1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Carnival Sunshine
This was my second cruise on the Sunshine, so I knew about the wacky layout (you can't get anywhere on 3 - use deck five or 9 to position yourself fore/mid/aft, then take the appropriate elevator bank.) and didn't expect a million bells and whistles. Its a decent ship - not so small you get bored, not so big that you get tired walking to the other end of it. Its clean, and the new hand washing stations are cool (and a big draw for a 2 year old.) The cabin was a disaster - Carnival staff outright lied when they said it would be quiet enough for me to have a child in, and we were offered NOTHING for having to give up our room for a day and a half while it was dried out from the toilet overflowing and not stopping. Dining was meh. Having a very active toddler along always means that you get forced into eating on her schedule, so we rolled with that and didn't sit down to dinner every night. I appreciated that there was always something available, I get way less picky when she needs a snack right now, not 15 minutes from now. The taco bar and nearby soft serve station were great - the staff was happy and energetic and took good care of us every time. We did drop the baby off at camp and go to the steakhouse and Cucina. The steakhouse chef is enamored with fungus - everything was mushroom or blue cheese based. I don't eat either, so it limited my enjoyment, my husband said the food was very good. Cucina was perfect - beautiful view, friendly service, great food. The pastry chef wrapped our desserts to go so we could catch a show, and added an extra sweet for the toddler. As far as her experience went - she had a blast. She wanted to go out and party every night. She loved the music and dancing, the handwashing stations, the kid's camp, the bartenders, the playground on 10, the pool... everything except the fog horn. The staff around the boat was great with her and with us when we had to change plans to accommodate the moods of a non sleeping 2 year old. The Lido staff found chocolate milk and extra napkins with a smile - and would talk with her about her day and activities. Camp Carnival was better than we expected, and we used it less than we thought we would. The Camp staff just took care of her - called us when she couldn't handle anything anymore, and changed her when she had a potty accident, and made sure she had fun as one of their youngest campers. Several times they made up goody bags for her even when she didn't come for that session's activity. So many of the general staff were greeting her by name and high fiving her on the way off the boat that the couple behind us in line joked it was like following a celebrity. The shows we caught were good, the magician was excellent and good with the crowd. The strings were a bit off, but keeping strings in tune in that kind of humidity is a bear. Guest Services was awful. Wouldn't answer a phone - once I managed to get downstairs and there were multiple people at the desk with no line, so I guess they just don't like to answer the phone? Never once asked what they could do to help or improve the situation, just looked at and typed into their computers and did ... things... I had no input or understanding. Very cold. Accused me of not reading the ship's map when I mentioned I was concerned about being lied to about the noise - then offered to shut a fire door to keep it down. Didn't shut any door that night. When I went back (again, and again, and again) the same staff member said that his map wasn't accurate and they couldn't shut the fire door by my cabin, but another one further down. Said I could take it up with the Safety Officer, but didn't tell me how to get ahold of them or offer to arrange that discussion. Every issue was a long wait with either a sleeping child I was desperate to keep asleep (in a noisy lobby) or a hyper child who I couldn't let run around. I enjoyed the good family time, but I hate to think what Carnival would fail to do if anything more serious than running sewage or all night noise issues came up. You're on your own, buyer beware, wild west style with Carnival, that was highlighted for me this trip.

Great for Kids, Awful Guest Services

Carnival Sunshine Cruise Review by TheLadyK

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
This was my second cruise on the Sunshine, so I knew about the wacky layout (you can't get anywhere on 3 - use deck five or 9 to position yourself fore/mid/aft, then take the appropriate elevator bank.) and didn't expect a million bells and whistles. Its a decent ship - not so small you get bored, not so big that you get tired walking to the other end of it. Its clean, and the new hand washing stations are cool (and a big draw for a 2 year old.)

The cabin was a disaster - Carnival staff outright lied when they said it would be quiet enough for me to have a child in, and we were offered NOTHING for having to give up our room for a day and a half while it was dried out from the toilet overflowing and not stopping.

Dining was meh. Having a very active toddler along always means that you get forced into eating on her schedule, so we rolled with that and didn't sit down to dinner every night. I appreciated that there was always something available, I get way less picky when she needs a snack right now, not 15 minutes from now. The taco bar and nearby soft serve station were great - the staff was happy and energetic and took good care of us every time. We did drop the baby off at camp and go to the steakhouse and Cucina. The steakhouse chef is enamored with fungus - everything was mushroom or blue cheese based. I don't eat either, so it limited my enjoyment, my husband said the food was very good. Cucina was perfect - beautiful view, friendly service, great food. The pastry chef wrapped our desserts to go so we could catch a show, and added an extra sweet for the toddler.

As far as her experience went - she had a blast. She wanted to go out and party every night. She loved the music and dancing, the handwashing stations, the kid's camp, the bartenders, the playground on 10, the pool... everything except the fog horn. The staff around the boat was great with her and with us when we had to change plans to accommodate the moods of a non sleeping 2 year old. The Lido staff found chocolate milk and extra napkins with a smile - and would talk with her about her day and activities. Camp Carnival was better than we expected, and we used it less than we thought we would. The Camp staff just took care of her - called us when she couldn't handle anything anymore, and changed her when she had a potty accident, and made sure she had fun as one of their youngest campers. Several times they made up goody bags for her even when she didn't come for that session's activity. So many of the general staff were greeting her by name and high fiving her on the way off the boat that the couple behind us in line joked it was like following a celebrity.

The shows we caught were good, the magician was excellent and good with the crowd. The strings were a bit off, but keeping strings in tune in that kind of humidity is a bear.

Guest Services was awful. Wouldn't answer a phone - once I managed to get downstairs and there were multiple people at the desk with no line, so I guess they just don't like to answer the phone? Never once asked what they could do to help or improve the situation, just looked at and typed into their computers and did ... things... I had no input or understanding. Very cold. Accused me of not reading the ship's map when I mentioned I was concerned about being lied to about the noise - then offered to shut a fire door to keep it down. Didn't shut any door that night. When I went back (again, and again, and again) the same staff member said that his map wasn't accurate and they couldn't shut the fire door by my cabin, but another one further down. Said I could take it up with the Safety Officer, but didn't tell me how to get ahold of them or offer to arrange that discussion. Every issue was a long wait with either a sleeping child I was desperate to keep asleep (in a noisy lobby) or a hyper child who I couldn't let run around.

I enjoyed the good family time, but I hate to think what Carnival would fail to do if anything more serious than running sewage or all night noise issues came up. You're on your own, buyer beware, wild west style with Carnival, that was highlighted for me this trip.
TheLadyK’s Full Rating Summary
Ages Under 3

Cabin Review

Ocean Suite
Cabin OS 7167
Potentially the worst suite on the boat. Cramped - I think we would have been better off in a balcony room (as we had originally booked before we "upgraded") I had hoped the extra space would serve my 2 year old well, but there wasn't any extra space! Noisy - the parties in the atrium kept us up all night (after I had asked on the phone if it was going to be quiet) The toilet overflowed into the bathroom and cabin one morning and kept us out of our room for a day and a half.

The room steward Penny was a GODSEND though. A rambunctious toddler who can't sleep makes for a lot of chaos in a small space and Penny came through and put us back to rights again and again and again. She was kind to my child and just the perfect host.
Deck 7 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins