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