I have only gone on one cruise prior to my trip on Carnival Sunshine. This was my first time traveling with Carnival and I can truthfully say, very likely to be my last. I am not a difficult person to please and when I read some of the reviews on this site, I thought we would be just fine because we had realistic expectations of the cruise. Unfortunately, this cruise did not meet my expectations.
I was very pleased with our housekeeper. He kept our room clean, was quick to clean it, knew our names, was friendly, was thoughtful and all that I could ask for in a housekeeper. He was the best service we received on our cruise. The room itself was also very nice and larger then I am used to on a cruise. We booked an oceanview room and the size was far better then are our last cruise where we had an interior room. I loved that this room had lots of drawers to put things, my luggage fit under the bed, and there was an end table on both sides of the bed.
I loved Bermuda. It was awesome and a great port to stop at. I also really enjoyed sailing out of NY and enjoyed the view leaving NY.
The Carnival Hub app is awesome and well worth the $5 to communicate with other people traveling with you on the boat.
Now, Carnival is known for being an affordable cruiseline. That being said, I did not think our trip was cheap, so I did have certain expectations. We did pay $1000 per person when all was said and done with the room, gratuities, and drink package for only 4 days so this was not a steal in price by any means.
Most service on the boat was very slow, especially the drinks. When we finally did get drinks, they were sometimes wrong.
I was disappointed by the lack of variety in the shows. When I traveled with Norwegian I was blown away by the entertainment. With this cruise, the only entertainment seemed to be comedy shows. I get that for one night, but I wasn't impressed that this was the entertainment on all four nights.There were a few other things going on like a game show etc, but now shows like acrobats or magicians or anything like I had seen with Norwegian.
As I mentioned I got the drink package and I completely understand why you can't order two alcohol drinks at the same time. What I don't understand is why I couldn't order non alcoholic drinks with an alcoholic drinks. So I couldn't order a bottle of water and milkshake at the same time or a margarita and a bottled water at the same time for example. And because service was slow, this became frustrating to wait in line and then not be able to get two things at once. It made me really question why I got the drink package because I felt like I ended up wasting so much time in line, whereas people who were buying as they went could purchase two things at one time.
We purchased the internet package and shouldn't have. It was so slow you could barely use it. I did talk to Carnival and they refunded my money on that, which I appreciated.
Cleanliness really surprised me. Although I didn't necessarily feel like things were dirty, I felt there was not enough emphasis on it. I didn't see people sanitizing and cleaning the way I did when I took a trip with Norwegian.
Noise. This trip was filled with kids in the hot tubs and running around. I generally am not a person who cares about this, but I do think it's worth noting as it would bother other people. The only time it upset me was when people were being rude in the middle of the night screaming or drunkenly yelling in the hallways.
The food was not bad, but it was not great either. There were plenty of options for me and one night I did have a really awesome prime rib, but overall I would say pretty average and what I expected from a cruiseline. This met my expectations because I had realistic expectations of the food. You're not going to get an unforgettable meal, but definitely lots of options and you won't go hungry by any means.