April 2014 - Carnival Sunshine to Caribbean
I am a 24 year old woman and this was my third cruise, second cruise with Carnival. I was on this cruise with my wife for our honeymoon! Our cruise was 11 nights and cruised to the Southern Caribbean.
Overall, the Carnival Sunshine met my expectations and I would recommend this ship and itenerary! I am not a totally experienced cruiser, but I am a planner and I did have an exact idea of what I wanted out of this trip. I planned this trip almost entirely based on reviews I had read so here are my honest thoughts on many of the aspects of this trip.
- Our oceanview stateroom was 2247 and we had no problems with noise at all. I was very pleased about that! Our housekeeper was wonderful and I have no complaints at all about our cabin.
- I only have two real complaints; food and dining room service. Out of the 11 nights we were on this cruise we only chose to eat in the dining room 4 times because 1) the food is not worth waiting for 2) our service was less than impressive. The food overall is just on the poor side. I'm not really picky and I really love food, so this was disappointing. I've found with Carnival that they just don't have good food in general. The only exceptions to this are the places to eat on the pool deck - Guy's Burger Joint which I ate almost every day and would eat every day at home too and Blue Iguana Cantina. My wife loved their burritos. Those two places were our saving graces on this trip as far as food. I ate a lot of late night pizza because I just couldn't hardly eat anything off the buffet. It's not the worst food in the world, but it certainly isn't great.
- The bar staff on the pool deck is out of this world. They were the best part of the ship staff. They work so hard all day and I never had an empty drink! Just wait, the Red Frog Rum Bar & Blue Iguana Tequila Bar will compete for your business! ;) I loved them all!
- We wanted to spend more time on Serenity Deck for adults only, but unless you're up at the crack of dawn, good luck getting a chair to lay out on! The 2 times that we did find a chair, it was nice to have some peace and quiet, but it's insanely windy up there. I liked just being right by the "beach pool" on the lower deck.
- The entertainment on the Sunshine is wonderful and we always had something to go see! We seriously skipped dinner a few times so that we didn't miss a comedian or a show in the liquid lounge! I am impressed with all of the entertainment. You will not be bored!
- I loved the movies outside on the deck at night. It's a good alternative if you just want to relax.
- My favorite part of the ship is the Punchliner Comedy club in the limelight lounge! Get the drink "BBC" from the bar. Amazing! We saw 7 comedians and they all had us laughing the whole time!
- We only checked out one specialty restaurant, Bonsai Sushi and it was great if you're really into sushi. Affordable as well.
- I think the prices of drinks and everything were typical for any cruise and we drank a couple of mixed drinks each a day, sometimes a couple buckets of beer and spent about $600 over the 11 days.
- We didn't go out late at night into the bars so I can't say how the nightlife was because we are totally lame!
- The cruise director Jaime is fantastic. She has so much energy and the girl runs everywhere in heels! Seriously, runs! She has the perfect personality to be directing the "Sunshine". I loved everything she did throughout the cruise!
Our ports are like an entirely different review because I could go on forever about them, but I'll just give a quick thought on each one. We didn't do any excursions because we just wanted to chill out and relax!
- - Montego Bay, Jamaica: I'd rate it a 2/5 because you are constantly asked to buy/smoke marijuana and it gets really hold. The people just aren't friendly compared to other places I've been. However, Doctor's Cave beach which is a 5 minute walk from Margaritaville was an excellent place to just layout and it was the best snorkeling that we did on the entire trip! The water is perfect. There's a restaurant and bar on this beach and I highly recommend it. ($6 entry fee.)
- - Aruba: Heaven on earth. Truly! I was scared about Aruba, but we got a taxi straight to Palm Beach and it was to die for. Turquoise water and white powder sand. At this beach they offer every kind of water activity by locals who have tents set up on the beach. You can rent chairs, umbrellas, snorkel gear, get on wave runners, boats, tubes, parasail and a million other things. There's a restaurant/bar right on the beach and they have a local beer called "Chill" ($3)... a must have! Locals are the happiest, most friendly of any people I met on this trip! Aruba was amazing! I give it a 5/5.
- - Curacao: The coolest, most unique island I've seen in my life so far. We did a 2 hours bus tour from someone who was outside the port and it was well worth it. We learned so much about the island and I never got bored. We went to the place where they make their liquor and sampled some for free. Amazing shopping! I would go back here in a heartbeat and rate it a 5/5.
- - St. Thomas, USVI: This island is beautiful! Lots of great shopping near the port. We went to Megan's Bay Beach which is among the top 10 beaches in the world! It's a smaller beach, but has beautiful views and perfect water. We ended our day at Senor Frogs right by the ship and that place is a blast! I'd rate St. Thomas a 4/5.
I hope this insanely long review was helpful to at least someone! I highly recommend this cruise!