54 Carnival Sunshine Spring Break Cruise Reviews

First of all, I must say that our cabin steward was an absolute sweetheart. Many of the ship crew were also great. The downfall is that the ship is old and small. The metal around the decks is painted over eaten away steel. We found ... Read More
First of all, I must say that our cabin steward was an absolute sweetheart. Many of the ship crew were also great. The downfall is that the ship is old and small. The metal around the decks is painted over eaten away steel. We found holes throughout the railings. The carpets throughout are old and many sofa/restaurant bench upholstery have stains. There is a peculiar smell about the ship. Many times there are sewage and/or grey water smells. The buffet was subpar. Desserts were great the first night then thereafter were dry and flavorless. The sit-down dining was better but not outstanding. The ship lacked entertainment. There was a comedy show that was good. Many of the shows in the liquid lounge revolved around what to buy on the islands and promoted their sales in their ship stores. The ship was small and if you are planning a long cruise you might want to choose one with many stops so you are not bored to death multiple days at seas. We were in a cabin with a window. The room was clean the bathroom was dirty in corners with caked on dirt. I suppose they don't have time for deep cleaning since a steward told me when we were leaving the ship that they were boarding again in one day. This ship does not compare to Royal Carribean or MSC. We were disappointed and felt it was a major waste of money. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We joined two other couples with whom we were stationed in the military 20+ years ago for a reunion cruise. We knew it was during Spring Break so we expected lots of children, which was the case. It wasn’t too much problem until late ... Read More
We joined two other couples with whom we were stationed in the military 20+ years ago for a reunion cruise. We knew it was during Spring Break so we expected lots of children, which was the case. It wasn’t too much problem until late night (late for us, like 10:00 pm!), when the teenagers were running through the ship. However, it really wasn’t too intrusive. The embarkation was very smooth. We were on the ship smoothly and our cabin was ready as promised at 1:30. Conversely, the disembarkation was a cluster. Our ship arrived two hours late, and we waited hours to leave the ship. Our bags were in a large room, sorted by zones, but it appeared everyone disembarked at the same time. It was very disorganized. We stayed at the Radisson the night prior to our cruise and utilized their parking service. I would advise everyone to avoid this service due to the incredible rudeness and poor organization at disembarkation. The gentleman driving the scooter (perhaps due to a foot injury) was particularly rude. The food on the cruise was just ok. The service and food has certainly declined in the past few years but is what we expected. The food was plentiful, of course, with plenty of different venues. The highlight of the cruise was the cruise director, Mikey. We enjoyed having him as our cruise director on the Fantasy last year and we feel he is the best cruise director we’ve ever had. It is worth following him and booking the cruise on which he is the cruise director; he’s that good! Overall, it was a good cruise! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We had some time off for spring break. There were four of us all adults who were out of school for the week and in need of some relaxation and vitamin sea. We picked this cruise for the 8 days and haven't been to any of these ports ... Read More
We had some time off for spring break. There were four of us all adults who were out of school for the week and in need of some relaxation and vitamin sea. We picked this cruise for the 8 days and haven't been to any of these ports before. I personally think that vacations are what you make of them. They can be as busy as you choose or as relaxing as you choose. No not everything will always be perfect but if you let people or things stress you out then shame on you, it defeats the purpose of vacationing. This cruise was absolutely AMAZING. We have never been on the Sunshine before and we loved the different layout than those ships we've been on in the past. We loved how they had all the food places in the different areas of the ship. We always love the DELI, and GUYS burgers did not dissapoint. We didn't try the italian or wok place except for breakfast so cannot comment on that. They had food/snacks in the Havana Bar and by the Ocean plaza that were never as busy as the lido buffet. Food in the dining room this cruise was superb. Every single night we each tried multiple appetizers or entrees and loved them all.(oops not ALL there was one pasta dish that I didn't like the sauce of) Some appetizers we liked we ordered seconds or thirds of and had no problem getting them served. Lobster night and filet mignon nights were delish, prime rib was done perfectly, in the past we've had problems with steaks or lobster being too done but not this time. Enjoyed a good variety of desserts with baked Alaska being my fave. We did have my time dining every night and it went fairly smooth. We had to wait for a few minutes each night but that wasn't a problem, we just signed in online & it texted when our table was ready so we'd have a drink at the Red Frog Pub or Alchemy Martini Bar. Unfortunately not the same wait staff each night but we still had pretty good service. We also did do breakfast in the dining room most days and the food/staff were just as good early morning. I loved the steak & eggs(yes same filet mignon at dinner) and the brunch mac & cheese was almost as good as Noodles & Company. We definitely put the midnight pizza bar to the test. Hit it all but one night after casino, shows, or piano bar and it was good and very very busy(so take your patience with you). The cruise director MIKEY is awesome. I think he was the best we've seen. Always energetic and friendly. Don't miss the 80's trivia in the atrium bar IT WAS A BLAST. Get seats to enjoy the entertainment and laughs :) His assistant Nicky from England was fun and top notch as well. We did play trivia throughout the week and the hosts were fun and witty. Music around the ship was plentiful and enjoyed by all. We loved Cassidy Rae Wilson in the Piano Bar. It was her last week working so she is back to Australia until the fall, but we hope to cruise with her again. The gentleman that plays on the stairwell outside of the sports bar, pixels photo area, and above atrium bar was so good. I feel bad that I forget his name but he played tunes that everyone enjoyed, oldies thru current definitely a good singer. The duet of Young Patches were pretty good as well they played through different areas of the ship. They are from Cali and definitely look hipster :) RB & The Sunshine Band always had good tunes as well. Their 80s night was great!! Don't miss the Red Frog Bar on this ship . 1/2 price happy hour every day with fish bowls and other special drinks. They have karaoke, shuffleboard and foosball in the back as well. The Punchliner Comedy Club had some good talent for sure. Missed one night but they sure did put smiles on our faces. ADULT SERENITY AREA ALL I CAN SAY IS WOW !! This is the best from our 13 cruises. We've been on Carnival and 2 RCCL and this was just so relaxing and had so much room and on three decks. LOVED IT :) Aruba: what a beautiful place. We spent the day at MooMba Beach, Aruba and it did not disappoint. We changed clothes at the Holiday Inn and very much enjoyed this port. We had booked on our own a sunset sail with The Jolly Pirate and had an amazing time on that 5:30-7:30pm excursion. It was good for adults as well as the several families aboard seemed to have a good time. Curacao: another beautiful place. We spent the afternoon at the Renaissance hotel right at the port. It has two infinity pools and a small beach. It was nice, quiet and very relaxing. Absolutely breath taking and not very crowded at all. You can get a day pass at the resort by just walking up. Amber Cove Dominican: we had heard there were lazy rivers, pools, zip lining, volleyball etc..... right at the pier so we did not make any plans for this day. We slept in, ate breakfast and spent a few hours here. They have $10 buckets of beer and lots of fun stuff to do. You can zip line all day for $20/person. Everyone we saw here seemed to be enjoying themselves. We will definitely do this again. The other couple we were with tried to get a taxi to the beach but it was on the other side of the island and they wanted $60 each way for a taxi, needless to say they enjoyed the area right at the port. PS) As you made read in other reviews from this week DISEMBARKING was not fun. There were delays and our ship arrived late plus we had to clear customs. Lots of people were not off the ship till 10:30 or later and people were pissed.......... This is why cruise lines suggest you fly out in the afternoon in case of issues. Lots of people missed flights etc..... sad for those who had this happen but it is what it is and hopefully everyone made it home safely Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
3/16 to 3/24 West Indies cruise to Turks & Caicos, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts & St. Maartin (9 day). The ship was a lesson in contrasts. Overall, I prefer to take the smaller, older classes of cruise ships over the new mega-ships ... Read More
3/16 to 3/24 West Indies cruise to Turks & Caicos, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts & St. Maartin (9 day). The ship was a lesson in contrasts. Overall, I prefer to take the smaller, older classes of cruise ships over the new mega-ships because I find the crowds more manageable. The Carnival Sunshine fills this desire perfectly. Sections of the boat are a bit dated and you can still feel the 1990's original construction in the common area, the casino, the small pool sizes and the bathrooms/staterooms. It's all very clean and in good repair, just feels like a well broken in decor all around. We stayed in cabin 7174, which is a U-type suite, for three people (My Wife and I and our seven year old). The room was spacious with a nice vanity area and a balcony overlooking the water around mid-ship. The only complaint about the cabin is the location with regard to special events and evening entertainments in the common room on deck 3. We turn in early and were kept awake most nights until after 11:00 pm.. Bring foam ear plugs. Thank God I did. Dining was actually better than I expected. I thought overall the dining rooms had better quality and tasting food than Royal Caribbean's mega-ships. That really surprised me. The lido deck serves average breakfast and lunch fare with the only complaint being a lack of variety with the same basic choices (especially breakfast). Tip: Visit the alchemy bar near the coffee shop next to the casino for a more un-crowded breakfast and lunch dining option. The main dining room had very good quality food and we had six pm dining. We did go to Fahrenheit 555 for dinner one night but wasn't impressed. My Wife's lobster tails were char grilled and burnt and my steak was average. We found a hair in one of the gummies that came with the "Chef's Art at the Table" dessert and couldn't eat it. When brought to staff's attention, nothing was done, so we left. The entertainments and activities were good, except for the lounge singers hired for the common area. The solo guitarist was always flat (cringe worthy vocals dude) and the Cheech and Chong looking duo were likewise awful. As to the daily activities, you'll just have to explore and find your own path. They were all good: Ocean club, the waterworks, the serenity pool deck, movie nights, magic show, comedians, main performers and Mikey the cruise director held it all in check. The service is excellent and the staff will go to great lengths to spoil you and make sure you're having a good time. We fell into a slightly scary experience with a tween-ager that was on the pool deck without adult supervision. My Wife and I had noticed the girl before at many of the events we'd taken our own daughter to (build a bear, ocean club, etc..) and she was oddly always alone with no parents in sight. Long story short, the girl slipped walking down the stairs from the hot tubs to the pool deck and whacked her head very hard against the steps (fell backward). Her towel and personal things were right next to me and she sat down very dazed and confused. Several parents and grandparents immediately asked if she was our daughter (she wasn't) and how they'd witnessed her fall, and after she failed to respond to our questions, we called cruise emergency 911. A nurse and the hospital wing staff arrived about a minute later, thoroughly questioned the adults that had witnessed her fall, realized she was probably concussed and safely moved her to a wheelchair to wheel her down to medical for further treatment and observation. I hope the girl was okay, we never did find out how she was but she was in good hands. I'd hate to see her parent's medical bill for it but the kid was fairly neglected by their absence for the cruise up to that point. Kudos to the medical staff for a fast response. We availed ourselves of excursions in three of the four ports, skipping San Juan for just a margarita at Senior Frogs and a walk up and down the port park. At Turks and Caicos, we took the glass bottomed boat tour and beach break and that was amazing. Beautiful unspoiled reefs and iced blue waters on a beautiful beach afterward. Free rum punch on the boat tour put all of us in a good mood. In St. Kitts, we did the rain forest 4x4 island tour and beach break. The rain forest area was full of monkeys and the elevated views of both sides of the island were breathtaking. The beach break was short (only an hour) and we spent it at the bar getting lunch. The last excursion we booked was the air conditioned bus tour in St. Maartin with lunch/beach break. Our driver showed us the level of devastation caused by Irma and Louis and both the French side and the Dutch side were totally ruined, but the French side on the Atlantic got it so much worse. Rebuilding continues but expect to see the remains of a horrible hurricane history. The driver stopped at a French side market to let us shop, then took us to a private beach near the airport (not the famous airport landing strip beach but very near it). Lunch was amazing (snapper) and there was an expansive crescent shaped ice blue water beach for us to swim in. Beautiful. Tips: Mid ship cabins around the common room elevators on deck 3 are a lot louder than you'd think for noise. Book fore or aft midship and you should have quiet. I'd totally book this cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We decided to go on Carnival Sunshine because it was mine and my daughter's first time cruising and we wanted it to be very special. We loved the shows, playing Bingo, playing the games at the Red Frog Pub, and the food was amazing! ... Read More
We decided to go on Carnival Sunshine because it was mine and my daughter's first time cruising and we wanted it to be very special. We loved the shows, playing Bingo, playing the games at the Red Frog Pub, and the food was amazing! The food at the buffet was always fresh and clean and all the staff working at the cafeteria was friendly and always there to pick up our dishes. The dining was amazing! We had such a good time with our waiters and they made it so enjoyable that we can't wait to go back! Edgar, our main waiter was truly awesome. He was quick, efficient, kind and so funny. He played my tricks on my daughter and we all had so many laughs. Edgar made our dining very special and it wouldn't have been enjoyable if Edgar wasn't there. He was kind and very friendly. The activities on the boat were fun and we loved going to the shows that Chris was holding because he made the shows always so funny. Alena, she worked at the buffet during the nighttime was also very kind and she worked very quickly and was always smiling. She talked to us and she just made our time on the ship more enjoyable. Alena is a very hard worker and is very open talking about growing up in Ukraine. I was able to connect with her because with both grew up there and spoke Russian and I liked that I was able to talk to her in our native language. Another reason we would travel on the carnival sunshine again was that our cleaner was very awesome. Jaya was our cleaning guy for the 8 days on the ship and he was so friendly. He cleaned our room every day, we came back with our beds made and new fresh towels with a towel animal sitting on our bed. My daughter loved the towel animals that Jaya left. Jaya was always smiling when we saw him around the ship and he would always ask us how we were doing and how was our time on the different islands. Jaya did amazing work on the ship for us and we are very grateful for his work and dedication he has towards his job. We would love to go again and we are already planning for our next summer trip with Carnival. Thank you, Carnival for making it such an amazing experience that we will never forget. Keep up the good work and a special thank you to Edgar (Main Waiter), Alena (Buffet Staff) and Jaya (Cleaner) for making our time something truly special! Much love Carnival!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This was my first ever cruise and I get an unbelievable experience! I'm 16 years old boy and I decide to join a teen club (club O2) this club for teens from 15-17 years old, I meat so many new people. club O2 helped all of us not ... Read More
This was my first ever cruise and I get an unbelievable experience! I'm 16 years old boy and I decide to join a teen club (club O2) this club for teens from 15-17 years old, I meat so many new people. club O2 helped all of us not to be scared of each other. Club was opened till 1 am but after when it closed, we went to the food market and we wear talking for 2 or more hours, or we just wondering around the cruise. Some of us made some relations ships (boyfriend/girlfriend). We all were kind to each other. My self, I meat with 2 18n years girls, we get so much fun together. They wasn't allowed to join this club and that sad, but they still made some friends. So Carnival Sunshine if you can please make one more club for teens from 18 to 20 years old. Crue group is super friendly, food is really good. They even have a pizza place that open 24/7. Carnival Sunshine offers all people a great shows, partys, and more fun. If you want to get a WiFI you need to pay almost $100, but trust me it not worst it! Without internet access, people becoming more friendly to each other. Last what I want to say is that it always hard to say goodbye to your vacation, friends, etc. We all become so close to each other, but this is life and we can't change it, but what we can do is when you at a cruise, do not waste your time, take this chance meet new people. don't afraid to come to a person and say "hey, how are you?" On day 3 of the cruise, I saw a beautiful 2 girls and I come to them and I said "Hey, what a beautiful dress" and im actually happy right now that I did it, because we get a good time together and now we texting each other and I hope one day I will see them again) Thank you Ko-Ko (teen club operator) for your games and support! Thank you Carnival Sunshine for this unforgettable experience! And of course, thank you, my friends, specially Ruthie and Erica for this unforgettable time we spend together!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We were excited to go on this cruise because two in the party have never cruised on a cruise ship before. The service was lack luster. The food was alright. The tacos and the jerked food were the best. Half Moon Cay was the best port ... Read More
We were excited to go on this cruise because two in the party have never cruised on a cruise ship before. The service was lack luster. The food was alright. The tacos and the jerked food were the best. Half Moon Cay was the best port that we pulled in to. Do not expect anything above average on this ship. They allow children to run around the halls all night with out holding parents accountable. Guess where the parents are... that is right.. in the bar getting hosed. The beds were nice. I would have picked a different boat if I could have knowing the info. They nickle and dime you for everything. I would choose your time dinning. This would insure that you get to see the shows. Comedy was one of the best things to due on the ship. The slides were fun and the ropes course was neat. Seems like some of the kids were having a hard time getting their safety harness around the bends though. The only 4 of the heated loungers worked. the steam saunas worked but the dry heat sauna never worked.. The Spa is only interested in selling you overpriced stuff after your over priced treatments. 170 bucks for 10 sea weed bath treatments.. 17 bucks PER BATH. no. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Loved our ocean suite cabin 5341 ! , room steward , food options , bar tenders at Red Frog Rum Bar , Alchemy & casino were awesome ! Son loved the slides & kids clubs ! Comedy shows hilarious (could be more seating though is my ... Read More
Loved our ocean suite cabin 5341 ! , room steward , food options , bar tenders at Red Frog Rum Bar , Alchemy & casino were awesome ! Son loved the slides & kids clubs ! Comedy shows hilarious (could be more seating though is my only complaint ). Serenity area is awesome !! My new fav ship !! All staff constantly going out of their way to make sure you are having fun & happy with everything . Seaday was only day we had trouble finding 4 chairs all together but we did . Staff was tagging chairs & removed items after 40 minutes . Should be more like 20 in my opinion , wouldn’t take you longer than that to get a drink or use the restroom . Anything else , give up your chair while your not using it & give others a chance . However , the Breeze was worse than Sunshine in this area. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
I was very disappointed with Carnival Sunshine cruise. Embarkation & Debarkation were a nightmare and caused me to miss flight home due to customs taking too long to board ship to give ship OK to debark. During sea days people were ... Read More
I was very disappointed with Carnival Sunshine cruise. Embarkation & Debarkation were a nightmare and caused me to miss flight home due to customs taking too long to board ship to give ship OK to debark. During sea days people were saving deck chairs so at 7:30am there was absolutely no lounge chairs available! They would place towels, backpacks, other personal items on chairs then go have breakfast or whatever and not return until much later! Believe me everyone complained about this issue. Sadly people started to sit on the deck floors to enjoy the sun! The lido deck is way too small to accommodate passengers as it has only 1 small pool and 3 hot tubs. Dining room service was horrible! We never received our coffee and left after 20 anywhere not seeing our waiter anywhere! Never again on Carnival! Shore excursions not worth the price you could walk to the beach in Grand Turk right next to pier . I'll stick with other cruise lines in the future. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We have cruised with Carnival during our children's Spring Break for the last 4 years. We have always found this mode of travel to be cost effective and keep each person in our family happy. The itinerary for this trip caught my eye ... Read More
We have cruised with Carnival during our children's Spring Break for the last 4 years. We have always found this mode of travel to be cost effective and keep each person in our family happy. The itinerary for this trip caught my eye because we had visited most of the other ports that were available on other boats sailing during the time frame that we were available. The cabin that we chose (5319) had terrible noise below it: BEWARE and read my cabin review. However we still managed to have a great time on our trip, even with the lack of sleep. The ports were as magical as we had hoped they would be. I always enjoy how predictable the food is on Carnival ships. There is always something to eat and the dining staff was willing to work around food sensitivities and allergies that I have. Our family loves to watch the Dive In movies at night on the pool deck and we took full advantage of that throughout our stay. We did not do much else in terms of entertainment. I went to the gym 4 out of the 8 days I was on the boat and although there is not the same amount of equipment at my home gym Carnival has provided enough that patrons can get a nice workout if they are creative enough. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
This was the 8-day Southern Caribbean itinerary sailing from Port Canaveral to Aruba, Bonaire, and Grand Turk. Elegant evenings were night 2 and 6. Getting into Port Canaveral was a nightmare as there were four ships sailing that day. ... Read More
This was the 8-day Southern Caribbean itinerary sailing from Port Canaveral to Aruba, Bonaire, and Grand Turk. Elegant evenings were night 2 and 6. Getting into Port Canaveral was a nightmare as there were four ships sailing that day. Traffic signs were still being put out at our 11:30 am arrival time and there was mass confusion and a lot of angry drivers. My main complaint about Sunshine is the crowding. Could've been that it was spring break so it was at max occupancy with families traveling. But it also just had bad flow which might be from the additional cabins added a few years ago. For example: ALL deck chairs claimed by 9 am, and all Serenity and main pool area chairs gone by 7:30 am on sea days. Could never get a seat at Alchemy Bar during dinner times. Had to show up 30 minutes early to get in the already-formed line for shows at Limelight comedy shows or Liquid Lounge performances. Thirty minute wait for slides and ropes course at times. No seats available the few times we tried to get into the piano bar. 20-minute waits for a Guy's burger or a pizza. Just way, way too many people on this ship. I know it's Carnival, but there is loud music everywhere. Ear splitting music in the atrium lounge. Loud Latin music piped into Havana bar starting early in the morning during breakfast. Blasting music in Ocean Plaza during dinner time. It was hard to get a moment of peace and quiet anywhere on the ship. Shows were OK but the theater has a lot of obstructed view seats. We had your-time-dining and usually walked right in if we checked in before 6 pm. Dining room service excruciatinly slow, though we had one or two good servers who kept things moving. Afternoon tea in the dining room was pleasant, though the service there was extremely rushed. Carnival clearly does not have enough wait staff to do their jobs. It is difficult to navigate the ship from one end to the other, as the galleys and dining rooms cut off walk-through access on some decks. Our balcony room was quiet inside, but the door didn't stop noise from constant running up and down the halls all night. One neighbor blasted music, swore at her kids, and smoked on her balcony the whole cruise. The other neighbor liked to clip his toenails on his balcony. Kids above threw ice off their balcony trying to hit people on the pier at Grand Turk. Complaints to guest services about the smoking were met with a shrug. At times there were strong odors on the ship. Noxious paint fumes on most port days. Overwhelming sewage smell at times, especially in the atrium lobby. Chef's Table was held in the Library and was pleasant. It was our second one in the past year but probably won't try it again until Carnival changes up the menu. Pools were absolutely frigid, apparently not heated on this ship. Pool at Margaritaville in Grand Turk also was quite chilly; ocean temp was fine though on Grand Turk. Kids were not excited about Camp Carnival, but that might've been due to overcrowding on a spring break cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
this is our 9th cruise with carnival. first on Sunshine. The initial impression was this ship is not well taken care of. Rust, chipped paint, wood rails dingy with finish chipping off. Second thing we noticed. the rooms were by far smaller ... Read More
this is our 9th cruise with carnival. first on Sunshine. The initial impression was this ship is not well taken care of. Rust, chipped paint, wood rails dingy with finish chipping off. Second thing we noticed. the rooms were by far smaller than any cruise we have taken on Carnival. We thought maybe it was just our room (aft deck 6th floor) but we visited friends rooms and they were just as small.Room service was below average. A couple of things really disappointed us. our service lady threw empty beer bottles that we collected for our son away that were on our counter. we docked in Grand Turks on Good Friday. No one on the ship thought to mention that liquor and tobacco are not sold on Good Friday, if we had known this we would have purchased our Rum before the last stop of the cruise. I also found out that you don't get good deals on purchasing watches on board the ship. you can find them cheaper on line. We did have a good time on the cruise but as far as rating our cruises from 1 thru 9 for overall experience the Sunshine cruise would be the #9. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We booked this cruise to have a relaxing mental health break from our kids. No really. We are doing foster care and are given one week a year “off”. The kids are placed in another home, and we are off. This year we decided to ... Read More
We booked this cruise to have a relaxing mental health break from our kids. No really. We are doing foster care and are given one week a year “off”. The kids are placed in another home, and we are off. This year we decided to take a cruise during Spring Break. Silly us. Never again. The last few cruises have been last quarter of the year, and has worked out much better. We flew into MCO on an early flight the day were were to pull out of port. I know, you are not supposed to do that, but we didn't want to drive, this time (11 hours). The Carnival-purchased transfer to the ship was uneventful and convenient. Would do this again. We rolled up to the terminal about 30 minutes past our appointment time. Thought, great, we would get right through. Ha Ha. Check-in was nightmare. Is this normal for Carnival?? Come to find out later, during the cruise, this is Spring Break and a good portion of the 2-person, but capable-of-holding-four- people rooms were booked with four. An additional 900 on board was the number I heard. Any way, we survived that, and were on board. Interesting thing was our sign-and-sail card was waiting at our stateroom; we did not pick it up at the check in desk. That was a first. During our get acquainted with the ship walk, were able to find the secret decks for sail-away. Thanks to tips found at www DOT thejellybeans DOT net. We were looking forward to the two days at sea to do nothing. During our initial stroll of the decks in the first morning at sea, we found quite a lot of towels enjoying the early morning sun in the lounge chairs. I was glad to see the lounge police on the Serenity deck. We were able to get a clamshell at about 2:00 in the afternoon, after all the first day initial sunburns set in. Great nap. Ports: Aruba. We had nothing planned, but went ashore to shop for the kids. With that mission accomplished, we headed back to the ship to be by the pool and sample the libations (Cheers program). Bonaire. We booked a snorkeling trip here on the Mushi Mushi through Carnival. This was a nice trip. One of the better snorkeling trips we have taken. Grand Turk. This port was a nothing-planned port. The port facilities were very nice. The beach area is also nicely laid out. Make sure you turn right off the pier for the less crowded beach. Food on board the Sunshine. All places we ate were good except the Lido Market Place. We lunched at Guys, the Blue Iguana, JiJi’s Asian Kitchen, and Cucina Del Capitanio. All good. For the most part, dinner was at the MDR. Food was good, and the wait staff was also good. For the first time, we did Your Time Dining. Not again, we prefer the late seating. Although we spent our time waiting for a table at the Alchemy Bar and put a dent in our Cheers program here. This turned out to be our go-to place. On our first night at the Alchemy Bar, I asked Katrina for “something made with Bourbon”. Wow, I have never tasted anything like that!! I was hooked; but could not talk her out of the recipe. My wife had a Tiramisu Martini. This was not her last during the trip. Along with a Chocolate Martini. Stateroom. We were in cabin 7270. Nice location to the stairs up or down. Stewards were good, they had my name down be the first evening. Debarkation: With the crowds on this ship, this was a nightmare also. I overheard one of the staff, that they have never seen that process that bad. The transfer back to MCO was quick and uneventful. The CD is Emma Nixon. She does a fantastic job (Hello Lovelies!!) I even found a Ship-on-a-Stick in our stateroom one evening with a card from her. No clue why. Nice trinket for one of the kids. Overall a good relaxing trip and itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
This ship had lots of ammenities like waterslides and rope courses. It left out of Orlando which is convenient. The room was very nice and the balcony was a good size. The dining was just OK. I never saw any fancy fruit or things of ... Read More
This ship had lots of ammenities like waterslides and rope courses. It left out of Orlando which is convenient. The room was very nice and the balcony was a good size. The dining was just OK. I never saw any fancy fruit or things of interest at the buffett. The restaurant was just alright. The food was not bad but nothing to be excited about. If you have any food allergies, this is not for you. There was never any clear options for gluten allergies or dairy allergies. You can ask for help but it does take a while to get the special order for you. The comedy was so good but they kept having it in a very small room where half the people had to stand to see the show. Another larger percentage had to sit on the sides of the stage and watch via television. The ports and excursions were very nice - no tenders so that was great. The DJ at the pool was very good. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
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
I was a little nervous about this ship at first simply because of all of the negative reviews I've read. (Only 58 percent reviewers loved this cruise!!! Really?) My thirteen year old daughter had an optimistic attitude while I was in ... Read More
I was a little nervous about this ship at first simply because of all of the negative reviews I've read. (Only 58 percent reviewers loved this cruise!!! Really?) My thirteen year old daughter had an optimistic attitude while I was in a more cautious mood waiting to see if the Sunshine was as terrible as so many of the unfavorable reviews promised it would be ... Embarkation: Admittedly not as smooth as Disney's. There were large crowds and it always wasn't clear which line you had to stand in or what area to wait. Still no major complaints. We got to step on the boat about an hour after arriving at the port. I consider that good timing. Cabin: Our room was 7331 (8M) class. This was our first balcony on a cruise ship. Loved it!!! The views were breathtaking, absolutely beautiful. The room was a reasonable size for a cruise ship and had several closets, even a fridge. Plus our room steward Kadek was willing to clean the room twice a day even though I only requested evening turn down service. Dining: I heeded the reviews and did the 8:15 dining in order to avoid a long waiting time. As a result we never had to wait longer then 15 minutes for our meals. We had the same servers every night and they were careful to memorize our names, have our drink orders waiting at the table for us and ask how out day was. (I think they were trying to copy Disney Servers who do exactly the same thing on their ships. Not that I minded ...) We also visited the Farenheit 555 resturant and Jiji's Kitchen. They were both fantastic! My daughter and myself enjoyed the best steak we've ever had in our lives. Plus Jiji was reasonably priced for such exotic, delicious food (15.00 per person) I highly recommend both of those dining expereiences. Not that everything was perfect. Room service was extremely slow. There were times they wouldn't even pick up the phone, let alone answer within 15 minutes. Average delivery time was about an hour. But since there was other food about the ship (Guy's burgers: Delicious! Lido Market: About the same quality of a Golden Coral) it wasn't that big of a deal. The bartenders were busy at all times but I learned if you tipped them a dollar or two they would 'see' you faster and even do little favors like put extra cherries or umbrellas in your drinks. Entertainment: Pretty good. All of the shows were pure music numbers. There were no plots or speaking roles, but that's to be expected on a Carnival cruise. However Epic Rock was so much fun with confetti, smoke and live flames. I'd pay money to see that one again. Didn't bother with the comedy shows or any other performance type entertainment. Cruise Director: Our cruise director was a darling British woman named Emma. She had a habit of calling everyone "Lovelies!" Some of the passengers made fun of her for this and mocked her accent but I found her charming. I asked her if she ever visited the cruise critic website and she told me me she never bothers to read anything negative about Carnival!?! Casino: Here may be my only serious complaint about the Sunshine. The ship had been redesigned so that the only way to get from one end to the other when on the 5th deck (or was it the 3rd? I honestly can't remember) was to go straight through the casino. Unfortunately the casino had a very strong smoke odor and my thirteen year old kid who had been asthma free for at least 5 years had a major attack after walking through the casino. She had to lay down for about 1/2 hr and I almost had to take her down to Medical but gradually her symptoms subsided. From that point on I told her to hold her breath and we would run through the casino as if swimming underwater and was afraid of drowning. Gratefully she didn't have any more asthma attacks after that, but if you have smoke allergies this may be something to be concerned about. Disembarkation: Was smoother then getting on the ship. We chose to take our luggage with us instead of having them checked. Because of that decesion we didn't have to wait in the long luggage line after leaving the ship. We had a lesiurely breakfast on Lido deck and then strolled off the ship. Customs hardly took 5 minutes. We were waiting for a cab within 15 minutes of leaving the Sunshine. Overall a lovely cruise. I honestly don't understand where this ship's negative reputation comes from. Maybe it's from hardline cruisers, as someone had suggested to me, who expect absolute perfectionism. As for me If it wasn't for my curiosity about Royal Carribean and Princess I would gladly book voyage on the Sunshine again. Right now I want to try one of those other cruise lines. If I had this much fun on a 58% rated Carnival Cruise, those other lines must produce pure ecstasy! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
The travel dates and departure port (Canaveral/Orland) met with the spring break travel time we needed to take our daughter on her graduation vacation. Considering that the Sunshine had recently come out of dry dock and been refurbished ... Read More
The travel dates and departure port (Canaveral/Orland) met with the spring break travel time we needed to take our daughter on her graduation vacation. Considering that the Sunshine had recently come out of dry dock and been refurbished we thought this would be a nicer experience. The ship was smaller than we expected and felt very crowded. The spa suite we were in though was wonderful. We had early assigned dining and it was a mess. The dining room service was sub-par, the staff was unorganized and the food overall was disappointing. Having been on several other Carnival cruises, this was by far the worst experience we have had. The staff didn't put on a show 2 nights during dining that were planned. The nights that they did provide a show, it was unorganized and seemed very well unplanned. Despite being seated every night for dinner by 6:15, several times we were not out of the dining room w/ dessert until well after 8:45. Some meals we were even 1/2 way through the meal before we ever even got anything to drink besides water. During the morning dining breakfast the vast majority of the dining staff was unpleasant and cool. Not what you typically see of the dining room. Entertainment was crowded and overall not very well planned. We were unable to see ANY of the comedy shows because the venue was so small and there was no seating. Several nights even an hour before the show started it was standing room only. This was disappointing. We learned after that the venue on this boat had been significantly downsized to accommodate other changes on the boat during refurbishing. Other shows though that we attended, were greatly empty. Faster to the Fun purchase was a waste on this sailing. Except for early boarding, NONE of the cabins on the boat were ready and all of the doors were shut to the staterooms until after 2:00. FTTF is supposed to provide your cabin being ready on embarkation. Additionally, there was no priority debarkation in any of the ports w/ the shore excursions provided. As such, we almost got left by the excursion staff for our port of call in San Juan because we ported late and it took us almost an hour to get off the boat. According to the customer service desk, the boat as the "option" of providing priority debarkation and the Sunshine does not provide it. The service was mediocre in most areas. (cabin stewardess was wonderful). We also had problems with the spa, which is a big issue for us as we spend a great deal of time and money in the spa. The massages we experienced on this boat were not worth the price we paid and paled in comparison to those we received on other ships. Additionally, the spa jacked up our onboard expense account on the 2nd sailing day by charging us almost $1400 for spa services that had been pre-paid prior to sailing. Thus, resulting in a 1/2 day to fix their error and our inability to be able to even purchase a drink during this period. The ports we stopped in were very nice and our shore excursions were great. However, our stop in San Juan was very short. Once we left and returned from a planned excursion on the other side of the island, we had enough time to get through the gate back to the boat. There was no time to explore the port, which was disappointing. We are scheduled to sail the Sunshine again in 02/2018, but if we do not have a better experience, we will not sail this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
A little background before I start. My wife and I are in the 45-55 range with an 8-year old son. Our only other Carnival cruise was on Imagination in 2004 (5 days Jamaica/Grand Cayman). Since then we have been on several Holland America ... Read More
A little background before I start. My wife and I are in the 45-55 range with an 8-year old son. Our only other Carnival cruise was on Imagination in 2004 (5 days Jamaica/Grand Cayman). Since then we have been on several Holland America cruises (Alaska, Eastern Caribbean, Panama Canal, and Baltic). We are pretty active, not much on drinking and sunbathing, we like to see new places and to relax in comfort. Embarkation: This was really smooth. The earliest embarkation time we could reserve was 12:30-13:00. Our flight arrived at 09:20 at MCO, our driver from Sunshine Florida Transportation ($90 all inclusive each way) was there to meet us when we got our bags around 10:00 and drove us to Port Canaveral. We stopped at Publiks on the way for some supplies and arrived at ~11:00. We checked in (took about 15-20 minutes including passing through security) and were put in Group 9. After Gold/Platinum and FTTF, they went through the groups quickly and we were onboard by around noon. Very smooth, plenty of seating while we were waiting. Safety Drill: This was a bit scary. There are six muster stations on the ship, with the majority of passengers going to the starboard and port sides of Deck 4-probably about 1000 passengers on each. You are not assigned to a specific life boat and instead line up 5 deep wherever you find space. If you arrive late, like we did, they keep sending you farther down the deck. We ended up in a large mass of people in an enclosed corridor passed the life boats on Deck 4 without a clear path for people to move through. Sitting there for 10-15 minutes in a restless crowd during a drill made me think that in an actual emergency we would all be dead. Room: Rooms were ready around 13:30. Ours (1523) was an outside cabin on Deck 1 mid ship, starboard side. It was a bit on the small side for 3 people, much less the four it was rated for. There was not a lot of storage. No DVD player, no mini-fridge (things we miss from HAL ships). No chair, so when the couch is made into a bed (which it was for the length of the cruise), there isn't really a lot of space for more than two people to sit. The TV had a couple of ESPN channels, three CNN, Cartoon and Boomerang for the kids, Networks, and a movie channel (there were supposed to be two). A couple of live cams (pool and bow), a GPS map, and some informational channels. The beds were really comfortable and the sheets were great. No ice bucket, although the garbage can appeared to have previously been an ice bucket (very small). Hair dryer in the top dresser drawer. Food: The dinner food in the dining room was good. Not awesome, not as good as HAL, and variety was good. They always had Chicken Breast, Salmon Fillet, Flat Iron Steak, and Pork Chop, and then 6 other entrees plus one from the port you were visiting that day. We had Anytime Dining and never waited for a two-person table the three times we ate dinner (6:30, 7:00 and 7:30). Dress shorts and a t-shirt was acceptable non-formal night attire. You check in on Deck 5 so if you did have to wait you could do so in the lounge there rather than standing in line outside of the dining room. On the Lido deck there was the buffet, deli, pizza, and salad bar as well as burritos by the pool. For lunch you could also get food from the Italian place in back and burgers by the pool. Everything else was extra (sushi, steak house, Cuban, Italian, etc.). The burger place only did burgers and fries and frequently had long lines (up to 15-20 minutes). They were only open 12:00-18:00 which seemed odd given their popularity. Burgers were good, pizza acceptable, most of the other food was fine. Dessert were ok. Cookies a bit dry, a lot of fruit-based desserts, odd mousses (mango?) and cakes, often chocolate. Room service was . . . sub-optimal. More than half the time we called they were experiencing greater than normal call volume, often for hours at a time. Waiting on hold for 15-20 minutes was not unusual (nor was getting disconnected). The room service menu was very limited (on HAL it includes whatever is on the dining room menu and there is no cost) and many items cost extra . . . including chicken tenders. Really? Beverages on the Lido were coffee, hot chocolate, lemonade, and ice tea. Orange juice and a mixed fruit juice were only available at breakfast, as were cartons of milk. There were pitchers of milk and half-and-half at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Ice and water always available. No ice other than on Lido, which meant a 16-floor journey with our trash can. Our son only really drinks milk and without a fridge in the room, this was a somewhat miserable experience, especially after a couple of cartons of spoiled milk from room service. Room service also provides continental breakfast in the morning if you put the order on the door. No hot items (eggs, french toast, waffles, bacon, etc.). When we ordered that it showed up early or right on time, which was good. Public spaces: Carnival really fails here. There is almost nowhere on this ship to just sit and relax. The Lido pool is tiny and the 'hot' tubs always crowded, usually with kids. The deck chairs are singularly uncomfortable, and the giant screen and music is constant. There are some deck chairs on Deck 3 (similarly uncomfortable) but that is about it. There is a tiny library with a dozen or two dozen books and some board games. Everything else is cabins, restaurants, and noisy lounges that are in use most of the time. Movies are played out on deck (uncomfortable lounge chairs, subject to weather). Entertainment: Extremely limited. Although there are a number of trivia and other contests (bean-bag toss being a favorite), the mass of 'activities' were cheap giveaways and marketing. The shows mainly started after 21:00, which is a bit late for us with an 8-yo. Almost nothing for kids (Trolls and Moana on the last night were the only kid-friendly movies). Kids Club: Open most days from 08:00/10:00-19:00 with an extra charge for 19:00-22:00/01:00. Not huge rooms but they seemed to have activities going most of the day. In the 8-9 room the PS4s (four hooked together so they could play Minecraft) were a big hit when you could get them. Staff friendly, but I got the sense that the kids didn't give them much respect. Casino: Smoke filled and bad odds. They have several tournaments during the cruise including: black jack, slots, and Holdem. To say that their advertising was deceptive would be a kind way of putting it. The Holdem tournaments (2 of them) were advertised as: "Play for a chance to win your share of $175K in our Grand Final Event. Guaranteed first prize of $75,000, plus cash prizes if you reign victorious this cruise!" In fact, there are up to 10 players in the tournament for $150 each and a single prize of $750 (50% rake for the house) to the winner. The last two players get free seats in the $175K Grand Final that occurs *on a cruise in August.* Bingo: Often occurred late, like the shows (20:30+) and despite claims that the winnings depended on the number of players, it was always $100/$150/$250. Only three games per session, with tickets costing $20/$30/$40 (3/6/9 boards). Not really worth the price of admission. Sports: The Sport Square was nice, I liked the running track (1/10th mile) which we used every-other morning. There is a basketball hoop, ping pong, bean bag toss, shuffle board, and miniature golf. The rope course is somewhat limited and was often closed. I don't recall ever seeing anyone on the water slides. Shopping: There were a lot of shops, almost all duty-free garbage that you could pick up at lower prices in port. No real idea why people buy anything in them. Not much in the way of interesting merchandise. Pool: As noted, the pool was small. There is a huge screen over the pool which was almost always blaring something. There was no policing of chair hogs. Stuff was left for hours on chairs with no one there. The chairs themselves were uncomfortable. The blue Carnival towels and the Drive-in blankets were awesome. Serenity (Spa/Fitness Center/Deck): The Spa was nice enough and a 75-minute port-day massage was $132. Purchased in advance, still charged us and we had to get the charge removed. Fitness center was good, although the weather was nice so we ran/walked outside on the track. The Serenity deck was very nice, with more comfortable chairs, couches, and hammocks, many in the shade. However, many were taken by lounge hogs for hours without anyone actually using them, no enforcement of time limits. Smoking: The casino is filled with smoke, which is to be expected. However, it is also right in the middle of the 5th floor, which is a busy place. So you end up going through the casino on a not-infrequent basis. The other place to smoke is on the starboard aft section of deck 10. Right between the Lido pool and the sole exterior entrance to the Carnival Kids Club. Also, right below the Sports Square. So it really only affect smokers, kids, and the physically active. Not sure how to fix that as the other side of that deck is where the little-kids playground is. Still, not really an excellent place to have a smoking area. Service: The room steward did an awesome job. He asked whether we wanted morning, evening or both, always cleaned the place while we were out. Unlike HAL, he didn't remember our names and address us when he saw us but otherwise great. Always enjoy the towel animals! Waiters and other staff in Lido and Dining room were great. Very accommodating and pleasant. Cruise director, etc. were good, remembered you from one event to another and were generally amusing and entertaining. Ports: Grand Turk - Private island, not much interesting about it except activities. We got off and went to the beach (the one on the right which was far less crowded). Son played in the water for two-and-a-half hours while it rained. Free is good. San Juan - Walked to Fort Morro and a bit through the town. Stopped at CVS right near the port for some supplies. Got back on the ship as it started raining. It was pretty hot and sunny while we were ashore. St. Kitts - Did a private full island tour with a local guide to the Black Rocks, Brimestone Fort, and the Plantation. The Batik demonstration was interesting and the gardens beautiful. Picked up a few cheap batik bags. Then over to the new resort areas. St. Kitts was pleasant enough with lots of open space where the sugar plantations used to be. St. Maarten - Took a cab to Maho Beach and watched the planes fly over (from around 12:30 to 14:30). $8 per person each way but may require others sharing the cab. Only certain cabs accept the wrist bands they sell at the taxi stand for $16 round trip. Make sure you leave before the traffic backs up over the two draw bridges that open around 15:00. Drinks are expensive, beach recliners are $20. Stopped at the Hard Rock looking for shirts on the way back and then walked to the ship. St. Maarten reminded me more of St. Thomas, more high-end than a lot of the Caribbean islands. Disembarkation: We had an 11:55 flight out of MCO so we had to do the Do-it-yourself disembarkation, which was fine. We had breakfast in the Lido at 06:30 and then went with our bags to the Liquid Lounge at 07:15. There were only 5 other people there and as soon as the Gold/Platinum and FTTF people got off they sent us off. We were off the ship at 07:30 and through customs by 08:00. Our driver was waiting and we arrived at MCO around 08:40. Overall: I don't think I will ever sail on Carnival again. Maybe we are just not their demographic. We ended up spending a lot of time cramped in our room. There was very little to do compared to HAL, which is hardly the paragon of entertainment. There was nothing to do in the evening 18:00-21:00 except eat. Not having a fridge or DVD player in the room made being in the room far less pleasant. It seemed very much like everything on the cruise was just a marketing ploy or sales gimmick. Just to compare costs for 3 people, outside cabin 10/28/2017 HAL Nieuw Amsterdam vs Carnival Glory, 7-day Eastern Caribbean from Miami/Ft Lauderdale, total price $1737 vs. $1715. HAL Deck 4 obstructed view between life boats, Carnival Deck 1. About 2000 cruisers vs. about 2900. No question which I would go on, even if the prices were not almost identical. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This was our 13th Carnival cruise. We are trying to sail on most of the ships out of Eastern U.S. ports. After reading numerous reviews about the awkward layout of the Sunshine and how crowded it would feel, I can honestly say that this ... Read More
This was our 13th Carnival cruise. We are trying to sail on most of the ships out of Eastern U.S. ports. After reading numerous reviews about the awkward layout of the Sunshine and how crowded it would feel, I can honestly say that this did not seem true to us. It was spring break, and still did not feel any more crowded than most Carnival ships! Embarkation: We arrived at the port by car around 11:00 am, which was our check-in time. No problems with parking or dropping off luggage. Check-in went smoothly. We waited until Zone 9 was called and we were on the ship by 12 or 12:15. Cabin: Our cabin was not ready until after 1:30 for some reason. I think we heard that the crew had some kind of meeting or safety drill which put everything behind. We had two inside cabins. Standard Carnival insides that were fairly clean. My only complaint was that our room always smelled like smoke when we first came in. Maybe someone was smoking on their balcony nearby? We were on the 7th deck mid-ship. Dining: We had Your Time Dining. We enjoy being able to go to the main dining room whenever we want. You check-in on the 5th floor and take your ticket down to the MDR on the 3rd floor. This is not a big deal at all like people have made it seem in the reviews. Our waitstaff was courteous and attentive and food was typical Carnival fare. Some good, some fair dishes. My only complaint was that they never acknowledged my husband's birthday, despite the fact that it was on our ticket every night. We ended up going to JiJi's Kitchen twice with our 2 kids. The food was spectacular and the service was a step up from the dining room. I would highly recommend this venue! Blue Iguana and Guys Burgers are open for lunch and delicious as usual. Entertainment: We did not attend any of the shows. We went to one comedy show that was family friendly. It was just okay. Get there early, because the venue is quite small. We participated in two trivia activities in the Red Frog Pub that were fun. We love the Red Frog, and the service and music were always good. Amelia played live in there almost every night, and she was awesome! Ports: We enjoyed all of the ports, including St. Kitts, Grand Turk, and San Juan. We didn't get off in St. Martin, because we had been before and had nothing planned. We did not do any Carnival shore excursions, but explored on our own. Service: The service from our room steward was good. We had a towel animal every night and he was fairly prompt in cleaning our room twice a day. He did ask at the beginning if we wanted twice a day service. Dining venue service was fairly good, with the exception of no acknowledgement of my husband's birthday in MDR. Kids: My two kids, ages 10 and 13 had a blast. They enjoyed the waterslides and meeting friends in Circle C and Camp Carnival. It was definitely one of their favorite ships, and ours too! We love ships with a Red Frog Pub, waterslides, and Blue Iguana. This fit the bill and we plan to sail on the Sunshine again someday! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Had a great Spring Break cruise. We traveled with our two 15 year old boys and as always we all had a blast. Service was great and all 4 stops offered something we all enjoyed. Getting on and off the ship was simple and fast and we really ... Read More
Had a great Spring Break cruise. We traveled with our two 15 year old boys and as always we all had a blast. Service was great and all 4 stops offered something we all enjoyed. Getting on and off the ship was simple and fast and we really were impressed with the entire cruise start to finish. The main thing on the Sunshine is deck space is gobbled up early in the morning, especially on sea days, so if you want to lay out plan to get up early to get some chairs. Most of the chairs were taken by 7am, at least the ones remotely close to the pools. There is only one pool for all ages and then one pool on the Serenity deck on the Sunshine, so everyone grabs chairs early. I'd say that's one negative for the Sunshine, they're missing a pool in the back of the ship (opinion). Otherwise, it's a great ship with plenty to do for all ages. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This was my first and probably last cruise. Far to many people on board, people cutting lines, hoarding entire rows of pool chairs, using dining room tables as card and game tables while families walk around plates in hand trying to find a ... Read More
This was my first and probably last cruise. Far to many people on board, people cutting lines, hoarding entire rows of pool chairs, using dining room tables as card and game tables while families walk around plates in hand trying to find a place to eat. It was relaxing at times but also unbelievable at how rude some people could be. Several times I had to put my foot down to the rudeness. Spend a couple hundred more and fly to your destination. 8 hours in port isn't nearly enough time to explore the islands. Constantly in a rush! Dining room service is limited on food choices and extremely slow. I finally got tired of waiting and walked out. Lido buffet food is cafeteria quality at best, same food everyday. Swirls soft serve ice cream is very good though. So is blue iguana. Guy's burger was not good at all. My burger was so hard I could hardly bite through it.I had Guy's on the first day and never again. Overall, I will not be taking a boat as my transportation. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
I chose this cruise because I liked the itinerary and the port. We stayed at Country Inn and Suites in Cape Canaveral and love that hotel. (I reviewed it separately). I had heard good and bad about the Sunshine but we decided to give it ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I liked the itinerary and the port. We stayed at Country Inn and Suites in Cape Canaveral and love that hotel. (I reviewed it separately). I had heard good and bad about the Sunshine but we decided to give it a try. We have been on several cruises on the larger ships and loved it. Overall, it was great. The crew and entertainment staff was top notch. The Lido was pretty crowded and there were a lot of people saving chairs. However, it was no worse than it was on the Breeze or Valor. The lines for food were reasonable, actually, for the number of people on the ship (it was spring break), it was pretty good. The layout was fine, we managed to find our way around easily. The water slide and sports deck were fabulous. The serenity deck was the best I have ever seen with its own pool with waterfall. The fitness area was large, however, there were several of the treadmills and steppers out of service. The ports were great (Curacao, Aruba and Grand Turk), we arrived on time and were able to get off the ship in good time. The dining room staff was really great. The food was good but not outstanding. We traveled with our 11-year-old daughter and she loved it. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We were quite excited to go on the Carnival Sunshine with the new waterworks slides, ropes course and new decor as well as the itinerary, The reasons we chose this cruise did not let us down. We were thrilled with the muted colors, as ... Read More
We were quite excited to go on the Carnival Sunshine with the new waterworks slides, ropes course and new decor as well as the itinerary, The reasons we chose this cruise did not let us down. We were thrilled with the muted colors, as well as slides and the ports. The staff was amazing even though they were always going full steam. No question Carnival is trying to do more with fewer people. Eden in the piano bar was absolutely awesome! He was simply the best piano player and singer we have ever seen on a ship. The shows were great and everything seemed to flow well. The cruise director Mason was simply annoying and the worst we have dealt with. I will make sure he is not on the next trip we schedule. Outside of the main dining room which I will get to in a second this was an awesome trip. We loves the serenity deck and the fact that carnival is starting to enforce the 40 minute rule with stickers and picking up of items left by chair hogs. As a cigar smoker I also loved this ship with 2 different places set aside with comfy seating to enjoy a cigar and the view. We had 4 of us in our obstructed view cabin on level 3 and loved our room and our steward. Our 2 teenagers love all that Carnival has to offer and have no interest in any other vacation. Ok I have sung enough praises it is now time to talk about the Main Dining Room. Quite simply it is a shell of its former self. The food is half the quality and half the selection. Quire simply I would rather eat at Lido deck. As a platinum level cruiser on carnival it makes me question my loyalty. I realize they are trying to hit a price point to appeal to everyone but it has gotten out of hand. We simply went to the specialty restaurants and had great meals! The steak especially was awesome. If you are planning on going on this cruise I would plan on adding this to your planned spending. I will say even adding this to the cost it is still more economical then the other lines, but it is a huge let down to not have them be honest that they no longer consider the main dining room important. I would definitely tell anyone that this ship is awesome so long as you are willing to eat at the specialty restaurants and I do not consider myself a foodie. I do expect the main dining room to be better then applebees etc. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We chose this ship because the dates worked perfectly for us, it was an EIGHT night cruise, and the price was too good to pass up. Embarkation went very smoothly. We got on a little later than expected, but were able to sit while we ... Read More
We chose this ship because the dates worked perfectly for us, it was an EIGHT night cruise, and the price was too good to pass up. Embarkation went very smoothly. We got on a little later than expected, but were able to sit while we waited. Heading out of Cape Canaveral is great. There's no fighting of traffic like you find in Miami, and the port didn't seem busy and packed like Ft. Lauderdale. We came on this ship several years back when it was the Destiny. This trip was far better than the Destiny experience. The updates on the ship are very nice. I did notice, however, that the walkways on the Lido deck were fairly tight. Our kids really enjoyed the sports deck. There's a lot packed into a small space, and they especially liked the ropes course. Wear tennis shoes if walking around there, because some water leaks from the slides above and it gets slippery. Hot tubs get crowded, and there is only one pool. I wasn't interested in swimming or hot tubbing on this trip. The ship was very clean all throughout. It was hard to find clocks. The smoking area was no fun to walk through, and the casino has smoking. There is laundry on each floor. It's $3 for wash and $3 for dry. The driers could use updating, because they didn't dry in one run. However, the guest services did refund my money, which I appreciated.Bring detergent and you don't have to buy it. Our cabin was an inside cabin for FIVE. Surprisingly, it worked pretty well. We had enough space for our clothing, and fit the luggage under the beds. I did bump my head a couple of times on one of the bunks. The bathroom shower was just a bit larger than I've seen on some other ships. The room was kept very clean, and our steward did a very nice job. We were on the second floor, and I will warn you that staying under the galley was strange. I woke up several nights around 2 or 4 a.m., hearing clanging sounds above my head, I assume in the galley.It stopped fairly quickly, but I like to sleep through the night. Dining was pretty good. They have a nice selection at breakfast in the lido. Sometimes, it was hard to find a seat, though, on port days. I think that the quality of food in the dining rooms on Carnival is surprisingly good. However, their menu hasn't changed much in the past few years. They do have nice vegetarian selections (I don't eat a lot of meat). There are some interesting spots for lunch. I'm not a burger fan, and I avoid fries, but Guy's Burgers is a popular place. The Blue Iguana has good tacos and burritos. The chicken was a bit tough, I thought. The Asian Kitchen is a nice spot for stir fry at lunch. The medium spicy sauce is SPICY. Nice selection of veggies to choose from. They have very good pizza on Carnival ships. I tried it a couple of times. There is a little Italian place and at lunch, you can get pasta, bread and salad. The pasta dish I ordered was delicious. There's also a Cuban place where you can get a few different items at lunch. The empanadas were pretty good. Sea Day Brunch is very good. The chicken caesar salad is nice, as is the pasta dish they serve. The only thing is, they don't change the menu at all for it. We enjoyed tea time. The scones and clotted cream, along with the lemon curd cake were delicious. And, of course, there's the delicious chocolate melting cake, which my husband loves. Our dinner service was very good. The servers seemed very, very busy but were really nice and did their best to serve us well. I think that some cruises have added extra tables to the servers' areas, maybe. We didn't pay extra for any meals. Carnival is not really the place for "enrichment." Entertainment was okay. One show they did (music, dance, singing) was the very same as they did a couple of years ago. One comedian was okay, another was quite funny. Karaoke was terrible! They do have a lot of games and fun trivia activities, if you like that. The cruise director was funny and enthusiastic. The servers work very hard on here, and keep eating areas and public areas clean. Guest services were the best I've seen on any of the five Carnival cruises I've taken. Ports were very nice. Shore excursions are overpriced, so we did our own things. Grand Turks is a great stop because the beach is, literally, right there. No need to pay extra money for ANYTHING. The snorkeling is actually pretty good, too, so bring your gear. Puerto Rico is a nice stop. We just wandered Old Town and walked along the trail that goes by the ocean. The old buildings and history are really interesting. The ship docks right in town, which is convenient. St. Kitts is a lovely island, although not lovely in certain places. There is a cab area as you get off the ship and all prices are posted. We went to South Friar's Bay to swim, snorkel and walk the beach. Great photo opportunities there! St. Maarten is always a nice stop. Taxi cabs with posted prices are not far from where you exit the ship. We took a cab to the little boat that takes you over to Pinel Island. It was incredible! Our three kids enjoyed the cruise. My girls didn't do the kids activities because it was the first time they couldn't go together. Our teenage son went to the kids' stuff, then met some friends and he had a great time. The value was excellent. Family that was travelling with us couldn't believe what we paid for the five of us. It was a really good deal. Disembarkation was very smooth, one of the easiest and smoothest we have experienced. When travelling Carnival, you have to remember, it's Carnival. I think their service has improved. People are laid back and casual, for the most part. The guests on the ship were, overall, really nice and friendly, down to earth people. Not pretentious, most probably weren't rich and they weren't fancy. I've been on different lines and cruises, and we enjoyed our trip on this, as we have enjoyed trips on others. It was a nice family trip. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This cruise went to ports I had not previously visited. We stayed in interior cabins above the Liquid Lounge. If you have problems sleeping don't book these, it turns into a disco after the shows finish. You can hear the thump of ... Read More
This cruise went to ports I had not previously visited. We stayed in interior cabins above the Liquid Lounge. If you have problems sleeping don't book these, it turns into a disco after the shows finish. You can hear the thump of the base but didn't disturb us to much. We had no difficulty with embarkation, on within 30 minutes from arrival to the port. Disembarkation was not as smooth but still off by 9:15 with self assistance. Used Go Port Canaveral for room and transportation to and from port. The activities were continuous and various. Some of the times were inconvenient with dinner times. You missed the start with early dining and then it kept you from doing other shows after. The limelight lounge was packed and had a line in every comedy show. Had to get there early and wait in line to be able to get a seat. My 15 year old was missing in action most of the cruise with club O2. My 24 year old was bored and didn't find anyone single and his age. I highly recommend taking someone to buddy with for this age group. We did the circle tour on St. Martin and it was great. I would definitely do this itinerary again. So much to see and do. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Carnival Sunshine Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.9
Dining 4.0 3.7
Entertainment 5.0 3.7
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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