Later this week, my family and I are headed out on an 8-day Eastern Caribbean sailing onboard the Carnival Sunshine with stops at Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Maarten and St. Kitts.
It has been a few years since we’ve sailed during the summer and I’m excited for some beach time and fruity umbrella drinks. We’ll also have two ‘new to us’ ports – we’ve never been to St. Maarten and St. Kitts!
This will be our third time sailing on the Carnival Sunshine, it is high on my list of favorite Carnival ships. There are so many great aspects of this ship and even though we’ve sailed on this ship before, there are some new additions and activities we’ve yet to experience and we’ll be visiting some favorites too!
A few years ago, I shared my original Carnival Sunshine to-do list, so now let’s take a look at my to-do list — Part Two!
New Dining Menus
Carnival is hard at work updating some of the dining menus throughout the fleet and Carnival Sunshine has the new additions. The menus for Carnival’s steakhouses, Cucina del Capitano family-style Italian restaurants, and delis, as well as main dining room breakfast offerings, have undergone a transformation.
I’m excited to experience new dishes and see if I can talk the kids into trying new foods. At Cucina del Capitano, one of the many new additions includes House-made burrata – an Italian favorite made with mozzarella and cream. Yum!
In the steakhouse, some of the new appetizers include Risotto with Crab, Mushroom and Brown Butter, and Heritage Berkshire Pork Belly with Apple Walnut Preserve – I’ll try one of each, please! And then, I’ll have my ‘usual’ – surf and turf!
On port days, you can visit the dining room for breakfast (also something we’ve never done!) and that’s high on my to-do list for this trip. There’s also new menu there, so I’ve got my work cut out for me there too!
When I was a kid, I remember cruising and having the servers bring out the Baked Alaska desserts to the dining room. Made with cake, ice cream and meringue — it was quite the presentation, complete with fire!
Well, good news – Baked Alaska has recently made its way back to Carnival ships! I am super excited to introduce my girls to this tasty dessert from my childhood and I can’t wait to see their reaction when it makes its way to our table.
Doug, from CruiseRadio, sent me the above picture from his recent sailing on the Carnival Horizon — and now I’m suddenly craving dessert! Served on formal nights in the dining room, this will definitely be a fun addition to our dinner!
Last summer in Asheville, Maggie discovered she loved ropes courses. She’s super excited that the Carnival Sunshine has the Carnival’s SkyCourse. This onboard ropes course puts you high above SportsSquare and features two levels of difficulty so you can choose your level of daredevil.
Maggie and Dad have already decided they are going to go together – her on the easy course, him on the more difficult one — and then they’ll switch. She’s super excited about it! I’m a big fan of the SkyCourse, but I especially love seeing they’ve decided this will be a “Dad and me” experience just for the two of them.
Cloud 9 Spa
One thing I never devote enough time to on cruise ships is the spa (I know, right?! Shame on me!) I’ve already promised myself that I’m going to schedule myself a hot stone massage when we get onboard the ship.
The Cloud 9 Spa on the Carnival Sunshine has thermal suites too with the dry heat of the Laconium or Tepidarium — and I plan on taking advantage of both spots, in addition to my massage. A little pampering is always a good idea.
What I love about Carnival spas is that even if you don’t book a treatment, you can still access the area with a day pass and they are typically pretty inexpensive. I plan to learn the whole scoop on our sailing and report back to you. (It’s research, right?!)
St. Maarten and St. Kitts
On this Eastern Caribbean sailing, we’ll be stopping at St. Maarten and St. Kitts – both ‘new to me’ ports, so I’m excited to get out and explore these islands. I’m still on the fence on whether we’ll book shore excursions – it looks like both areas have a lot to see and do right off the ship. So we may just explore on our own.
In St. Kitts, a Snuba Adventure and Beach Getaway sounds pretty relaxing for a day of fun. My girls are finally old enough to give Snuba a try, so that’s definitely a possibility too.
Have you been to St. Maarten and St. Kitts? Have any tips for us?
Follow our Carnival Sunshine Adventures
To follow along on our trip, be sure to follow me on Instagram at @CarrieOnTravel – I use the hashtags #CarrieAtSea and also #CruisingCarnival during our trip. You’ll also find me on Twitter at @CarrieMcLaren.
What’s tops on your cruise ‘must do’ list?
** My family and I are invited guests of Carnival Cruise Lines. Thoughts and opinions here are 100% my own. **