Carnival Sunshine in Monaco
Carnival Sunshine in Monaco / Carnival Cruise Line / Andy Newman
1 of 16
WaterWorks / Carnival Cruise Line / Andy Newman
2 of 16
Carnival Sunshine
Carnival Sunshine / Kristen Boatright
3 of 16
Carnival's Guy's Burger Joint
Carnival's Guy's Burger Joint / Carnival Cruise Line
4 of 16
Cheeseburger and fries from Guy's Burger Joint
Cheeseburger and fries from Guy's Burger Joint / Kristen Boatright
5 of 16
BlueIguana Cantina on Carnival Sunshine
BlueIguana Cantina on Carnival Sunshine / Kristen Boatright
6 of 16
Serenity / Kristen Boatright
7 of 16
Atrium / Kristen Boatright
8 of 16
Glass Elevators in the Atrium
Glass Elevators in the Atrium / Carnival Cruise Line / Andy Newman
9 of 16
Balcony Stateroom
Balcony Stateroom / Kristen Boatright
10 of 16
Cloud 9 Spa Balcony Stateroom
Cloud 9 Spa Balcony Stateroom / Carnival Cruise Line / Andy Newman
11 of 16
Shakes at JavaBlue's Shake Spot on Carnival Sunshine
Shakes at JavaBlue's Shake Spot on Carnival Sunshine / Carnival Cruise Line / Andy Newman
12 of 16
Red Frog Pub
Red Frog Pub / Kristen Boatright
13 of 16
Ji Ji Asian Kitchen
Ji Ji Asian Kitchen / Carnival Cruise Line / Andy Newman
14 of 16
Punchliner Comedy Club
Punchliner Comedy Club / Carnival Cruise Line / Andy Newman
15 of 16
Hasbro Connect 4 Basketball
Hasbro Connect 4 Basketball / Kristen Boatright
16 of 16

Carnival Sunshine

Our Ship Review
Carnival Cruise Line
Cruise Line
Deal Expert / Travel Blogger

This ship was built in 1996 as Carnival Destiny, but a major overhaul in 2013 made this nearly 20-year-old vessel shiny once more. If you sailed before the renovations, you probably won’t even recognize her — the line basically sawed the ship in half and revamped it. Gone are the loud, Vegas-style designs, which have been replaced with a more modern look and feel. 

Best of all, Carnival Sunshine has the line’s food upgrades. On older ships, the buffets feel tired, we suspect the pizza is frozen, and the burgers at the grill are clearly preformed frozen patties. That’s not true on this ship, where the burgers at Guy's Burger Joint are ground fresh daily and the fish tacos and tortilla chips are fried before your eyes at BlueIguana Cantina. The revamped buffet also has a seriously good pizza spot, complete with a brick-lined oven, hand-torn basil, and sliced-to-order prosciutto. You’ll wait a little longer for your custom pie, but it’s so worth it.

What We Love

Casual Dining Got a Big Upgrade: Look for some of the best burgers at sea at Guy’s Burger Joint, and easily the best casual Mexican fare on any ship (at any price point) at BlueIguana Cantina, where you can dress your tacos, burritos, and nachos with sliced radishes, lime wedges, and salsa from the toppings bar. Best of all, BlueIguana serves awesome breakfast burritos in the morning, too. 

Steakhouse: This classic steakhouse has such polished service and elegant plating, you may think you’ve boarded a luxury ship instead of a budget-friendly one. (Plus, the upcharge is a meager $35 per person.) Look for traditional steakhouse favorites, from lobster bisque laced with cognac to strip steaks, rib eyes, and filet mignons as well as proper sides such as creamed spinach and giant baked potatoes with all the fixings. End your meal with — what else? — a giant slab of cheesecake.

The Comedy Club: The evening starts with family-friendly comedy acts, and ends with a truly "blue" (read: raunchy but hilarious) late night set. Carnival has an ingenious system of moving comedians between ships in the Caribbean every few days, so you get to see a variety of entertainers. 

Best Known For

Seuss at Sea: The fun Dr. Seuss-themed character breakfast on sea days includes visits from Thing 1 and Thing 2, plus — you guessed it — green eggs and ham and Cat in the Hat-inspired stacks of red velvet pancakes.

Serenity Lounge: This adults-only retreat gives grown-ups a quiet space to relax on upgraded wicker lounge chairs with cushy padding. The best part: the silence, a welcome change from the DJ-fueled main pool scene. 

Skybox Sports Bar: This boisterous space — full of giant screens and comfy red bar stools — has a continuous ticker of scores, drawing a large crowd during peak football, baseball, and basketball seasons. 

Waterslides: These big colorful slides are a big draw for tweens and teens on hot Caribbean sailings, when the plunge at the end may just be the "coolest" experience on board. 

Who It's Best For

Anyone on a Budget: Carnival Sunshine serves families, retirees, and couples equally well.

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

Cabins Don’t Have Bells and Whistles: Staterooms feel less updated than the public spaces and don’t have any of the cool new features you would expect to find on newer ships.

Sherri Eisenberg
Deal Expert / Travel Blogger