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I sailed the Sunshine in 2018 when it was doing the 8 day Southern route, so a bit different from now.  That said, it is my favorite ship to date.  I was really worried before I left- I had heard the ship was stupidly crowded and the only redeeming feature was the 3 level serenity deck. 


Well, I didn't find the ship crowded at all.  The area outside the red frog pub- Ocean Plaza- became a favorite hang out. They had activities there, and if they were busy, there was seating a little further down the hall so it was fine.  The seats on the floor of the theatre weren't my favorite, mainly because I'm short and always end up behind someone taller than me.  But, we learned to get there about 10-15 minutes early and just chill, and it was fine


The waterslides were fun.  I'm glad I tried the ropes course once, but I found out it's decidedly not for me.  But, the line was short enough that those who liked it were able to go around multiple times and never a long wait.  


The buffet never really seemed crowded to me, but we would eat breakfast early and lunch late.  So it could be that it was crowded during peak times.  Guys always had long lines, but moved fast.  The taco salad (on the burrito side) at blue iguana became my favorite, and then I'd hit up both the blue iguana and Guy's toppings bars to customize.


The biggest disappointment for me, was the Serenity deck.  On our sailing, the top level was always closed, and the 2nd level was sometimes closed.  That didn't leave much room.  Also, it's right above the Lido pool/screen. This made it a great place to take pictures and watch the craziness, but it certainly wasn't serene.  This deck also has hammocks and different type chairs, but they were usually full.  We'd go up late at night when it was quiet and relax on the chairs and that was nice.  What we ended up doing was just going up a deck from Lido and finding regular chars.  Never had much trouble and it was more chill there than by the main pool.

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Below are a few of my observations/opinions:


Good- best Carnival CD Mikey Gibson; best Atrium Bar on Carnival; Havana Bar area is really nice; Red Frog Pub layout is good; best water slides on any Carnival ship


OK - Nice Serenity area, but loud due to its location right next to the Lido pool area; Ocean Plaza area is nice but often gets very crowded during trivia; Thermal Suite area is okay, but not as nice as ones on other ships


Bad - by far the worst aft lounge (Limelight Lounge) for comedy on Carnival (Sunrise might compete with it but I haven’t been on Sunrise); ship can get very crowded on sea days 




Edited by PhillyFan33579
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Was my second favorite ship to date, surpassed only by the Magic (Dream Class).  I actually really liked the Serenity.  On the lowest level one could 'observe' the Lido and if one wanted to get further away just move up and forward.  I also thought the complete separation of the Waterworks (family) area from the Serenity was smart.  I also loved having all the bells and whistles that the largest and newest ships have.  And the modern decor is more to my liking.  Agree that Limelight was poorly designed and always overcrowded.  I'm hoping they've improved that somewhat with the 90 degree spin on Sunrise.  I'll find our in a few months. 

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We were on Sunshine in November 2018, not too long after last drydock. Had a group of 18 from ages 6 mos to 74 years old! Mostly family and some good friends including 2 first time cruisers. The itinerary was Port Canaveral to Aruba, Curaçao and Grand Turk. Was an awesome trip! We were all on deck 8 midship starboard. We had the best cabin stewardess, Maria, such a tiny little thing, but she got it done! All of us loved her. Never had to ask for anything, was well taken care of. It was a good location, close to everything. The lido buffet has the newer areas now instead of the long lined ones, food was good. The Havana cafe was really nice too. Food and service in the MDR was good, no complaints. We had 6 pm dining, at 3 tables to accommodate us all. The younger adults and the kids really enjoyed the water slides and stuff. Camp Ocean was great, the kids loved it. The shows were typical Carnival shows. The cruise director Mikie was the best I've ever seen, so full of energy and entertaining! We didn't do any excursions ourselves, but others did. No complaints there. Some did beach things and tours. Curaçao was really nice since going there a few years ago. They have done a complete makeover of the area by the docks, beautiful and nice to walk around for shopping, food, etc, and they also had a casino. Was really pretty.  Grand Turk was nice too. Been there several times so some just went to Margaritaville and had one of those super nachos and a margarita. Some did horseback riding and some did the beach. All had a great time. 


One thing we enjoyed was the Ocean Plaza area on deck 5. In the mornings they have coffee, danish, fruits and a small version of the buffet, just not as crowded. This may be particular to this ship because the Breeze has the Ocean Plaza but doesn't serve anywhere near the variety as Sunshine does. And of course the casino is just down the Promenade from there. I've read lots of complaints about the casino being smoky, but I personally didn't think it was bad.  We tried to play early in the mornings on sea days, so much nicer than after dinner which we did as well. The casino staff was really nice, and there were more drink servers than I've ever seen.


cant think of much more, but hope iv you choose her you will really have a great cruise!



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I like the Sunshine Ok, I have sailed her 3 times with 2 more cruises booked. I do not care for the atrium as it isn't "grand" like the older ships, they closed in the upper levels for cabins. She also can get crowded on sea days. However, we found the food and entertainment to be the best of any Carnival ship we have sailed. The water slides are freaking FAST and fun. If you go in with an open mind you will have a good time. Just try and time your meals a little earlier or a little later than the rush, and if you don't want a deck chair right by the pool you should be OK!

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I liked the Sunshine.  But we did a 13 day cruise and on the 4th last day I got extremely sick.  Upper respiratory infection or something like that.  I spent 22 hours in bed sleeping.  Others on the ship had gotten sick as well.  I'm extremely careful taking airborne before we go and always using the hand sanitizer.  The 3rd last day we were in St. Thomas and went ashore and paid $22 for a small bottle of aspirin.  The next 2 sea days I spent in bed.

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I took my first cruise on the Sunshine.  I must have liked it because I came back!


I can only remember two negatives.  First, the comedy club was small.  We had to arrive really early for seats.  Second, it listed really badly one day.  The Captain came over the loud speaker to tell us he had put the stabilizers out.  Since it was my first cruise, it was a little scary.

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We did an 8 day Southern on her last February.  First the positives: 

-- We had the best waiter to date, Raymond in ATD (we asked for him each night).

-- The Alchemy bar had a fantastic staff and we never had a problem finding a seat.

-- The Serenity has three levels and you can observe the Lido action with the right seat.

-- The Shake Spot has great shakes, floats, and sodas and you can get them spiked if you like.

-- The Havana area in the rear of the Lido is great to get away from the breakfast and lunch crowds.

-- Mikie was a great CD, but you can't count on him always being on the same ship.


The not so positives:

-- Crowds.  I typically have no trouble finding an outside lounger to read since I'd rather not be near one of the pools.  On this cruise I had problems finding one, not sure if it was the dynamics of this cruise or the layout and passenger ratio.

-- The casino was very smokey which I can usually tolerate, but some evenings and afternoons it was pretty bad, probably because it was also so crowded.  The way Carnival laid out the smoking and non-smoking areas of the casino just doesn't work too well.

-- The Comedy Club has a horrible layout and is too small resulting in very long lines and a lot of bad seats.  When I say bad seats you won't even see the stage, you'll have to watch a television monitor.

-- The wait staff in the dining room has far too many people to serve, but that is probably becoming a fleet wide issue.  Our wait staff was great but they were running themselves ragged trying to keep up.


We enjoyed the cruise and would possibly sail on her again, but nothing shorter than a 7 day cruise.  I'm looking forward to getting on a Conquest class ship again (Glory) this February.

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