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