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We joined the Carnival Sunshine from Cape Canaveral,FL to visit Aduba, Bonaire and Grand Turk.. I will segment this review in order to provide the best story of our experience. Boarding: I have mobility issues, but do not use walkers/wheelchairs or powered scooters - normally I can walk the distances needed to board without major issue. This time was different as the walk to the terminal was long and up ramps. By the time we reached the security check point, it was pretty apparent that I was having some distress. Once I got through security, the Carnival shore support personnel noticed that I was having issues and did everything they could to make my boarding comfortable by providing a wheelchair which I did not actually ask for - they provided it. In essence, the shore side personnel were on the ball and helped me tremendously. Accomodations: The ship itself is showing its age - wood refinishing was needed in all areas of the ship exposed to the weather. A lot of rust on the balconies,in corners, etc. In places (notably near the entrances to the open Lido deck area), the floor was pitted and uneven - steel drains needed to be replaced as they were curved down and not even with the surrounding deck. In some places the carpet was worn although still serviceable - it was more an esthetic problem in truth. It was obvious that the ship needs a refitting. Room: Small, no refrigerator, wardrobe doors were loose and would open and close with ship movement,balcony door handle was very hard to open (reported to the Steward, but it wasn't fixed or repaired), bathroom was quite large, but the door wouldn't stay open. The bed was adequate, the TV mount was loose (also reported - no fix). As far as in room TV service, only CNN/HLN, TBS (spanish) and TCM were available. This is one area in which Carnival has created itself an issue. I will say that our cabin steward was attentive and very efficient - that was a plus. The room was clean, the bathroom sparkling so even with the other issues, it was a place to spend the night. Food: There aren't enough bad things to say about the food on this voyage. We did our time dining, but it often took a minimum of an hour to order, eat, dessert and leave. The wait staff had a tendency to order the food from the kitchen in bunches - several tables at the same time which created problems with hot food coming warm and warm food cold. I had a lasagna which was a congealed mass of fat - couldn't eat it. The Lido buffet was better with a variety of breakfast, lunch and dinner choices. I'm not sure what the issue was with the Our Time Dining. We did notice bread plates and saucers being wiped and reused which was reported to the office in charge. Excursions: Our first stop was Aruba - we did the Top Ten tour (bus tour) which really turned out to be a Top Six with meaningless stops for uninteresting sites. We spent more time driving than actually touring. This tour was run by De Palm Tours and was not worth the money spent. Second stop was Bonaire and we did the trolly tour which was wonderful, informative and fun. The Tour guide was Anita and she did a terrific job. Unfortunately, our third stop was Grand Turk, but the ship was diverted to the Dominican Republic due to two medical emergencies - went to Amber Cove instead and that was nice - not a place I'd return to again though. Overall, the trip was adequate. As most January passages, the weather played a big part and the ship captain did his best, weather and sea state is out of his control Normally, I'm not bothered by ships moving as I've spent most of my life on the water including a stint as a Charter Captain, but this time it was different. The motion was constant when at sea and made the balcony unusable - which is not Carnival's fault. Self inflicted wounds: The weekend we left was the NFL League championships until mid-day on Sunday, nobody was going to be able to see the game and there were no plans to make the game available. There must have been a lot of complaints because "arrangements were made" to show the first game on the outdoor screen, but not the second, then a half hour before the second game, "arrangements were made". This was a self inflicted wound as there were a large number of fans of all the four teams on this cruise - even the choice of the Lido deck was odd as there wasn't enough seating to go around. Debarking was a horror show. There were ten elevators available for the called decks to depart, BUT all ten elevators exited at the same choke point creating a mass of humanity all trying get past this narrow area. Very poor planning and design on getting guests off the ship. I had some real difficulty moving after standing, but the debarking crew in the terminal was hell bent and determined to get everybody off, in a line and out of their space. To add insult to injury, I couldn't get to the elevator because one of the terminal workers made me go down an escalator with my baggage. Half way down, the bags caught on a step and I fell down the escalator. To their credit, the supervisors were immediately present to help, but the damage was already done and I had to take a wheel chair out of the terminal. It was not a positive experience. I felt that the whole debarking process was not properly organized or coordinated - rushing to get passengers off the ship because it was two hours late arriving (due to weather) to get the new passengers on, creating traffic jams, inadequately trained shore side personnel (with respect to debarking) made the whole trip less than fun.

Overview of Our Cruise

Carnival Sunshine Cruise Review by Teafran

Trip Details
We joined the Carnival Sunshine from Cape Canaveral,FL to visit Aduba, Bonaire and Grand Turk.. I will segment this review in order to provide the best story of our experience.

Boarding: I have mobility issues, but do not use walkers/wheelchairs or powered scooters - normally I can walk the distances needed to board without major issue. This time was different as the walk to the terminal was long and up ramps. By the time we reached the security check point, it was pretty apparent that I was having some distress. Once I got through security, the Carnival shore support personnel noticed that I was having issues and did everything they could to make my boarding comfortable by providing a wheelchair which I did not actually ask for - they provided it. In essence, the shore side personnel were on the ball and helped me tremendously.

Accomodations: The ship itself is showing its age - wood refinishing was needed in all areas of the ship exposed to the weather. A lot of rust on the balconies,in corners, etc. In places (notably near the entrances to the open Lido deck area), the floor was pitted and uneven - steel drains needed to be replaced as they were curved down and not even with the surrounding deck. In some places the carpet was worn although still serviceable - it was more an esthetic problem in truth. It was obvious that the ship needs a refitting.

Room: Small, no refrigerator, wardrobe doors were loose and would open and close with ship movement,balcony door handle was very hard to open (reported to the Steward, but it wasn't fixed or repaired), bathroom was quite large, but the door wouldn't stay open. The bed was adequate, the TV mount was loose (also reported - no fix). As far as in room TV service, only CNN/HLN, TBS (spanish) and TCM were available. This is one area in which Carnival has created itself an issue. I will say that our cabin steward was attentive and very efficient - that was a plus. The room was clean, the bathroom sparkling so even with the other issues, it was a place to spend the night.

Food: There aren't enough bad things to say about the food on this voyage. We did our time dining, but it often took a minimum of an hour to order, eat, dessert and leave. The wait staff had a tendency to order the food from the kitchen in bunches - several tables at the same time which created problems with hot food coming warm and warm food cold. I had a lasagna which was a congealed mass of fat - couldn't eat it. The Lido buffet was better with a variety of breakfast, lunch and dinner choices. I'm not sure what the issue was with the Our Time Dining. We did notice bread plates and saucers being wiped and reused which was reported to the office in charge.

Excursions: Our first stop was Aruba - we did the Top Ten tour (bus tour) which really turned out to be a Top Six with meaningless stops for uninteresting sites. We spent more time driving than actually touring. This tour was run by De Palm Tours and was not worth the money spent. Second stop was Bonaire and we did the trolly tour which was wonderful, informative and fun. The Tour guide was Anita and she did a terrific job. Unfortunately, our third stop was Grand Turk, but the ship was diverted to the Dominican Republic due to two medical emergencies - went to Amber Cove instead and that was nice - not a place I'd return to again though.

Overall, the trip was adequate. As most January passages, the weather played a big part and the ship captain did his best, weather and sea state is out of his control Normally, I'm not bothered by ships moving as I've spent most of my life on the water including a stint as a Charter Captain, but this time it was different. The motion was constant when at sea and made the balcony unusable - which is not Carnival's fault.

Self inflicted wounds: The weekend we left was the NFL League championships until mid-day on Sunday, nobody was going to be able to see the game and there were no plans to make the game available. There must have been a lot of complaints because "arrangements were made" to show the first game on the outdoor screen, but not the second, then a half hour before the second game, "arrangements were made". This was a self inflicted wound as there were a large number of fans of all the four teams on this cruise - even the choice of the Lido deck was odd as there wasn't enough seating to go around.

Debarking was a horror show. There were ten elevators available for the called decks to depart, BUT all ten elevators exited at the same choke point creating a mass of humanity all trying get past this narrow area. Very poor planning and design on getting guests off the ship. I had some real difficulty moving after standing, but the debarking crew in the terminal was hell bent and determined to get everybody off, in a line and out of their space. To add insult to injury, I couldn't get to the elevator because one of the terminal workers made me go down an escalator with my baggage. Half way down, the bags caught on a step and I fell down the escalator. To their credit, the supervisors were immediately present to help, but the damage was already done and I had to take a wheel chair out of the terminal. It was not a positive experience. I felt that the whole debarking process was not properly organized or coordinated - rushing to get passengers off the ship because it was two hours late arriving (due to weather) to get the new passengers on, creating traffic jams, inadequately trained shore side personnel (with respect to debarking) made the whole trip less than fun.
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