I never like to start a review with negative comments. After all, no one is perfect. We returned from a wonderful twelve night cruise on board the Carnival Sunshine to the Mediterranean. Ports of call included Barcelona, Spain; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Livorno, Civitavecchia, Napoli, Venice, Messina, Italy; Dubrovnik, Croatia. We enjoyed Europe and cannot wait to return.
Now, about the ship. The Carnival Sunshine has been redesigned and is a rather small ship; therefore, fewer services and options for the cruiser. That might explain of disappointment. On a bright note, our room stewards and the servers in the formal dining were (as always) excellent. The quality of everything else, however, seems to have slipped a little (an in the quality and quantity of the food), a lot! A few years back, we spent two delightful cruises in the Caribbean abord the Glory and the Pride. What incredible ships and what fantastic experiences! We raved about the food and purchased the carnival recipe book on our last cruise. The quality of the menu items, the varied selection in the formal dining areas and on the Lido food deck were simply amazing. Great taste, wonderful presentation, delicious recipes, incredible variety, enormous quantities, ease of access . . .it was a delightful epicurean experience on board both boats, memories I shall treasure forever. It should be mentioned that on both of those former cruises I gained ten pounds. On this last Sunshine cruise, however, I gained only one pound. I especially missed the signature potato salad now missing from your salad buffet. The main breakfast courses on the Lido deck seemed a rather drab and boring array of insipid eggs, uninteresting breakfast potatoes, undercooked bacon that stuck together, two types of breakfast sausages, honey dew, cantaloupe, cantaloupe, honeydew, CANNED PEACHES!! Really!!. . . the list goes on and I shall not belabor the point. Lunch and dinner wasn't any better. I think I saw the same bland white fish served every night for twelve days straight. Pork, rice dishes, pasta, WHERE'S THE BEEF! Oh yes! Breakfast on the Lido deck on mornings when many passengers had to arrive on the dock early for shore tours was like a cattle call! Carnival should open more food services for breakfast. Even the room service couldn't keep up with the demand on those days. We had at least two couples we met who did not get their room service in time and had to go ashore without breakfast.
My summation of the trip on board Carnival could be summed up like this: Carnival has slipped from a five star cruise line to maybe a three or two. We are looking for a better experience next time and a different cruise line for our next investment.
Balcony chairs and tables extremEly noise when moved about. Rubber caps on the legs might dampen the sound a bit. No sound insulation between balconies. When you have noisy neighbors who insist upon talking at the top of their voices, it is irritating. Private balcony, indeed! More like an apartment with thin walls where you can hear everything, magnified by the compartment formed by the balcony. Noise dampening technology might help here. Shower drain was clogged when we checked in and the carpet was wet beside the entry. This was fixed promptly but we returned to a sewage smell in the room and a persistent mildew odor in the bathroom. The beds are too hard. Maybe a mattress topper might alleviate this complaint.