9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
My husband and I have gone on about 10 or so cruises, so we’re seasoned cruisers. Getting on the Ship was delayed several hours because the ship needed to be cleaned due to the norovirus. The staff at the port handed out water and ... Read More
My husband and I have gone on about 10 or so cruises, so we’re seasoned cruisers. Getting on the Ship was delayed several hours because the ship needed to be cleaned due to the norovirus. The staff at the port handed out water and snacks to try to keep the crowd happy. I felt bad for the ones that had to wait outside! It appeared most people handled this ok however. Here are the things I liked: The crew was one of the friendliest, nicest around!!! The cruise director, Donkey, was funny and friendly! Can’t say enough about the crew! The best! I did not smell any foul odor as described in earlier reviews. The ship was clean everywhere we went. They did police the saving of chairs somewhat! I did see someone’s stuff taken away the first day! After that, people wised up and made sure they were back before the 45 minute deadline. Children were kept out of the adult area! Although there were not that many children on board. Our balcony room on the 8th floor was clean and roomy and had a refrigerator. But it was an upper class balcony room. Some other balcony cabins did not have a refrigerator. Victor, our room steward, was great! This is the big thing I didn’t like: The Sunshine was once a smaller ship made larger. They added more state rooms. However, the public areas are just not big enough to hold the new larger number of guests! This meant: 1. Not enough lounge chairs in the desired areas. I’m being honest when I say that if you hadn’t “saved” a lounge chair by 6:00 am you either were in a crappy area or had no chair at all the entire day!! Hated having to get up so early on a vacation!!! 2. Casino was too small to handle the amount of people wanting to be there nightly! And yes it was extremely smoky as mentioned in other reviews. Not enough variety of slot machines. So crowded it was hard to walk around or to find a slot machine to sit at. Additionally, bar service was extremely slow –at the very least ½ hour once ordered! But I did see some people win large amounts and they did have some special drawings every night so that was still fun. 3. Shows were in rooms too small to handle the crowd. If you didn’t get there at least 45 minutes to ½ hour early you had no seat. 4. Lines at the food areas, especially the pizza area, were extremely long. Sitting area hard to find, although I took people’s advice and went back into the Havana Bar area. But other’s learned that as the cruise went on. 5. Main pool very small. I only used it once when we were at port when it wasn’t crowded. Adult pool was always crowded, but manageable. It was kept very cold (and I’m from the North!!) so people pretty much just sat around it instead of going in. Misc: Food – some things were very good, others not so good. My husband loved the fish dishes (very unusual for him!) I’m not picky and just love the fact that I’m not the one cooking. Hated that I always had to look for a salt shaker and butter! Desserts, however, were kind of blah for my sweet tooth (except for the Chocolate melting cake). The “Your Time Dining” instead of schedule dining times was sometimes good/sometimes bad. Don’t use if large party and eat early if you don’t want to wait in line to schedule your dinning and then wait again to be seated! Some of those lines were very long! I wouldn’t choice that again! Entertainment –A matter of opinion. I enjoyed the shows we saw but I don’t hold high standards either. There was one Diva show we walked out of due to boredom. Again, it’s a matter of opinion. We did enjoy the game shows and the comedy shows very much. Specialty restaurants – We did the Fahrenheit 555 steak house and the Cucina Del Capitano (Italian). Food was good but not worth paying more for it. I noticed on the regular dining room menu that you could order a steaks or Surf and Turf from Fahrenheit for $20. That’s $15 less than if you go there!! So if you want a specialty steak, order it at the regular dining room and save yourself some cash. Also the Cucina Del Capitano and the JiJi are open for free for lunch so eat it then and save some cash. I would also like to point out that the Fahrenheit 555 atmosphere is supposedly very upper class, which I found uncomfortable. The cook sent over complimentary appetizers that we just couldn’t figure out! Mine was a thick slice of lime with a dot of some cream on top about the size of ½ a dime. I guess I’m not very sophisticated as I had no clue how or what I was to do with that!! Then again, either did the very distinguished gentlemen at the next table! We’ve been on most of the other cruise lines and will continue to cruise with Carnival as well. Although we had a very good time, I have no plans to ever cruise on the Sunshine again. It was just way too crowded. Having to rush to get a chair either at the pool or a show or the casino just took away from the relaxing vacation we go on cruises for. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
The food was good. The staff was excellent. They have added cabins, making the deck space smaller, hence, the pool area was overcrowded and people would mark their chairs and leave. The comedy lounge could not accommodate too many people ... Read More
The food was good. The staff was excellent. They have added cabins, making the deck space smaller, hence, the pool area was overcrowded and people would mark their chairs and leave. The comedy lounge could not accommodate too many people and you had to wait in a line outside the lounge about 35 minutes before each show, just to get in. People in any time dining had an average of 1.5 hour wait. I still had a good time, adjusted to, 'it is what it is" and enjoyed myself. Our cabin had an a/c problem and it was 58 ° in it. They could not fix it. Being from Florida, we froze the entire cruise. Being a cruise-a-holic, when I am looking at cruises, and I see the Sunshine, I quickly pass. I will not consider going on it again. Not when I love the Breeze, the Dream, the Legend, the Vista, the Liberty, the Sensation, the Valor, the Conquest and the Magic. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2016
We were very pleased with our cruise overall. The staff was pleasant and the food was ok. We cruised the Paradise a few months before and now we are cruising on the Magic in December, 2016. We are excited to compare the ships and what is ... Read More
We were very pleased with our cruise overall. The staff was pleasant and the food was ok. We cruised the Paradise a few months before and now we are cruising on the Magic in December, 2016. We are excited to compare the ships and what is offered. We had to wait hours before boarding as the ship came in sick. We heard a lot of complaints from people surrounding us. We did not complain as I would rather have sanitation clearance before boarding so I do not get sick. The staff did provide water for everyone waiting as it was very hot outside. We observed the staff continuously cleaning and sanitizing the ship every day and every place I wandered on the ship. The food courts directed everyone to put their hands in a device that washed the hands for you. That was pretty cool. The entertainment was fun to watch. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We are a very fit 73 and 66 year old married couple. We live in Clearwater five miles from the beach where we go regularly to walk, picnic and sunset watch. Yes, we do applaud setsets. We have cruised with Royal in the past but have ... Read More
We are a very fit 73 and 66 year old married couple. We live in Clearwater five miles from the beach where we go regularly to walk, picnic and sunset watch. Yes, we do applaud setsets. We have cruised with Royal in the past but have cruised NCL out of Tampa for the last 3 years with a few Carnival out of Port Canaveral to the Bahamas. Have been so happy on Carnival Ecstasy and Sensation that when the Aruba cruise came up, we decided to try a longer cruise with them. The first two days I would have said I was not sorry I did it but would not do it again. After 8 days, I would gladly go on her again if the itinerary was one I wanted. You just have to learn how to navigate being on a ship with so many people in limited space. The crew and food are two of the best things on this ship. At first I was so furious about not being allowed to bring water on board that I would have canceled if given the option. I paid $2.99 for 12 pack of water that will be $3.99 in the future. No excuse for that. Your Time Dining was difficult until I found a wait team that gave good service, then it was fine. Selection of food and quality was wonderful. Cabin steward was wonderful and every crewember on the ship was beyond charming and efficient. By the way, the wait teams that are good are Ricky, Chirul, Ketut and Jose, Eduardo, Delmar. I found being forced to listen to karaoke while waiting to be called for dinner extremely irritating. It's very nice Carnival still serves lobster whereas NCL does not. It was delicious. So many good options for lunch that we did not have a chance to do them all. We were in cabin 6103 which is a 4J inside with a window. I was concerned it would be inconvenient but deck 6 is a great location. I walk 3 miles a day so the long walk from buffet was no problem and the only time we took the elevator was up to Lido. Never had a problem getting an elevator. I don't recommend this location if you have seasick issues because it can be bouncy during rough seas. I was disappointed that there were no line dance classes nor normal ballroom dance lessons. I should have tried the salsa but did not. Not much to do during the day for me since I don't lie in the sun anymore. The comedians were good but only got in 2 out of 4 tries. The production shows were good. We never use ships excursions. We took the Arubus to the Catalina Beach for beach snorkeling where all the excursion boats go. For $4 we were snorkeling with the $100 boats but we have our own gear. In Curasau, we took the $25 city tour that we found outside the ships pier which took us to Mambo Beach also known as Aquarium Beach for 2 hours after city tour. If you go through the break in the wall , the other side is a wonderful healthy reef with lots of fish. I don't know if they rent equipment because we have our own. In Grand Turk we went on a $55 snorkel boat. All the boats go to the same place so get there the cheapest way you can. The reef was not as good as Curacao's. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2016
We thought the ship was very small and needed an update. The bathroom in the cabin was very tight! My boyfriend had to put his left foot in the shower while he was going to the bathroom. It would have been better to make the cabin a ... Read More
We thought the ship was very small and needed an update. The bathroom in the cabin was very tight! My boyfriend had to put his left foot in the shower while he was going to the bathroom. It would have been better to make the cabin a little smaller so the bathroom could be a little bigger. The entertainment was hit or miss. I had a hard time going to the casino because of all the smoke. The itinerary was great with 8 ports of call and that is why we picked this cruise. My boyfriend ended up getting norovirus at the end of the cruise and had to stay on board at the last port. Good thing was that we had already been to St. Thomas on a different cruise and we did get some money back for the missed day. It wasn't a terrible cruise, but we have decided that we probably won't cruise with Carnival again. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
This was a 13 day "journeys" cruise on the fairly recently refurbished Sunshine. Like other reviewers stated, the design sacrificed some public space to accommodate more staterooms. I like most of the 2.0 changes, but found it ... Read More
This was a 13 day "journeys" cruise on the fairly recently refurbished Sunshine. Like other reviewers stated, the design sacrificed some public space to accommodate more staterooms. I like most of the 2.0 changes, but found it lacking in a couple of areas. There were only 2 pools and 3 hot tubs, not nearly enough for this size ship. The redesign benefitted Carnival by creating rooms for more passengers, and more bar areas to make Carnival more money. As for the longer "journeys" cruise, we chose it for the itinerary, but mostly because we knew the cruise length and timing would probably limit the amount of children aboard, and we were right. What we weren't counting on however, was that this was a virtual floating nursing home. The average passenger age was 72. At every port there were ambulances waiting to haul people away, and also at the debarkation port. Around 187 passengers and 5 crew fell ill with mostly norovirus, and some upper respiratory stuff mixed in. The medical unit was SLAMMED. I must say, Carnival did an excellent job informing people of the need for hygiene, and were diligent to disinfect surfaces, and place staff in charge of serving utensils during meals. This in turn brings out some rather harsh comments for fellow passengers: 1. I know that common civility has basically been forgotten, but folks, PLEASE wash your hands after using the bathroom and DON'T lick your fingers and handle shared serving utensils in the buffet lines. It is like spitting in other's food. The next time I see it, I am really tempted to do just that, spit on the offender's plate. Aside from a fleeting moment of revengeful satisfaction though, I would probably be thrown off the ship. But, hey, feel free to slobber all over your hands and then put them on the surfaces we all must touch, and get away with it. 2. If your health and mobility are so compromised that you probably SHOULD be living in a nursing home, please don't inflict your infirmities on other passengers. You are forcing everyone around you to accommodate your debilitated condition. I am 63 soon to be 64. I am NOT unsympathetic to the degradations of age as I'm headed down that same road, but I hope I would have enough discretion and sense to forgo trips and activities in which I can no longer safely or selflessly participate. Just because you can AFFORD to cruise doesn't mean you should. I paid for a vacation as well, and did not expect to feel like a nursing home attendant while supposedly enjoying myself. Also, regarding the norovirus and hygiene issues, if you are unable to physically maintain personal hygiene, or travel with a family member or attendant who can take care of your needs, why place others in danger of illness? There were many, many seniors on this cruise who were vibrant and active, but there were also a very large number of scooters, wheelchairs, and walkers to dodge onboard. 3. Treatment of fellow passengers and crew. Age seems to provoke such an attitude of entitlement. Because you are older doesn't mean you shouldn't have to wait just like everyone else in lines, and NOT crab about it. The crew members who provide for your every need, other than dressing you, are often treated poorly and rudely. I invariably saw and heard staff be very, very polite, friendly and helpful to other passengers. Personally, I am thrilled to leave my cares and responsibilities behind and enjoy some pampering. I couldn't believe some of the griping and rudeness. REALLY? If you want the very very best in accommodations, food, and personal service, why not choose a premium cruise line? You get what you pay for. Embarkation: Smooth. There were around 1,000 diamond and platinum members on this cruise, so the staff had to accommodate a larger number of passengers with perks. Cruise Director: Matt Mitcham - high energy, personable, and very friendly. His next assignment is on the new Vista. Fellow passengers: See above /:-( Stateroom: Wonderful! Aft extended balcony - I highly recommend it. We really liked the larger rectangular shower. A couple of tips: bring clothes pins for the line in the shower, and I always utilize the shoe bag hung on the door trick. Everything is tidy and in easy reach. Our stewards "Eddie" and "Norman" were so attentive and congenial. Everything was ALWAYS spotless. We hugged them as we debarked. Food: we did Your Time Dining for the first time. We were a group of 6, so there usually was a bit of a wait. One of our party simply couldn't understand the need to acquire a buzzer on 5 and then wait for a table before going down to 3 for dinner. First of all, Carnival was probably hoping you'd spend your wait time spending money on a couple of drinks, and last, logistically it wouldn't work to have everyone standing and waiting in the small elevator vestibule. Our servers were very good, especially Alexsandr, Milos, and Ferdinand. They were super! Food was always good and hot. We ate dinner at Ji-Ji's one night and enjoyed it. Public spaces: the slides were great! Loved it! The Serenity area was quite large, but there and on the other open decks the chair hogs were out in full force. We spent a large amount of time on our spacious balcony, away from the crowds. As others have stated, the theater was too small. I am sad Carnival is doing away with their live bands. Ports: Too many to name! We enjoyed all, but especially Dominica. Snorkeling there on the "Champagne Reef" was fabulous, as was snorkeling at Buck Island off St.Thomas. We swam with sea turtles! As non-drinkers, we appreciated the excursions that did not feature the all-you-can-drink rum punch. I've seen waaaay too many people get stupid drunk and fall down from that. You really don't want to fall down on a fast moving boat. Debarkation: A mess. Probably because there were so many platinum and diamond. The luggage holding area was extremely disorganized and crowded. The weren't nearly enough porters. Finally, really like the longer itinerary, but beware if you're looking for the typical "Fun Ship" experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2016
You will not find anything negative about Carnival or the Carnival Sunshine in this review. The Carnival Sunshine is my favorite ship in Carnivals fleet. This cruise was my second aboard the Sunshine and won't be my last. To some, a ... Read More
You will not find anything negative about Carnival or the Carnival Sunshine in this review. The Carnival Sunshine is my favorite ship in Carnivals fleet. This cruise was my second aboard the Sunshine and won't be my last. To some, a 13 day Southern Caribbean cruise might seem like it would be too long or just to much for them. This cruise was said to have the most Platinum and Diamond members ever on a Carnival ship. Usually the lines at customer service are very short for the diamond and platinum members. Not on this cruise, their line was always almost as long as the other line. I went to the Future Cruises meeting while aboard the Carnival Breeze and heard about this cruise, I was sold. I went back home, told my friends about it and we were booked on it about 330 days before its sailing. Since I had already been on the Sunshine before, I knew how much I loved the ship, combined with the awesome itinerary, it was pure torture having to wait that long. The first 2 days were at sea. Our itinerary consisted of eight straight stops, a first for Carnival. We stopped in: St. Maarten, Dominica, Barbados, Tobago (only Carnivals second time ever going to this port), Grenada, Martinique, St Kitts and then to St Thomas, in that order. We sailed another 2 days to get back to Port Canaveral. OK,OK now that I have got you interested in this sailing, comes the disappointment. This itinerary was a one time only, so far, cruise. So don't drive yourselves crazy looking for this sailing, you won't find it. I am hoping Carnival will add more Journeys cruises to their schedule. Carnival Journeys are those cruises that are 9 days or more. So lets do a recap of what you have learned so far. The Sunshine is Carnivals finest ship, this cruise was Carnivals best ever Caribbean itinerary, it had the longest stretch of stops in the Caribbean ever, it possibly had the most Diamond and Platinum members of any Carnival cruise. it was only the second time Carnivals ships have docked in Tobago and this cruise is what the fun in "Fun Ships" is all about. This was my 9th cruise with Carnival and the first 7 of these stops, I had never been to. Carnival does an awesome job of putting together their excursions. Our first stop was St. Maarten. I did the Coastal Scenic Hike and had a great time despite a little problem. The hike was great with lots of birds, crashing ocean waters against the rocks and spectacular views. The shoes I had worn lost their soles about half way through the hike. So I was able to slowly walk back to our starting point and enjoyed every minute of it. So I was able to turn a bad thing into something great. I saw much more, slowly walking back. I don't want go into detail about every stop we made, so I will only mention 2 more. In Tobago, we did the hike to the rain forest that has been protected since 1776. What an incredible place. The trail was a trail used by villagers to get from settlement to settlement for many years. It was crude, steep and very wet from the rainfall. I would come back to Tobago anytime and go on this excursion again. In St Thomas we wen't to St Johns to Trunk Bay. Just a fantastic beach and so laid back. It was so relaxing. I had a great time at all 8 stops, each having its own unique qualities. One thing that I like the most about the Sunshine is the Serenity Deck. Its 3 levels with a waterfall splashing into a pool. I was always able to find a spot in the shade, so I could stay out of the sun. 40 years of sun, living in Fort Lauderdale, has given me some skin cancers, so I need the shade. There are 2 hot tubs and tons of relaxation. We had 3 formal nights in the dining room. My friends and I are not that much into getting all dressed up for formal night, so we were lucky not to be at a table in the middle but more to the back. So a nice pair of pants and a dressy shirts was about it for us.Our waiters were great, right there for our every need and were so friendly every night. The food was very good and the selection every night made it easy to find something for everybody. One thing I really love are the light cakes, made with Splenda. A nice size piece of cake and no sugar added vanilla ice cream was my dessert every night. We ate at the steakhouse one night, it was just perfect. After dinner just about every night we would go up to the basketball courts and play basketball with the winds blowing very hard. The ball would hit a wind current and do a 45 degree turn about every shot, we never laughed so much.Ping pong and mini golf were also lots of fun. Second on my list of the Sunshine's favorites would be the casino. I love doing the slot tournaments and playing on the Quick Hits machines. Thanks to Carnivals Corporate people for putting together this awesome cruise, it was perfect. Thanks to the entire crew aboard the Sunshine for making this my best Carnival cruise ever. I can't wait for my next cruise which I hope to be the first cruise on the Carnival Vista out of Miami on November 27th, 2016. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
First time on the Sunshine. Departure from Port Canaveral which is a very modern terminal with easy access. Boarding was quick and easy although they did confiscate our bottled water from our carry on. Despite what Carnival lists as ... Read More
First time on the Sunshine. Departure from Port Canaveral which is a very modern terminal with easy access. Boarding was quick and easy although they did confiscate our bottled water from our carry on. Despite what Carnival lists as allowable carry on. The ship is a good size with more entertainment for families than we have seen on any of our previous cruises. We heard of a few complaints of noisy children, but we did not notice any issues on the lower decks. Having families on board seems to add life to a ship. Food was good and staff were friendly. Overall ship was clean and rooms were comfortable. We enjoyed the nightly entertainment. Four port calls was a good mix for an eight night cruise. The last stop was Grand Turk which was mainly a beach day. Nice facilities right at the dock. Swimming beach, large pool, a few modern shops, etc. The dock area is tight so it took over an hour to get along side, safety first, but we made it. We would certainly recommend this ship for families. Read Less
72 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
We have cruised 20 times since my wife and I got together. She has been on even more than that. This was our 7th Carnival cruise, but I guarantee you it will be our last. We were so excited about this boat. It was recently refurbished ... Read More
We have cruised 20 times since my wife and I got together. She has been on even more than that. This was our 7th Carnival cruise, but I guarantee you it will be our last. We were so excited about this boat. It was recently refurbished and seemed to have some things we had never seen before on a cruise ship. But wow, what a huge disappointment all around. Let's start with check-in. Carnival has a policy where there has to be an adult over 25 registered before anyone under that age, including 18. So they broke their own policy by checking in our daughter first, before us (the obvious adults/parent). This caused the system to not allow us to properly check-in. We had to wait forever for manager to finally "fix" it. He told us it would be fine. It wasn't. EVERY SINGLE TIME our daughter either left the boat or came back on the boat at every port, her card failed and flagged her as not being a passenger. It was embarrassing and we held up the line. She couldn't charge anything on the boat either, even though we stood in line half a dozen times at the Guest Services desk and was told each time that everything was corrected. One of the biggest complaints of this boat by us, by other people on our cruise, and by many other people in their own reviews is this...THE SMELL. It was the worst smell and it was everywhere on this boat. The disgusting, sickening smell of damp and sewage was so bad in some areas people would not stay there. We smelled it getting on and off the boat EVERY TIME. It was rampant across the lower floors and in certain areas of the upper decks. When I complained, all I got was that "it's an older ship". Really? So after all of the refurbishment and changes, it basically has an old and worn out sewage system that leaks. That is why you see so many reviews from people mentioning not only the awful smell, but leaking in staterooms and bathrooms. The whole trip I kept wondering if the terrible taste of the water on this boat had something to do with the matching smell of damp sewage. Drinking water wasn't good. In fact it was disgusting. Smelled awful and tasted worse. Then we get to our room. It wasn't cleaned even though we were one of the last on board. The room was OK, but the bathroom was clearly disgusting, there was what looked like menstrual blood on the toilet, dirty toilet paper in the trash can, and several items left from the previous passengers including tampons and used deodorant. When I complained to our room steward, he said this was only his 2nd cruise and he wasn't' sure what to do. It didn't get cleaned until day 3 and we had to use our friend's bathroom connected to ours. There is also only 1 outlet in each room. Fun time sharing. On every cruise I order a few fun things that are usually in the room waiting for us when we first get there. This time they weren't there. I called and was told the platters of food and champagne were "not on board yet" and would be delivered when available. They delivered them in the middle of the night that first night. It was sushi, pastries, and strawberries, left unrefrigerated sitting on the floor. The champagne was not only not chilled, but came with no ice and no bottle opener. The first sea day was Valentine's Day, and my wife was supposed to get 2 dozen roses and a cake. The flowers were wrong and the cake was gross. It also came with no forks or plates. On our niece's birthday, her birthday cakes were clearly ordered to be delivered to the restaurant. They were left sitting in our stateroom. Ridiculous. Speaking of the room next door, the 3rd bed was broken. So even though they booked and paid for a room for 4 people, they only had two beds instead of 3. We had to bitch so much just to get an apology and then I had to get nasty to get them a measly partial refund. The room manager didn't even realize they admitted they knew the pull down ceiling bed was broken well before we set sail. What a gigantic inconvenience it was for their two girls to sleep together on a single sofa bed. Oh, and did I mention that both of our bathroom doors were broken? Ours would shut but only slamming it a few times, and theirs not only would never stay shut, but never locked either. Also, the toilets clogged many times and we had to call and yell for a manager to get them fixed. Now on to the crew. Most of them were OK. Although I have to say over 20 years there has been a clear decline in cruise employee attitude and performance across all cruise lines. But this one had something we had never seen before. The 3 main people you deal with on this boat (cruise director, comedy club manager, host) were nothing but obnoxious and annoying. Most cruises have personable, fun, and interactive folks in these high visibility positions. These 3 young men looked like a college frat boys with "I'm cooler than everyone else" attitudes and matching looks on their faces. My wife loves everybody, and she couldn't stand these 3 at any of the few events on the boat. The boat was clearly redesigned so that Carnival could try packing in another 100 rooms full of passengers while sacrificing shared space and fun things to do. The dining room was so small that our group of 4 rooms, all booked together, was assigned to 3 different dinner times. When we complained and asked for the same time, we were told by the maître d' that we could all do the Anytime Dining option and the longest wait would be 15 minutes tops. No matter what time we showed up we had to wait AN HOUR AND A HALF each night for dinner. And it wasn't just us. Most people we talked to during the time we were all crammed around the area where the seating host was said the same thing. They would have half the ship waiting around for dinner with very little to do except hit the casino or buy drinks. The show lounge was the smallest we have ever seen, even on much smaller boats. It seats less than 500 people and there were 3600 passengers on board. There were usually 2 shows (sometimes 4) and we had to leave dinner or whatever we were doing to go stand in line for at least 30 minutes before each show or comedy act if we even wanted seats. The pool was also the smallest one we have ever seen. They redid the entire desk to add some cool bars and food, but the pool was the size of a regular pool in someone's back yard. With 3600 passengers, it was nearly impossible during the day to find room for the kids in the pool, and totally impossible to get a deck chair, much less a few together. We have never been so annoyed walking through a pool area because of so much congestion. Speaking of small, the casino was fairly small too. It was hard to get on most tables after dinner in the evening. We paid $5 each to have a special "Cat in the Hat" breakfast the last full day. They clearly showed all of these pictures and videos of it. It showed numerous Dr. Seuss characters and fun. There was only Thing 1 and 2, and at the end Sam I Am (who actually wasn't Sam I Am, but the other guy from Green Eggs and Ham. They didn't even know the difference. LOL pathetic.) THERE WAS NO CAT IN THE HAT AT THE CAT IN THE HAT BREAKFAST. I asked multiple times and was told different stories about why. Our niece (who turned 7 on this cruise) was so upset about that. There was also no photo package available, even though the Carnival website said there was and we bought it on every other Carnival cruise over the last few years. They said "not on this boat" and charged $22 for every picture we wanted. The ship was even designed like a prison or department store, with theft detectors with alarms placed all over that deck around the pictures. Employees stared at us like criminal thieves the whole time we were going through our stack to figure out which ones were worth $22 a pop. There is an app now called the Carnival Hub. It is brand new. Which means it is in Beta testing. Which means it should be free. Not only did it not work half the time, but they charged each passenger $5 to beta test their own product. Disgusting. Unlike every other boat, you couldn’t check your account on the TV or even get a bill at the room the last night. So you were stuck with an app that didn’t work or standing in line at Guest Services to even know what you were being charged for. And we were charged for water and towels we didn't use. When getting off the boat, my wife was told she had a $180 balance even though my same credit card was connected to her as well as mine and it was paid. This boat advertised a lot of things that got us to book it. 3 huge water slides on the back that were rarely open. In fact it seemed they were only open while we were in port and not during sea days. A hot dog stand was up at the top near them and IT WAS NEVER OPEN ONCE. Social Internet claimed Snapchat would work, but staff member said it will not work, so it was sold stating functionality the staff already knew didn't work. Arcade stole a lot of money. Machines were all "new" and yet just kept money for no game. No staff to complain to. Paid extra for the "high-speed" internet package, but was just as slow and bad as the cheaper package. No dance club, even though advertised complete with a DJ! Lunch shut down early. No real hot tub (only two lukewarm small pools without jets). Bars didn't open till super late. Lido didn't have space for dancing or sail away parties. Dripping water coming down from ceiling in photo gallery. Wasn't clear there was a different time between boat time and local time. No weather, temperature or time on TV. Had to cancel shore excursion for sick child and was interrogated, and then they canceled the entire excursion themselves without explanation! Chateaubriand was supposed to be medium well or medium rare but it came out bloody red rare, nearly raw. When we sent them back, they came back overcooked and ruined. Steakhouse, Italian and Asian restaurants were $15-35 per person extra, but were just OK and tough to book. Room service took over an hour EVERY TIME. Mixes for drinks like Long Island Iced Tea were awful. Was told by the casino staff that they would accept chips from the Holland America ship (same parent company) but after waiting in line for a half hour...told the opposite and refused. Rude employees asking if we tipped. No chocolate mints on pillow. No refrigerator in room. They threw away our mouthwash and claimed it "might have been alcohol". Singers and dancers were so boring. Comedy acts were OK at best. Bought the Cheers alcohol package but had to wait at nearly every overcrowded bar for drink service, including the casino. There were so many problems that each and every one of us, all long-time cruisers and Gold/Platinum VIFP members of Carnival, walked off the ship saying none of us will ever cruise on Carnival again. In fact all of us have at least one thing we have to go and dispute. Carnival has made it clear to us it doesn't care when 12 paying passengers are treated so poorly and then try to tell them about it. If you are reading this review I assure you it is 100% accurate, as we have numerous witnesses, pictures, and videos. I beg you not to cruise on this ship or with Carnival, for your own sake. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
This ship use to be the "Destiny" but in 2013 it was transformed to the "Sunshine." Let me say that Carnival had only profit in mind and not the customer. With the transformation came additional state rooms now the ship ... Read More
This ship use to be the "Destiny" but in 2013 it was transformed to the "Sunshine." Let me say that Carnival had only profit in mind and not the customer. With the transformation came additional state rooms now the ship holds about 500 more passengers. This sailing had more than 3600 passengers! This meant that we stood along with about 40 other people that could not get a seat, for 3 comedy shows and the comedians were mediocre at best. The buffet was okay not great but after standing in line and fixing our plate there was no where to sit. The any time dining ran 1-2 hour wait times unless you went at 5:30. To get a lounger anywhere on the ship you had to go put your stuff on one by 8:00 am on sea days particularly on the "Serenity Deck." There were passengers laying out on the floor of the Serenity deck due to no loungers. 500 more passengers may be good for Carnival's bottom line, but it is not good for paying customers! I called Carnival and complained. I was told they were in the business to make money! They gave me a $50 OBC on our next sailing. I will NEVER go on the Sunshine again, more state rooms just means more lines and more crowded. Common areas not designed to hold 3600 passengers! I have been on other pack ships and never had any of these problems, but this is what happens when you add passengers but not common areas to accommodate. Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
My February 2016 cruise on the Carnival Sunshine was my sixth cruise and third time sailing with Carnival. Overall this cruise had a great itinerary and didn't have many major disappointments or pleasant surprises. If you know what to ... Read More
My February 2016 cruise on the Carnival Sunshine was my sixth cruise and third time sailing with Carnival. Overall this cruise had a great itinerary and didn't have many major disappointments or pleasant surprises. If you know what to expect from a Carnival ship then I wouldn't hesitate to book a cruise on the Sunshine. It was nice that the ship wasn't gilded with traditional Carnival mirrors, neon, and obnoxious colors. I enjoyed the decor. EMBARKATION We arrived around 11:30 and the process wasn't any slower or unpleasant compared to past cruises. Too bad with our hotel stay the night before we didn't each pickup up wine or soda to carry on per their stated policy. CABIN We decided to save this trip by booking an inside stateroom, 2308. There are three closets (his and hers) with a third containing the safe and life jackets. Under the vanity are three drawers to the right and a shallow cabinet to the left, where we stored gadgets and charging cables. We ended up stacking things under the phone to get them out of the way. There was one available electric outlet behind the TV and one near the phone. Bring a splitter if you need to charge several items but we never used ours. No coffee table or extra seating in our stateroom except for a padded stool that stores under the vanity. There was plenty of room under the beds for keeping luggage out of sight. It looked a bit off that there was only one nightstand instead of two. The bathroom had a good size rectangular shower with shower curtain and handheld shower head that mounts to the wall. There is a retractable cord for drying bathing suits. On both sides of the sink are a pair of small shelves that was good enough for the two of us. There is no room under the sink for storage, as it's taken up by service items. Our stateroom attendant, Henry, was courteous and efficient and even left a happy birthday message on the mirror for me. FITNESS AND SPA I applaud the two of us for working out on the cruise, although I only got in one workout to my wife's two. Not for lack of willpower but there were other activities on the ship that interested me more. The fitness center has nicer equipment than the one we pay for at home. I was really quite impressed that it's one of the better cruise gyms that I've seen. Individual TVs are on the treadmills. The treatments at the Spa were simply too expensive for us, even with a $50 happy birthday give certificate from them. No discounts for port days other than the occasional 75 minutes for the price of 55. ENTERTAINMENT Most of the main shows were quite skippable, especially the welcome show. Funny that NCL is my least favorite cruise line but NCLs entertainment is quite superior to what we've seen on Carnival. If you have a twisted sense of humor like we do then you'll want to hang out in the Piano Bar after 10 pm for the adults only sing-alongs with Christine. We were regulars and not easily offended. For my birthday she had me get up on the piano while the audience sang about me having an itsy bitsy teeny weenie...you get idea about this joint. In the evenings head to the Ocean Plaza for band music and to the adjacent Red Frog Pub for 10 pm trivia with Brandon. We won two drinks from him during the cruise and were regulars of his as well. We never bothered with the outdoor movies but did pass through to see many perched at various decks taking in the show. DINING Overall the food was quite excellent and the main dining room offered at least a few menu items for the adventurous, which we greatly appreciated. We chose any-time dining and the service was poor except for that of Francisco and his staff, which were outstanding. Except for his team, we found ourselves ashamed to have to steal service items from adjacent tables (really, we don't like to do this) to make up for tables that were not fully set up before we arrived. Also, Carnival apparently has tossed away some of the traditions of fine dining, such as serving each appetizer as their own course instead of all at once and replacing the silverware after each course. We had one waiter take our forks and knives off of our plates and put them on our bread plates between four courses. Sushi at Bonsai wasn't a bargain but it was very good. We enjoyed sushi boat for two for a mid-day snack that satisfied a sushi craving. The Lido never seemed as crazy for us as it did for others, based on similar reviews, but then again we stayed up late and woke up late as well. Overall the food was pretty good, although I would have liked more variety at least for things that are not standard comfort foods. Cruise ship pizza is typically pretty awful but theirs was worth the wait. And I mean wait. They make around 1200 pizzas each day! PORTS St. Maarten - Disembarkation was a confusing mess. Other cruise lines put up signage and ropes indicating where the lines start but in this case the masses just crowded the stairwells and lobbies. We shared a taxi to the Bikini Beach taxi stand on Orient Beach. For our cruise there was disappointment the night before when the ship had to turn around for San Juan to evacuate a sick passenger, so we lost almost four hours of daylight in St. Maarten. Even though the ship was rescheduled to stay later we didn't quite get in enough beach time before it got dark and cooled off. Getting back onboard was a mess as well and for some reason the line took 50 minutes from the back to getting onto the gangway. And this was nearly two hours before departure. This was a first of its kind wait. Nevertheless, Orient Beach is easy to get to by taxi and is a nice beach day. St. Kitts - Didn't even get off the ship. We've been there before and the ship did not dock near the cruise shopping area and required a shuttle instead to get there. We took advantage of having the run of the ship and easy access to the Serenity area. San Juan - The ship had a crazy short stay in San Juan so we simply walked to both parts of the fort. One ticket gets you into both. Grand Turk - This is an okay beach day that can accommodate one cruise ship at best, even though the pier allows for two ship. Due to windy conditions the Carnival Splendor came in very late, giving the Sunshine passengers time to rule the island. We moved from the beach to the Margaritaville pool before the Splendor passengers came ashore and things became very crowded. HIGHLIGHTS AND TIPS If you enjoy martinis, head to the Alchemy Bar and have an Alchemist's Sidecar or other drink. The drinks made by Dario were really outstanding. Avoid crowds at the Lido by heading to the Taste Bar on deck five in Ocean Plaza. I generally got everything I was looking for and had no trouble finding a table. If you do eat at the lido, head with your food through the narrow passageways on either side to take you to the Havana Bar in the back of the ship for plenty of extra seating. There are also tasty Cuban bites to enjoy at both breakfast and lunch. The Serenity area is an adults only section for sun worshipers. It's really quite nice, assuming you get there early enough or show up just as someone is leaving their lounger. With a mix of outdoor sofas, beds, pods, and padded lounge chairs there is a good mix of sun and shade for everyone. The hot tub is nice but not hot enough to keep people from planting themselves in it all day. They have a policy against chair hogs and will take your items but still the area seems to be primarily towel storage. I wasn't sure that I would get myself on the water slides but I'm glad that I did. I haven't seen slides like this on any cruise ship and they were very fast and twisty. Good for Carnival for having them. SUMMARY This cruise is probably planted in the lower-middle third of the twelve cruises that I've been on in terms of value and overall cruise experience. The ship was clean and service was friendly. Except for a few elevators that were out for the entire cruise near the dining end of the ship it was in pretty good working order. I would recommend the Sunshine for a Caribbean getaway. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
Read reviews and had concerns but went any way. Embarkation was great people friendly and quick, room was ready. Ship décor was great, looks really good. The issues that we had were; crowding on Lido, crowded more than any ship we have ... Read More
Read reviews and had concerns but went any way. Embarkation was great people friendly and quick, room was ready. Ship décor was great, looks really good. The issues that we had were; crowding on Lido, crowded more than any ship we have been on, buffets were crowded and harder to navigate than on other ships they are square and in center of floor causing traffic flow issues. Seating "cut up" into several areas so that you have to navigate narrow areas carrying food while searching for seating. Pool area was crowded, it actually appeared smaller than Fantasy class ships if you don't count the upper tier seating and with twice the passengers, and 2 bars, and Guys, and burritos it was uncomfortable to navigate during busy times. Most of the staff we interacted with were friendly and good with a few exceptions. Our dinner seating was incorrect but it was corrected before dinner the first night, our wait staff had too much to do evidently because we would wait EVERY night between 30-45 min between courses with 2 large tables empty in our area. Finally I complained on the 5th night and the next night was actually too much service, we could not even talk without one of them trying to help us with something then the next night it was back to the original way, poor service. Almost forgot to mention that when we went to room we heard a knock on the door and the room steward was there, the first thing he said was " What is your name?" before welcoming us or anything, then 15 min later he knocked on the door and when I answered it he only said "OH, I met you before" and walked away. I guess he was new and he did an OK job but this is not very professional. (again I try to remember that a lot of this is because of staffing cut backs) While visiting with the ships staff in different areas, I kept hearing from a lot of them that they would be glad when they could get off of the ship. The casino for the first time in 10-12 cruises did not send strawberries or wine to dinner. I don't need the snacks and I always give the wine away but I thought it was worth mentioning. I gambled more on this cruise because I did not like going on deck and venues for comedy and shows were very crowded and long lines to get in. One positive aspect was that I took a lot of naps. We had fun and enjoyed it but I would not recommend this ship, I realize every one has a different take on things, and maybe we enjoy different things, but this is my take on the ship with input from the 13 that traveled with us. We actually have a cruise booked on the Sunshine to Aruba next year and all of our family asked me to change it to another ship if possible. Hope if you go you will have an enjoyable trip by avoiding problem areas and taking it in stride but I don't recommend. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
We were on the Sunshine the week of February 13th. I read a lot of reviews before boarding and would have agree with most of the reviews. Every now and then you would smell sewage on the ship. Even in the gift shops. The drinking water ... Read More
We were on the Sunshine the week of February 13th. I read a lot of reviews before boarding and would have agree with most of the reviews. Every now and then you would smell sewage on the ship. Even in the gift shops. The drinking water was horrible and the food was mediocre. The food warmers were not replenished as quickly as they should have been. The management seemed young and unseasoned. I feel as if they were interns waiting to move onto the bigger nicer ships. The water slides, rope course and mini golf were hardly open. The kids wound up overtaking the hot tubs that were not hot at all. The pool area had a DJ during the sea days. It would have been nice to have a band that could spice up the overcrowded lack of deck chair atmosphere. I booked this trip based on the amenities of the ship for the kids but they could not even use them. The icing on the cake was that I had Carnival gift cards that the front desk had to type in and apply MANUALLY to my sail and sign. They told me that one of my gift cards was already used which I thought to be impossible. After coming home and checking the card online (once I had internet), I confirmed that the gift card had $50 on it!!! They miskeyed the gift card code. So now I am stuck with a card that I will never use and they will not credit my bill. The weather was outstanding and the ports of call were breathtaking. This was my 4th Carnival cruise and I do not think we will be back. Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
Here is my Carnival Sunshine Review of our Feb 13 sailing 8 day eastern Caribbean-St. Maartan, St. Kitts, San Juan and Grand Turk. A little background-this was our fourth cruise and all have been with Carnival. We are gold members. We ... Read More
Here is my Carnival Sunshine Review of our Feb 13 sailing 8 day eastern Caribbean-St. Maartan, St. Kitts, San Juan and Grand Turk. A little background-this was our fourth cruise and all have been with Carnival. We are gold members. We had 10 people in our group all in the 30 year old range. This was the 2nd and 3rd cruise for the rest of our group, all on carnival as well. Embarkation-Port Canaveral was the easiest to get into we felt for embarkation. We drove to Florida from Michigan and we were parking our car at the port. We arrived about 10:30am. My husband drop me with our bags off to porters and then he went and parked the car. I waited for him by entrance. We were able to go right in and get checked in and were in Zone 3 for boarding. It was so smooth. Our friends were just behind us and they were in Zone 4 for boarding. We waited until the ship was empty in the holding area and we were on board about 11:45am heading back to have lunch. I had read the reviews on here about the Sunshine so I had a leg up on what to expect this time. I will get to the good and bad throughout the review. Our room: We had an inside cabin #6119. We loved being on the 6th floor. This was as high up as we had ever been. We usually are on Deck 2 or 3. The nice thing about Deck 6 is you are three decks down or less to all the night life and then 3 decks up to lido for day time action. We really liked being on the 6th floor. Our room was right above the liquid lounge. We never heard any noise coming from below but most nights were in the lounge for the action so I cannot say for sure that there was a not a little bit of noise. Our room steward "B" was the best we have had. She was always out and about to see if you needed anything. She was so quick to get our room done while we were out. She was so friendly. We would recommend being in her area of the ship again. Dining: We had assigned early seating to dinner. We have in the past done Any time dining in the past but since we always arrived at the 5:30 time anyways we decide to give the assigned dining a try. We really liked this and will do it again. We liked having the same wait staff every night and the same table. The line that we walked past for the anytime dining was always long. We had a great wait staff, Enrique and Mauro took care of every night and with our rowdy group that was saying something. I will say the dining room food service was slow. It was the slowest we have ever had. My hubby really thought it was the kitchen and them possibly being understaffed and trying to serve multiple dining rooms at one time. The wait time for food in between courses was slow. We made the most of it and just relaxed and chatted. Our group all has small children that we left at home so for this reason we enjoyed a kid free dinner every night, even with the wait. The food was great and our group ordered multiple things every night and between the 10 of us we all had different things every night and all had great reviews. If you can just sit back and enjoy dinner you will be just fine. The melting cake is never bad and the bitter and blanc is the best desert. We also all really liked the Filet Mignon and the beef brisket that was offered one night. We all ordered it! This was the only time this has ever happened. Pasta dished were always winners too and lots of our group had them as their starter. The other dining options are great on this boat as well. We did do the pasta bar at lunch which was a great option. You just order and wait for your buzzer to go off and go up to get your food. The Cantina taco bar was amazing as well. The breakfast burritos are a must try! We also did omelette bar set up at Wok and pasta bar in morning. These were good. Limited choices to put in omelette but still very tasty and the lines were never that bad. Just a couple minute wait each time we tried. The pizza on the boat is so much better than our past cruises. We loved the thin crust. We did eat a lot of pizza late at night and it was a little busy then but they were pumping out pizzas as fast as they could. Worth the wait. Guy's burgers are also a must try. We had never had them before and they are so good! We never did have breakfast or lunch in dining room but friends did and service is slow then too just an FYI. Good food, but slow to come out. We all enjoyed the choices on the lido buffet too but ate at other places more than the buffet. Sea Days: Sea days the boat was packed. It was a full cruise. As others have said that is you do not get out and get a chair by early morning you will not find one until after lunch. We did have a large group so that made it hard as well but even my hubby and myself had a hard time finding two chairs together at times. We did sit at the serenity pool on the edge one day because we could not find chairs and that was very nice. The pool overall is small for the amount of people on the boat. We did usually accumulate chairs as the day went on mostly on the serenity deck. By afternoon we usually had chairs to use as people left for lunch or to take a break but chair hogs are our in full force on this boat. If this does not bother you, you should be fine. We were on vacation so we just improvised and made it work. They have taken away public place to hang out in order to put in more rooms on this boat and you do notice it. The hallways are tight going to lido buffet. There were times it was hard to find a table to eat but we mostly ate in the havana bar in the back of the boat (thru lido buffet to get to it). We almost always had no problem finding a table there. Shows: We went to the welcome aboard show, Latin nights show, epic rock show, marriage show and several comedy shows. We really enjoyed all the shows. If you only go to one got he epic rock show. It was great! We did get in line for the show about a half hour before to get seats but we did notice a lot of nights there were open seats at the shows. The comedy shows however you need to be in line 30/40 minutes before the show to get a seat. This room is very small. We do not mind the waiting because we met a lot of great people while waiting in line for the shows but if you do mind this I would choose another boat. This has not been the case as much on our other cruises as this one. The comedians were all great except one who was not so hot but you will have that. Steve White was by far the funniest comedian we have met and we did not miss any of his shows! Trent the comedy club manager is quite fun and quirky too. We enjoyed him! We also spent a lot of time in the red frog pub (back of the boat on deck 5). We listened to the live music and played fusball and shuffleboard a lot there. It is a fun atmosphere and a great place to hang out during the down times. Lots of the trivia took place in there as well. Staff: We cannot say enough how mush we loved the staff on this boat. The Sunshine has a great crew on board. To us the inconveniences were helped by the great crew that served us all week. We have so many of them we will remember for a long time after our cruise. The cruise director Donkey (The voice from above) was hands down the best we have ever had. He brings amazing energy where ever he goes. He is young fun and full of life. He is also very funny. He is really quick witted so any event with him you are sure to be laughing. We did not miss an event that Donkey was a part of. He is a great asset to this ship. His team behind him is great as well. They were the life of all the parties getting people out dancing and having a good time. The main DJ, DJ Commodus is awesome too. We were at the liquid lounge for the night club every night it was open (which is not every night so don't miss it when it is) and he plays awesome music. He is very into the music. The other DJ is just so so but Commodus is great. He even came out after his set a few times to dance with us. We tried to bring the party every night we were there! Also I already mention our wait staff and room stewards who were great. I want to mention some other entertainment staff as well. Chris that play the guitar in the shows and in the band is amazing. His start to the Epic rock show is a do not miss. He also plays in the Mix of six band and we watched them play several nights. They are a great band and play very great music. They played a mix of rock, 80's and new music. We also loved Clint the guitar/country singer that played in the red frog pub a lot. He played some great country music and he was from Nashville, very fitting. He also hit it off with our group and we became friends as the cruise went on. We would find out where he was playing and be his groupies. If you love country you will love Clint. Christine in the piano bar was the only one I would say is just ok but if you like that kind of stuff more than we do you might enjoy her more. All the staff we encountered throughout the week were very friendly and helpful. They are a very fun crew. We loved that they would joke and have fun with us. I know they miss their families while they are gone so we love to see them having a good time even when they are working. The Ship: The ship set up is pretty much the same as other ships. The drawbacks were the narrow hallways to buffet. Only two small pools which does not work for amount of people on board. Only three hot tubs and only one is adult hot tub and it was always packed. The two on lido deck were always filled with kids because there was only one pool. Serenity deck is nice. Having it split up to three decks may actually take away some seating. The casino is very smoky smelling and you do have to walk thru it to get to places on the back of the boat. it was smoky even our first day on board. The public places to hang out in are small so you have to be willing to wait a lot on this boat. If it was not a full cruise it might not have been as bad but it was a full house. The boat was also rocking almost every night except the last night. We had several windy days though but I do agree what I read about the Sunshine Sway. It does have a lot of movement with any wind. The wind also shut down the upper decks several times during the week which only adds to the congestion on boat. Ropes course was closed a lot as well as upper serenity deck. Water slides also had to close because of winds so that was too bad. We did not do ropes course or slides but friends did and they did enjoy both just too bad they were not open more. St. Maartan- This was our first stop and no one in our group had been here before. Our friends did the catamaran sail and snorkel thru Carnival. We did not do this because my hubby has a hard time with smaller boats, make him sick if it is rough. Our friends enjoyed the excursion but here are a few things they said. Crew was great. It was all you can eat but they did run out of food. You get to snorkel but not much to see unless they fed the fish. You must also swim to the beach if you want to go in. They do not drop you at a dock or anything and with the wind you needed to be a good swimmer to get to the beach. They did have fun but those were a few downfalls. We just got off the boat and walked the little square of shops and had a drink at Sharky's bar. It was nice and relaxing. It was very clean and easy to get thru. We were going to go the beach this day (Taxi to Orient) but we had a medical emergency the night before so we had to turn back to San Juan to drop off the passenger and we got into St. Maartan late and we did not want to be out after dark on an unfamiliar island so we just stayed close to boat. St. Kitts We did the 10 best island tour thru Carnival. We had never been to St. Kitts and felt this was a good way to see the island. We met at the pier and got assigned to our van with 10 other people. No one else in our group did this excursion with us. Destiny was our driver and she was great. Very knowledgeable of the city and a great driver because we had some tight squeezes on the island. We visited an old manor, botanical gardens, Timothy hill and Brimstone fortress. We also seen both sides of the islands, we drove thru the downtown area and by Timothy Beach on our way. She stopped in the van to point out things as well. This is about a four hour tour. The fortress is worth the driver out there. The other stops were just ok but the fortress is amazing. The drive up is a little scary but the views when you get up there are breathtaking. One of our favorite stops of the cruise. Timothy Hill is great view too but pushy people with monkeys and donkeys wanting you to take a picture for money with them. Not as pretty when you have to deal with them. Our friends, as I said did not do this excursion but took shuttle to town and then taxi to beach. We got a port away from downtown so we had a free shuttle to town. there were two other boats in port with us. They shopped for a while then got a taxi to Timothy beach. they had to talk taxi driver down in price but settled on $25 to get the group of 6 to beach and another 25 to get back to pier but he did not show back up for pick up so they got another taxi and he only charged 18 to get back to pier. They said beach was nice because it was not too busy. They walked down a bit to get spots away from busy area had drinks at a local bar. They enjoyed the day. St. kitts is crazy in that one side of the island is very poor island living then you do to the other side and it is very commercialized and you have million dollar homes and a huge Marriott resort as well. The houses were amazing but yet the other side you had little huts people were living in. San Juan: We got off the ship and our group all walked to the El Morro fort. I printed a walking map before we left so I led the way. It is a good 25 minute walk. We loved the fort. Another must see. The views are awesome. I love history so this was a great stop for me. San Juan was my favorite stop. The city is so amazing. The city wall the forts, the old building were all great. We toured the fort on our own then walked back thru city square and thru town were we shopped. It is a very clean and safe city. No pushy people just a nice change of pace. We also had Pina coladas at Barrichinas which were delicious. We did not do the San Cristobal fort even though we did walk by it. We had walked a lot already so when we were done shopping and wandering downtown we just headed back to the ship. You could do both forts in one day though and your admission is free tot he 2nd fort you stop at as long as you have your receipt. We got a lot of our gifts for people at home at this stop. Lots of unique shops in San Juan. Definitely would love to go back. There was so much we did not see. Grand Turk We almost missed our Grand Turk stop due to high winds. We struggled to get docked at this stop. We did get docked but were off the boat let so our friends excursion was canceled which they were bummed about. We did not schedule an excursion because we wanted to enjoy a day at pool at Margaritaville. We just walked off the boat and went in a grabbed a chair at Margaritaville and our friends did as well because they did not have an excursion. It is a little expensive for food and drinks there but chairs are free so it all works out. Pool is very nice. Very large and can accommodate a lot of people. We also walked down to the beach for a little while. Water is so clear and blue. Very pretty. You can get on the boat very easily too because the walk is so short. You could even eat lunch on boat and get back off. We did not wander down to Jack's shack but heard that is a cool hang out as well. About a 10 minute walk down the beach from the pier. This being our fourth stop in four days we just opted to relax. Very nice island though! Disembarkation We did self assist debarkation. We needed to get off the boat and drive back to Michigan so we prefer this. We just take our bags with us. We manage the stairs and lines. It is must faster for us. We were in the 3rd group but it went fast and we were off the boat and on the road by 8:30am. They started the self assist early because we had been cleared early. It was nice to get moving because we were not suppose to be off until 9:15am. Disembarkation was just as smooth as embarkation. We walked right out to our car and packed up and headed home. Summary We had a great cruise with our friends. We do this every two years and we choose this cruise because of the stops as in they were all new ones for all of us. We like to see new islands each cruise. We did not let the drawbacks dictate our cruise. We just went with it. We were on vacation but it is not a 5 out of 5 start cruise because of the boat. Would we sail on the sunshine again? Probably not. We did not love the lack of space for everyone on this boat. The crew was awesome but the boat just lacked space for people to hang out. If you do not mind the crowds, lack of public spaces and waiting on boat then the cruise will be great but if this bothers you choose another boat. As I said we did not let it bother us but knowing what we do now we just would choose another ship to go on. 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7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
We sailed on the Carnival Sunshine in early February. We have been on numerous cruises, all Royal Caribbean. Every single one of them was beyond superb! This ship failed to meet expectations in so many different areas. Boarding the ... Read More
We sailed on the Carnival Sunshine in early February. We have been on numerous cruises, all Royal Caribbean. Every single one of them was beyond superb! This ship failed to meet expectations in so many different areas. Boarding the ship was uneventful. On royal Caribbean you are greeted with tropical drinks and a steal drum band playing music that really adds to the sailing mood. There was never any band on this ship only a DJ. It did not take us long to get into our room. When we opened the door the smell of mold was over whelming! The floors in the bathroom were filthy. There was black gooey dirt that had accumulated in the cracks and loads of dust and dirt in the corners of the floor. The shelves in the rooms had not been dusted so we had to clean them before putting our clothes away. The curtains had holes in them. The room definitely did not inspire a romantic mood! We did get into see the comedian which was very good but the lines were extremely long and seating was limited. Other than the comedians the shows were almost non existent. Again, coming from Royal Caribbean it was very disappointing. The food was awful with the exception of the specialty restaurants. The steak restaurant was very good and would recommend but it was $35.00 a person. The Italian was good as well and would accommodate our dietary needs (we are gluten free). There were absolutely no healthy options on this ship. The fruit was limited with no strawberries, blueberries and raspberries offered all week. By the end of the week the bananas were rotten. Everything was fried and swimming in grease. We pretty much ate salad with grilled shrimp, both of which we had to obtain from different areas, all week. If you like all you can eat greasy, unhealthy food then this is the ship for you! We are wine drinkers so we bought the wine package. There were two different wines in the package that we liked. Two bottles in they no longer had the wine we wanted, they were out of it. We had a very nice bartender at the circle bar who did find us some additional bottles but after that we had to make do with other options, which we did not like. They should have upgraded us to the next level but they were unwilling to do so. The biggest complaint about this ship is the lack of lounge chairs in the pool areas. Unless you went to put your towel out at 8:30 in the morning you were out of luck. Stickers were occasionally put on chairs with a time stamp but no one ever came back around to remove the towels. When we removed and neatly folded towels on chairs that were over two hours past the time, we ended up being reprimanded by the pool supervisor for removing someone's belongings (just towels that were provided by the ship, nothing else). The fact that the people who had placed the towels there at 6:30 in the morning, and then returned at 12:30 in the afternoon, had the nerve to report us to the supervisor is simply beyond me. When the people next to us refused to move the pool supervisor called security on them. When security arrived he spoke with my husband, mistaking him for the man next to us. We were beyond appalled!! The weather was great and we were with good company so we made the best of it. That being said I am going back to Royal Caribbean, I will never sail on Carnival again! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
We are Gold Card members, always have the Grand Suite, are used to a certain level of comfort, and have been mostly satisfied on all previous cruises. This was the first time we sailed on the Sunshine and will absolutely be the last. ... Read More
We are Gold Card members, always have the Grand Suite, are used to a certain level of comfort, and have been mostly satisfied on all previous cruises. This was the first time we sailed on the Sunshine and will absolutely be the last. First the good points......the embarkation process was the quickest and easiest we've experienced on ANY cruise line, and the food -both in the Dining Room and the two specialty restaurants was really very good. So much for the good part....on to the problems. - From the day we left port until the day we returned the ship "rocked and rolled" constantly, even though the waters were calm. - There was constant noise in our cabin. Various pings, groans, creaks and a strange tapping noise. It never stopped...it gave the impression that the ship itself was protesting being sent out on this voyage. - Perhaps worst of all was the sewage smell that permeated our cabin and almost everywhere on Deck 7. We would be walking on other decks and all of a sudden there was that smell again....it was unmistakable, believe me! - Speaking of unmistakeable, there was no mistaking what was being prepared for the next meal, as food/cooking odors were present in our cabin and on our deck prior to every meal. In retrospect, this was definitely preferable to the sewage smell. - On our last night on board, our toilet stopped up and would not flush. I called Guest Services and a plumber arrived. He looked at the toilet, walked out to the hallway, and about 2 minutes later I heard the toilet flushing. Problem solved, but this was almost certainly related to the noxious odor and indicative of a larger problem than just our one toilet being stopped up. - Perhaps the most annoying aspect of all was our attempt to take advantage of the "opportunity to disembark the vessel with priority", as was promised by the notification received the last night of our cruise from Carnival. We did exactly as instructed and placed the bags outside the door for pickup. The next morning we waited for Zone 2 (our "priority" zone) to be called and finally left on our own to go down to the gangway. As far as I know there may still be people on board waiting for Zone 2 to be called! Where was the "zone 2 priority disembarkation"? At best the instructions were unclear and confusing. - During the disembarkation process we were waiting for an elevator and directly over our heads water was streaming out of a light fixture on the ceiling. - Lastly, there was an "Out of Order" sign on the self-serve ice cream machines for the entire trip. Petty, I know, but it was just somehow the theme of the entire cruise. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
This was my 20th cruise (ten on Carnival) and I've been on this ship a decade ago when it was the Destiny. Embarkation was smooth being a Platinum member, even the other lines appeared to be moving along. Our stateroom (inside ... Read More
This was my 20th cruise (ten on Carnival) and I've been on this ship a decade ago when it was the Destiny. Embarkation was smooth being a Platinum member, even the other lines appeared to be moving along. Our stateroom (inside on deck 7) was very neat apart from a missing end-table which guest services took care of quickly. Our room stewards were also very personable and efficient. Food didn't wow me, apart from the Bonsai Sushi Restaurant. Dinner at the Italian place was good, however lunch left us lacking. I did spend a lot of time at the Java Cafe. Good coffees and a nice staff manning it. Nice touches all around were the PYOB (pour your own beer) stations and the automatic hand washers near most major food areas. We spent a majority of our time on the Serenity Decks (11-14 with no deck 13). The pools were cold, but the hot-tubs were near perfect. On a side note, we got to watch the Super Bowl on the Jumbo-Tron on the Lido deck while we were in deck chairs on Serenity. That's a fun way to watch the game. You might see other reviews about it being choppy, but I wasn't bothered. We also got to see some whale sign, although my camera work wasn't up to the task. I only sat through a partial show, so I have no real review of the entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2016
The embarkation process at Port Canaveral was absolutely wonderful. We needed wheelchair assistance when we got there and someone was readily available. We were given our sign and sail cards and proceeded up to board the ship. The ... Read More
The embarkation process at Port Canaveral was absolutely wonderful. We needed wheelchair assistance when we got there and someone was readily available. We were given our sign and sail cards and proceeded up to board the ship. The atrium of the ship was beautiful and our interior cabin 7203 was nice. The problem with this cruise was that while the ship has been refurbished and the number of cruisers has increased, the common areas of the ship were just not acceptable for that many people. The ship was overcrowded, if you wanted to get a lounge chair in the sun, you had to get up and out by at least 5am because if you didn't, all of the chairs were taken. The entertainment (shows) and food in the main dining room were par at best. I was very disappointed with the staff on this cruise as they weren't nearly as friendly as I had come to expect from my other cruises in the past. There was a teak-wood grate missing near the lido deck hot tub which I fell into and hit my chin and shoulder on the railing. I got the pool deck manager to see it and she put a cone on it to prevent anyone else from getting hurt. The two hot tubs on the lido deck were cold and filled with too many people. My sister came along with us on this cruise. When she booked her room she was given a lower price than we paid for the same category, floor, room and a week before the cruise they called her and offered to upgrade her to a balcony for a little extra money. We didn't get that call. Considering I had sailed on Destiny which then became the Sunshine I am disappointed to say the least. I feel that Carnival really let me down on this one and am hopeful that they will take our issues to heart. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
EMBARKATION : 5 STARS We are Platinum now so this went just swell. LIDO SELECTION AND QUALITY: 4 STARS DINING ROOM SERVICE AND FOOD: 4.5 STAR A special nod to waiter "Eduardo" PLATINUM VIP PARTY: 5 ... Read More
EMBARKATION : 5 STARS We are Platinum now so this went just swell. LIDO SELECTION AND QUALITY: 4 STARS DINING ROOM SERVICE AND FOOD: 4.5 STAR A special nod to waiter "Eduardo" PLATINUM VIP PARTY: 5 STARS They did this one right. No couple of watered down drinks and quickly escorted out. SEGWAY TOUR ON GRAND TURK: 4 STARS Fun ! INDIAN ENTREES IN DINING ROOM: 5 STARS OVERALL STAFF ATTITUDE: 4.5 STARS These reviews talking about snippy staff are crazy. Everyone here was the usual Carnival bending over backwards for you and smiling while they do it. CLEANLINESS OF SHIP: 4.5 STARS There is NO "sewerage stench" or "garbage smell" referenced in some other reviews. These had me concerned. It is not true. SMOKININESS OF THE CASINO: GET OVER IT No, one does NOT have to walk through the Casino if one does not want to, there are multiple horizontal routes to get where one is going. I could see some folks who maybe would write that sort of review theatrically pulling their shirts over their noses of fanning the air in front of themselves. Cut across on deck 4 or 9 if it bothers you so much. GUY'S BURGERS: 4 STARS 24 / 7 PIZZA: 4 STARS FREE LEMONADE: 4 STARS It was just iced tea there years ago, yukk. ELEVATORS FASTER THAN I REMEMBER THEM ON THE DESTINY: 4.5 STARS DRINK PRICES: 2 STARS THE DISAPPEARANCE OF $5 NORMAL BLACKJACK: 1 STAR Only the gimmick blackjack is $6 now, straight is $ 10. ABILITY TO GET A DRINK ONCE ONE QUALIFIES IN THE CASINO WITH 1500 POINTS: 2 STARS You have to hunt then down. They seem to avoid you. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2016
The sunshine turned out to be exactly what I wanted it to be. I have cruised before with Carnival but always found a way to cruise on oldER ships(Sensation). So as we researched for this one we made it a point to cruise on a 2.0 ship. ... Read More
The sunshine turned out to be exactly what I wanted it to be. I have cruised before with Carnival but always found a way to cruise on oldER ships(Sensation). So as we researched for this one we made it a point to cruise on a 2.0 ship. Embarkation was not as smooth as I would have hoped as I have always cruised on a suite that gives me preference. Needless to say, I will never cruise without the liberties that the "First to fun" brings. We got on board and met with a crew that legitimately wanted to make our experience great. Pedro was our stewardess and answered any questions we had at any time. The Alchemy bar was around the bend from our room and that worried me a bit when it came to noise but had zero issues with it throughout the cruise. It goes without saying but our Cruise director, Matt Mitchum, is one of Carnival's hidden treasures. He made every minute of the cruise enjoyable. From the welcome party to the sad goodbyes and everything in between. His energy was radiant and evident when it comes to its impact on his entertainment staff. It was his last cruise as he got promoted to the Vista. The Serenity deck is laid out exactly the way it should be on every ship. Two decks for adults with private pool and elevated hot tub right next to bar so that you don't have to go far for a drink. On sea days, there was no better place to be. The food is the setback on the sunshine. Very slow service and food came out cold twice. With that said, I would recommend the Sunshine highly. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
We had an excellent trip. Two families, total of 10 including 6 kids ranging from 8-17. Kids had a blast: basketball, ropes course, foosball, pool, spa, pool-side movies, life size chess board, outdoor Twister game, miniature golf, ... Read More
We had an excellent trip. Two families, total of 10 including 6 kids ranging from 8-17. Kids had a blast: basketball, ropes course, foosball, pool, spa, pool-side movies, life size chess board, outdoor Twister game, miniature golf, shuffle board, ping pong and water slides. My kids never used the indoor club facility (video games and board games) because they were always outside but if your kids are into those things, they have inside stuff, too. Food was above average. Guy's burgers were great, the 24 hour pizza was really good, the Asian Wok was good and the dining hall was good. Ordered 3 filet mignon's on one night and left with happy tears. The rooms were small, but it is a freaking cruise ship, of course they are small and you are only in them to sleep, have sex, use the toilet and shower...so who cares? Comedy shows were funny (one guy was a little too raunchy for our taste but still made us laugh). The shows were good. The cruise director was entertaining. The movie nights by the pool were memorable - I know the kids will always remember it. Half Moon Cay is AMAZING! Great private beach. Well maintained. Plenty of chairs. Water was warm and clear. Sand was fine (loved the sand). Freeport and Nassau are okay - went back to the ship immediately at Freeport when I found out the beach was on other side of the island (best idea - awesome to have the ship when everyone else is ashore!). Read Less
Sail Date: January 2016
We just finish a cruise on the Sunshine and had a wonderful time. We never had to wait in line longer than maybe 5 mins (except on return to Orlando). The shows were fun and very enjoyable. The food in the dining room is on par with ... Read More
We just finish a cruise on the Sunshine and had a wonderful time. We never had to wait in line longer than maybe 5 mins (except on return to Orlando). The shows were fun and very enjoyable. The food in the dining room is on par with Cracker Barrel, very bland and at times cold but was very edible (we brought some seasoned salt and red pepper flakes just to kid it up)......never had to wait for a drink if you wanted it. The pool area was a bit small and crowded but it wasn't that bad. The room (we had an ocean view) was more than roomy for the two of us, clean and comfortable. We were at the back of the ship and while a bit noisy didn't keep us from getting a good nights sleep. The staff may have been a little standoffish at first but warmed up very quickly and were friendly. The cruise director (Matt) was awesome his wit made the otherwise mundane announcements very entertaining. Our favorite bartender was Valentina (in the atrium bar).....she was extremely dry and we loved it. Dedes in the blue iguana bar (also answered to George) was funny and great as was Tommy who would sing a song at the drop of a hat. In the main dining room Nikola, Milos, Evgren, and Mykola were all very attentive and friendly. We did eat at the onboard restaurants (Fahrenheit 500, and Ji Ji) one was a steak house and the other was asian both were awesome both in service and food quality and very reasonably priced. Make sure you see the comic show if you are easily offended then skip this or attend the earliest show.....while the comics can be hit or miss like anything. It was a great cruise and we are planning another one already. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
We just came home from sailing on the Carnival Sunshine this past Sunday. I had read so many awful things I was getting worried, but all was well when we stepped on board. We sailed with 16 others and a baby and we all had a wonderful ... Read More
We just came home from sailing on the Carnival Sunshine this past Sunday. I had read so many awful things I was getting worried, but all was well when we stepped on board. We sailed with 16 others and a baby and we all had a wonderful time. I sailed her as Destiny and we had one engine out and missed a port. All the upgrades where big improvements when making her the Sunshine, but this did cause lack of open deck space on the Lido and upper pool deck. I do so love Guy's Burgers and the Blue Iguana Cantina! We really loved the Marketplace upgrade and the Red Frog pub was a great addition too. The Havana Cuban bar in the back is also lovely and the Asian stir fry for lunch was yum!!! I never did smell any sewer smell anywhere I went on the ship so this was a plus! I was so relieved! We had an inside this time on Lido and we literally walked out our door and around the corner and out to the pool deck! Very nice! You can hear the music if they are having the pool party, but it is all good! We just joined in the fun! One thing we did not like was the location of the dining room. Sunrise was Anytime dining and it is 3rd floor aft and so we felt lots of movement! First night several got up and left not feeling well. Bar service seemed to be lacking a bit too....We are not huge drinkers, but others in our group where complaining about the bar service. Most all the food we had was really good. My husband got the New York strip one night at dinner from the steakhouse and it was well worth the $20. We enjoyed most all our dinners and desserts from the dining room. We did the Suess at Sea breakfast and that was a lot of fun too! The water slides are also really fun! We loved racing and seeing who would win! We never had a problem getting a deck chair at all. The new serenity area is nice! While this ship can't compare to the Breeze....I did like how the Serenity area was behind the pool and not the water slides. That was nice. They showed really good movies everynight at the pool. Jurrasic World was so fun to watch at sea! This was my 20th cruise and we picked it for the ports and we loved them all! 4 days in a row at ports.....Fantastic! Boarding and disembarking was all very easy on this ship. I really have no complaints! I do however prefer to sail the newer ships with more bell and whistles and more deck space. You can tell Sunshine is an old ship that has been fixed up! The Breeze is just so beautiful and clean and new..Makes a difference. I just wanted to give this old girl a thumbs up cause a cruise is what you make it and we all have a fabulous time. The staff was all very friendly and accommodating to us and we never really waited in line for anything..They had some great bands on board doing 80's covers! We had a ball watching the Football playoffs at Red Frog Pub and playing trivia. The cruise director Matt was a hoot! Don't be afraid of the Sunshine, Just know she is not perfect.......Go and enjoy the Sunshine! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
This was our 3rd time on the Sunshine. We spent the night pre cruise at the Radisson Resort at the Port. We love the hotel, the breakfast and perfect shuttle service. Highly recommended. We left the hotel at 11:30 on the ... Read More
This was our 3rd time on the Sunshine. We spent the night pre cruise at the Radisson Resort at the Port. We love the hotel, the breakfast and perfect shuttle service. Highly recommended. We left the hotel at 11:30 on the shuttle. Once we got to the terminal, it was 20 minutes from pier to stateroom. We were in cat 8b balcony cabin 7301. William was our room steward and he was perfect! Great cabin location. No bad smells near our cabin and no food poisoning! We enjoyed dinner the first night of the cruise in the steakhouse. Great service and great food. It does take a while to get your food on the SeaDay Brunch, but it's worth it! Our favorite port was Amber Cove. Our waiters Juan, Carlos and Alexondra were great at Anytime Dining. Cruise Director Matt was great but I prefer Jaime Dee. Comedian John C. McDonnell was spot on. We had tag 8 and got off the ship promptly. I love the Sunshine! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
I will leave out all the weather related issues because they are not Carnival's fault but it was 35 degrees in Orlando the day before the cruise. Almost like Alaska where you have to be prepared for everything. Embarkation was okay ... Read More
I will leave out all the weather related issues because they are not Carnival's fault but it was 35 degrees in Orlando the day before the cruise. Almost like Alaska where you have to be prepared for everything. Embarkation was okay but a lot of people really got there early! We purchased transfers from the Orlando airport and were there around 11:00 am and there were tons of people there. Hurry up and wait. I don't drink a lot of soda but it seemed like everybody and a case to bring on board. Ship looks okay but it is 20 years old and most of the renovations were about adding cabins for more revenue. Showroom was reduced to the point of being too small. Ship doesn't seem to have stabilizer wings so it was the rockiest boat I have been on in years. Showers are big because that's how they used to make them. You are not able to book excursions or check you account from the room. Most other ships have had this option for years. Lots of dead ends in the hallways. I really liked some of the new dining options including Asian and Italian options in the Havana Bar and omelets there for breakfast. Guy's burgers were okay but the menu is meaningless. Cheeseburger, cheeseburger or cheeseburger. Don't waste time looking for a table in the Marketplace, go straight to the Havana Bar. Went to the Steakhouse and would not spend the $35/person again. You can order surf and turf in the dining room for $20 or just order the right 2 entrees for no additional charge. Bar service was a little spotty. Sometimes good and other times ignored and a little surly. Matt the cruise director was hilarious and Christine in the piano bar was very entertaining. Main showroom was a little odd. Used to be singers or dancers. Now they have to do both but mostly are not the best at either. A couple of the primary singers were very good others not so much. Mix of Six was very good as was Robert on the guitar. In summary, I will cruise on Carnival again but it will have to be Vista, Magic or one of the other newer ships. 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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