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Carnival Sunshine Cruise Ship

Updated on May 4, 2015
Carnival Sunshine
Carnival Sunshine | Source

Cruise Terminology

This article is part of a series showcasing cruise ships on the seven seas. Before we begin, we'll do a quick overview of cruise terms - to help you better understand the maritime terms which come with describing cruise ships.

Gross Tonnage: Gross tonnage is the standard measurement of size of ship in the cruise industry. Despite the sound of its meaning, a gross tonnage is actually a measure of interior volume of space onboard, rather than actual ship weight. 1 gross ton is equal to 100 cubic feet of interior volume.

Knots: A knot is the standard speed measurement of a cruise ship, or any maritime vessel for that matter. One knot is equal to one nautical mile per hour (a nautical mile being 6076 feet, rather than 5280 for land miles) 1 knot is roughly equivalent to 1.15 mph.

Beam: The width of the ship, measured in feet or meters.

Draft: The depth of the ship below the waterline. If diving underneath a vessel, this is how deep you would need to dive to reach the keel (bottom) of the vessel.

Guest Capacity (Double Occupancy) - Measured in terms of 2 guests per stateroom. Maximum capacity is a different measurement which is a function of the exact lifeboat capacity onboard. I.e., a cruise ship is not permitted to sail with a full guest and crew count which exceeds the lifeboat spaces available.

Serenity Retreat
Serenity Retreat | Source

Carnival Sunshine Statistics

Gross Tonnage: 103,000

Guest Capacity: 3,006

Length: 893 ft

Beam: 116 ft

Crew: 1,150

Year Built: 1996 (Rebuilt 2013)

Shipyard: Fincantieri, Monfalcone, Italy

Ship Class: Destiny Class

Cost: $409 Million (Plus $155 Million Makeover) USD

Ever been Onboard a Carnival Ship?

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Lido Buffet
Lido Buffet | Source

Onboard Theme

The Carnival Sunshine used to be the Carnival Destiny. In 2013, the ship came out of a major dry-dock during which the ship was gutted and rebuilt, coming with a new name and theme. All of Carnival's ships have a unique theme in each public space, designed around the central concept of the vessel. Though vessels built in the same ship class have similar deck plans, no two ships in the Carnival fleet have the same interior design.

The Carnival Sunshine is one of the few ships to have been designed without the talent of Joe Farcus (though its original predecessor - the Carnival Destiny was entirely designed by Farcus). With the new style comes a new theme, similar yet different to the Carnival Breeze. It is a modern elegance for Carnival. As the name would inform - the Carnival Sunshine's theme is - well, Sunshine.

The ship's public spaces are named and themed after ideas relating to the sun - such as the Sunshine atrium - an 8 deck high artery of the ship complete with four glass elevators and motifs depicting the sun. Onboard, you'll also find the sunshine casino and liquid lounge - the main theater onboard. The ship's main dining room is named the sunrise dining room, while the previous midship dining room (onboard the destiny) has been converted into several distinct spaces, such as the library bar and fahrenheit 555 steakhouse. Each space onboard is unique and offers a new surprise which really makes exploring the ship a lot of fun.

Sunshine Atrium
Sunshine Atrium | Source


Stateroom categories range from interior (no windows, though cozy), to ocean view, verandah (balcony) and of course, suites. There are many categories to choose from. Keep in mind, when booking you can either have the ship select the room for you, or you can do it yourself. The ship will often provide free upgraded categories (from my experience) if you let them choose - which is a nice bonus.

However, if you do want to select, you'd want to shoot for a room close to one of the major elevator banks and ideally low and center if you are prone to motion sickness and would like the least vibration. Any room however will suit you well as guest rooms are not located in the very noisy and heavy motion areas. That's reserved for the crew!

Sailing Onboard

This industry is based heavily on seasonality. That is, if you are looking for the lowest-priced cruises, you'll want to shoot for an off-peak voyage. (Generally Fall and Winter Sailings) If your travel schedule is limited and you don't mind paying the extra price tag, sailing during peak times is great. (Summer, Spring Break and Major Holidays)

Keep in mind the cruise fare you pay generally determines the stature of your fellow guests. Pricey cruise? Expect elegant travelers. Cheap cruise? Expect college students and retirees. Of course every sailing does have a good mix and you can always find fellow cruisers with similar tastes in mind, given the number of guests sailing onboard.

Looking for the deck plans? Check out this official page from Carnival

If you are looking for current pricing and availability for a cruise, Carnival's site offers up the latest information at Keep in mind the ships do relocate often so any specific itinerary for this ship will change with time.

Bon Voyage!

If you've sailed onboard, how would you rate your experience?

Cast your vote for Carnival Sunshine


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