9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I compare this cruise to past adventures on Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and MSC which we love. I blocked out any negative reviews regarding Carnival and ended up loving this cruise. Here is the real lowdown on the Carnival Sunshine. ... Read More
I compare this cruise to past adventures on Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and MSC which we love. I blocked out any negative reviews regarding Carnival and ended up loving this cruise. Here is the real lowdown on the Carnival Sunshine. Let’s start with the things I loved. CABIN-The location of our spa room 11030 was amazing. It was steps from the waterfall and the all adults serenity deck. The size of the room was perfect and had down to the water views from the balcony .Access to the spa relaxation room and steam rooms made this room category a great choice. Make sure that you book high floors on this ship. I will explain later. Our very friendly room steward, Dhimas stocked our room with all of the beverages and items we ordered prior to the trip. He also kept the ice flowing. Loved him. He kept that room clean and ready for us. We had no trouble getting around the ship once we found out that you can walk the entire length of the ship on deck 5. That allowed us to always find elevators to our cabin on the 11th floor. FOOD-While the buffet is small and nothing to write home about when compared to other ships we’ve sailed, Carnival offers additional restaurants for breakfast and lunch like Guy’s Fieri’s Burgers and the taco/burrito Blue Iguana Cantina spots as well as the Asian/Italian , MDR and pizza area of the buffet. We never made it to Bonsai sushi which we know would have been great. The food was simply awesome! The specialty JiJi’s Asian and the Cucina Del Capitano were terrific. I am still dreaming about lamb chops and short ribs and a NY strip that was so tender. I am also still craving that rose crème brulet and the melting chocolate cake with the ice cream. The waiters and waitresses dance and sing at dinner every night. That is wayyyy beyond the call of duty but neat to see. If you sail this ship please note all options for breakfast on your hub app. Walk through the very limited main buffet to JiJi’s Asian and the Cucina Del Capitano Italian in the AM to get to wonderful omelette stations. They also open for free lunch also. Most don’t know that they are there for breakfast and lunch. Also try the breakfast burritos and tacos at Blue Iguana Cantina on the deck and there is also a small breakfast served on deck five near the coffee shop. And those Guy Fieri burgers and fries are amazing. We never tried the steakhouse but loved the steak in the main dining room at no extra charge. FRIENDLY PEOPLE-. We made a ton of friends on this cruise. The passengers were comfortable, having fun and willing to share with you unlike other cruises. Mikey the Cruise Director is worth mentioning. I have never met the Director on any ship except this one. He made sure that he reached out , shook our hands and checked on us. We don’t where he gets soooo much energy but we hope they are paying him well! He kept the fun going on this ship. PORTS-We visited Grand Turk, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten and St. Kitts. Getting on and off the ship was fast and problem free. No tenders! Yeah! We loved our ports. St. Kitts requires an excursion. It can be a sketchy port beyond the shops. That turned into a relaxing day back on the ship. All the others were enjoyable with no booked excursions. Grand Turk and St. Maarten have great beaches right off of the ship. We found a beach in Puerto Rico that we walked to near the Fort. So now for the things that certainly didn’t kill our trip but were in our opinion, areas for improvement. We also heard other passengers complain about these particular areas which make them worth mentioning. POOR CONNECTIVITY-Internet is horrible and nonexistent on this ship. I repeat nonexistent! No one is in the fifth floor internet café because there really isn’t available internet with a plan or not .I paid for a plan as well as my husband. It never worked on my Apple 8. He seemed to have text capabilities and facetime on his Apple 7 plus. I asked for a full refund for my portion and received one. We had to search for internet in the ports to post pics etc. You really have to disconnect from the world on this ship. The Carnival HUB app was helpful and provided activity information in a flash with or without the internet plan. That app seemed to be the only thing that worked on my phone. Royal Caribbean has the best internet hands down. Business travelers would be in trouble on this ship. BAD SMELLS AT TIMES-We smelled sewage with deodorizer smells on the 5th floor on down to 3rd which is unfortunate because the dining room is on those floors. We weren’t sure if they were from bathrooms or some other area. I used the ladies bathroom near the MDR and didn’t smell it in there so the source was something else. They must resolve that issue. That’s not appetizing when you are headed for dinner on the same floor and I couldn’t stay in a room with that. Some guests had that issue. Booking a high floor gets you away from this issue. Some also complained about old urine smells near the toilet in cabin bathrooms. We experienced that too. I believe that this is due to the age of this ship. I usually Lysol clean the bathroom anyway when I arrive. Yes, the casino was smokey but aren’t they all? I wish they could vent it somehow or ban smoking there. I still managed to play slots and enjoy that area. PIXELS PHOTO GALLERY- The picture Pixels gallery was confusing. We never found some pics. They throw up pics in no real order and you must search for your faces through hundreds of photos. Who has hours to do that? Norwegian has solved that issue by computerizing the photos and grouping them by room number. They take your picture and attach it to your room number. You can see them all on a screen with no major hunt. We bought no pictures on this ship. It was too frustrating to find them all. ENTERTAINMENT-Entertainment was so-so! Djs on the Lido deck were good. I cracked up at the sailaway party. They had it but we were delayed in sailing away so it kinda fell flat this time. I know Carnival is known for its sailaway parties but the delay wasn’t their fault. I enjoyed the 70s Dance show and the Killer Beaz comedian. Other comedians were weak. We aren’t into audience participation shows and they were really into that. Motown show was messed up with the performers sitting on stools singing with bottles of water. They said a performer was ill and missing. The crew was talented but that was a weaker show. Other cruises have big themed costumed stage shows. The magician was weak too yet was interested in hawking his instructional dvds at the end of the show. Lounge bands were average. The shows kept us busy I suppose. Movies on the deck were more enjoyable or reading on my balcony. DÉCOR- This ship was built in 1996 and was refurbished in 2013. A lot of the neat restaurants were added at that time. The ship décor seemed 80ish to me and reminded me of an old Atlantic City or Vegas Casino .It is an older ship. They have done their best to keep her going. I prefer newer ships but the décor didn’t kill my cruise. It was ok. There was some rocking of the ship during our return due to rough surf. It was nothing serious and there were no signs of mechanical issues that some were still talking about from the listing incident some weeks ago. OVERALL IMPRESSION-The positives outweighed the negatives on this ship. We truly enjoyed our cruise , the spa amenities of the spa room category and the many ports. The food alone and great service would entice us to rebook on one of their newer ships. Carnival will definitely see us again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
This was my first ever cruise and I get an unbelievable experience! I'm 16 years old boy and I decide to join a teen club (club O2) this club for teens from 15-17 years old, I meat so many new people. club O2 helped all of us not ... Read More
This was my first ever cruise and I get an unbelievable experience! I'm 16 years old boy and I decide to join a teen club (club O2) this club for teens from 15-17 years old, I meat so many new people. club O2 helped all of us not to be scared of each other. Club was opened till 1 am but after when it closed, we went to the food market and we wear talking for 2 or more hours, or we just wondering around the cruise. Some of us made some relations ships (boyfriend/girlfriend). We all were kind to each other. My self, I meat with 2 18n years girls, we get so much fun together. They wasn't allowed to join this club and that sad, but they still made some friends. So Carnival Sunshine if you can please make one more club for teens from 18 to 20 years old. Crue group is super friendly, food is really good. They even have a pizza place that open 24/7. Carnival Sunshine offers all people a great shows, partys, and more fun. If you want to get a WiFI you need to pay almost $100, but trust me it not worst it! Without internet access, people becoming more friendly to each other. Last what I want to say is that it always hard to say goodbye to your vacation, friends, etc. We all become so close to each other, but this is life and we can't change it, but what we can do is when you at a cruise, do not waste your time, take this chance meet new people. don't afraid to come to a person and say "hey, how are you?" On day 3 of the cruise, I saw a beautiful 2 girls and I come to them and I said "Hey, what a beautiful dress" and im actually happy right now that I did it, because we get a good time together and now we texting each other and I hope one day I will see them again) Thank you Ko-Ko (teen club operator) for your games and support! Thank you Carnival Sunshine for this unforgettable experience! And of course, thank you, my friends, specially Ruthie and Erica for this unforgettable time we spend together!! Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
Cruised with a group of 6 friends/family. Because I consider Carnival cheap and cheerful, I had realistic expectations. There's lots of fun to be had, plenty of activities (good cruise director and staff), and while the ship does ... Read More
Cruised with a group of 6 friends/family. Because I consider Carnival cheap and cheerful, I had realistic expectations. There's lots of fun to be had, plenty of activities (good cruise director and staff), and while the ship does hold more people than it probably should, it is a big ship, so one can find peace if you know where to look. We did not dine in the MDR but booked specialty dining every night. Jiji was the absolute winner. In addition to Carnival, I've cruised on RCI, NCL, Cunard and Windstar, and Jiji is the best food I've had at sea. The steakhouse was very good; the Italian restaurant very good as well. We dined at Jiji twice -- just amazing. Do not miss it. Many reviewers remark on the crowds, but if you do your homework you'll know how to avoid them. One of the best tips I learned from other reviews was taking your tray from the Marketplace and walking to the back through the Havana Bar. Plenty of seating, plus beautiful views. Re breakfast -- you can bypass the Marketplace all together, go straight to the Havana Bar, and you'll find the omelette station as well as beverages. The Marketplace food was fine -- simple and good, and healthy choices as well. Get the Carnival HUB app -- it's free and very informative, particularly regarding places to eat -- it tells you every place serving food / drinks at any given time. The only time the lines were a bit much was when everyone returned from port (Bermuda). The lines at Guy's and the pizza place were really long. I went to my cabin, ordered room service, and had a peaceful lunch. Remember, there are lots of smaller places to eat -- check the HUB app. We went off on our own in Bermuda and had a beautiful day. Great gym, wonderful spa. My friends bought the day pass for the spa and loved every minute. The casino is a riot of fun, as it should be. Live bands, nightclubs all good. One plus was good placement of the teen / kids areas -- far from where the adults were. Barely saw them, bless their hearts. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2017
This was my second cruise I have been on, the sunshine was awesome I loved the people that worked on it they made everything fun,the food was amazing way better than my first cruise. I had the best time of my life on this cruise I swear I ... Read More
This was my second cruise I have been on, the sunshine was awesome I loved the people that worked on it they made everything fun,the food was amazing way better than my first cruise. I had the best time of my life on this cruise I swear I did not want to get off. Matter of fact my cousin and I are coming back on the sunshine in October with other family members who have not been on a cruise before so I hope and pray we have as much fun as we did when we went in may. I can not wait to get back on the sunshine. I loved the games they played with the music. The club on the boat was very very fun. The drinks were amazing the kiss on the lips is the best yet. I recommend the carnival sunshine to anyone so I hope it is the same when we get back on in October. : ) Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
The travel dates and departure port (Canaveral/Orland) met with the spring break travel time we needed to take our daughter on her graduation vacation. Considering that the Sunshine had recently come out of dry dock and been refurbished ... Read More
The travel dates and departure port (Canaveral/Orland) met with the spring break travel time we needed to take our daughter on her graduation vacation. Considering that the Sunshine had recently come out of dry dock and been refurbished we thought this would be a nicer experience. The ship was smaller than we expected and felt very crowded. The spa suite we were in though was wonderful. We had early assigned dining and it was a mess. The dining room service was sub-par, the staff was unorganized and the food overall was disappointing. Having been on several other Carnival cruises, this was by far the worst experience we have had. The staff didn't put on a show 2 nights during dining that were planned. The nights that they did provide a show, it was unorganized and seemed very well unplanned. Despite being seated every night for dinner by 6:15, several times we were not out of the dining room w/ dessert until well after 8:45. Some meals we were even 1/2 way through the meal before we ever even got anything to drink besides water. During the morning dining breakfast the vast majority of the dining staff was unpleasant and cool. Not what you typically see of the dining room. Entertainment was crowded and overall not very well planned. We were unable to see ANY of the comedy shows because the venue was so small and there was no seating. Several nights even an hour before the show started it was standing room only. This was disappointing. We learned after that the venue on this boat had been significantly downsized to accommodate other changes on the boat during refurbishing. Other shows though that we attended, were greatly empty. Faster to the Fun purchase was a waste on this sailing. Except for early boarding, NONE of the cabins on the boat were ready and all of the doors were shut to the staterooms until after 2:00. FTTF is supposed to provide your cabin being ready on embarkation. Additionally, there was no priority debarkation in any of the ports w/ the shore excursions provided. As such, we almost got left by the excursion staff for our port of call in San Juan because we ported late and it took us almost an hour to get off the boat. According to the customer service desk, the boat as the "option" of providing priority debarkation and the Sunshine does not provide it. The service was mediocre in most areas. (cabin stewardess was wonderful). We also had problems with the spa, which is a big issue for us as we spend a great deal of time and money in the spa. The massages we experienced on this boat were not worth the price we paid and paled in comparison to those we received on other ships. Additionally, the spa jacked up our onboard expense account on the 2nd sailing day by charging us almost $1400 for spa services that had been pre-paid prior to sailing. Thus, resulting in a 1/2 day to fix their error and our inability to be able to even purchase a drink during this period. The ports we stopped in were very nice and our shore excursions were great. However, our stop in San Juan was very short. Once we left and returned from a planned excursion on the other side of the island, we had enough time to get through the gate back to the boat. There was no time to explore the port, which was disappointing. We are scheduled to sail the Sunshine again in 02/2018, but if we do not have a better experience, we will not sail this ship again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
This was my second Carnival cruise, but the first leaving from Manhattan. Living in NJ, it was very convenient. I opted for car service over the train and it worked well. The first time a I traveled solo and this time I traveled with a ... Read More
This was my second Carnival cruise, but the first leaving from Manhattan. Living in NJ, it was very convenient. I opted for car service over the train and it worked well. The first time a I traveled solo and this time I traveled with a coworker/friend. We had the 1-1:30 embarkation window and arrived pretty much at 1pm. There were lines, but that was not unexpected. Embarkation went smoothly. By the time we go on board, the rooms were ready so we directly there. I was pleased with the room (more below). It was a cool, gray day but we did head outside to take in the sights heading out of the city. It was warm enough to lay out at the pool starting the next morning and through the final sea day of the cruise. Spa--we were in a spa room so I took advantage of what came with it. I used the Thermal Suite as much as I could and did 2 free yoga classes (one class was cancelled since the ship was rocking too much). I also did 2 sessions of "Body Sculpt Boot Camp" -- great workout, but walking was not fun after the first session (pulled muscles). I also took advantage of the free sunrise stretch class and the free abs class as much as possible. To reward myself, I did get a mini-facial and reflexology on a special. Dining-We at in the MDR, Lido buffet and had room service. The food was fine. I was able to find something to eat wherever we were. We had your time dining and only waited on line once to check in for dinner. Enjoyed an adult milkshake at the coffee/dessert cafe on deck 5. Also enjoyed cocktails at the Alchemy Bar. Entertainment-My friend saw the show on the first night and said it was ok. I went to the rock show and left. I thought is was pretty bad. I did go to a trivia game and had fun. On sea days, laying out at the pool was our main form of entertainment. Service-No complaints. Bermuda was the only port on this cruise. We didn't book any excursions through the ship, so I can't speak for how they went. We booked a rum cruise ahead of time as well as a walking tour in St. George. While on the island, we booked a glass bottom boat tour (nighttime). I was pleased with all. It was really hot and humid, so sightseeing was a sweaty venture! We used the public ferry and bus to get around. Unfortunately our last day in port was cut short (noon instead of 5pm) due to the storms in the area. We visited the National Museum which is very close to where we docked. I recommend for the views alone! Debarkation went smoothly. We arrived home to the same gray, cool day as the day we left. Four ships were docked the same morning, so there were a lot of people out on the street. Even so, I would leave from NYC again simply because I don't have to worry about a flight. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Service was very good both from cabin steward, bar, dining room and Lido. Food was very good except I found that some food on Lido (pork chops, beef) seemed to be tough and may have been recycled. Entertainment staff was very good except ... Read More
Service was very good both from cabin steward, bar, dining room and Lido. Food was very good except I found that some food on Lido (pork chops, beef) seemed to be tough and may have been recycled. Entertainment staff was very good except we were not impressed with the main entertainment staff singing abilities. There was only one person - female (she was blond) that sang well. Dancing however was excellent. Activities were plentiful. Boarding in New York was terrible. I wish Carnival would better train and monitor their ground staff. They gave conflicting information and seemed not to especially trained doing their jobs. Better experience out of Ft. Lauderdale, Port Canaveral and Seattle. We were supposed to have a Cruise Critic Meet Up on the ship with I'm told 61 attendees. It never occurred. The Customer service desk said they never received communication from Cruise Critic. Sounds odd! I chose this cruise because of the itinerary. I was disappointed that the Cloud 9 spa thermal room package did not have the hydro pool as other ships but they charge the same. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
32 Carnival cruises. Never get tired of cruising. Great restaurants on the Sunshine. Lots to do and the Casino was good to me. Beautiful ship. All employees on Carnival are great. Very kind. All the food servers and host are always great. ... Read More
32 Carnival cruises. Never get tired of cruising. Great restaurants on the Sunshine. Lots to do and the Casino was good to me. Beautiful ship. All employees on Carnival are great. Very kind. All the food servers and host are always great. Best bang for your buck. Late night pizza is good too. Love the Casino and karaoke bar. Shows are awesome. We have never cruised another cruise line and don't intend to. We go oo 4-5 cruises a year and each and every one of them make a new moment and memory. We have met so many great people that like to cruise like us. The dinners and special restaurants are great. You should try a BIG steak at the steak house. The guy burgers are the best in the business. Entertainment all over the ship. You never get board. Always something for the kids to do too. Go Carnival!!! Oh yea, the state rooms are big and roomy. Always very clean. 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: June 2014
This was our second Carnival cruise, the first one was in 2010. This ship has been completely refurbished and they did an excellent job. It is very modern, clean and beautiful. The staff were very knowledgeable, everyone from the room ... Read More
This was our second Carnival cruise, the first one was in 2010. This ship has been completely refurbished and they did an excellent job. It is very modern, clean and beautiful. The staff were very knowledgeable, everyone from the room steward to the cleaning people in the halls. The shows were outstanding, especially since there were only 8 performers. The food was good with many unique choices. There were many flies in the Italian specialty restaurant, which was unfortunate, and the staff needs a little more training, but the food was good and the staff were friendly and did the best they knew how to make our dinner a success. I recommend this restaurant for a special dinner. Our room was comfortable and excellently serviced. We requested more ice the first night and every night thereafter there was an extra ice bucket in our room. Carnival needs to provide more daily activities for those who are sailing all day or who choose to not go on an excursion. The selection of outdoor movies was great, some old, some new, some for children and some for adults. Embarkation and disembarkation were a snap, the best we've ever done. I would sail on Carnival again any time. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
Ok, don't get me wrong here, this was still a cruise, and it was our honeymoon, and we had a great time. However, it's probably the worse ship we've been on. Except maybe the one where we got bed bugs, maybe. Down to ... Read More
Ok, don't get me wrong here, this was still a cruise, and it was our honeymoon, and we had a great time. However, it's probably the worse ship we've been on. Except maybe the one where we got bed bugs, maybe. Down to business: Food: Pro: Food was AMAZING. Definitely get the Caribbean chocolate cake, everything else was great as well. The Mahi Mahi on the last night was a bit dry, but it tends to be. Con: Buffet was blah. They had these really great mac n' cheese tots once. Just once. Other than that, breakfast was weak and repetitive, but the line for omelets was actually quite fast...once you found them, since they weren't even in the same room as the rest of the buffet. Odd. Guy Fieri Burgers. Good. There was supposed to be chipotle ranch sauce, but they never filled the dispenser, not sure why because I asked at least three times. Tacos: Also fine, but the breakfast burritos were AWESOME. I'm sad it took me a while to discover them because I could've had them every day without getting bored. Entertainment: SO disappointed in the entertainment. First of all, the theater is very small for a 3,000 passenger ship. It's also horseshoe shaped, but the stage goes back, so if you're sitting along the sides at ALL you're going to be missing half the show. People also figured this out very quickly so people were lining up 30-45 minutes before each show and seriously pushing and shoving to get a good seat. It was pretty awful. We were "late" once, only 20 minutes early and had to stand in the back. Also, they do not do live music for the shows, probably because the stage is too small, so it's all recorded. We had heard that Norwegian has gone to no live music, but figured that's because they're a low budget operation, but apparently Carnival is as well. We thought they were better than that. The shows were only 30-40 minutes, which seemed REALLY short, and there was definite lip synching. Sorry, but when the singer's mouth is closed but a note is still being held...it's pretty obvious. There were a lot of comedy shows, but we weren't really impressed. Jokes about child molesting and prison rape get less funny every time you hear them. I don't know if this was because we were in Europe or what, but there were no less than three comedy juggling or magic shows. Um, 1 is enough, trust me. Other than that, as others have said, the ship is rather plain, and the colors are very 70s. Service: This was the weirdest part. None of the employees seemed to know what they were doing. The seaters in the dining room couldn't ever find the right table, and they were numbered! They didn't move! The clearers in the buffet dining room would stand around in the way of traffic and at one point were lining up to go into the back with their trays and blocking like 20 people. It was just strange. Our steward did not bring us ice. In the past there's always been ice, but as you'll see later in the review, our cabin was so hot, it would have just melted anyway. Facilities: We had a spa cabin, which was awesome and HIGHLY recommended. Once in a while the thermal suite would get a little crowded, but it was pretty rare. The employees were seriously all about selling, but I can't really blame them, and they were super nice and remembered us even though we didn't buy anything. There are only three "hot"tubs for the whole ship. Two of the three are on deck 11 and were luke-warm to cool the entire time. We complained to the customer service desk and they told us to tell the people on that deck, we talked to the people on the deck and they told us to contact customer service. It was some seriously ridiculous buck passing. The third hottub was in the Serenity area and was a 10 person tub. It was actually hot, but that meant it was in high demand and I frequently counted 12 people jamming into to with a line waiting. Two pools, one in the serenity area with a waterfall, which was cool. But they were pretty small, and filled up fairly quickly. The waterslides were awesome though! Oh yeah, AND when it rained there were leaks EVERYWHERE. Seriously, EVERYWHERE. The gym was half covered in tarps to try to protect the equipment. The carpet squelched. Cabin: As previously stated, the spa cabin is worth it. However, the a/c never worked. We would go from a fairly reasonable temperature first thing in the morning to mid 80s by the warmest part of the day. We complained and they came in and took the temperature at 8am. It was 75 degrees and they said "that's normal." We said, for 8am, when the a/c has been on max all night, that's NORMAL? After 8 days they FINALLY gave us a fan, which helped a little, but we had to open our cabin door and then the outside door and get a nice draft going to cool it down. It was pretty irritating. Ultimately, we won't go on this ship again, and we'll probably avoid renovated ships in general. However, we will be getting a spa cabin again on our next cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2013
This was our first time cruising with Carnival but it certainly will not be our last.Like others we had done our research on the cruiseline itself and also on the ship itself,and like others we had read both positive and negative reviews ... Read More
This was our first time cruising with Carnival but it certainly will not be our last.Like others we had done our research on the cruiseline itself and also on the ship itself,and like others we had read both positive and negative reviews so like always we got ready for our cruise with an open mind and now I can positively write an utterly positive review due to myself and my husband having had a fantastic time aboard her. We started our holiday with an overnight stay in Barcelona at the lovely hotel Arc La Rambla situated on Las Ramblas and in a perfect position to get to the cruise pier the next morning.We booked a taxi at 10.30am and arrived at the port 5 minutes later check in was a breeze with no crowds at that time and we were sat in the upstairs waiting area 15mins later.Embarkation began at 11.30am and we were on the boat for 12.00pm. We went upstairs to the Lido Deck and we were enjoying a tasty taco by 12.15pm.We then relaxed in Serenity until we could go to our cabin around 2pm. Our cabin was a Spa Balcony on deck 11 perfectly situated for the serenity area,the cabin itself was lovely and spacious with a more than adequate balcony.Included was entry to the Spa and a free class each,at this point I must mention there are two steam rooms,a thermal suite but NO thalassopy pool in the Spa area.If you do not have a Spa cabin, entrance is $25.00 per day.Bathrobes were also included in the package but the slippers that were advertised as part of the package were none existant and only when we inquired were we told by the steward that these hadnt been sorted out yet,but he did fetch us a pair with Marriot hotels displayed across the front(Strange).The dining options on the Sunshine are superb,with a high quality throughout,we particulary liked the variety of food options available on the Lido deck these were:- Blue Iguana Cantina:-open for breakfast and Lunch Guys Burger Bar:- We cant speak highly enough of this place,the rumours are true,the burgers particulary the Ringer are the best we have ever tasted and the fries oh my goodness these are absoulutely delicious very very moreish!!! Then you go through to the Lido Buffet area,were there are several stations although they are not all open at the same time,there is a good variety of food on offer in here again delicous and the food that is meant to be warm is exactly that warm.Also in this are is the 24hr Pizza de Capitano,the Pizza slices here are so tasty. Wandering through the buffet area,you come to JI JI the Asian Kitchen,at lunchtime they present a mongolian wok make your own stir fry via the chefs and they cook it for you fresh its free and once again delicious.At night it becomes an amazing restaurant book here early in your cruise because we can almost guarantee you will want to come a second time for a fee of $12.00 this is a bargain eatery. On the opposite side is Cucina de Capitano a lovely Italian Restaurant at night with a $12.00 fee,at lunchtime a free pasta bar all made fresh by the chefs.Take the order form from the waiter when entering,find a table,you then tick,which pasta,sauce and filling you want then take it back to the chefs to cook and your meal is brought to your table when ready,restaurant quality pasta for free. In the middle of these two restaurants is the Havana Bar,where there is entertainment at night,but also combined with the afore mentioned restaurants is also a great place to eat your breakfast and lunches with a lovely quiet atmosphere.In a morning the pasta bar and mongolian wok make made to order fresh omelettes .It was lovely having breakfast in this area as you can sit by the huge aft windows and gaze at the lovely views. On deck 4 midships is the steakhouse Fahrenheit 555 a lovely elegant dining experiance with a fee of $35.00 it was worth every penny or dollar,I enjoyed the surf and turf ,it was amazing so tender. We were on Your time dining with our main restaurant being the Sunrise the food was lovely in here.But the one and only sit down breakfast we had in here was very dissappointing the service on this occasion was very slow and the food that was meant to be warm was freezing,we did observe that not many people came down to eat breakfast in the MDR. Punchliner Brunch:- This was held on the one and only seaday in the Sunrise Restaurant,the food was lovely and a comedian came out on the hour for ten minutes it is held from 9.00am-1.30pm,its free and no reservations are required. The taste bar we didnt try but basically it offers small bites from the different eateries around the ship,changing each night we saw a few people pick up plates and head down to the restaurant with them,to eat as appetisers. The shakespot and Java cafe offer for a small fee shakes and coffees.We felt in this area there could have been more comfy seating as it was a huge empty soulless place lacking atmosphere. There was always lots going on around the ship and the entertainment was top notch although a couple of the comedians we found a little dissapointing,the Ocean Plaza area came alive at night with a fantastic duo who sang anything from 80s music to American Rock,The singer Zach Majors in the Red Frog Pub also gave a good performance.Lovely cocktails you can find in the Alchemy bar ,oh and do try the Martini tasting in here,its an experiance !!! Check your balance at the sail and sign machines located in the Atrium and you might have a surprise, a credit of $63.78 dollars each had been credited to our account this was for a nine day sailing everyone got this reimbursed,I think it was for overpaid port taxes. Although this was a port intensive cruise we had gone on the Sunshine with a view to enjoying a nice relaxing ship while everyone was off sightseeing we wanted to relax on board and we did just that,we did see visitors being allowed onboard ship,mainly crew members families but there was no problem with this and on one occasion there was a few health and safety drills for crew taking place onboard and although this was noisy for a couple of hours it was reassuring to observe all the safety procedures that the crew were taking part in. We disembarked in a few ports;-The shuttle bus to get to Marseille cost 14.00 euros return each and shuttle to Livorno centre cost 5.00 euro.In Naples we docked very close to the hydrfoils,these are very regular and go to Capri,Sorrento and Ischia etc. When sailing into Venice try and get a sunlounger on the Starboard side as about 11am you start to approach Venice and this sail in is absoulutely stunning you sail through the little Islands and eventually past St Marks.If you are sailing out of Venice you need to get a seat Portside. Embarkation was easy and stressless,it can be early but I think Carnival take note of your departure details in your paperwork you fill out online beforehand and they refer to this before giving you your disembarkation details. All in all we had a fantastic cruise on the Sunshine and can highly recommend her to all. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2013
This was our fourth Carnival cruise and our third European (the first two were on Celebrity and RCCL) and I have to say that all though the ship had great points and the itinerary was nice we won't be going on Crnial again and I would ... Read More
This was our fourth Carnival cruise and our third European (the first two were on Celebrity and RCCL) and I have to say that all though the ship had great points and the itinerary was nice we won't be going on Crnial again and I would like to share why. First the good.... The entertainment, especially the nightly comedy shows. The casino was open and lively, with friendly staff and a nice environment. The food was great, with the exception of the buffet, which was hit or miss in taste and temps. The specialty options at lunch wee great, especially the me in and Asian options, delicious! The kids club was always clean, friendly, and had plenty to do. The Havana and Regfrog bars were very fun. The waerslides were a big hit with the kids on board. The not so good... The room, we got Ocean Suites which were considerably smaller than those we just had on RCCL. Very cramped and not worth the money. Certain updates around the ship seem to have been thrown together rather haphazardly. It would have been nice to not see quite so much evidence of the renovation. The buffet. I mentioned it above but it is worth saying again that it really had issues. It was not even warm much of the time so we tried to avoid it as much as possible. The reason we won't book with Carnival again.... This itinerary was Rey port intensive so we opted to enjoy an extra day on the ship. By 9:00 we noticed crew members guiding dozens upon dozens of people with visitor badges around the lido deck. By noon, he visitors had completely filled up the water slide area, the main pool and the jacuzzis, splashing in the water, eating at guys, the buffet, and the burrito shop. This was upsetting to the other cruisers that wee expecting a quiet day. I went to guest services to ask what was happening and they explained that the Italian crew were allowed to bring their friends and family aboard for tours but they were not allowed to eat or use the facilities that we were for paying guests. When I complained that they were using them, I just got a shug and was told it was a perk for the staff and it wasn't their job to police their behavior. I asked for a supervisor to call me and left. The next day, when we got back on the boat, we were met with the same type of visitor crowd, and it continued on all Italian ports. I went to guest services two more times and no supervisor err was available or ever tried to contact me as requested. I think it is reat that Carnival would offer a perk to their staff, however it should be done on a day between sailings, not on days were their are paying customer onboard who pay a hefty premium to be there. We felt taken advantage of, as if our fares were subsidizing the staffs perk and taking away from our experiences. To make it worse, guest services could are less hat there were a number of paying guests complaining about it. The other times we have cruised in Europe. We did not encounter this issue and as a result, we will not cruise with Carnival again. Carnival does have some nice features but none of those features an out way the negative experience we had onboard. Fortunately there are enough wonderful alternatives out there, that we have plenty of great choices. This definitely should be something you consider when choosing a cruise in the future. Read Less
Carnival Sunshine Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.9
Dining 4.0 3.7
Entertainment 5.0 3.6
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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