350 Carnival Sunshine Cruise Reviews

We had not been on a Carnival cruise for almost 50 years! We were VERY pleased with our 5 day cruise and as far as VALUE for your money it really was pretty awesome. My husband and I are "Seniors" and do a lot of traveling. We ... Read More
We had not been on a Carnival cruise for almost 50 years! We were VERY pleased with our 5 day cruise and as far as VALUE for your money it really was pretty awesome. My husband and I are "Seniors" and do a lot of traveling. We have been on numerous other Cruises on different cruise lines and we just did not have very high expectations for this trip. However... it met some of our "needs" - a trip to Charleston, getting to see family, as well as celebrating my husbands 78th birthday. The food was way better than we ever expected. Especially lunch. LOTS of choices and I never (my husband did ) even get to try the pizza. Breakfast and dinners were fine but nothing to rave about. We found the dining service in the main dining room to be "hit or miss" - sometimes almost perfect and other times (a lost order), not so. We also ate (for my husband's birthday) at Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse. The food was definitely worth the extra charge. Our cabin was better than what we expected and especially the shower area. Shows and entertainment were just fair. Something to do. The staff on board was excellent and everyone was very up beat . We would definitely consider another Carnival Cruise in the future and recommend anyone to give it a try. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
Booked this cruise because we could drive to the port and do a "Snooze and Cruise" at the local Best Western. Hotel provided parking and shuttle to and from the port. Embarkation was delayed an hour due to the ship entering ... Read More
Booked this cruise because we could drive to the port and do a "Snooze and Cruise" at the local Best Western. Hotel provided parking and shuttle to and from the port. Embarkation was delayed an hour due to the ship entering port late because of bad weather. Initially a little confusing because the shuttle dropped you off at a building where you went through and then boarded another shuttle to go to the actual terminal. Go figure. Carnival very accommodating due to wife needing a wheelchair. Embarkation went pretty smooth and were on board in about an hour. We had cabin #1603 aft, an ocean view on the 01 Deck. Can be set up for 3 with a fold out couch but it was just the two of us. Cabin was roomy with lots of storage and no complaints. Antonio and Nina Lyn were our cabin stewards and were efficient and caring. Both of them smiling and nice. Dining was in the MDR with anytime option for dinner. Dinners were for the most part, very good. Must have the Carnival chocolate melting cake! Breakfast try Ji Ji's for superb omelettes and lunch with oriental bowls with chicken, shrimp and beef with your choices of veggies. Lido for a quick breakfast or lunch. Entertainment was high energy with engaging performances with the exception of one night. Young performers danced like they were on fire. Loved the shows. Service was hit or miss. Bartenders were too few for the amount of people they were serving. They were overworked and it showed. We are not big drinkers, but what we had was good and powerful. Only did one shore excursion at Nassau. The Dolphin experience was something both of us wanted to do and it met our expectations. A word of caution: NO CAMERAS, CELL PHONES, GO PROS, ETC. ALLOWED. Why? They take their own photos of you when you are engaged with your Dolphin. Afterwards you see about 30 photos on a computer and they are available for purchase on a flash drive. For a total price of $117.00. No other option. So be prepared. We bought the package as it was a once in a lifetime experience for us. Printed them out at Walmart when we got home. Just a word to the wise. They do take credit cards. Went to the private island via tender. It was OK but the free food was a hike and the wife was out of gas. Spent 2 hours there and tendered back to the ship. If you have done the island gig before, having the ship to yourself while everyone is on the island can be a plus. No kids with us but there was plenty to go around on the ship. We would take this cruise again to kick the winter doldrums. Note: The cruisers were a diverse group, lots of screeching toddlers to senior scooter drivers. be prepared. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We have done about 10 or so cruises, so not sure we are quite experts, but hopefully insightful. The short of it was, we really enjoyed this cruise, and Charleston is pretty easy to get in and out of if you live close by. We actually ... Read More
We have done about 10 or so cruises, so not sure we are quite experts, but hopefully insightful. The short of it was, we really enjoyed this cruise, and Charleston is pretty easy to get in and out of if you live close by. We actually flew in from Chicago, but have family and friends in Charleston so we got dropped off and picked up by them, which definitely makes life easier. Arrival Again, I can not speak to any airport transportation, or anything of the sort, but just know parking and drop of areas are pretty simple. There is decent signage to both. We were dropped off and in doing so you basically enter the port authority, and wiggle around to a drop of staging area. Here you load your bags on luggage carts that will be taken to your cabin. Ensure to keep what you need immediately with you. You then walk around the corner to a check in (this is new, they use to just throw you on a bus to the terminal for security then check in). After check in, there is a bit of a waiting area to wait for your “zone” – when you check in online they should ask when you expect to arrive and will give you a “ arrival appointment”. We walked over and inquired where we should sit with a nice elderly gentleman, and he simply said, wanna go ahead and get on the ship, of course we said yes, and he sent us straight out to the buses. Got on a bus quite quickly, and once full, it set off to the terminal. Once at terminal you go through security. There is the priority line and non priority. Folks that cruise a lot or need extra time, seem to use priority – we didn’t. This worked for us, the non priority was shorter at this time (we were pretty early, around 11am). We then flew right through security, and then you walk down the hall, up some stairs and just before getting on the ramp to the boat, one last scan of your boarding pass. Note: Check in is very streamlined since most folks do all of the previous stuff (Credit card for sail and sign, etc) on line. Your room key/sail and sign is actually just outside your room, which typically you have to wait until 130 before they open up the halls to said rooms. Once you go up the ramp, you are on the boat. Funny story, for our particular cruise, we were Guest #1 and #2, really just because we were early, and dumb luck. First Day As stated, you cant get to your room until 130 (I think you can get some priority or early check in at extra cost or possibly your VIFP status). They do have a few options for lunch. 5th and 9th decks, toward back of boat. 5th I think had bbq (never went, just heard). We cruised through the lido (9th) deck, which will be your main buffet line all week. Most bars will be open, and this is where we signed up for the Cheers program (recommended if you are planning on having a handful of drinks each day, as it also includes water (bottle), Gatorade, and some other extras (think boozy and I assume non boozy milkshakes, etc). Reason we waited until we got on ship, when I booked my cabin, we got a 500 credit, and although you get a 10% discount by signing up pre cruise, I didn’t see me using that 500 otherwise, so we waited until on ship. Once 130 comes around, head to your cabin to check it out, bags take a bit longer (or can – ours were there since we were so darn early, lol). Ship The ship as you probably read on the main CruiseCritic review was the old Destiny. I did not know this at the time but learned it from fellow guests. Funny part of that, we took the Destiny out of Miami for our honeymoon, so it was cool to be back on the ship. Now, it did go through quite the renovation, so most things were not familiar to us. The ship is nice, layout can be a bit confusing in parts, but its fun to explore. There were always folks cleaning etc, which I don’t remember as much on previous cruises so it was refreshing to see. There is an adult area, which is the top 3 outside decks at the front of the ship. Real nice set up, plenty of chairs, and a bar up there. Otherwise, nothing out of the ordinary for the ship, easy to navigate, clean, but it is starting to show her age a bit. The waterworks/sports deck is pretty neat. Had basketball court, 2 ping pong, pretty sweet little mini golf set up, 2 pool tables (don’t think you will be playing for money on these outside tables, still fun), shuffleboard, twister, and I feel like I am forgetting something. (There is a jogging track around this area as well, 10 laps = 1 mile). In the very back is a little kids water park area and then 3 slides. As expected, since we didn’t get off at Nassau, there were very little to no kids back here on this day. It was adult take over, and it was a blast. They have 3 slides and they are all equally as fun, and pretty darn fast, especially if you sling your self up top at the start. In the end, pretty fun area on the ship. Cabin We opted for balcony room off the back (aft) of the ship. The room was a bit smaller than I was expecting, but it was plenty of room for the two of us and we enjoyed the balcony as well. The room was clean and as expected. Keep in mind here, they turn and burn these cruises fast, so keep that in mind. We had some friends buy us a Bon voyage package which had some little decorations, a bottle of champagne and 2 champagne flutes. (I thought the casino did this as I am a “member” of that as well, but it turns out it was friends, but the little card either didn’t make it to the room or I never noticed it to know where it came from). We met our steward pretty quickly, Suyanto (think he went by Suya). He was super nice, always said hello, and we just a lot of fun interacting with him. We got fun towel animals each day and that was a nice touch, and he did a great job of getting in and out of there unnoticed, and the room was always nice after he did his thing. On day four, they did balcony cleaning, kinda wish they did it day 1, but they just leave a hanger on the door so you know and they access from outside (they don’t need to come into your room). Overall we were pleased with the cabin. Food First, I read a review saying no lobster. Not true. On formal night, it is on the menu. Also know, it was a 20 dollar upcharge. Now, let it be known, we never ate in the restaurant, just by choice, not because it wasn’t any good. More so, we had the my time dining, but I was a bit taken back that you had to go to a hostess stand, on a totally different deck to “check in” for my time dining. I thought the whole time, doesn’t seem like my time if I have to wait in line (not always a line, just during busier times). What we did enjoy, the Burger bar (only open till 6), the Taco/Burrito bar – only open for breakfast and lunch, -- Pro Tip – hit this spot for a breakfast burrito, I will await your thank your upon your return. Also, during lunch, ask for the Taco salad (vs burrito) if you want it in one of those big taco bowls. We also liked the deli. Pro Tip – Try the spicy chix sandwich. The buffet is what you would expect when they are trying to feed 3k people all at once. One nice thing I did enjoy, their little salad bar. We didn’t do any of the specialty restaurants, but b/w overhearing and speaking with others (and seeing some reviews here), sounds like that they are all good. Steak house is suppose to be real good (flat fee of $38 I think it was), Sushi looked good, pay ala carte, then there was Italian and Asian behind the Lido Buffet which I believe was $15 flat. Pro Tip – you can get made to order pasta at lunch which is included at the Italian area. The Asian restaurant was one of those make your bowl and we will cook it and always had a line. In that area is also Bar Havanna and for all meals there is a mini buffet set up on the one side. For breakfast they had these little cheese Danish roll things that were out of this world. They of course have the 24 hour pizza bar which actually isn’t bad pizza, and after a evening out (or maybe night out), it can really hit the spot. Bars There are quite a few spots you can hang out and have a drink. I won’t go through all the details as you can read about them online, etc, and we enjoyed pretty much all of them. Again, the Havana bar was a nice place to escape the crowds from the lido buffet. One of our favorites for evening (didn’t open till then), was Alchemy bar. It had real nice craft cocktails. I don’t think they even have soda back there, and most likely not even beer, just craft cocktails. Edward and Ranauk are efficient, personable and make great drinks. The casino bar is just that, the bar by the casino, so think smoke. There is also a little Sports bar in this area which was fun, but we just went in there once. There are two bars on the lido deck by the action (pool, entertainment), but they stay pretty crowded, etc. The serenity bar is at the top of the Serenity section. That one can get crowded but it’s the adults area, so at least no kids loading up their soda cups. Near the Alchemy bar is the Frog Pub, they have a shuffle board table and foosball in there and is just a neat little spot. Just up deck 5 from this area is where you can get some fancy coffee drinks and the boozy milkshakes I mentioned early. (this is also same area where you can get the bbq lunch on day 1, and I suspect lunch on any day, and also the desk to check in for dinner). The drinks in each spot are good, (better than I remember), and with a decent selection. Entertainment We didn’t do much here but the wife enjoyed a few comedians she saw during the week, and I enjoyed the casino (minus all the smoke, but it is what it is). I typically play blackjack and noticed they only pay out blackjack and 6:5 so just know that going in. Otherwise, it was lively and most of the dealers are pretty fun. Good drink service in there as well, I rarely went without at least seeing somebody walking around asking. There are several lounges for different entertainment, including one at the lobby bar (Deck 3), one b/w Alchemy and Frog Bar on Deck 5, and another one on Deck 4 where I believe the comedians typically were. They also have the bigger auditorium dealio that spans 2 decks, we just never got to a show in there, but they are typically really nice and this one seemed so as well (we peeked in once or twice). Ports This was the 5 nighter and made two stops. Nassau and Carnival’s little private Cay. We had committed to staying on ship during Nassau and hopping off at the Cay. We ended up jumping off at Nassau to swing into Senor Frogs for a quick drink and shot (felt you had to do it, lol). Kinda glad we did, as the weather did not allow us to get on the smaller boats to get to the Cay. The secondary issue was we got held up in Nassau (we technically left but had to turn around) for a crew member that needed medical attention. Then, after they cancelled the tenders to the cay the next day, we got a bit held up for a guest that had to get medical attention, which was no big deal, we had nowhere to be. Lol The sun was out and warm for the cay day, the water was just a bit to choppy to run those tenders, so while it stinks we didn’t get beach time, its part of cruising. Getting off the ship This part confuses me every single time. Two main options, you carry your stuff, or they will. If you carry, it’s called express and they start calling you out by deck number. Seemed they started with 3, went to 1 then up (I am not so sure, we left when they called 1, lol). The non-express, check bags, were supposed to wait until express was over. Didn’t happen, I saw plenty of people grabbing their bags from the baggage pick up area in the terminal, so it just seems like organized chaos on who gets off when. More so, it seemed some folks met in the theater thingie and were allowed to go even before they started calling on decks. Not the worst, but boy, always a mystery to me on how to get out of that place. Summary All in all, we had a really good time. I really would give the trip a 4.5 but they only do whole numbers, lol. Bit of a wait at times at some of the bars, ship starting to show age a bit, buffet food just being ok were some of the things that would have made me swing to a 5 rating. Drinks were good, the burgers were good, and the service all around the boat is better than I remember. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
we booked a spa cloud 9 with balcony room. it was slightly larger than other balcony rooms i've been in. it was great, for 3 of us. food was OK, drinks were better. we had one person in our group who can't walk long distances so ... Read More
we booked a spa cloud 9 with balcony room. it was slightly larger than other balcony rooms i've been in. it was great, for 3 of us. food was OK, drinks were better. we had one person in our group who can't walk long distances so we had a transport chair for her. embarkation was a breeze and so was disembarkation. the ship itself is very confusing in the way everything is set up. so many times we went back and forth to the extreme. i think the maps are not correct. service was exceptional. we did nassau ourselves but booked the stingray adventure for half moon cay. it was fun. and sitting on the beach looking at the clear turquoise water was just soothing. i used the spa. scheduled a hot stone massage and blow out. well, the hot stone massage was instead a deep tissue and very painful. she barely used the hot stones, and as you know, it's supposed to be relaxing. before we started the therapist asked a bunch of personal questions like how am i detoxing at home (um, i'm not???), etc. then, at the end of the session, she pressured me into buying a skin brush and detox bath salts. i was so floored that i did buy. but i took them back the next day and complained. they took them back no problem and they are credited to my account. i would go again, but maybe to bermuda (been there before) or some of the other northern caribbean islands. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I choose this cruise since it is closer to home. had surgery in September and had to cancel my Bermuda cruise, took this one to replace it.. took a while to get well. I read that people complain about the Sunshine being rocky.. ... Read More
I choose this cruise since it is closer to home. had surgery in September and had to cancel my Bermuda cruise, took this one to replace it.. took a while to get well. I read that people complain about the Sunshine being rocky.. I've never been on any boat that didn't rock a little. trip was great , food in all areas that I ate was excellent. Cabins were clean as expected. Service was great.. The Charleston port needs a lot of work but I guess Carnival can't help that. Not very handicapped oriented. All in all it was a good trip ,especially for the price. I will go again... The only problem I see is that it has too many passengers for the aminities.. enough eating area that we didn't have to wait but The Lido area was a total mess.. First time to Princess cay, about the same as half moon cay.. Go early for lunch or you will long lines, really not worth the wait, I didn't use Carnival for any excursion. been to Nassau many times and usually just get the taxi tour at the port.. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Last year was our 1st Christmas without Mama. She was all about Christmas and had wanted to go on a 2019 Christmas Cruise. Sadly she passed in March 2019 and we were all depressed having Christmas without her at home. Not wanting to go ... Read More
Last year was our 1st Christmas without Mama. She was all about Christmas and had wanted to go on a 2019 Christmas Cruise. Sadly she passed in March 2019 and we were all depressed having Christmas without her at home. Not wanting to go through that again we decided this Christmas we were going to honor her and be at sea. It was her wish and it really helped us all. We chose Carnival Sunshine 5 day Bahamas because it was the only cruise from Charleston during Christmas. This cruise was not about where it was going but from where and when. We drove 2 1/2hrs to Charleston the day before not to have any added stress on the day of the cruise and stayed at the Mount Pleasant Suites since there were 5 adults and they have 2 bedroom with 2 bathroom suites for $89 a night. It was comfortable & clean. We would stay there again. The day of cruise started badly. It was cold and raining. We got drenched waiting to get into 1st building then back outside and transported to a 2nd building. The only thing that made it good was thankfully we bought the FTTF. We sailed through both buildings and had no wait despite both buildings being full.we arrived at 11:30 and were in our cabin at 12! It was definitely worth buying. Our spa cabins were literally at the front of the ship 11001 & 11003. Cabin 11001 is very nice for 2 people. It was a good bit bigger (longer) than 11003. They were the same width. I guess because of 11001 location on the end made it longer. Cabin 11003 was well used. There are stains on carpet and furnishings worn. I guess cabins that sleep 3 are probably used more. Our cabin steward was Victor and he was nice but nothing special like I remember from past cruises years earlier. I have been on about 10 cruises but have not cruised in 10 years since Mama was diagnosed with Dementia. I was a little taken back when he asked me if I wanted morning OR evening cabin service. I asked if they don't do both anymore? He said yes they do so I told him both. We were always short a towel, took 2 days to get a 3rd robe and did not always replace wet pool towels or take drink glasses. Not sure if they supposed to anymore or not but had always years ago. Our dining room assignments were not what I had requested and got confirmation for so I had to go speak to the Maitre D. Again, this was not the same as I recalled from previous cruises. It was a tad of a hassle with him telling me it was not their fault since our bookings were not linked and he did not have what I wanted. I offered to go get my phone and show him the email I got confirming and that the bookings were connected. Then he said I give you this and ask a couple to change theirs. I felt bad about that but I requested it in March and was confirmed. Either way I did not appreciate the hassle. Thankfully, the 1st day was where the problems ended. The rest of the cruise was wonderfully and the rest of the staff especially our waiter Gennis was superb. We did tip him extra because he realized we liked cheese and fruit plates 1st and had them waiting for us when we got to the table. Nice to have something to nibble on while waiting to order. That is the kind of intuitive service I remembered. Just a few miscellaneous notes.... Id rather have been on Spa Deck 10 because only 2 elevators go to 11. I am not sure what the fuss is with Guy's Burgers. The fries were good but IMO the burger were greasy and tasteless. I attempted twice and same both times. Perhaps people don't make hand patted burgers at home? Yes, compared to McDonalds they are better but got a long way to go to be as goods as ones I have had. I took suggestion from Cruise Critic forums and loved eating breakfast in the Havana Bar each AM. Getting the custom made omelet with sides (meats, Homefries, Pancakes & French Toast) at Cucina del Capitano and adding some Cheese and Guava pastries from the Havana bar. JiJi's Asian Kitchen also has the omelets but not the sides. The only morning we didn't eat there was the sea day brunch. Which was good especially the skillet cake and filet mignon but the time it took I would have been just as happy at Cucina del Capitano. For lunch I stuck with getting a soft chicken taco or taco salad at Blueiguana Cantina then walking it to Ocean Plaza and complimented it with some items at Ocean Plaza. One day they had Poblanos stuffed with chopped potatoes and cheese Delish! Dinner...well the food was not what I remembered but I guess with the bigger ships and more people its hard. The food wasn't bad just not great. After the 1st night I mostly stuck with multiple appetizers, salad and desert. The apps were very good especially the Cannelloni, Prosciutto Ruffles & the Gazpacho's especially the strawberry one. We did have the liquor package which we all got our monies worth. I did not want it but both my husband & 27yo daughter did. I thought it would be a waste for me since I don't drink a lot. However, 2 Mimosa's at breakfast, a Peach Daiquiri at lunch, 2 bottles of water in afternoon, 2 glasses of wine at dinner, a Vanilla milkshake spiked with Baileys after dinner and a drink at the show each night, a Hot Chocolate spiked with Baileys before bed did not at any point make me feel like i drank too much. We enjoyed the Serenity section which was a plus to cruises now that we did not have years before. Was disappointed with the Dance for St. Jude. There was only 2 dances after a very long wait for shirt sales. Then you could have just bought the shirt in the gift shop. They should have you register and pay for shirt in advance like the Green Eggs and Ham breakfast and make the event about Dancing for the kids. The spa was nice but I don't plan to book a spa cabin again. The sea was just too rough being upfront and constant long walks and only 2 elevators. I went 3 days and signed up for 1 pilates class which the instructor did not show up for. Imo the perks were worth the minuses. We went to Half Moon Cay after lunch so there was no crowds or lines. We swam and enjoyed the beach for about an hour. There was a line to get back to the ship but it moved fast. We did not plan to get off at Nassau but decided to after breakfast to go to Graycliff so hubby could buy some cigars. Most were already off the ship so no lines again. We wished we hadn't bothered because it was Boxing Day and the parade, which was interesting to see, made taxi's not want to take us to Graycliff Hotel since it was not far but traffic not moving. In the past we had walked there but my hubby's foot was runover by a forklift and was unable to walk like that. Couldn't believe we could not find a single cab to take us so we just went back on ship. The pools were not handicap friendly from what I saw. My sister had knee replacement and struggled with ladder only entry. We were giving Luggage Tags #2 to disembark. However, with only a 2 1/2 hr ride home and not in any rush we exchanged for the last #25. Then we took our time enjoying breakfast in Havana bar (yes, you could get food there as usual although it was not listed on places to eat on the last day paperwork). After 2nd announcement for all remaining passengers we headed off the ship with no lines or wait until we got to our luggage. There was a good line at customs but my husband got a porter and we sailed through customs and on shuttle with no wait. The $20 tip to porter was well worth it because no wait at all and I mentioned how thirsty I was and he surprised us by getting all 5 of us a cold bottle of water. My hubby gave him an extra $10 for having done that. Well that is all I can remember that I wanted to share. If this info helped just 1 person then it was time well spent writing it. Hope you have a great cruise! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I picked this cruise for my husband's birthday celebration as it departs from our hometown port. We had a 12th deck spa balcony room. To be concise, I will list pros then cons of trip from our experience. PROS: Boarding boat ... Read More
I picked this cruise for my husband's birthday celebration as it departs from our hometown port. We had a 12th deck spa balcony room. To be concise, I will list pros then cons of trip from our experience. PROS: Boarding boat fast, organized. Lunch ready with a nice selection of hot and deli foods. Room service limited selections but adequate and prompt. Birthday cake I ordered was in room and luscious. General dining not bad but we prefer the Specialty restaurants which were excellent. The Chef's Table dining evening is $$$ but if you seek a dining experience of delicacies, multiple courses and wine, described by the chef, served with white glove service, its worth every cent. Reservations for only 14 diners includes an amazing pre dinner tour of the kitchen with champagne and appetizers. Elegant dress is appropriate for Specialty and Chef's Table. Room kept tidy with very comfortable bed, plenty of towels and ice bucket filled. Spa & gym included, was wonderful. Book massages before cruise for best rate. Enjoyed shopping in jewelry shop. We did not select excursions, used spa. CONS: Room carpet needed a good cleaning. A second hot tub in the Serenity area definitely needed. Tobacco smoke exits the casino into adjoining areas including sports bar so we could not tolerate it to watch games on tv. There are virtually no tv programs offered in rooms. Can't get a no-alcohol cocktail, even with full price. I asked for margarita on rocks minus tequila, denied due to they didn't have an established price. Only similar drinks are smoothies they have for kids. No alcohol free wines available. The main dining room location for seating was confusing. A basic dress code for cover ups, no bare feet or chests needs to be enforced in buffet lunch areas. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this cruise bc I wanted to celebrate our 25th anniversary and I was looking for the closest port. It turns out an 11 day Journeys cruise was leaving from our hometown so it was perfect. We went to St. Thomas, Aruba, Bonaire, Grand ... Read More
We chose this cruise bc I wanted to celebrate our 25th anniversary and I was looking for the closest port. It turns out an 11 day Journeys cruise was leaving from our hometown so it was perfect. We went to St. Thomas, Aruba, Bonaire, Grand Turks, and Princess Cays. Like with every cruise there are pros and cons. Cons first This was only our third cruise so not a lot of experience. The port itself isn't easy to navigate and we are hoping they fix this soon. The ship has a smaller Comedy Club and Liquid Lounge area then I think is normal and the shows were ok. The food was not as good as I've had on Norweigan. Now the Pros I have to say the cruise director and the fun squad was phenomenal!!! Neither cruise that we were previously on could top them. Our cabin steward ( RENATO ) was so very wonderful I have no words. I didn't even know someone on a ship could make me feel that comfortable. Carnival has a very valued employee and we hope they know it! His team of people that assisted him were very nice as were anyone we encountered in our hallways. It was like we were family. If we decide to cruise again on the Sunshine we would actually try to request Ren again! We splurged for a balcony room 6234 and it was nice and clean all the time. Thank you Renato!! We loved our excursions and would do them all again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We went on this cruise to join some family and it was my very 1st cruise. Embarkment was delayed due to a medical emergency, but it felt good to know that I was boarding a ship that they made sure to take care of that person, when they ... Read More
We went on this cruise to join some family and it was my very 1st cruise. Embarkment was delayed due to a medical emergency, but it felt good to know that I was boarding a ship that they made sure to take care of that person, when they were only one of out of about 3,000. Kudos to the Captain for that. We were offered an upgrade to the Cloud 9 Spa deck and so GLAD we upgraded. I did 3 UltraThermie's with Nombali who was wonderful. Such a sweet girl. And I got great results! Will definitely do that again! Also got a massage and an an updo which all were wonderful as well! The Serenity deck was awesome and up just one flight of stairs and there! There were elevators, but chose to take the stairs. Having the Eucalyptus room available was nice as the smoke going through casino to the dining room really took it's tole on me having suffered with lung issues in the past..Finally figured out to go to Deck 7, walk to the other end of the ship, then take the stairs down to avoid the casino. The deck above the casino smelled like smoke too. Glad our room was far away. The waterfall Serenity Deck was also enjoyable and we really had no problem finding space at most any given time. Dining rooms had awesome food overall. To me, they serve too much food. I do like Lido deck breakfasts over the buffet. Buffet breakfast is good but unless you buy a glass of fresh squeezed juice for $5, there is no fruit. I can control my portions so as to not waste food and have them throw half of it away at Lido. Love the Bonsai Sushi. Wish they had a Seafood Shack as I have heard good things about them. Guy's Burgers are not for me, dripping in grease .555 Fahrenheit Steakhouse was great, but again, too much food. They need to offer lesser options for less money. We enjoyed our balcony room on Cloud 9 Spa, Deck 10, but not all elevators go that high. Overall, that did not present a problem for us though. Balcony was large enough for the two of us with a table. They did only clean the room once and we rarely saw our Steward. Tipped housekeeping but he was no where around most of the time. Mikey, the cruise director, was just constantly full of energy and so much fun. The Motown night and the 1980's night were awesome in the Atrium. He kept people entertained on Lido during the day as well. We saw two stage shows which were fantastically done. Don't know how those dancers do it on a rocking ship! Saw 1 comedian that was okay. Don't need to hear the "F" word so much though. Drinks were enjoyed by family at The Altitude, with beer available for my husband just across the Ocean Plaza. At Nausau, we booked the Holiday/Hilton Inn on our own for a Resort for Day. We were able to walk there and the beach was awesome. We had a dedicated server that brought drinks and food. Recommend the Mahi ceasar salad for $9.00 for lunch. Water was beautiful. You do go through the locals that want to braid hair, etc., but if just decline and keep moving, it's all good, and just part of it. They are just trying to make a living. Half Moon Cay as wonderful. They do fill the boats to get you there, but once there, it was awesome. We parked on chairs outside the Pirate Ship bar in the front row. Put your sandals and lotion on the chairs if you go into the water as the tides will float them away in the first 2 rows if you don't. Buffet lunch was good and the rice and chicken were outstanding. Island is beautiful. Best to wear your flip flops when going to the bathrooms as the floors are tiled and often wet. Beautiful island and would go back time and time again. Debarkation went smoothly. The elevators do shut down periodically for a few minutes when they are picking up luggage, but it cleared in about 10-15 minutes. Great cruise, great ship and would do it again. Better signage to help you get around the smoking areas would be helpful - and get a Seafood Shack on this ship! Charleston is a wonderful town to port out of and we enjoyed spending some extra time there. Hyman's Seafood was excellent with the best hush puppies ever! The Crab Shack and Oyster Bar downtown are also excellent. We did the Morris Island tour as well which was enjoyable, but bring a jacket if it is cold at all. They have a shack of a restaurant there that gets flat out busy at night - bucket of oysters for $16 plus other seafood. Not fine dining atmosphere though. Magnolia Farms is also worth seeing. Take the train ride - the guy that runs it is a hoot! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We choose this cruise mainly for the price and location. We were able to spend a couple of days in Charleston prior to boarding the ship. Granted embarkation was delayed due to a medical emergency but Carnival saved the lives of the people ... Read More
We choose this cruise mainly for the price and location. We were able to spend a couple of days in Charleston prior to boarding the ship. Granted embarkation was delayed due to a medical emergency but Carnival saved the lives of the people involved. Way to go Sunshine crew! The embarkation went smoothly despite that hiccup. Disembarking was also smooth and efficient. This was our second Carnival cruise and we had high expectations for the food. Those expectations were exceeded. I cannot comment on the buffet because there are so many other options that we prefer. Guys burgers are awesome. The blue iguana burrito boys make a mean burrito. The pizzas are really good and the deli buffalo chicken sandwich is excellent. The MDR was firing on all cylinders as appetizer, main course and dessert were on par with the best of our local restaurants. However, there are two show stopping places to dine. Sea day brunch is amazing and I am now ruined from eating ordinary pancakes ever again. The "skillet cake" appears to be an ordinary pancake but once you eat it you'll wonder why they don't serve it morning, noon and night. Also the filet mignon and eggs are can't be beat. Try JiJi's for lunch and get some mongolian grill. Also the bonsai sushi is worth the extra money. Farhenheit 555 is hot hot hot! We thought the MDR was good until we tried 555. They knocked everything up 10 notches with a phenomenal 5 star 3 course dinner. Everything was cooked to perfection. Presentation was excellent. The WOW factor was a 10. It was an excellent dining experience that I am certain to repeat. Our steward was very efficient. Our cabin, as well as the rest of the ship, was very 'plain Jane' compared to other ships that we've been on. It lacked many of the art, sculpture and architectural details that provide a WOW factor. The Serenity deck had a waterfall into a pool. That area was a bit crowded on sea day but there are literally hundreds of loungers spread over the entire Serenity area and we never had an issue fining one. The Serenity bar is excellent for Happy Hour. The only issue with the bars is the need to sign for each drink. One would think that this process could be streamlined somehow to make the bartenders more efficient. The fitness center is heavy on the aerobic machines and light on the free weight area. The water slides are fast and fun. There were 2 comedians but they were outshone by the cruise director Mikey. That guy has limitless energy and really made the cruise something special. We would have liked to seen a magic show but there was not one on this cruise. The Epic Rock show was well done. Overall, it was another great vacation and we will sail with Carnival again but most likely on a different class of ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This ship stayed overnight in Bermuda, an Island we had wanted to visit. Also a smaller Carnival ship. Please understand that every ship isn't perfect, even your grand Mother of ships.Sunshine has around 3200 passengers, much less ... Read More
This ship stayed overnight in Bermuda, an Island we had wanted to visit. Also a smaller Carnival ship. Please understand that every ship isn't perfect, even your grand Mother of ships.Sunshine has around 3200 passengers, much less than others. It is an Older ship but has been refurbished. Are there areas that one notices need a pair refresh, or Windows replaced, yes. The shows are mediocre, the singers had great voices, however the stage presence and production wasn't as good as we have seen on other ships. We ate in the Sunrise Dining room mostly. The service was impeccable !. Our waiter Kevin was the best waiter we have EVER EVER had on Any of our multiple cruises. His attention to detail and service of his crew was top notch. Menu at every meal was wonderful. Best prime rib I have ever had on a ship. The variety of menu items was enough each day to keep one satisfied. We tried for the first time a Premium Aft. Balcony which was in the VERY rear of ship. The advantage of this cabin was a nice long balcony, 2 chairs, table & 1 long chaise. The room is roomier,has a long couch, coffee table , 2 bed end tables and came with very comfy robes. However, know that at night the rocking of the ship in this area is rough. Kinda like sleeping on 3-4 water beds all at once. For that reason, our Alaska cruise next year whichever ship we are on will be a balcony cabin midship on lower level. This area by far from past cruises is the smoothest sailing you get, day of night. Mickey, the cruise Director was OUTSTANDING !! He could personally run this whole ship single handed.He was so great at keeping everyone Informed of every event, was so personable, genuine, and really cared about us all. I do hope Carnival is paying this young 32 year old what he is worth. By FAR, the best we have had on a cruise. Go onto any ship knowing that there are all types of passengers on with you. Some nice, others not so much. However make the most of it and enjoy your vacation☺ We all have worked hard for this time so let the little things that happen to by and just have a wonderful time. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We went on this cruise with casino offer and port is close to home. So price was very good travel to and from was easy. Was a bit concerned about the bus between to get on ship but it went very smoothly not much wait on embarking or ... Read More
We went on this cruise with casino offer and port is close to home. So price was very good travel to and from was easy. Was a bit concerned about the bus between to get on ship but it went very smoothly not much wait on embarking or disembark. We had an ocean view on first floor room was larger than many balcony we have had in the past. Or room steward was one of the worst we have had we saw him the first day asked to have ice 2x per day he said they don’t do rooms 2x per day we said understand can clean room in morning is fine but just want ice due to no refrigerator finally saw him again on the 3 rd to ask again for ice did receive ice after that but didn’t always get fun times never received invite to meet and mingle and most likely didn’t receive other thing from casino. Room was clean but that was about all. Food was okay ate in main dining room with my time dining. You have to go to 5th floor to get your table assignment then down to 3 rd flor for seating or you can use app to get table assigned. We used the app first 3 nights, first two had some of the worst service ever over 2 hours to get thru meal cold food very disappointing, debating if just going to buffet would be better but don’t really like buffet on the 3rd night was seated with Gultekin as waiter. The reminder of cruise we went to 5th floor so we could request his area, he was friendly effectively took orders and served food timely was on top of his team. If you are going in next few months ask for him for sure you will not regret it.. He said he is going to the be changing ships in few months he is hopefully going to be on Magic. Casino one of my “spots” I play “penny slots” was large enough it was smoky but they have very limited areas where people can smoke so this is going to be the result. Waiter in casino Sabastin was great others were more of the regular place order and wait till you run out of money put more in machine so free drink becomes expensive lol. I enjoy slot tournament but on this ship they do not have electronic board to track seems to decrease the fun only did once because of this. Could not tell you who the host was no desk for host who I usually try to meet, as I said was on board with as casino offer not a “big” spender but usually at least once the host will come and say hello not on this ship. Had been to all 3ports before but had never had to go through customs in San Juan before not a big deal but a hassle nobody really able to answer about change but said it was because we were back in USA after other ports. For the price I paid for 8 days was a good value had never stayed so low on ship before it was not my favorite but would do again for the price. The serenity area is larger than many but due to rough seas top floor was closed for 2 days. It is not as quiet as most because it faces over main pool so you hear all the music and or movies this could be a plus to some but was one time I really missed my balcony for quiet reading time. Chair hogs abound as always but this was the first time I had a confrontation with one as I said top floor was closed and every chair or couch had towels on them a young couple sitting and reading saw us looking for a seat and said they moved stuff to take a seat and that the seats next to them with towels holding seat had nobody for an hour we decided to also move towels onto table and have a seat over the next hour nobody came back. The young couple left and someone else sat down thatt is when the fight began people from those chairs came back and started saying that they had only been gone for 20 minutes and the person had no right to take chairs we spoke up it was all very confrontational and unpleasant but the woman did not give back chair as she should not have to do they were gone at least the hour we were there and according to previous people another hour. The folks who had been in our seats came back and just took their towels they knew they had been gone to long to expect seats still be empty. Honestly unless you are going to the bathroom or a dip in the pool don’t save chairs! If people would stop doing this there would always be plenty of seats maybe you don’t get your first choice of location but so unfair to come out early in the morning save a group of chairs with no intention of returning for hours. Awww vent over! Read Less
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
Sail Date September 2019
This cruise was a little different than my previous cruise, for several reasons. First, Charleston was being evacuated the day we were scheduled to sail due to Hurricane Dorian. We had notice that Half Moon Cay would be removed from the ... Read More
This cruise was a little different than my previous cruise, for several reasons. First, Charleston was being evacuated the day we were scheduled to sail due to Hurricane Dorian. We had notice that Half Moon Cay would be removed from the itinerary the day before we left, which was disappointing but understandable. Because of the evacuation, my husband and I decided to leave and head to Charleston a day early to be able to beat the traffic and the road closures and re-routes. Unfortunately, we decided that at 9:30 pm the night before the cruise, so we got to Charleston at about 1 am, got booked at a hotel, slept, and then headed to the port Monday morning. The cruise opened arrival early because of the evacuation and delayed the departure, so we really got a full day on the ship that first day-- we were on by 10 and didn't leave the port until 6. We sped east to move around the hurricane. While it was SUPER rocky due to the speed, and I did get queasy and seasick and had to lie down, we never felt unsafe. The cruise overall was really great. Beautiful weather, great communication from the cruise director about our ports and Charleston, the ship was well-equipped with lots of new features for us (our previous cruise was on a smaller ship), and a wonderful excursion in Nassau. Our steward was really great-- always available, and always had our room ready after dinner (we like evening turndown), but never obtrusive in the way it can sometimes feel. The dining room staff was awesome. Putra and his team are amazing. Read Less
Sail Date September 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
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 August 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
Sail Date July 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
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
Sail Date June 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 May 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
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 March 2019
We chose this one for the itinerary, and the dates worked with us. We enjoyed the ports, especially Grand Turk and San Juan. We bought a ship excursion in St Kitts...kayak and snorkel, we were not impressed. Although the tour company ... Read More
We chose this one for the itinerary, and the dates worked with us. We enjoyed the ports, especially Grand Turk and San Juan. We bought a ship excursion in St Kitts...kayak and snorkel, we were not impressed. Although the tour company worked hard, we suffered because the ship docked an hour late and were rushed the whole time, plus we did not stop at the lookout spot at all. The kayaking was fine, but very short and simple, we went just along the shoreline to a really crowded man made grassy lagoon with some boulders dropped in to form a breakwall and colonized by some very basic fish. Zero coral to speak of, though we did see a turtle, which was great. After that stop we were sent further down the shoreline to wait for over an hour at a beach (with a tiny bit of sliced fruit and water )for the pickup ride back. We would have swam and enjoyed it a bit more but were told that the van ride was coming right away. No change rooms, bar or facilities here anyway. Buyer beware on this one, not worth the money. Otherwise we enjoyed the cruise. We were always able to find a spot to sit on a chair on board, the food was good , burgers fantastic. Buffet pretty small, however, and just repeated 4x. Could have done with a few more selections. This was my 4th cruise with 3 companies, first with Carnival. The free coffee was the best yet! Still not wonderful but drinkable! Drinks were pretty expensive but probably standard. We don't buy a drink package but you can tell who does....although after the first couple of days the drunken folks had totally calmed down and the people on board were basically the same as any other cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
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
Sail Date February 2019
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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