Carnival Sunshine Cruise Review to Caribbean - Southern

Contributor Level: Third Mate

7+ cruises


Helpful Votes

2 out of 5

Pass on this one!

Sail Date: February 07, 2015

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Balcony

Carnival should simply retire this ship.  The layout is difficult to maneuver and the décor is outmoded.  The ship does not accommodate all of the adult guest on board; the back half of the ship is a waterpark that only a handful of kids used.  The walking track is nested above the “smokers lounge”.  While walking/running the track, you get to enjoy second hand cigarette and cigar smoke.  Additionally, the smoking section is prime real estate for lounging and sunning.  If you want to sunbath outside of the smokers lounge, you have to circle the decks like a vulture looking for a meal.

Carnival’s prices on the Sunshine were well below that of their competition, which attracted a very unique clientele for our sailing.  Between all the rockabilly music and the forced fun activities like the electric slide, the cha-cha and the wobble, it was like an 8 day “hee haw” booze cruise.  I believe the Ship only has a handful of songs that are on constant repeat.  Trying to move through the ship’s narrow corridors coupled with the vast amounts of wheel chairs and scooters, it was a daily frustration.

Trying to get off the ship at the ports was also a joke – it took almost 2 hours navigating the bottleneck caused by the mass exodus of 3,000 people moving to the gangway.  Once there, your feel like you’re being attacked by the paparazzi for photo by the Carnival photographers.  Carnival should allow the guest with excursions to get off the ship first.  I believe this is a ploy to get you to buy excursions only through Carnival.  If you purchased excursion through a third party and you miss your departure time because you can’t get off the ship, you’re out of luck.

The only redeeming quality of this cruise was that the service was very good.  Our cabin steward and head waiter were both a delight.  Overall, I was disappointed with the experience and would not recommend this cruise - a prime example of “you get what you pay for!”

Ship Quality
Food and Dining
Cabin / Stateroom
Great service - lots of rust on the ceiling near the AC vent
Service and Staff Excellent Cabin Steward and Head Waiter
Children's Programs
Dr. Suess parade was cute
Onboard Activities
Forced fun was anything but
Destinations and Excursions
Not worth the price
Port Canaveral, Florida
Oranjestad, Aruba
Unless you're staying at one of the resorts, not a great place to visit.
Willemstad, Curacao
Nice beaches, very friendly people. I expected Aruba to look and feel much more like Curacao
Grand Turk Island
You can take only so much Jimmy Buffet...


Carnival doesn't police the lounge chairs. People get up early and put their towels on chairs only to return hours later. This layout of this ship is difficult to manage - don't book an early excursion. Let the crowd thin out first before trying to exit.

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