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We chose this cruise as we live within 3.5 drive of the Cruise port and the ship had a many dining venues and bar options as well as the 3 deck serenity pool area. We were cruising to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary and left our child at home so it was just the two of us no family or friends on this cruise. Embarkment: HOT MESS; this I don't believe was the fault of Carnival but rather whoever was in charge of Norfolk port and passenger checkin. We parked at the cruise parking and took the shuttle about 15 minutes due to traffic of the festival (festival happening right at the door of the cruise terminal !). We got to the terminal and waited... 1st line to get on elevator to go up to sidewalk over to cruise terminal 2nd line to wait on the sidewalk to get into cruise terminal 3rd line for security inside terminal 4th line to get checked in 5th waiting time in seats after checking waiting for our zone to board ship to be called 6th line waiting to board ship while people got their pics taken 7th line after pics to get on ship... 3+ hrs later we were onboard with a drink in our hands and a smiling bartender ...Cheers program quickly verified and we are excited. Room: We chose to pay to be on the serenity deck but in an interior room (priced about the same as an oceanview on other decks) and spend the $$ saved on the Cheers program. Our room was small of course but it was clean, our room steward was outstanding and I absolutely LOVED the location. We had room 11011 and could walk out to the serenity pool in a matter of seconds without hearing anything from the pool area or door closing. Food: Cucina Del Capitano - 5 of 5 , A-mazing .. everything was delicious and we've been to Italy so we weren't comparing to Olive garden or anything like that. The carbonara, risotto balls and caprese were so good my mouth is watering now. My husband got the chicken parm and it was good but nothing compared to that carbonara. The waitstaff was friendly and the desserts were the best we had by far on the cruise. There was only one other family when we ate and some of the ship crew (captain). Steakhouse - 4 of 5, Desserts weren't great but the Filet Mignon was incredible. Due to the Cheers Package we decided to try real Champagne (from Champagne Region, France) at $20 a glass to toast our anniversary and that was so good I had a second glass. The wait staff was attentive and professional though not overly friendly. Blue Iguana - 3 of 5 , really great to have this option ...its by no means a chipotle and a bit bland but I think strong flavors would be harder to please larger crowds so I understand. The downside of this place is that it closed before dinner every night and that was a big disappointment. Guys Burgers - 4 of 5, Delicious and even with a line very fast. Negatives only are hours (closes at 6) and the workers weren't smiling but that was how about 50% of the crew were ...I'll get more into that. Pizza - 2 of 5, flavor is okay at best , the wait was terrible and the workers never once smiled; for 24 hr pizza place I think they should just forget this style of pie and go with something like a sbarro with reheatable slices. Sandwich - 3 of 5; nice to the option, forgettable and of course the sour faced workers really made you feel like you were putting them out by asking for a sandwhich. Again I'd rather worse food like subway but with a smile. Buffet - 1 of 5 , it seemed like they were trying too hard and a lot of it was a miss. I don't expect good buffet food for fish or lobster ravioli so why even try? Just give us our french fries ... mashed potatoes and meatloaf and do that well. I really would have been so happy to see some meatloaf. The night buffet "snacks" was hiliarious...hot dogs sporting all colors of green, grey and ping with stale buns, plain lays chips, some type of chili and ham/cheese sandwiches. Dining Room - 4 of 5 we ate breakfast twice in the dining room, never lunch or dinner. The breakfast was delicious and quick. The services was efficient; honestly they all looked exhausted ... one waiter said they finished work at 11:30 the night before and had to be back at 7:30 so yeah these guys are tired. Room Service - Never ordered Nassau: 2 of 5; we had one of the far spots from the terminal so you had a hike to start; we arrived a bit late and then were herded out with long lines to get out of ship (and we waited thinking the crowd would lessen...silly us). We did the snorkeling and catamaran sail through carnival ... along with 105 other passengers from our ship ... yes total of 107. The lining up in the heat , then being separated into two lines ...told it would be a 5 minute walk (LIES ! ...was more like 15) and finally on boat. The excursion at that point on was awesome as was the crew. We finished the excursion and made our way back to the boat to shower and head back out to Atlantis .... OH MY THE LINE ! It took at least 10-15 minutes of standing in the sun at 5 pm to get back on the boat; we quickly showered and ate sandwich and made our way to atlantis where I had some luck on roulette. Getting back on the ship that night was much faster. Freeport: 4 of 5; there's enough going on around the port to spend some time if you don't want to travel from the port but we did the beach getaway and glad we didn't get the all inclusive package but ordered off the menu. The Drinks for the AI were in tiny plastic cups and premixed ; the ones we paid for were almost $10 each once they added in tax and automatic gratuity but they were large and strong and we each had two along with one coconut drink from a stand on the beach. The drivers and workers were all nice ; the conch fritters were okay...I wanted to try them and did so that's off the list...no need to order again. Overall Service: 3 of 5 Room Steward - AWESOME Casino Staff - 4 of 5 , some were amazing Bartenders - 3 of 5, Aung was the best and so pleasant he was either at Havana Bar or Serenity Bar depending on time of day. Some of the others weren't friendly at all and some were okay. Cruise Director Emma - Adorable and Sweet Entertainment Epic Rock , very impressive for a cruise ship... glad we made time for this one. We only went to Epic Rock and one trivia session so I cant speak to other shows. There was always one or more things going on , several movies every night. Serenity Deck I was really concerned about getting a chair after reading all the reviews but didn't have to worry as I wake up so early I had my pick of the whole ship at 530 am :) By 830 there were still some chairs on Serenity and by 10 there weren't loungers but there were couches and table styles chairs so this wasn't as big a problem as I thought at all. Also I never saw a child on the deck longer than a few minutes, the pool staff asked them to leave quickly. The towel stickers were placed on towels and monitored though 45 minutes is a long time in my opinion for anyone to need a chair they aren't sitting in. Leaving HOT MESS AGAIN ... I just kept thinking "there has to be a better way" ... seriously expecting all these passengers to get a card in a slot and through two doors quickly is dumb...throw in their luggage and tada ! HOT MESS. I know this is just part of cruising but it just kills the vacation buzz to stand like cattle being told repeatedly to have my card out. ...of course then you have customs and the shuttle back to the car (both of which were pleasant and quick). Will I cruise again? Yes but not anytime soon; we average about 4 yrs between cruises. Would I cruise On this ship again? Yes though I prefer larger ones and really want to try the Vista. Would I book the same room? No, I'd go for the balcony... I thought perhaps we didn't need it with the serenity deck and mostly we didn't but I would have liked to order room service and chill a couple times. Cheers Review will be posted soon ... I kept track of all my drinks

Sunrise Review

Carnival Sunshine Cruise Review by Afchicana

20 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2016
  • Destination: Bahamas
  • Cabin Type: Spa Interior
We chose this cruise as we live within 3.5 drive of the Cruise port and the ship had a many dining venues and bar options as well as the 3 deck serenity pool area. We were cruising to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary and left our child at home so it was just the two of us no family or friends on this cruise.

Embarkment:

HOT MESS; this I don't believe was the fault of Carnival but rather whoever was in charge of Norfolk port and passenger checkin. We parked at the cruise parking and took the shuttle about 15 minutes due to traffic of the festival (festival happening right at the door of the cruise terminal !). We got to the terminal and waited...

1st line to get on elevator to go up to sidewalk over to cruise terminal

2nd line to wait on the sidewalk to get into cruise terminal

3rd line for security inside terminal

4th line to get checked in

5th waiting time in seats after checking waiting for our zone to board ship to be called

6th line waiting to board ship while people got their pics taken

7th line after pics to get on ship...

3+ hrs later we were onboard with a drink in our hands and a smiling bartender ...Cheers program quickly verified and we are excited.

Room:

We chose to pay to be on the serenity deck but in an interior room (priced about the same as an oceanview on other decks) and spend the $$ saved on the Cheers program. Our room was small of course but it was clean, our room steward was outstanding and I absolutely LOVED the location. We had room 11011 and could walk out to the serenity pool in a matter of seconds without hearing anything from the pool area or door closing.

Food:

Cucina Del Capitano - 5 of 5 , A-mazing .. everything was delicious and we've been to Italy so we weren't comparing to Olive garden or anything like that. The carbonara, risotto balls and caprese were so good my mouth is watering now. My husband got the chicken parm and it was good but nothing compared to that carbonara. The waitstaff was friendly and the desserts were the best we had by far on the cruise. There was only one other family when we ate and some of the ship crew (captain).

Steakhouse - 4 of 5, Desserts weren't great but the Filet Mignon was incredible. Due to the Cheers Package we decided to try real Champagne (from Champagne Region, France) at $20 a glass to toast our anniversary and that was so good I had a second glass. The wait staff was attentive and professional though not overly friendly.

Blue Iguana - 3 of 5 , really great to have this option ...its by no means a chipotle and a bit bland but I think strong flavors would be harder to please larger crowds so I understand. The downside of this place is that it closed before dinner every night and that was a big disappointment.

Guys Burgers - 4 of 5, Delicious and even with a line very fast. Negatives only are hours (closes at 6) and the workers weren't smiling but that was how about 50% of the crew were ...I'll get more into that.

Pizza - 2 of 5, flavor is okay at best , the wait was terrible and the workers never once smiled; for 24 hr pizza place I think they should just forget this style of pie and go with something like a sbarro with reheatable slices.

Sandwich - 3 of 5; nice to the option, forgettable and of course the sour faced workers really made you feel like you were putting them out by asking for a sandwhich. Again I'd rather worse food like subway but with a smile.

Buffet - 1 of 5 , it seemed like they were trying too hard and a lot of it was a miss. I don't expect good buffet food for fish or lobster ravioli so why even try? Just give us our french fries ... mashed potatoes and meatloaf and do that well. I really would have been so happy to see some meatloaf. The night buffet "snacks" was hiliarious...hot dogs sporting all colors of green, grey and ping with stale buns, plain lays chips, some type of chili and ham/cheese sandwiches.

Dining Room - 4 of 5 we ate breakfast twice in the dining room, never lunch or dinner. The breakfast was delicious and quick. The services was efficient; honestly they all looked exhausted ... one waiter said they finished work at 11:30 the night before and had to be back at 7:30 so yeah these guys are tired.

Room Service - Never ordered

Nassau: 2 of 5; we had one of the far spots from the terminal so you had a hike to start; we arrived a bit late and then were herded out with long lines to get out of ship (and we waited thinking the crowd would lessen...silly us). We did the snorkeling and catamaran sail through carnival ... along with 105 other passengers from our ship ... yes total of 107. The lining up in the heat , then being separated into two lines ...told it would be a 5 minute walk (LIES ! ...was more like 15) and finally on boat. The excursion at that point on was awesome as was the crew. We finished the excursion and made our way back to the boat to shower and head back out to Atlantis .... OH MY THE LINE ! It took at least 10-15 minutes of standing in the sun at 5 pm to get back on the boat; we quickly showered and ate sandwich and made our way to atlantis where I had some luck on roulette. Getting back on the ship that night was much faster.

Freeport: 4 of 5; there's enough going on around the port to spend some time if you don't want to travel from the port but we did the beach getaway and glad we didn't get the all inclusive package but ordered off the menu. The Drinks for the AI were in tiny plastic cups and premixed ; the ones we paid for were almost $10 each once they added in tax and automatic gratuity but they were large and strong and we each had two along with one coconut drink from a stand on the beach. The drivers and workers were all nice ; the conch fritters were okay...I wanted to try them and did so that's off the list...no need to order again.

Overall Service: 3 of 5

Room Steward - AWESOME

Casino Staff - 4 of 5 , some were amazing

Bartenders - 3 of 5, Aung was the best and so pleasant he was either at Havana Bar or Serenity Bar depending on time of day. Some of the others weren't friendly at all and some were okay.

Cruise Director Emma - Adorable and Sweet

Entertainment

Epic Rock , very impressive for a cruise ship... glad we made time for this one.

We only went to Epic Rock and one trivia session so I cant speak to other shows.

There was always one or more things going on , several movies every night.

Serenity Deck

I was really concerned about getting a chair after reading all the reviews but didn't have to worry as I wake up so early I had my pick of the whole ship at 530 am :) By 830 there were still some chairs on Serenity and by 10 there weren't loungers but there were couches and table styles chairs so this wasn't as big a problem as I thought at all. Also I never saw a child on the deck longer than a few minutes, the pool staff asked them to leave quickly. The towel stickers were placed on towels and monitored though 45 minutes is a long time in my opinion for anyone to need a chair they aren't sitting in.

Leaving

HOT MESS AGAIN ... I just kept thinking "there has to be a better way" ... seriously expecting all these passengers to get a card in a slot and through two doors quickly is dumb...throw in their luggage and tada ! HOT MESS. I know this is just part of cruising but it just kills the vacation buzz to stand like cattle being told repeatedly to have my card out. ...of course then you have customs and the shuttle back to the car (both of which were pleasant and quick).

Will I cruise again? Yes but not anytime soon; we average about 4 yrs between cruises.

Would I cruise On this ship again? Yes though I prefer larger ones and really want to try the Vista.

Would I book the same room? No, I'd go for the balcony... I thought perhaps we didn't need it with the serenity deck and mostly we didn't but I would have liked to order room service and chill a couple times.

Cheers Review will be posted soon ... I kept track of all my drinks
Afchicana’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Spa Interior
Cabin 4S 11011
Great Location, small of course but completely adequate.
Deck 12 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins