Carnival Sunshine to begin year-round Charleston service

Carnival Sunshine will operate sailings to The Bahamas, Bermuda, the Caribbean including Cuba and longer 'Carnival Journeys' Carnival Sunshine will operate sailings to The Bahamas, Bermuda, the Caribbean including Cuba and longer 'Carnival Journeys'

The bigger, newer Carnival Sunshine kicks off a year-round cruise program from the Port of Charleston on Saturday, replacing Carnival Ecstasy which is redeploying to Jacksonville.

Charleston's first Cuba cruises

Carnival Sunshine will operate a diverse schedule that includes four- and five-day sailings to The Bahamas, six- and seven-day voyages to Bermuda and the Caribbean and Charleston's first Cuba cruises, a series of five-day sailings calling at Havana. There are also longer 10- and 11-day 'Carnival Journeys' to the Caribbean with special on-board programming including local cuisine and entertainment and activities like a retro Throwback Sea Day.

Carnival Sunshine is the newest year-round ship ever homeported in Charleston. It offers food and beverage options such as Ji Ji Asian Kitchen, Cucina del Capitano family-style Italian restaurant, Fahrenheit 555 steak house, the Caribbean-inspired RedFrog Pub and the cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar.

Outdoor spaces include a three-level Serenity adults-only retreat with its own pool, a suspended ropes course that is part of the expansive SportSquare recreation area and a WaterWorks park highlighted by dual Speedway Splash racing slides.

Carnival Sunshine also provides a wide array of accommodations including nearly 500 balcony staterooms and more than 50 suites.

When built in 1996 as Carnival Destiny, it was the first cruise ship larger than 100,000gt (the exact gross tonnage is 102,853gt). The 1991-built Carnival Ecstasy measures 70,367gt.

Year-round Carnival service since 2010

Carnival Cruise Line launched Charleston’s first year-round service in 2010, drawing passengers from across the US Southeast and other regions. 

The cruise industry generates $131m in direct expenditures and accounts for nearly 2,400 jobs and $93m in wages for the South Carolina economy. 

Jacksonville and Port Canaveral ships

With Carnival Sunshine repositioning to Charleston, Carnival Ecstasy shifts to year-round departures from Jacksonville, operating four- to seven-day cruises to The Bahamas and the Caribbean. In turn, Carnival Elation, previously based in Jacksonville, repositions to Port Canaveral to operate a new four- and five-day Caribbean/Bahamas schedule.

Carnival Sunshine had been based at Port Canaveral.

Posted 16 May 2019

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Anne Kalosh

Editor, Seatrade Cruise News & Senior Associate Editor Seatrade Cruise Review