A Before Christmas Cruise

Carnival Sunshine Cruise Review

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Reviews: 6
Helpful Votes: 81

Overall rating:

4.4 out of 5
Carnival Sunshine

4 Night Bahamas (Charleston Roundtrip)

Sail date: December 19, 2019

Ship: Carnival Sunshine

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: 12016

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

This was our tenth cruise. We always do a cruise before Christmas. We decided on Carnival at the Port of Charleston due distance of only four hours away and no airplane ride. It was nice to drive to the port. Overall we liked the cruise. We are normally Royal Caribbean customers but due to price and distance from the port chose this one. We will do this again. It was a little cold at the beginning of the cruise. Charleston in December. Not sure what you are going to get. It can be 70 degrees to 35 degrees so we planned for both. The embarking and disembarking was a little confusing in the parking lot but now we know it we know what to expect. Remember Charleston has a number of low lining areas so it it rains there will be a lot of areas with large puddles. It makes pulling luggage a little bit of a problem but it is manageable. We loved the Chefs Table and specialty restaurants. Specialty restaurants are reasonably priced. We ate a different specialty restaurant each night. I don’t like the dinning rooms. The entertainment is not a lot in comparison to Royal Caribbean. The comedy shows are a must see. The Alchemy bar is always top notch. It was a great short (4 night) cruise to the Bahamas. I wished it would go to west at well like Mexico.


4 out of 5
A little confusing in the parking lot because you have to drop your bags before you park but the process was smooth. We had the fast to fun pass so we did get processed first on board.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
We always eat at the speciality restaurants and chef’s table so our dinning experience is always great. I don’t like eating at the buffets because of all of the people.

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
Loved the comedy shows and marriage show. Due to the windy weather for most of the trip, some of the outdoor activities were cancelled or shorten. Need to have martini tastings.


3 out of 5
Lacking entertainment for adults. Only had comedy shows which were good

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Excellent and plentiful service. They were always accommodating

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
Ship’s layout and design was ok. Typical carnival design. Limited whirlpools (only two) and pools for the number of guest on board. The Serenity area (adult area) had a number of under age individuals per the serenity area guidelines. We booked our room in serenity area to avoid under age individuals but they were still in the area. I wished it was monitored a little bit better. Overall the ships layout was ok the only issue is that if your room was on forward on 9 floor or above you have to either go down several floors and then walk across to the ship to the eating areas or walk outside to eating areas. When it is rainy or very windy it is a little bit of the a problem. All areas were clean and well maintained for the age of the ship.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
The cabin was clean and comfortable. Since we were on 12 floor and few cabins it was quiet. The only issue was the room was cold even with the heat on. I don’t thing they turned on the heat. It was a week before Christmas so Charleston was a little cold but it warmed up once we got close to Bahamas

Ship tip

Check out the Alchemy Bar

Ports of call

Nassau, Bahamas

4 out of 5

Charleston, South Carolina

5 out of 5


4 out of 5
We had the fast to fun pass so we were the first off the ship. We had to wait due to an issue with ships docking but overall it was quick. We took our own bags off. It should have been explained about how to get to the parking lot after you have gone through security. Once we got through security then they direct you to bus and your bags were put in trailers and you pick them up once they drop us off. Just a reminder that Charleston port is low lining area so if it rainy there will be a lot of standing water in some areas which makes pulling your luggage through the parking lot a problem. Also you might end of parking in puddle. While we had a few problems with disembarking we would do it again.
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