orleans. New Years was unbelievable!!!!!! Everyone should do a New Years cruise at least once . Jamie was great and kept the party going . We would do the Sunshine again,the food choices and serenity deck were great! Ports of call Amber cove was Wonderful. We stayed at pool at port and spent a relaxing day. St Thomas went to ice bar and tram. Enjoyed both but the taxi driver also took us to the Beachcomber resort where we used their beach(taxi driver says the beaches we free) The Beachcomber had a bar and restaurant and a beautiful beach. About 4-7 per person each way by taxi/tram. The beach was about 5-8 minutes out of town across from airport. San Juan we got off the ship and went looking for free tram. Got on free tram and rode it completely around the area. Saw both forts and downtown historical district. We elected not to stop and get off as 3 other ships were in port and it was very busy. Went back to ship early and enjoyed serenity. Grand Turks was wonderful. We walked past Margaritaville and headed for Jacks Shack. Was not disappointed. The ships crew was also using Jacks Shack . This portion of the beach was less crowded than Margaritaville,less expensive too. Topher the dog was a added bonus.Would do the same ports again. Our favorite was Dominican Republic Amber Cove and Grand Turks Jack Shack. We believe you do not have to spend a lot of extra money on excursions at least the first time you go to these ports as we found plenty to do for free or low cost. Maybe next time we will venture out to other areas. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Here's the thing, I love to cruise. To me, it is the best value for a vacation, and it has always been enjoyable. However, I have never had a more awful experience than I have had on this ship. There were some high points, that I will ... Read More
Here's the thing, I love to cruise. To me, it is the best value for a vacation, and it has always been enjoyable. However, I have never had a more awful experience than I have had on this ship. There were some high points, that I will highlight so that you know that I am not just trashing the entire experience, but know that I will probably never sail with Carnival ever again. First of all, getting "Faster To The Fun" was an extremely smart decision. Boarding was a breeze and we got our luggage not too long after we got settled in our room. So 5 out of 5 on that. We had an interior room and it was spacious and it fit the bill. No complaints there. Overall, the boarding experience, cabin, and housekeeping team was phenomenal. The Lido deck, no matter what time of the day or night, was crowded. That was to be expected. However, it did not matter if you were one of the first people there in the morning to grab a chair to sun bathe on, you were still going to have search high and low for a chair. It was almost impossible, and at some points, VERY impossible to grab a space to call your own for an hour or so. Once we set sail, the boat never stopped swaying. I have been on about 10 cruises and have NEVER had this experience before. I did not sleep at all this entire cruise because of it. The dining staff for my group of tables was terrible. Patrons would sit there for a while without receiving their first glass of water or their first pieces of bread while others were being given their second helping already. If one of us asked for something such as ketchup, a soda, more butter, etc. it would take them forever (or never). We constantly had to remind them what we needed. Most nights my food would get cold because I was constantly missing things. Our section learned patience, because we had to have it in order to stay sane. The activities on board were the same old things every day. Nothing new was ever happening. If you want to go watch a show, make sure you are half an hour early, or you won't get a seat. The boat holds around 3700 guests, but the Liquid Lounge seats close to 500. Maybe. We got tired of trivia and bingo everyday, and for an 8 day cruise, you would think they would try and spice things up a little. The gym and spa were average and there isn't anything to complain about or to rave about with them. The variety in food everyday for breakfast and lunch was null and void. Both meals had the exact same food each day, and it was not even that great of food to begin with. We were constantly finding little black hairs in our food after sitting down, and eventually gave up and stuck to bagels and cereal. Don't even try to eat in the dining room for breakfast, because the wait staff takes their time. The shore excursion choices for Aruba, Bonaire, and Grand Turk really only left you with snorkeling and scubaing. If you didn't want to do those two things, well you were out of luck. Also, if you don't enjoy kids running around in the hallway shooting each other with Nerf guns and screaming, then don't ride Carnival. We were constantly kept up by kids (who accounted for 1/3 of the people on board). The pools were taken up by children as well as any other thing you wanted to do. The only way to get away from them was to go to the Casino. Last, but definitely not the least. A young, teenage girl sitting at our dining room table for dinner was sexually harassed by a crew member in the Lido marketplace (the buffet food). He saw that she was alone and reading and took advantage. He was then locked in his room until further investigation. If anything, I would tell you to do your research. I hated this cruise, and I will never do Carnival again. There are much better cruise lines around with better food, service, crew, entertainment, etc. Carnival Sunshine deserves a GINORMOUS thumbs down. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Sailed on the Carnival Sunshine on November 28, 2015 for 12 nights. Embarkation was swift and effortless. This ship was not kept up as it should have. The balcony was dirty. Chairs, table and see through panels were dirty and full of ... Read More
Sailed on the Carnival Sunshine on November 28, 2015 for 12 nights. Embarkation was swift and effortless. This ship was not kept up as it should have. The balcony was dirty. Chairs, table and see through panels were dirty and full of salt. The ship was supposed to leave port at 4pm, but left at 7pm. We did not get our luggage till about 8:15 the evening of embarkation. The service on the ship was pretty decent. Did not take any port or shore excursions since we had been to all of those ports before. The main cabin was decent and clean, but the bathroom was old and corroded. The food was OK. Did not have any children with us. The entertainment was good as well as disembarkation. To summarize our cruise, great itinerary, but the ship needs another overhaul. We have been on numerous other cruise lines, so the comparison was easy. This was by far the worst. Breakfast and lunch at the Lido was a disaster. Over crowded! When you finally found a place to sit, your food was cold. If you both got up to get another drink or more food, your spot was cleaned up and taken by someone else. Very disappointed! This was our 2nd try at Carnival. Nothing has changed, it is still a low level cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
we have cruised princess, holland america for years, and never considered carnival because we had heard that the crowd is louder and the food and ships where not as nice. we received a wonderful on line email offer for this particular ... Read More
we have cruised princess, holland america for years, and never considered carnival because we had heard that the crowd is louder and the food and ships where not as nice. we received a wonderful on line email offer for this particular cruise and the price was great, and the ports of call where awesome, so we said what the heck, we are not on the ship that much anyway so why dont we go. well where we surprised, the ship was beautiful, room was large, service was excellent, and the food was great (we do not go in for specialty dining either) the ports of call where great and the ships amenities where great, it was one of the best cruises we have ever taken. so much so we have rebooked on her for january 2018. our ports of call where, st. thomas, tortola, aruba, curacao, st.croix, st. lucia, san juan, turks and cacios, dominica,antiqua. we are over 60 and having been cruising for the past 15 years. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
The Sunshine is a nice ship. It is very clean and we liked our cabin, 5306. This is an oceanview room. We liked the size of the ship, it's pretty easy to navigate and get from on end to the other quickly. Jaime the cruise director did ... Read More
The Sunshine is a nice ship. It is very clean and we liked our cabin, 5306. This is an oceanview room. We liked the size of the ship, it's pretty easy to navigate and get from on end to the other quickly. Jaime the cruise director did a good job.mwe enjoyed her energy. We booked online. I asked for a king sized bed. I also called carnival and asked for two extra pillows and a mattress topper. We board the ship and get to the room. Twin sized beds, no extra pillows, no pillow topper. We call housekeeping. They tell us that we will have it fixed. Later, we bump into our room steward. He assures us that we will have a king sized bed, pillow topper and two pillows. We come back later, still no pillows (wife needs them for her back ). Call housekeeping.mthey don't answer. We leave a note the next morning. Finally get the pillows. The button to flush the toilet works sporadically. Sometimes, you are stuck with an unflushed toilet. Of course, it worked fine when we showed someone,mthey would go on the blink again.... Towels were really hard and scratchy. Food was not very good. We enjoyed the uncharged restaurants - the steakhouse and sushi. We didn't care for Jiji's. After talking to several other passengers, we found that most everyone didn't care for JiJi's, either. Main dining room and lido food was meh at best. Bland, uninspired menus. Bar prices have gone up. I ordered a Bloody Mary at breakfast on sea day. It was over $11 and was served in a small Collins glass, about a 10 ounce glass. If you order a Bloody Mary at the Havana bar, you get a full size, 16oz Bloody Mary for the same price. Go figure. The passengers...what is up with these rude people? Cutting people off in line at embarkation, leaving their items in the lounge chairs for over an hour unattended, then getting angry when approached by the carnival employees. there's a reason Carnival is called Walmart of the seas.... The price point attracts some real trash. I've been on carnival, royal Caribbean, holland, and Norwegian. Carnival is by far the worst. It's too bad, because I'm really close to hitting platinum, but I don't see me cruising with them again. Shows - 8 people perform all of the Vegas type of shows. Shows were ok. Motown was my favorite. We also had a ventriloquist. He was ok. Having eight people perform all of the shows is a cheap way to entertain. I wasn't wowed. They still do the hairy chest contest. What is this? 1977? Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Coming into this cruise, we had high hopes considering Carnival poured so much money into redoing the Destiny. Cabin-We had a cabin on the 6th floor balcony. The cabin steward seemed laid back and not too interested in cleaning our ... Read More
Coming into this cruise, we had high hopes considering Carnival poured so much money into redoing the Destiny. Cabin-We had a cabin on the 6th floor balcony. The cabin steward seemed laid back and not too interested in cleaning our room properly. He barely came in the first night and in my parents cabin. It eneded up my parents had old BLOOD on their sheets and towels from the previous cruise that did not get changed. The housekeeping supervisor did not seem concerned when brought to his attention. We called carnival when we got back from the cruise and it didn't seem to phase them either. We were disappointed they left out refridgerators. Food-The food was pretty good. However, the reconstruction of the LIDO left something to be desired. we had to go up a 1/2 hour early before a meal just to get a decent table. The staff in the dining room was attentive. Overall, it seems Carnival cut out space from this ship to accomdate more passengers leaving spaces tight. We will never go on this ship again! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
When we booked this cruise, we were concerned with the poor reviews we read on here and other sites. Our Carnival rep talked us into this specific ship because we liked the ports (Aruba, Curacao, and Grand Turk) and the amount of relaxing ... Read More
When we booked this cruise, we were concerned with the poor reviews we read on here and other sites. Our Carnival rep talked us into this specific ship because we liked the ports (Aruba, Curacao, and Grand Turk) and the amount of relaxing sea days (4). Overall, we enjoyed the ship and the ports and would recommend this itinerary to anyone. My suggestion is to be realistic when critiquing the ship. There are some tight public spaces when walking around, especially when 1)people don't pay attention to where they are walking and 2)kids are running around everywhere. Plus, there are 3400 people on the ship, so at times it was annoying, but not enough to warrant a poor review. The pool space was very busy, especially with the unique deck layout to accommodate the theater like atmosphere, but we never had any problem finding a spot by the pool or in the 3 tiered serenity deck. Patience is key! We especially enjoyed the variety of social areas provided - the Red Frog Pub, The Alchemy Bar, Ocean Plaza, and the EA sports bar being our favorites. The Red Frog Pub had games such as darts, shuffleboard, and foosball and the EA Sports Bar had playstations and TV's to watch the games. We only went to a couple shows and they were good. I liked that they did a different show every night that they performed (I think 5 of the 8 nights). We didn't make it to the comedy show, the night club or the piano bar, but we did hear god things. The food was good - on par with other Carnival ships. I will say the dining room staff was a little slow and not as friendly as other ships we have been on. The Cucina Del Capitan was amazing and well worth the $15 upcharge/per person. I didn't want to enjoy the Guy Fieri burgers, mainly because he annoys me, but his burgers and fries were delicious! Some people complained about the way anytime dining was organized, but we enjoyed it for a couple reasons. First, you don't line up at the restaurant which causes congestion and aggravation from standing in line. You check in on deck 5 and then walk down 2 flights to the dining room. Second, if you do end up waiting, (we only waited twice and each time was only about 20 minutes each), you can check in, grab a pager and enjoy a martini or the entertainment in Ocean Plaza. Plus, they have a "tasting bar" each night which allows you to try food from the different restaurants. Even if you aren't wanting to pay more money for dinner, you can still try their food for free. It's win-win for everyone! The ship is laid out very differently than other ships since it was remodeled and added on to. I would suggest taking times to explore everything and everywhere - you will miss something if you don't. There really is something to do all the time! Embarkation and debarkation was smooth and efficient. We were expecting the worst since there were so many passengers, but Carnival and the Port Authority had it under control. The longest wait at the port was in Aruba (about 8-10 minutes) but we enjoyed talking to one of the show's dancers who had just joined the cast. She ended up being the main performer! The ports were awesome! We did highlight/beach tours at Aruba and Curacao and the ATV tour at Grand Turk. The ATV tour was our favorite by far! We had a blast and loved getting to explore the island with our group. After that tour, we went to Margaritaville to go in the water and have a couple beverages. The margaritas were super yummy and very well made. It was great to get in the water and use the free beach chairs for a couple hours before heading back on board. Just like anything in life, vacation is what you make of it and attitude is everything. We were celebrating our 10 year anniversary, met some super cool people to hang out with, and made great memories. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
This was my 17th Carnival cruise and my second time on the Sunshine as well as once when it was the Destiny. Of all the ships I have been on, probably my second favorite only to the Breeze. The only thing this ship has on the Breeze is the ... Read More
This was my 17th Carnival cruise and my second time on the Sunshine as well as once when it was the Destiny. Of all the ships I have been on, probably my second favorite only to the Breeze. The only thing this ship has on the Breeze is the Sunshine has the best Serenity area by far. It even has it's own pool area which is very rare. The downside to the change to the Sunshine from the Destiny is that they have packed too much in too little space. It is hard to walk past another person in the Lido dining area and on sea days, if you want a chair on the pool deck, you better get out there early. We slept in, went to brunch and then tried to find chairs for the 4 of us. I found stacked chairs but no where to put them (even along the sides down below the whale tail). I found 1 chair. It was over 2 hours later before we finally had 3 chairs. Other than that, the restaurant choices were awesome. We ate at all the specialty restaurants and found them all to be a great value for what we got. The comedy lounge is way to small for the number of people that are on the ship. We got to one comedy 25 minutes early and there were already 50+ people standing without seats. We elected to leave and catch a later show. We passed about 40 people on their way in while we were leaving. Overall a wonderful ship, just too crowded. I will say, it was the worst run casino of any of the ships I have been on both times. Craps table was closed the great majority of the time. Pit bosses just kept whining they didn't have enough dealers. When they would open it, half the time, only one end and we would have people begging them to open the other end. Also had numerous plumbing issues with the last visit, not sure what was up with that. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
We sailed on the Carnival Sunshine in July, this cruise with just our family of 4 (two adults, two teenagers). We had a good cruise overall, but it definitely was not our favorite cruise. After going on 5+ Royal Caribbean cruises, we gave ... Read More
We sailed on the Carnival Sunshine in July, this cruise with just our family of 4 (two adults, two teenagers). We had a good cruise overall, but it definitely was not our favorite cruise. After going on 5+ Royal Caribbean cruises, we gave Carnival a try one more time due to the location of the port and the price. We sailed on the 8 night itinerary, going to Aruba, Curacao, and Grand Turk. Before the cruise, we stayed at the Holiday Inn in Titusville, as it offers a great cruise parking deal. By booking a specific package on their website, you are able to save 40% off of parking at the cruise parking lot, just by staying at the hotel. It was in a great location and had different restaurants around it to eat. Next, we boarding the cruise on Saturday at about 10:30 am. When we first got to the port, we waited in the terminal for about an hour, after then boarding around noon. We headed up to the Lido Marketplace, sat down, and went and got a variety of food at the buffet, Guy's Burgers and Blue Iguana. Our rooms were then ready at 1:30 (we did not do the FTTF package) and our cruise was off to a good start! Cabins: We stayed in 2 interior rooms, which were very nice. They were on deck 7 aft, which was a wonderful location. We were only 2 decks below the buffet, so we could go and grab a bite to eat throughout the day, but we did not hear any of the noise because there was a deck buffer (deck 8). I was very impressed with the closet space, with multiple drawers and cabinets. The steward was very friendly (probably the best we have ever had) and he always kept ice in our room, fresh towels and lovely towel animals. Dining: Let me start off by saying that Blue Iguana and Guy's Burgers are fantastic! It is great to have variety for lunch when you do not want to go and eat in the dining room. Similarly, Cucina del Capitano at lunch is fantastic and I think the concept of the pasta bar is wonderful. The Dining Room (we ate at every night) was only ok, which made our experience on the Sunshine a little disappointing overall. Our waiter was not the best, but we still tried to make it a good time. The food itself was a little questionable some nights and the quality of food was not the best. Entertainment: Ever since Carnival rolled out the Playlist Productions, I have read both good and bad reviews. The positives to me were that they were only 30 minutes, which I think it just the right amount of time. You don't get bored and you still get a good show in. The singing itself was good- but I can definitely see why some people do not like them. They are NOT broadway musicals in any sense, they are a 30-minute overview of popular songs from a certain time period. The comedy shows were great, but the venue was AWFUL! It is way too crowded to get a seat. Get there 30 minutes early, in line, in order to get a seat. Ports: We chose this cruise based on the exotic ports. Being teachers, we can only travel in the summer, which really narrows down what ports and cruise lines we can go on. This itinerary I think is great! Aruba is a nice island; however, it probably was my least favorite. We did the Best of Aruba Island Tour, and it was just ok (nothing special!). Curacao was my favorite port of call, with so much to offer! Shopping, the architecture and the people make this island one-of-a-kind! I would definitely return here. Lastly, Grand Turk was great, with snorkeling and a great beach right off the ship. We enjoyed our time here and would love to return! Ship Overall: I did like the Sunshine; however, multiple things led to this cruise not being the best we have ever had. It was also not our worst, though. The renovation of the Destiny into the Sunshine was tremendous and the upgrades are very nice. The ship does feel crowded at times, particularly at lunch time up in the Havana Bar area and the Lido Marketplace. The service was disappointing, especially in the dining room and at guest services. I think Carnival itself is a good cruise line, but it does not meet the quality or the service compared to other lines. I would maybe sail again, but only if the price and timing was right. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Great 13 day cruise, an 8 and 5 day cruise back to back, wonderful staff and lots to do. The entertainment was excellent but sadly, the orchestra is no more!! we have a 14 year old boy who we hardly saw, he was in his Circle C club most ... Read More
Great 13 day cruise, an 8 and 5 day cruise back to back, wonderful staff and lots to do. The entertainment was excellent but sadly, the orchestra is no more!! we have a 14 year old boy who we hardly saw, he was in his Circle C club most of the time. High point was him speaking self taught sign language with a deaf boy of the same age. We self assisted for disembarkation which suited us better, we left the ship really early and were on our way. I used the well equipped gym on several occasions and had great confidence in the PTs. Our dinner was anytime and we stayed with the same outstanding crew all through, the hostesses and managers were brilliant in their work and engagement. I would strongly recommend this ship on the strength of our experience, the crew were second to none and couldn't do enough, the current Captain had his family on board and they were equally delightful too, no airs and graces, normal people on holiday. A great advert for Carnival on this showing. Why only 4, well, it wasn't perfect as nothing is but there were a couple of minor matters that if resolved, could have earned a 5. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
I booked this cruise for my family of four (Myself, wife, son 6, daughter 4) in hopes of a relaxing vacation. We had a great time on this vacation and we were able to relax but Carnival missed the mark in a lot of places. This is ... Read More
I booked this cruise for my family of four (Myself, wife, son 6, daughter 4) in hopes of a relaxing vacation. We had a great time on this vacation and we were able to relax but Carnival missed the mark in a lot of places. This is probably my 7th Carnival cruise and since my wife and I met on a Carnival cruise 9 years ago the line holds a special place in my heart. However, the Carnival Sunshine did not live up to what I have come to expect from Carnival ships. We flew into Orlando and stayed a couple days at the Hilton Cocoa Beach. The hotel was outstanding and was a great place to start relaxing prior to the cruise, highly recommended. Embarkation: Really smooth and no issues at all, room was ready by the time we got on at 1:00. Ship overall: Ship was in good condition and the renovation was well done. The oceanview cabin was a nice size for the four of us and we liked that the hallways were wide so you didn't have to squeeze by people. The layout of the ship was easy to learn and navigate. Pool areas: The waterworks (water slides & splash park) were great for the kids. However, they take up a lot of the ship and therefore create a small pool area. With over 1,000 kids on the ship the pool area was insufficient. Kids Club: My kids had a blast at Camp Carnival. The staff were all really great and they did a great job of ensuring our kids had a great time. Dining: The food was not good, even for Carnival standards. The buffet selection was limited and not appetizing. I am in the military and when the cruise scrambled eggs resemble the powdered eggs we get fed overseas there is a serious problem. The dining room food was not much better and the menus were relatively boring. The best food on the ship was the taco bar on the lido deck. Service: The dining room service was disappointing. We had the my time dining so I don't know if that played a role in the poor service but we were not at all pleased. The waiters were continually reaching across the table and did not seem to understand they should serve the ladies first. Disembarkation: We got back into the port a few hours late due to a delay from a medical emergency. We did the self assisted departure and were off this ship within a few minutes of it being cleared. Overall it was a smooth process. Summary: As a family we had a nice time but I really hope Carnival picks there standards back up. I will not got as far to say that this will be my last Carnival cruise but they will not be my first choice again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Like others, read some of the reviews and debated booking it, but it was the dates and itinery we wanted and so we booked it and for the most part did enjoyed it. Cabin was good (outside) and luckily was mid/forward as this was good ... Read More
Like others, read some of the reviews and debated booking it, but it was the dates and itinery we wanted and so we booked it and for the most part did enjoyed it. Cabin was good (outside) and luckily was mid/forward as this was good for us. Serenity area good, provided you get up early to get sunbeds as they are gone by 8 a.m and you dont mind just a plunge pool with very little room, to cool down in. Other Lido area was very crowded and pool tiny so did not go there except for drinks. Show lounges are both disappoining after other ships, but staff try their best to work with a crowded ship. The ship is very anti disability and if you cannot get out of a wheelchair you will struggle as there is no space or usable ramps to many areas- the deck 11 serenity area being a really bad one to access.Dining room was o.k. and food mostly good but at times long waits for food. Drink waiters were very overworked and during sea days very hard to get drinks and long waits at bars. Shows were excellent apart from the juggler and game show which should have been saved for camp carnival. Comedy club was good but extremely crowded. If you have a wheelchair ask Noonan about using the rear exit. Elevators were sometimes a problem as they were slow and not all lifts go to all floors. This was made worse by lazy able bodied people hogging them when only going one floor!! This sounds very negative but just pointing out the negatives. Ports were good but didnt do ship excursions as very expensive, we did tours locally and had no issues anx much better value for money. Medical emergency on board was handled well and We were impressed with Carnival on this score. In summary this ship will never be as good as the others in the fleet as Carnival have squashed too many cabins in and the outside areas and lounges are therefor poor in comparison but zt the right price it is worth thinki g about, but if the same itinery comes up on a different ship then choose a different ship. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
We just returned from an 8 day cruise on the Sunshine from Port Canaveral. Our ports of call were St Maarten, St Kitts, San Juan, and Grand Turk. I've sailed many times on Carnival (all different ships with the exception of 3 ... Read More
We just returned from an 8 day cruise on the Sunshine from Port Canaveral. Our ports of call were St Maarten, St Kitts, San Juan, and Grand Turk. I've sailed many times on Carnival (all different ships with the exception of 3 sailings on the Glory and I have sailed from a few different ports) and I have also cruised on Norwegian as well to give you some perspective. Our group consisted of myself, my 30 yr old daughter, and my 14 yr old son. We booked the park and cruise package the night before at the Best Western right on Cocoa Beach near the pier. The cost was approximately 149.00 which included parking for our vehicle for the week, breakfast, and a shuttle to and from the port. The room was ready when we arrived at noon and the staff was very friendly. The shuttle was free for 2 guests and we paid an additional 12.00 for the third person. We were given a choice of two shuttle times upon checking in and took the earlier shuttle at 1030 am. We had a ground floor room with an outside entrance near one of the pools. We were right across from the walkway over the dune to the beach, which had a great view of the pier. The rooms were basic but clean and comfortable. There were also two pools, one of which had a small bar area. We spent some time relaxing there. Breakfast the next morning was served in a different building (the hotel had 3 or 4 separate buildings that were part of the complex). It was the usual eggs, pastries, sausage, cereal, yogurts, fruit, coffee, juices, etc. We went into the main breakfast area which was pretty crowded and an employee told us there was an additional breakfast area across the hall which was identical and less crowded. After breakfast we took our luggage to the lobby to wait for the shuttle. It arrived about 10 minutes early and was a large van pulling a luggage trailer. The hotel uses Cocoa Beach Shuttle services. The gentleman loaded up our luggage and gave us a return receipt with instructions on where to meet the shuttle when we got off the ship. We arrived at the port in approximately 15-20 minutes. I'm not going to review the ports since much information can already be found on the port forums. However, I do want to mention that we used No 1 SXM parasailing in St Maarten and Royston's tours in St Kitts. They were both awesome experiences and I have left reviews on trip advisor for both. I'd highly recommend them! I won't go into the details of boarding at Port Canaveral, but I generally find this port pretty efficient. It's no more painful than boarding at any other port in my opinion. We were on the ship by about noon and headed straight to the Lido deck. We grabbed a burger at Guy's Burger Joint (yum!) and went to the back of the ship to sit in the Havana Bar section which is directly through the doors behind the main Lido buffet area. We found it was a little quieter and cooler than the main Lido area. The also had some yummy appetizers, such as empanadas at the Havana Bar. The Mongolian grill and the Italian restaurant is also located in this section. They said the cabins would be ready by 130 but we headed to our cabin closer to 1 pm and it was ready, so we threw down our carry-ons and went off to explore the ship. First off, I have to say after reading some of the reviews on the Sunshine, I was very nervous about cruising this ship. I like to do a lot of research on ships, deck plans, ports, etc. prior to each ship so I had a good idea of the negative reviews but decided to give it a shot because of the port itinerary. We stayed in balcony cabin 6308 which was right off the elevator. The location was excellent since we could hop on the elevator and get out right at the Lido deck buffet/dining area on 9, the Sunshine dining room on 3, or the Ocean Plaza/Casino on 5. It was also very convenient to the water slides and sky course. The room was quiet with no noise from above or below, although we did occasionally hear people coming and going from the elevators - but it was few and far in between and didn't bother us at all. The cabin was a good size and the shower seemed a bit larger than usual, which I appreciated. The cabin was decorated with neutral walls and blue/yellow accents with colorful artwork above the sofa and beds. It was cheerful without being gaudy. We had the room set up for two twins and my son slept on the fold out sofa which he said was actually very comfortable. Our room steward was the best I've ever had on any ship. Our ice bucket was always freshly filled with ice, he helped arrange the room by moving a table between the twin beds for my CPAP machine, and even offered to go down to maintenance to find an extension cord if wanted to hook up my machine on the other side of the bed. He realized we liked to take afternoon naps so would make our beds in the AM, then turn them back down around 3-4 pm, make them again around 6 and then turn them down as usual for the night. After the first 2 days we told him that he could leave the sofa bed down to save himself some work. He spent a good deal of time chatting with my son and telling him about life in his home country and working on the cruise ship. We wanted to take him home with us. lol We found the food on the ship to be very good. There were more choices than most ships I've sailed on. There was the usual Lido buffet, the formal dining room, Guys Burger Joint, the Blue Iguana Cantina taco/burrito bar, a sushi bar (extra fee), a gourmet coffee/milkshake stand (extra fee), a deli, a pizzeria that was open 24 hours a day and the usual ice cream machines around the boat. The Sunshine also has Ji-Ji's Asian - which offered free Mongolian stir fry for lunch and Asian sit-down dinners which were 15.00/pp in the evening and Cucina Del Capitano which had free made to order pasta and garlic bread for lunch. In the evenings, it offers family style italian dining for 15.00/pp. There were also small offerings of appetizers at the Havana bar, such as empanadas and cuban sandwiches. There is also something called the Taste Bar which is a small stand set up on deck 5 between the Alchemy Bar and the casino. It offered a few small breakfast choices in the am for those who did not want the full Lido buffet spread and prior to dinner each evening, it would offer "tastes" of a few menu items from around the ship. It was a good spot to sample a few hors d'oeuvres with a drink prior to dinner. The Sunshine also has the steak house which is an additional fee. We did not eat here but I can assume it's on par with the other Carnival steak houses. The food in the main dining room was reliable every night and service was top notch. We all have very different tastes so sampled a variety of menu options and were never disappointed. We loved our dining team who were charming, friendly, and efficient. They knew my son had a typical teenager appetite so would always offer him a sample of more than one main course if he couldn't make up his mind or two desserts. They knew our names by the second night and remembered that we liked decaf coffee each night after dinner. Service was very prompt with the exception of the last sea day when we waited much longer between courses for some reason. Against the advice I read in the forums, we did do the anytime dining instead of a set dining time. I was worried based on the reviews that said it was very confusing and people had to wait for 45+ minutes for their pager to go off. However, we can never seem to stick to a set dining schedule since everyone likes to do their own thing so I decided to go with my usual anytime dining and hope for the best. I was especially frightened by this decision when I discovered a week prior to sailing when I attempted to add another family member into our stateroom that the ship was sailing at capacity. Can you imagine my surprise when we did not wait even ONE night for a table? Yes we did have to check in near the Taste Bar on deck 5 but the process was painless. You stand in a fast-moving line and they give you a slip to take to the dining room on deck 3 which is directly two decks below. So you just hop on the elevator or walk down the stairs and you are right at the dining room entrance. (After the first night, we requested the same section when we checked in so we could have the same wait staff and always got it.) We typically ate between 5:45 and 7 pm and sat at a table for 4 in section 315 by the windows. I don't know why our experience was so different from many others but we never got a pager - just slip of paper -and never had ANY wait. We always walked directly from the check-in on deck 5 to the dining room entrance on deck 3 where we handed the hostess our ticket and were escorted directly to our table. It couldn't have been easier! I suppose if you did have to wait for your table to be ready, it wouldn't be that bad because you can sample the food from the Taste Bar, have a drink at the Alchemy Bar, or sit in the Ocean Plaza lounge area while waiting which is all located right where you check in for dining. The only down side I found to the dining experience was that as with many Carnival ships, late night dining options are limited to pizza, ice cream, and room service. The pizzeria always had a huge line late at night and people were getting annoyed with the wait times. The poor souls making the pizza were working as quickly as they could but because pizzas are hand made, it's a slow process. We did order room service a few nights after 1 am and it arrived very quickly but options are limited to sandwiches, wraps, salads, and desserts. We would usually get a wrap, BLT, or grilled cheese with some cheesecake (the cheesecake was pretty darn good). Also I do have to mention that the area around the Lido buffet can be congested and seating can be limited. I found it's best to take your food back to the Havana Bar area to sit or to go at "off" times such as right when the buffet opens or is almost done to avoid the crowds. Even though our sailing was at capacity we always found seats and the lines at the buffets were manageable, but I did notice that there were just not as many open tables / seating areas as on other ships. The entertainment was enjoyable and the entertainment staff were a good group. We especially enjoyed Darnell who hosted the trivia games in the Ocean Plaza lounge around 11 am each morning. He was very witty and always made us laugh. My son was in the Circle C club for teens and said he liked the counselor there as well. He met quite a few friends and spent a lot of time playing at the basketball court, doing the sky rope course, and hanging out in the teen club playing games. They designed their own t-shirts on the last night and had a "dance-off" which he said was fun. We did not participate in bingo or the art action so I can't comment on that. We did see many of the evening shows and it is certainly true that the comedy club and the main theater can fill up very quickly since they are smaller than on other ships, so we arrived about 30 minutes prior to any show we wanted to see and never had a problem finding a seat. The comedians were top-notch and there were typically 3-4 comedy shows each night with the first one being family-friendly and the later ones being for adults only. If you get stuck with a seat in the comedy club that is on either side of the main stage you will not be able to see the comedian. Instead you will watch the show from tv screens mounted on the walls. We got there a little later than usual one evening and had to watch the show on the monitor. It wasn't quite the same as seeing the comedian up close and personal, but it was still an enjoyable show. A note about the comedy club....the area where you wait in line prior to the show gets VERY hot. There is no air moving so it's very stuffy and there are no chairs. Since people start lining up about 30-40 minutes prior, the wait time compiled with the heat is not a lot of fun, especially for those of us who have health issues. I found it was easier for my daughter to stand in line and save me a seat while I waited at the end of the hall way in the Library Bar until it was almost showtime. The only real disappointment in the entertainment department was that the hypnotist and the musical reviews were the exact same shows I saw on the Glory 7 months ago. I'm not sure how frequently Carnival changes out the shows, so I don't know if it's typical to find the same shows running on different ships. The main show theater turns into the nightclub after the last show of the evening. It did seem a little odd to be dancing in the area that held bingo just an hour prior and having a theater double as the nightclub did reinforce the image that the Sunshine lacks space. The serenity area was indeed very nice and we enjoyed the waterfall pool and the hot tub. The front area of the serenity deck was not very "serene" since it overlooks the main lido deck with the DJ and activities. If you want a more quiet setting, you have the option of going up higher or around the back since the serenity area has more than one level. However, it is challenging to find deck chairs in the serenity area or on the main decks on sea days. You either have to go very early (we heard people mention they went at 730 am to get a chair) or wait until the lunch buffets start and people thin out later in the afternoon. We heard they enforce the "no chair saving" policy but we never saw any staff members doing so. The main pool was small but the splash area and the water slides made up for it. We did play in the casino and broke even on the slots thanks to hitting a small progressive bonus. I also earned enough points by day 3 for free drinks in the casino, which was a nice perk. The casino bar staff was very efficient and I never had any trouble getting drinks while playing. The casino was very smokey however and the ventilation could have been better. It also got rather crowded in the evenings but that's not different from most ship casinos in my opinion. Overall, we thought the staff on the Sunshine was excellent and really made the cruise for us. The ship was very clean and looked modern. We enjoyed the dining options and the 2.0 upgrades. We did not notice any odd smells, leaks, strange noises, or experience any issues with the anytime dining that other reviewers have mentioned. I did notice that the ship did not feel as open in the common areas as other ships I have sailed on. During peak times, the areas around the shops, buffets, and shows can be congested but it wouldn't be enough to prevent me from sailing on the Sunshine. Planning to arrive early for shows and to do things at off-peak times can make a big difference in your experience. There are also plenty of quiet spots to be found such as the Library Bar, the Ocean Plaza lounge area, the Piano Bar, and the RedFrog Pub if you need somewhere to relax without crowds. We had a great time on our cruise, loved the itinerary, and the ship and staff really won us over. We were pleasantly surprised and would not hesitate to sail on her again. I'm glad that we did not let the reviews sway us or we would have missed a great cruise! Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Carnival Sunshine Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.0 N/A
Dining 4.0 3.6
Entertainment 5.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 3.7
Fitness & Recreation 5.0 N/A
Family 4.0 3.8
Shore Excursions 3.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 3.0 N/A
Service 4.0 4.0
Value for Money 5.0 N/A

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