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I compare this cruise to past adventures on Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and MSC which we love. I blocked out any negative reviews regarding Carnival and ended up loving this cruise. Here is the real lowdown on the Carnival Sunshine. Let’s start with the things I loved. CABIN-The location of our spa room 11030 was amazing. It was steps from the waterfall and the all adults serenity deck. The size of the room was perfect and had down to the water views from the balcony .Access to the spa relaxation room and steam rooms made this room category a great choice. Make sure that you book high floors on this ship. I will explain later. Our very friendly room steward, Dhimas stocked our room with all of the beverages and items we ordered prior to the trip. He also kept the ice flowing. Loved him. He kept that room clean and ready for us. We had no trouble getting around the ship once we found out that you can walk the entire length of the ship on deck 5. That allowed us to always find elevators to our cabin on the 11th floor. FOOD-While the buffet is small and nothing to write home about when compared to other ships we’ve sailed, Carnival offers additional restaurants for breakfast and lunch like Guy’s Fieri’s Burgers and the taco/burrito Blue Iguana Cantina spots as well as the Asian/Italian , MDR and pizza area of the buffet. We never made it to Bonsai sushi which we know would have been great. The food was simply awesome! The specialty JiJi’s Asian and the Cucina Del Capitano were terrific. I am still dreaming about lamb chops and short ribs and a NY strip that was so tender. I am also still craving that rose crème brulet and the melting chocolate cake with the ice cream. The waiters and waitresses dance and sing at dinner every night. That is wayyyy beyond the call of duty but neat to see. If you sail this ship please note all options for breakfast on your hub app. Walk through the very limited main buffet to JiJi’s Asian and the Cucina Del Capitano Italian in the AM to get to wonderful omelette stations. They also open for free lunch also. Most don’t know that they are there for breakfast and lunch. Also try the breakfast burritos and tacos at Blue Iguana Cantina on the deck and there is also a small breakfast served on deck five near the coffee shop. And those Guy Fieri burgers and fries are amazing. We never tried the steakhouse but loved the steak in the main dining room at no extra charge. FRIENDLY PEOPLE-. We made a ton of friends on this cruise. The passengers were comfortable, having fun and willing to share with you unlike other cruises. Mikey the Cruise Director is worth mentioning. I have never met the Director on any ship except this one. He made sure that he reached out , shook our hands and checked on us. We don’t where he gets soooo much energy but we hope they are paying him well! He kept the fun going on this ship. PORTS-We visited Grand Turk, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten and St. Kitts. Getting on and off the ship was fast and problem free. No tenders! Yeah! We loved our ports. St. Kitts requires an excursion. It can be a sketchy port beyond the shops. That turned into a relaxing day back on the ship. All the others were enjoyable with no booked excursions. Grand Turk and St. Maarten have great beaches right off of the ship. We found a beach in Puerto Rico that we walked to near the Fort. So now for the things that certainly didn’t kill our trip but were in our opinion, areas for improvement. We also heard other passengers complain about these particular areas which make them worth mentioning. POOR CONNECTIVITY-Internet is horrible and nonexistent on this ship. I repeat nonexistent! No one is in the fifth floor internet café because there really isn’t available internet with a plan or not .I paid for a plan as well as my husband. It never worked on my Apple 8. He seemed to have text capabilities and facetime on his Apple 7 plus. I asked for a full refund for my portion and received one. We had to search for internet in the ports to post pics etc. You really have to disconnect from the world on this ship. The Carnival HUB app was helpful and provided activity information in a flash with or without the internet plan. That app seemed to be the only thing that worked on my phone. Royal Caribbean has the best internet hands down. Business travelers would be in trouble on this ship. BAD SMELLS AT TIMES-We smelled sewage with deodorizer smells on the 5th floor on down to 3rd which is unfortunate because the dining room is on those floors. We weren’t sure if they were from bathrooms or some other area. I used the ladies bathroom near the MDR and didn’t smell it in there so the source was something else. They must resolve that issue. That’s not appetizing when you are headed for dinner on the same floor and I couldn’t stay in a room with that. Some guests had that issue. Booking a high floor gets you away from this issue. Some also complained about old urine smells near the toilet in cabin bathrooms. We experienced that too. I believe that this is due to the age of this ship. I usually Lysol clean the bathroom anyway when I arrive. Yes, the casino was smokey but aren’t they all? I wish they could vent it somehow or ban smoking there. I still managed to play slots and enjoy that area. PIXELS PHOTO GALLERY- The picture Pixels gallery was confusing. We never found some pics. They throw up pics in no real order and you must search for your faces through hundreds of photos. Who has hours to do that? Norwegian has solved that issue by computerizing the photos and grouping them by room number. They take your picture and attach it to your room number. You can see them all on a screen with no major hunt. We bought no pictures on this ship. It was too frustrating to find them all. ENTERTAINMENT-Entertainment was so-so! Djs on the Lido deck were good. I cracked up at the sailaway party. They had it but we were delayed in sailing away so it kinda fell flat this time. I know Carnival is known for its sailaway parties but the delay wasn’t their fault. I enjoyed the 70s Dance show and the Killer Beaz comedian. Other comedians were weak. We aren’t into audience participation shows and they were really into that. Motown show was messed up with the performers sitting on stools singing with bottles of water. They said a performer was ill and missing. The crew was talented but that was a weaker show. Other cruises have big themed costumed stage shows. The magician was weak too yet was interested in hawking his instructional dvds at the end of the show. Lounge bands were average. The shows kept us busy I suppose. Movies on the deck were more enjoyable or reading on my balcony. DÉCOR- This ship was built in 1996 and was refurbished in 2013. A lot of the neat restaurants were added at that time. The ship décor seemed 80ish to me and reminded me of an old Atlantic City or Vegas Casino .It is an older ship. They have done their best to keep her going. I prefer newer ships but the décor didn’t kill my cruise. It was ok. There was some rocking of the ship during our return due to rough surf. It was nothing serious and there were no signs of mechanical issues that some were still talking about from the listing incident some weeks ago. OVERALL IMPRESSION-The positives outweighed the negatives on this ship. We truly enjoyed our cruise , the spa amenities of the spa room category and the many ports. The food alone and great service would entice us to rebook on one of their newer ships. Carnival will definitely see us again.

Great cruise with some room for improvement

Carnival Sunshine Cruise Review by pamelaeterry

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
I compare this cruise to past adventures on Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and MSC which we love. I blocked out any negative reviews regarding Carnival and ended up loving this cruise. Here is the real lowdown on the Carnival Sunshine. Let’s start with the things I loved.

CABIN-The location of our spa room 11030 was amazing. It was steps from the waterfall and the all adults serenity deck. The size of the room was perfect and had down to the water views from the balcony .Access to the spa relaxation room and steam rooms made this room category a great choice. Make sure that you book high floors on this ship. I will explain later. Our very friendly room steward, Dhimas stocked our room with all of the beverages and items we ordered prior to the trip. He also kept the ice flowing. Loved him. He kept that room clean and ready for us. We had no trouble getting around the ship once we found out that you can walk the entire length of the ship on deck 5. That allowed us to always find elevators to our cabin on the 11th floor.

FOOD-While the buffet is small and nothing to write home about when compared to other ships we’ve sailed, Carnival offers additional restaurants for breakfast and lunch like Guy’s Fieri’s Burgers and the taco/burrito Blue Iguana Cantina spots as well as the Asian/Italian , MDR and pizza area of the buffet. We never made it to Bonsai sushi which we know would have been great. The food was simply awesome! The specialty JiJi’s Asian and the Cucina Del Capitano were terrific. I am still dreaming about lamb chops and short ribs and a NY strip that was so tender. I am also still craving that rose crème brulet and the melting chocolate cake with the ice cream. The waiters and waitresses dance and sing at dinner every night. That is wayyyy beyond the call of duty but neat to see. If you sail this ship please note all options for breakfast on your hub app. Walk through the very limited main buffet to JiJi’s Asian and the Cucina Del Capitano Italian in the AM to get to wonderful omelette stations. They also open for free lunch also. Most don’t know that they are there for breakfast and lunch. Also try the breakfast burritos and tacos at Blue Iguana Cantina on the deck and there is also a small breakfast served on deck five near the coffee shop. And those Guy Fieri burgers and fries are amazing. We never tried the steakhouse but loved the steak in the main dining room at no extra charge.

FRIENDLY PEOPLE-. We made a ton of friends on this cruise. The passengers were comfortable, having fun and willing to share with you unlike other cruises. Mikey the Cruise Director is worth mentioning. I have never met the Director on any ship except this one. He made sure that he reached out , shook our hands and checked on us. We don’t where he gets soooo much energy but we hope they are paying him well! He kept the fun going on this ship.

PORTS-We visited Grand Turk, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten and St. Kitts. Getting on and off the ship was fast and problem free. No tenders! Yeah! We loved our ports. St. Kitts requires an excursion. It can be a sketchy port beyond the shops. That turned into a relaxing day back on the ship. All the others were enjoyable with no booked excursions. Grand Turk and St. Maarten have great beaches right off of the ship. We found a beach in Puerto Rico that we walked to near the Fort.

So now for the things that certainly didn’t kill our trip but were in our opinion, areas for improvement. We also heard other passengers complain about these particular areas which make them worth mentioning.

POOR CONNECTIVITY-Internet is horrible and nonexistent on this ship. I repeat nonexistent! No one is in the fifth floor internet café because there really isn’t available internet with a plan or not .I paid for a plan as well as my husband. It never worked on my Apple 8. He seemed to have text capabilities and facetime on his Apple 7 plus. I asked for a full refund for my portion and received one. We had to search for internet in the ports to post pics etc. You really have to disconnect from the world on this ship. The Carnival HUB app was helpful and provided activity information in a flash with or without the internet plan. That app seemed to be the only thing that worked on my phone. Royal Caribbean has the best internet hands down. Business travelers would be in trouble on this ship.

BAD SMELLS AT TIMES-We smelled sewage with deodorizer smells on the 5th floor on down to 3rd which is unfortunate because the dining room is on those floors. We weren’t sure if they were from bathrooms or some other area. I used the ladies bathroom near the MDR and didn’t smell it in there so the source was something else. They must resolve that issue. That’s not appetizing when you are headed for dinner on the same floor and I couldn’t stay in a room with that. Some guests had that issue. Booking a high floor gets you away from this issue. Some also complained about old urine smells near the toilet in cabin bathrooms. We experienced that too. I believe that this is due to the age of this ship. I usually Lysol clean the bathroom anyway when I arrive. Yes, the casino was smokey but aren’t they all? I wish they could vent it somehow or ban smoking there. I still managed to play slots and enjoy that area.

PIXELS PHOTO GALLERY- The picture Pixels gallery was confusing. We never found some pics. They throw up pics in no real order and you must search for your faces through hundreds of photos. Who has hours to do that? Norwegian has solved that issue by computerizing the photos and grouping them by room number. They take your picture and attach it to your room number. You can see them all on a screen with no major hunt. We bought no pictures on this ship. It was too frustrating to find them all.

ENTERTAINMENT-Entertainment was so-so! Djs on the Lido deck were good. I cracked up at the sailaway party. They had it but we were delayed in sailing away so it kinda fell flat this time. I know Carnival is known for its sailaway parties but the delay wasn’t their fault. I enjoyed the 70s Dance show and the Killer Beaz comedian. Other comedians were weak. We aren’t into audience participation shows and they were really into that. Motown show was messed up with the performers sitting on stools singing with bottles of water. They said a performer was ill and missing. The crew was talented but that was a weaker show. Other cruises have big themed costumed stage shows. The magician was weak too yet was interested in hawking his instructional dvds at the end of the show. Lounge bands were average. The shows kept us busy I suppose. Movies on the deck were more enjoyable or reading on my balcony.

DÉCOR- This ship was built in 1996 and was refurbished in 2013. A lot of the neat restaurants were added at that time. The ship décor seemed 80ish to me and reminded me of an old Atlantic City or Vegas Casino .It is an older ship. They have done their best to keep her going. I prefer newer ships but the décor didn’t kill my cruise. It was ok. There was some rocking of the ship during our return due to rough surf. It was nothing serious and there were no signs of mechanical issues that some were still talking about from the listing incident some weeks ago.

OVERALL IMPRESSION-The positives outweighed the negatives on this ship. We truly enjoyed our cruise , the spa amenities of the spa room category and the many ports. The food alone and great service would entice us to rebook on one of their newer ships. Carnival will definitely see us again.
pamelaeterry’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience

Cabin Review

Spa Balcony
Cabin 8T 11030
This location is close to the front of the ship and steps away from the all Adult Serenity Deck and waterfall. The door to the Serenity Deck is right near this room. Nice balcony with down to the water views. Nice roof over the balcony for shade.This is an excellent location and just across the Lido deck from the main buffet and specialty restaurants. It is a floor above the gym as well and includes robes and slippers and spa amenities.
Deck 12 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews