You know from the moment you step aboard the Carnival Sunshine that it’s going to be a truly different experience. The $155 million transformation from Destiny to Sunshine brought the ship to what has been dubbed, Carnival 2.0 – the future of the entire fleet.
This is not your father’s Carnival. There’s nothing loud or garish about this ship. The Sunshine is classy. There are dark woods and warm tones throughout with splashes of color. Public spaces are more intimate. At just over 3,000 passenger capacity, the ship isn’t bloated with so many passengers that you can’t get what you want, when you want. And talk about accommodating! Have a problem with anything and there’s someone around to solve it.
Because I’m doing a lot of writing and photography on the ship, it’s not unusual for me to bring along a laptop or a camera. For that, I prefer not to be seated at dinner with other passengers. My table was a little too open and on the first night of our cruise, the couple seated next to us talked non-stop. I asked the Maître d’ if he had something a little more private. Now we have a booth for two. He didn’t do it because he knew I was writing about the ship – he did it to make a passenger happy and that gesture went a long way with me and other passengers who were less than enamored with their tablemates. There are Carnival team members running around everywhere in red shirts. If you have a question on anything, they are there to help.
Even the onboard entertainment has evolved. The main lounge is smaller, much more theater like than on previous ships. And the Las Vegas style dancing is all but gone. This ship has six different comedians aboard, all performing at the Punchline Comedy Club as well as acts like jugglers and singers performing in the main lounge.
After we boarded in Barcelona, Flamenco dancers were brought onboard to perform for passengers. These were real Flamenco dancers, not ship talent.
Dining options have changed as well. There are more specialty restaurants and the main dining menus offer more choices. Presentation is on par with say, Holland America, a line known for its sumptuous food and artsy presentations.
This is a 16 night cruise, so there is a much older clientele onboard and with the exception of 50 children, we are all, Cruising With Wrinkles. There are the same programs for children that Carnival is known for and for those who would rather not be bothered by the little ones, there is a Serenity area with a pool, cabanas and lounge chairs restricted to those 21 and older. Your onboard experience can be as active or sedate as you like.
In the coming days, I will provide a wrap up of my days onboard and on land.
Stay tuned for more from the Carnival Sunshine!Follow @DigitalDebbie