Ship / Cruise
Of course the Carnival Sunshine is the reincarnated Carnival Destiny. She had an extended refit adding extended decks, new cabins, refurbishing, updates, and a NEW name. Also added were all the 2.0 features such as a Red Frog Pub, Ocean Plaza, Waterworks, Guyís Burger Joint, JiJiís Asian Kitchen, and more. I wonder if they did not try to do too much, they have a wide variety of venues, but most are smaller than one would expect on this size of ship. The Liquid and Limelight lounges are much too small. I really enjoyed the 7:00 pm start time for feature shows for late seating guests. They had a lot of Trivia sessions, Crafts, Lectures by Micky-Live, and activities to keep passengers busy during the crossing. Weather also cooperated with lots of good deck time and deck activities available each day. It was a very nice transatlantic crossing.
I had cabin 5335 one of the new cabins located aft on deck five. Basically a standard Carnival cabin with three closets, safe, drawers, mini-refrigerator, couch, a new style table, night stands, and queen/twin bed. This is the only Carnival ship with cabins located on the promenade deck. Good location as deck 5 traffic goes from forward to aft and itís next to Ocean Plaza. First thing I noticed is that it is an adjoining cabin although it was not shown as one on the original deck plans. I try to avoid adjoining as you usually lose your couch because of the door; however, the new design has the door opposite the bed so you do not lose any cabin space and I never heard my neighbors. After retuning I noticed that the newer revised deck plans do show this correctly. The thermostat and cooling system worked very well, but I did bring my fan that helped with circulation. Poor selection of movies on the cabin flat screen television and it is NOT interactive so you can not check your Sail & Sign account or check menus, etc. I heard several opinions on various cabins during the course of the cruise and some had cooling or drainage problems, but mine was fine. I know that the deck 6 cabins above the new Ocean Plaza are NOW very noisy...avoid these. A few buckets in the passageways will probably be a fact of life on this ship until they trace down all the leaks, itís a minor inconvenience and not disruptive to cruise life.
The crew were great. Carnival has done a great job in training, it is noticeable, and the primary reason along with value to cruise on Carnival. My MDR headwaiter Kaz was very professional and efficient. One of the best I have had. The Alchemy bartender Daniel is now one of my all time favorites, but all were great. Cruise Director Jamie Dee is a star and now #1 in my book. She is energetic, professional, easy on the eyes, a great host, and all one needs in a CD. I liked that she had a entertainment and highlights plan that was given at the beginning that outlined the 16-day cruise.
Overall I did not find the food as good as on the Carnival Legend last month. As I mentioned in that review, Carnival food many times is Ďhit or missí. That was a hit, this cruise was good, but many times closer to a miss. MDR service was very good though. I really liked all the breakfast options: MDR-regular, MDR-brunch, Blue Iguana, Lido Marketplace, Ocean Plaza, Havana Bar, and three omelette stations. I liked the availability of Canadian Bacon too. Lunch also has a lot of options. I loved my two dinners in the the specialty locations: Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse and JiJiís Asian Kitchen, well worth the additional charge.
Cruise Highlights (for me)
- The venue for the Punchlinerís Comedy Club is much too small. Once she begins her Caribbean sailings with 95% english speakers the demand for space will be even greater.
- It would be nice to have an interactive TV system so that you can check the status of your onboard account or something as simple as the dinner menu. I doubt that is in the future though.
- The Waterworks were advertised to be open from 9:00 to Sundown (or 5:00 pm) each day in the FunTimes yet was only open a few days and only a few hours on those few days. Weather was good so not a factor. Donít know the true problem. The fresh water is nice, but if itís the problem go back to salt water, not that big of a deal.
- The primary aft dining room should be for set time diners especially now that Your Time dining seems to have peaked and the majority of guests are now repeat and not first timers.
- Meeting new friends and seeing previous cruise friends
- Carnival Crewmembers
- The Alchemy Bar
- Mijas Excursion
- Great Breakfast & Lunch options
The Carnival Sunshine is promoted as the only ship in the Carnival fleet with ALL the Funship 2.0 improvements. True and they are very nice, but perhaps it was too ambitious as many of the venues are too small to accommodate many guests. Hopefully the variety of venues will spread demand, we will see. I will be back on Sunshine for the John Heald Bloggers Cruise in February and that will be fun with the Snoozemates and other Blogger friends, but I really donít see myself booking the Sunshine as a destination ship beyond that. I believe space/venue problems will become more acute once she sails the Caribbean itineraries.
Did I have fun on this cruise? You bet I did!!