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5 Night Cuba Cruise from Charleston

5 Night Cuba Cruise from Charleston

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Carnival Sunshine
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Itinerary

  • Day 1
    Charleston
  • Day 2
    Cruising
  • Day 3
    Freeport
  • Day 4
    Havana
  • Day 5
    Cruising
  • Day 6
    Charleston

Carnival Sunshine

Carnival Sunshine - Carnival Cruise Line

Pros

Ship offers updated bars, restaurants and revamped kids' spaces.

Cons

Adults-only areas, while lovely, are a bit small.

Bottom Line

Former Carnival Destiny underwent $155 million makeover, and the improvements are noticeable.


Cruise Reviews

Sail Date: February 2019
This is my third cruise; 1st to Alaska and 2nd to the Bahamas, so we wanted something with a lot of variety. The ports did not disappoint, and the weather was extremely cooperative. We had absolutely no rain, and the temps were mostly in ... Read More
This is my third cruise; 1st to Alaska and 2nd to the Bahamas, so we wanted something with a lot of variety. The ports did not disappoint, and the weather was extremely cooperative. We had absolutely no rain, and the temps were mostly in the 80s and sunny! We got on the boat in record time! Everyone I talked to was amazed by how quickly we were on the ship and enjoying lunch. The only line we encountered was through the TSA . Our "appointment time" was between 12:30 and 1, and we were already eating at Guy's Burger Jt by 12:15! Debarking was pretty tedious, but the port did the best they could. The ship had its pros and cons. We adored the Serenity pool, the hammocks and the fact that we could almost always get somewhere to lounge. We also loved the ropes course which we were told only exist on 5 other ships. The ship looks kind of dated and frazzled, but the staff was wonderful. The food was not as good as the Carnival Bahamas cruise we were on last year. I was disappointed my lobster tail was mushy, and the prime rib was bland. Coffee service was not even offered. But everything was plated beautifully and the service was delightful. Our cabin, 7316, was my first experience with a balcony. This particular room had a larger balcony that included a lounge chair in addition to 2 tables and chair. Loved it! The room always had some sort of white noise buzz which didn't bother me, but it did my husband; I think we were located near the laundry. 7th level had us close to all the action though. Here's what I was disappointed in; we had precious little time in each port. I'm not sure if that's a Carnival thing, or if you can even research average cruise line's port times. The main reason to cruise to me is to visit new countries, so I want the most time possible there. We felt rushed, especially since we never got off the ship on time. I'm also not thrilled with how a few of the ports have been "Disneyfied"; sanitized to the point that one is felt the only point of being in port is to shop! Yuck! I was especially disappointed in Amber Cove. We were told everything we would want to do was right at the port, but you couldn't even get to the beach! We didn't do a single organized shore excursion, but we still saw plenty in each port by doing a little research and mainly using taxis. In Amber Cove, we rode to Puerta Plata and took the cable car up to the botanical garden. In St. Thomas, we drove downtown and walked around, then took a taxi to amazingly beautiful Magen's Bay for snorkeling. In San Juan, my husband had prearranged an opportunity for us to volunteer a few hours at Casa Ronald McDonald (as opposed to Carnival's prearranged volunteer projects that I wonder how much they profited from). A cab then took us to Old Town where we wondered happily for several hours in and out of forts and museums. And in Grand Turk, we walked to the recommended Governor's Beach for the most amazing snorkeling I had ever done. We easily took a cab from there to tour the town a bit and see the wild donkeys and horses. I'm certain we managed to do more, for cheaper, in the short amount of time we had in each port. I will love to do this cruise again. The ports were gorgeous, the crew was lovely, and we felt pampered and relaxed. I'd love to experience the same cruise on a different line to see if my perception would change. It definitely was a cruise to remember. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This review concerns only the Carnival ship and company. Our cruise was an adult-only charter and we had no complaints about its organisers. Our overall impression was of a penny-pinching enterprise seeking to squeeze every last dime ... Read More
This review concerns only the Carnival ship and company. Our cruise was an adult-only charter and we had no complaints about its organisers. Our overall impression was of a penny-pinching enterprise seeking to squeeze every last dime from its captive customers. Specifically : - Food in general was very poor. Everything in the buffet was cold and poor quality (exception: the bacon was lovely). The MDR was pretentious and lacking real quality. The smaller venues (omelette station, Blue Iguana, pizza bar...) were notably better although the burger bar food was disgusting. Most places were closed too often, giving a poor choice of food for "non-standard" meal-times. Conform or go hungry? - Drinks prices were outrageous (with alcohol packages unavailable on charters - I can't think why). Wine “deals” were available at slightly less outrageous prices, whereby you effectively pre-purchased bottles from a selection. Having taken our money THEY RAN OUT of the most popular wines. We felt defrauded. We also often received our wine when our meal was half over. Water that wasn't heavily chlorinated and decent coffee also had to be paid for. - They confiscated the bottles of wine we brought onto the ship as apparently we had put them in the “wrong suitcase". They were never returned, despite the letter that said they would be! That left a VERY bitter taste (but presumably a rather pleasant one for staff). - The internet was extremely expensive, with very limited options to choose from. There definitely ought to be a per-minute option too for those who just want to research a lunch in port etc. The staff, without exception, were friendly and helpful. However there was a noticeable lack of management and training at the level above their individual jobs. They need to know how it all fits together! Our cabin, a deck 7 interior, was absolutely fine. It was well designed, had just enough storage, and nothing was damaged or missing. The only problem - a grave one - was that the toilet stopped flushing on several occasions towards the end of the cruise. It was quickly fixed each time but it was difficult to cope with, particularly in the night. The self-serve launderette on our floor was useful although each wash, dry and detergent cost a rather high $7.50. The gym facilities were also adequate. The ship has had major refits, I believe. There are certainly some oddities, including confusing lifts. Two major problems are: 1. The casino forms a main thoroughfare, particularly when it's raining, and smoking is normally allowed there. It wasn't on our cruise, but the stench lingers. 2. Everyone walks through the Limelight Lounge to get to the MDR as there are few viable alternatives. The route runs along the edge of the stage - most off-putting for everyone. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
Our cabin steward was excellent, but that was about all; he was named Lamphong and he was great. Otherwise, the cruise was fairly mediocre, stopping in several Caribbean ports including their manufactured island in the Bahamas. We had a ... Read More
Our cabin steward was excellent, but that was about all; he was named Lamphong and he was great. Otherwise, the cruise was fairly mediocre, stopping in several Caribbean ports including their manufactured island in the Bahamas. We had a veranda room looking out at the very aft of the ship, which cost more than the regular veranda rooms. We were surprised to find a dinky veranda, no larger that the others on either side of the ship. The main dining room featured formica tables without table cloths; I thought they perhaps could add to this truck stop theme by placing squeeze bottles of ketchup and mustard, and perhaps hot sauce, in a little stainless steel holder. Much better was the Havana Bar on the Lido deck, which featured excellent omelettes each morning. Also, the hamburger stand by the very small pool was great. No bathrobes, no binoculars, nothing extra. This ship, unlike other Carnivals, did have a library with more than a dozen books, and it did have ample launderettes. The prime rib was paper-thin and tough, but the steak and eggs for breakfast in the main dining room had a small fillet mignon. Overall, this ship and cruise did not compare to a similar one we took a few months ago on Holland America. The ship itself is ship-shape, and we give them high marks for the embarkation and disembarkation process as well as luggage delivery. Carnival knows how to move people. The entertainment was fine. I'll confess that we'd already taken shore excursions to the ports we stopped at, so we benefited from low population around the pool on port days. It was harum-scarum at the pool on sea days. This was a adult cruise, so I can't comment on kid's activities, but Carnival has a great reputation for that sort of thing. Overall the best thing I can say is that our cabin service was superior. Read Less
View All Carnival Sunshine Reviews
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