100 Carnival Sunshine Senior Cruise Reviews

I choose this cruise since it is closer to home. had surgery in September and had to cancel my Bermuda cruise, took this one to replace it.. took a while to get well. I read that people complain about the Sunshine being rocky.. ... Read More
I choose this cruise since it is closer to home. had surgery in September and had to cancel my Bermuda cruise, took this one to replace it.. took a while to get well. I read that people complain about the Sunshine being rocky.. I've never been on any boat that didn't rock a little. trip was great , food in all areas that I ate was excellent. Cabins were clean as expected. Service was great.. The Charleston port needs a lot of work but I guess Carnival can't help that. Not very handicapped oriented. All in all it was a good trip ,especially for the price. I will go again... The only problem I see is that it has too many passengers for the aminities.. enough eating area that we didn't have to wait but The Lido area was a total mess.. First time to Princess cay, about the same as half moon cay.. Go early for lunch or you will long lines, really not worth the wait, I didn't use Carnival for any excursion. been to Nassau many times and usually just get the taxi tour at the port.. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
My wife and i have cruised about 30 times since 1992, so we have seen the cruise industry change in regards to service, food and prices. We were needing a get-away this January and we booked a 5 day cruise on the Sunshine out of ... Read More
My wife and i have cruised about 30 times since 1992, so we have seen the cruise industry change in regards to service, food and prices. We were needing a get-away this January and we booked a 5 day cruise on the Sunshine out of Charleston. Previously, a lot of our cruises were out of this port, but on the Ecstasy. First thing: Embarkation has been expedited by moving it to a different building than security. Time from parking to boarding the ship was about 25 minutes. There are several buffets and other places to eat when you board. We tried the Italian special order on deck 5 beside the Havana Bar. The pasta and sauces were excellent. First night dining was about standard for Carnival. We were assigned anytime dining which is not really dining. It more like place your order and get out! The food seemed a little below what we had experienced on Ecstasy in years past. (BTW, lobster is not on the menu for any night of the 5 day cruise) Since the tables have to be "flipped" several times, the service is just OK> The casino has mostly new slot machines (bigger vid screens) and regular table games and an electronic roulette wheel. There is also a large display video Blackjack/Three Card Poker machine near the Skybox lounge. Stay away from that one. We saw about three people play the entire cruise there. After putting in a few bucks, we understood why. The roulette tables have gone to basically "triple zero" which reduces your odds even further for winning. Only standard odds on the ship are on the one craps table, which had action most of the time. We were in a Spa suite which gave us access to the steam rooms, sauna and tepidarium on the 10th floor. One sauna was hot and adjusted properly. the other one was not hot and the sauna room was not turned on. The tepidarium chairs were relaxing if you could find one which was open. Being January, the temp outside was chilly the first day. By Nassau, it was 74 but windy. The Sunshine has a "Dive in" movie theater which had pretty recent hits. You needed a blanked to watch at night but that was part of the fun. We were advised that we would not dock at private island due to high winds (good call). Instead we went to Freeport, which is the zit of the Bahamas. I choose to scuba dive in Nassua, which is always handled through Stuart's Cove. SC is a top notch dive operation which will put you on wrecks, fish, walls and sharks. They have a shuttle from port to their docks, which is a pretty big operation. Highlight of the cruise was Farenheit 555, the specialty steak house on the ship. Upcharge is $38 per person and well worth it. The food and service is on part with the Chef's Table. If you order your steak rare, prepare for RARE, as in cool red center. (Good vet could bring it back.) i dont drink but my wife has wine. Bar service was good and fast, even in the casino. She played enough to qualify for a free drink card which always reduces cost. This ship has a little "stuffier" feel that Ecstasy. Staff on Ecstasy was like "family" and was very jovial with passengers. The staff on Sunshine looked a little more intense. They were not bad, just not the same. OK, for those of you who have cruise before, more than a few times, you know that service on the ships are scaling back. Where as you used to have to expel your cabin steward fro hanging around, you will barely see them. Overall, for the price we had a fun, relaxing cruise. We choose this port often for it's closeness to home which allows us to drive to port instead of fly or drive for an entire day. Have fun. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We use this cruise line when we take my mother inlaw on a yearly get away. In the past have had no major problems or issues. This cruise however was the Worst experience I have ever had in 20 years of cruises. I will never go back, ... Read More
We use this cruise line when we take my mother inlaw on a yearly get away. In the past have had no major problems or issues. This cruise however was the Worst experience I have ever had in 20 years of cruises. I will never go back, I'll stick with Princess or Royal Caribbean. The food on this cruise was awful, the buffet was tasteless, and they have no variety, same thing over and over, and just a few selections, no pineapple or watermelon until last day, Unripe (green) canteloupe, Desserts were tasteless, and all you could choose from was cake and hard cookies. Fine dining not much better, after screwing up our dinner time, we were informed we would have to check in every evening to fine us a table. Guys Burgers was the only thing worth eating, however they closed at 6pm. Not enough crew, and crew members had bad attitudes. On crew member in deck 12 was asked to get me a Coke, and he replied no it was not his job, instead he stood there with his finger up his butt looking over balcony and picking up trash ever now and then. Not enough help at bars 1 to 2 bartenders at busy bars on sea days. So many more complaints, I've just touched on a few. Like I said worst cruise in 20 years, but never again, they should sink the sunshine. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We went on this cruise to join some family and it was my very 1st cruise. Embarkment was delayed due to a medical emergency, but it felt good to know that I was boarding a ship that they made sure to take care of that person, when they ... Read More
We went on this cruise to join some family and it was my very 1st cruise. Embarkment was delayed due to a medical emergency, but it felt good to know that I was boarding a ship that they made sure to take care of that person, when they were only one of out of about 3,000. Kudos to the Captain for that. We were offered an upgrade to the Cloud 9 Spa deck and so GLAD we upgraded. I did 3 UltraThermie's with Nombali who was wonderful. Such a sweet girl. And I got great results! Will definitely do that again! Also got a massage and an an updo which all were wonderful as well! The Serenity deck was awesome and up just one flight of stairs and there! There were elevators, but chose to take the stairs. Having the Eucalyptus room available was nice as the smoke going through casino to the dining room really took it's tole on me having suffered with lung issues in the past..Finally figured out to go to Deck 7, walk to the other end of the ship, then take the stairs down to avoid the casino. The deck above the casino smelled like smoke too. Glad our room was far away. The waterfall Serenity Deck was also enjoyable and we really had no problem finding space at most any given time. Dining rooms had awesome food overall. To me, they serve too much food. I do like Lido deck breakfasts over the buffet. Buffet breakfast is good but unless you buy a glass of fresh squeezed juice for $5, there is no fruit. I can control my portions so as to not waste food and have them throw half of it away at Lido. Love the Bonsai Sushi. Wish they had a Seafood Shack as I have heard good things about them. Guy's Burgers are not for me, dripping in grease .555 Fahrenheit Steakhouse was great, but again, too much food. They need to offer lesser options for less money. We enjoyed our balcony room on Cloud 9 Spa, Deck 10, but not all elevators go that high. Overall, that did not present a problem for us though. Balcony was large enough for the two of us with a table. They did only clean the room once and we rarely saw our Steward. Tipped housekeeping but he was no where around most of the time. Mikey, the cruise director, was just constantly full of energy and so much fun. The Motown night and the 1980's night were awesome in the Atrium. He kept people entertained on Lido during the day as well. We saw two stage shows which were fantastically done. Don't know how those dancers do it on a rocking ship! Saw 1 comedian that was okay. Don't need to hear the "F" word so much though. Drinks were enjoyed by family at The Altitude, with beer available for my husband just across the Ocean Plaza. At Nausau, we booked the Holiday/Hilton Inn on our own for a Resort for Day. We were able to walk there and the beach was awesome. We had a dedicated server that brought drinks and food. Recommend the Mahi ceasar salad for $9.00 for lunch. Water was beautiful. You do go through the locals that want to braid hair, etc., but if just decline and keep moving, it's all good, and just part of it. They are just trying to make a living. Half Moon Cay as wonderful. They do fill the boats to get you there, but once there, it was awesome. We parked on chairs outside the Pirate Ship bar in the front row. Put your sandals and lotion on the chairs if you go into the water as the tides will float them away in the first 2 rows if you don't. Buffet lunch was good and the rice and chicken were outstanding. Island is beautiful. Best to wear your flip flops when going to the bathrooms as the floors are tiled and often wet. Beautiful island and would go back time and time again. Debarkation went smoothly. The elevators do shut down periodically for a few minutes when they are picking up luggage, but it cleared in about 10-15 minutes. Great cruise, great ship and would do it again. Better signage to help you get around the smoking areas would be helpful - and get a Seafood Shack on this ship! Charleston is a wonderful town to port out of and we enjoyed spending some extra time there. Hyman's Seafood was excellent with the best hush puppies ever! The Crab Shack and Oyster Bar downtown are also excellent. We did the Morris Island tour as well which was enjoyable, but bring a jacket if it is cold at all. They have a shack of a restaurant there that gets flat out busy at night - bucket of oysters for $16 plus other seafood. Not fine dining atmosphere though. Magnolia Farms is also worth seeing. Take the train ride - the guy that runs it is a hoot! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Chose this cruise because it was departing from Charleston, SC and going to San Juan. The food selections and quality was amazing. The entertainment especially Zack Daniels in the piano bar was great fun every night but Thursday. ... Read More
Chose this cruise because it was departing from Charleston, SC and going to San Juan. The food selections and quality was amazing. The entertainment especially Zack Daniels in the piano bar was great fun every night but Thursday. Thursday is his drinking night and he was not performing. The shows in the Liquid Lounge where really good. The Acoustic Jams with the young couple Unity entertained us almost every night. They sang a variety of songs and he whistles well while she plays the drum. Ketut and Joyce took good care of our rooms and the Omelet Station on the Lido deck in the Havana Bar was my favorite breakfast most mornings. I would recommend this ship to the 50 and older travelers. They made up 90% of the cruisers onboard. If you require a wheelchair to get on and off the ship this port and this ship does it better than any of the more than 14 ships of 6 different cruise lines I have traveled on. I can't wait for our next cruise on this ship in January 2020. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The shows were the best part. The performers were very talented The cruise director kept the entertainment flowing well The staff was accommodating when asked. The dining experience was poor in the dining room. A few too many ... Read More
The shows were the best part. The performers were very talented The cruise director kept the entertainment flowing well The staff was accommodating when asked. The dining experience was poor in the dining room. A few too many cold over cooked foods for our small group of four One guest needed special food preparations due to food allergies The food was not prepared as well as it had been on other ships The choices were limited and were often served plain without flavor We booked 3 excursions through Carnival basically bus tours due to the mobility of one of our group. These tours always depend on the tour guide you get Unfortunately we did not luck out with oue San Juan tour. He was not very good.not engaging at all Our guide in St Kitts was informative and you felt at ease to ask questions The last was of St Martin the bus driver as well as the tour guide were very good. Our trip was wonderful I hope when The Sunshine starts sailing out of Charleston the dining will improve Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I did not chose. My brother did and we went with him. He choose this trip for 2 reasons. 1 It was in the Eastern Caribbean 2 It had a cabin type 4j we had good weather, the food was good, but not great. the entertainment was ok. I ... Read More
I did not chose. My brother did and we went with him. He choose this trip for 2 reasons. 1 It was in the Eastern Caribbean 2 It had a cabin type 4j we had good weather, the food was good, but not great. the entertainment was ok. I liked the Sunshine better than the Dream or the Libertyonly thing that I did not know was the cabin was a handicap room until I paid my final payment. Because it did have a larger bathroom but it is not a good room to make into a king size bed. our room was 7103. most of the food seems bland, it is like they try too hard to make fancy food. It would be nice if they had some just plain food. besides burgers. The soft serve ice cream is bad. I have not found it to be good on any of the previous 5 cruises I have taken. I have traveled with 3 different cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I have always bragged to others about the quality and variety of food on the Carnival Menu and buffets. BUT on the Sunshine it was the worst food ever encountered on a cruise ship. Our food was cold, crusty, and dried. The salads were ... Read More
I have always bragged to others about the quality and variety of food on the Carnival Menu and buffets. BUT on the Sunshine it was the worst food ever encountered on a cruise ship. Our food was cold, crusty, and dried. The salads were browned lettuce and soups were cold. The service was extremely slow and not acceptable at all. We are both diamond VIP members with Carnival. We have sailed on over two hundred cruises and most every cruise line. We understand that booking with different cruise lines you will experience different types of food, however, cold, tasteless, no quality food is unacceptable regardless of the cruise line. The Carnival product has greatly deteriorated and is not at all like previous Carnival cruises we have experienced on most every cruise ship in their fleet! We are very concerned that this ship does not follow ADA guidelines. It was one of the most unfriendly to handicapped passengers in wheelchairs and the guests were unwilling to share the elevators even though the US law states that wheelchair passengers have first priority in the elevator use. Fellow passengers are getting more and more antagonistic toward those who cannot walk and must use a wheelchair as well as the cruise ship staff! It is interesting to note that Carnival is changing the booking mechanism for handicapped cabins. They have gone from wheelchair cabins with roll in showers to calling the same exact cabin a "walker" cabin thereby eliminating the need to accommodate wheelchair guests. It is blatant discrimination. We will carefully review our choices for cruising this year and go back to cruise line whose product we can trust. Carnival product is no longer the same. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
My husband and I just returned from a 13 day journeys cruise aboard the Sunshine. We typically have rain a good portion of our vacation and were pleasantly surprised to only have rain two half days. The ship itself is in great shape for ... Read More
My husband and I just returned from a 13 day journeys cruise aboard the Sunshine. We typically have rain a good portion of our vacation and were pleasantly surprised to only have rain two half days. The ship itself is in great shape for its age. The crew went out of their way to make the cruise special. We visited 7 islands - St. Thomas, Aruba, Curacao, St. Marteen, St. Kitts, San Juan, and Amber Cove. We had been to all of these ports except Amber Cove. I turned platinum on this cruise and enjoyed all the perks - chocolate covered strawberries, a free blanket throw, 5 bags of free laundry, priority boarding and disembarkation, and a free drink. The shows on board were all pretty good. My husband and I enjoyed the comedy shows the most and averaged two shows most days. The Love & Marriage Show dragged on too long. It took almost 45 minutes to pick the contestants. We ate most dinners (10 of the 13 nights) in the main dining room with Any Time Dining. We never had to wait over 5 or 10 minutes for a table. Most nights we were in and out in about an hour and 15 minutes. We typically ate early (around 5:15). We only paid to eat one meal and that was at the sushi restaurant. Sushi for two with tip was around $25. We booked all excursions on our own. There were a few things that irritated me. Number 1 - the free drink. You have to get it either at breakfast or lunch and only in the main dining room. I went three times before I even found the dining room open during these times. One time breakfast was over and lunch hadn't started. Another time lunch was already over. ( I know it is free and you shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth, but get real, it is a $9.50 drink!) Number 2 - No refrigerator. This is the first time I have ever cruised a big cruise line with no refrigerator. Number 3 - making you choose morning or evening service of your cabin. We chose morning but our steward still serviced it twice a day but you could tell he was overextended doing so. Shame on Carnival for putting him in this position. I think each steward services over 30 rooms. Number 4 - Disembarkation was a nightmare. It took us over two hours with priority and we just made our flight by 10 minutes and yes it was an afternoon flight. Overall, I will still sail on Carnival again but will give other cruise lines equal consideration. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I have almost 25 cruises under my belt, I have cruise the sunshine three times this year, I keep me coming back for more. I can’t get enough of the Motown celebration and Mardi Gras night to name a few. The entertainment staff is ... Read More
I have almost 25 cruises under my belt, I have cruise the sunshine three times this year, I keep me coming back for more. I can’t get enough of the Motown celebration and Mardi Gras night to name a few. The entertainment staff is awesome they keeps you on the edge of your seat. The dining room staff are very attentive and appear eager to meet your needs, it is amazing that they can call you by name. Shout out to Mikey, one of the best cruise directors I have ever seen and the DJ aboard the ship was awesome. As we sailed away l observed all the passengers aboard The Royal Caribbean packed to one side of their ship, it looked like they were wishing they were aboard Carnival Sunshine, the Dj shouted out Who cares about how much noise we make, we’re out on the ocean and the song played “turn down for what “. The staff aboard the ship were awesome, in the dining area the Casino and house keeping. I'm currently planning to return to the Sunshine again in May 2019 and I have a back to back cruise planned for December 2019 aboard the Panorama out of Los Angeles. Any reason to go on cruise, is a good reason, as I continue on the hunt for more delightful times at sea! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We had never been to Aruba before and were looking forward to it. I had researched the Sunshine and had read some bad things but I also new that the ship was going to dry dock before this ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We had never been to Aruba before and were looking forward to it. I had researched the Sunshine and had read some bad things but I also new that the ship was going to dry dock before this cruise so it should be in pretty good shape. Then we heard the news about the issues the ship had on the cruises coming out of dry dock and it had us a little worried but I also knew that Carnival would address the issues. This cruise was incident free for us. The Sunshine is a remodeled ship and is unlike any other carnival ship we have been on, from reading previous reviews I was ready for the different ship arrangement. On most Carnival ships when you leave your cabin you just have to think what deck your destination is on and you can take any elevator to get there. Not the Sunshine for this ship you not only have to think about what deck your destination is on but also what elevator you need to get on to get there. Just getting on any elevator will not get you there. Some of the elevators also will take you to the Sports Court or the Serenity area but only if you push the proper up call button, there are 2 up call buttons for some of the elevators and those elevators will not stop on your floor if you do not push the proper up button. It took us a couple days to figure this out, until we figured it out we thought the elevators just had a mind of their own and was part of the entertainment. Because of these reasons the elevators are always busy all the time. I was also surprised at the size of the public areas, they were smaller than other large ships. There is no theater, just a lounge where they have the musical review shows, Liquid Lounge, and the lounge where the comedians are, Limelight Lounge. The public areas being smaller gives the ship the feel of a smaller ship that is crowded. The serenity area on the Sunshine is one of the best I have experienced it is large, spans 3 decks and has its own pool, hot tub and water fall, like all of Carnival's serenity areas they are popular and you have to get there early to get one of the better locations, but we could always find someplace to set in this area that was shady with as much privacy as you can expect with 3000 people on board. The Sunshine has all of the restaurants that Carnival currently offers on its ships except for Guy's Pig and Anchor barbeque. All of the food we had on board was very good. The Lido buffet was small but it is forward of the Havana Bar, The Italian restaurant and the Asian restaurant and all of these locations also serve food during lunch and breakfast and their seating areas are available to the buffet, so we never had an issue finding someplace to sit. The only specialty restaurant we tried was the steak restaurant and it was worth the extra amount of $38.00. We had a great experience there. The main dining room was very good and we enjoyed all of the food we tried. The waiter's and waitresses were very good but also very busy. My favorite part of this ship was the crew, they were very welcoming and always had a smile on their face and willing to speak to you and greet you. Another surprising thing also was the availability of live music around the ship. Besides the musical review shows I am accustomed to live singers, pianists and such being around the ship playing music in the atrium and other places during the day, especially on sea days. This type of music didn't usually start until 5PM and by the time we ate dinner and took in a performance by a comedian or watched a show, they were usually on break so we saw very little of the individual performers. The movies on the big screen were good and we enjoyed watching a couple of these at night during the cruise. We had a balcony stateroom that was on deck six and it was nice, had plenty of storage a refrigerator and a great balcony. Our stateroom steward was wonderful, never disturbed us and always seemed to know when we were in or out of our stateroom so he could clean it. He also did a great job and he was great with the towel animals and always greeted us by name when he saw us around the ship. Our stateroom number was 6227 and it was between the forward and mid elevators so, it was convenient to everywhere. It was also quiet. The bed was comfy and we slept well. The cruise director was Mikey and he was great and very entertaining and he made himself very available all the time. I am a veteran and Mikey did a great tribute to the Military and first responders that was attended very well. We did not particularly like the layout of the ship but we had a great time. I do not consider embarkation and debarkation to be cruising because it is always a horrible experience. With the way Carnival does embarkation now if you arrive during your assigned check in time then it is a fairly smooth process, if you arrive early or late you are toast, long lines await the early and late. For debarkation it did not go as smoothly as possible, For the self debarkation or express debarkation which we did where you carry your own luggage. It didn't go as planned. They announced that everyone was to be off the ship by 9 am and then they took forever, they had to call your deck number before you could go to the lobby to get off the ship and this took forever. We finally got off at 8:45 AM which is not bad, but they had not called all the decks and then they were going to have to call zone numbers for the ones who checked their baggage. we had also gotten up early because we knew that they would start debarkation at 7AM and we thought we would be able to leave the ship as soon as they got the FTTF, platinum, diamond and suite people off. So we waited longer than usual due to having to wait for our deck number. We only did one excursion and this was at Grand Turk. We had been to Grand Turk several times and decided to do the "Home Sweet Home" excursion. This is where they take you to a beach house and everything is included, drinks, water toys and they also serve you lunch and it is a smaller group probably about 30 people. This was a great excursion, the staff was attentive and available and they were on the beach taking drink orders and letting you know when the food was ready. The beach was sandy and beautiful. Overall the cruise was great with only the ship layout being a negative. Aruba by the way is beautiful, we walked around the town, had a drink at Iquana Joe's and ate dinner at the Old Fisherman, a great seafood restaurant that is right off the cruise port. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We selected this cruise because it was an 8 day to ports we had never visited before. We love the Alchemy Bar. Our only disappointment was that there was no real "dance" band. Good musicians if you just wanted to sit and ... Read More
We selected this cruise because it was an 8 day to ports we had never visited before. We love the Alchemy Bar. Our only disappointment was that there was no real "dance" band. Good musicians if you just wanted to sit and listen. The DJ was very good, but never seemed to be in any of the venues we visited. The food was the standard Carnival fare, but great, as always. And our wait staff and service was amazing - from the hostesses to the waiters - always smiling and professional. Our favorite shore excursion was the sunset catamaran cruise in Aruba. Our cabin mates also enjoyed the snorkeling trips in both Aruba and Curacao. We had been to Grand Turk several times, so opted to have the token margarita and nachos at Margaritaville, and didn't do any excursions there. Overall, it was a great experience. Personally, I prefer the smaller ships because I'm not into rope walks or water features. But the Serenity Deck on Sunshine is one of the best around. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
sailed on sunshine before . wanted to go back . This cruise was ; the cruise from hell. Whatever could go wrong , did. Major problem was FTTF. Delayed on check-in, boarded with non FTTF guest. No stickers put on cabin cards waited in long ... Read More
sailed on sunshine before . wanted to go back . This cruise was ; the cruise from hell. Whatever could go wrong , did. Major problem was FTTF. Delayed on check-in, boarded with non FTTF guest. No stickers put on cabin cards waited in long line at front desk to get them put on. confirmed Reservations for dinner not honored. when talked to dining staff, told them of reservations made a year ago, they just dismissed me and said sorry. Cabin was not ready when we boarded plus the air was not working. took two days to get it working half way . Luggage arrived after everyone on our floor got theirs; then 2 pieces didn't show up until very late in the day. the only thing that worked on FTTF was getting off the ship. We are repeat cruisers on Carnival and unfortunately, we noticed how their service has gone downhill over the last 3 years. Before that , the service was excellent. Carnival should be more honest with people who purchase FTTF . Tell them that not all aspects of it work. For people who purchase it just to get on and get off quicker, more power to them, I will no longer waste my money on a program where only one or two of the perks work. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
The embarkation in Port Canaveral was very organized but anything that went smooth all week was quickly forgotten today during disembarkation. We were in port for over 4 hours before the "carry your own luggage off" group was ... Read More
The embarkation in Port Canaveral was very organized but anything that went smooth all week was quickly forgotten today during disembarkation. We were in port for over 4 hours before the "carry your own luggage off" group was called to leave. There were no explanations or updates about the delay from the cruise director , "Jess from the U.S." Many passengers were yelling down to deck 3 asking for info. It was 5.25 hours before deck 8 was called. By then hundreds had taken their chances on exiting with the groups with luggage. The "Chefs Table" was fabulous as always. We loved the food and the host, Lama. Too, too much food but it was wonderful. Our wait staff, Leonilde (sp) and Rhoman in the Sunset Dining Room were great all week. I try to avoid the buffet but enjoyed breakfast/brunch in the Sunrise Dining Room. I was disappointed in the room service menu: my favorites were either removed or are now "extras". Breakfast on the balcony has been a big plus in the past. We enjoyed The evening shows in the Liquid Lounge .The Epic Rock production was one of the best I've ever seen on board any cruise line. We also enjoyed the meeting to honor veterans. We chose our excursion in Aruba based on previous reviews (ages 55-65+) but did not enjoy the Kukoo Kunuku party bus . There was a much younger crowd that night. The bars and restaurant we went to were in questionable areas at best. Some had security guards to escort us from the bus into the building. Most of the places had no other patrons besides the Carnival excursion. The mystery drinks served were free but strange tasting so we switched early on to bottled beer.I was very happy to get back to the ship. There wasn't a lot to do on sea days besides shop the usual trinkets and port needs. The jewelry was beautiful but browsing the display cases is impossible without the constant hovering . .....the fastest way to run me off. My enthusiasm for a rare stone was squelched quickly and I never returned. I will persue it locally. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose this particular cruise because we like sea days and it was a nice 8 night trip to Aruba and back with stops in Curacao, and Grand Turk. First the shows--okay not a lot of sets, but AMAZING back screen technology which at times ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise because we like sea days and it was a nice 8 night trip to Aruba and back with stops in Curacao, and Grand Turk. First the shows--okay not a lot of sets, but AMAZING back screen technology which at times were actually stunning. major shows were Motown tribute, 70's, and Rock. At times a little too loud for my tastes and the sound tech should lower a couple of the performers mics as they distorted their voices. Otherwise, high energy, lots of costumes, and if you can it sit there without your feet tapping during the Rock show, there may be no blood running in your system. Yes, I gave that one a standing ovation and I am 70 ! But if you looking for Broadway or softer sounds, then you will be disappointed. Can not understand the low reviews on the food. Lots to choose from...but warning the main dining room only offers a couple of special choices on nights other the elegant night (2 of them). But one elegant night did include lobster and the other a petit filet and rib combo which was cooked medium rare perfectly and was tender and juicy. The other nights we did the buffet which offered great selections that changed every night. For lunch there not only is the main buffet on deck 9 and a mini buffet in the Ocean Plaza on deck 5..choices as good as the evening. Then there are two other locations outside : one severing Mexican ( I got chicken burritos) and another featuring freshly cooked burgers and seasoned fries...both delicious. Then add fresh baked pizzas and a deli...I thought it was top notch. The staff was smiling, friendly and were clearing plates quite rapidly. The staff in all departments were very nice, but I also think it partially begins with you. You are on a cruise to have fun, so start by smiling yourself at the staff and other cruisers . It is contatgious! The Cruise director Emma was aray of sunshine, but sadly will be moving to a new ship, but we met the new CD on the last night who seemed fun as well. Yes, accents could be a challenge at the trivias, but that makes it fun if you have the right attitude. And on Carnival the trivias truly are very lay back. On the other Carnival ships we were on (smaller ones), we were always disappointed at where the live band played, usually outside the casino and the "dance floor" was in the walkway ! ..a real challenge as we love to dance. But here the Sunshine has a designated area in Ocean Plaza on deck 5..lots of seating, and a nice dance area. Caught in the Act was the main band and were very good BUT for my taste they could get VERY LOUD. For my wife and I, who try to dance non-stop to every song, EAR PLUGS are always a MUST. Also the outdoor movie screen worked very well-super picture and good sound. Yes, we found a time when the rope course was open and we two 70 year olds made it trough, but I must admit there were a couple of tense moments. Not for the faint hearted, but with just a little guts , you can do it. As far as the ports go, we always try to find out of the way spots while riding the local public bus. ON Aruba we want all the way out to Arashi Beach, which when we were there 15 years ago was TOTALLY secluded, now there is a small shop and more people but not as crowded as other beaches. Snorkle off to the left, very shallow, but lots of fish around the rock and coral. Plus you can walk over the the Colorado Lighthouse which is on most tours....Curacao, went to a really hidden place called Tugboat Cove. Take the local bus to Caracasbaai -ask to get off at Caracasbaai Beach, but then you will walk about 15 minutes past Caracasbaai Beach and keep heading towards the two large ships..you will eventually get there. Bus costs hardly anything. Finally there is the curise terminal beach which is very nice BUT if you like seclusion walk all the way down the beach, just past Jack's Shack cut up towards the road (you will walk through an old lot) then walk to the left to a stone wall-turn left and you will end up at a secluded beach at the Mega 1 Triton ship which ran aground (you can see it from the ship)..snorkling is nice -nothing super but lots of fish..and NO ONE but us were there until a tour bus stopped by for a few minutes. ONE BIG NOTE: if you have an arrival time for embarkation...arrive ON TIME and you will not have to wait hardly at all outside the terminal. Arrive early or late and you get into a long line. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We sailed aboard the April 6th sailing of the Carnival Sunshine. This was our 21st Carnival cruise and we were a little disappointed with the ship. First of all, we are Platinum members and LOVE sailing with Carnival. We have never had any ... Read More
We sailed aboard the April 6th sailing of the Carnival Sunshine. This was our 21st Carnival cruise and we were a little disappointed with the ship. First of all, we are Platinum members and LOVE sailing with Carnival. We have never had any complaints of any of our cruises until now. First of all, our shuttle from the hotel in Cocoa Beach was over an hour late. When we finally arrived at the port, we proceeded to the Platinum/Diamond members check-in counter. We had no problems checking in. It was when we got to the line that was boarding the ship, we asked where to the VIFP members board. An older gentleman said "here in this long line". I said that we were Platinum members and he replied "we boarded YOU people an hour ago". Talk about rude! So we waited along with the other 300 people in line. By the time we boarded the ship, all of the food areas had LONG lines. So we skipped lunch and headed to our cabin (7177), which wasn't ready yet! We asked the steward if we could drop off our carry-ons and he reluctantly said OK. When checking out the cabin, I noticed that the toilet had a very long crack down the side. I showed it to the steward and it had to be replaced before setting sail. And we had to go through 3 remotes for the TV during the cruise because they quit working. Before we headed off to explore the ship, the steward asked if we wanted morning or evening service for our cabin. We were never given the choice of both morning and evening service. We chose the morning service. During the entire cruise, our cabin was never serviced before noon. It was while we were exploring the ship that we noticed so many differences compared to the other Carnival ships that we have sailed on. The main auditorium was much smaller than other ships. No "sofa type" seating. Just chairs. The Lido deck, too, was so much smaller. The chair hogs had everything saved by 8:00am. The layout of the ship was very confusing as well. It took us several days to figure out where the Comedy Club, Steakhouse and other venues were. Did not like the layout at all. Oh yeah...the sewer smell that everyone talks about. It was very noticeable during boarding, especially at the Atrium area. It smelled similar to our sewage treatment plant here in town. Once the ship set sail, however, we never noticed it again until we docked back in Port Canaveral. The 2 crew members that I talked with at Guest Services acted as though they had better things to do other than wait on the many people in line. On our first day at sea, I asked for a deck of cards. The gal told me that they didn't have any and that I should check back the next day. I went back the next day while we were docked at Grand Turk and they had the cards. I guess that there's a playing card factory in Grand Turk? On debarkation day, I also asked that we get something other than the chocolate covered strawberries delivered to our cabin since we are both diabetic. The gal said that she would take care of it. Well, we got the strawberries, which we just sat outside of our cabin for pickup. Disappointed with Guest Services! There were very few activities each day prior to noon. We are used to trivia games starting at 9:00am or so on the other cruises we've been on. But nothing until noon on this ship. One of the Fun Crew that did trivia had such a strong Spanish accent that it was very hard to understand the questions that he was asking. He ended up passing the question to one of the passengers to read it for him. Boring mornings! The ship uses the American Table/American Feast menus and we found most of the food to be pretty good. Every time we had a baked potato, it was under-cooked and very hard to eat. This was the first time we experienced these menus and some of our long-time favorites were missing. We, did however, enjoy our meals. The service was much slower than before, but we attributed it to our waiter having many more tables to serve than we've seen in the past. We enjoyed the steakhouse one night and thoroughly loved it. Best meal on the cruise! Our ports of call included Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Kitts and St. Maarten. We always love stopping in GT and spend the entire day at the beach near the pier. San Juan is not one of our favorite stops, so we just stayed on the ship with about half the entire ship. At St. Kitts, we took an island tour and enjoyed every minute of it. Thanks to Thenford Grey's tour, our first time here left us with many happy memories. In St. Maarten, we had scheduled at tour to Orient Beach and Maho Beach. However, due to hurricane damage, we were not allowed to go to OB. The French side of the island was completely destroyed and the government won't allow tourists in yet. At Maho Beach, the beach was so very crowded that we just grabbed some nachos and drinks at the Sunset Beach restaurant. Never did see any large airlines land while there, just the small puddle jumpers. The entertainment on the ship was excellent! We enjoyed ALL of the shows and musicians onboard. Very good!! All-in-all, we still had a good time on this cruise. I doubt that we will ever cruise aboard the Sunshine again. It just didn't meet our expectations on this cruise. We will, however, continue to sail with Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We Did a Back to back. last year & enjoyed. Only choice of shows after supper was comedy & magic. which we didnt care for. would have liked musicals or more varities. Everyone on ship was fantastic . The music playing throughout ... Read More
We Did a Back to back. last year & enjoyed. Only choice of shows after supper was comedy & magic. which we didnt care for. would have liked musicals or more varities. Everyone on ship was fantastic . The music playing throughout the ship was too hip hop for us. We are older & would have liked variety. The cruise director was very nice but none of our group could understand her The choices of food was great & was delicious. Passing in areas where coffee & ice cream the hallways were to narrow & difficult to get through. We celebrated our 52nd Anniversary on valentines day. our room was decorated & the cake was wonderful. Dining was great. Servers were very accomadating. My husband & I watch our salt & made sure we could order special diet.We were moved from our dining area for the second week.then were moved. when approaching Matier D. He just blew us off with no response. I Gede our waiter was the best we have ever had. they were all good, but he went above & beyond, even when he wasn't our waiter anymore came to say hello & see if he could do anything for us.... Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Good value, great ports to visit. The entertainment was non-existent, low budget! One good show "Epic Rock" great graphics, but the sound was unbearable. The other was 'Latin Nights" this show was OK, not bad one good ... Read More
Good value, great ports to visit. The entertainment was non-existent, low budget! One good show "Epic Rock" great graphics, but the sound was unbearable. The other was 'Latin Nights" this show was OK, not bad one good show in 8 nights. Other activities in the pool area were very crowded, lounge chairs were never picked up so people had to dance on the edge, so it was difficult to walk across the pool area. The pools were very crowded I counted about 20 kids in the main pool and about12 adults at the serenity pool. The burgers, sandwiches at the deli, and the food at the Havana Bar were great. Food at the dining room and the Lido was not appealing and cold. Sunday evening I was diagnosed with food poisoning and had to spend 24 hours in my cabin, thus missing my favorite port "Grand Turk". St Kitts, well we did a 20 dollar tour of the Island just to see junked vehicles all over the place. San Juan was OK. My favorite place was "Amber Cove" this was our first visit, and we loved it. The staff on the ship were great, we were invited to the Diamond Card Captains Dinner, however he never made it to our table. The embarkation and debarkation went very smoothly. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
If you want a cruise ship that’s on a smaller scale, but clean and well maintained, the Sunshine could be the ship for you. As with any cruise, the embarkation process is always a hit or misses. Since your arrival appointment time is ... Read More
If you want a cruise ship that’s on a smaller scale, but clean and well maintained, the Sunshine could be the ship for you. As with any cruise, the embarkation process is always a hit or misses. Since your arrival appointment time is really not used, get VIP early check in if you can. It has it’s advantages, otherwise the lines get long. As you board, stop by the guest services deck and get a map of the ship, then go across the deck to the excursions decks and get a folder. Neither of these are put in you cabin... Our balcony cabin was one of the smaller ones we have been in, but did have plenty of storage room. The bathroom is really small. They have a new policy where as you only get your room serviced in the AM or PM which you sign for. The Sunshine is behind on technology in your cabin with no menu or your account charges on the TV. We found the Serenity area on deck 12 & 14 very nice, with a pool, hot tube and plenty of comfortable lounge chairs. There are 2 elevators forward that go to the 11 – 14 floors. We found the buffet food to be very good, was always hot with a good selection and plenty of service people to clean the tables. The seating area is on the small size due to Carnival adding 2 specialty restaurants and a bar in the back of the ship. If it’s crowded there are tables in the back in the Havana Bar that your can use for breakfast or lunch. That’s where the omelet stations are located. Also is quieter there. Now let’s hit the main dining room. We had my time dining. When you are ready to eat, you first have to go to deck 5 and sign in. (get a table assignment). Then you go the elevator and down to deck 3 to your table. (Haven’t figured out the reasoning yet, they have 3 people at each level). If there are just 2 people and you want a table of you own, ask for a table for 2 or a booth for 2. A good booth with a great waiter (JOSE) ask for booth 398 or in the same area. OR you can play dumb and go directly to deck 3. (It works sometimes). First night of causal elegant is lobster and 2nd elegant night is filet mignon. As the Carnival melting chocolate cake is their signature desert. As for the excursions there all by different types, so just do homework online. The entertainment shows were ok considering it’s a small ship, but it’s the first ship that turns its theater into a night club later in the evening. Debarkation was another zoo. First reason is that people don’t want to follow directions and secondly the announcements for the groups were not piped in to all the areas. This lead to people cognating in the stairways and halls, which slowed down the whole process. We would cruise with Carnival again, but not on the Sunshine. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We picked this cruise for the reasonable cost and a chance to see four ports in eight days. My wife, parents, and I had a great time. Embarkation was just as expected for a non-priority traveler. Check-in was smooth, but had to wait a ... Read More
We picked this cruise for the reasonable cost and a chance to see four ports in eight days. My wife, parents, and I had a great time. Embarkation was just as expected for a non-priority traveler. Check-in was smooth, but had to wait a little for our zone to be called to board. We did some research prior to our cruise and learned we were traveling on an older (updated) ship. We had an interior room on deck 6....right in the middle. We've heard of nightmare rooms so small that two people couldn't stand at the same time. Not on this ship. Our room had plenty of room to walk around and plenty of closet space. However, only one chair/stool to sit down. My parents balcony room had even more space and a small couch and table. Our room steward (Kadek) was great. We chose service twice a day. We read on other reviews that the bathrooms did not have an electrical outlet. That is false. There is one located near the ceiling above the sink area. There were so many activities going on each day, we had to plan in some breaks. Best drink deal was found in the Red Frog Pub; on port days, they offered half off deals for their fishbowl drinks. Each one equaled four tall drinks for only $11.47 (including tax and gratuities). This was the first cruise on the Sunshine for our Cruise Director (Lee). He is definitely a high energy guy and we really enjoyed him. The entertainment was top notch. We loved the Christmas special. Carnival has made it a priority to honor the veterans. There were at least 3 events in the dinning room where veterans could enjoy some desserts and talk with fellow veterans. Additionally, they provided a great Veteran show in the Liquid Lounge If it is possible, everyone should see Lee's dedication to our heroes. Recommend bringing a sweater or light jacket. The evenings on deck can be chilly. Also, the Liquid Lounge and MDR air conditioning work great. Food was great. We opted for "your time dinning" in the main dinning room. We never had to wait for a table. The only included venue we did not eat in was JiJi's....due to the long lines. The 24 hour pizzas hit the spot each time. If you want a place to relax in a quiet place, check out the Library lounge. This trip included stops in Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Kitts, and Amber Cove. We all thought San Juan was the best stop. A lot of Old San Juan is struggling with power issues. However, everyone there put out the welcome mat. We thought we would be able to use the free hop on-hop off trolleys. Unfortunately these are still not running. Thus, it was a brisk walk to the Forts and back....about 2 miles round trip. In Amber Cove, the Carnival created resort area is beautiful. We did a sightseeing/shopping excursion into Porta Plata and were kind of disappointed. We don't recommend going downtown on your own...it was pretty scary. Debarkation went pretty smooth. The only glitch was when people tried to "jump the gun" before their zones were called. We got through the process before our original scheduled time. I believe that was due to Lee's excellent instructions. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
I chose this cruise because it was perfect timing for my wonderful wife's birthday and it was leaving from Norfolk only 1 hour from our home in Gloucester. It was also affordable. The cabin was beautiful and comfortable.The huge ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it was perfect timing for my wonderful wife's birthday and it was leaving from Norfolk only 1 hour from our home in Gloucester. It was also affordable. The cabin was beautiful and comfortable.The huge picture window showcasing the open ocean and beautiful ports of call. I just spent the better half an hour detailing all the wonderful experiences of our wonderful trip and my computer some how lost my writings. So I will not rewrite all of that again. So let me summarize in saying our Cabin Stewart Puji was remarkable. Our restaurant staff team Macedon, Jeffrey, and Zafar were wonderful in their service and pleasant personable demeanor making our dining experience especially the night we all shared dinner with the Captain who also was very engaging with the guest. Emma is phenomenal. How can one person harness and dispense such amounts of energy. We all were her Lovelies. The entertainment was fantastic Everyone was so friendly and most accommodating and gracious. It was a totally wonderful time for both my wife Lourdes and I. Thank you. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Bad reviews first: Boarding was terrible. We booked the Capitan suite which is supposed to be a top notch suite, but we were not treated as VIP's as the other cruise lines like NCL or Holland America. All suites guests were hoarded ... Read More
Bad reviews first: Boarding was terrible. We booked the Capitan suite which is supposed to be a top notch suite, but we were not treated as VIP's as the other cruise lines like NCL or Holland America. All suites guests were hoarded into two small rooms. The PA kept announcing "priority boarding will begin 11:30 AM" even 15 minutes after 11:30. We were finally boarded the Sunshine around 12 noon. No concierge service and complimentary upscale dinning for VIP guests. Disembark was a nightmare. Our Ship arrived at the New York Cruise Port around 7:30 AM. The hotel service director made the announcement that priority guests will be able to pick up their luggage after 9:00 AM. We made the big mistake of asking Carnival to move our luggages. Our flight from JFK to LAX was 11:30 AM. We thought there should be no problem from our past experience with NCL and Holland America. But this is Carnival, our first and definitely is the last cruise with them. One of our bag was mis-grouped to a different group. It almost took us an hour to find the misplaced bag. We missed our original flight and had to take the next available flight 8 HOURS later. Now comes the good reviews: Gym workout equipments are first class. Room service personnel were friendly and efficient. Food quality in the buffet restaurant is above average. In conclusion, if you decide to choose Carnival, do not waste your money on the suite stateroom. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
The holiday included flight to Toronto, Canada,2 nights in Niagr, AMTRAK to New York 7 2 nights there & the Cruise up the East Coast to Canada & return to New York with flights home. The Embarkation wasn't that good but we ... Read More
The holiday included flight to Toronto, Canada,2 nights in Niagr, AMTRAK to New York 7 2 nights there & the Cruise up the East Coast to Canada & return to New York with flights home. The Embarkation wasn't that good but we got on board by about 1pm. The ship was delayed leaving New York until 7.30ish which was great. The New York Sky line was fabulous in the Night sky as was the Statue of Liberty as we passed by. The Cabin was an inside cabin which was as good as many others & no complaints. We had opted for Anytime Dining as we like to sit with others & enjoy their Company. However every night we tried this but when we got to the dining room we were set to eat alone. On one occasion with delight the young lady arranging the seating said with a smile 'Yes we have a sharing table for you tonight'. Of we followed the young lady to the back of the restaurant & on reaching the table the couple on the table made it know in no uncertain terms that they did not want to share with anyone. We then had the walk of shame back to the table seating area!! The food was not as good as we had hoped there did not seem to be much choice as we have experienced on other ships. And as for the DRESS CODE it was a joke. I would say that 20% of men were in shorts & flip flops in the Dining Room. I pointed this out to the Head of the Restaurant who just shrugged his shoulders & said he would not be thanked for turning away so many customers. So much for the Celebrity Clothing Policy. The entertainment however was one of the best night shows I have seen onboard for a little while & the Comedians were also very good. Overall then an OK Cruise the ports we had visited before & did not take up any excursions & did our own thing which you could do in most ports. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
I chose to take this cruise as I had to cancel one earlier in the year due to my DH's illness. We did this itiniery two years ago and enjoyed all the ports. This time I traveled with my two best friends and we had a balcony cabin for ... Read More
I chose to take this cruise as I had to cancel one earlier in the year due to my DH's illness. We did this itiniery two years ago and enjoyed all the ports. This time I traveled with my two best friends and we had a balcony cabin for three which worked out just fine. I was pleasantly surprised on how much we liked the Sunshine. I had read some negative reviews prior to sailing. Sure, there might be some rust on the balconies and windows might need some re-caulking, but those type of issues are pretty minor. The staff was one of the friendliest I had ever encountered on my 20 cruises. Loved the serenity deck and the Havana Bar. Would not hesitate to sail on her again! The housekeeping staff was awesome Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Other than the weather great first cruise. I really don't see why people complain so much about the Sunshine. I only stood in line twice - once for pizza after a show and once at the deli when they were changing over the lido buffet ... Read More
Other than the weather great first cruise. I really don't see why people complain so much about the Sunshine. I only stood in line twice - once for pizza after a show and once at the deli when they were changing over the lido buffet and there was no other option. Our room stewards were awesome. Just my husband and I celebrating our 25th and we had a great time. The only down side was the weather which Carnival had no control over. We did self- disembarkation and were off the boat, across the street and in an Uber by 8:45. We were in cabin 2346 which was an Awesome and very spacious room with large shower but were a bit bothered with the rudder noise and vibration all the time. This wasn't so bad on the days the weather was good, but next time we'd do mid ship or higher aft to avoid that noise. The only other negative was trying to find our pictures - there's got to be a better way than the hunt and peck method! Shows were great. Room service was quick. We had YTD and never waited more than 1-2 minutes to get a ticket and food and service were always excellent! We'd definitely cruise the Sunshine again and everyone else should give her a try too! Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
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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