Trip report on Carnival Sunshine

Oct 8th, 2013, 06:23 AM
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 52
Do you mean to say there is music piped all over the ship?! You can't get away from it? Ugh! Never!
cymraeg is offline  
Oct 9th, 2013, 10:29 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
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Like anything else one buys, be it a car, home, hotel or, this case, a cruise, there is such a wide range available, you need to learn about them and pick what is right for you.

I hope residents made complaints about the music on Carnival, a line I decided was probably not my style, so have never gone on. Though none of the cruises I've been on had a morning departure , I suspect that the music in the morning was not piped in, but a band playing on deck for a morning sail-away party.

Certainly, on Princess and Celebrity, music was not piped all over. As a matter of fact, except for clubs or areas where a band was playing, halls ways and rooms were deadly quiet.

On neither of those lines did I experience any hard sell or constant sell on anything.

On four cruises so far, we were never late into port, though delayed from departing by a storm and prevented from docking in one port because of sudden political unrest. I could not begin to say how many times I've had flights delayed or cancelled. That is all just part of travel - not exclusive to cruises, trains or planes, or even car travel when you are driving. We were trapped on a turnpike once in PA for several hours due to a huge pile up.

Do agree with Heimdal and Bob that a cruise is not a good way to really experience a place or country, but it was a good (and super cheap) way for us to see some major archeological sites and other places that we just wanted a bit of time in.

Not trying to convince anybody to take a cruise - they are for sure not for everyone, but often statements are made about cruising that are not correct is such a big difference between lines, ships and itineraries and even time of year, and what is true and awful about one ship or cruise line is not true for all. Not trying to convince anybody to take a cruise- they sure are not for
Sassafrass is offline  
Oct 9th, 2013, 10:40 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
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Oops, sorry, was correcting that last paragraph and slipped somehow to submit before correcting - so doubled up and left words out. Should read, "often statements are made about cruising that are incorrect. There is such a big difference, etc......". Anyway, we all have biases and that is ok. From many personal experiences on both, I hate riding a bus, but love trains.
Sassafrass is offline  
Oct 9th, 2013, 10:41 PM
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Oh, still think this is more a review of a cruise and belongs in cruises
Sassafrass is offline  
Oct 10th, 2013, 12:01 AM
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"Though none of the cruises I've been on had a morning departure , I suspect that the music in the morning was not piped in, but a band playing on deck for a morning sail-away party."

Unfortunately not just that - cruise ships all leave Venice around 5/6pm. And it was amplified music, not a band. I suppose it's meant to put people in a cheery mood?
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Oct 10th, 2013, 12:33 AM
Join Date: Sep 2013
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Yeah, I'd need cheering up if I thought I'd have to spend the next week or two on a cruise ship
cymraeg is offline  
Oct 10th, 2013, 01:31 AM
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We've done one transatlantic crossing (Cunard) and one Med cruise (Celebrity) in the past two years. We are booked on another crossing, Ft Lauderdale to Southampton, next April on Celebrity.

I don't understand about upselling. I don't think there was any on Cunard and on the Reflection it was easy to just avoid the shops which were all in one area. The daily newsletter did advertise daily discounts for the spa, specialty restaurants, land tours, helpful if you wanted to do any of them. There was very, very little use of the PA system for selling, that would have made me bonkers.

I hate loud music and can barely tolerate "background" music. I guess we are old farts (63 and 65) but it's good to know your preferences, for us, no Carnival, no Disney, no Fred Olsen. The crossings are such a great way to extend our vacations in the States, the April crossing is 13 nights with stops in Nassau, Bermuda and Azores.

Cruises of course are not the way to see a country or even a city. We'd already been to most of the ports on the Med cruise for several days but it did give us a chance to see Istanbul and we'll now go back to Turkey for at least 8-10 days.
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2013, 09:50 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 133
Apparently Carnival has two Sunshine ships as we just completed the same 12 day trip from Venice to Barcelona and our experience couldn’t have been more different. Didn’t experience the “upselling”, the ship was never late, times in each port were exactly as scheduled and not rushed, and I don’t recall the loud music. Getting on and off the ship was a breeze, never having to wait more than a couple of minutes. Disembarking on the final day in Barcelona was the fastest ever. We walked non-stop from the ship’s atrium to a taxi, pausing briefly to pick up our luggage. No lines, no customs, no immigration, it couldn’t have been smoother. The staff were all great and we never heard any “harping for tips”. The maître D did sing with the waiters one night for about 5 minutes and it was entertaining. There were some plumbing issues with leaks and buckets placed to catch them, but it didn’t hamper our cruise experience at all. We’re currently in Barcelona for a few more days and I will post a complete report when I get home.
jeff49 is offline  
Nov 4th, 2013, 02:21 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I hope that the two posters that are going to do repositioning cruises will write trip reports. I am thinking of taking on in a couple of years.
bigtyke is offline  
Nov 4th, 2013, 10:48 PM
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I am on it right now. So far so good, will let you know after we reach New Orleans later this month
live42day is offline  
Nov 20th, 2013, 08:13 PM
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We just finished crossing the Atlantic on Carnival Sunshine. I know this belongs on the cruise forum but briefly will answer some questions and my opinion as promised to bigtyke.

Upselling? yes there is always a daily reminder of the spa packages, restaurants to pay for, and lots of encouragement to buy drinks. That does not mean you have to do it.

Loud? Yes the music was very loud, on the pool deck and the entertainment in the evenings. I only had to walk out once on the 16 day cruise due to the loudness, but that night it was unbearable. Sometimes it is louder than other times, but I still sat by the pool.

Line ups for port excursions? We only had four stops, only one was congested for a short period. We were never late arriving.

I thought the food was good, and sometimes great. There was lots of variety and for the amount of people that they were serving they did a great job in my opinion. If you had a special request they always accommodate you.

When we disembarked on Sunday I heard a lot of complaints from other travellers about various things. This was our first big cruise ( we did a 5 day on Princess years ago), so I really can't compare. I thought the staff was amazing, and we really enjoyed the time aboard.

You cant please everyone. Some people were on their 50th cruise. Some people just need to complain I guess.

The price worked out to $50 a day including mandatory tip for a 16 day cruise that included room, unlimited food and entertainment. It was a heck of a good deal and a wonderful relaxing holiday in my opinion. I would do it again.

I dont think that I would do a regular cruise though that had a different port stop every day. But that is just me, a lot of folks love that.

The Transatlantic was a great way to relax after spending two months traveling around Europe. The weather was great and the seas fairly calm.
live42day is offline  
Nov 21st, 2013, 12:17 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 6,628
Thanks for this report, live42day. Our cruise/crossing is on April 19, Ft Lauderdale to Southampton after 4 weeks in the U.S. Three ports, 13 days, Celebrity Eclipse.

Second time we've used a ship to return, you're right it's a great way to extend a vacation, not to mention avoiding airports!

I will do a follow-up after.
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Nov 21st, 2013, 12:59 AM
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Posts: 16,735
Thanks for the report, I just love the term "mandatory tip" it will keep me off the boats.
bilboburgler is online now  
Nov 21st, 2013, 08:28 AM
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 173
All of this is just another reminder of why I don't do cruises. 2 different friends of ours took the Barcelona to Venice cruise; one posted in a different port every night on Facebook, and the other told me there was NO relaxation. Why even bother?

We have been going somewhere in Europe every 12-18 months for the past 22 years, and after the initial rush to see the sights, we just prefer to just drive to wherever we want to go, as the mood strikes us. We are definitely not cruise people.
Bellarosa70032 is offline  
Nov 21st, 2013, 08:45 AM
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 36
some people love cruises and some avoid them...we go a step further and try to even avoid places where they "uncork" thousands of passengers. So many once beautiful places have become ports and it frankly does little for the economy (other than the taxes ship pays to the government. I remember so many islands in Greece where you would just enjoy the sun during the day and then go out in the evening when all the cruise passengers had to "report" back to the nice to watch it leave and everything was so different. So many times the ship leaves just when the sun is setting and the island is at its best. But as I said some people just love the packing and unpacking and it can be a good overview of places that you may want to go back and really see. Thanks for the report to remind me how much I would not like a cruise.
turaj1 is offline  
Nov 21st, 2013, 09:32 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Most of the islands on the cruise ship circuit also have international airports, which with their charter flights and package tourism does even more to spoil the atmosphere. Fortunately there are over 200 inhabited Greek islands, so it is always possible to find somewhere without a deep water port or an airport. Generally the harder an island is to reach, the more unspoiled it is.
Heimdall is offline  
Nov 21st, 2013, 10:00 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,638
Yes, that is what I was saying, the regular cruise,IMO, is much different than the transatlantic.
I could not, would not, do a cruise where I was in a different port every night, or even every second night. I prefer to stay in one location minimum 5 nights.
The four ports of call we did do, I dont even include them in my list of where I have been as I did not see enough to warrant that.

The transatlantic cruise however is very relaxing. Lots of sea days.

I spent my time reading, writing and working out in the state of the art gym, swimming and sunning by the pool.

For me it was a great alternative to flying home. No jet lag and a great way to wind down from a hectic two months of travel.

Everyone likes something different. There is no right or wrong way to do somethings. Just what works for you IMHO>
live42day is offline  
Nov 21st, 2013, 11:41 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 21,486
Frankly, whenever I am able to travel again, I wouldn't mind doing a "repositioning" cruise since there are so many more days at sea. I have always had more interest in the days at sea than the frenzy of the port visits. One day I hope to manage to take one of those rare cargo cruises.
kerouac is online now  
Nov 21st, 2013, 12:17 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,638
kerouac we looked into a cargo cruise, my husband wanted to do one. You need to be ready to go a week before scheduled departure as when they are full they go, now.
We looked at one going out of new york, and if you had to add the cost of a room in New York for up to a week before hand, that gets costly.

The cost of the cargo cruise itself was a lot more than the cruise we were on. A lot more. And, they did not have any services like swimming pools, comedy shows etc, and very few passengers, so if you didnt connect with the others it would be a very long and lonely trip in my view.

when I found the Carnvial repositioning cruise for only $700 for 16 days I thought it was such a bargain that I decided to go with him.
live42day is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2013, 10:09 AM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 7,437
I agree with your assessment of the upselling on Carnival. I like the cabins, food, and activities on Carnival as much as most of the other lines. The biggest negative with Carnival is the CONSTANT use of the PA to sell something, anything, everything.

When I'm shopping cruises, one of my criteria is to pick ports-of-call where 8 hours is sufficient for a visit. London, Rome, Berlin are examples where the number of things to see and do, as well as the transportation required to actually get to the city, make an eight hour stop virtually worthless. Tallinn, Helsinki, Oslo come to mind as stops that can reasonably be seen in a day stop - compact and not loaded with must-sees.
Publius is offline  

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