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Carnival Sunshine

5 1
3.4
4 star 4 star 4 star 4 half star empty star

Price: $     Size: L     Refurbished: 1 yr ago    

Cruiseline.com Awards 2014 Winner

Best Refurbished Ship

Recent Review

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3 star 3 star 3 star empty star empty star

Good and not so good.

mixeddrinks reviewed 9 days ago

What people said about this ship:

"...or 4 rooms) and dry sauna( see also below) * Food in the dining room s is generally alright( see the cons below)." in 30 reviews.

"This was definitely an outstanding cruise and we would love to go back on a Carnival cruise anytime!" in 10 reviews.

"Our balcony room was terrific until water was on the carpet for four..." in 6 reviews.


Recommended Reviews


lynne0129
Third Mate

Traveled As:
Couple

Room Type:
Balcony

Experience:
7+ cruises

4 star
4 star
4 star
4 star
empty star

Carnival, you've redeemed yourselves

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Carnival Sunshine | Sail Date: May 30, 2014

Prior to this cruise, my husband and I were ready to forever write off Carnival as an option for us.  The past two cruises were sub-par;  terrible food, overworked and unhappy staff,  classless guests (someone actually gang-tagged the hallways) and safety concerns.  (Re:  Safety Concerns- There was a major fire in the room across from ours and the staff, in an effort to keep things hush-hush, didn't notify us or any of the other cabins. Instead, they closed us in with the fire containment doors and when I approached Guest Services, they claimed they knew nothing. The Officer I spoke with told me it was no big deal, yet I saw the flames coming out of the room and witnessed them discretely stripping the room down to the bare walls.)

 

We booked the Sunshine with significant reservations (no pun intended) but it was a great deal for a great itenerary- a balcony room for an eight-night Southern Caribbean cruise for $700 a person- so we decided we would give Carnival one more chance.  We thoroughly loved it and would go again right now, if we could.

 

The new, understated decor is much needed and much appreciated.  Good riddance to that garish, purple, yellow, teal and orange palette and the decor that looked like it had been dreamed up by Liberace on acid.

 

The food was the best we've had on any cruise ship or cruise line.  Guy's Burgers were wonderful, as were the buffets and main dining selections.  I never had one thing I didn't like, and I am picky, picky, picky when it comes to good food!  The only negative was the wait time for anytime dining.  Waits were usually 30-40 minutes, however they gave us beepers and had us wait in the lounge by the tasting bar, so it really wasn't all that bad.

 

Many people commented on the ship being "chopped up", but we loved the smaller, more intimate spaces.  It gave people more options as to where and how they spent their time.  Unlike the older ship layouts, with those giant lounges that were only used once or twice for art auctions, or Friends of Bill W., guests were USING the spaces.  Scratch that- they were ENJOYING the spaces!  All the little bars and pubs and smaller lounges were always nearly full!  People seemed to be having a lot more fun on this ship.  

 

As for the entertainment, at any given time there were plenty of options for guests of all ages and preferences.  Karaoke, a comedy show, a family game show, the musical performances, trivia, and more.  Karaoke was packed, with no shortage of singers- many of whom were quite good- but everyone was enjoying themselves.  The two comedians I saw were both very funny and I regret that I didn't get the chance to see the heavy-set lady from SC again.  The family gameshow was cute and all ages seemed to really enjoy it- we did!  This ship seems to focus on guests being the show or a big part of the show, instead of the passive, Broadway musical-type performances.  Be aware that the singing/dancing shows are decidedly smaller and simpler.   There was only five or six performers, and they are second-rate talent. High schoolers could do a better job, but bless their hearts, they tried.

 

The Serinity decks are fabulous and very popular! Comfy, padded lounges and no screaming kids or hairy chest contests.  (In fact I didn't see any of those rediculous, pool-side games on this cruise.)  The pool is small, but it had a waterfall and sun-shelf around the perimeter, so you could lay in the water while working on your tan.  The capacity for the adult pool is only 17 people, but I counted over 40 at one time, so obviously, they need to make it bigger on future ships.

 

We loved this cruise.  It felt more personal and intimate than any other Carnival cruise we've been on.  More importantly, it felt more sophisticated and classy, and Carnival needed to be classed-up a little.

 

Carnival, you're moving in the right direction.  You have redeemed yourselves.  Please keep up the great work!

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nbhull
Purser

Traveled As:
Couple

Room Type:
Inside

Experience:
4-6 cruises

3 star
3 star
3 star
empty star
empty star

This was a nice cruise.

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Carnival Sunshine | Sail Date: Jun 07, 2014

The food, especially in the dining room, was excellent.  The wait staff was exceptional!  Our cabin steward was also excellent.  I would give it 3 1/2 stars, but could not get the half star to show.   The shows were very good - top notch.   The down side:  The music everywhere was very loud, which made it impossible to read on deck.     We were anticipating and looking forward to dancing while on this cruise; however, there were really no places or music to ballroom dance,  It would have been nice to dance a waltz on our anniversary!  This cruise was more for the younger crowd, though my "young at heart" husband did win the Hairy Chest Contest.

 

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SirWilliam
Third Mate

Traveled As:
Singles/Friends

Room Type:
Oceanview

Experience:
1 cruise (first)

5 star
5 star
5 star
5 star
5 star

You'll never get me on a boat! Cruises are for idiots!

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Carnival Sunshine | Sail Date: May 25, 2014

I will never vacation any other way than on a ship from now on. I loved the process. I loved the attention I got. I loved the food. I loved the shows. I loved my stateroom. I really loved falling asleep watching the ship channels after a great pampered meal and waking up in a new place everyday! 

I bought a great new Invicta Watch duty free which I love.Love I met some great people and saw some people I knew from work on my ship too. I am an introvert by nature. I do not really care to get too involved but the ship allowed me to relax at my own pace and choose how involved I wanted to be.

Guest services helped me solve some minor dining issues which made me very happy. The crew were mostly from many unknown parts of the world but were so sweet to me. This one little Chinese girl that checked me into dinner always called me "Sir William". I liked that! So much that I signed all my tickets that way from then on. LOL!Wink  

I could pick apart some weak areas because ships are not perfect. However the benefits to me were far greater than any little picky details.Big Smile

Biggest downer...having to leave!Crying I made sure I was the absolute last passenger off the Sunshine. They almost had to kick me off. I actually teared up a little as I disembarked.Crying

PS. Some people did not like the layout of the new Sunshine/Destiny. However..I loved the fact that I had to walk around a lot up and down to get places. It was challenging. Then considering all the Guy's Burgers, Pizza and three course meals...I took the stairs...A LOT! Haha!

Great excersise.  Wink 

 

 

 

 

   

Cruise Photos

Hemingway Cat Key West Fl Looking out my window One day at sea...no sign of land...LOL!

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Traveled As:
Large Group

Room Type:
Inside

Experience:
4-6 cruises

5 star
5 star
5 star
5 star
5 star

carrnival sunshie 2.0 fun ship

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Carnival Sunshine | Sail Date: Jul 12, 2014

Great crew, food was pretty good in the main dining room, service was excellent. Stayed in spa rooms worth the money because of the quiet atmosphere. Comedy shows were really good . Sea side theater is fun. Great ship ,don't listen to the bad reviews about this ship no problems here.

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Traveled As:
Family w/older children

Room Type:
Oceanview

Experience:
2-3 cruises

3 star
3 star
3 star
empty star
empty star

Pretty good cruise

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Carnival Sunshine | Sail Date: Jun 07, 2014

Cruise was pretty good overall. My family of 5, 3 kids are all teenagers (13,15,18). Wife and I was our 3rd time cruise, but its been 8+ years since last cruise (first on Carnival), kids first time cruise... So it was exciting to see the kids reactions to things for first time, although being older they dont show there excitement like younger age kids, but they said they really enjoyed it. Teen club(s) helped them meet new friends that they were able to hang out with during the trip. The water slides were fun, however the lines were long when open, probably because it was not open until noon each day, and the last day they did not open at all.. in my opinion they just didnt want to open or supply workers to open or whatever. They claimed it was due to wind, but was open the day before with even more wind. Kids were not happy about only 1 small pool. The were not allowed in serinity area (21 and older only), and the main pool was packed and mostly small kids. So we never got in : /

Workers were overall friendly, but not overly. Some bartenders or pool waiters seemed bothered, but that is the case anywhere I guess, some good.. some bad. Room steward "houston" (spelled different) was super nice and always smiling and calling me by my name when I saw him. All 5 of us in one room with ocean view and he contstantly kept our room / bathroom tidy and full of towels. The room was bigger than I thought, even when the rollaway bed was out we still had room to get around the room and get to bathroom. 

We had late dining and first nite were stuck in a booth with a chair on end, and was sort of in a corner. I was pretty upset we were packed in. It might be ok if the kids were smaller, but they are young adults and we felt crammed. Also the waiter was friendly but didnt engage with us. I spoke to maiterdee(?) and requested a larger table and more friendly and engaging waiter, being the kids first time I wanted them to experience what I remembered was cool about my past cruise waiter/waitress. The next night they put is in a large round table in the center of the balcony looking over the whole restaurant, it was great! They also had a complimentary bottle of champaine on ice waiting on us, and we had a very pleasant and engaging waitress (and staff). Her name was Florica from Romania, and she was great! I was very pleased they honored my request and we stayed at the same table and staff the remainder on the cruise. 

The food btw was pretty good. I never had anything I didnt like and Florica brought me doubles or let me try multiple dinners if I wanted to try different things or wanted more food. It wasnt the best I have ever ate, but overall was pretty good. While on food...Guys burger joint was awesome! and the burrito bar was also really good. Buffet was as expected and just OK, but plenty of choices. Wife and I only ate there for breakfast to be fair. We ate Guys or Burrito for lunch (when on the ship...4 days were were on land during lunch), and we ate the Sushi bar one night for dinner, it was really good sushi! although had to pay extra, but we spent $35 for 4 of us, so not bad.

Shows could have been better. I thought I remembered them more fun. Comedy magic shoe was best one. Hasbro game show was OK. The other were singing shows were just ok as well, IMO. 

We did have a BIG NEGATIVE with a spa worker named Alex. I was using the spin bike in a room all by myself and was there for half hour, wy wife was also there doing situps etc., when Alex walked in and said I could not use the bike and was for classes only. I told him I was almost done and he stood there and accused me of untieing the rope from the spin bikes. I told him it was not roped and I only moved the bike to center of room so I could look out the window at the land / port we were at. He kept standing there and threatend to call security, and again said there was no way I didnt untie the bike because he personally had tied them up hours before. I got really upset and we were in each others face at this point. So not to "lose it" further I left and spoke to a assist. manager that got me knowhere. I then filed a complaint with guest services and spoke to ship manager (George) and he was supposed to get back with me and never did. After a couple of days of checking back with guest services, we finally were able to speak to spa manager and she explained the bikes were usable if not being used for a class. I was even more mad knowing this and the guy (Alex) made such a big deal about me using one. She said he would be "spoken" to and would be reported in his file, but that didnt make me feel better. She offered "free" use of the steam or heated area of the spa, but that sounded nothing more than the sauna we have back home, so that was not even a nice gesture imo...wife and i never went back to gym / spa.

Despite this bad incident we did enjoy the trip and ship was clean. Would have liked to stay at one port overnight or at least into the night. We had to leave each day by 5pm or so (2pm last port day). So if not a early riser then you dont have long at each port. I would do this trip again if the price was right. Our trip was about $700-$800+ less on Carnival than other cruise lines. I am pleased with the savings and overal with the ship / cruise. I am sure you get what you pay for compared to other companies, but if your not a long time cruiser or real picky, then Carnival should be fine. 

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Dining

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Entertainment

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Popular Tips for Carnival Sunshine


mixeddrinks
Second Mate

Just explore the whole ship....

eck
Purser

Get to Liquid lounge early due to limited floor seating

Go to Lido for breakfast and go to Italian restaurant to sit, shorter lines and much less crowded.

Roll Calls


Carnival Sunshine
74
Members on Cruise

8 Night Southern Caribbean (Port Canaveral Roundtrip)

Sail Date: Oct 04, 2014
Ship Name: Carnival Sunshine
tncruzin
+ 73 Ship Mate app members

View Roll Call »

Carnival Sunshine
63
Members on Cruise

8 Night Exotic Eastern Caribbean (Port Canaveral Roundtrip)

Sail Date: Oct 17, 2014
Ship Name: Carnival Sunshine
kyme36
+ 62 Ship Mate app members

View Roll Call »

Carnival Sunshine
58
Members on Cruise

7 Night Western Caribbean (Port Canaveral Roundtrip)

Sail Date: Sep 27, 2014
Ship Name: Carnival Sunshine
Nevis
+ 57 Ship Mate app members

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