April 2014 - Carnival Sunshine to Caribbean - Eastern
We were expecting a "new" ship or at least like new considering Carnival spend $160 million to renovate here (formerly Destiny). It's not, just the public areas were renovated and many nook and crannys still had signs of her 17 years of age. Overall, this ship was pleasant and delightful. The new Serenity area (adults only) is simply too small. Most everyone would hoard the cabanna and lounge chairs early AM. Better engineering would had allowed for more chairs. However, if your fortunate to get a lounge chair or cabanna, the area is heavnly. The real issues with Sunshine is entertainment. The Liquid Lounge performances (often referred to as "equity theater") where below average. The male dances were always bare chested (sweaty) and exhibited homosexual undertones. Having been around equity theater most of my life, the performances would be D+ to C-. And there were only 3 performances, each play two evenings. I would NOT bring my children to these performances. The Liquid Lounge tranformermed int a nigh club after 10PM and the DJ was horrible. The guy could not connect with the over 40 crowd nor did he understand "dance music" which is not hard to figure out if you have any kind of music background and dance knowledge. Just some jamacian dude that played what he liked and thought was cool. No audiance interaction what-so-ever. The night club never had more than 50 people, and that lasted about 1 or 2 hours. A successful DJ learns what the audiance type is and tires to fill the dance floor, the jamacian DJ could NOT do this. People would stay about one hour then typically leave. The comedy shows were average and the comedy stage seating is HORRIBLE. Be prepared to stand in line for 45 minutes to get a seat. This area was partially renovated. All other entertaiment was below average. The piano bar was horrible! The "Swamp Thang" band was HORRIBLE! The two solo gutiarist were HORRIBLE. If you're a hillbilly from Lousiana with no education or culture expereince past your mobile home standards, you'll like it. Otherwise, none of the performers could attract a crowd much less fill a dance floor. Entertainment is obviously an area that Carvial choose to cut cost. A successful cruise line will have 3 venues of music with 3 dance floors. 70's & 80's then 90's & 00's for hip hop and rap, and a piano bar for older couple to dance slow songs. Doesn't seem difficult, does it? Carnival completely failed with this one simple task. As for the food.....we were not there to stuff our faces. We are in our early 50's and work hard to stay in shape. So quanity is NOT our thing. Food quality is average. If you want better quality, you just needed to spend about $12 per person and go to one of 4 other restaurant, and WOW! The food was magnificiant. If you have "any-time" seating, be prepared to WAIT upwards to an hour if you not there before 7 pm. Go for assigned seathing. What we loved was the new Havana bar area and dinning experience, the taco bar, the Susi dinning room, and our room attendant. This is our send carnival cruise in 2 years and our last. I think Carnival does just fine for the economy family with kids, but that's not us anymore.