Sail Date: September 2019
First thing embarkation. Out of Charleston, SC was super easy no long lines and on and in the ship without faster to the fun. Hint- Deck 5 has BBQ that was awesome and we avoided the crazy Lido deck before leaving. Muster Drill- Is what ... Read More
First thing embarkation. Out of Charleston, SC was super easy no long lines and on and in the ship without faster to the fun. Hint- Deck 5 has BBQ that was awesome and we avoided the crazy Lido deck before leaving. Muster Drill- Is what it is. James made it fun when we got to the area. Just do it and get it over with. Dinner-food was above average in dinning room. JIJI and Bonzai Sushi was the best food on the ship 5/5. The steakhouse had a horrible hostess made us not go back. The steak was only okay but for $38.00 you get enough food to make up for it. Entertainment-all the shows were nice and the comedians were really funny. Bars- Inside bars are the best and can make any drink. Serenity deck could only do basic drinks and frozen stuff. Great cruise and will do it again in the future. Highly recommend. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
My husband and I chose this cruise because we had never been on one prior and wanted something close to home. Upon entering the ship we knew it was not for us. It was so crowded we had trouble getting to our room to put our bags down. The ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise because we had never been on one prior and wanted something close to home. Upon entering the ship we knew it was not for us. It was so crowded we had trouble getting to our room to put our bags down. The room itself was not bad but the "queen" bed was really just two twin beds placed side by side. This made sleeping terrible. We proceeded to the Lido deck only to find the pools overcrowded, drunk people all over, and food waste left and right. I have never seen so many people gorging themselves like we did on this cruise. The amount of food that went to waste was atrocious. Half Moon Cay was beautiful we both loved it. We stayed as long as we could. We returned to the ship to shower and come back to walk the beach only to find the entire place trashed with beer bottles and plastic cups. The people on this cruise made it all so awful. I blame Carnival for not having someone take bags to these people to collect garbage. There were staff present on the beach (like Adam our cruise director) who watched all of this and did not care. It was sickening. I have never seen so many people disrespecting an area like this in my life. Nassau was dirty, smelly, and overcrowded much like Sunshine. We will definitely not be returning to this ship (or any other Carnival ship). Carnival does not respect its employees, guests, or the environment and beaches it takes guests to. GOOD RIDDANCE!!! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
This was our very 1st cruise, and even though we got rained out in our ports of call and some on the ship,we had a blast! i don't think we were even in Half Moon Cay 2hrs when the Captain pulled the plug, we were thankful for a ... Read More
This was our very 1st cruise, and even though we got rained out in our ports of call and some on the ship,we had a blast! i don't think we were even in Half Moon Cay 2hrs when the Captain pulled the plug, we were thankful for a Captain looking out for our safety! i honestly can't say enough about the staff/crew, they were all amazing! ESPECIALLY when it came to the elderly & special needs on board. I'm one to watch people, and i observed over and over the special care & priority that they took with the elderly and special needs, i was highly impressed! even if you don't drink/party {we don't} you will have a great time on board! also, the cruise director, Adam Cornes, was awesome & SO funny... I would go again just to hear him! i've also got to say, i was very pleased with our room steward, Joel, a very nice man & very diligent! I'm already in the process of planning another Sunshine cruise with my sisters, for my 50th birthday next year! Lova Mull Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
Although we are seasoned cruisers, this was only our second cruise on Carnival. Last year, we cruised on the Triumph out of NOLA and had a really great time! With the exception of rain we had a great time! We did not fair well with ... Read More
Although we are seasoned cruisers, this was only our second cruise on Carnival. Last year, we cruised on the Triumph out of NOLA and had a really great time! With the exception of rain we had a great time! We did not fair well with excursions. Unfortunately we were unable to enjoy the cabana that we took on Balmoral due to weather. We also did not get to go on Half Moon Cay. Although some passengers managed to leave the ship, they were brought back due to the bad weather. We watched the tender pull up next to the ship and the captain had to reposition the ship so that the passengers could get back on the ship safely. We had an inside cabin on deck 7 midship. It was probably the roomiest inside cabin I ever had. Lots of closet and drawer space. Mel, our room steward, was wonderful. He made up the room twice a day and made sure we always had ice as we had requested. Food in the dining room was good although somewhat slow. We really enjoyed the seaday brunch....lots of choices! My only issue was that I drink hot tea and when I asked for it, I got the hot water first and then had to wait for the tea bag. Not sure why they just can't bring it all together. We enjoyed Guys...such yummy burgers! We had gotten a gift card to use on Carnival and we decided to go to Fahrenheit 555...the steak house. I can honestly say I have never had such a delicious meal. The service was incredible. A special shout out to Sheetal and Victoria, our servers. They really made the experience! We enjoyed it so much that we made reservations again. Our servers, Ilona and Stanley were awesome as well. An additional comment on the dining room experience. On Cruise Elegant night, someone at the next table was wearing a baseball hat and several people at that table wore shorts (the basketball type). Why these patrons were not asked to leave as the rules state, they enjoyed their dinner in the main dining room. Either adhere to the rules or don't have them. We spent our time on the Serenity deck and enjoyed the relative quiet. I will say that the pool is small but we always managed to find a spot and chairs. From my perspective, the family pool seemed a little on the small side but since I didn't really spend any time there I can't elaborate. Shows... I was not impressed with any of the shows. I didn't find the comedian particularly funny during the adult only show. Maybe he was better on the earlier shows. The singers and dancers were awesome but I felt that each show was the same except for the songs and costumes. Would have liked to see more variety in the shows. The piano player was lots of fun. I don't remember the names of the the singers in the atrium but they were all very good. We are not drinkers so I can't attest to bar service other than to say the bars were always crowded. Overall, we had a great time and although our next two cruises are scheduled on other cruise lines, I would definitely cruise Carnival again. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
The reason we chose this cruise was because it was out of Charleston; and we could drive to the port. This was my second cruise and my friends first cruise. We stayed over night in a hotel and shuttled to the port. The embarkation was ... Read More
The reason we chose this cruise was because it was out of Charleston; and we could drive to the port. This was my second cruise and my friends first cruise. We stayed over night in a hotel and shuttled to the port. The embarkation was smooth; took about 15 minutes from the time dropped off till on this ship. The ship is nice; a little outdated; but very clean; we got a balcony room; and it was spacious for being on a ship. We ate at the steak house one night and that was really good; and we did dining room one night also; and that was O.K. We did have Guys Burgers and would highly recommend it. Otherwise we ate at the buffet; and that was good. The entertainment was awesome. The shows and dancers/singers were great. We also made it to Bingo a couple of times and trivia and these activities were awesome. I would recommend going to the Skycourse; the view is gorgeous and the staff was great. The casino was great; we enjoyed our time down there and the staff was awesome. The only issue we ran into at all on the ship was how slow the bar service was at almost every bar on the ship. We did an excursion in the Bahamas to Blue Lagoon; which was swimming with the Dolphins; would recommend. Half Moon Cay is gorgeous and look forward to going back. I would do this cruise again; the only thing I might do different is to explore the Bahamas without an excursion. The cruise director Adam was very entertaining and engaged all the guests;and made the cruise enjoyable, Debark was also really quick and only took about 30 minutes from the time we left the room until we were on the shuttle. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
First off let me say that I am not an avid cruiser. This was my 5th cruise in a 20 year span. My family and I have always cruised Royal Caribbean and decided to give Carnival a shot since the port is only 3.5 hours from our home. To begin ... Read More
First off let me say that I am not an avid cruiser. This was my 5th cruise in a 20 year span. My family and I have always cruised Royal Caribbean and decided to give Carnival a shot since the port is only 3.5 hours from our home. To begin with I had a lot of questions about the Carnival process and came here to Cruise Critic for help and it paid off. Learning the little tricks of the ship and shore excursions from past guest definitely added to our experience. Let me start with the embarkment process. First you will arrive at the port and the folks there will unload your vehicle for you and take your luggage onboard for you. Make sure you tip the guy a few bucks! Then you will be directed to park. Be prepared to walk about 200 yards to the main building for check in. Not a bad walk at all. Have your Birth Certificate and Driver's License in your hand. A passport is great but not necessary. Once in that building you move pretty quick. They will then direct you to the charter buses outside to take you to the boarding ramp. Tip the bus driver a few bucks! Once you are on the boarding ramp you will be directed to the security baggage check line. You will then place your carry on onto a scanner machine where the friendly security folks will run it through their machine. After that you are on your way! The total time my wife and I spent at the port was about 25 minutes total and we did not purchase "Faster to The Fun" from Carnival. Once onboard you will notice friendly/Inviting staff that will answer any question. Your stateroom will not be available to 1:30 so head up to Deck 9 and grab lunch and try everything! Be aware that the tea is unsweet and the cups are very small. Once our room was available we headed up and settled in to our cabin. Our cabin number was 11008. It was on the Serenity Deck level which is adult only. Our cabin steward was Emerson and he was awesome. He made our stay comfortable and answered every question we had. Our room was a balcony suite and worth the extra money. The bed was very, very comfortable and I am very picky about where I sleep. The pillows were vey soft and big. The room itself was bigger than others we have stayed in on RC and perfect for two adults. The bathroom was big as well. The soap that is supplied for guest on the ship does not lather well so bring your own. In all our cabin was great with exception of the soap so all is good so far. After we got settleed we headed out to explore the ship and found ourselves at the Serentity Spa. Big mistake! The staff there were friendly and took my wife and I on a tour of the spa. Big mistake. They were boarderline pushy about selling their products and it detered my wife and I from ever going back in there even though we had free spa treatment vouchers given to us because we booked a Serenity Suite Room. On to the food! The Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse is the best. You will not regret it. The steaks are amazing. It cost my wife and I $38 a piece to eat there and it is a 4 course meal! The cheese cake is huge and unlike anything Ive ever eaten in the cheesecake world. Amazing! It was so good, we ate there twice. The ships buffet on deck 9 was good but Guys Burgers was great. I ate alot of Guys Burgers and they are free. The breakfast buffet is good and has just about everything you could ask for. The coffee is below average and the juices provided were average but satisfiying. On tuesday night my wife and I tried the Main Dining room. They seated us right away but that was it. We sat there for about 10 minutes and that was it. We got up and left. We then went up to the Cucina del Capiitano restaurant. It was great. The best Italian food we have ever eaten. Now for the entertainment on the cruise. The shows were good and the cast were above average performers. Adam the cruise director was great and James kept everyone laughing. However Ty was rude at times with guest and at one point told a lady that came in the wrong door to never do that again. He told her this over the PA system and made that lady look like a child. She reacted to his lecture alot better than I would have. That was totally uncalled for on Ty's behalf. Very unprofessional. Onto excurisions. Half Moon Cay was the best!! Better than any beach we have ever seen. Make sure you get off the boat early to get the best chairs but if you dont, no worries they have plenty. You do not need towels from the boat. They provide them on the island. The sand there is unbelievable and the water is perfect. The most amazing beach ever! Did I mention amazing enough about this beach? Bring your own snorkle gear and an inflatable float. It will save you money and you will have plenty of room to just float around and enjoy the sun. No beach that RC or Disney has can compare to Half Moon Cay! Now about Nassau. My wife and I booked the Blue Lagoon VIP Beach Day. It was just ok. The beach was rocky, very dangerous if you are elderly or someone with previous health injuries like neck or back surgery The staff on Blue Lagoon were very nice and attended to our every need. The VIP excursion came with snorkle gear and bottled water all day. The lunch buffet was really good and the staff was was very friendly. Also if you decide to do this exersion bring water shoes and towels! YOU WILL NEED WATER SHOES!!!!! Very rocky beach. Our overall experience was good with Carnival. The only problems we saw that Carnival could do much better at is the muster drill that happens pre-sail and exiting the boat for excursions. It is organized chaos and causes stairway roadrage with guest. Guest are literally shoulder to shoulder and nobody can move. if you dont like confined spaces wait till the crowd clears to head out. The disemarkment process was well organized. You have a choice of carrying your own luggage off or checking your luggage. If you can carry your stuff then do it but if you pack like my wife, check your luggage. The process is super easy and they will call you by tag numbers depending on the tag number you pick the night before disemarkment. No worries. If you check your bags, they will be waiting on you in the building where the US Customs Security team await. The US Customs Officers are friendly and do a great job getting you through the line fairley quickly. Once you get through customs, you and your luggage will then be directed to the charter buses to take you back to the parking lot. If your luggage is heavy, the porters there will carry them for you to the buses. Tip them! When you get to the buses they will load your luggage on trailers to carry them back to the parking lot. When you exit the buses at the parking lot, your luggage will be right there waiting on you. No worries. Then off you go back to the real world. We really enjoyed our first Carnival experience and will probably do it again. Hope this helped. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose this cruise because it left out of Charleston. All of the waitstaff, housekeeping and employees were very friendly and helpful. There are a lot of activities to do on board however there are too many people. We were never able to ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it left out of Charleston. All of the waitstaff, housekeeping and employees were very friendly and helpful. There are a lot of activities to do on board however there are too many people. We were never able to get in the pools because they were always packed full of people and finding a chair was nearly impossible too. We had to wait several times for someone to get up before we could sit down. We did enjoy our balcony room for some quiet. Dinner in the dining room was always nice. At our first stop we were very excited to go snorkeling but when we went to check in, they told us it was canceled because of rough waters. It was then too late to get on another excursion because they were sold out. I don’t know why Carnival did not notify us before we left the ship, so we could try to get another excursion. We went swimming and then attempted to eat at the barbecue on the Island, but it was very crowded and hot. We were very disappointed and went back to the ship. Nassau was our next stop and half of our excursion was canceled again! We were to go on the sail and bus tour, but the sailing part was canceled because of rough waters. Other excursions went out on the water but ours did not. We ordered that one through Priceline. The bus tour was good, but it was disappointing again. Boarding and unboarding the ship was very well organized. The drinks are very watered down and ordering a drink took a long time because Carnival puts too many people on the ship and it was always crowded. Carnival does not pay the waitstaff and they depend on the gratuity at the end of the cruise, so please consider this when deciding on gratuity for them. Our waiters worked very hard and were always friendly. I don’t know why Carnival doesn’t pay them, but they should. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We wanted to take my daughter and some of her friends on a short cruise as a graduation present. We chose Carnival because it was an economical way to travel. Meals and entertainment were included in the price of the trip. Plus, it ... Read More
We wanted to take my daughter and some of her friends on a short cruise as a graduation present. We chose Carnival because it was an economical way to travel. Meals and entertainment were included in the price of the trip. Plus, it departed from Charleston SC, which is close to our house, so we didn’t have to pay for airfare. We have happily and satisfactorily cruised many times with Royal Caribbean, Windstar, Regent and Seabourn. If you are looking for an enjoyable and relaxing vacation don’t take a Carnival cruise. Carnival Sunshine has a spring break meets beer commercial atmosphere. The staff is overworked trying to clean up after all the obnoxious drunk cruisers. We were the 1st tender to beautiful Half Moon Cay and the beach was stunningly beautiful! We were the last tender off the Island and as we retraced our steps back to the tender the beach was literally trashed. I wish I had taken a picture. It was as if somebody took a dumpster filled with beer cans and empty drinking cups and scattered them on the beach! This is not an exaggeration. We ended up paying extra and eating in their specialty restaurants (very good) every night because the dining room was average and stressful. We booked spa appointments (very good) to avoid the crowds in the main areas. Thankfully our room was big and had a triple long balcony so we had peace there. Check in and check out was shockingly easy and organized. Carnival Sunshine is like a floating raunchy dirty hotel with a seedy nightclub and a crappy all you can eat buffet attached. If that is what you are looking for in a vacation then Carnival Sunshine is for you. NEVER AGAIN! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
My family chose this cruise because it was not very costly and we heard carnival was good and it was a ship close to home. The overall experience on the boat was fantastic staff was great our housekeeper or steward Gede did a great job ... Read More
My family chose this cruise because it was not very costly and we heard carnival was good and it was a ship close to home. The overall experience on the boat was fantastic staff was great our housekeeper or steward Gede did a great job always had our room clean and always had a big smile on his face to serve us an all around great guy! All the staff all around did great and always had smiles on there face and ready to serve whenever! Our dining room staff also did great I believe the supervisor we had named Ariel and his 3 other staff members did great always made sure we had food and drinks and they always had a smile on there face also all around great guys! I look forward to going on another carnival cruise just for the service thank you carnival for a great and memorable vacation like y’all promised ! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
I'm not sure that I've ever given a negative review of a cruise before but there is a first time for everything ... We live in Charleston so we were very excited to sail out of our home port. Avid cruisers, we've enjoyed ... Read More
I'm not sure that I've ever given a negative review of a cruise before but there is a first time for everything ... We live in Charleston so we were very excited to sail out of our home port. Avid cruisers, we've enjoyed Carnival, RCCL and Disney cruises and have always praised Carnival for its service and food quality, as well as the variety of entertainment. That said, I feel that the service has deteriorated dramatically since our last Carnival cruise. This ship, in particular, was aged badly and there was no sign of the daily maintenance that we were used to seeing in the past. Our room steward was Ok but the room itself looked old and unclean. Our wait staff was below average; one was even visibly annoyed when my nephew and I would order multiple desserts to share. The food wasn't appetizing, except for the Guy's Burger Joint, the taco stand and the deli. One word of caution, Guy's Burger would only give you one onion ring per burger... I've never been denied any food request on a cruise ship until now...Anyone else think that pre-paying tips may be the death of good service on a cruise??? I've also noticed that with the new drink package option, there are no longer nearly as many waiters available pool side. With the exception of one day, we had to walk to the bar for each drink. Given that we have two kids that were playing in the pool or napping; that is way easier said than done. Finally, the ship wasn't family friendly and the kids' club hours were not long enough and it didn't matter because my kids didn't want to go anyway.... Unfortunately, this will probably be our 11th and FINAL Carnival cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
I recommend Carnival Sunshine for the convenience and pleasant experience of sailing out of Charleston, South Carolina. The ship was comfortable and energetic. We were fortunate to have Adam as our Cruise Director. I was aware of his ... Read More
I recommend Carnival Sunshine for the convenience and pleasant experience of sailing out of Charleston, South Carolina. The ship was comfortable and energetic. We were fortunate to have Adam as our Cruise Director. I was aware of his outstanding reputation of being the premier cruise director for Carnival. He did not disappoint. In fact, a better cruise director would be hard to find throughout the entire industry. The food is very good, but not great. The menu was unexciting, and nothing was compelling enough to pique our interest in having dinner in the dining room. The flavor of the food was plain and bland, even the desserts were flat in taste. This aspect is most likely a company item rather than a Carnival Sunshine item. The service in the Main Dining Room was s-l-o-w. Very s-l-o-w. There were many miscues by the over-tasked wait staff. The tables had no table cloths except on "elegant night" which was a joke in itself. Although Carnival widely publishes a "dress code" of suggested evening attire for the dining rooms, they do nothing to adhere to the suggestions. The "elegance" was stunning! (NOT). Baseball hats, tank tops on men, shorts, flip flops, t-shirts (all forbidden by the "rules") were widely observed. Apparently, the wait staff was reduced in order to have more crew members roving the dining room hawking "shots" leaving the waiters with far too many guests to serve properly on a timely basis. On the first night, my entree' was "forgotten" by the waiter for an hour after the used appetizer plates sat on the table. Food was dumped onto guests at a table two tables away from ours. After another more miserable second night (my birthday dinner which was overlooked by the staff) in the dining room, we opted to "dine" at the buffet instead of being miserable for another two nights in the dining room. The buffet choices were very limited and again the flavor of the food was not exceptional. There is a lack of side dishes at the buffet although there is plenty of rice and potatoes. I found Guy's Burgers to be the most outstanding onboard dining experience. The bottom line is that we would repeat this cruise, mainly for the convenience and downright great experience during embarkation and disembarking at the Port of Charleston. We have taken dozens of cruises and this port experience ranks at the top. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
My family went on this cruise&just got back yesterday.It was my first cruise so i didnt know what to expect.it was really fun overall. the rooms were very small. &the bathroom was very tiny, you had to close the door to use it. our ... Read More
My family went on this cruise&just got back yesterday.It was my first cruise so i didnt know what to expect.it was really fun overall. the rooms were very small. &the bathroom was very tiny, you had to close the door to use it. our steward cleaned our room well but the bad part was that they never changed the sheets. the dining restaurants sunset and sunrise were awesome. i really enjoyed the nightly shows in the Liquid Lounge. the dancers and singer were phenomenal. We went into Half Moon Cay and the water was amazing. it was a nice beach, then let off at Nassau- i wasn’t impressed though but i did buy a bunch of stuff. The only other bad thing was that at night, they would have night clubs for ages 18+ (i’m 19), and whenever they moved the night club to the serenity deck, they were allowed, but during the day when no alcohol was being served on the serenity deck and everything was calm,you had to be 21 to get on the serenity deck, so they kicked us out, it just didn’t make sense to us! why would they let us up there at 2 am with alcohol everywhere but not at 2 pm when everything is calm? just weird. but overall had a good time. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
I chose this cruise because I had a pleasant experience with Carnival 2 years ago on the Carnival Liberty. I should have chosen another cruise line, the first trip seemed to be a one-off lucky good time. SHIP CONDITION: The sunshine ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I had a pleasant experience with Carnival 2 years ago on the Carnival Liberty. I should have chosen another cruise line, the first trip seemed to be a one-off lucky good time. SHIP CONDITION: The sunshine is dirty, tired, and cabins DO smell as reported in other reviews. The porter entered our room without permission, and with the DND tag hanging on the door on the first night of the trip. My 16 year old and I were both horrified. There was no explanation given for the mistake. When we boarded the ship and entered our cabin it smelled like foul body odor, carpets were stained, the bathroom was dirty. We thought it would be nice/special because I paid extra for the “Cloud 9 Spa Balcony Cabin”. Clearly a huge waste if money! I was also told by Carnival’s Customer Service when I booked the room that ALL Spa services were included with the cost of the cabin... Not true. Anything to make a sale I suppose, or horrible training of Carnival staff. POOLS: The 3 so called pools are tiny, dirty, and don’t adequately serve the number of passengers (approx 5,000). One of which is the waterslide landing pool, which is considered a “swimming pool” and advertised as such. We did not use any pool on-board the ship due to filthy conditions. Deck floors were sticky and filthy, all around gross environment. PORT CONDITIONS: The Charleston port was awful, like a state fair pole barn. Hot, foul smelling, and we were herded like cattle despite purchasing “Faster to the Fun”. Upon arrival it was awful, and departure was even worse. Employees were rude and acted as if we were not welcome. A shame because Charleston is beautiful... Apparently many people drive from Charlotte and other nearby locations to use this port. It is not managed professionally, it was extremely hot and everyone was moody. FOOD: The food was frankly terrible. The buffet food was dull, repetitive, and similar to school cafeteria food. Over or undercooked, cold, and ingredients were not posted. (I have food allergies). The saving grace was Guy’s Burger Joint. That was good, and I could trust it. Even the buffet desserts were awful. One fellow passenger chose chocolate cake and said to me “Well if I add a heap of chocolate sauce it might then taste like chocolate!”. We did not eat in any of the restaurants on-board for fear the food would be just as bad and we would have to pay extra for more bad food. Room service was also poor. Coffee was bad, half and half was delivered in a plastic cup. Simple chicken tenders from room service were over-cooked and non-edible. CUSTOMER SERVICE: The customer service was terrible onboard and on excursion shuttles. People were not friendly, there was no excitement in the air. It was dull because our hosts were dull. We were not treated as guests who in some instances paid a great deal of money for the cruise. Honestly it felt as if we were a burden that the staff didn’t want to deal with. We seemed to be an added chore. Our shuttle to Blue Lagoon Island was “ok”’on the way over. We were told we could return to Nassau at 1:15. We made sure to book our VIP Dolphin Swim early so we could go shopping before we had to board the ship. We waited in the heat for the 1:15 shuttle, but when it arrived the captain advised he was not transporting anyone until 2:15. At least 100 people were in line, and we asked why. He simply said the shuttle was cancelled, we had to wait. After many people complained he relented and allowed us to board. On the way back to port the music was blasted so loudly that we had to cover our ears, many of us complained with no resolution. Almost comical in hindsight, rows of passengers with our fingers in our ears! And again, the crew was very rude. By the time we got back to port we only had time to shop in the port shops, which are questionable at best. We didn’t feel safe, so we returned to the ship with no cool Nassau souvenirs. This was absolutely unacceptable. AIRPORT TRANSPORTATION SERVICES In Charleston you can Uber to and from the airport for $40.00 total. The Carnival transportation is $30.00 per person per destination for a total of $120.00 for two passengers. The transport service was seriously disorganized. I paid for transportation from the airport to the ship, with the intention of price shopping Uber for the ride back to the airport. On my way to the airport (to get to Charleston) I called Carnival to make sure my transportation was lined up because I had received nothing in my cruise documents except a notation that I had purchased that “excursion”. The Customer Service employee told me I had not purchased transportation. I advised I had my receipt in my hand, and tried to give her the confirmation number. She wouldn’t take the number and said my payment was not processed. She then told me to call the shuttle company! She gave me the number rather than calling herself. I proceeded to call them. I was told that my daughter and I were listed as confirmed passengers and that the Carnival employees were not trained properly on a new internal system. Needless to say, after price shopping we chose Uber for our trip back to the airport when we left after the cruise. Carnival charges MUCH TOO MUCH for airport to pier/ pier to airport shuttle service. They make you believe you “need” to purchase through them, paying exorbitant fees. OVERALL EXPERIENCE: The Carnival Sunshine, as I said, is an old and tired ship. The employees act as if they are old and tired too. I consider this cruise to have been a huge waste of money, and will not ever cruise on this particular ship-if I even cruise Carnival-again. If I was offered a free cruise from Carnival via Charleston I would not accept because it was such an awful experience. It is so disappointing when you look forward to, and pay for a trip that is meant to create meaningful memories, and walk away with this. A whole lot of nothing except shoppers remorse. ADVICE: Price shop ALL cruise lines. They all have specials, don’t assume Carnival is all you can afford. The sunshine was basically a floating bar providing transportation to Nassau. Look at all of your options, I wish I had but was under the impression that I was getting a good deal because I am a VIPF member due to past cruises. Once I realized I had over-paid it was too late to cancel the trip. And most importantly, don’t cruise from Charleston, SC unless you are willing to deal with undesirable circumstances. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
My wife and I booked this cruise for a quick mid-summer getaway. We have sailed out of Charleston many times and this time we parked off-site and took an Uber to the port. The check-in process is ina modified building in the parking ... Read More
My wife and I booked this cruise for a quick mid-summer getaway. We have sailed out of Charleston many times and this time we parked off-site and took an Uber to the port. The check-in process is ina modified building in the parking lot instead of the main terminal. Once we checked in less than five minutes we were shuttled over to the main terminal. we had priority boarding so the boarding process was quick and easy. The food and activities were all on par with Carnival. We did not get off the ship in Half Moon Cay. We spent the day on the Serenity deck which was a nice peaceful experience. The same goes for Nassau since we have been there many times we stayed on the ship. We attended the Diamond captains party in the Red Frog Pub. The Captain and staff were very friendly and the drinks flowed! The VIFP party on the last sea day was good also. The only issue we had was with the host doing Trivia on the Nassau port day. It was obvious he did not agree with American politics or how we did not convert to the metric system like the rest of the world! Debarkation was painless. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
This was mine and my friends second cruise on Carnival Sunshine. We first sailed with Sunshine in May 2017. Last month, we went on Sunshine to celebrate my goddaughters 13th birthday. We are extremely disappointed with just about every ... Read More
This was mine and my friends second cruise on Carnival Sunshine. We first sailed with Sunshine in May 2017. Last month, we went on Sunshine to celebrate my goddaughters 13th birthday. We are extremely disappointed with just about every aspect of the cruise. I wanted to give it a second chance, especially with Charleston, SC port being it’s new home and also where I live. However, we found the entertainment lacking. Understandably, mother nature cannot be controlled however it would be nice if activities that were planned for outside could have been moved indoors in order to continue to keep guests entertained, as that is part of what they are paying for. The bars and restaurants are understaffed. There were several times where we had to wait for over 20 minutes to simply receive the drink we had ordered. We had purchased the drink package but ended up feeling like it was not worth the money we paid due to the extreme wait times at the bar. The staff in the dining room was not exceptionally friendly, especially compared to previous cruises we have been on. We were often the last to get served as well as the last table to leave due to inattention and lack of service. Another example of our frustration during our cruise occurred when we were ordering photo reprints. We were given a set time by the staff to pick them up. When I went to do so, I gave the gentleman working my two receipts and was handed an envelope. It wasn’t until after the cruise when I got home that I noticed that he did not give us one of our orders. To say how disappointing and frustrating this was is an understatement. When contacting Carnival customer service, we made them aware of this situation with the photos. They advised me that they hold paid items for 30 days and would put in a work order but I would have to pay the $20 for postage. First off, it does not cost $20 to mail 2 photos. Second, why should I spend any more of my own money when it was your mistake to begin with and I have already paid for what is rightfully mine? This is absurd. The children’s camp is also lacking, especially for kids 12-14. My goddaughter was bored and not entertained and would not stay for the camp for any length of time. When we cruised on Carnival Ecstasy we couldn’t pull her away from camp! Perhaps Sunshine should take notes from Ecstasy and other cruise ships who offer far more for your money when it comes to entertainment, customer service, and overall experience. The one positive interaction we had was with our room steward who was truly amazing, named Jaypee. He always spoke to us by our names, asked if we needed anything and was willing to answer any question we had. He went above and beyond to bring us tape to decorate our room for the birthday celebration as well as many other examples of doing what he could to ensure the best vacation possible for us. He deserves to be acknowledged for his outstanding customer service. Other than Jaypee, we are extremely disappointed with the outcome of our experience of our time on Carnival Sunshine. What could you do to make this experience better? Send me the pictures I bought free of any type of shipping charge, and issue a refund for the drink package of our expensive or something else to compensate for the lack of service received. We would be open to cruising with Carnival again but it most definitely will not be on Sunshine . Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Absolutely awful cruise to go on as a honeymoon, should have just spent the entire week in Charleston instead of getting on the boat. Cons: Drinks should not include 18 percent gratuity for just grabbing a beer out of the cooler and ... Read More
Absolutely awful cruise to go on as a honeymoon, should have just spent the entire week in Charleston instead of getting on the boat. Cons: Drinks should not include 18 percent gratuity for just grabbing a beer out of the cooler and should not be around 8 ish per beer. Toilets had no water in them and I had to fill the toilet with water just to get everything down. Breakfast was awful, lunch selections good, service at dinner all but two nights was terrible and should not have charged us the extra server tip. Definitely not worth the money. Not enough selection of engaging events for mid 20 year olds when it rained all day when we were at seas on those specific days. Did not purchase alcohol package and glad we didn’t bc you can’t even use it at half moon cay. Had our drinks confiscated from us at the beginning and they didn’t give a damn about returning them to us at the end of the cruise. 1 bottle of wine per person and they couldn’t even return it to us. Lunch on half moon cay was decent but had to stand in a line forever to get it. They sit you like a foot from dinner guests and we personally like space when we eat. Don’t want to listen to others conversations. Things advertised on website are not the same as what is actually on ship. Laundry rooms suck and do not dry clothes even though they advertise as being new. Pros Nice room stewards Half moon cay is beautiful Overall: would not recommend this to a young couple who have other bills to pay, they will stick you with every little thing they can. Will not be going on carnival again. Nothing is engaged towards our age group when weather doesn’t allow you to lay by pools. If someone from carnival sees this they should just refund our money bc it was not geared towards our age group as we walked around bored the two days it rained when we were at sea. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
I’ve been on 20+ cruises, mainly on Royal Caribbean. I went with a group of girlfriends on Carnival Sunshine. We live 2hrs from Charleston and is why we chose this ship. Upon arrival all three of our rooms was HOT. We were on ... Read More
I’ve been on 20+ cruises, mainly on Royal Caribbean. I went with a group of girlfriends on Carnival Sunshine. We live 2hrs from Charleston and is why we chose this ship. Upon arrival all three of our rooms was HOT. We were on deck 9 which was the “Spa” level. It was so bad 2 of the ladies slept on the balcony the first night just to get some relief in their room. We had maintenance check our temperature in our room twice on our four day cruise and it was 75* so we had to shut the curtains during the day to help which defeats having a room with a balcony and seeing the view. Thank goodness I brought a fan from home or we would have been really miserable getting ready for dinner each night and at night sleeping. We went to lunch at the buffet twice and couldn’t finish our meal because it was so hot in there too. One evening all three rooms lost power as we were getting ready for dinner. We called guest services which in turn told us we were plugging in too many things at once, after about 30 min they fixed the issue but we were late for dinner. The food on the ship was OK. My best meal was room service BLT if that says anything. If your considering the FTTF, do it. It’s worth it. We had a great time with each other and that’s what it was about but would I go on this ship or recommend it, NO!!! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
The embarkation process went smoothly and quickly. The spa balcony room was clean and a good size. The balcony was nice and we had our steward open up the balcony dividers between the rooms our friends were in. Hanging out on the balcony ... Read More
The embarkation process went smoothly and quickly. The spa balcony room was clean and a good size. The balcony was nice and we had our steward open up the balcony dividers between the rooms our friends were in. Hanging out on the balcony was great. The food on the cruise was awesome and we never had a bad meal. We ate in the dining room 4 nights and at the steakhouse for 1. It isn't necessary to upgrade because all of the food is good and there are so many options. We did omelets and buffet for breakfast most days. All of the lunch options were great. My favorite was Guy's burgers. The entertainment offered was always top quality. The cruise director, Adam, was fantastic. Our steward,Emerson, was very helpful and kept our cabin spotless. Patrick at the serenity deck bar was super nice and working so hard. We had the cheers package. The only negative about that was that I couldn't send my husband to the bar to get a drink for me. I had to bring my sail and sign card there myself. We did the ultimate snorkeling at Nassau and horseback riding at Half Moon Cay. The snorkeling was okay. Half Moon Cay was so beautiful and the horseback riding was worth it. You do not need cash on the cruise, just our sail and sign card. That made making purchases so easy. My only complaint was that the pool decks are very crowded. You can get a chair but getting a chair in the shade is almost impossible. The debarkation process was great. This was my first cruise and a great experience. I would go on the Sunshine again especially to see Half Moon Cay again. It is a FUN ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Our family cruise to the Bahamas Pros...The entertainment, staff, activities, Adam (cruise director), and Guys Burger was good. Cons..the cabin was horrible! When we first walked into the cabin it was sticky stuff on the carpet. We were ... Read More
Our family cruise to the Bahamas Pros...The entertainment, staff, activities, Adam (cruise director), and Guys Burger was good. Cons..the cabin was horrible! When we first walked into the cabin it was sticky stuff on the carpet. We were told by housekeeping that he tried to clean it but it wouldn’t come clean. We were told that we would have a king size bed and a rollout bed but instead of getting a rollout bed we got a metal cot that sat on that nasty floor! And to top it off it was hot in our cabin. Our daughter have asthma and she was very uncomfortable. We complained to guest services multiple times and they offered us a box fan. We were told by guest services that 70 degrees was standard for the room temperature but our room temperature was ranging from 72-75. It felt better in the hallway than it did in our cabin. Our daughter have asthma and she was very uncomfortable. Once we arrived home we called carnival and customer services was saying that 75 degrees is standard for the cabin temperature. I think they could have been a lot more understanding. This will definitely be my last time cruising with Carnival. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose the port of Charleston because we did not want to fly to Florida, the cost of the flight for 2 adults and 2 children would have been almost as much as the price of the cruise. So we drove 8 hours to the port. Easy approach to ... Read More
We chose the port of Charleston because we did not want to fly to Florida, the cost of the flight for 2 adults and 2 children would have been almost as much as the price of the cruise. So we drove 8 hours to the port. Easy approach to the port, fast parking, great service at the port of Charleston. Getting on the boat, was a breeze. We had purchased "faster to the fun" and it got us on the boat quickly. This was the only time "faster to the fun" was of any help. First night on the boat, it became apparent that Carnival had packed as many people on-board as possible. It was very VERY crowded. We soon learned that there was going to be long lines for everything. The pool was overfilled with children, the hot tubs on the lido deck were full of children splashing and being loud. Parents let their children run wild with little to no supervision. Many children were darting through the crowds and on the interior walkways of the ship bumping into people and being very loud late into the night. There was a constant sewer smell around deck 4 the entire time we were on the ship. Anytime you went that direction, you caught the smell and was kinda gross. Camp Ocean was OK for the kids, they did complain that one of the staff were rude to them while there and it took some convincing for them to want to go back. Room Steward was amazing gentleman that took very good care of us our entire cruise. He cleaned the room twice a day, made towel animals for the kids, kept our ice bucket full at all times and took the time to learn our names and spoke to us at every opportunity. We tipped him in cash very well. $20/ $30/ $40 at a time. Tipping- We opted to tip in cash and NOT pre-pay or gratuity. So we took a large stack of $5 and $1 bills for tipping (more than a few hundred dollars). We passed out tips to almost every employee we had any encounter with. We were very generous with our tipping. On the third morning of the cruise, I used the Carnival Hub app to check our account activity and found that we had been charged $280 for gratuity. I immediately went to guest services and had them remove the charge and explained that there was no mention prior to booking of an automatic gratuity, only the option to pre-pay gratuity. Which we opted to tip cash (anyone that has been in the service industry knows that cash in hand is better than a charged tip). Faster to the fun- NOT WORTH IT. Only helps when initially getting onto the boat on the first day at port. Excursions- Stingray adventure at Half Moon Cay was enjoyable. Instructions on where to be at what time, were horrible. We had no indication on where to check in. We walked almost all the way to the building with the stingrays only to be told that we need to sign in at the front of the island and ride the tram to the stingray adventure location. My wife and two girls had a 12:30 appointment, and got bumped back because it was overbooked. Then they got left at the stingray adventure with no tram available and were forced with about 20 others to walk all the way back. The empty tram passed them along the route and did not even stop to offer a ride. Balmoral Island Dolphin swim- 9:30 meeting time at the Nassau port, got off the boat nice and early and were basically first in line. Once the excursion workers arrived, it was apparent their attitude towards us was poor at best. Not helpful, not caring. It seemed like since they already had our money, that we were stuck and along for the ride. We were escorted to a small boat, asked a few questions to the un-attentive worker that was on her phone from the moment I first saw her. She acted very bothered that we spoke to her. They counted out 110 passengers for the ferry to Balmoral Island. Then walked us to the boat, then a second group joined our group which made us over capacity. We missed the first boat by 5 people and were left on the dock with no instruction, to wait and bake in the heat for an hour before another boat arrived. Its now 10:30 and we have been off the ship to two hours waiting in the sun and just now getting onto a ferry. Arrived at the island and had to wait in another line to sign a waiver for the dolphin swim. Was given a time slot of 12:45. So our 9:30 turned into 12:45. Very misleading. Waited around on the island, swam in ocean, at lunch ($22 for 1 serving of chicken tenders that came in a styrofoam "to-go" box similar to fast food). We split it among the 4 of us to hold us over till we got back to the ship. THE DOLPHINS WERE AWESOME! The two trainers, not sure of their names were great! They had obviously paid attention to their previous customers needs and were very attentive and made the dolphin swim a complete blast. Cannot say enough about those two guys, they were professional and courteous and did their jobs well. Lockers were provided at the building for the dolphin swim, but there were only 18 available for around 45 people. We had to leave all of our belongings out in the open (passports, cash, phones etc.) Thankfully, everything was left untouched. We finally made it back to the docks around 3:15pm, and needed to be back on the ship by 4:30. We were left with very little time to experience Nassau, but it honestly only took a few moments to realize what a trash hole this place was. There were multiple instances of police sirens that should have been an indicator before we ever left the cruise boat. Nearly every person was rude, pushy and aggressive towards us. The streets are dirty, not maintained at all and there are abandoned buildings and boats littered about. For a port that almost 100% is reliant upon tourism, they really do nothing to keep the place maintained. One man photo-bombed a picture I took of my daughter and then tried to demand I give him money. We were very disappointed that our 9:30am excursion was so misleading and took up the entire day. Carnival really needs to work on their crowd control and better organization with these excursions to increase everyone's enjoyment. We went back to the ship, at at Guy Fieri burger joint, which we were starving and the burgers were absolutely amazing! If you have read this far, I hope this review gives an accurate portrayal of what you can expect. I should have been more prepared for the crowds and the money gouging and the rudeness of the Nassau citizens. In summary, the cruize staff were absolutely amazing we were very well taken care of. The food was awesome. The drinks were weak, but we were not there to get drunk, so it was ok. Nassau citizens and excursion staff were absolutely horrible. Cruise director Adam was incredible. Every show we went to was excellent, just be prepared to wait in long lines for everything. Be prepared to pay 18% gratuity on every purchase, and then be charged $70 per person gratuity on top of that with no warning. Think of it like going to the shopping mall on black friday, once everyone is jammed inside, they lock the doors, triple the price on everything, crank up the heat and start serving alcohol for $15 a drink while everyone lets their kids run absolutely wild. If you can handle that, you will have fun. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Previously we’d been on Princess 2x, Royal, and Norwegian. First Carnival trip and picked this because the port was convenient. We purchased Faster To The Fun, which was a mixed experience. Check-in was organized but extraordinarily ... Read More
Previously we’d been on Princess 2x, Royal, and Norwegian. First Carnival trip and picked this because the port was convenient. We purchased Faster To The Fun, which was a mixed experience. Check-in was organized but extraordinarily hot - you’re carrying bags from your car, to Bldg 324, on to a shuttle in Charleston in the middle of summer. Got on at 11am with very little waiting and our room was ready. The issue was bags (FTTF says expedited). At 4pm we called and they sounded very concerned we hadn’t gotten them yet. At 4:45 I tracked down a random porter and just saw our bags on a cart. Not the best start. Food. The lido deck offerings for breakfast and lunch were fine, sometimes pretty good. Dinner and late night dining there was terrible. We had two nights of specialty dining (Asian and Italian) and they were both terrific - Carnival clearly wants their guests to spend the money for any nighttime dining. The pizza was just mediocre, with some very long lines depending on time of day. Some hidden gems for dining if you’re already booked on this ship. Guy’s Burgers was very good (warning: closes at 6pm) and the Sandwich Shop at the back of Lido was also great. Casino is the hangout spot for smokers. Bartenders, servers, and staff were very polite and fast for the most part. Piano bar was enjoyable but not a lot of song variety. We used the kids club for our daughter. She enjoyed it, but there was always a wait for either drop-off or pickup. The entertainment options were extremely poor. We’d scan the patter for something to do and it always seemed to be either a shopping presentation or Bingo. We would not go on this ship again, and are very likely going to a previous cruise line in the future. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This was our 11th Carnival Cruise and we have cruised on RC and Disney. Chose this port because it is only a 5 hour drive for us. Embarkation: Stayed at Wyngate in Mt Pleasant because they have a park and cruise package. It included an ... Read More
This was our 11th Carnival Cruise and we have cruised on RC and Disney. Chose this port because it is only a 5 hour drive for us. Embarkation: Stayed at Wyngate in Mt Pleasant because they have a park and cruise package. It included an overnight stay, light breakfast, and transportation to and from the port. Our driver arrived 20 minutes early so got to ship a few minutes before our 11:30 boarding time. We immediately began the boarding process and was on the ship by 12:00. All guests must ride a shuttle from check-in to ship but it flowed well for us. We did have priority boarding with a ocean suite. The only new change for us was the "sail and sign" cards" were in our room so you board w pass only. Purchases at bar prior to your stateroom being ready are charged by scanning your boarding pass. Our stateroom was ready once we boarded so we changed and took our granddaughter to the water slides before they got crowded. The ocean suite seemed a little smaller compared to others but it was fine. We had a frig but it wasn't stocked. We just needed it for my wife's insulin. My wife doesn't drink but we did purchase the CHEERS package. She used it primarily for the specialty coffee café which was awesome, waters, and non-alcoholic drinks. We had early reserved dining and received excellent service. The food was very good but we chose not to pay an extra up charge for the more quality steak and/or lobster. Instead of the buffets for breakfast we went to the dining rooms and ordered from the menus. Entertainment: we enjoyed the 2 shows w live singing and dancing. The comedians were very good with PG and R rated shows. Our 7-year old granddaughter enjoyed activities in Camp Ocean. Ports: At Half Moon Cay we rented floats. A little disappointed there were no water slides. In Nassau, we shopped for a while and then went on a short horse and buggy ride. Debarkation was fine: some guests took their own bags and could begin departing at 6:45 am. We checked our bags the night before so we could get our large bags once we departed the ship. We ate breakfast in dining room before departing. Called our shuttle once leaving ship and they were waiting to return us to our vehicle. parked at ship. Overall great time and would recommend. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I chose this cruise because of the port location and it looked very kid friendly with the pool/water slides. Our room was so hot that it was cooler outside than in our cabin. We reported it and were told by someone at the customer ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the port location and it looked very kid friendly with the pool/water slides. Our room was so hot that it was cooler outside than in our cabin. We reported it and were told by someone at the customer service desk that we were taking too many showers and going out on the balcony too much. We hadn’t showered since the day before and hadn’t been on our balcony for several hours. When I told her that she said “ well I am not the a/c specialist and you should have told us sooner that is what the maintenance man said”. Apparently 5pm is too late to get anything done. The only thing we could get done about it was someone brought us a box fan at 1am. The ship is very crowded. A couple of the shows were pretty good, a couple were horrible. Adam was pretty good, our Steward was good. There are not enough chairs on the Lido. The pool is very crowded and small. The water slides are rough. My child ended up with several bruises and a cut after riding just one. The food was not great. I only ate two things that were pretty good. After leaving Nassau and heading back to Charleston we felt like the staff/crew were pretty much done with this cruise. The food was even worse and some of the staff went from friendly to treating you like you were putting them out if you ask for something. The port in Charleston itself is very sketchy. The people handling the luggage upon arrival were very rude and threw everyone’s suitcases like basic garbage. Someone else had something in their suitcase that exploded and ruined our suitcase and some of our clothes. I will not be going back. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise because of location convenience for a bachelorette party. Pros: James was amazing and went above and beyond to help accommodate our bachelorette party. Joey and his team were a great steward and attentive to our ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of location convenience for a bachelorette party. Pros: James was amazing and went above and beyond to help accommodate our bachelorette party. Joey and his team were a great steward and attentive to our needs. The spa services were incredible and exceeded my expectations. Kristel and Suba were great servers! Roger makes the best mojitos! Cons: guest services needs improvement. Upon our arrival, the room we were booked in was not up to our expectations (do not book 4 adults in one room). I went to guest services to ask if there was another room available so we could split our party up and that i was willing to pay anything. I was told the cruise ship was sold out, but when another group in our party had a problem with a bed, they were put in another room. This leads me to believe Carnival lied to me about being sold out and lost out on the chance to increase their revenue. Dinner reservations were incorrect 2 of the three nights and the staff was difficult to work with to accommodate our party. Overall, most staff was great but I will never be returning to a carnival cruise again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I'm writing this from the perspective of someone who wants a relaxing cruise, as apposed to someone who wants to party. If you are looking to get, and stay, loud, this may be the ship for you. This is only my second cruise. My first ... Read More
I'm writing this from the perspective of someone who wants a relaxing cruise, as apposed to someone who wants to party. If you are looking to get, and stay, loud, this may be the ship for you. This is only my second cruise. My first was on the Carnival Fantasy, out of Mobile AL. The Fantasy was so great, that I couldn't remember everything that my wife and I loved about it when I wrote that review (amazing ship and crew regardless how old it is). I want to start with the pros because I did generally enjoy my cruise, and it's not such a bad ship that I want to beet it down here. The staff are friendly and helpful, though they are obviously overloaded/understaffed. The food is good, and there is plenty of it. Our cabin was perfectly maintained. We had a party of 5, so we were constantly in and out of the cabin, and the crew worked around us beautifully. We only knew they were there because the room kept getting cleaned up, and they always said hello in passing. Half Moon Cay is amazing. The beach is beautiful white sand as far out as you will want to go with crystal clear water. The beach is large enough that, even on a ship with several thousand passengers, it was easy to be off to ourselves. It's the one part of this cruise that was better than our last, and we went to Paradise Island on our last cruise. Before Half Mood Cay, we were sure Paradise Island was the greatest place on Earth. Unfortunately, the cons (for me) is a larger list on this ship. While food venues are plentiful, places to sit down and eat are a commodity. This will be a recurring theme. It feels like they have packed in as many guests as they possibly could, and that means that guests are constantly in line for everything, and pushing through one another for tables. Even worse, because of the lines, they will start handing out "default" menu items to get people through faster. While Guy's Burger stand has several burgers to choose from, if you want to get one during the first couple of hours after they open for lunch, you're just going to be handed the basic "default" burger and pushed through. The pizza stand will start handing out pieces of 2 or 3 "default" pizzas because there is no way that they can take orders for the number of guests that they are trying to serve; and the list goes on. If you want a deli sandwich for lunch, good luck. One of my wife and my favorite things on the Fantasy was taking breakfast out on the deck. It was amazing having our coffee and breakfast out in the early morning ocean air, looking over at nothing but ocean. This ship had no deck tables at all. Even if you are ok with eating breakfast in a lawn chair, there are very few places where you can see over the rails from that low to the deck. The majority of the rails on the ship are solid steel or tall glass, so you can have the view or the breeze, but not both. We found a place, but it's such a find, and so unknown that I honestly don't want to tell anyone about it, and even there we were eating with our plates in our laps and coffee on our bench, not to mention it was quite a walk from the food area. The Serenity Deck is anything but serene. When we looked at pictures, it looked amazing. It has a small pool with a waterfall feature, and a lot of seating. We thought, based on our experience on "the good boat" that it wouldn't be crowded at all with all that seating because most people tend to stay around the Lido Deck and follow the entertainment around the ship. We are Serenity Deck people. We loved sitting in the quiet Serenity Deck area on the Fantasy and reading a book in the shade, again overlooking the ocean. We couldn't wait to get to this one. Then we got there and found it and this was the most disappointing moment of the trip. The Serenity Deck is located right on top of the Lido pool, so all the drunks just look up and see more seating, which again is a commodity. It was packed with loud drunks the majority of the time, and when it wasn't there was a constant hum from massive air handlers of some kind and/or the chatter and roar of the Lido crowd. If all of that wasn't bad enough, it has tall glass walls surrounding it, so the breeze is badly muted. One of the few good places to relax and enjoy the ocean breeze and view at the same time is deck 3. Deck 3 port-side is my favorite place on the ship. Unfortunately, they setup in front of the doors on that side to take pictures all the time, and it is inaccessible when this happens. Starboard-side is still open during this time, but had a constant sewage-like odor. This could have been a temporary issue during our cruise, and may not be a problem for later itineraries, but it was constant during our cruise. On that note, I apologize to the Port of Charleston for some of the things that I said about your city when we boarded the ship; turns out it was the ship, not the port. A little off-topic, but great job Charleston Port. You guys did a great job. Boarding and debarkation were very smooth, and your people friendly and professional. I'm not going to keep posting complaints, but I firmly believe that most of them come down to the same thing anyway. The boat it over capacity. My party of 5 was constantly seated at a table for 4 with a chair in the isle. Not because the dining staff didn't care, but because wasting a chair by putting us at a 6-person table wasn't an option. They needed every seat they could get to accommodate passengers. My wife and I left our last cruise on the Fantasy positive that we were Carnival people, and this was our cruise line. We booked this past cruise and another, on Glory this December, pretty immediately afterword. However, we are strongly considering canceling the Glory cruise and losing our insurance money because it's the same class ship as the Sunshine. My advice to anyone looking for a relaxing trip is to look at the smaller ships. If at all possible look at the Fantasy. We are going to start looking in to other lines that may be more focused on relaxation, and less on selling drinks. Read Less
Carnival Sunshine Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.9
Dining 4.0 3.7
Entertainment 5.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 3.7
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.8
Family 4.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.7
Enrichment 3.0 3.3
Service 4.0 4.0
Value For Money 5.0 3.7
Rates 3.0 4.1

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