We booked this cruise as a family cruise for my husband's 50th birthday. This is our 3rd Carnival Cruise, having sailed Norwegian, Disney and Royal Caribbean multiple times.
The Sunshine has been recently refurbished, thus resembling most of the other "Fun Ships" in the fleet. When we first boarded the ship, I wasn't sold on the boat's design, but as the cruise progressed, it did not disappoint. The boat did feel more crowded than most that I've been on, but the ability to get food and drinks were only moderately hindered by this. There were many options to choose from dining-wise, to include 24 hour brick oven pizza (yum), jiji noodle bar, and Cuchina Italiana (which serves pasta for free during the lunch hours). In addition to this, the Havana Bar, which is rockin with Latin music after 10, also served up some favorite Latino cuisine. Add in Guys Burger shack, Blue Iguana Mexican Cantina, all-you-can-eat buffets, and the Tasting Bar (on the 5th floor) and the free dining options were endless. We did eat in the Steakhouse and the Bonsai Japanese which are fee based. The Steakhouse was worth every penny, but the Bonsai, eh, not so much. The dining room at dinner was an event onto itself. The waitstaff bent over backwards to accommodate your every need, and these people work tirelessly and endlessly with a smile on their faces at all times. Half-way through dinner, your waitstaff becomes the entertainment and put on quite a little show. The food was always good, and certain dishes were excellent.
The pool area was a bit disappointing, as it was small and crowded. I assume the cruise ships do this to avoid the liability of drowning (which unfortunately happens a lot on these cruises). Getting a chair is impossible unless you get up there at 8 am and put your towel on the chair you are reserving. However, there are many, many decks with lounges, and if you go to the top floor( the tippy top) there are some amazing cabana's and hammocks to choose from and a great bar with a hot tub. The poolside activities are fun and the cruise director as well as the very funny (and cute) Jamaican MC make it lots of fun. There are lots of events like the hairiest back contest and best twerker, to keep you occupied. I just like the atmosphere and the sun, so it worked out well.