Such a Lovely Ship with Minor Shortcomings: Carnival Sunshine Cruise Review by 98dmac92
Overall Member Rating
Such a Lovely Ship with Minor Shortcomings
Embarkation: New Orleans
This is a pretty lengthy and in depth post, so if you don't like to read full reviews you might want to tl;dr this one.
Carnival has packed all of the Fun Ship 2.0 enhancements on board this newly renovated ship and has really improved the ships decor from its old, glitzy Vegas themes to a more contemporary and cool feel.
The ship's entire entertainment staff, Cloud 9 Spa staff, wait staff, steward staff, and guest services staff was absolutely fabulous. The cherry on top of it all was our Cruise Director, Butch Begovitch, who pretty much set the perfect fun atmosphere for the whole vacation. I highly recommend booking cruises while Butch is on board because he is the best cruise director that I've ever had the pleasure of sailing with on Carnival! These guys definitely know how to have fun and coordinate an amazing vacation!
As far More as the ships new places and spaces on board went, everything was pretty phenomenal, especially when compared with the other 4 Carnival Cruises that I've cruised on before this one (all of which were pre-2.0 upgraded ships).
The food from Cucina del Capitano, JiJi's Asian Kitchen, Fahrenheit 555, Bonsai Sushi, Lido Marketplace, Guy's Burgers, The Blue Iguana Cantina, and the main dinning rooms were all absolutely delicious and flavorful! We only had one issue during a main dining time where a steak was undercooked and a little too fatty, but that was literally the only bump we had for food.
The new Red Frog Rum Bar, Blue Iguana Tequila Bar, Alchemy Bar, EA Sports Bar, and Serenity deck bar were all great as well. What was nice here was that while the Serenity Bar and EA Sports Bar offered the typical cocktails and alcohol available in all other main places on the ship, all of the other venues offered a great variety of specialized cocktails and concoctions that you could only obtain at those specific bars. It was a great way to enhance the flavor and atmosphere of each location. (Psst! Hey, they make some MEAN cocktails over at the Alchemy Bar. STRONGLY recommended!) Oh! And don't pass up Java City if you like to get your coffee and latte fix. Java City also offers quite a few spiked coffees and shakes for those of you that like a little extra fun in your drink!
The new Ocean Plaza is a great location to catch karaoke performances, trivia games, and live music on the daily. Carnival really opened this area up on deck 5, past the gorgeous casino, so that it's more fun and inviting for guests.
Also, the new Waterworks and Serenity Decks? They are probably the best in the fleet. They are huge and absolutely amazing. The slides are a blast!
Here is where my only two negatives about the ship come in.
The new Liquid Lounge is WAY too small for the increased amount of passengers that this ship carries. While the new 2 story lounge has totally revolutionized the ability for Carnival to actually have a functioning adult dance club (the Liquid Night Club that was opened every night was pretty boss and featured amazing mixes from Carnivals new DJ's) the ability for it to successfully serve as an appropriately sized show lounge fell short.
The 2.0 Playlist Production shows were amazing and obviously, everyone wanted to get a seat to see them, but the size of the lounge coupled with the large families that would hoard seats all over the lounge lead to major seating issues. There was one instance where I had to sit behind a support pole structure (infamously found in Carnival's showrooms) and I literally missed half of the action on stage during Epic Rock (this is arguably the most amazing show that Carnival has produced to date on its 2.0 ships). Adding more cabins, eliminating a floor of seating in the lounge, and not being able to find a structural compromise for those support structures = a pretty miserable experience unless you get there 45 minutes before the shows start...
Lastly, the newly restructured aft lounge, now called the Limelight Lounge, faced similar issues. While they've pulled out all of the new and modern stops to feature all of the hilarious comedians that come on board, there simply wasn't enough space in the lounge to accommodate everyone that would've liked to enjoy the shows. Even though there were 5 different show times for each comedian, there were always people standing on the outskirts of this downsized lounge. Again, the addition of even more cabins on deck 4 aft eliminated the public space that would've been required to make this an appropriate venue.
All in all, this ship is pretty fantastic. Just make sure to plan accordingly for all of the major shows because you REALLY wouldn't want to miss any of the Playlist Productions. And the comedians are too hilarious to pass up, so make sure you get to the Limelight Lounge early too.
This ship will be missed dearly in the port of New Orleans for sure! Less
Cabin review: Spa Suite10107
My fiancé and I had the junior suite cabin on the spa deck, deck 10, and we loved it! It had a walk in closet for two, a nice big screen television, a larger balcony, and a lovely whirlpool tub in a larger than average bathroom. The only thing that we didn't like about our cabin was that its large and gorgeous balcony was intruded upon by peering eyes from those staying on the newly added decks on 11 and 12. Since the newer rooms on deck 10 protrude outward from the ships infrastructure, they are partially exposed from above, thus resulting in the privacy problem. Those people gazing out to the sea from Deck 14 on Serenity were also able to see on to a portion of our balcony. It was a little disheartening when we wanted to spend romantic moments looking out to sea on our balcony.