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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I chose Carnival Sunrise because it left from Norfolk and was an easy departure point as I was taking my entire family on the cruise. It was the first cruise for many of them; so their first cruise experience. I have sailed Carnival before ... Read More
I chose Carnival Sunrise because it left from Norfolk and was an easy departure point as I was taking my entire family on the cruise. It was the first cruise for many of them; so their first cruise experience. I have sailed Carnival before and have enjoyed the experience. I can not say the same for this trip. I had high expectations since I had heard so much hype about the renovations and upgrades. I was disappointed and wondered where the money was spent. There was a lot of rust in places, loose carpet, and general maintenance issues. There were long lines in the Lido marketplace at all the meals. The flow wasn’t very good. The Lido deck did have the water slide which my kids enjoyed. There was also putt-putt golf, basketball, fossball, and a pool table. My family enjoyed the pool and the rope course. My kids did enjoy their trip and the travel and the visits to Nassau and Freeport. I was disappointed in the quality of the food (very bland). The chefs seemed to want to be innovative, trying to mix flavors and textures. But the food didn’t have a lot of flavor. I heard that Guy’s BBQ was good, but I didn’t enjoy it. The Guy’s Burger Joint was awesome as usual. And ice cream was always available. The wait staff at our table in the dining room was good, not great. They seemed new and not quite sure of their role. Our waiter, Idewa, was very pleasant and good with the kids. There was no anticipation of guest needs or desires as I have experienced in the past. Service was also slow. And the “shows” in the dining room were not on par with what I have enjoyed on past cruises. I was also disappointed with the dining experience as this was a family trip. My two sisters and I had booked the cruise together and requested family to be seated together for the early dining. Unfortunately, my sister and her daughter and granddaughter were placed on the lower level and the rest were on the upper level. When she bought this to the attention of the maître d’, she was treated rudely and told that it was too late to make a change. The entertainment, family-wise, was not family friendly. I did not attend many of the shows because they weren’t age appropriate for my younger grandchildren. And the movies were PG-13. On my previous Carnival cruise 2 years ago, I spent every evening on the Lido deck watching family friendly movies. I never watched one movie on the Lido deck on this cruise. There was very little TV programming for children either while we were in the cabin; just Cartoon Network and Blue’s Clues. Room-wise, I had a spa balcony. I was originally on Deck 2 with my family, but after two room changes by Carnival, ended up on Deck 11. Not a hardship by any means. But I had requested adjoining rooms because I was helping my daughter and son-in-law with their children. I was told there was no adjoining rooms on Deck 2. Lo and behold, my two sisters arrived to find they had adjoining rooms where I was originally supposed to be on Deck 2. They had not requested adjoining rooms. There were highs and lows. Pictures were not great. Photographers were more interested in quick shots without much imagination, and not much quality. I bought a couple of my family that were ok, but discarded a lot because they weren’t very good. And as one previous reviewer commented, you were nickleled-and-dimed a lot. Disembarkation: what a cluster. It took us two hours to get off the ship. Decks were called in order, and since we were on Deck 11, we were called last. It was very difficult to get an elevator. We made it to Deck 5 and sat on the floor with our luggage for an hour. We had to be out of our cabins by 8:30, and not a lot of available public space to sit with the kids. Once our deck was called, we finally made it on an elevator to Deck 3, then were unable to get off as the area was jam packed with other guests. I can say things did go quickly once we were around the corner and in the hallway. I think feeder lines on Deck 3 and more assistance from staff for crowd control would have made this easier. Overall, I give this cruise and ship a 3 out of 5. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose to sail on the Sunrise for the Bahamas trip due to the price and the convenience of sailing out of Norfolk. We were also thrilled to be on the Sunrise as we had previously sailed on the ship when it was the Triumph. The ... Read More
We chose to sail on the Sunrise for the Bahamas trip due to the price and the convenience of sailing out of Norfolk. We were also thrilled to be on the Sunrise as we had previously sailed on the ship when it was the Triumph. The embarkation in Norfolk was rocky, to say the least. Once on board there wasn’t much direction, but we assumed it was because they were still working out kinks in the new service. We were only the 2nd group to sail on her. The food was great. Drinks were great. Service was great. Show was great. We even enjoyed the casino, even though it was SUPER smoky. We highly recommend checking out the speciality restaurants or even have a visit to the spa. We got engaged on this trip, which was made magical by the photo team - We even bought one of the quite pricey photo packages, but it was absolutely worth it. Getting off the ship was a nightmare and that’s not just because our vacation was coming to an end. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We have traveled out of norfolk, va many times on carnival ships, we are platinum cruisers and have had much fun. Another couple came up from charlotte to go with us in a different cabin. This is their 4th time with us. The time for ... Read More
We have traveled out of norfolk, va many times on carnival ships, we are platinum cruisers and have had much fun. Another couple came up from charlotte to go with us in a different cabin. This is their 4th time with us. The time for boarding was great however were were told to be on board by 3pm to leave at 4,but it was almost 5:30 pm when we left. People dont pay attention, they should be left on the pier, if not on time unless a major life and death emergency occurred. The cabin was great we had a suite watched all ,kinds of stuff from the balcony, especially people on the pier at locations the neighbor was loud but i think she forgot her hearing aid. the food was cruise food. Up on the leado deck at the buffet ,the staff would walk by soiled tables,ignore them and go to talk to other staff. I watched 2 tables be full of dirty dished, people waiting to eat for 10 minutes, people just turned their head other way. The 2 main problems on this cruise was kids running wild all day, all knocking into people, one kit told a female cruiser to f---- off-b-----. You are in my way. He was about 14 yrs old. The second was smoking on the balcony's of cigarettes, and cigars, one person was dropping his cigar ashed on the fuel barge below.. You could smell it in the passage ways but staff did nothing about kit the cigarette smoking was about 3 days . Debarking was good and the staff wonderful. the cruise director wad EXCELLENT bob Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
Chose this cruise because departure port was close to home. Overall very satisfied. Excursion was cancelled because of wind, but we did get on another excursion.The cabin stewards and buffet area tables cleaning staff work extremely hard ... Read More
Chose this cruise because departure port was close to home. Overall very satisfied. Excursion was cancelled because of wind, but we did get on another excursion.The cabin stewards and buffet area tables cleaning staff work extremely hard with barely a minutes break and did a fantastic job. This time cruising I was not too impressed with the lunch or dinner buffet. We did use other choices available for meals. Main complaint was witnessing total disregard for passengers luggage by the staff baggage handlers on the ship at elevator on 7th floor where our cabin was. While waiting for the elevator my daughter and I watched them completely flip full carts of luggage on the floor and proceed to throw piece by piece into various piles on the floor. It is one thing if they do this when no one is looking but I was appalled it was being done with us standing there watching them. I will be carrying my luggage on next time. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
Sailed from Hometown for the First time, I must say it was great and also very convenient . Downtown Norfolk, just 20 minuted from home, The Sunshine was a nice Ship..... I sailed in an Ocean Suite. in the AFT of the ship.. The ... Read More
Sailed from Hometown for the First time, I must say it was great and also very convenient . Downtown Norfolk, just 20 minuted from home, The Sunshine was a nice Ship..... I sailed in an Ocean Suite. in the AFT of the ship.. The balcony was a little small, overall the room was nice. Two wrap sofas, one was a sleeper, Seperate bedroom that led out onto the balcony, bathroom had a tub with shower. I was not happy with the Boarding Process. I had priorty boarding, yet still lines..my luggage did not get to my cabin until 2hrs after i boarded. I found the late night entertainment to be great.. Comedy Club and the Disco was Hot!!! Music to Dye for...... Guys Burgers was the best. the Pizzas , Always the Best Pizza..... I spent a lot of time out on the balcony... Did a one day pass at Breezes ALL Inclusive. Had a FUN Time!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
I chose this cruise because it was perfect timing for my wonderful wife's birthday and it was leaving from Norfolk only 1 hour from our home in Gloucester. It was also affordable. The cabin was beautiful and comfortable.The huge ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it was perfect timing for my wonderful wife's birthday and it was leaving from Norfolk only 1 hour from our home in Gloucester. It was also affordable. The cabin was beautiful and comfortable.The huge picture window showcasing the open ocean and beautiful ports of call. I just spent the better half an hour detailing all the wonderful experiences of our wonderful trip and my computer some how lost my writings. So I will not rewrite all of that again. So let me summarize in saying our Cabin Stewart Puji was remarkable. Our restaurant staff team Macedon, Jeffrey, and Zafar were wonderful in their service and pleasant personable demeanor making our dining experience especially the night we all shared dinner with the Captain who also was very engaging with the guest. Emma is phenomenal. How can one person harness and dispense such amounts of energy. We all were her Lovelies. The entertainment was fantastic Everyone was so friendly and most accommodating and gracious. It was a totally wonderful time for both my wife Lourdes and I. Thank you. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Embarkation and disembarkation went very smooth! The safety/security drill that occurred aboard the ship took an extended about of time. It was held outside on the deck in humid weather and limited about of space. Many of the elderly ... Read More
Embarkation and disembarkation went very smooth! The safety/security drill that occurred aboard the ship took an extended about of time. It was held outside on the deck in humid weather and limited about of space. Many of the elderly people standing near me had a very difficult time standing for the period of time. The ship was very clean, the cabin was clean, prepared and ready for us every time we returned. I have traveled and stayed at many resorts, been on a couple of cruises and stayed at several hotels but I have never encountered the level of customer service like Mr. Gusti provided!!!!! I know he worked long hours but he also greeted you with a smile and a delightful approach. He is the BEST!!! Mr. Sombari was great also. Dinning was delicious and service was great.....Ms. Ausrine! Entertainment and Activities were plentiful and fun!! Mr Leigh, Cruise Director is great at what he does!! I plan to book another cruise on Carnival Sunshine! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We chose this cruise for the location, time and price. That was a mistake. Customer service shouldn't be in their vocabulary bc they have zero. We had no ac in our stateroom for 3 full days after saying something to the attendant ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the location, time and price. That was a mistake. Customer service shouldn't be in their vocabulary bc they have zero. We had no ac in our stateroom for 3 full days after saying something to the attendant within several minutes of boarding. My husband has medical issues and had we not brought a fan from home, it would have been miserable. I fell on the pool deck in a huge puddle of water 20 feet from the pool, and they had the nerve to tell me they wouldn't charge me for my visit to the medical bay. My feet flew out from under me, I was not drinking, fully dressed. My doctor told me I pulled every muscle in my back, sprained my ankle and bruise my elbow. I'm on steroids and muscle relaxers now. Had I not gone to the medical bay, there would have been no incident report noted. I ordered cranberry juice at dinner and was charged $2.69 for it and it was watered down. Guest services did nothing but take off $45 in charges for all our complaints and said they couldn't do more. There was no in room refrigerator, the smoking area is on the same deck and side as entrance to camp carnival. There's an up charge for everything, from food, to activities, to juice apparently. The force gratuity on drinks with alcohol content. The slides hurt your back bc you can feel every seam. The hot tubs were full of kids under 13 talking and behaving inappropriately. The Dr. Seuss stuff was forced into an hour and half on one day, trivia, parade, story time. Then no more characters until the uncharged breakfast which was one of the best meals I had all 5 days. My husband sent several dinners back and he never does that on royal Caribbean. Captains night included zero filet or lobster tail unless you paid an extra $20, not on royal Caribbean, its included on that line. After calling customer service after my doctor visit, I was told she couldn't do anything but pass the info along and I have to wait 24-72 hours for someone who can to call me back, they had better hope I don't have to call back. I will never cruise with them again!!! I could continue but it's not worth my time and effort. Will always choose Royal Caribbean from here forward. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Overly pleased with my cruise experience with Carnivel out of Norfolk Virgina .Boarding was orderly and my luggage was at my storeroom in a reasonable time. Plenty of food morning noon and night. Anything you wanted to eat was available ... Read More
Overly pleased with my cruise experience with Carnivel out of Norfolk Virgina .Boarding was orderly and my luggage was at my storeroom in a reasonable time. Plenty of food morning noon and night. Anything you wanted to eat was available The wait staff in dining room and the buffet were more than outstanding. They were friendly and helpful to your needs. Entertainment and activities were nonstop. Needed 48 hours in the day to attend ,there was something for all ages. The casino had adequate amount of machines and enough tables to win money. Inside storeroom room had adequate room. The linens were clean, plenty and plenty of towels and wash cloths. I found the bed comfortable enough Embarking at Nassau and Freeport we had amble enough time to explore the island. I cannot find any complaints with my sailing with Carnival, even though I have tried. I give Carnival Sunshine an A+ Returning back to port everything went smoothly. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
This was my second time cruising with the sunshine from Norfolk va. The first time last year was so nice and I had a ball. I wanted to take my sisters because they never cruised before and I was so excited to share this with them. The ... Read More
This was my second time cruising with the sunshine from Norfolk va. The first time last year was so nice and I had a ball. I wanted to take my sisters because they never cruised before and I was so excited to share this with them. The weather was horrible but that's wasn't carnival fault. The clean up staff was fantastic. Very friendly. The bartenders was friendly. That's the good news. The food was horrible.. the quality was horrible. Powered eggs really. Absolutely nothing was hot for breakfast. It wasn't even warm. They had pancakes and waffles but they were cold. The pastries tasted week old.. and oh my God the hash browns was so greasy and seasonless. I may never eat hash browns again. The dinner at the sunrise restaurant was horrible. It was hot but tasteless. The manager we talked to was rude.. never again will I cruise carnival. Little more dance clubs that catered to a older crowd would be nice. I felt like I didn't get my money worth this time.. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
value and close to home. the ship is set up well.it has the nicest serenity decks that we have seen on carnival.the whole staff wasvery nice.lee was a great cruise director.the five day itenarary isto rushed.if they decide to come back to ... Read More
value and close to home. the ship is set up well.it has the nicest serenity decks that we have seen on carnival.the whole staff wasvery nice.lee was a great cruise director.the five day itenarary isto rushed.if they decide to come back to norfolk it should be changed back to a sixday cruise.you have to cruise to fast both ways,which makes it uncomfortable when the seas are rough.the balcony on our room was in rough shape.it had blue paint smudges on the glass,and blue and white paint chips on the floor.the safe in our room did not work after the first day.they should bring back the steel drums by the pool deck and las vegas type costume style shows.they let people in the dinning room for dinner wearing what ever they want,jean shorts ball caps flip flops etc. it is un professional on thelr behalf. if people want to dress like that they should have go to the buffet. that attire is okay for breakfast and lunch but not for dinner.they have taken away the table cloths.whats next the napkins. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
My friends (three couples in all) and I chose this cruise because it was leaving from our city. Convenience is a good thing. Embarking and disembarking could not have been easier. This is the easiest port I have gone in and out of. We ... Read More
My friends (three couples in all) and I chose this cruise because it was leaving from our city. Convenience is a good thing. Embarking and disembarking could not have been easier. This is the easiest port I have gone in and out of. We were on the Carnival Sunshine. We just got back in today June 20, 2016. All in all we loved the cruise, and the staff were great. The ship was clean, the meals were GOOD. Some were GREAT while others were OK thus my middle of the road rating of good. Our waiters were AWESOME. Entertaining us at the table along with serving us fast and accurately. Our waiter had a a table behind us with 5 children all under the age of 8. While still serving us promptly he gave special attention and time to the children. His name was Tanakas and his team including Imade and Louie. The ENTERTAINMENT has gone down hill A LOT!! My husband and I have gone on Carnival 6 times. In the past we LOVED going to the shows. It is something we NEVER would miss. They are typically as good as Las Vegas shows with live orchestras playing with the entertainers. Generally there is a magic show on one of the nights. Not on this ship! There were only 8 entertainers per show. : ( The voices of many of the singers were not very good. The lighting was not good. We chose to not even go to the last nights show. In the past there was always fruit carved out in the shape of animals etc. It was so pretty and made the ambiance of the lido deck food area so nice to walk into. NOT done on this cruise ship. I guess to people who have never cruised these are things they never knew about so they don't know what they are missing however, for those of us who love Carnival some of these short cuts are well noticed. The Lido deck (where games are performed with passengers and for them) seemed much more crowed with chairs. Almost like they tried to put to many different things on the ship taking away the space for enjoying and relaxing on the Lido deck. We went to Nassau Bahamas. I have been there before and have to say the excursion we chose to go see Atlantis was GREAT. Everyone should see this and enjoy the beautiful beach. Lunch was also included in the price. We will try Carnival again but probably not the Sunshine. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
I chose this cruise because my family was going on it and I was looking for something to give my daughter in the way of a vacation after her graduation from high school. The overall experience was very positive, but there were some issues. ... Read More
I chose this cruise because my family was going on it and I was looking for something to give my daughter in the way of a vacation after her graduation from high school. The overall experience was very positive, but there were some issues. The parking area for the cruise was extremely understaffed which resulted in a long wait to get into the parking lot and get to the ship. I ended up missing my scheduled embarkation time because of waiting over an hour to park. It didn't seem to matter though as the embarkation was a little disorganized. Once on board the cabin was amazing. My Steward, Dadan, was exceptional and remembered my name for the entire cruise. We were more than an hour late pulling out of the port and I had booked a reservation at the steak place for dinner. Due to the delay in leaving I missed the leaving party. The dinner was good and I enjoyed it very much. That first night the activities were scattered and I didn't have any time to really enjoy them. Mostly I tried to learn my way around the ship. I found myself in a lot of places accidentally. The next day was our day at sea. The main attraction of the ship, the onboard water park, was closed due to heavy winds and rough seas. We had very rough water the entire cruise. I was able to find quite a bit to do, but my daughter (18) and her best friend (17) did not. There were little to no activities they could do together due to her best friend not turning 18 until 2 days after the cruise. Even without that disparity, however, the cruise seems geared to younger children or adults missing that between area completely. Due to the water park being closed there was only 2 onboard pools. One was for 21 and over leaving just one small pool for them to enjoy and 3000 guests. As you can imagine that was not an attractive activity for them. I did excursions both days in the Bahamas. One was a dolphin swim on a private island, which I paid 149.99 per person for. I was upset by 2 things in regards to that excursion. The cost of food for 4 people cost me 88.00 ADDITIONAL to the cost of the actual excursion and while our time in port was extended due to late arrival (I did not get to my 12pm excursion until after 2pm more than 2 hours late) when we got back all the shops were closed. We got NO time to shop in Nassau. I was very upset by this. Then in Freeport, the transportation to pick me up from the Bohemian house, was more than an hour late and then they took a bribe from one of the passengers to stop at a liquor store on the way back to port. This ate up all of our time in that port. So while I planned on both excursions leaving me time in the port to enjoy some shopping I did not get to enjoy any of them. That was more than disappointing. When we left Freeport we finally had decent weather and sea conditions but the cruise still did not open the water park. No one seemed able to tell me under what conditions it WOULD open. Understanding that we are on the OCEAN it needs to be built in such a manner as to not be so delicate that it has to be closed unless you are in a port standing still. I was more than a little angry at that. So in all, while I had a very enjoyable time, my daughter and her friend sat in the cabin watching television the entire cruise. I could have saved my money. No one has addressed the concerns I have had in relation to the excursions and the transportation (they were disorganized for this) or the lack of availability of the water park on the cruise vessel. Lesson learned: Never book an excursion if you want to shop and never take an 18-20 year old on the ship. The service on the ship was great and I met several staff members (Autumn and Emma specifically) that were a joy to be around. I enjoyed the cruise very much and am already looking to book my next one. The issues above are for awareness and will in no way discourage me from taking another cruise. I just will never bring as many people with me. I will attend the next one alone. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Took my kids and mother. We had two rooms side by side and they were clean and we had plenty of space. Kids loved the animal towels. Food was great and service excellent. Loved Emma and the roaming party. Dinner in the main dining room was ... Read More
Took my kids and mother. We had two rooms side by side and they were clean and we had plenty of space. Kids loved the animal towels. Food was great and service excellent. Loved Emma and the roaming party. Dinner in the main dining room was top notch. Lunch options are endless. Love sitting back in the Havana bar area. The Blue Iguana was our lunch time favorite. Never a long line and better than Chipotle. If you like water slides you are in for a surprise. The piano bar was a blast at night. Comedy shows were fun as well. There is R and PG. We had some rough waters but it didn't cause too many issues. Wish the pool was a bit bigger. Overall very happy with my second cruise. Yes it feels crowded in areas but once you learn the ship you will find your areas for peace and enjoyment. I was hesitant with all the negative reviews..but we were impressed.We are booked for the Ecstasy in February so looking forward to some more cruising soon. Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Have cruised on Royal Carribbean, Norwegian and Celebrity for 10+ cruises. This was our first cruise on Carnival and was selected because it left out of Norfolk and did not entail having to fly to a departure city. Embarkation: could ... Read More
Have cruised on Royal Carribbean, Norwegian and Celebrity for 10+ cruises. This was our first cruise on Carnival and was selected because it left out of Norfolk and did not entail having to fly to a departure city. Embarkation: could definitely have been better. 4 in our group were dropped off with bags while our 5th family member waited in line for over an hour to park the car and return to port on the shuttle. Only one person taking payment in the parking lot & this caused a lengthy and unnecessary traffic jam. We asked several Carnival employees to direct us to the priority boarding for guests who booked a suite. On the 5th try, finally got directed to the priority boarding lounge that greatly expedited getting on the ship. We were able to bypass long lines for check in and boarding. If you book a suite, be sure to take advantage of priority boarding! Ocean Suite cabins: Smaller than they appear in photos, but enough room for our group to be comfortable. We were lucky enough to have 2 cabins next to each other. They were not connecting but we asked and our cabin attendant opened the partition between balconies. This gave us a double sized balcony with 5 chairs, 2 tables and a lounge chair. Great place for the 5 of us to hang out! Bathrooms are small, would have preferred just a shower. Having a tub that was too small to bathe in just made getting in and out of the shower a trecherous endeavor especially when the boat was rocking and rolling. Much more rocking on this cruise than ANY of our prior cruises. NOT fun for the 2 folks who had never cruised before. Sea Bands and Dramamine helped a bit. Cabin attendants were helpful and friendlly. Hardworking folks. Loved our towel animals! Tip these folks well. They deserve it! Food: If you have kids in your party, book the Green Eggs and Ham breakfast. Nominal cost and great fun for the kiddos. Dining room--ate there once. Food was OK, Didn't take as long as other reviews I've read. Again, hardworking wait staff tried their best. Fahrenheit 555 Steak house---treat yourself, it is worth the splurge! Italian Restaurant--was OK for dinner, small additional charge. Hidden gem: If you enjoy pasta and want to escape the crowds at the Lido Market Place, go to Italian place for lunch. No additional charge at lunch time. You fill out a checklist of what pasta you want, what sauce and "add ins" like chicken, sausage, shrimp, peppers, etc. Give it to the hostess, she gives you a beeper that will go off when your food is ready. Lots of tables available with nice views of the water. The area back by the Havanna Bar and Italian Restaurant was never crowded, and was much cooler than the hot, sticky crowded Lido Market Place. The buffets there were OK at best. Lots of carbs and fried food if you like that kind of thing. The 24 hour pizza was often very crowded with just one poor guy making pizzas. Guys Burgers was often crowded but the line moved quickly, Comparable to 5 Guys burgers. Another hidden gem: go back to the JiJi's and Italian Restaurant areas for Breakfast---again much cooler and less crowded than Marketplace--no extra charge for custom made omelette at breakfast. Room Service: late nights often a wait on the phone for 20 minutes or more to order, but the delivery time was usually only 15 or 20 minutes---less time than waiting in line for pizza and worth the nominal $5.00 charge to have it delivered to your room. Wings were also good. Kids Club: our 6 year old traveler had a great time there! Enjoyed the "build a bear" for additional $$. They will lend you a cell phone so they can call if they need to reach family and so family can call to check on the kiddo. We also found out this phone could be used to call back to our cabin. Carnival Hub app for your cell phone: handy to have deity activities listed as well as maps of the ship and a running tally of what you're spending on your sail and sign card. Download the app to your smart phone and put your phone on airplane mode. No charge for the app. We signed up for the $5 cost to use chat function for the cruise---would have been handy but it never worked throughout the entire cruise. Entertainment: Emma, our cruise director---wonderful! Comedy shows: get there early if you want a seat---adult humor,not for kids! The musical shows were pretty good. Wish we could have had the "full" Rock show---we only had the "concert version" because the ship was rocking so much they could not use the scenery, special effects, etc. Hidden gem: The Piano Bar----Loved Jimi Finn ----Don't miss his shows, you'll have a great time (again, not for kiddos, this place is for the grown ups! )Military Appreciation Event: One of our family members is active duty military---this event was very moving and a wonderful tribute to active and veteran military members and their families. Check it out if you have served, you won't be sorry! HASBRO game show---lots of crazy silly fun! The casino---not as "smoky" as I had anticipated (and I am very sensitive to smoke), so I was pleasantly surprised. If you play slots, you'll need to put your winnings on your sail and sign card at the machine (instructions are at the bottom left of the screen) then you can take your card to the desk at back of the casino and they'll run your card and give you your cash. If you play any "ticket giving" machines at the video arcade, you don't get actual tickets---your winnings go on your sail and sign card and there's a prize redemption machine where you put your card, it tells you how many tickets you have and you can select your prize. Disembarkation: We were dreading it based on experience with getting on the ship. We did the "assisted" where you leave your bags outside your door by 11PM on final night, since the written info we received led us to believe this would be our earliest option for getting off the ship. Things ran about 45 minutes to an hour behind the listed times, but once our "group number" was called, it was smooth sailing. Our bags were easily located and we had a minimal wait to get through customs. Walked right off the boat and onto a waiting shuttle bus that took us and our luggage to the parking lot. Porters quickly unloaded the bags from the bus, we picked up our bags and went right to the car. No traffic problems getting out of the lot and on our way. We had no problems with "smells" or toilet back ups on the boat. The ship was crowded, there were often lines for things but nothing unbearable. We got to Nassau late and some folks had their excursions cancelled. We arrived in Nassau at the hottest part of the day, and there were there were 4 other cruise ships that arrived right around the same time so things were crowded and lots of traffic trying to leave the port to take folks to their excursions. Shops closed at 6PM, our ship stayed in port until 11PM, but not much point when things are closed! I think some folks went out to Atlantis in the evening. We tried to keep our expectations reasonable and reminded each other to be patient. On the whole, I'd have to say I found more positives than negatives on our cruise. It was great family time! Give the Sunshine a chance---especially if you have Emma for your cruise director---I'm betting you will enjoy yourself! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
The primary reason we chose this cruise was convenience; we live in the Norfolk, VA area. Though the cruise got off to an auspicious start (the ship came in several hours late due to the Harborfest celebration at Town Point Park), it ... Read More
The primary reason we chose this cruise was convenience; we live in the Norfolk, VA area. Though the cruise got off to an auspicious start (the ship came in several hours late due to the Harborfest celebration at Town Point Park), it turned out to be excellent. The Sunshine has great amenities, the crew is superb, the food was varied and tasty, the atmosphere was friendly very festive. Fortunately for us, the weather also cooperated. As for the excursion to Atlantis, it was a tab bit over priced. I believe we could have done better by taking a tour of Nassau. We also would have preferred to spend two days in Nassau vice going to Freeport. We had so much fun that my wife and I are thinking of doing the very same cruise next year. Needless to say, we highly recommend cruising Carnival. The Sunshine is a fine capable ship. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We chose this cruise as we live within 3.5 drive of the Cruise port and the ship had a many dining venues and bar options as well as the 3 deck serenity pool area. We were cruising to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary and left our ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we live within 3.5 drive of the Cruise port and the ship had a many dining venues and bar options as well as the 3 deck serenity pool area. We were cruising to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary and left our child at home so it was just the two of us no family or friends on this cruise. Embarkment: HOT MESS; this I don't believe was the fault of Carnival but rather whoever was in charge of Norfolk port and passenger checkin. We parked at the cruise parking and took the shuttle about 15 minutes due to traffic of the festival (festival happening right at the door of the cruise terminal !). We got to the terminal and waited... 1st line to get on elevator to go up to sidewalk over to cruise terminal 2nd line to wait on the sidewalk to get into cruise terminal 3rd line for security inside terminal 4th line to get checked in 5th waiting time in seats after checking waiting for our zone to board ship to be called 6th line waiting to board ship while people got their pics taken 7th line after pics to get on ship... 3+ hrs later we were onboard with a drink in our hands and a smiling bartender ...Cheers program quickly verified and we are excited. Room: We chose to pay to be on the serenity deck but in an interior room (priced about the same as an oceanview on other decks) and spend the $$ saved on the Cheers program. Our room was small of course but it was clean, our room steward was outstanding and I absolutely LOVED the location. We had room 11011 and could walk out to the serenity pool in a matter of seconds without hearing anything from the pool area or door closing. Food: Cucina Del Capitano - 5 of 5 , A-mazing .. everything was delicious and we've been to Italy so we weren't comparing to Olive garden or anything like that. The carbonara, risotto balls and caprese were so good my mouth is watering now. My husband got the chicken parm and it was good but nothing compared to that carbonara. The waitstaff was friendly and the desserts were the best we had by far on the cruise. There was only one other family when we ate and some of the ship crew (captain). Steakhouse - 4 of 5, Desserts weren't great but the Filet Mignon was incredible. Due to the Cheers Package we decided to try real Champagne (from Champagne Region, France) at $20 a glass to toast our anniversary and that was so good I had a second glass. The wait staff was attentive and professional though not overly friendly. Blue Iguana - 3 of 5 , really great to have this option ...its by no means a chipotle and a bit bland but I think strong flavors would be harder to please larger crowds so I understand. The downside of this place is that it closed before dinner every night and that was a big disappointment. Guys Burgers - 4 of 5, Delicious and even with a line very fast. Negatives only are hours (closes at 6) and the workers weren't smiling but that was how about 50% of the crew were ...I'll get more into that. Pizza - 2 of 5, flavor is okay at best , the wait was terrible and the workers never once smiled; for 24 hr pizza place I think they should just forget this style of pie and go with something like a sbarro with reheatable slices. Sandwich - 3 of 5; nice to the option, forgettable and of course the sour faced workers really made you feel like you were putting them out by asking for a sandwhich. Again I'd rather worse food like subway but with a smile. Buffet - 1 of 5 , it seemed like they were trying too hard and a lot of it was a miss. I don't expect good buffet food for fish or lobster ravioli so why even try? Just give us our french fries ... mashed potatoes and meatloaf and do that well. I really would have been so happy to see some meatloaf. The night buffet "snacks" was hiliarious...hot dogs sporting all colors of green, grey and ping with stale buns, plain lays chips, some type of chili and ham/cheese sandwiches. Dining Room - 4 of 5 we ate breakfast twice in the dining room, never lunch or dinner. The breakfast was delicious and quick. The services was efficient; honestly they all looked exhausted ... one waiter said they finished work at 11:30 the night before and had to be back at 7:30 so yeah these guys are tired. Room Service - Never ordered Nassau: 2 of 5; we had one of the far spots from the terminal so you had a hike to start; we arrived a bit late and then were herded out with long lines to get out of ship (and we waited thinking the crowd would lessen...silly us). We did the snorkeling and catamaran sail through carnival ... along with 105 other passengers from our ship ... yes total of 107. The lining up in the heat , then being separated into two lines ...told it would be a 5 minute walk (LIES ! ...was more like 15) and finally on boat. The excursion at that point on was awesome as was the crew. We finished the excursion and made our way back to the boat to shower and head back out to Atlantis .... OH MY THE LINE ! It took at least 10-15 minutes of standing in the sun at 5 pm to get back on the boat; we quickly showered and ate sandwich and made our way to atlantis where I had some luck on roulette. Getting back on the ship that night was much faster. Freeport: 4 of 5; there's enough going on around the port to spend some time if you don't want to travel from the port but we did the beach getaway and glad we didn't get the all inclusive package but ordered off the menu. The Drinks for the AI were in tiny plastic cups and premixed ; the ones we paid for were almost $10 each once they added in tax and automatic gratuity but they were large and strong and we each had two along with one coconut drink from a stand on the beach. The drivers and workers were all nice ; the conch fritters were okay...I wanted to try them and did so that's off the list...no need to order again. Overall Service: 3 of 5 Room Steward - AWESOME Casino Staff - 4 of 5 , some were amazing Bartenders - 3 of 5, Aung was the best and so pleasant he was either at Havana Bar or Serenity Bar depending on time of day. Some of the others weren't friendly at all and some were okay. Cruise Director Emma - Adorable and Sweet Entertainment Epic Rock , very impressive for a cruise ship... glad we made time for this one. We only went to Epic Rock and one trivia session so I cant speak to other shows. There was always one or more things going on , several movies every night. Serenity Deck I was really concerned about getting a chair after reading all the reviews but didn't have to worry as I wake up so early I had my pick of the whole ship at 530 am :) By 830 there were still some chairs on Serenity and by 10 there weren't loungers but there were couches and table styles chairs so this wasn't as big a problem as I thought at all. Also I never saw a child on the deck longer than a few minutes, the pool staff asked them to leave quickly. The towel stickers were placed on towels and monitored though 45 minutes is a long time in my opinion for anyone to need a chair they aren't sitting in. Leaving HOT MESS AGAIN ... I just kept thinking "there has to be a better way" ... seriously expecting all these passengers to get a card in a slot and through two doors quickly is dumb...throw in their luggage and tada ! HOT MESS. I know this is just part of cruising but it just kills the vacation buzz to stand like cattle being told repeatedly to have my card out. ...of course then you have customs and the shuttle back to the car (both of which were pleasant and quick). Will I cruise again? Yes but not anytime soon; we average about 4 yrs between cruises. Would I cruise On this ship again? Yes though I prefer larger ones and really want to try the Vista. Would I book the same room? No, I'd go for the balcony... I thought perhaps we didn't need it with the serenity deck and mostly we didn't but I would have liked to order room service and chill a couple times. Cheers Review will be posted soon ... I kept track of all my drinks Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
Enjoyed the Splendor very much. It is a lot like the Conquest style ship but has a few nuances that the others don't. There is sooo much pink in the decor. My wife is legally blind and the crew was very good in helping her when I ... Read More
Enjoyed the Splendor very much. It is a lot like the Conquest style ship but has a few nuances that the others don't. There is sooo much pink in the decor. My wife is legally blind and the crew was very good in helping her when I wasn't right there with her. Our room steward was very good kept ice in the room for her insulin at all times. Also saw that my daughter had brought along a stuffed monkey and he made a towel monkey because he saw her's Very friendly as were all of the stewards and helpers we encountered in the hall. Our wait staff was friendly and took good care of us. One of them was on his first night and was a bit overwhelmed with all of the goings on but kept up a good attitude. The food was good and we got lobster as we were on the 6 day!! The weather was not to great the first full day at sea but we were on cruise and a bit of rocking does not bother us at all. In Nassau there were sprinkles as we pulled in and the waves were crashing over the breakwaters pretty hard. Looked pretty cool watching the spray. We walked to the Astrada Gardens Zoo. We went on our own rather than take Carnivals excursion. It's about a mile and a half walk. Or you can take the #10 Jitney bus. Which we did on the way back. Gave the guy 10$ for 3 of us. We got on as he was going away from the pier and got a mini tour of the island before coming back to the pier area. Had never been that far away from the piers before. The zoo is a bit run down but they do have a variety of animals there. The Flamingo parade was ok. Not a lot of military precision in their march but they did turn left and right when commanded to. The highlight for us was feeding the Lory birds, We walked into their cage and the girl gave us each a piece of apple. You hold it out and the birds come and land on you to eat the apple. We walked thru the Straw Market and headed back to the ship. The wind was really blowing hard now probably 35-40 mph. There was a huge RC ship next to us and they were getting ready to pull out. When they left the wind was blowing directly onto Splendor which started pushing us away from the pier. The thrusters were going full speed to push us back towards the pier. Then 2 tugs came and helped push us back toward the pier along with the thrusters until we left about 45 minutes later. We left Nassau and headed toward Half Moon Cay which was the port we had not been to and were really looking forward to. In looking at the weather I didn't think that we would get to go as it is a tender port and the weather/ seas were going to be rough. I was correct. The seas were fairly calm but the winds were near 40 mph so we putted along for an extra sea day towards Freeport. In Freeport I went snorkeling at Paradise Cove/ Deadmans Reef. I had been there 2 years ago and really enjoyed it. You have to swim a ways out to get to the reef but there were lots of different fish and coral to see. Saw 3 huge spotted eagle rays and a couple of barracudas as high lights. The rest of my family went on the Carnival excursion Garden of The Groves tour. They enjoyed it as well All in all a good trip. My wife and I tuned Gold on this cruise. We got our free drink coupon. Don't understand why you have to wait until the last night to use it other than maybe people will forget to use it. The comedians were ok nothing great. The piano bar had a younger girl playing and she was a bit to much for my mom to handle with her language. I enjoyed her humor but mom not so much she only went one night for a short time. She really enjoyed her last cruise and sitting in there. Can't wait until we can go again on another one. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
we were on our 11th cruise, and this was one of the worse one we took ( we took the hurricane cruise on glory a few yrs ago) .Some of the staff did not care if the carts ran over your feet, when we said something they blew you off and ... Read More
we were on our 11th cruise, and this was one of the worse one we took ( we took the hurricane cruise on glory a few yrs ago) .Some of the staff did not care if the carts ran over your feet, when we said something they blew you off and laughed. Ordered a well done steak i think it came from the bilges could not cut or decide what it was. the next day we went to the rotissary, dishes were dirty we finally found a clean one after 6, silverware was dirty. food not at proper temperature, talked to a staff member he said something, smirked and walked away, found a WHITESHIRT, and told him he said he would investigate,never saw him again. a 2 hr wait to pick up alcohol purchased on board. i will say the ENTERTAINMENT WAS GREAT and interesting.This cruise DID NOT live up to the carnival name. I have sent a letter to carnival to advise and complain as i said this is out# 11 and we are PLATINUM members. We will give carnival a try in about 2 yrs when VISTA is in full swing, looking fwd to it Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
This was my husband and I's first cruise. We had researched quite a bit before we left, but we still learned a lot on this first time of what we like and don't like. In previous reviews, other posters had commented on the ... Read More
This was my husband and I's first cruise. We had researched quite a bit before we left, but we still learned a lot on this first time of what we like and don't like. In previous reviews, other posters had commented on the decor of the Splendor. When one poster mentioned the "pink everywhere" I had mentally prepared for the hot pink garishness of teen girls' bedroom pink. In contrast, the decor is actually "old Hollywood meets Art Deco". The pink is a muted pink that is mixed with accents of black, gold and silver. I liked the decor. It was different but I thought it was interesting. Here are the positives of cruising in general (and the Splendor in particular): -We chose an interior room and it suited us fine. We were barely in the room except to sleep. I was actually pleasantly surprised by the amount of closet and drawer space. The bathroom was not claustrophobic small either. -Lots to do: it took a few days for husband and I to accept that we just weren't going to have time to do everything we wanted to do. We got our Fun Times every night and just spent about 10 minutes narrowing down what the "must-dos" for the next day were. It was nice to have so many choices. We did various trivias, BINGO, 3 comedy shows, karaoke, played in the casino, relaxed in the hot tubs, and lots of other really enjoyable stuff. -Cleanliness: I have never been to a public venue with such a great sense of cleanliness. It was refreshing. Hand sanitizer stations everywhere. Crew cleaning everywhere. I mean, literally everywhere we went you could see a crew member wiping something down, wiping the floors, clearing plates and cups. I rarely saw anything out of place the whole time. -Being "off season" there were few families on this cruise. I'd say 80-85% were couples. Not that I don't love kids, but I left mine at home for a reason. We did not experience any ill behaved children or overcrowding in the pools and hot tubs. -We met REALLY great people. From the couples we sat with at dinner nearly every night to the groups we ate breakfast with or hung out in the hot tub with, we didn't meet one unpleasant person. -The cruise director Kevin was great! We even had coffee with him one early morning near the beginning of the cruise and he was just personable and cheerful and seems to LOVE his job. We attended his Q&A about the ship and he provided such interesting and sometimes funny information. -Our room steward (Sanjaya) and waiters (Joe, Paul) were phenomenal. Some people have probably gotten used to how attentive and great cruise staff usually are but both my husband and I work in the service industry in the "real world" so we were truly impressed by the customer service and efficiency of the staff. One night in particular, we were rushing to get through dinner in the MDR so we could get to another activity and our waiter (without us asking) quickly packed up our desserts "to-go" and helped us make our quick exit. -Comedy shows: hilarious -Food: Lido deck buffet was generally good. Step above most on land buffets I've been too. MDR food was hit or miss. Some dishes we liked, others not so much. But that's typical of most land restaurants I have been too. We had a lobster night and that was good. I am a pescatarian (I don't eat meat except seafood) and there was always plenty of options for me. But even a true vegetarian had several options available. On the Lido, I particularly enjoyed the Indian food station. -CHEFS TABLE! My husband knowing me all too well, booked this for us the first day. It is an extra $75/person but it was worth every penny. This is a private dinner (only 12 people allowed) in a private dining room with the head chef of the whole ship. Chef Rakesh is the most down to earth, interesting pro chef I have ever met. He took us on a tour of the galley which was super interesting to my husband and I (husband works in restaurant) and explained lots of how the food service on the ship works. He had prepared four different "bites" of food for us to try. Each one was more amazing then the last. Interesting enough, the staff had asked before hand if anyone had food allergies or dietary restrictions. I mentioned that I am a pescatarian. (Usually when I say this at picnics and BBQs everyone gives me a confused look and gets this panicked expression like "what is she going to eat???!!!") Not to worry, Chef Rakesh explained that he is originally from India, where several people are different forms of vegetarian and he was very used to cooking in that style. All that said, each dish including all the apps and entrees to follow were made specially for me without meat!! We ate the apps, entrees, and all the champagne and wine we cared to drink in the special dining room with the Chef explaining each course as it was served. He even paused to explain how he modified my dish to make it meatless. He answered several more questions about his job specifically and the food service in general on Carnival. Very fascinating! We will definitely being doing this again. Highlight on the whole trip. -Excursions: Fortunately, none of our excursions were cancelled although several other people's were. We did Snuba in Nassau. The people at Stuart's Cove are fantastic. So patient and helpful. Snuba seems easy in theory but certainly has a learning curve. I would love to do this again now that I feel like I know what I am doing. In Freeport, we did the "jeep adventure". Another fantastic tour company. Our tour guide Joanne "Jojo" was witty, interesting and patient. She guided us through Freeport and showed us pretty much all there was to see. The gorgeous beaches and serene "Garden of the Groves" was worth the trip. Here are some of the negatives (or things we know for next time): - Embarkation/Debarkation: Since Norfolk is still a relatively new and smaller port to the cruise game, you can tell they are still working out the kinks. We are locals to the area so getting to the port was nothing. We are elated that Carnival has come back to Norfolk because it makes it super convenient for us. We took an Uber to the port which saved us money rather then parking and paying. The lines were long, probably due to the comparably small terminal and the fact we just don't have a ship coming and going very often. -The BED, oh the bed. Now my husband and I can't decide what it is. Is it Carnival's beds in general, is it the bed in our "cheap" stateroom, or is it just us spoiled by our own sleep number mattress at home. Neither my husband nor I slept well at all. We both felt like we could have slept on a park bench and been more comfortable. In fact, it became our running joke as we sat or lounged in other parts of the ship that every other chair/lounger on the ship was more comfortable then our bed. -Weather: Not Carnival's fault but the winds were really rough the end of Nassau day and then all the next day. So much so, the captain cancelled our stop in Half Moon Cay which was supposed to be our beach day. This gave us an extra "sea day" which was still fun but I was really looking forward to just a laid back day on the beach. -Motion sickness: I took Bonine almost every day and was able to keep the sea sickness at bay for most of the trip. The last two nights however, I felt rough. I think it was a combo of the motion, being tired from all the activities and some of the rich food I wasn't used to eating all the time. Ship Layout: I read the comments beforehand and was a little confused until I actually got on the ship what the big deal was. Yes, the ship layout is WEIRD. We were assigned the Gold Pearl dining room. To get to this room, you cannot travel straight across the ship. You have to either go up or down a deck in either a "U" or "N" patter to get where you need to go. It threw lots of people for a loop and I was easily lost a few times just getting from a simple point A to point B. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
First the weather was terrible, can't blame Carnival for that. Embarkation was quick and easy. I've got to hand it to Norfolk they did a great job. This was my wife and I 14th cruise with Carnival but this was the worst ship ... Read More
First the weather was terrible, can't blame Carnival for that. Embarkation was quick and easy. I've got to hand it to Norfolk they did a great job. This was my wife and I 14th cruise with Carnival but this was the worst ship we've been on there were 12 of us. The lay out was very different all the pool areas were located towards the back of the ship. They canceled evening shows. The comedy shows were good. This ship had the worst food in the dining room and lido deck, come on Carnival your menu is terrible it seems like they push you to eat at the Steak house which is what we did and I considered that average. Carnival go back to the days when dining in the dining room was exceptional Beef Wellington etc. We're all very disappointed and will be looking at what RC has to offer. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
This is our 6th cruise, first on Carnival. It was a difficult decision to go with Carnival, the upside is we recently moved to Suffolk VA and it was a very convenient cab ride to Norfolk. We had a Grand Suite which was huge as was the ... Read More
This is our 6th cruise, first on Carnival. It was a difficult decision to go with Carnival, the upside is we recently moved to Suffolk VA and it was a very convenient cab ride to Norfolk. We had a Grand Suite which was huge as was the bathroom. The down side was that the interior was very tired and the carpet very stained. They were no extra amenities in the Grand Suites. The one perk was Priority Embarkation. Much was said about the decor of the ship which I did not find as offensive as some reviews on line. I thought the ship was very crowded and the lines were often too long. Eating at the Buffet was a challenge and best done on off peak times. The food in the main dining room was ok, best on formal night. We ate at the Steak House Restaurant twice and found it was worth the extra money. Our balcony provided a very peaceful retreat. Activities during sail days were limited as was entertainment. The five day cruise was the perfect amount of time for this ship. We are not sure we will do this again. I will be checking out the reviews for the Carnival Sunshine which will be sailing out of Norfolk next year. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
We really enjoyed ourselves on this cruise. I would say the staff made the trip. First our Cruise Director was Kevin. He kept it light, and fun. Basically he had a great sense of humor and could take it as well as give it. Second we ... Read More
We really enjoyed ourselves on this cruise. I would say the staff made the trip. First our Cruise Director was Kevin. He kept it light, and fun. Basically he had a great sense of humor and could take it as well as give it. Second we encountered Christine who was a fun,irreverent, and sometimes x-rated piano player at the piano bar. Her entertainment is not family oriented. But that's why we liked it.Basically get drunk and have fun. I would go back on another cruise if I knew they were there. Plus the comedians were first class We were very lucky with our dining companions and really bonded. Our Cabin was really nice. We did not opt for a balcony and honestly we really did not spend a lot of time in the room except for sleep. We would choose this option again as there are a lot of other places to spend your money. We did one excursion which was the Dolphin Experience in Nassau. It was fun and where we probably took the most pictures. Its also the only place we bought photos on our trip. We were neither wowed nor disappointed with the food. Breakfast was great and the buffet at night was pretty decent.. Understand I am a big food person. I would have loved more shellfish like some sort of crab. There was an option to go to the steakhouse which I believe would have cost 35.00 a piece more for dinner. If we do that I would choose earlier in the week then later. I would definitly go on Carnival again. Realize we do drink and like to have fun. You do not have to drink a lot to enjoy yourselves. But it seemed that those who like to part have a better time. Read Less

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