Video by Kristen Boatright | Carnival Sunshine

Pick a Cabin: Carnival Sunshine Deck Plan Decoder

by Donna Heiderstadt | October 13, 2016

Carnival Sunshine first launched in 1996 as Carnival Destiny and was relaunched under its new moniker in 2013. The name change was warranted — it's basically a totally different vessel after being cut in half and expanded during a $155 million top-to-bottom refit. That extra square footage was filled with lots of new dining and nightlife options including casual poolside spots BlueIguana Cantina and Guy's Burger Joint, specialty restaurants including a steakhouse and the Italian Cucina del Capitano, and bars such as RedFrog Pub and Alchemy Bar.

The refit also added 182 new staterooms, giving you lots of options when picking a cabin on the 3,002-passenger ship. Carnival is known for its wallet-friendly cruises, and many of the lower-category staterooms come at a great price, but you won't get a lot of square footage. This is also a high-energy ship, and you can expect a lot of fun on board at all hours. One caveat: If you are someone who needs a good night's sleep, be sure to check Carnival Sunshine's deck plan to make sure your cabin isn’t near one of the nightclub venues.

Interior Upper/Lower: These 185-square-foot cabins on decks 1, 2, and 6 are often bargain priced — for a reason. The cabins sleep two and have one twin bed and either a Pullman bunk that comes out of the wall or a pull-out sofa. They are definitely a better choice for friends traveling together than for a couple.

Interior: These 185-square-foot cabins on decks 1 through 3 and 5 through 9 are a good value for families. They sleep up to five passengers in a King bed plus two Pullman beds and a trundle bed. Some, located forward on decks 6 and 7, do have a picture window. But they either have an obstructed ocean view or look out onto a public walkway.

Porthole: Classified as interior and located far forward on decks 1 and 2, these 220-square-foot cabins can sleep two and do have an ocean view through, as the name suggests, two portholes.

Ocean View: These 220-square-foot cabins on decks 1, 2, and 5 sleep two, three, four, and even five passengers in a variety of bed configurations (including a trundle). There are also a select number that can connect to neighboring cabins, so they are ideal for large groups.

Scenic Ocean View: Want to see what the captain sees? Book one of these 230-square-foot, forward-facing cabins on deck 9. While they don't have balconies, they do have an angled, floor-to-ceiling window with a view right out the front of the ship. There are also two Scenic Grand Ocean View cabins that are a bit larger and have three massive windows for even better views.

Balcony: At 185 square feet, some of these cabins on decks 6 through 9 sleep two while others accommodate four. They all have private balconies measuring 35 square feet.

Premium BalconyA bit larger than a regular Balcony cabin, these two staterooms located aft on deck 8 sleep up to three and have a 75-square-foot balcony.

Aft-View Extended Balcony: This is the category to book if you want a view of the horizon behind the ship. Located at the aft of the ship on decks 5 through 8, the 185-square-foot cabins sleep two or three passengers and have a 60-square-foot balcony for taking in the scenery.

Premium Vista Balcony: Private outdoor space and a panoramic view are the reasons to book these cabins, located on the aft corners of decks 6 through 8. The interior space is 185 square feet, but the wraparound veranda is an additional 75 square feet.

Cloud 9 Interior: Budget-minded spa lovers can book these 185-square-foot cabins on decks 10 through 12, which come with complimentary thermal suite access and discounts on spa treatments.

Cloud 9 Spa Balcony: These cabins are the same size as the spa interior cabins (and also get you thermal suite access and spa discounts), but with the added bonus of a private balcony. Connecting cabins are also available.

Cloud 9 Spa Suite: Carnival Sunshine has three spa suites, each measuring 275 square feet. Like the other spa staterooms, suite passengers have complimentary access to the thermal suite, with the added bonus of a Cloud 9 Spa package for two.

Ocean Suite: Located on decks 5 and 7, these 275-square-foot suites sleep up to four. This is not a suite in the traditional sense (the bedroom and living space are not separated by a door), but each Ocean Suite does have a private balcony, large bathroom with a whirlpool tub, and separate dressing room/walk-in closet. Suite passengers also get a special VIP check-in.

Grand Suite: These suites on deck 7 have a similar layout to the Ocean Suites, but are a larger 345 square feet and can sleep up to five passengers.

Captain’s Suite: There is a separate bedroom and living room in this top suite, located on deck 9 above the bridge. The 500-square-foot suite sleeps up to five and has two bathrooms (one with a shower, one with a tub), a living room with a sofa bed, and a 200-square-foot balcony with sun loungers.

Donna Heiderstadt

Donna Heiderstadt is a New York-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has also written for Coastal Living and Islands.

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