The Carnival Sunshine was the first in the fleet to undergo a complete refurbishment. The $155 million facelift transformed the former Destiny into a vessel that emerged more hip and in tune with today’s travelers. Dubbed Carnival 2.0, the series of retooling and innovations is intended to make the line more appealing to those seeking a cruise vacation. Guess what? It worked! That said, here are five reasons to love the Carnival Sunshine:
1. The Overall Look – It’s a real departure for Carnival. The ship has a warm, inviting feel. While it’s still the best line for families – there are seemingly endless activities for the younger set – Sunshine feels more adult.
2. The Dining Choices – I love the choices! In the main dining room, there are lots of innovative food choices and the presentation is amazing. It’s now on par with dining on more expensive ships. They say there’s no such thing as a free lunch, but that would be disputed on the Carnival
Sunshine. Guy’s Burger Joint, as in Food Channel celebrity Guy Fieri, serves up the best burgers and fries you’ll find at sea or on land. At The Blue Iguana Cantina, you can feast on freshly made tortillas with all the fixings. One of my favorite haunts is the Havana Bar with its distinct Cuban flair and complementary finger foods offering a taste of the Island nation for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Pizza with all the toppings can be found at the Pizzeria del Capitano round the clock.
Enjoy the best in homestyle food at the Comfort Café, perched in the center of the Lido Marketplace. Do you like sampling new foods? The Taste Bar serves up non -traditional appetizers every evening. There is an additional fee to dine in the onboard specialty restaurants, but the price is worth the experience. Fahrenheit 555 is an elegant steakhouse with everything cooked to perfection. Cuchina del Capitano offers traditional Italian fare and Ji Ji’s Asian Restaurant, previously reviewed, in the best I’ve found outside of Asia. Want a sample before you commit? Both Cuchina del Capitano and Ji Ji’s Asian Kitchen offer limited, complementary selections during lunch hours. Of note: When I travel with my husband, I’m not looking to socialize. I generally skip the dining room at breakfast because I don’t’ want to make small talk with people I’ll never see again. So you can’t imagine my surprise when we walked into the dining room for breakfast and they asked if we wanted a table for two or wanted to sit with others. Those of you who cruise to meet people can still do that, but for me, I am a happy camper. Carnival gets it!
3. The Entertainment – I was tired of seeing singers and dancers with similar routines night after night. I loathed it to the point where I wouldn’t even attend the evening shows. On the Sunshine, I couldn’t wait for the entertainment to begin! Yes. There are still singers and dancers, but in moderation. On this ship, there are multiple choices when it comes to entertainment and the question isn’t if you will attend – it’s deciding where you will go. There are a variety of comedians who do different shows every night, both in the Punchliner Comedy Club and elsewhere. They do both adult and family oriented shows. There are hypnotists who perform at night, then teach relaxation techniques by day. There are Cirque du Soleil style acrobatics as well as jugglers and ventriloquists. Still haven’t found what you want? Visit the piano bar or dance to the beat of live music in a lounge. If you can’t find something to do, you just aren’t trying.
4. Lots Of Public Space – There’s lots of public space to relax, work out, read or just listen to music. Sports Square is an inviting open air recreation area. While you would expect to find a jogging track and mini golf course, Sports Square also includes a rope course, basketball court, ping pong and foosball tables. While there’s an abundance of public areas, they aren’t as spacious as you might think. Many of the more popular gathering spaces fill up quickly.
5. Adults Only, Please – This is new on the Sunshine, and if you are Traveling With
Wrinkles and without grandchildren in tow, this will appeal to you. Serenity is an adults only spot complete with a pool, sun deck, and whirlpools. Attentive waiters will make sure you have your favorite umbrella beverage while you relax! Best of all, you won’t have to share your special spot with anyone under the age of 21.Follow @DigitalDebbie