Trip report on Carnival Sunshine

Oct 3rd, 2013, 02:48 PM
  #1  
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Trip report on Carnival Sunshine

Took the Carnival Sunshine Cruise Sept. 8- Sept 20th. From Venice, Italy to Barcelona, Spain. Though the ship is moving to the Caribbean for 2014.
We had a very good time. Some comments on the cruise. The constant attempts at upselling got really old after about the 2cd day. This was a 12 day cruise and it was relentless. The ship ran late 60% of the time. However we just lost time at the ports of call and there was little to no regard for our wasted time.
The ports of call were way too rushed. Will not take another cruise in the near future and not with this many ports of call. They should cut out France and Spain and just give more time in the other ports. We felt they wanted us back on the ship ASAP so they could try and force more selling on us.
The ship makeover was very nice. Though there seemed to be plumbing issues. Our shower had to be snaked. There were a lot of small leaks with buckets and work being done on said plumbing and some electrical the entire cruise.
The food was hit or miss. The maître's was so conceited we were all amazed. He insisted on playing this incredibly loud music and himself and the wait staff would dance to some dumb song or another. Then he would sing with even sillier flashing glasses on. It all seemed to be about him. He needs to get over himself.

The music around the pool was so loud we could not converse. I know we are sounding like old fuddy duddies but we are not. I enjoy music a great deal. But this was louder than most enclosed night clubs. In fact when returning from a port of call you could hear it 1-3 blocks away. We found a couple of kind of quieter places but it is just ridiculous on how loud it was.

Getting on and off the ship at port of calls. OY VAY, needs to improve dramatically. Wasting our time in silly lines. Nowhere near enough help due to their over the top security. Wasted 20 to 40 minutes getting off.
When getting back on they would suddenly open another line. But to have one station for 2000 people just boggles the mind. We felt there was zero regard for our wasted time.
Beyond lack of regard for the overheated hallways and the LONG, LONG lines. If you are going to build ships this big, then Carnival needs a MAJOR overhaul of embarking and disembarking!

Our over all impression: Rushed with little regard for our time is how we felt. The food was ok, when it was good it was good, when it wasn't it WAS NOT. Staff overworked and the constant harping for tipping and upselling was pushed constantly.
Apparently Carnival wants to sell the ship out and then it is up to us to make up the staffs salaries. I would rather pay more for the cruise and let the rest of it go.

We are looking for a MUCH smaller and relaxed cruise for the Greek Islands.
dcinnv is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2013, 02:58 PM
  #2  
 
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You tagged this thread as a trip report so I hope you will be giving a trip report, not just complaints about Carnival. If there is to be no trip report please have the tag removed.

Looking forward to hearing about the trip.
adrienne is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2013, 03:57 PM
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I'm confused. Your third sentence says,"We had a very good time.". The rest of your post just bitches about how bad things were.

You have just convinced me to NEVER take a cruise again.
nukesafe is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2013, 04:50 PM
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What do you mean by upselling? I know they have agents wanting to sell future cruises, I just don't go. I have heard the getting on and off is horrible in foreign ports. I have not been on a cruise in a while but living here in Fl they sure are cheap for locals. How many ports of call did you have?
flpab is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2013, 05:14 PM
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Interesting comments. I have only taken one cruise almost twenty years ago, and I didn't experience many of these issues. I'm wondering whether this is common to cruises or limited to this cruise line or ship. I too am curious what kind of upselling you are referring to.

I have no trouble considering this as a trip report; they come in many styles. This one is a review of the cruise. Although I would also be interested in hearing about the ports of call and what your experiences were that made you have a very good time.
Nikki is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2013, 07:52 PM
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Shouldn't this be posted under cruises rather than Europe?
Sassafrass is offline  
Oct 4th, 2013, 02:21 AM
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I would like to know which ports were of interest if France and Spain should be cut out of the itinerary.
kerouac is online now  
Oct 4th, 2013, 02:32 AM
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If you want to visit the Greek Islands, they are well served by the ferry system. Much better, IMO, to spend at least a few days (and nights) on each island rather than a few hours on a port call.
Heimdall is offline  
Oct 4th, 2013, 05:50 AM
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Sorry, but having taken ONE Carnival cruise I can relate about the constant "upselling" as you call it. Sounds as if the company hasn't changed much.
Dukey1 is offline  
Oct 5th, 2013, 10:53 AM
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we are taking the Sunshine next month Transatlantic from Barcelona to New Orleans. I hope that we have a better experience. I was hesitant about doing a cruise in the first place.
live42day is offline  
Oct 5th, 2013, 01:47 PM
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I admit to taking a Carnival cruise in the Caribbean with my parents (their idea). Frankly it was not bad, except for the food. The Filipino kitchen staff was trying their best to follow French recipes but clearly had no idea how the food should actually taste. But it did look like the recipe photo, which is what made it even more disappointing when the taste test arrived. That is one reason that if I were selecting cruise myself (not impossible now that I have entered the "cruise age group"), I would absolutely try to find out as much as possible about the food served, because once you get bored with the other ridiculous stuff, the food is all you have left to fall back on.

I was actually also on a 3-day Disney cruise out of Port Canaveral once, and the kitchen staff was entirely European -- and the food was absolutely fantastic.
kerouac is online now  
Oct 5th, 2013, 01:51 PM
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Thnaks for the posting, it re-convinces me to stay off the things, I'm glad you managed to stay off a Carnival where the Captain was waving to the coast and veering off course. ;-)
bilboburgler is online now  
Oct 5th, 2013, 03:52 PM
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Still confused how it was a good time when everything OP posted is so very negative.
Sounds horrible, not for me.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Oct 6th, 2013, 05:19 PM
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I think the US business model based industries, such as cruise, have evolved to take advantage of revenue optimization to extract revenue out of every fine print excluded items while securely protecting the bottom line by having consumer accept delays, etc, at consumer's expenses at the time of booking. Some says the consumers only need to be smart and understand what they are getting into. The experienced cruisers will say that the way to speed up getting off the boat is to buy a pass. Is the delay unavoidable or is it something created to sell VIP passes? I would probably never find it out. However, my experience has been that if I avoid US business model based companies in Europe, the business seem to be more fair in their dealing with consumers. If I arrive earlier than the official check-in time and if a room of reserved class is available, I get it at the same price. No so with US major hotel chains I sometimes have to use. If I am early even by one hour, I would be always told that my room class is not available, but wait, if I am willing to pay for upgrade, I can get a room early. Really? Every time? They always seem to have used analytics to know how much upgrade people are willing to accept. They never offer honeymoon suit with breathtaking price that consumers will surely reject. Just 40-50€ that the tired consumers would take, whether the unavailability is real or not. Not nickeled and dimed and dealing with upselling pitch is one of the reason I like traveling to part of Europe not tainted by US business models.

I have just spent two weeks traveling to Cyclades on my own (not cruise) and had a relaxing time without being on the clock every day to get back to the boat. I have seen cruise passengers especially in Santorini waiting in a long gondola queue in Fira at 2:30pm(!) to get back to the boat leaving at 7pm. Didn't these people just got to the Fira around 9am? I think the cruise industry has successfully sold an image of cruising as relaxing and not stressful. I think this is probably true for about a half of passengers who don't go shore.

I have looked at some small non-rushed cruises to visit Greek islands. But wow, they had breathtaking price tags.
greg is offline  
Oct 6th, 2013, 11:28 PM
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Half the fun of the Greek Islands is in the evenings, which the cruisers miss completely. When they are back on their ship, I am sitting down at a nice sidewalk cafe, having a drink and a meal.
Heimdall is offline  
Oct 7th, 2013, 07:00 AM
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This just reinforces my contention that you cannot see Europe from a cruise ship.
bobthenavigator is online now  
Oct 7th, 2013, 10:41 AM
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Many Europeans have been so disconcerted when taking an American-operated cruise that competiting cruise ships often advertise "all included -- absolutely no tipping or extras".
kerouac is online now  
Oct 7th, 2013, 11:15 AM
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Having just gone on two "American" cruises of the Mediterranean, and posted my trip report, I can assure you that we had the total opposite experience. We've also sailed Carnival, in the Caribbean, and never felt pressured for any upsells.

I'm sure we didn't see Europe in depth, but that wasn't our intention. We had very full, long days in port. However we made sure they would be long days when booking the cruises. And when we combined those days with the time we had on land both before and after our cruises, we felt we got more than just a taste, or glimpse of Europe. I truly believe with planning, a cruise can be a fantastic way to travel. Waking up in different countries ever day or so, not having to pack and unpack and losing days to travel - that....to me, is the way to see Europe!

Many like to mix up cruises with land vacations - and other's, well, it's just not for them. While I think my mom would be happy to make every vacation a cruise because of the simplicity involved, and my husband is content to never step foot on another cruise ship....I, myself - don't really care how I get to see the world! Just take me to a different destination and let me see what's to be seen!
ShellD is offline  
Oct 7th, 2013, 12:37 PM
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As a resident of Venice I can confirm that the Carnival Sunshine music can be heard 'several blocks away' - in my case, from the Santa Marta farmers' market. In the morning!

I also have no trouble accepting this as a trip report and it also reinforces my conviction that I never want to do this.
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Oct 7th, 2013, 07:20 PM
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OMG! Imagine being stuck aboard ship for a week with that music!
Heimdall is offline  

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