Just returned from a cruise on Carnival Sunrise out of Charleston. Ports were Nassau and Half Moon Cay. This will be a quick review with few photos because I must have been having too much fun to take any.
We parked at the cruise terminal for $100 for 5 days. Very simple.
My friend and her daughter asked if I wanted to go with them. Initially it was 300+ per person. We had to pay final payment immediately. I was able to match this price with another casino offer “exclusive” and got the price down to $167 pp by calling the casino folks. This gave us $140 pp OBC, plus $50 for 2 of us for casino play OBC. Note to self: when you get an “exclusive” offer written in red letters on the corner, you can only use this once.
Our room was number 9209 on the Lido. I’m usually on Upper or Empress decks, so I was a little afraid that it was going to be very loud because it was just steps away from the main pool and movie screen. It was loud during the day when they did contests, but not bad at night at all. I don’t think that I would do the Lido again, because it just seemed to be a long walk to anything besides the buffet. If I had to choose between aft and forward, I would go with the aft instead of the Forward because it seems everything is back
I was just on this ship with my husband in November, going the same route. Our room was on the Upper deck, mid-level, but our room was really worn. However, this Lido deck room was OK. Our cabin steward “IP” did a great job and I asked him for a million things. Including getting rid of this nasty shower curtain. Ugh.
Packing. Since this is a winter cruise, and it was only going to the Bahamas, I was kind of cold a lot of the time at the beginning and at the end. Because of all the sickness out there, I went ahead and took these individually wrapped wipes.
My cat freaks out every time I get out the suitcases and it appeared this time, she wanted to go with.
Since elegant night no longer serves lobster, I didn’t pack for that and it saved a lot of room on my suitcase. We went to JiJi’s instead.
Plat gift was a plastic luggage tag. 🙄.
I didn’t get strawberries for some reason. Never said anything though. Maybe they no longer do that. 🤷♀️
JiJi’s. I have to give credit to Joe Tolley on YouTube. He did an 8-part review of the Sunshine (very funny) and he said that JiJi’s was the best dinner he ever had. I’ll have to agree. It was delicious. Not crazy about the pork belly thing though. It had a little actual meat, but the rest was fat. Now I know. 😁
I had shrimp stir fry rice and also the kung pow chicken. Excellent.
Red Frog Pub. Took advantage of the happy hours. First day was 12-3 or something. Drinks were half off. Pitchers were half off which means they were $12.
Cherry on Top. I’ve never stepped foot in here. However, I wanted to get my husband a little bit of candy since he is always so accepting of my cruising addiction. So I walk in to see what is available in the self-serve boxes. A woman in her 40’s was standing there reaching into the boxes with her hand and pulling out a few pieces of candy to put in her bag, going to the next box, pulling out a few pieces, etc. At first, I thought “Huh?” I probably should have said something to her, but I did not want to presume that she didn’t know there were scoops available. Maybe she didn’t want to mess with the scoops b/c she only wanted a few pieces of each, who knows. I was going to say something quietly to the salesperson, but then I saw the line of 10 people waiting, and I just left.
The next night I went back and told the lady what I saw and asked her to pull my candy from the back, which she did. She made no mention that she’d toss the candy the woman had contaminated. Carnival, please fix this by either doing away with self-serve or having the kind of dispensers which drop candy into bags when you turn the knob.
Nassau. I was a bit nervous getting off the ship because of what was talked about on the Nassau boards. I’ve been to Nassau many times but was apprehensive this time. However, it seemed no different than any other time. We took off our necklaces though. We just walked around and shopped. In years past, I would hop the bus and go to Melia. Unfortunately, the price has gone up from $50 for a lounge chair to $129 as an all-inclusive.
We were approached by a woman who Immediately started talking about these yarn bracelets that were made by school children, blah, blah, blah, and she tied them around the wrists of both my friend and her daughter and then coerced $10 out of them, after saying she needed $20. I fell for this once in Barbados. I do not allow anyone to come up to me and put on any yarn bracelets or hand me birds or monkeys to hold. I realize that these islands depend on our tourist dollars but this seemed shady to me. I’d rather give money to a street musician or even someone giving me directions.
Half Moon Cay. As usual, HMC was lovely. We were in cabana 10, which is far away from the music and people, but close to the restrooms. Last November when my husband and I bought a cabana, the cooler showed up with melted ice and didn’t get there until 11:00. This time, there was actually a container of ice and everything showed up pretty quickly. I keep forgetting to bring a couple zip-lock bags to get ice from the food tent. When you are there all day, a little ice bucket isn’t enough.
One guy came along selling beer in the morning, but I told him that if he came back that way, I’d get a Bahama mama. He never came back and never saw anyone else selling anything. One thing that kind of made me annoyed was a person playing her rap music blaring in front of our cabana. I felt captive listening to her music. I almost asked her to use ear buds but didn’t feel like a confrontation that day. I really need to download some opera songs so I can play them next time. I know that everyone loves opera and would love to listen to it. 🤔
Casino. Having sailed on this ship twice, I think this casino is the tightest casino I have ever encountered. I just play slots. I don’t like the slots they have on Sunshine. My favorite is the “Quick Hit” machines and these just are awful. They appear to be a new version. I may need to venture over to the tables if I’m throwing away this much money….
I had “drinks on us” immediately in the casino. I really wish they’d let you go to the bar and get a drink or put more servers in the casino. Or maybe put “bar service “ buttons on the machines. Several times I was sitting there for 30 minutes and no server was available. I tipped $2/drink but that seemed to make no difference. I even asked if they could come back in 10 minutes so I could order again (I had a shot). This was a “get away” casino promo and a hot streak promo so there were several people having free drinks. I’m not sure I fault the servers because with all these people having free drinks, it seems the only way they’re guaranteed a tip is to get a drink for someone who doesn’t have free drinks.
Main Dining Room. We had Anytime dining. Service was actually pretty good. Food was really good. I think if you tell the server that you’re trying to catch a show, they do their best to try to accommodate you. For some reason, we were not seated with the same server ever. We had Seaday Brunch a few times and it was great. I had steak and eggs both times. I tried the chia seed pudding both times and it was excellent. I also bought a $5 juice with pineapple, kale, etc., but didn’t care for it.
Here is the breakfast kale salad.
Returning to Charleston was pretty exciting. The ship was rocking quite a bit. Even being on the ninth floor, I didn’t think it was that bad.
Shows. Saw one comedy show. Can’t remember the name, but he wasn’t that great. When my husband and I went in November, that guy was the funniest guy I’ve ever seen on a cruise. Don’t remember his name either. 🙂
Debarkation. We could have gone down with Plats, but that was at 6:30, which meant that we’d have to get up at 5:30 a.m. I could have swung it, but not the two sleepyheads with whom I was traveling. We ended up getting out of the room at 8:00 and hanging out in the Red Frog Pub and played cards, until we left at around 10:00. It was a zoo waiting for a shuttle bus b/c there were so many people, so we hoofed it all the way to the parking lot while pulling our suitcases.
Will I sail Sunshine again? Probably, especially if the price is right. Also, after arriving home, I realized I didn’t get a breakfast burrito or a falafel ☹️ So now I’m wanting those.