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Carnival Sunshine Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,369 Reviews

First Carnival cruise, and the last..... Here's WHY.....

Carnival Sunshine Cruise Review by DebiDebi

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jan 2017
  • Destination: the Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Interior

Difficult finding enough activities to not be bored. Went to tons of TRIVIA GAMES daily, more than 9, just to have something to do. CONNECT FOUR board games, shuffleboard, foosball, bean bag toss offered in team competition (I can do those at home, free).

Getting to the main Ocean lounge, deck 5, where all the ‘action’ was, required traipsing thru a smoke-laden Casino in the middle of walkway path! No other way to get there! Pure dumb design. Other cruise lines do NOT allow smoking on enclosed rooms, as the smoke doesn’t ‘know’ it should stay in one room, it billows out to any opening found. Highly allergic, face swells like a red strawberry, and need to be drugged on anti-histamines to breathe. (Brought Epi-pens in case, sure glad!)

Food, mediocre in Lido. Not enough fresh fruits. I do not like honeydew, cantaloupe, pineapple, and watermelon chopped into one small bowl. Should be large amounts of each, in separate BIG bowls, so flavors don’t mix, nor marinate. Many conversations with other passengers said same thing. We are the healthy group who tries to eat sensibly.

FINE DINING had fabulous food! Looks appetizing too. Chef is experienced, good at his trade. Wait staff works well together, makes one feel pampered. Score 10!

Every activity room, lounge area, dance area contains those super-tall bar stools. Wheelchair families cannot sit together without the chair person craning their neck to chat. Seems guests prefer shorter, normal height seating, as always full, with only the tall stools left, which I cannot use. (Neither can most all of the older folks). Not many handicap accessible bathrooms, only 2 on ship in main areas, so you are constantly needing to find an elevator to go pee across the ship. Started limiting my drinks severely, so as not to need a bathroom so frequently.

My personal room Steward, Erfan doesn’t know how to clean. Shower bench contained black mold, and wads of black, long hair on day one arrival. (I took pics). Bathroom floor grout mold, scum, needs bleached. Walls have splattered brown pecks that do rub off easily, I tested. Gross. I left a note asking for carpet to be vacuumed, it was only partially achieved. (Should a guest HAVE to ask, when you can clearly see lint, hair, and paper on the floor?) He made cute animal towels, that’s about all the credit I can honestly give.

Trouble getting a spot for the main big shows, as only two handicap spots on the balcony in theatre. Didn’t get to see any of the big shows, 3 of them on the schedule. My chair is manual, tiny racing style, so if I’m in the back aisle, I can’t see anything except a post. Disappointed.

Emma, cruise director, a joy! Delightful young lady, personable, called me out by name several times. Well-suited for that career position. Score 10!

Band, BLENDED SOUL, performed in Ocean Lounge, me going thru Casino smoke, gagging to get to this main attraction. Three nights spent dancing in that one area. Band was especially notable. Chloe, lead singer, exceptional, gets the crowd involved.

Attended a Magic show that was quite entertaining. Performer was oriented to crowd’s vibe. He gets a 10!

Detriment to the SUNSHINE, Atrium has no dance floor. Design Engineer placed a huge, circular BAR on that old floor, limiting the already deprived activities to drinking-only. Many complaints from other passengers, appalled this had been done. Atrium is a main event in a ship, where all people walk by, get a sense of the ship’s enthusiasm, energy, or in this case, that no-party-is-happening if you don’t drink.

Comedy club had several shows, some repeated for guests who couldn’t squeeze into the lounge (kudos!). Antman and Kim Harrison get the funny bone kicked in. Highlight of my cruise.

Crew super-friendly, most smile and greet, including security & Captain‘s mates. I’ve cruised other ship lines and find this to be true. Carnival Sunshine does have this going for it. You picked awesome people, except my room Steward. Another gal told me her Steward was just as useless in her dirty cabin, so it isn’t limited to my experience alone. Someone needs to follow-up on the room cleanliness of ALL housekeeping personnel, IF you can find them!!!!

Staggered embark & disembark do not work. Airplanes and heavy traffic roads don’t agree with your system of assigned, set times. Unhappy guests waiting to board in hours differences embark & grumpy to get home after cruise. Encountered a few spouting insults about Carnival, having to wait while 3-4 tag numbers called at a time, because we were corralled in the main lounge like cattle. I understand WHY you do this, to keep lines shorter, at terminal & customs, less standing, but it doesn’t work well. Trying to find a Porter to roll luggage to my truck is a joke. I asked the lead supervisor 3 times for a Porter. She did ask the first one to follow me to luggage area 23, but he went to another area with more bags, ignored supervisor and me both. Finally, Supervisor walked a Porter over to me herself.

Nearly took the 110% guarantee, go back home, but I’m not a quitter. My roommate nearly begged me for a reprieve. Gave Carnival a fair chance, huge let down. Will be going back to my preferred cruise line.

DebiDebi's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
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Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Cabin 4C 3103

Handicap cabin.... Filthy.... Experience described in detail above.... Black mold on floor, walls, shower..... Carpet NOT vacuumed.... This is how it was the day I arrived

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Port Canaveral (Orlando)

Wheelchair drop off in designated area...Then my Driver took the truck to parking garage.... I thought the porter would help push me and manage my carry-on bags, which he did NOT.... Said I needed to follow this sidewalk to the next building, alone! ... I kept dropping my backpack (was in a lil racing chair, no handles to hang bag on, it would have flipped me over backwards)... I should mention it was also cold, windy, and raining.... Was terrible mess.....Next cruise is leaving from another port!

Amber Cove (Puerto Plata)

Zipline! ... CLEAN..... Many spots to sit in free loungers, many bars, lovely plants.... Can't get to beach tho, without a taxi, 15 min away... FREE passport stamp in information area.... I would visit again on another cruise, yes.

Grand Turk

CLEAN! .... Big beach right there.... Too many tourist shoppes of things I can buy in Florida (Gucci cologne, Barcardi rums, Sunglasses, and more).... Handicap accessible restrooms, yes, very large.... Pretty landscape, plants, paved walkways

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