Better than I expected.
Carnival Sunshine Cruise Review to Caribbean - Bahamas
Sail Date: January 31, 2016
Ship: Carnival Sunshine
Cabin Type: Balcony
Cabin Number: 7304
Traveled As: Singles/Friends
Reviewed: 2 years ago
I should start by saying that I've never been a fan of Carnival, but the timing, price and departure port for this cruise as a "girls' getaway" worked, so we decided to give it a try. Other than the food, I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised. We embarked in Port Canaveral, FL, and check in was quite smooth and quick. Once on board we purchased our drink package and ventured up to the Lido deck for a quick bite while waiting for our cabin to be ready. Cabins were ready by 1:30, as noted, and it really didn't take too long for our luggage to arrive.
The ship's staff could not have been more friendly. Everyone always had a smile on their faces and most greeted us by name. Our cabin steward was terrific - very friendly and efficient. (The girls in the other cabin a deck down from us didn't have such a good experience with their cabin steward.) The cruise director was also awesome!
While we didn't go to any sort of production show, we did spend lots of time at the Ocean Plaza lounge where they had a great band every night. They were very good, friendly and put on a great show.
While the ship did show her age in some spots, it was generally clean, well maintained and nicely decorated. The windows to the Red Frog Cafe were really dirty at the beginning. I know it's got to be hard to keep the outsides clean with all the salt water, and I believe these did get cleaned during our cruise.
The gym was great; very nicely appointed with lots of equipment.
We did not like the fact that they allow smoking inside the casino. I am not a big gambler at all, but I did "donate" a few dollars one evening. It's hard to stay in there for too long because of all the smoke. We also had to walk through the casino a number of times to get to various other places, and it was just not pleasant.
My big complaint was with the food. I didn't go in with huge expectations, but I thought some of the dining room menus were just bad, and some of the food was just okay. We did go to the steakhouse, which was excellent. We had only planned on doing the steakhouse and the Italian place during the cruise, but added in the Asian restaurant on the third night as the menu in the MDR was not at all appealing. The Asian place was very good; the Italian just okay. We did do one more night in the MDR as the menu looked okay, and my lamb shanks were very good. I guess it was just hit or miss. The service in all the dining venues was very good. We did enjoy the outdoor venues - the taco place and Guy's burger joint. The pizza was pretty good too. It was just the MDR that was severely lacking!
The ports on this sailing were okay - just two ports in the Bahamas as it was a short trip, but we weren't necessarily sailing for the ports.
All in all it was a fun trip, and I was pleasantly surprised by Carnival. I wouldn't book a much longer or a Med Cruise on Carnival, but for our girls' getaway it was just fine.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
We loved the Red Frog pub!