1,414 Carnival Sunshine Cruise Reviews

Picked for itinerary - 4 sea days, plus St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Barbados, and St. Maarten. Sunshine: old, barely remodeled. Pros: pizza - fantastic and fresh! Softserve improved from other Carnival ships. Java cafe' with super ... Read More
Picked for itinerary - 4 sea days, plus St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Barbados, and St. Maarten. Sunshine: old, barely remodeled. Pros: pizza - fantastic and fresh! Softserve improved from other Carnival ships. Java cafe' with super nice barista "China", good espresso. Guy Fiori burgers fantastic, fries "out of this world", and free/included!! Cabin stewart from Indonesia Buddiharma, the best we've had in our 15+ cruises. Cons: During cruise, they were hammering/repairing daily, causing complaints by fellow passengers. We had ear plugs and tried not to care. They called us and asked if we experienced that too, and we said yes. Our cruise bill was taken care of plus a future discount, so that was nice. Waited for 1.5-2h in the sun in Canaveral to get checked in. About 3h late pulling out Pt Canaveral, leading to shortened stay in every single port (come on...). Felt crowded, never room to walk or sit in the buffet. Overall impression: did not think we would want to book Carnival again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
First time cruiser who traveled with a group of 18 from age 3 up to 63. Ports of call included Half Moon Cay, Nassau, and Freeport. Check in was relatively painless despite the fact that the computers went down at one point. The Cruise ... Read More
First time cruiser who traveled with a group of 18 from age 3 up to 63. Ports of call included Half Moon Cay, Nassau, and Freeport. Check in was relatively painless despite the fact that the computers went down at one point. The Cruise Director (Chris "donkey" Salazar) was very funny and entertaining. The service was almost always impeccable. Our waiter for the week was Tenaka, aka Mr. T. He was entertaining and very good at his job. After the first night when he found out our daughter has a tree nut allergy, he always got her food first and made sure it was safe for her to eat. We took in a couple of the comedic acts including one PG and one adult show. The shows are pretty short and were both decent enough to entertain us. All of the shows that Donkey hosted were a lot of fun, starting the second night with the "Welcome" show and ending with the "Love and Marriage" show later in the week. We did the Atlantis Dolphin Cay Deep Water Swim at Nassau and the entire family had a great time. The picture prices are outrageous, but it is what it is and a once in a lifetime event. Unfortunately our snorkeling excursion was cancelled at Freeport due to rain. The sun did come out later and we shopped a bit at the marketplace, just off the ship. My biggest gripe was that some shows were scheduled at times were you couldn't attend them unless you decided to forego the sit down dinner. In my opinion, with a slight time adjustment, this could be avoided. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
I am an avid cruiser. If you read my other reviews you will see I have traveled many other lines and usually go with extended family. Have easily cruised 20 times and also frequent theme parks in Orlando area regularly. This trip on ... Read More
I am an avid cruiser. If you read my other reviews you will see I have traveled many other lines and usually go with extended family. Have easily cruised 20 times and also frequent theme parks in Orlando area regularly. This trip on Sunshine included my family of 4 (14 yr old son and 17 yr old daughter) my parents in 60s, aunt in 50s, cousins in their 30s and their kids (son 17, son 10, daughter 6) and also best friends in their 40s came along. Last year July, I cruised on the Sunshine and had such a fabulous time that I eagerly talked my group and also some other friends that I didn't mention, to book this ship for this Spring Break. Embarkation is smooth - no problems. It prob took about 30 min from checking in the front door to boarding ship. Had fantastic lunch as soon as we got on and was able to eat in the Havana Bar area were it is not crowded. The Havana bar also easily took care of finding that my hubby was already prepaid for drink package and gave him his sticker and we also decided to buy soda package for our 2 teens. No problems, and quick service (hint: tip a dollar and they bartenders will remember you and come serve you faster when there is a crowd). I am going to give overall summary of experience now: Cabins - Had balcony room and it was nice. It was on Deck 9 and easy to get to the center of action. Bad thing is that when you are Spring Breaking, kids run nonstop up the hall till around midnight. Not messing anything up, but it is not quiet so warning to book elsewhere if you like more quiet or cruise during a diff time of season. The stewardess kept our room clean and turned down. I didn't see her until day 3. She wasn't as friendly as most others I have had but she did a good job so no complaints there. ANother plus, fridge is now empty so you don't have that "junk" of snacks for sale to bother you so you can actually put stuff in there to keep cool for later. Dining - HIt and miss. Some of the wait staff was super attentive and some nights the food fantastic, other nights were so-so. The one night my group of 16 ate together was terrible. 2 of the members never even got their dessert. Also, the night of celebration for our anniversary and my daughter bday was not honored that night. Even though they did do it the next night, my extended family was not present so it was not as meaningful. One plus for the ship is that the wait for that large group was close to 40 min and they later sent some goodies through room service to apologize, nice touch. And a pointer, if you get the all inclusive drink package, you can get the large liter bottle of water for no charge. No you cant get it from your room as one lazy waiter tried to say because he didn't want to go to the back to get one - they will charge you. INSIST they give you one. It is convenient to have by pool or wake up thirsty in middle of night. Best eats - Guy Burgers and The Burrito Bar on deck 9. Ate there many times! Great location by the pool. My friend loved the Italian place in the Havana Bar area but the wait is long so be prepared to give them about 25-30 min for hot and fresh. And my mom loved the Wok also in the Havana Area. Eat at these 2 for lunch and it is no cost. Casino - It was def paying out more this go round than last. My cousin's hubby and my aunt came out ahead and while my friend and her hubby barely broke even, they both were awarded a free cruise that they are cashing in on this summer (they are big spenders so take that into consideration). The games are updated and I like the layout of this ship's casino. Many complain about walking through it to get the the any time dining room because of smoke, which is true, but as I nonsmoker I was not gagging. Spa and Guest Services - Here comes the gripe....My stepdad enjoys the steam room. Loves it. Last cruise he was upgraded to the spa room level on Sunshine so had no problems with access to any part of the spa. This cruise, he wanted to book on level 9 to be close to my family and less walk due to leg problems. Well, he makes it up to spa and the ladies tell him that he may not use the spa for free. He tells them that he was told the steam room was free and didn't want to use anything else. They still wouldn't let him in to use it. After I found out about this, I told him that yes that was for anyone to use for free without paying the $80 or whatever for the week. He went to guest services and they even agreed that YES he should have free access to the steam room and that the other services are for pay. Well, apparently the spa ladies still didn't get the memo. He went back to the spa, still was turned down, and so he asked to speak to a manager. He sat down for 30 min and NO ONE bothered to come help him or talk to him about this issue. This is unacceptable to treat a customer this way. On other matters that I won't get into, guest services were not as helpful as I have experienced on other sailings. Long lines for most of the day. And why not have a separate line for those who just need a copy of keys to get back and forth between cabins shared with kids. Ridiculous to wait 30 min to do this when it is a simple process.The lack of service in particular with these 2 areas really soured me on this beautiful ship that I so enjoyed just a few months previously. Bartenders - The true gems of the ship. The best service at Alchemy Bar and Havana Bar. Also the girls at the coffee/milk shake section are so hard working too. Very good tasting and they will customize any flavor - just ask! Entertainment - Loved Dr Seuss breakfast!! Yes yes yes!! So much fun for all. Hasbro game night - much fun! Singers - so -so to be honest. Didn't watch comedians. Live guitar was pretty good. Band in the Red Frog Pub very good! Overall - I can only give my experience 3 stars vs the 5 stars I gave it last summer. Too many irritating things with customer service and dining to truly be as satisfied. Would I go again....maybe if the price was right but I would be much more vocal in expressing my dissatisfaction onboard instead of the Carnival survey and here (but to be fair, I didn't want to waste time on complaints that I didn't think would change anything anyway). Your mileage may vary but this was my experience. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We were a family of 5 - two adults, 2 kids (6 & 7), and a grandparent. We booked this specific cruise primarily because we loved Half Moon Cay so much the first time, and we had been on 3 previous Carnival cruises. We understand that ... Read More
We were a family of 5 - two adults, 2 kids (6 & 7), and a grandparent. We booked this specific cruise primarily because we loved Half Moon Cay so much the first time, and we had been on 3 previous Carnival cruises. We understand that Carnival is somewhat of the “value” brand, but we had no issues with any of our prior trips. This one felt a bit different, though. I left this cruise feeling disappointed. I'll go over the major points that stuck with me, both the good and the bad. The cabin was ridiculously small. This was my 9th cruise, so I know a stateroom. This was noticeably tiny. Our cabin stewards were fine. We didn't have any special needs, so there wasn't much interaction with them. My kids hated Camp Carnival. I have no idea why. They had loved it on their first cruise, but this time they complained about it the entire time. It's also closed at awkward times periodically throughout the day. We are early diners, but CC was closed every day from 5-6 pm. This is the exact time we are trying to get ready for dinner, and having the kids in that tiny stateroom made it quite difficult. They did have a nice Waterpark area, and my older son enjoyed the slides, but the area was packed, absolutely nowhere for us to sit to watch them, and zero bar service. (more on this later) The weather wasn't great, so that hampered the outdoor activities, and there were very few coordinated activities for kids outside of the Camp. The food was totally fine. I have read reviews complaining about the food, but we had no 'bad' food experiences. The buffet was exactly on par with all others I have had, the Guy Fieri burgers and Blue Iguana (burrito bar) options were both fantastic! The food hours were weird, too. The buffet was the only thing that was open all day and evening, so it's your only option if you wanted to eat 'off hours'. My husband loved the omelet stations, offered at two locations each morning. The pizza was terrible. The mongolian wok was fair, maybe a bit sub-par but not gross. The 'cuban food' they advertise is 5-6 baskets of latin-inspired apps that were available for self-serve during the lunch times. No fresh-pressed cuban sandwiches that we were expecting. Main dining room food was totally decent. Good options, good service, and really good flavor on almost all items. Melting chocolate cake was offered every night for dessert, and it's mind-blowingly delicious. Room service was spotty, and fair quality. We ordered in-room continental breakfast on the day of an excursion, so we could get off the ship early. It arrived over 90 minutes late, and we had already left for the excursion. We ran late because we had to go eat breakfast at the super packed buffet. We ate at two of the premium restaurants, Cucina del Capitano and Farenheit 555. Both were superb. Cucina is $15 pp upcharge, and worth every penny. The steakhouse – Farenheit 555 – was beyond amazing. The upcharge for this one is $35 pp, but completely worth it. It was a true fine-dining experience, very much on par with a Ruth's Chris or Chop House. My husband and I both had 18 oz Ribeyes, and my mother had filet. Every bite, from the amuse-bouche to the desserts, were mouth-watering. Excellent service, fabulous food, and extensive wine list. We attended the Dr. Seuss-themed breakfast with the kids. It was $5 pp but very much worth it. The entire restaurant was decked out in Green Eggs and Ham and Cat in the Hat décor. The menu was custom made for the event, super adorable and had great themed food offerings (including Green Eggs and Ham, and stacked pancakes that looked like The Cat's Hat). The service is where I think I had my biggest issue. We are day drinkers – we go to bed really early because of the kids, so we like to have a few beverages in the afternoon and quit after dinner. There was literally NO beverage service to be found – in ANY of the common areas – during the day. Not by the waterslides, not where we played trivia, not in the lobby. In any of these areas, you had to go find a bar, which were not necessarily nearby, and even then every bar we tried to get near was 3-4 deep with people trying to order and one bartender on duty. We easily would have spent $100 or more on drinks if they had been accessible. (double-edged sword I guess, but a huge loss for Carnival all around). One very huge bright shining star in the beverage/service section is the Alchemy Bar. Very 'upscale' feel, where the mixologists make custom, and hand-crafted cocktails. They are true artists, and very entertaining to watch. The drinks take a while to make, so it's not a quick 'in and out' drink experience. The cocktails were way above average in quality, creativity, and flavor. The entertainment was very heavily geared toward the late-night crowd. There was literally nothing for us to do in the evening, as we ate dinner at 6:00, then had to get the kids ready for bed by 8:00. Now, I understand this isn't Carnival's responsibility, but I really wish they had offered some kind of show, comedy, or other cruise-y type entertainment earlier in the evening. We played Trivia a few times, but that was pretty much the only indoor activity to do during the day. We had a great time at Half Moon Cay, and other excursions were very fun as well. We do hate how far you have to walk to get the lunch on HMC. If you're situated at the far end by the little waterslides, your looking at about a 15-minute walk to the food. The kids weren't having that, so we headed back to the ship a little earlier than we wanted to. I have a feeling that people on the ship who either didn't have kids, or who could stay up later to enjoy the activities, likely had a better time that we did. All in all I think there were good things and not so good. Nothing at all was insurmountable or awful. Maybe cruising isn't for us anymore, I'm not sure. I'll likely try another line (RCCL) before I make a decision for sure. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
My wife, adult daughter and I sailed on the Carnival Sunshine March 26 to April 3, 2016. We have been on numerous Carnival cruises and know what to expect. As usual, the Sunshine was very well maintained, Carnival really has this ... Read More
My wife, adult daughter and I sailed on the Carnival Sunshine March 26 to April 3, 2016. We have been on numerous Carnival cruises and know what to expect. As usual, the Sunshine was very well maintained, Carnival really has this part down to a science. This is especially impressive with the knowledge that 3700 passengers were on board a ship built for one thousand people less. We booked room 3108, an interior room that can accommodate four guests, two of which would be in pull down bunks. The location was very convenient on the lobby floor and surprisingly quiet. The room, although small, was sufficient for our needs. Our cabin steward, Roy, was most excellent! The only potential downside to this area of cabins is that they are located directly below a discombobulated mess called the Liquid Lounge, which "transforms" into a nightclub after the shows. We were fortunate to have not been negatively impacted with the sub woofer thump generally associated with late night venues. We use Anytime Dining. You have to go to the fifth floor mid ship to check in, then go to the third floor aft Sunrise Restaurant level. Huh? After further review, it is the only way they could accommodate guests. There is simply no room in the Dining room entry to handle more than a handful of guests. Again, the ship is simply not designed to handle the number of guests they now book on it, and this was their "solution". We found the dining rooms to provide pretty good food, but the service was definitely hit or miss. In my opinion, half the staff was poorly trained. I can't say overworked because I saw staff everywhere and the dining room was never full, not even close. They consistently missed the mark on the basics, standard stuff like water, baked potato toppings, clearing table between courses in a timely fashion, etc. Waitstaff 101 stuff. As for the "American Table" menu transformation, not bad. Offering a variety of entrees from beef to chicken to fish every night. I will admit the menu was redundant after a few days. I found the menu to offer less choices than previous cruise menus. An example, the new menu only offers a Caesar Salad, gone are the House or Garden salad options. We have learned from experience not to expect anything spectacular in regards to entertainment on a Carnival cruise, this cruise was no different. Entertainment comprised of a handful of DJs, a couple of solo guitar players, a piano bar entertainer, a couple of comedians (who work a way to small venue), Karaoke, trivia contests, and totally unforgettable Liquid Lounge shows. The Cruise Director, an Australian bloke named Donkey was energetic, but aside from hawking and upselling services, really had nothing to add. Entertainment can be summed up best this way: Carnival is aware they have to provide some kind of entertainment, and in true Carnival fashion, bare minimum is exactly what they do. The ports (Aruba, Curacao and Grand Turk) are what you make of them. We enjoyed all three. If you are not into beaches and water activities, these three islands are not for you. If you have made it to this point of my review, you might be saying this is an incredibly negative review. Not really, we have been on many cruises before and there were no surprises on this cruise. The point is: this is a Carnival cruise. We knew the ship was redesigned with profit, not passengers in mind. We knew the dining options were good, but definitely not 4 star. We knew there would be more people than the ship could comfortably handle. We knew the entertainment was seriously lacking. Now you know too! If you embark with this knowledge, you will have a very good experience on the Carnival Sunshine. Adjust your schedule where you can to avoid the crowds. It is what you make of it. Would I do this cruise again? Yes. Affordable, no frills cruise to great destinations. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
After reading other reviews I have to share our experience. We had a blast! The ship was nice, yes some wear and tear but that is to be expected, it has been around a long time. We never smelled any sewer smell like I have read in previous ... Read More
After reading other reviews I have to share our experience. We had a blast! The ship was nice, yes some wear and tear but that is to be expected, it has been around a long time. We never smelled any sewer smell like I have read in previous posts, and the water tasted fine. It has been updated with great additions, water slides, Guys burger joint, lots of activities and a great fun squad with the most fun cruise director (yeah Donkey!)we have had in 14 other cruises. Was it perfect? Of course not. There are not enough deck chairs and if you wanted one on a sea day you had to be in it by 8 AM and not leave it unless you wanted your stuff taken and given to the towel station. Also the food could use some help, not a lot of gluten free choices even in the dining room. And wait service gets interrupted when on time dining people are sat with nightly diners and the wait staff have to start serving people all over again. Also there were a lot of unattended children running around wrecking havoc making messes banging on cabin doors, yelling down the halls at 1 AM, hanging out in stairways etc and nobody on the ship seemed to notice which was aggravating. But we had beautiful weather, beautiful ports. lots of activities and a really fun time! Your vacation is what you make of it, you can't expect perfection and need to just make the best of things. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
I took my daughter and two granddaughters (ages 7 & 10) for an 8 day cruise on the Sunshine in March. We're frequent cruisers but it was our first time on this ship. The layout is similar to other Carnival ships. Our cabin was ... Read More
I took my daughter and two granddaughters (ages 7 & 10) for an 8 day cruise on the Sunshine in March. We're frequent cruisers but it was our first time on this ship. The layout is similar to other Carnival ships. Our cabin was on deck 3 just a few doors down from the service desk. This proved to be a great location - very convenient to everywhere we wanted to go on the ship. I loved the deck right outside and our 4J cabin had a very nice picture window. Even though there were activities in the Atrium in the evening, the noise in our cabin was minimal and silent after 10:30pm. We found the service to be very good. Our room steward did a good job and our dining room team was excellent. We all enjoyed the food everywhere on the ship. The grandkids ordered from the adult menu every night for dinner. They also enjoyed the activities provided by Camp Carnival - even being in different age groups did not bother them in the least. The entertainment staff was full of energy and did a great job getting everyone to participate. The singers and dancers were very professional. We enjoyed the shows. We used the Carnival transportation to the beach in Aruba and the excursion to the Ostrich Farm in Curacao. We considered both well worth the cost. We did self-assist to debark and it couldn't have been easier. We were the first group called and the gangway was right off deck 3. My husband and I will be on the Vista in October and the kids can't wait for our next Girls Cruise. We enjoy cruising on Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
I have been cruising for some time and this was the worst ship, and cruise I have ever been on. I was so looking forward to this cruise. I took my grandkids, and three of my teenage neices with me. It was all of their first cruises. ... Read More
I have been cruising for some time and this was the worst ship, and cruise I have ever been on. I was so looking forward to this cruise. I took my grandkids, and three of my teenage neices with me. It was all of their first cruises. The beds in the room was in the wrong configuration. I had to move them myself and ask for another mattress that would fit. Finally got it done. The service(or lack of) in the dining room, was unbelievable!!! I allowed for problems the first night, but after the second I had to say something. They seemed to try, but to no avail. I have NEVER seen such BAD service.In my opinion, the activities were really lacking. Nothing seemed to go off without a problem. Also the bar service or lack of service. I thought the drink package was a waste, because I could not get service. I complained by the pool, and it got better for a while, but didnt last. I couldnt get a drink where they had karaoke , bingo, or the show.But most of all, by the pool. Also NO CHAIRS!!! I just wanted to go home. The lines at guest services were always long. I hated the way they did the pictures. I couldnt find half of mine. I ordered stuff months in advance for Easter for the kids, and wasn't notified until I was onboard that they were discontinued.The caribbean party was awful. Not one song that had a caribbean sound. VERY DISAPPOINTING !!!!! This was my third Carnival cruise and my last. If this is all they can do.. KEEP it!!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We chose this cruise for 3 reasons: 1) We love Carnival Cruise Lines; 2) A ship we haven't been on yet and 3) It was over our daughter's spring break schedule for school. We flew the morning of from Virginia to Orlando airport ... Read More
We chose this cruise for 3 reasons: 1) We love Carnival Cruise Lines; 2) A ship we haven't been on yet and 3) It was over our daughter's spring break schedule for school. We flew the morning of from Virginia to Orlando airport and purchasd a Limo service for less than a taxi would take us for. A-1 Limousine was the name of the company and they were great. It was cute watching my daughter see her name on a placard (it was a surprise) she thought she was in trouble and initially didn't understand why her name was being held on a sign by a guy in a suit. Not one for crowds in a shuttle bus! Embarkation is only a nightmare when something delays it (Coast Guard Inspections, something broken on the ship etc..). It doesn't matter what port you are in! In this case, we heard that there was some piping repairs taking place which delayed embarkation a little and the terminal got packed. The crew personnel, as always, were amazing. It still baffles me that crew members that I have met a few years ago remember my wife and my names. The layout is pretty funky in the sense that, if you have cruised on Carnival ships previously, some of the passageways that we normally use to get around are not on this vessel (i.e. every other ship has a passageway behind the elevators near the casino). It took a bit to get used to getting around on here. This is also the first ship that had a check-in area for Your TIme Dining (YTD), it was on Deck 5. You stood in line and then got a table number then went down to the dining room and we were seated. Food quality was similar to what we have had in the past on Carnival. Service is always outstanding. Rooms were a little dated and smaller than we are used to, but there was still room for all the normal things that we bring. We have been to all the ports previously (Aruba, Curacao and Grand Turk). We rarely purchase any excursions and we didn't this time. We prefer to wander the local area and sample local restaurants. In Aruba, we walked around and purchased a few souveniers and had lunch at Iguana Joe's - outstanding place to eat! Service is great too! In Curacao, we just walked the port and took in the small quaint shops. Grand Turk is one of our favorites as we love the party atmosphere at Margaritaville - had a good time again. A friend whom we had met a few years ago on a cruise joined us on this one (4th time together), we always have a great time and like always we met some great people just hanging out on Lido and in the casino. Debarkation went smotthly, but we self-assist and are Platinum. Limo was there again to pick us up and go back to the Orlando airport. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We traveled with our 3 kids and niece, ages 14-16. Ship was completely booked. Overall we had a great trip. The weather was excellent and we loved all 3 stops, Aruba, Curacao and Grand Turk. This was our 8th cruise with Carnival in the ... Read More
We traveled with our 3 kids and niece, ages 14-16. Ship was completely booked. Overall we had a great trip. The weather was excellent and we loved all 3 stops, Aruba, Curacao and Grand Turk. This was our 8th cruise with Carnival in the last 3 years and 2nd on the Sunshine in the last year. We had a great trip and no major complaints. I'll list below our pros and cons but please keep in mind these are our opinions and I do realize everyone has their own tastes. PROS: - clean ship, didn't smell the sewage smell I've seen many post about. - friendly ship staff in all areas - room steward was patient (our teenage boys are slobs) and friendly - Guys Burger Joint, Burrito Bar, Asian and Italian kitchen were GREAT - casino bar tenders were quick with service - excellent shows on nights shows were offered. Talented singers - cruise director "Donkey" was very entertaining and kept cruisers busy - embarkation and debarkation was very smooth on this trip, port Canaveral was on point - for park and ride use LOTS OF HONOR. VERY HAPPY WITH THEM CONS: - dinner was very slow, but if you don't plan on seeing shows no problem - GET UP EARLY IF YOU WANT POOL CHAIRS!!! good chairs are gone by 7am - only 2 small pools, one for adults and one for kids to pee in... enough said - crowded areas, the pool and outdoor eating areas are very tight quarters. Overall, though this is a newer redone ship, it is nice but Carnival went backwards in some deck plans. I'd cruise again on the Sunshine, but it's not on my list of favorites. FOR PARENTS WITH TEENAGERS: Everyone raises their children differently so I'll keep this opinion short and sweet. DO NOT TRUST THAT CARNIVAL SECURITY WILL KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR YOUR KIDS WELL BEING. At night in the back of the ship theres an area called the Havana Bar where a DJ plays music, this to me is equivalent to an underage strip club. The activity that goes on back there is not where I wanted my kids hanging out, although we found ourselves searching for them back there on two different nights. Couldn't believe what goes on back there. AND ANOTHER TIP, IF YOU CANT FIND YOUR SON OR DAUGHTER AT NIGHT, LOOK IN THE CABANAS ON THER SERENITY DECK, these kids leave the Havana Bar and sneak up there. I know these teenagers want to stay up all night but I think Carnival could offer something better than the scene they currently provide for these kids, AND SECURITY JUST WATCHES ALL THIS HAPPEN, they only step in if there is a fight. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We chose this cruise because we had had good experiences with Carnival cruises in the recent past. But this ship has to be one of Carnival's poorest vessels.For example, the staterooms have no refrigerators... isn't that strange? ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had had good experiences with Carnival cruises in the recent past. But this ship has to be one of Carnival's poorest vessels.For example, the staterooms have no refrigerators... isn't that strange? And, despite the fairly recent refurbishing, the ship's features are very average, with the main dining room being almost dowdy. The food in the big dining room was very average, and the service was of the 'trainee' variety. One could usually do better by going to the self-serve buffet. Very disappointing! Embarkation in Port Canaveral was excellent; the safety drill was the most disorganized effort we have witnessed in 20 years of cruising, and disembarking was a horror show. We were left with the feeling that "we have you money, now get the hell out of here". On a more positive note, the entertainment was probably the best we have encountered in recent memory. The house band (the 'Run for Cover' band) was super, and the several pub entertainers were all top notch. This served to rescue an otherwise completely forgettable cruise experience. Finally, the ship was overcrowded... a bit like shopping at Walmart, Thinking of cruising with Carnival? Choose your ship wisely. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This was my first cruise ever and I have a fear of water and boats. Overall I have to say Carnival Sunshine did a really good job. The room was better than I thought and the crew was awesome. Every time we left the room, we came back ... Read More
This was my first cruise ever and I have a fear of water and boats. Overall I have to say Carnival Sunshine did a really good job. The room was better than I thought and the crew was awesome. Every time we left the room, we came back and the room was cleaned and the guy who maintained the room for our deck was great. Always smiley and friendly. There was tons to do. We went with a group of 16 for a wedding and always found something to do. We had a blast. I gave Carnival Sunshine a high rating. The only complaints I really have is I paid extra for the spa balcony room and I didn't find any extra perks. I thought we were to have access to a part of the ship that was adults only on the very top deck, but the whole ship was open to everyone of all ages. Also, when we tried to book spa appointments we were turned down due to no openings. However, while I was standing there other people walked right up and asked for a massage and they told them yes. I don't know if you have to be a VIP or something to get priority access, but it was pointless for us to pay extra on the spa deck. Also, it was frustrating when we did get in to get a massage they used half of our time on the clock to sell us products. If I'm still on the clock for my 90 minute massage, they shouldn't be talking to me about products. The ship was completely full and it was packed! We had 3 days at sea before we reached port and you never could find a chair to lay out. People would lay towels down to reserve their chair and never came back. Someone needs to rethink this whole process. Maybe someone goes around and monitors chairs. As far as food the dining room was really good, but the buffet was just okay and sometimes they closed down. If you missed that window for the buffet then you were just out of luck. Also, I felt everything cost so much. Some drinks were like $10+ and the cruise itself was high. We attended a family members wedding on the cruise and Carnival Sunshine did a great job. They did any exceptional job on the wedding pictures and video, but be prepared to spend a lot of money to get the pictures and video. The dining room was great especially if you are with a group of people. We tried all kinds of different food and there was lots to choose from and you could get multiple items. They had an app you could use to chat with each other, but internet costs a lot of money to get. Would I book with carnival again? That's tough to say, because I was afraid of being on a ship. I have a fear of water. I only went since it was a family member getting married. We had one day that we hit some rough waters. If I didn't have anxiety about that, then yes I would book a trip with them again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Embarkation was excellent, on board within 30 minutes of arrival. The room was in excellent shape and to our surprise we had a refrigerator in the room, all of the comments suggested this was not the case on the sunshine so we brought ... Read More
Embarkation was excellent, on board within 30 minutes of arrival. The room was in excellent shape and to our surprise we had a refrigerator in the room, all of the comments suggested this was not the case on the sunshine so we brought a cooler to adapt. We found no problems with understaffing, Bar staff were prompt at returning to our table for refreshing our drinks and always smiling and fun. Had a ball with Cruise Director Donkey, the voice from above, and enjoyed the shows , piano bar, atrium bar entertainment, Red Frog pub, a few trivia contests, the previous cruisers party etc.... Dining room staff were enjoyable and attentive to our needs, found the food to be cruise perfect. We enjoyed all of our ports of call. Upon arrival back to Port Canaveral there was a problem in the terminal that delayed debarkation but Carnival staff (donkey) kept us informed and nobody was showing any signs of irritation, things happen, Got off the ship about an hour late but sailed right through customs with no other issues. Would definitely cruise the Sunshine again with no hesitation. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
First, I must say, this cruise was a deal (price) considering the awesome ports we visited: St. Marten, St. Kitts, Puerto Rico, and Grand Turk. So considering I paid a bargain price, I feel I received what I paid for. She is a pretty ... Read More
First, I must say, this cruise was a deal (price) considering the awesome ports we visited: St. Marten, St. Kitts, Puerto Rico, and Grand Turk. So considering I paid a bargain price, I feel I received what I paid for. She is a pretty ship. The Serenity decks are outstanding. The main pool deck seemed overcrowded, but no less fun. The buffet food and MDR food were adequate. A few food items were outstanding. The cruise director, "Donkey" was lots of fun and very energetic. Every evening show I went to was worth my time and enjoyable. I played plenty of bingo, but did not win. I went to the PG and the 18+ versions of the comedy shows almost every night. I thought the comedy was excellent. Our wait staff "Kristian" and "Dominic" were outstanding. Though I could tell they struggled with learning the new "American Table" menu. They often asked us to repeat ourselves when trying to order. Dinner service the first few nights was unusually slow, but improved as the cruise progressed. The ship had lots of comfortable spots from the atrium, to the red Frug pub, to Ocean Plaza, to the piano bar, to the SPA and work out facilities. The casino was far too smokey for me and the smoke smell filtered up to the floors and sleep rooms above. Our room on 7th floor smelled of smoke on day one. Our room stewardess "Ina" could not have been more wonderful. She steamed our carpet for 3 days, made sure we had an air freshener, and checked on us to make sure we were happy often. Her efforts from day one ensured our cabin smelled better. She was fantastic, always, smiling, cheerful, friendly, and helpful. We had calm seas, sunny skys, perfect warm weather and great ports of call. The ship was as clean as I expected. We had a wonderful time, and although this was not my favorite ship due to some of the wear and tear/age of the ship and smell issues, it was just fine. You get what you pay for. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We previously sailed on this vessel when it was the Destiny and had a great cruise. Since the makeover to Sunshine, many of the features of the Destiny that appealed to us are gone. The ship was fully booked. There were insufficient staff ... Read More
We previously sailed on this vessel when it was the Destiny and had a great cruise. Since the makeover to Sunshine, many of the features of the Destiny that appealed to us are gone. The ship was fully booked. There were insufficient staff for the number of passengers onboard. The bar service was attrocious, with long waits to obtain a drink (15-20 minutes in some cases). There were virtually no "roving" cocktaile waiters as there were on the Destiny. The restaurant meals were marginally OK but the staff service in the restaurant was terrible. We didn't eat there the last two nights it was so poor. Rather, we ate at two of the pay for meals venues of which one was excellent (Bonsai Sushi Bar ) and one way overpriced (Farenheight 555 @ $35/person). The entrees was marginally OK but the service was slow, with many of the pre-dinner appetizers and offerings poor and tasteless. The accomodations for handicapped people onboard was very poor and the staff reluctant to assist in any way. The Customers Service desk was grossly understaffed with long waits to accomplish any requests or resolve issues. The acoustics on this ship were terrible. They must have outfitted the communications system with slaes from Radio Shack before they went out of business - defining ly load and at time difficult to understad what was being said. Depending on where you were it was ear piercing. and frankly unhealthy. Furthermore, the way handicapped people were embarked and disembarked was terrible. Our experiences with handicapped proceedures at Ft. Lauderdale, Miami and Tampa on Carnival were excellent. On all of our 6 other Carnival cruises we'd give a 9 or 10 out 0f ten rating. On this one a 4 or 5, Bottomline, they have "cheapened" the experience trying to save money - drinks more expensive, service poor, food marginally acceptable and on and on. It will cost them in the long run.Very disappointed. Next year, we'll try Royal Carribean to see what they have to offer. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We are experienced cruisers. We chose this cruise as a family so our grandkids could experience cruising for the first time. It was a choice of economy, as we have only done Carnival one other time. There were some good and some not so ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers. We chose this cruise as a family so our grandkids could experience cruising for the first time. It was a choice of economy, as we have only done Carnival one other time. There were some good and some not so good experiences, but it is important to keep your expectations in check. For us, it was being with family and watching our grandkids have many first-time experiences! CHECK! I must say that I felt sorry for the staff as the boat was oversold and understaffed. It was hard to move about the boat and one small pool on the Lido deck is not enough. They have the pool in the adult only area, but many of the adults with no kids chose to sit around the pool on the main deck. We ended up at the back of the ship by the slides which was quieter and allowed us to get wet when we were too hot. JUST TOO MANY PEOPLE! Though this was Spring Break time, we heard there were even more people on the boat the week before. Not sure if this is standard numbers, or just because it was Spring Break time, but nonetheless, it isn't fair to the staff or the travelers. It was hard to get a drink of any sort, even if you went up to the bar. My grandson stood in line behind 3 people with his Bubbles card and he was completely ignored by the wait staff and other guests. Our daughter and family purchased beverage packages for the kids and it was nearly impossible to get drinks, even at dinner time. They also purchased the adult beverage package and same problem. It seemed once they knew you had the package, they waited on other passengers first. My daughter complained and they refunded her package prices. Interestingly enough, that evening after they took their stickers off their cards, the sodas were waiting for the kids in their places when we arrived for dinner and such was the case each night. Not sure what their internal policies are for those that purchase the package, but unless you drink ALOT, it does not pay for itself and you will receive substandard service. We loved the activities of the slides, skywalk, foosball, pool tables, chess, Twister, etc. that were available on this ship because of the kids. We spent most afternoons and evenings as a family playing games and this is my fondest memory of the cruise. This of course may not be the case if you do not have children (or grandchildren) who would enjoy these activities. The slides were great! Two were fast and one was slower. The kids and adults enjoyed the slides! We were in cabin 2215 and it was roomy, well equipped and adequate for our limited time in the room. Our steward Elio was very attentive and learned our names and schedules but was not intrusive. Our daughters was invasive and never learned their schedule and while they were napping, he would knock on the door. We loved ELIO. Sadly, he was sick the last day and we were unable to compliment him personally for his quietly attentive service and give him an additional tip. We gave it to his assistant and made sure he knew we appreciated their hard work. Bed was not all that comfortable and there is a deck above the room and often times there would be banging of lounge chairs or sliding them across the floor. We had very noisy neighbors! There was a large group of people traveling together who partied into the night and then roamed the halls going room to room. I looked out once and they laughed at me asking if someone had tried to come into our room. They had no clue they were being disruptive. People need to be more considerate of others, especially at night! Our waiters at table 121 in the main dining were friendly and attentive, but despite sitting next to the kitchen, we were often the last ones in the dining room. The wait staff tried very hard to provide good service, but often our wine came at the time of dessert, if at all. As well as the kids' drinks before cancelling the package. Several times we asked for stuff and never received it and the waiter said "Oh, I forgot!" He was very cordial about it, but I think they were just understaffed. The food was just "OK!" Good variety, but for healthy eaters who don't like a lot of carbs, gravies, grease or sauces, it was a little disappointing. I tried something new each night and better descriptions on the menu would have been helpful as I am a picky eater due to health reasons, but often couldn't eat what I ordered. My daughter didn't eat hers a couple of nights either as it wasn't what we expected. Our kids and grandkids loved the chocolate cake. My husband loved the variety of desserts and tried something new each night. I only had bites, but found the desserts good. We still tipped the wait staff as they really did try, but there could be much improvement done in the dining experience. We celebrated our anniversary and our son-in-law's birthday while on the ship. The wait staff almost forgot and when almost everyone was gone, we got a cute song by our waiters and MORE dessert after already having dessert. It was such a sweet gesture, but not well planned. Again, I think because it was the first night and they were understaffed, service was compromised. We did appreciate the $25 wine certificate and $50 Spa certificate we got for our Anniversary. We did not use the Spa certificate as we use spa services at home locally that are much more economical, but we enjoyed the wine certificate, only paying $10 plus tip for a bottle of wine. It was compliments of our Cabin Steward the card said, so THANK YOU! Our Son-in-Law got two wine certificates and one spa for his birthday. We did not do any excursions through the ship. We were among the last tendered to Half Moon Cay and enjoyed walking the beach, laying in lawn chairs, renting a floating mattress and snorkel gear and the ship buffet which was very good. Had something for everyone and was plentiful. We enjoyed walking along the sidewalk paths and finding little surprises. A misting station among one of them. Again, bar service was not good at all. Saved us money though! I did find a little bar with two workers on the way to the buffet tucked behind the wooden Captain Morgan ship, so go there if you want a drink faster. The water was amazingly beautiful. Nothing to see while snorkeling right there, but we were just getting the kids used to the process and playing around in the water. BE sure to check the expiration date on your sunscreen and don't use it if left over from the year before. We had lots of red feet and faces at the dinner table, despite good intentions. In Nassau, we were very disappointed in the condition of the port area. The people were clingy, rude, and the odor was horrible. Prices in some larger shops were very high. We went back onto the ship after walking around for a bit while waiting for our kids and grands to meet up. We ended up doing the Catamaran Snorkel through the ship and it was another highlight of the trip. The 8:30 cruise was crammed full of people, but the 11:30 one had perhaps 20 people and we got personal service from the "Yes Dear" crew. I was glad, as it was our grandchildren's first time out in the ocean away from shore to snorkel. We saw A LOT OF FISH, stingrays, starfish, etc. It wasn't the best snorkeling we have ever done, but for our family, it was perfect! After snorkeling, we did walk to Senor Frogs and went to the bathroom and party was well underway. Certainly not a place for kids, but we had to go! We got some Rum Cakes, other souvenirs and got back onto the ship. We did not feel safe quite honestly. Freeport port area was very clean and quaint. The people were quiet solicitors and had some great cultural wares. We took a taxi to Junkanoo beach. It was $14 round trip plus tip. You will be given a card to be used for the return trip, so don't give the driver the full tip as we still tipped our return driver. Our taxi driver to the beach was a little crude in describing the culture (much drinking, carousing, etc.) but woven in was a good lesson on the culture with regard to education and medicine. He needed to be more mindful of his passengers and presence of kids and Grandma's. Junkanoo beach was nice, but nothing fantastic. The rent Jet-ski's, kayaks, etc. We were in the sun and pretty water, had lawn chairs that were pretty worn and an umbrella too which I believe our kids paid for. Pretty small and we were gouged for snorkeling masks and the area did not offer much in terms of fish or sea life, except for sea urchins. With 7 people, the excursions can get a little expensive. I am so glad we did do the catamaran though! Overall, the ship was fine for us as our priorities were to be with our family doing what they wanted to do and sharing in the many "first's" they experienced. This is not a ship that will wow you you, nor did we really expect it to. Our ocean view room on floor two worked well for us. We usually get balcony and realized we don't need to pay the extra. We did not smell the sewer smell at all that many have mentioned. The windows were dirty on all levels so taking photos out the windows did not work well. The embarkation and debarkation were very good, except there was a little back-up in the beginning and security had to stop putting people through. But at the ports, it seemed very smooth to us, though we were not doing excursions and got off at our leisure. One thing we noticed is that despite warnings on the website, policies and signs at the Port, lots of people still brought bottled water and juices aboard and, they were all taken. Do not bring plastic bottles onto the ship or you will lose them. We did order before we went and it was waiting in our room when we arrived. With the move to more casual dining, it seems most ships have lost the wow factor with ice sculptures, food carvings, and exceptional service as in days gone by. If you are not a seasoned cruiser, you would not miss it. We sure did and while we realize Carnival was the least expensive for all of our family to go, we can honestly say it won't be a contender for future cruises. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
I have to admit after reading all the negative reviews I thought twice about booking on the Sunshine. I'm glad I ignored them. You get out of a cruise what you make of it. The new décor with the refurbishing was much more ... Read More
I have to admit after reading all the negative reviews I thought twice about booking on the Sunshine. I'm glad I ignored them. You get out of a cruise what you make of it. The new décor with the refurbishing was much more appealing than the old Vegas style décor. The food areas looked much more modern than on other ships. I also loved that the main dining room did not seat you with other people you did not know, as they do on some other ships. All tables were individualized so that just your party was together. I read several complaints that the ship was hard to navigate around. I am assuming these were first time cruisers, as this ship had a very similar layout to the other 3 cruises I have taken with Carnival and actually found it quite easy to navigate. All carnival ships have floors that do not directly lead from one end of the ship to the other. For those people who have never taken a cruise, it may seem confusing. The adult only area is beautiful and comfortable. The main pool area is too small and it is very difficult to find on chair on sea days, but the sports complex and water park make up for that. My 8 year old son was NEVER bored and constantly wanted to be in the sports area. The only complaint I had was that the older kids manipulate the basketball court and rarely let the little kids get in on an "organized game". In order for the smaller kids to play basketball you have to go at odd times when the teenagers are doing something else. The ropes course was fun. However, even though there is a height requirement it is very difficult for younger children to reach the "support" rope that assists them across the obstacles. I was worried about the smell that a lot of people talked about. The first day we were on the ship I noticed a strange smell, but it did not smell like sewer and I only noticed it the first day. The food was good. I had some average meals and I had some great meals. We ate at the steak house one night and it was excellent. Our wait staff was friendly and quick. We also attended the one time sea day brunch and breakfast with Dr. Seuss. Both were worth it. My son really enjoyed breakfast with Dr. Seuss. It was worth the $5 extra charge. Waits at the bar to get a soda were very long, but it's a cruise with thousands of other people. Waits are going to happen. I feel this is just something that is to be expected when on a cruise. As always the Guys Burger line is always long, because it's so good!!! The pizza line was also often long too but well worth the wait. Embarkation and debarkation were the smoothest I have been thru. It was quick and organized and on time. I had purchased faster to the fun and while others were waiting for their room to be cleaned, our was ready when we arrived. If you want a fun ship with lots to do for kids this is a great ship. Again, people who want to have fun will and people who want to complain will complain. There is no need to hesitate in booking this ship!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
After reading reviews we were worried that this cruise would be a disappointment. We had a great experience. We haven't sailed with Carnival for 7 years and our last two cruises were on Disney ships. The staff aboard the Sunshine were ... Read More
After reading reviews we were worried that this cruise would be a disappointment. We had a great experience. We haven't sailed with Carnival for 7 years and our last two cruises were on Disney ships. The staff aboard the Sunshine were friendly and very hard working. The food for the most part was great. There were a couple of main dishes in the dining rooms that we did not like. Guy's burgers were good. Several times we went just for a snack of the fries. Blue Iguana was wonderful, great breakfast burritos and addictive shrimp tacos. We ate JiJi and Cucina for lunch, both were amazing! The buffet was hit and miss but we always managed to find something good to eat. The only disappointment with the food was the desserts. We easily solved that problem by eating several ice cream cones each day. We had no issues with our stateroom. It was always well attended to by our steward, the bed was very comfortable, the a/c worked great and we had no unusual smells. The ship has been wonderfully remodeled. You can still see that it is an older ship that was given a face lift. The areas that we loved were the Havana Bar, Ocean Plaza, and the adult only pool area. The library bar was always quiet and a great place to hang out. I heard a lot of fun coming from the Piano Bar but unfortunately we didn't make it there. We caught 3 shows in the Punchliner Club and one had us laughing from start to finish. Hasbro the game show was a hit. We purchased faster to the fun and believe overall it was worth it. Our bags did not arrive as quickly as we thought they would. We had a great time at Half Moon Cay. The water and the sand are like nothing we have ever seen before. We also stopped at Freeport and Nassau. Freeport is much nicer than Nassau. We did not like the strong smell of smoke around the casino area and many times the odor would be left in elevators that smokers traveled in, this is not a horrible thing just gross because we are not smokers and something we are not accustomed to coming from Disney cruises. There was a bit of crowding in some hallways when people were out and about. There are also a couple spots on the ship that felt almost maze like to navigate around. Embarkation was easy with faster to the fun, debarkation was extremely fast. We chose to take our own bags off and we exited the ship and were through customs by 8am. Overall it was a perfect cruise! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
to summarize: there were some really good things, but few and far between. biggest beef was with service and our rooms (6342 and 6340) that were falling apart, they didn't do much about it. Clean ship, rooms were pretty tight, we ... Read More
to summarize: there were some really good things, but few and far between. biggest beef was with service and our rooms (6342 and 6340) that were falling apart, they didn't do much about it. Clean ship, rooms were pretty tight, we had inside cabins. showers were bigger but hard not to get water all over the floor and not much ventilation in bathroom, very humid - a bathing suit hung inside shower on string all night was still very wet in the morning. I will be honest, there was some great things: Embarkation was terrible long. not sure if this was because of the port or customs, might not have been Carnivals fault but it was by far the longest I have ever had to wait to get onto a ship. The food, as long as it wasn't from the main dining room or buffet, was FANTASTIC!! Guys burgers, taco/burrito (breakfast too), pasta bar lunch, pizza, deli, noodle bar lunch, Havana bar, and taste bar were really above standards and we loved them. main dining wasn't so good, steak was a mystery cut that nobody could tell me what part of the cow it came from! buffet was average. camp carnival was fun for kids, it was expensive but they offered extended hours in the camp until 1am. we didn't got that late but did use it one night and the kids were kept entertained and not just thrown infront of a TV. water slides nice for kids, but no pool separate for kids, was disappointing for my swimmer kids. as always, packed like sardines on sea days, but that wasn't a surprise. entertainment was average in theatre except Epic Rock show (must see), and adult comedian were good. didn't like that outdoor smoking area was between the main pool and kids waterslides. Big beef was with rooms. one room had a dysfunctional bathroom door that wouldn't close or lock, so using that bathroom wasn't fun with kids. should have at least been fixed to at least latch closed, but they came a couple of times and just looked at it. I think the door was warped or something. then there was the water leak on the carpet of really foul smelling water, I don't think it was sewage but it really smelt musty. they just kept vacuuming it up and left a crazy load blower in the room. just made the smell worse in my opinion. then the toilet in one room would flush randomly and then flooded about 4 times. worse was the kids left their bathing suits on the floor that day and they were soaked. complained about it to guest services and they couldn't do anything on the spot, they would try and call us. they didn't call, they waited until debarkation morning and just slipped a new bill under the door giving us a $50 credit to each room. neither my wife or I thought that was acceptable, but there wasn't much we could do that morning. In summary if this cruise fits your budget or travel timing, then I guess its all you got, but if you are shopping around I would definibtely consider looking at other options. I read the reviews and saw the low star rating, ignored it mostly because this timing left on sunday and back Friday (5 day Bahamas) and it fit into my wifes schedule perfectly with the air travel. it wasn't the cheapest also, but it was the dates. I promise to listen to my fellow cruise critic cruisers in the future and write positive reviews instead!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
My family and I have been cruising for years from Royal Caribbean to Disney, usually with fond memories and anticipation to sail again. Unfortunately, Carnival Cruise Line particularly the Carnival Sunshine ruined this and provided us ... Read More
My family and I have been cruising for years from Royal Caribbean to Disney, usually with fond memories and anticipation to sail again. Unfortunately, Carnival Cruise Line particularly the Carnival Sunshine ruined this and provided us with the worst vacation we could imagine. The ship was dirty and the staff was rude to the point of argumentative. We also found out about the contempt the staff especially in the Havana Bar has for guests who purchase a "beverage plan". Apperantly the tips that are included in the plan so when they roll their eyes when you hand them the card the bartenders give you a look for not giving them extra. The buffets are pretty much a chow line with nothing fancy nothing imaginative. About the same you would expect at an office Christmas party. I was never so happy to get off the "scow" and back home. Very sad. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
I would first like to say that I was excited and curious because of all the negative reviews of the Sunshine. We chose her specifically for the itinerary since our party of four had a combined wish to see Aruba and Grand Turk and for the ... Read More
I would first like to say that I was excited and curious because of all the negative reviews of the Sunshine. We chose her specifically for the itinerary since our party of four had a combined wish to see Aruba and Grand Turk and for the Serenity decks ( always our favorite part of ships). We weren't disappointed. Even with the CDC delay at the port for embarkation ( which I was actually glad since the ship would be super clean) things went fairly well. So glad we opted for Faster to the Fun as we were first in line to finally get on and would not have wanted to be in that crazy line behind us. Prior to this, we used the Fly Snooze Cruise package from Comfort Suites in Cocoa Beach. All transportation was taken care of and our room was adequate(could use a little updating) plus free breakfast buffet and we were set. They were apprised of the delay at the port and modified transportation accordingly. Finally... ON THe SHIP! Our party had an inside Spa cabin and a balcony Spa cabin adjacent to each other on deck 12. Perfect location!! We were steps from all of the Serenity decks (3 in all!)and it was a surprisingly quiet floor when the door to the outside decks closed. Our cabins were 12021 and 12025 respectively. It turns out my hunch for 12021 was correct and it was a larger inside cabin with plenty of walkaround space on both sides of the bed and with a mini bar fridge much to the delight of my sister in law and her partner. Beautiful cabins...loved the décor and hues and the balcony for 12025 was quite large with a lounger, 2 chairs and a table. It was covered as well and the 4 of us spent many hilarious hours out there people and sea life watching. We also had the much maligned Your time dining which went off without a hitch. We checked into the system on Deck 5 near the Taste Bar and either got a pager or a seating immediately. It was just a short walk down the back stairs to the lovely Sunrise dining room. We had the new American Table menus and they were pretty decent. I missed having the complementary lobster on elegant nights but the Feast menu was pretty delicious as well. I made up for the lobster in shrimp extras lol. While I prefer having table cloths all of the time, the table settings were still very nice. Food was excellent and service impeccable. We also enjoyed the Lido Buffets, room.service breakfast ( though we sorely missed the smoked salmon selection) and the other offerings. We really liked sitting in the Havana bar for our casual meals as it was cool and uncrowded and they played great Latin music. Also, there were little Cuban tapas on offer at breakfast and lunch which were delicious! The Mongolian wok at lunchtime was fantastic but we never did try the Italian pasta buffet. I received a complimentary birthday dinner at either Jijis or the Cucina and we chose JiJis. It was served family style and it was delicious... Plenty of food for the 4 of us and we are big eaters! Truly authentic Asian specialties...best Kung Pao I have ever had. We also tried Guys burgers occasionally and the Iguana cantina tacos and burritos. All delicious! The Guinness float in the Shake place is not to be missed! The only annoying thing was the people trying to get out of washing their hands! Employees were stationed at food entry areas to make sure handwashing was happening and it was in everyone's best interest to use the auto washers and the waterless rub but there are always those that have to buck the system. It would serve them right to get ill but the 4 of stayed perfectly healthy. I was glad of the safe measures taken on board (condiments were given out by a crew member and not handled by guests, etc). The ship itself was configured a little differently than we were accustomed but it made it more interesting to find the hideaway places like the Limelight lounge, etc. The Liquid Lounge was smaller than other ships theaters and for some reason caused me and my brother in law to nod off every time we went in there. We preferred the previous format of shows that were done in the Vegas style with dancers rather than the multiple.mediocre singers and lacking sets, maybe that is why we couldn't stay awake in there! Bed hoarding and reserving continued to be a.problem but the crew initiated the timer system toward the end of the cruise. We noticed people on deck before light placing items on chairs and then not arriving until 9 or 10 am. That could use more policing but it puts the crew in a bad position and it shouldn't have to be that way. We were very lucky with weather and sea conditions throughout the cruise and we loved all of the ports and are anxious to return to them for a second or third look. Beautiful sea conditions for our sail and snorkel in Aruba, visibility was fantastic and I actually free dived and.touched the wreck of the Antilla. Curacao was stunning with its architecture and we welcomed the rain shower in the afternoon after a day of walking and sightseeing. Grand Turk was pristine and we had a.wonderful day at Jack's Shack playing with Topher. The water was crystal clear turquoise and the Turk's Head beer went down a little too easily. We enjoyed our trek to the Conch graveyard and stayed away from the crowds at Margaritaville. I celebrated my 50 th birthday on the last seaday and it was my best birthday ever! Although we prefer the smaller ships with more outdoor space and decks, we will gladly return to the Sunshine as she has a lot to offer and is unique in her layout. People of course with their habits remain the downside to any cruise and the casino was horribly smoky but all in all she is a great ship and we had a wonderful cruise. Two in our party were first timers and.loved every minute of it...this was my seventh and DH's sixth so we had pretty good comparisons. Her decor is understated compared to others and that can be good or bad depending on your preference. The Serenity bar could stay open longer in the evening as we noticed it was really happening about the time it was closing and it was.close to the hot tub! It closed between 430 and 5 and the one evening it was supposed to be open late it was too windy for the top deck. If you are sitting the fence trying to decide to sail on her, giver her a go, you may be pleasantly surprised! We certainly were! Read Less
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
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
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 March 2016
Carnival Sunshine Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.0 N/A
Dining 4.0 3.6
Entertainment 5.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 3.7
Fitness & Recreation 5.0 N/A
Family 4.0 3.8
Shore Excursions 3.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 3.0 N/A
Service 4.0 4.0
Value for Money 5.0 N/A

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