Fodor’s Expert Review
With expanded facilities and new bars and restaurants, Carnival Sunshine, formerly introduced as Carnival Destiny in 1996, was relaunched into service in 2013 to sail alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from her year-round homeport of New Orleans. The newly transformed vessel is the first in the Carnival fleet to incorporate all the features the line has recently added on a limited basis to its other ships.Read More
A $155-million transformation turned Carnival Destiny, the first of Carnival’s Destiny-class megaships weighing in at more than 100,000 tons, into Carnival Sunshine. From stem to stern, no part of the ship was left untouched, and she has reentered service as an essentially unique, new vessel. Along with a fresh Caribbean-inspired decor, new restaurants and bars were added in keeping with Carnival’s fleet-wide upgrades.
The first class of Carnival megaships weighing in at more than 100,000 tons, everything on these vessels is in keeping with their size—bold interiors highlighted by nine-deck atriums, 200-foot corkscrew waterslides on the Lido deck, and public areas that often span multiple decks. Carnival Triumph and Carnival Victory are bigger and have more cabins and crew than the original Carnival Destiny, for which the class was named and which was totally refurbished and renamed Carnival Sunshine in 2013.
The variety of indoor and outdoor spaces ranges from relatively small lounges with a nightclub atmosphere to huge showrooms where lavish production shows are staged. Most public rooms open off wide indoor promenades that branch fore and aft from the spectacular atrium.
Expansive pools and sport decks have plenty of room to spread out for sunning and more active pursuits; both ships have been retrofitted with massive poolside 270-square-foot LED screens.
The world’s largest cruise line—and one of the most widely recognized—originated its “Fun Ship” concept in 1972 and has been launching party-packed superliners with signature red funnels ever since. The line’s ever-growing fleet features entertainment and activities designed for passengers of all ages, from game shows and lip sync competitions to twisting waterslides and mini golf. These ships are a reliable choice for families as well as young singles and couples who want a vacation that won’t break the bank.
Nearly all onboard dining options are included in the fare, as are comedy and production shows, children’s programs, and use of state-of-the-art fitness centers. With some of the most comfortable accommodations at sea, large new ships are continuously added to the fleet and rarely deviate from a successful pattern, while older vessels are updated with popular features, such as the poolside BlueIguana Tequila Bar with an adjacent burrito cantina, the Red Frog Rum Bar that also serves Carnival’s own brand of Thirsty Frog Red beer, and Guy’s Burger Joint, created with Food Network star Guy Fieri.
- 13 passenger decks
- 2 dining rooms, buffet, ice cream parlor, pizzeria
- Wi-Fi, safe, refrigerator
- 3 pools (1 indoor), children’s pool
- fitness classes, gym, hot tubs, sauna, spa, steam room
- 7 bars, casino, 3 dance clubs, library, showroom, video game room
- children’s programs
- laundry facilities, laundry service
- Internet terminal
- no-smoking cabins