Cruise editor Tom Stieghorst was aboard the revamped Carnival Sunshine. His second and final dispatch follows. Click to read Tom's first dispatch.
The new Carnival Sunshine is going to take some getting used to. Anyone only familiar with its former incarnation as Carnival Destiny is going to wonder what happened.
There are cabins where there were none before. Restaurants and theaters are missing a deck. Pools have gone AWOL and lounges have been relocated or refashioned.
Here’s a cheat sheet for the biggest changes Carnival has made in transforming Destiny into Sunshine.
Start with the spa. The forward area of the ship now has 95 spa cabins and suites stacked on two decks around the Cloud 9 Spa.
Also in this area is a fitness center connected to the spa and a triple-tier Serenity adults-only area on deck, complete with its own small pool with a waterfall.
By clustering all of these health, wellness and adult facilities together, Carnival has created a synergistic group of activities.
Part of this area on Destiny was devoted to the kids clubs, which no longer belong there. They have moved aft where they fit naturally with the SportsSquare (basketball, mini-golf, table tennis, ropes course) and the WaterWorks area with its Twister and Speedway Splash slides.
On Destiny, there wasn’t even a deck where the WaterWorks is now placed.
Carnival enclosed the Destiny’s rear pool deck and eliminated a pool to extend Deck 9 to the full length of the ship. It then built the WaterWorks on top of that.
In the new interior space, it build a bar/entertainment area called Havana Bar, flanked by two small alternative restaurants, Ji Ji’s Asian Kitchen and Cucina del Capitano, which charge for dinner ($12) but not for lunch.
Havana Bar and Ji Ji’s exist on no other Carnival ship.
The aft section of the ship gained a partial deck of new cabins on Deck 5 with the elimination of a lounge and the relocation of the Piano Bar.
New cabins were also built in the forward section of the ship on Deck 3, converting the former three-deck theater on Carnival Destiny into the two-deck Liquid Lounge.
Also losing space was the mid-ship Sunset Dining Room, which was stripped of its mezzanine seating and is now a single deck. The space gained is devoted to smaller restaurants and entertainment venues on Deck 4 such as the specialty steak restaurant Fahrenheit 555 and the relocated Piano Bar 88.
Carnival President Gerry Cahill said he hopes to repeat the transformation on similar sized ships, such as Carnival Victory and Triumph, if the money for the renovations is approved by Carnival’s board.Follow Tom Stieghorst on Twitter @tstravelweekly.