Carnival Sunshine Cruise Review to Europe - Mediterranean

Experience
4-6 cruises

Review
1

Helpful Votes
15

3 out of 5

Maiden Voyage Aboard Carnival Sunshine Needs Improvements

Sail Date: May 05, 2013

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Balcony

We have just returned from the maiden voyage of Carnival Sunshine 5/5-5/17, and the itinerary of the cruise is very good with lots of major ports/cities to see. Unfortunately, the cruise ship did not complete it's transformation from the former Carnival Destiny, and some guests experienced some issues with overflowing toilets, lack of shower heads, missing lights, and other minor problems.

We had a lovely balcony room, but our bathroom had a bad urine odor for the duration of the cruise until the maintenance department finally fixed the issue around the the 2nd to last day of the 12 days Mediterranean cruise. The issue was fixed after many hours spent waiting in the long line at customer service for multiple times. There is also the unpleasant smell of paint and construction in some parts of the ship, such as on the 4th Floor near the unimpressive fine dining Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse that has so-so food for $35 extra charge per person; the service staff is excellent though. The WaterWorks deck was closed until the 2nd Day at Sea on 5/15 towards the end of the cruise, but the main pool on Lido Deck remained closed for the duration of the cruise. Carnival refunded $75 per person for the late opening and closure.

Even though the cruise ship supposedly went through $155 million renovation, not all the rooms have been remodeled and some rooms may appear worn even balcony rooms. The decoration throughout the ship is not as beautiful as other ships such as the Carnival Splendor. One may wonder where the money all went for the remodeling, and we speculate that a lot of it went to the mind-blowing stage lights/screens for the two must-see shows debuted on the two "At-Sea" nights. Unfortunately, most of the remaining other performances on stage may make you wish you had not wasted time attending.

The food on board was good, and we were pleased with the dining room food, afternoon tea, and kind staff. The 24-hour pizza provided on Lido Deck is also delicious, especially if you get a hot one fresh out of the oven.

Overall, Carnival Sunshine still has some quirks and hiccups, and even though I am not quite certain that I would have picked this ship knowing what I know now, we had an enjoyable time seeing the wonderful cities around the Mediterranean.
Ship Quality
Still under construction and has some minor issues.
Food and Dining
Dining room food is delicious.
Cabin / Stateroom
May experience smelly, non-working bathrooms and worn room.
Service and Staff
Great staff trying to accomdate guests.
Entertainment
Most shows were boring, but the two shows debuted on the "Days At Sea" such as Epic Rock were indeed epic.
Children's Programs
Onboard Activities
Destinations and Excursions
Major cities with lots to see.
Venice, Italy
You can check in the 2nd day at Venice too, just check with Carnival for the time cutoff.
Dubrovnik, Croatia
Beautiful view from the cable car.
Messina, Sicily
Messina is unimpressive. You have to take the tour by train, taxi, or tour bus to Taormina for a beautiful ocean view from the high hills.
Naples, Italy
Take a trip to Capri or Amalfi Coast if not interested in Pompeii
Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy
Get off the ship early, and take the train to Rome!
Livorno (Florence & Pisa), Italy
Join the cruise tour for easy transport to see both Florence and Pisa.
Marseille (Provence), France
Don't take trip outside of Marseille. The city has lots to see or just relax by the water.
Monte Carlo, Monaco
You can take excursion to Nice and Eze with tour of Monte Carlo, but you may feel a bit rushed. Eze is also difficult to climb with many cobbled stone steps.
Palma De Mallorca, Balearic Islands
AVOID the Valledemossa, Deja, and Soller tour that has long commute and is a waste of time and money.
Barcelona, Spain
Buy tickets online for Sagrada Familia or be prepared to wait around 30 minutes for tickets. Stroll the Ramblas and go to the Boqueria market. Catch a flamenco show, and go to Guell Park.

Tip

The dining room has good food for breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner. Just note if you have a time limit such as an excursion, you may want to go to the 5th floor or Lido Deck for faster service. Get balcony suite if you can afford it. There is a jacuzzi tub and remodeled cabin.



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