Worst Experience Ever with Carnival

Carnival Sunshine Cruise Review to Caribbean - Southern

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Reviews: 2
Helpful Votes: 29

Overall rating:

3.2 out of 5
Carnival Sunshine

8 Night Southern Caribbean (Port Canaveral Roundtrip)

Sail date: February 10, 2018

Ship: Carnival Sunshine

Cabin type: Inside

Cabin number: 6102

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Review summary

Overall, the cruise was okay. We managed to have a good time, although we definitely did not enjoy being on the Sunshine.


2 out of 5
Carnival changed rules to assign time slots for cruisers to check in at port. We got there during our assigned time and the lines were out the doors! It was chaotic and slow. My experience is that assigning the time slots make the process much more difficult.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
The steakhouse I would rate as excellent. The food and service were second to none. However, the service in the main dining room was subpar. Out of 8 days, we had one night in the dining room when our service team was on their game and provided a pleasant experience. The rest of the time, the service was slow, orders were confused or incorrect.

Alchemy Bar

5 out of 5

I met the bartenders working at the Alchemy Bar on another cruise ship last year. They remain to be top notch providing outstanding service, excellent drinks and a very friendly atmosphere. Hands down, my favorite bar on the ship!

Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse

5 out of 5

Outstanding service and excellent food.

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
The fitness center was great and provided all the modern equipment you would find in a gym. The Fun Shops were typical and pretty much the same as the other Carnival ships. It would be nice to see some different things offered in the Fun Shops.

Fitness Studio

5 out of 5

Great equipment and very friendly staff. The only downside to the fitness center on the Sunshine is that there is not a good view from it.

The Fun Shops

3 out of 5

Typical for Carnival. Would be nice to see new items being offered.


3 out of 5
We only attended one musical show, one comedy show and bingo once. My experience was that the musicians were talented, but perhaps there was some equipment failure. It sounded as if a speaker was blown so the sound was horrible. The show was "ok" but not great. I did not enjoy the comedy show at all. Bingo was okay, but the host talked far too long and about himself instead of focusing on the game and making it fun for participants.

Service and Staff

2 out of 5
As mentioned above, we only had one night out of 8 in the dining room when our servers were friendly and attentive. Our room steward had to constantly be asked to provide wine glasses and ice to our state room. He overlooked quite a bit when cleaning our room (i.e. emptying trash, etc). I felt the service on the Sunshine was horrible compared to other ships. I purchased the chat option through the Carnival Hub app and it did not work most of the cruise. I had one day that it worked for a few hours and the rest of the time it would not allow me to see messages or send messages. I went to guest services 4 times throughout the cruise and it never did get resolved nor did I get refunded the $5. Additionally, while trying to fix it on my phone, one of the guest services staff apparently took my phone off airplane mode and I didn't know it until it was too late. As a result, I've incurred over $120 in roaming fees! I plan to take that up directly with Carnival and feel that it should be reimbursed.

Ship Quality

2 out of 5
The floors and carpets were dirty most of the time. There was always food spilled on the floors and steps that the staff seemed to overlook.

Cabin / Stateroom

3 out of 5
Overall, the size, comfort and cleanliness of the cabin was acceptable. However, it was much smaller than the other 4J rooms we've had (we get one on every cruise). Also, my PVP did not tell me when the cruise was booked that the staterooms on the Sunshine are getting an upgrade and that there was no refrigerator in the room. We ordered wine, water, soft drinks and beer that was delivered to the stateroom on the day of embarkation. One would think that we would have been notified that there was no refrigerator, especially since we spent over $100 on beverages that needed to be kept cold. One of the stewards told us that rooms were being updated and that most of the rooms around us had refrigerators! Also, I was very unhappy that there were no robes in the room. I've never been on a Carnival ship that didn't offer robes to the guests in the staterooms. May seem like a silly complaint, but I love the robes and look forward to relaxing in one while cruising.

Ship tip

I would not recommend the Sunshine. My recommendation would be to pick another ship.

Ports of call

Oranjestad, Aruba

2 out of 5
We were not impressed with the port in Aruba. There was not much to do close to the port. We bought the Downtown Aruba Walking & Tasting tour. Mark was our tour guide and it was the worst excursion we've ever been on. In fact, it was so bad, we left the excursion after 15-20 minutes. The guide was not interesting and kept repeating himself. Definitely would not recommend this excursion and would suggest to anyone visiting Aruba to get a taxi and go into the city where it is much nicer with more activities.

Willemstad, Curacao

5 out of 5
This port was outstanding and Curacao was the most beautiful and friendly place on the entire cruise. The people there were super friendly. It was very clean with lots of shopping, restaurants, bars and other activities. We did the Discover Curacao Island Tour and it was very interesting. Our guide did a fantastic job sharing the history of Curacao with us.

Grand Turk Island

4 out of 5
Grand Turk is fun, but there's really not a lot to do there unless you do an excursion. There are lots of water sports available on the beach just after you get off the ship and a pool area to enjoy near Margaritaville.


5 out of 5
Very well organized and fast.
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