My parents have just booked on Carnival Sunshine, formerly the Carnival Destiny, and when built the worlds largest cruise ship and the first passenger ship to exceed 100,000 GRT. The ship has had a significant refurbishment and will be cruising the Mediterranean.
They took advantage of the Carnival sale, and managed to get a great deal, they had struggled to find a cruise and almost booked on MSC out of Copenhagen, around the Baltic, but with a 12 year old little sister and my parents hoping to see the sun it was abandoned for 10 days in Croatia or Portugal.
However the same problem just kept arising, ‘What about the night time?’ No hotel on earth beats the entertainment on a cruise, and having done Ocean Village, Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas they felt they had been spoilt and going to a land based resort with a karaoke singer was not their idea of a good nights entertainment. With the Carnival sale, the 12 day cruise beat both of these options hands down.
When Carnival Destiny entered service in 1996 it was the largest ship in the world, confirming Carnivals position as the worlds most successful cruise line, now, 17 years later this transformation to Carnival Sunshine has refreshed and modernised the ship bringing many features found on newer vessels onboard such as Guys Burger Joint and the Waterworks Waterpark. Although the name Sunshine does make me and my mum cringe, what was wrong with Destiny.
The traditional ‘entertainment architecture’ for which Carnival is synonymous is not to everyone’s taste, but the refined and refreshed Carnival Sunshine is much more contemporary and resort like than in your face Vegas style. The new look has a much more refined feel and this is what won my mum over.
Watching the video above my sisters eyes lit up at the Waterpark which in the sun of the Mediterranean she will absolutely love, and Carnival certainly beat Royal Caribbean for the water park. My parents are also really happy with the serenity area of the ship to just lay back and enjoy their holiday.
Okay that all sounds brilliant so why is my mum scared, well it’s the word fun, from their adverts to the slogan Carnival is all about fun. But let’s face it from years of fun being Pontins & Bultins Brits are now scared of the word fun. And that’s what’s scared my mum, she is scared of the Ship being a floating Butlins, the physical product, with the restaurants, waterpark, atrium all looks Brilliant, but my mum is still worried about how it’s going to be carried out. Carnival is still a newcomer to the UK despite being the Worlds Largest Cruise Line so they are unsure what to expect, and they are struggling as to what restaurants you need to pay extra for… Tips for onboard activities… Or indeed any tips, suggestions or ideas for the ports, your comments are welcome below.
The new procedures and safety enhancements following the issues onboard Carnival Splendor and Triumph has actually left my parents feeling okay and confident about the ship. You can read about them here: Carnival News Article. However the first cruise of Carnival Sunshine has reportedly been dogged by problems but this will no doubt be sorted very quickly and is common among ships who have been in dry dock, even the QE2 famously had these problems.
The cruise departs on 18th August and goes around the Med to Monaco, Florence & Pisa, Rome, Naples, Sicily, Venice and Dubrovnik, the two main destinations that my parents wanted to see, my sister doesn’t really care about the destinations, who needs to when the ship has a Waterpark!
The ship is sailing from Barcelona, and they are flying in the day before but staying overnight in the city, I’m joining them for the part as we are going to Los Caracoles a brilliant restaurant just off the Ramblas which we have all been to individually but not together. Then I will be flying back home and to work as they set sail. This cruise was my recommendation and I think they will love it, and at a great price too.
Have you been on done this cruise, or been on Carnival Sunshine? Let me know your experiences. Comment below, or on twitter and Facebook.