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My wife and I just got back from a 7 night cruise to the Western Caribbean (Cozumel, Honduras, Belize, and Costa Maya). We have taken taken 8 cruises in the past 10 years. We booked this cruise primarily for the ports of Honduras and Belize. (More on that later). Carnival Sunshine was a smaller ship with all of the 2.0 upgrades. The retrofit of all of the upgrades created many tight spaces on the ship and really did not have large enough public spaces. The main lounge is the smallest that I have seen on any ship. This room doubles as a night club after 10:30pm. The dinning rooms were a little tricky to find as the layout of the ship did not allow people to walk on each of the floors. The food was very good in all places. Not sure why anyone would feel the need to visit the specialty restaurants and pay the extra money. Desserts need a little work... but you can always fall back to the Choc Melting Cake or ice cream. The Limelight Lounge (Comedy Club) was not large enough. Every show was full and you had to be 20-30 minutes early just to have a seat in the lounge. This room does not make sense to me. The comedians could only face 1/2 of their audience as the people sitting on the sides had to watch on a closed circuit tv as the layout of the room was terrible. Although we did not use the pool, it was very small and always crowded. The serenity adult only pool and deck was nice. Again this was a very crowded deck and many people had towels on the lounge chairs early in the morning and finding a seat was quite difficult. We spent the majority of our time in Ocean Plaza and the Red Frog Pub. This was at the back of the ship which had great activities (trivia and live band) throughout the cruise. The band was very good. The entire entertainment staff on this ship was excellent. Jamie Dee was the cruise director and she has so much energy. Her staff was very attentive and did their activities with energy and pizzaz. We truly enjoyed Darnell's trivia sessions. The shows were the best that we have sen on any ship. The special effects during the shows were top notch. All of the performers were also great! Ports of Call- (We try to book independent of the ship) Cozumel- We decided to make it a beach day and we went to Mr. Sanchos Beach. This was an all inclusive beach/ pools etc... 50 bucks a person included all of your beverages and lunch. This beach is about a 20 minute cab ride away from the ship. The ocean was very rough on the day that we were there. So we decided to stay mainly in the pool. this is a great stop if you have a large group and who like to party. Roatan Honduras- This is a beautiful island! We decided to book a snorkeling adventure with Eco Tours. http://roatanecotour.com/ We had to walk outside of the port area as this excursion is not part of the ships excursions. Once we walked out of the port and up and down a hill we were met by our Tour Guide Alex. He informed us that we were the only people on his excursion for that day. At first this made us a little nervous. However, we soon found out that it meant we had a private guide. We took about a 20 minute ride to the other side of the Island to where his boat was. He was very informative about the island and was very personable. Once we arrived at the boat, we met his deck hand Javi. Javi welcomed us onto the boat and informed us about the boat etc... Once on the water we took a short ride to where there is a beautiful channel in the water. Both Alex and Javi went into the water show us all around. This was absolutely the best snorkeling that we have ever done in the caribbean. We went onto a second stop where we swam along another reef. The fish here was just as spectacular. I would highly recommend this excursion to anyone! Belize- http://www.cave-tubing.com/ Once again we book this excursion independent of the ship as the price was nearly half of the price. After taking a tender into port we once again had to walk a short distance off the pier where were met with our tour guide. Here we loaded into a bus where we had about an hours drive into the forest. On the way there we had a very nice air-conditioned bus ride. The bus ride through the city was very eye opening. The tour guide did a great job with providing the history and information of Belize City. Once we arrived at the destination we were given a head lamp and a life jacket. (We did not have to carry our tubes up the hill, as some of the other tours man the people carry their tubes). We had a short 20 minute walk up the trail. Some have described this walk as being difficult. The path is not the smoothest, as it is mainly loose gravel. There are a few inclines and you need to walk across the stream when you are walking to the starting point. Once at the starting point there is a nice swimming hole to cool off before you make your way down the river on your tube. All of the tubes are tied together in pairs so there is 2 rows of 8 and you have 2 guides with you. Once you are on your tube you gently float down into the caves looking at all of the great stalactites and stalagmites of the caves. You float for about 1 hour in the caves and another 1/2 hour or so in the open forest. We were also lucky enough to see a few monkeys hanging out in the trees. I would highly recommend this outfit as well. Costa Maya- Mayan Ruins- We decided to book directly with the ship on this excursion as it was the last port of call and the shortest allotted time in port. We took a nice bus to Chacchoben to see the ruins. On our way to the stop it began to rain. The rain was quite heavy when we arrived. We tried to purchase a rain coat but they sold out very quickly. We did end up purchasing garbage bags for 1.00 where we made ponchos out of them. We were given a tour of all of the ruins and provided with an amazing amount of history. Despite the rain this was a very cool excursion. Again all of the Ports of Call were definitely the highlight of this cruise. We were slightly disappointed with the overall layout and space of the ship. We will not be booking the Sunshine again unless there are new ports of call that we really want to visit.

Great staff and ports of call; ship was okay!

Carnival Sunshine Cruise Review by Clawman

Trip Details
My wife and I just got back from a 7 night cruise to the Western Caribbean (Cozumel, Honduras, Belize, and Costa Maya). We have taken taken 8 cruises in the past 10 years. We booked this cruise primarily for the ports of Honduras and Belize. (More on that later).

Carnival Sunshine was a smaller ship with all of the 2.0 upgrades. The retrofit of all of the upgrades created many tight spaces on the ship and really did not have large enough public spaces. The main lounge is the smallest that I have seen on any ship. This room doubles as a night club after 10:30pm. The dinning rooms were a little tricky to find as the layout of the ship did not allow people to walk on each of the floors. The food was very good in all places. Not sure why anyone would feel the need to visit the specialty restaurants and pay the extra money. Desserts need a little work... but you can always fall back to the Choc Melting Cake or ice cream.

The Limelight Lounge (Comedy Club) was not large enough. Every show was full and you had to be 20-30 minutes early just to have a seat in the lounge. This room does not make sense to me. The comedians could only face 1/2 of their audience as the people sitting on the sides had to watch on a closed circuit tv as the layout of the room was terrible.

Although we did not use the pool, it was very small and always crowded. The serenity adult only pool and deck was nice. Again this was a very crowded deck and many people had towels on the lounge chairs early in the morning and finding a seat was quite difficult.

We spent the majority of our time in Ocean Plaza and the Red Frog Pub. This was at the back of the ship which had great activities (trivia and live band) throughout the cruise. The band was very good.

The entire entertainment staff on this ship was excellent. Jamie Dee was the cruise director and she has so much energy. Her staff was very attentive and did their activities with energy and pizzaz. We truly enjoyed Darnell's trivia sessions. The shows were the best that we have sen on any ship. The special effects during the shows were top notch. All of the performers were also great!

Ports of Call- (We try to book independent of the ship)

Cozumel- We decided to make it a beach day and we went to Mr. Sanchos Beach. This was an all inclusive beach/ pools etc... 50 bucks a person included all of your beverages and lunch. This beach is about a 20 minute cab ride away from the ship. The ocean was very rough on the day that we were there. So we decided to stay mainly in the pool. this is a great stop if you have a large group and who like to party.

Roatan Honduras- This is a beautiful island! We decided to book a snorkeling adventure with Eco Tours. http://roatanecotour.com/ We had to walk outside of the port area as this excursion is not part of the ships excursions. Once we walked out of the port and up and down a hill we were met by our Tour Guide Alex. He informed us that we were the only people on his excursion for that day. At first this made us a little nervous. However, we soon found out that it meant we had a private guide. We took about a 20 minute ride to the other side of the Island to where his boat was. He was very informative about the island and was very personable. Once we arrived at the boat, we met his deck hand Javi. Javi welcomed us onto the boat and informed us about the boat etc... Once on the water we took a short ride to where there is a beautiful channel in the water. Both Alex and Javi went into the water show us all around. This was absolutely the best snorkeling that we have ever done in the caribbean. We went onto a second stop where we swam along another reef. The fish here was just as spectacular. I would highly recommend this excursion to anyone!

Belize- http://www.cave-tubing.com/ Once again we book this excursion independent of the ship as the price was nearly half of the price. After taking a tender into port we once again had to walk a short distance off the pier where were met with our tour guide. Here we loaded into a bus where we had about an hours drive into the forest. On the way there we had a very nice air-conditioned bus ride. The bus ride through the city was very eye opening. The tour guide did a great job with providing the history and information of Belize City. Once we arrived at the destination we were given a head lamp and a life jacket. (We did not have to carry our tubes up the hill, as some of the other tours man the people carry their tubes). We had a short 20 minute walk up the trail. Some have described this walk as being difficult. The path is not the smoothest, as it is mainly loose gravel. There are a few inclines and you need to walk across the stream when you are walking to the starting point. Once at the starting point there is a nice swimming hole to cool off before you make your way down the river on your tube. All of the tubes are tied together in pairs so there is 2 rows of 8 and you have 2 guides with you. Once you are on your tube you gently float down into the caves looking at all of the great stalactites and stalagmites of the caves. You float for about 1 hour in the caves and another 1/2 hour or so in the open forest. We were also lucky enough to see a few monkeys hanging out in the trees. I would highly recommend this outfit as well.

Costa Maya- Mayan Ruins- We decided to book directly with the ship on this excursion as it was the last port of call and the shortest allotted time in port. We took a nice bus to Chacchoben to see the ruins. On our way to the stop it began to rain. The rain was quite heavy when we arrived. We tried to purchase a rain coat but they sold out very quickly. We did end up purchasing garbage bags for 1.00 where we made ponchos out of them. We were given a tour of all of the ruins and provided with an amazing amount of history. Despite the rain this was a very cool excursion.

Again all of the Ports of Call were definitely the highlight of this cruise. We were slightly disappointed with the overall layout and space of the ship. We will not be booking the Sunshine again unless there are new ports of call that we really want to visit.
Clawman’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Interior
Cabin 4F 7153
Our cabin was an interior room. We choose an interior room as we typically like the darkness of the inside staterooms. As with all interior staterooms space is quite limited and we did not feel as though this room was any different than the 8 previous cruises that we took. We rarely spend time in our room so this was not a huge factor.
Deck 8 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Cave-Tubing
    Belize- http://www.cave-tubing.com/ Once again we book this excursion independent of the ship as the price was nearly half of the price. After taking a tender into port we once again had to walk a short distance off the pier where were met with our tour guide. Here we loaded into a bus where we had about an hours drive into the forest. On the way there we had a very nice air-conditioned bus ride. The bus ride through the city was very eye opening. The tour guide did a great job with providing the history and information of Belize City. Once we arrived at the destination we were given a head lamp and a life jacket. (We did not have to carry our tubes up the hill, as some of the other tours man the people carry their tubes). We had a short 20 minute walk up the trail. Some have described this walk as being difficult. The path is not the smoothest, as it is mainly loose gravel. There are a few inclines and you need to walk across the stream when you are walking to the starting point. Once at the starting point there is a nice swimming hole to cool off before you make your way down the river on your tube. All of the tubes are tied together in pairs so there is 2 rows of 8 and you have 2 guides with you. Once you are on your tube you gently float down into the caves looking at all of the great stalactites and stalagmites of the caves. You float for about 1 hour in the caves and another 1/2 hour or so in the open forest. We were also lucky enough to see a few monkeys hanging out in the trees. I would highly recommend this outfit as well.
    View All 337 Cave-Tubing Reviews
  • Chacchoben Mayan Ruins
    Costa Maya- Mayan Ruins- We decided to book directly with the ship on this excursion as it was the last port of call and the shortest allotted time in port. We took a nice bus to Chacchoben to see the ruins. On our way to the stop it began to rain. The rain was quite heavy when we arrived. We tried to purchase a rain coat but they sold out very quickly. We did end up purchasing garbage bags for 1.00 where we made ponchos out of them. We were given a tour of all of the ruins and provided with an amazing amount of history. Despite the rain this was a very cool excursion.
    View All 369 Chacchoben Mayan Ruins Reviews
  • Mr Sanchos
    Cozumel- We decided to make it a beach day and we went to Mr. Sanchos Beach. This was an all inclusive beach/ pools etc... 50 bucks a person included all of your beverages and lunch. This beach is about a 20 minute cab ride away from the ship. The ocean was very rough on the day that we were there. So we decided to stay mainly in the pool. this is a great stop if you have a large group and who like to party.
    View All 13,583 Mr Sanchos Reviews
  • Port Canaveral (Orlando)
    We took a private shuttle from the airport to Port. We arrived around 2pm and Embarkation was very simple. We were sure to have all of our paperwork in order and we made sure that our online check in process was completed in advance.
    View All 2,177 Port Canaveral (Orlando) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Port Canaveral (Orlando) Cruise Port Review
  • Snorkeling
    Roatan Honduras- This is a beautiful island! We decided to book a snorkeling adventure with Eco Tours. http://roatanecotour.com/ We had to walk outside of the port area as this excursion is not part of the ships excursions. Once we walked out of the port and up and down a hill we were met by our Tour Guide Alex. He informed us that we were the only people on his excursion for that day. At first this made us a little nervous. However, we soon found out that it meant we had a private guide. We took about a 20 minute ride to the other side of the Island to where his boat was. He was very informative about the island and was very personable. Once we arrived at the boat, we met his deck hand Javi. Javi welcomed us onto the boat and informed us about the boat etc... Once on the water we took a short ride to where there is a beautiful channel in the water. Both Alex and Javi went into the water show us all around. This was absolutely the best snorkeling that we have ever done in the caribbean. We went onto a second stop where we swam along another reef. The fish here was just as spectacular. I would highly recommend this excursion to anyone!
    View All 302 Snorkeling Reviews