Sunshine or Dream

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2,190 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
I am looking at booking a cruise that is nearly the same on Sunshine or Dream. I have never been on either. For those who have been on both, please let me know which you prefer and why.

We have been on Magic and do not want a cove, so that would not be an issue. My husband loves the Blue Iguana(burrito/taco bar) which the Sunshine has but Dream does not.

I have read that Sunshine is really really crowded...

Please pass along any info.

179 Posts
Joined May 2013
I would pick the Sunshine because there is a lot more to do onboard. The Dream is great if you want to be on a bigger ship but it fails to compare to the Sunshine in the amenities portion. Even though the Sunshine might seem crowded at some times (Comedy Shows, Lido Parties, etc.) If you get there early or avoid them all together, it should be fine.
Might I ask what the Itineraries are?
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Previous Cruises
~5-Day Bahamas:Carnival Fascination: August 8th, 2012: First Cruise!
Jacksonville,Sea Day,Half Moon Cay,Nassau,Sea Day,Jacksonville
~4-Day Bahamas:Carnival Sensation: December 22nd, 2013: Ho Ho Ho-liday Vacation!
Port Canaveral,Freeport,Nassau,Sea Day,Port Canaveral
~6-Day Western Caribbean:Carnival Breeze:January 24th, 2016: Out Of School For This!
Miami,Sea Day,Ocho Rios,Grand Cayman,Cozumel,Sea Day,Miami
Long Island, NY
36 Posts
Joined Jul 2012
I was just on the sunshine and I really liked it. With only one pool, other then serenity's, the lido deck can get crowded on sea days but any other day I had no problem finding a chair. I never had a problem finding seating to eat or with waiting for ATD except on elegant night. You didn't say when you were thinking of going but the current entertainment team is amazing but they are moving over to the vista when that starts sailing.
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2007- Carnival Triumph
2012- Allure of the Seas (TS Issac Cruise!)
2015- Carnival Sunshine
2016- Carnival Magic
2,190 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
Thanks for replies. I wondered about the crowds.

Sunshine Dec 9

San Juan
St Thomas
Sea Day
St Croix
Sea Day
Grand Turk
Sea Day
Port Canaveral

Dream Jan 14

San Juan
St Thomas
St Kitts
Sea Day
Grand Turk
Montego Bay
Sea Day
Sea Day
New Orleans

I prefer the Sunshine itinerary but husband prefers Jan over Dec. We are going with another couple. I think I will just let them decide. They haven't been to any of the places except Motego Bay.
602 Posts
Joined Aug 2014
Been on both, loved both but would give the Dream the edge. I do think the over crowding on the Sunshine is over rated but the Dream does have more space. And although at night, sailing up the Mississippi is always a treat. Also spending a night in New Orleans when your cruise is complete is a plus if you have the time. Either way I don't think you can go wrong.
Atlanta, GA
484 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
Originally posted by EmmasNana
I am looking at booking a cruise that is nearly the same on Sunshine or Dream. I have never been on either. For those who have been on both, please let me know which you prefer and why.

We have been on Magic and do not want a cove, so that would not be an issue. My husband loves the Blue Iguana(burrito/taco bar) which the Sunshine has but Dream does not.

I have read that Sunshine is really really crowded...

Please pass along any info.

We just did the Sunshine and never again. They added more balcony cabins and that really made our cabin smaller with less room.
The Dream is a better choice . LK
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Carnival Vista - February 11, 2017
Carnival Valor - February 27, 2016
Carnival Sunshine - April 11, 2015
Carnival Liberty - May 17, 2014
Carnival Breeze - March 1, 2014
Carnival Dream - June 8, 2013
Carnival Fascination - December 31, 2012
Carnival Dream - March 3, 2012
Carnival Freedom - October 8, 2011
Carnival Elation - May 2, 2011
Carnival Dream - February 5, 2011
Carnival Miracle - February 8, 2010
Carnival Liberty - February 14, 2009
Holland Oosterdam - October, 2008
Carnival Legend - June, 2008
Carnival Celebration - December, 2007
Star Princess - April, 2007
Carnival Glory - May 2006
Carnival Conquest - June, 2005
Carnival Conquest - May, 2004
Carnival Legend - April 2003
Norwegian Star - May, 2002
Premier Cruise Lines Starship Majestic - June, 1994

North Alabama
725 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
Both are fun, can't go wrong with those ships. I would give a slight edge to Sunshine because I like the Red Frog Pub, Sports bar, and the additional evening meal venues.
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Oct '08-Carnival Fantasy-New Orleans, Progresso, Cozumel
May '09-Holiday-Mobile, Key West, Freeport
Dec '09-Carnival Triumph-New Orleans, Progresso, Cozumel
May '10-Carnival Fantasy-Mobile, Cozumel, Calica
Oct '10-Carnival Elation-Mobile, Cozumel, Calica
May '11-Carnival Elation-Mobile, Montego Bay, Grand Cayman, Cozumel
Dec '11-Carnival Conquest-New Orleans, Montego Bay, Grand Cayman, Cozumel
May '12-Carnival Conquest-New Orleans, Key West, Freeport, Nassau
Dec '12-Carnival Elation-New Orleans, Progresso, Cozumel
May '13-Carnival Fascination-Jacksonville, Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay, Nassau
Dec '13-Carnival Sunshine-New Orleans, Montego Bay, Grand Cayman, Cozumel
May '14-Carnival Dream-New Orleans, Isla Roatan, Belize, Cozumel
Dec '14-Carnival Dream-New Orleans, Cozumel, Belize, Isla Roatan
Jun '15-Carnival Dream-New Orleans, Montego Bay, Grand Cayman, Cozumel
Sep '16-Carnival Triumph-New Orleans, Cozumel, Progreso
Dec '16-Carnival Fantasy-Mobile,Cozumel
May '17-Carnival Fantasy-Mobile, Progreso, Cozumel
Nov '17-Carnival Dream-New Orleans, Montego Bay, Grand Cayman, Cozumel
1,656 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Done both ships,just off of the sunshine this past april, I would not hesitate to book again. Beautiful ship,great bars (especially the alchemy bar).. cabins are beautiful, which we had a spa balcony . I don't see it being any different size as the one we had on the breeze...crew was great. Never encointerred it being too crowded that I couldn't find a chair....overall I would definatly book the sunshine again
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t=1188905&highlight[/url]= My Dream Review!! April 2010
Past cruises,
RCl Enchantment of the Seas 1998
Disney Wonder 2008
Carnival Dream 2010
Carnival Freedom 2011
Carnival Miracle 2012 and Master Mixologist Winner!! WOOHOO!Have you had your "Woohoo Wonder" today? my Miracle Review...Finally!
Carnival Breeze 2013 (fabulous cruise)
Carnival Breeze 2014
Carnival Sunshine 2015(loved it)
Breezing with my Babe on the Breeze 2016 for our 20th Anniversary!
Up next..Christmas in the Carribean!! Magic 12/17
Central Florida
7,054 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
I too, have done 'em both, and would choose "Dream" over "Sunshine" any time. So many little things that I didn't care for aboard "Sunshine", and "Dream", on the other hand has so many things that I DO like.

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Tuba Player
Veteran Cruiser
Carnival "DIAMOND"
Double Milestone

North East Florida
2,562 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
Two weeks out from our first cruise. on the Sunshine. Will write a review.

Loved the Dream. Sailed on her four times. STILL irked that the moved her from Port Canaveral.

That Said. NEW CABINS on Sunshine. 4-J on lobby deck. OV on Deck 5 and even numbered spa balconies on deck 9 (check me on the deck nine)

People seem to have a better cruise when they book those. And they are hard to get. the new cabins have minibars which I use to store Diet Sodas. They have been a tremendous help to me in losing a lot of weight.

Do your research. Get the right cabin. ATD seems to be confusing. get a SET Dining Time. Don't eat on the Lido at peak times. Go to the BACK and eat at the Havana Bar.

MAKE your dining reservations online,. Have your confirmations in hand when you board.

ALL of this I learned from reading this Board. People post the best advice here.

MY advice....READ every word anyone posts about the SUNSHINE for Two weeks before you book. READ the Reviews on Cruise Critic. A lot of the bad reviews seem to be because they were irked about something else.
READ THE CABIN REVIEWS on Cruise critic.

Charlotte, NC US
598 Posts
Joined Jan 2001
It's all subjective, everyone has their priorities. For me, relaxation is the key thing I want out of a vacation and the Serenity areas on Sunshine simply cannot be beat. I also love the ports on the eastern run for relaxing beach days. As far as crowds, I personally thought the Dream felt more crowded than the Sunshine. Yes, getting a ticket for dinner for ATD is a (minor) inconvenience - we always looked at it as an opportunity to get a pre-dinner drink (which we rarely finished before we were called for a table, if we even had a wait). The Alchemy Bar is also a big plus for us, absolutely loved it and were disappointed to not have it on the Dream the next cruise. My kids loved the Dream because of the activities and locales, may have been a bit bored on the Sunshine. Ultimately, I'm happy if I'm on a ship - they all have their pluses and minuses - just need to prioritize what you want out of that particular cruise and go from there.
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Sunward 5/1979, Norway 6/1980, Norway 5/1981, Norway 5/1982, Norway 5/1983, Southward 5/1984, Norway 5/1985, Seaward 5/1986, Norway 5/1987, Norway 5/1988, Norway 5/1989, Norway 5/1990, Norway 11/1995, Century 5/1996, Sovereign of the Seas 5/1997, Norwegian Wind 3/1998, Carnival Paradise 4/1999, Norway 11/1999, Carnival Destiny 4/2000, Carnival Victory 11/2000, Norwegian Sun 11/2001, Carnival Victory 3/2002, Carnival Pride 11/2002, Norwegian Dawn 4/2003, Carnival Legend 11/2003, Carnival Legend 3/2004, Celebrity Summit 11/2004, Carnival Glory 4/2005, Carnival Legend 1/2006, Carnival Miracle 11/2006, RCCL Mariner of the Seas 4/2007, RCCL Mariner of the Seas 9/2007, Carnival Liberty 11/2007, Carnival Miracle 11/2008, Carnival Freedom 11/2009, Celebrity Equinox 11/2010, Carnival Dream 4/2011, Carnival Miracle 11/2011, Carnival Conquest 4/2012, Independence of the Seas 3/2013, Carnival Breeze 9/2013, Carnival Sunshine 5/2014, Carnival Dream 11/2014, Carnival Sunshine 8/2015, Norwegian Epic 11/2016, Oasis of the Seas 10/2017, Norwegian Escape 3/2018
579 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
These two are my favorite ships. I have sailed both several times and loved all the cruises. I don't think you will go wrong with either choice. But I will say that different aspects of cruising appeal to everyone. What I might find important may not be that important to you. So keep what your more interested in when comparing. The food options are great on both ships, though carnival sunshine has guys burgers, taco bar, and the dream has the pasta restaurant for lunch daily and also the bbq on the lanai deck. As far as crowds I have been on 16 cruises and it really is no more crowded than other carnival ships during the summer months. Granted on sunshine the comedy club is smaller but just plan on arriving early if you do the comedy club. But the casino on both ships are nice and dinning rooms are nice, cabins are same size on both ships and very nice. The ports of call would be my decider. I chose sunshine in july and absolutely cant wait to be on her again. But I am a firm believer in the fact that if I am on a cruise, how can I go wrong. spend time preparing and know what to expect and you will enjoy your choice.
2,192 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
I have done both ships. Sunshine wins hands down. I didn't care for the Dream at all. The Sunshine has all the 2.0 upgrades, better food, and more to offer. The Dream was too big, the crew were not friendly, and the food was ok at best.
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Carnival Breeze- 10/17 (Cozumel, Belize, Roatan)

Past Cruises
Liberty of the Seas- 07/17 (Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Falmouth)
Carnival Breeze- 10/16 (Montego Bay, Grand Cayman, Cozumel)
Liberty of the Seas- 05/16 (Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Falmouth)
Carnival Magic- 11/15 (Cozumel, Belize, Roatan)
Carnival Freedom- 05/15 (Montego Bay, Grand Cayman, Cozumel)
Carnival Valor- 04/15 (Aruba, Bonaire, Grand Turk)
Carnival Valor- 04/15 (Freeport, Nassau, Half Moon Cay)
Carnival Freedom- 03/15 (Montego Bay, Grand Cayman, Cozumel)
Carnival Magic- 10/14 (Cozumel, Belize, Roatan)
Carnival Dream- 07/14 (Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Montego Bay)
Carnival Sunshine- 02/14 (Roatan, Belize, Cozumel)
Carnival Conquest- 08/13 (Roatan, Belize, Cozumel)
Carnival Magic- 05/13 (Montego Bay, Grand Cayman, Cozumel)
Carnival Magic- 08/12 (Roatan, Belize, Cozumel)
Carnival Elation- 06/12 (Progreso, Cozumel)
Carnival Triumph- 12/11 (Cozumel)
Carnival Triumph- 07/11 (Belize, Roatan, Cozumel)
Carnival Ecstasy- 03/11 (Progreso, Cozumel)
Carnival Ecstasy- 02/10 (Cozumel)
Carnival Fantasy- 07/09 (Progreso, Cozumel)
Carnival Ecstasy- 04/09 (Cozumel)
Carnival Conquest- 08/07 (Grand Cayman, Cozumel)
Rhapsody of the Seas- 05/05 (Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman, Cozumel)
Carnival Elation- 04/04 (Progreso, Cozumel, Belize)

Ports Visited: Progreso, Belize, Cozumel, Ocho Rios, Falmouth, Grand Cayman, Roatan, Montego Bay, Freeport, Nassau, Half Moon Cay, Aruba, Bonaire, Grand Turk
Ocala, Florida
15 Posts
Joined Sep 2001
Have to repeat what the last person said. My wife and I have been on both ships, and enjoyed the Sunshine far more than the Dream. All of the 2.0 upgrades make a huge difference to us, but your interests may vary. Both ship were at full capacity when we sailed them, and we didn't notice a difference in how crowded it felt. We are currently booked on the Sunshine again in September. Can't wait.
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Previous Cruises:

Empress of the Seas - June 92
Majesty of the Seas - Nov 92
Explorer of the Seas - Sept 01
Explorer of the Seas - Aug 02
Navigator of the Seas - Sept 03
Explorer of the Seas - Sept 04
Voyager of the Seas - April 05
Carnival Glory - March 09
Freedom of the Seas - May 10
Carnival Dream - Nov 12
Majesty of the Seas - July 14
Carnival Sunshine - Sept 14
Carnival Sunshine - Sept 15
Allure of the Seas - Upcoming Oct 16