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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.

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What You Should Know


  • 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


  • 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

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