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This is my third cruise; 1st to Alaska and 2nd to the Bahamas, so we wanted something with a lot of variety. The ports did not disappoint, and the weather was extremely cooperative. We had absolutely no rain, and the temps were mostly in the 80s and sunny! We got on the boat in record time! Everyone I talked to was amazed by how quickly we were on the ship and enjoying lunch. The only line we encountered was through the TSA . Our "appointment time" was between 12:30 and 1, and we were already eating at Guy's Burger Jt by 12:15! Debarking was pretty tedious, but the port did the best they could. The ship had its pros and cons. We adored the Serenity pool, the hammocks and the fact that we could almost always get somewhere to lounge. We also loved the ropes course which we were told only exist on 5 other ships. The ship looks kind of dated and frazzled, but the staff was wonderful. The food was not as good as the Carnival Bahamas cruise we were on last year. I was disappointed my lobster tail was mushy, and the prime rib was bland. Coffee service was not even offered. But everything was plated beautifully and the service was delightful. Our cabin, 7316, was my first experience with a balcony. This particular room had a larger balcony that included a lounge chair in addition to 2 tables and chair. Loved it! The room always had some sort of white noise buzz which didn't bother me, but it did my husband; I think we were located near the laundry. 7th level had us close to all the action though. Here's what I was disappointed in; we had precious little time in each port. I'm not sure if that's a Carnival thing, or if you can even research average cruise line's port times. The main reason to cruise to me is to visit new countries, so I want the most time possible there. We felt rushed, especially since we never got off the ship on time. I'm also not thrilled with how a few of the ports have been "Disneyfied"; sanitized to the point that one is felt the only point of being in port is to shop! Yuck! I was especially disappointed in Amber Cove. We were told everything we would want to do was right at the port, but you couldn't even get to the beach! We didn't do a single organized shore excursion, but we still saw plenty in each port by doing a little research and mainly using taxis. In Amber Cove, we rode to Puerta Plata and took the cable car up to the botanical garden. In St. Thomas, we drove downtown and walked around, then took a taxi to amazingly beautiful Magen's Bay for snorkeling. In San Juan, my husband had prearranged an opportunity for us to volunteer a few hours at Casa Ronald McDonald (as opposed to Carnival's prearranged volunteer projects that I wonder how much they profited from). A cab then took us to Old Town where we wondered happily for several hours in and out of forts and museums. And in Grand Turk, we walked to the recommended Governor's Beach for the most amazing snorkeling I had ever done. We easily took a cab from there to tour the town a bit and see the wild donkeys and horses. I'm certain we managed to do more, for cheaper, in the short amount of time we had in each port. I will love to do this cruise again. The ports were gorgeous, the crew was lovely, and we felt pampered and relaxed. I'd love to experience the same cruise on a different line to see if my perception would change. It definitely was a cruise to remember.

Weather was perfection!

Carnival Sunshine Cruise Review by 4leftymom

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
This is my third cruise; 1st to Alaska and 2nd to the Bahamas, so we wanted something with a lot of variety. The ports did not disappoint, and the weather was extremely cooperative. We had absolutely no rain, and the temps were mostly in the 80s and sunny!

We got on the boat in record time! Everyone I talked to was amazed by how quickly we were on the ship and enjoying lunch. The only line we encountered was through the TSA . Our "appointment time" was between 12:30 and 1, and we were already eating at Guy's Burger Jt by 12:15! Debarking was pretty tedious, but the port did the best they could.

The ship had its pros and cons. We adored the Serenity pool, the hammocks and the fact that we could almost always get somewhere to lounge. We also loved the ropes course which we were told only exist on 5 other ships. The ship looks kind of dated and frazzled, but the staff was wonderful.

The food was not as good as the Carnival Bahamas cruise we were on last year. I was disappointed my lobster tail was mushy, and the prime rib was bland. Coffee service was not even offered. But everything was plated beautifully and the service was delightful.

Our cabin, 7316, was my first experience with a balcony. This particular room had a larger balcony that included a lounge chair in addition to 2 tables and chair. Loved it! The room always had some sort of white noise buzz which didn't bother me, but it did my husband; I think we were located near the laundry. 7th level had us close to all the action though.

Here's what I was disappointed in; we had precious little time in each port. I'm not sure if that's a Carnival thing, or if you can even research average cruise line's port times. The main reason to cruise to me is to visit new countries, so I want the most time possible there. We felt rushed, especially since we never got off the ship on time. I'm also not thrilled with how a few of the ports have been "Disneyfied"; sanitized to the point that one is felt the only point of being in port is to shop! Yuck! I was especially disappointed in Amber Cove. We were told everything we would want to do was right at the port, but you couldn't even get to the beach!

We didn't do a single organized shore excursion, but we still saw plenty in each port by doing a little research and mainly using taxis. In Amber Cove, we rode to Puerta Plata and took the cable car up to the botanical garden. In St. Thomas, we drove downtown and walked around, then took a taxi to amazingly beautiful Magen's Bay for snorkeling. In San Juan, my husband had prearranged an opportunity for us to volunteer a few hours at Casa Ronald McDonald (as opposed to Carnival's prearranged volunteer projects that I wonder how much they profited from). A cab then took us to Old Town where we wondered happily for several hours in and out of forts and museums. And in Grand Turk, we walked to the recommended Governor's Beach for the most amazing snorkeling I had ever done. We easily took a cab from there to tour the town a bit and see the wild donkeys and horses. I'm certain we managed to do more, for cheaper, in the short amount of time we had in each port.

I will love to do this cruise again. The ports were gorgeous, the crew was lovely, and we felt pampered and relaxed. I'd love to experience the same cruise on a different line to see if my perception would change. It definitely was a cruise to remember.
4leftymom’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin 8C 7316
Slightly noisy (white noise, no music, loud talking, etc.). Amazingly roomy balcony. Bed very comfy.
Deck 8 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews