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Carnival Sunshine 8 Day Picture Review with Funtimes, Menus and much more!

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We finished dinner just a little after 10pm and immediately left to see the magician, Bobby Borgia, in the main lounge. I don’t want to say that the theater was packed, but there were definitely more people in attendance than if it were a Playlist Production show. Because I had watched the pre-show on the stateroom TV earlier in the day, I knew a little background and premise of the show. Bobby tells of a close family member who dies while he was young and because of it, he now believes in angels and that “everything happens for a reason.” And that is what his show is based off of. His show consisted mostly of card tricks with audience participation. Using cards, he is able to guess what a volunteer's date of birth is and other tricks like that. Because he is doing card tricks everything is filmed up close and projected onto the TV’s in front of the theater.


I think Matt enjoyed it a lot more than I did and I’m glad I didn’t rush back onto the ship for the 7:15 show and miss even more of Aruba. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great show but, I was able to figure out some of his card tricks and I have no “magic” experience background. When I told Matt how they were done or what Bobby did to pull the illusion off, he looked disappointed. I felt bad after for ruining it for him. :(


After the show, which lasted just under an hour, we returned to our room to find this guy waiting. It was now time for bed as we an early port day tomorrow. Curacao!



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Here is a map Carnival gives you before you exit the ship. The Queen Emma Pontoon Bridge, also known as the floating bridge, is currently not "afloat" in Curacao. I'll explain more a little later.


There were no inserts for today's Fun Times.






There was no time for breakfast today. If there is one thing I hate, it’s missing valuable port time by staying on the ship. I can understand if it’s a repeat port, but I had never been to Curacao and I didn’t know when I would be back!


Around 7:30 I headed to deck 10 to begin taking some pictures. It really bothered me how little I was able to do in Aruba. Even writing it now, I still feel bad I didn’t get to do and see more. But today was a new first for me. I like to play it safe…therefore I always book excursions through Carnival. However, today I booked a tour of Curacao with Irie Tours. The tour was 3.5 hours and left at 10am. That would bring us back to port around 1:30 and with a back on board time of 3:30, giving us a 2 hour safety net incase anything went wrong. But again, I’m getting ahead of myself. At this point in the day we had just begun to sail into port. What a beauftul country. Curacao would turn out to be my new favorite port of call! So, let’s begin with some pictures.










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Because of our early arrival time, we had no problem getting off the ship. We had pre-booked with Irie Tours. We checked in with them briefly right at the port so they would know we were here and then began to explore. They gave us a green sticker with a line through it to wear around the island. This indicated to other vendors that we had already booked an excursion. It was nice not being repeatedly pestered to purchase an excursion from someone else.


Like I did in Aruba, here is a map to get you started. And incase anyone cares, we docked port side again.




It’s pretty easy here to get to the downtown area. As the picture above shows, just follow the path along the water. You will pass by some shops and through an old fort.




Here is a map to give you a general idea as well. The walk is about 15 minutes total.




Once you reach this sign, walk through the fort. If you have ever been to San Juan, this fort is nothing like that. This fort has been “modernized” and turned into a small shopping center.



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We exited the fort and began to walk along the water. It was beautiful. I couldn’t believe how vibrant the colors of the buildings were. I would have assumed the colors would fade over time with the hot sun, but they were still colorful. Still walking along the shore line, there are multiple vendors selling souvenirs. There was also a man there selling water. He advertised it as, no calories, no fat and no sugar. You really can’t beat that! Just past this guy was a wall mural depicting the Queen Emma Pontoon Bridge. Unfortunately, the bridge was completely removed for renovations about 3 weeks prior to our arrival. I was somewhat disappointed as I really wanted to see the bridge in action. From what I had read, the walking bridge floated in the water and then separated to allow ships to pass through.








Because the bridge was down, Curacao provided a free water taxi to take you across. In all honesty, they were kinda gross and they crammed people into them. They waited until they were just about full and then departed. I can’t really blame them, though. Once we arrived, we had about a half hour to explore the other side of the island.


And looking back at the ship.






They are rebuilding quite a bit of the infrastructure in Curacao. In addition to the Pontoon, multiple roads had been dug as well as the refacing of buildings.


Here is another picture of the colorful buildings. What’s unique about this is that even buildings that don't face the main road or a water line, are still painted the bright colors.




The bright colored homes and businesses mean something to Curacoa. Let me tell you the story we were told on our tour.


In the 1800’s the mayor of Curacao complained of severe headaches. The buildings were primarily white and other dull colors. The mayor insisted that his headaches were caused by the boring, bland facades. He implemented a law that all homes, businesses and structures had to be painted bright colors. If not, a fine was imposed on the owner(s). Therefore, to avoid the fine, the owner(s) complied with the law. It was only years later when the mayor was out of office that it was discovered that he owned the only paint factory on the island, thus profiting greatly from the law he imposed.

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The next few sets of pictures really set Curacao apart from any other island I had been to. This is the floating market. Vendors from Venezuela grow their crops and then bring them to sell on the island. The reason for the name “floating market” is because directly beyond their ships is the water. The vendors live on their small boats and when the supply gets low, they return to Venezuela to restock.








Even some fresh fish.




We had just about run out of time so we went back to the main port area to catch our Irie Tours excursion.

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Irie Tours- East Side Tour


So, as I had mentioned earlier, Irie Tours was our first time booking an excursion outside of Carnival. I wanted something that I knew would be safe and would allow for plenty of time back to the ship if something did go wrong. Irie Tours was spectacular and I can not say enough positive things about our tour guide, Shelia. The excursion was $25 per person and lasted about 3 hours. I have to admit, for $25 I wasn’t expecting much. Even the description of the tour online seemed a little lackluster. But for $25 I would get a tour of the island as well as some beach time. The bus was loaded with local beer as well as soda and bottled water.


Here is the beer. I didn’t have any but Matt said it was really good.




We left right around 10am and began the tour of the island. Here is a little postcard we were given when we boarded. It has words with the four languages spoken on the island.




We had both a driver and tour guide. The driver goes slow so you can take pictures of different land marks and even stops at some. If I had to choose a side to sit on, I would go with the left. I felt like the only time the right side of the bus had a better view was when we were on our way over the massive Queen Juliana Bridge.


From the top of the bridge.






This is the back side of the floating market I told you about earlier. You can see their boats that they essentially live on.



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The next three pictures are of buildings that all have significance to Curacao. During the tour I said to myself I should write these down, but I didn’t and of course, now I forget.


I’m fairly confident this building is where Curacao prints their money.







The next two I do remember, though. The first is Curacao’s National Archive. Sheila said “you can search Google, but why would you want to? Everything is here inside.” Curacao is very proud of this building. There is a mandiated law that the building be refaced and painted the same shade of green every 5 years.




This was…or is, where they broadcast the radio stations from.



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This first portion of the tour lasted about a half hour. We arrived at the Curacao Liqueur Factory and had a brief tour of the plant and how the liquor was packaged.










Here we sampled four kinds- Rum Raisin, Chocolate, Orange and Coffee. We were in the factory for about 15 mins from start to finish. By the time everyone got off the bus and then got back on the bus, it was nearly a half hour. But anyway…


We toured the Island for about another 45 mins, stopping to take pictures and to just get a general understanding of how the people of Curacao live. Sheila spoke very highly of New York. I’m not sure if she meant the city or the State. Either way, she said New York brought great opportunities for the residence of Curacao. They would leave for schooling and return to better the island.





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Sheila also talked about the role government plays on the island. They provide public housing as they do here in the US, but they also own a large majority of the land. You have the option to either buy the land form the government or build your house on the land the government still owns. So, on one hand, you can have your own house if you can’t afford to buy the land, but at the same time, at the end of the day, the government owns your house because it's on their land.


This is an example of government owed land. Curaco charges astromonmical rates for a corner lot. And in this instance, you must own the land to build. No one can afford to buy one. The next best thing is to buy a lot next to a corner lot. You essentially have a corner lot because a house will never be on the corner, or so they say….




Around 11:45 we arrived at the beach. We were given the option to either go back to the cruise port or to stay at the beach for one or two hours. The majority of people elected to stay for two hours. We had decided to just do an hour as we wanted to explore Curacao more. I felt with my disapointment in Aruba I wanted to see as much of Curacao as possible.




The Seaquarium was ok. The entance fee of $3.50 was paid by Irie Tours. I can’t say I was blown away by the facility, but by no means was it a dumb. It had nice ammetities but other than the pools, it seemed worn out. Beach chairs were $9.00 a person which seemed a little outrageous but what can you do? I unfortunately didn't read the sign in the above picture when I arrived because I would have known Pink or Blue chairs were only $3.50. There is free wifi available and it took about 30 mins to connect (I was adamant about getting it to work). The majority of the people there had Carnival towels and I even spotted a few of the Playlist Production cast members there as well.


So here are some pictures of the beach.





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These were the $9.00 chairs.




And the $3.50 plus free water chairs.






These were the $74.99 chairs




Just kidding…I have no idea how much they were, but they sure do look nice!




There were some other facilties on the beach including volleyball, some bars and restaurants (I think there may have even been a Subway there). Matt got a frozen margarita at one of the bars, which was refreshing and fairly strong. It was about $10.


All in all, it was a fine beach. Would I go back? Probably not. I would look for something better; maybe a little less jam packed and more relaxing.


Here’s a picture of the buses. We were in the green one.



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From here we took the ride back to the port and Shelia gave us just a little more back story to the island. I had a great time on the tour and it may be the best $25 I ever spent. I would go on the same exact tour again and would hope that Sheila was our guide. I think Shelia and her warm and inviting personality made the experience. Something she said really stuck with me as well. When talking about the housing and the property they lived in, she said “some people take care of their house, others don’t as much, but everyone is doing the best they can.”




Once we departed the tour, we decided to head back to the other side of the island via the water taxi to do a little more exploring and site seeing, since we were only there about a half hour in the morning. Here are some more pictures of our journey back.






This was a local’s shop who painted right there next to her booth. I bought a small painting from here and hung it in my bathroom at home.




We made it back to the ship around 3:15. I ran to the room quickly to change off and put on closed-toe shoes. I was about to try out the ropes course!


It’s hard to go into detail about the course, but I had a great time doing it. There are two different courses, an easy and a hard, and if you go at a time when it’s not super busy, they will let you try out both tracks. There were often times when the ropes course was scheduled to be open but was closed due to high winds. Same goes for the water slides, so if you see they are open do them and don't wait. I feel like I took a gamble waiting as long as I did to try the ropes course.

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It was now just about sail away time, so I grabbed a burger from Guy’s and we watched the sail away from deck 10.






This is the swimming pool the children use to learn how to swim.




Curacao in the distance.




Up next- Dinner

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Great review! Very detailed. That is a very time consuming process, and for that we are appreciative. We will be sailing on her Feb 21, 2016 on the 13 night southern caribbean. This will be helpful. Happy Cole, and Dana Tison are very entertaining. I noticed that they were on your sailing.



Thanks again,


J.D.& Pam

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Just wanted to say thank you for such a detailed and well executed pictorial review of Sunshine. We will be on her for her first "Journeys" cruise on Nov 28 for an 11 day tour with 8 ports of call, all but one of which we have never been to.


Curacao is one of our favorite islands. The colorful buildings make it a photographer's dream. Plus, we found the people to be some of the friendliest in the Caribbean.


Can't wait to see your next installment!



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I had the Oven Roasted Turkey. It was very yummy and came with mashed sweet potatoes.




Matt had the Duet of Petite Filet Mignon with Short-Rib Confit, which was very good. The filet mignon wasn't a huge piece, but it was cooked well and tasty.




And also the Shrimp and Fries.




I had the apple pie (eh) and Matt had the Chocolate, Raspberry and Vanilla Cream Cake. Matt thought this was one of the very best desserts he's ever had on Carnival. It was absolutely delicious. So delicious that he found it on the Lido buffet and grabbed more.






It was another early night at dinner and it allowed us to attend the Comedian Juggler at 7:15. He was definetly a talented juggler but I question the comedian part. I hate to put someone down, especially in a public forum, but I did not enjoy this show at all. And what doesn’t work well for me, may be great for others, so go check it out for yourself.


I felt like all the jokes kept the show from moving along. I guess I looked at it more as solely a juggling routine rather than a mixture of both comedy and juggling. I won’t give anything away, but his main stunt calls an audience member to participate. It was joke after joke. When the juggler would do something, the audience volunteer would have the perfect reaction and the juggler had the perfect response. For example, he has the volunteer put a hard hat over his eyes to protect his face. But the male volunteer moves that hard hat and puts it someplace else…. Well, juggler goes into his bag and just happens to have a much smaller hard hat to put in that area. The audience roars with laughter, and we wait for it to die down to continue on with the routine. After all this is over, the juggler goes back into his bag and gets a blind fold to cover the volunteer's eyes. He states that he always does this. So my question is, why did he have the hard hat coving his eyes if in the end he was going to blind fold him anyways? And what were the chances he was going to have a miniature hard hat in his bag as well. It just seemed way too orchestrated to me.


It’s that sort of comedy that you experience during the show. Don’t get me wrong, he was definitely a great juggler; and to juggle on a rocky cruise ship takes even more talent. But the delivery of the performance wasn’t for me.


Tonight at the Ocean Plaza was 90s to Now with “The In Crowd.” They put on a really nice show with a lot of audience interaction. I read a few days ago the male singer, Caleb, would no longer be with Carnival, which is unfortunate because he worked really well with the female singer. We walked around the ship a little and stopped by to see Joe at the Shake Spot where we got a shake and then retreated to our stateroom.


Clarence’s newest towel animal.




Up next, Sea Day 3

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And the inserts.







We had a somewhat later start to the day. We got breakfast from the Taste Bar buffet and brought it back to our balcony. We took our time as we had no real plans today other than to get more sun and to attend the Love and Marriage show. After breakfast, we decided to bypass the Serenity deck and lay by the pool. It’s pretty ironic. On any other ship, deck chairs surrounding the pool would be a hot commodity, but with the Serenity deck on the Sunshine, the main lido pool went unnoticed for quite some time. We didn’t arrive until 9:30 and there were more chairs empty than taken.


For the first time ever, I watched the Morning Show. It was a pretty good show and it helps you get to know your Cruise Director better. I’m also really glad I watched it and for one main reason: our CD Chris Salazar stated he would be going on vacation tomorrow (in the middle of the cruise) and we would be getting another CD, Chris Loveland. If it weren't for me watching the Morning Show, I wouldn't have known what had happened to our original CD, Chris Salazar.


Has this ever happened to anyone else? Where it gets switched up like that? I’m not complaining, Chris Loveland was a really good CD. Very personable and I felt like he made annoucements based on things he truly cared about, and not events that would increase Carnival's profit.


We laid in those deck chairs for quite some time, maybe until around 1. We had our usual lunch and shortly after, returned to the lido deck. It was time for the hairy chest competition. They are always funny to watch and I would definitely recommend attending one. It came down to these two men. The winner was the man on the left and he was in his 80’s! I hope I can still be cruising at that age. That would mean over 50 more years of crusing for me. :D




During the competition it began to rain and it continued for quite some time. We would soon pass in-between Dominican Repubic and Puerto Rico and, on a clear day, you are able to see DR. I was looking forward to it, but we were only able to see minimal sights due to the rain. This is a pretty bad picture, but I wanted to show you just how close you really are to the island.





The rain also brought another problem: we went back to the Lido for a little more food and, while eating in the aft area of deck 9 right by Ji Ji Asian kitchen, it began to rain inside. Not a ton at all, but the ceiling did leak a little. I think Carnival made it into a bigger problem than it needed to be. But officers gathered around and looked at it. We didn’t stick around to see what would happen and overall, I really didn’t care.


Our next stop for the day would be the Love and Marriage show. If you’ve never attended, the Cruise Director hosts a show in the main theater where three married couples come on stage and answer questions about one another. It’s very similar to the newlywed game. Again, it’s a nice show Carnival puts on with a lot of laughs. Sometimes it gets a little too silly, but overall it's nice. It was still pretty crummy out when the show was over, so we went back to the room and relaxed until it was dinner time. On the way, Carnival was having one of its big sales in the Funshops which we checked out quick. It had a lot of magnets, post cards, t-shirts, shot glasses and little souvenirs from different ports of call. They were nice. Only thing, it was all ports of call that we didn’t visit this cruise. I’m almost certain we didn’t stop nor were scheduled to stop in either Cozumel or St. Thomas...



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Tonight's Dinner






Matt ordered the Cream of Garden Fresh Broccoli.




I had the Corn Chowder Maryland. It was very good and nice and hot.




Matt had the Grilled Tiger Shrimp




I had Chateaubriand with Sauce Bearnaise. This was one of my favorite meals of the cruise. The meat was very tender and the sauce was delicious. Even the potatoes tasted extra good that night.



Edited by Seany527
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For dessert, I had the Baked Alaska. Matt had Warm Chocolate Melting Cake again, so I will spare you another picture of it.




I unfortunately don't have any pictures from after dinner onward except from the memory wall of the Carnival Destiny. As I said earlier, it is located between the midship elevators and the Lido Pool. Check it out as you are passing by. There are a lot of recognition awards for each time the Desinty visited a new port of call. There are also a lot of before and after photos of how the rooms were redesigned and styled. While I definitely loved the Sunshine, looking at the pictures of the Destiny made me realize I don't really like the direction Carnival is going. Let me explain. Carnival used to decorate each venue on the ship with a specific theme. So while say, the venue that holds the comedy club may have the same layout on most ships, they were all decorated and named completely different. But now, they are all getting the same decor with the same name (the Limelight Lounge). It doesn’t require the use of much imagination. But anyway, here is the memory wall for the Destiny.









Tonight would be another Playlist Production show (Studio VIP) and the cast would keep upping their game. They put on a really nice show. There was one slight problem and I really hate bringing up negative points, but I like to stay honest. We sat in the back of the theater and for a short while, it smelt kinda bad. The Cruise Director, who now switched to Chris Loveland, stated there was a back up in the women’s bathroom. They closed the doors to the theater and the smell disappeared almost immediately. But back to the show. The costumes were really nice and the singer's performances were top notch. If you arrive early, you can volunteer to participate in the performance. There was quite a good turnout of members from the audience appearing on stage in costume.


After the show we had another small bite to eat; pizza. This is the prosciutto and, unlike all past Carnival cruises, I didn't wait more than 5 minutes each time I ordered pizza. He even wanted me to take the full pie, but I was fine with just two slices. I should mention pizza is always available 24 hours a day. This was the first cruise I noticed breakfast pizza’s being featured during breakfast hours. One was loaded with bacon and the other had scrambled eggs on top. If I hadn’t already had a plate of food, I definitely would have tried it.




It was getting late now and we would be arriving in Grand Turk tomorrow at 8am. It was now time for bed, but not before some a picture of Clarence’s towel animal.




Up Next: Grand Turk

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