On our last cruise, when we were onboard the Vista, we couldn’t get enough sleep. We were up early in the morning almost every day and we lamented about the early wakeups.
But on this Sunshine cruise, we were getting too much sleep. So much so that we were waking up ahead of our alarms, often before 7:30 am. When we were up early on this day, we thought we’d grab a quick breakfast and snag some primo deck seats.
We headed upstairs to deck 11 to scope out the situation by the Serenity pool and were surprised that there weren’t any loungers available. Not just three loungers together. There wasn’t a single unclaimed lounger. We went up to deck 12 and 14 and found the same situation. And then down to deck 10. Same thing. It was 8:30 in the morning, and there wasn’t a single open lounge chair.
Chair hogs were a real issue on this cruise, and it’s an issue the Sunshine is particularly vulnerable to – when the Sunshine underwent its refurbishment as it transitioned from the Carnival Destiny, public spaces were removed for more cabins and revenue generating spaces. What this meant is that more cabins were created to hold more people as they decreased the passenger to space ratio. The Sunshine has one main pool. There is another smaller pool up on the Serenity deck and it really is quite lovely, but it’s impossible to get a lounger or a chair up there without getting outside at dawn, and we were on a Caribbean cruise. There’s no reason to get up that early on a Caribbean cruise – not even for a lounge chair on a sea day.
The sun moved into overcast and we headed inside to grab some made to order omelets at the Lido Marketplace for breakfast. The Lido Marketplace was mostly empty, so it stands to figure that many of the people who had gone outside to save loungers had returned to their cabins.
We didn’t care to wait for pool security to remove the belongings from the saved chairs (they were putting stickers marked with the time to mark saved chairs and removing belongings to free the chairs after 40 minutes). Instead, we headed downstairs to the deck 3 promenade, our favorite multi-functional space that got enough sunlight for us to pull up some loungers and watch the water.
Hours passed before we left. Literal hours. The water is mesmerizing and brings me so much peace that I lost all sense of time and just about everything else sitting there. And the wifi signal down there was a solid 3/5, which is about as good as it got all cruise.
Stephanie went back to the room first and I followed an hour or so later. Mom had ordered some room service for lunch and Stephanie and I headed upstairs to grab some stir fry before the lunch service shut down. The stir fry bar is one of our favorite lunch options, with a million possibilities to serve any possible mood. Carbs and spicy? They’ve got you. Veggies and mild? They’ve got it covered.
We did more walking around after lunch, ultimately heading back to the room to watch a movie before going out for tea a few hours later. Afternoon tea service on the Sunshine was an absolute gem and between the enhanced offerings and the A+ staff constantly exceeding our expectations, there wasn’t much we were wanting for.
Sea Day #3 meant Elegant Evening #2, and we spent most of the late afternoon getting ready. I know formal nights are a hot button topic sometimes – some people like getting all fancied up and others would prefer to leave their formal wear at home. I side with the former, if for no other reason than I work for a dot com, which means more often than not, I’m wearing leggings and oversized tunics and it’s fun to have an occasion to get dressed up for.
Elegant Evenings also mean American Feast menus, linens on the tables and those decorative silver shells (which, if you’ve ever wondered, you cannot hear the ocean through). Dinner was fantastic, not only in our meal, but in our company. We were seated near the sweetest elderly couple and the dining staff absolutely fawned over them, bringing out new things for them to try and making sure they were well taken care of.
The entertainment for the evening was a Playlist Production performance of Studio VIP, which we’ve seen more times than I can count, but was high energy fun and super entertaining nonetheless.
When the disco party left the lounge for the lobby, we headed back to the room to switch out of our formalwear and catch up on some emails. We had a few hours to kill before the midnight feature (Bad Moms) at the Dive In.
Funny movie, piping hot pizza and the warm Caribbean breeze? It doesn’t end much better than that.