Carnival Sunshine Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern

Contributor Level: Cruise Director

4-6 cruises


Helpful Votes

3 out of 5

Carnival Sunshine Christmas Cruise

Sail Date: December 19, 2014

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Suite

Went on the Sunshine for a Christmas cruise this year.  Decided on this ship because it was going to ports we had never been to and it was recently refurbished with all the Funship 2.0 upgrades.  Think of it like upgrading from Windows XP to Vista, some things were well done (the Waterworks and Sportsquare areas) and some were not (Liquid Lounge, Limelight Lounge, cabin size).  We had an Ocean Suite and it was slightly smaller than previous Oceans Suites we have had.  Had only 1 sink in the bathroom and the placement of the toilet diagonally next to the tub is a total mistake (think about it).  The Liquid Lounge was too small for the nightly shows and had a number of seats with obstructed views (especially on Deck 5) as was the Limelight Lounge for comedy shows (basically SRO).  The shows themselves were really good.  This is something Carnival is getting better at.  Other than that the ship was standard Carnival.  Dinner service was poor.  We chose the option where you pick your time and they were not prepared for the number of people that picked this.  You had to check in on Deck 5 and some nights they gave you those vibrate/light-up pagers that only worked on Deck 5.  We they went off you had to go down to Deck 3 and wait in another line.  Once in the servers were not that good.  If you wanted something other than water to drink you had to ask, they did not ask you.  The food was pretty good but the desserts were outstanding.  As for the other food on the ship that we tried the Seaday brunch was good, the Lido buffet was terrible, Guy's Burger Joint was pretty good (although it was better when we went on another ship before) and the pizza was horrible.  It was constantly undercooked with the crust being semi-raw.  As for the ports of call all were okay.  We like to shop and go to the beach so St. Maarten was our favorite since the beach is right where the water taxi arrives ($7 to ride it all day long) and the shops are right there also.  Grand Turk was small but the beach is right as you get off the ship and their is a Margaritaville with a pool there.  As for St. Thomas, we arrived at 1pm and were told the shops would be closing at 4pm.  We had already booked a shore excursion so we did not get to shop much there.  Debarktion (as was embarkation) was a breeze.  We were in the first group called and were off the ship and in our car in less than 30 minutes.  The porter even took our bags to the car (a first).

Ship Quality
Food and Dining
Dining room food was good. Buffet and pizza were terrible
Cabin / Stateroom
A little smaller than previous Ocean Suites we have had
Service and Staff
Cannot say anything good or bad other than room service was inconsistent
Really enjoyed the shows
Children's Programs No children so no opinion
Onboard Activities
No highs or lows here
Destinations and Excursions
Some were good (St. Maarten for its shopping proximity) and some were not (the scheduled late arrival in St. Thomas did not allow much shopping)
Port Canaveral, Florida
Best embarkation/debarkation experience of any cruise I have been on
Grand Turk Island
Small but a beach right as you get off the ship and some shops right there
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
Our late scheduled arrival did not allow for much shopping and staying late was a waste since everything closed before 6
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Best part was we were able to spend 3 1/2 hours on the beach
Philipsburg, St. Maarten
Liked that the water taxi stopped close to the beaches and the shops. Locals were pretty aggresive in trying to get you in their stores


Even though it was recently refurbished like one passenger said "It is still the Destiny".

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