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Carnival Cruise Lines: Carnival Sunshine

  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines

Carnival Sunshine Review

With expanded facilities and new bars and restaurants, Carnival Sunshine, formerly introduced as Carnival Destiny in 1996, was relaunched into service in 2013 to sail alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from her year-round homeport of New Orleans. The newly transformed vessel is the first in the Carnival fleet to incorporate all the features the line has recently added on a limited basis to its other ships.

A $155-million transformation turned Carnival Destiny, the first of Carnival’s Destiny-class megaships weighing in at more than 100,000 tons, into Carnival Sunshine. From stem to stern, no part of the ship was left untouched, and she has reentered service as an essentially unique, new vessel. Along with a fresh Caribbean-inspired decor, new restaurants and bars were added in keeping with Carnival’s fleet-wide upgrades.

The first class of Carnival megaships weighing in at more than 100,000 tons, everything on these vessels is in keeping with their size—bold interiors highlighted by nine-deck atriums, 200-foot corkscrew waterslides on the Lido deck, and public areas that often span multiple decks. Carnival Triumph and Carnival Victory are bigger and have more cabins and crew than the original Carnival Destiny, for which the class was named and which was totally refurbished and renamed Carnival Sunshine in 2013.

The variety of indoor and outdoor spaces ranges from relatively small lounges with a nightclub atmosphere to huge show rooms where lavish production shows are staged. Most public rooms open off wide indoor promenades that branch fore and aft from the spectacular atrium.

Expansive pools and sport decks have plenty of room to spread out for sunning and more active pursuits; both ships have been retrofitted with massive poolside 270-square-foot LED screens.

The world's largest cruise line originated the Fun Ship concept in 1972 with the relaunch of an aging ocean liner, which got stuck on a sandbar during its maiden voyage. In true entrepreneurial spirit, founder Ted Arison shrugged off an inauspicious beginning to introduce superliners a decade later. Sporting red-white-and-blue flared funnels, which are easily recognized from afar, new ships are continuously added to the fleet and rarely deviate from a successful pattern. If you find something you like on one vessel, you're likely to find something similar on another.

Each vessel features themed public rooms, ranging from ancient Egypt to futuristic motifs, although many of those elements are being replaced with a more tropical decor as older ships are upgraded. Carnival is also introducing features either branded by the line itself, such as the poolside Blue Iguana Tequila Bar with an adjacent burrito cantina and the Red Frog Rum Bar that also serves Carnival’s own brand of Thirsty Frog Red beer, or in partnership with well known brands, such as EA SPORTS to create EA SPORTS Bars at sea and Guy’s Burger Joint, in partnership with Food Network star Guy Fieri. Implementation of the new features is scheduled for completion in 2015.

What You Should Know

Pros

  • Tiered sunning decks above the Lido pools offer a good view of the jumbo-size LED screens
  • The upper-level seating area in the Lido restaurant almost always has tables available
  • The lobby bar is a surprisingly off-the-beaten-path space with a lot of visual impact

Cons

  • There is no steak house on either ship
  • Private balconies on high decks in the middle of the ship may be noisy when there are activities on the Lido deck above
  • Lines at the buffet can be seemingly endless at peak meal times
Ship Stats
  • Crew Members 1,150
  • Entered Service 2013 (originally 1996)
  • Gross Tons 102,853
  • Length 893 feet
  • Number of Cabins 1,503
  • Passenger Capacity 3,006
  • Width 116 feet
  • New

Jun 18, 2017

Ridiculous service

We chose this cruise for the location, time and price. That was a mistake. Customer service shouldn't be in their vocabulary bc they have zero. We had no ac in our stateroom for 3 full days after saying something to the attendant within several minutes of boarding. My husband has medical issues and had we not brought a fan from home, it would have been miserable. I fell on the pool deck in a huge puddle of water 20 feet from the pool, and they had

the nerve to tell me they wouldn't charge me for my visit to the medical bay. My feet flew out from under me, I was not drinking, fully dressed. My doctor told me I pulled every muscle in my back, sprained my ankle and bruise my elbow. I'm on steroids and muscle relaxers now. Had I not gone to the medical bay, there would have been no incident report noted. I ordered cranberry juice at dinner and was charged $2.69 for it and it was watered down. Guest services did nothing but take off $45 in charges for all our complaints and said they couldn't do more. There was no in room refrigerator, the smoking area is on the same deck and side as entrance to camp carnival. There's an up charge for everything, from food, to activities, to juice apparently. The force gratuity on drinks with alcohol content. The slides hurt your back bc you can feel every seam. The hot tubs were full of kids under 13 talking and behaving inappropriately. The Dr. Seuss stuff was forced into an hour and half on one day, trivia, parade, story time. Then no more characters until the uncharged breakfast which was one of the best meals I had all 5 days. My husband sent several dinners back and he never does that on royal Caribbean. Captains night included zero filet or lobster tail unless you paid an extra $20, not on royal Caribbean, its included on that line. After calling customer service after my doctor visit, I was told she couldn't do anything but pass the info along and I have to wait 24-72 hours for someone who can to call me back, they had better hope I don't have to call back. I will never cruise with them again!!! I could continue but it's not worth my time and effort. Will always choose Royal Caribbean from here forward.

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  • New

Feb 25, 2016

st maarten st kitts san juan grand turk

Extremely disappointing. It was ok nothing special. Very small cabin. No band during the day a dj played for an hour in afternoon on deck. My family and I have cruised for the past 4 years on Carnival but never on the Sunshine. It was a totally different experience than the other ships we've sailed on before. The ship was totally overbooked! We had 2 staterooms booked 3 in each, my father and my teenage sons (all

of whom are about six feet tall) in one and my husband and I and out 4 year old special needs Grand daughter in the other. In both rooms they had 2 twin beds and a cot. The size of the cot is about a crib mattress size, fine for the 4 year old not so much for a kid that's six feet tall!! We were told that the ship was sold out and there were no other staterooms available! Oh and did I mention that both staterooms were located directly under a bar, so we heard the bass and drums every night until midnight! We also had anytime dining, which apparently means wait on deck 5 on a line to give you a beeper and you might get a table in about 45 minutes. (some waited hours) then go down to deck 3 and wait on that line until your table is ready. Needless to say our 4 year old was "done" before dinner even started. There also wasn't enough chairs on deck there was seating for 900 but there were over 3,000 people on board. So there wasn't enough room in the comedy shop or the theater for live shows. The elevators took an average of 20 minutes where my stateroom was, so if you had a wheel chair or stroller you spent A LOT of time waiting to go anywhere. I was extremely disappointed in the way the special needs passengers were treated, no special time to get on and off the ship when in port. And the lines getting back on ship were horrific too, one port it took over an hour to get back on board! Whatever we did one of us had to run ahead to make sure we got a seat whether it be a table in the buffet or chairs to watch a show. Totally overcrowded, not fun and extremely stressful. The opposite of what a vacation should be. I had to give it a star to post this review.

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  • New

Feb 25, 2016

st maarten st kitts san juan grand turk

Extremely disappointing. It was ok nothing special. Very small cabin. No band during the day a dj played for an hour in afternoon on deck. My family and I have cruised for the past 4 years on Carnival but never on the Sunshine. It was a totally different experience than the other ships we've sailed on before. The ship was totally overbooked! We had 2 staterooms booked 3 in each, my father and my teenage sons (all

of whom are about six feet tall) in one and my husband and I and out 4 year old special needs Grand daughter in the other. In both rooms they had 2 twin beds and a cot. The size of the cot is about a crib mattress size, fine for the 4 year old not so much for a kid that's six feet tall!! We were told that the ship was sold out and there were no other staterooms available! Oh and did I mention that both staterooms were located directly under a bar, so we heard the bass and drums every night until midnight! We also had anytime dining, which apparently means wait on deck 5 on a line to give you a beeper and you might get a table in about 45 minutes. (some waited hours) then go down to deck 3 and wait on that line until your table is ready. Needless to say our 4 year old was "done" before dinner even started. There also wasn't enough chairs on deck there was seating for 900 but there were over 3,000 people on board. So there wasn't enough room in the comedy shop or the theater for live shows. The elevators took an average of 20 minutes where my stateroom was, so if you had a wheel chair or stroller you spent A LOT of time waiting to go anywhere. I was extremely disappointed in the way the special needs passengers were treated, no special time to get on and off the ship when in port. And the lines getting back on ship were horrific too, one port it took over an hour to get back on board! Whatever we did one of us had to run ahead to make sure we got a seat whether it be a table in the buffet or chairs to watch a show. Totally overcrowded, not fun and extremely stressful. The opposite of what a vacation should be. I had to give it a star to post this review.

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  • New

Feb 22, 2016

eastern

The carnival sunshine is a ship to stay away from!! The food in the dining room was good, but the buffet needs some help. With some of the food you just wanted to ask do you have anybody tasting this crap before you serve it. great except it had an odor of stale cigarette smell mostly the same activities as on all the other Carnival ships his ship use to be the "Destiny" but in 2013 it was transformed to the "Sunshine."

Let me say that Carnival had only profit in mind and not the customer. With the transformation came additional state rooms now the ship holds about 500 more passengers. This sailing had more than 3600 passengers! This meant that we stood along with about 40 other people that could not get a seat, for 3 comedy shows and the comedians were mediocre at best. The buffet was okay not great but after standing in line and fixing our plate there was no where to sit. The any time dining ran 1-2 hour wait times unless you went at 5:30. To get a lounger anywhere on the ship you had to go put your stuff on one by 8:00 am on sea days particularly on the "Serenity Deck." There were passengers laying out on the floor of the Serenity deck due to no loungers. 500 more passengers may be good for Carnival's bottom line, but it is not good for paying customers! I called Carnival and complained. I was told they were in the business to make money! They gave me a $50 OBC on our next sailing. I will NEVER go on the Sunshine again, more state rooms just means more lines and more crowded. Common areas not designed to hold 3600 passengers!

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  • New

Feb 22, 2016

eastern

The carnival sunshine is a ship to stay away from!! The food in the dining room was good, but the buffet needs some help. With some of the food you just wanted to ask do you have anybody tasting this crap before you serve it. great except it had an odor of stale cigarette smell mostly the same activities as on all the other Carnival ships his ship use to be the "Destiny" but in 2013 it was transformed to the "Sunshine."

Let me say that Carnival had only profit in mind and not the customer. With the transformation came additional state rooms now the ship holds about 500 more passengers. This sailing had more than 3600 passengers! This meant that we stood along with about 40 other people that could not get a seat, for 3 comedy shows and the comedians were mediocre at best. The buffet was okay not great but after standing in line and fixing our plate there was no where to sit. The any time dining ran 1-2 hour wait times unless you went at 5:30. To get a lounger anywhere on the ship you had to go put your stuff on one by 8:00 am on sea days particularly on the "Serenity Deck." There were passengers laying out on the floor of the Serenity deck due to no loungers. 500 more passengers may be good for Carnival's bottom line, but it is not good for paying customers! I called Carnival and complained. I was told they were in the business to make money! They gave me a $50 OBC on our next sailing. I will NEVER go on the Sunshine again, more state rooms just means more lines and more crowded. Common areas not designed to hold 3600 passengers!

Read More

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