557 Carnival Sunshine Family Cruise Reviews

I booked this cruise because it was a convenient port I could drive to. Our cruise was set for boarding at 8am on Saturday nov 2. We got an email the night before stating that it would be pushed back to 7pm. So we end up losing a whole day ... Read More
I booked this cruise because it was a convenient port I could drive to. Our cruise was set for boarding at 8am on Saturday nov 2. We got an email the night before stating that it would be pushed back to 7pm. So we end up losing a whole day on ship. We stayed at a specific hotel due to being able to leave our cars there and they provided a shuttle. Our shuttle took us down to port at 3pm with all of our luggage under the impression we would have somewhere to put it. Once we arrived shortly after 3 we were told there was nowhere to put our luggage so I return we sat outside of the gate with all of our luggage since we have 6 people in our party until we were allowed in at 7pm. Our safety drill did not take place until 11:15 pm. That was fun after sitting on a sidewalk for 4 hours. We were told there was a medical emergency that deflated Them and a family got left in Bermuda and they had to turn around to go get them when they were already 100 miles away. I do wish the injured person well and hope they recover but needless to say it wasn’t a great start to the trip. I recently did an Alaskan cruise on Royal Caribbean oasis of the sea. That ship was beautiful and very clean. Hard to compare to the old Sunshine boat. The boat def shows it’s age. It does not feel clean. The first night I had dirty pillow cases in my bed. Called room service to replace them And they never showed up. We also tried ordering room service on multiple occasions and waited on the phone over an hour and finally gave up. We ended up going to get pizza from the 24 hour pizza joint which taste like cardboard but nothing else was open. Internet on this cruise is very spotty and the hub app for chat goes in and out all the time as well. I do enjoy gambling and playing roulette but they only have 2 tables and the casino is VERY smokey! Another issue we had was when we went to the private island. We took an earlier boat over at 9:30 am with hopes of going snorkeling. The hut who rents us told them they were all sold out for the day. We then tried to buy a set at the market on the island only to find out they were sold out as well. So needless to say they weren’t prepared for the amount of people coming and it was disappointing. About the only thing we got from missing a day on the cruise was a refund for a days worth of internet and drink package if you purchased one. Other than that we just missed a day on ship with no other compensation. The food in the main dining room is average. Overall the trip was enjoyable but it had a chaotic start which put a bad taste in my mouth. The ship did not feel clean to me but maybe it was the age of the ship. Overall I would do it again and hope for more organization. We enjoyed the late night comedy shows. We did get to swim with dolphins at the Atlantis and I highly recommend that! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Food was the same menu as the previous 5-6 yrs. they sorely need a change! Crew was very nice as always. Amenities are average at best. Loved Bermuda, needed to have more time there on second day. On our way back from ... Read More
Food was the same menu as the previous 5-6 yrs. they sorely need a change! Crew was very nice as always. Amenities are average at best. Loved Bermuda, needed to have more time there on second day. On our way back from Bermuda, we were 5 hrs out of port headed back to Charleston, the ship started to list to the port side. They got it corrected then it listed really badly again, we were in the dining room and had to catch the dishes as they slid off the table. A few minutes later they announced we had a medical emergency and had to return to Bermuda. We were supposed to return to Charleston at 7am Saturday. We got back at 4pm. The Debarkation process was a cluster at best. And there was never any mention on the ship of it listing. Some of the guests thought we had turned abruptly and that is what had happened. Lol do they really think a 103,000 ton ship can turn that quickly. I would still like them to admit we had a mechanical issue and address it properly. We have sailed on the Sunshine 5-6 times and this was the first issue we have had. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We cruised Sept. 22-28 on the Sunshine, originally for 1.5 days in Bermuda, but diverted due to hurricane Jerry to Princess Cays and Nassau. We were disappointed as Bermuda was the main reason we booked the cruise and the fact it was ... Read More
We cruised Sept. 22-28 on the Sunshine, originally for 1.5 days in Bermuda, but diverted due to hurricane Jerry to Princess Cays and Nassau. We were disappointed as Bermuda was the main reason we booked the cruise and the fact it was leaving from Charleston. We knew it was hurricane season, but unfortunately, all of the Bermuda options on Carnival from Charleston are during hurricane season and not a lot of other options are available. We were disappointed, but made the best of the cruise. We have sailed the Sunshine before in 2016 when it was making less frequent runs from Charleston, it is now home based there. It is an older ship that was re-designed in 2013. We typically enjoy the very large ships better because there are just more options. There are some oddities with this ship in getting to certain areas. You can’t pass through on all levels and find yourself going up or down a floor, walking through and then going up or down where you need. It is confusing, but not a deal breaker! By the time you figure out the system good, it’s time to get off the ship. Because it is not that big of a ship, it doesn’t take long to get to either end. But, it is larger than the Fantasy class ships. With the exception of the first evening and next morning, we rarely felt movement on the ship. I attributed the movement early on to being close to hurricane waters, but who knows! The rest of the trip, we wouldn’t have known we were on a ship. Of course, on the trip back to Charleston from NASSAU, the trip was only moving at about 12 knots. We had an outside stateroom with picture window, deck 1, midship (less movement typically) The room is a very nice size and in looking at some newer ships on OTHER lines, their outside cabins are very small ( I have not compared to Carnival’s newer ships yet). Our room had good room on each side of the king bed (2 twins together), small tables with storage on either side, a desk/vanity area that was wide, large mirror, lots of storage shelves and drawers. There is a small stool type chair for the vanity, a couch that seats 3 and table. There were 3 closets, 2 with hangers and space and the 3rd had the safe and shelves. There was plenty of storage and room for suitcases under the bed. TV had very limited channels including 2 movie channels and at least 2 channels for kids. You could not check your account on the TV, nor did it have menus, you could see menus on the hub app. You could also follow the days schedule on the app. Lighting was excellent in the cabin. There is an outlet with two plugs at the vanity area. I took an extension cord so I could use my sound machine to drown out snoring! The temperature was comfortable most of the time, a few times it felt a little warm even though we kept the settings on the lowest setting. I will say if you like your room very cold, that is not happening. It was comfortable, but not cold. Keeping curtains closed when sun is on that side helps keep the room from getting too warm. Outside temps were 70’s (night I think) to high 90’s. There is a hairdryer in the top drawer at the vanity, but difficult to use, so if you can, take your own. It is attached in the drawer and does not stretch far enough for you to use it adequately. I had to bend over to get it to my head and I am short. I could not see what I was doing as it would not stretch to the mirror. You also have to keep holding the button as you use it, or it cuts off. That is challenging too. It really was useless except maybe for drying, forget styling! There was space for storage in the bathroom and the size of the shower was very good. We had hot water most of the time and the water pressure was good most of the time. I am sure when a lot of people are using at once, that changes. Our cabin steward was Komang and he did a great job. We were given the option for morning, evening or both for room service, and we chose evening. I asked for ice to be brought nightly and he did that. We did not “see” him often but when we would return to our room, no matter what time we ate dinner, he had been there! He left awesome towel animals too. I try and keep the room straight, neat and clean, so didn’t leave a lot for him to do. We saw in some rooms as we’d pass by and I could not believe the mess people left. I do not feel it is their job to clean up behind us; but to clean bath as needed, leave fresh towels, empty trash, make the bed/turn down and ice. (though I sort of keep my bed made). Sad what some people expect. I always tip stateroom attendant extra because I know what they do is not easy. Food was good, nothing exceptional but it has been that way since the extra fee restaurants came into being. I also think because the chefs/cooks are form other countries, the food/recipes is not prepared as we are used to eating it. The buffet was pretty much similar items for breakfast and lunch. Deli had some great sandwiches and they are open until 11:00pm. Guys Burgers is open until about 6:00pm and the Blue Iguana closes around 2:30 (tacos, salads and burritos). They had late night snacks at 11:30-1:00 in the buffet area, but I never went to see what was offered. The only option for 24 hours is pizza or room service. There is not a fee for room service (unless you order items with an extra cost). Of course, tip is appreciated. Oh, if you are a fa of the cranberry rolls I teh dining room, they only had them one night, so eat up if you see them! All the bread was good though, as was the whipped butter! Sugar straws came with frozen drinks, etc. and they were fine until they started "melting" so to speak, they were like limp wet rubber and you could not drink through them. Not much flavor to them and they did not taste sweet. We found as many have said, the desserts look better than they are, including the cakes. They were good, just not exceptional or awe inspiring, no “wow” factor. Some desserts had odd textures. but they filled you up! I cannot speak for the extra fee restaurants as we did not eat at any, but they may have been better. I heard someone who ate at the steakhouse said it was excellent. I had beef tenderloin for one dinner in the dining room and it was very good, and I enjoyed the filet mignon steak and egg breakfast for brunch in the dining room. The chocolate melting cake was good, as it always is. The 24 ice cream machines were available as were lemonade, tea, coffee and water. I am not a big ice cream fan, so that didn’t appeal to me. All of the staff in the dining room and other dining areas were very nice, friendly and helpful. I saw numerous times throughout the ship, not just at dining, but other times as well, anyone who needed assistance, staff were right there to help them. They were very accommodating. I went to guest services twice and staff were very friendly there as well, Also the excursion desk. I never saw or encountered any rude staff or anyone appearing to be disgruntled. We had my time dining and used our Carnival Hub App to request a table. We went anywhere from 5:30-6:45 and never had more than a 10 minute wait. We would make the request on the app and it would tell us when our table was ready and gave the number. You walk in the dining room on deck 3 and the host has you seated. Only one night in the dining room did we wait what seemed a little longer for our food. Most nights, it was all very quick service. You can pay $5.00 each and be able to chat with each other on the ship through the app if needed. My husband had the premium (2nd level) wifi and was able to receive and send texts, check email and get on the web and make and receive wifi calls, though Carnival does not state/guarantee that will be available. We could sign off one device and use another as needed. My husband is a workaholic and gets stressed if he cannot have access. Our phones with T-Mobile worked on princess Cays and Nassau without the wifi. Just remember when you return to the ship, to put it back on airplane mode. I do not think the ships wifi worked on Princess Cays. I thought we’d be able to check our account on the app, but I was never able to do that. I did go to one of the 2 kiosks and printed out a statement to check our charges. If you have gift cards, you must go to guest services to load them to your account, it no longer works at the kiosks. The production shows were good as well as the comedy club acts. Adam, the Cruise Director was very good, professional and entertaining. When I saw any of the entertainment staff, they were all very good, seemed to be having fun (though I know they are working, and it is a job and not as fun for them as the passengers) and did a great job. Staff were always cleaning throughout the ship and nothing was ever amiss. It is an older ship, but kept in good condition. I never smelled any sewage odor. You could smell smoke on the decks near the casino and in the casino. We stayed out for that reason. Lots of music and bar options. When out by pool areas, waiters came around often to ask if you needed anything. The same during shows. Dress for the dining room, I know this is always a hot topic! On elegant nights, I saw shorts and jeans, as well as formal wear, so the full gamut. It doesn’t matter to me. We elected to skip the first elegant night because hubby did not feel like getting dressed. They had most of the same menu items in the buffet except for the lobster tails, which is OK with me as I am more of a shrimp person. I will say, the oysters were not what we in SC are used to and I could not eat them. The breading is totally different, but the oysters themselves were very strong for lack of a better word and almost fishy like and did not taste like oysters I have eaten elsewhere, including FL. I usually love fried oysters, but not those. For casual dining they do suggest no flip flops, but I saw men in those, after telling my hubby he had to wear closed toed shoes! Next time I won’t worry about it. We did the “behind the Fun” tour (95.00) and enjoyed it very much. It was the first time we have ever done one. It was conducted by Benn, who was getting off the ship same day as us for 2 months of vacation, and he did an excellent job. The tour was very informative and there were several surprises which I will not reveal, or they won’t be surprises for you! I will say there are photo ops and ladies, you may want to take that into consideration! You must wear closed toed shoes for this excursion and no skirts or bathing wear. You cannot take a camera or a cell phone on the tour. There is time for bathroom breaks and a short refreshment break. Though most of the 3.5 hours was walking (stairs as well) and standing, there were several times, where you could sit for a few minutes. Most of our crowd was 50+ and no one seemed to have any challenges. One exciting moment was when we were off the coast of Jacksonville, an air force jet flew over the ship. It was so close and cool to see, would have loved to have had a picture of that! For pictures taken throughout the cruise, they are still posted in slots on the walls and you have hunt for yours. I never did find most of mine and figured we must have broken the camera! I did overhear a passenger chastising an employee for telling someone with him, that she could not take pictures, of the picture! I would think that is common sense, but the passenger was trying to make the employee feel bad for doing his job. Not cool. Just admit you’re wrong and move on. We did the stingray excursion in Princess Cays and it was very good, especially for the price. I have swum with stingrays many years ago in Cayman Islands and loved it, but that was challenging because the water was almost neck high for me and lots of waves to keep navigating. For this excursion, the area with the rays is blocked off from the rest of the beach, but is right there when you get to the beach. You walk right in and the rays swim around all the way up to the shoreline. You have the opportunity to pet them, snorkel in the beach area with them and later, feed them and hold them. The handler was very good and has been with them for 3 years. She said when a storm comes, they let them out of the fenced area, but they always come back. My husband was hesitant to get in because of the Steve Ervin incident, but he became more comfortable and did get in with them, though he did not feed or hold one! He took lots of pictures for me. We were allowed to take our own pictures, which was very nice. There were many lounge chairs on the beach (sun and shade) and float chairs to rent as well as many other things to rent. The stretch of beach is long, so keep walking and you will find a chair in an area you like. There was a nicer souvenir shop (takes the sign and sail card only) and straw market type booths as well as hair braiding offered. Bar service was good. Restrooms were limited, so don’t go at the last minute! Band played live music and that was nice. The lunch provided from the ship included hamburgers and hotdogs and was filling. They gave you very small cups for your drink though (lemonade, tea, water), like a bathroom sized dixie cup. People were busy cleaning up, not only the meal areas, but throughout the entire area. It was very clean there. The beach was calm but rocky, you do need water shoes! You must take tenders to the ship and we had no issues with those nor long lines. There was a small shallow pool in the kid’s playground area with lounge chairs. But the ocean was calm and little ones could sit right at shore. There were showers to wash off shoes, etc. but the stream of water was very limited and slow and they didn’t do much good. We did the walking tour in Nassau since we had already been there 3 times, and also did not want a beach day after Princess Cays. It was a very nice and informative tour, our guide was David who was great. It was hot, but he provided us with an iced water bottle about half the way. He also had devices we used so we could all hear him no matter where he was in the group. Highly recommend for a short and informative tour, 1.5 hours. We did not have trouble getting into any of the shows in the theater. It did get full for the love and marriage show, but by the way Adam talked, that was an anomaly, probably because we were in Nassau overnight and most stayed on the ship! For the comedy club, there are lines. The earlier you get there the better. We went about half an hour early and never had trouble getting seated. Once one show ends, everyone has to leave and if they want to attend the next show, they must go to the end of the already formed line. They did have staff at the door watching this. We preferred Jimmy Carroll as the comedian, but both comedians had long lines and full shows. The 18+ is not for kids for sure because mainly of the language. I did not play bingo, I have no idea what the cards cost, but they did give away a cruise on Wednesday, $3000.00 on Thursday and $5000.00 on Friday. There were less than 200 kids on our cruise, so the waterpark was not as crowded as it could be. I did see people on the ropes course. Numerous other outdoor sports options and mini golf. The main pool is not very large, but this seems to be an issue on all ships. There is a smaller waterfall and shallow pool on the serenity deck for adults only. That area is also very nice if you can get a chair. I think the area had been enlarged since my 2016 cruise. Embarkation was quick and easy, though because of the layout of the Charleston terminal, you do go to separate buildings, some walking, some riding a bus. There were no good signs for where we were to turn to park on embarkation day, despite there being good signs to the port itself. That is not Carnival’s fault of course and after turning around, we eventually found the way! You drive in and pay first, then drop your luggage, then go park. You walk to a building where you are checked in (it was quick) and then you go by bus (security reasons) to the ship where we went right on. The sign and sail cards are at your room when doors open at 1:30 (unless you have priority boarding, FTTF, etc. and get in your room early). It was about 12:30 when we got on. For debarkation (silent), also easy. We had to be out of our rooms at 8:30 am and most are off the ship by 9:30am. If you are checking your luggage, you pick up tags the day before departure for early (8:30-9:00) or late departure (9:00-9:30). Your bags are left outside your door the last night on the ship. The departure times are shown on your TV and on the big screen at the pool area, etc. I wish this could be added to the app. Those taking all their luggage off themselves, can start departing much earlier. Announcements are not made because Charleston asked they not be, but this worked just fine. When our number was shown, we went down and walked right off, very quick. When you get into the customs building, you pick up your luggage and go through customs. This took us only about 5 minutes. We normally get a porter, who can get you through a fast porter line, but there weren’t any available and it worked out fast anyway and we saved some bucks! We walked out to the shuttle buses, which take you to the parking lot. We were leaving the parking lot by 9:50am (our number was shown at about 9:15am on the lido pool deck, so entire process took about 35 minutes). There are people to assist those who need it. So, despite the oddities of the terminal (thanks to Charleston), the system works very well and was fast and efficient. I have waited much longer in fancier terminals! Efforts have been in the works to build a nicer terminal, but there are some in Charleston fighting that. I vote with someone who suggested moving up to North Charleston. It would be closer to the airport, less expensive hotels and the ship would sail under the Copper River Bridge! That would be a plus! Love sailing out of Charleston because it is 2 hours from my home. Just wish we had more ship options and more itinerary options. But I am thankful Carnival does offer what they do, as a small group of Charlestonians holds up progress and makes cruising from there difficult. Be glad to answer any questions I can. Overall and good cruise and plenty to do. Debbie Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Chose this cruise due to length (8 nights) and ports visited (St Thomas, St Maarten and San Juan) plus it left out of Charleston SC which was convenient for our family cruise. I would recommend the Sunshine. Staff was nice and ... Read More
Chose this cruise due to length (8 nights) and ports visited (St Thomas, St Maarten and San Juan) plus it left out of Charleston SC which was convenient for our family cruise. I would recommend the Sunshine. Staff was nice and entertainment staff was great. Loved the Ocean Plaza area. Trivia, great music (2 to 12). Enjoyed the Java Café each day. The Atrium parties were fun and the cruise director, Adam, added to the entire experience. Love the Thirsty Frog and Carnivals Red Beer. Our cabin was fine (interior on 6). Towels animals every day made me smile. Ports were awesome. Excursions were fun. Met great people. Also, enjoyed Alchemy Bar and the assortment of drinks. Bartenders did a great job. LOVED the Build a Bear and made a Carnival Bear (and I'm an adult) lol Shows were good. Comedians were funny. Negatives were: the food was below par. Buffet food was cold most of the time. (Salad bar was good). Not enough healthy choices. Lack of vegetables on buffet. Limited choices. Need more fish & chicken that was edible. Deli was good and stayed busy. Pizza was not very good. NCL has much better food. Although Bar Service was overall GOOD. The bartenders don't work a bar very well. They don't honor 1st come 1st serve AND they take orders around the entire bar; make many drinks at once leaving people long waits and newcomers to bar even longer waits. Bad system overall. Other negative for this cruise was piano bar which we usually love. Zack Daniels not a very good singer but can play piano and entertain. But found him overbearing in some aspects. Also, Aretha, bingo, was rude and crude. Rest of staff was great. One other negative was the water pressure. It's an older ship but fine except for the water pressure in shower/bathroom sink. Also, Carnival seems to have problems with sewage smells around their ships that other cruise lines don't have. Public toilets over flowing (ie: Casino bathroom). Don't see this on NCL, RCI or Celebrity. We've been on 4 cruise out of Charleston (Ecstasy, Fantasy and Sunshine). We've enjoyed all 4 and are pleasantly surprised by our experiences. Love this port. This was our first Platinum cruise and we enjoyed the party and guest service priority. Thanks Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our first cruise ever so we choose a 7day to Nassau Bahamas and a overnight in Bermuda. I only saw my 16y old at breakfast and Dinner plus the 2 shore excursions he made a bunch of friends his age doing their entertainment and ... Read More
This was our first cruise ever so we choose a 7day to Nassau Bahamas and a overnight in Bermuda. I only saw my 16y old at breakfast and Dinner plus the 2 shore excursions he made a bunch of friends his age doing their entertainment and activities all over the ship ( I highly recommend taking the "Restless Native Catamaran " shore excursions in Bermuda) I have to give a Shout Out to these's people they made our experience very memorable " James, Thai , Andy, Adam, Christian, with the games like Clue, Guess Who, trivia's ect and we must not forget the Comedians " Cowboy, Kim Harris, Al Cats " . Our first dinner was at the Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse , the rest of the Dinners we eat a the" Sunrise Dinner " we got so spoiled , Henry & ----- table number 517 knew our names and had our drinks , they worked so hard for us I have to say "Thank You " I give them a 10 out of 10 thumbs up.. We did not want to leave the Sunshine ship it only felt like 3 days next time I'll be taking 10 to 14 days ... Definitely will go again !! The only thing that need to be more smoother is when we got to the port in Bermuda getting Off the ship was so crowded everyone wanted off at the same time , we had an excursion at a certain time but for some reason you let the people who did NOT have excursions go at the same time I thought the Excursions had priority off the ship first ? Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This cruise was a little different than my previous cruise, for several reasons. First, Charleston was being evacuated the day we were scheduled to sail due to Hurricane Dorian. We had notice that Half Moon Cay would be removed from the ... Read More
This cruise was a little different than my previous cruise, for several reasons. First, Charleston was being evacuated the day we were scheduled to sail due to Hurricane Dorian. We had notice that Half Moon Cay would be removed from the itinerary the day before we left, which was disappointing but understandable. Because of the evacuation, my husband and I decided to leave and head to Charleston a day early to be able to beat the traffic and the road closures and re-routes. Unfortunately, we decided that at 9:30 pm the night before the cruise, so we got to Charleston at about 1 am, got booked at a hotel, slept, and then headed to the port Monday morning. The cruise opened arrival early because of the evacuation and delayed the departure, so we really got a full day on the ship that first day-- we were on by 10 and didn't leave the port until 6. We sped east to move around the hurricane. While it was SUPER rocky due to the speed, and I did get queasy and seasick and had to lie down, we never felt unsafe. The cruise overall was really great. Beautiful weather, great communication from the cruise director about our ports and Charleston, the ship was well-equipped with lots of new features for us (our previous cruise was on a smaller ship), and a wonderful excursion in Nassau. Our steward was really great-- always available, and always had our room ready after dinner (we like evening turndown), but never obtrusive in the way it can sometimes feel. The dining room staff was awesome. Putra and his team are amazing. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Although we are seasoned cruisers, this was only our second cruise on Carnival. Last year, we cruised on the Triumph out of NOLA and had a really great time! With the exception of rain we had a great time! We did not fair well with ... Read More
Although we are seasoned cruisers, this was only our second cruise on Carnival. Last year, we cruised on the Triumph out of NOLA and had a really great time! With the exception of rain we had a great time! We did not fair well with excursions. Unfortunately we were unable to enjoy the cabana that we took on Balmoral due to weather. We also did not get to go on Half Moon Cay. Although some passengers managed to leave the ship, they were brought back due to the bad weather. We watched the tender pull up next to the ship and the captain had to reposition the ship so that the passengers could get back on the ship safely. We had an inside cabin on deck 7 midship. It was probably the roomiest inside cabin I ever had. Lots of closet and drawer space. Mel, our room steward, was wonderful. He made up the room twice a day and made sure we always had ice as we had requested. Food in the dining room was good although somewhat slow. We really enjoyed the seaday brunch....lots of choices! My only issue was that I drink hot tea and when I asked for it, I got the hot water first and then had to wait for the tea bag. Not sure why they just can't bring it all together. We enjoyed Guys...such yummy burgers! We had gotten a gift card to use on Carnival and we decided to go to Fahrenheit 555...the steak house. I can honestly say I have never had such a delicious meal. The service was incredible. A special shout out to Sheetal and Victoria, our servers. They really made the experience! We enjoyed it so much that we made reservations again. Our servers, Ilona and Stanley were awesome as well. An additional comment on the dining room experience. On Cruise Elegant night, someone at the next table was wearing a baseball hat and several people at that table wore shorts (the basketball type). Why these patrons were not asked to leave as the rules state, they enjoyed their dinner in the main dining room. Either adhere to the rules or don't have them. We spent our time on the Serenity deck and enjoyed the relative quiet. I will say that the pool is small but we always managed to find a spot and chairs. From my perspective, the family pool seemed a little on the small side but since I didn't really spend any time there I can't elaborate. Shows... I was not impressed with any of the shows. I didn't find the comedian particularly funny during the adult only show. Maybe he was better on the earlier shows. The singers and dancers were awesome but I felt that each show was the same except for the songs and costumes. Would have liked to see more variety in the shows. The piano player was lots of fun. I don't remember the names of the the singers in the atrium but they were all very good. We are not drinkers so I can't attest to bar service other than to say the bars were always crowded. Overall, we had a great time and although our next two cruises are scheduled on other cruise lines, I would definitely cruise Carnival again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We wanted to take my daughter and some of her friends on a short cruise as a graduation present. We chose Carnival because it was an economical way to travel. Meals and entertainment were included in the price of the trip. Plus, it ... Read More
We wanted to take my daughter and some of her friends on a short cruise as a graduation present. We chose Carnival because it was an economical way to travel. Meals and entertainment were included in the price of the trip. Plus, it departed from Charleston SC, which is close to our house, so we didn’t have to pay for airfare. We have happily and satisfactorily cruised many times with Royal Caribbean, Windstar, Regent and Seabourn. If you are looking for an enjoyable and relaxing vacation don’t take a Carnival cruise. Carnival Sunshine has a spring break meets beer commercial atmosphere. The staff is overworked trying to clean up after all the obnoxious drunk cruisers. We were the 1st tender to beautiful Half Moon Cay and the beach was stunningly beautiful! We were the last tender off the Island and as we retraced our steps back to the tender the beach was literally trashed. I wish I had taken a picture. It was as if somebody took a dumpster filled with beer cans and empty drinking cups and scattered them on the beach! This is not an exaggeration. We ended up paying extra and eating in their specialty restaurants (very good) every night because the dining room was average and stressful. We booked spa appointments (very good) to avoid the crowds in the main areas. Thankfully our room was big and had a triple long balcony so we had peace there. Check in and check out was shockingly easy and organized. Carnival Sunshine is like a floating raunchy dirty hotel with a seedy nightclub and a crappy all you can eat buffet attached. If that is what you are looking for in a vacation then Carnival Sunshine is for you. NEVER AGAIN! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My family chose this cruise because it was not very costly and we heard carnival was good and it was a ship close to home. The overall experience on the boat was fantastic staff was great our housekeeper or steward Gede did a great job ... Read More
My family chose this cruise because it was not very costly and we heard carnival was good and it was a ship close to home. The overall experience on the boat was fantastic staff was great our housekeeper or steward Gede did a great job always had our room clean and always had a big smile on his face to serve us an all around great guy! All the staff all around did great and always had smiles on there face and ready to serve whenever! Our dining room staff also did great I believe the supervisor we had named Ariel and his 3 other staff members did great always made sure we had food and drinks and they always had a smile on there face also all around great guys! I look forward to going on another carnival cruise just for the service thank you carnival for a great and memorable vacation like y’all promised ! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I'm not sure that I've ever given a negative review of a cruise before but there is a first time for everything ... We live in Charleston so we were very excited to sail out of our home port. Avid cruisers, we've enjoyed ... Read More
I'm not sure that I've ever given a negative review of a cruise before but there is a first time for everything ... We live in Charleston so we were very excited to sail out of our home port. Avid cruisers, we've enjoyed Carnival, RCCL and Disney cruises and have always praised Carnival for its service and food quality, as well as the variety of entertainment. That said, I feel that the service has deteriorated dramatically since our last Carnival cruise. This ship, in particular, was aged badly and there was no sign of the daily maintenance that we were used to seeing in the past. Our room steward was Ok but the room itself looked old and unclean. Our wait staff was below average; one was even visibly annoyed when my nephew and I would order multiple desserts to share. The food wasn't appetizing, except for the Guy's Burger Joint, the taco stand and the deli. One word of caution, Guy's Burger would only give you one onion ring per burger... I've never been denied any food request on a cruise ship until now...Anyone else think that pre-paying tips may be the death of good service on a cruise??? I've also noticed that with the new drink package option, there are no longer nearly as many waiters available pool side. With the exception of one day, we had to walk to the bar for each drink. Given that we have two kids that were playing in the pool or napping; that is way easier said than done. Finally, the ship wasn't family friendly and the kids' club hours were not long enough and it didn't matter because my kids didn't want to go anyway.... Unfortunately, this will probably be our 11th and FINAL Carnival cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I chose this cruise because I had a pleasant experience with Carnival 2 years ago on the Carnival Liberty. I should have chosen another cruise line, the first trip seemed to be a one-off lucky good time. SHIP CONDITION: The sunshine ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I had a pleasant experience with Carnival 2 years ago on the Carnival Liberty. I should have chosen another cruise line, the first trip seemed to be a one-off lucky good time. SHIP CONDITION: The sunshine is dirty, tired, and cabins DO smell as reported in other reviews. The porter entered our room without permission, and with the DND tag hanging on the door on the first night of the trip. My 16 year old and I were both horrified. There was no explanation given for the mistake. When we boarded the ship and entered our cabin it smelled like foul body odor, carpets were stained, the bathroom was dirty. We thought it would be nice/special because I paid extra for the “Cloud 9 Spa Balcony Cabin”. Clearly a huge waste if money! I was also told by Carnival’s Customer Service when I booked the room that ALL Spa services were included with the cost of the cabin... Not true. Anything to make a sale I suppose, or horrible training of Carnival staff. POOLS: The 3 so called pools are tiny, dirty, and don’t adequately serve the number of passengers (approx 5,000). One of which is the waterslide landing pool, which is considered a “swimming pool” and advertised as such. We did not use any pool on-board the ship due to filthy conditions. Deck floors were sticky and filthy, all around gross environment. PORT CONDITIONS: The Charleston port was awful, like a state fair pole barn. Hot, foul smelling, and we were herded like cattle despite purchasing “Faster to the Fun”. Upon arrival it was awful, and departure was even worse. Employees were rude and acted as if we were not welcome. A shame because Charleston is beautiful... Apparently many people drive from Charlotte and other nearby locations to use this port. It is not managed professionally, it was extremely hot and everyone was moody. FOOD: The food was frankly terrible. The buffet food was dull, repetitive, and similar to school cafeteria food. Over or undercooked, cold, and ingredients were not posted. (I have food allergies). The saving grace was Guy’s Burger Joint. That was good, and I could trust it. Even the buffet desserts were awful. One fellow passenger chose chocolate cake and said to me “Well if I add a heap of chocolate sauce it might then taste like chocolate!”. We did not eat in any of the restaurants on-board for fear the food would be just as bad and we would have to pay extra for more bad food. Room service was also poor. Coffee was bad, half and half was delivered in a plastic cup. Simple chicken tenders from room service were over-cooked and non-edible. CUSTOMER SERVICE: The customer service was terrible onboard and on excursion shuttles. People were not friendly, there was no excitement in the air. It was dull because our hosts were dull. We were not treated as guests who in some instances paid a great deal of money for the cruise. Honestly it felt as if we were a burden that the staff didn’t want to deal with. We seemed to be an added chore. Our shuttle to Blue Lagoon Island was “ok”’on the way over. We were told we could return to Nassau at 1:15. We made sure to book our VIP Dolphin Swim early so we could go shopping before we had to board the ship. We waited in the heat for the 1:15 shuttle, but when it arrived the captain advised he was not transporting anyone until 2:15. At least 100 people were in line, and we asked why. He simply said the shuttle was cancelled, we had to wait. After many people complained he relented and allowed us to board. On the way back to port the music was blasted so loudly that we had to cover our ears, many of us complained with no resolution. Almost comical in hindsight, rows of passengers with our fingers in our ears! And again, the crew was very rude. By the time we got back to port we only had time to shop in the port shops, which are questionable at best. We didn’t feel safe, so we returned to the ship with no cool Nassau souvenirs. This was absolutely unacceptable. AIRPORT TRANSPORTATION SERVICES In Charleston you can Uber to and from the airport for $40.00 total. The Carnival transportation is $30.00 per person per destination for a total of $120.00 for two passengers. The transport service was seriously disorganized. I paid for transportation from the airport to the ship, with the intention of price shopping Uber for the ride back to the airport. On my way to the airport (to get to Charleston) I called Carnival to make sure my transportation was lined up because I had received nothing in my cruise documents except a notation that I had purchased that “excursion”. The Customer Service employee told me I had not purchased transportation. I advised I had my receipt in my hand, and tried to give her the confirmation number. She wouldn’t take the number and said my payment was not processed. She then told me to call the shuttle company! She gave me the number rather than calling herself. I proceeded to call them. I was told that my daughter and I were listed as confirmed passengers and that the Carnival employees were not trained properly on a new internal system. Needless to say, after price shopping we chose Uber for our trip back to the airport when we left after the cruise. Carnival charges MUCH TOO MUCH for airport to pier/ pier to airport shuttle service. They make you believe you “need” to purchase through them, paying exorbitant fees. OVERALL EXPERIENCE: The Carnival Sunshine, as I said, is an old and tired ship. The employees act as if they are old and tired too. I consider this cruise to have been a huge waste of money, and will not ever cruise on this particular ship-if I even cruise Carnival-again. If I was offered a free cruise from Carnival via Charleston I would not accept because it was such an awful experience. It is so disappointing when you look forward to, and pay for a trip that is meant to create meaningful memories, and walk away with this. A whole lot of nothing except shoppers remorse. ADVICE: Price shop ALL cruise lines. They all have specials, don’t assume Carnival is all you can afford. The sunshine was basically a floating bar providing transportation to Nassau. Look at all of your options, I wish I had but was under the impression that I was getting a good deal because I am a VIPF member due to past cruises. Once I realized I had over-paid it was too late to cancel the trip. And most importantly, don’t cruise from Charleston, SC unless you are willing to deal with undesirable circumstances. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My family went on this cruise&just got back yesterday.It was my first cruise so i didnt know what to expect.it was really fun overall. the rooms were very small. &the bathroom was very tiny, you had to close the door to use it. our ... Read More
My family went on this cruise&just got back yesterday.It was my first cruise so i didnt know what to expect.it was really fun overall. the rooms were very small. &the bathroom was very tiny, you had to close the door to use it. our steward cleaned our room well but the bad part was that they never changed the sheets. the dining restaurants sunset and sunrise were awesome. i really enjoyed the nightly shows in the Liquid Lounge. the dancers and singer were phenomenal. We went into Half Moon Cay and the water was amazing. it was a nice beach, then let off at Nassau- i wasn’t impressed though but i did buy a bunch of stuff. The only other bad thing was that at night, they would have night clubs for ages 18+ (i’m 19), and whenever they moved the night club to the serenity deck, they were allowed, but during the day when no alcohol was being served on the serenity deck and everything was calm,you had to be 21 to get on the serenity deck, so they kicked us out, it just didn’t make sense to us! why would they let us up there at 2 am with alcohol everywhere but not at 2 pm when everything is calm? just weird. but overall had a good time. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Our family cruise to the Bahamas Pros...The entertainment, staff, activities, Adam (cruise director), and Guys Burger was good. Cons..the cabin was horrible! When we first walked into the cabin it was sticky stuff on the carpet. We were ... Read More
Our family cruise to the Bahamas Pros...The entertainment, staff, activities, Adam (cruise director), and Guys Burger was good. Cons..the cabin was horrible! When we first walked into the cabin it was sticky stuff on the carpet. We were told by housekeeping that he tried to clean it but it wouldn’t come clean. We were told that we would have a king size bed and a rollout bed but instead of getting a rollout bed we got a metal cot that sat on that nasty floor! And to top it off it was hot in our cabin. Our daughter have asthma and she was very uncomfortable. We complained to guest services multiple times and they offered us a box fan. We were told by guest services that 70 degrees was standard for the room temperature but our room temperature was ranging from 72-75. It felt better in the hallway than it did in our cabin. Our daughter have asthma and she was very uncomfortable. Once we arrived home we called carnival and customer services was saying that 75 degrees is standard for the cabin temperature. I think they could have been a lot more understanding. This will definitely be my last time cruising with Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose the port of Charleston because we did not want to fly to Florida, the cost of the flight for 2 adults and 2 children would have been almost as much as the price of the cruise. So we drove 8 hours to the port. Easy approach to ... Read More
We chose the port of Charleston because we did not want to fly to Florida, the cost of the flight for 2 adults and 2 children would have been almost as much as the price of the cruise. So we drove 8 hours to the port. Easy approach to the port, fast parking, great service at the port of Charleston. Getting on the boat, was a breeze. We had purchased "faster to the fun" and it got us on the boat quickly. This was the only time "faster to the fun" was of any help. First night on the boat, it became apparent that Carnival had packed as many people on-board as possible. It was very VERY crowded. We soon learned that there was going to be long lines for everything. The pool was overfilled with children, the hot tubs on the lido deck were full of children splashing and being loud. Parents let their children run wild with little to no supervision. Many children were darting through the crowds and on the interior walkways of the ship bumping into people and being very loud late into the night. There was a constant sewer smell around deck 4 the entire time we were on the ship. Anytime you went that direction, you caught the smell and was kinda gross. Camp Ocean was OK for the kids, they did complain that one of the staff were rude to them while there and it took some convincing for them to want to go back. Room Steward was amazing gentleman that took very good care of us our entire cruise. He cleaned the room twice a day, made towel animals for the kids, kept our ice bucket full at all times and took the time to learn our names and spoke to us at every opportunity. We tipped him in cash very well. $20/ $30/ $40 at a time. Tipping- We opted to tip in cash and NOT pre-pay or gratuity. So we took a large stack of $5 and $1 bills for tipping (more than a few hundred dollars). We passed out tips to almost every employee we had any encounter with. We were very generous with our tipping. On the third morning of the cruise, I used the Carnival Hub app to check our account activity and found that we had been charged $280 for gratuity. I immediately went to guest services and had them remove the charge and explained that there was no mention prior to booking of an automatic gratuity, only the option to pre-pay gratuity. Which we opted to tip cash (anyone that has been in the service industry knows that cash in hand is better than a charged tip). Faster to the fun- NOT WORTH IT. Only helps when initially getting onto the boat on the first day at port. Excursions- Stingray adventure at Half Moon Cay was enjoyable. Instructions on where to be at what time, were horrible. We had no indication on where to check in. We walked almost all the way to the building with the stingrays only to be told that we need to sign in at the front of the island and ride the tram to the stingray adventure location. My wife and two girls had a 12:30 appointment, and got bumped back because it was overbooked. Then they got left at the stingray adventure with no tram available and were forced with about 20 others to walk all the way back. The empty tram passed them along the route and did not even stop to offer a ride. Balmoral Island Dolphin swim- 9:30 meeting time at the Nassau port, got off the boat nice and early and were basically first in line. Once the excursion workers arrived, it was apparent their attitude towards us was poor at best. Not helpful, not caring. It seemed like since they already had our money, that we were stuck and along for the ride. We were escorted to a small boat, asked a few questions to the un-attentive worker that was on her phone from the moment I first saw her. She acted very bothered that we spoke to her. They counted out 110 passengers for the ferry to Balmoral Island. Then walked us to the boat, then a second group joined our group which made us over capacity. We missed the first boat by 5 people and were left on the dock with no instruction, to wait and bake in the heat for an hour before another boat arrived. Its now 10:30 and we have been off the ship to two hours waiting in the sun and just now getting onto a ferry. Arrived at the island and had to wait in another line to sign a waiver for the dolphin swim. Was given a time slot of 12:45. So our 9:30 turned into 12:45. Very misleading. Waited around on the island, swam in ocean, at lunch ($22 for 1 serving of chicken tenders that came in a styrofoam "to-go" box similar to fast food). We split it among the 4 of us to hold us over till we got back to the ship. THE DOLPHINS WERE AWESOME! The two trainers, not sure of their names were great! They had obviously paid attention to their previous customers needs and were very attentive and made the dolphin swim a complete blast. Cannot say enough about those two guys, they were professional and courteous and did their jobs well. Lockers were provided at the building for the dolphin swim, but there were only 18 available for around 45 people. We had to leave all of our belongings out in the open (passports, cash, phones etc.) Thankfully, everything was left untouched. We finally made it back to the docks around 3:15pm, and needed to be back on the ship by 4:30. We were left with very little time to experience Nassau, but it honestly only took a few moments to realize what a trash hole this place was. There were multiple instances of police sirens that should have been an indicator before we ever left the cruise boat. Nearly every person was rude, pushy and aggressive towards us. The streets are dirty, not maintained at all and there are abandoned buildings and boats littered about. For a port that almost 100% is reliant upon tourism, they really do nothing to keep the place maintained. One man photo-bombed a picture I took of my daughter and then tried to demand I give him money. We were very disappointed that our 9:30am excursion was so misleading and took up the entire day. Carnival really needs to work on their crowd control and better organization with these excursions to increase everyone's enjoyment. We went back to the ship, at at Guy Fieri burger joint, which we were starving and the burgers were absolutely amazing! If you have read this far, I hope this review gives an accurate portrayal of what you can expect. I should have been more prepared for the crowds and the money gouging and the rudeness of the Nassau citizens. In summary, the cruize staff were absolutely amazing we were very well taken care of. The food was awesome. The drinks were weak, but we were not there to get drunk, so it was ok. Nassau citizens and excursion staff were absolutely horrible. Cruise director Adam was incredible. Every show we went to was excellent, just be prepared to wait in long lines for everything. Be prepared to pay 18% gratuity on every purchase, and then be charged $70 per person gratuity on top of that with no warning. Think of it like going to the shopping mall on black friday, once everyone is jammed inside, they lock the doors, triple the price on everything, crank up the heat and start serving alcohol for $15 a drink while everyone lets their kids run absolutely wild. If you can handle that, you will have fun. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Previously we’d been on Princess 2x, Royal, and Norwegian. First Carnival trip and picked this because the port was convenient. We purchased Faster To The Fun, which was a mixed experience. Check-in was organized but extraordinarily ... Read More
Previously we’d been on Princess 2x, Royal, and Norwegian. First Carnival trip and picked this because the port was convenient. We purchased Faster To The Fun, which was a mixed experience. Check-in was organized but extraordinarily hot - you’re carrying bags from your car, to Bldg 324, on to a shuttle in Charleston in the middle of summer. Got on at 11am with very little waiting and our room was ready. The issue was bags (FTTF says expedited). At 4pm we called and they sounded very concerned we hadn’t gotten them yet. At 4:45 I tracked down a random porter and just saw our bags on a cart. Not the best start. Food. The lido deck offerings for breakfast and lunch were fine, sometimes pretty good. Dinner and late night dining there was terrible. We had two nights of specialty dining (Asian and Italian) and they were both terrific - Carnival clearly wants their guests to spend the money for any nighttime dining. The pizza was just mediocre, with some very long lines depending on time of day. Some hidden gems for dining if you’re already booked on this ship. Guy’s Burgers was very good (warning: closes at 6pm) and the Sandwich Shop at the back of Lido was also great. Casino is the hangout spot for smokers. Bartenders, servers, and staff were very polite and fast for the most part. Piano bar was enjoyable but not a lot of song variety. We used the kids club for our daughter. She enjoyed it, but there was always a wait for either drop-off or pickup. The entertainment options were extremely poor. We’d scan the patter for something to do and it always seemed to be either a shopping presentation or Bingo. We would not go on this ship again, and are very likely going to a previous cruise line in the future. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I chose this cruise because of the port location and it looked very kid friendly with the pool/water slides. Our room was so hot that it was cooler outside than in our cabin. We reported it and were told by someone at the customer ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the port location and it looked very kid friendly with the pool/water slides. Our room was so hot that it was cooler outside than in our cabin. We reported it and were told by someone at the customer service desk that we were taking too many showers and going out on the balcony too much. We hadn’t showered since the day before and hadn’t been on our balcony for several hours. When I told her that she said “ well I am not the a/c specialist and you should have told us sooner that is what the maintenance man said”. Apparently 5pm is too late to get anything done. The only thing we could get done about it was someone brought us a box fan at 1am. The ship is very crowded. A couple of the shows were pretty good, a couple were horrible. Adam was pretty good, our Steward was good. There are not enough chairs on the Lido. The pool is very crowded and small. The water slides are rough. My child ended up with several bruises and a cut after riding just one. The food was not great. I only ate two things that were pretty good. After leaving Nassau and heading back to Charleston we felt like the staff/crew were pretty much done with this cruise. The food was even worse and some of the staff went from friendly to treating you like you were putting them out if you ask for something. The port in Charleston itself is very sketchy. The people handling the luggage upon arrival were very rude and threw everyone’s suitcases like basic garbage. Someone else had something in their suitcase that exploded and ruined our suitcase and some of our clothes. I will not be going back. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was our 11th Carnival Cruise and we have cruised on RC and Disney. Chose this port because it is only a 5 hour drive for us. Embarkation: Stayed at Wyngate in Mt Pleasant because they have a park and cruise package. It included an ... Read More
This was our 11th Carnival Cruise and we have cruised on RC and Disney. Chose this port because it is only a 5 hour drive for us. Embarkation: Stayed at Wyngate in Mt Pleasant because they have a park and cruise package. It included an overnight stay, light breakfast, and transportation to and from the port. Our driver arrived 20 minutes early so got to ship a few minutes before our 11:30 boarding time. We immediately began the boarding process and was on the ship by 12:00. All guests must ride a shuttle from check-in to ship but it flowed well for us. We did have priority boarding with a ocean suite. The only new change for us was the "sail and sign" cards" were in our room so you board w pass only. Purchases at bar prior to your stateroom being ready are charged by scanning your boarding pass. Our stateroom was ready once we boarded so we changed and took our granddaughter to the water slides before they got crowded. The ocean suite seemed a little smaller compared to others but it was fine. We had a frig but it wasn't stocked. We just needed it for my wife's insulin. My wife doesn't drink but we did purchase the CHEERS package. She used it primarily for the specialty coffee café which was awesome, waters, and non-alcoholic drinks. We had early reserved dining and received excellent service. The food was very good but we chose not to pay an extra up charge for the more quality steak and/or lobster. Instead of the buffets for breakfast we went to the dining rooms and ordered from the menus. Entertainment: we enjoyed the 2 shows w live singing and dancing. The comedians were very good with PG and R rated shows. Our 7-year old granddaughter enjoyed activities in Camp Ocean. Ports: At Half Moon Cay we rented floats. A little disappointed there were no water slides. In Nassau, we shopped for a while and then went on a short horse and buggy ride. Debarkation was fine: some guests took their own bags and could begin departing at 6:45 am. We checked our bags the night before so we could get our large bags once we departed the ship. We ate breakfast in dining room before departing. Called our shuttle once leaving ship and they were waiting to return us to our vehicle. parked at ship. Overall great time and would recommend. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I'm writing this from the perspective of someone who wants a relaxing cruise, as apposed to someone who wants to party. If you are looking to get, and stay, loud, this may be the ship for you. This is only my second cruise. My first ... Read More
I'm writing this from the perspective of someone who wants a relaxing cruise, as apposed to someone who wants to party. If you are looking to get, and stay, loud, this may be the ship for you. This is only my second cruise. My first was on the Carnival Fantasy, out of Mobile AL. The Fantasy was so great, that I couldn't remember everything that my wife and I loved about it when I wrote that review (amazing ship and crew regardless how old it is). I want to start with the pros because I did generally enjoy my cruise, and it's not such a bad ship that I want to beet it down here. The staff are friendly and helpful, though they are obviously overloaded/understaffed. The food is good, and there is plenty of it. Our cabin was perfectly maintained. We had a party of 5, so we were constantly in and out of the cabin, and the crew worked around us beautifully. We only knew they were there because the room kept getting cleaned up, and they always said hello in passing. Half Moon Cay is amazing. The beach is beautiful white sand as far out as you will want to go with crystal clear water. The beach is large enough that, even on a ship with several thousand passengers, it was easy to be off to ourselves. It's the one part of this cruise that was better than our last, and we went to Paradise Island on our last cruise. Before Half Mood Cay, we were sure Paradise Island was the greatest place on Earth. Unfortunately, the cons (for me) is a larger list on this ship. While food venues are plentiful, places to sit down and eat are a commodity. This will be a recurring theme. It feels like they have packed in as many guests as they possibly could, and that means that guests are constantly in line for everything, and pushing through one another for tables. Even worse, because of the lines, they will start handing out "default" menu items to get people through faster. While Guy's Burger stand has several burgers to choose from, if you want to get one during the first couple of hours after they open for lunch, you're just going to be handed the basic "default" burger and pushed through. The pizza stand will start handing out pieces of 2 or 3 "default" pizzas because there is no way that they can take orders for the number of guests that they are trying to serve; and the list goes on. If you want a deli sandwich for lunch, good luck. One of my wife and my favorite things on the Fantasy was taking breakfast out on the deck. It was amazing having our coffee and breakfast out in the early morning ocean air, looking over at nothing but ocean. This ship had no deck tables at all. Even if you are ok with eating breakfast in a lawn chair, there are very few places where you can see over the rails from that low to the deck. The majority of the rails on the ship are solid steel or tall glass, so you can have the view or the breeze, but not both. We found a place, but it's such a find, and so unknown that I honestly don't want to tell anyone about it, and even there we were eating with our plates in our laps and coffee on our bench, not to mention it was quite a walk from the food area. The Serenity Deck is anything but serene. When we looked at pictures, it looked amazing. It has a small pool with a waterfall feature, and a lot of seating. We thought, based on our experience on "the good boat" that it wouldn't be crowded at all with all that seating because most people tend to stay around the Lido Deck and follow the entertainment around the ship. We are Serenity Deck people. We loved sitting in the quiet Serenity Deck area on the Fantasy and reading a book in the shade, again overlooking the ocean. We couldn't wait to get to this one. Then we got there and found it and this was the most disappointing moment of the trip. The Serenity Deck is located right on top of the Lido pool, so all the drunks just look up and see more seating, which again is a commodity. It was packed with loud drunks the majority of the time, and when it wasn't there was a constant hum from massive air handlers of some kind and/or the chatter and roar of the Lido crowd. If all of that wasn't bad enough, it has tall glass walls surrounding it, so the breeze is badly muted. One of the few good places to relax and enjoy the ocean breeze and view at the same time is deck 3. Deck 3 port-side is my favorite place on the ship. Unfortunately, they setup in front of the doors on that side to take pictures all the time, and it is inaccessible when this happens. Starboard-side is still open during this time, but had a constant sewage-like odor. This could have been a temporary issue during our cruise, and may not be a problem for later itineraries, but it was constant during our cruise. On that note, I apologize to the Port of Charleston for some of the things that I said about your city when we boarded the ship; turns out it was the ship, not the port. A little off-topic, but great job Charleston Port. You guys did a great job. Boarding and debarkation were very smooth, and your people friendly and professional. I'm not going to keep posting complaints, but I firmly believe that most of them come down to the same thing anyway. The boat it over capacity. My party of 5 was constantly seated at a table for 4 with a chair in the isle. Not because the dining staff didn't care, but because wasting a chair by putting us at a 6-person table wasn't an option. They needed every seat they could get to accommodate passengers. My wife and I left our last cruise on the Fantasy positive that we were Carnival people, and this was our cruise line. We booked this past cruise and another, on Glory this December, pretty immediately afterword. However, we are strongly considering canceling the Glory cruise and losing our insurance money because it's the same class ship as the Sunshine. My advice to anyone looking for a relaxing trip is to look at the smaller ships. If at all possible look at the Fantasy. We are going to start looking in to other lines that may be more focused on relaxation, and less on selling drinks. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Our 14th Carnival cruise and we chose The Sunshine. We had 1 inside and 1 balcony, cabin was pretty well average, bathrooms seemed smaller than most. Dining was challenging at best. Food has gotten downright bad. Food had no flavor, ... Read More
Our 14th Carnival cruise and we chose The Sunshine. We had 1 inside and 1 balcony, cabin was pretty well average, bathrooms seemed smaller than most. Dining was challenging at best. Food has gotten downright bad. Food had no flavor, even pizza was tasteless. Deli was good, as well as Guy;s Burger. The entertainment was good, but the theater was dated. All the workers we encountered were great. Carnival needs to find a new port and drop Nassau. It with all it's income and visitors, should have a new air conditioned vendors area, instead of all the vendors selling the same thing in booths you can't find anything in. This port hasn't changed since 2004. Ship overall is on the downside, I may try RC on my next cruise. Charleston could be the best port in US if they would tear down the old warehouses and build a better port. Being platinum didn't help except disembarkation the last day.Carnival needs to give passengers more public areas on all new ships. You can't just build biggers ships, just for more cabins and more people. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
My daughter and I took a mini vacation for her birthday . The crew on this ship made her feel so special. Ray our steward was awesome. The crew in the Sunset dining were truly amazing . We met Bradley the art gentleman and had a good ... Read More
My daughter and I took a mini vacation for her birthday . The crew on this ship made her feel so special. Ray our steward was awesome. The crew in the Sunset dining were truly amazing . We met Bradley the art gentleman and had a good conversation with him. and Mikey the cruise director will keep you laughing he was awesome. Andre who works on the lido deck bringing you drinks he is the bomb! has some really good dance moves. We enjoyed the shows , the food. We ate at the Italian restaurant on the first night and they sang to my daughter in Italian. They sang to her in the Sunset dinning room as well. We like the Sunshine and all the activities were awesome. We will definitely sail on the Sunshine again. The Matre D was awesome in the Sunset dinning room I hope he dances with us next time , LOL.. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was our first cruise and unfortunately very disappointed to say the least. This should not be listed as a “family friendly “ cruise line.Drunk adults everywhere, unsupervised children running and screaming down the halls,I’m ... Read More
This was our first cruise and unfortunately very disappointed to say the least. This should not be listed as a “family friendly “ cruise line.Drunk adults everywhere, unsupervised children running and screaming down the halls,I’m honestly shocked that families bring small children and expose them to that atmosphere. We attempted several shows to get away but there was no escape including the pool that was way too small to enjoy. The food was mediocre at best on the ship and the buffet provided at Half Moon Cay was a disaster! Who goes to the Bahamas to eat cheap hamburgers and hotdogs with 3,000 people at one buffet?? The highlight of our cruise was the VIP dolphin excursion❤️we all enjoyed the dolphin interaction and would recommend. Our first impression is that Carnival caters to adults only. We will stay clear of Carnival and perhaps stick to quiet relaxing retreats we can enjoy as a family. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We spent a week in Walt Disney World prior to our cruise. This time of year Florida has outbreaks of Love-bugs. Some years bugs are worse than others this year is kind of bad. This is not our first time in the Orlando area, but our first ... Read More
We spent a week in Walt Disney World prior to our cruise. This time of year Florida has outbreaks of Love-bugs. Some years bugs are worse than others this year is kind of bad. This is not our first time in the Orlando area, but our first time out of Port Canaveral and the Carnival Sunshine. Embarkation went smoothly, we showed up at our scheduled time and walked right on to the ship. The first impression of the atrium was it was dark and old casino' ish looking. The ship was not ugly, just older style appearance. We went out on deck only to notice many lovebugs have infested the ship. We just figured the bugs would go away once we were at sea. Our biggest disappointment was the condition of our room. Although the room was clean the decor is well worn and in need of replacement. The countertops appeared to be cleaned with a brillo pad. Another unsightly area was the balcony. There was paint splatter all over the chairs and floor. I love Blue Iguana and Guys Burger Joint, but the quality has gone down tremendously. Every Breakfast burrito I had the sausage was cold and every Guy's Burger I had was way overcooked. We really enjoyed most of the staff, especially our room steward and the folks at the Shake and Coffee bar. We ate at JiJi's Asian Kitchen, Bonsai sushi, Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse, Cucina Del Capitano, and the Pizza place. All were great and enjoyed very much! The buffet on the Sunshine is extremely limited and is not that good, at least the attempt we made to have a good meal. Comedy shows were all funny and very entertaining as was the 70's show. Mikey the cruise director did his job very well, but Schwartz is still our favorite. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Having cruised on another Carnival ship and it being OK ( not over the top but OK), we decided to book this cruise specifically because my sister wanted to go to Grand Turk. We cruise about 1 x every 2 years. This ship and staff does not ... Read More
Having cruised on another Carnival ship and it being OK ( not over the top but OK), we decided to book this cruise specifically because my sister wanted to go to Grand Turk. We cruise about 1 x every 2 years. This ship and staff does not need to be in service. The only good thing was Mikey the cruise director. The ship was really dirty ( dust everywhere, smelled like feces on many floors including one with a dining room. Very few sanitizer stations. Same napkin laid in a hallway for 7 days. Sheets were stained. Buffet was way less exciting than Shoney’s or Big Boy for northerners. Sister was hospitalized with community acquired pneumonia day after we got back and I have been on meds ever since. Met another family on the cruise that 2 of them caught lice. NEVER AGAIN. Please do yourself a favor and do not book this disaster. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
First of all, I must say that our cabin steward was an absolute sweetheart. Many of the ship crew were also great. The downfall is that the ship is old and small. The metal around the decks is painted over eaten away steel. We found ... Read More
First of all, I must say that our cabin steward was an absolute sweetheart. Many of the ship crew were also great. The downfall is that the ship is old and small. The metal around the decks is painted over eaten away steel. We found holes throughout the railings. The carpets throughout are old and many sofa/restaurant bench upholstery have stains. There is a peculiar smell about the ship. Many times there are sewage and/or grey water smells. The buffet was subpar. Desserts were great the first night then thereafter were dry and flavorless. The sit-down dining was better but not outstanding. The ship lacked entertainment. There was a comedy show that was good. Many of the shows in the liquid lounge revolved around what to buy on the islands and promoted their sales in their ship stores. The ship was small and if you are planning a long cruise you might want to choose one with many stops so you are not bored to death multiple days at seas. We were in a cabin with a window. The room was clean the bathroom was dirty in corners with caked on dirt. I suppose they don't have time for deep cleaning since a steward told me when we were leaving the ship that they were boarding again in one day. This ship does not compare to Royal Carribean or MSC. We were disappointed and felt it was a major waste of money. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
After booking our cruise, I was shocked to read so many negative reviews and began to dread my cruise (which, of course, you never want to do!). I've come to the conclusion that some people just need something to complain about. Was ... Read More
After booking our cruise, I was shocked to read so many negative reviews and began to dread my cruise (which, of course, you never want to do!). I've come to the conclusion that some people just need something to complain about. Was this cruise equivalent to staying in a five-star hotel in a major city? No, of course not, but if I wanted to do that I would have stayed in a five-star hotel in a major city. I wanted to cruise with my family, relax, and have fun, and I was able to do all of that and more on the Carnival Sunshine! My family of three (my husband, myself and our 8-year-old daughter) cruised in April 2019 from Port Caneveral and cruised to Aruba, Curacao and Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. We stayed in a balcony room, which was the perfect amount of space for us, although we weren't in the room all that often. I wish that our neighbor wasn't smoking a lot of the time, and I could have complained to guest services but didn't - that was on me. Otherwise, the room was great. Our housekeeper, Ari, was super friendly and did an excellent job. Of course, we all loved the towel animals! I saw so many complaints about the food on this cruise and I sincerely do not understand. The buffet was lacking, but I'm not a buffet eater so I just ... didn't eat there. The main dining room service was slow, but that's standard on all cruises I've been on. The food itself was very good in the dining room, and we loved the options for lunch! The fish tacos at Blue Iguana were AMAZING, and I ate them many times. I tried a bite of a burger from Guy's and it was delicious. JiJi's wok bowls for lunch were excellent, and my daughter loved being able to get pasta. I can honestly say I have no complaints about the food. Drinks were cold and plentiful. My husband and I are drinkers and so we purchased and made good use of the Cheers! package. We felt we used it enough that it was worth the money, but you'll have to decide that based on your own personal preferences. This was my fourth cruise and I couldn't tell you anything about any of the previous cruise directors, but MIKEY made our experience on this boat. He was EVERYWHERE, and so upbeat and friendly. Definitely don't miss events that Mikey is running. We particularly enjoyed 80s and 90s music trivia! CAMP OCEAN was an incredible experience for our daughter! She had a great time with the counselors and the other kids. I really enjoyed the many ways that this cruise catered to families - but I also noted and appreciated the many ways it catered to the adult experience, too. We were able to enjoy both sides of the experience. Embarkation was quick and easy. Debarkation was somewhat of a mess, but I've yet to experience a cruise where it wasn't. In closing, we booked our next Carnival cruise within a week of coming home. We had an amazing time. There is something on this boat for everyone, whether you are traveling with or without kids. You just have to find it, and the Carnival Sunshine made that very easy. I would definitely recommend this ship to others! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Carnival Sunshine Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.9
Dining 4.0 3.7
Entertainment 5.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 3.7
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.8
Family 4.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.7
Enrichment 3.0 3.3
Service 4.0 4.0
Value For Money 5.0 3.7
Rates 3.0 4.1

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