1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2017
This was my second cruise I have been on, the sunshine was awesome I loved the people that worked on it they made everything fun,the food was amazing way better than my first cruise. I had the best time of my life on this cruise I swear I ... Read More
This was my second cruise I have been on, the sunshine was awesome I loved the people that worked on it they made everything fun,the food was amazing way better than my first cruise. I had the best time of my life on this cruise I swear I did not want to get off. Matter of fact my cousin and I are coming back on the sunshine in October with other family members who have not been on a cruise before so I hope and pray we have as much fun as we did when we went in may. I can not wait to get back on the sunshine. I loved the games they played with the music. The club on the boat was very very fun. The drinks were amazing the kiss on the lips is the best yet. I recommend the carnival sunshine to anyone so I hope it is the same when we get back on in October. : ) Read Less
Sail Date: December 2015
Starting back when this ship was called the Destiny, this is our third time sailing on the same vessel. I have to admit that this time I was not overly impressed. We missed the opportunity to book "Faster to the Fun", but were ... Read More
Starting back when this ship was called the Destiny, this is our third time sailing on the same vessel. I have to admit that this time I was not overly impressed. We missed the opportunity to book "Faster to the Fun", but were fortunate enough to receive an upgrade to a suite for a minimal charge. Because of the benefits of staying in a suite, including priority embarkation and debarkation, I thought that we were in like Flint. How wrong could I be. Indeed, the priority check in was a total disappointment. The staff in the Captain's Lounge was having computer problems, and they were so concerned about resolving that issue, that they didn't seem to give a rats hooey about the customers that were standing around the room. There were supposed to be snacks at the back of the lounge, but that area looked disgustingly unclean and we stayed away. As a result of various problems that the staff was struggling with, we didn't get on board until after members of our party who went through the regular check in process. My wife and I had never been to Martinique before, and yet we were quite disturbed when we docked on a Sunday and discovered that the entire port was shut down like a tomb. Why would a cruise ship dock at a port, knowing that all of the shopping venues and kitchy little restaurants are closed? Surely, Carnival could've reworked the itinerary so that all the ports were open on the days that we visited them. Carnival has ruined karaoke on this ship, and I don't understand why. When we went on this ship a couple years ago, karaoke was held in the Redfrog Pub, along Ocean's Plaza (and not just the Superstar Karaoke, the regular Karaoke), and the Limelighter Lounge. They also had approximately 40,000 tracks and a sophisticated playback system. Now, they have barely half the previous number of tracks and a major confusion over what songs are actually available. It's almost impossible to find a song in the new song list books, and often the song you pick isn't actually loaded on the system. I also don't understand why the new system can only be utilized in the Limelighter lounge. Karaoke is as popular as it ever was on Carnival, but they insist on trying to destroy it. The biggest insult was the scheduling of the event. 5-6:30, for 3 out of 10 days, and one evening from 7:30-11:00. Since I had early seating for dinner, I either had to miss most karaoke sessions, or be late for dinner!! Make improvements to the karaoke program, Carnival (I know I'm not the only one complaining), or you may just loose me as a returning cruiser. The suite was wonderful, and I'm so glad that we accepted the opportunity to upgrade. I have never been in a cabin with a whirlpool tub before, but it was certainly a wonderful asset. The other amenities in the suite were also very nice, and overall I gave a big thumbs up to the accommodations. The food was fabulous, as usual, including the specialty Italian restaurant. We didn't try any of the other specialty restaurants, except for the Asian one at lunchtime. We had breakfast in the main dining room most mornings - because we liked the service and selection, but I recommend avoiding breakfast in this location on sea days. They used to call it the Punchliner brunch, but now its known as the Sea Day brunch. Either way, save your stomach and go eat on the Lido deck. The food sucks at the brunch, and the wait staff seems to come down with some sort of disease that causes a total lack of interest and rotten disposition. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
Cons - The renovation on the Sunshine has not been completed due to the large number of water leaks on the ship. The leaks are plumbing issues. They have removed all seating on the Promenade deck, for relaxation most folks had to seat in ... Read More
Cons - The renovation on the Sunshine has not been completed due to the large number of water leaks on the ship. The leaks are plumbing issues. They have removed all seating on the Promenade deck, for relaxation most folks had to seat in the bar areas. Also, except for the rooms, no 120 V outlets European 220 only this will be a problem in US. Interior rooms have no furniture, Carnival please try and justify this issue. Guest Services poor at best, it was taking days to return calls, most of the time they did not return calls. Should have been a 15 day cruise, we arrived on the Mississippi River on Saturday about 1 pm and dropped anchor for about 4 hours arriving at terminal Saturday night at 10 pm. Debarkation started Sunday at 6am. Bar service below acceptable, rude and arrogant behavior from bar staff more often than not. The ship played the same movies every three days, for a transatlantic cruise this was difficult for 11 sea days. Note: No more Carnival transatlantic cruises for us. Only 5-7 days. Pros - Dining service and food excellent. Dining choices were better than most Carnival Ships we have sailed on. The sports activities area were exceptional, played the putting golf many times.   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
Pros: 1) Service--Overall the service was outstanding especially in the bars and MDR. 2) Cheers Package--The drink prices were very high, so we benefited from buying this package that allows you to try a variety of drinks (under $10) ... Read More
Pros: 1) Service--Overall the service was outstanding especially in the bars and MDR. 2) Cheers Package--The drink prices were very high, so we benefited from buying this package that allows you to try a variety of drinks (under $10) with a reasonable limitation of 15 drinks per person per day. Two problems we see with the success of this program is that Carnival requires that everyone in the cabin must purchase the package (whether drinkers or not) and it doesn't allow you to buy drinks for others you meet which we find too restrictive. 3) We enjoyed the new addition alternate dining venues including Guy's Burgers, the Pizzeria, JiJi's Asian and Cucina del Capitano. These added some variety and choices in cuisine. 4) Relaxing days at sea enjoying the new Serenity area. 4) Fast, organized embarkation with nice lounge area in Barcelona. Cons: 1) For a newly refurbished ship, there were severe maintenance issues that need prompt attention. There are leaks everywhere with buckets in the hallways, a full length mat collecting rain from the front window leaking in the spa and getting my head dripped on while eating lunch in the Havana Bar area (water coming through ceiling apparently from the waterworks slide area above). We also had a couple nights when our toilet would not flush. This was most annoying first thing in the morning when you have to dress and walk to find a public toilet (some distance from our cabin). This is completely unacceptable! I tried calling maintenance and after 20 rings with no answer, stood in line at guest services. Fortunately, my husband found our room steward Dennis, who promptly got it fixed. 2) There was a severe shortage of hand sanitizers. For every 4 checked, only 1 would have any sanitizer in it, including entrances to the restaurants and buffet. This ship was scheduled to be inspected upon arrival in New Orleans and hopefully will be cited for cleanliness issues. We found unclean utensils and cups and even saw workers without gloves putting hands in food (raw eggs, pizza dough etc). Salad dressings were not labelled or kept chilled. Needless to say, many guests got sick...... 3) Limited variety/selection of food in the MDR and almost always lukewarm as many others have said (especially the soups). After complaining at the bar several times about this issue, our Atrium bartender Mbollo got some action taken after presenting our complaint to the appropriate personnel. The quality of the food was also substandard. Chateaubriand tasted like liver (which we despise) as did the prime rib which was inedible possibly due to the au jus which was a thick nasty gravy. We didn't enjoy the dining experience (on anytime seating) as it was always very crowded and seemed rushed and chaotic. Not a relaxing environment though service was mostly good. 4) Pool areas are FAR too small for this large of a ship. Serenity is too small to accomodate the adults and the main pool too small if Carnival still wants to appeal to families in the Caribbean. 5) Layout of the ship is bizarre and lacks windows for an open feeling and seeing the ocean from inside. 6) Both gel and shampoo in the shower area were terrible. Sounds like a small thing, but bring your own from home if possible. My hair would tangle so bad I couldn't get a comb through (no conditioner offered). Calling them "industrial generic" would be an understatement. 7) Disembarkation was horrific. All passengers were scheduled to be off the ship between 6 and 9am. Supposedly because this was the first entry into the US of the "new" ship Sunshine, everyone had to pass through customs individually. The whole process was very disorganized, extremely lengthy and had very few Carnival representatives available to assist guests with problems ensuring getting flights on time etc. Fortunately, I was assertive and we were able to make our 2:30pm flight. Even though the price for the cruise was reasonable, I've learned that you get what you pay for and will probably be cruising with Celebrity, RCCL or Princess next year. They are superior in EVERY way to Carnival's cutting corners. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2013
My husband and I are Platinum level cruisers and have been on eight different Carnival ships, so we were excited to book the 16 day transatlantic cruise from Barcelona to New Orleans leaving Barcelona on November 1, 2013. We enjoyed the ... Read More
My husband and I are Platinum level cruisers and have been on eight different Carnival ships, so we were excited to book the 16 day transatlantic cruise from Barcelona to New Orleans leaving Barcelona on November 1, 2013. We enjoyed the cruise but were very disappointed with the ship itself, which we were led to believe was a totally new ship with a name change to prove it. It is not a totally new ship, merely one emerging from a glorified dry dock. Out of all of the Carnival ships we have been on, it is our least favorite and we would never book it again. But it's not fair to focus on the shortcomings of the ship without first stopping to note the things that went well on this cruise: THINGS THAT WENT WELL Embarkation in Barcelona was the quickest and smoothest we have ever had. We literally walked onto the ship and had our luggage promptly delivered. We had the second (late) seating in the Sunset dining room and had attentive service and hot food delivered in a reasonable period of time. There were very enjoyable live musical presentations by Ken Byrne, the maître d, and Seth, the piano guy. The morning presentations on photography, ports, and location were well done by Mickey Live. Carnival did a great favor to its guests by booking this knowledgeable cruise professional to provide interesting talks during the cruise. All of the crew, from the dining room to the room stewards, were friendly and professional. We enjoyed our Carnival excursions. The trip from Malaga to Grenada to see the Alhambra was particularly well done and an excellent value. THINGS THAT DID NOT GO WELL The ship does not have the advertised "new" feel. Most of the granite counters and tables on other ships have been replaced here with cheap plastic veneers, perhaps to lighten the overall weight in order to take on more passengers. The feeling around ship is more of a fast food chain or lower tier motel chain. There is none of the fun tongue- in -cheek "opulence" we see on other ships. Many maintenance details have been overlooked. For example, the window in in 1351, our ocean view stateroom, was rusted all around and certainly needed at least a new coat of paint. And yes, we did see drip buckets around ship, but even worse were the recurrent sewage smells, including on the corridor by the steakhouse. There are too many extra fee restaurants: the steakhouse, the Chinese place, the Italian place, and the sushi place. Let's remember, folks, that $11 charge in the Italian restaurant doesn't mean you are paying $11 for dinner. No, you are paying $11 plus whatever you already paid for dinner in the main dining room. And there is no longer "free" sushi before dinner. In sixteen days it was only offered once at the Taste Bar, and each person was given exactly one small piece. We will never pay extra for meals on a cruise and wish the space was devoted to something that could be enjoyed by all passengers. There is lots of "dead space", such as the long empty hallway to the Limelight Lounge or the huge slide that is used very infrequently. But the most distressing thing about the Sunshine is the Liquid Lounge, now made much smaller in order to free up room for the additional charge restaurants and extra staterooms. The chairs on the first level are moveable and crowded very tightly together. The room itself is ugly, with dozens of black spotlights hanging from the ceiling and huge light boxes sitting on the floor. There was never enough seating and people had to sit on the stairs, stand up, or just leave without seeing the show. The entertainment is now more about machines instead of people: flashing spotlights changing colors, film clips projected on stage, extremely loud pre-recorded music with no live music. The small number of dancers gestured with microphones to give the illusion that they were singing, but we had to laugh at the first show when one of the male performers had no fewer than four different voices come out of his mouth during the course of the performance. The performers have been reduced to lip synching puppets. The overall feeling with the shows is that they have now been designed for an audience who is accustomed to getting their entertainment from video games. So would we cruise Carnival again? Absolutely. Would we chose to go on the Sunshine again? No!   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2013
I really meant to get this review done much sooner, then I kind of forgot about it, and then I saw all the negative reviews of the Transatlantic cruise and, I must say, I am shocked--it hardly seems like these people were on the same ship ... Read More
I really meant to get this review done much sooner, then I kind of forgot about it, and then I saw all the negative reviews of the Transatlantic cruise and, I must say, I am shocked--it hardly seems like these people were on the same ship I was on. So here goes: Embarkation--things went very smoothly. The only disappointment I had was with the FTTF program not quite working out. I think there was a breakdown in communication at the airport with some very stressed out Carnival folks having to deal with our flight that came in 5 hours after it was supposed to arrive. They were very friendly and helpful, but I think they were more focused on getting everyone and our stuff to the ship than they were with making sure luggage all got processed correctly (e.g. FTTF delivered first, etc.). That being said, someone at customer service must have been aware of this because about four days into the cruise a credit showed up on my statement for the FTTF charge. The ship--it's lovely. Is it perfect? I haven't been a cruise ship yet that's perfect. Many ships have decks that don't go all the way through and if you are sensitive to cigarette smoke there will always be areas to avoid, but having said that, it's certainly one of the nicer ships in the fleet. It is visually stunning from the Atrium to the Serenity Deck to the Havana Bar. Did it sometimes feel crowded? Sure, but I have had that experience on every ship I have ever been on. The Liquid Lounge is, in my opinion, a misstep. Sight lines are not good to the stage, the ventilation system is very noisy, and it's not big enough, but as a place to spend 45 minutes of my day--I was fine with it. I thought that the Playlist Production shows are well-intended but the cast didn't seem quite up to the task of performing them well. We never had a problem getting a chair on deck either in the Serenity area, around the pool, or wherever we wanted to be. The mini-golf was fun, the water slides are AMAZING, and the ropes course is worth doing. We loved the flow of the Lido buffet (although we typically only ate their for breakfast). More on the food and restaurants later. The Ocean Plaza was comfortable--it was nice to have a stage for the band where we could sit and enjoy them instead of having them in a hallway by the casino. We also enjoyed the space of the Alchemy Bar and the Shake Spot. The Cabin--we were in 12006, on the spa level, and loved it. The newness of the cabin was fantastic. The sliding glass door was a welcome treat, and the balcony was larger than any we have had on any other ship. Our cabin steward was outstanding. We mentioned that we wanted ice in our ice bucket and he kept it constantly full. He thoroughly cleaned our room--even after one night when we accidentally left the balcony door open and a lot of bugs got in and we had killed many of them--the next day they were gone! Everything worked just fine, the bed was AMAZING, and it was a great home away from home. We also enjoyed the spa. Yes, I know, there's no thalassotherapy pool--whatever. The steam rooms were fantastic--I used both the co-ed ones and the one that is in the men's locker room--and the heated chairs were magnificent. I cannot honestly remember a time I have been as relaxed. I also used a treadmill nearly every morning. The gym area was clean, and even if it was busy there were always open machines. The Food--We went to the steakhouse the first night to get our free bottle of wine. If you've ever eaten in a Carnival steakhouse then you know exactly what to expect. The staff was friendly, the food was good, and we enjoyed our first evening there. Most of our evening meals we had in the MDR (early dining). We had a beautiful view from our table (upstairs right in the center in the aft of the ship) and enjoyed it until all the time changes made it dark at dinner time. Were there problems in the MDR? Yes--our first two nights were disastrous. It seemed that there were massive communications issues not only between our servers and the kitchen but also between the team members themselves. By night three, however, these issues had been resolved and we found ourselves out of the MDR early enough that we were able to take in the early show, if we wanted to do so. The menu had an outstanding variety--many things we had never had on a Carnival ship before--including some of the best duck I have ever had. We also took in the Cucina (it was good--not great--but good) and JiJi's (excellent food--truly excellent food, but the presentation of having to roll the lucky dice, etc. was a bit corny). Some of the best food I have ever had at sea I had on this ship. Lunchtimes we enjoyed a variety--Blue Iguana, Guy's Burgers (as good as everyone says they are), salad bar, etc. I was trying to be diligent and careful with my eating and exercise, and I am pleased to say that I had desert with every supper and still managed to lose 4/10ths of a pound over the length of the cruise. The entertainment--Okay, so it's a 16 day cruise, so one had better be prepared to entertain oneself, knowing that there will be days when there is no satellite aiming tv signals at the ship. There were some amusing trivia games, but we found that we were able to find our own entertainment. That being said, however, Jaime D and her staff are truly outstanding. Mickey Live was worth the trip. He totally transformed what the cruise was about for us, and we learned much from taking in his shows. Also entertaining were the grumpy passengers who seemed to think that the staff should be doing everything for them. Boredom would set in and then people seemed to start complaining solely because they had nothing else to do. We made it a point of getting gifts for the folks who worked at customer service just because they were so stressed out from people being petty. The rumors--okay, about the buckets. After being on the ship for five days and not seeing any, we finally set out on a quest to "Find the Buckets." Did we? Yes, we found two, both on deck two, and both under sprinkler heads. About the norovirus. There was not an "outbreak." One passenger was confined to cabin under suspicion of norovirus on day 8. He spent one day in his cabin and then was allowed to roam freely when it was determined that he did not have norovirus but, in fact, had drank too much. About the listing of the ship. Never, ever. This was a very smooth cruise and there was no listing at all. The ports--we had fun at every port. I would go back to all of them again just to see things there was not time to see in only one day. Highlights included just getting off the beaten path and having some adventures doing things we could have never predicted. We didn't pay for a single shore excursion and had a great time everywhere we went. The Europeans were very warm and friendly toward us and treated us like gold. Overall--would I sail the Sunshine again? Absolutely, but right now I have only sailed on five Carnival ships, and there some others I still wanna try. I would recommend it, but only if you want to have fun, eat good food, treat your fellow cruisers and the Carnival staff kindly, and make some memories for yourself. Disembarkation--this was really the only sour note of the trip, but it had no long term effect. Because the cruise had originated outside the US the customs process was much longer than anticipated. The Carnival folks in the terminal were amazing at being helpful and trying to keep things moving, but in the end it came down to the Customs Agents, and there was nothing Carnival could do about that. Jaime D did a wonderful job of communicating on board ship when there were delays and why--and that communication alone shows what a class act Carnival is and the concern there is for the passengers. Was everything perfect? Nope--never has been, and never will be. But I will say this--it was the best cruise I've ever taken, and I wouldn't hesitate to do it all again tomorrow. Read Less
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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