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This was only my second cruise. First was on Carnival Conquest in February. We aren't avid cruisers (yet), but I know what I like and what to look for. After reading all the negative reviews about Sunshine, I have to admit I was second guessing my decision to book it. I made sure my mind was prepared for a less than ideal cruise. Fortunately Sunshine delivered an incredible vacation and put my worries to shame! The ship is beautiful, the staff was friendly, the shows were entertaining (don't miss Epic Rock), the Serenity Decks were amazing, the food was delicious (mostly), and the rooms were very comfy! The only reason I didn't give Sunshine a five was for cleanliness. Our room still had dust and hair on a few of the shelves when we arrived that looked like they had been missed more than once. Also, since there aren't as many staff members onboard for the quantity of people (compared to other ships), dishes, cups, etc. sat around longer than they should have. Not a huge deal or problem, but something for Sunshine to work on. Our room was always kept clean after our arrival though and the service we got was very good. The awkwardness of the ship's layout (which many people complain about) wasn't a big deal at all. We had Your Time Dining and checked in on Deck 5. There wasn't usually a wait before walking down to Deck 3 to be sat, but when there was, it was the perfect area to wait with Alchemy Bar, Taste Bar, and Red Frog's entertainment all there! VERY FUN!! Yes, you will need to line up for the Comedy Club about 30 minutes before show time, but again it wasn't a big deal at all. They open the doors about 15 minutes before the show starts, so you're really only waiting 15 minutes in line. The acts were great, especially Jorge. We sat front center 2 nights and off to the sides the other 2 nights. Looking at the monitor vs. the comedian was fine. Ideal? No, but totally fine and not worth thinking about. It doesn't keep you from enjoying the shows. As for not enough chairs on the decks, that wasn't the case. We were on a full ship (Memorial Day Week) and I always saw chairs available. Maybe not together for a party of 6 or more, but that can't be helped. We loved sitting on the Serenity Deck by the pool and got up early to get a good spot. We do the same thing when we're at nice resorts, so not a big deal or unexpected. (Depends on what's important to you.) The Serenity cabanas on the pool deck are premium and require extra early rising (before 7am), but there are more cabanas on the upper Serenity decks as well. They are so comfy and relaxing - great naps! The Serenity pool design and waterfall were such a treat! Extremely well done! My only other "complaints" so to speak, is that the Serenity Deck needs to be patrolled better (especially at night) to keep kids/teenagers out of that space and make sure parents with kids/teenagers obey the rules too. Also, the music on the Lido deck (with and without DJ) just wasn't as fun and festive (or eclectic) as what we experienced on Conquest. I don't expect to like every song and that's okay, but it was the fun/festive experience it lacked, especially leaving ports. Last cruise I never listened to my own music, because the Lido deck and music was so much more entertaining. This cruise I kept my ear buds on quite often to drown out what was being played. Not a deal breaker by any means, but room for improvement. They seemed to play long segments of certain genres. All things considered, I would not only go on Sunshine again... I will look to find a cruise to BOOK SUNSHINE again. Don't let other reviews scare you! Beautiful ship! SO MUCH FUN!!!

Wonderful Ship! Will Go Again!

Carnival Sunshine Cruise Review by GeorgiaMango

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2015
  • Destination: Bahamas
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
This was only my second cruise. First was on Carnival Conquest in February. We aren't avid cruisers (yet), but I know what I like and what to look for. After reading all the negative reviews about Sunshine, I have to admit I was second guessing my decision to book it. I made sure my mind was prepared for a less than ideal cruise. Fortunately Sunshine delivered an incredible vacation and put my worries to shame! The ship is beautiful, the staff was friendly, the shows were entertaining (don't miss Epic Rock), the Serenity Decks were amazing, the food was delicious (mostly), and the rooms were very comfy!

The only reason I didn't give Sunshine a five was for cleanliness. Our room still had dust and hair on a few of the shelves when we arrived that looked like they had been missed more than once. Also, since there aren't as many staff members onboard for the quantity of people (compared to other ships), dishes, cups, etc. sat around longer than they should have. Not a huge deal or problem, but something for Sunshine to work on. Our room was always kept clean after our arrival though and the service we got was very good.

The awkwardness of the ship's layout (which many people complain about) wasn't a big deal at all. We had Your Time Dining and checked in on Deck 5. There wasn't usually a wait before walking down to Deck 3 to be sat, but when there was, it was the perfect area to wait with Alchemy Bar, Taste Bar, and Red Frog's entertainment all there! VERY FUN!!

Yes, you will need to line up for the Comedy Club about 30 minutes before show time, but again it wasn't a big deal at all. They open the doors about 15 minutes before the show starts, so you're really only waiting 15 minutes in line. The acts were great, especially Jorge. We sat front center 2 nights and off to the sides the other 2 nights. Looking at the monitor vs. the comedian was fine. Ideal? No, but totally fine and not worth thinking about. It doesn't keep you from enjoying the shows.

As for not enough chairs on the decks, that wasn't the case. We were on a full ship (Memorial Day Week) and I always saw chairs available. Maybe not together for a party of 6 or more, but that can't be helped. We loved sitting on the Serenity Deck by the pool and got up early to get a good spot. We do the same thing when we're at nice resorts, so not a big deal or unexpected. (Depends on what's important to you.) The Serenity cabanas on the pool deck are premium and require extra early rising (before 7am), but there are more cabanas on the upper Serenity decks as well. They are so comfy and relaxing - great naps! The Serenity pool design and waterfall were such a treat! Extremely well done!

My only other "complaints" so to speak, is that the Serenity Deck needs to be patrolled better (especially at night) to keep kids/teenagers out of that space and make sure parents with kids/teenagers obey the rules too. Also, the music on the Lido deck (with and without DJ) just wasn't as fun and festive (or eclectic) as what we experienced on Conquest. I don't expect to like every song and that's okay, but it was the fun/festive experience it lacked, especially leaving ports. Last cruise I never listened to my own music, because the Lido deck and music was so much more entertaining. This cruise I kept my ear buds on quite often to drown out what was being played. Not a deal breaker by any means, but room for improvement. They seemed to play long segments of certain genres.

All things considered, I would not only go on Sunshine again... I will look to find a cruise to BOOK SUNSHINE again. Don't let other reviews scare you! Beautiful ship! SO MUCH FUN!!!
GeorgiaMango’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin 8E 9194
Cabin 9194 on Lido was very convenient and easy to run to regularly for any reason. A few doors down in either direction would have been more ideal though, because we were right across from the Atrium elevators and other elevator bank, which got noisy at night. You also hear the elevator bell a lot. I bring ear plugs for situations like that, but we were so tired we fell asleep without them and the bed was sooo comfortable. Good Snoozin'! :)
Deck 9 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Freeport
    We stayed on the ship and had a GREAT time! Very industrial area. You have to book an excursion or take a taxi for a decent drive (my understanding) in order to get to a beach. This was our last day, so we chose to just chill on the ship instead. Glad we did!
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  • Half Moon Cay
    AMAZING!!! We've been to a lot of beautiful beaches and have never experienced one this perfect. Not a shell or rock in the sand by the lounge chairs or in the water. It was totally fun with DJ Spike, plus good food, drink service, and incredible beach and water... will make certain we go here again!
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  • Nassau
    Took a water taxi to Paradise Island. Walked around Atlantis and took pictures. Beautiful place... reminds me of hotels in Vegas. Walked to Cabbage Beach (public beach next to Atlantis). We weren't very impressed. Just not what we were expecting. It's a small area and lacks the look and feel of a nice beach that we're used to. I guess if you're used to Public beaches, it would be fine. There was a run down shack/bar, lots of people standing around to get you a chair/umbrella for rent, or beach massage for $35 for 30 minutes, or hair braided. Not our scene. We did some shopping instead and went back to the ship. I would book an excursion next time.
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  • Port Canaveral (Orlando)
    Not a favorite port due to the proximity of the port to the airport. We rented a car to the port and then took their shuttle to the ship. We got a ridiculous deal with Enterprise for $17 going there, but coming back Avis was less at $45 vs. Enterprise (around $50). We definitely saved money over the shuttle, but may consider that in the future. Next time I will also look at Hertz prices. They are closest to the port and had a couple of shuttles swing by for pick-ups before Avis even had one. We waited at least 30 min's and another couple had already been waiting for 30 min's before we got there. Both of us called Avis to see where they were. That wasn't a great experience, so the shuttle service might be a better choice there.
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