Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Carnival Sunshine 2014 Day 12, 13, 14,15, and 16

This is the last post about the rest of our cruise on the Carnival Sunshine.

Day 12 (Curacao): Here is DSCF0288the link to the pictures!
We got off the ship in the morning and wandered around the town. First we crossed the floating bridge and walked around the historic buildings and the floating market. It was pretty hot outside already but there was a little breeze. It was a lot of fun crossing the floating bridge and staying on it while it opened to let the boats through. Then we went to Rif Fort Village and found a bar to have a couple of Coronitas (7 oz. Coronas) that were 2 for $6. After that we headed towards Starbucks to meet Karin and Joseph. They took us to this Steak, Ribs, and Seafood place on the upper level of the fort where we enjoyed lunch. We had seafood soup and crab salad. After lunch we went to Starbucks to enjoy coffee and visit until we had to return to the ship. It started raining a little while we were there but we were under a giant umbrella and enjoyed our visit.

We got back on the ship by 3 and went to the VIFP reception for gold, platinum, and diamond members. We were very disappointed in the reception and could tell it wasn’t very important for the Captain. One of the perks for diamond members is to take their picture with the Captain but the Captain didn’t show up because he had to be on the bridge to take us out of the port. Then why plan this reception at this time and day when the next day is a sea day and could be done then?

Day 13 (At Sea): Here is the link to some pictures!
DSCF0294We had a quiet day at sea and didn’t get to walk because the winds were blowing 45 mph. Instead we sat at breakfast with a wonderful couple from Crystal City, FL (Walt and Maggie). Walt is a computer geek like I am and we had a wonderful talk about Apple computers and has me convinced that my next laptop will be an Apple. We had such a great time talking with them that we sat there until the dining room closed at 10am and moved to the Lido deck to talk some more. We stayed and talked until noon when we decided to meet for lunch. Then we all had lunch in the dining room and stayed there until they closed the dining room at 1:30. Then we ended up sitting in the Ocean Plaza on deck 5 and talking some more. In the afternoon we took a little nap. At 5pm the Captain stopped the ship and turned it around to look for a small boat that needed to be rescued. After an hour long search, the coast guard had found the boat and we were back on our way. Before dinner we went to the show featuring Will Cotton who walked on glass, hammered a huge nail up his nose and then swallowed 2 swords. Fascinating is all that I can say! Dinner was pleasant and after dinner we went to the comedy show to see Mark Simmons who was quite funny.

Day 14 (Grand Turk): Here is the link to some pictures!
DSCF0303We went to the beach on Grand Turk and I was able to try out my new underwater camera that I bought in June. I like how the pictures came out underwater! It was hot out so we did some snorkeling at the beach right near the ship. The lounge chairs were on the beach and didn’t cost anything. After the beach we came back to the ship for lunch, a shower, and a nap. In the evening we went to the show, dinner, and then the comedy show. It was a nice day!

Day 15 (At Sea):
We headed back to Florida and spent the day at sea. We went to brunch in the dining room and then walked on the track. In the afternoon we packed our clothes. Dinner was nice but I am ready to get off the ship and eat some normal (non-rich) food. Walt and Maggie came by our dinner table and invited us to meet them after dinner. We enjoyed visiting in the Ocean Plaza lounge.

Day 16 (Debarkation):
We were up by 6 and had breakfast in the dining room at 6:30. Then we went to the Limelight Lounge around 7:30 to get priority debarkation. Around 8am, they started calling self assist passengers and then Zones 1-3 to begin getting off the ship. When we left the terminal we were told to go to the transportation desk where I gave the guy our voucher and he put us on a shuttle immediately. By 9:30, we were in our car at the Hampton Inn.'

This was our least favorite ship and will probably not sail on it again. I thought the food and the service just wasn't up to par with past cruises. We also didn't like the layout of the ship and the way it was redesigned. Not all change is a good thing and I hope that the company doesn't do this to more of their ships because that will really impact our decision making when booking cruises.

On the Lido deck, the ice machines, drink machines, and even the food bar ran out of items frequently. Seating was a premium and hard to get in all public areas especially the Lido deck and the theater.

The sports deck on this ship is a great asset that was enjoyed by a lot of people of all ages. There was variety activities available for everyone.

We really are thankful for Anthony (our personal cruise consultant with Carnival) who was able to get us the same cabin for both weeks so we didn't have to pack and move after the first week. That made staying on the ship much easier and more enjoyable.

Things I Learned or Wish Others Learned:
1. There are more people in the county that I live in than there are residents in Curacao.
2. 80% of the people who live in Curacao are Dutch citizens.
3. There are more than 40 different nationalities that live in Curacao.
4. When eating with other people in the dining room, you should wait until everyone has been served their food before you start eating. If you are the last one waiting to be served and you know it may be a little while before you get your food, it would be nice if you encourage others to eat their food while it is still hot.
5. If people are in line, ask someone nicely what the line is for. Don't just barge up in front of the line and act like you are more important than all the people who showed up before you and are waiting patiently.
6. Not all cruises are the same and some ships are just better than others.

Original photos by Pat Hensley

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