Beautiful destinations on a fun filled relaxing ship.

Carnival Sunshine Cruise Review to Canada, New England, New York

Cruises: 2-3 cruises
Reviews: 2
Helpful Votes: 37

Overall rating:

4.4 out of 5
Carnival Sunshine

7 Night Canada/New England (New York Roundtrip)

Sail date: September 23, 2017

Ship: Carnival Sunshine

Cabin type: Inside

Cabin number: 2202

Traveled as: Family (older children)

Reviewed: 4 years ago

Review summary

We came all the way from California to take in the Fall Foliage of the East Coast and this cruise with it's destinations did not dissappoint. We loved every city. The Sunshine was truly a welcoming family. With fabulous food, the relaxing Serenity decks, dancing the night away with our exuberant, fun loving cruise director Emma, or just relaxing over a board game with the best Pina Colada's we've ever had in the Red Frog Pub. The other cruise we have gone on there were always places for entertainment and fun but very few spots to get away, relax and escape. The Sunshine provides both fun with plenty of relaxing areas to escape, with good music and fewer crowds, or on the Serenity decks with plenty of seating to lay back and just take in the views and quiet tranquility. I wish the Sunrise was closer to our coast because I would sail on this ship frequently. It was truly a pleasure.


1 out of 5
We took the Carnival shuttle from Laguardia airport to the Manhattan terminal. Our driver got lost which added an additional 30 mins to our trip. When the shuttle finally arrived, the driver ran off, leaving the passengers to collect their own luggage. This delay caused us to be late to the embarkation terminal. The Carnival lady who checked us in was extremely rude, even saying, "Well you barely made it." in a tone that that suggested it was somehow our fault for being late and not that Carnival's shuttle was unnecessarily delayed by a lousy driver. In addition she snapped at us about paperwork, treated us like we were stupid, and made no apologies about their driver or the delay. By the time we boarded the ship we were ready to go back home. Luckily the crew on board was much more welcoming.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
I have been on other cruises where the food was lacking. On the Sunshine however the food was exceptional in the dining room, Lido deck, Guy's Burger, and Blue Iguana Cantina. We also enjoyed the daily tasting station. From breakfast to midnight snacks we were always very pleased and very full.

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5
We played a a few rounds of miniature golf and made use of the game room as well as the Red Frog Pub as a board game area. We also enjoyed the outdoor movies when it wasn't too cold. The three story Serenity deck was amazing. We enjoyed the breathtaking views sailing in and out of New York, Boston, and Portland. The pools were NOT ice cold like some ships, the temperature felt perfect but sadly the weather got too rainy and cold for us to try out the pools or hot tubs.


5 out of 5
The Playlist performers never fail to deliver a fun exciting show. We were able to see almost all of them. We also enjoyed one night of 70's-80's music with the DJ late into the night. During the 80's glow party we had a spectacular time dancing to exhaustion with Emma our cruise director which was probably one of the most enjoyable nights we had.

Children's Programs

5 out of 5
We took part in the Build a Bear party which is always fun. The staff was really nice and a lot of fun. They interacted great with the kids. The children's area is very cute and looked like a lot of fun.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
The dinner waiters were great. You show up to dinner because you don't want to miss interacting with your waiters or partaking in the amazing food. We especially enjoyed Patrick who would come by with shots every night. He had a great personality and we always enjoyed interacting with him. Our room steward did not seem as present and accommodating as steward's we have had on other ships. I don't remember seeing him very often and don't even recall his name like I have on other cruises.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
Some complained about the layout of the Sunshine but I personally think it's one of the best. The Lido deck seemed bright and spacious. We loved that in the dining room that we got to sit at our own booth as a family rather than as a group with strangers. The Serenity deck is a true gem. The outdoor theater was a lot of fun. The ship seemed very clean and we always saw staff around taking care of the ships cleanliness and upkeep.

Cabin / Stateroom

3 out of 5
Our cabin did not seem as clean as other ships I have been on. The bathroom felt like it needed a good scrubbing and never got one. The carpet had stains. We also had a problem with the thermostat not working which kept our room at 68 degrees for several days. It took several complaints to finally get the problem fixed and by that time my mom had gotten sick from sleeping in the cold for three nights. Once the problem was fixed the room was much more comfortable for the last few days of our trip.

Ship tip

Definitely enjoy the shows and/or entertainment with Emma the Cruise director. Her personality really shines once you get to meet her in person rather than over the intercom. She's a lot of fun and has so much energy and character. Her sweet and bubbly personality really made our trip a lot of fun. You definitely can't help feeling like you are in good hands once you are part of the Sunshine Family.

Ports of call

New York, New York

3 out of 5
New York is a beautiful town with amazing architecture and beautiful views sailing in and out of the harbor. Although we had a bad experience with Carnival's shuttle system we did get to drive through a lot of New York which was a treat. Our ship was delayed leaving the port so we didn't sail out until nighttime which actually made for an even more enjoyable view of the glistening cityscapes at night.

Boston, Massachusetts

5 out of 5
Boston never disappoints. An easy town to walk around and see the sites. I would have liked more time in all the ports but we got to see and do a lot in Boston. It's one of my favorite cities and I miss it already. Having been to Boston before we did not do an excursion here choosing instead to just follow the Freedom Trail on our own. Overhearing one of the walking tours however I would love to take one of these tours in the future because they provide so much more information and history of this amazing city.

Portland, Maine

5 out of 5
We did a short two hour tour in Portland which I believe was the Best of Portland where we got to visit the Portland Headlight which was a lovely destination. Our tour guide was great with a witty sense of humor and a lot of information about Portland. The city is beautiful and it was a lot of fun driving around and seeing the city.

Saint John, New Brunswick

4 out of 5
Saint John was again a truly beautiful city. We did a short tour in the morning and decided to tour the town by foot after our tour. Our tour guide was a little grouchy and we felt like a lot of the tour dwelled on people who have died in Portland rather than the history itself. The town more than made up for the tour and we had a lot of fun just walking around, experiencing the outdoor vendors and the mall. We also stopped at Steamers Lobster Co. for lunch and the food there was great.

Halifax, Nova Scotia

5 out of 5
In Halifax we opted for the Top 10 Best of Halifax tour which was the best tour of the trip. Although it was pouring rain in Halifax it didn't make the tour any less enjoyable or the city any less gorgeous. Our tour guide, Linda, was like an encyclopedia of information. I was amazed at how much she knew and could elaborate on. She really made the tour enjoyable and memorable. The Victorian Garden was a huge plus for me, as well as seeing a Maple Syrup factory, and discovering the rich history of the Titanic that is connected to Halifax. The drive through Halifax had spectacular views.


5 out of 5
Our Disembarkation unlike our Embarkation couldn't have been easier. People were saying that going through New York customs can be hard and takes a while. There was even a delay before we decided to disembark but once we got in line the process went very smoothly. We decided not to check our baggage so there was no waiting and we got to the airport in record time, even though our Carnival driver once again had trouble finding his destination, luckily we had a late flight so it didn't matter.
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