1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
Always have a great time on carnival but will not sail the sunshine again. the cd Lee was high energy and lots of fun. Keith in the piano bar(best ive seen) was simply amazing... it was standing room only every night Grand Turk,St ... Read More
Always have a great time on carnival but will not sail the sunshine again. the cd Lee was high energy and lots of fun. Keith in the piano bar(best ive seen) was simply amazing... it was standing room only every night Grand Turk,St Kitts,San Juan and Amber Cove were all great stops. Food was average, room 11th floor fwd spa area was very nice and clean cleaning staff was super nice and very attentive its 2017 and why carnival still always smoking in casino is mind blogging... as a cancer survivor i simply cant use the casino or walk through that area... dont care if you smoke but they need a smoke free casino option... we had a medical emergency on board and had to have the us coast guard do a helicopter rescue.. its amazing to see these guys do their job.. both the ship's captain and the us coast guard handled this situation will care and professionalism... bravo Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
The ship is in great shape from the upgrades completed and our room was great. Emma the cruise director was fabulous and so is all of the staff. In terms of the layout of the ship, it was not our favourite. There are lots of areas for ... Read More
The ship is in great shape from the upgrades completed and our room was great. Emma the cruise director was fabulous and so is all of the staff. In terms of the layout of the ship, it was not our favourite. There are lots of areas for eating, but with that they sacrificed "fun areas". Everyday the pools and hot tubs were over crowded. There are three hot tubs for all passengers and two pools. I found the havana bar/restaurant was usually pretty empty so it would be nice if that was another pool area instead of a bar. As well, it was difficult to find chairs on deck, especially on cruising days. The punch liner comedy club is WAY too small, you were lucky to find a seat even 30 minutes before a show. In my opinion , there are too many random little bars when they should have made the punchliner double in size as the shows are usually great. The adult only area is very large but more hot tubs in that area would be nice. The hot tubs on the lido deck were typically filled with children so we couldn't use them. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We chose this five night cruise to relax and unwind after a busy couple of months. What a total disappointment.! We booked and purchased a suite. Unfortunately, it turned out to be little more than a standard balcony room. The ... Read More
We chose this five night cruise to relax and unwind after a busy couple of months. What a total disappointment.! We booked and purchased a suite. Unfortunately, it turned out to be little more than a standard balcony room. The furnishings, including the bed, were totally uncomfortable and worn; carpet was in desperate need of cleaning or replacement. The bathroom was so small that you could easily multi-task (sit on the commode, wash your hands, and soak your feet in the tub all at the same time). "Perks" as a suite guest included priority embarkation and disembarkation and two free bottles of water. Woohoo! The food was never tasty or hot (except for the specialty/up-charge Fahrenheit 555 Steak House and the lunch-time Mongolian Wok). This was a stressful, disappointing, and unpleasant experience. It was a mistake to deviate from our preferred cruise lines of Princess and Royal Caribbean this one time. Live and learn. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
Embarkation was effortless. We had a friend drop us at the port. We have Platinum status, went to the designated area, and we were on the ship in fifteen minutes. It was easy. We took our luggage with us, so I can’t comment on ... Read More
Embarkation was effortless. We had a friend drop us at the port. We have Platinum status, went to the designated area, and we were on the ship in fifteen minutes. It was easy. We took our luggage with us, so I can’t comment on luggage delivery. Our cabin was available when we boarded, so there were no issues. The lunching venues were limited, despite the email telling us where to go, but we made it up to the Lido and had Mongolian Barbeque before we left port. The life boat drill was brutal. I understand that SOLAS requires that the drills are held, but this one was long, hot, and poorly organized. The length was probably due to the passengers that decided to skip the experience, as they were announced over the PA system repeatedly. After the drill, we found air-conditioning, had a drink, and loved the world again. The Sunshine is a special ship. Launched as the Destiny, she was impressive in 1996. I saw her in Miami during Christmas that year, and was amazed. She was the first cruise ship over 100,000 tons. We were sailing on Royal Caribbean that trip, but the ship’s profile was impressive. We never had the privilege to sail on the Destiny. The Sunshine rocked. After a 2013 refit and renovation, the ship seems new. I’ve been on the larger boats in the fleet, but this one seems so well engineered. In the refit, Carnival added over 200 staterooms, taking space from the Promenade deck and adding balcony accommodations above the spa. The increased passenger accommodation made the ship crowded at times, but we found ways around that. The Red Frog Pub was always underpopulated. Our cabin was one of the new ones added in the 2013 refit. We were all the way aft on Deck 5. We were close enough to all the festivities on the Promenade deck, but the location was quiet. We had an outside cabin with a king bed and a nice couch from which to watch TV. We had a refrigerator and sufficient electrical connections. The bathroom, while smaller than those on the Fantasy class, was adequate and met our needs. The storage was about what you would expect, and sufficient for an extended trip. Cabin steward Michael was spot on for the duration. In reading the reviews prior to cruising, I was concerned with how the meal service would rate. I can honestly say, that both in the dining room and the extra fee venues, food was fantastic. We had asked for late seating but were given My Time Dining, which I really don’t understand. Denisa was able to switch us to the late seating. We ate in the dining room the first night and were well attended by Jose, Pikulthong, Mackbeth, and Maurice. The food was excellent and service was attentive. The following night we dined in the steak house. While not as impressive a space on Sunshine compared to other ships, the food was the excellent standard we’ve come to expect. The third night we at in the Cucina del Capitano. The Italian food was tremendous, and our server, Brandon, was one of the best we’ve had anywhere. The next night I had JiJi’s Asian, and it too was amazing for the minimal upcharge. I would highly recommend all dining venues. The only one I didn’t try was Bonsai Sushi, but other passengers seemed to enjoy it. The only entertainment we attended were two comedy shows. As previously mentioned, the ship has been expanded to accommodate more quests in less public space than originally designed. Accordingly, some venues are very crowded. The comedy shows were packed. Lines started queuing a half hour before the shows for seating. We don’t like lines on vacation so stood for each show. The forward theater also doubled as a night club, which I found interesting. The musical performances we attended were all great. All were talented. The piano bar was fun. The player/singer was funny and entertaining. Most of the bars offer some sort of live music. The day we were in Amber Cove, we were total losers and didn’t get off the ship until 2:30. We had planned to take a cab into Puerto Plata, but found out that it was a $40 investment each way for the 15- minute drive. We didn’t feel like spending the money for the short time we would have had in town, so had a snack and drinks in the port. The port is nice. Similar to ports like Falmouth, the cruise lines have developed a retail village. It was enjoyable. In Grand Turk, we actually showed some motivation and took an excursion. My wife had injured her foot before the cruise, so we were pretty much stuck with the invalid friendly tours. We took a two-hour open-air bus tour of the island. There is not a whole lot on Grand Turk. It’s interesting from a historical perspective, with the Airforce and Navy presence, but the island is small. The wild donkeys were nice. We stopped in one spot long enough to get some cracked conch for lunch. Disembarkation was simple. We stayed in the cabin until we were basically kicked out. We got off the ship around 9:30. The lines for customs and immigration were long, but moved quickly. A friend picked us up at the port and we were on our way in about half an hour total. In summary, I would enthusiastically recommend Carnival Sunshine. The ship is unique within the fleet and there’s something special about it. The crew seemed to be the happiest I’ve seen lately, so they are definitely doing something right. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
The onboarding process in Port Canaveral was very organized; however, the debarking process needs some work. The steak house was very good. If you have a chance, we'd recommend the Chef's table. It was worth the money and once in the ... Read More
The onboarding process in Port Canaveral was very organized; however, the debarking process needs some work. The steak house was very good. If you have a chance, we'd recommend the Chef's table. It was worth the money and once in the life time experience. Even though the ship itself was a bit worn it very opened and bright. The staff was always cleaning so it always looked nice. The Senenity decks are the best we've been on!!! The cruise director, Emma was absolutely wonderful. She was very pleasant and a joy to be around. She was great especially with the children. We went to Aruba, Bonaire, and Grand Turk. If you have the opportunity make sure you look around Bonaire, it was a wonderful surprise and quickly became one of our favorites. The music shows were really good and probably some of the best we seen on any cruise ships. All-in-all a really nice and enjoyable cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
We had a large family group on this cruise, which we planned for almost a year. We chose the Carnival Sunshine because the port was convenient for most of us to get to, and the dates worked well for our needs. We knew it wasn't the ... Read More
We had a large family group on this cruise, which we planned for almost a year. We chose the Carnival Sunshine because the port was convenient for most of us to get to, and the dates worked well for our needs. We knew it wasn't the newest, biggest, or grandest of ships, but that wasn't an issue for us. However, we encountered some negatives that we just did not expect but we didn't let them ruin our vacation. One of the best things about the Sunshine is the attitude displayed by staff and crew. Once we were on the ship, we were met with smiles and hardworking staff. From our room steward to waiters in the dining hall and on the Lido deck we found people who offered to help us and provided "service with a smile.” Without Jose as our waiter in the dining hall, our cruise would have turned into a disaster, but more about that when I get to the cons. The staff was courteous and seemed to work constantly to keep the ship in good condition and functioning smoothly. Our cabin was also nice with more storage than we needed. We had a balcony cabin with the two standard chairs and table but it was a decent size and offered a quiet retreat from the hustle and bustle of the ship when needed. The bed was comfortable and our steward Zek kept it clean and neat. The ship offers the typical cruise ship activities throughout the day and into the night with movies by the pool, the Motor City show, trivia, water slides, comedy club performers, and more. Our grandchildren loved the slides in the splash area, and we had one group that tried to do as much trivia as possible. One problem that I saw with trivia, which isn't Carnival's fault but does still spoil the guest's pleasure, is the current trend of passengers who choose to use their phones to Google answers. Trivia is supposed to be about what you know in the categories, but it was almost impossible to win because too many are simply cheating. Unless the cruise lines find a way to curtail this unfair practice by some passengers, trivia will not be a viable choice for sea day fun. We did not do ship sponsored excursions but found two great private tours riding the trikes in Aruba and whizzing around in the Twizy cars in Bonaire. Both were fun and great ways to see the islands. We also did beach time while at the islands. Unfortunately, we had some fairly negative issues too. Embarkation can only be described as a nightmare. We had a 12:30 to 1:00 check-in window so we arrived at the port at about 12:10. We thought we could easily drop luggage, park, and be ready to get to check-in during our window, but we were wrong. Trying to get to the parking garage took us over an hour. The Sunshine had been late arriving back at port, and no one could get into the garage. We literally sat stopped with no one able to enter the garage for more than 15 minutes at one point. After that it was stop and go as cars crept toward the garage. We had a large party with differing check-in windows, and we kept calling each other trying to find out from those with earlier windows if they were on the ship yet. They were not, and there seemed to be an issue with traffic and parking attendants trying to help sort the mess out. We were given incorrect information about entering the garage at one point, which added to our problems. We finally made it on the ship about 1:45, which qualifies this as the worst embarkation that I have had in six cruises. We also had huge problems with dining the first two nights of our cruise. We booked this cruise 10 months in advance and requested designated dining because we had a large group traveling together, but it was already full so we were given anytime dining. I've had anytime dining before without problems, but we were concerned because of the size of our party so we arrived early and were some of the first diners to request seating. We were seated at two tables for eight that were near each other, which was fine, but getting food turned out to be a very lengthy affair. Over two hours later we finally left the dining room with some of our party just skipping dessert because it was taking so long that their small children were becoming fussy. We don't let our grandchildren run wild and did not wish to ruin other diners' meals so my children just took them back to their cabins after about 90 minutes skipping the rest of dinner. My daughter requested milk for one of her children, and 45 minutes later we still did not have the milk. We finally complained to the maitre d' and he promised it would be better the next night. It wasn't. That night my DH received cold prime rib and a baked potato that was so undercooked you could not cut it with the steak knife provided with the prime rib. He chose to just eat what he could because we didn't want to spend even more time at dinner. We made a second complaint to the maitre d' and he decided that we needed designated dining. He assigned us to two tables with a designated early dining time and gave us Jose as one of our waiters. Thank goodness. We now were able to get meals in a decent amount of time and with excellent service. Jose requested our children's menu orders the night before and had them waiting for the little ones when we sat down. He had our beverage requests memorized and on the table for us too. It made everything move quickly and we were able to experience dinner in a much more positive way for the rest of the cruise. I am rating dining as average because Jose fixed it, but the first two nights were so bad I just can't rate it any higher. Another con for me is Carnival's new cleaning procedure. We keep our cabin tidy and having once per day cleaning doesn't bother me, but the designated time became intrusive. When asked I said mid morning, but that did not end up working well. We had 4 sea days and it seemed like it often turned out that they wanted to clean the cabin when we ended up being there. Previously the crew always came in and cleaned when we were out and we just came back and found it had been finished. It never intruded on our schedule. This wasn't a problem on port days, but on 2 sea days we went back to the cabin to change into swimsuits or to read on the balcony and discovered that they needed us out to clean . Perhaps I should have selected early morning, but if we slept later that would also be an issue. I believe you need to do your best to enjoy yourself so we did not let the problems spoil our vacation, but I will probably look for a different cruise line next time. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
2nd time on the Sunshine and it is still my favorite ship. Just the right size, never felt crowded, Slept like a baby, bed was extremely comfortable. Food was excellent in the Dining Room, specialty restaurants, par for the course on the ... Read More
2nd time on the Sunshine and it is still my favorite ship. Just the right size, never felt crowded, Slept like a baby, bed was extremely comfortable. Food was excellent in the Dining Room, specialty restaurants, par for the course on the lido. Service was great! Weather was crappy but last I checked Carnival cannot control the weather. I would not book a Cloud 9 spa room again, just didn't use it, not worth the extra money, would have rather had a balcony. We enjoyed Amber Cove until the rain came, same with Grand Turk and I even enjoyed Nassau. Everyone was extremely accommodating and I am still amazed at how hard the crew works everyday. I believe they are very underappreciated. We enjoyed the music on board, although I do wish they would bring back the steel drum bands on the lido deck on sea days, I really miss that Caribbean vibe. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
I'm so nauseated at Lido food and MDR food is barely passable for a few days. So very grateful for Steakhouse and Ji Ji's (both excellent). Typical Carnival experience - fun but lacking decent food. Guys burgers were disgusting. ... Read More
I'm so nauseated at Lido food and MDR food is barely passable for a few days. So very grateful for Steakhouse and Ji Ji's (both excellent). Typical Carnival experience - fun but lacking decent food. Guys burgers were disgusting. Multiple people complaining about diarreah (sp) mid-cruise. Ship was typical Carnival - fun experience, dated décor, lousy food unless you pay extra. Value internet plan did not work as well as other ships but was ok (e.g., my dog-sitter emailed me two photos of the dogs and I email back that the photos were not attached - he assured me he sent them, then next day they appeared. Apparently photos take hours to upload). Shower pressure was better than most ships on deck 8. Casino was not as good as other ships. The ultimate horseback-riding, zip-line and farmhouse lunch excursion was great - moderate paced, even an 80-year old woman was able to zip-line (her first ever!) thanks to the flexibility of the guides. I rated dining "Very Good" but that's only because the "pay-extra" restaurants were extra. Had they not existed I would have rated Dining POOR. Well done, Carnival. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Just got back from 10/31/17 cruise. I did not expect much, given age of ship and reading reviews. Very pleasantly surprised. The ship was bright and colorful and did not show its age. Our room steward and dining staff were superb. Only a ... Read More
Just got back from 10/31/17 cruise. I did not expect much, given age of ship and reading reviews. Very pleasantly surprised. The ship was bright and colorful and did not show its age. Our room steward and dining staff were superb. Only a few minor issues. Embarkation was painful, some of the trivia staff clearly didn't want to be there and gave incorrect answers (minor to me, MAJOR to my wife!), and very crowded on lido deck and buffet. Debarkation better than embarkation. Entertainment staff very good. Casino seemed very tight to me but maybe it was just my bad luck. Food at dinner excellent, and breakfast in dining room was top notch. As always, love Guy's Burger Bar and the Asian wok was very good also. The safety talk was lengthy and could have been shorter. I would cruise the Sunshine again. I hope it comes back to Charleston again. Read Less
Carnival Sunshine Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.9
Dining 4.0 3.7
Entertainment 5.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 3.8
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.8
Enrichment 3.0 3.3
Service 4.0 4.0
Value For Money 5.0 3.8
Rates 3.0 4.1

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