Sail Date: February 2019
I did not chose. My brother did and we went with him. He choose this trip for 2 reasons. 1 It was in the Eastern Caribbean 2 It had a cabin type 4j we had good weather, the food was good, but not great. the entertainment was ok. I ... Read More
I did not chose. My brother did and we went with him. He choose this trip for 2 reasons. 1 It was in the Eastern Caribbean 2 It had a cabin type 4j we had good weather, the food was good, but not great. the entertainment was ok. I liked the Sunshine better than the Dream or the Libertyonly thing that I did not know was the cabin was a handicap room until I paid my final payment. Because it did have a larger bathroom but it is not a good room to make into a king size bed. our room was 7103. most of the food seems bland, it is like they try too hard to make fancy food. It would be nice if they had some just plain food. besides burgers. The soft serve ice cream is bad. I have not found it to be good on any of the previous 5 cruises I have taken. I have traveled with 3 different cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
This is my third cruise; 1st to Alaska and 2nd to the Bahamas, so we wanted something with a lot of variety. The ports did not disappoint, and the weather was extremely cooperative. We had absolutely no rain, and the temps were mostly in ... Read More
This is my third cruise; 1st to Alaska and 2nd to the Bahamas, so we wanted something with a lot of variety. The ports did not disappoint, and the weather was extremely cooperative. We had absolutely no rain, and the temps were mostly in the 80s and sunny! We got on the boat in record time! Everyone I talked to was amazed by how quickly we were on the ship and enjoying lunch. The only line we encountered was through the TSA . Our "appointment time" was between 12:30 and 1, and we were already eating at Guy's Burger Jt by 12:15! Debarking was pretty tedious, but the port did the best they could. The ship had its pros and cons. We adored the Serenity pool, the hammocks and the fact that we could almost always get somewhere to lounge. We also loved the ropes course which we were told only exist on 5 other ships. The ship looks kind of dated and frazzled, but the staff was wonderful. The food was not as good as the Carnival Bahamas cruise we were on last year. I was disappointed my lobster tail was mushy, and the prime rib was bland. Coffee service was not even offered. But everything was plated beautifully and the service was delightful. Our cabin, 7316, was my first experience with a balcony. This particular room had a larger balcony that included a lounge chair in addition to 2 tables and chair. Loved it! The room always had some sort of white noise buzz which didn't bother me, but it did my husband; I think we were located near the laundry. 7th level had us close to all the action though. Here's what I was disappointed in; we had precious little time in each port. I'm not sure if that's a Carnival thing, or if you can even research average cruise line's port times. The main reason to cruise to me is to visit new countries, so I want the most time possible there. We felt rushed, especially since we never got off the ship on time. I'm also not thrilled with how a few of the ports have been "Disneyfied"; sanitized to the point that one is felt the only point of being in port is to shop! Yuck! I was especially disappointed in Amber Cove. We were told everything we would want to do was right at the port, but you couldn't even get to the beach! We didn't do a single organized shore excursion, but we still saw plenty in each port by doing a little research and mainly using taxis. In Amber Cove, we rode to Puerta Plata and took the cable car up to the botanical garden. In St. Thomas, we drove downtown and walked around, then took a taxi to amazingly beautiful Magen's Bay for snorkeling. In San Juan, my husband had prearranged an opportunity for us to volunteer a few hours at Casa Ronald McDonald (as opposed to Carnival's prearranged volunteer projects that I wonder how much they profited from). A cab then took us to Old Town where we wondered happily for several hours in and out of forts and museums. And in Grand Turk, we walked to the recommended Governor's Beach for the most amazing snorkeling I had ever done. We easily took a cab from there to tour the town a bit and see the wild donkeys and horses. I'm certain we managed to do more, for cheaper, in the short amount of time we had in each port. I will love to do this cruise again. The ports were gorgeous, the crew was lovely, and we felt pampered and relaxed. I'd love to experience the same cruise on a different line to see if my perception would change. It definitely was a cruise to remember. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This review concerns only the Carnival ship and company. Our cruise was an adult-only charter and we had no complaints about its organisers. Our overall impression was of a penny-pinching enterprise seeking to squeeze every last dime ... Read More
This review concerns only the Carnival ship and company. Our cruise was an adult-only charter and we had no complaints about its organisers. Our overall impression was of a penny-pinching enterprise seeking to squeeze every last dime from its captive customers. Specifically : - Food in general was very poor. Everything in the buffet was cold and poor quality (exception: the bacon was lovely). The MDR was pretentious and lacking real quality. The smaller venues (omelette station, Blue Iguana, pizza bar...) were notably better although the burger bar food was disgusting. Most places were closed too often, giving a poor choice of food for "non-standard" meal-times. Conform or go hungry? - Drinks prices were outrageous (with alcohol packages unavailable on charters - I can't think why). Wine “deals” were available at slightly less outrageous prices, whereby you effectively pre-purchased bottles from a selection. Having taken our money THEY RAN OUT of the most popular wines. We felt defrauded. We also often received our wine when our meal was half over. Water that wasn't heavily chlorinated and decent coffee also had to be paid for. - They confiscated the bottles of wine we brought onto the ship as apparently we had put them in the “wrong suitcase". They were never returned, despite the letter that said they would be! That left a VERY bitter taste (but presumably a rather pleasant one for staff). - The internet was extremely expensive, with very limited options to choose from. There definitely ought to be a per-minute option too for those who just want to research a lunch in port etc. The staff, without exception, were friendly and helpful. However there was a noticeable lack of management and training at the level above their individual jobs. They need to know how it all fits together! Our cabin, a deck 7 interior, was absolutely fine. It was well designed, had just enough storage, and nothing was damaged or missing. The only problem - a grave one - was that the toilet stopped flushing on several occasions towards the end of the cruise. It was quickly fixed each time but it was difficult to cope with, particularly in the night. The self-serve launderette on our floor was useful although each wash, dry and detergent cost a rather high $7.50. The gym facilities were also adequate. The ship has had major refits, I believe. There are certainly some oddities, including confusing lifts. Two major problems are: 1. The casino forms a main thoroughfare, particularly when it's raining, and smoking is normally allowed there. It wasn't on our cruise, but the stench lingers. 2. Everyone walks through the Limelight Lounge to get to the MDR as there are few viable alternatives. The route runs along the edge of the stage - most off-putting for everyone. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
Our cabin steward was excellent, but that was about all; he was named Lamphong and he was great. Otherwise, the cruise was fairly mediocre, stopping in several Caribbean ports including their manufactured island in the Bahamas. We had a ... Read More
Our cabin steward was excellent, but that was about all; he was named Lamphong and he was great. Otherwise, the cruise was fairly mediocre, stopping in several Caribbean ports including their manufactured island in the Bahamas. We had a veranda room looking out at the very aft of the ship, which cost more than the regular veranda rooms. We were surprised to find a dinky veranda, no larger that the others on either side of the ship. The main dining room featured formica tables without table cloths; I thought they perhaps could add to this truck stop theme by placing squeeze bottles of ketchup and mustard, and perhaps hot sauce, in a little stainless steel holder. Much better was the Havana Bar on the Lido deck, which featured excellent omelettes each morning. Also, the hamburger stand by the very small pool was great. No bathrobes, no binoculars, nothing extra. This ship, unlike other Carnivals, did have a library with more than a dozen books, and it did have ample launderettes. The prime rib was paper-thin and tough, but the steak and eggs for breakfast in the main dining room had a small fillet mignon. Overall, this ship and cruise did not compare to a similar one we took a few months ago on Holland America. The ship itself is ship-shape, and we give them high marks for the embarkation and disembarkation process as well as luggage delivery. Carnival knows how to move people. The entertainment was fine. I'll confess that we'd already taken shore excursions to the ports we stopped at, so we benefited from low population around the pool on port days. It was harum-scarum at the pool on sea days. This was a adult cruise, so I can't comment on kid's activities, but Carnival has a great reputation for that sort of thing. Overall the best thing I can say is that our cabin service was superior. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
My husband and I just returned from a 13 day journeys cruise aboard the Sunshine. We typically have rain a good portion of our vacation and were pleasantly surprised to only have rain two half days. The ship itself is in great shape for ... Read More
My husband and I just returned from a 13 day journeys cruise aboard the Sunshine. We typically have rain a good portion of our vacation and were pleasantly surprised to only have rain two half days. The ship itself is in great shape for its age. The crew went out of their way to make the cruise special. We visited 7 islands - St. Thomas, Aruba, Curacao, St. Marteen, St. Kitts, San Juan, and Amber Cove. We had been to all of these ports except Amber Cove. I turned platinum on this cruise and enjoyed all the perks - chocolate covered strawberries, a free blanket throw, 5 bags of free laundry, priority boarding and disembarkation, and a free drink. The shows on board were all pretty good. My husband and I enjoyed the comedy shows the most and averaged two shows most days. The Love & Marriage Show dragged on too long. It took almost 45 minutes to pick the contestants. We ate most dinners (10 of the 13 nights) in the main dining room with Any Time Dining. We never had to wait over 5 or 10 minutes for a table. Most nights we were in and out in about an hour and 15 minutes. We typically ate early (around 5:15). We only paid to eat one meal and that was at the sushi restaurant. Sushi for two with tip was around $25. We booked all excursions on our own. There were a few things that irritated me. Number 1 - the free drink. You have to get it either at breakfast or lunch and only in the main dining room. I went three times before I even found the dining room open during these times. One time breakfast was over and lunch hadn't started. Another time lunch was already over. ( I know it is free and you shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth, but get real, it is a $9.50 drink!) Number 2 - No refrigerator. This is the first time I have ever cruised a big cruise line with no refrigerator. Number 3 - making you choose morning or evening service of your cabin. We chose morning but our steward still serviced it twice a day but you could tell he was overextended doing so. Shame on Carnival for putting him in this position. I think each steward services over 30 rooms. Number 4 - Disembarkation was a nightmare. It took us over two hours with priority and we just made our flight by 10 minutes and yes it was an afternoon flight. Overall, I will still sail on Carnival again but will give other cruise lines equal consideration. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
Let me start at the beginning. Embarkation went very well, maybe the fastest we have ever encountered. The first impression of the ship was good until we got to a stairway where we smelled cigarette smoke coming up from the Casino. ... Read More
Let me start at the beginning. Embarkation went very well, maybe the fastest we have ever encountered. The first impression of the ship was good until we got to a stairway where we smelled cigarette smoke coming up from the Casino. The Casino was in the middle of deck 5 and there was no way around it unless you went up or down a deck. For the protection of crew and passengers, there should not be smoking anywhere on the ship where non-smokers would be. This was the first cruise I did not gamble. The smoke was beyond my tolerance and I did not want to get used to it. Carnival and all cruise lines need to consider their smoking policy. You can not say the health of the crew and passengers is your no. 1 concern and allow smoking where crew members work and passengers frequent. Our next stop was our room. We had a balcony room ( 8236 )It was nothing great but it was adequate. We did have an unobstructed view from our balcony which was nice. Our cabin steward did an okay job. We have had better and worse. Food is where we went next. We did all of our eating on Deck 9. We did not use any of the dining rooms. I mostly used the Buffet which was not great but adequate. My complaint with the Buffet is that I did not always know which foods had meat in them. I was told I could ask a service person but not so easy when the Buffet is busy which it was most of the time I was there. Hopefully, cruise lines will start labeling their food better. Next, we took a self- guided tour of the ship. The sports deck had some fun stuff. They had a pretty good putt putt course but they were using lightweight golf balls which got blown around in the wind. We tried the obstacle course, which was fun. Never used the water slides. Had some fun with the Fooseball table. They had a single basket court which we never used. They also had a bean bag toss which we had some fun with. We then went to the Spa and gym. Sad to say we never used either one. Overall the ship felt crowded but we were always able to get good seats in their main entertainment Venue ( Liquid Lounge ) It was different than what we have seen on other ships but worked well for us. The entertainment was good. Our only problem was the crowds were too big sometimes in the Ocean Plaza and Limelight Lounge. We had a great Cruise director ( Mikey ). He made it fun on the ship. We also had some good excursions. We hiked up to a volcano and yes it was difficult. Very important to stay hydrated. We did some zip lining and horseback riding which was fun. Will we cruise with Carnival again? Probably, but will check the deck plan and smoking policy. We will not go on the Sunshine again if they do not change their smoking policy. Which is sad to say since we enjoyed the Cruise Director so much. Overall we had a good time and we are already looking for our next cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
I have always bragged to others about the quality and variety of food on the Carnival Menu and buffets. BUT on the Sunshine it was the worst food ever encountered on a cruise ship. Our food was cold, crusty, and dried. The salads were ... Read More
I have always bragged to others about the quality and variety of food on the Carnival Menu and buffets. BUT on the Sunshine it was the worst food ever encountered on a cruise ship. Our food was cold, crusty, and dried. The salads were browned lettuce and soups were cold. The service was extremely slow and not acceptable at all. We are both diamond VIP members with Carnival. We have sailed on over two hundred cruises and most every cruise line. We understand that booking with different cruise lines you will experience different types of food, however, cold, tasteless, no quality food is unacceptable regardless of the cruise line. The Carnival product has greatly deteriorated and is not at all like previous Carnival cruises we have experienced on most every cruise ship in their fleet! We are very concerned that this ship does not follow ADA guidelines. It was one of the most unfriendly to handicapped passengers in wheelchairs and the guests were unwilling to share the elevators even though the US law states that wheelchair passengers have first priority in the elevator use. Fellow passengers are getting more and more antagonistic toward those who cannot walk and must use a wheelchair as well as the cruise ship staff! It is interesting to note that Carnival is changing the booking mechanism for handicapped cabins. They have gone from wheelchair cabins with roll in showers to calling the same exact cabin a "walker" cabin thereby eliminating the need to accommodate wheelchair guests. It is blatant discrimination. We will carefully review our choices for cruising this year and go back to cruise line whose product we can trust. Carnival product is no longer the same. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We booked this cruise because of the ports. Our favorite day was St Kitts. We took a cab to the Marriott and enjoyed betting some horse races. Later we walked down to the Marriott beach and walked north to the end of the Marriott ... Read More
We booked this cruise because of the ports. Our favorite day was St Kitts. We took a cab to the Marriott and enjoyed betting some horse races. Later we walked down to the Marriott beach and walked north to the end of the Marriott property to a gorgeous local beach setting with no people. Absolutely gorgeous scenery. Reminds us of Hawaii. Disappointing was the anytime dining system on this ship compared to NCL. We had to wait in line on Deck 5 to get a table assigned and then walk down 2 decks to the dining room. We found that if we waited until 7 pm that there were no lines. We enjoyed the cruise director Mkey and especially TREVOR doing the horse races commentary. Trevor was outstanding. The singer John was great as well as RB & the Sunshine Band. The Punchliner Comedy Show had long lines waiting nightly, which was very annoying. It would have been better to have a 7pm show in the main theater and have each comic do 30 minutes. Have the same thing at 9pm with adult format. WORST entertainer was Ewert in the piano bar. I requested "Sweet Caroline" (Boston Red Sox theme song) to celebrate their World Series Win. When it came to the second verse, Ewert changed the words to "Sweet Hand of Mine...good times really feel so good." (Referencing masturbation moves). I know that it was adults only bar but thought that was to keep kids out not to sing x rated songs. We really enjoyed our cabin 1409 on deck one with two port holes. It was very large with a long sofa. We could hear banging occasionally when seas were rough but we still loved our cabin. Best part of the cruise was when former high school classmate Steve and his wife Jennifer came over to say "HI." I went to the guest services desk to ask them to call their cabin to meet up with them again, but the voice messaging would not work to leave them a message. Hoping they find me on Facebook under my maiden name. Fun cruise. Great flat iron steak and lobster tail. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We cruised on this ship when it was the Destiny and had a great experience. This was the total opposite. Let me first say that our cruise director Mikey was AMAZING. I’d sail with him as CD again any day, he went above and beyond. ... Read More
We cruised on this ship when it was the Destiny and had a great experience. This was the total opposite. Let me first say that our cruise director Mikey was AMAZING. I’d sail with him as CD again any day, he went above and beyond. Pros: JiJi Restaurant was wonderful! Make sure to try the pork belly, pot stickers, and the wide noodles. This is family style dining so everyone gets to try each dish. Service was amazing! Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse is a must! Our top choices were the smoked oysters, essence of tomato shots from the chef, and of course the ribeye. Great service & great food. Cons: This is the first cruise I’ve ever been on that most of the staff were rude or just plain ignored passengers. We normally tip very well, but walked off this ship without tipping above those already billed. The lido buffet was AWFUL! The only thing we ate in there was breakfast 3 times and two salads for lunch. Same bland, greasy, over cooked food every day. Not sure what was going on with the elevators but they were slow and most of the time blew by your floor. Waited more than five minutes several times. Maybe the elevator problem had something to do with children allowed to play in the elevators. An example, we entered an elevator with a approx 12 year old boy sitting in the floor eating an ice cream cone. The boy was laughing at the fact he had pushed all the buttons and was just riding up and down. His buddy was doing the same in the adjacent elevator. Want a deck chair? Better get up at 5 am to reserve one. Staff were allowing passengers to hold chairs by placing their belongings there for hours at a time. Want peace on the Serenity deck? Better find a better place, like front row center at a heavy metal concert. No where to sit, loud, kids running around. I think Carnival really missed the mark when the started doing away with the aft adults only pool areas. Did I say the staff? We had Your Time Dining, one side of the dining room was pleasant and the other actually gave me a dirty look. The bright spot was Nestor and his team including Jennifer who never stopped smiling. I’d give the other wait staff’s name that gave me a dirty look but he never gave us his name & didn’t spend enough time at our table to notice his name tag. We did enjoy our room steward but the cabin aft deck 7 had an odd amount of dust everywhere. Also we had a mildew smell in our cabin that seemed to be coming from the drain. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose Carnival Sunshine because we love the new Carnival 2.0 features and the itinerary was perfect. It definitely felt much smaller than the usual ships we go on (Vista, Miracle, etc.) The Lido buffet area feels very small but the ... Read More
We chose Carnival Sunshine because we love the new Carnival 2.0 features and the itinerary was perfect. It definitely felt much smaller than the usual ships we go on (Vista, Miracle, etc.) The Lido buffet area feels very small but the trick is to utilize the Havana area for meals where most people don't look. We were amazed at how well the ship was cleaned every day by all staff. Also, this was the friendliest staff we have experienced in a long time. Our entire family is Platinum, so we've been on a lot of cruises and over the past several years we have felt like the service is lacking. But this cruise revived our hopes! With only one or two exceptions, the crew was SPECTACULAR! While the cabins are smaller, they are really well organized and we felt like we even had extra space in the room for storing clothes. However, the pull-down bed that overlapped above our bed caused me to hit my head a few times when I was waking up. I definitely missed the bigger cabins on other ships. I did enjoy the larger showers though (from the old style layout). As a frequent cruiser, the specialty restaurants are a must for us to avoid the monotony of the main dining room. We loved all of the specialty restaurants and enjoyed the main dining room on the 2 nights we were there. The service was, again, terrific. The Lido buffet is truly wearing out, in my opinion. I do wish they'd switch it up a little bit for those of us that cruise often, but it helped me eat lighter during the day. The Havana area on the back ok the Lido deck is absolutely beautiful with the floor to ceiling windows that overlook the back of the ship. We really enjoyed those tables for relaxing, eating, and playing cards. Such a view! The ports on our ship were Aruba, Curacao, and Grand Turk. Grand Turk is a favorite of ours since it's so easy to just hop off and enjoy a day on the beach, get lunch back on the ship, and be so close to our cabin. Aruba was ok (the cruise terminal was small and the taxi line was poorly managed) and Curacoa is now one of my new favorite ports. Absolutely beautiful with great (unique Dutch/Holland) shopping, terrific beach, and a fun atmosphere within walking distance of the ship! I will say that getting cabs at some of these ports is frustrating and very stressful, especially with a large family (there are 12 of us). The taxi drivers can be so rude and pressure you into doing things you don't want to do. Aruba was the worst, with the taxis splitting us up without our ability to get our Carnival key cards sorted amongst the kids. This caused half our group to not be able to get into the cruise terminal because the kids in that group didn't have their key cards (which were the other half of us in another taxi). This was a TERRIBLE ordeal for us and was caused by the greediness of the taxi drivers and the high-stress situation they put us in. I think from now on I'll plan someone to pick us up ahead of time to avoid the taxi line and drivers. Overall, this ship provided a terrific cruise. The Cruise Director, Mikey, was great. The ship was clean, service terrific, and pools and water park and obstacle course were open at all specified times. No big disappointments. One mention I have to make - DJ Dawkness on the Lida pool area was the best DJ we've ever had. The other DJ they had was just ok - she played a bunch of rap junk (I'm 34 and it was too much for me). But DJ Dawkness - he was AMAZING! He played the best variety of music, didn't talk during the songs, and at a huge surprise for us, he devoted about 20-30 minutes on our Sunday morning by the pool to some worship music for a small church service. As a believer and follower of Jesus, this was the highlight of my trip. He wasn't forceful to those who didn't want to participate, but he offered so much encouragement and love to those of us there. The music was easy listening R&B Christian so that everyone could enjoy. No one there seemed upset, and those of us (especially me) that spend time with the Lord daily - this was like heaven. Worship on the Lido. So great. I can't thank him (and Carnival) enough for allowing this to happen. Sometimes I feel like Carnival caters so well to the drinkers, gamblers, and partyers, but as a Christian that finds my joy in other things, we can get overlooked. DJ Dawkness changed that for me - it was one of the best moments in cruising that I've ever had! :) Read Less
Carnival Sunshine Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.9
Dining 4.0 3.7
Entertainment 5.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 3.8
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.8
Family 4.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.8
Enrichment 3.0 3.3
Service 4.0 4.0
Value For Money 5.0 3.7
Rates 3.0 4.1

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