We chose Carnival Sunshine because we love the new Carnival 2.0 features and the itinerary was perfect. It definitely felt much smaller than the usual ships we go on (Vista, Miracle, etc.) The Lido buffet area feels very small but the ... Read More
We chose Carnival Sunshine because we love the new Carnival 2.0 features and the itinerary was perfect. It definitely felt much smaller than the usual ships we go on (Vista, Miracle, etc.) The Lido buffet area feels very small but the trick is to utilize the Havana area for meals where most people don't look.
We were amazed at how well the ship was cleaned every day by all staff. Also, this was the friendliest staff we have experienced in a long time. Our entire family is Platinum, so we've been on a lot of cruises and over the past several years we have felt like the service is lacking. But this cruise revived our hopes! With only one or two exceptions, the crew was SPECTACULAR!
While the cabins are smaller, they are really well organized and we felt like we even had extra space in the room for storing clothes. However, the pull-down bed that overlapped above our bed caused me to hit my head a few times when I was waking up. I definitely missed the bigger cabins on other ships. I did enjoy the larger showers though (from the old style layout).
As a frequent cruiser, the specialty restaurants are a must for us to avoid the monotony of the main dining room. We loved all of the specialty restaurants and enjoyed the main dining room on the 2 nights we were there. The service was, again, terrific. The Lido buffet is truly wearing out, in my opinion. I do wish they'd switch it up a little bit for those of us that cruise often, but it helped me eat lighter during the day.
The Havana area on the back ok the Lido deck is absolutely beautiful with the floor to ceiling windows that overlook the back of the ship. We really enjoyed those tables for relaxing, eating, and playing cards. Such a view!
The ports on our ship were Aruba, Curacao, and Grand Turk. Grand Turk is a favorite of ours since it's so easy to just hop off and enjoy a day on the beach, get lunch back on the ship, and be so close to our cabin. Aruba was ok (the cruise terminal was small and the taxi line was poorly managed) and Curacoa is now one of my new favorite ports. Absolutely beautiful with great (unique Dutch/Holland) shopping, terrific beach, and a fun atmosphere within walking distance of the ship! I will say that getting cabs at some of these ports is frustrating and very stressful, especially with a large family (there are 12 of us). The taxi drivers can be so rude and pressure you into doing things you don't want to do. Aruba was the worst, with the taxis splitting us up without our ability to get our Carnival key cards sorted amongst the kids. This caused half our group to not be able to get into the cruise terminal because the kids in that group didn't have their key cards (which were the other half of us in another taxi). This was a TERRIBLE ordeal for us and was caused by the greediness of the taxi drivers and the high-stress situation they put us in. I think from now on I'll plan someone to pick us up ahead of time to avoid the taxi line and drivers.
Overall, this ship provided a terrific cruise. The Cruise Director, Mikey, was great. The ship was clean, service terrific, and pools and water park and obstacle course were open at all specified times. No big disappointments.
One mention I have to make - DJ Dawkness on the Lida pool area was the best DJ we've ever had. The other DJ they had was just ok - she played a bunch of rap junk (I'm 34 and it was too much for me). But DJ Dawkness - he was AMAZING! He played the best variety of music, didn't talk during the songs, and at a huge surprise for us, he devoted about 20-30 minutes on our Sunday morning by the pool to some worship music for a small church service. As a believer and follower of Jesus, this was the highlight of my trip. He wasn't forceful to those who didn't want to participate, but he offered so much encouragement and love to those of us there. The music was easy listening R&B Christian so that everyone could enjoy. No one there seemed upset, and those of us (especially me) that spend time with the Lord daily - this was like heaven. Worship on the Lido. So great. I can't thank him (and Carnival) enough for allowing this to happen. Sometimes I feel like Carnival caters so well to the drinkers, gamblers, and partyers, but as a Christian that finds my joy in other things, we can get overlooked. DJ Dawkness changed that for me - it was one of the best moments in cruising that I've ever had! :) Read Less