Sail Date: July 2018
It's been a year since our last cruise and MY things have changed! The Embarkation process was so different. Our passports were scanned first, then we went through security and got our Sign & Sail passes AFTER we boarded. It was pretty ... Read More
It's been a year since our last cruise and MY things have changed! The Embarkation process was so different. Our passports were scanned first, then we went through security and got our Sign & Sail passes AFTER we boarded. It was pretty easy and pretty cool! No more clunky machines. IPads now scan your entire room onto the ship. Easy peasy! Now, I normally don't write reviews but I heard a lot of negative stuff about this ship and must state "A Cruise is what you make of it." Our staterooms were spotless and our attendant (Jaya) was incredibly kind and helpful. We were on deck 1 and frankly found no difference between staying on 1 or staying on 10. With our kids, we don't want them with balcony access so this was perfect. The ship itself could use some TLC but the parties here were more fun than any ship we've been on! DJ Devine was great as was Jess the Cruise Director. There was more dancing on this ship than I have ever seen before and even my sons danced. The buffet was limited to common foods but that was okay because Cucina Capitano, JiJi's Asian, the sushi place and those damn fish tacos gave us PLENTY DELICIOUS FOOD TO EAT (yes, I ate 22 fish tacos this week and I don't care if you judge me LOL!) Also, get the spaghetti in Cucina. It is to die for!!! Also, pizza was awesome (and I'm from Brooklyn.) Grand Turk had the most beautiful beach I've ever been to (Pillory Beach) and Saint Kitts had incredible scenery (Cockleshell Beach was a big party.) We did the Fort in San Juan and had a spectacular time on their garden trail. It's kind of hidden but well worth the adventure. Huge iguanas, blue lizards and hermit crabs all overlooking stunning scenery. We took taxis everywhere and it was so easy, so cheap and very safe. Alchemy Bar (Katarina and Miro) had great drinks. Red Frog Pub had fun games for my kids. Also, great camp! MY KIDS HATE CRUISE CAMP! All 3 went and all 3 came back happy. Casino bar also makes great martinis and I won - twice!!! Family Comedy was fun and so were the Hasbro Game Show and the Dr. Seuss Breakfast. They really should advertise the breakfast more because it was great. There were very few downsides - family pool was really tiny and there were only 2 hot tubs but the slides were fun! We also enjoyed the ropes course and sports deck. Gym was hot but the equipment was hi-tech. I hiked through the Grand Canyon while sailing the Caribbean. Really cool! Pool side movies with popcorn and warm towels were a surprise fave of everyone. Black Panther, Avengers Infinity War, Ready Player One...such a nice way to end the evening for my kids. One negative thing...the decks by the pools were SO SLIPPERY. I watched so many kids and adults fall. I think the flip flops made it worse. The staff everywhere was super helpful to our entire family. My kids felt very comfortable on this ship and it was the first time I let them do stuff on their own. Also, ice cream. Lots and lots and lots of ice cream. I think my kids ate 40000000 cones. This was definitely our favorite Carnival experience and will definitely be back! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
The Carnival Sunshine is a Destiny-Class ship that was originally designed to carry 2,600 passengers. After a $150M refit and rechristening in 2013, space to fit 400 more passengers was added—a more than 15% increase in passenger ... Read More
The Carnival Sunshine is a Destiny-Class ship that was originally designed to carry 2,600 passengers. After a $150M refit and rechristening in 2013, space to fit 400 more passengers was added—a more than 15% increase in passenger capacity—but no more crew were added and it certainly appears no more space in the common areas was added to accommodate that increase. As a result, every day on the Carnival Sunshine is a struggle with our fellow passengers to compete for limited space at the various eateries (that don’t have additional expense, that is), limited numbers of tables/chairs to enjoy your food, limited numbers of deck chairs to enjoy the outdoors, and limited space to enjoy the shows. The overcrowding on the “new” Carnival Sunshine is maddening, frustrating, and quickly douses enthusiasm for the cruise experience. We are cruising as part of a large family group and this 8-day Cruise was chosen because of the Sunshine refit and the extra cruising day. However, both of these things are now playing against us. We are now halfway through the cruise but are eagerly anticipating the last day—an emotion we have never experienced on a cruise before. This is our 6th and will be our final Carnival cruise. It is also, unfortunately, our most expensive and most disappointing Carnival experience. The overcrowding is not the only issue. Carnival offers a basic and an upgraded internet data plan. Both are very expensive. You can try the basic plan but will likely find it relatively useless. So they then advertise the upgrade for an additional $45 and mention “satellite internet “ fast enough to Skype on. We do NOT recommend it as even the upgraded plan has limited coverage on the ship and moves at a snails pace—certainly not fast enough to accomplish much of anything. At guest services, one passenger complained but the crew member pointed out that his phone WAS connected and Carnival made no guarantees about the speed. As I write this, I am in port using Verizon’s travel plan and not the Carnival internet package I purchased. We purchased an aft ocean view suite and it was a good size with a jacuzzi bath tub. Unfortunately, our second morning here we woke up to find the bedroom carpet flooded after a pipe in the bathtub busted. This meant we were effectively kicked out of our room for 2 days while they shut off the electric, did the plumbing work, disinfected and cleaned the carpet, and brought in industrial blowers to dry everything. We couldn’t use the tub or shower and, in order to bathe, had to stand in line at guest services to trade out our key card for an empty cabin, lug our toiletries across the ship to a small interior cabin with a tiny shower to bathe, and then stand in line again to trade the key card out again to get back in to our cabin. For these two days of problems—on At Sea days, nonetheless—Carnival’s guest services offered $150 onboard credit. I scoffed and told them that was ridiculous. Guest Services said that $150 is what 2 days of losing our Suite is worth. However, I pointed out I was paying $700 per day so those 2 days were worth $1400 to me. I was told: “Tough. In these situations, Carnival makes the rules.” We were not the only people with problems. Another couple in our party in an extended aft-balcony State Room on Deck 6 can not use their balcony because of about 1-2” of standing water that has not been remedied since Day One. Still an additional couple with the same class stateroom on Deck 7 have complained about paint splatter and grime coating their balcony door and poor service from their room steward. One other guest I met staying in a Serenity-level balcony state room tells me there is a foul smell in their bathroom that, after 4 days, has yet to be remedied. As for our steward, we have had great service from her and her assistants. The deck supervisor was responsive and helpful during the two days of problems dealing with flooding in our cabin. While our wait staff lacks the showmanship of some other waiters, they are still very responsive, respectful, and kind. So all in all, the crew we have dealt with—aside from guest services—have been awesome. A couple positive notes—the entertainment has been good. Dave in the Piano Bar is so great, the comedians have been top notch, and the illusionist Jackson Rayne was captivating. Unfortunately, the theater now doubles as the dance club and is much smaller than on other ships and the shows and karaoke bounces around the ship in small venues that means fewer seats and more run-ins with other frustrated guests. In conclusion, I must STRONGLY encourage any would-be cruisers to avoid Carnival Cruise Lines altogether—or at least the Carnival Sunshine. I truly believe there is a systemic problem with Carnival Cruise Lines that has been growing worse and we have experienced it on each cruise we have taken since 2010. From a formerly very loyal Carnival cruiser—who has avoided joining his in-laws on one of their annual Royal Caribbean cruises—I strongly recommend going with another cruise line. We will be switching to Royal Caribbean next year and won’t look back. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
The embarkation in Port Canaveral was very organized but anything that went smooth all week was quickly forgotten today during disembarkation. We were in port for over 4 hours before the "carry your own luggage off" group was ... Read More
The embarkation in Port Canaveral was very organized but anything that went smooth all week was quickly forgotten today during disembarkation. We were in port for over 4 hours before the "carry your own luggage off" group was called to leave. There were no explanations or updates about the delay from the cruise director , "Jess from the U.S." Many passengers were yelling down to deck 3 asking for info. It was 5.25 hours before deck 8 was called. By then hundreds had taken their chances on exiting with the groups with luggage. The "Chefs Table" was fabulous as always. We loved the food and the host, Lama. Too, too much food but it was wonderful. Our wait staff, Leonilde (sp) and Rhoman in the Sunset Dining Room were great all week. I try to avoid the buffet but enjoyed breakfast/brunch in the Sunrise Dining Room. I was disappointed in the room service menu: my favorites were either removed or are now "extras". Breakfast on the balcony has been a big plus in the past. We enjoyed The evening shows in the Liquid Lounge .The Epic Rock production was one of the best I've ever seen on board any cruise line. We also enjoyed the meeting to honor veterans. We chose our excursion in Aruba based on previous reviews (ages 55-65+) but did not enjoy the Kukoo Kunuku party bus . There was a much younger crowd that night. The bars and restaurant we went to were in questionable areas at best. Some had security guards to escort us from the bus into the building. Most of the places had no other patrons besides the Carnival excursion. The mystery drinks served were free but strange tasting so we switched early on to bottled beer.I was very happy to get back to the ship. There wasn't a lot to do on sea days besides shop the usual trinkets and port needs. The jewelry was beautiful but browsing the display cases is impossible without the constant hovering . .....the fastest way to run me off. My enthusiasm for a rare stone was squelched quickly and I never returned. I will persue it locally. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This cruise was more about fun and relaxation than the itinerary. This was the first cruise my DH and I had without children. We were in Spa Balcony room 11031. The room had plenty of storage space, had a mini fridge, small couch and ... Read More
This cruise was more about fun and relaxation than the itinerary. This was the first cruise my DH and I had without children. We were in Spa Balcony room 11031. The room had plenty of storage space, had a mini fridge, small couch and table. The balcony had two chairs and a small table. Our room steward, I Ketut, was friendly and attentive. We requested fresh ice each morning and evening and it was always taken care of. This room was the perfect location for us- especially once I learned how to use short cuts to get to the different venues. The room was only 3 doors from the serenity pool. I’m an early bird so I was outside by 7 each morning enjoying the view, cooler breeze and was able to get a decent lounge chair location. Bonus: with the room so close, I could go back to the room for bathroom breaks, grab anything I forgot or check on hubby who was sleeping in. Getting from the front of the ship to the back was easy from our room. Go out to the Serenity Deck, go down one flight of steps on the left side and walk across to the back (Sports area), go inside and take elevator down to Sunrise Dining Room (breakfast, Seaday Brunch, Teatime), Casino, Ocean Plaza, Red Frog Pub, and Liquid Lounge. Because of the layout of the restaurant and atrium we would take the elevator to Deck 5 Mezzanine and take the stairs down to Deck 3. We really enjoyed the Comedy Shows each evening. Especially Tommy Drake and John Mulroney. Don’t miss these shows- we went to all the PG shows and were able to stay up and see a couple of the Adult shows- all were hilarious. We ate all our evening meals in the Sunset Dining Room at the 8:15 time. I would have preferred the earlier time. We were very well taken care of by Allan, Jennifer, and Nigel. They remembered our names and preferences. Plus they were very friendly and added to making our vacation a fun and wonderful time. We ate breakfast back in the Havana Bar area where we had made fresh omelette sand fruit and pastries from the Marketplace buffet. During Seadays we ate at the Sunrise Dining Room, where Brunch was served until 1 pm. Lunch was usually Guys Burgers, Blue Iguana and my favorite, the Italian Restaurant (free at lunch, $ in the evening). As I researched our cruise, here are some of the most informative sources I used: Cruise Critic,- Reviews and Boards, TheJellyBeans.net - YouTube videos with tips and tours and EeCcTravels.com - Videos and Blog. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Carnival sunshine is a conquest class ship that has been changed We had a really nice time. The ship is really for the active as the sports deck is a main hub. The sky ropes course, miniature golf, football, basketball, ping pong, and ... Read More
Carnival sunshine is a conquest class ship that has been changed We had a really nice time. The ship is really for the active as the sports deck is a main hub. The sky ropes course, miniature golf, football, basketball, ping pong, and other games is on the back of the ship along with the kids clubs. One deck below is the water park. The place for the adults is a 3 level serenity area for the adults in the forward. The middle is common ground The ship is in good shape, the food choices are good. The main show lounge is a little small and so is comedy lounge so let’s minutes have trouble getting a seat Our room steward and dining staff were great and friendly The deli person had a chip on his shoulder or needed interaction training The cruise director had lots of energy and was fun and created great energy First time I waited for food on a carnival ship as the wok and a few other areas there was obvious crew food sneaking and waited longer than normal and then it was obvious crew were doing a lot of full plate wrapped sneaking, maybe crew food is getting not so great and the crew area The shows had good themes, classic rock, 1970’s show, Motown, Sunshine did a great job getting rid of the disco and putting a red frog pub and ocean plaza in its place. Its more open to everyone now and more casual. The music has been moved out of Casino and into ocean plaza which is great for non smokers and allows a better flow of foot traffic The Casino is now smaller but once you have so many slot machines how does having more not being used helping anybody I do think this ship with so much emphasis on the active would not be fun if the weather kept all indoors due to rain, no sliding roofs on this ship 100 percent would recommend this ship Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This was my second time on the Sunshine. We had a total of three cabins, two oceanview and one balcony. My kids loved Guy's Burgers everyday for lunch. We went to the dining room every day for breakfast, either the Sea Day Brunch, Port ... Read More
This was my second time on the Sunshine. We had a total of three cabins, two oceanview and one balcony. My kids loved Guy's Burgers everyday for lunch. We went to the dining room every day for breakfast, either the Sea Day Brunch, Port Day Breakfast or Dr. Seuss Breakfast. For dinner, we ate at the Steakhouse one night (Amazing!), JiJi's Asian one night (Really Good!), and Cuchina del Capitano one night (Hit or Miss). Other than that we ate in the MDR every other night. Our servers were awesome! The food was good. The only place we never ate was the Lido Buffet. Ports: Grand Turk was a blast, Margaritaville is always fun! The ocean was a bit sea-weedy, but once you got past that, it was nice and clear. San Juan: Still showing signs of hurricane damage, but a great place to get rum! St. Kitts: Cute little island. St. Maarten: My favorite island in the Caribbean! Spent a great day at Great Bay Beach, then a bit of shopping. My 6 year old loved the kids club, karaoke and the arcade. My 15 year old had a harder time finding things to do, but enjoyed the waterslides, karaoke and the arcade. My biggest (only) complaint with this cruise is the entertainment options. Carnival needs to get better live entertainment. The production shows were not good. The performers were great, but the content was pretty stale. Other than that, we loved every minute of our cruise and are eagerly awaiting her move to Charleston next year! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Let me start with the FEW things that were good. 1. Embarkation and Debarkation - Carnival has it done to a science on how to get folks on and off the boat with very little wait or disruption...We came at our appointed time and spent ... Read More
Let me start with the FEW things that were good. 1. Embarkation and Debarkation - Carnival has it done to a science on how to get folks on and off the boat with very little wait or disruption...We came at our appointed time and spent less than 15 mins in line getting on the boat, we couldn't believe it!! And getting off was the same, we picked our zone tags on our way to breakfast, listened for our floor to be called...it was the best on and off ever!! 2. The Ports - Aruba, Curacao, and Grand Turk are beautiful islands that have a ton of rich history!! 3. The dining room staff were super nice and helpful, but the kitchen was incredibly SLOW!! That's where the good ends and the BAD begins. The Bad: 1. The food was AWFUL!! The same flat iron steak that they served for dinner was served with the same nasty brown gravy-like substance in the morning for steak and eggs. The only good dinner night was lobster tail night and it was just ok. The buffet was filled with barely warm and edible food. The one highlight to the food was Guys Burger Bar...those burgers and hand cut fries were amazing but it's hard to do that 3 meals a day for 8 days. The guys at the pizza place made pizza very slow and there was always a loooong line made by the same 3 guys who looked like that HATED being there. 2. The boat has way to many passengers for the entertainment. We got in line for a comedy show in the limelight lounge 45 mins prior to the show and did not get a seat...its a tiny lounge for 3k people. 3. Serenity Deck (21 yrs and up only?)- This boat has 3 levels for the "serenity" of its passengers who are above 21 and don't want to hear screaming kids...perfect right? No, there was a consistent flow of young kids (from 2 - 14yrs old) hanging out. My wife and I got up and left because a family had there 5 years old on the serenity deck screaming and hollering during a movie. 4. There were loooong lines everywhere that we went, even trying to get back on the boat at ports with several hours before people had to be on, we never could figure out why they would only open 1 gangway and keep the lines forever long!!?? 5. Tons of underage drinking - I know that Carnival is known as the party boat but seriously! Parents were allowing their kids to take their sign and sail card up to the bar and order drinks because they had the bubbles sticker. No one was verifying that these people were of legal age to drink, as long as they had a card the drinks flowed which made for a very noticeable security team. I knew that the other boats we had been on had them but we hadn't seen them so prevalent as we did on this boat. 6. Outdoor activities - Many of the outdoor activities were closed due to "weather" which we never really understood, it didn't seem to matter if the seas were calm or rough or if it was windy or not...the sign was always up? Overall, this boat sucked. I will NEVER cruise on this boat again nor use Carnival. I tried to contact there Customer "Don't" Care department and they told me that "they'd check into it but often these are things of personal preference". I was highly disappointed in the trip on the sunshine and the after "care". Do yourself a favor...DON'T book on this boat!!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
My husband and I took our children, spouses and grandchildren (17 total) for a family vacation. We have sailed with Carnival over 20 times and this is our last! 1. The quality of the food was poor and service was below standard. 2. ... Read More
My husband and I took our children, spouses and grandchildren (17 total) for a family vacation. We have sailed with Carnival over 20 times and this is our last! 1. The quality of the food was poor and service was below standard. 2. A lot of the treadmills in the fitness center did not work properly. 3. The staff at the spa was very rude and even a simple question about a service was an imposition. 4. The cruise advertised water slides for children. The yellow slide was never open during the entire cruise, the other 2 slides were only open part of the time. On the last day at sea, neither end were open. 5. The workers at the Pursor’a desk were rude. Best thing- Mikie, the cruise director, was great! He was every where and visible. Lesson I learned: pay a little more and have a better experience! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
If I could give 0 stars I would. DO NOT CRUISE CARNIVAL!!!!!! After contacting Guest Relations explaining our LONG lists of complaints,they basically responded with all my complaints are "my opinion." CARNIVAL DOES NOT CARE ... Read More
If I could give 0 stars I would. DO NOT CRUISE CARNIVAL!!!!!! After contacting Guest Relations explaining our LONG lists of complaints,they basically responded with all my complaints are "my opinion." CARNIVAL DOES NOT CARE ABOUT THIER PASSENGERS! Our vacation was on the Carnival Cruise Sunshine/8 night/eastern carribean. We have taken 5 prior Carnival cruises and unfortunately this was BY FAR the WORST! We have never complained on any other cruise. You would think they would value prior, loyal passengers but NOPE. Our complaints were valid and Carnival COULD CARE LESS! WOST CUSTOMER SERVICE! Ironically, this was the longest and we paid the most for this cruise than any other yet this one was a huge disappoinment. We immediately began experiencing unsatisfactory events. We traveled from Los Angeles with a travel size steamer. It made it past the airline regulations but apparently not the cruise ship. We purchased this item specifically for the cruise so our clothes wouldn't be wrinkled. It was BRAND NEW-NEVER USED and was confiscated by the Port just before boarding. We didn't understand why it was OK to bring on flat irons, curling irons but not a travel size clothing iron/steamer. We were very sad it was taken. The Port told us to "talk to Carnival" and when we got on board and went directly to Guest Services, we were told it was NOT Carnival, it was the Port. Both pointing fingers at one another was frustrating. And that was how our trip began.... The first night in the dinning room was a horrible experience. The food quality was not how we remembered and the service was slow and poor. The server had the worst body odor and breathe, the drinks came in a can with no ice, we all had drinks accept for the youngest in our party (our 5 year old daughter). She wanted apple juice and was told they didn't have it (I thought apple juice was a juice provided). The dinning room chairs were dirty and stained. The table next to us had screaming/crying children and that ruined our experience too. The next night we asked to switch tables and were told only the Matra Di could make that change. Needless to say, our table was never changed. Not sure why. The last night of the cruise we begged the YOUR TIME dinning representative to find us a table so we could eat dinner together as a family ONE last night! Lucky for us, she was able to find us a table. Throughout the days, we saw spills, dirty counters and messes on the floors that would stay there for hours it seemed. It is NOT a good feeling to have your dinning area appear dirty. The 24 hour pizza was good but the lines were very long. Sometimes only 1 person working. In the Sunrise Dinning Room where we had brunch, we witnessed a server dig his finer in his butthole (sorry to be so graphic but we were shocked at what we saw!) There seemed to be inconsistency with the Bubbles program, some servers told us we could only have 1 can every 5 minutes, one server told us we had to order it from Room Service and it was always difficult to find anyone to get us a soda. It was almost as if it was an inconvenience to them. It was also difficult to track down any apple juice. I was under the impression that was an unlimited beverage and it happens to be y daughter's favorite beverage-that is why we didn't purchase a BUBBLES package for her yet we could rarely find apple juice for her. Around the Lido deck I was always SO cautious walking because of the amount of water in fear that I would slip. Well, my 12 year old son wasn't so lucky. He was walking near the stairs of the spa and slipped on the water. He ended up going to the Medical Room and having Xrays taken. He ended up being OK but had a huge bruise on his leg. We saw a couple adults slip as well the next day. There needs to be someone brushing the access water! Just having cation signs up doesn't prevent falls. The bartender who worked the Cuban bar was a jerk. Total attitude and rude. The Social Media app was a joke-I was never able to use it or connect. The Carnival HUB app is a great tool IF it would work effectively. I tried communicating with my son and our texts would get delayed which made communicating pointless. It is very obvious the jewelry shop employees are on commission. Every time we went to the jewelry shop I was uncomfortable because they were pushy and desperate to make a sale. They even called our stateroom to ask if we made a decision on a purchase. I'm on vacation-I don't want feel pressured to buy. I felt like they were used car salesman. One point blank asked me if i was "there to buy a Rolex" and questioned why! RUDE! NOT how I want to be treated on vacation. Went to Cucina Del Capitano and as we walked by the kitchen to be seated, a chef was tossing food in her mouth-UNPROFESSIONAL! In the dinning room the last night I had BY FAR the WORST Prime Rib I've had in my entire life! There were HOLES in our stateroom bath towels. And the cherry on top was our last night-the bathroom flooded. We did nothing to cause this. I was taking a shower and when I went to step out the entire bathroom floor was under about 3 inches of water. It was 1am and took 1 hour for the plumber to fix!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We really didn’t enjoy our time on the ship! The serenity area had so many under 21 year olds it was ridiculous!! No one said anything to them! Then of course you had those who saved chairs for over 3 hours! Kids running everywhere ... Read More
We really didn’t enjoy our time on the ship! The serenity area had so many under 21 year olds it was ridiculous!! No one said anything to them! Then of course you had those who saved chairs for over 3 hours! Kids running everywhere on the cruise too. Cabin was horrible! This cruise needs a band or some better entertainment at night! Movies where great if you could find a chair to watch it in. Leater was amazing at the my time dining! We loved him! Ports where great, we enjoyed each place and the beach’s. The ship definitely needs a bigger pool for serenity area. It was packed. We usually cruise in February so this was definitely a different experience. We were just extremely disappointed with our cabin and the response we received from Nadia. Just didn’t care we never slept!! It went on and on the whole cruise. Read Less
Carnival Sunshine Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.9
Dining 4.0 3.7
Entertainment 5.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 3.8
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.8
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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