Carnival Sunshine Cruise Review by E.Cooper
- Sail Date: March 2015
- Destination: Western Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Ocean View
We were very excited to be on this cruise as our 3 boys had never cruised before and we picked this ship partially for the amenities that were offered for them, ropes course, waterslides, kids splash park, mini golf, basketball and more. There was nothing more that they could have wanted. Here is where the problem lies though. There was little to no supervision in a lot of these areas! The waterslides were some what monitored as was the kids splash park. The ropes course also had someone at the beginning helping people harness up etc. Everything else was a free for all. There was no supervision in the basketball court, on the mini golf, or near any of the game stations (pool, bean bag toss) and it was always chaotic. I tried playing mini golf with my kids on a couple of occasions and we could not find putters as kids had not returned them and when I tried to find a ball I found 5 or 6 kids stealing them and putting them in their pockets. They were also throwing the balls at each other and I finally had to speak to security who looked at me like I was an inconvenience. We also witnessed a few teenagers trying to bounce golf balls off of one deck and onto another and he almost hit my sister in law in the head. We saw another group of teenagers throw a bean bag into the ocean. This all happened over a few days when there were adults near by, I can only imagine what went on when adults weren't around. Carnival you need to supervise these areas before something major happens! The pool was also another major concern. Kids were running around and jumping in and landing on other kids, it was insanity. Clearly parents need to take more responsibility as well but there was never any staff near the pool to monitor and make sure things weren't out of control. The pool is also a huge disappointment. For the number of people on board the ship, the 2 small pools hardly accommodate. If 150 people can be in the pools at once, thats a stretch. We actually thought people were joking when they showed us the main pool area, it's so tiny.
The ship is also very poorly laid out. There were numerous areas we wanted to get to where you needed to go up 2 floors walk down a hallway and then back down 2 floors to access it. It was a maze and we still were figuring it out after 7 days. The ship always felt packed too. After the ship got refurbished they were able to fit more in but what they really needed was to leave more space. I have never experienced a ship that was so crowded. We heard a lot of people complaining about this as well.
On the plus side the food options were good. Lots of choices and we all LOVED Guys Burgers. The taco and burrito bar was also amazing. The main dining room food was good but not the greatest. We have had better quality food on our other cruises. from the main dining room. Our wait staff was wonderful and took good care of us which is always lovely.
Getting off of the ship holds my biggest complaint yet. It took 2 hours of people being packed like sardines on stairways, in elevators and down hallways. I felt very sorry for families with young children and for older folks who were forced to stand for that long. It was ridiculous. I was talking to an elderly couple in line and they said in 19 cruises they had never experienced anything so unorganized. I agree, it was like they had never disembarked a ship before and no one was in charge. It left a very bad last memory for many people. We were panicking about missing our flights home as we were over and hour late getting off of the ship.
The Carnival Sunshine has so much potential. Better staffing in certain areas, especially the sports square and pool. Also the number of guests on the boat is too many! Figure that out and you have a much better cruise experience. For now I think we will try another cruise line and watch Carnival sail into the sunset without us.
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