My (Almost) First Cruise on Carnival Sunshine, Marseille

Formerly known as the Carnival Destiny, the Carnival Sunshine is part of the fleet owned by Carnival Cruises with a passenger capacity for over 3,000 people. Measuring over 892 ft long and with the potential for more than 1,000 crew, it’s a combination of relaxation, enjoyment and ultimately fun!

The Carnival Destiny went into dry dock in Trieste, Italy in 2013 where it was refitted and renamed Carnival Sunshine. The refit has cost an estimated US$155million – the most expensive refit that has even been undertaken by Carnival.

I’d never been on a cruise ship, so a chance to experience a day on the Carnival Sunshine whilst docked in Marseille was an opportunity not to be missed.

The emphasis on Carnival Sunshine is ultimately, fun. There’s plenty of activity so that passengers can spend their days being kissed by the rays of the sun or using the brilliant WaterWorks waterpark, a combination of slides like the Speedway Splash. The SportSquare is a great addition for those looking for a workout – basketball, a jogging track, football or for the strategic thinkers, a game of giant chess.

The SkyCourse only adds to the fun element with adventure in the air via Carnival’s very own high wire assault course. If, like me, you’re wary of heights then take reassurance in the fact that you’re constantly attached to a wire and try to avoid gazing out over the sea (as I did) which makes the height seem far more intimidating.

The dining options are widely varied from Guy’s Burger Joint to BlueIguana Cantina, Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse and the new Ji Ji Asian Kitchen. There’s also plenty of bars on the ship like RedFrog Pub, BlueIguana Tequila Bar, EA SPORTS Bar and Alchemy Bar as well as the classic Havana Bar. There’s no need to limit yourself to the drinks menu either; I fancied a cocktail that wasn’t on the menu yet the bar staff wasted no time in whipping up an alternative that was actually, far better than I had described.

In addition to the SkyCourse, WaterWorks and numerous restaurants, the ship also boasts the largest (to date) Serenity area. This is an adult only area that features everything to create the perfect tranquility for passengers on the trip. There are Whirlpools, a beauty and spa area and numerous lounge areas dedicated to over-21’s.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect for the typical target audience onboard. Honestly, I’d always assumed that cruises attract an older demographic and wouldn’t appeal to a traveller like myself but I was wrong. I noticed that visitors on the Carnival Sunshine were a mix of couples (of all ages) and families, widely social and price-conscious cruisers looking for organised fun. I chatted to a few passengers and they spoke highly of their experience. The relentless emphasis is on fun at all times – the happy and smiley environment is bound to be welcomed by all.

Have you been on the Carnival Sunshine or any ships within the group? I’m keen to try out an actual cruise now, I’d love your suggestions.

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