Sail Date: September 2019
First thing embarkation. Out of Charleston, SC was super easy no long lines and on and in the ship without faster to the fun. Hint- Deck 5 has BBQ that was awesome and we avoided the crazy Lido deck before leaving. Muster Drill- Is what ... Read More
First thing embarkation. Out of Charleston, SC was super easy no long lines and on and in the ship without faster to the fun. Hint- Deck 5 has BBQ that was awesome and we avoided the crazy Lido deck before leaving. Muster Drill- Is what it is. James made it fun when we got to the area. Just do it and get it over with. Dinner-food was above average in dinning room. JIJI and Bonzai Sushi was the best food on the ship 5/5. The steakhouse had a horrible hostess made us not go back. The steak was only okay but for $38.00 you get enough food to make up for it. Entertainment-all the shows were nice and the comedians were really funny. Bars- Inside bars are the best and can make any drink. Serenity deck could only do basic drinks and frozen stuff. Great cruise and will do it again in the future. Highly recommend. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
Although we are seasoned cruisers, this was only our second cruise on Carnival. Last year, we cruised on the Triumph out of NOLA and had a really great time! With the exception of rain we had a great time! We did not fair well with ... Read More
Although we are seasoned cruisers, this was only our second cruise on Carnival. Last year, we cruised on the Triumph out of NOLA and had a really great time! With the exception of rain we had a great time! We did not fair well with excursions. Unfortunately we were unable to enjoy the cabana that we took on Balmoral due to weather. We also did not get to go on Half Moon Cay. Although some passengers managed to leave the ship, they were brought back due to the bad weather. We watched the tender pull up next to the ship and the captain had to reposition the ship so that the passengers could get back on the ship safely. We had an inside cabin on deck 7 midship. It was probably the roomiest inside cabin I ever had. Lots of closet and drawer space. Mel, our room steward, was wonderful. He made up the room twice a day and made sure we always had ice as we had requested. Food in the dining room was good although somewhat slow. We really enjoyed the seaday brunch....lots of choices! My only issue was that I drink hot tea and when I asked for it, I got the hot water first and then had to wait for the tea bag. Not sure why they just can't bring it all together. We enjoyed Guys...such yummy burgers! We had gotten a gift card to use on Carnival and we decided to go to Fahrenheit 555...the steak house. I can honestly say I have never had such a delicious meal. The service was incredible. A special shout out to Sheetal and Victoria, our servers. They really made the experience! We enjoyed it so much that we made reservations again. Our servers, Ilona and Stanley were awesome as well. An additional comment on the dining room experience. On Cruise Elegant night, someone at the next table was wearing a baseball hat and several people at that table wore shorts (the basketball type). Why these patrons were not asked to leave as the rules state, they enjoyed their dinner in the main dining room. Either adhere to the rules or don't have them. We spent our time on the Serenity deck and enjoyed the relative quiet. I will say that the pool is small but we always managed to find a spot and chairs. From my perspective, the family pool seemed a little on the small side but since I didn't really spend any time there I can't elaborate. Shows... I was not impressed with any of the shows. I didn't find the comedian particularly funny during the adult only show. Maybe he was better on the earlier shows. The singers and dancers were awesome but I felt that each show was the same except for the songs and costumes. Would have liked to see more variety in the shows. The piano player was lots of fun. I don't remember the names of the the singers in the atrium but they were all very good. We are not drinkers so I can't attest to bar service other than to say the bars were always crowded. Overall, we had a great time and although our next two cruises are scheduled on other cruise lines, I would definitely cruise Carnival again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
I recommend Carnival Sunshine for the convenience and pleasant experience of sailing out of Charleston, South Carolina. The ship was comfortable and energetic. We were fortunate to have Adam as our Cruise Director. I was aware of his ... Read More
I recommend Carnival Sunshine for the convenience and pleasant experience of sailing out of Charleston, South Carolina. The ship was comfortable and energetic. We were fortunate to have Adam as our Cruise Director. I was aware of his outstanding reputation of being the premier cruise director for Carnival. He did not disappoint. In fact, a better cruise director would be hard to find throughout the entire industry. The food is very good, but not great. The menu was unexciting, and nothing was compelling enough to pique our interest in having dinner in the dining room. The flavor of the food was plain and bland, even the desserts were flat in taste. This aspect is most likely a company item rather than a Carnival Sunshine item. The service in the Main Dining Room was s-l-o-w. Very s-l-o-w. There were many miscues by the over-tasked wait staff. The tables had no table cloths except on "elegant night" which was a joke in itself. Although Carnival widely publishes a "dress code" of suggested evening attire for the dining rooms, they do nothing to adhere to the suggestions. The "elegance" was stunning! (NOT). Baseball hats, tank tops on men, shorts, flip flops, t-shirts (all forbidden by the "rules") were widely observed. Apparently, the wait staff was reduced in order to have more crew members roving the dining room hawking "shots" leaving the waiters with far too many guests to serve properly on a timely basis. On the first night, my entree' was "forgotten" by the waiter for an hour after the used appetizer plates sat on the table. Food was dumped onto guests at a table two tables away from ours. After another more miserable second night (my birthday dinner which was overlooked by the staff) in the dining room, we opted to "dine" at the buffet instead of being miserable for another two nights in the dining room. The buffet choices were very limited and again the flavor of the food was not exceptional. There is a lack of side dishes at the buffet although there is plenty of rice and potatoes. I found Guy's Burgers to be the most outstanding onboard dining experience. The bottom line is that we would repeat this cruise, mainly for the convenience and downright great experience during embarkation and disembarking at the Port of Charleston. We have taken dozens of cruises and this port experience ranks at the top. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
My family went on this cruise&just got back yesterday.It was my first cruise so i didnt know what to expect.it was really fun overall. the rooms were very small. &the bathroom was very tiny, you had to close the door to use it. our ... Read More
My family went on this cruise&just got back yesterday.It was my first cruise so i didnt know what to expect.it was really fun overall. the rooms were very small. &the bathroom was very tiny, you had to close the door to use it. our steward cleaned our room well but the bad part was that they never changed the sheets. the dining restaurants sunset and sunrise were awesome. i really enjoyed the nightly shows in the Liquid Lounge. the dancers and singer were phenomenal. We went into Half Moon Cay and the water was amazing. it was a nice beach, then let off at Nassau- i wasn’t impressed though but i did buy a bunch of stuff. The only other bad thing was that at night, they would have night clubs for ages 18+ (i’m 19), and whenever they moved the night club to the serenity deck, they were allowed, but during the day when no alcohol was being served on the serenity deck and everything was calm,you had to be 21 to get on the serenity deck, so they kicked us out, it just didn’t make sense to us! why would they let us up there at 2 am with alcohol everywhere but not at 2 pm when everything is calm? just weird. but overall had a good time. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
My wife and I booked this cruise for a quick mid-summer getaway. We have sailed out of Charleston many times and this time we parked off-site and took an Uber to the port. The check-in process is ina modified building in the parking ... Read More
My wife and I booked this cruise for a quick mid-summer getaway. We have sailed out of Charleston many times and this time we parked off-site and took an Uber to the port. The check-in process is ina modified building in the parking lot instead of the main terminal. Once we checked in less than five minutes we were shuttled over to the main terminal. we had priority boarding so the boarding process was quick and easy. The food and activities were all on par with Carnival. We did not get off the ship in Half Moon Cay. We spent the day on the Serenity deck which was a nice peaceful experience. The same goes for Nassau since we have been there many times we stayed on the ship. We attended the Diamond captains party in the Red Frog Pub. The Captain and staff were very friendly and the drinks flowed! The VIFP party on the last sea day was good also. The only issue we had was with the host doing Trivia on the Nassau port day. It was obvious he did not agree with American politics or how we did not convert to the metric system like the rest of the world! Debarkation was painless. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I’m shocked at the negative reviews, other than a few that compare cruises that cost twice as much. This is our 15h Carnival cruise, though we are not Carnival loyalists. Many NCL cruises, quite a few MSC, one RCCL, Princess and even ... Read More
I’m shocked at the negative reviews, other than a few that compare cruises that cost twice as much. This is our 15h Carnival cruise, though we are not Carnival loyalists. Many NCL cruises, quite a few MSC, one RCCL, Princess and even an SS France or two! We thought the public spaces were great. The Sirenity lounge is about 3 or 4 times the size of other ships. Something for everyone there. Quiet up in the bow, more part of the Lido elsewhere, but with great seating and no kids. We loved the Havana bar which doubled the Lido seating, into much more grownup areas. I think many passengers never even discover the options there, huge at breakfast and much (free) and dinner (several for pay, Asian and Italian). The cabin hallways are wide, bright and beachy. The cabins and balconies are very dated and worn, however. Our balcony floor was almost disgusting, even after a power wash. And the bathroom while clean was, well, not up to par; damage to sink and floor. We chose to be happy with the clean part. The staff was wonderful. Everyone, fro our wonderful cabin attendant, Anok, to the waitstaff in the Havana, Lido, FDR and elsewhere could not have been friendlier, often initiating conversations. IDK where all the negative reviews come from. I consider myself a foodie, look for high levels of service, but set the bar appropriately- not going to hold Carnival to standards of a line that costs significantly more - and Sunshine more than met expectations. I am glad she is home ported in Charleston and look forward to many more. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I know a lot of people love this ship, so we were excited to try it out. I found the layout not as easy as other Carnival ships. The dining room service was the worst in nine cruises. Normally, the dining room staff blows us away. I’m ... Read More
I know a lot of people love this ship, so we were excited to try it out. I found the layout not as easy as other Carnival ships. The dining room service was the worst in nine cruises. Normally, the dining room staff blows us away. I’m not sure if they had a lot of trainees, but I was unimpressed. The taller guy at the Java Blue Cafe (his tag was covered) was, by far, the best service we received. The milk shakes there are awesome, but the blue velvet cake they are still advertising as their signature dessert doesn’t exist. The spa charged us twice (once a couple months ago and again on board) for the thermal spa pass. I don’t like ships that force you thru the smoky casino to get everywhere. It was weird that the Serenity Deck was connected to the regular Lido pool deck — it was not serene. Half Moon Cay was awesome. Adam the Cruise Director was really good. All in all, it was a decent cruise, but not my favorite ship and the service could use a lot of improvement. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This was the first cruise I have been on but I loved it. The only negatives that I had were it left port an hour late and a lot of noise children other than that it was extremely fun and the food was better than I expected not saying it ... Read More
This was the first cruise I have been on but I loved it. The only negatives that I had were it left port an hour late and a lot of noise children other than that it was extremely fun and the food was better than I expected not saying it was the best in the world but it was far above what I had expected and the fruit was very fresh. My favorite restaurant was the blue iguana it’s burritos were awesome but they only served them from like 12 to 2:30. There was plenty of activities and things to do on the ship so much that I couldn’t go to everything I wanted because they overlapped times. Everyone was extremely friendly and the Cruise director Nicky was amazing so much energy and so fun she was probably one of best parts of the cruise. There was an adults only pool that was nice. The room was spacious and had a large balcony. They had a 24hour pizza delivery it was $5 a delivery and usually took 10 min. Overalls I had a great time and would definitely go again Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We joined two other couples with whom we were stationed in the military 20+ years ago for a reunion cruise. We knew it was during Spring Break so we expected lots of children, which was the case. It wasn’t too much problem until late ... Read More
We joined two other couples with whom we were stationed in the military 20+ years ago for a reunion cruise. We knew it was during Spring Break so we expected lots of children, which was the case. It wasn’t too much problem until late night (late for us, like 10:00 pm!), when the teenagers were running through the ship. However, it really wasn’t too intrusive. The embarkation was very smooth. We were on the ship smoothly and our cabin was ready as promised at 1:30. Conversely, the disembarkation was a cluster. Our ship arrived two hours late, and we waited hours to leave the ship. Our bags were in a large room, sorted by zones, but it appeared everyone disembarked at the same time. It was very disorganized. We stayed at the Radisson the night prior to our cruise and utilized their parking service. I would advise everyone to avoid this service due to the incredible rudeness and poor organization at disembarkation. The gentleman driving the scooter (perhaps due to a foot injury) was particularly rude. The food on the cruise was just ok. The service and food has certainly declined in the past few years but is what we expected. The food was plentiful, of course, with plenty of different venues. The highlight of the cruise was the cruise director, Mikey. We enjoyed having him as our cruise director on the Fantasy last year and we feel he is the best cruise director we’ve ever had. It is worth following him and booking the cruise on which he is the cruise director; he’s that good! Overall, it was a good cruise! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
3/16 to 3/24 West Indies cruise to Turks & Caicos, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts & St. Maartin (9 day). The ship was a lesson in contrasts. Overall, I prefer to take the smaller, older classes of cruise ships over the new mega-ships ... Read More
3/16 to 3/24 West Indies cruise to Turks & Caicos, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts & St. Maartin (9 day). The ship was a lesson in contrasts. Overall, I prefer to take the smaller, older classes of cruise ships over the new mega-ships because I find the crowds more manageable. The Carnival Sunshine fills this desire perfectly. Sections of the boat are a bit dated and you can still feel the 1990's original construction in the common area, the casino, the small pool sizes and the bathrooms/staterooms. It's all very clean and in good repair, just feels like a well broken in decor all around. We stayed in cabin 7174, which is a U-type suite, for three people (My Wife and I and our seven year old). The room was spacious with a nice vanity area and a balcony overlooking the water around mid-ship. The only complaint about the cabin is the location with regard to special events and evening entertainments in the common room on deck 3. We turn in early and were kept awake most nights until after 11:00 pm.. Bring foam ear plugs. Thank God I did. Dining was actually better than I expected. I thought overall the dining rooms had better quality and tasting food than Royal Caribbean's mega-ships. That really surprised me. The lido deck serves average breakfast and lunch fare with the only complaint being a lack of variety with the same basic choices (especially breakfast). Tip: Visit the alchemy bar near the coffee shop next to the casino for a more un-crowded breakfast and lunch dining option. The main dining room had very good quality food and we had six pm dining. We did go to Fahrenheit 555 for dinner one night but wasn't impressed. My Wife's lobster tails were char grilled and burnt and my steak was average. We found a hair in one of the gummies that came with the "Chef's Art at the Table" dessert and couldn't eat it. When brought to staff's attention, nothing was done, so we left. The entertainments and activities were good, except for the lounge singers hired for the common area. The solo guitarist was always flat (cringe worthy vocals dude) and the Cheech and Chong looking duo were likewise awful. As to the daily activities, you'll just have to explore and find your own path. They were all good: Ocean club, the waterworks, the serenity pool deck, movie nights, magic show, comedians, main performers and Mikey the cruise director held it all in check. The service is excellent and the staff will go to great lengths to spoil you and make sure you're having a good time. We fell into a slightly scary experience with a tween-ager that was on the pool deck without adult supervision. My Wife and I had noticed the girl before at many of the events we'd taken our own daughter to (build a bear, ocean club, etc..) and she was oddly always alone with no parents in sight. Long story short, the girl slipped walking down the stairs from the hot tubs to the pool deck and whacked her head very hard against the steps (fell backward). Her towel and personal things were right next to me and she sat down very dazed and confused. Several parents and grandparents immediately asked if she was our daughter (she wasn't) and how they'd witnessed her fall, and after she failed to respond to our questions, we called cruise emergency 911. A nurse and the hospital wing staff arrived about a minute later, thoroughly questioned the adults that had witnessed her fall, realized she was probably concussed and safely moved her to a wheelchair to wheel her down to medical for further treatment and observation. I hope the girl was okay, we never did find out how she was but she was in good hands. I'd hate to see her parent's medical bill for it but the kid was fairly neglected by their absence for the cruise up to that point. Kudos to the medical staff for a fast response. We availed ourselves of excursions in three of the four ports, skipping San Juan for just a margarita at Senior Frogs and a walk up and down the port park. At Turks and Caicos, we took the glass bottomed boat tour and beach break and that was amazing. Beautiful unspoiled reefs and iced blue waters on a beautiful beach afterward. Free rum punch on the boat tour put all of us in a good mood. In St. Kitts, we did the rain forest 4x4 island tour and beach break. The rain forest area was full of monkeys and the elevated views of both sides of the island were breathtaking. The beach break was short (only an hour) and we spent it at the bar getting lunch. The last excursion we booked was the air conditioned bus tour in St. Maartin with lunch/beach break. Our driver showed us the level of devastation caused by Irma and Louis and both the French side and the Dutch side were totally ruined, but the French side on the Atlantic got it so much worse. Rebuilding continues but expect to see the remains of a horrible hurricane history. The driver stopped at a French side market to let us shop, then took us to a private beach near the airport (not the famous airport landing strip beach but very near it). Lunch was amazing (snapper) and there was an expansive crescent shaped ice blue water beach for us to swim in. Beautiful. Tips: Mid ship cabins around the common room elevators on deck 3 are a lot louder than you'd think for noise. Book fore or aft midship and you should have quiet. I'd totally book this cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this one for the itinerary, and the dates worked with us. We enjoyed the ports, especially Grand Turk and San Juan. We bought a ship excursion in St Kitts...kayak and snorkel, we were not impressed. Although the tour company ... Read More
We chose this one for the itinerary, and the dates worked with us. We enjoyed the ports, especially Grand Turk and San Juan. We bought a ship excursion in St Kitts...kayak and snorkel, we were not impressed. Although the tour company worked hard, we suffered because the ship docked an hour late and were rushed the whole time, plus we did not stop at the lookout spot at all. The kayaking was fine, but very short and simple, we went just along the shoreline to a really crowded man made grassy lagoon with some boulders dropped in to form a breakwall and colonized by some very basic fish. Zero coral to speak of, though we did see a turtle, which was great. After that stop we were sent further down the shoreline to wait for over an hour at a beach (with a tiny bit of sliced fruit and water )for the pickup ride back. We would have swam and enjoyed it a bit more but were told that the van ride was coming right away. No change rooms, bar or facilities here anyway. Buyer beware on this one, not worth the money. Otherwise we enjoyed the cruise. We were always able to find a spot to sit on a chair on board, the food was good , burgers fantastic. Buffet pretty small, however, and just repeated 4x. Could have done with a few more selections. This was my 4th cruise with 3 companies, first with Carnival. The free coffee was the best yet! Still not wonderful but drinkable! Drinks were pretty expensive but probably standard. We don't buy a drink package but you can tell who does....although after the first couple of days the drunken folks had totally calmed down and the people on board were basically the same as any other cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Cruise dates fit our schedule well. As we ended up with 24 in our group (not planned) all with my time dining it was quite a surprise that we never had trouble with seating for dinner. We actually had a group of tables 3 of 7 nights and ... Read More
Cruise dates fit our schedule well. As we ended up with 24 in our group (not planned) all with my time dining it was quite a surprise that we never had trouble with seating for dinner. We actually had a group of tables 3 of 7 nights and on other nights group members tried out different venues which was fun to share with each other later. We loved Hostess Rashida and tried for Head Waiter ElPedrio with success. The Daily Chicken is rather tasteless but the Port Menu which changes each day offered many tasty entrees. Everyone raved over the salmon, trout, flank steak. Try to time my time so you aren’t rushed to get your main course by showtime. The waiters are required to stop everything to perform. We only had that happen 1 time we made sure to be very early or late most of the week. We only did breakfast 1 time on LIDO the rest we went to the dining room and had excellent experience. This is contrary to other reviews we read which surpirsed me. We always requested a back table to enjoy looking out at sea. Eggs, Omlettes, pancakes, waffles, etc were great and bacon cooked crispy to order did not disappoint. Ports - DR We found a taxi driver to take us to the TRAM, RESTAURANT, AND SOUVENIOR SHOP in Puerto Plata. Our driver stayed with us even up the tram. Of course we treated him to lunch. The cost so reasonable $90, $30 tip, $20 tip driver manager. Round trip was 3-4 hours. Puerto Rico - we decided to just walk to shopping found the Cathedral, Umbrella Street, Genesis Cafe, just enjoyed a beautiful day. Our cousin went the rain forest which she said was fantastic (another contrary report to some on this site). St. Thomas - we have been before so we had a mission to revisit Crowne Jeweler (not associated with ship) traded in some jewelry for upgraded diamonds went to and from on Cruise shopping tram ($4/person each way). Going with the shopping expert (Debra) was a great way to avoid going through cruise port shops to find a taxi which might have cost a little more. We walked right into a parkinglot next to ship, boarded the trams and away we went. Grand Turk - last stop we took my parents off ship - was quite a long walk for Dad but he made it. We (4 of us) rented a golf cart from Grand Turk Adventures. Jim had to walk about 2 blocks to pick up but was then allowed to drive up to benches at taxi stand to pick us up. The cart seemed to have some issues so we stopped at stand and traded for a different cart which was quite better. The draw back was not all carts had island maps but I had downloaded one to my phone which once we got orientated work just fine. We found our way within sight of Lighthouse, visited a couple churches, salt flats, etc. Nice value $75/day plus refill gas ($12). There was another rental group at the port for $100 + gas which might have been closer but this worked for us. Entertainment - The Lobby Bar was the focal point when Felipe (Cruise Director) would arrive. He would keep everything hopping and participants would often be rewarded with a free drink or bottle of bubbly. He was very good and we loved watching him entertain. Cassidy-Rae was new in piano bar Putting music and a bit of comedy together. We should have gone to see her instead of Tim Young Comedian. She proved you can laugh without vulgarity. Young was so vulgar we didn't go back. Later in the week Joe Marlotti arrived and his 1st show was in the Liquid Lounge - it was a nice crowd but plenty of seats. He appeared to be toned down a bit but had us laughing so we did go to his last show on the last night he didnot disappoint I only heard 1 vulgar word but the MC cant speak a sentence without 2 minimum vulgarities his claim is that if you cant take it from him the show is not for you (WHAT?). Anyway seek out the good comedians that can use the whole dictionary of the english language to make you laugh. I would add that we attended night shows in the liquid lounge without ever fighting for a seat as other reports might lead you to believe. There is ample seating on the lower floor and above. Finally we did attend the Veterans Gathering, hosted by Felipe, it was quite wonderful to respect and honor the many veterans on board. Of course my Dad (91+) was the only WWII in attendance - we were very proud to be there to hear the fine remarks from Carnival and the Veterans who chose to speak. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
This is my third cruise; 1st to Alaska and 2nd to the Bahamas, so we wanted something with a lot of variety. The ports did not disappoint, and the weather was extremely cooperative. We had absolutely no rain, and the temps were mostly in ... Read More
This is my third cruise; 1st to Alaska and 2nd to the Bahamas, so we wanted something with a lot of variety. The ports did not disappoint, and the weather was extremely cooperative. We had absolutely no rain, and the temps were mostly in the 80s and sunny! We got on the boat in record time! Everyone I talked to was amazed by how quickly we were on the ship and enjoying lunch. The only line we encountered was through the TSA . Our "appointment time" was between 12:30 and 1, and we were already eating at Guy's Burger Jt by 12:15! Debarking was pretty tedious, but the port did the best they could. The ship had its pros and cons. We adored the Serenity pool, the hammocks and the fact that we could almost always get somewhere to lounge. We also loved the ropes course which we were told only exist on 5 other ships. The ship looks kind of dated and frazzled, but the staff was wonderful. The food was not as good as the Carnival Bahamas cruise we were on last year. I was disappointed my lobster tail was mushy, and the prime rib was bland. Coffee service was not even offered. But everything was plated beautifully and the service was delightful. Our cabin, 7316, was my first experience with a balcony. This particular room had a larger balcony that included a lounge chair in addition to 2 tables and chair. Loved it! The room always had some sort of white noise buzz which didn't bother me, but it did my husband; I think we were located near the laundry. 7th level had us close to all the action though. Here's what I was disappointed in; we had precious little time in each port. I'm not sure if that's a Carnival thing, or if you can even research average cruise line's port times. The main reason to cruise to me is to visit new countries, so I want the most time possible there. We felt rushed, especially since we never got off the ship on time. I'm also not thrilled with how a few of the ports have been "Disneyfied"; sanitized to the point that one is felt the only point of being in port is to shop! Yuck! I was especially disappointed in Amber Cove. We were told everything we would want to do was right at the port, but you couldn't even get to the beach! We didn't do a single organized shore excursion, but we still saw plenty in each port by doing a little research and mainly using taxis. In Amber Cove, we rode to Puerta Plata and took the cable car up to the botanical garden. In St. Thomas, we drove downtown and walked around, then took a taxi to amazingly beautiful Magen's Bay for snorkeling. In San Juan, my husband had prearranged an opportunity for us to volunteer a few hours at Casa Ronald McDonald (as opposed to Carnival's prearranged volunteer projects that I wonder how much they profited from). A cab then took us to Old Town where we wondered happily for several hours in and out of forts and museums. And in Grand Turk, we walked to the recommended Governor's Beach for the most amazing snorkeling I had ever done. We easily took a cab from there to tour the town a bit and see the wild donkeys and horses. I'm certain we managed to do more, for cheaper, in the short amount of time we had in each port. I will love to do this cruise again. The ports were gorgeous, the crew was lovely, and we felt pampered and relaxed. I'd love to experience the same cruise on a different line to see if my perception would change. It definitely was a cruise to remember. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
I did not chose. My brother did and we went with him. He choose this trip for 2 reasons. 1 It was in the Eastern Caribbean 2 It had a cabin type 4j we had good weather, the food was good, but not great. the entertainment was ok. I ... Read More
I did not chose. My brother did and we went with him. He choose this trip for 2 reasons. 1 It was in the Eastern Caribbean 2 It had a cabin type 4j we had good weather, the food was good, but not great. the entertainment was ok. I liked the Sunshine better than the Dream or the Libertyonly thing that I did not know was the cabin was a handicap room until I paid my final payment. Because it did have a larger bathroom but it is not a good room to make into a king size bed. our room was 7103. most of the food seems bland, it is like they try too hard to make fancy food. It would be nice if they had some just plain food. besides burgers. The soft serve ice cream is bad. I have not found it to be good on any of the previous 5 cruises I have taken. I have traveled with 3 different cruise lines. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
My husband and I just returned from a 13 day journeys cruise aboard the Sunshine. We typically have rain a good portion of our vacation and were pleasantly surprised to only have rain two half days. The ship itself is in great shape for ... Read More
My husband and I just returned from a 13 day journeys cruise aboard the Sunshine. We typically have rain a good portion of our vacation and were pleasantly surprised to only have rain two half days. The ship itself is in great shape for its age. The crew went out of their way to make the cruise special. We visited 7 islands - St. Thomas, Aruba, Curacao, St. Marteen, St. Kitts, San Juan, and Amber Cove. We had been to all of these ports except Amber Cove. I turned platinum on this cruise and enjoyed all the perks - chocolate covered strawberries, a free blanket throw, 5 bags of free laundry, priority boarding and disembarkation, and a free drink. The shows on board were all pretty good. My husband and I enjoyed the comedy shows the most and averaged two shows most days. The Love & Marriage Show dragged on too long. It took almost 45 minutes to pick the contestants. We ate most dinners (10 of the 13 nights) in the main dining room with Any Time Dining. We never had to wait over 5 or 10 minutes for a table. Most nights we were in and out in about an hour and 15 minutes. We typically ate early (around 5:15). We only paid to eat one meal and that was at the sushi restaurant. Sushi for two with tip was around $25. We booked all excursions on our own. There were a few things that irritated me. Number 1 - the free drink. You have to get it either at breakfast or lunch and only in the main dining room. I went three times before I even found the dining room open during these times. One time breakfast was over and lunch hadn't started. Another time lunch was already over. ( I know it is free and you shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth, but get real, it is a $9.50 drink!) Number 2 - No refrigerator. This is the first time I have ever cruised a big cruise line with no refrigerator. Number 3 - making you choose morning or evening service of your cabin. We chose morning but our steward still serviced it twice a day but you could tell he was overextended doing so. Shame on Carnival for putting him in this position. I think each steward services over 30 rooms. Number 4 - Disembarkation was a nightmare. It took us over two hours with priority and we just made our flight by 10 minutes and yes it was an afternoon flight. Overall, I will still sail on Carnival again but will give other cruise lines equal consideration. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose Carnival Sunshine because we love the new Carnival 2.0 features and the itinerary was perfect. It definitely felt much smaller than the usual ships we go on (Vista, Miracle, etc.) The Lido buffet area feels very small but the ... Read More
We chose Carnival Sunshine because we love the new Carnival 2.0 features and the itinerary was perfect. It definitely felt much smaller than the usual ships we go on (Vista, Miracle, etc.) The Lido buffet area feels very small but the trick is to utilize the Havana area for meals where most people don't look. We were amazed at how well the ship was cleaned every day by all staff. Also, this was the friendliest staff we have experienced in a long time. Our entire family is Platinum, so we've been on a lot of cruises and over the past several years we have felt like the service is lacking. But this cruise revived our hopes! With only one or two exceptions, the crew was SPECTACULAR! While the cabins are smaller, they are really well organized and we felt like we even had extra space in the room for storing clothes. However, the pull-down bed that overlapped above our bed caused me to hit my head a few times when I was waking up. I definitely missed the bigger cabins on other ships. I did enjoy the larger showers though (from the old style layout). As a frequent cruiser, the specialty restaurants are a must for us to avoid the monotony of the main dining room. We loved all of the specialty restaurants and enjoyed the main dining room on the 2 nights we were there. The service was, again, terrific. The Lido buffet is truly wearing out, in my opinion. I do wish they'd switch it up a little bit for those of us that cruise often, but it helped me eat lighter during the day. The Havana area on the back ok the Lido deck is absolutely beautiful with the floor to ceiling windows that overlook the back of the ship. We really enjoyed those tables for relaxing, eating, and playing cards. Such a view! The ports on our ship were Aruba, Curacao, and Grand Turk. Grand Turk is a favorite of ours since it's so easy to just hop off and enjoy a day on the beach, get lunch back on the ship, and be so close to our cabin. Aruba was ok (the cruise terminal was small and the taxi line was poorly managed) and Curacoa is now one of my new favorite ports. Absolutely beautiful with great (unique Dutch/Holland) shopping, terrific beach, and a fun atmosphere within walking distance of the ship! I will say that getting cabs at some of these ports is frustrating and very stressful, especially with a large family (there are 12 of us). The taxi drivers can be so rude and pressure you into doing things you don't want to do. Aruba was the worst, with the taxis splitting us up without our ability to get our Carnival key cards sorted amongst the kids. This caused half our group to not be able to get into the cruise terminal because the kids in that group didn't have their key cards (which were the other half of us in another taxi). This was a TERRIBLE ordeal for us and was caused by the greediness of the taxi drivers and the high-stress situation they put us in. I think from now on I'll plan someone to pick us up ahead of time to avoid the taxi line and drivers. Overall, this ship provided a terrific cruise. The Cruise Director, Mikey, was great. The ship was clean, service terrific, and pools and water park and obstacle course were open at all specified times. No big disappointments. One mention I have to make - DJ Dawkness on the Lida pool area was the best DJ we've ever had. The other DJ they had was just ok - she played a bunch of rap junk (I'm 34 and it was too much for me). But DJ Dawkness - he was AMAZING! He played the best variety of music, didn't talk during the songs, and at a huge surprise for us, he devoted about 20-30 minutes on our Sunday morning by the pool to some worship music for a small church service. As a believer and follower of Jesus, this was the highlight of my trip. He wasn't forceful to those who didn't want to participate, but he offered so much encouragement and love to those of us there. The music was easy listening R&B Christian so that everyone could enjoy. No one there seemed upset, and those of us (especially me) that spend time with the Lord daily - this was like heaven. Worship on the Lido. So great. I can't thank him (and Carnival) enough for allowing this to happen. Sometimes I feel like Carnival caters so well to the drinkers, gamblers, and partyers, but as a Christian that finds my joy in other things, we can get overlooked. DJ Dawkness changed that for me - it was one of the best moments in cruising that I've ever had! :) Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We booked our cruise last minute, and did not expect much, just to relax and get somewhere warm.. However this cruise proved to be one of our best so far ( 6th cruise) We had an oceanview cabin which was actually very spacious, for ... Read More
We booked our cruise last minute, and did not expect much, just to relax and get somewhere warm.. However this cruise proved to be one of our best so far ( 6th cruise) We had an oceanview cabin which was actually very spacious, for the 3 of us. The overall layout if the ship made it easy to navigate and get places fairly easy. The Serenity deck is absolutely fantastic. Food was better at the Lido buffet than the sit down restaurant, but the Mongolian and Sushi were great and worth the extra cost. Mickey, the cruise director was fun and energetic and made up for the average shows:). The shore excursions were great, especially Grand Turk Beach with lunch - unforgettable... Overall, even though nothing on this ship was “WOW”.. it had a pleasant atmosphere, great people, good service, and for the $ , it was truly a great cruise. Would definitely book again!! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I compare this cruise to past adventures on Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and MSC which we love. I blocked out any negative reviews regarding Carnival and ended up loving this cruise. Here is the real lowdown on the Carnival Sunshine. ... Read More
I compare this cruise to past adventures on Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and MSC which we love. I blocked out any negative reviews regarding Carnival and ended up loving this cruise. Here is the real lowdown on the Carnival Sunshine. Let’s start with the things I loved. CABIN-The location of our spa room 11030 was amazing. It was steps from the waterfall and the all adults serenity deck. The size of the room was perfect and had down to the water views from the balcony .Access to the spa relaxation room and steam rooms made this room category a great choice. Make sure that you book high floors on this ship. I will explain later. Our very friendly room steward, Dhimas stocked our room with all of the beverages and items we ordered prior to the trip. He also kept the ice flowing. Loved him. He kept that room clean and ready for us. We had no trouble getting around the ship once we found out that you can walk the entire length of the ship on deck 5. That allowed us to always find elevators to our cabin on the 11th floor. FOOD-While the buffet is small and nothing to write home about when compared to other ships we’ve sailed, Carnival offers additional restaurants for breakfast and lunch like Guy’s Fieri’s Burgers and the taco/burrito Blue Iguana Cantina spots as well as the Asian/Italian , MDR and pizza area of the buffet. We never made it to Bonsai sushi which we know would have been great. The food was simply awesome! The specialty JiJi’s Asian and the Cucina Del Capitano were terrific. I am still dreaming about lamb chops and short ribs and a NY strip that was so tender. I am also still craving that rose crème brulet and the melting chocolate cake with the ice cream. The waiters and waitresses dance and sing at dinner every night. That is wayyyy beyond the call of duty but neat to see. If you sail this ship please note all options for breakfast on your hub app. Walk through the very limited main buffet to JiJi’s Asian and the Cucina Del Capitano Italian in the AM to get to wonderful omelette stations. They also open for free lunch also. Most don’t know that they are there for breakfast and lunch. Also try the breakfast burritos and tacos at Blue Iguana Cantina on the deck and there is also a small breakfast served on deck five near the coffee shop. And those Guy Fieri burgers and fries are amazing. We never tried the steakhouse but loved the steak in the main dining room at no extra charge. FRIENDLY PEOPLE-. We made a ton of friends on this cruise. The passengers were comfortable, having fun and willing to share with you unlike other cruises. Mikey the Cruise Director is worth mentioning. I have never met the Director on any ship except this one. He made sure that he reached out , shook our hands and checked on us. We don’t where he gets soooo much energy but we hope they are paying him well! He kept the fun going on this ship. PORTS-We visited Grand Turk, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten and St. Kitts. Getting on and off the ship was fast and problem free. No tenders! Yeah! We loved our ports. St. Kitts requires an excursion. It can be a sketchy port beyond the shops. That turned into a relaxing day back on the ship. All the others were enjoyable with no booked excursions. Grand Turk and St. Maarten have great beaches right off of the ship. We found a beach in Puerto Rico that we walked to near the Fort. So now for the things that certainly didn’t kill our trip but were in our opinion, areas for improvement. We also heard other passengers complain about these particular areas which make them worth mentioning. POOR CONNECTIVITY-Internet is horrible and nonexistent on this ship. I repeat nonexistent! No one is in the fifth floor internet café because there really isn’t available internet with a plan or not .I paid for a plan as well as my husband. It never worked on my Apple 8. He seemed to have text capabilities and facetime on his Apple 7 plus. I asked for a full refund for my portion and received one. We had to search for internet in the ports to post pics etc. You really have to disconnect from the world on this ship. The Carnival HUB app was helpful and provided activity information in a flash with or without the internet plan. That app seemed to be the only thing that worked on my phone. Royal Caribbean has the best internet hands down. Business travelers would be in trouble on this ship. BAD SMELLS AT TIMES-We smelled sewage with deodorizer smells on the 5th floor on down to 3rd which is unfortunate because the dining room is on those floors. We weren’t sure if they were from bathrooms or some other area. I used the ladies bathroom near the MDR and didn’t smell it in there so the source was something else. They must resolve that issue. That’s not appetizing when you are headed for dinner on the same floor and I couldn’t stay in a room with that. Some guests had that issue. Booking a high floor gets you away from this issue. Some also complained about old urine smells near the toilet in cabin bathrooms. We experienced that too. I believe that this is due to the age of this ship. I usually Lysol clean the bathroom anyway when I arrive. Yes, the casino was smokey but aren’t they all? I wish they could vent it somehow or ban smoking there. I still managed to play slots and enjoy that area. PIXELS PHOTO GALLERY- The picture Pixels gallery was confusing. We never found some pics. They throw up pics in no real order and you must search for your faces through hundreds of photos. Who has hours to do that? Norwegian has solved that issue by computerizing the photos and grouping them by room number. They take your picture and attach it to your room number. You can see them all on a screen with no major hunt. We bought no pictures on this ship. It was too frustrating to find them all. ENTERTAINMENT-Entertainment was so-so! Djs on the Lido deck were good. I cracked up at the sailaway party. They had it but we were delayed in sailing away so it kinda fell flat this time. I know Carnival is known for its sailaway parties but the delay wasn’t their fault. I enjoyed the 70s Dance show and the Killer Beaz comedian. Other comedians were weak. We aren’t into audience participation shows and they were really into that. Motown show was messed up with the performers sitting on stools singing with bottles of water. They said a performer was ill and missing. The crew was talented but that was a weaker show. Other cruises have big themed costumed stage shows. The magician was weak too yet was interested in hawking his instructional dvds at the end of the show. Lounge bands were average. The shows kept us busy I suppose. Movies on the deck were more enjoyable or reading on my balcony. DÉCOR- This ship was built in 1996 and was refurbished in 2013. A lot of the neat restaurants were added at that time. The ship décor seemed 80ish to me and reminded me of an old Atlantic City or Vegas Casino .It is an older ship. They have done their best to keep her going. I prefer newer ships but the décor didn’t kill my cruise. It was ok. There was some rocking of the ship during our return due to rough surf. It was nothing serious and there were no signs of mechanical issues that some were still talking about from the listing incident some weeks ago. OVERALL IMPRESSION-The positives outweighed the negatives on this ship. We truly enjoyed our cruise , the spa amenities of the spa room category and the many ports. The food alone and great service would entice us to rebook on one of their newer ships. Carnival will definitely see us again. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
My kids love taking a cruise at the holidays, so for 2018 we settled on Carnival Sunshine because of the itinerary. My older daughter read the book "The Cay" in school and wanted to see Curacao and my younger daughter loves ... Read More
My kids love taking a cruise at the holidays, so for 2018 we settled on Carnival Sunshine because of the itinerary. My older daughter read the book "The Cay" in school and wanted to see Curacao and my younger daughter loves Carnival's kids' activities, so it was an easy choice. We drove to Port Canaveral the morning of the cruise and parked with Lots of Honor, which was a very easy process. The staff there is super nice and it was much more reasonable than parking at the port. The shuttle was prompt and embarkation was super easy. The kids kept asking, "where is the line to get on the ship?" There was no line, we just kept walking and got right on after security. Fantastic. I was a little skeptical about this ship because of a lot of negative reviews here, but the onboard experience was pretty decent. Lido tended to get pretty crowded and it was hard to find a lounger to lay out in the sun. (LOTS of people trying to reserve them, it was a mess) Otherwise, none of the other public areas felt overly crowded or uncomfortable. During our days at sea, my 10 year old daughter spent the majority of her time at Camp Ocean and she LOVED it there. My 12 year old has hit the grumpy teenage years a bit early and refused to participate in any organized activities, but the preteen/teen areas looked very nice as well. There was often a weird sewage odor towards the aft of the ship by the kids' areas. I would say that the dining staff were absolutely the best staff on the ship. We ate at the main dining room with anytime dining most evenings (except formal/dressy night - none of us like to dress up) and the service was fantastic. We also went to the buffet and Guy's Burgers frequently and everyone was so friendly and helpful. The food was fine and typical of my other Carnival cruises. We booked cabin 3127 towards the front of the ship on the Lobby deck, as it was an "interior with picture window" for only a little bit more money than a standard interior. The kids like having a window, but I personally prefer the dark of interior cabins. The cabin itself was okay, but I would highly recommend against this location. We had a lot of noise from above us, even late at night some nights, and this particular cabin has a bench right outside of its window so people kept peeking into the room. Awkward! As far as shore excursions go, we did our own thing at each port. I typically don't book excursions through the ship. In Aruba, we booked through AGW Tours Aruba and did their Offroad Adventure Tour. My partner and I did the same tour in 2017 and enjoyed it, and it was just as fun with the kids the second time around. We were in port from 1 to 10 PM, so we showered off and did some shopping after our tour. In Curacao, we did another offroad nature tour with Curacao-Actief, and they were fantastic as always. In Grand Turk, we walked down the beach to Jack's Shack, played in the ocean, bought some conch fritters, and petted their dogs. Paradise. All in all, we had a really fun time on this cruise and I wouldn't hesitate to book on the Sunshine again if the kids were going with me. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Wanting to go to the southern Caribbean we choose this ship, big mistake, the food in the buffet was the same every day, looked very brown and greasy. Looking for peace and quite we retreated to the so called Serenity adults only ... Read More
Wanting to go to the southern Caribbean we choose this ship, big mistake, the food in the buffet was the same every day, looked very brown and greasy. Looking for peace and quite we retreated to the so called Serenity adults only retreat !,only to find that people were up at 7 am with there towels to reserve sun loungers !, there is a notice not to do this but still people reserved and some did not use them until well after 11am. There were also individuals with ghetto blasters and music systems blasting out noise most times we visited. I have problems to understand why this area is called Serenity when even music is belted out over the ships own speaker system.We cruised on Norwegian Epic last year and the serenity area there was truly quite. Abandoning the buffet we ate dinner in the restaurant on dekk 3, wonderful food and really exceptional friendly and attentive staff. The minus was the stench of sewage every day from the lift shafts leading to the lower decks,really overpowering and nauseating. Disembarkation was very inefficient it took over 2 hours after the 1st guests disembarked for us to get off the ship. Not recommended for anyone wanting peace and quiet. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Before you choose this ship, please do some reasearch first. My husband and I went on the Breeze in 2014 and LOVED it so we could not help by compare certain things the Breeze had that the Sunshine was lacking. The ship rocked the whole ... Read More
Before you choose this ship, please do some reasearch first. My husband and I went on the Breeze in 2014 and LOVED it so we could not help by compare certain things the Breeze had that the Sunshine was lacking. The ship rocked the whole time, I don’t know if it was because of the water being a bit choppy or because of what happened in October. The layout didn’t bother me. Compared to other ships, the Sunshine only have 3 hot tubs total - two on the Lido deck and one in serenity, but serenity does have a pool - that was freezing cold. I agree with others that the serenity on the Sunshine is the best in the fleet. The public restrooms were very tight and only a few had extra room for a parent & kid or wheelchair. Cabin - We were in 6136 balcony and it did not have a fridge, my parents were on the 7th floor balcony and did have a fridge. Seems the fridge placement was just random. Our room steward Digno(?) was amazing. They do ask you when you would like your room cleaned - morning, night or both. Dining- The Buffett is not 24hrs, it opens at 6am then closes in between meals. On the last sea day, Pizza, Guys and the deli open at 5pm. There were huge lines at that time for dinner. I am not sure why they don’t open at 5pm instead. I got in the pizza line and ordered a pepperoni and cheese...waited at least 20min for the cheese while the crew member was making and baking other pizza’s for other guest. If you are a parent, you know your kids don’t have a whole lot of patience. We did eat at in the MDR for a few nights and as always that was great! The head waiter for our table made my 3yr belly laugh with his mouse game Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We always choose a cruise that stops at Saint Martin so we can spend a great nude day at Club Orient. We live halfway between Port Everglades and Port Canaveral so there are plenty of cruises to choose from. We prefer Carnival because we ... Read More
We always choose a cruise that stops at Saint Martin so we can spend a great nude day at Club Orient. We live halfway between Port Everglades and Port Canaveral so there are plenty of cruises to choose from. We prefer Carnival because we feel we get the best value and we don't like those mega ships with 6,000 cruisers. We had a boarding time of 1:00 - 1:30. Boarding went smoothly and we were able to go straight to our cabin (8152) and stow our luggage - we get everything into a 22" carry-on and a 24" suitcase plus a backpack. We found that our balcony cabin was a little smaller than we've encountered on other Carnival ships - my wife could not sit at the dresser and apply her make-up due to the refrigerator being there. This was never a problem on other Carnival ships. Our cabin steward was great. I asked him to be sure we always had ice - and he did. The food was typical Carnival - not gourmet but good and there was always something on the menu that we found appealing - usually more than one item. We were in the forward dining room at table 157 for the early seating. Wait staff was very good. The shows were typical Carnival - entertaining. The adult comedy shows were very good. The atrium area was much smaller than on other ships and was often very crowded. Disembarkation was a disaster. We do self-disembarkation. We were waiting in the Lido restaurant waiting to disembark when our deck was called. It was very difficult to hear the announcements unless you were directly under the speakers. Decks 1 & 3 were called a little before 8 AM and nothing further was called. At about 8:45 we decided to leave and made our way down to deck 3 - our daughter was picking us up at 9. It was a mob scene - people had difficulty getting off of the elevators. When we finally moved it went smoothly until we got to the baggage area. We observed many people picking-up luggage and it was evident that they were not doing self-disembarkation as many of them were using porters for their luggage. There were only four customs agents on duty - took forever to get through. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We had this cruise booked for many months. Weeks before sailing we heard on the news about the "tilt" on the Sunshine. We also had a friend who was on that specific sailing and told us not to cancel our trip, that he had a great ... Read More
We had this cruise booked for many months. Weeks before sailing we heard on the news about the "tilt" on the Sunshine. We also had a friend who was on that specific sailing and told us not to cancel our trip, that he had a great time. I personally was very apprehensive about going because of the ship tilting. But we listened and took the cruise. For starts, embarkation was "FLAWLESS". We were on the ship within 10 minutes. Here are the specifics: THE CABIN: We got an interior cabin with a king sized bed deck 7. The bed was amazing!! I wish I could've taken it home, along with the pillows and the comforter. The space was adequate for two adults. Closet space was plenty, but there could've been more drawer space. And also we found that the bathroom was too small. But... we made it work. The water temp was perfect. The shower was amazing, the water felt great. Everything worked perfectly fine including the television which gave us movies and continuous information about the cruise and activities. ROOM STEWARDS: I can only tell you that the service provided by our room stewards was awesome. We had no complaints. They were accommodating and very friendly, kept our room spotless, and they knew our names anytime they saw us. FOOD/DINING ROOM: The service in the dining room was almost always fantastic, especially our server MADE pronounced MAH DAY. He was outstanding!! We had dinner there most nights and breakfast a few times. The food was fantastic. We had the "anytime seating" so we could go eat between 5:15 and 9:30 I believe for dinner. It's a great option if you can get it. We also tried the Lido buffet, which provided a lot of different foods, especially amazing desserts, but the food wasn't always hot enough, but it did not disappoint us. We tried Guys Burger Joint - AMAZING, of course the 24 hour pizza, which also was really good. Food is available at any time. We also tried room service and it was great. Make sure you leave a tip because it's not included in the gratuities from what I was told by Carnival staff over the phone. ENTERTAINMENT: I cannot say enough about our cruise director MIKEY!!! He was AMAZING! He definitely is the right person for the job. He knows how to make you smile. He is infectious and friendly and fun! I highly recommend the Punchline Comedy Club. We saw 3-4 comedians and they were all hilarious. We went to at least 6-7 shows. We did a few activities on board such as trivial pursuit and karaoke and they were a lot of fun. STAFF: Overall, the staff on the whole cruise were friendly and accommodating. We did not have one issue with anyone. THE SHIP: The ship itself was better than what we had heard. For an older ship in the fleet, which did undergo a renovation I believe in 2013, it was very nice. It was clean. The staff was constantly cleaning. The decor was fun and classy at the same time. I loved the hallways to the cabins. The cabin doors were really cool. There is so much to see and do on this ship. Food everywhere, shows, entertainment, fun, and if you're too pooped to party, go take a nap in the amazing beds they offer. Overall, a very nice ship. PORTS OF CALL: We stopped at Aruba, Curacao, and Grand Turk. We unfortunately were unable to do any shore excursions so we made the best of it and did stuff on our own. We enjoyed all the ports, but our favorite was Grand Turk. Aruba offers a lot of shopping and dining and the beaches are beautiful. We did take a bus to go to eat at Hard Rock Cafe, pricey but had the best chicken wings I've ever had, and the fare was reasonable. Unfortunately we had a mishap in Curacao with an ATM (be careful of those), it ate our card. But the crew in Curacao came to our rescue and got our card out of the ATM within 15 min of being notified. Curacao was nice. Offered shopping in a really nice part of town, upscale shops, a casino and a hotel and some places to eat. The town seemed very eclectic, and had a very pretty view of the city from the ship. Again kudos to the people who helped us out. But again Grand Turk was perfect. The beaches are right by the ship, the shops are nice, and there's a massive pool right by the beach. They're all within a small area and you can walk to all of them. My only advice: Be careful when walking the beach. There are men offering to rent you an umbrella and two lounge chairs. We paid $20, but ended up asking him to take the umbrella because we didn't need it, still same price. Then a couple came up behind us and got the same set up for $10. And another couple told us they were charged $30. If you do not need an umbrella, ask them what the price is. Do not accept what they offer if it seems high, especially if there are a lot of people already on the beach because in that case they are more desperate to rent and will take whatever you will offer it seemed. If you are one of the first on the beach, expect to pay more, but I saw people bargaining so do not let them rip you off. Overall, great ports! ACTIVITIES: There were a lot of different activities available throughout the day, ranging from swimming (get there early because the kids will take up the pool, and if you go on the serenity deck, there will be tons of adults in the pool there), fitness center, activities on deck like basketball, checkers, water works (great for kids), and our favorite was the dine in movies. Blockbuster movies shown on a massive screen on the Lido deck minutes from 24 hour pizza and ice cream. We saw movies like Mission Impossible: Fallout, Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom, Skyscraper, Rampage. They offer blankets and popcorn. They offer two showings a day usually, two different movies. The shopping is fun as well. Multiple gift shops on board. LAUNDRY: They have, at least on the Sunshine, 3 decks with launderettes, 3 washing machines and 3 dryers. You use your sail n sign card to buy soap and to use the machines. Can get a bit pricey if you have a lot like we did for two adults. But at least they have it available, which I appreciated tremendously. DISEMBARKATION: Disembarkation was not as efficient as embarkation. I would say it took us about 45 minutes to get from the ship to out in the terminal with our luggage in hand. It moved a little slow, but it wasn't that bad. AGAIN, FEW NEGATIVES: Bathroom was small, not enough drawer space, a few spots on the ship it didn't feel air conditioned, like by the elevators, but everywhere else was fine, and the first few days the seas were a little bit rough but then it leveled out after day 3. TIPS: Take some sort of motion sickness medicine with you, even if you have never had it before. There were a few people who told us they never in their life had it, but did on this cruise. You never know. Be prepared just in case. Again, watch out for the men on the beaches renting the umbrellas and chairs. If you want to get to the pool or lounge chairs to lay out on the deck, get there early enough. They fill up fast. Make sure you have all your documents to embark. Most of all: Do not listen to all the comments you read on this site about how horrible this ship is. We read at least 5-6 reviews about the Sunshine and 98% of it wasn't true. You have to judge for yourself. OVERALL: This cruise was great. We had a lot of fun and enjoyed all that the Sunshine had to offer. The weather was great. We sailed in November and it was in the 80's in all the ports and had no rain. We would do this itinerary again and would sail on the Sunshine again. Thanks to all the staff on board and especially a shout out to MIKEY who made this cruise even better than it was! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Mikey was best cruise director on 7 cruises we have taken. He was very involved in everything. Always made passengers aware of all the activities, and so much energy. Crew was great; always greeted where ever we went, asked if we needed ... Read More
Mikey was best cruise director on 7 cruises we have taken. He was very involved in everything. Always made passengers aware of all the activities, and so much energy. Crew was great; always greeted where ever we went, asked if we needed anything.. Room steward greeted us upon arrival, gave his business card, and we saw him daily, he was very good. Food was great, plenty of options. Would have been better if burrito place and Guy's was open longer. Italian and Asian restaurants were delicious and worth $15 per person charge. Only negatives; size of lounges for comedy and shows couldn't get a seat to adult shows, and getting to main dining room was difficult; from AFT having to go across deck 5 thru casino and down to deck 4. Embarkation and Debarkation were smooth. Would recommend not scheduling popular events during late dining, we had to choose; going to our late dining time or attending event. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Did a Back 2 Back (B2B) with the first trip on deck 1 inside aft. Embarkation was extremely quick. Ship layout is a little weird, will get to that. Staff was excellent (like usual). Dining room was the quickest I've ever had. We ... Read More
Did a Back 2 Back (B2B) with the first trip on deck 1 inside aft. Embarkation was extremely quick. Ship layout is a little weird, will get to that. Staff was excellent (like usual). Dining room was the quickest I've ever had. We had the first service and were out many days prior to 7 pm. Probably has a lot to do with the Main Dining Room (MDR) having so many two seat tables. That and the staff was just quick. The Limelight lounge (were comedians were) was the weirdest part of the ship. First it was tiny, I mean real tiny. That and a lot of the seats you can't even see the stage, you have to watch the TV screens. I loved the comedians (some of the best I've seen in a while), but to get in you needed to wait in line long before the show to even get in. Another thing, there are two doors on the side of the stage that have doors to a hallway and stairs. People walk through while shows are going on. The Liquid lounge (main theater) is small, but makes for some great viewing. If you want to sit close or for that matter on the main floor, go early or forget it, not many seats. The aft part of the ship is a little deck 9 (Lido) is a little weird. The Havana restaurant and a couple others are back there. They were ok, but just so much different than any other ship I've been on. Second part of B2B we moved to deck 12 a spa balcony. Loved the room for size (much bigger that our other one) and the ability for fresh air. Serenity decks are forward on this ship an multiple decks. Just above our room was lounge chairs and people would be our there early dragging chairs. If you are a light sleeper be prepared. Slept like a baby in the inside room, best sleep in months. Not so with the deck 12 experience. Theremal spa. This was our first experience. I'm hooked. We added the spa package to the inside room and it came with the second room. I have eigth move cruises booked and I've added the spa to each except one (one was way too expensive). The thermal chairs were out of this world to relax in and we used them sometimes multiple times a day. Only negative is some of the chairs didn't get very hot, so you had to check. Also, one of the steam rooms was intermitten on temperature. After a couple days I complained and they finally fixed it. That only lasted a day or so, if was hit or miss after that. Yes I'm still hooked, I hear some other ships thermal spas offer more (can't wait). Cruise Director was Mikey. I've had others that were favorites, I think he just took their place. He is so friendly and outgoing. I've seen him multiple times and he with stop you to shake your hand and see if you need anything. Chair hogs were in heaven. The Serenity deck overlooks the Lido and there are a few clamshel chairs. People were getting them early in the morning and putting hats, books, towels, ect.... and keeping them all day and night. I actually seen a guy getting up to leave and he told his friends in the next chair that they were going to dinner and would be back (classic chair hog). Dissembarkation was the fastest I can remember. A little trick, get a porter. They were so worth the tip. Cuised a couple months ago in Jacksonville (small terminal) and didn't use a Porter and it was crazy. As always this cruise was great. Staff was excellent, as most are. Ship layout is a little different, but not to bad. We will be back for a 13 day cruise in two months, so that said, I'd do it again. 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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