Carnival Sunshine Cruise Review by AndrewHarland22
- Sail Date: August 2015
- Destination: Southern Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Interior
The food as per usual was fantastic. The serving staff in the restaurant was extremely attentive. The hostesses and maitre d's were very attentive and helpful. The main restaurant gets an A+ from me. The selections of food on the menu were good and I liked how they had both a different menu every night and an everyday one that remains the same. The 'Did ya ever?' selections were and interesting twist too.
The lido deck food was equally as good with the exception of the desserts. Desserts mostly consisted of tiny squares of various dry and tasteless cakes. They were extremely disappointing to say the least.
This is where the cruise took a massive dive for me. Now maybe it is because I have gotten older and can no longer go to Club 02 and make friends but I honestly felt bored by a lot of the stuff on offer on this ship. On previous Carnival ships I was under the impression that it was 'fun for all', particularly for my particular age group of college students in their early 20s as it was previously called the 'booze cruise', but there was a severe lack of people my own age perhaps because of the time of year we went. I felt the entertainment was mostly geared towards older people.
The worst part was the fact that they have started using the main show lounge as both the show lounge and nightclub meaning that if you want to go to the club you can only do so when all the shows are over. Because of them making use of the show lounge for so many activities everything has its own separate times meaning you can't really choose what you want to go to as you have to wait for one thing to be over before another begins. I felt this ship was not as lively as other Carnival ships. I spent most of my time reading as the entertainment was passé to say the least.
Ports and excursions
Ports were all great and had their own purposes. St. Maarten was mostly for shopping and had a great amount of jewellery stores on offer. We did no excursions here. St. Kitts is a very picturesque and aesthetically pleasing island with beautiful mountains, forests, gardens, beaches and a rich history. If you want to see the island, however, don't waste your money on Carnival's excursions. We went on a 2 hour bus tour for $25 and got to see churches, phenomenal views, a sugar plantation, the rain forest and got to stop for about 20 minutes at a beautiful botanical garden with a 400 year old tree planted by Indian Americans who first founded the island. Then we got to got to a beautiful beach where we spent three hours before going back to the ship. Carnival was charging a ridiculous $65 for the same basic trip.
Puerto Rico was great and the fortresses are a must but again go yourself and see them both for $5 as opposed to Carnival charging a fortune for the same thing. The problem with this port is that they don't give you enough time. We only had from 7am to 2pm and to get the most out of the port you have to get up super early or else get very little done. Grand Turk is just picture perfect. There is not a great deal there besides a beach and a few bars and stores but it is just perfect. Here we went snorkelling for 2 hours or so and got to go to 2 barrier reefs. This was a Carnival excursion and was a very reasonable price. The fish were beautiful and guides were friendly and pleasant.
Ok, here is my biggest beef with the ship. This ship was formerly the Carnival Destiny before it was remodelled as the Carnival Sunshine in 2013. As the Carnival Destiny the capacity of the ship was 2,642 and as the Sunshine this has increased to a capacity of 3,006 and believe me it is noticeable. The deck space is incredibly over crowded and the outdoor lido deck dining areas are far to small to cope with this amount of passengers trying to walk through and eat. There are far too many deck chairs and since they got rid of two other pools that previously existed the one remaining one is far too small to cope with this many people. This is the major design flaw of the remodel and I don't understand why this design was agreed upon. It reeks of the Carnival increasing capacity to increase profits and the result is overcrowded and uncomfortable public spaces. The indoor lido market place buffet suffers equally and the only way I can describe trying to eat here is like trying to scavenge for your food in an airport departure lounge as you try not to bump into anyone. As a result of the over crowding, the public areas are quite run down in such a short amount of time and frankly this ship is not very clean in public areas as a result. The elevators are also a problem because of this. I also really dislike how they remodelled the atrium and took away the dome so you can't see right up from the bottom to the top. Another problem was the fact that they have no refrigerators in the rooms. This made it awkward to keep water and drinks in the room as you would constantly have to change an ice bucket. This was a feature on the Carnival Dream I missed.
Overall, an ok cruise but if you have the chance go on the Carnival Dream or Breeze. They are big ships with the public space to cope with the capacity and are simply much cleaner and better laid out.
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