--Updated by Erica Lamberg, Cruise Critic contributor
Cabins on Carnival Sunshine are generally sized well and offer ample storage space. The color scheme in the standard cabins is a bit dated and the carpets are worn but the layout remains functional.
Carnival Sunshine's cabin choices offer many configurations, with some capable of fitting two guests, while others can accommodate up to five people through various uses of sofa beds and ceiling pull-downs. The pulldown beds do have a weight restriction of 250 pounds. Also, for cruisers traveling together, Carnival Sunshine offers more than 200 connecting rooms, which sometimes permits sound through the connecting doors.
Standard inside, ocean-view and balcony cabins each feature two twin beds that form a king when combined. Cabins boast decent storage options, including couches with inset drawers, bedside tables with shelves, and closets. There are two 120-volt U.S.-style outlets and one Euro-style 230-volt outlet atop a small vanity in each cabin, under which you'll find an ottoman-style seat.
Flat-screen TVs are installed against the wall, and swivel so you can view them from the couch or bed. But note, unlike the TVs on most newer ships, they are not interactive. The channel options are limited to two or three news channels, cable options with sitcoms and a children's channel. During our sailing, there were no free movies shown on the movie channel.
Hidden behind each TV are two more U.S.-style outlets. Other in-cabin amenities include a safe, robes, a phone and a hair dryer (hidden away in a drawer by the vanity). The ship's higher-category cabins and suites have mini-bars.
The bathrooms are functional with an oddly placed outlet for razors, up above the mirror. Showers feature massaging heads and a clingy shower curtain that rarely contains the water. There are also large dispensers with generic shower gel and shampoo. Other bathroom amenities might include a shower cap, mini bottles of shampoo, conditioner and toothpaste and hand soaps.
In rooms with a balcony, you'll find a pair metal-and-plastic mesh chairs and a small table on the veranda. Balconies are a decent depth, and we were able to read comfortably while outside.
Interior: The 723 185-square-foot interior cabins are practical and meet the needs of a budget cruiser. There are a few interior rooms with one single bed and a pulldown bunk, and a handful of insides that can fit three people, through two twin beds and a pulldown bunk, and even fewer that can fit four people with two pulldown bunks. All insides come with a small desk and seat and a bathroom with shower. Two side-by-side closets offer limited storage space, particularly hanging space.
Oceanview: Standard ocean-view staterooms are 220 square feet, while the superior ocean-view is 280 square feet. With a window and a bit more room, cruisers can spread out and take advantage of more living space and comfort. Ocean-view cabins include a sofa, coffee table, desk with chair, bathroom with shower, closets with plenty of hanging space and a picture window. A handful of ocean views can fit three people by replacing the standard sofa with a sofa bed.
Balcony: Carnival Sunshine has several balcony configurations including standard, aft-extending, premium larger balcony and premium wraparound balcony cabins. Most will fit two to five people, depending on configuration. All have a sofa or sofa bed, coffee table, desk with seat and plenty of storage space for two to three adults with three side-by-side closets. All balcony cabins are 185 square feet, but the balcony size varies: 35 square feet for standard balcony cabins; 60 square feet for aft balcony cabins) and 75 square feet for premium, large balcony and premium wraparound balcony cabins. These last two differ only by location on the ship, with wraparound cabins located on the corner and premiums located just inside the corner.
Spa Cabins: Additionally, Sunshine has 92 Cloud 9 Spa cabins, which are clustered around the ship's spa. The spa is located on Deck 10, but the cabins span Decks 9, 10 and 11.
The accommodations, which come in a few versions -- 185-square-foot ocean-views and balconies (with 35-square-foot verandas) and 275-square-foot suites (with 65-square-foot verandas) -- are laid out exactly the same as other comparable non-spa cabins. The difference comes by way of design tweaks (green accents), proximity to the spa and special inclusions. Passengers in Cloud 9 accommodations get a range of Elemis toiletries, fee waivers for a trio of fitness classes and access to the spa's thermal suite, which features various tiled rooms with steam and dry heat.
Suites: Carnival Sunshine offers three suite options. An Ocean Suite with large balcony has 340 square feet, with the stateroom using 275 square feet and the balcony taking up 65 square feet. On top of everything you'll find in a balcony cabin, Ocean Suites add larger, separate sitting areas, two TVs, more closet space and bathrooms with tubs. The suites offer an ideal arrangement for families with children.
The 345-square-foot Grand Suites, which have 85-square-foot balconies, are each one big room with a larger L-shaped sofa and a large closet in a separate room adjoining the bathroom. The bathroom includes a vanity desk and sink. They're designed with marble-topped surfaces, full bathrooms with double-width shower-whirlpool tub combos, bidets, double sinks, marble flooring and mosaic tiles on the walls.
Carnival Sunshine's Captain's Suites, side-by-side at the front of the ship, come in at a hefty 500 square feet with 200-square-foot balconies. They are situated just above the bridge on Deck 9, have two rooms and two bathrooms, and are entirely glass-fronted. They also have walk-in closets and whirlpool tubs, as well as large sofas, which can fold down, so you can fit as many as five people in each.
Passengers staying in suites get VIP check-in.