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We flew to Orlando from Texas and stayed at the Holiday Inn Express is Cocoa, FL. We flew in the night before and called the hotel to see what was the best way to get there. The hotel advised that we get a one-way car rental and then the return place would be at the port. We did this and a large SUV rental was $50. The morning of the cruise (around 11am) my husband dropped myself, another wife and our children off at the port with all of our baggage and then went and returned the car and they brought him by shuttle to the port. The entire process took 30 minutes. Once we were all in the terminal, it took about 30 minutes (we are Platinum) to be on board the ship. This was our second time to cruise on the Sunshine and immediately, I remembered why I love this ship. I love the fresh looking design and the 2.0 improvements. We dropped our stuff off at the room. I had brought on a case of bottled water and a 12-pack of Diet Dr Pepper that were a bit heavy to lug around. Once we did that, we were off to the Blue Iguana and Guy's to get either a burger and burrito. We stayed in a Grand Suite (7195) and it was very typical of the other Grand Suites that we have stayed in while on board a Carnival ship. The storage is just ridiculous. There are so many drawers and closets and plenty of room for all of our stuff and our twin 9 year olds belongings and then some. The couple we traveled with stayed in an Ocean Suite (7183) and its very comparable just smaller. Our room steward Jason was fantastic! We ate at the early dining and every night we were taken good care of by Cornelius and his two assistants. The menu was good and every night you are given an option to have selections from the steak house for an additional $20. We only took advantage of this one time and got a lobster tail. Our group loves to play games so we attended 80% of the trivia. We really enjoyed all of the entertainment staff - Jess, Sara, Darnel, and Jamie. The Disney trivia is an absolute must. My kids will remember that for many years to come. We enjoyed the EA trivia as well. This cruise is the first time that we had that on a ship and even though we were awful, we went every night and enjoyed it. The shows are just fantastic on the Sunshine. They get better and better as the week progresses. The first time we were on the ship, we would come about 20 minutes early and wait to enter the showroom and we always got great seats. This cruise, the couple that we came with are lifelong friends and he is a retired Navy vet and has had a leg amputated. One of the lighting techs (Chris Ping) talked with us and got permission to reserve a couch in the very back of the showroom so that he would not have to stand in line to wait because its very difficult for him to do so. Just before they would open the doors, we would go to our couch and we were served nightly drinks without even asking by the sweetest bar girl, Melanie. She knew our order and our Sign and Sail numbers by memory - that's service! I cannot say enough about the Epic Rock show. I actually wrote down the "set list" so that I can create a playlist on my iTunes account to listen to whenever I am in a rock mood. My 9 year olds (one boy and one girl) had a great time at Camp Carnival. Daniel would literally wake up and couldn't get out of the room quick enough to get up to Camp. We would see him again at 10 pm. They did attend one of the Night Owl parties though, they would have loved to go to all of them. We had told them about the Hasbro Game show from when we had been on the ship in the Mediterranean and they could not wait. Daniel was actually picked to go up on stage and ended up winning the whole show. He won a $150 gift card and now I have a house full of Nerf guns and extra Nerf bullets all over the living room. Thank you Carnival! We went to almost all of the Comedy Shows and we really enjoyed Happy and the comedian from New Orleans. Some tips for people traveling on the Sunshine is that during lunch, no matter where you want to eat, take your plate to the aft of Deck 9. We usually sat in between Jiji's and the Italian place. We always get the bottomless sodas stickers. This ship did not use the soda guns but instead can soda every time, which is a plus for us. My husband loves the Mongolian grill at lunch. The Italian is great at lunch too, they give you a piece of paper and you indicate what kind of pasta you want, the meat that you want and the veggies and sauce. They then will give you a pager and then you pick it up when it's ready. There is no standing in line. I cannot say enough about the burritos, I love them and typically eat a burrito every day at lunch. Our ports were Saint Martin, St Kitts, San Juan and Grand Turk. We did the French Beach Getaway in Saint Martin. It was just wonderful, beautiful beach and good lunch, We paid $10 for each child to use a ocean trampoline with slide the entire afternoon. In San Juan, we went to the Rain Forest. It was just beautiful. St Kitts, we just walked around the port area. Lastly Grand Turk, my husband and son went on the Helicopter ride and had a wonderful time. They got a video of the entire ride for $15. As always, the worst part of the trip is when the waiters sing "Your leaving our Funship" on the last day of the cruise. We got off the ship on Saturday morning, had luggage tags #1 and were in a car headed to Disney by 8:45am. Absolutely wonderful vacation! I have read many complaints over the years about this ship and I just cannot understand any of them. The only thing that seemed to be a drawback was for the people that chose "YourTime Dining." The first several days there was a long line for that. Every day we would walk past all of the people in line straight to our table and have a wonderful dinner with people that called us by name and knew our favorites. I have never understood why anyone would want to chose that and I continue to be puzzled. It doesn't make any sense to me.

Walkin' on Sunshine

Carnival Sunshine Cruise Review by thegrizz

Trip Details
We flew to Orlando from Texas and stayed at the Holiday Inn Express is Cocoa, FL. We flew in the night before and called the hotel to see what was the best way to get there. The hotel advised that we get a one-way car rental and then the return place would be at the port. We did this and a large SUV rental was $50. The morning of the cruise (around 11am) my husband dropped myself, another wife and our children off at the port with all of our baggage and then went and returned the car and they brought him by shuttle to the port. The entire process took 30 minutes.

Once we were all in the terminal, it took about 30 minutes (we are Platinum) to be on board the ship. This was our second time to cruise on the Sunshine and immediately, I remembered why I love this ship. I love the fresh looking design and the 2.0 improvements. We dropped our stuff off at the room. I had brought on a case of bottled water and a 12-pack of Diet Dr Pepper that were a bit heavy to lug around. Once we did that, we were off to the Blue Iguana and Guy's to get either a burger and burrito.

We stayed in a Grand Suite (7195) and it was very typical of the other Grand Suites that we have stayed in while on board a Carnival ship. The storage is just ridiculous. There are so many drawers and closets and plenty of room for all of our stuff and our twin 9 year olds belongings and then some. The couple we traveled with stayed in an Ocean Suite (7183) and its very comparable just smaller. Our room steward Jason was fantastic!

We ate at the early dining and every night we were taken good care of by Cornelius and his two assistants. The menu was good and every night you are given an option to have selections from the steak house for an additional $20. We only took advantage of this one time and got a lobster tail.

Our group loves to play games so we attended 80% of the trivia. We really enjoyed all of the entertainment staff - Jess, Sara, Darnel, and Jamie. The Disney trivia is an absolute must. My kids will remember that for many years to come. We enjoyed the EA trivia as well. This cruise is the first time that we had that on a ship and even though we were awful, we went every night and enjoyed it.

The shows are just fantastic on the Sunshine. They get better and better as the week progresses. The first time we were on the ship, we would come about 20 minutes early and wait to enter the showroom and we always got great seats. This cruise, the couple that we came with are lifelong friends and he is a retired Navy vet and has had a leg amputated. One of the lighting techs (Chris Ping) talked with us and got permission to reserve a couch in the very back of the showroom so that he would not have to stand in line to wait because its very difficult for him to do so. Just before they would open the doors, we would go to our couch and we were served nightly drinks without even asking by the sweetest bar girl, Melanie. She knew our order and our Sign and Sail numbers by memory - that's service! I cannot say enough about the Epic Rock show. I actually wrote down the "set list" so that I can create a playlist on my iTunes account to listen to whenever I am in a rock mood.

My 9 year olds (one boy and one girl) had a great time at Camp Carnival. Daniel would literally wake up and couldn't get out of the room quick enough to get up to Camp. We would see him again at 10 pm. They did attend one of the Night Owl parties though, they would have loved to go to all of them. We had told them about the Hasbro Game show from when we had been on the ship in the Mediterranean and they could not wait. Daniel was actually picked to go up on stage and ended up winning the whole show. He won a $150 gift card and now I have a house full of Nerf guns and extra Nerf bullets all over the living room. Thank you Carnival!

We went to almost all of the Comedy Shows and we really enjoyed Happy and the comedian from New Orleans.

Some tips for people traveling on the Sunshine is that during lunch, no matter where you want to eat, take your plate to the aft of Deck 9. We usually sat in between Jiji's and the Italian place. We always get the bottomless sodas stickers. This ship did not use the soda guns but instead can soda every time, which is a plus for us. My husband loves the Mongolian grill at lunch. The Italian is great at lunch too, they give you a piece of paper and you indicate what kind of pasta you want, the meat that you want and the veggies and sauce. They then will give you a pager and then you pick it up when it's ready. There is no standing in line. I cannot say enough about the burritos, I love them and typically eat a burrito every day at lunch.

Our ports were Saint Martin, St Kitts, San Juan and Grand Turk. We did the French Beach Getaway in Saint Martin. It was just wonderful, beautiful beach and good lunch, We paid $10 for each child to use a ocean trampoline with slide the entire afternoon. In San Juan, we went to the Rain Forest. It was just beautiful. St Kitts, we just walked around the port area. Lastly Grand Turk, my husband and son went on the Helicopter ride and had a wonderful time. They got a video of the entire ride for $15.

As always, the worst part of the trip is when the waiters sing "Your leaving our Funship" on the last day of the cruise. We got off the ship on Saturday morning, had luggage tags #1 and were in a car headed to Disney by 8:45am.

Absolutely wonderful vacation! I have read many complaints over the years about this ship and I just cannot understand any of them. The only thing that seemed to be a drawback was for the people that chose "YourTime Dining." The first several days there was a long line for that. Every day we would walk past all of the people in line straight to our table and have a wonderful dinner with people that called us by name and knew our favorites. I have never understood why anyone would want to chose that and I continue to be puzzled. It doesn't make any sense to me.
thegrizz’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
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Ages 7 to 9
Service
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Cabin Review

Grand Suite
Cabin GS 7195
Typical Grand Suite for Carnival. Extremely long balcony with plenty of seating. We had a huge bathroom with a large tub and shower. You also get a dressing area outside of the bathroom with a sink. The grand suite has two very large closet areas, a six drawer dresser next to the king size bed. There are cabinets all around the "living room area" for storage. There are a total of 4 cabinets on the sides of the beds for storage as well. You have a sectional type couch and two soft chairs to sit in with a small table.
Deck 7 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews