185 Carnival Sunshine Caribbean - Western Cruise Reviews

The redeeming feature of this cruise was the places of destination. The Carnival Sunshine ship was the worst of my cruising experiences out of 5 different cruise company's. The ship is poorly layed out causing the feeling of being ... Read More
The redeeming feature of this cruise was the places of destination. The Carnival Sunshine ship was the worst of my cruising experiences out of 5 different cruise company's. The ship is poorly layed out causing the feeling of being overly crowded and some what chaotic. I appreciate the need for the safety drill before setting sail but the Sunshine procedure for this is APPALLING ! Stood in long lines of people 6 rows deep was stiffling, extremely uncomfortable and claustrophobic. No consideration was taken for age, health conditions, mobility ect and the whole point of learning about safety was totally a waist of time as at no point was many of us ( including myself and my daughter) stuck in the oppressive lines of so many people able to even see the demonstration of the life jacket and how to use it. Most of the staff although efficient in their duties were pretty misrable and at times even blatantly rude esspecially in the self service resturant. The layout and organisation of how the food is set out is not good at all. The ship was not clean in some area's and over all felt like being at a Butlins cheap holiday camp, tacky and tired in need of a face lift even though its claimed the ship has been refurbished. In balance there was some friendly pleasent staff who smiled and gave cheerful greetings, Mikey the entertainments directer is outstanding at his job and has the uniqueness of making you feel acknowledged and part of whatever he was doing even if you were only observing, without Mikey lifting the mood of pretty much all passengers at some point throughout his daily shenanigans the Carnival Sunshine in my opinion is a grim ship to be on. The destinations are great but the Sunshine ship its self and the way it is run, is i think very much in need of some changes being made to improve the overall experience for it's passengers. Esspecially the safty drill before departure, a shocking waste of time and extreamly stressful, with the objective of making passengers aware of the safety evacuation and the appropreat use of life jackets serverly lacking and a big fail in its purpose. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We spent a week in Walt Disney World prior to our cruise. This time of year Florida has outbreaks of Love-bugs. Some years bugs are worse than others this year is kind of bad. This is not our first time in the Orlando area, but our first ... Read More
We spent a week in Walt Disney World prior to our cruise. This time of year Florida has outbreaks of Love-bugs. Some years bugs are worse than others this year is kind of bad. This is not our first time in the Orlando area, but our first time out of Port Canaveral and the Carnival Sunshine. Embarkation went smoothly, we showed up at our scheduled time and walked right on to the ship. The first impression of the atrium was it was dark and old casino' ish looking. The ship was not ugly, just older style appearance. We went out on deck only to notice many lovebugs have infested the ship. We just figured the bugs would go away once we were at sea. Our biggest disappointment was the condition of our room. Although the room was clean the decor is well worn and in need of replacement. The countertops appeared to be cleaned with a brillo pad. Another unsightly area was the balcony. There was paint splatter all over the chairs and floor. I love Blue Iguana and Guys Burger Joint, but the quality has gone down tremendously. Every Breakfast burrito I had the sausage was cold and every Guy's Burger I had was way overcooked. We really enjoyed most of the staff, especially our room steward and the folks at the Shake and Coffee bar. We ate at JiJi's Asian Kitchen, Bonsai sushi, Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse, Cucina Del Capitano, and the Pizza place. All were great and enjoyed very much! The buffet on the Sunshine is extremely limited and is not that good, at least the attempt we made to have a good meal. Comedy shows were all funny and very entertaining as was the 70's show. Mikey the cruise director did his job very well, but Schwartz is still our favorite. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Filthy ship, now have a horrible cold. food sucked, kids ran rampant, young drunks everywhere. 1st and last time on a carnival cruise. Had to wait in a line for anytime dining just to get a table assigned and then go downstairs to the ... Read More
Filthy ship, now have a horrible cold. food sucked, kids ran rampant, young drunks everywhere. 1st and last time on a carnival cruise. Had to wait in a line for anytime dining just to get a table assigned and then go downstairs to the dining room to request seating. What????? How stupid. Cabin service was offered only once a day either am or pm. so once you go to the crowded pools with a bunch of drunks and yelling kids you have to wait until the next day to get a dry towel. food was horrible, dry, cold, no flavor etc. Pool areas were occupied by tons of young fall down loud drunks. Having taken cruises on celebrity, royal caribbean and holland, this was the most disappointing experience and a total waste of money. I will never again go on a carnival cruise even if it was free. NEVER AGAIN Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I chose this cruise, after 26 years of working on NYE, I wanted to spend with spouse without working. The inside spa room was roomy for 2. THis room was so close to the outside deck and food. This ship is big and sometimes I did feel ... Read More
I chose this cruise, after 26 years of working on NYE, I wanted to spend with spouse without working. The inside spa room was roomy for 2. THis room was so close to the outside deck and food. This ship is big and sometimes I did feel overwhelmed, just moved inside or went to serenity decks, which is 3 decks high. I will go on a NYE cruise again! The Steakhouse was the best thing we did and went to. Just make sure NOT to eat before hand. There are plenty of different places to eat and YES you will eat all the time. I always saw workers cleaning the rails early and every time I saw them cleaning and they were never mad at us and always polite. This ship was clean for a 1996 year old ship. Thanks for an awesome time and will be back soon. Bon voyage! Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
The cruise did not start well there was a problem with one of the motors so we did not leave till 3 hours after when we were expected to. This was just the start of problems to come i purchased the drink package which was nice they had a ... Read More
The cruise did not start well there was a problem with one of the motors so we did not leave till 3 hours after when we were expected to. This was just the start of problems to come i purchased the drink package which was nice they had a good selection of liquor. But you get cut off after 15 drinks for the day and are not even able to purchase any more you would think this would happen every often but it happened every day also you have to wait 5 minutes between drinks. The food around the ship was pretty good but not in the dinning room it was terrible i went 3 nights it was bad every time and it seemed like they were in a huge rush to get you in and out as fast as possible. Also if you plan on watching anything on tv like any kind of game forget about it the tv in the stateroom had like 6 channels that were in English and 3 of them were cnn they have a espn bar on the ship that is always packed unless u get up at 9 in the morning to save a spot u will never get a seat that plays games but there is no espn in the stateroom that was very annoying. The ship was late to every port and everything seamed very unorganized. The cabin was very small which is to be expected but did not have a couch like most royal Caribbean ships have. At last leaving the ship was terrible we were late leaving the ship and for at least over an hour they had only one person scanning cards to let people off the ship Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We flew to Florida and spent one night before we went to the ship. Our hotel was ok but we later found out from another long time cruiser that we paid about 300.00 more than we should have for transportation. Lesson learned on how to do ... Read More
We flew to Florida and spent one night before we went to the ship. Our hotel was ok but we later found out from another long time cruiser that we paid about 300.00 more than we should have for transportation. Lesson learned on how to do that part without shuttle costs :( I cant say enough about how smoothly the embarkation and disembarkation went. We were three people and literally never hit a glitch over the ten day trip as far as customer service with Carnival. The ship, Sunshine, was our second trip and we liked the Carnival Glory far more than we liked the Sunshine. That being said, the ship was spotless. Our steward, Pedro, was friendly and so helpful. Every single person working on the ship was friendly and not one single time did I ever see a member of the staff that they were not working their fingers off. You couldnt sit a glass down that someone didnt appear out of nowhere to either take it to refill or offer to clean it from your area. The staff is so amazing ! The ship was perfect for our 11 year old. He loved the freedom and safety he felt and says he wants a cruise every year for Christmas and his birthday. We talked to dozens of people who had taken loads of cruises prior to this one and they all assured me that the horrible turbulence (not sure what the cruise word is for that, lol) that we experienced on the ship was very unusual. The whole trip down to our first port was so horrible as far as the boat movement. If we had gone on this particular cruise first we would probably never cruise again. But other guests kept telling us that they had been on dozens of other ones and this was the worst sea that they had ever experienced. There were times that you would wake up and fall from your bed. The bathroom door rocked open and closed all day and night. We hated that part and thank Gosh I took sea sickness patches with us. My 11 year old got sick once and I did as well. But again, everyone said that was very unusual and must have just been a freak weather situation that caused the sea to be so violent during this trip. If I had to make any complaints at all it would be with one of our excursions. We went out on a vessel that broke down on the ocean. It lost one of its engines. The guys dropped us off at a close by beach and we called for a taxi to come and get us so that we would not have to waist our day on St. Maarten or miss seeing the airplanes fly over. If I could give the ship any advice I would say that on the Glory last year they ran two movies in the evening on deck, one for PG or below and one after 9 pm for adults or people who didnt mind their kids hearing "F" or "GD" during a movie. I cuss, I do, but my 11 year old attends Christian school and he came and found me a half hour into the movie and said he didnt want to watch it and when I asked why he said that it was not appropriate for kids. LOL It would just be nice if they picked movies that were more kid friendly if they are going to show them on the big screen on deck where all the kids are playing. Especially if they start them at 6 in the evening. It is not a deal breaker but would be nice if they thought of that. Loved Grand Turk's port. It was the most easy and relaxing as they built it custom for the cruisers. Get off, lay down and enjoy paradise. San Juan was beautiful. We went out on our own by Taxi and enjoyed it in spite of the extreme walking we did that day :) Saint Kitts is probably my favorite of all the ports I have ever seen. It took my breath away the first time I saw it. Would repeat that location again for sure on a future cruise. And whatever you do, take the mini speedboat excursions ! Oh they were so fun and the guys on the excursion were so fun. Emma the ship Cruise Director was so full of energy and super fun to watch. We giggled that she must do crack between sets because she had so much energy in spite of the fact that it appeared to us she couldnt possibly ever sleep :) Our cabin was 2136 and we had me, my husband and an 11 year old and there were more than enough places for all three of us to take a seat and relax while in the room. Our Steward called us by name and kept up our room like it was his only job. At the end of the trip I found out that my 11 year olds favorite thing to do was ride the glass elevator up to Lido while making stupid faces at the man who worked in the art gallery. (grrr) So he was completely shocked when at the end of the trip the guy approached him and gave him an envelope full of prints he didnt sell on the journey. He said, Oh mom, I felt bad for making silly faces at him once I realized how nice he was. Kids, what can ya do with them :) The food was always there, we gained 6 pounds each ! We only used the dinning room one time but that was simply because we loved guys burgers and the 24 hour pizza so much we never had room for the dinning room. We did feel like they needed far more hot tub and swimming pools than they offer on this boat. There were dozens of times that they had the adult hot tub closed and both the Lido deck hot tubs would be closed on many occasions. I could never understand that part as I felt that with all the people that were on the ship they should do the maintenance at night while the majority of guests would be asleep. I am searching for our next trip to start planning and we will stick with Carnival until we just cant find a location that we have visited before or are sick of. I completely would and have recommended it to others. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
I'm sure it was the tension on the window you heard the tap tap all day and night as long as the ship moved. We put pillows and comforters to try and muffle the sound. The comedy club is way to small. the main theater is way to ... Read More
I'm sure it was the tension on the window you heard the tap tap all day and night as long as the ship moved. We put pillows and comforters to try and muffle the sound. The comedy club is way to small. the main theater is way to small. Not that the shows were any good that they put on. It was a joke of a cruise if you have cruised before then you know the difference. I've been cruising since 1992 my husband and I take 2-3 cruises a year. We have traveler on other lines but settle on carnival as our main one due to the excellent service we used to received. This last one has us completely turned off. When we got back on Monday the 26th of December, we both agreed to cancel the reservations we had for our March cruise. which by the way they charged me $500 to do. Their example of Christmas was a 6 ft tree in the A-trim pressed against the elevators. I have been on ships where the tree reached almost to the top of the A-trim. The food was bad to say the least. We brought our daughter on the cruise this year two days on the ship she was throwing up and sick to her stomach for 3 days me and my husband just eat salads. When we played in the casino which was one the few things to do on this ship, one of the worst cruise directors yet. Shows were far below the usual standard of carnival. Any way I was at the roulette table and one of the players asked the guy spinning the wheel don't you feel bad about taking our money, he reply was I have to be here until 5. What a joke! My daughter went down to pay on her card and they discounted her from our card and shut her down. Good old customer service. This was an 8 day cruise on day 6 my husband got sick and passed it on to me by day 8. Now I'm waiting for the doctor to come back with the blood work. I forgot about our Embarkation it should have set off an alarm that this was going to be a bad cruise. They pulled my husband aside and told him he had to wait to be hand scan, we waited 30 minutes and no one come over we finally had my husband take off his belt and show and go back through our self's What a night mare. Never again will I sail with carnival, nor will I ever remand it again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
I have cruised the Sunshine previously with a friend for a seminar. When I got home I raved about it so much, this time went with my hubby and a group we put together. Everyone had rave reviews. Food was fantastic, Alchemy Bar lots of ... Read More
I have cruised the Sunshine previously with a friend for a seminar. When I got home I raved about it so much, this time went with my hubby and a group we put together. Everyone had rave reviews. Food was fantastic, Alchemy Bar lots of fun, Staff was beyond great, with the exception of two at the Lido buffet. Hasbro game show is a lot of fun for all ages. We came home so relaxed. We did get FTTF for the first time and well worth it! There were a few glitches with the FTTF getting off in port, but Guest Services was aware an made things right. The bed itself was very comfortable and we slept well, except our room was over the Ocean Plaza and the bands music was loud & clear in our room. We have been on over 20 cruises with 6 cruise lines. This was my 4th with Carnival. Would recommend this ship to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This is my 4th Carnival Cruise. I honestly cannot figure out why I have read so many bad reviews about this ship. The service was impeccable-the staff remembered our names and really made us feel special. The activities were ... Read More
This is my 4th Carnival Cruise. I honestly cannot figure out why I have read so many bad reviews about this ship. The service was impeccable-the staff remembered our names and really made us feel special. The activities were entertaining. We had an aft extended balcony on the 5th floor and it was more spacious than I expected. We did have a fridge in our room. The food was good. My daughter especially loved Camp Carnival and the waterslides and met tons of new friends. We were never bored. The serenity deck was relaxing. It seems like there have been some cutbacks, but nothing that would effect the experience. Smaller portion sizes-so what? I can't eat that much anyway and you can always order more or even a second entrée. The ship was clean. I guess my only real complaint is that the casino is very smoky. However any casino I have ever been to stateside has the same issue. You will not find different on any other cruise line. We love Carnival and will continue cruising with this line in the future. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Went out of Port Canaveral two days after Thanksgiving and my firstr time on Sunshine altho I had cruised on Destiny 2 times. I liked what they had done during the changeover and the hallways and cabins doors made more of a nautical feel. ... Read More
Went out of Port Canaveral two days after Thanksgiving and my firstr time on Sunshine altho I had cruised on Destiny 2 times. I liked what they had done during the changeover and the hallways and cabins doors made more of a nautical feel. Serenity area was amazing and hope Carnival goes to this in the future. There was some bottlenecks around the Guys and Cantina but manageable. Can't stop people from stopping in the middle of a walkway to discuss where to go or what to do. Only ate at MDR once for lobster and had your time dining and felt it worked out fine. The redesign of the Lido Buffet was really nice and much easier to get around to get food. Red Frog Pub was dead but Ocean Plaza had music often and was enjoyable. Do not go to shows so can't comment there. We had great weather which helps make a cruise special. My first cruise as platinum so no problem getting on or off ship and easy tender for Belize. I loved the ports and i prefer the smaller ships but Sunshine is now one of my favorites, not too larger but they it the mark on the redesign, glad I finally got a chance to sail on her. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We chose the cruise for the itinerary as we'd never been to Belize. It is also only an hour from where we live and we looked forward to the short drive. I think my 'booking agent' (husband) said he got a pretty good price on ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the itinerary as we'd never been to Belize. It is also only an hour from where we live and we looked forward to the short drive. I think my 'booking agent' (husband) said he got a pretty good price on a suite. Only the second time we have ever had a suite, the other being a Costa ship. We are Diamond on RCCL and we think their newer ships are beautifully decorated. Sunshine had cheery hallways with large, Florida style wall art. Maybe that is why the hallways always were so noisy - too cheerful and bright. With the suite, came priority checkin which was really nice because there were long lines outside. Our room was also ready for us so we went right up. The room size was generous and we didn't use all of the drawers or closets. We had all ready been warned on 'Shipmates' about the one wall socket, but we had another in the dressing area. The bathroom had a jetted tub/shower. If you don't like stepping over the tub to get to the shower, this isn't for you. There was a rubber mat, however, so it wasn't slippery. I just love the toilet paper that slides onto an "L" shaped holder, so every time you pull off a strip it flies off across the room! The only room amenity, aside from size, was two complimentary liters of water which were too big to carry off ship, so we only used one. There wasn't any conditioner or lotion but there was gel and shampoo in dispensers in the shower. There were also two robes of nice quality and upgraded design and one tray of cookies. (Very good, I was hoping for more.) We were glad that the draperies were heavy, fully dark and closed ALL the way, to keep our that Caribbean sunshine in the mornings! Our cabin steward, Penny, was delightful. She always remembered our name and she was so upbeat all the time. This is the first trip where we have had a different towel animal every night. Those must take so long to fold and arrange. We were glad to see that Penny had a helper. The other cruises we've done have been cutting back on that and that makes them even more over-worked. Part of the enjoyable experience was the couple at our early dining table. We had fun every evening with them. Again, other lines are doing away with Assigned Dining and we miss that. We joke that we get to see each other 24-7 and we go on cruises to meet people! Someone mentioned 'no coffee' at dinner and we had it every night. Not as good as the Seattle's Best served on other ships. We didn't do any of the entertainment except the comedians. We especially liked Jim Brick and a movie outdoors which is a fun way to see even a bad movie - Independence Day - Resurgence. One other thing we did was splurge on the Unlimited Beverage package. It was fun to try new drinks when price was no object. There were plenty of bars, but we didn't particularly like any of the options. There wasn't a Champagne Bar for an intimate atmosphere. Again, we were looking for some of the options that we have had on other ships. The Norwegian Escape has a beautiful outdoor seating area along one whole deck. It had a bar that opened at noon, and really comfy chairs for reading. It's all personal preference and the more you sail the more you will have to compare to. There is nothing ever really BAD about cruising. Beats cooking at home! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We have sailed the same itinerary twice now (Roatan, Costa Maya, Belize, Cozumel) and probably will avoid it in future. Belize is pretty much a yawn after you've done the Mayan ruins excursion. The city is grubby and the port ... Read More
We have sailed the same itinerary twice now (Roatan, Costa Maya, Belize, Cozumel) and probably will avoid it in future. Belize is pretty much a yawn after you've done the Mayan ruins excursion. The city is grubby and the port area shopping full of the usual suspects. Costa Maya is improving, but there still isn't much to do other than beach-related and booze-related activities. Roatan is a pearl if you like free beach chairs and a pretty decent free snorkeling area. Nice place to laze away a day. Cozumel is the highlight of the trip if you like to bargain in the shops or spend a day at Chakanab. As to the ship, I love the Carnival Sunshine. Its biggest defect is the relatively tiny Limelight Lounge, where the comedy shows take place. Food is good and varied (the steakhouse and JiJis are absolute must) and the dining room menu seems always to include something delicious. We had prime rib two nights and we're not disappointed. We did not attend any of the big shows this time as they were essentially the ones we had seen on previous cruises. A word: Chris the Flying Scotsman (the cruise director) is extremely high energy and fun (if exhausting) to watch. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We chose this cruise for the price and itinerary. We booked the forward hallway rooms (6101, 6103, etc) Traveled with several people, children included, and we are all agree there are some things we like and some things we did not. ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the price and itinerary. We booked the forward hallway rooms (6101, 6103, etc) Traveled with several people, children included, and we are all agree there are some things we like and some things we did not. Bottom line we would not cruise Carnival again. Day 1 Port Canaveral - boarding was seamless; allowed on an hour early; directed to pool area where music and cocktails were in full swing. It was announced room would be ready by 1:00. When we went to our rooms around that time, not even close to being ready. Hallway filthy, rooms still dirty from prior guests. Did not receive luggage until after 6:00. While it was nice to get on board early, they clearly were not ready and a little gross. Nonetheless, it is still amazing how they turn the boat over that quickly: food, linens, rooms, etc. so hats off for that. Location of rooms for us we excellent. Quiet, private. Rooms are definately tight but worth it. We book two rooms because we like having two bathrooms with three kids. Inkar was great. Day 1, food was excellent, drinks well liquored. One huge complaint for us is the entire main stairwell reeks of cigarette smoke from casino. You end up having to cut through the casino a lot bec of it's location. Obviously you can avoid but going up or down a floor and around it. Day 2 at Sea - a lot of activities; food again was great; desserts at dinner aren't the greatest. Motown show highly recommend. We had the early seating for dinner. Food was very good. Staff was accommodating with drink pkg. Not everyone in our party had bottomless bubbles or the drink pkg but we were still able to get drinks at dinner or around pool no problem. Day 3 We aren't big on the buffet. Havana omelet station was great; Blue Iguana breakfast burritos awesome. water leak in hallway near elevators started. Giant fans were constantly blowing in hall to dry out carpet. Loud. I think this is the days we did the Mahogany Bag. We rented golf carts outside port and drove to beach. Overall not bad, a little honky tonk with street vendors almost harrassing us literally every 5 minutes. Service was good, cervesa cheap, water clean, kayaks free. our teenagers drove golf carts back to port. About 15 minutes. No driving rules so that was a highlight for them. Day 4 Belize snorkeling tour with private island/beach. I'd give snorkeling a 2/5. Entertainment on the "catamaran" which was not a catamaran at all a 5/5 and Starfish Island a 6/5! Bull E on tender was very entertaining. Snorkeling was in the open ocean, very rough, didn't see much of anything. The crew floated around the group in kayaks so if someone, especially the kids, got winded or wanted to go back on the tender, they were there in seconds to get you on kayak and back on boat. Starfish Island was just clean, quiet, relaxing, there was a starfish farm the kids loved. Of course, ladies braiding hair but no pressure to buy or do anything. Day 5 Costa Maya (this may have been day 4) we booked beach and kayak. Perfect day. Inexpensive. Could take chairlift or walk back to boat if you really wanted to eat onboard. There were a few bars/food on the beach. Water was nice. The kayak was well worth it. Turtle farm on backside of island. Guides were awesome. Free. I would not pay for chairlift, however. The walk to boat is not that long. There is a nice nature path you can take either way or just stay on the main paved road. I thought chair lift was right near the boat when we disembarked. However, you do have to walk at least half way to the beach to board the chairlift (about 10 min). So in my opinion, you may as well just walk another 10 minutes to beach. We weren't the first ones their but if your persistent enough, you can find clam chairs at the shore line. Our guide kept trying to sit us in the middle...ugh Last day in Conzumel we booked our excursion to Xplor. Mixed reviews about this one. Zip lining was great but a ton of walking up hills and stairs. Left Carnival Sunshine on time for about a 10 min walk to ferry. Ferry was at least 30 min to mainlain; then another 30 minutes on a tour bus to park. I've read other reviews who say their tour guide was awesome. Ours not so much. Kind of just direcited from place to place but we lost track of him towards the end of the day and almost missed the tour bus back to ferry! Overall, it's a lot of walking in general, fast paced because you are only there for a certain amount of time, Very clean. Lunch at the park was an open buffet and was absolutely delicious. Guests being allowed to smoke at such a nice, natural environment park, was a minus. The jeep ride that was supposed to be amphibious vehicles never accessed the caves/water. They were blocked off so we were restricted to the trails only. Very disappointing. Would expect a little more direction from guide based on other reviews. DISEMBARKING was easy. However we booked an inexpensive bus shuttle "go port canaveral" for $14.50 one way. We kept our luggage the night before so we can just walk off boat early. Think we had a 12:30 flight. Got curbside around 8:15. But didn't show for at least an hour or so. The woman checking us in was EXTREMELY rude. Once bus arrived, we boarded and arrived no problem at airport. But was fine, clean, no problems, wheels round not square as anticipated! Overall Carnival Sunshine review: food, entertainment was 5/5 Smoking, cleanliness a huge minus for us 1/5 Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
The Carnival Sunshine is a make-over of the Carnival Destiny. I am Platinum card holder with Carnival and have sailed on the Destiny in the past. Here are some pros & cons of the make-over. Pros - Sports Deck (waterslides and ... Read More
The Carnival Sunshine is a make-over of the Carnival Destiny. I am Platinum card holder with Carnival and have sailed on the Destiny in the past. Here are some pros & cons of the make-over. Pros - Sports Deck (waterslides and kid's fun area) and serenity decks. Cons are: old lounge area for the Punchliner was converted into rooms, forcing lots of people into the smaller Limelight lounge, narrow passageways near Guy's Burger Joint and Blue Iguana Cantina, and removal of passageway on Deck 5 that bypassed the casino. Some other problems were people smoking on their balconies, standing water on our balcony, too much smoke in the casino and on deck 5. Several cruises I have been on have casino hours for non-smokers. But the ventilation system is inadequate for the amount of smokers in the casino. I also noticed quite a bit of corrosion/rust at the aft exterior of the ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
I have sailed on 3 other Carnival cruises in the past but this time I was traveling with my adult children and my husband. Overall the ship is very clean and well maintained, but be prepared to be herded on. Several years ago, Carnival ... Read More
I have sailed on 3 other Carnival cruises in the past but this time I was traveling with my adult children and my husband. Overall the ship is very clean and well maintained, but be prepared to be herded on. Several years ago, Carnival decided to add a water park to the ship as well as approximately 150 more rooms. The water park probably looked liked a great idea on paper but the reality is that is not used very often, so the 1 and only main pool is super full. We spent most of our time on the boat just trying to find a chair to seat in. The buffet area was the same, 20-30 minutes of your time is spent just trying to locate a table. The food at the buffet was always lukewarm and not a lot of choices, by the time you got back to your table the food would be cold. In addition, the buffet area was very small in comparison to the crowds, approximately 2700 passengers. My family spent a lot of time in lines for pizza, sandwiches, drinks, going up or down stairs, using the elevator or just trying to visit the ports of call. While the employees did their very best to manage the crowds they looked lost and overwhelmed and down right tired. Our cabins were very nice and were great full we had paid for the balcony rooms. The ship had lots of onboard activities but they were usually crowded. I will continue to cruise with Carnival but just not on this ship, just too full. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We'd never been to Roatan or Belize so we tried this cruise. We've cruised Carnival before, including Sunshine. We'd love more time on Roatan, but Belize, at least the little we saw, is a place we don't want to visit ... Read More
We'd never been to Roatan or Belize so we tried this cruise. We've cruised Carnival before, including Sunshine. We'd love more time on Roatan, but Belize, at least the little we saw, is a place we don't want to visit again. The crew was great. The food was better than we expected and Ausrine, Putu, and Pande gave us great service and made dinner fun. Our excursion to the Mayan ruins of Chacchoban with Guide Daniel was excellent; we highly recommend him and the tour. Our cabin was on the first deck, #1605. It was so noisy I couldn't sleep. Customer Service Rep. Irena was fantastic about finding us another cabin that was quiet. Our steward Ikhwan was great. A lot of our time onboard was spent waiting. The emergency drill lasted far longer than any drill we ever went thru and the crew seemed to lack experience or direction. Our jokes over standing in line for so long turned to concern over what would happen in a real emergency. We waited over an hour to be escorted to our excursion. We waited outside locked doors for over 20 minutes to enter the comedy club and to go to an art auction. We waited over an hour for a tender to get to Belize. Worst was the total chaos at disembarkation. We've left many ships, including the Sunshine, and we never saw a mess like this. We were told to proceed to Deck 3 with our luggage. We did and found ourselves in a mob. The elevator lobby was crammed, people continued to arrive from upstairs, from downstairs, and by elevator but no one could leave the lobby because of a bottleneck somewhere else on Deck 3. Children were crying, people were tottering, and there wasn't a crew member in sight. Once we did begin to trickle toward the exit, we saw people with disabilities being told to move against the flow of traffic in order to be "assisted". We spent an hour from arriving in the elevator lobby to getting out to the ship's ramps. It was a dangerous situation that should never have happened. Shame on Carnival. Our cabin window leaked. Our toilet sometimes malfunctioned. There was often a bad odor in the hall. People were stuck in an elevator. They ran out of coffee one morning and out of hamburgers the next day. We think the crew did all they could to keep the passengers happy. The problems we saw all seemed to stem from corporate/management levels. We have a family reunion already booked on another Carnival ship this spring, but if it's no better than the cruise we just left, we'll give up on Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Our room had a smell from plumbing. The rooms were nicely decorated but we're generally old and needed refreshing. Food was mixed. Some was great and some inedible (prime rib, for example). Wait staff was great but overworked. Coffee ... Read More
Our room had a smell from plumbing. The rooms were nicely decorated but we're generally old and needed refreshing. Food was mixed. Some was great and some inedible (prime rib, for example). Wait staff was great but overworked. Coffee was low quality but due to overworked status of the wait staff, it was not offered at dinner anyway. There were way too many kids on the ship. Good entertainment but some parents took babies to shows that were very loud. The babies were holding their ears. Carnival might do well to put a warning to parents who are too stupid to protect the children on their own. No doubt these children will have hearing loss as adults. Better yet, prohibit children under a certain age from attending loud performances. It was very sad to see a child of 18 months or so holding her ears due to the loud decibel level. We went with friends and they were upgraded but we were not offered the same. This felt arbitrary. We thought that upgrading 3 cabins and not upgrading the 4th member of the group reflected carelessness on the part of Carnival for not offering the same to us. Overall, a poor experience for us. We got the impression that Carnival (the company) didn't care about us. Would not recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
My husband had a Carnival Premier Cruise, a casino offer and we chose the 8 day on the Carnival Sunshine for April 8th was offered from Port Canaveral. We have been on this ship before and the dining options and the Serenity Deck are ... Read More
My husband had a Carnival Premier Cruise, a casino offer and we chose the 8 day on the Carnival Sunshine for April 8th was offered from Port Canaveral. We have been on this ship before and the dining options and the Serenity Deck are wonderful. It was our first Premier cruise and it came with lots of perks. We had a porthole room on a lower floor with a twin bed and couch, which our steward, Augustus pushed into a king bed, which I did not expect was an option. The weather was wonderful, we enjoyed our 3 ports, two of which we took a city tour and had wonderful tour guides, We toured on our own Grand Turk, we had planned on going to beach right off dock, but we were too sunburned--went back to ship and enjoyed a more quite ship. Our dining service team was very very slow, but we had a group of 4 other couples which we enjoyed so much, we didn't mind the slow servers much. The food on this ship is very very good, and there are so many alternate places to chose, all very good. The entertainment was great, lots of activities for the Premier Player Club, lots of things to do. Embarkation was efficient and fast, disembarkation was slow, we had to go to Nassau to treat a sick ship employee and then we had a bad storm which delayed getting to port by 3 hours--but we drove, so not a problem for us, we live in Florida. Our cruise director, DONKEY Chris Salazar was great. We had a wonderful time, we are Platinum status, love Carnival cruises. What a great bang for your buck!! Not a better deal, anywhere, in our opinions!!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This is our 3rd time with Carnival. Overall we had a very good experience. We used a separate transfer service because of our flight times. The embarkation and debarkation processes were smooth and the wait was no longer than we should ... Read More
This is our 3rd time with Carnival. Overall we had a very good experience. We used a separate transfer service because of our flight times. The embarkation and debarkation processes were smooth and the wait was no longer than we should expect for the number of people. Both took about 45 minutes and were very organized. No problems with our room or cleanliness. One complaint we had was one excursion where we were told to wait in the lounge and ended up waiting almost an hour, apparently not the fault of Carnival but the tour people--but we were not told why we were waiting so long, so an announcement to the group would have been appreciated. Dining was fine--food was average to excellent. We saw 2 comedy shows and a magician, all were good shows. The cruise director was cheerful and fun. We weren't crazy about the layout of this ship. We spent a lot of time detouring around the casino to avoid the smoke. We would definitely use Carnival again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
After reading so many negative reviews about Sunshine, I was a little worried about taking this cruise. Being a frequent cruiser on Carnival (platinum), RCCL, and NCL and having few bad experiences, really wasn't sure I wanted to ... Read More
After reading so many negative reviews about Sunshine, I was a little worried about taking this cruise. Being a frequent cruiser on Carnival (platinum), RCCL, and NCL and having few bad experiences, really wasn't sure I wanted to take a chance on Sunshine. Glad I did! My husband, sister, son and dil went as well and I think I can also speak for them. Arrived at port about 10:30 after parking our car at off site cruise parking. We did have to wait about an hour before boarding the ship. Didn't check to see if our cabin was clean just went to Lido deck. Our favorite meeting place was the Havana Bar. Never found it crowded and always very clean in fact sparkling clean. On no other ship have I found the crew to be more helpful and friendly in every way. The Havana Bar is all the way to the back of the ship. You will find pasta at lunch as well as Asian. I loved the samples of Cuban food which were located by the bar. The marketplace was laid out so that there were no long lines even on sea days. There was a good assortment of food but I have to say that I'm not really a buffet person. Some people mentioned that the doorways were crowed. I did notice that if people did not stay in a single line, it was difficult to pass them. I can also see that for people with scooters, it would be a challenge. For people that were not challenged with mobility issues I didn't see a problem. The lido area was smaller that other ships that I've been on but there were always chairs available. The serenity deck was very large and chairs were always available there as well. Didn't spend a lot of time on the lido deck because I got too much sun the first day and we had four ports to visit. I really like sea days and found myself tired having four ports together. Now to our cabin. My sister shared a balcony cabin with my husband and myself. They took the sofa and made it into a bed which worked out nicely. We had enough room and did spend a good deal of time on the balcony. Would not have been a good choice if we had not had a balcony room. My husband and I are in our 60's and my sisters is 77. Our cabin steward was very attentive and helpful in every way. Our room was always clean and we always had ice. Shower was larger than inside rooms I've had in the past. Everything had been update and was clean with no wear noted. Did notice a little rust on the balcony but with all the sea breeze would have expected that. We ate in the dining room three nights and the service was excellent. Francis was our server after we asked to stay with him after the first night. We had MTD and found it better checking in at the taste bar because if you needed to get a beeper and you could wait comfortably until time to go down one level to the dining room. It was never crowded at the entrance, you just walked right in. The food was very good and always hot. My husband is vegetarian and Francis went out of his way to find something that he liked every night. One night there was an incident that was handled very efficiently when two servers crashed into each other coming around a corner and glass went everywhere. Everything had to be removed from our table and we had to start over but it went quickly. If you don't want to take your time and enjoy the atmosphere of the dining room it could seem like a long time to wait for your food. It was enjoyable for us because we had a lot to talk about and share. We dined in the La Cuccina on two nights and found it exceptional. Enjoyed it more than the steakhouse on previous cruises. On both nights had the chicken parmigian but did taste other entrees that were very good. The tiramisu is the best I've ever eaten anywhere. On other occasions, had Guy's Burgers and burrito bar. Tried the pizza but it wasn't as good as it used to be. I always preferred the thick crust but it seems a little soggy now even though it's thin. Didn't use the spa services. Didn't go to shows or comedy club. Did spend time in the casino and saw people winning frequently. Didn't get so lucky myself. As far as excursions, my sister did the ruins in Costa Maya and felt like it was well worth it. The rest of us took a taxi to Mahaual. We didn't get all the way into town before were convinced to stop @ a beach club for the all you can drink, plate of food, beach chair, umbrella, etc. It was a very good deal and they did massages on the beach for $20. The deal was also $20 total plus tips. It was right next to senor frog's beach retreat. Rahul treated us well but I have to say I'm glad my husband was with us because he doesn't drink and I needed him getting back to the ship. The second port was Roatan. I've been there many times so we just went to the beach to the right of the ship. I won't do that again. It was crowded and the water is just not clear with so many people. In Belize we just walked around. We did go out of the gates to walk downtown. It gave my son and his wife a look at how people really live there. I would never do it in the evening because it did look a little shady. We ended up at the Wet Lizard for a few cold beers. In Cozumel we took a taxi downtown and shopped a little bit. We ate conch fritters down at the end of the pier that were good. Back on the ship, I was impressed with the sports area. There were pool tables, golf and ropes course. I felt like this was a great cruise and would definitely go again. We did the self debarkation and got off the ship earlier that ever before. We were driving home @ 9:30 and that was even with catching the shuttle back to our car. Will definitely do that again! Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
WE chose this particular cruise because of our great experience on 4 other carnival cruises and it went to new ports for us. The ship was not as well maintained as we expected, the food was not as good and wait staff was very ... Read More
WE chose this particular cruise because of our great experience on 4 other carnival cruises and it went to new ports for us. The ship was not as well maintained as we expected, the food was not as good and wait staff was very disappointing to the point I spoke to a matre`d for the only time in 12 cruises. first night at diner the waiter introduced himself and disappeared, the rest of the diner was handled by the 3rd in line. we didn't get drinks and never offered desert - waiting over an hour for the meal. - the nights after that only were marginally better after speaking to the matre`d as the waiter was then overly sweet but still not great at taking care of our table. wishing we would have requested to move sections looking back. the ship had gone thru a major refit and I could not see where any improvements were made (must have been in suites or other areas not visited) the ship is not easy to get around, if you leave the comedy club (which we loved on the 2 splendor cruises) you had to go up decks to go around the club to get to the same deck on the ship. This is the only bad experience we have had with Carnival and are gold members - and have vowed never to go on the sunshine again. This review is a year later and I am still disappointed haven taken 3 more cruises now on other lines. I am sure we will travel at some point with Carnival again when the disappointment from this one wears off a little. We have taken several cruises from new york as it is closest but will not be using the port until the Sunshine is moved somewhere else Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
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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