Day Eight and Debarkation

Our Last Day on Carnival Sunshine

The last day of a cruise is always my saddest day of the cruise.  This cruise was eight days long, but I wouldn’t have minded staying longer on Carnival Sunshine.  Some day I’m going to do a back-to-back cruise and stay on board longer.

This day was supposed to be a lazy day for us.  A cruise can wear you out, believe me.  We’re not used to doing so many things in a day.  All enjoyable things, but just the same, they can tire you out.

Breakfast

Instead of going to the Seaday Brunch in the Main Dining Room, we decided to go to the Marketplace Buffet.  We just wanted to make it easy on our last day.  There aren’t a lot of choices in the buffet, so we just got eggs, potato cakes, bacon, and french toast.  I really love the french toast.  After breakfast I went to do my last blog on board the ship.  Internet was particularly slow because everyone was trying to get online to make last minute plans and check their airline info.

Changes in debarkation

I’m writing this from home two days after the cruise, so I don’t remember everything that we did that last day on the ship.  A big part of it was getting packed.  Things were a bit different on the Sunshine than it’s been on any other cruise we’ve been on.  We were informed the night before that instead of getting our debarkation numbers in our cabin, we’d go and choose our own the last morning of the cruise.  

We like to get off the ship early so that we can get an early start driving towards home.  The lowest debarkation number that we could get was number 5.  Numbers 1-4 were reserved for Faster to the Fun, Platinum, and Diamond guests.  We put the rest of our dirty clothing into compression bags to save space in our luggage for souvenirs.  We got our compression bags at Dollar Tree. You can also self assist debark if you want to take all of your luggage off the ship by yourself.  We didn’t want to do this because our luggage was much too heavy and awkward.  I need to figure out how to pack lighter.  We did pack as much as we could and decided to finish up later in the afternoon.

I ran to the Debarkation show so I could figure out how the Sunshine handled debarkation.  I didn’t learn a lot new, but we did get to see the crew and Captain.  The crew on the Sunshine is extraordinary!

Time to relax

Lunch was the Chocolate Extravagaza day!  It wasn’t as big as the normal Chocolate buffet, but it was good.  The fudge was my favorite.  And they dip fruit in chocolate for you. But before I had all that chocolate, I decided to try the Pasta at Cucina Del Capitano. 

First I got an order form, and marked off what I wanted.  I got penne pasta with marinara sauce, green peppers, and chicken strips.  And then I waited, and waited, and waited till they called my number.  People were coming up and saying that they had waited forever.  And it sure seemed like I did.  I saw my order come up and sit there while the hostess called the others for their meal.  I thought I’d be next but the chefs put more up there and she went for those.  I walked up and told her that mine was getting cold and was there first and I needed it. 

Once I got it, it was good, but my husband got Pizza made fresh at the Pizza place.  He went after me and came back with his pizza before I got my order.  He said the pizza was good.

After lunch, I decided to just relax a bit on deck, and then I went to take a short nap.  You get used to the ship rocking you to sleep, so it’s easy to nap.   Then I went to the Q&A session given by Mikey, the Cruise Director.  I learned a few things from him, he does have a girlfriend who works with the children. Also, this was the last cruise for the current entertainment team.  That’s a shame because they were so good.  Also, crew members who are married or who are in a relationship can live in the same cabin.  

Last dinner, and we finally got to see the waiters dance

Anyone who cruises Carnival knows that the waiters will dance a couple of nights of the cruise.  We hadn’t seen this yet.  We finished up our last dinner on the ship, which was Prime Rib for me.  I gave Nyoman and Made a little extra tip because they’d been so good, and said goodbye to them.  We said goodbye to a few other cruisers we’d gotten to know and headed out.  And then we heard that it was time for the entertainment.  We’d missed it the first time.  They seem to do the entertainment later on this ship.

So, we hung around for about 15 minutes until the waiters started coming out.  They sang their standard song to the music of “Leaving on a jet plane”, and then they danced.  It’s always so sad because you know you’re going to miss them.

After we watched the goodbye show, I went over to the Maitre d’, Marcin to say goodbye.  He’d been so great.  And I got a goodbye hug from him.  It’s so hard to leave, that’s for sure. 

Finishing up the last day

We got our free mixed drink after that.   We’re gold card VIFP (Very Important Fun Person) members, so we got one free drink after 5 pm on the last night of the cruise.  It used to be that we got invited to the Captain’s party with free drinks, but they discontinued that perk.  We decided to enjoy it out on deck three to listen to the ocean for a little while. 

After that was the last show in the Liquid Lounge, and the last performance of that particular entertainment team.  It was an excellent show of 80’s songs like Bohemian Rhapsody.  I’m sure that the ship will miss these excellent performers.

And then we made an early night of it since we needed to finish packing.  We stuffed everything into our luggage, put the debarkation numbers on them, and put them out in the hallway outside our door for pickup.  The passports and a change of clothing for morning were kept in our cabin.  We would put everything else into our carry-on luggage the next morning.  We watched TV for a while and went to bed.

Last morning and debarkation

We had wanted to sleep until 7:30 am debarkation day, but the ship came into port early and the thrusters and engines woke us up around 6:30 am.  So, we got up early, got dressed, and went to the Marketplace Buffet for our last breakfast on the ship.  I got a small breakfast and some Cheerios.  We sat and talked to another gentlemen for a while.  He was from Akron, Ohio, and we lived in Akron for 20 years, so we talked about old times.  

Mikey announced at about 8:00 am that people that were going to self assist (take off their own luggage) from cabins on floors 1-3 could start debarking the ship.  We went back to our cabin, finished up, and went to sit in the library on deck 4 until they called debarkation number 5.  We sat there for about half an hour and no more decks were called to self assist.  Instead Mikey was steering Platinum and Diamond members off.  We needed to get off the ship soon because we were waiting for a shuttle to the motel. 

When still no more decks were called but we saw people leaving, we decided to just take our chances and get in line.  No one said anything, and we did get off the ship and into the terminal.  And when we got to the terminal, almost all of the luggage was already down there.  We found ours and got in line to go through Customs.  Customs asked us if we had anything to declare.  We told him that we had two bottles of champagne that the ship had given us, and he waived us through.  We were probably in the terminal itself less than 10 minutes.

Disorganized debarkation

My opinion of debarkation on the Sunshine was that it was very slow and disorganized.  We waited far longer for our number to be called than on other ships.  And if we hadn’t just decided to leave on our own, I feel that we’d have been on the ship another hour.  Our shuttle was waiting for us, but if we hadn’t gotten out when we did, we’d have had to wait another hour for that.  

I feel that debarkation time from the ship could be improved upon.  But all in all, this was a wonderful cruise, mostly thanks to its excellent crew.  

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