1,377 Carnival Sunshine Cruise Reviews

I choose Carnival Sunshine because we were able to depart from Charleston, SC. where I live! It was my first cruise and loved it! We cruised to Bermuda and Princess Cays from September 28-October 5th! Everyone was so nice and friendly! Our ... Read More
I choose Carnival Sunshine because we were able to depart from Charleston, SC. where I live! It was my first cruise and loved it! We cruised to Bermuda and Princess Cays from September 28-October 5th! Everyone was so nice and friendly! Our Steward LD (for short) kept us comfortable the whole time! Robert from Romania (Head Server) was awesome! One can tell he thoroughly enjoyed his job! He kept us entertained and was on the ball with his service! I would rate his service an 11!!!! The shows, food, Lido Deck, music, service, people and everything was wonderful! We also enjoyed the buffet.the ice cream and pizza! The the crew was friendly and accommodated us with all our needs. Shopping on the ship was awesome, I found some good deals for myself and family. I will do it all over again very soon!! Thank you very much Carnival Sunshine!! See you soon! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We cruised Sept. 22-28 on the Sunshine, originally for 1.5 days in Bermuda, but diverted due to hurricane Jerry to Princess Cays and Nassau. We were disappointed as Bermuda was the main reason we booked the cruise and the fact it was ... Read More
We cruised Sept. 22-28 on the Sunshine, originally for 1.5 days in Bermuda, but diverted due to hurricane Jerry to Princess Cays and Nassau. We were disappointed as Bermuda was the main reason we booked the cruise and the fact it was leaving from Charleston. We knew it was hurricane season, but unfortunately, all of the Bermuda options on Carnival from Charleston are during hurricane season and not a lot of other options are available. We were disappointed, but made the best of the cruise. We have sailed the Sunshine before in 2016 when it was making less frequent runs from Charleston, it is now home based there. It is an older ship that was re-designed in 2013. We typically enjoy the very large ships better because there are just more options. There are some oddities with this ship in getting to certain areas. You can’t pass through on all levels and find yourself going up or down a floor, walking through and then going up or down where you need. It is confusing, but not a deal breaker! By the time you figure out the system good, it’s time to get off the ship. Because it is not that big of a ship, it doesn’t take long to get to either end. But, it is larger than the Fantasy class ships. With the exception of the first evening and next morning, we rarely felt movement on the ship. I attributed the movement early on to being close to hurricane waters, but who knows! The rest of the trip, we wouldn’t have known we were on a ship. Of course, on the trip back to Charleston from NASSAU, the trip was only moving at about 12 knots. We had an outside stateroom with picture window, deck 1, midship (less movement typically) The room is a very nice size and in looking at some newer ships on OTHER lines, their outside cabins are very small ( I have not compared to Carnival’s newer ships yet). Our room had good room on each side of the king bed (2 twins together), small tables with storage on either side, a desk/vanity area that was wide, large mirror, lots of storage shelves and drawers. There is a small stool type chair for the vanity, a couch that seats 3 and table. There were 3 closets, 2 with hangers and space and the 3rd had the safe and shelves. There was plenty of storage and room for suitcases under the bed. TV had very limited channels including 2 movie channels and at least 2 channels for kids. You could not check your account on the TV, nor did it have menus, you could see menus on the hub app. You could also follow the days schedule on the app. Lighting was excellent in the cabin. There is an outlet with two plugs at the vanity area. I took an extension cord so I could use my sound machine to drown out snoring! The temperature was comfortable most of the time, a few times it felt a little warm even though we kept the settings on the lowest setting. I will say if you like your room very cold, that is not happening. It was comfortable, but not cold. Keeping curtains closed when sun is on that side helps keep the room from getting too warm. Outside temps were 70’s (night I think) to high 90’s. There is a hairdryer in the top drawer at the vanity, but difficult to use, so if you can, take your own. It is attached in the drawer and does not stretch far enough for you to use it adequately. I had to bend over to get it to my head and I am short. I could not see what I was doing as it would not stretch to the mirror. You also have to keep holding the button as you use it, or it cuts off. That is challenging too. It really was useless except maybe for drying, forget styling! There was space for storage in the bathroom and the size of the shower was very good. We had hot water most of the time and the water pressure was good most of the time. I am sure when a lot of people are using at once, that changes. Our cabin steward was Komang and he did a great job. We were given the option for morning, evening or both for room service, and we chose evening. I asked for ice to be brought nightly and he did that. We did not “see” him often but when we would return to our room, no matter what time we ate dinner, he had been there! He left awesome towel animals too. I try and keep the room straight, neat and clean, so didn’t leave a lot for him to do. We saw in some rooms as we’d pass by and I could not believe the mess people left. I do not feel it is their job to clean up behind us; but to clean bath as needed, leave fresh towels, empty trash, make the bed/turn down and ice. (though I sort of keep my bed made). Sad what some people expect. I always tip stateroom attendant extra because I know what they do is not easy. Food was good, nothing exceptional but it has been that way since the extra fee restaurants came into being. I also think because the chefs/cooks are form other countries, the food/recipes is not prepared as we are used to eating it. The buffet was pretty much similar items for breakfast and lunch. Deli had some great sandwiches and they are open until 11:00pm. Guys Burgers is open until about 6:00pm and the Blue Iguana closes around 2:30 (tacos, salads and burritos). They had late night snacks at 11:30-1:00 in the buffet area, but I never went to see what was offered. The only option for 24 hours is pizza or room service. There is not a fee for room service (unless you order items with an extra cost). Of course, tip is appreciated. Oh, if you are a fa of the cranberry rolls I teh dining room, they only had them one night, so eat up if you see them! All the bread was good though, as was the whipped butter! Sugar straws came with frozen drinks, etc. and they were fine until they started "melting" so to speak, they were like limp wet rubber and you could not drink through them. Not much flavor to them and they did not taste sweet. We found as many have said, the desserts look better than they are, including the cakes. They were good, just not exceptional or awe inspiring, no “wow” factor. Some desserts had odd textures. but they filled you up! I cannot speak for the extra fee restaurants as we did not eat at any, but they may have been better. I heard someone who ate at the steakhouse said it was excellent. I had beef tenderloin for one dinner in the dining room and it was very good, and I enjoyed the filet mignon steak and egg breakfast for brunch in the dining room. The chocolate melting cake was good, as it always is. The 24 ice cream machines were available as were lemonade, tea, coffee and water. I am not a big ice cream fan, so that didn’t appeal to me. All of the staff in the dining room and other dining areas were very nice, friendly and helpful. I saw numerous times throughout the ship, not just at dining, but other times as well, anyone who needed assistance, staff were right there to help them. They were very accommodating. I went to guest services twice and staff were very friendly there as well, Also the excursion desk. I never saw or encountered any rude staff or anyone appearing to be disgruntled. We had my time dining and used our Carnival Hub App to request a table. We went anywhere from 5:30-6:45 and never had more than a 10 minute wait. We would make the request on the app and it would tell us when our table was ready and gave the number. You walk in the dining room on deck 3 and the host has you seated. Only one night in the dining room did we wait what seemed a little longer for our food. Most nights, it was all very quick service. You can pay $5.00 each and be able to chat with each other on the ship through the app if needed. My husband had the premium (2nd level) wifi and was able to receive and send texts, check email and get on the web and make and receive wifi calls, though Carnival does not state/guarantee that will be available. We could sign off one device and use another as needed. My husband is a workaholic and gets stressed if he cannot have access. Our phones with T-Mobile worked on princess Cays and Nassau without the wifi. Just remember when you return to the ship, to put it back on airplane mode. I do not think the ships wifi worked on Princess Cays. I thought we’d be able to check our account on the app, but I was never able to do that. I did go to one of the 2 kiosks and printed out a statement to check our charges. If you have gift cards, you must go to guest services to load them to your account, it no longer works at the kiosks. The production shows were good as well as the comedy club acts. Adam, the Cruise Director was very good, professional and entertaining. When I saw any of the entertainment staff, they were all very good, seemed to be having fun (though I know they are working, and it is a job and not as fun for them as the passengers) and did a great job. Staff were always cleaning throughout the ship and nothing was ever amiss. It is an older ship, but kept in good condition. I never smelled any sewage odor. You could smell smoke on the decks near the casino and in the casino. We stayed out for that reason. Lots of music and bar options. When out by pool areas, waiters came around often to ask if you needed anything. The same during shows. Dress for the dining room, I know this is always a hot topic! On elegant nights, I saw shorts and jeans, as well as formal wear, so the full gamut. It doesn’t matter to me. We elected to skip the first elegant night because hubby did not feel like getting dressed. They had most of the same menu items in the buffet except for the lobster tails, which is OK with me as I am more of a shrimp person. I will say, the oysters were not what we in SC are used to and I could not eat them. The breading is totally different, but the oysters themselves were very strong for lack of a better word and almost fishy like and did not taste like oysters I have eaten elsewhere, including FL. I usually love fried oysters, but not those. For casual dining they do suggest no flip flops, but I saw men in those, after telling my hubby he had to wear closed toed shoes! Next time I won’t worry about it. We did the “behind the Fun” tour (95.00) and enjoyed it very much. It was the first time we have ever done one. It was conducted by Benn, who was getting off the ship same day as us for 2 months of vacation, and he did an excellent job. The tour was very informative and there were several surprises which I will not reveal, or they won’t be surprises for you! I will say there are photo ops and ladies, you may want to take that into consideration! You must wear closed toed shoes for this excursion and no skirts or bathing wear. You cannot take a camera or a cell phone on the tour. There is time for bathroom breaks and a short refreshment break. Though most of the 3.5 hours was walking (stairs as well) and standing, there were several times, where you could sit for a few minutes. Most of our crowd was 50+ and no one seemed to have any challenges. One exciting moment was when we were off the coast of Jacksonville, an air force jet flew over the ship. It was so close and cool to see, would have loved to have had a picture of that! For pictures taken throughout the cruise, they are still posted in slots on the walls and you have hunt for yours. I never did find most of mine and figured we must have broken the camera! I did overhear a passenger chastising an employee for telling someone with him, that she could not take pictures, of the picture! I would think that is common sense, but the passenger was trying to make the employee feel bad for doing his job. Not cool. Just admit you’re wrong and move on. We did the stingray excursion in Princess Cays and it was very good, especially for the price. I have swum with stingrays many years ago in Cayman Islands and loved it, but that was challenging because the water was almost neck high for me and lots of waves to keep navigating. For this excursion, the area with the rays is blocked off from the rest of the beach, but is right there when you get to the beach. You walk right in and the rays swim around all the way up to the shoreline. You have the opportunity to pet them, snorkel in the beach area with them and later, feed them and hold them. The handler was very good and has been with them for 3 years. She said when a storm comes, they let them out of the fenced area, but they always come back. My husband was hesitant to get in because of the Steve Ervin incident, but he became more comfortable and did get in with them, though he did not feed or hold one! He took lots of pictures for me. We were allowed to take our own pictures, which was very nice. There were many lounge chairs on the beach (sun and shade) and float chairs to rent as well as many other things to rent. The stretch of beach is long, so keep walking and you will find a chair in an area you like. There was a nicer souvenir shop (takes the sign and sail card only) and straw market type booths as well as hair braiding offered. Bar service was good. Restrooms were limited, so don’t go at the last minute! Band played live music and that was nice. The lunch provided from the ship included hamburgers and hotdogs and was filling. They gave you very small cups for your drink though (lemonade, tea, water), like a bathroom sized dixie cup. People were busy cleaning up, not only the meal areas, but throughout the entire area. It was very clean there. The beach was calm but rocky, you do need water shoes! You must take tenders to the ship and we had no issues with those nor long lines. There was a small shallow pool in the kid’s playground area with lounge chairs. But the ocean was calm and little ones could sit right at shore. There were showers to wash off shoes, etc. but the stream of water was very limited and slow and they didn’t do much good. We did the walking tour in Nassau since we had already been there 3 times, and also did not want a beach day after Princess Cays. It was a very nice and informative tour, our guide was David who was great. It was hot, but he provided us with an iced water bottle about half the way. He also had devices we used so we could all hear him no matter where he was in the group. Highly recommend for a short and informative tour, 1.5 hours. We did not have trouble getting into any of the shows in the theater. It did get full for the love and marriage show, but by the way Adam talked, that was an anomaly, probably because we were in Nassau overnight and most stayed on the ship! For the comedy club, there are lines. The earlier you get there the better. We went about half an hour early and never had trouble getting seated. Once one show ends, everyone has to leave and if they want to attend the next show, they must go to the end of the already formed line. They did have staff at the door watching this. We preferred Jimmy Carroll as the comedian, but both comedians had long lines and full shows. The 18+ is not for kids for sure because mainly of the language. I did not play bingo, I have no idea what the cards cost, but they did give away a cruise on Wednesday, $3000.00 on Thursday and $5000.00 on Friday. There were less than 200 kids on our cruise, so the waterpark was not as crowded as it could be. I did see people on the ropes course. Numerous other outdoor sports options and mini golf. The main pool is not very large, but this seems to be an issue on all ships. There is a smaller waterfall and shallow pool on the serenity deck for adults only. That area is also very nice if you can get a chair. I think the area had been enlarged since my 2016 cruise. Embarkation was quick and easy, though because of the layout of the Charleston terminal, you do go to separate buildings, some walking, some riding a bus. There were no good signs for where we were to turn to park on embarkation day, despite there being good signs to the port itself. That is not Carnival’s fault of course and after turning around, we eventually found the way! You drive in and pay first, then drop your luggage, then go park. You walk to a building where you are checked in (it was quick) and then you go by bus (security reasons) to the ship where we went right on. The sign and sail cards are at your room when doors open at 1:30 (unless you have priority boarding, FTTF, etc. and get in your room early). It was about 12:30 when we got on. For debarkation (silent), also easy. We had to be out of our rooms at 8:30 am and most are off the ship by 9:30am. If you are checking your luggage, you pick up tags the day before departure for early (8:30-9:00) or late departure (9:00-9:30). Your bags are left outside your door the last night on the ship. The departure times are shown on your TV and on the big screen at the pool area, etc. I wish this could be added to the app. Those taking all their luggage off themselves, can start departing much earlier. Announcements are not made because Charleston asked they not be, but this worked just fine. When our number was shown, we went down and walked right off, very quick. When you get into the customs building, you pick up your luggage and go through customs. This took us only about 5 minutes. We normally get a porter, who can get you through a fast porter line, but there weren’t any available and it worked out fast anyway and we saved some bucks! We walked out to the shuttle buses, which take you to the parking lot. We were leaving the parking lot by 9:50am (our number was shown at about 9:15am on the lido pool deck, so entire process took about 35 minutes). There are people to assist those who need it. So, despite the oddities of the terminal (thanks to Charleston), the system works very well and was fast and efficient. I have waited much longer in fancier terminals! Efforts have been in the works to build a nicer terminal, but there are some in Charleston fighting that. I vote with someone who suggested moving up to North Charleston. It would be closer to the airport, less expensive hotels and the ship would sail under the Copper River Bridge! That would be a plus! Love sailing out of Charleston because it is 2 hours from my home. Just wish we had more ship options and more itinerary options. But I am thankful Carnival does offer what they do, as a small group of Charlestonians holds up progress and makes cruising from there difficult. Be glad to answer any questions I can. Overall and good cruise and plenty to do. Debbie Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We went on this cruise with casino offer and port is close to home. So price was very good travel to and from was easy. Was a bit concerned about the bus between to get on ship but it went very smoothly not much wait on embarking or ... Read More
We went on this cruise with casino offer and port is close to home. So price was very good travel to and from was easy. Was a bit concerned about the bus between to get on ship but it went very smoothly not much wait on embarking or disembark. We had an ocean view on first floor room was larger than many balcony we have had in the past. Or room steward was one of the worst we have had we saw him the first day asked to have ice 2x per day he said they don’t do rooms 2x per day we said understand can clean room in morning is fine but just want ice due to no refrigerator finally saw him again on the 3 rd to ask again for ice did receive ice after that but didn’t always get fun times never received invite to meet and mingle and most likely didn’t receive other thing from casino. Room was clean but that was about all. Food was okay ate in main dining room with my time dining. You have to go to 5th floor to get your table assignment then down to 3 rd flor for seating or you can use app to get table assigned. We used the app first 3 nights, first two had some of the worst service ever over 2 hours to get thru meal cold food very disappointing, debating if just going to buffet would be better but don’t really like buffet on the 3rd night was seated with Gultekin as waiter. The reminder of cruise we went to 5th floor so we could request his area, he was friendly effectively took orders and served food timely was on top of his team. If you are going in next few months ask for him for sure you will not regret it.. He said he is going to the be changing ships in few months he is hopefully going to be on Magic. Casino one of my “spots” I play “penny slots” was large enough it was smoky but they have very limited areas where people can smoke so this is going to be the result. Waiter in casino Sabastin was great others were more of the regular place order and wait till you run out of money put more in machine so free drink becomes expensive lol. I enjoy slot tournament but on this ship they do not have electronic board to track seems to decrease the fun only did once because of this. Could not tell you who the host was no desk for host who I usually try to meet, as I said was on board with as casino offer not a “big” spender but usually at least once the host will come and say hello not on this ship. Had been to all 3ports before but had never had to go through customs in San Juan before not a big deal but a hassle nobody really able to answer about change but said it was because we were back in USA after other ports. For the price I paid for 8 days was a good value had never stayed so low on ship before it was not my favorite but would do again for the price. The serenity area is larger than many but due to rough seas top floor was closed for 2 days. It is not as quiet as most because it faces over main pool so you hear all the music and or movies this could be a plus to some but was one time I really missed my balcony for quiet reading time. Chair hogs abound as always but this was the first time I had a confrontation with one as I said top floor was closed and every chair or couch had towels on them a young couple sitting and reading saw us looking for a seat and said they moved stuff to take a seat and that the seats next to them with towels holding seat had nobody for an hour we decided to also move towels onto table and have a seat over the next hour nobody came back. The young couple left and someone else sat down thatt is when the fight began people from those chairs came back and started saying that they had only been gone for 20 minutes and the person had no right to take chairs we spoke up it was all very confrontational and unpleasant but the woman did not give back chair as she should not have to do they were gone at least the hour we were there and according to previous people another hour. The folks who had been in our seats came back and just took their towels they knew they had been gone to long to expect seats still be empty. Honestly unless you are going to the bathroom or a dip in the pool don’t save chairs! If people would stop doing this there would always be plenty of seats maybe you don’t get your first choice of location but so unfair to come out early in the morning save a group of chairs with no intention of returning for hours. Awww vent over! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Chose this cruise because it was departing from Charleston, SC and going to San Juan. The food selections and quality was amazing. The entertainment especially Zack Daniels in the piano bar was great fun every night but Thursday. ... Read More
Chose this cruise because it was departing from Charleston, SC and going to San Juan. The food selections and quality was amazing. The entertainment especially Zack Daniels in the piano bar was great fun every night but Thursday. Thursday is his drinking night and he was not performing. The shows in the Liquid Lounge where really good. The Acoustic Jams with the young couple Unity entertained us almost every night. They sang a variety of songs and he whistles well while she plays the drum. Ketut and Joyce took good care of our rooms and the Omelet Station on the Lido deck in the Havana Bar was my favorite breakfast most mornings. I would recommend this ship to the 50 and older travelers. They made up 90% of the cruisers onboard. If you require a wheelchair to get on and off the ship this port and this ship does it better than any of the more than 14 ships of 6 different cruise lines I have traveled on. I can't wait for our next cruise on this ship in January 2020. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Chose this cruise due to length (8 nights) and ports visited (St Thomas, St Maarten and San Juan) plus it left out of Charleston SC which was convenient for our family cruise. I would recommend the Sunshine. Staff was nice and ... Read More
Chose this cruise due to length (8 nights) and ports visited (St Thomas, St Maarten and San Juan) plus it left out of Charleston SC which was convenient for our family cruise. I would recommend the Sunshine. Staff was nice and entertainment staff was great. Loved the Ocean Plaza area. Trivia, great music (2 to 12). Enjoyed the Java Café each day. The Atrium parties were fun and the cruise director, Adam, added to the entire experience. Love the Thirsty Frog and Carnivals Red Beer. Our cabin was fine (interior on 6). Towels animals every day made me smile. Ports were awesome. Excursions were fun. Met great people. Also, enjoyed Alchemy Bar and the assortment of drinks. Bartenders did a great job. LOVED the Build a Bear and made a Carnival Bear (and I'm an adult) lol Shows were good. Comedians were funny. Negatives were: the food was below par. Buffet food was cold most of the time. (Salad bar was good). Not enough healthy choices. Lack of vegetables on buffet. Limited choices. Need more fish & chicken that was edible. Deli was good and stayed busy. Pizza was not very good. NCL has much better food. Although Bar Service was overall GOOD. The bartenders don't work a bar very well. They don't honor 1st come 1st serve AND they take orders around the entire bar; make many drinks at once leaving people long waits and newcomers to bar even longer waits. Bad system overall. Other negative for this cruise was piano bar which we usually love. Zack Daniels not a very good singer but can play piano and entertain. But found him overbearing in some aspects. Also, Aretha, bingo, was rude and crude. Rest of staff was great. One other negative was the water pressure. It's an older ship but fine except for the water pressure in shower/bathroom sink. Also, Carnival seems to have problems with sewage smells around their ships that other cruise lines don't have. Public toilets over flowing (ie: Casino bathroom). Don't see this on NCL, RCI or Celebrity. We've been on 4 cruise out of Charleston (Ecstasy, Fantasy and Sunshine). We've enjoyed all 4 and are pleasantly surprised by our experiences. Love this port. This was our first Platinum cruise and we enjoyed the party and guest service priority. Thanks Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My wife's birthday was on the 12 of September. Bermuda was her first choice and Charleston was an easy commute from our home in NC. It was to be my birthday present to her. Once on board we were met by the "happiest and ... Read More
My wife's birthday was on the 12 of September. Bermuda was her first choice and Charleston was an easy commute from our home in NC. It was to be my birthday present to her. Once on board we were met by the "happiest and friendliest" crew compared to all our previous 13 plus cruises. While the Sunshine did show some "bumps and bruises" showing her age; the crew definitely made up for it. We all thought their most positive attitude stemmed from the top: Captain Lorenzo. To quote a familiar military phrase, " he leads from the front." His pleasing personality was always on display. Most significantly to this writer was the effort he and "Freddie," the head of Guest Services went to on my wife special day : having her picture taken with the Captain, Champagne at the dining table, special birthday cake, singing Happy Birthday by the Matte D's and personal appearance by the Captain and Freddie to wish her a Happy Birthday. My wife's reaction is hard to put into words but she did say at the time, "this will be remembered as the most special birthday and one I will remember the rest of my life." I think besides my wife's misty reaction - all in attendence also got a little moist around the eyes. The rest of the cruise was a very happy experience with the ever present greeting from every crew person, "Good morning or Day" with those broad smiles. To sum up this review, "we just finished a cruise with the happiest crew in the Carnival fleet." Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise because it was our anniversary and it was going to Bermuda. We have been to Bermuda twice before and loved it. We had friends going with us who had never been there. We were supposed to go to Princess Cay first then ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was our anniversary and it was going to Bermuda. We have been to Bermuda twice before and loved it. We had friends going with us who had never been there. We were supposed to go to Princess Cay first then Bermuda. We were supposed to spend a day and a half in Bermuda. Because Princess Cay sustained damage due to the hurricane, we were sent to Nassau. For some reason it too longer to get to Bermuda from Nassau than it would have from Princess Cay. Our time in Bermuda was cut short by a third. We didn't arrive in Bermuda till after noon and by the time we docked and approved by customs, it was well after one oclock before we could go ashore. We took the ferry to Hamilton arrived about 3:30. We wanted to take a bus to St. George, which would take about 45 minutes. The last ferry from St. George to the Dock Yard was 4:30pm. Most of the shops and sites close about 5:30/6:00pm. The next day we had to be back on the ship by 11:30am. Not time to really see the island. Very disappointed about the change in schedule and no reimbursement from Carnival. Princess Cay is in the Bahamas as is Nassau and according to the map a little lower. I don't understand why it took longer to get from Nassau to Bermuda than it would have from Princess Cay to Bermuda. Our friends were also extremely disappointed. The entertainment on the ship was great and the ship had the best cruise director we've ever had a cruise. I must say the food was so much better than what we had on the Esctacy in June. Desserts were wonderful, Wait staff very friendly and called us by name. Cabin was fine, plenty of closet space, Carnival is not very stringent on hand washing as other ships such as Norwegian. The buffet dining room needs some reconfiguration. The hanging lights don't line up with the tables. A lot of people bumping their heads including us. I gave the overall rating a poor because the main reason we went on this cruise was to go with our friends to see Bermuda. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our first cruise ever so we choose a 7day to Nassau Bahamas and a overnight in Bermuda. I only saw my 16y old at breakfast and Dinner plus the 2 shore excursions he made a bunch of friends his age doing their entertainment and ... Read More
This was our first cruise ever so we choose a 7day to Nassau Bahamas and a overnight in Bermuda. I only saw my 16y old at breakfast and Dinner plus the 2 shore excursions he made a bunch of friends his age doing their entertainment and activities all over the ship ( I highly recommend taking the "Restless Native Catamaran " shore excursions in Bermuda) I have to give a Shout Out to these's people they made our experience very memorable " James, Thai , Andy, Adam, Christian, with the games like Clue, Guess Who, trivia's ect and we must not forget the Comedians " Cowboy, Kim Harris, Al Cats " . Our first dinner was at the Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse , the rest of the Dinners we eat a the" Sunrise Dinner " we got so spoiled , Henry & ----- table number 517 knew our names and had our drinks , they worked so hard for us I have to say "Thank You " I give them a 10 out of 10 thumbs up.. We did not want to leave the Sunshine ship it only felt like 3 days next time I'll be taking 10 to 14 days ... Definitely will go again !! The only thing that need to be more smoother is when we got to the port in Bermuda getting Off the ship was so crowded everyone wanted off at the same time , we had an excursion at a certain time but for some reason you let the people who did NOT have excursions go at the same time I thought the Excursions had priority off the ship first ? Read Less
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
Sail Date September 2019
This cruise was a little different than my previous cruise, for several reasons. First, Charleston was being evacuated the day we were scheduled to sail due to Hurricane Dorian. We had notice that Half Moon Cay would be removed from the ... Read More
This cruise was a little different than my previous cruise, for several reasons. First, Charleston was being evacuated the day we were scheduled to sail due to Hurricane Dorian. We had notice that Half Moon Cay would be removed from the itinerary the day before we left, which was disappointing but understandable. Because of the evacuation, my husband and I decided to leave and head to Charleston a day early to be able to beat the traffic and the road closures and re-routes. Unfortunately, we decided that at 9:30 pm the night before the cruise, so we got to Charleston at about 1 am, got booked at a hotel, slept, and then headed to the port Monday morning. The cruise opened arrival early because of the evacuation and delayed the departure, so we really got a full day on the ship that first day-- we were on by 10 and didn't leave the port until 6. We sped east to move around the hurricane. While it was SUPER rocky due to the speed, and I did get queasy and seasick and had to lie down, we never felt unsafe. The cruise overall was really great. Beautiful weather, great communication from the cruise director about our ports and Charleston, the ship was well-equipped with lots of new features for us (our previous cruise was on a smaller ship), and a wonderful excursion in Nassau. Our steward was really great-- always available, and always had our room ready after dinner (we like evening turndown), but never obtrusive in the way it can sometimes feel. The dining room staff was awesome. Putra and his team are amazing. Read Less
Sail Date September 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
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
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
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
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
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
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 August 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
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
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
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
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 3.7
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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