Family w/older children
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.