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Seany527

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

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Inserts to the Fun Times

 

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And the shopping map you receive when you exit the ship.

 

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Welcome to Grand Turk and the last port day. This would be our third time going to Grand Turk in under two years, so I wanted today to be very casual. The weather was somewhat overcast and it would eventually rain slightly later in the day. I felt bad for the people who had never been here before because Grand Turk is an enjoyable, but very low key, port. If you’re lucky enough to be the first ship into port that day, you can get some great pictures of your ship.

 

So let’s get started with the day. Docking time was 8am port side. We watched the sail into port from our balcony while we enjoyed breakfast. It didn’t offer the best views but it was something different.

 

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Again, because of an early arrival time it was very easy getting off the ship. Here are a few pictures from our exit as well as our walk into the port area.

 

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Your journey into Grand Turk will begin in a gift shop. They have discounted alcohol as well as perfumes, watches, designer sunglasses, etc. Take a look around before you leave for the day as you may see something you like. As soon as you exit the gift shop, head left. You will walk straight into the beach and Margaritaville. Grand Turk is very easy to navigate through.

 

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For several months prior to our sailing, Margaritaville was having a great offer- for $50 you received all the margaritas you could drink as well as a lunch. I was really looking forward to purchasing the package to try something different while there but, just a few weeks before we sailed, Margaritaville pulled the offer and had no others offers while we were there.

 

Here’s Margaritaville, still in the early morning.

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And as you approach your beach chairs, this will be your view.

 

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We got two loungers in the front row and began to relax in the sun. We had nothing planned for the day. The Carnival Valor would be coming into port today so I wanted to be on the Sunshine for when that happened. A friend from work will be sailing on her later this year, so I thought it would be fun to send her some pics. Other than that, I had no real goals for the day. If the winds were in my favor and the slides at Waterworks were open, I would partake in those as well.

 

We settled into some beach chairs.

 

There are a lot of vendors that walk the beach right next to the pier. It’s kinda non-stop questioning. They ask if you want to partake in snorkeling, parasailing, boat rides and all the other activities to do on the beach. If you kindly say no thank you, that particular vendor will leave you alone for the rest of the day. They really aren’t pushy at all, just annoying hearing them constantly ask people. The last time I was in Grand Turk, though, I truly was interested in finally trying to go parasailing. I have never done it before and I’m sure I would love the experience. I just want to try it some place safe, and I’m not sure Grand Turk would be that place. But either way, last year when I was there, I was interested and asked about the price. It was more than I wanted to pay. I said no thank you but the vendor did not leave me alone for the rest of the day. I will say he had an impeccable memory because even when I wasn’t in my seat and just walking around, he was still able to spot me in a crowd. So a word of advice, if you do ask about pricing, you may be bothered the remainder of the day.

 

We laid on the beach for some time and then went to Margaritaville.

 

A little informative poster.

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After some time on the island, we got ready to head back to the ship to catch the Valor coming in. I did not know this before but the CD made an announcement that when another ship arrives in port, they do not allow anyone to leave the ship that is currently docked. So, say you were on the Sunshine and at that time wanted to head off, you would have to wait until the Valor was fully docked. Likewise, I assume if you want to re-board the ship you would have to wait as well. Luckily we made it back on the ship just about 15 minutes before that announcement was made.

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At this point the Valor was still a little off in the distance so I was able to enjoy the waterslides.

 

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There were no lines at all. I didn’t have to wait once.Matt and I were able to ride them one after another. Even if you don’t like slides and there aren’t any lines, you should climb to the top. It provided some amazing views.

 

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So, back to these three slides. The rider of the blue slide and the rider of the green slide race one another. You both leave from the top at the same time and the first one down wins. There is a stop watch at the bottom to let you know who the winner is. The yellow slide is super curvy and gets very dark inside. It was fun, but twice on the way down I actually stopped moving and had to push myself off again. Still give it a try, though, if you ever get the opportunity. According to the Carnival worker at the top, the yellow slide is the slowest, followed by the blue and then green.

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The Valor began to get close and Matt and I alternated between taking pictures of the Valor and sliding the slides. This went on for about a half hour until the Valor finally docked.

 

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Right as the Valor docked it began to rain a little. We decided to take our time on the ship and have lunch. The Sunshine put on a really nice buffet that day; “ironically” most of the guests were in port. I wish I took pictures but as I said before, I hate how messy the plate of food looks. I did, however, take a couple pictures of the Sweet Spot at the Lido Buffet. It was a little mini cupcake buffet. They were the cutest things and surprisingly really good. Carnival outdid themselves with the cupcakes.

 

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This was Salted Caramel, Dulce de Elche, Tuxedo, and Raspberry.

 

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On our way back through there was an area sectioned off for Camp Carnival. They had their own little buffet of pizza, fries, veggie sticks, fruit and some other things. The pizza looked different than the kind made by the pizzeria. It had a thicker crust and looked super cheesy. I wanted a piece!

 

The rain had let up for the most part but, unfortunately, it was still somewhat cloudy. We had wanted to snorkel when we got back off the ship for the second time but for some reason decided against. Maybe the weather had weakened our mood.

 

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We decided to first look around at the other gift shops on the island as well as call home with the free wifi. Free Wifi is located right next to Tanzanite International at a smoothie shop. The internet is painfully slow and, like in Curacao, took an even longer time to connect. It’s worth it to me, though. I’d rather waste a small fraction of my time in the port than over an hour each day being on my phone on the cruise ship.

 

These gift shops are your standard gift shops you would encounter on any island. If you are looking for a t-shirt I would recombined the shop next to Tanzanite International (I forget the name of the actual shop). They have a huge selection of t-shirts with some being less than $10 for an adult.

 

So, once all this was finished, we decided to look around the port a little more. Normally when we exit the ship, we always head left toward Margaritaville. This time, though, we decided to go right. This side of the pier featured a completely different atmosphere. Gone was the packed beach with the loud party music from Margaritaville. This side was somewhat tranquil. It was very quiet and, if the weather was nicer, it would have been the perfect spot to enjoy the sun in peace. Here are a couple pictures from this side of the island.

 

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We walked back through the central area of the port and back over to Margaritaville one last time. The poor weather makes for some boring photos.

 

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But here are some fun ones

 

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A short time later we returned to the main terminal and purchased some alcohol to bring home. Here are some intense but true warning labels.

 

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Here’s a little tip: if you plan on buying more than one bottle of alcohol, buy it all later in the day. If the cashier asks if you’re going back on the ship right now, tell them yes. A receipt will print out with a “special offer.” This offer is 10% off your next purchase. I didn’t realize this and purchased my alcohol in one transaction. Now I had a 10% off coupon that I couldn’t let go to waste, but in all honesty, there was nothing else I needed. I ended up giving it to someone in line who had quite a few bottles with him. He seemed pretty happy. That was my good deed for the day!

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When you bring your alcohol purchased on land back to the ship, Carnival will store it for safe keeping. They used to return it to you on the last evening of the cruise so you were able to pack it into your luggage before you disembarked. Now you have to collect your own alcohol in the morning of disembarkment. If you elect to place your luggage in the hallway the night before so Carnival can bring it ashore for you, you now will need to carry it off the ship yourself. Here is the letter received after we checked our alcohol in.

 

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So Grand Turk was now complete. I had a nice time even with the slightly poor weather. Grand Turk now holds the record for me as the port I’ve visited the most with 3 out of 4 cruises. But I bet some of you veteran cruisers have been there more times than you can count! I can't complain though since it is a nice port that is great for a relaxing beach day.

 

Leaving the Valor behind

 

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Even at sail away, dinner was still up in the air- The Main Dining Room or Ji Ji Asian Kitchen? We ultimately chose Ji Ji, so here is your dining room menu’s.

 

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And Up next: Ji Ji Asian Kitchen

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I'm really enjoying this review and love the details. You have to try parasailing, we did it on Castaway Cay on a former cruise and it was amazing, best cruise excursion ever for us. Thanks for taking me away from reality everyday.

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Thank You Very Much for this Great Photo Review with all the Extras Fun Time, Menus, Entertainment Schedule, & So Much More. I'm guessing there Might be more to come. :):):):)

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we were on the Sunshine this past summer. But after reading your review, there are a lot of things we obviously missed. Your review was great Your pictures stunning, Your posting of the Fun times a delight. We are huge Trivia buffs and I was delighted to see quite a bit of Trivia scheduled We will be on the Christmas Cruise...and I am looking forward to it.

 

I enjoyed that you two were out and about and described almost every thing on the ship. NOW we know what to see and where to go. We did not see any comedy shows. Now we might try that. I saw all of the production shows and like you.......enjoyed them all.

 

We also ate in all of the specialty restaurants and agree with you that they all were very good. AND a nice change of pace from the MDR. We ate in the Sunset MDR and as we had one of the coveted cabins............... 4J ( new and with fridges)............on the Lobby Deck...getting to dinner was a very short walk down the hall. the Shore Dest was a few feet from our cabin. I LOVED that. We could get an account statement daily ( didn't but could have),, always were able to get change quickly........get any questioned answered...........Loved it.

 

I just enjoyed your review so much. Congratulations on writing a fine one. NEXT time,young man, get that photo to Your Mom. MOMS cherish such thing..and wait until they get there..................................and I bet your Mom is a darling. she has such a nice son.

Edited by AmberTeka

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we were on the Sunshine this past summer. But after reading your review, there are a lot of things we obviously missed. Your review was great Your pictures stunning, Your posting of the Fun times a delight. We are huge Trivia buffs and I was delighted to see quite a bit of Trivia scheduled We will be on the Christmas Cruise...and I am looking forward to it.

 

I enjoyed that you two were out and about and described almost every thing on the ship. NOW we know what to see and where to go. We did not see any comedy shows. Now we might try that. I saw all of the production shows and like you.......enjoyed them all.

 

 

You will see my husband at trivia on the Christmas cruise.

 

I second all the appreciation for this review. It's nice to have some excellent info for planning and a chance to imagine each day of our upcoming cruise. It makes it seem a little less far away. Although, I'm now starving for my favorite cruise dishes.

 

Does anyone have an opinion on which shows we should not miss?

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Seany527 - I have to say this review is the highlight of my day!! It's probably the best review I've ever read! Thank you!

 

I know you mentioned being in Grand Turk several times - have you ever ventured out into the island? Or just stay close to port? March will be our 3rd time back to Grand Turk. I love going to visit local bars and last time there we stopped at a little outside shopping area. It was really nice to chat with the locals. This time we're thinking of going out for a little bit and heading back to the ship early. We've never stayed on the ship while in Port so it'll be nice to see what that's like for a bit!

 

Hopefully we'll get to enjoy the waterslides too!! Them being totally enclosed kind of freaks me out, however!! But we'll see! They look to fun to pass up!

 

Also, glad to see bitter n blanc still on the menu!! My favorite!!

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I just enjoyed your review so much. Congratulations on writing a fine one. NEXT time,young man, get that photo to Your Mom. MOMS cherish such thing..and wait until they get there..................................and I bet your Mom is a darling. she has such a nice son.

 

That's very nice of you. Thanks for your kind words :)

 

You will see my husband at trivia on the Christmas cruise.

 

I second all the appreciation for this review. It's nice to have some excellent info for planning and a chance to imagine each day of our upcoming cruise. It makes it seem a little less far away. Although, I'm now starving for my favorite cruise dishes.

 

Does anyone have an opinion on which shows we should not miss?

 

I really enjoyed Studio VIP and Epic Rock which are both held in the Liquid Lounge.

 

Seany527 - I have to say this review is the highlight of my day!! It's probably the best review I've ever read! Thank you!

 

I know you mentioned being in Grand Turk several times - have you ever ventured out into the island? Or just stay close to port? March will be our 3rd time back to Grand Turk. I love going to visit local bars and last time there we stopped at a little outside shopping area. It was really nice to chat with the locals. This time we're thinking of going out for a little bit and heading back to the ship early. We've never stayed on the ship while in Port so it'll be nice to see what that's like for a bit!

 

Hopefully we'll get to enjoy the waterslides too!! Them being totally enclosed kind of freaks me out, however!! But we'll see! They look to fun to pass up!

 

Also, glad to see bitter n blanc still on the menu!! My favorite!!

 

 

I've actually never ventured out in GT. When I look at reviews online of things to do, most people seem to not really enjoy it. Next time I will just have to try it for myself.

 

Def try the water slides. The green one is fast. You'll be out of it in less than 15 seconds.

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Ji Ji Asian Kitchen

 

Like Cucina del Capitano, reservations could not be pre-booked prior to the cruise. We had actually gone back and forth about whether or not to eat at Ji Ji or save one speciality for the Vista cruise. We decided once we looked at the dinner menu that we would book Ji Ji as nothing was too appealing to either of us. We headed to the Aft of deck 9 to make reservations.

 

Here is the small Ji Ji table next to the reservation table to give you a taste of what Ji Ji has to offer.

 

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Reservations can be made at multiple locations on the ship. Other than deck 9, kiosks are set up in the Atrium on deck 3 and the promonade on deck 5. There is a cover charge of $15 per person to eat at this specialty restaurant as well.

 

We had 6:30 dinner reservations and, unlike Cucina and the Steakhouse, it was not busy at all. And I really mean, at all.

 

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Alright, so while I enjoyed the food at Ji Ji the most out of the three specialty restaurants, it was by far the worst and most awkward service on the ship. But lets start at the beginning.

 

Here is the table setting when you arrive

 

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And a picture of the menu- unfortunately it was the best I could do.

 

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The waitress gave us a little introduction to the theme of the restaurant and how the ordering will go. Ji means lucky so therefore Ji Ji means “Lucky Lucky.” She told us a little more about how the food was selected from different countries throughout Asia. The number after the food description corresponds to the map and which country the food represents. So at Ji Ji you dont verbally tell the waitress what you want to order, but rather, you mark it down on this paper.

 

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Like Cucina, Ji Ji is served "family style." Our waitress at Ji Ji, like at Cucina, recommended that we each order one appetizer, entree and side and then share. The portions were “big”, she told us. “There will be plenty of food.” But if you remember from before, we were told the same at Cucina and it turned out family style for two was not really the family style we think of. The portions were small and difficult to split. So with that in mind, we ordered a total of three appetizers, two entrees and three sides. But see those 2’s next to each section. That was our limit. When we went to order the waitress told us there would be a $5 up charge for each additional item. Who knew?

 

So we dropped one side and ordered as follows: The Pork Belly and Jade Shrimp. We paid $5 for Pot Stickers. Entrees were the Kung Pao Chicken and the Singapore Chili Shrimp (S&S). Sides were Fried Rice with Chicken and Wide Noodle(s) Not sure if an “s” goes there- one menu says noodles and the other says noodle. We dropped the potato fries from our order.

 

So after everything was ordered, we received “compliments of the chef” some wonton (maybe, idk the name) with dipping sauces. I forget the names of all of them, but I do remember spicy was on the left and the taste became sweeter to the right.

 

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Our appetizers. First is the Slow Braised Pork Belly and next is the Jade Shrimp Har Gow. I was a huge fan. The flavors were so vibrant. But seriously, family style and you get 3...

 

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Next, lets look at the appetizer I paid an additional $5 for (Jioazo - pot stickers).

 

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The pictures do not do justice how small these pot stickers were. I was dooped again by Carnival. How does this constitute as family style? It was kind of unfortunate, too, because I really enjoyed these apps.

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Next up, our entrees and sides.

 

Kung Pao Chicken

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Singapore Chili Shrimp

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Wide Noodles

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Himalayan Basmati Fried Rice with Chicken

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Again, it's hard to tell by the picture but these portions are not that big. The Singapore Chili Shrimp consisted of 5 shrimp (which you have to peel yourself). Like the apps, the food was delicious. I thoroughly enjoyed everything and felt that it was very fresh and authentic tasting. The Kung Pao Chicken was very spicy but still very enjoyable. Matt was not happy with the shrimp, mainly because he had to peel them and wasn't expecting that.

 

It’s also important to note that this food was served in a family style manner. The food was brought out in large bowls with serving spoons which we put onto separate plates in front of us. So while that part was family style, I’ll reiterate the portions were not. 5 pieces of shrimp is not family style. Don’t they give you 4 pieces of shrimp as an individual appetizer in the dining room?

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Lastly, our dessert items. We both ordered Rose Creme Brûlée, which in this case, were both individual portions. It was very good, but not as good as it was in the dining room on the first night. It also comes with vanilla ice cream that has a hint of ginger to it. It was different, but we both enjoyed it.

 

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We finished our dinner with these tiny fruit bites. I’m really sorry and I do not know the name of them but, they tasted just like a fruit roll up. We also had two fortune cookies.

 

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The top fortune was mine, and the bottoms was Matt's. So ironic because two days after we returned from the cruise, I was offered a promotion in a new bureau at work. Maybe Ji Ji is lucky lucky after all.

 

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The service was, as previously stated, awkward at times. When we had ordered the 3rd app and side, the $5 uncharge being presented to us was awkward; it was almost as if we had done something wrong by marking 3 items rather than 2. In addition, she took it away and gave us a new one to fill out. Service seemed to be a bit slow at times as well. The Kung Pao Chicken was spicy and we found ourselves constantly waiting on refills of our drinks. With all that being said, I really did enjoy the food.

 

One of my biggest complaints, and possibly the easiest to fix, was the division of the space. There are drapes that surround this venue. During lunch time, it's open seating with the drapes left open. But for dinner the drapes are still left open. I didn’t feel like I was in a separate venue like I did at Cucina. We could see the Havana Bar and Cucina and, most annoying of all, we could see the constant foot traffic of people wandering around the ship. If we had been seated at an end table, we would be essentially eating next to someone who was eating dinner from the Lido Market Place. So, if you are in fact seated in an area that's close to the Havana Bar, ask to be moved. It really takes away from the whole experience and vibe. Where Cucina excelled on this aspect, Ji Ji lacked. Maybe they were trying to promote the restaurant because, like I said, it was dead in there.

 

My next problem, again, is that the portions are not family style. There is just not enough food on one plate. But, with all that being said, the food in this venue was out of this world. The spices used were fantastic. The ambiance lacked immensely but the food made it all worth while. I guess there is one last thing I should mention though; Matt said this was his least favorite specialty restaurant. He actually said that he probably wouldn't go back. Our vastly differing opinions prove that you truly do have to try most things for yourself.

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Tonight in the Liquid Lounge, Carnival held Hasbro the Game Show. Contestants from the audience participate in life sized versions of classic board games. Below is a little pic of some people playing “Simon.” There is a blue team and a red team who compete with one another to see who can make the match the fastest. The winning team gets to draw a card. Each card is assigned a secret point amount and, at the end of the game, each contestant on the winning team enters their card into the ATM machine. The person with the highest points wins. I personally think it’s rigged, but whatever. It’s still a cute show to watch.

 

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After the game show we spent some time relaxing on the open deck. There was a deck party going on tonight. We watched people partaking in the events but we didn't participate. Eventually we went back to our stateroom.

 

Alright, lets flash back a little bit. During sail away from Grand Turk, the people next to us began to smoke. There were so many people outside, but no one seemed to care at all. Maybe only we smelt the smoke because we were directly next to them. Oh well, there was not much we could really do. Fast forward 6 hours and we went back out on our balcony. Those two were out there again and still smoking. It was really gross and for some reason the smell was so strong and it did not stop. These two were not the type of people to mess around with. I debated weather or not to call guest services and ultimately decided to.

 

The woman who answered was firm in her response that she would send security up to their room immediately and seemed to take it very seriously. 20 minutes later security arrived but didn’t go to their cabin; rather, they decided to knock on ours first and find out what was going on next door. Uhh hello? Could it be a little more descrete! Like I said, these two in the other balcony were rough and I did not want to mess with them.

 

The officer said he was here to follow up on a noise complaint. I corrected him and quickly told him what was going on. He said he would take care of it. I’m not sure what happened after that but another 15 minutes later security knocked on our door again. I was in bed by this time. Security kept knocking and then called our cabin phone and wanted us to answer our door. There were 3 security gaurds now and they said the couple were not answering their door and they thought perhaps they may have left their room. They wanted us to go out on our balcony and see if they were out there. I softly explained to one of the officers that I didn’t want them to know I was the one who reported them. He said he understood and assured me they would’t know it was me. I t was the last we heard from security that night. The next night guest services did a follow-up call to ensure us the couple next door would no longer be smoking and asked us if we saw them to report them again. Yea right…after last night's awkwardness- no thank you.

 

So the moral of the story is; if you are going to report someone, do it and then leave your cabin. Looking back, I should have kept my mouth shut but, in the moment of the cruise, it was the 2nd time in one day I wanted to enjoy the balcony and was unable to.

 

At least we had this to make our night better. Doesn’t Clarence make the best towel animals?

 

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Up Next: The Final Sea Day!

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Great review.. Thank you so much. It is well written, detailed and honest. We are sailing the Sunshine on 11-8 so just about a month to go! We are also booked on the 10 day Journeys cruise out of Charleston.

Two notes about Grand Turk we were able to access the free internet from onboard the ship.. I just happened to try it on my IPad once we got back onboard and it worked. I had tried unsuccessfully while in the port but it hooked up while we were in our room.

We rented a golf cart and toured the island it was great.

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Thanks so much for the wonderful review of my favorite ship so far, the Carnival Sunshine! I was onboard last year January and your pictures make me think of where I stood, activities I participated in, and the wonderful time I had. Thanks again!!!

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Awesome. That island is on my bucket list. (along with St. Lucia) Just have to figure out how to pronounce it! Looks like you had an amazing day!

 

I goggled it……Cur a so! Who woulda thought….

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Thanks for all your hard work on the review. Pics are fabulous.

 

Did you try to get to Red Frog first for the free beer?

 

The pools are really small and the Liquid Lounge is a bit odd.

 

Do wish more cabins had mini fridge and fix it so you can see the menu etc on TV.

 

I was on Paradise and went to look for the menu and couldn't find it anywhere. I asked on Lido and she said she put it up that morning. She actually took me to where it was posted--in a very odd place on the stairwell wall that was blocked by the railing making it hard to see. Weird.

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Thanks for all your hard work on the review. Pics are fabulous.

 

Did you try to get to Red Frog first for the free beer?

 

The pools are really small and the Liquid Lounge is a bit odd.

 

Do wish more cabins had mini fridge and fix it so you can see the menu etc on TV.

 

I was on Paradise and went to look for the menu and couldn't find it anywhere. I asked on Lido and she said she put it up that morning. She actually took me to where it was posted--in a very odd place on the stairwell wall that was blocked by the railing making it hard to see. Weird.

 

We did not try to be the first in the pub. I image a b2b cruiser usually would be. I do have to agree with you on the Liquid Lounge, but that seems to be the way Carnival is going with it's ships. A multipurpose theater.

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