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My wife and I celebrated our 20th anniversary by sailing on the Sunshine this month. This was my fifth cruise (second on Carnival) and her seventh (fourth on Carnival). We sailed with a friend and her sons who just graduated high school this year. In short, it was another great cruise experience. We've sailed Celebrity, Royal and Norwegian and had great experiences on all of them. While Royal will probably forever be my favorite, I just don't find enough differences between the lines to warrant paying the additional cost. In short, Carnival offers a terrific vacation at a great value. Ports of call included Grande Turk (amazing), San Juan (nice but a major thunderstorm limited what we saw and did), St. Kitts (a lot like Belize, in my opinion) and the always beautiful St. Martin. Once you've cruised the Caribbean a few times, the ports start to feel similar (that is not intended to sound like it does) so ultimately, it's the ship that has to please you. The Sunshine did NOT disappoint. I can't say the Sunshine is my favorite ship I've sailed but it's quite nice and our overall experience was outstanding. I was reluctant to have an interior room after having had balconies and/or window staterooms on previous sailings. My concern was alleviated when I walked into room 11004, a Cloud 9 Spa room that was both cool and comfortable throughout the voyage. Komang, our stateroom attendant introduced himself to me on day one and called me by name every time I saw him. He was fantastic. The Spa level rooms are part of the Serenity area which is for passengers 21 and above. I can't say that there weren't younger people in the area but that wasn't generally a problem. What was an issue however, was that the serenity pool (remarkably cold for how hot the Eastern Caribbean is this time of year) was ALWAYS crowded. The "bathing capacity" was listed as 17 but there were more often than not 50 people or more in and around the pool. Then again, the ship was at capacity as you would expect this time of year. The on board activities were plentiful, including three amazing waterslides, the sky walk and the mini golf. The shows in the Liquid Lounge were quite good. The performers were better than most on cruise ships and in particular, especially their dancing. The Motown show on the first night was the least of them but we hung in there night after night and they got better and better. Note. Jaime Dee, the FANTASTIC CD, commented that the early shows weren't as full as the 9:15 show so be warned that if shows are your thing, go early. We had difficulty finding seats for the later show time. Other shows like the comedians in the Limelight lounge were average at best but the juggler back in the Liquid Lounge was unbelievable. The magician not so much. But magic isn't my thing so.... The food on the Carnival Sunshine was superior to just about any cruise we've taken. The fish tacos at the Blue Iquana were out of this world. My only hang up with eating on the Sunshine was in the main dining room. There's only one - and although we never had to wait for a table (we did "My Time Dining" as we typically do) our tables were always on the side of the restaurant near the kitchen and without a lot of passing room for staff and guests to walk. In fact, that was my biggest disappointment overall with the Sunshine, when it was converted from the Destiny, I can't help but feel like they packed too much into the ship leaving too little deck space for walking - particularly on the Lido deck entering the marketplace (food area). James at the Piano Bar was outstanding. He had many regulars night after night, including us. Don't miss the Piano Bar - or taking in the sounds of The In Crowd (band) in Ocean Plaza (deck 5). The In Crowd is incredible. The gym inside the Spa was very good and, given our Spa level rooms, we were able to take a Pilates and Yoga class free of charge. On day one, CD Jaime said to consider the Sunshine home for the next eight days and try things we don't normally do. So, the classes and Karaoke were among them. Overall, we had a superb experience on the Carnival Sunshine. Embarkation and Debarkation were flawless. We were on and off the ship in 15 minutes. It really can't get easier. On day six we learned a passenger had fallen ill and we had to reroute to San Juan which meant we would return to Port Canaveral three hours later than scheduled. That resulted in a need for most passengers to change their travel plans (including us) but what I most appreciated was that we were kept up-to-date on the status of the ill passenger (who was heliported off the ship). Fortunately, the passenger appeared to be making a full recovery and as Jamie put it, our redirection literally saved a person's life. It doesn't get better than that so a little inconvenience for the rest of the passengers was inconsequential. Would we sail the Sunshine again? Yes. We had a great experience. In fact, while on board we booked our next cruise for June 2016 on the Carnival Magic. Can't wait!

Carnival Convert

Carnival Sunshine Cruise Review by STLbbfan

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Trip Details
My wife and I celebrated our 20th anniversary by sailing on the Sunshine this month. This was my fifth cruise (second on Carnival) and her seventh (fourth on Carnival). We sailed with a friend and her sons who just graduated high school this year. In short, it was another great cruise experience.

We've sailed Celebrity, Royal and Norwegian and had great experiences on all of them. While Royal will probably forever be my favorite, I just don't find enough differences between the lines to warrant paying the additional cost. In short, Carnival offers a terrific vacation at a great value.

Ports of call included Grande Turk (amazing), San Juan (nice but a major thunderstorm limited what we saw and did), St. Kitts (a lot like Belize, in my opinion) and the always beautiful St. Martin. Once you've cruised the Caribbean a few times, the ports start to feel similar (that is not intended to sound like it does) so ultimately, it's the ship that has to please you. The Sunshine did NOT disappoint.

I can't say the Sunshine is my favorite ship I've sailed but it's quite nice and our overall experience was outstanding. I was reluctant to have an interior room after having had balconies and/or window staterooms on previous sailings. My concern was alleviated when I walked into room 11004, a Cloud 9 Spa room that was both cool and comfortable throughout the voyage. Komang, our stateroom attendant introduced himself to me on day one and called me by name every time I saw him. He was fantastic. The Spa level rooms are part of the Serenity area which is for passengers 21 and above. I can't say that there weren't younger people in the area but that wasn't generally a problem. What was an issue however, was that the serenity pool (remarkably cold for how hot the Eastern Caribbean is this time of year) was ALWAYS crowded. The "bathing capacity" was listed as 17 but there were more often than not 50 people or more in and around the pool. Then again, the ship was at capacity as you would expect this time of year.

The on board activities were plentiful, including three amazing waterslides, the sky walk and the mini golf. The shows in the Liquid Lounge were quite good. The performers were better than most on cruise ships and in particular, especially their dancing. The Motown show on the first night was the least of them but we hung in there night after night and they got better and better. Note. Jaime Dee, the FANTASTIC CD, commented that the early shows weren't as full as the 9:15 show so be warned that if shows are your thing, go early. We had difficulty finding seats for the later show time. Other shows like the comedians in the Limelight lounge were average at best but the juggler back in the Liquid Lounge was unbelievable. The magician not so much. But magic isn't my thing so....

The food on the Carnival Sunshine was superior to just about any cruise we've taken. The fish tacos at the Blue Iquana were out of this world. My only hang up with eating on the Sunshine was in the main dining room. There's only one - and although we never had to wait for a table (we did "My Time Dining" as we typically do) our tables were always on the side of the restaurant near the kitchen and without a lot of passing room for staff and guests to walk. In fact, that was my biggest disappointment overall with the Sunshine, when it was converted from the Destiny, I can't help but feel like they packed too much into the ship leaving too little deck space for walking - particularly on the Lido deck entering the marketplace (food area).

James at the Piano Bar was outstanding. He had many regulars night after night, including us. Don't miss the Piano Bar - or taking in the sounds of The In Crowd (band) in Ocean Plaza (deck 5). The In Crowd is incredible.

The gym inside the Spa was very good and, given our Spa level rooms, we were able to take a Pilates and Yoga class free of charge. On day one, CD Jaime said to consider the Sunshine home for the next eight days and try things we don't normally do. So, the classes and Karaoke were among them.

Overall, we had a superb experience on the Carnival Sunshine. Embarkation and Debarkation were flawless. We were on and off the ship in 15 minutes. It really can't get easier. On day six we learned a passenger had fallen ill and we had to reroute to San Juan which meant we would return to Port Canaveral three hours later than scheduled. That resulted in a need for most passengers to change their travel plans (including us) but what I most appreciated was that we were kept up-to-date on the status of the ill passenger (who was heliported off the ship). Fortunately, the passenger appeared to be making a full recovery and as Jamie put it, our redirection literally saved a person's life. It doesn't get better than that so a little inconvenience for the rest of the passengers was inconsequential.

Would we sail the Sunshine again? Yes. We had a great experience. In fact, while on board we booked our next cruise for June 2016 on the Carnival Magic. Can't wait!
STLbbfan’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Spa Interior
Cabin 4S 11004
Clean, comfortable, good closet space. Efficient. Ideal.
Deck 12 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

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