By Sarah Phillips
This week, I'm sailing on the Carnival Sunshine from the Big Easy, New Orleans. Our itinerary includes stops at Key West, Freeport and Nassau, Bahamas. As an experienced cruiser, my main goals this week are to try new things and relax, relax, relax. Join me as I share my adventures and experiences.
We sailed out of New Orleans on a foggy Super Bowl Sunday. Yes, this was intentionally chosen as we wanted to experience the Super Bowl on a cruise ship.
After spending the morning cheering on runners in the New Orleans Rock'n'Roll Marathons, we boarded about noon. Since we're platinum cruisers, we got the Faster to the Fun for boarding. We got to sit and wait to check in a private lounge stocked with sofas, comfy chairs and delicious pastries. We waited about 5 minutes for our names and within 5 more minutes, we were on our way to board the ship. Another perk of Faster to the Fun: your room is available the minute you walk on board. It's a great perk and one you can actually book with Carnival - even if you're not platinum.
We spent the afternoon checking out all the newness of Carnival Sunshine. Previously, we sailed this ship as the Carnival Destiny. The changes and improvements are amazing - Carnival put a lot of attention to detail and using space more efficiently. I fell in love with the new 3 story Adults-only Serenity area.
After some Guy Fieri burgers and Blue Iguana fish tacos, we found some lounge chairs perfect for watching the Super Bowl. We lounged there until the safety briefing and promptly returned afterwards to watch the pre-game Super Bowl show.
Carnival had lots of festivities for the big game: drink specials (one for each team), Pom poms and football clappers, giveaways and even VIP seating for raffle winners. Carnival provided a special 'Sailgate' menu of chicken fingers, Philly steak sandwiches, fried shrimp, egg rolls, hot dogs and more. The entire entrainment staff was out creating excitement.
The game itself was broadcast on the Seaside theater, in the Liquid Lounge, the EA Sports bar, Sunshine Casino and the Red Frog pub. The special menu was available in most of those locations.
The only thing Carnival didn't prepare for was just how boring the football game was. Most people gave up about Halftime and found other things to do on the ship. I'd love to sail again during the Super Bowl!
After the game was finally over - sorry Denver fans - we decided to actually call it a night. It was quite possibly the earliest I've ever gone to bed on a cruise, but after traveling and getting up early, it was a good decision. I was a little sad to miss the Welcome Aboard Show, but was glad to get some rest!
Stay tuned for our first sea day recap!