Since I’m writing these posts a day behind, I’m actually in day eight of my cruise. And what a sad day it is because I don’t want to leave. I’ll be posting my final post on day eight and debarkation when I get home on Monday. But for now, here are a few of my pluses and minuses on the Carnival Sunshine.
My least favorite part of Carnival Sunshine is the horribly slow internet. It probably won’t bother most people, but since I am blogging from the ship, it’s taking about two hours of my day away from me because of the very slow loading of the internet. It took almost 15 minutes just to load my web host. And also, I’m not fond of the offerings in the Marketplace Buffet. The food choices are very limited. You also have Guys Burgers, Cuban, Mongolian Wok, Mexican, and Italian to choose from in different areas though. I also don’t like the chemical smell that we’ve had on deck one. It has gotten better later in the cruise. Also, the shower because I can’t keep the water inside and off the floor.
My favorite part of Carnival Sunshine is definitely the crew. They’ve all been so nice, and many have taken the time to learn my name. Be sure to get to know some of the crew, you’ll be glad that you did. I also have enjoyed the entertainment. Something new every night, and they’re all good. The food is very good, and I’ve eaten way too much of it. And I can’t forget Mikey, the Cruise Director. Wish I had half his energy. He’s great!
The ship hasn’t had any technical problems that I’m aware of, except that the computers did go down for a short while on day seven. Other than that I’ve seen nothing. The ship has sailed smoothly. It’s had the normal rolling motion, but not the shudders that I’ve felt on some other ships.
Day seven was another port day. We were scheduled to be in Grand Turk at 8:00 am. We got up early, ran to the Marketplace buffet, and got breakfast. The buffet was more crowded than usual because everyone wanted to get to port, but there were still seats in the Havana bar, JiJi’s restaurant area. This is our favorite place to sit because it’s so much more peaceful. I’d definitely recommend it.
We had thought that we may rent a golf cart in Grand Turk. We’ve been there four times and have never done more than shop and check out the beach. I had wanted to check out Jack’s Shack and meet Topher the dog also. We ended up paying $25 each for a local town tour. This tour was on a tram, not the one on the train. The name of the tour group was Island Trams, and our guide was Tracy. I’d highly recommend them, it was a great tour. You buy your ticket on the beach to the left as you come down the pier. You’ll find them under the yellow umbrella.
Be warned, you have to walk what seemed like half a mile to get to the tram. They’re not allowed to come onto the cruise port property. We were pretty confused on where to go, they had no one guiding us. But we finally found it and got on the tram. Tracy passed out water bottles but somehow managed to miss us each time. I was thankful that we had our own water. It was incredibly hot outside.
All in all it was a good tour. I wasn’t aware that Grand Turk had donkeys wandering all over the island. We also saw horses roaming free. Tracy gave us the details of the island as he drove. A lot of the island is run down, and there was a lot of damage left over from all the hurricanes that have hit in the past few years. He said that there were no casualties though, which is great.
Our fist stop was Cockburn Town. It’s a very tiny town, without a lot to see, but there are stands set up to sell local souvenirs. I didn’t see a lot of handmade items, but I did buy a pretty painted magnet. We only had 20 minutes to shop. I was looking for something for my granddaughter but didn’t see anything. Tracy had said that he’d leave us if we weren’t back on time, but basically he couldn’t because it’s a one way street and you could stop the tram easily. He later said that he wouldn’t leave anyone, and did check to make sure we were all there. There is a small restaurant in the area that sold beer and food. We didn’t go in there.
After Cockburn town we were given a tour of the hotels in town. There aren’t a lot, and what was there seemed kind of run down. But if you want to get away from people, it’s probably a good place to stay. The ocean is a beautiful turquoise there. We also went past the private area that excursions go on for all inclusive beach time. That didn’t look all that impressive to me either.
We drove through a neighborhood. We were told that one of the families here at bought a male and female goat, and now there are goats all over the place. Some of them were in a fenced yard, there was a brand new baby goat there. The mama was still cleaning him off. Some were in the road. And past that there were beautiful views of the ocean. Tracy slowed the tram so we could get pictures.
Next stop was the lighthouse. It costs $3 to get in, but since the stop was only 10 minutes long, I didn’t want to pay for that. However, you can get pictures from outside the fence. Plus, there are donkey everywhere and they’re friendly. Tracy cautioned us not to get behind one, because they can kick. You can also feed them if you bring anything. There was a mama donkey with a 3 day old colt. So cute. There was also another young colt nearby. But, watch where you walk! Nothing more to be said there. I managed to get a bit of film of two donkeys fighting.
Tracy asked us if we wanted to see flamingos. Of course we did! He drove past the salt flats, but they weren’t there. He eventually drove down a small road into another area, and there they were! You couldn’t get too close, but we could get out and get pictures. He said this wasn’t a normal part of the tour.
End of the tour
It was extremely hot outside, but once the tram was moving it was bearable. The roads are bumpy in Grand Turk, so you will get jostled around. And once you get back you do have to walk all the way back to the port area in the sun. Just keep these things in mind before you decide to take this tour. We did enjoy it a lot because we’ve never seen anything in Grand Turk. Two tour took two hours, but they go by quickly.
Back to the ship
We’ve been to Grand Turk often, so we just headed back to the ship after that to cool down and get lunch. We both had Guys Burgers again, they are so good. I love the Ringer. And of course we sat in the Havana bar area. This is one thing to not forget…Havana Bar / JiJi’s are the best places to get a seat for breakfast and lunch. On the way out I ran into the Maitre d’, Marcin, and chatted with him a bit. He had another officer come over and take our picture with him. He’s a really nice guy.
After that I did my blog. The internet is a bit better on port days, probably because so many of the people are off the ship. However, I could not get Facebook to load for anything. I find it easier to use Facebook on my phone. And Marcin happened to come by and say Hi again. Like I said, the crew is great on this ship!
And back out to Grand Turk
I still had some time, so I ran back out to the beach to at least get my feet wet in the ocean water. We really didn’t have much beach or water time at all on this cruise. It’s amazing how fast your day goes when you’re cruising. The ship was leaving at 3:30 pm, so I didn’t have a ton of time. And remember, the ship will leave without you, so get back to the ship on time.
After Grand Turk we showered and headed down to dinner. For Your Time Dining you stand in line in Ocean Plaza for your table assignment. We got there around 4:50 pm and the line was already long. And while we were standing there, the computers went down. So, it was a little harder for the hostesses to find our tables. We of course asked to be sat in Nyoman’s area. He’s really good, and we like him, along with his assistant, Made. I love how the waiters get to know you and call you by name. We got pictures of both of them for my scrapbook.
We both had Filet Mignon, along with whipped potatoes and green beans. For an appetizer I had clam chowder and crab cakes. The clams in the clam chowder were too big, so I mostly at the potatoes in it. I prefer my clams chopped small. Dessert was a no sugar added key lime parfait. This was my attempt to erase all the sugar that I’ve eaten since the cruise started. Boy, am I going to regret this when I get home and step on the scale. We have used the stairs a lot, but I don’t think that’s enough. My willpower goes out the window when I’m on a cruise.
The rest of the night
After dinner we walked around a bit, and then headed to the headliner show, Epic Rock. It was an excellent show with a lot of 80’s songs. Mikey said that this was this particular group’s last show on the Sunshine because their contract is up. Not sure what or who will be on the next cruise. We thoroughly enjoyed the show. The Carnival Sunshine has had much better entertainment than some of the other Carnival ships we’ve been on.
And the end of day seven
We ran back to the Marketplace buffet and got some ice cream. See, I cannot say no to the sugary sweets on this cruise. Tip…the frozen custard is better than the froyo. At least to me. After that we made a night of it and went back to the cabin. And this time we had not one…but two towel animals. An elephant mama and baby. Seemed to be the day for mama’s and babies.