When you travel on Carnival Sunshine, it’s not the destination that matters so much as the journey. This beautiful cruise ship offers plenty of fun in the sun, regardless of where you’re sailing, whether it’s the Bahamas, Bermuda or anywhere in the Caribbean.
Previously Carnival Destiny, the ship was originally built in 1996, but was relaunched in 2013 as the new Carnival Sunshine, following a $155 million transformation and makeover. The results are spectacular to say the least! With brand new offerings (and additional new ones added all the time), you can expect nothing but the best from this Carnival ship.
Whether you’re relatively unfamiliar to cruising or you’re an old pro, if you’re looking for the best Caribbean cruise ship for your family, here’s everything you need to know and consider about Carnival Sunshine.
1. Spacious Staterooms
This cruise ship holds, on average, about 3,000 passengers, but it’s hardly crowded. The more than 1,500 staterooms ensure that you have all the space you need to spread out and enjoy a little bit of privacy.
You can check for a cruise cabin closet organizer right here.
Non-suite rooms are up to 280 square feet, and the majority come with all the amenities you need — a modern entertainment center, minibar and, of course, a great view.
2. Beautiful Suites
If you’re looking to splurge a bit on your cruising accommodations (though, keep in mind, with as much to do as this ship offers, you likely won’t find yourself spending that much time in the room), Carnival Sunshine offers you more than 50 suites to choose from.
Ocean Suites are your most basic suite option and these come with a little added space and amenities, such as a whirlpool tub in the bathroom, a sitting area with a sofa (some convert into beds for extra guests) and coffee table, desk and ottoman and walk-in dressing area with a vanity table.
You’ll also get your own beautiful balcony. There are additionally Ocean Suites that are considered “spa suites,” which means you get access to the ship’s Cloud 9 Spa.
Grand Suites are one level up and come with even more space and a few nice touches, like floor-to-ceiling windows in the living area for enjoying a breathtaking view with your morning coffee, and extra sleeping space, in case you’re cruising with the entire family.
Lastly, there are the Captain’s Suites. There are only two Captain’s Suites on the Carnival Sunshine and they are each truly spectacular. The living areas alone are larger than some of the ship’s staterooms, with great views from every angle. A large bedroom rivals what you’d find in any luxury hotel and the private balcony is your own personal oasis.
3. Easy Entertainment
You’ll never be bored on Carnival Sunshine. While the Carnival brand doesn’t have some of the bigger entertainment acts that you might find on other lines, you’ll still find a lot of the classic cruising fun that you may remember from the heyday of cruising. Think over-the-top musical performances that are often more fun to watch than they are to listen to. Think family fun like audience-involved game shows.
There’s even a comedy club that offers both PG and adults-only comedy just about every night. There are acts and performances for every taste, whether you like something a little more low-key (bingo, anyone?), or more exciting.
4. Lots of Watering Holes
Whatever happens to be your drink of choice, Carnival Sunshine has you covered.
There’s RedFrog Pub, the Caribbean-style bar which offers lots of the same drinks you might find when you disembark in some of the ship’s tropical destinations. It also serves up the cruise line’s own beer, ThirstyFrog Red. This is additionally the spot to get your fill of some classic pub games. Try table shuffleboard and beer pong tournaments. If you win the tournament, you get a free beer!
Under the same RedFrog name, there’s an additional rum bar out by the main pool deck.
RedFrog’s sister bar is BlueIguana, which specializes in tequila. All your Caribbean spirits are there for the taking!
If you prefer your drink to come with a little high class, versus a fun little umbrella, maybe you’d like the Piano Bar. Don’t worry — while you will enjoy the twinkling tunes of professional piano performances, there’s plenty of fun to be had here, too. Comedians regularly make an appearance and crowd sing-alongs aren’t uncommon.
Need to get away from the crowds and kids for a quiet respite? The Library Bar is sound-proofed, so you get to relax while you sample various wines.
There’s even a self-serve wine dispenser, so you can try all your options. You can, just fyi, also check out books here, including the popular picks off the most recent bestseller list and some titles that are most likely to appeal to the ship’s clientele.
5. Adults-Only Spaces
Yes, it is possible to have a little adults-only fun when you travel aboard the Carnival Sunshine. The best place to find some relaxation with just the adult crowd is Serenity, the adults-only sun deck.
It just so happens that the Serenity sun deck on Carnival Sunshine is the largest out of any Carnival ship. There are three decks, so plenty of space, at the front of the ship, with comfy loungers to soak up some sun and cabanas if you need to stay in the shade.
The water features include a beautiful waterfall, plunge pool and some hot tubs. (Best yet, there’s no extra cost to get into this exclusive area of the ship.)
Other adult-friendly spaces on Carnival Sunshine include the casino, with plenty of fun gambling options. There are also adult seminars and classes, so you can pick up a new skill while at sea, whether that be watermelon carving or just learning how to fold towels into cute shapes.
6. All the Dining You Could Need
If it’s good food you’re after, then this ship delivers. The dining on Carnival Sunshine is top-notch and there are plenty of options to choose from.
The ship’s premium steakhouse serves up a classic steakhouse menu filled with succulent options. Servers will bring out your chosen entree raw before cooking it up, so you really get to know your meal. Make your reservation asap, as if you dine at the restaurant on the first day of your cruise, you’ll receive a free bottle of wine (and what’s not to love about that?).
Also Read: Free Carnival Cruise Dining Options
There are lots of options for breakfast. However, most of your fellow cruisers will be headed to Lido Marketplace. You can join them if you’re looking for an easy spread, but if you want to get some peace and quiet with your eggs and bacon, you can also order breakfast at some of the bars on board, including Havana Bar and BlueIguana Cantina.
For a trip to Flavor Town, head nowhere other than Guy’s Burger Joint. This celebrity chef-created dining option serves casual lunch items like mouth-watering burgers and hand-cut fries. There’s even a toppings bar, so you can make your burger anyway you like.
International dining is certainly an option on this ship and you’ll definitely find more than Caribbean flavors in these waters. Try Italian cuisine at Cucina del Capitano, with its Tuscan villa feel and family atmosphere. Indulge in all sorts of Asian options at JiJi Asian Kitchen, for authentic flavors and traditions.
For the kids, the Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast is a can’t-miss. Sam I Am makes a visit and the menu items are Seuss-approved.
Plus, you’ll find loads of little dining opportunities throughout your stay, with vendors serving up snacks at all times of the day, from ice cream cones to sushi. Of course, 24-hour room service is also available.
Shop to your heart’s content! Carnival Sunshine shops offer a little bit of everything, so you can indulge your retail addiction no matter your budget.
On Decks 4 and 5, you can find boutiques selling everything from clothes to duty-free cigarettes. There’s a candy and sweet shop, souvenir shops, a florist — even tux rentals! You might even be able to catch an art auction during your cruise.
8. Spas and Fitness
There’s no need to worry about your fitness regimen or your health goals. Carnival Sunshine’s spa and fitness facilities ensure you stay in tip-top shape.
Cloud 9 Spa is open until nearly midnight every day and it has one of the biggest spa footprints among the entire Carnival line. There are 15 treatment rooms, a sauna, steam room, tropical shower and heated stone loungers with views of the ocean.
You can get a variety of treatments that will leave you feeling rejuvenated and ready to go, whether you’re in dire need of a massage, or some Botox. Couples treatments are available, as are treatments for teens.
The fitness center is located next door and offers all the equipment you could need to work off the extra calories you’re sure to be consuming when taking advantage of all of Carnival Sunshine’s dining options. In addition to the equipment available, you can sign up for great classes, ranging from yoga to spinning.
9. Adventure Activities
Since Carnival brands itself as a family-friendly cruise line, you’ll find loads for the family to enjoy as a team and this includes lots of adventure activities and other things to keep everyone in your party having a great time.
WaterWorks is perfect for family fun in the sun, with its dozens of interactive water features, five slides and more. There’s even a 47-foot-tall slide, which is one of the longest Carnival offers. The ship also has the only Speedway Splash in the fleet, a set of dueling water slides so swimmers can compete. A pro tip? Save this activity for one of the port days, so you can avoid long lines.
For when you’d rather stay dry, SportSquare has a ropes course, shuffleboard, corn hole, miniature golf, a basketball court and lots of table games like Foosball and billiards. SportSquare is open 24 hours a day and even has a hot dog stand.
Also, open all day, every day is the Warehouse Arcade, with tons of new and classic arcade games that everyone can enjoy together.
Want to kick back and relax while still keeping the kids close by? Take them to a Dive-In Movie, where you can munch on popcorn while lounging poolside.
Of course, there are plenty of things for kids to do on Carnival Sunshine without having mom or dad in tow.
Camp Carnival has been recently renovated, garnering high praise. Camp Carnival is perfect for those ages 2 to 11 and kids are split into three groups. Toddlers enjoy their own outdoor space and lots of toys and games.
For those just a little bit older, there are some more advanced activities, a media center and video games. For the oldest kids, there are lots of fun group activities to take advantage of, like scavenger hunts and swim trips.
There are educational opportunities for kids as well, where they can take classes in everything from art to geography.
Babysitting services are available until later in the evening and there are theme parties available for the older kids running as late as midnight.
But the fun isn’t reserved for just the under-11 group. Preteens and teens get their own amenities. Circle C caters to 12- to 14-year-olds, while Club O2 is for the 15- to 17-year-olds. There are DJ booths, video games, a soda bar, movies, contests and more.
Also Read: 21 Reasons to Cruise on Carnival Horizon
Ready to Go?
Have we convinced you yet that Carnival Sunshine offers the best family (and adults-only) fun on the high seas? Try out this ship on one of the upcoming sailings before they book up.
You might just become as hooked on cruising as we are! If these 10 reasons to cruise on Carnival Sunshine have anything to prove, it’s that cruising is well worth the try.