1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
My family chose this cruise because we wanted a 5 day cruise and we love Amber Cove. We have been on 10 or more cruises. We don't have high expectations. We just love to get away and relax and enjoy cruising. The Sunshine is in very ... Read More
My family chose this cruise because we wanted a 5 day cruise and we love Amber Cove. We have been on 10 or more cruises. We don't have high expectations. We just love to get away and relax and enjoy cruising. The Sunshine is in very good condition for an older ship. Here goes my opinion. The ship is much to small for the amount of people on board. It has been re-furbished. The serenity deck is awesome. The Havana Bar area is beautiful. The Lido marketplace have the least amount of food options of any cruise I have been on. The lines for Mongolian Wok and Blue Iguana at lunch were terrible. We noted some people waited as long as 30 minutes. Guys burgers are great. Crowded but the line moved fast. Main dining room good on the one night we attended. Had my time dining. No wait if you go early. Main pool area too small and not enough chairs for amount of passengers. If you went to a show you need to go at least 30 minutes early to get a seat. Very small area. I don't smoke but some family members do. Smoking area on deck 10 very small with very limited seating. The staff was pleasant but obviously to busy to be very personable except for our room steward who was great. Cruise Director was Mickey and he was great. Amber Cove is very beautiful and relaxing. Grand Turk seemed like more locals were following you around on the beach and harassing you to get chairs etc. I would definitely suggest an excursion at this port. I will continue to Cruise again with Carnival but not again on the Sunshine. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
Pros: ports, crew, made to order food Cons: Too much walking, too many people, awful seasickness, terrible WiFi Ports were great, Dominican my favorite. Abject poverty behind Carnival’s front of shops and bars. Crew was great, all ... Read More
Pros: ports, crew, made to order food Cons: Too much walking, too many people, awful seasickness, terrible WiFi Ports were great, Dominican my favorite. Abject poverty behind Carnival’s front of shops and bars. Crew was great, all of them. We had an outstanding steward named Anthony. Made to order omelettes, Guy’s burgers, JiJi Asian, all fabulous. Just too much walking for me and people everywhere. Waited often to get on elevators. Unsupervised kids running amok. WiFi package useless, didn’t work. Very few quiet places on the ship. Not enough pools for all the people and people fighting over chairs on several decks. The ship was all over the place, bumping, creaking, rocking, bouncing, it was awful. Captain told us at one point to hold on to rails. High winds both ways. Missed captain’s dinner and last night of 80’s bands & trivia because of terrible seasickness and I was prepared with Seabands, meclizine, and ginger chews. Spent more time in stateroom than anywhere else unless at port. Showered only when ship was docked. First and last cruise. I didn’t pay all that money to feel like that. Know that if you go on a cruise you are at the mercy of the ocean. Cruise director just annoying at times to me like the Rachel Ray of cruise directors, constantly on the PA system, waking people up and making Carnival sound like they were the most fabulous trip in the world not knowing how many people were sick below on the decks. Really annoying. The crew works hard. There was a language barrier with some which could be a bit frustrating, but we managed. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this one for the itinerary, and the dates worked with us. We enjoyed the ports, especially Grand Turk and San Juan. We bought a ship excursion in St Kitts...kayak and snorkel, we were not impressed. Although the tour company ... Read More
We chose this one for the itinerary, and the dates worked with us. We enjoyed the ports, especially Grand Turk and San Juan. We bought a ship excursion in St Kitts...kayak and snorkel, we were not impressed. Although the tour company worked hard, we suffered because the ship docked an hour late and were rushed the whole time, plus we did not stop at the lookout spot at all. The kayaking was fine, but very short and simple, we went just along the shoreline to a really crowded man made grassy lagoon with some boulders dropped in to form a breakwall and colonized by some very basic fish. Zero coral to speak of, though we did see a turtle, which was great. After that stop we were sent further down the shoreline to wait for over an hour at a beach (with a tiny bit of sliced fruit and water )for the pickup ride back. We would have swam and enjoyed it a bit more but were told that the van ride was coming right away. No change rooms, bar or facilities here anyway. Buyer beware on this one, not worth the money. Otherwise we enjoyed the cruise. We were always able to find a spot to sit on a chair on board, the food was good , burgers fantastic. Buffet pretty small, however, and just repeated 4x. Could have done with a few more selections. This was my 4th cruise with 3 companies, first with Carnival. The free coffee was the best yet! Still not wonderful but drinkable! Drinks were pretty expensive but probably standard. We don't buy a drink package but you can tell who does....although after the first couple of days the drunken folks had totally calmed down and the people on board were basically the same as any other cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
The shows were the best part. The performers were very talented The cruise director kept the entertainment flowing well The staff was accommodating when asked. The dining experience was poor in the dining room. A few too many ... Read More
The shows were the best part. The performers were very talented The cruise director kept the entertainment flowing well The staff was accommodating when asked. The dining experience was poor in the dining room. A few too many cold over cooked foods for our small group of four One guest needed special food preparations due to food allergies The food was not prepared as well as it had been on other ships The choices were limited and were often served plain without flavor We booked 3 excursions through Carnival basically bus tours due to the mobility of one of our group. These tours always depend on the tour guide you get Unfortunately we did not luck out with oue San Juan tour. He was not very good.not engaging at all Our guide in St Kitts was informative and you felt at ease to ask questions The last was of St Martin the bus driver as well as the tour guide were very good. Our trip was wonderful I hope when The Sunshine starts sailing out of Charleston the dining will improve Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this ship to go on a cruise with some of the members of our car club. 5 couples chose this ship because of the itinerary. My husband and I have had 15 cruises total. Most with Carnival, a few with RC and 1 with Celebrity. ... Read More
We chose this ship to go on a cruise with some of the members of our car club. 5 couples chose this ship because of the itinerary. My husband and I have had 15 cruises total. Most with Carnival, a few with RC and 1 with Celebrity. The overall experience was excellent. The speed of embarking and debarking has much improved. We were off by 9:00 am (self) and made our 12 pm flight. The cabin steward, Blessing, really made our week, he new all 10 of our names within the first day! He was very cheerful. We had an interior(inside, inside) cabin, 4E category. It was much larger than the regular interior rooms. There was an improvement with the food in the main dining rooms. Only one night was my steak overcooked. Our head waiter Hadi was excellent! We asked for him every night, which meant waiting longer for a table. The one night we did not have Hadi we had a horrible head waiter. Entertainment has been the same for several years and I wish they would mix up the shows or add new ones. The comedians were good and the Magician/Illusionist had us hooked! The Piano Bar was a disappointment, she did not have a clue as to how to do a Piano Bar. She sang well, but she did not really entertain us like you should at a Piano Bar. She was too prim and proper, did not know many old favorites. The other bands were really nice to listen to after dinner. This ship DOES have self service laundromats. We rented a jeep on St Maarten and had a good time. But I suggest getting a GPS as the map is hard to follow. I thought we were on one side of the island when we were actually somewhere else. Leave time for coming back in to port as there is a lot of traffic with 5 ships in port! Our cruise director MIKEY was excellent and really made a great cruise. I don't know when he sleeps. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
I have cruised with Carnival a number of times. This was to be my big 60 birthday cruise. I can go out of Baltimore but decided to try the Sunshine, plus it was a premiere cruise. What a total disappointment. The staff is way over worked ... Read More
I have cruised with Carnival a number of times. This was to be my big 60 birthday cruise. I can go out of Baltimore but decided to try the Sunshine, plus it was a premiere cruise. What a total disappointment. The staff is way over worked and this is why things are not up to standard of Carnival ( surely not the fault of the staff). I run a hotel and know that service is effected by a over worked staff. The blame starts at the top. 1. 45 min to get a drink in the Casino. 2. cigarettes overflowing in ash trays 3. being told I needed to drag my luggage up the gang to the ship to my room, with a disabled sister with me. 4. liquor being left in our room that was purchased by someone else but my sister wrote them a note leaving it under the door of the guest telling them where to find their purchases. 5. shore excursions at St Kit (beach day at Carambola Beach Club ) was the worst !!! 20 min there I got a ride back to port.. My sister contacted the shore excursion desk ship, said they would contact me later that day, guess what no contact by anybody. 6. I only saw the casino host, and I am guessing that was her conducting the Premier Cruise one time. Never out in the Casino checking on guest. I could go on but I think you understand where I am coming from. I will be sailing again in June on the Pride, where I always feel welcome. I have not judged Carnival as a whole on one ship. But I will say this management better get a handle because I know for a fact I was not the only guest to feel this way. Its sad to be so excited about a trip and come away so disappointed.. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
I usually book my cruise based on Itinerary, then read reviews after so I know what to expect. After reading those reviews on this ship, I thought I had a picture.. But after cruising it was way better than expected. I'd like to ... Read More
I usually book my cruise based on Itinerary, then read reviews after so I know what to expect. After reading those reviews on this ship, I thought I had a picture.. But after cruising it was way better than expected. I'd like to address some rumors I've read. -Sewer & other smells in hallways: Never smelled anything at Anytime. Whatever was there, if anything, they fixed it. Even Casino Smoke was under control and isolated to casino as far as I could tell. - Age and Condition of ship: Yes its a 20+ year old ship, and shows its age in a few places, but it is WELL Maintained for its age.. I've been on newer ships in worse shape than the Sunshine. -Rocking & Rolling? This ship performed better at sea than most ships I've been on before. Nothing out of the ordinary here. -Decor & Public areas: Well Above average for Carnival The ports of call were the best I've ever been on. (San Juan, G.Turk, St. Maarten, St Kits) Did the Pier Beach thing in Gr.Turk, (awesome), port explored in San Juan and at Kitts. And took a bus to Maho Beach in St. Maarten and did some plane watching. Took the kids to Camp Ocean most of the days. They begged to go, and never wanted to leave. Best thing ever. The CO staff were always very friendly and nice. They really enjoyed it there. Mikey the Cruise director was chippie but mostly bland. His assistant sounded looked like she had just rolled out of bed most of the time. I usually enjoy and look forward to the Morning Show on sea days but oh boy what a energetic group these folks were on this cruise. pun intended.. Embarkation was the fastest ever. Arrived exactly at appointment time and walked right on the ship! Debarkation was average. Waited about 30 min but very smooth. Everything else: Buffet is average as expected for Carnival. They have some really good stuff and some ok stuff. Breakfast was the same every day as usual, but plenty of options to choose from. As for lunch, the options are better than for the dinner. Excellent lunch options daily in several places. I'd just wish they would keep the Blue Iguana Tacos stand open longer. It closes just way too early. I stopped doing MDR service a few cruises ago. Service is just too slow. Just not worth the wait. If Carnival didn't make the waiters dance and sing so much maybe they could do there job as servers. It's unfortunate because the Dinner buffet is nowhere near as good as the Lunch. (and everything else is closed) I really wanted to do the JiJi's kitchen one night but never got around to it. Also I noticed, there was never a line at any time I went through the buffet, as the Lido is smaller on this ship than others I've been on. Ship was not crowded after the first day. I was worried it would be after the tons of rooms Carnival added after the Destiny>Sunshine re-fit. On the first day there was the usual newbies wandering around lost and slowing things down. The ship does have a couple of pedestrian choke points (by Guys Burgers on Lido and the same on the other side by Blue Iguana) I'm sure Carnival is aware of this but there's not much you can do about it due to the layout. But after the first couple of days these eased up a lot. It's ashamed they are moving this ship to 4-5 day cruises in the future. Because if it were on longer 7-8 day South & East Caribbean i'd go on it again. That's why I chose this cruise in the first place. I go on a cruise to relax and see new places. Not to sit by the pool listening to loud music and get sunburned. I can do that at home. Carnival please OFFER MORE SOUTHERN AND EASTERN CARIB PORTS OF CALL! And lastly, To Carnival: BIGGER SHIPS ARE NOT ALWAYS BETTER!! You don't have to do what the other brands are doing and make bigger and bigger ships. Its not worth it. Take note: The Sunshine is perfect in every way. thank you Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
We went on this cruise with 2 other couples after booking a year in advance. We had been on this same ship shortly after the major renovations for a 9 day Europe cruise and loved it. This was our 7th Carnival Cruise. First time out of ... Read More
We went on this cruise with 2 other couples after booking a year in advance. We had been on this same ship shortly after the major renovations for a 9 day Europe cruise and loved it. This was our 7th Carnival Cruise. First time out of Port Canaveral. Absolutely everything about this cruise was wonderful. Embarkation was smooth. Spa Room on Deck 11 was great and contrary to another reviewer, we are not platinum yet but we did get twice a day cleaning of our room. You are given a choice by your steward at the beginning of the cruise. We spent most of our time on the Serenity deck, and after a few days on Deck 11, we started hanging out on Deck 14 - easier to get chairs and not quite as busy. The umbrella tables and the bar stool type section that overlooks the ship were great fun. We never smelled cigarette smoke as other reviewers reported - perhaps it's location specific but we did not notice. Breakfast buffet never had lineups. Lunch choices were numerous including the free Italian and Japanese at the back of the ship. Our dining room waiters were the best ever and were funny, accommodating and attentive. We were offered coffee every night, I noticed someone said they were not so not sure why. The food was mostly very good - prime rib two different nights were a choice and filet mignon on another night was an option. Entertainment was very good and the cruise director Mikey was the absolute best ever. Another reviewer said he was bland but that is the furthest from the truth - he had more energy and was more entertaining than any cruise director we have ever come across. His goal was to talk to each and every passenger during the cruise and true to his word he came and introduced himself to our group. He got more participation out of the cruisers in events than I have ever seen. The musical show we went to was very good and the 2 comedian shows were good. Ports of call were Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Kitts & St. Maarten. Went to the rum factory in San Juan on our own (25 cents for the ferry each way) and of note - St. Maarten is very much rebuilt and lots of shops and restaurants overlooking the beach. The only thing I wish different was that they didn't remove the news channels on the room tv. Otherwise, this cruise was perfect and was probably my favourite Caribbean cruise ever. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
I gave it 5 stars because as always had a great time. The food was awesome especially Cuccina de Capitano the Italian pay restaurant. Best 15 bucks I have spent in some time. Wonderful. Crew was fantastic including my room steward Anthony ... Read More
I gave it 5 stars because as always had a great time. The food was awesome especially Cuccina de Capitano the Italian pay restaurant. Best 15 bucks I have spent in some time. Wonderful. Crew was fantastic including my room steward Anthony and Tihomir our waiter in the main dining room. Ask for him if you go. Cabin was good size with biggest shower ive ever seen on a cruise ship. iEntertainment was 1st rate especially the Housband thet played in Ocen plaza nightly. Great talent and really personable guys and women. Serenity deck pool with the waterfall was fun. Unforunatly the weather was windy and a bit rough for most of the cruise so ropes course and slides were closed for most of it which was understandable. Casino was large and smoke wasnt to bad. I do have to say the Punchliner club and Liquid lounge were not enlarged with the remodel to the sunshine. They are not really big enough for the 4000 plus people onboard. Also where the pictures are,is a very narrow space. Finally the 1st 3 days yiu had to get up very early to get a deck chair or hottub space. After the 1st few days the carnival people removed towels if noone sat in them for 20 minutes. Again had a great time. Mikey is a great Cruise director and Nicky for me is a cruise director in waitinh. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We haven't cruised Carnival in a while because we did not enjoy our previous 2 Carnival Cruises. We thought we would give them a try again. We booked this cruise because we wanted to visit the 3 ports of call as we have never ... Read More
We haven't cruised Carnival in a while because we did not enjoy our previous 2 Carnival Cruises. We thought we would give them a try again. We booked this cruise because we wanted to visit the 3 ports of call as we have never been to them. We also booked Faster to the Fun and was really excited about that. Boy was that a waste of money! General boarding happened right after us so if you were at the terminal early you got on the ship as quickly as the Faster to the Fun guests. Our room was ready however our luggage was not there. General boarding luggage got to the rooms before our Faster to the Fun luggage. We were told by guest services it was just the luggage process and we shouldn't have expected our luggage early. Not sure whey we paid $136 CDN dollars for this service when two of the major reasons we booked faster to the fun was not met. We traveled with our two boys 8 and 5. This ship is not good for families with younger children. The ship is very over crowded and ALL lounge chairs on the ship are saved by 7am. My wife went to get a glass of water one morning at 5am and people were already saving seats. The venues on the ship are way too small for all the people they cram onto this ship. Expect lots of line ups! The Camp Ocean staff were all very wonderful and friendly. The cruise director, Mikey was the best cruise director we have had on all 16 of our cruises. Good variety of activities and food were good. This cruise might have been alright for two adults but bringing children on this ship is very frustrating. Be a long time before we cruise Carnival if we even go back. Royal Caribbean is a lot better and if you are Canadian and traveling with children can be a lot less expensive when they have their kids sale free promotion on. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We were on the 8 day Sunshine cruise over February school break (2/15-2/23), for Mass and RI at least. There were 7 of us, 4 adults, 3 teenagers. We all had a great time. The ports were wonderful. We enjoyed the alchemy bar before ... Read More
We were on the 8 day Sunshine cruise over February school break (2/15-2/23), for Mass and RI at least. There were 7 of us, 4 adults, 3 teenagers. We all had a great time. The ports were wonderful. We enjoyed the alchemy bar before dinner. With YTD we would meet there while we waited for our table to be ready. We had the cheers package but had an issue getting it. I tried to signup the day of the cruise but kept getting a web error. Once we got on I was told you can't sign up the day of the cruise. YTD worked great for us as we had flexibility to eat when we wanted. We never waited at lunch for Guys burger, or the burrito place, both of which were good. The ship is smaller than what we've been on before. Getting around on the fifth floor was a challenge if you wanted to avoid the smokey casino. We spent a couple nights in the piano bar with Cassidy Rae, she was awesome. As stated on several other reviews the cruise director Mikey is the best. Very friendly and keeps everyone involved in his shows. We would sail Carnival again if he was the CD. Finally we had 3 Cloud 9 Spa balconies. The SPA area is pretty tiny. The steam rooms are nice but that's about all that's in there. They do have heated chairs too. The sauna is open to everyone. Not sure I'd pay for the Spa privilege again. Overall a great time for our crew. I know the three teenagers loved it too. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Cruise dates fit our schedule well. As we ended up with 24 in our group (not planned) all with my time dining it was quite a surprise that we never had trouble with seating for dinner. We actually had a group of tables 3 of 7 nights and ... Read More
Cruise dates fit our schedule well. As we ended up with 24 in our group (not planned) all with my time dining it was quite a surprise that we never had trouble with seating for dinner. We actually had a group of tables 3 of 7 nights and on other nights group members tried out different venues which was fun to share with each other later. We loved Hostess Rashida and tried for Head Waiter ElPedrio with success. The Daily Chicken is rather tasteless but the Port Menu which changes each day offered many tasty entrees. Everyone raved over the salmon, trout, flank steak. Try to time my time so you aren’t rushed to get your main course by showtime. The waiters are required to stop everything to perform. We only had that happen 1 time we made sure to be very early or late most of the week. We only did breakfast 1 time on LIDO the rest we went to the dining room and had excellent experience. This is contrary to other reviews we read which surpirsed me. We always requested a back table to enjoy looking out at sea. Eggs, Omlettes, pancakes, waffles, etc were great and bacon cooked crispy to order did not disappoint. Ports - DR We found a taxi driver to take us to the TRAM, RESTAURANT, AND SOUVENIOR SHOP in Puerto Plata. Our driver stayed with us even up the tram. Of course we treated him to lunch. The cost so reasonable $90, $30 tip, $20 tip driver manager. Round trip was 3-4 hours. Puerto Rico - we decided to just walk to shopping found the Cathedral, Umbrella Street, Genesis Cafe, just enjoyed a beautiful day. Our cousin went the rain forest which she said was fantastic (another contrary report to some on this site). St. Thomas - we have been before so we had a mission to revisit Crowne Jeweler (not associated with ship) traded in some jewelry for upgraded diamonds went to and from on Cruise shopping tram ($4/person each way). Going with the shopping expert (Debra) was a great way to avoid going through cruise port shops to find a taxi which might have cost a little more. We walked right into a parkinglot next to ship, boarded the trams and away we went. Grand Turk - last stop we took my parents off ship - was quite a long walk for Dad but he made it. We (4 of us) rented a golf cart from Grand Turk Adventures. Jim had to walk about 2 blocks to pick up but was then allowed to drive up to benches at taxi stand to pick us up. The cart seemed to have some issues so we stopped at stand and traded for a different cart which was quite better. The draw back was not all carts had island maps but I had downloaded one to my phone which once we got orientated work just fine. We found our way within sight of Lighthouse, visited a couple churches, salt flats, etc. Nice value $75/day plus refill gas ($12). There was another rental group at the port for $100 + gas which might have been closer but this worked for us. Entertainment - The Lobby Bar was the focal point when Felipe (Cruise Director) would arrive. He would keep everything hopping and participants would often be rewarded with a free drink or bottle of bubbly. He was very good and we loved watching him entertain. Cassidy-Rae was new in piano bar Putting music and a bit of comedy together. We should have gone to see her instead of Tim Young Comedian. She proved you can laugh without vulgarity. Young was so vulgar we didn't go back. Later in the week Joe Marlotti arrived and his 1st show was in the Liquid Lounge - it was a nice crowd but plenty of seats. He appeared to be toned down a bit but had us laughing so we did go to his last show on the last night he didnot disappoint I only heard 1 vulgar word but the MC cant speak a sentence without 2 minimum vulgarities his claim is that if you cant take it from him the show is not for you (WHAT?). Anyway seek out the good comedians that can use the whole dictionary of the english language to make you laugh. I would add that we attended night shows in the liquid lounge without ever fighting for a seat as other reports might lead you to believe. There is ample seating on the lower floor and above. Finally we did attend the Veterans Gathering, hosted by Felipe, it was quite wonderful to respect and honor the many veterans on board. Of course my Dad (91+) was the only WWII in attendance - we were very proud to be there to hear the fine remarks from Carnival and the Veterans who chose to speak. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Do not sail the Sunshine if you are sensitive to cigarette smoke. Cigarette smoke from the casino filled the ventilation system the entire cruise. I get migraines from cigarette smoke, therefore, I had a migraine the entire 7 day cruise. ... Read More
Do not sail the Sunshine if you are sensitive to cigarette smoke. Cigarette smoke from the casino filled the ventilation system the entire cruise. I get migraines from cigarette smoke, therefore, I had a migraine the entire 7 day cruise. We complained several times. Our cabin steward put an ozone machine in our cabin several times which only helped for about an hour. We sailed this ship on a charter cruise that did not allow smoking in the casino and there was no issue. Our cabin steward, I Wayan, was wonderful. Our dining staff was also excellent- Gennies, I Dewan and Sherwan. Felipe, the cruise director was fun during the cruise. But when it came to disembarkment, he was not efficient and there were packs of people on each floor blocking the elevators. This was a safety hazard and thete was nothing express about leaving the ship with your luggage. Terrible experience getting off the ship. No more Carnival cruises for us. Read Less
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We were on the Sunshine for 29 days to get out of winter! Carnival does some things great and other things are awful...I'll explain in more detail later, but in my opinion, what is wrong is the fault of Corporate policies of not ... Read More
We were on the Sunshine for 29 days to get out of winter! Carnival does some things great and other things are awful...I'll explain in more detail later, but in my opinion, what is wrong is the fault of Corporate policies of not enough staff to handle the job. all of the crew members we had contact with were trying their hardest to do a good job, but it was evident that they were over worked to the point that prevented them from getting things RIGHT. Another passenger said "Carnival is the Wal-Mart of cruising". I would say, it's more like the "dollar store". What's GREAT: 1. The shows--they were fresh and he singers and dancers worked well together as well as being very talented. 2. Sea Day Brunch/ late risers breakfast--we've been saying for years, that ships should have an omelet station open till at least noon. What's GOOD: 1. The food itself has improved over the last few years, or maybe it was just our chef. 2. Serenity area at no cost--unfortunately, it's not big enough to handle everyone who doesn't want pool time around kids splashing. 3. Guy's Burgers (best on ships) and Blue Iguana restaurants--both are good food options. 4. The Havana Bar area--except at busy breakfast times, it's a nice place to relax and have a drink or light snack--the Cuban bites are great especially the coconut pies! 5. Cabin steward service. Once they know how you like things, all is good. But they too are overworked--they are out in the hall ALL DAY and ONLY PLATINUM and DIAMOND guests get their rooms cleaned twice a day. What's AWFUL: SERVICE IN THE MAIN DINING ROOM. We had fixed dinning for dinner, so our dinner was OK (most nights the steak items had to be sent back because they were overdone). Sea Day Brunch service was terrible. We love to have breakfast in the MD, but we only got the RIGHT ORDER once out of at least ten visits to the MDR breakfast. After day two, we complained and the maitre 'd told us to ask for him--the wrong meal was delivered to our table on day #3 right in from of him. There are NO wine stewards/drink people and the waiters are WAY OVER WORKED--no wonder they cant get it right... Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
First of all, the good things. Our cabin steward Lamphong, Matt from the casino and our head waiter Pablo were exceptional. Always doing their best to make you smile. We ate in the steakhouse 2 times because it was so good. Also Guys ... Read More
First of all, the good things. Our cabin steward Lamphong, Matt from the casino and our head waiter Pablo were exceptional. Always doing their best to make you smile. We ate in the steakhouse 2 times because it was so good. Also Guys Burgers is awesome. Now the not so good. We were late getting into port in Ocho Rios which I guess snowballed people getting off for excursions. They herded a couple of thousand people into a small building with tour people trying to yell instructions over the din. Very very unorganized. It was unorganized in all the ports. They need to find a better way. (Celebrity/Royal Caribbean does a great job). After arriving to our room (an aft balcony) we asked for robes and were told there were not enough on board for everyone. Who does that? And this is the second Carnival cruise in which we purchased a wine package and they ran out of my wine. Hubby prefers Merlot and I prefer Pinot Grigio. They ran out of Pinot on the last evening on two trips. Makes no sense to me. Another thing is Carnival does not have anywhere on their website to post comments. Afraid? Carnival is okay. We had a good time. They just need a little improvement in some areas. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
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
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
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
2 Helpful Votes
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
2 Helpful Votes
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
4 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
5 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
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
Carnival Sunshine Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.9
Dining 4.0 3.7
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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