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My kids love taking a cruise at the holidays, so for 2018 we settled on Carnival Sunshine because of the itinerary. My older daughter read the book "The Cay" in school and wanted to see Curacao and my younger daughter loves Carnival's kids' activities, so it was an easy choice. We drove to Port Canaveral the morning of the cruise and parked with Lots of Honor, which was a very easy process. The staff there is super nice and it was much more reasonable than parking at the port. The shuttle was prompt and embarkation was super easy. The kids kept asking, "where is the line to get on the ship?" There was no line, we just kept walking and got right on after security. Fantastic. I was a little skeptical about this ship because of a lot of negative reviews here, but the onboard experience was pretty decent. Lido tended to get pretty crowded and it was hard to find a lounger to lay out in the sun. (LOTS of people trying to reserve them, it was a mess) Otherwise, none of the other public areas felt overly crowded or uncomfortable. During our days at sea, my 10 year old daughter spent the majority of her time at Camp Ocean and she LOVED it there. My 12 year old has hit the grumpy teenage years a bit early and refused to participate in any organized activities, but the preteen/teen areas looked very nice as well. There was often a weird sewage odor towards the aft of the ship by the kids' areas. I would say that the dining staff were absolutely the best staff on the ship. We ate at the main dining room with anytime dining most evenings (except formal/dressy night - none of us like to dress up) and the service was fantastic. We also went to the buffet and Guy's Burgers frequently and everyone was so friendly and helpful. The food was fine and typical of my other Carnival cruises. We booked cabin 3127 towards the front of the ship on the Lobby deck, as it was an "interior with picture window" for only a little bit more money than a standard interior. The kids like having a window, but I personally prefer the dark of interior cabins. The cabin itself was okay, but I would highly recommend against this location. We had a lot of noise from above us, even late at night some nights, and this particular cabin has a bench right outside of its window so people kept peeking into the room. Awkward! As far as shore excursions go, we did our own thing at each port. I typically don't book excursions through the ship. In Aruba, we booked through AGW Tours Aruba and did their Offroad Adventure Tour. My partner and I did the same tour in 2017 and enjoyed it, and it was just as fun with the kids the second time around. We were in port from 1 to 10 PM, so we showered off and did some shopping after our tour. In Curacao, we did another offroad nature tour with Curacao-Actief, and they were fantastic as always. In Grand Turk, we walked down the beach to Jack's Shack, played in the ocean, bought some conch fritters, and petted their dogs. Paradise. All in all, we had a really fun time on this cruise and I wouldn't hesitate to book on the Sunshine again if the kids were going with me.

Good cruise overall, more for the kids than for me.

Carnival Sunshine Cruise Review by cutepsychokitty

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2018
  • Destination: Southern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Interior with Picture Window (obstructed views)
My kids love taking a cruise at the holidays, so for 2018 we settled on Carnival Sunshine because of the itinerary. My older daughter read the book "The Cay" in school and wanted to see Curacao and my younger daughter loves Carnival's kids' activities, so it was an easy choice.

We drove to Port Canaveral the morning of the cruise and parked with Lots of Honor, which was a very easy process. The staff there is super nice and it was much more reasonable than parking at the port. The shuttle was prompt and embarkation was super easy. The kids kept asking, "where is the line to get on the ship?" There was no line, we just kept walking and got right on after security. Fantastic.

I was a little skeptical about this ship because of a lot of negative reviews here, but the onboard experience was pretty decent. Lido tended to get pretty crowded and it was hard to find a lounger to lay out in the sun. (LOTS of people trying to reserve them, it was a mess) Otherwise, none of the other public areas felt overly crowded or uncomfortable. During our days at sea, my 10 year old daughter spent the majority of her time at Camp Ocean and she LOVED it there. My 12 year old has hit the grumpy teenage years a bit early and refused to participate in any organized activities, but the preteen/teen areas looked very nice as well. There was often a weird sewage odor towards the aft of the ship by the kids' areas.

I would say that the dining staff were absolutely the best staff on the ship. We ate at the main dining room with anytime dining most evenings (except formal/dressy night - none of us like to dress up) and the service was fantastic. We also went to the buffet and Guy's Burgers frequently and everyone was so friendly and helpful. The food was fine and typical of my other Carnival cruises.

We booked cabin 3127 towards the front of the ship on the Lobby deck, as it was an "interior with picture window" for only a little bit more money than a standard interior. The kids like having a window, but I personally prefer the dark of interior cabins. The cabin itself was okay, but I would highly recommend against this location. We had a lot of noise from above us, even late at night some nights, and this particular cabin has a bench right outside of its window so people kept peeking into the room. Awkward!

As far as shore excursions go, we did our own thing at each port. I typically don't book excursions through the ship. In Aruba, we booked through AGW Tours Aruba and did their Offroad Adventure Tour. My partner and I did the same tour in 2017 and enjoyed it, and it was just as fun with the kids the second time around. We were in port from 1 to 10 PM, so we showered off and did some shopping after our tour. In Curacao, we did another offroad nature tour with Curacao-Actief, and they were fantastic as always. In Grand Turk, we walked down the beach to Jack's Shack, played in the ocean, bought some conch fritters, and petted their dogs. Paradise.

All in all, we had a really fun time on this cruise and I wouldn't hesitate to book on the Sunshine again if the kids were going with me.
cutepsychokitty’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Cabin
Ages 10 to 12
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Interior with Picture Window (obstructed views)
Cabin 4J 3127
I would not recommend this cabin. The interior with picture window was spacious and comfortable, but we ended up with so much noise from above us and people kept trying to peek in our window since there was a bench right outside. My kids thought it was hilarious and they didn't mind, but I was over it by the end of the trip.
Deck 7 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews