Carnival Cruise Lines' Carnival Sunshine Overview
Photo: Carnival Cruises' Carnival Sunshine -copyright Carnival Cruises
On June 21st, 2016, I had the pleasure of visiting Carnival Cruises' Carnival Sunshine on her inaugural arrival in New York City. The Carnival Sunshine will spend the Summer and Fall sailing from New York to New England, Canada, the Bahamas, the Eastern Caribbean and more.
Originally built as Carnival Cruises' Carnival Destiny, the 20 year old cruise ship underwent one of the largest revitalizations of any ship in March of 2013. Having undergone a 45 day, $155 million refit. The transformation incorporated all of the line's Fun Ship 2.0 features, along with the addition of: 182 new cabins; three-level Serenity adults-only retreat; full-service Mongolian wok restaurant; and a new tropical-themed Havana Bar to name a few.
After immediately boarding the ship, you enter into the multi-deck Atrium with large ball shaped artwork hanging from the ceiling and a sun sculpture hanging over a large circular bar. The glass elevators wisk passengers efficiently to the decks above the Atrium as well as providing a great aerial view of the lounge area below.
The main showroom - the Liquid Lounge - with its amphitheater type seating - provides guests with great view of the performances. The Havana Bar located Aft, is situated in between the Italian and Asian Specialty restaurants which charge a fee for dinner but are free at lunch. These Restaurants are located adjacent to Lido - where buffer lunches are served. In addition, there is a pool side Grill (also free). The Fahrenheit 22 Steakhouse and Bonsai Sushi are other specialty dining alternatives at a fee. The dining options are plentiful. The main dinning room - the Sunrise Restaurant is a 2 tier dining establishment serving traditional dining entrees. The room is quite impressive with it 2 large glass sun sculptures and regal entry staircase. The second main dining room - the Sunset Restaurant - serves the same choices as the main restaurant but is one level and the decor is nice but less impressive.
The Carnival Sunshine offers many bars and lounges and one interesting feature of the ship is the Library Bar. Yes indeed - there is a bar and bar area in the sparsely stocked library / game room. There are also a number of poolside bars providing quenching drinks on hot days. There are many showrooms / lounges offering bar service as well. The Carnival Sunshine in addition to live shows offer guests a comedy club, live music, a disco and other entertainment.
The most outstanding characteristic of the Carnival Sunshine is the deck space. The Carnival Sunshine offers an extensive Adult Only Area called the Serenity. With private seating including pods, lounge chairs and hammocks, the Serenity offers an escape from the noise and activeness of young cruise passengers. The Serenity area also has its own bar.
In the common areas there are 2 pools - one with a waterfall that pours water into a smaller pool and a larger pool where passengers can cool off. Further aft, the Carnival Sunshine has an extensive waterpark with 4 mulit-story slides that provide excitement as well as a way for passengers to cool off. There is a ropes course, basketball court, mini golf and more. There also is a large television screen poolside, so passengers can take in a movie at night underneath the stars or enjoy watching while taking a dip in the pool.
Other features found on the Carnival Sunshine include a Spa with an extensive array of treatments, a wide range of gym equipment, an Art Gallery, a large casino, photo area for purchasing photographs taken by the ship's photographer and a coffee bar. The Carnival Sunshine offers a number of shops where passengers can buy Carnival branded items, liquor, cigarettes, souvenirs, jewelry and even a candy store.
Having sampled the food at the Lido Buffet I found the selection to be extensive including: a deli, salad bar, a variety of hot entrees, a pizza station, burgers and deserts. Hidden away - but available to cruise passengers at lunch is the Italian Specialty Restaurant as well as the Asian Specialty restaurant - the Asian Kitchen - offering food made to order. Overall I found the Lido food to be acceptable and was able to sample the buffet items. I would have liked to try the made to order items but time did not permit.
Carnival is a very family oriented cruise line, offering an extensive program for children of all ages. Known as Camp Carnival, the program splits young adults and children into age respective groups. There are age appropriate activities for each group and there are dedicated rooms to each age group.
On the negative side, being 6 foot 4 inches, I found the ceilings to be low in one or two areas of this ship. The casino did smell of cigarette smoke.
Overall the Carnival Sunshine offers allot of options for families including the waterslides, rope courses, mini-golf and extensive kids programs. There are usually many children on Carnival Cruises which means your children will normally find others to pal-out with. From an adult perspective, the ships can be crowded - therefore the Serenity Area offers an escape to passenger wanting a quieter experience.
The crew on the Carnival Sunshine was very attentive and offered a smile and was always willing to help.
Carnival is a high capacity cruise line and usually offers lower rates than some of their competitors For the price, Carnival offers a decent cruise experience with many dining options (free and available at additional fees). The food was good but some items were basic. The Pizza and Seafood was outstanding.
The Carnival Sunshine has many entertainment options - which can include: magicians, musicians, Broadway style reviews, acrobats, comedians and more.
Carnival Sunshine - Atrium
Havana Bar - Carnival Sunshine
Dining Room - Carnival Sunshine
Serenity Adults Only - Carnival Sunshine
Waterpark - Carnival Sunshine
Photo 1 - Inside Stateroom - Carnival Sunshine 2- Outside Picture Window Stateroom - Carnival Sunshine
3 - Balcony Stateroom - Carnival Sunshine 4- Grand Balcony Suite - Carnival Sunshine
Carnival Sunshine Basic Stats
Cruise Line: Carnival Cruise Lines
Ship Name: Carnival Sunshine
Prior Name: Carnival Destiny
Ship Class/Group: Modified Destiny Class
Width: 116 Feet
Draft: 27 Feet
Year Built: 10/1996 as Carnival Destiny.
Year Entered Fleet: 1996
Country of Registry: Bahamas
Tonnage (GRT): 102,853
Pox (basis 2): 2,642
Max Pox (w/Uppers): 3,002
Passenger Decks: 13
Number of Crew: 1,040
Officers' Nationality: Italian
Cruise/Hotel Staff Nationality: International
Total Staterooms: 1,503
Exterior Stateroom: 906
Interior Staterooms: 597
Spa / Wellness / Fitness
Full Service Spa
Waterworks Aqua Park
Children / Teens
Organized Age-Specific Activities
Outdoor Children's Play Area
Dedicated Teen Center
Other Facilities / Services
Safe Deposit Boxes
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