21 Carnival Sunshine Group and Theme Cruise Reviews

This review concerns only the Carnival ship and company. Our cruise was an adult-only charter and we had no complaints about its organisers. Our overall impression was of a penny-pinching enterprise seeking to squeeze every last dime ... Read More
This review concerns only the Carnival ship and company. Our cruise was an adult-only charter and we had no complaints about its organisers. Our overall impression was of a penny-pinching enterprise seeking to squeeze every last dime from its captive customers. Specifically : - Food in general was very poor. Everything in the buffet was cold and poor quality (exception: the bacon was lovely). The MDR was pretentious and lacking real quality. The smaller venues (omelette station, Blue Iguana, pizza bar...) were notably better although the burger bar food was disgusting. Most places were closed too often, giving a poor choice of food for "non-standard" meal-times. Conform or go hungry? - Drinks prices were outrageous (with alcohol packages unavailable on charters - I can't think why). Wine “deals” were available at slightly less outrageous prices, whereby you effectively pre-purchased bottles from a selection. Having taken our money THEY RAN OUT of the most popular wines. We felt defrauded. We also often received our wine when our meal was half over. Water that wasn't heavily chlorinated and decent coffee also had to be paid for. - They confiscated the bottles of wine we brought onto the ship as apparently we had put them in the “wrong suitcase". They were never returned, despite the letter that said they would be! That left a VERY bitter taste (but presumably a rather pleasant one for staff). - The internet was extremely expensive, with very limited options to choose from. There definitely ought to be a per-minute option too for those who just want to research a lunch in port etc. The staff, without exception, were friendly and helpful. However there was a noticeable lack of management and training at the level above their individual jobs. They need to know how it all fits together! Our cabin, a deck 7 interior, was absolutely fine. It was well designed, had just enough storage, and nothing was damaged or missing. The only problem - a grave one - was that the toilet stopped flushing on several occasions towards the end of the cruise. It was quickly fixed each time but it was difficult to cope with, particularly in the night. The self-serve launderette on our floor was useful although each wash, dry and detergent cost a rather high $7.50. The gym facilities were also adequate. The ship has had major refits, I believe. There are certainly some oddities, including confusing lifts. Two major problems are: 1. The casino forms a main thoroughfare, particularly when it's raining, and smoking is normally allowed there. It wasn't on our cruise, but the stench lingers. 2. Everyone walks through the Limelight Lounge to get to the MDR as there are few viable alternatives. The route runs along the edge of the stage - most off-putting for everyone. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
First of all, the good things. Our cabin steward Lamphong, Matt from the casino and our head waiter Pablo were exceptional. Always doing their best to make you smile. We ate in the steakhouse 2 times because it was so good. Also Guys ... Read More
First of all, the good things. Our cabin steward Lamphong, Matt from the casino and our head waiter Pablo were exceptional. Always doing their best to make you smile. We ate in the steakhouse 2 times because it was so good. Also Guys Burgers is awesome. Now the not so good. We were late getting into port in Ocho Rios which I guess snowballed people getting off for excursions. They herded a couple of thousand people into a small building with tour people trying to yell instructions over the din. Very very unorganized. It was unorganized in all the ports. They need to find a better way. (Celebrity/Royal Caribbean does a great job). After arriving to our room (an aft balcony) we asked for robes and were told there were not enough on board for everyone. Who does that? And this is the second Carnival cruise in which we purchased a wine package and they ran out of my wine. Hubby prefers Merlot and I prefer Pinot Grigio. They ran out of Pinot on the last evening on two trips. Makes no sense to me. Another thing is Carnival does not have anywhere on their website to post comments. Afraid? Carnival is okay. We had a good time. They just need a little improvement in some areas. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I chose this cruise because I wanted to go to Bermuda, Embarkation was poor, this was the longest it had taken me to get on a ship in my 20 cruises since 1991.The Sunshine is a nice ship, this was my second time on board, it has a ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I wanted to go to Bermuda, Embarkation was poor, this was the longest it had taken me to get on a ship in my 20 cruises since 1991.The Sunshine is a nice ship, this was my second time on board, it has a difficult deck plan.Cabin was very nice I had a balcony 7249. Dining was very good except they did not follow my request that I had book from May 2017 for a table for two only.After talking very firmly with them this was resoled, We also dined at the Fahrenheit Steak house, the manager had very poor customer service skills, she however apologize for not greeting us. Entertainment and Activities was very good.Overall service was GREAT!!. Ports and Shore excursions was great I did the Island tour of Bermuda and it was wonderful.I also meet some wonderful people on board in including staff and cruisers,Overall this was a wonderful cruise and I would do this again. Capt. Greene Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Am part of a group that plans ahead and travels together. We will have a good time together no matter what. I was a little disappointed with the room steward. When on board, I had to hunt her down. My request was simple.. ice everyday and ... Read More
Am part of a group that plans ahead and travels together. We will have a good time together no matter what. I was a little disappointed with the room steward. When on board, I had to hunt her down. My request was simple.. ice everyday and just turn down service at night with of course a towel animal. Received no service that night and towards evening of the next day, she told me she would service my room in the daytime as she had too many at night... really? Dining room 2d night service was beyond horrible. We were able to switch our section thanks to any time dining and our service was never better! The piano bar which I usually enjoyed was ruined by the entertainer, she talked way too much in between songs and her language was so foul, I had to leave... not even the adult comedians could top her Shows were good. Comedy club was fantastic Casino was fun and not at all smoky as some say on other ships. Saw quite a few big winners! Getting on and off the ship was well organized Overall entertainment was good. Bar service was good Staff very friendly and accommodating overall I would definitely cruise on Sunshine again Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We choose this cruise because some dear friends of ours were renewing their vows for their 25th anniversary. This was the worse Carnival experience ever! The shower curtain was too short and water flooded the bathroom floor every time we ... Read More
We choose this cruise because some dear friends of ours were renewing their vows for their 25th anniversary. This was the worse Carnival experience ever! The shower curtain was too short and water flooded the bathroom floor every time we showered. Consequently, we had to request extra towels to place on the floor to absorb the water. We pre-ordered a case of water and did not receive it until the night of the second sail day after calling to complain 3 times and once again at Guest Services. The cabin steward did not make any animal shaped towels until I approached him and REQUESTED one. (Day 3). I realized a bottle of Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Eau De Toilette was missing from my cabin the morning of debarkment. Because we were exiting the vessel, I did not contact security, but called Carnival to express my concern. I was told by the representative that "Carnival is not responsible for any lost or missing items as per their contract." I asked the representative if that meant that any Carnival employee could enter a cabin and remove items with no recourse. She replied, " We certainly will investigate the allegations; however, Carnival is not responsible for any missing or lost items as per our contract." I AM SO DISAPPOINTED WITH CARNIVAL SUNSHINE! We will be using another cruise line for our upcoming family reunion. Read Less
Sail Date August 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
Sail Date May 2017
We chose this cruise due to the itineraries and so glad we did. We travelled with 2 of our closest friends for my 50th. 8 days of nothing but FUN!!! The staff was simply amazing and always accommodating! The ports of call where amazing! ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to the itineraries and so glad we did. We travelled with 2 of our closest friends for my 50th. 8 days of nothing but FUN!!! The staff was simply amazing and always accommodating! The ports of call where amazing! Aruba, Caucasus and Grand Turks! Cabins, although small as in all cruise ships, were wonderful! Food was plentiful.The only thing that I can actually say I was disappointed in was the pool. It was small for the amount of people that the ship holds, so we just didn't go in. The Serenity Area for adults was awesome, be careful getting into the hammocks, but once you are in, you will not want to come out! I highly recommend the Land and Sea excursion booked from the ship. We had a blast. We live near beaches so when we travel we want to see the island, learn their history, this did just that. Afterword, we were taken to a submarine and saw a World War II Sunken Ship...won't tell you the story behind it, that would be a spoiler alert! I would recommend this ship to anyone, just refurbished in 16, the ship is beautiful! Hope you enjoy your trip as much as I enjoyed mine! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Chose this cruise because of where it was going and the ports of call, the dates and where is was sailing out of. The ship was recently redone so I figured it can't be too beaten up or worn out. I was disappointed with how hard it was ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of where it was going and the ports of call, the dates and where is was sailing out of. The ship was recently redone so I figured it can't be too beaten up or worn out. I was disappointed with how hard it was to get chairs on the deck or serenity deck, Way too crowded. And the Limelight lounge was a ridiculous set up that if you sat to the side of the stage, you got to watch the whole show on a monitor. That was stupid. I earned enough points in casino (1500) to qualify for free drinks...problem being, you place an order and it takes them 45 minutes to get the drink to you. By then you have moved on to a new machine. I had qualified for free drinks for 2 days and got exactly 2 free drinks for all the time I spent in there!!!! THe Alchemy bar was really slow on taking and serving drinks. . Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
I chose this cruise as part of the Greater Federation of Women's Clubs - Florida had selected the cruise. The cruise was "OK" - this was my fifth cruise on Carnival Cruise Lines and the other ones were superior particularly ... Read More
I chose this cruise as part of the Greater Federation of Women's Clubs - Florida had selected the cruise. The cruise was "OK" - this was my fifth cruise on Carnival Cruise Lines and the other ones were superior particularly regarding entertainment and meals. Entertainment was sorely lacking on this cruise - no big show in a theater. Fairly good comedy in one of the lounges and some decent musicians and singers in other lounges. I particularly disliked the set-up for Anytime Dining. One had to go to one deck to register each night and then sit and wait for in a designated area for a table. This two step process may have been more efficient for Carnival, but it took away from any perceived advantage of Anytime Dining. If I were to choose another Carnival cruise I would find out first if they are using this new form of Anytime Dining setup and if so, would opt for a set dining time. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
This was a GFWC Woman's Club (all of Florida) fundraiser for Hacienda Girls Ranch. Florida Fabulous Flamingo Flock... People would say oh, you're with that ladies group. Yep, that's was us, all 90+++ & a few ... Read More
This was a GFWC Woman's Club (all of Florida) fundraiser for Hacienda Girls Ranch. Florida Fabulous Flamingo Flock... People would say oh, you're with that ladies group. Yep, that's was us, all 90+++ & a few husbands (10)... I had Priority boarding & it was swift and easy. One of my cabin mates was on a walker, but needed a wheelchair to board and they were very accommodating. Also disembarkation was a super breeze. Ordered wheel chair the night before & when we got to location we were whisked away, straight to customs, zipped through, still in wheelchair and across the street to garage where staff left her and I went for car. Porter went with me to car & loaded luggage. Again, very nice. Weather was good, except for the rain in Grand Turk which made everyone boarding look like we were having a wet tee shirt contest. Ship is smallish compared to other ships I have sailed on, but o.k. overall. I was disappointed in size of Ocean Suite but since I had seen the pictures, I knew it would not match other, larger, Carnival ships. I really dislike the way their galley is, to me, in the way of navigating the ship. Out, up over down around. Our wait staff in Sunset Dining room, Norwell, Dora and John were wonderful. Very attentive to our needs. Downright funny at times and we dressed them in flamingo headbands, heart headbands, flashing flamingo while they danced.. Called many of us by our names & remembered what your drink preference was. Food, overall was good. I had read that table cloths were done away with except for formal night, so not a surprise. To me that is a perk in cruising. Lido was crowded but we always found a seat. Bit disappointed in food selection, seemed like less than other ships. A lot of fried foods, which I do not eat. However I found other goodies. We did the Italian restaurant & it is top notch. Try it. Not really expensive either. $15 per. Entertainment was good the 2 nights we went. Theatre is really a lounge which was different. A lot of strobe lights, almost blinding, so many that the next night my cabin mates did not want to go...Don't know about the activities, but we as the WC group did a slot pull on the last sea day. Now that was a hoot and we hooped and screamed when we had a "high roller".... Made a lot of $$ for our fundraiser doing that and had several people on ship contribute to our cause, Hacienda Girls Ranch, when they found out what we were doing.. There were only 2 ports, Amber Cove which I had never been to. We did a tour, overview of area. Bus was very nice, Clean, a/c, excellent driver, tour guide was nice, but limited English, very limited. Grand Turk was the other port and we got off, did some shopping, checked out the John Glen memorial. There is a giant pool right there which, in the past, I have taken advantage of. Both ports were very clean in portside shopping areas. Over all I would recommend this cruise if you want a short, 5 day get away. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Fun is the Fun Cruise Line. It's been many years since I've sailed on a Carnival Fun Ship. I've cruised a few times on other lines and established a family during the interim. This time I sailed with DW, 10 year old DD, ... Read More
Fun is the Fun Cruise Line. It's been many years since I've sailed on a Carnival Fun Ship. I've cruised a few times on other lines and established a family during the interim. This time I sailed with DW, 10 year old DD, and 1.5 year old DS. Carnival is the best ship for kids (I've never ridden on Disney which I hear is great, but pricey). This can be bad if you don't like to crazy of a hoard of children. We sailed the Sunshine during the off season in October so there wasn't the rush and roar of kids, far more retirees, than I remembered from Carnivals past. I was told by Camp Carnival there were 200 kid passengers, which isn't a lot out of 3000 passenger. We saw very few teens, quite a few baby/toddlers. Camp Carnival was always less than 10 kids, often just 3 or 4. It was nice. My DD was a first time cruiser, at first she was reluctant camper, but on the last 2 days she did not want to leave the camp carnival area for the video games (she loves Minecraft) and made a friend. We also let DD the freedom to check in and out of the camp carnival area. The ports are normal, excuse to get out and stretch your legs, try out some local fare and buy some souvenir trinkets. I've done St. John and Halifax many times. I was only off the ship with the family to walk the enclosed mall, to the park. Halifax I stayed in. DS had lots of in the suite, he taught himself to clime the bunk ladder. Unlike at home we let him make a mess of crumbs, knowing the wonderful room steward would vacuum up the crumbs. He loved to run up and down the LONG hall -- so much energy. He loved to investigate the pirate ship in the playground for 2-5 year olds. We only sad they only let DS play in the camp carnival play area from 8AM to 10AM on sea days accompanied by us. For other hours meant leaving him alone in childcare which we are not ready to do. Overall food was good and fresh, better than average (for mainstream cruise lines I've done). As extras we did sushi and asian restaurant. The asian restaurant was good appetizers (soup and shimp dumplings) but disappointing mains -- too salty and too much soy sauce. I don't remember the dessert so it must not have been any good. The sushi was good quality -- but the sushi boat only comes with 3 pieces per person so I had to order more. I liked the main dining room breakfast (wonderful corn beef hash), even if the menu was the same every day. We had MDR dinner twice and both times they messed up a bit of our order -- too many dishes, missing dishes, missing drinks. MDR takes a long time if you aren't into a long leisurely chat or slow time dinner. Lido was fine, solid breakfast, with lunch choices of mongolian stir fry (though I think it was quick boiled), to order pasta, sandwich bar, mexican bar, burger joint, 24 hour pizza, ice cream machine, hot coco. The taste bar on 5th floor had surprising foods. The 1 day chocolate dessert special was small, -- I guess they don't do chocolate festival anymore -- probably too wasteful. Entertainment choices was satisfying. Great cruise director in Emma Nixon -- her enthusiasm and british wit (sorry I though she was Australian at first) really was cute and infectious. I don't know how she doesn't lose her voice entirely, she seemed everywhere -- from Dr Suess story time, to game shows, to PA announcements, to Karaoke MC. For the youngters and young at heart there is the big (for a ship) water park with 3 slides, elevated rope course (scared the jeebus out of me, but some of the kids went on a bunch of times), mini sports area -- it was very few folks due to the cool weather and many retirees on board, but it was still open and available to do. Comedy club comedians and piano bar player were skilled -- but the entertainment went from clean PG to hard R after 10:30. Lots of cursing and adult stories at night. I didn't go the the night club area -- which is converted from the main performance area after dark. The Sunshine Casino was big and busy. I won a few bucks, and got a free drink fro sitting a the table game. Lots of new slot machines. Great ending with the fastest disembarkation ever -- we went out with the first group at 8AM and were off she ship at 8:10AM. 2 customs agents were fast and professional in check our our docs and waving us through -- even with 2 green cards and an immigration extension letter. All in all a great time -- carnival makes a great use of its space and lives up to its moniker as the Fun Ships. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We chose this cruise in a line dance group same as we did 7 years ago on Carnival Triumph. However, this Carnival Sunshine Fun ship is a boring one. NO disco, NO private dancing time at sea days..Carnival dancing lessons was short and ... Read More
We chose this cruise in a line dance group same as we did 7 years ago on Carnival Triumph. However, this Carnival Sunshine Fun ship is a boring one. NO disco, NO private dancing time at sea days..Carnival dancing lessons was short and limited. 15 minutes one dance per section only twice in 7 days. It is too small; only 3 Jacuzzi, 2 swimming pools; mini golf only one hole; limited crew to serve, limited space for passenger to hang around and providing space for entertainment arrangement. Entertainment is not enough. Only 8 artists for all shows. Theatre is small too. It cannot hold most passengers twice a night. So they make their shows not so attractive so won't be let people down outside the Liquid Theatre. BORING CRUISE EVER. NO FUN AT ALL. Service and food at restaurant is fair. No table cloth except formal night. No tricks played by waiters. They are very busy to serve too many passengers. Not much food variety at buffet restaurant. Should give up cruising with Carnival again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
I choose this cruise because my friends told me to go with this ship. I never been on a cruise and im glad I pick this ship...The staff was amazing....Im hoping to go next year...but with the family this time....I love the dining to just ... Read More
I choose this cruise because my friends told me to go with this ship. I never been on a cruise and im glad I pick this ship...The staff was amazing....Im hoping to go next year...but with the family this time....I love the dining to just sitting on deck...I went for the balcony because i have a outside i can go to...Im glad i did pick the balcony you would love it....I did get sea sick and the staff help with that..eat green apple and drink plenty of apple juice...thanks ya for that...I owe ya one...but after that was over i enjoy my trip.This trip like any other is very memorable and worth investing...The only problem i really had...I want the captain to be more visible to certain nights.. The captain should appear at least for captain dinner... Overall of my trip i love but only two complaints was sea sick and the captain sure been around more. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Embarkation was excellent, on board within 30 minutes of arrival. The room was in excellent shape and to our surprise we had a refrigerator in the room, all of the comments suggested this was not the case on the sunshine so we brought ... Read More
Embarkation was excellent, on board within 30 minutes of arrival. The room was in excellent shape and to our surprise we had a refrigerator in the room, all of the comments suggested this was not the case on the sunshine so we brought a cooler to adapt. We found no problems with understaffing, Bar staff were prompt at returning to our table for refreshing our drinks and always smiling and fun. Had a ball with Cruise Director Donkey, the voice from above, and enjoyed the shows , piano bar, atrium bar entertainment, Red Frog pub, a few trivia contests, the previous cruisers party etc.... Dining room staff were enjoyable and attentive to our needs, found the food to be cruise perfect. We enjoyed all of our ports of call. Upon arrival back to Port Canaveral there was a problem in the terminal that delayed debarkation but Carnival staff (donkey) kept us informed and nobody was showing any signs of irritation, things happen, Got off the ship about an hour late but sailed right through customs with no other issues. Would definitely cruise the Sunshine again with no hesitation. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
I would first like to say that I was excited and curious because of all the negative reviews of the Sunshine. We chose her specifically for the itinerary since our party of four had a combined wish to see Aruba and Grand Turk and for the ... Read More
I would first like to say that I was excited and curious because of all the negative reviews of the Sunshine. We chose her specifically for the itinerary since our party of four had a combined wish to see Aruba and Grand Turk and for the Serenity decks ( always our favorite part of ships). We weren't disappointed. Even with the CDC delay at the port for embarkation ( which I was actually glad since the ship would be super clean) things went fairly well. So glad we opted for Faster to the Fun as we were first in line to finally get on and would not have wanted to be in that crazy line behind us. Prior to this, we used the Fly Snooze Cruise package from Comfort Suites in Cocoa Beach. All transportation was taken care of and our room was adequate(could use a little updating) plus free breakfast buffet and we were set. They were apprised of the delay at the port and modified transportation accordingly. Finally... ON THe SHIP! Our party had an inside Spa cabin and a balcony Spa cabin adjacent to each other on deck 12. Perfect location!! We were steps from all of the Serenity decks (3 in all!)and it was a surprisingly quiet floor when the door to the outside decks closed. Our cabins were 12021 and 12025 respectively. It turns out my hunch for 12021 was correct and it was a larger inside cabin with plenty of walkaround space on both sides of the bed and with a mini bar fridge much to the delight of my sister in law and her partner. Beautiful cabins...loved the décor and hues and the balcony for 12025 was quite large with a lounger, 2 chairs and a table. It was covered as well and the 4 of us spent many hilarious hours out there people and sea life watching. We also had the much maligned Your time dining which went off without a hitch. We checked into the system on Deck 5 near the Taste Bar and either got a pager or a seating immediately. It was just a short walk down the back stairs to the lovely Sunrise dining room. We had the new American Table menus and they were pretty decent. I missed having the complementary lobster on elegant nights but the Feast menu was pretty delicious as well. I made up for the lobster in shrimp extras lol. While I prefer having table cloths all of the time, the table settings were still very nice. Food was excellent and service impeccable. We also enjoyed the Lido Buffets, room.service breakfast ( though we sorely missed the smoked salmon selection) and the other offerings. We really liked sitting in the Havana bar for our casual meals as it was cool and uncrowded and they played great Latin music. Also, there were little Cuban tapas on offer at breakfast and lunch which were delicious! The Mongolian wok at lunchtime was fantastic but we never did try the Italian pasta buffet. I received a complimentary birthday dinner at either Jijis or the Cucina and we chose JiJis. It was served family style and it was delicious... Plenty of food for the 4 of us and we are big eaters! Truly authentic Asian specialties...best Kung Pao I have ever had. We also tried Guys burgers occasionally and the Iguana cantina tacos and burritos. All delicious! The Guinness float in the Shake place is not to be missed! The only annoying thing was the people trying to get out of washing their hands! Employees were stationed at food entry areas to make sure handwashing was happening and it was in everyone's best interest to use the auto washers and the waterless rub but there are always those that have to buck the system. It would serve them right to get ill but the 4 of stayed perfectly healthy. I was glad of the safe measures taken on board (condiments were given out by a crew member and not handled by guests, etc). The ship itself was configured a little differently than we were accustomed but it made it more interesting to find the hideaway places like the Limelight lounge, etc. The Liquid Lounge was smaller than other ships theaters and for some reason caused me and my brother in law to nod off every time we went in there. We preferred the previous format of shows that were done in the Vegas style with dancers rather than the multiple.mediocre singers and lacking sets, maybe that is why we couldn't stay awake in there! Bed hoarding and reserving continued to be a.problem but the crew initiated the timer system toward the end of the cruise. We noticed people on deck before light placing items on chairs and then not arriving until 9 or 10 am. That could use more policing but it puts the crew in a bad position and it shouldn't have to be that way. We were very lucky with weather and sea conditions throughout the cruise and we loved all of the ports and are anxious to return to them for a second or third look. Beautiful sea conditions for our sail and snorkel in Aruba, visibility was fantastic and I actually free dived and.touched the wreck of the Antilla. Curacao was stunning with its architecture and we welcomed the rain shower in the afternoon after a day of walking and sightseeing. Grand Turk was pristine and we had a.wonderful day at Jack's Shack playing with Topher. The water was crystal clear turquoise and the Turk's Head beer went down a little too easily. We enjoyed our trek to the Conch graveyard and stayed away from the crowds at Margaritaville. I celebrated my 50 th birthday on the last seaday and it was my best birthday ever! Although we prefer the smaller ships with more outdoor space and decks, we will gladly return to the Sunshine as she has a lot to offer and is unique in her layout. People of course with their habits remain the downside to any cruise and the casino was horribly smoky but all in all she is a great ship and we had a wonderful cruise. Two in our party were first timers and.loved every minute of it...this was my seventh and DH's sixth so we had pretty good comparisons. Her decor is understated compared to others and that can be good or bad depending on your preference. The Serenity bar could stay open longer in the evening as we noticed it was really happening about the time it was closing and it was.close to the hot tub! It closed between 430 and 5 and the one evening it was supposed to be open late it was too windy for the top deck. If you are sitting the fence trying to decide to sail on her, giver her a go, you may be pleasantly surprised! We certainly were! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We have cruised 20 times since my wife and I got together. She has been on even more than that. This was our 7th Carnival cruise, but I guarantee you it will be our last. We were so excited about this boat. It was recently refurbished ... Read More
We have cruised 20 times since my wife and I got together. She has been on even more than that. This was our 7th Carnival cruise, but I guarantee you it will be our last. We were so excited about this boat. It was recently refurbished and seemed to have some things we had never seen before on a cruise ship. But wow, what a huge disappointment all around. Let's start with check-in. Carnival has a policy where there has to be an adult over 25 registered before anyone under that age, including 18. So they broke their own policy by checking in our daughter first, before us (the obvious adults/parent). This caused the system to not allow us to properly check-in. We had to wait forever for manager to finally "fix" it. He told us it would be fine. It wasn't. EVERY SINGLE TIME our daughter either left the boat or came back on the boat at every port, her card failed and flagged her as not being a passenger. It was embarrassing and we held up the line. She couldn't charge anything on the boat either, even though we stood in line half a dozen times at the Guest Services desk and was told each time that everything was corrected. One of the biggest complaints of this boat by us, by other people on our cruise, and by many other people in their own reviews is this...THE SMELL. It was the worst smell and it was everywhere on this boat. The disgusting, sickening smell of damp and sewage was so bad in some areas people would not stay there. We smelled it getting on and off the boat EVERY TIME. It was rampant across the lower floors and in certain areas of the upper decks. When I complained, all I got was that "it's an older ship". Really? So after all of the refurbishment and changes, it basically has an old and worn out sewage system that leaks. That is why you see so many reviews from people mentioning not only the awful smell, but leaking in staterooms and bathrooms. The whole trip I kept wondering if the terrible taste of the water on this boat had something to do with the matching smell of damp sewage. Drinking water wasn't good. In fact it was disgusting. Smelled awful and tasted worse. Then we get to our room. It wasn't cleaned even though we were one of the last on board. The room was OK, but the bathroom was clearly disgusting, there was what looked like menstrual blood on the toilet, dirty toilet paper in the trash can, and several items left from the previous passengers including tampons and used deodorant. When I complained to our room steward, he said this was only his 2nd cruise and he wasn't' sure what to do. It didn't get cleaned until day 3 and we had to use our friend's bathroom connected to ours. There is also only 1 outlet in each room. Fun time sharing. On every cruise I order a few fun things that are usually in the room waiting for us when we first get there. This time they weren't there. I called and was told the platters of food and champagne were "not on board yet" and would be delivered when available. They delivered them in the middle of the night that first night. It was sushi, pastries, and strawberries, left unrefrigerated sitting on the floor. The champagne was not only not chilled, but came with no ice and no bottle opener. The first sea day was Valentine's Day, and my wife was supposed to get 2 dozen roses and a cake. The flowers were wrong and the cake was gross. It also came with no forks or plates. On our niece's birthday, her birthday cakes were clearly ordered to be delivered to the restaurant. They were left sitting in our stateroom. Ridiculous. Speaking of the room next door, the 3rd bed was broken. So even though they booked and paid for a room for 4 people, they only had two beds instead of 3. We had to bitch so much just to get an apology and then I had to get nasty to get them a measly partial refund. The room manager didn't even realize they admitted they knew the pull down ceiling bed was broken well before we set sail. What a gigantic inconvenience it was for their two girls to sleep together on a single sofa bed. Oh, and did I mention that both of our bathroom doors were broken? Ours would shut but only slamming it a few times, and theirs not only would never stay shut, but never locked either. Also, the toilets clogged many times and we had to call and yell for a manager to get them fixed. Now on to the crew. Most of them were OK. Although I have to say over 20 years there has been a clear decline in cruise employee attitude and performance across all cruise lines. But this one had something we had never seen before. The 3 main people you deal with on this boat (cruise director, comedy club manager, host) were nothing but obnoxious and annoying. Most cruises have personable, fun, and interactive folks in these high visibility positions. These 3 young men looked like a college frat boys with "I'm cooler than everyone else" attitudes and matching looks on their faces. My wife loves everybody, and she couldn't stand these 3 at any of the few events on the boat. The boat was clearly redesigned so that Carnival could try packing in another 100 rooms full of passengers while sacrificing shared space and fun things to do. The dining room was so small that our group of 4 rooms, all booked together, was assigned to 3 different dinner times. When we complained and asked for the same time, we were told by the maître d' that we could all do the Anytime Dining option and the longest wait would be 15 minutes tops. No matter what time we showed up we had to wait AN HOUR AND A HALF each night for dinner. And it wasn't just us. Most people we talked to during the time we were all crammed around the area where the seating host was said the same thing. They would have half the ship waiting around for dinner with very little to do except hit the casino or buy drinks. The show lounge was the smallest we have ever seen, even on much smaller boats. It seats less than 500 people and there were 3600 passengers on board. There were usually 2 shows (sometimes 4) and we had to leave dinner or whatever we were doing to go stand in line for at least 30 minutes before each show or comedy act if we even wanted seats. The pool was also the smallest one we have ever seen. They redid the entire desk to add some cool bars and food, but the pool was the size of a regular pool in someone's back yard. With 3600 passengers, it was nearly impossible during the day to find room for the kids in the pool, and totally impossible to get a deck chair, much less a few together. We have never been so annoyed walking through a pool area because of so much congestion. Speaking of small, the casino was fairly small too. It was hard to get on most tables after dinner in the evening. We paid $5 each to have a special "Cat in the Hat" breakfast the last full day. They clearly showed all of these pictures and videos of it. It showed numerous Dr. Seuss characters and fun. There was only Thing 1 and 2, and at the end Sam I Am (who actually wasn't Sam I Am, but the other guy from Green Eggs and Ham. They didn't even know the difference. LOL pathetic.) THERE WAS NO CAT IN THE HAT AT THE CAT IN THE HAT BREAKFAST. I asked multiple times and was told different stories about why. Our niece (who turned 7 on this cruise) was so upset about that. There was also no photo package available, even though the Carnival website said there was and we bought it on every other Carnival cruise over the last few years. They said "not on this boat" and charged $22 for every picture we wanted. The ship was even designed like a prison or department store, with theft detectors with alarms placed all over that deck around the pictures. Employees stared at us like criminal thieves the whole time we were going through our stack to figure out which ones were worth $22 a pop. There is an app now called the Carnival Hub. It is brand new. Which means it is in Beta testing. Which means it should be free. Not only did it not work half the time, but they charged each passenger $5 to beta test their own product. Disgusting. Unlike every other boat, you couldn’t check your account on the TV or even get a bill at the room the last night. So you were stuck with an app that didn’t work or standing in line at Guest Services to even know what you were being charged for. And we were charged for water and towels we didn't use. When getting off the boat, my wife was told she had a $180 balance even though my same credit card was connected to her as well as mine and it was paid. This boat advertised a lot of things that got us to book it. 3 huge water slides on the back that were rarely open. In fact it seemed they were only open while we were in port and not during sea days. A hot dog stand was up at the top near them and IT WAS NEVER OPEN ONCE. Social Internet claimed Snapchat would work, but staff member said it will not work, so it was sold stating functionality the staff already knew didn't work. Arcade stole a lot of money. Machines were all "new" and yet just kept money for no game. No staff to complain to. Paid extra for the "high-speed" internet package, but was just as slow and bad as the cheaper package. No dance club, even though advertised complete with a DJ! Lunch shut down early. No real hot tub (only two lukewarm small pools without jets). Bars didn't open till super late. Lido didn't have space for dancing or sail away parties. Dripping water coming down from ceiling in photo gallery. Wasn't clear there was a different time between boat time and local time. No weather, temperature or time on TV. Had to cancel shore excursion for sick child and was interrogated, and then they canceled the entire excursion themselves without explanation! Chateaubriand was supposed to be medium well or medium rare but it came out bloody red rare, nearly raw. When we sent them back, they came back overcooked and ruined. Steakhouse, Italian and Asian restaurants were $15-35 per person extra, but were just OK and tough to book. Room service took over an hour EVERY TIME. Mixes for drinks like Long Island Iced Tea were awful. Was told by the casino staff that they would accept chips from the Holland America ship (same parent company) but after waiting in line for a half hour...told the opposite and refused. Rude employees asking if we tipped. No chocolate mints on pillow. No refrigerator in room. They threw away our mouthwash and claimed it "might have been alcohol". Singers and dancers were so boring. Comedy acts were OK at best. Bought the Cheers alcohol package but had to wait at nearly every overcrowded bar for drink service, including the casino. There were so many problems that each and every one of us, all long-time cruisers and Gold/Platinum VIFP members of Carnival, walked off the ship saying none of us will ever cruise on Carnival again. In fact all of us have at least one thing we have to go and dispute. Carnival has made it clear to us it doesn't care when 12 paying passengers are treated so poorly and then try to tell them about it. If you are reading this review I assure you it is 100% accurate, as we have numerous witnesses, pictures, and videos. I beg you not to cruise on this ship or with Carnival, for your own sake. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Overall the ship is in good shape, but it is missing a few things that a cabin really should have in this cruise market. The cabin we were in had no refrigerator. The only way to keep things cooled was to get a bucket from the bar and ... Read More
Overall the ship is in good shape, but it is missing a few things that a cabin really should have in this cruise market. The cabin we were in had no refrigerator. The only way to keep things cooled was to get a bucket from the bar and fill it with ice or to use a 6 pack cooler. There also is no interactive TV on the ship. To keep track of your balance you had to wait in line at a kiosk. You also can not get things such as messages, menus, and activities on your TV. You also can not get movies in your cabin. I would think a ship which was refurbished not too long ago would have had these items. The food in the dinning room and steak house was excellent. However the Lido Deck food left a lot to be desired. The service on the Lido Deck was poor. Tables were not cleaned and the serving staff acted as if you were a bother to them. Plus when you return from a shore excursion and your hungry, if it is past 4:00 you better be ready for pizza, sandwiches, or a hamburger. Everything else is closed up. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Ill be completely honest - i was a little anxious about spending 8 days on the sunshine since it is smaller than the Dream, Breeze, etc. but, i was highly impressed with how much there was to do with so many days at sea! Our itinerary ... Read More
Ill be completely honest - i was a little anxious about spending 8 days on the sunshine since it is smaller than the Dream, Breeze, etc. but, i was highly impressed with how much there was to do with so many days at sea! Our itinerary included 4 sea days and 3 port days (Aruba, Curacao, Grand Turk), which is mainly the only reason i have for not giving this cruise the 5 Stars is deserves! Overall, the cruise was great - one that will be very memorable and as always, Carnival delivers! Destinations: We've traveled on Carnival more than enough times to count, but finally decided to visit Aruba and Curacao, hearing how amazing these ports were. Frankly, we were disappointed in them compared to many of the other tropical destinations. We did the Sail & Snorkel W/ Beach Barbecue in Aruba which was a nice excursion, but personally i was not impressed with the water, nor the atmosphere which felt like you were in Arizona (no offense to those who love Aruba and its natural beauty). In Curacao we did an island tour which was just okay, took us to some of the most rural and run down parts, where a woman on our tour even had her bag stolen out of the bus! The tour obviously did more than accommodate which was very nice, but left us little time to enjoy the port, aka the nicest part of the island. Grand Turk...BEAUTIFUL! Obviously, if you've been there you know, but this one is everyones favorite - the water, the atmosphere, everything!!! The Ship: Idk why this ship has gotten so many mixed reviews, but we absolutely loved the design, the people, the atmosphere, the entertainment, and especially the food! The casino could have been a little bigger; for those who like to gamble late night - make sure you pick your machine or stay at your table because they fill up fast! The nightclub, Liquid Lounge, isn't open every night, which was a little disappointing but they made up for it at the Havana Bar late night. The crew, especially the Hotel & Guest Services Managers are delightful, The HR and Food Managers will make your vacation worth while - take time to introduce yourselves to all these wonderful people! The layout can be somewhat tricky as its different than any other ship! Cuisine: The Havana Bar is one of the places we ate breakfast and lunch everyday on the back of the boat (Deck 9 - aft) and is nice because not many people crowd back there. We never even went into the dining room once - we ate at the spirality resultants (Jiji's and Cucina) EVERY NIGHT! We loved the special attention we got, the waiters/waitresses (Shimray, our waitress at Jiji's, was the main reason we kept coming back) were very reliable and greeted us every night! We loved how the restaurants were never too crowded either. Bonsai Sushi is one that we ate at on the last day which was delicious, a must try! The Steak House, Ferenheit 555, was not worth he money in our opinions. If you want a great steak or lobster, the formal nights in the dining room do it right the same way! There were so many dining options on this ship, including the buffet, and lets not forget Guys Burgers or those delicious Burritos! This truly made the ship a lot more enjoyable!!! Entertinament: Entertinament on this ship was pretty good! The comedians were funny in certain shows, especially Don Grey, but we really didn't see much of the stage shows, which i heard were very good! Our entertainment was in the casino most nights (and sea days), although the lido deck always had something going on from a party, to the hairy chest contest. The club, Liquid Lounge, (if you count that as entertainment) I'm not thrilled with, and wasn't so the last time i was on this ship. Its a nice idea to have the theater turn into the club, but it doesn't work - too bright and open, and doesn't have the "night club" feel most people want! Crew/Service: Everyone on this ship was polite and friendly. One of the few ships I've been on (like the valor) where everyone you meet is personable, and wants to be your friend! We enjoy meeting new people, and the Carnival Sunshine is the best place to do it! We are good friends with some of the higher up officers which mad it nice to see them, but we also made so many new friends that its impossible to forget about this cruise! Our cabin steward was very nice, and always had our rooms clean. Everyone on this ship is G.R.E.A.T.!!!! Overall, our experience on this cruise was well worth every penny! As said before, the destinations were the only disappointing thing on this cruise - excluding Grand Turk! I would recommend the Carnival Sunshine to everyone, just maybe not this itinerary! Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
My daughter decided to get married on Carnival's Sunshine on January 29, 2015. There were 36 people in our group and the age ranged from 4 - late 70's. We had a place to stay in Florida so we parked our rental car at a parking ... Read More
My daughter decided to get married on Carnival's Sunshine on January 29, 2015. There were 36 people in our group and the age ranged from 4 - late 70's. We had a place to stay in Florida so we parked our rental car at a parking facility about 5 mins from the cruise terminal. The cost was reasonable, a secured lot and service was great. Everyone in our party experienced nothing but the best in service, food and entertainment. The kids loved camp carnival, the younger group (20-30) loved the bars, excursions and comedy shows (they didn't mind the half hour line up to get in), the middle aged group (40-60) enjoyed the great room and meal services, all the food options and entertainment and the older group (65-80) loved the relaxation, the ports of call and meal options. Half of the group have not cruised before and the other half have cruised with several different cruiselines and many areas of the world. For the cost, this cruise was a great bang for the buck. The ship was in great shape, lots of storage in the rooms and the main areas were very inviting. All of us ate in the main dining room choosing the late sitting at 8:15 nightly. There was a large variety menu so all pallets were pleased. There were a couple of times the baked potatoe was only warm but other than that the meals were great. The steakhouse was amazing and worth every cent of the $35 charge. I strongly recommend you dine there. None of the older group participated in the excursions however the younger crowd did Atlantis in Nassau which they said was 'ok'. They said they would not do it again. They did a beach excursion in St. Tomas and loved it. In San Juan, some did a bus tour of the city and they said it was a great value and the rest of the group just walked the city themselves. The only draw back on the Grand Turk stop was we were only there for 6 hours. It was not long enough on the beach for most of us. Arriving early in the morning would have been better. The sail back to port was longggg, 37 hours. We left Grand Turk at 6pm on Thursday and got back to Port Canaveral at 7am Saturday morning. There was entertainment all over the ship all the time. There was stuff to do that appealed to all ages. Pictures are very expensive and the backgrounds are cheesy and need to be updated however the quality of the photographs is great. We had a balcony cabin (8235) and I would never cruise again without one. We used it all the time and it made our trip more enjoyable. The location of our room was just under the lido deck and not far from the elevators on the 8th floor on starboard side. Our only complaint on that was you could here chairs being moved around on the deck above during the night (I assume by workers setting up). This was a minor issue and not enough to wake us up or keep us awake. We were nervous about the wedding as you are planning from a distance without being able to see the venues. The coordinator at Carnival's office and on the ship were second to none. They took care of everything. The wedding went off without one single issue, the food was amazing as well as the service. The ceremony itself was performed by a minister from Turks and Caicos and he did one of the best jobs I have ever seen at a wedding. All the guests couldn't believe how classy the entire event was. If you have any questions about wedding planning and what we experienced I will be happy to help. Our trip was simply PERFECT!!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
I have been on many different Carnival and Disney ships, and to walk into the atrium and see the big shiny Sun, I knew fun was sure to follow! The crew on board were so friendly and bright and Jamie Dee needs to be the new Carnival ... Read More
I have been on many different Carnival and Disney ships, and to walk into the atrium and see the big shiny Sun, I knew fun was sure to follow! The crew on board were so friendly and bright and Jamie Dee needs to be the new Carnival Ambassador! There were so many awesome and fun activities, and she was a ball of fun! I loved Red Frog and Ocean Plaza, which is where I spent a lot of time when not donating to the casino. The casino hosts were kind in teaching me some of the games, though I still kept donating! JiJi's is, by far, one of the best dining experiences EVER! The pork belly and duck are TO DIE FOR!! I really enjoyed the layout of the piano bar, 88, as it was intimate and Lacey, our pianist was OUTSTANDING and extremely personable, plus ADORABLE!! The Serenity Deck was awesome! We loved lounging out at night the first few nights, then after our room changed we spent more time on our balcony. The only "downfalls" I found were our first cabin had a large banging noise in the beginning, but we were lucky to be able to move, however-this wouldn't have ruined my cruise as when I'm on the ocean, I find my peace of mind. Your Time dining in the beginning was a bit hard until we found a comfortable flow. We are a roll with the punches type of cruisers. The Punchliners is small and weirdly shaped but we made a point to get there early to sit facing the stage, however if we didn't then we sat on the side and watched through the tv and enjoyed anyways. In the end, I really loved the ship and any flaw that anyone could mention a happy and silver lining could be found! We sail her again October and can't wait! Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Let me start off this review with the fact that I have been in the Travel Industry for over 25 years and traveled all most of the cruise lines. I had a small incentive group on the Carnival Sunshine the week of February 9-16, 2014. It has ... Read More
Let me start off this review with the fact that I have been in the Travel Industry for over 25 years and traveled all most of the cruise lines. I had a small incentive group on the Carnival Sunshine the week of February 9-16, 2014. It has been a couple of years since I was on a Carnival ship and my expectations from the reviews was that I was not going to have a good time nor would my group. Honestly, the reviews I read on here are not even close to the same ship I was on, the ship is beautiful and it was nice to see carnival change out the neon look for a more upscale LED lighting look. If you are looking for problems then of course you are going to find something wrong with a ship, plane, hotel or a destination but if you just enjoy what you have and the experience taking place, in my opinion all will turn out well. Ship- I could not tell that it was an older ship as the billion dollars that Carnival put into this ship made it shine like it was brand new. I loved most everything about the ship and will highlight the positives and list out the couple of odd things (please do not read into this as negative, as I have no negative things to say in my review). Food- The food was very good in the main dining room and I was pleasantly surprised every night. You must try the Guys Burger joint as they have the most delicious cheeseburgers. In general all the food was really good, would like to see the buffet change up a little each day and was not a huge fan of the scrambled eggs each morning. Now here is what I found to be odd, the buffet does not have an omelet station inside the buffet area, if you want a cook to order egg or omelet, you have to go to the Havana Bar which has a small breakfast set up offering a smaller selection of breakfast items. I found the location of the Havana Bar to be odd as on most ships the buffet area takes up the entire back of the ship but on the Carnival Sunshine the Havana Bar (also the location of the Chinese and Italian specialty restaurants during the evening) takes up the back of the ship. Entertainment- As I told the people in my group on the first day – “if you are not having fun this week, then you just are not trying”. Carnival does the best job on the sea of keeping people entertained and the Carnival Sunshine did not disappoint. Not even sure where to start with this, the shows in the Liquid Lounge are top notch and I really enjoyed them. The live entertainment throughout the ship are all great and I have to comment specifically on Andy Ferguson who was the guitar soloist on this cruise, keep a look out for his name as he is going to be big one day, he is just that good and entertaining. Carnival just knows how to make people have fun and on this ship they did parties in the Atrium on a few nights and let me tell you it was a blast. I will end my review talking about the ship staff. Everyone from all departments are just so nice and friendly and are genuinely doing so to make the trip fun and enjoyable. Butch (Cruise Director) is so lively and upbeat all the time and personable and just a joy to hear each day and see on stage. I highly recommend the Carnival Sunshine and plan to travel on her again. I was working this trip and will say it was an “amazing” cruise experience and one that I will never forget. Wish I could say that about some of the cruises I have taken in the past on other cruise lines who sell themselves as “a good time”. Carnival knows how to have FUN and in my opinion the Carnival Sunshine is an amazing fun ship.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
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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