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50 Carnival Venice Cruise Reviews

embarkation was a chaotic; late sailing need 3 tugs to get out of the port. Needed arms like Popeyes to open cabin and balcony doors. Balcony door has to be shut at all times or alarm sounds. Cruise with the balcony door open is a ... Read More
embarkation was a chaotic; late sailing need 3 tugs to get out of the port. Needed arms like Popeyes to open cabin and balcony doors. Balcony door has to be shut at all times or alarm sounds. Cruise with the balcony door open is a highlight for us, but not possible on the vista. When next cabin door slams our heads bounce off the beds headboard! Aircon cannot be switch off. TV only worked when it felt like it. Not enough wardrobe space for a two week cruise. Not only was the piped music terrible but constantly repeating of the same tracks of either old Motown, jazzed up 50/60's standards or brash R and B. Cruise Directors use of tannoy was a unitelliable gabble. Had to line up for everything; food, dining room(never opened on time for 8.15 pm sitting, get on or off the ship, booking trips, customer service desk. Library had a bar in it! Atrium was univiting; decor and furnishing bleak. Stage shows not for international passengers Swimming pools size and quantity for 4000 non swimmers only. GOOD THiNGS Crew top to bottom are ace quality of food is excellent, although repetitive decks and deck activities with the exception of swimming All ports of call, with exception of Polermo (graffiti capital of Europe) Ships stability Kens singing in the reflections dining room Open air cinema Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
. Brand new big ship Carnival Vista, first sailing. Nice itinerary, some countries we didn't visit before. Fair price. Vista disembarked from Trieste. Some challenge to get from Venice airport to Trieste.There is trains and buses ... Read More
. Brand new big ship Carnival Vista, first sailing. Nice itinerary, some countries we didn't visit before. Fair price. Vista disembarked from Trieste. Some challenge to get from Venice airport to Trieste.There is trains and buses but not from airport and schedule is limited. Best way we fount was private taxi,which met two of us in airport (after great communication on internet) We got there in 1 h for 180 Euro.Cruise transfer by bus was much more (sorry, don't remember exact rate). We been disappointed with the ship's appearance and very poor interior design for new modern ship, worse of 10+ ships we been on. Absolutely ridiculous main theater, too small for such a big ship and not the best architectural decision (half of people couldn't see.anything). Food was decent at main restaurant and Windmare Cafe. Entertainment was very average (2 big production shows was good), no any live music and activities on a deck. Not consistent live music quality all over theship, some was good, some not even average). Weather was cold for May in South Europe with some rains which didn't help to enjoy cruise.. Special thanks to all crew. Everyone was amazing ; stewards, restaurant's and food courts workers, customer service department. We wish them all the best. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Pro's: This itinerary was amazing with 10 ports in the first 12 days. The staff was some of the best I have had in 37 Carnival cruises. The decor is bright and much more appealing them most other ships. The new Lido deck layout with ... Read More
Pro's: This itinerary was amazing with 10 ports in the first 12 days. The staff was some of the best I have had in 37 Carnival cruises. The decor is bright and much more appealing them most other ships. The new Lido deck layout with the buffet (easier to get around). Adding to that the new Havana bar with it's open seating at the back of the ship is great. Con's: Carnival has stayed true to itself by proving that their bottom line is making as much money as they possibly can. They took out the first floor of the main lounge (Liquid Lounge) and inserted more cabins. Now they have a main lounge with 800 seats for 3600 cruisers. If your not there when they open the doors for the shows, then your pretty much out of luck. Also after the shows are over, they open up the Liquid Lounge as the night club. They have moved the rear lounge (where the comedy club is) and moved it to the 4th deck where the bar was just before the dining room. Again, they replaced the area with more cabins. The new comedy club is now 1/4 the size and if you don't get to sit in the front area of the stage don't worry, you can watch the show from the side on a TV! Of course the casino is no better since the have no control and let cruisers smoke anywhere they want, even on the machines that are marked for not smoking. The Steakhouse is also much smaller, so you'd better make a reservation early! The Ocean plaza is way overcrowded. You can't walk down the Promenade deck to the Alchemy bar without having to push your way passed others standing around doing trivia or listening to a band. The serenity deck is great for laying around (if you can get a lounge or chair). If you want one you need to be there and claim your spot by 5am! And don't get a spot in the front area of the serenity deck as it is across from the big screen that plays loud music all day long (so much for serenity)! Water buckets are everywhere in the halls and sewer smells from deck 3 up to deck 5. They seems to have fixed most of the smell problem before we hit New Orleans, but there were still alot of the drip buckets.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Without re-writing most of the other reviews of this ship and itinerary I will restate the highlights and low points of this cruise. Highlights: every single port. Low points: the ship - air conditioning issues, room service over an hour ... Read More
Without re-writing most of the other reviews of this ship and itinerary I will restate the highlights and low points of this cruise. Highlights: every single port. Low points: the ship - air conditioning issues, room service over an hour late four times until we stopped trying, tired, grumpy crew, popoor customer service, bad tasting, luke warm dining room and buffet food (up charge restaurant food and service much better), buckets and dripping ceilings all over the ship, infrequent hand sanitizing stations, dirty common areas and restaurants, foul stench throughout ship from plumbing issues on ship, necessary to walk through cigarette-filled casino to cross ship, and on and on and on. We primarily sail Royal Caribbean, NCL and Disney where customer service are top notch. We only selected this cruise for the lengthy itinerary. You absolutely get what you pay for and less. We found out that carnival saves money by porting in remote ports. We drove over an hour in a few ports to get to attractions when a closer port was available. Tour guides told us carnival ports remotely to cut costs. We will NEVER sail carnival again. Thank goodness we were off the ship from 7:00 am until after 7:00 pm almost every day... Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
SHIP: Everything looks new and clean. With the exception of the vents and cabins (more on that later) SERVICE: Guest services desk was fantastic, we went there a couple of times and they were nice and efficient. Room steward was top ... Read More
SHIP: Everything looks new and clean. With the exception of the vents and cabins (more on that later) SERVICE: Guest services desk was fantastic, we went there a couple of times and they were nice and efficient. Room steward was top notch, great guy. Diner waiter looked lost and brought the wrong dish on 3 different occasions. PORTS: Best itinerary out there, specially if you travel with a senior that dislikes planes and wants to see as much as possible in one trip! FOOD: Possibly the worst selection I've seen on a cruise ship. Poor service in the diner, limited selection in the lido restaurant. More often than not we found ourselves eating the same turkey sandwich at the deli, or a pizza, which were the only decent dishes we can remember. The cakes and sweets in general were terrible. I've got a sweet tooth and I'm not exactly picky about dessert. I like to try a bit of everything but no one in our party found them remotely good. So we had ice cream or "yogurt" every other night...whenever the machine was working. ENTERTAINMENT: Lack of a proper disco makes this cruise a terrible choice if you like to socialize and make new friends. The make-shift theater-disco is a terrible flaw and nobody really wanted to stay there after the main show was over so everyone was at the piano bar. DECK 6: Please avoid deck 6 if you suffer from allergies or sinusitis. We were in a midship cabin. I don't know if the entire ship had this problem but we had some serious amount of dust, lint and FEATHERS falling from the vent...right on top of my bed. Everything was covered in it. Just to test my theory, I left my tablet on top of the vanity; in only 3 days you could easily write your name with the amount of dust in it. It was a nightmare. Our room steward did everything he could to help us but it wasn't his fault. The moment we got in I started sneezing and I was on allergy meds for 12 days, I had to sleep with a napkin on my face (yes one of the diner napkins) to be able to sleep at all. We've been on 11 cruise ships, including the Carnival Destiny, and we never had such a bad experience. Nothing ruins a vacation like getting sick or injured. Also avoid if you're a light sleeper, the Casino is right below, you can hear them vacuuming at night/early morning. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
I have sailed Carnival over 13 times. I am 47 years old and have 5 kids that are platinum on Carnival as well. I am very easy going, and not to picky, My wife and I left the kids at home on this one and tried out the Sunshine. Mainly it ... Read More
I have sailed Carnival over 13 times. I am 47 years old and have 5 kids that are platinum on Carnival as well. I am very easy going, and not to picky, My wife and I left the kids at home on this one and tried out the Sunshine. Mainly it was the itinerary that caught our attention , but also was looking forward to checking out the revamped ship. First off , the itinerary for Europe was amazing, very busy, but got to see most of the biggest highlights in Europe in under 2 weeks. I would highly suggest this itinerary if your going to Europe. Carnival is pulling out, in fact we were the last cruise before Sunshine was going to New Orleans, and they are not returning. I am sure it's about the profit since your off the ship 10 out of 12 days for 8 plus hours. As far as the ship goes, this shows that Carnival is all about the profit. They ripped out many of the common areas so they could shove another 182 rooms on board, Hence more people=more profit. Gone from the very familiar floor 5 is the following. Dance bar. Now the smaller show lounge is being used after the shows Club O2. Now located on different deck and tucked in a corner. Much smaller Comedy club at the back of ship.(this entire area is now cabins) Now down a level and about 1/3rd of the size with about 20% of those seats need to watch on a monitor, No view. Karaoke bar. They still do it just different location Piano bar. Now on floor 4, tucked away and much smaller All of the wonderful couches that used to run the entire side of ship from casino to back bar. Everyone of them and the chairs as well as the windows are gone. Other items that are gone or changed if you are used to Carnival You have to walk thru the middle of the casino, yes even your children. They trace every dollar you bet, even at table games. Each one has a small computer they run your card thru and your seat number to track your betting. No more fish and chips, the upper level of that part of the dining room is gone. No more sushi bar every night at 5-7. It is now a taste bar trying to get you to book an upgraded dinner. No more free cappuccino at dinners, it is a few bucks to upgrade. Laundry for Platinum has been cut down to a few days a week. There is more , but these are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head. The lido deck has changed as well. I think it is a pretty good layout as it does separate the younger kids from the adults. The Serenity area is very large and nice, but only has one hot tube that holds about 10 people, good luck getting in. The sports area for the kids is very cool, with ropes course , putt putt, bb court and pool and ping pong all in the same area. As far as the dining goes. It was average with what I am used to with them. I heard a ton of complaints for returning guests. It may have been the supplier over in Europe, maybe the cause for the food not being as good. But I guess I never expect a 5 star meal when they are cooking for 3k a night. This was probably my last Carnival cruise.(sadly) But with the tremendous cuts they have forced me into trying other cruise lines.(which I have done 4 other cruise lines in the past) But it just feels like what the airlines did to the flying experience, Carnival is doing to the crusing experience, they are ruining it by trying to squeeze every nickel out of their passengers.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
My husband and I just finished the 12 day Mediterranean cruise on the Carnival Sunshine...( sailing sate was 10-21). All in all, we had a wonderful time. As usual the staff and crew were absolutely wonderful. The ports are simply amazing!! ... Read More
My husband and I just finished the 12 day Mediterranean cruise on the Carnival Sunshine...( sailing sate was 10-21). All in all, we had a wonderful time. As usual the staff and crew were absolutely wonderful. The ports are simply amazing!! Such beautiful places, but so little time to enjoy. Our room- We had booked months in advance, and kept watching to see whether the price would decrease. We upgraded our room to the Cloud 9 Spa Deck on deck 12. It was great!! We had access to the spa, which was absolutely wonderful! My husband loved the three different saunas. The staff is very helpful and friendly. The cabin itself, was nice also. Huge patio door which lead to a spacious balcony. The room steward was only seen three times in the whole 12 day cruise. We weren't supplied with ice, or a nice bucket, but we dint mind. Our room was very comfy and was serviced twice daily. The floor leads directly out to the Serenity Deck- which was wonderful. Not crowded and just a great relaxing place to unwind. The only down side about being that high on the boat is elevators can be a little slow. I would definitely do the Spa Deck again. The food/shows/etc- we only went to one show, so I can't honestly judge the full 12 days. The food was great, as usual. We ate at Farenheit 555 one night and it was great. Very nice ambiance and the food was delicious. We also ate at Ji Ji's and the Italian restaurant, ( I can't remember the name). Those three new places are very nice additions to the Carnival food choices. We really liked the latter 2, because we at both of them twice.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
I'm a five time cruiser. This was the best cruise of all five. It was a little port heavy, but I got to see a lot for the money and time. The best part of the ship was the small laundry room. Of course, it was busy while at sea, ... Read More
I'm a five time cruiser. This was the best cruise of all five. It was a little port heavy, but I got to see a lot for the money and time. The best part of the ship was the small laundry room. Of course, it was busy while at sea, but it was great to have clean clothes for more sightseeing. You don't need coins, it operates like everything else on the ship (room card). The ship was a little dated, but everything worked. We had a balcony cabin and it was worth the extra cost. You get to see more of the coastline as you cruise the waters along the Italian coast. If you drink a lot of soft drinks, get the soda card. But, bring your own cup. The ones they give you are small and you have to wait in line to get refills all the time. I'm bringing my own mug next time. There is a rope course, water slides, and mini golf course. Nothing was busy even on sea days. Everything is self serve except the ropes course. A staff member with harness you in. After that you are on your own. You may get stuck behind someone too scared to move, but a staff member will assist them and remove them from the course. Just be patient. The food was as good as any other ship. For desert, get the melted cake. It is AWESOME. The buffet is typical of most ships, but the dining room is much better than average. If you are going to the Med for your cruise and are an experienced traveler in Europe, you might want to skip the shore excursions. They tended to be pricey for what we got. I think they have a partnership with local shops and the meeting points are always in a shop you get stuck in for an hour waiting for your group. Meanwhile, just down the street are shops with merchandise for half the cost. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
We left St. Louis on Fri. Sept. 6th, and arrived in Venice on Sat.,at 9 a.m. and proceeded to our mainland hotel, the Marco Polo in Mestre, where our room was already waiting for us. We had arranged for the hotel shuttle to pick us up at ... Read More
We left St. Louis on Fri. Sept. 6th, and arrived in Venice on Sat.,at 9 a.m. and proceeded to our mainland hotel, the Marco Polo in Mestre, where our room was already waiting for us. We had arranged for the hotel shuttle to pick us up at the airport for 20 Euros. Very reasonable when the price of a taxi would have exceeded that amount, and dragging our luggage on and off the airport bus didn't appeal to us. The Marco Polo is a very nice, clean hotel which offers a continental breakfast (quite adequate) for a mere $115. Euros total (about $159. US dollars)for our triple room. It was nothing fancy, and in fact, sort of looked like a dorm room with 3 beds lined up. Prior to our trip, we had also reserved their shuttle to take us to the pier on Sunday morning. Another wise decision as it turns out, because we were driven directly to the embarkation entrance to the ship, whereas had we taken the bus, we would have had to drag our own luggage from the Pizzali Roma (last place for vehicles when entering Venice proper)and then onto the People Mover which takes you to the pier, but then you have a long walk down to where your ship is moored. Embarkation was professional, smooth and we were on the ship in less than 15 min. Less I forget later on in this review, debarkation in Barcelona was the same. We opted for the Carnival shuttle to the airport upon leaving the ship, and our luggage was waiting curbside when we got off the bus. Now for the ship itself: Carnival did a beautiful job of "reconstructing" many parts of the vessel, and "refurbishing" others. The only complaint I heard was from those who had cabins underneath or over the newly redesigned "Liquid Lounge" which took the place of the main theater. The concept was good, but in my estimation, not thoroughly thought out. Whereas with the old theater, when shows were over, the space was mainly unused, and now after the shows, the new Liquid Lounge becomes a disco which goes well into the early hours, and the boom, boom, boom is heard by all in the aforementioned cabins.  They still have some minor plumbing problems which seem to stem from the addition of the 3 story Serenity spa and waterfall. At any given time there was a bucket in the middle of this hall or that catching drippings from the fire extinguisher apppendage. But these were the only visible signs of age in an otherwise beautifully redesigned ship. We loved the caribbean theme throughout the ship, and the new cabinetry in the cabins was beautiful. We were 3 seniors in our 70's and were it not for the fact that none of us could master the ladder that went up to the pull-down bunkbed, and had to use the couch-bed, there would have been plenty of room in our cabin. But with 1/2 of the couch made into a single bed (which stayed day and night) it was just a trifle tight. But the cruise was so very port intensive,we didn't spend much time in our cabin anyway. I've heard people complain about the hair dryer. We found no fault with it whatsoever, but perhaps the location could have been better had it not been in the top drawer of an already limited drawer space cabin. But there was plenty of space for foldable t'shirts, capris, etc. on shelves everywhere. Special thanks to Reno our cabin steward and his attendant who kept everything immaculate for us. And we loved our towel animals (especially the hanging monkey)Reno even managed to get us an extra deck chair for our balcony. Wonderfully comfortable beds. Thank's again Carnival! Food was more than adequate with many choices. Carnival still has the best deli and omelet stations at sea!!!! The Guy Feiri burger bar was terrific, and of course, who can find fault with a menu favorite, their signature chocolate melting cake. We had early seating in the "middle" dining room located on deck 3. My only complaint is that the music accompanying the beautiful voice of our Mater'de (an Irish tenor) was much too loud because it is not the traditional 2-story dining room and the ceilings are much lower. In that main dining room there were always optional offerings of "comfort foods" on the menu for those who didn't like the more opulant offerings and were more of a "meat and taters" sort of diner. And the food on the Lido deck was very good as well. In lieu of the original "taste of the Nations" kiosk, they now have Cucina Del Capitano (hope I spelled that right)where one can get a custom made burrito, taco, wrap or anything else that might be pleasing to one's pallet. There is also an Asian themed restaurant, which we didn't try, and there's always the 24 hr. pizza station and deli. They also offered a daily "taste bar" serving samples from the individual restaurants. And a Malt shop for Pete's sake! What's not to like? The shows were very professionally done, but much louder because of the smaller space in the liquid lounge, and perhaps lower ceilings. We didn't care for the Epic Rock show, but the younger crowd cheered madly, as we old farts did for the other productions. So there was, indeed, something for everyone. Seth at the piano bar was wonderfully knowledgeable of so many of the old songs. We didn't partake of the comedic shows, but heard that most were pretty good, with a few hits and misses. We also never made it to the top deck for Movies Under the Stars, a really neat feature. The movies just didn't appeal to us. The casino is as casino's everywhere do! The givith and they takith away. they mainly takith it away, LOL. As for the ports: Venice, absolutely wonderfully beautiful and a most romantic city for lovers. We took the evening gondola ride with a serenade and were not disappointed. We booked that through Viator, as well as the guided boat ride through the narrow channels. So informative, and a little over half the price of the ships tours. But beware! Bathrooms are very sparce and hard to find. You pay 1 Euro to use the public restroom at St. Mark's square, and if like us, you were far removed from the square and waiting to go on a gondola ride, you must find a bar. Most bars will let you use their restrooms. But we felt funny, so we bought 3 wines in a "to go" plastic cup. So here we were, 3 old broads running up and down the alleyways trying to find a bar. One passing by would think we were lushes! Dubrovnik, we just stayed in the city itself. No need to book a tour as it can be covered by foot quite easily. Beautiful city with one of the oldest operating pharmacies located in the so very ancient Franciscan monastery. Athens, Greece: Did the obligatory climb to the top of the Acropolis and went through the new museum (12 Euros) very beautiful. Were very surprised at the vastness of the city proper. I don't know what we expected, but it's a whole lot more than ruins. We booked this 1/2 day tour through PK Taxi Tours, and were not disappointed. We were 5 people to a Mercedes van, and the driver (also the owner of the company), though not a licensed tour guide, was extremely informative. He also took us to see the changing of the guard at the tomb of the unknown soldier. Wonderful day in Athens! Izmir Turkey: One of my favorite stops was at the House of the Virgin Mary. You don't have to be Catholic to realize the spirituality of the place and it's significance in the history of Christiandom. Then on to the ruins of Ancient Ephesus. This is the one that almost killed us! It was 3 hours in 96 degrees, which played a huge part in our utter exhaustion. But it is not for the person with any sort of mobility problems, I've had complete knee and hip replacement on my left side, but it was my good knee which started to give me trouble. It was completely do-able were it not for the fact that we opted to see the "terrace houses" where it was 210 steps to the top and back down again with no hand rail. That seemed to be the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. Thank you David for your assistance in getting down those final steps! In Sicily we did the Godfather tour, but the accoustics in the van were not the best and with no amplification, not a lot was learned about the actual shooting of the movies. But the scenery was spectacular and the villages visited were quaint and full of history. I might mention that all tours in Italy and Marseilles, France were booked independently through Smart Cruise Tours.com and we were very satisfied with both the rides (new comfortable vans) and the service. We hired a private guide (also through Smart Cruise Tours) while in Rome, and pre-purchased our Skip the Line tickets for both the Vatican and the Colosseum. and it was worth every penny. Pietro was a darling, and you could tell that he really enjoyed his work, as he became so animated while explaining with great detail, every thing we took in. The Sistine chapel was not a disappointment, but St. Peter's Basilica was the icing on the cake. I've never been in such a magnificent structure! There was so much to see and take in. And Pietro also took us into the colisseum for an in-depth visit and explanation of the "how and why" everything was done. It was not merely a "drive-by" introduction to this most famous of places! and then on to the Forum and Trevi fountain for an all-inclusive and wonderful day in this great and ancient city. Rome was magnificent!!!!! In Livorno (Florence) we did the Leaning tower of Pisa, (unbelievable structure) and while standing there looking up, it's hard to believe that you are really there, looking at something you've only seen on a documentary from the history channel. And then on to the drive along the Amalfi coast. The snake-like hairpin turns were mind boggling, but the view was something of which poets write! We ate at a seaside restaurant, where I had my first taste of a genuine Italian pizza. (Give me a Red Baron anytime!) And were very surprised when we got the bill and there was a $3.50 Euro surcharge per person for the use of their knife fork and spoon. Paleeze!!! Can you imagine eating pasta or tiramisu with your fingers? A complete rip off. Oh well, we only pass this way once in our lifetime, and don't they know it, lol! In Naples we just did the tour of Pompeii (unbelievable and one of my favorite stops on the entire trip)It's remarkably well preserved, and whenever you get to go there, be sure to purchase the book "Pompeii, before and after" in their gift shop. It shows exactly what we see as far as the ruins go, with a vinyl overlay on each picture to show you what it looked like back in the day when it was a flourishing, vibrant city of affluent people. And then on to Florence for a tour of that very pretty city. It was there that we ran into gypsies at one of the town's many beautiful squares. In Marseilles, we had a French speaking guide (Vanessa) who was a darling and took us to the top of a hill in the city to the Cathedral Notre Damn De La Guarde (or Mother Mary guardian of the city) To say it was windy would be a vast understatement. We had to hold onto each other just to stay on our feet, but there again the view was nothing short of spectacular. When our cruise ended in Barcelona, we were off the ship and onto the Carnival shuttle and it was one of the easiest debarkations I have ever experienced. Carnival has this one down pat. All in all I would have to rate this cruise a 5 out of 5. We had nothing but good experiences with both our cabin and wait staff. They saw to our every need and vere unobtrusive but attentive. My only regret is that they did away with the original theater and stage and replaced it with the Liquid Lounge. And I miss the larger than life stage productions, but I know that all cruislines are now cutting corners by hiring their "Playlist" performers, but I miss the old ways! I guess I'm just getting old and set in my ways!   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
The trips started out great. We arrived in Venice and made it to the ship without any major complaint. They were a little disorganized with the bags at the airport, but I think that was part of a language/cultural barrier. Once at the port ... Read More
The trips started out great. We arrived in Venice and made it to the ship without any major complaint. They were a little disorganized with the bags at the airport, but I think that was part of a language/cultural barrier. Once at the port and on the ship, things were smooth. The ship is advertised as completely refurbished, but this is misleading. Parts of the ship are completely refurbished. There are still plumbing problems. I saw a lot of drips in the hallways with buckets underneath them and there was rust on the balcony railings. Nothing major, but it definately wasn't completely remodeled. Our biggest problem was noise from the Liquid Lounge below us. It bleed through the cabin floor and kept us up until 3 AM one night. They compensated us fairly for our inconvienence, but it was totally unnecessary. There wasn't a large enough crowd in the Liquid Lounge to justify keeping the music going to 3 AM. They could have moved the venue to the Piano bar. There are no cabins above or below the piano bar and it would have accomidated the amount of people partying. We had some rough seas the last couple of nights on the cruise, but it couldn't be avoided. I would suggest getting a hotel in Barcelona an extra night. The city is beautiful and the people who disembarked and went straight to the airport got cheated. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
Travelled on the ship when it was the Destiny, five years ago. Terrific refurbishment in all of the public spaces. Very nice decor. Pros: Itinerary; Venice and Sicily were my faves. Very intensive itinerary has something for everyone. ... Read More
Travelled on the ship when it was the Destiny, five years ago. Terrific refurbishment in all of the public spaces. Very nice decor. Pros: Itinerary; Venice and Sicily were my faves. Very intensive itinerary has something for everyone. Stayed a couple of nights in Barcelona and Venice hotels. Great choice as both cities have plenty to offer for everyone. Balcony door opened when we arrived. AC dripped very slowly for 3 days. Nice new suite. Seemed less roomy than the older suites. Dining room meals were excellent. Tremendous choices and excellent quality. Serenity area is quite nice. Always found a place to sit, although many were reserved by 6am. Emarked and disembarked in a flash. Nice. Cons: Slow drips from the ceilings in several locations. Must be addressed as it gives you a very bad impression as to how the rest of the ship is being run. Buffet was quite disappointing. Very limited selection. Spa room was a waste. Lineups for the hot beds and no whirlpool in the spa ... disappointing. The staff never stop selling. Basically no tv ... that's cruising. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
This titillating riposte deals in facts not supposition or innuendos. We are a Canuck couple in our mid sixties. As I tend to ramble most information will be in point form. We sailed on the Sept. 6 Venice to Barcelona route. Temperatures ... Read More
This titillating riposte deals in facts not supposition or innuendos. We are a Canuck couple in our mid sixties. As I tend to ramble most information will be in point form. We sailed on the Sept. 6 Venice to Barcelona route. Temperatures averaged 25C or mid 80 F on this port intensive trip. We were able to bring on a regional bottle of wine each at every port. They averaged 5 euros. No problem with the scanner staff. The only tour I would advise intrepid explorers to fastidiously avoid is the City Tour of Messina. Driving through garbage littered streets lined with crumbling apartment blocks resembling the projects or council housing was a bust. We visited the same Cathedral TWICE??!! in a 3.5 hour snoozefest. The Cathedral was 300 yds from the docked ship!! There is a wine store and an internet cafe 50 yds from the pier in Messina. Free WIFI in the port terminal building in steamy Athens. Mistral winds blowing 35 to 45 Knots and 10 ft waves caused us to be 2 hours late docking in Marseilles. All tours went off without a hitch. As food is a personal experience I will only say there was a wide variety and we did not leave the ship any lighter than when we got on. Ship features we noticed: Floor mats in elevators denoting the day of the week would be nice Promenade deck does not go all the way around. Walking track on deck eleven ...10 laps= 1 mile There is a small pocketbook exchange in the library Bar. Hardcover book can be checked out for the cruise. Kiosks around the ship can print out your room acct. They exchange money too. Balconies and Serenity area have glass panels to look over the side of ship. Deck ten has 18 " of steel starting at the deck to look over the side. Serenity area was free but on sea days (there were two) the chair police were tagging chaise loungers with a towel on it and no body. You were allowed 40 min. then items were taken to the towel shack. Light in the edge of the odd sized stairs in the Limelight Lounge were too bright causing people to stumble or trip. Use of hand rails was a must in that venue. The four lively floor shows put on by the 8 singer/dancers are backed up by an amazing jumbotron screen that provides great visuals. Their well attended shows were Epic Rock, Latin Nights, Disco and Motown. Spa services have a 15% gratuity built in . Those intrepid souls exiting on a Carnival excursion meet in the Limelight Lounge 30 min. prior to their tour start time. Exiting the ship can be slow based on how many signed up that day. Ocean Suite on deck 7 features: Two closets that could hold both of our empty suitcases. When opened a light came on. Over 20 hangers between them. Seven large drawers Single sink with a shower in the Jacuzzi tub. No make up mirror but there is a hair dryer. Kleenex was provided. A well lit separate sitting area to apply make up. Three chairs and a small table on a narrow balcony. Two goose neck reading lamps on the head board of a comfortable king bed. Safe and stocked mini fridge supplied. Breakfast via room service was continental. A few hot items would be nicer. We enjoyed the Carnival experience in the Med. The average age was 55. I'm sure it would be an entirely different demographic in the Caribbean. Some off the ship pointers for North Americans travelling to Europe for the first time: No facecloths or kleenex in 3 star hotels Your passport will be photocopied upon check in at the hotel Room keys should be surrendered to front desk as you go out for the day. I was a bad boy...I forgot often! Hope you enjoyed my points to ponder, happy sailing Bobpell   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
A brief introduction. This was our fourth cruise for my wife and I, both 37. We have previously cruised on Disney, Princess, and RCI. This was our first time on Carnival. Choose this cruise for the itinerary, price and ship. We flew on ... Read More
A brief introduction. This was our fourth cruise for my wife and I, both 37. We have previously cruised on Disney, Princess, and RCI. This was our first time on Carnival. Choose this cruise for the itinerary, price and ship. We flew on Delta from San Francisco to Venice. We arrived a day before and stayed the night at Hilton Molino Stucky. Nice hotel, would stay again. We arrived at the port at about 11:30. There were lines everywhere, but found out they were the zones waiting to board as boarding had not started yet. We were given zone 18 and went to check in. No lines for this and the lady handed us zone 17. Stood around and were on board in our room by 1:00pm. We were booked in cabin 9207 on Lido deck. I was a little worried about this, but heard no noise except for those who wanted to have conversations in the hallway. Found cabin to be spacious and clean. Bathroom shower for me was better than RCI and more spacious. Cabin steward was great with one exception. I found the window and door to balcony had water spots all over them. The balcony was hosed off during the cruise and the water spots got worse. Either way, not a huge deal for me. Air conditioning worked well, but sometimes found in the middle of the night the room would get warm. Would book this room again. Spent a lot of time at the Red Frog Rum Bar and Red Frog Pub. Both had great drinks and great people. Ate breakfast at the Havanna Bar every morning and got to know the bartender. Great guy and great service. My only complaint with the service was in the dining room. We ended up not going to the dining room after the fourth night. Service was slow and empty plates sat on the table for 10-15 minutes. It must have been my table as others had great service. I enjoyed the food as I thought it had good flavor and to my surprise the portions were large. When I compare it to RCI, Carnival wins hands down. Ate at the Steakhouse and was not impressed. I had high expectations for this place as I love my steak and had read good reviews. Steak was good, but nothing to write home about. Ate at Cucina Del Capitano. Read reviews which were mixed. I enjoyed it so much I ate there a second time. Had Ji Ji's, Guy's, Blue Iguana, and Pizza which were all good. The one thing I liked about this ship was the food choices. All the food tasted fresh as compared to sitting in a pan at the buffet. Entertainment was good. We saw 4 of the comedians and they were funny. Went to Piano bar once, but too many kids that ruined the show. Enjoyed the music at Ocean Plaza and the Red Frog Pub. One thing I really enjoyed was there was always something to do on this ship. I like live music and just sitting with a cocktail and listening. Almost every night, there were four places I could do this. Plus there were shows and movies. Carnival Sunshine is nice ship. It has been renovated and looks great. Something to remember is that while renovated, the bones are still 1996. On Deck 2, 6, and 7 there were many ceiling tiles removed in the hallways because of water dripping. No issues on Deck 9. The structure of the hull is 1996. An example of this is in the Liquid lounge, there are poles blocking your view from many seats. A newer ship would not have the poles. I also do not believe this ship has the stabilizers like many new ships do. The ship was really rocking from Marseille to Barcelona. (could be wrong though) We did Dubrovnik and Marsielles on our own. For the others, we booked private excursions with people we met on our roll call. Worked out very well. Ports were amazing with no real issues at any of them. Saved a lot of money compared to ship excursions. All in all, a great vacation. Ship was running 100% and workers were continuing to work on it. Service and food was great except for dining room for us. Would consider Carnival again on a newer ship.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
We have only previously cruised with Disney so my expectations of Carnival were set somewhat low, considering this cruise was around $3000 cheaper than a similar cruise with DCL in the Med in a similar cabin. I was travelling with my 14 ... Read More
We have only previously cruised with Disney so my expectations of Carnival were set somewhat low, considering this cruise was around $3000 cheaper than a similar cruise with DCL in the Med in a similar cabin. I was travelling with my 14 year old son and husband. We choose the cruise based on more value for our money and the ports. Unfortunately we lost Monaco and Majorca and had these replaced with Athens and Izmir, personally both of which I didn't rate much. But I guess for those who like their history, they will have enjoyed them. We flew in the day of the cruise and arrived in Venice around 2.00 pm, following a delay with our flight. I arranged my own transfers with a company called Suntransfers. They were excellent, I have used them before. The only lines were where people put tags onto their luggage. I had already done ours, so they went straight onto the ship. We arrived on the ship at around 3.00 and headed straight to Guys. I had booked cabin 8117, which was a balcony and was situated forward. Compared to DCL, the cabin was small, especially when the sofa bed was fully out; it was very difficult to walk around the bottom of the bed. However that said, we did get use to it. The bed was lovely and comfortable and my son who is nearly 6 ft tall slept well on the sofa bed. The cabin was lovely and clean and everything in it looked very new; plenty of storage, more so than DCL. All main areas of the ship were clean and bright and I thought well set out. There were plenty of bars and places to sit on an evening. On sea days the pool areas and sunbeds were very busy as you would expect. I did see towel stickers been put on loungers by Carnival staff and I also saw them asking under 21's to leave the Senerity area with their parents and this freed up loungers in that area. Most days I stayed at the back of the boat near the water slides, so I could have a quick cool down. Ladies if you go on the slides, I suggest wearing some swim sorts or swim suit, otherwise you may lose your bottoms and your top could move too!! Those slides are very fast. We ate in the Market place for lunch most days, which was always busy. If you walk through to the Havana Bar, Ji, Ji or Cucina Del Capitano area, you will find plenty of seating away from the hustle and bustle. There are also other offerings for lunch and breakfast. My DS most days had the burgers from Guys. We never paid for any of our meals and always had dinner in the main dining hall. We were on MTD. There were big issues with this place, if you arrived after 6.45. Some evening there were large queues and guests were given pagers to come back later, up until an hour later. We always sat in the same area with the same staff and this worked well. One evening I had to send my main meal back as it was cold, my starter had also been cold so I asked to see the Head Waiter. It never happened again and each night both head waiters checked with me to make sure everything was okay and that the food was hot enough. My only comment would be that some thought needs giving on how to improve desserts, but I think this is an American thing. Most of the cakes tasted the same; I even find this happens in Disney restaurants. I loved the fact that we could have hot chocolate on an evening. The entertainment on board was very good, we enjoyed the comedians especially the British ones, but I would say that being a Brit! Another tip is to make sure you get here early to get a seat, especially when the playlist productions take place. My DS loved the Teen club, but he did comment that he didn't care for the structure of it compared with DCL. Apparently on Carnival you have to join in if you are in the club, whereas with DCL you can sit and watch!! Kids! Overall we really enjoyed the cruise and would happily sail with carnival again. I would also happily sail on the Sunshine again, complete with leaking ceiling and buckets! It's a real shame that Carnival have pulled out of the Med.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
This was our fourth Carnival cruise and our third European (the first two were on Celebrity and RCCL) and I have to say that all though the ship had great points and the itinerary was nice we won't be going on Crnial again and I would ... Read More
This was our fourth Carnival cruise and our third European (the first two were on Celebrity and RCCL) and I have to say that all though the ship had great points and the itinerary was nice we won't be going on Crnial again and I would like to share why. First the good.... The entertainment, especially the nightly comedy shows. The casino was open and lively, with friendly staff and a nice environment. The food was great, with the exception of the buffet, which was hit or miss in taste and temps. The specialty options at lunch wee great, especially the me in and Asian options, delicious! The kids club was always clean, friendly, and had plenty to do. The Havana and Regfrog bars were very fun. The waerslides were a big hit with the kids on board. The not so good... The room, we got Ocean Suites which were considerably smaller than those we just had on RCCL. Very cramped and not worth the money. Certain updates around the ship seem to have been thrown together rather haphazardly. It would have been nice to not see quite so much evidence of the renovation. The buffet. I mentioned it above but it is worth saying again that it really had issues. It was not even warm much of the time so we tried to avoid it as much as possible. The reason we won't book with Carnival again.... This itinerary was Rey port intensive so we opted to enjoy an extra day on the ship. By 9:00 we noticed crew members guiding dozens upon dozens of people with visitor badges around the lido deck. By noon, he visitors had completely filled up the water slide area, the main pool and the jacuzzis, splashing in the water, eating at guys, the buffet, and the burrito shop. This was upsetting to the other cruisers that wee expecting a quiet day. I went to guest services to ask what was happening and they explained that the Italian crew were allowed to bring their friends and family aboard for tours but they were not allowed to eat or use the facilities that we were for paying guests. When I complained that they were using them, I just got a shug and was told it was a perk for the staff and it wasn't their job to police their behavior. I asked for a supervisor to call me and left. The next day, when we got back on the boat, we were met with the same type of visitor crowd, and it continued on all Italian ports. I went to guest services two more times and no supervisor err was available or ever tried to contact me as requested. I think it is reat that Carnival would offer a perk to their staff, however it should be done on a day between sailings, not on days were their are paying customer onboard who pay a hefty premium to be there. We felt taken advantage of, as if our fares were subsidizing the staffs perk and taking away from our experiences. To make it worse, guest services could are less hat there were a number of paying guests complaining about it. The other times we have cruised in Europe. We did not encounter this issue and as a result, we will not cruise with Carnival again. Carnival does have some nice features but none of those features an out way the negative experience we had onboard. Fortunately there are enough wonderful alternatives out there, that we have plenty of great choices. This definitely should be something you consider when choosing a cruise in the future. Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
well we chose carnival because we could not get a deal to go on royal caribbean this summer and we found a good deal to go on this 12ngt crusie on the sunshine we sailed on the cavnival destiny 6 years ago so when we heard it had a 150 ... Read More
well we chose carnival because we could not get a deal to go on royal caribbean this summer and we found a good deal to go on this 12ngt crusie on the sunshine we sailed on the cavnival destiny 6 years ago so when we heard it had a 150 million refit we could not wait to get on the sunshine. we arrive in venice on the day before embarkment to have a extra ngt in venice we stay in a hotel near the train station so we could be near the tram for the the ship. i traveled with my partner and 6 year old daugter we arrive at the port at 11am i did get on the boat until 2pm the longest i have ever had to wait to get on a ship. any way for got all our wines on for dinner and sprirts for drinks in are room.we had a deck one window room double bed and single good size ,it was good having a new room for once on a crusie ship.room attendent very good every ngt animal towels on my daugters bed, shower 10 out of 10 the ship renovation was very good it needed it , but every thing was all over the place because it is hard to make a old ship into a new ship. we had any time dining dont book it because it not any time dining its if you if you come down come down and get your pager and they will pager you when your table ready. the ship not ready for any time dining, your can,t have 100 seats with 400 people to come down any time they should stick with early and late dinner times we did try to change but to not avail.the problem with carnival every one goes to the dining room because the lido marketplace for dinner is very basic with food choice not like royal carribbean where choice is great. we as a family love to dress for dinner as we did the whole cruise ,it was sad to see guest in shorts, tee shirts,filpflops for dinner. don,t see that on royal caribbean .shows were very good playlist productions,comedy hypnosis but the the new liquid lounge does not work its too small for the 3000 guest on the ship even with two shows, then after the show some ngts it turns into a ngt club too big they should use the comedy club punchlier after the comedy shows which where very good for the ngt club.. the red frog pub very good, piaio bar,good,occean piaza good bands.my daughter love the kids club best ever she said the pool,waterworks etc .all and all good cruise i am a royal caribbean fan but i can not say that i did not enjoy the fun ship. ports where all good been to many before so we did other things like naples went to capri,civitavecchia train to sandy beach santa marinella and pisa at livorno.took a few pictures on the ship but they were very expensive about $30 a picture,they should have put the date and ports on every picture when coming off the boat as i like to buy those ones and not doing photo deals. pity carnival not coming back to europe next year.. oh well back to royal caribbean.. Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
This cruise was a 12 night Venice to Barcelona itinerary. My husband and I had already been to several of the ports but we were anxious to enjoy them with our daughters before they are off and married with little ones of their own. ... Read More
This cruise was a 12 night Venice to Barcelona itinerary. My husband and I had already been to several of the ports but we were anxious to enjoy them with our daughters before they are off and married with little ones of their own. Arriving in Venice the day before allowed us a few days to really see the city and it is one of our favorite spots. It also allowed us to embark at whatever time suited us and that's exactly what we did. We arranged for the Secret Itineraries tour at the Doges Palace on the morning of embarkation. By the time the tour was over it was mid afternoon and we embarked with little waiting at all. Rooms were all ready and we could access them immediately. We all had the Cloud 9 Spa Balconies primarily to ensure there was no smoking on the balconies surrounding us. Our rooms were on the 11th floor and were spacious enough but I must say that we were only a few doors down from the access to the Serenity area and there was quite a bit of noise from the banging of the door in and out of that area. One night the closer on top of the door broke and it was jammed open and it just happened to be the night they had a big pool party so that was a bit unfortunate. Despite reporting the door problem I don't think it was resolved by the end of the trip. We had anytime dining and chose to go to the MDR for the first time on the second night of the cruise and it was absolute bedlam. There were so many people waiting the whole foyer was filled as was the staircase. We decided to buffet it that night and by the next time we attended it was much better. With so many food options though you can easily pick and choose as your mood takes you. We found the food in the MDR to be okay, not outstanding. The buffet was always only half open (maybe they only have the whole thing open during peak times) and we found the selection to be a bit wanting. We ate at the Steakhouse (outstanding) and Ji Ji's (outstanding). Others in our party went to the Italian restaurant and reported it was good. We found the decor on the ship to be quite nice, not garish at all. I do agree that the way to move around the ship is a bit odd but we found it pretty easy to figure out. Just remember to always go to deck 5 to pass through the casino and get to the dining rooms. We used the exercise room and my daughter used the Spa and both were excellent. The itinerary on this cruise is what attracted us most of all and we were not disappointed. We did 4 ship excursions and for the most part we were happy. The excursion to the Acropolis was ridiculously crowded (5 ships in port that day) and the amount of time we spent there (40 mins) and in the Plaka (40 mins) out of a 4.5 hour excursion seemed ridiculous. We left that one half way through. Regardless of this we had a wonderful time in the ports. Due to the intensity of this itinerary we seldom looked for evening entertainment but when we did we liked what we saw. Went to a few shows in the Liquid Lounge and we found the comedians to be mostly quite entertaining. The Comedy Brunch was alright, not spectacular. Don't go there for the comedy as there is only 5 minutes of it but the menu is a bit different. We found it a shame that a lot of the venues that we really liked were only open for lunch from noon until 2:30. With the itinerary we had we could only use them on the two sea days we had. All in all we had a great experience as one would when the whole family is all together and seeing such wonderful sights. On the last night in the MDR however my husband and I had a bit of a surprise on our plates. When I cut open my baked potato to butter it half of it had gone black and rotten. My husband had a salad that he was about to enjoy a forkful of when he noticed something curious. Upon closer inspection it appeared he had a frozen caterpillar on one of the leaves. Not a small one either!! During the length of time it took to alert our server the caterpillar had time to warm up and started travelling around the plate. What an adventure, for him and for us!! Of course the server was mortified and recorded our room number but we didn't notice any kind of compensation although it was on the last evening so perhaps it might still come!? Before closing I must echo others in their responses about the Serenity area. It is a beautiful spot that about 30 people got to enjoy on a ship of over 3000. Literally people were sleeping on these beds. As a result, if you managed to get a deck chair somewhere (I mean anywhere on the ship), it was quite a hike just to have a dip in the pool. Also the number of annoying tweens was quite bothersome. I realize there isn't much for them to do at this age but they tended to congregate in the pool area at night and took over the hot tubs. While trying to enjoy the movies under the stars you were often bombarded with yelling, screaming and general bad behavior by groups of about 8-10 at any given time. Carnival staff never says anything to them. My daughter went up to one group to ask them to move along after we had already moved our chairs to get away from them so we could finish our movie. They did comply. Come on Carnival, you are acting like you are afraid to say anything to anyone!!! Anyway, despite a few small issues we had a wonderful time but I don't think I will be cruising Carnival again, especially during the summer months! Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
This was my first "Carnival" cruise. My first cruise was in 1969 and I have not kept score of the number Must admit I selected it due to dates and price, I have travelled on cargo ships, ocean lines, cruise-ferries, deck ... Read More
This was my first "Carnival" cruise. My first cruise was in 1969 and I have not kept score of the number Must admit I selected it due to dates and price, I have travelled on cargo ships, ocean lines, cruise-ferries, deck passenger on a pilgrim ship on a back-packing touring of the world and worked onboard 3 cruise ships for a number of years as one of those dreaded photographers.I understand people have different expectation on a "cruise, and can only share my experience. Enbarkation was chaotic, with 3006 passengers on lower berth plus it appears thousands of children their organization left a bit to be desired. Once onboard our cabin was read. Very happy with the inside cabin, spacious compared with other cruises I have taken in the past, being recently refurbished it was excellent. Good storage space and having terrytowel bath roles was nice. My only criticism was the television stations, plenty of sel-sell-sell, the two movie channels offered 2 direct movies each day, repeating every 3 or 4 days. No menu was provided when each movie would be show. Checked with Guest services and they said that they repeated every 3 hours. Nice if their was a menu showing this on the TV. The Cruise director was good, however should really be called a Sales Director as appears 10% of his announcements was about onboard entertainment and 90% about what you could buy onboard. Being on the deck (9) forward, one had to walk through the crowded pool and narrow walking area with the Blue Iguana and Red Frog bars jutting out on each side of the ship follwed by the Guy-Fieri burger (excellent food) bar and BlueIguana Cantina (excellent food)on either side on the aft area opp area to get into the Marketplace/Buffer again the narrow passage ways either side of the ship., however overall the food was good at the Lido Buffet and during breakfast and lunch one could use the almost deserted JiJi and Cucina del Capitano (these are also free for lunch excellent food) We only frequented the Sunrise aft restaurant which was excellent, apart from one time to visited the Sunset forward restaurant which is v-e-r-y noise, due I suppose to the lower celling as during the renovation "Carnival" removed the upper level and installed more public rooms. Only one meal was bad in the dining room, toughest beef tenderloin I have experienced, the wait staff were happy to replace it. In hindsight (or learn from onces mistakes) I would have paid more on another cruise line, however overall I got what I paid for.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
So excited to be booked on one of the first sailings of the new Carnival Sunshine. Have just disembarked in Barcelona having been on the 16/6-28/6 Venice to Barcelona cruise so sharing my views The good: 1) the itinerary of this cruise ... Read More
So excited to be booked on one of the first sailings of the new Carnival Sunshine. Have just disembarked in Barcelona having been on the 16/6-28/6 Venice to Barcelona cruise so sharing my views The good: 1) the itinerary of this cruise was exceptional, however very port intensive. Most of the ports we had visited previously so for the first time this was a holiday more about the experience of cruising than visiting the ports and going on the excursions, and for that we really appreciated the holiday in its own right 2) the ship is really quite lovely. Although very quirky in layout - 12 nights in and we still never got the hang of it, it does have lots of nice facilities and the ship does somewhat endear you to it despite the flaws in its layout, overall it's a nice vessel to be aboard and spend time upon The Bad 1) Customer services on this ship was the worst I have experienced, and this is my forth cruise. Prior to departure I had a number of niggles and gripes with Carnival (Corporate) over booking confirmations etc - at one point I received a very directly written email having wrote to them that our booking confirmation did not show our OBC, only to present them with their confirmation details and then get a new payment demand for additional funds. Somewhat minor administrative points but still not a relaxing entry to the holiday. HOWEVER once onboard I was stunned by the level of customer service offered. The crew (mostly Eastern European, unlike other cruises I've done) were sulky and did nothing to make you feel special and valued as a guest as I am so used to as a cruise traveller. Across the whole 12 day cruise this one point is the total lowlight. There were (literally) 1 or 2 great staff members, but no more than that 2) the Entertainment and noise. Literally all the public spaces were subjected to a barrage of disturbingly loud music literally at all times. There is no escape from it in any public bar or space with each having the same very loud and and very mediocre entertainment playing. At one point on the pool decks we measured a reading of +90db at approximate 20m from the nearest speaker. Too loud to have a conversation with someone on the next sun lounger without shouting. The evening shows were below mediocre in standard and the other entertainers were quite poor, The Ugly: It would be remiss not to report a minor sail outage caused by propulsion failure on leaving Monaco. Although the outage was 30 mins post sailing and lasted for approx 20-30 mins, I understand it happened on a previous cruise so worth noting Although this review will read somewhat negatively we had an amazing cruise and you can't help but be charmed by Carnival Sunshine. They have done a great refurb job on her however as a cruise line Carnival won't be the one for us. It seems a bit more suited to a certain sector of the American market Glad I tried carnival, but can't see me cruising with them anytime soon   Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
We took a 12 day Mediterranean Cruise with Carnival on the Carnival Sunshine newly refurbished cruise ship June 2013, we flew into Venice where we boarded the ship which went smoothly enough, bags delivered to our cabin before we got to it ... Read More
We took a 12 day Mediterranean Cruise with Carnival on the Carnival Sunshine newly refurbished cruise ship June 2013, we flew into Venice where we boarded the ship which went smoothly enough, bags delivered to our cabin before we got to it , then we went into the cabin which we had upgraded to a large corner balcony suite at the rear of the ship, when we looked out onto the balcony we found that one of the large corner glass panels in the balcony was completely shattered, we spoke to guest services about this and they put us on to Yanis the guest service supervisor who looked at the glass and initially stated that as it was only one panel we should not be concerned, we advised Yanis that apart from the safety issues, we had paid a lot more for the upgrade and that this was not good enough, he said he would see what he could do for us, later he got back to us saying he would provide us with a complimentary wine package (valued at $150) but we said that we still did not think that this was adequate compensation re the damage, he then went off and again re contacted us and said that the glass was only 10% damage of the entire balcony view, so we advised that we would be happy with 10% of our payment back which after a short discussion he agreed on. To be honest Yanis was very courteous, efficient and helpful. The room was large and very well laid out and comfortable, a couple of niggles, sink/plug faulty, windows dirty, could not be cleaned due to spray from sea and wear and tear !!!! When we had unpacked went to guest services to ask some questions on payments and on board gratuities (which we had paid up front to our Travel Agents Thomas Cooks at time of booking the cruise) only to be told that as far as Carnival were concerned we had not paid them and that we would have to pay them again ($138 each) we were told by the staff on board that this was a Thomas Cook error and we would have to contact them, we did this and Thomas Cook did advise it was their error and they would reimburse us on return home (which they did very promptly). We were quite shocked to find out that the $138 gratuities were charged to each guest and not per room, most of the guests took them off and only paid the staff which they felt gave good service, when you think that everything else (bar nothing) you buy on board the ship you also pay an extra 15% on top of the price for gratuities I find that quite expensive. Other issues we had were at each port we stopped at we knew that there were ship excursions (which not everyone booked due to being expensive) but expected that the ship would lay on a courtesy bus to at least take us to the centre of the respective resort, on some of the ports they did but they were not a 'courtesy' as we had to pay for them ranging from 5 - 9 euros per person, at some ports they just left you to it !!!!!!! We have been on two Royal Caribbean Cruises and they have provided free courtesy buses in each port. We did book one excursion prior to the cruise which was the Highlights of Monaco which stated that not only did it take you around the sights including the Casino and the Monaco Palace and shops but also included a ride around the circuit of the Monaco Racing Track this was at a cost of $70 each, the tour guide was good and we kept waiting to go around the track, we eventually asked her when we would do this and she said it did not actually take you around the track only a small part of it, again when we got back we went to the excursions desk and spoke to female staff member who was extremely rude saying that we had misunderstood the text of the excursion, we asked what part as it said that we would be going around the circuit not part of it, she said that there was nothing that they would do about this and that there would be no refund or compensation (it was quite clear that this lady ( I use the word very thinly) had not done her customer services course, very rude and abrupt. We also found that on checking our statement which we learnt to do every day that there were charges for items we had not had, mostly drinks etc. These additional charges took 24 hours to refund (but on every purchase the bill was updated immediately)!!!! We could never get guest services from our cabin phone, on ordering breakfast room service the order was always wrong (gave up after few days), Another disappointment we had was one of the ports that was listed on our Itinerary was Marseilles , we found out after a couple of days on board that we were not going into that port, Carnival had changed it and we were going to Olbia in Sardinia, although a very nice port not what we had signed up and paid for, again on speaking to guest services they said Not our fault but Thomas Cooks (on our return to England surprise surprise Thomas Cook knew nothing of the change of Itinerary either as they had not been informed) ???? One hairy moment was when coming out of Monaco the ships propulsion failed we were quite a distance out of port, this was rectified after about thirty minutes thankfully when the ship regained power. Although we had quite a few complaints and we along with numerous other guests were having to go to the guest services to complain on a regular basis , the ship is actually a lovely ship, lot's to do especially for kids with the large water slides at the rear. We thought the evening shows were good and there was live music nearly every night to suit most tastes. Food good (not in our opinion as good or varied as Royal Caribbean) When disembarking the ship there was a bit of confusion due to a 90 minute wait. We had been advised by two members of staff to wait until called, this did not happen and when we asked another member of staff he said that we could have left the ship at anytime in the last hour. During this wait I was quite upset on speaking to one elderly couple waiting to get off they had had a lot of problems on board (this was their first cruise )they did not know what to do about tips etc and were finding it difficult to cope with all the administration errors, I did advise the lady (who was in tears at this point) that they really should get a final statement to make sure there were no bad surprises when they got home and advised them that they could withdraw their tips (which they did not know they could do) felt very sorry for them. We will go cruising again but I must stress NEVER NEVER again with Carnival !!!!!!!   Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
Pros 1. We were picked up from the dock where the water taxi left us 2. Good cabin steward 3. They served lobster on the first formal night (which was not done on our previous Mediterranean cruise) 4. Lobster, Chateaubriand and prime ... Read More
Pros 1. We were picked up from the dock where the water taxi left us 2. Good cabin steward 3. They served lobster on the first formal night (which was not done on our previous Mediterranean cruise) 4. Lobster, Chateaubriand and prime rib were excellent. 5. We had a problem with the shower. We told the cabin steward and they fixed it the same day. 6. Entertainment in dining room most nights is a nice touch (waiters singing). 7. Great itinerary. Cons 1. They’ve turned the ship into a floating bar. There is a bar in every available space, including the grand atrium (which is no longer a grand atrium). 2. (We were told that there were issues with reboarding the ship in Venice . . . they only had one line set up to allow people back on board and the line was very long. It was extremely hot in Venice, and many couldn’t stand being in the heat for so long. We had already spent a few days in Venice on our own, thus did not get off to experience ourselves. ) 3. We had an issue with our shower (the water temperature wouldn’t turn below 35 degrees Celcius); however, they did fix this right away when we asked. 4. We’ve had an issue with the toilet. That was never fixed. 5. The water system went down on the ship one afternoon and we had no hot water; however, that only lasted for about an hour or two. 6. We did not get many towels in our stateroom one night. We believe this to be related to the water issue. We think that perhaps they were not able to wash all of the towels due to lack of hot water. 7. People we met on decks 9 & 12 have said that the air conditioning was not working well in their rooms and they couldn’t get the temperature below 80 degrees F. In both of these specific cases, these are new cabins that were added in the remodel. In one case the people were told that there is nothing wrong, in the other they were told that they’d try to move them to a different cabin, but they’re still waiting. (We know this is not possible, because the ship is full.) 8. I was very disappointed by the lack of concern for personal hygiene. Every ship we’ve been on has had hand sanitizer when you get on board and at each of the food venues and asked everyone to use it. This ship has hand sanitizer only by the main dining room and in a place where it doesn’t get used often. The buffet has the craziest hand washing stations I’ve ever seen. They’re off where they’re not easily noticed. You have to put your hands in and water comes splashing out (so much so that when I tried it, just to see how it worked, my entire shirt was wet afterwards). There’s supposedly a soap part of the cycle, but if the hand washing station is working, often times a message comes up that it’s out of soap. I have only personally seen these used one time by a child. The soap message was told to me by another passenger. 9. The buffet has been reduced to almost nothing. This was our eleventh cruise and we have never seen such a small buffet. It’s about ¼ the size of most buffets we’re used to. They’ve taken much of the buffet area and turned them into two “for pay” restaurants (a Mongolian and Italian restaurant). On the upside both of these are free for breakfast and lunch and both make omelets at breakfast, which is good, because due to the minimal size of the buffet, that room gets very crowded, so people may go to the room with these two restaurants to find seating and get their omelet. The food is the same every day with fewer options than other ships have had. 10. The theater is very small. I am not sure if they reduced the size during the remodel, but we have never seen a theater this small. It hasn’t seemed like too much of a problem though, but that may be due to the next item. 11. The shows have been repeated and were shown at times that late seating diners could not attend. 12. We were woken up each morning to the noise of furniture being moved on the deck above us (see cabin review). Do not get a cabin on the 8th floor. 13. The dining room set up was set up differently than we have ever experienced. We have a group of 8 people and are at small rectangular tables next to each other, which makes it very difficult to talk. There are no longer big round tables. NOTE: We were told by the head waiter that this is the last sailing with late seating. It will go to only early seating and any time dining starting on the next sailing. I can not verify the accuracy of this information, but if you are sailing any time in the future and have requested late seating, could you please reply to this post and let us know what you were told? 14. Re-boarding the ship was been less pleasant than on most other ships. There have been very long lines and it was almost 90 degrees or warmer outside most days. Many other ships have had water and lemonade set up outside while you wait to re-board. 15. Ships engines went down for a short time while we were 3 miles outside of Monaco. Thankfully the engineers got them back up and working within a half hour. Overall, we enjoyed our cruise; I believe this is mainly due to the ports we visited.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
The Carnival Sunshine was a thought in my mind since I first saw it on carnival.com. We booked immediately and we were on the fourth sailing! Lets start with the good, and get to the not so good in a bit. Good: The ship was amazing! Such ... Read More
The Carnival Sunshine was a thought in my mind since I first saw it on carnival.com. We booked immediately and we were on the fourth sailing! Lets start with the good, and get to the not so good in a bit. Good: The ship was amazing! Such a beautiful ship! The water slides were great and the sports area was really fun! JiJi Asian Kitchen was probably the best asian food I have had in my entire life and Fahrenheit 555 was fenomenal. Didn't try Cucina del Capitano, but we heard it was also great. The cabin was a pretty good size and the bathroom was big enough! The shows were the best I have ever seen on any cruise ship, and Epic Rock was truly EPIC! The ports were amazing, and every carnival organized tour was very interesting, informative, and stress free. Being a carnival organized tour, we didn't have to worry about missing the ship if something happened. Restaurants by the pool and the pizza was a great lunch and afternoon snack. We absolutely loved Noonan, the cruise director. He was so funny and his wife who did trivia and organized disembarkation for excursions was so nice to talk to. Not So Good: Two words: VERY CROWDED! Sometimes we couldn't even find a lounge chair and stayed in the room for some time when we had nothing to do. The TV blew. Mostly every channel was out of sync and 90% of the other channels were Carnival channels. We had no mini fridge in our balcony room and the balcony had some rust stains. The first few days I saw workers painting on the SPA decks, which gave off ammonia smells. The propulsion stopped working leaving Monaco for about 15 minutes, making guests scared and delayed for Palma de Mallorca. Many elevators didn't work as well which caused a lot of time waiting for a elevator. Guest Services was always crowded and they didn't have the best attitude when dealing with them. The buffet was HORRIBLE on this ship, the worst I ever experienced. They served the same food every day. If you like a variety, definitely choose a Guy Burger, a Blue Iguana Burrito, or the Havanna Bar/JiJi/Cucina Pasta Bar for a great free lunch. There are only two pools: Main Beach Pool and the pool in Serenity, a little disappointing. Hasbro the Gameshow was a let down the second time seeing it. It is basically a bunch of screaming little kids hoping to get on stage. Overall, Sunshine is a beautiful ship with a few flaws that weren't major problems that didn't drastically effect our time on the boat. If I had to rate the ship out of 10, I'd give it a 8.7. If I had to rate the excursions, I'd give it a 10+. I would totally recommend the Carnival Sunshine and cruising the Med at any time. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
SUMMARY:  Overall we really enjoyed this 12-night cruise around the Mediterranean. Given we were most interested in the ports of call we did not really spend all that much time on the ship and did not extensively use the entertainment and ... Read More
SUMMARY:  Overall we really enjoyed this 12-night cruise around the Mediterranean. Given we were most interested in the ports of call we did not really spend all that much time on the ship and did not extensively use the entertainment and recreation offered on-board. So far us, the most important things such as a functional cabin and comfortable bed were also the things that stood out the most. The decor in the cabins is very pleasant and the furnishings are excellent. We also got to spend time in my parents' balcony cabin across the hall which was also very specious and beautiful. We went to the comedy show a couple of times which was great and played around in their game room which is well equipped with air hockey tables, racing pods, etc. The things that we did not enjoy as much were the main course at their restaurant which was always of pool quality (especially their steak) as well as the perpetual line-ups everywhere. From Deck 11, oftentimes it'd be faster to just take the stairs instead of try to wait for the elevators because you could end up standing there for 10 minutes. Other than that, the cruise itself was well-organized and captain and staff were terrific! With the deal we got for the spa cabins, I'd say it was worth it. GOODS: + Clean, comfy, spacious, and well-decorated cabins + Beautiful Serenity Deck pool area + Well-organized cruise + Great captain and terrific staff + Good service in the restaurant + Great comedy shows + Good gym (although would be nice if you could actually see the ocean through those windows) + Excellent breakfast and good buffet food + Very pleasant thermal-chairs in the spa overlooking the ocean + Outdoor movies in the evenings were very enjoyable BADS: - Constant over-crowding everywhere! You always have to stand in line even to get water! If you want to sit in the Serenity Deck hot-tub during a day-at-sea, you can forget about it. - Main course in their restaurant was terrible (and I'm generally someone who'd eat just about anything). Appetizers and deserts were all great though. - DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT get their "Your Time Dining". You'll get screwed big time and will always have to wait in line up to half an hour to get a table. - All their buffet drinks, including the juices, were infused with chemicals and sugar. Would be nice to have squeezed juices, at least in the mornings. - The steam rooms in the spa were a joke. At times I actually needed to wrap myself in a towel because I was cold. - Getting your laundry done the last 2 days of the cruise was impossible. 2 washers and dryers to accommodate several thousand patrons is a joke. Even then, the machines ruined some of our laundry even when setting the dryer to low temperature/delicate setting.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
My husband and I sailed on this ship for our Honeymoon last year and were very disappointed with it. It had recently been redone so we thought it would be nice, but this is what our experience was like; We had a table for two, squeezed in ... Read More
My husband and I sailed on this ship for our Honeymoon last year and were very disappointed with it. It had recently been redone so we thought it would be nice, but this is what our experience was like; We had a table for two, squeezed in the middle of a high traffic area, so there was a constant flow of wait staff and passengers walking on either side of us and bumping our shoulders. Every night there was a couple who came to dinner late, with a double seated stroller that could not fit in between the tables, so we would have to get up in the middle of our meal and physically move our table over and back so they could get by.The staff never offered to assist with that and one night a waiter dropped a used knife onto my plate. We had our laundry done and it was supposed to be back to our room before dinner that night. My husband's was back, but mine was not. I waited until later in the evening then asked about it. They said it wasn't ready and would not be ready until dinner the following night, which wasn't going to work for me, because we had an excursion at 7AM and only had my formal wear and dirty clothes from earlier in the day. They never gave a reason as to why they were not done on time in the first place and told me they would try to get them to my room before my excursion. They did. 10 minutes before 7 and my scarves were mangled. Then there is the case of the night club being right below us and playing music that thumped and shook our room until 2:30AM. My husband talked to customer service about this and they gave him a bag of earplugs. After seeing them two more times about this and explaining that we were unable to sleep and would have preferred getting more than a few hours of sleep a night, they finally apologized and gave us $400 in credit, which was nice.Food was kind of hard to come by after coming back on the ship. The only thing open was Guy's Burger Joint, which had pretty tasty hamburgers, but I don't want them every day, so I would bring fruit and cereal boxes to my room from the breakfast buffet for when I needed a snack, The room service breakfast was a joke. Most days I would only get part of my order or there would be something completely different than what I had put down.The pool on the Serenity deck was really neat with its waterfall coming down, but the water was so cold that nobody could bear to even go in it. We booked a packaged deal for a couples massage and were given a much higher rate after than what we were quoted. We did get that fixed. The entertainment was fine. The guy at the piano bar was kind of arrogant though. Now I am just nit-picking. We did have fun at some of the bars, the shows were pretty decent and The Mediterranean was incredible! Carnival offered us 20% off our "next cruise" for our troubles, but it expires before we'll be able to use it. With all that being said, this was my 6th cruise and by far the worst one I had been on. I have sailed with Carnival before on the Freedom, which was a much nicer ship, but I still found the service and food aren't as nice as the other cruise lines I have been with. On a good note, Carnival does have some great theater performance. If you are looking for a cheaper getaway cruise you can try Carnival, but maybe the Freedom instead of the Sunshine. Just keep in mind that Royal Caribbean and other cruise lines can have good deals too. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
This is our first European cruise. We are three people, husband, wife and daughter. We have cruised many times [mainly in the Caribbean] and have witnessed a steady deterioration in Carnival. THE GOOD: The itinerary ,only 2 days at sea ... Read More
This is our first European cruise. We are three people, husband, wife and daughter. We have cruised many times [mainly in the Caribbean] and have witnessed a steady deterioration in Carnival. THE GOOD: The itinerary ,only 2 days at sea [out of 12] with an overnite in Venice to begin the cruise; We arrived in Venice at 9;30 after an overnite flight ,took a cab to the ship [45euros]; were at the Garden Cafe at 11;30 and resting in our cabin by 12;30; had an early diner; took the people mover [1euro/each ] to Piazzale Rome and had a memorable walk to the Rialto Bridge and St Marks; on the way back took the vaporetto[7euros/each] to Piazalle Roma for a night ride not to be missed thru the Grand canal, missed the last people mover and splurged for a taxi [15euros] back to the ship.The following morning we took the Allilaguna boat [short walk from the ship for a round trip to St Marks where we walked around and took a [80 euro] gondola ride. The cabin; on deck 4 midship with enough room for 3 with a French door that opens [view of a lifeboat] but it`s considered an "inside cabin" and is a good bargain. The service; great by the cabin stewards and the dining room team but spotty at the Garden Cafe. The activities; it was a port intensive cruise and were tired but saw two good production shows and a few good comedians [didn't understand the British ones] The ship: it`s considered old but well maintained and clean. Disembarkation; it started early [6am] and done by 9am but well organized [didn't see the congregation on public areas like in other crises. The pool area; has 3 [one for the over 21 crowd] never felt crowded like in many newer and bigger ships. Barcelona; a great city to spend a couple of days. THE BAD: The food quality and variety keeps deteriorating [better in RCL and Celebrity] They keep raising the price of the drinks and watering them down. The price of the excursions; at every stop you can hire your own cab or a mini van for half the cost, except Rome where we took a bus tour for 1/3 the cost. The customer care team back in the US: we ended up paying $340.00 more than people who booked at the last minute [after the Triumph incident].The claim that Carnival will always give you the better price is not true [we were told to read the small print] and I couldn`t even read it with my glasses on. Because this was our 5th cruise with Carnival we felt short changed. To summarize, we had a good time but will not cruise with Carnival again; we will spend a few hundred dollars more to cruise with RCL or Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
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