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Carnival Sunshine Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
1382 reviews
2 Awards

Good value, fun cruise despite drawbacks

Review for Carnival Sunshine to the Bahamas
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jdh008
6-10 Cruises • Age 30s

Rating by category

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Additional details

Sail Date: Oct 2022
Cabin: Balcony

My wife and I booked this cruise under different circumstances than we normally do. On our previous cruises together, we've sought out newer ships and/or interesting itineraries that include places we've not been, even if it meant traveling to a departure port further away from us or spending a bit more to make it happen. We booked this one, however, on relatively short notice and did so largely because Charleston is convenient to us (4.5-hour drive) and it was a fairly inexpensive way for us to have our first getaway together in a while.

Because of that, we went into the trip with adjusted expectations based on the ship being older and the itinerary being what it was (stops in Nassau and Half Moon Cay). In the big picture, there were significant drawbacks to this trip, but through the lens of those adjusted expectations, we had a fun trip that ended up being a good value.

EMBARKATION - The embarkation process in Charleston is different; there's no way around that. You hand off your bags on the way to park, you walk from your car to one building to check in (and it can be a lengthy walk depending on the luck of the draw in where they have you park), then get bused over to another building to go through security and get on the ship. That said, we got there at a fairly busy check-in time (between 12 - 1 PM) and it just took a bit over an hour from start to finish, and every line we were in was constantly moving, which made it feel more palatable. It's wonky but it seemed fairly efficient. But your mileage may vary, I suppose.

Cabin Review

Balcony

Port Reviews

Charleston

If you can arrive the day before embarkation, I recommend it. Charleston is a beautiful, fun city with great restaurants and sights.

The actual embarkation process is wonky (see main review), but the tradeoff is that the smaller port makes for less traffic and is easy to navigate.

Nassau

We all know that Nassau is not among the most loved ports out there, and I'm no exception. Still, I enjoy that you port in a relatively bustling area and I like to get off the ship to walk around the city a bit.

All that said, organization behind the Nassau cruise port is pumping a ton of money into it right now and the rendering of the finished product looks impressive. I'm sure most of that port real estate will be taken up by the typical duty-free shopping and cruise line-friendly brands (Del Sol, Cariloha, etc.), but even then, it will go a long way toward making the Nassau port a bit more aesthetically pleasing. I'm not sure what the estimated date of completion is, but they are very much in the thick of construction right now.

Half Moon Cay

Half Moon Cay is truly one of the most picturesque places out there. If you're not a beach day kind of person, it's probably not for you, but if that's your thing, it doesn't get a whole lot better.

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