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Trying to choose.... Sunshine, Magic or Vista?

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My husband and I will be traveling with our 2 teenage daughters age 15 and 17 during a spring break cruise. I really wish we did not need to go Spring Break but the school schedule dictates our vacations. We are looking at the Sunshine, Magic and Vista. We all really enjoy pool time and being outdoors during the day. The girls are pretty active and will enjoy water slides, games and any other outdoor activities available. Looking for suggestions on which ship to choose on what we know will be a crowded spring break cruise. The cost is only a 500.00 difference between the 7 day Magic Cruise which is the cheapest and the 8 day Vista Cruise which is the most expensive. The 8 day Sunshine falls right in the middle of those 2 for cost. So it really is about the amenities and outdoor space for us. We love being at sea and being able to see that we are at sea! So if you can provide any feedback on these ships (the good, bad or ugly) we would really appreciate it. This is the last family vacation we will have before the oldest heads off to college so we really want to choose something we will love. Thanks is advance for any advice!

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Funny, these are actually the ships I'm trying to decide between now.

 

I've already sailed Sunshine and it's out of the question for me.

 

Vista is newer and leaves from Miami. The ship has a ton of cool new amenities but also has things I really don't like about it such as no grand atrium, the hideous Liquid Lounge and a tiny comedy show lounge along with crowding and space issues. On the other hand it has the IMAX theater, Skyride, JiJi Asian Kitchen, the new Cherry on Top with the ice cream parlor, the Shake Spot, as well as the seafood snack.

 

The Magic leaves from Port Canaverwl and Id like to combine this trip with a few days at WDW and Universal studios and leaving from PC allows me to do this. It has enough food options to keep me happy but I will miss some of the newer things the Vista offers. I've sailed Magic twice and I do love the ship and the staff.

 

I live for a brand spanking new ship, if for no other reason than to be able to critique it fairly, but I really want to go to Disney. Sigh. Decisions, decisions.

Edited by TheTravelista

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It it good to know you like the magic. Did it have some good outdoor space? Do you mind me asking why Sunshine is out for you? If you are not from Florida where you could hit Disney another time then the Magic would be pretty convenient. The port is not actually in Orlando but only about 45 minutes away.

 

 

 

Funny, these are actually the ships I'm trying to decide between now.

 

I've already sailed Sunshine and it's out of the question for me.

 

Vista is newer and leaves from Miami. The ship has a ton of cool new amenities but also has things I really don't like about it such as no grand atrium, the hideous Liquid Lounge and a tiny comedy show lounge along with crowding and space issues. On the other hand it has the IMAX theater, Skyride, JiJi Asian Kitchen, the new Cherry on Top with the ice cream parlor, the Shake Spot, as well as the seafood snack.

 

The Magic leaves from Port Canaverwl and Id like to combine this trip with a few days at WDW and Universal studios and leaving from PC allows me to do this. It has enough food options to keep me happy but I will miss some of the newer things the Vista offers. I've sailed Magic twice and I do love the ship and the staff.

 

I live for a brand spanking new ship, if for no other reason than to be able to critique it fairly, but I really want to go to Disney. Sigh. Decisions, decisions.

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It it good to know you like the magic. Did it have some good outdoor space? Do you mind me asking why Sunshine is out for you? If you are not from Florida where you could hit Disney another time then the Magic would be pretty convenient. The port is not actually in Orlando but only about 45 minutes away.

 

 

Yes, on the Magic I enjoyed the Lanai, waterworks, sports square, and the aft pool area. All outdoors.

 

I live in NY so yup, much easier to combine Disney with a cruise.

 

I don't like talking about the Sunshibe here because it's a very hotly debated ship and it's not something I care to go back and forth on. I will just say after my cruise I wrote a two page letter to the Carnival higher us which resulted in a free cruise. Some of the minor issues I'll share are terrible overcrowding which led to excessive lines for literally everything. Outside of the special lunch time buffet areas(Guys, Blue Iguana, JiJis and the Pasta Bar which close after about 2 hours, save for Guys) the offerings were pathetic. The Liquid Lounge was an eyesore with the worst sight lines ever. It was my first experience with American Table and the food was so bad I literally had to spit it in my napkin one night. This was a different night than the one where there were leaks in the ceiling of the MDR which dripped all over myself and several other parties during dinner. I also missed the lanai a lot. I really missed seaviews while on the Promenade. I can keep going but I'm getting annoyed all over again. While many love it, the Sunshine is NOT for me. It feels like the 20+ year old she it is no matter how they tried to erase that.

 

To all the Sunshine fans who may try to pick apart this post, don't. Continue loving your ship and leave me alone lol

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Yes, on the Magic I enjoyed the Lanai, waterworks, sports square, and the aft pool area. All outdoors.

 

I live in NY so yup, much easier to combine Disney with a cruise.

 

I don't like talking about the Sunshibe here because it's a very hotly debated ship and it's not something I care to go back and forth on. I will just say after my cruise I wrote a two page letter to the Carnival higher us which resulted in a free cruise. Some of the minor issues I'll share are terrible overcrowding which led to excessive lines for literally everything. Outside of the special lunch time buffet areas(Guys, Blue Iguana, JiJis and the Pasta Bar which close after about 2 hours, save for Guys) the offerings were pathetic. The Liquid Lounge was an eyesore with the worst sight lines ever. It was my first experience with American Table and the food was so bad I literally had to spit it in my napkin one night. This was a different night than the one where there were leaks in the ceiling of the MDR which dripped all over myself and several other parties during dinner. I also missed the lanai a lot. I really missed seaviews while on the Promenade. I can keep going but I'm getting annoyed all over again. While many love it, the Sunshine is NOT for me. It feels like the 20+ year old she it is no matter how they tried to erase that.

 

To all the Sunshine fans who may try to pick apart this post, don't. Continue loving your ship and leave me alone lol

 

 

 

I wouldn't dream of picking a part your post but will simply offer another view. We thought Magic felt crowded and would chose Sunshine in a heartbeat. The Lido deck on Magic was so crowded and the buffet and its eating areas hit hot hot. Where as on Sunshine the sports square is better. The serenity deck is the best the the fleet. The BBQ on Magic is just so so whereas Sunshine offers Jijis and Havana bar in addition to steakhouse, Cucina and Bonsai. My. It's are now 13 and 19 and would also chose Sunshine as their favorite ship.

 

I can't comment on the Vista but would not pay the extra $ that Carnival usually charges for their newest ship. I will also say that I think we likely prefer 3000 people on a ship to the larger ones like Magic and Vista. It's our personal cruising style which leads us to favor ports of call over a specific ship. So ultimately, we as a family would chose based on destination and easy of travel and costs before selecting based on these 3 ships.

 

Just another opinion....

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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I look at the debarkation port as well as ships. PC is much less stressful than Miami. And also not as far to travel . Love the Magic . Vista which I have not sailed on but like the sunshine I label her a sardine packed ship. But I will sail her when the new wears off a bit. Happy Cruzin .

Edited by BoDidly

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Thanks for the information. I forgot that Magic had the lanai and Sunshine did not. So more to consider. As for the hotly debated reviews.... I found the same love it or hate it environment with the NCL Epic. Cruise ships offer so many different things it is easy for one person to love a ship and another to hate it. Whether you choose Magic or Vista I hope you have a great time and appreciate the feedback.

 

 

Yes, on the Magic I enjoyed the Lanai, waterworks, sports square, and the aft pool area. All outdoors.

 

I live in NY so yup, much easier to combine Disney with a cruise.

 

I don't like talking about the Sunshibe here because it's a very hotly debated ship and it's not something I care to go back and forth on. I will just say after my cruise I wrote a two page letter to the Carnival higher us which resulted in a free cruise. Some of the minor issues I'll share are terrible overcrowding which led to excessive lines for literally everything. Outside of the special lunch time buffet areas(Guys, Blue Iguana, JiJis and the Pasta Bar which close after about 2 hours, save for Guys) the offerings were pathetic. The Liquid Lounge was an eyesore with the worst sight lines ever. It was my first experience with American Table and the food was so bad I literally had to spit it in my napkin one night. This was a different night than the one where there were leaks in the ceiling of the MDR which dripped all over myself and several other parties during dinner. I also missed the lanai a lot. I really missed seaviews while on the Promenade. I can keep going but I'm getting annoyed all over again. While many love it, the Sunshine is NOT for me. It feels like the 20+ year old she it is no matter how they tried to erase that.

 

To all the Sunshine fans who may try to pick apart this post, don't. Continue loving your ship and leave me alone lol

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I didn't read all the previous posts but I would choose Vista or Magic. The Sunshine is considered a 'new' ship but it was rebuilt on the frame of the 'old' Destiny - the pool is very small - otherwise the bars/restaurants are great - personally just not a fan.

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Thanks for the information. I forgot that Magic had the lanai and Sunshine did not. So more to consider. As for the hotly debated reviews.... I found the same love it or hate it environment with the NCL Epic. Cruise ships offer so many different things it is easy for one person to love a ship and another to hate it. Whether you choose Magic or Vista I hope you have a great time and appreciate the feedback.

 

 

Thank you, you as well!

 

The lanai is something you don't even miss until you realize it's gone.

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TO THE OP: How old is everyone traveling. if water parking is a degree of fun vista is there at number one if it was me at 15. Sunshine sits at three and Magic would be number two.

 

 

Go get the shipmate app and browse the pictures you can find in the app for the three ships. Remember each will be themed differently and you will want to look into what is above and below your cabin.

Edited by Bllybb758

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I have been on the Sunshine and am booked on the Vista, so I am researching it now.

 

Have you looked at Youtube videos of the Lanai area on Vista? It is outdoor seating for some of the restaurants on deck 5. From what I have seen, Vista has the most variety and space for outdoor activity. Honestly the pools on ship are all small to us (but we are comparing to resort pools), but the new ones do have some impressive water park style features. One of the reviews I read said that the views on the Vista were impressive, and they could see why it was named Vista. Sounds like you will enjoy it no matter what you pick.

 

You can also take the easy way out, let the girls look into it and pick from the three, so long as you can live with the results.

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We liked Sunshine quite a bit. It probably has the most dining options and the fact that the rebuild separated the huge Waterworks area (aft) from Carnival's absolutely BEST Serenity deck is a good thing. Yes, the Comedy Club sucks and she's a bit narrow through the crowded main pool area but I wouldn't shy away.

 

BTW, we did the 8 day Eastern to St. Maarten, Kitts, SJU and Turks. Great itinerary. Will do the Aruba run next time on her.

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I have sailed on the Sunshine and loved it. The itinerary is important to consider. I will be sailing on the Vista next June. The price difference is irrelevant when planning a trip of this magnitude.

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My husband and I will be traveling with our 2 teenage daughters age 15 and 17 during a spring break cruise. I really wish we did not need to go Spring Break but the school schedule dictates our vacations. We are looking at the Sunshine, Magic and Vista. We all really enjoy pool time and being outdoors during the day. The girls are pretty active and will enjoy water slides, games and any other outdoor activities available. Looking for suggestions on which ship to choose on what we know will be a crowded spring break cruise. The cost is only a 500.00 difference between the 7 day Magic Cruise which is the cheapest and the 8 day Vista Cruise which is the most expensive. The 8 day Sunshine falls right in the middle of those 2 for cost. So it really is about the amenities and outdoor space for us. We love being at sea and being able to see that we are at sea! So if you can provide any feedback on these ships (the good, bad or ugly) we would really appreciate it. This is the last family vacation we will have before the oldest heads off to college so we really want to choose something we will love. Thanks is advance for any advice!

 

I've been on all three ships and would rank them 1-10, with 1 being bad and 10 being great.

Magic 7

Sunshine 3

Vista 9

 

I think your teenagers would be bored on the Sunshine if they are looking for all the thing you posted.

The slides are trivial compared to those on the Magic and NOTHING compared to those on the Vista.

The Vista Waterworks is TOPS.

 

Mix in the SkyRide, the IMAX theater, the outdoor dining around the entire 5th deck AND Family Harbor rooms.

Your daughters would have more than enough to do on the Vista.

 

We loved the Vista so much that we cruise her again in December.

This time in a Havana Cabana.

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The Magic is our favorite ship. We have a cruise booked on the Vista next month. I've been getting nervous reading all of the negative Vista reviews, but I'm going in with an open mind :) After all, we're cruising for 4 new ports and not the ship.

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We liked Sunshine quite a bit. It probably has the most dining options and the fact that the rebuild separated the huge Waterworks area (aft) from Carnival's absolutely BEST Serenity deck is a good thing. Yes, the Comedy Club sucks and she's a bit narrow through the crowded main pool area but I wouldn't shy away.

 

BTW, we did the 8 day Eastern to St. Maarten, Kitts, SJU and Turks. Great itinerary. Will do the Aruba run next time on her.

 

Have you cruised the Vista, because the dining options on the Vista are amazing.

Also, I have to disagree about the Sunshine having the best Serenity area.

While it is two decks and has a waterfall, it's directly across from a very loud Lido deck and pales in comparison to the size of the one deck Vista Serenity area.

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The Magic is our favorite ship. We have a cruise booked on the Vista next month. I've been getting nervous reading all of the negative Vista reviews, but I'm going in with an open mind :) After all, we're cruising for 4 new ports and not the ship.

 

What types of negative things are concerning you about the Vista?

We've cruised her once and loved it so much we are on her again in December.

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I have been on the Sunshine and am booked on the Vista, so I am researching it now.

 

Have you looked at Youtube videos of the Lanai area on Vista? It is outdoor seating for some of the restaurants on deck 5. From what I have seen, Vista has the most variety and space for outdoor activity. Honestly the pools on ship are all small to us (but we are comparing to resort pools), but the new ones do have some impressive water park style features. One of the reviews I read said that the views on the Vista were impressive, and they could see why it was named Vista. Sounds like you will enjoy it no matter what you pick.

 

You can also take the easy way out, let the girls look into it and pick from the three, so long as you can live with the results.

 

Deck 5 on the Vista is incredible. All restaurants have outdoor seating, Bonsai.. Fahrenheit 555.. Guys Pig & Anchor.. Cherry On Top Ice Cream Shop.. Library Bar..

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Deck 5 on the Vista is incredible. All restaurants have outdoor seating, Bonsai.. Fahrenheit 555.. Guys Pig & Anchor.. Cherry On Top Ice Cream Shop.. Library Bar..

 

Surf, I am really looking forward to that experience.

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Surf, I am really looking forward to that experience.

 

We were in Curacao until 10:30pm one night, so we booked Fahrenheit 555 for 8:30pm that night with outdoor seating. It was beautiful sitting in port with the lights from the island surrounding you and the sound of music from the pier. Dinner wrapped up at sail away, so we were able to enjoy dessert while we left the island. I recommend this if you have a late departure from any port.

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We were in Curacao until 10:30pm one night, so we booked Fahrenheit 555 for 8:30pm that night with outdoor seating. It was beautiful sitting in port with the lights from the island surrounding you and the sound of music from the pier. Dinner wrapped up at sail away, so we were able to enjoy dessert while we left the island. I recommend this if you have a late departure from any port.

 

That is awesome. Thanks for sharing that. Hope we get that lucky.

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What types of negative things are concerning you about the Vista?

We've cruised her once and loved it so much we are on her again in December.

 

That makes me very happy to hear! I'm concerned about it being packed and not having the "personal feel". We did not enjoy RCI Allure. Also concerned about the main theatre and comedy club. We look forward to the entertainment the most. Also just learned that the Vista doesn't have my favorite show, 88 keys :(

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None of the above.

 

Magic and Vista are just too big, and Sunshine is Carnival's attempt at putting lipstick on the pig formerly known as Destiny.

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I was looking at vista and something I read said that the Havana pool and bar is open to anyone in the evenings but only to those staying in the havana cabins during the day. Is that correct?

 

 

Deck 5 on the Vista is incredible. All restaurants have outdoor seating, Bonsai.. Fahrenheit 555.. Guys Pig & Anchor.. Cherry On Top Ice Cream Shop.. Library Bar..

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