1,414 Carnival Sunshine Cruise Reviews

We had not been on a Carnival cruise for almost 50 years! We were VERY pleased with our 5 day cruise and as far as VALUE for your money it really was pretty awesome. My husband and I are "Seniors" and do a lot of traveling. We ... Read More
We had not been on a Carnival cruise for almost 50 years! We were VERY pleased with our 5 day cruise and as far as VALUE for your money it really was pretty awesome. My husband and I are "Seniors" and do a lot of traveling. We have been on numerous other Cruises on different cruise lines and we just did not have very high expectations for this trip. However... it met some of our "needs" - a trip to Charleston, getting to see family, as well as celebrating my husbands 78th birthday. The food was way better than we ever expected. Especially lunch. LOTS of choices and I never (my husband did ) even get to try the pizza. Breakfast and dinners were fine but nothing to rave about. We found the dining service in the main dining room to be "hit or miss" - sometimes almost perfect and other times (a lost order), not so. We also ate (for my husband's birthday) at Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse. The food was definitely worth the extra charge. Our cabin was better than what we expected and especially the shower area. Shows and entertainment were just fair. Something to do. The staff on board was excellent and everyone was very up beat . We would definitely consider another Carnival Cruise in the future and recommend anyone to give it a try. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
First if your parking at the port,you will need to have your credit card ready to pay for parking,the embarkation was swift and easy,we walked on with two bottles of wine one with a screw off top so we could have a glass on the lido with ... Read More
First if your parking at the port,you will need to have your credit card ready to pay for parking,the embarkation was swift and easy,we walked on with two bottles of wine one with a screw off top so we could have a glass on the lido with lunch.Buffet food was a B +,Guy Fieri Burger Joint was excellent,The Havanna Bar right next to the lido marketplace had your omelet station which was excellent,The Food in the restaurants were excellent.Activities were typical Bingo and Trivia,,Cruise Director Paulie A+,Very little live music The Jenkins Twins a Country duo were excellent,shows in the liquid lounge were dissapointing.Being a musician and to see well dressed dancers and singers singing live to a recorded track to me was poor .their epic rock show on the last night was borderline embarrassing to watch.there was a guitarist who played rock staples was just shredding for almost 15 min gave me a headache,Half Moon cay A+Freeport a industrial port we get off walked around the dockside shops (be careful,our excursion was cancelled,we asked at the excursion desk if there was anything to do in Freeport,the associate said no.that was a lie)if you just want to get off the ship and walk around ,listen to a live reggae band,which the ship should have ,and have a pina colada,with a 151 run floater.you are good.ship was dated,pick your balcony in the middle of the ship.had room 7331. which was in the back of the ship was rocking to the point it was getting sickning.we have been on many cruises.never felt sick.the cabin was acceptable,no ventilation in the bathroom.bring deodorizers. The attraction for us was being in Myrtle Beach and being able to drive to the port.in closing if you are a new cruiser it is a good ship to start.for gods sale dont start on the Allure then go on the sunshine Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We choose this cruise as we could get a direct flight from Cleveland. We’ve had “mixed” experiences with Carnival. However this was one of the best cruises we’ve been on. We choose a spa balcony mostly because we wanted to be ... Read More
We choose this cruise as we could get a direct flight from Cleveland. We’ve had “mixed” experiences with Carnival. However this was one of the best cruises we’ve been on. We choose a spa balcony mostly because we wanted to be away from the hub bub. But, unfortunately, you could still hear the blaring music from the Lido deck on the Serenity decks. Too bad. The access to some spa amenities was a plus. It was worth the slightly increased cost. The food was good overall. We booked the Asian and Italian restaurants for the reasonable fee of $15/pp for dinner. It was quiet and less crowded than the MDR. The sea day brunch was very good. Overall, this was a great 5 day cruise. Cabin was great as was the cabin steward. It really changed my outlook on Carnival. We did not do any onboard activities except the casino which was always very, very smoky. The only disappointment was the entertainment. It was “meh” IMO. Bring reef shoes for princess cay. It is very rocky. But a nice island with lots of shade. The snorkeling excursion in Nassau was ok. It was very windy so they had to make adjustments. Overall a very good cruise. Charleston is a lovely port. We spent a day in Charleston on either side of the cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation were a breeze. I this port, can’t see how it would be worth it to purchase “faster to the fun.” Carnival has really cut “wait” times for everything! We had your time dining and you request a time via their hub app. We never waited. Tender wait times to Princess cay were also no problem and well organized. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Booked this cruise because we could drive to the port and do a "Snooze and Cruise" at the local Best Western. Hotel provided parking and shuttle to and from the port. Embarkation was delayed an hour due to the ship entering ... Read More
Booked this cruise because we could drive to the port and do a "Snooze and Cruise" at the local Best Western. Hotel provided parking and shuttle to and from the port. Embarkation was delayed an hour due to the ship entering port late because of bad weather. Initially a little confusing because the shuttle dropped you off at a building where you went through and then boarded another shuttle to go to the actual terminal. Go figure. Carnival very accommodating due to wife needing a wheelchair. Embarkation went pretty smooth and were on board in about an hour. We had cabin #1603 aft, an ocean view on the 01 Deck. Can be set up for 3 with a fold out couch but it was just the two of us. Cabin was roomy with lots of storage and no complaints. Antonio and Nina Lyn were our cabin stewards and were efficient and caring. Both of them smiling and nice. Dining was in the MDR with anytime option for dinner. Dinners were for the most part, very good. Must have the Carnival chocolate melting cake! Breakfast try Ji Ji's for superb omelettes and lunch with oriental bowls with chicken, shrimp and beef with your choices of veggies. Lido for a quick breakfast or lunch. Entertainment was high energy with engaging performances with the exception of one night. Young performers danced like they were on fire. Loved the shows. Service was hit or miss. Bartenders were too few for the amount of people they were serving. They were overworked and it showed. We are not big drinkers, but what we had was good and powerful. Only did one shore excursion at Nassau. The Dolphin experience was something both of us wanted to do and it met our expectations. A word of caution: NO CAMERAS, CELL PHONES, GO PROS, ETC. ALLOWED. Why? They take their own photos of you when you are engaged with your Dolphin. Afterwards you see about 30 photos on a computer and they are available for purchase on a flash drive. For a total price of $117.00. No other option. So be prepared. We bought the package as it was a once in a lifetime experience for us. Printed them out at Walmart when we got home. Just a word to the wise. They do take credit cards. Went to the private island via tender. It was OK but the free food was a hike and the wife was out of gas. Spent 2 hours there and tendered back to the ship. If you have done the island gig before, having the ship to yourself while everyone is on the island can be a plus. No kids with us but there was plenty to go around on the ship. We would take this cruise again to kick the winter doldrums. Note: The cruisers were a diverse group, lots of screeching toddlers to senior scooter drivers. be prepared. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We just arrived back in Charleston yesterday, the 22nd. We definitely were very excited for the trip and to some extent, it lived up to our expectations. This was my 4th or 5th cruise and the first for my fiancée. I have previously been ... Read More
We just arrived back in Charleston yesterday, the 22nd. We definitely were very excited for the trip and to some extent, it lived up to our expectations. This was my 4th or 5th cruise and the first for my fiancée. I have previously been on Carnival and Royal Caribbean. We had a relatively smooth check-in process. The new building that was added in May was nice, but the newly upgraded computers or software made it a headache. The scanners worked about every third time they would scan your information when taking guest pictures. We made it to our room (1547) and it was bigger than what I had remembered on previous carnival ships. There was a light sewage smell but nothing too bad. We enjoyed a great dinner and relaxed that evening, with my fiancee heading to the casino. The next morning we didn't notice the sewage smell as we had adjusted to it but when leaving and entering again it was obvious something was up. We called guest services. Once we got through they said they would send someone up. They poured some type of blue chemical in it and the smell was converted to a bleach smell, but it helped. My time line may be a little off on this stuff but it's close. Anyways, the next day, we had a great day at Nassau. We came back and needed showed. My fiancee laid her bag in the bathroom floor and hopped in. Within a few minutes she beckoned me into the bathroom where there was an inch of blue water covered her bag in the floor. We had to trash the bag and a couple clothing items as we did not know what was in the chemical mix. Housekeeping was called again and we were told they would be right up. We waited two hours for them and got fed up and called again. They apologized and had someone up within 15 more minutes. Rakesh (I believe was his name) did some work in the bathroom for about 10 minutes and just said it was fixed. Then they sent housekeeping up, after I called, and they brought towels to replace all the ones I had to use to contain the water. My fiancee and I did dinner and casino (where she spent enough to get free drinks). The next day, in Half Moon Cay, the smell returned. More chemicals were added. Guest services called and offered us a complimentary bottle of wine. My fiancee requested mascato as she can not drink red wine without migraines. They brought red wine but it was when I was the only one in the room and didn't realize. When she returned to the room I showed her and she said they were going to send Moscato. I called and explained the issue and they said they would correct. Shortly after, a bottle of Moscato was delivered in exchange for the red wine. It was actually the same type that we brought, which is $8.98 at Walmart. The girl took the other bottle and swapped with us. She then handed me a bill for $47. I told her the situation and she said OK and as I shut the door she said asked me if I wanted to sign the bill. I said no, this was supposed to be complimentary because we have had issues since day 1. I finally was able to convey the information to her and she left. The people were all very polite it just took forever to get the issue at least patched up. It never was fixed. Forgot to mention that on the day at see, I returned to the room to find the door and floor in front of it and the ceiling dripping with honey mustard (I have pictures of it running down the door sign showing our room number and dripping from door frame) I went to the guest services after waiting 20 minutes trying to get through. After about 35 minutes, housekeeping came and asked where the vomit was they needed to clean. I said there isn't any but you are standing right in the middle of the honey mustard someone spilt. Then I showed him the other places it was on wall and ceiling. He got it cleaned up and was very appreciative for the help. The only other complaint we had was that the "free" drinks while in casino were so slow to get there. I understand you can not give a bunch away but our minimum wait time was 20 minutes and one time it took 2 waiters a total of an hour and 10 minutes to get one drink, and then half was dumped on my finacees leg and not even offered to be replaced. She was handed a napkin to wife herself and the slot machine off. Ridiculous. Enough with the complaints. The ship, for what we paid, was close to what we expected. I was say 90% of the crew was always smiling and friendly. The cruise director, Christian was phenomenal. Elle was so funny and exceptionally customer service oriented. Most of the food was good. We did not do the Buffett much as it never quiet seemed fresh but the Sunrise was an excellent dinner choice. We also loved the breakfast wraps and enjoyed the pizza delivery service. Nassau and Half moon cay were but very nice with half moon being our favorite stop. We did the stingray adventure through carnival which was great and bought the pictures.... Definitely not $117 worth but we liked how they looked. You only live once. We definitely had a good time and will consider sailing with carnival again in the future, just in at least a different room. My fiancee was already sent a half price offer where she gambled heavily. Happy sailing to you all!!! Ciao..... Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We love carnival, however the sunshine leaves a bit to be desired. We took this cruise because the boat looked like of fun for our teenagers. There were definitely good times had. The entertainment guy Houston was awesome, so much fun and ... Read More
We love carnival, however the sunshine leaves a bit to be desired. We took this cruise because the boat looked like of fun for our teenagers. There were definitely good times had. The entertainment guy Houston was awesome, so much fun and energy. Also our waitstaff and room attendant Raul was great. Disappointed with the bar service, we waited a long time for drinks, almost like the ship was understaffed. Also the pixel picture area is a joke. They threw our pictures out before we ordered them, then it took about 2 hours to go through the ipad to find them. ordered them, and they still came out wrong. We spent $200 on pictures and the order was not even correct. When trying to get the right order, after being in the room sick all day because of rough seas, the pixel guy said, we are only human. I then gave up and decided I didn’t need the correct pictures. Never, have iI had this issue on any other cruise we have been on. In conclusion, we had a good time, but there are issues with this boat/cruise that carnival needs to fix.. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This ship can NOT. Handle rough seas. Very frightening. Loud banging ceiling falling down. Scary and unpleasant. Mild seas were fine but we hit a significant storm with winds hitting between 43 and 66 kts. And a very roiling sea. ... Read More
This ship can NOT. Handle rough seas. Very frightening. Loud banging ceiling falling down. Scary and unpleasant. Mild seas were fine but we hit a significant storm with winds hitting between 43 and 66 kts. And a very roiling sea. This ship felt as though it was going to break apart. Heat and air stopped working. We had ambulatory assessable room. Plenty of room for ecv. But has step to very small balcony. Room has no chair to sit in. Just two step stool type blocks to sit on. Great for ambulatory handicapped but not for completely wheel chair dependent. Many hallway and corridors too narrow for wheelchairs. Very few handicapped bathrooms. Better to go back to your cabin bathroom. The layout of the ship is odd. Having to go through Lounges or smoky casino to get to restaurants is weird Quality of food awful. Even the pay restaurants were sub par. Buffet meh and always crowded. Or cabin was 6017. Not a bad size but a wheelchair would be very tight. Sturdy pull down shower seat. This is most definitely a party cruise. You do not walk into a beautiful atrium you step right into a tacky huge loud bar with tons of drunk people even though they had only just boarded a few hours earlier Entertainment was very subpar. In every way I loved having this being a younger crowd and lots of families and children. But the amount of drunkenness was disappointing. Also unsupervised kids in the 13-14 range were loud roaming and running in the hallways and running into people and small children Their are many reasons for not cruising with carnival sunshine but for me the mist disturbing thing was the very poor way the ship handled a serious storm. I must say though that EVERY crew member I encountered was pleasant and very helpful. Some went way out of their way to help me. And since I am handicapped and was traveling alone this trip that was was greatly appreciated. Lol I wish I could have many of the crew members on a better ship. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Let me start by being fair and let you know we have only been on two other cruises. We recently went to Alaska on Holland America and 15 years ago on a carnival to Mexico. I chose carnival this time because they were the only ship going ... Read More
Let me start by being fair and let you know we have only been on two other cruises. We recently went to Alaska on Holland America and 15 years ago on a carnival to Mexico. I chose carnival this time because they were the only ship going out of Charleston. It was a family Birthday trip with my husband and our 20 yr old daughter. I truly felt that the ship was completely understaffed. I realize that there are cruises going out back to back, however the ship just seemed dirty. I used wipes to wipe down our sink and toilet because it seemed to have only been sprayed down, it was not clean. There are people cleaning all the time but they just don’t seem to be able to keep up with the flow of people. Yes it’s a party ship ( really not our thing, because it never stops). The food was mediocre at best. Back to staffing issues there is a long line for everything. Spent an hour and a half trying to get a soda the first morning. Starting on deck 2 at the coffee shop ending on 9 (by then the Havana bar was open ) every bar stop in between and they were either closed or didn’t have soda. We really enjoyed the movies on deck probably the best thing about our trip. Some other cruisers I spoke with said they cruise with carnival all the time and this one was the worst they had been on, that if we went out of another port we would have a totally different experience. I really do want to be fair saying that others said carnival was not usually like this cruise was. I personally wouldn’t want to cruise carnival again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Ship felt loud noisy during a bad storm part of ceiling came down. Stateroom 6017. On the bow. Not a good place during a severe storm Ambulatory assessable cabin was decent sized and easily fit my ecv. But not in the bathroom step out ... Read More
Ship felt loud noisy during a bad storm part of ceiling came down. Stateroom 6017. On the bow. Not a good place during a severe storm Ambulatory assessable cabin was decent sized and easily fit my ecv. But not in the bathroom step out to the balcony. Food average entertainment meh. Definitely a partiers Cruise. Lots of very drunk people. Passing out drunks Nothing to do of value education or interest. Just beer pong and hairy chest contests. Etc. meh But the worst was feeling that the ship was not safe in a severe storm. The loud banging and whistling wind and part of the ceiling coming down during a thirty hour storm. Very scary and miserable. I tried to call about the piece of ceiling that fell down but never had the phone answered. So I ventured down to the cruise desk and they were very nonchalant they just said to tell the cabin steward and he would contact the electrician. Well I did and nothing ever happened. So I told them again in the morning and same answer so I just disembarked. Nothing else I could do. Carnival is a crummy company. It’s cheap but not worth the feeling of the ship not being safe in high seas. So I guess you get what you pay for. Lol. Never again Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
My wife called this cruise the best vacation we have ever been on. Our goal was to relax. We ditched the kids and did just that. Where there snafu's? Absolutely. Weather was too bad to disembark at princess cays. That's life on a ... Read More
My wife called this cruise the best vacation we have ever been on. Our goal was to relax. We ditched the kids and did just that. Where there snafu's? Absolutely. Weather was too bad to disembark at princess cays. That's life on a ship and those things happen. I can't believe how small people get when life happens. Some of the passengers lost their stuff about having their shore excursions canceled and not being refunded instantly. We had our money credited to our account the next day. The food was good at the buffet, main dining and great at the specialty restaurants. the ships cleanliness was good for a vessel with that many passengers in an environment that is not hospitable. Personally watched the decks scrubbed every evening and carpets steam cleaned in our cabin hallway. We enjoyed the 2 shows we caught, 70 & 80s rock review and latin night. The 2 comedians were fantastic. Our biggest complaint was the casino. It is the only interior location where smoking is allowed and we couldn't even walk through it, let alone gamble. We will definitely go again. One word about some of these negative reviews, people really need to relax. It is a ship that has roughly 3-4k people on it every day in an environment that is not friendly to any material, metal, plastic, cloth, etc. This is not a brand new ship. This ship is not in perfect condition. Negative people will say negative things on these reviews and to the customer service reps on board. I feel sorry for them. We went on board with a good carefree attitude, if you do the same, you'll enjoy your vacation. Being on the ocean means you have to be flexible and you may not get to do everything you want, but your attitude will make this a good or bad experience. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We have done about 10 or so cruises, so not sure we are quite experts, but hopefully insightful. The short of it was, we really enjoyed this cruise, and Charleston is pretty easy to get in and out of if you live close by. We actually ... Read More
We have done about 10 or so cruises, so not sure we are quite experts, but hopefully insightful. The short of it was, we really enjoyed this cruise, and Charleston is pretty easy to get in and out of if you live close by. We actually flew in from Chicago, but have family and friends in Charleston so we got dropped off and picked up by them, which definitely makes life easier. Arrival Again, I can not speak to any airport transportation, or anything of the sort, but just know parking and drop of areas are pretty simple. There is decent signage to both. We were dropped off and in doing so you basically enter the port authority, and wiggle around to a drop of staging area. Here you load your bags on luggage carts that will be taken to your cabin. Ensure to keep what you need immediately with you. You then walk around the corner to a check in (this is new, they use to just throw you on a bus to the terminal for security then check in). After check in, there is a bit of a waiting area to wait for your “zone” – when you check in online they should ask when you expect to arrive and will give you a “ arrival appointment”. We walked over and inquired where we should sit with a nice elderly gentleman, and he simply said, wanna go ahead and get on the ship, of course we said yes, and he sent us straight out to the buses. Got on a bus quite quickly, and once full, it set off to the terminal. Once at terminal you go through security. There is the priority line and non priority. Folks that cruise a lot or need extra time, seem to use priority – we didn’t. This worked for us, the non priority was shorter at this time (we were pretty early, around 11am). We then flew right through security, and then you walk down the hall, up some stairs and just before getting on the ramp to the boat, one last scan of your boarding pass. Note: Check in is very streamlined since most folks do all of the previous stuff (Credit card for sail and sign, etc) on line. Your room key/sail and sign is actually just outside your room, which typically you have to wait until 130 before they open up the halls to said rooms. Once you go up the ramp, you are on the boat. Funny story, for our particular cruise, we were Guest #1 and #2, really just because we were early, and dumb luck. First Day As stated, you cant get to your room until 130 (I think you can get some priority or early check in at extra cost or possibly your VIFP status). They do have a few options for lunch. 5th and 9th decks, toward back of boat. 5th I think had bbq (never went, just heard). We cruised through the lido (9th) deck, which will be your main buffet line all week. Most bars will be open, and this is where we signed up for the Cheers program (recommended if you are planning on having a handful of drinks each day, as it also includes water (bottle), Gatorade, and some other extras (think boozy and I assume non boozy milkshakes, etc). Reason we waited until we got on ship, when I booked my cabin, we got a 500 credit, and although you get a 10% discount by signing up pre cruise, I didn’t see me using that 500 otherwise, so we waited until on ship. Once 130 comes around, head to your cabin to check it out, bags take a bit longer (or can – ours were there since we were so darn early, lol). Ship The ship as you probably read on the main CruiseCritic review was the old Destiny. I did not know this at the time but learned it from fellow guests. Funny part of that, we took the Destiny out of Miami for our honeymoon, so it was cool to be back on the ship. Now, it did go through quite the renovation, so most things were not familiar to us. The ship is nice, layout can be a bit confusing in parts, but its fun to explore. There were always folks cleaning etc, which I don’t remember as much on previous cruises so it was refreshing to see. There is an adult area, which is the top 3 outside decks at the front of the ship. Real nice set up, plenty of chairs, and a bar up there. Otherwise, nothing out of the ordinary for the ship, easy to navigate, clean, but it is starting to show her age a bit. The waterworks/sports deck is pretty neat. Had basketball court, 2 ping pong, pretty sweet little mini golf set up, 2 pool tables (don’t think you will be playing for money on these outside tables, still fun), shuffleboard, twister, and I feel like I am forgetting something. (There is a jogging track around this area as well, 10 laps = 1 mile). In the very back is a little kids water park area and then 3 slides. As expected, since we didn’t get off at Nassau, there were very little to no kids back here on this day. It was adult take over, and it was a blast. They have 3 slides and they are all equally as fun, and pretty darn fast, especially if you sling your self up top at the start. In the end, pretty fun area on the ship. Cabin We opted for balcony room off the back (aft) of the ship. The room was a bit smaller than I was expecting, but it was plenty of room for the two of us and we enjoyed the balcony as well. The room was clean and as expected. Keep in mind here, they turn and burn these cruises fast, so keep that in mind. We had some friends buy us a Bon voyage package which had some little decorations, a bottle of champagne and 2 champagne flutes. (I thought the casino did this as I am a “member” of that as well, but it turns out it was friends, but the little card either didn’t make it to the room or I never noticed it to know where it came from). We met our steward pretty quickly, Suyanto (think he went by Suya). He was super nice, always said hello, and we just a lot of fun interacting with him. We got fun towel animals each day and that was a nice touch, and he did a great job of getting in and out of there unnoticed, and the room was always nice after he did his thing. On day four, they did balcony cleaning, kinda wish they did it day 1, but they just leave a hanger on the door so you know and they access from outside (they don’t need to come into your room). Overall we were pleased with the cabin. Food First, I read a review saying no lobster. Not true. On formal night, it is on the menu. Also know, it was a 20 dollar upcharge. Now, let it be known, we never ate in the restaurant, just by choice, not because it wasn’t any good. More so, we had the my time dining, but I was a bit taken back that you had to go to a hostess stand, on a totally different deck to “check in” for my time dining. I thought the whole time, doesn’t seem like my time if I have to wait in line (not always a line, just during busier times). What we did enjoy, the Burger bar (only open till 6), the Taco/Burrito bar – only open for breakfast and lunch, -- Pro Tip – hit this spot for a breakfast burrito, I will await your thank your upon your return. Also, during lunch, ask for the Taco salad (vs burrito) if you want it in one of those big taco bowls. We also liked the deli. Pro Tip – Try the spicy chix sandwich. The buffet is what you would expect when they are trying to feed 3k people all at once. One nice thing I did enjoy, their little salad bar. We didn’t do any of the specialty restaurants, but b/w overhearing and speaking with others (and seeing some reviews here), sounds like that they are all good. Steak house is suppose to be real good (flat fee of $38 I think it was), Sushi looked good, pay ala carte, then there was Italian and Asian behind the Lido Buffet which I believe was $15 flat. Pro Tip – you can get made to order pasta at lunch which is included at the Italian area. The Asian restaurant was one of those make your bowl and we will cook it and always had a line. In that area is also Bar Havanna and for all meals there is a mini buffet set up on the one side. For breakfast they had these little cheese Danish roll things that were out of this world. They of course have the 24 hour pizza bar which actually isn’t bad pizza, and after a evening out (or maybe night out), it can really hit the spot. Bars There are quite a few spots you can hang out and have a drink. I won’t go through all the details as you can read about them online, etc, and we enjoyed pretty much all of them. Again, the Havana bar was a nice place to escape the crowds from the lido buffet. One of our favorites for evening (didn’t open till then), was Alchemy bar. It had real nice craft cocktails. I don’t think they even have soda back there, and most likely not even beer, just craft cocktails. Edward and Ranauk are efficient, personable and make great drinks. The casino bar is just that, the bar by the casino, so think smoke. There is also a little Sports bar in this area which was fun, but we just went in there once. There are two bars on the lido deck by the action (pool, entertainment), but they stay pretty crowded, etc. The serenity bar is at the top of the Serenity section. That one can get crowded but it’s the adults area, so at least no kids loading up their soda cups. Near the Alchemy bar is the Frog Pub, they have a shuffle board table and foosball in there and is just a neat little spot. Just up deck 5 from this area is where you can get some fancy coffee drinks and the boozy milkshakes I mentioned early. (this is also same area where you can get the bbq lunch on day 1, and I suspect lunch on any day, and also the desk to check in for dinner). The drinks in each spot are good, (better than I remember), and with a decent selection. Entertainment We didn’t do much here but the wife enjoyed a few comedians she saw during the week, and I enjoyed the casino (minus all the smoke, but it is what it is). I typically play blackjack and noticed they only pay out blackjack and 6:5 so just know that going in. Otherwise, it was lively and most of the dealers are pretty fun. Good drink service in there as well, I rarely went without at least seeing somebody walking around asking. There are several lounges for different entertainment, including one at the lobby bar (Deck 3), one b/w Alchemy and Frog Bar on Deck 5, and another one on Deck 4 where I believe the comedians typically were. They also have the bigger auditorium dealio that spans 2 decks, we just never got to a show in there, but they are typically really nice and this one seemed so as well (we peeked in once or twice). Ports This was the 5 nighter and made two stops. Nassau and Carnival’s little private Cay. We had committed to staying on ship during Nassau and hopping off at the Cay. We ended up jumping off at Nassau to swing into Senor Frogs for a quick drink and shot (felt you had to do it, lol). Kinda glad we did, as the weather did not allow us to get on the smaller boats to get to the Cay. The secondary issue was we got held up in Nassau (we technically left but had to turn around) for a crew member that needed medical attention. Then, after they cancelled the tenders to the cay the next day, we got a bit held up for a guest that had to get medical attention, which was no big deal, we had nowhere to be. Lol The sun was out and warm for the cay day, the water was just a bit to choppy to run those tenders, so while it stinks we didn’t get beach time, its part of cruising. Getting off the ship This part confuses me every single time. Two main options, you carry your stuff, or they will. If you carry, it’s called express and they start calling you out by deck number. Seemed they started with 3, went to 1 then up (I am not so sure, we left when they called 1, lol). The non-express, check bags, were supposed to wait until express was over. Didn’t happen, I saw plenty of people grabbing their bags from the baggage pick up area in the terminal, so it just seems like organized chaos on who gets off when. More so, it seemed some folks met in the theater thingie and were allowed to go even before they started calling on decks. Not the worst, but boy, always a mystery to me on how to get out of that place. Summary All in all, we had a really good time. I really would give the trip a 4.5 but they only do whole numbers, lol. Bit of a wait at times at some of the bars, ship starting to show age a bit, buffet food just being ok were some of the things that would have made me swing to a 5 rating. Drinks were good, the burgers were good, and the service all around the boat is better than I remember. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We have been on 15 cruises and this was one of the best experiences. Getting on in Charleston was very quick. Arrived at 11:25 and we were on the ship by 12:30. Lunch was very good-a lot of choices, some were free at lunch but charged at ... Read More
We have been on 15 cruises and this was one of the best experiences. Getting on in Charleston was very quick. Arrived at 11:25 and we were on the ship by 12:30. Lunch was very good-a lot of choices, some were free at lunch but charged at dinner so take advantage. The ship was clean, nice decor. Very little wear for having 3000+ people on board every day. Entertainment was very good, comedians, wide variety of music, stage shows etc., something for everyone. We had aft cabin 5346, nice location, good layout. Staff was helpful, friendly, and courteous. Lots of seating on Serenity, sun and shade whatever you preferred. Yes there is smoking in the casino but it does not drift down the hall. Our cabin was on the same deck and we did not have any smoke smell. We do not have any complaints. We would sail again on the Sunshine out of Charleston. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
we booked a spa cloud 9 with balcony room. it was slightly larger than other balcony rooms i've been in. it was great, for 3 of us. food was OK, drinks were better. we had one person in our group who can't walk long distances so ... Read More
we booked a spa cloud 9 with balcony room. it was slightly larger than other balcony rooms i've been in. it was great, for 3 of us. food was OK, drinks were better. we had one person in our group who can't walk long distances so we had a transport chair for her. embarkation was a breeze and so was disembarkation. the ship itself is very confusing in the way everything is set up. so many times we went back and forth to the extreme. i think the maps are not correct. service was exceptional. we did nassau ourselves but booked the stingray adventure for half moon cay. it was fun. and sitting on the beach looking at the clear turquoise water was just soothing. i used the spa. scheduled a hot stone massage and blow out. well, the hot stone massage was instead a deep tissue and very painful. she barely used the hot stones, and as you know, it's supposed to be relaxing. before we started the therapist asked a bunch of personal questions like how am i detoxing at home (um, i'm not???), etc. then, at the end of the session, she pressured me into buying a skin brush and detox bath salts. i was so floored that i did buy. but i took them back the next day and complained. they took them back no problem and they are credited to my account. i would go again, but maybe to bermuda (been there before) or some of the other northern caribbean islands. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Charleston was the nearest port so Carnival Sunshine was the only choice. I was on the 11th deck, Stateroom 11032. This cabin was fully exposed to outside temperature on 2 sides and partially on the third. There was no heat in the cabin ... Read More
Charleston was the nearest port so Carnival Sunshine was the only choice. I was on the 11th deck, Stateroom 11032. This cabin was fully exposed to outside temperature on 2 sides and partially on the third. There was no heat in the cabin and I had to get Guest Services to have an A/C Mechanic work on the system, but there as no improvement. To try to get warm, I went to bed fully clothed with a jacket on, all the bed cover, and was still cold. The room steward got an extra blanket which helped but it remained cold the entire cruise. The steward stated once there were no heating elements in the system. The electrical outlet under the counter mirror had pulled out of the wall and took two days to get it repaired. In the meantime, the cabin safe lost its memory (may have been associated with the other electrical problem) and I had to get a Carnival officer to open the safe and allow the code to be reset. The shower was designed for handicapped with steel bars for support. However, water flowed into a steel covered trough (supposedly) but the shower curtain was on the other side of the trough so all water hitting the shower curtain went into the bathroom and as the ship pitched and tossed the water covered the bathroom deck. There was never enough towels to sop up the water. It waas especially bad at night with bare feet to go to the bathroom on a freezing wet deck. Although there was a balcony, there was no time out of the 5 days I could sit on it due to the weather although I did stand there and take pictures twice. Also, due to the weather the ship had to go to Freeport rather than Half Moon Cay due to the extreme weather. Only two elevators went to the 11th deck and several times one of these was out of order. Also, there were only two decks in which I could walk all the way aft without having to change decks multiple times. I had the "eat anytime" rather than one of the two primary times and be assigned a single table which I have enjoyed previous cruises. Since I had to schedule a reservation to eat in the Sunrise Restaurant, I was invariably placed close to the serving staff's pots and pans, kitchens, and primary activity areas used to serve others. In other words, the least desirable tables in the restaurant. And, the pathway to every table I was assigned to was always difficult to get to since the entire ship has packed everything as close together as possible to maximize their profit while making the entire ship congested for customers. Although I have cruised with Carnival at least 4 times since 1980, their records are missing prior to about 2010 so I lost the advantage of previous cruises. I lost 5 pounds on the cruise (180 to 175) due to all the walking necessary making it more convenient for me to have only two meals/day most of the days. (By the way, salmon prepared in some form was on the menu each of the five days. Must have been a good buy!) I will not use Carnival again and stated so in the requested review they e-mailed me. I will mention two very positive employees - Isabel from Peru - a Head Waitress in SunRise, and Gosego in Guest Services - both are outstanding. I also compliment Carnival and the Port personnel for their aid in providing handicapped parking and wheelchair service to get handicapped customers on and off the ship. Also, the Thermal Units were available for occupants of staterooms in my area which were great - except when someone was in the area with a very bad cough!) Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I choose this cruise since it is closer to home. had surgery in September and had to cancel my Bermuda cruise, took this one to replace it.. took a while to get well. I read that people complain about the Sunshine being rocky.. ... Read More
I choose this cruise since it is closer to home. had surgery in September and had to cancel my Bermuda cruise, took this one to replace it.. took a while to get well. I read that people complain about the Sunshine being rocky.. I've never been on any boat that didn't rock a little. trip was great , food in all areas that I ate was excellent. Cabins were clean as expected. Service was great.. The Charleston port needs a lot of work but I guess Carnival can't help that. Not very handicapped oriented. All in all it was a good trip ,especially for the price. I will go again... The only problem I see is that it has too many passengers for the aminities.. enough eating area that we didn't have to wait but The Lido area was a total mess.. First time to Princess cay, about the same as half moon cay.. Go early for lunch or you will long lines, really not worth the wait, I didn't use Carnival for any excursion. been to Nassau many times and usually just get the taxi tour at the port.. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
My wife and i have cruised about 30 times since 1992, so we have seen the cruise industry change in regards to service, food and prices. We were needing a get-away this January and we booked a 5 day cruise on the Sunshine out of ... Read More
My wife and i have cruised about 30 times since 1992, so we have seen the cruise industry change in regards to service, food and prices. We were needing a get-away this January and we booked a 5 day cruise on the Sunshine out of Charleston. Previously, a lot of our cruises were out of this port, but on the Ecstasy. First thing: Embarkation has been expedited by moving it to a different building than security. Time from parking to boarding the ship was about 25 minutes. There are several buffets and other places to eat when you board. We tried the Italian special order on deck 5 beside the Havana Bar. The pasta and sauces were excellent. First night dining was about standard for Carnival. We were assigned anytime dining which is not really dining. It more like place your order and get out! The food seemed a little below what we had experienced on Ecstasy in years past. (BTW, lobster is not on the menu for any night of the 5 day cruise) Since the tables have to be "flipped" several times, the service is just OK> The casino has mostly new slot machines (bigger vid screens) and regular table games and an electronic roulette wheel. There is also a large display video Blackjack/Three Card Poker machine near the Skybox lounge. Stay away from that one. We saw about three people play the entire cruise there. After putting in a few bucks, we understood why. The roulette tables have gone to basically "triple zero" which reduces your odds even further for winning. Only standard odds on the ship are on the one craps table, which had action most of the time. We were in a Spa suite which gave us access to the steam rooms, sauna and tepidarium on the 10th floor. One sauna was hot and adjusted properly. the other one was not hot and the sauna room was not turned on. The tepidarium chairs were relaxing if you could find one which was open. Being January, the temp outside was chilly the first day. By Nassau, it was 74 but windy. The Sunshine has a "Dive in" movie theater which had pretty recent hits. You needed a blanked to watch at night but that was part of the fun. We were advised that we would not dock at private island due to high winds (good call). Instead we went to Freeport, which is the zit of the Bahamas. I choose to scuba dive in Nassua, which is always handled through Stuart's Cove. SC is a top notch dive operation which will put you on wrecks, fish, walls and sharks. They have a shuttle from port to their docks, which is a pretty big operation. Highlight of the cruise was Farenheit 555, the specialty steak house on the ship. Upcharge is $38 per person and well worth it. The food and service is on part with the Chef's Table. If you order your steak rare, prepare for RARE, as in cool red center. (Good vet could bring it back.) i dont drink but my wife has wine. Bar service was good and fast, even in the casino. She played enough to qualify for a free drink card which always reduces cost. This ship has a little "stuffier" feel that Ecstasy. Staff on Ecstasy was like "family" and was very jovial with passengers. The staff on Sunshine looked a little more intense. They were not bad, just not the same. OK, for those of you who have cruise before, more than a few times, you know that service on the ships are scaling back. Where as you used to have to expel your cabin steward fro hanging around, you will barely see them. Overall, for the price we had a fun, relaxing cruise. We choose this port often for it's closeness to home which allows us to drive to port instead of fly or drive for an entire day. Have fun. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We sailed 12/28/19-1/2/20 with our adult children and 5 grandchildren aged 3-17. We had 3 balconies and an inside cabin. The ship seemed understaffed, though everyone on staff was nice. This is the first time the steward asked if we ... Read More
We sailed 12/28/19-1/2/20 with our adult children and 5 grandchildren aged 3-17. We had 3 balconies and an inside cabin. The ship seemed understaffed, though everyone on staff was nice. This is the first time the steward asked if we wanted the room cleaned am, pm, or both times. Again - a staffing issue? Since we showered twice a day, we asked for both times. Other family members didn’t think they had a choice so we’re cleaned only once a day. The edge of the threshold on my balcony door was so sharp that I sliced my foot. Someone from the ship came up but removed the tape I put on it to cover it. Beware of that and make sure you step WAY over the threshold. Food was very disappointing. The dining room didn’t have tablecloths. We had a glass topped Formica table. A family member has celiac disease so she ordered ahead. We were told to get there early and would be served right away, but often waited to see a waiter and the pre ordered food came late. Again, they were WAY understaffed in the dining room. No one was around to refill water or drinks. Food was below average - best options were pizza and Guys Burgers. Small pool with limited seating on the same deck. One family member was handicapped and ended up needing an elevator to get to upper levels for a chair. Nassau - didn’t get off the ship. Half Moon Cay - nice but only stayed a half day. Enjoyed the ship with less crowds. Comedy show was almost impossible to see. Wish they had offered tickets so we could have gotten in. People would go to one show and refuse to leave for the next one. Being with family was what this was about and we had fun together but would never go on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was our 12th cruise and will probably be our last. Except for our room steward, workers were downright rude. Service was horrible. 90 minutes to get a Mongolian dish made. Had to stand in line for 90+ minutes to ferry to and from ... Read More
This was our 12th cruise and will probably be our last. Except for our room steward, workers were downright rude. Service was horrible. 90 minutes to get a Mongolian dish made. Had to stand in line for 90+ minutes to ferry to and from Half Moon Caye (no lines- just stalled the ferry with no explanation). They didn’t deliver my preordered speciality gift to my room for my annuversary. When I went down they said it was non refundable because I ordered it online???? The slides weren’t open on the last sea day- not wind related because the ropes course was open and the spray ground was closed too. So nothing for kids to do. Only 2 hot tubs that were jammed packed- I counted 27 adults/kids at one point. No pool games, DJ or anything on the pool deck on sea day. Smoking area was right outside the entrance of the kids club. They partied in the atrium on 3 until 2 am with music and screaming ( including the cruise director). We could hear it all the way in our cabin on the 9th floor and couldn’t sleep. Completely overbooked with few activities ( or no availability to participate) I would keep going.... Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This is was our second time aboard the Sunshine and honestly our first trip wasn’t that great. We sailed on the Sunshine when it was in Florida (Orlando maybe?) and was hesitant to sail on it again but simply selected this cruise because ... Read More
This is was our second time aboard the Sunshine and honestly our first trip wasn’t that great. We sailed on the Sunshine when it was in Florida (Orlando maybe?) and was hesitant to sail on it again but simply selected this cruise because of its convenience out of Charleston. We had sailed out of Charleston before aboard the Ecstasy and had a much more enjoyable trip. Fist off this ship is nasty. Everything about it looks dirty and old and not well kept. Our stateroom bathroom smelt of urine horribly and the balcony made you feel dirty just stepping out on it. We decided to enroll our children in camp ocean and our children hated it. They were not entertained at all and did not want to go back. On the final day I asked them if they wanted to try it one more time. They went for little over an hour before I got a call about youngest one would not stop crying and wanted to leave. I go in there and they basically put the kids in a room with a few basic toys but were not interacting with them at all. I found this odd because I have talked to other parents that had used camp ocean on other ships and their kids loved it. Then there was the food. The dinning room and buffet were absolutely horrible. If it had not been for the burger joint, burrito bar and sandwich station I don’t know what we would have done. There was very little selection on the buffet and generally nothing for small children to eat (tell me what child is going to eat fish with clams that taste fishy). We ended up eating the main dining room every night because at least they had a kid’s menu even though the rest of the adult menu wasn’t that great. I have been on many cruise ships and the Sunshine is at the bottom of the list for food. I also enjoy craft beer and now that carnival started pretty much only selling their brand brew, they don’t have that great of a selection anymore. I love IPA beer, but the carnival Parched Pig IPA lacks a lot to be desired. On the upside the terminal in Charleston made the boarding and embarkation very smooth and easy. Now if they would just switch ships again they would be golden. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Last year was our 1st Christmas without Mama. She was all about Christmas and had wanted to go on a 2019 Christmas Cruise. Sadly she passed in March 2019 and we were all depressed having Christmas without her at home. Not wanting to go ... Read More
Last year was our 1st Christmas without Mama. She was all about Christmas and had wanted to go on a 2019 Christmas Cruise. Sadly she passed in March 2019 and we were all depressed having Christmas without her at home. Not wanting to go through that again we decided this Christmas we were going to honor her and be at sea. It was her wish and it really helped us all. We chose Carnival Sunshine 5 day Bahamas because it was the only cruise from Charleston during Christmas. This cruise was not about where it was going but from where and when. We drove 2 1/2hrs to Charleston the day before not to have any added stress on the day of the cruise and stayed at the Mount Pleasant Suites since there were 5 adults and they have 2 bedroom with 2 bathroom suites for $89 a night. It was comfortable & clean. We would stay there again. The day of cruise started badly. It was cold and raining. We got drenched waiting to get into 1st building then back outside and transported to a 2nd building. The only thing that made it good was thankfully we bought the FTTF. We sailed through both buildings and had no wait despite both buildings being full.we arrived at 11:30 and were in our cabin at 12! It was definitely worth buying. Our spa cabins were literally at the front of the ship 11001 & 11003. Cabin 11001 is very nice for 2 people. It was a good bit bigger (longer) than 11003. They were the same width. I guess because of 11001 location on the end made it longer. Cabin 11003 was well used. There are stains on carpet and furnishings worn. I guess cabins that sleep 3 are probably used more. Our cabin steward was Victor and he was nice but nothing special like I remember from past cruises years earlier. I have been on about 10 cruises but have not cruised in 10 years since Mama was diagnosed with Dementia. I was a little taken back when he asked me if I wanted morning OR evening cabin service. I asked if they don't do both anymore? He said yes they do so I told him both. We were always short a towel, took 2 days to get a 3rd robe and did not always replace wet pool towels or take drink glasses. Not sure if they supposed to anymore or not but had always years ago. Our dining room assignments were not what I had requested and got confirmation for so I had to go speak to the Maitre D. Again, this was not the same as I recalled from previous cruises. It was a tad of a hassle with him telling me it was not their fault since our bookings were not linked and he did not have what I wanted. I offered to go get my phone and show him the email I got confirming and that the bookings were connected. Then he said I give you this and ask a couple to change theirs. I felt bad about that but I requested it in March and was confirmed. Either way I did not appreciate the hassle. Thankfully, the 1st day was where the problems ended. The rest of the cruise was wonderfully and the rest of the staff especially our waiter Gennis was superb. We did tip him extra because he realized we liked cheese and fruit plates 1st and had them waiting for us when we got to the table. Nice to have something to nibble on while waiting to order. That is the kind of intuitive service I remembered. Just a few miscellaneous notes.... Id rather have been on Spa Deck 10 because only 2 elevators go to 11. I am not sure what the fuss is with Guy's Burgers. The fries were good but IMO the burger were greasy and tasteless. I attempted twice and same both times. Perhaps people don't make hand patted burgers at home? Yes, compared to McDonalds they are better but got a long way to go to be as goods as ones I have had. I took suggestion from Cruise Critic forums and loved eating breakfast in the Havana Bar each AM. Getting the custom made omelet with sides (meats, Homefries, Pancakes & French Toast) at Cucina del Capitano and adding some Cheese and Guava pastries from the Havana bar. JiJi's Asian Kitchen also has the omelets but not the sides. The only morning we didn't eat there was the sea day brunch. Which was good especially the skillet cake and filet mignon but the time it took I would have been just as happy at Cucina del Capitano. For lunch I stuck with getting a soft chicken taco or taco salad at Blueiguana Cantina then walking it to Ocean Plaza and complimented it with some items at Ocean Plaza. One day they had Poblanos stuffed with chopped potatoes and cheese Delish! Dinner...well the food was not what I remembered but I guess with the bigger ships and more people its hard. The food wasn't bad just not great. After the 1st night I mostly stuck with multiple appetizers, salad and desert. The apps were very good especially the Cannelloni, Prosciutto Ruffles & the Gazpacho's especially the strawberry one. We did have the liquor package which we all got our monies worth. I did not want it but both my husband & 27yo daughter did. I thought it would be a waste for me since I don't drink a lot. However, 2 Mimosa's at breakfast, a Peach Daiquiri at lunch, 2 bottles of water in afternoon, 2 glasses of wine at dinner, a Vanilla milkshake spiked with Baileys after dinner and a drink at the show each night, a Hot Chocolate spiked with Baileys before bed did not at any point make me feel like i drank too much. We enjoyed the Serenity section which was a plus to cruises now that we did not have years before. Was disappointed with the Dance for St. Jude. There was only 2 dances after a very long wait for shirt sales. Then you could have just bought the shirt in the gift shop. They should have you register and pay for shirt in advance like the Green Eggs and Ham breakfast and make the event about Dancing for the kids. The spa was nice but I don't plan to book a spa cabin again. The sea was just too rough being upfront and constant long walks and only 2 elevators. I went 3 days and signed up for 1 pilates class which the instructor did not show up for. Imo the perks were worth the minuses. We went to Half Moon Cay after lunch so there was no crowds or lines. We swam and enjoyed the beach for about an hour. There was a line to get back to the ship but it moved fast. We did not plan to get off at Nassau but decided to after breakfast to go to Graycliff so hubby could buy some cigars. Most were already off the ship so no lines again. We wished we hadn't bothered because it was Boxing Day and the parade, which was interesting to see, made taxi's not want to take us to Graycliff Hotel since it was not far but traffic not moving. In the past we had walked there but my hubby's foot was runover by a forklift and was unable to walk like that. Couldn't believe we could not find a single cab to take us so we just went back on ship. The pools were not handicap friendly from what I saw. My sister had knee replacement and struggled with ladder only entry. We were giving Luggage Tags #2 to disembark. However, with only a 2 1/2 hr ride home and not in any rush we exchanged for the last #25. Then we took our time enjoying breakfast in Havana bar (yes, you could get food there as usual although it was not listed on places to eat on the last day paperwork). After 2nd announcement for all remaining passengers we headed off the ship with no lines or wait until we got to our luggage. There was a good line at customs but my husband got a porter and we sailed through customs and on shuttle with no wait. The $20 tip to porter was well worth it because no wait at all and I mentioned how thirsty I was and he surprised us by getting all 5 of us a cold bottle of water. My hubby gave him an extra $10 for having done that. Well that is all I can remember that I wanted to share. If this info helped just 1 person then it was time well spent writing it. Hope you have a great cruise! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I will start off saying that I am a highly experienced cruiser having sailed on most of the cruise lines. I booked this sailing because I never sailed out of Charleston and wanted to do something pre-Christmas. The port was very easy to ... Read More
I will start off saying that I am a highly experienced cruiser having sailed on most of the cruise lines. I booked this sailing because I never sailed out of Charleston and wanted to do something pre-Christmas. The port was very easy to get to from the airport. There's actually two buses that will take you to downtown from the airport where you can walk a short distance to the port. The express bus is $3.50 and more direct. You can also take the local bus which takes about an hour for $2 ($1 if you're a senior) and then take a second free bus to right in front of the port. This beats the $30 that Carnival charges if you're willing to handle your luggage. The port is oddly set up. You drop your luggage off outside into a vehicle that brings the luggage to the ship. Then you walk to basically a warehouse. There's a line outside that snakes through the building until you check in. Then, you are loaded onto a shuttle that brings you to the main terminal where you board the ship. Your room cards will be at your door when you board. The Sunshine is an old ship and despite having a complete overhaul and name change, the ship shows its age. There is rust everywhere, poor caulking, the lido windows leak, the windows are foggy, the ship is very rocky when the seas are a little rough, and the ceiling in many of the public areas are falling apart. Mikey the cruise director was funny and had a ton of wild outfits. I liked how he didn't bring ethnicity, politics, or origin into any comments. I had another cruise director on Norwegian who was Latino and constantly made comments like "where are my Latinos at" and it made everyone who was not Latino feel out of place. Mikey hosted a great military appreciation gathering and I would recommend attending even if you did not serve. The entertainment was hit and miss. Some nights the dancers including their costumes, dancing, and singing were not professional and some nights they were better. Do not expect any acrobatics like on other cruise lines. The food was the equivalent of diner food, not a high end restaurant. The buffet has four stations, but they are all the same food - just four lines you can stand on to get it (and there are lines for everything on this ship). The deli was good. I did not try the Asian option for lunch, but there was always a long line for it. Anytime dinning is convenient, but again the food was just okay and sometimes served warm or cool instead of hot. Occasionally our orders were not taken correctly and the portion was served with something we asked to be removed when ordering. The stateroom steward wasn't great either. This ship is freezing and I would recommend bringing a lot of sweaters and pants. We sailed in December with the outside temperature in the 50s and 60s and yet the ship still had on A/C. We had the heat set on high in our stateroom and the attendant turned it on A/C one day while we were at port. We were freezing when we returned. He also did not vacuum well or clean thoroughly from the previous guests. Since this is Carnival, you have to ask for turndown service in the evening and ask for towel animals if you want these features. Overall, it was an average cruise, but one of my least favorites due to the age of the ship, quality of the food, and quality of the service. I heard a few passengers mention they will never sail again, but I recommend trying a different cruise line in the future. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I picked this cruise for my husband's birthday celebration as it departs from our hometown port. We had a 12th deck spa balcony room. To be concise, I will list pros then cons of trip from our experience. PROS: Boarding boat ... Read More
I picked this cruise for my husband's birthday celebration as it departs from our hometown port. We had a 12th deck spa balcony room. To be concise, I will list pros then cons of trip from our experience. PROS: Boarding boat fast, organized. Lunch ready with a nice selection of hot and deli foods. Room service limited selections but adequate and prompt. Birthday cake I ordered was in room and luscious. General dining not bad but we prefer the Specialty restaurants which were excellent. The Chef's Table dining evening is $$$ but if you seek a dining experience of delicacies, multiple courses and wine, described by the chef, served with white glove service, its worth every cent. Reservations for only 14 diners includes an amazing pre dinner tour of the kitchen with champagne and appetizers. Elegant dress is appropriate for Specialty and Chef's Table. Room kept tidy with very comfortable bed, plenty of towels and ice bucket filled. Spa & gym included, was wonderful. Book massages before cruise for best rate. Enjoyed shopping in jewelry shop. We did not select excursions, used spa. CONS: Room carpet needed a good cleaning. A second hot tub in the Serenity area definitely needed. Tobacco smoke exits the casino into adjoining areas including sports bar so we could not tolerate it to watch games on tv. There are virtually no tv programs offered in rooms. Can't get a no-alcohol cocktail, even with full price. I asked for margarita on rocks minus tequila, denied due to they didn't have an established price. Only similar drinks are smoothies they have for kids. No alcohol free wines available. The main dining room location for seating was confusing. A basic dress code for cover ups, no bare feet or chests needs to be enforced in buffet lunch areas. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I have wanted to go on a cruise for years, so my husband booked one as a surprise for Christmas. We chose Carnival Sunshine simply because we live in North Carolina and Charleston is the closet port (4 hour drive). Let me start out ... Read More
I have wanted to go on a cruise for years, so my husband booked one as a surprise for Christmas. We chose Carnival Sunshine simply because we live in North Carolina and Charleston is the closet port (4 hour drive). Let me start out with the pros: Everyone on board, crew members and other vacationers, were SO friendly. We had the pleasure of meeting the cruise director and the captain and both were very personable. We loved our cabin steward, Aris. The atmosphere on board was really positive and that goes a long way. For food, we really enjoyed Guy's Burgers, the deli shop, pizza, and the salsa bar. All were delicious. All drinks we ordered were also great. Our favorite part of the trip was Half Moon Cay. We wish more days could have been like that. The process of getting there and back was fairly simple with a shorter line than most other activities throughout the week, the beach was truly perfect, we loved renting an affordable clam shell for sun protection, and there were walking paths, gift shops, a fun pirate ship water playground, and a regular playground. My husband and I both agree this was the best day of the ship and we truly felt like our son had fun that day. Our cabin was small, as expected, but the bed and pillows were super comfortable. Also, we did enjoy the fitness room and being able to workout while on board. I wish I could have used the spa but did not end up booking anything. It smelled wonderful and was really pretty! The spa staff were super nice, too. Now for the cons: The muster drill took over an hour, which was really challenging with a tired toddler. I have talked to so many people who cruise regularly and many from our area take Carnival Sunshine because of the convenience. I was under the impression that the pool and sports complex would be bigger and better than it was. However, the main pool was the size of a regular backyard pool and the two whirlpools were very small. The sports complex was also very small. My son is young and we got up early every morning trying to get him to the sports complex so he could shoot some basketball. Finally on the very last day he got to shoot some baskets because there were only a few kids on the court. It was so over crowded the whole time. This isn't Carnival's fault, but the wind on the sports complex was frightening the whole time we were at sea. It just made it one less place for us to play. Because everything was so crowded and it was so windy, my toddler spent most days climbing up and down the stairs on the inside and outside of the ship. Luckily I brought him some new trucks to play with, coloring books and crayons, and shows on my iPad. Those kept him entertained when there was truly nothing for him to do on board. This is a just a personal preference, but we did not enroll our child in Camp Ocean. I am not comfortable leaving him with people I've never met. When it comes to traveling, I am a big planner. I research all the best options, what to do while we are there, how to get around, I watch YouTube videos for cruise tips, etc. I also work in public health and even read the ship's sanitation reports beforehand. I want to know it all! Even after all the planning and preparing, I felt completely lost on board and I know others felt the same way because we would get on the elevator and all be lost on where we were going. Additionally, I have a major problem with the secondhand smoke on this ship. The secondhand smoke from the casino is extremely offensive and can be smelled on every floor because SMOKE TRAVELS and sticks to every single service. I find it completely unreasonable that the outside smoking area is in the same area as Camp Ocean for children. Anyone wanting to visit that area has to take their children through a cloud of smoke, and secondhand smoke is a health hazard especially for children and anyone with asthma or other lung conditions. We ate the buffet most evenings because of the convenience with a toddler. The food was alright but not as good as I had expected with how everyone raves about cruise food. Room service was very disappointing. I ordered my son a peanut butter and jelly sandwich one afternoon, which arrived with stale bread and stale potato chips. The entertainment (especially the "morning show") was disappointing, though Mikey was a great cruise director. We were really looking forward to doing Build-A-Bear but it was not enjoyable because it was so chaotic. The music was way too loud, you had to shout to communicate with the crew members doing the event. When we stopped in Nassau, we were looking forward to a nice relaxing beach day. We got off the ship early to spend as much time in Nassau as we could. It was so horrible we were only off the ship for 2 hours. The taxi rides are terrifying and the beach was really sketchy. We were definitely mislead for which beach to attend. My husband and I have enjoyed traveling together for years and a cruise was really something we had looked forward to. Unfortunately, I found myself feeling completely trapped this entire trip. I was counting down the days until we could get off the ship and it just feels like a waste of money and time off from work. We will never take another Carnival cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I have no complaints regarding this cruise. I loved everything about it. The only dislike comment I have is with anytime dining there was no way that I know of to have the same servers. I asked. I like having the same servers. I ... Read More
I have no complaints regarding this cruise. I loved everything about it. The only dislike comment I have is with anytime dining there was no way that I know of to have the same servers. I asked. I like having the same servers. I couldn't get an assigned table in early or late dining, hence, anytime dining. I don't know if because this was an 11 day cruise people as a whole seemed much happier and nicer. There were more wheelchairs and canes on this trip. But don't think the crowd was over the top older. The staff as always was the best. Our room Stewart Aris was exceptional. Loved the 5 ports. Mikey the CD was a hoot. This was my 1st journey cruise, I will do another. And 1st out of Charleston. Embarkation was the easiest out of the seven cruises we've taken. Best cruise ever I've been on so far. More about rhe dining room....love it when the wait staff in the dining room sing and table cloths on formal night. Food was good. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this cruise bc I wanted to celebrate our 25th anniversary and I was looking for the closest port. It turns out an 11 day Journeys cruise was leaving from our hometown so it was perfect. We went to St. Thomas, Aruba, Bonaire, Grand ... Read More
We chose this cruise bc I wanted to celebrate our 25th anniversary and I was looking for the closest port. It turns out an 11 day Journeys cruise was leaving from our hometown so it was perfect. We went to St. Thomas, Aruba, Bonaire, Grand Turks, and Princess Cays. Like with every cruise there are pros and cons. Cons first This was only our third cruise so not a lot of experience. The port itself isn't easy to navigate and we are hoping they fix this soon. The ship has a smaller Comedy Club and Liquid Lounge area then I think is normal and the shows were ok. The food was not as good as I've had on Norweigan. Now the Pros I have to say the cruise director and the fun squad was phenomenal!!! Neither cruise that we were previously on could top them. Our cabin steward ( RENATO ) was so very wonderful I have no words. I didn't even know someone on a ship could make me feel that comfortable. Carnival has a very valued employee and we hope they know it! His team of people that assisted him were very nice as were anyone we encountered in our hallways. It was like we were family. If we decide to cruise again on the Sunshine we would actually try to request Ren again! We splurged for a balcony room 6234 and it was nice and clean all the time. Thank you Renato!! We loved our excursions and would do them all again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Carnival Sunshine Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.9
Dining 4.0 3.6
Entertainment 5.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 3.7
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.8
Family 4.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.7
Enrichment 3.0 3.3
Service 4.0 4.0
Value For Money 5.0 3.7
Rates 3.0 4.1

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