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anewell28

RCL veteran cruised the Carnival Sunshine 6/1-6/6 - REVIEW

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Hello all! So I just got off of the Carnival Sunshine a few days ago. 5 night cruise to Half Moon Cay and Nassau from Charleston, SC

 

A little background on myself, I am 22 years old from Florida and have sailed Freedom of the Seas x2, Liberty of the Seas, Independence of the Seas, and Oasis of the Seas over the past 10 years. My family and I love cruising and love RCL. We are foodies and enjoy dressing up and gambling in the casino and sailing to the eastern caribbean.

 

This Carnival cruise I went with my best friend from college and her family for her graduation gift. Me and Haley are both very outgoing and love to dance/drink and have some fun.

 

I have to say, this Carnival cruise was the most fun I have ever had onboard. The vibe of the cruise was much more fun and laid back. The crowd was mainly southern and the people were there to have a good time. Everyone was extremely nice and we met a lot of people. I think after our antics on the dance floor in the adult club and karaoke, we were pretty famous on the ship. People knew we had a great time (:

 

Anyways, so here is my review...

 

Food:

The main dining room was good. The service was hit or miss, where I feel like RCL is more consistent and has more "fancy" type of dining room service. Still, the MDR was very enjoyable. My time dining was super easy with the app and our tables we nice. The food was very delicious (and your girl loves to cook and eat). I did have to salt my food pretty well to get the flavors to shine but I also have to do that on RCL. 

For the most part, I feel like any foodie knows what dishes on the MDR menu will be super delicious and which ones will be bland. I only had a few misses on the entrees, and everything else hit the spot. The dessert was EXCELLENT as well, and i ate plenty of it!!

 

Guys Burgers were so dang good it was crazy. Never tried the Mexican station, just didn't appeal to me. The sandwich shop place was also really good. The Havana Bar food was AMAZING! As a Cuban food lover with lots of authentic cuban spots near me, the Havana Bar impressed me. The Asian kitchen and Italian kitchen looked great but i didn't get the chance to try them which I was bummed about because they looked good.

 

Pizza, ehhhh I like Sorrentos from Royal better. I like it saucy and a thicker crust, but thats just my taste. 

 

The Lido buffet was basic and bland to me, and i feel the same way about RCLs buffets. i feel like on both cruise lines, the made to order places are much better than the buffets. 

 

Bars:

Never got to experience the Alchemy Bar, even tho i have heard good things, but it never seemed busy. The Red Frog rum bar on the pool deck was our post-dinner/pre-club spot to get ready for the night. The bartender, Isa, was amazing and was the best. He made us many many drinks and different types of shots. If waiting 15 minutes between drinks was a requirement for the drink package, it did not exist at this bar. It was a blast! The Woo Woo shot, the green tea shot and the blended drinks were amazing!!! 

The people who suggested the Kiss on the Lips, I thank you! Because that drink is delicious. 

The atrium bar was great as well, the party night we had plenty of rounds of drinks there. 

The night club was great, the music was good and the crowd was hype. We did a lot of dancing and had some fun there.

Drink package was worth it! I think me and her hit the limit two times and the other days got between 10-13 drinks in (: 

 

Pools:

The Sunshine needs bigger pools for sure. Only having two small pools kinda sucked but we survived. The sea days, me and haley sun bathed at the serenity pool all day. The pool got packed but we managed.

The water slides were FUN. The racing slides were super fast and awesome. 

 

Stateroom:

We had a interior stateroom and it was very spacious and seemed bigger than RCL interiors although it did not have a couch like RCL does. It was clean and in good shape.

 

 

After being on big RCL ships, I thought this ship was going to be small and rundown. I was pleasantly surprised to see that wasn't the case. Everything was laid out nice and the placement of everything was great besides have Deck 4 be weird with the Sunset dining room being in the middle of ship and in the way.

Our stateroom was on Deck 5 and we could easily walk out to Ocean Plaza for a quick bite for breakfast. The spiked milkshakes from the Java place were crazy good. Karaoke was also really fun, the Carnival person James who ran karaoke one night bought me and Haley a drink since we brought some energy to the session and were having a good time. 

 

I would say Carnival is definitely more casual than RCL. The vibe of the ship is more earthy and vibrant and relaxed and RCL is more modern and elegant and not as rowdy but still fun. I would say you would find new and unique adventures on RCL ships with the new attractions they have onboard and Carnival has more simple but yet super fun things to do onboard with passengers that are also there to have "party" type of fun. Me and Haley ran out on the pool deck to sing Rocky Top when they played it (our school fight song) and people hyped us up and cheered for us. I would never imagine doing that on Royal and not look totally crazy. Its just a different vibe on Carnival and if you are there to have a good ole time then you are in the right place.

 

I love RCL and still do. I definitely think it fits my family's style of cruising more than Carnival because of the things we value when it comes to the dining room and quality of the ship. I could sail either cruise line and be happy, but I think I see why people enjoy one over the other. 

 

The Carnival Sunshine was a great ship and had lots of great places to eat and drink. Great things to do and see and enjoy. I think it was a good sized ship and good ratio of people/crew. Any Carnival lover would enjoy this ship and any RCL fan who can enjoy a laid back, casual, insanely fun time then you can sail with CCL. If you can't pass up more elegant or sophicated style of cruising then I would stay with RCL. 

 

Carnival Sunshine A+

 

 

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9 minutes ago, luvsboozecruises said:

Could you tell me if the safe in the room was a punch in code or a card slide 

Punch Code!

 

 

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3 hours ago, anewell28 said:

Pizza, ehhhh I like Sorrentos from Royal better. I like it saucy and a thicker crust, but thats just my taste. 

For me, it was the opposite! I loved Pizzarea del Capitano's thinner crust and their saucy pizza. Sorrento's pizza was just way too crisp, almost burnt, and the cheese was way too browned. But nonetheless, great review!

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Thanks for a wonderful review. I'm glad you all had such a good time!

 

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Thanks!  I've sailed RC, HAL, Princess and Carnival and I'm headed out on a Celebrity next month.  As long as I'm sailing, I'm happy!  I've been on more RC and Carnival cruises, one Princess and one HAL, and except for the age of the crowds, they're all about the same.  I've only booked one balcony, two oceanviews and the rest insides, but I'm only in the cabin to sleep. I just tell my kids to put me in a canoe, put a drink in my hand and send me down any old river and everything will be ALL RIGHT!  I appreciate your review and it sounds like you're lots of fun!

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Thank You for your opinions and review.

 

When you have a chance look at the wonderful gift of a Shareholder Benefit on Carnival CCL :NYSE / LSE CUK :NYSE.

 

Each time you cruise you get an OBC.

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11 hours ago, jbethel11 said:

For me, it was the opposite! I loved Pizzarea del Capitano's thinner crust and their saucy pizza. Sorrento's pizza was just way too crisp, almost burnt, and the cheese was way too browned. But nonetheless, great review!

Grasshopper, someday I will educate you on pizza....

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17 hours ago, anewell28 said:

 

Food:

My time dining was super easy with the app and our tables we nice.

 

 

 

 

Thanks for the great review and fair comparison of Carnival and RCCL. 

 

I'll be on the Sunshine soon. I had heard they were upgrading so you could use the app to get your table for My time (Anytime) dining; but wasn't sure it was on the Sunshine yet. I'm so glad to hear that it is.

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3 hours ago, jimbo5544 said:

Grasshopper, someday I will educate you on pizza....

If you put pineapple on your pizza, then you can see yourself out lol.

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coming from a New Yorker, pineapple on pizza is sacrilege

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Thank you for taking the time to do a thorough review.  I'm taking the same cruise with my daughter later in the year.

 

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2 hours ago, jbethel11 said:

If you put pineapple on your pizza, then you can see yourself out lol.

 New Haven is the pizza Mecca, REAL pizza.  

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Thanks for a great review. We are VOLS too😀 🍊  🍊 

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8 minutes ago, jimbo5544 said:

 New Haven is the pizza Mecca, REAL pizza.  

Oh lord no. OF ALL PLACES, Naples Italy, the birthplace of Italy is incomparable!

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We are on Sunshine now and loving it!  The Serenity area is amazing. About 5 times the size of some other ships. Love the Havana bar area for expanded dining and hanging out.  Crew is fantastically friendly. 

 

Charleston embarkation is back to being a mess though, as they have changed the process yet again and no one directing traffic has a clue. 

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3 minutes ago, TrinaLC said:

 

Charleston embarkation is back to being a mess though, as they have changed the process yet again and no one directing traffic has a clue. 

 

Oh my. What have they changed about the parking has changed? I know all parking it outside instead of the covered warehouses; but figured they've had months to figure out the new configuration.

 

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5 hours ago, jbethel11 said:

Oh lord no. OF ALL PLACES, Naples Italy, the birthplace of Italy is incomparable!

LOL, had it there...may be the birthplace, NH is the Pizza Mecca, look in the book of bests...10 years running.

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Had the best pizza of my life in Rome. 

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8 minutes ago, coevan said:

Had the best pizza of my life in Rome. 

Rome pizza is ok.... but still pales in comparison.

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Come on, it's a city with 100's of pizza places with different recipes, just like 

New Haven. I'm sure you have some great places, but you also have Dominos. To me a big thick cake with sauce and cheese is not a pizza, Chicago joke 😃

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12 hours ago, coevan said:

Come on, it's a city with 100's of pizza places with different recipes, just like 

New Haven. I'm sure you have some great places, but you also have Dominos. To me a big thick cake with sauce and cheese is not a pizza, Chicago joke 😃

LOL, New Have is thin crispy crust. Coal or wood fired.....Dominos.....perish the thought

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I asked on another recent thread for sailing out of Charleston where someone mentioned the embarkation process having changed, but no one responded to say HOW it has changed!  I've sailed from Charleston probably a half-dozen times.  It was a little different last year - shuttle drop-off and we walked across the swamp to the terminal instead of the old "get in line at the little tent and be shuttled over."

 

So, if anyone can please just what has changed, it would be appreciated. 😊

 

I sailed Sunshine on a Journeys 1-way from Port Canaveral to San Juan and really liked the ship.  Feels like a mini Vista/Horizon with the extra venues.  I'm on the 10/26 to Bermuda.  Looking forward to sailing her again.

 

Anyone have any idea what the sea day brunch menu is?  Heard it's been updated.

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