Carnival Cruise Line will position a newer, larger ship to Charleston when the 3,002-passenger Carnival Sunshine kicks off a year-round schedule of four- and five-day cruises in May 2019.
Carnival Sunshine provides an exciting new vacation choice from Charleston and features one of the widest arrays of food, beverage and entertainment options within the Carnival fleet, including spectacular open-air attractions like the WaterWorks aqua park and SportSquare recreation area, a stunning three-deck-high adults-only retreat featuring a waterfall and adjoining pool, several specialty restaurants and more than 550 staterooms with private balconies.
"With its convenient location and strong tourism appeal, Charleston is one of our most popular homeports and we're delighted to build upon this success with the deployment of Carnival Sunshine," Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "Carnival Sunshine not only provides guests sailing from Charleston with a newer, larger ship with so much to see and do but also underscores our commitment to our year-round operations from this port," she added.
Added Jim Newsome, South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) president and CEO, "The decision by Carnival Cruise Line to homeport the Carnival Sunshine in Charleston is an important affirmation of their success and commitment to operations in Charleston. SCPA's cruise business is an important part of our maritime commerce mission and diversification of business segments. The Port succeeds through having world-class brands, such as Carnival Cruise Line, as its direct customers and looks forward to continuing this productive relationship."
Carnival Sunshine will kick off its four- and five-day cruise program from Charleston May 18, 2019, and is expected to carry approximately 220,000 passengers annually from that port.
Four-day cruises will visit the Bahamian capital of Nassau while five-day voyages will feature Nassau and the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay. Each of these destinations offers world-class beaches and excellent water sports opportunities, including kayaking, paddle-boarding and snorkeling.
Guests sailing aboard Carnival Sunshine can enjoy a tantalizing array of food and beverage choices, including Ji Ji Asian Kitchen with an extensive menu of Far East favorites, Havana Bar offering refreshing Cuban cocktails and live Latin music, the cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar, the Caribbean-inspired RedFrog Pub, Cucina del Capitano family-style Italian restaurant, and Guy's Burger Joint developed in tandem with Food Network star Guy Fieri.
The ship's family-friendly options include Seuss at Sea operated exclusively with Dr. Seuss Enterprises, Hasbro, The Game Show with larger-than-life adaptations of the company's iconic games, and complimentary children's programs for kids in three age groups. Entertainment and activity choices are just as varied with high-tech Playlist Productions revues, the Punchliner Comedy Club offering adults-only and family-friendly performances, legendary deck parties and live musical performances throughout the ship.
Top-deck attractions include WaterWorks highlighted by Speedway Splash with its dual-racing slides, SportSquare with a suspended ropes course offering breathtaking views to the sea 150 feet below, a miniature golf course, and a three-deck-high Serenity adults-only retreat with oversized umbrellas, and comfortable chaise lounges and chairs, as well as a waterfall and its own pool.
In addition to the short cruise program from Charleston, Carnival Sunshine will operate an 11-day Carnival Journeys cruise round-trip from Charleston Dec. 3-14, 2019, calling at St. Thomas, Aruba, Bonaire, Grand Turk and Half Moon Cay. In addition to visiting spectacular destinations, the longer-length Carnival Journeys cruises offer unique on-board experiences where guests can enjoy local cuisine, entertainment and cultural opportunities within the various ports of call. Activities focusing on topics such as photography, cooking and arts and crafts and a 1980s-themed "Throwback Sea Day" will be offered, as well.
Carnival Ecstasy, which currently sails from Charleston, will shift to Jacksonville, Fla., to operate year-round four- and five-day cruises beginning in May 2019. Carnival Elation, currently based in Jacksonville, will reposition to Port Canaveral, Fla., in May 2019, as well, to operate a new schedule of four- and five-day voyages, providing an exciting new vacation option from the Space Coast.
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