We choose this cruise because it was a 3-hour drive to the port for us. We arrived around 11:30 to the parking lot and there was no line and we pulled right up to the luggage tent, then followed directions to where to park and walked to Building 324 to check in. Somewhere in there we paid for the week to park but I can't remember if it was before luggage drop off or after. The lot lanes are A, B, C, etc. and painted on the ground at the end of the row. I suggest making a note of where you are and what aisle you are in or take pics with the cellphone because we were a little disoriented when we came back, not having done that.
Building 324 is where you check in and show your paperwork and get a stamp on your boarding pass, which several people checked before we left that building. The line moved quickly and once thru there we were directed out of the building and onto a bus and were driven to the ship. Inside the terminal the luggage went thru screening and we used the elevator instead of the stairs and once off walked right onto the ramps and onto the ship. We had an 11:30-12:00 boarding time and we were onboard by 12:15. Cabins are not available until 1:30 but you can drop your luggage off in your cabin and pick up your keys which are in an envelope above your cabin number.
We then went up to Lido for a little light lunch.
We had a balcony cabin. It looked and felt clean and the carpet looked new. Beds were comfortable. Pillows were puffy and I will take my own next cruise. Balcony was in sad shape. White paint splattered over the furniture and floor... rust everywhere... railing desperately needs to be sanded down and re-stained. Glass on balcony was never cleaned while we were there. Just a note that we were docked next to the Magic in Grand Turk and the balconies were being washed, so I don't know why ours were not. This cabin is in the middle of about 10 or so cabins that is over the Red Frog Pub on Deck 5. Embarkation day it was packed with noisy people and we ran upstairs to see if we could hear anything and we could not. However, that evening there was a thumpa, thumpa, thumpa from music. We went downstairs and there were at least 4 speakers (large) mounted to the ceiling right under our cabin. I had earplugs so it was no problem but be forewarned. Having Randy as our cabin steward made up for any issues we had. The trim around the ceiling was missing pieces here and there and of course, the blue bathroom is what it is. None of this will stop me from cruising on the Sunshine and in fact I have an April cruise booked.
Easy drive from Charlotte area, easy parking, boarding.
We did the ship's Blue Lagoon excursion. Beach and water were pretty. Food was OK. Time there was not long enough to enjoy it.
Water directly in front of the ship has been dredged or something. Hardly any sand. You need water shoes. Walk down past the cruise chairs to get to the sandy water area. When you dock at noon, the ship before you has taken up all the chairs. We were happy to get further down the beach so we didn't have to listen to the DJ and the guy on the pier blowing his whistle every 30 seconds. You'd think by now they'd figure out a way to keep people from crossing over the yellow line, you know, like put up sandwich signs saying so and or painting Do Not Cross. Something... anything... less annoying. Other than that the water is beautiful.
You need water shoes for this beach but the water is clear and beautiful. Buffet lunch is just OK.