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My wife reached Platinum status with this cruise, resulting in the fastest embarkation EVER. Truthfully, we walked past lines of people to a check-in lady, who took 5 minutes of our time and informed us our cabin was waiting with keys in the mailbox. To make this a short review, let me just list a few pros/cons for our cruise... Pros - Embarkation - best ever! Could not be better! - There is a serve yourself beer station near the buffer...at reasonable prices! Hint- the tap pours for 15 seconds or so. Be ready with 2 glasses to make sure you get every once you paid for! - The Havana Club area- deck 9 aft- is where we are almost EVERY meal. Great atmosphere, interesting (and strong) drinks, and unique finger foods for breakfast and lunch. One day, I had Cuban Coffee Cupcakes that had small vials of coffee stuck in the top. Super good and unique! - Next to the Havana is Ji Jis Kitchen (Asian) and Cucina del Capitano (Italian). Both are free for breakfast and lunch and worth a visit. We ate dinner at Cucina one night and really enjoyed it for the $15 charge. -Emma the Cruise Director is the Energizer Bunny of CDs! She is understandable during the announcements and always pleasant. Just watching her dance during the mega deck party made me tired. -The cocktail service in the casino is AWESOME....unlike the Carnival Magic that I sailed on in January of 2017. These servers understand they will receive tips if they offer drinks - particularly if you have earned free drink status. Great job! - We have finally found a Jacuzzi with the correct hot temperature! It is located in front of the bar on the Serenity deck and is a toasty 104 degrees. The ones on the Magic were all unpleasantly cold. The cons: - The line to get into the Comedy Club SUCKS! In order to let departing guest through, staff breaks the line in the middle and runs away, and rude people cut in en masse. Once you get in the shows were great, but watching people sneaking in the exit doors when you know there's a long line trying to get in was frustrating! - Generally, some of the venues and hallways on this ship are too small for the number of passengers. As people line up at Iguana burrito or Guy's Burgers, huge traffic jams are created in the tiny hallway, which is just wide enough for 2 people. Throw in a wheelchair and things really jam up. - The cutbacks on Carnival are most evident on the buffet. Basically there are 5-6 food choices repeated four times around the buffet area. We believe this is due, in part, by passenger desires to cut off/reduce the tips if they do not eat in the dining rooms. By limiting the buffet choices, Carnival controls the food budget and forces people to go to the pizza area, back to the dining rooms, or one of the pay dining venues like Ji Jis, Cucina or Steakhouse. If you are considering cruising on this ship, I strongly recommend you watch the "Jelly Beans" Youtube videos for the Sunshine - very informative with great tips!

Better than expected cruise experience

Carnival Sunshine Cruise Review by MightyMouton

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
My wife reached Platinum status with this cruise, resulting in the fastest embarkation EVER. Truthfully, we walked past lines of people to a check-in lady, who took 5 minutes of our time and informed us our cabin was waiting with keys in the mailbox. To make this a short review, let me just list a few pros/cons for our cruise...

Pros - Embarkation - best ever! Could not be better!

- There is a serve yourself beer station near the buffer...at reasonable prices! Hint- the tap pours for 15 seconds or so. Be ready with 2 glasses to make sure you get every once you paid for!

- The Havana Club area- deck 9 aft- is where we are almost EVERY meal. Great atmosphere, interesting (and strong) drinks, and unique finger foods for breakfast and lunch. One day, I had Cuban Coffee Cupcakes that had small vials of coffee stuck in the top.

Super good and unique!

- Next to the Havana is Ji Jis Kitchen (Asian) and Cucina del Capitano (Italian). Both are free for breakfast and lunch and worth a visit. We ate dinner at Cucina one night and really enjoyed it for the $15 charge.

-Emma the Cruise Director is the Energizer Bunny of CDs! She is understandable during the announcements and always pleasant. Just watching her dance during the mega deck party made me tired.

-The cocktail service in the casino is AWESOME....unlike the Carnival Magic that I sailed on in January of 2017. These servers understand they will receive tips if they offer drinks - particularly if you have earned free drink status. Great job!

- We have finally found a Jacuzzi with the correct hot temperature! It is located in front of the bar on the Serenity deck and is a toasty 104 degrees. The ones on the Magic were all unpleasantly cold.

The cons:

- The line to get into the Comedy Club SUCKS! In order to let departing guest through, staff breaks the line in the middle and runs away, and rude people cut in en masse. Once you get in the shows were great, but watching people sneaking in the exit doors when you know there's a long line trying to get in was frustrating!

- Generally, some of the venues and hallways on this ship are too small for the number of passengers. As people line up at Iguana burrito or Guy's Burgers, huge traffic jams are created in the tiny hallway, which is just wide enough for 2 people. Throw in a wheelchair and things really jam up.

- The cutbacks on Carnival are most evident on the buffet. Basically there are 5-6 food choices repeated four times around the buffet area. We believe this is due, in part, by passenger desires to cut off/reduce the tips if they do not eat in the dining rooms. By limiting the buffet choices, Carnival controls the food budget and forces people to go to the pizza area, back to the dining rooms, or one of the pay dining venues like Ji Jis, Cucina or Steakhouse.

If you are considering cruising on this ship, I strongly recommend you watch the "Jelly Beans" Youtube videos for the Sunshine - very informative with great tips!
MightyMouton’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Porthole
Cabin PT 2162
Our room was a great location for us...generally quiet, but near the elevators. Lower in the midship area meant it was a little more stable in the waves. Our porthole room had a surprising amount of storage - more that we needed actually. We had 2 minor malfunctions- 1) our breaker affecting the lights was tripped (from another cabin's actions. A quick call had it reset within 30 minutes. @) our shower overflowed. Thankfully, the bathroom has another well placed drain outside the shower so no overflow onto the carpeting. It took an hour or so, but they fixed it and disinfected our bathroom and replaced the towels. Since the toilet and sink were not affected, we suspect sand in the drains down the line. Please be aware the walls in this area are NOT magnetic, so the hooks we brought had to be placed on the doors.
Deck 2 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Island Tour
    The tour guide was somewhat informative, but the island really had nothing to offer. The first stop was at a broken down rock bridge on the coast. You can take you picture in front of a photo of the way it USED to look. Pathetic. It costs $1 to use their restrooms and the tour guide jokingly suggested it was free to go behind a parked car....a lady in our group actually did! By the time we got to the beach, it was afternoon and the winds kicked up, blowing sand against our bodies like a sandblaster. Sand everywhere in our clothes, drinks, teeth. Skip this unless you have an early morning start....or just take a taxi to the beach.
    View All 213 Island Tour Reviews
  • Island Tour
    As much as I hated Aruba, I loved Bonaire. Interesting island - saw salt flats and beached covered with finger coral. Coco Beach has a rocky walk in (bring surf shoes) but once you get in, the colorful fish are everywhere....even in knee deep water. The bartenders at Coco are the WORST, so if you want a drink get it on the way in...you won't be able to order another without wasting an hour. Other than that, the beach stop was great.
    View All 83 Island Tour Reviews