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Posted on Wednesday, March 7, 2012 by

Carnival Cruises’ CARNIVAL DESTINY will undergo a dramatic transformation during a USD $155 million refit in early 2013.

CARNIVAL DESTINY at Miami, photo © Peter Knego 2011

CARNIVAL DESTINY will be renamed CARNIVAL SUNSHINE and operate Mediterranean itineraries from April to October 2013 before homeporting in New Orleans.

The major refit will incorporate all of Carnival’s “Fun Ship 2.0” dining, bar and entertainment features as well as a variety of exciting innovations unique to CARNIVAL SUNSHINE. Along with her layout being reconfigured, a partial deck will be added plus two other decks in the forward section of the ship will be expanded.

The refit work will also see the addition of 182 cabins by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri during the 49-day dry dock, which will take place from February to April 2013. Following the renovation, CARNIVAL SUNSHINE will embark on a schedule of 9 and 12-day Mediterranean voyages from Barcelona and Venice from April to October 2013, then launch year-round seven-day Caribbean departures from New Orleans beginning November 2013.

“This is our most ambitious ship conversion project to date and it will radically transform the CARNIVAL DESTINY into essentially an entirely new ship offering a variety of exciting dining and beverage choices, spectacular outdoor spaces and entertainment options, and on-board innovations not available anywhere else,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival President and CEO.

From a Carnival Press release: “Here’s a look at some of Carnival Sunshine’s many features: Wide-Ranging On-Board Dining Choices Guy’s Burger Joint, a free-of-charge poolside venue developed in partnership with Food Network personality Guy Fieri serving hand-crafted burgers and fresh-cut fries in an atmosphere that celebrates the chef’s California roots and love of car culture.”

“BlueIguana Cantina, a complimentary poolside Mexican eatery where guests can enjoy authentic, freshly made burritos and tacos on homemade tortillas that can be personalized with a variety of salsas and toppings.

Fahrenheit 555, a classic American steakhouse offering mouth-watering steaks and gourmet appetizers, entrees and desserts, all enhanced by understated ambiance and impeccable service (venue will carry a surcharge consistent with other steakhouses in the Carnival fleet).

Cucina del Capitano – or “The Captain’s Kitchen” – with Italian favorites and new Carnival classics served family-style in a fun and engaging atmosphere reminiscent of a cozy Italian home (during the day, the venue will serve as a free casual lunch-time pasta bar with a nominal charge for dinner).

A stunning new full-service Asian restaurant inspired by the line’s popular Mongolian wok casual eateries that will feature an extensive menu of delicious favorites from the Far East, along with a striking Asian-themed décor.

An expansive casual poolside eatery, Lido Marketplace, offering a seemingly endless array of delectable favorites from around the world, from paninis and pizza to a deli offering piled-high sandwiches and just about everything in between.

A new casual dining option, “The Comfort Kitchen,” located within the Lido Marketplace and offering a tempting array of American-style “comfort food” entrees and side dishes.

Completely renovated main dining rooms that will offer extensive menus and wine lists, with a tantalizing selection of salads, appetizers, entrees and desserts nightly, including Carnival’s legendary chocolate melting cake.

A newly designed coffee bar, serving a wide range of sweet and frothy concoctions such as cappuccinos, lattes, espressos and other caffeinated favorites, along with delicious pastries and other decadent confections.”

Three different week-long itineraries will be offered – a western Caribbean route to Belize City, Belize; Mahogany Bay, Isla Roatan, and Cozumel, Mexico; a Bahamas/Florida schedule to Key West, Fla., and Freeport and Nassau, The Bahamas; and western Caribbean departures to Montego Bay, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel. CARNIVAL SUNSHINE will replace CARNIVAL CONQUEST, which is currently based in New Orleans.

9 Responses to SUNSHINEs Over CARNIVAL DESTINY’s Future

  1. e.f.johnson

    March 8, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    When they add 182 cabins, or 364 additional guests, at the expense of public space, then “Carnival Density” might be a more appropriate name. Keep in mind that the newer ships they hope to catch up with are for the most part “stretched” versions of the Destiny class. Here they plan to do the same thing without the stretch. I’m a Carnival veteran, but I’m skeptical of this move, to say the least.

  2. Peter Kohler

    March 20, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    “Free of charge” burgers and fries aboard a Carnival Cruise Lines ship? What will they think of next….

  3. POSH

    April 26, 2012 at 11:00 am

    Maybe they should have spent some of the money on enlarging their too-small luxury suites – they are probably the smallest in the industry – even smaller than MSC’s.

  4. Nicktor

    May 19, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    Always negative comments. I have never had a bad Carnival experience. I have already booked the first cruise onboard the Sunshine. It will leave Venice in April 2013 for Barcelona by way of Croatia, two stops in Turkey, two stops in Greece and Three stops in Italy for a total of 14 days. I dare someone to find a better price on any other cruise line.

  5. Kenneth Eden

    June 2, 2012 at 5:52 am


    You bring up one fact that many seem to either ignore, or are unaware of rearding Carnival cruise ships: find a better price.

    There are so many choices today for a cruise, but, one cruise line has maintained its place for offering a solid, and genuine product, and that is Carnival Cruise Line. I am not placing the other cruise lines in with this, they are in their own categories, but, Carnival itself, have always offered an honest, what you pay for is what you get product, and much the same as the loved product of yore.

    I have seen Carnival mature and grow since its founding in the 1970’s, to become the most powerful entity in cruising.

    Yes, many put Carnival down, for whatever the reason(s), but, honestly, they run an excellent product, in its elected class, and constantly upgrade and better their product, to the envy of other cruise lines.

    Find a better price – try to find a better product at the better price and compare with Carnival. Hands down, Carnival will win. always win.

  6. duffer189

    September 14, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    I have to agree with the addition of the extra rooms making it more dense in the other rooms. We just got back from a cruise on the Destiny and the executive suite was a HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT. It was very small and cramped. In the future I will do more homework and chose the cruise line that offers a larger suite.

  7. Kenneth Eden

    September 17, 2012 at 6:18 am

    Adding 182 new cabins may not seem too much, compared to the small town number of passengers found on the mega ships, however, that is a fair size number to be added. I can assume that they i.e. Carnival, feels that passengers will opt for the new additional charge dining venues, as the main dining room will not be expanded, seeing the menu expanded, not seating numbers – that is only my asssumption.

    There are many older ships being refitted today, and I think that is a good thing, to transform, not always new building.

    The most innovative, if not vulgar, transforming of a passenger ship was from the SS FRANCE to SS NORWAY. There were old cargo ships and such that were transformed as well, but the most obvious was FRANCE/NORWAY, as the ship was seen in both forms for years. Other bold ventures were the lengthening of Royal Viking and Royal Caribbean ships. Royal Viking did expand the main dining room, and held the coveted one seating at all meals.

    I pick on the SS NORWAY, as I did not find the rennovations at all tasteful. But, matter of taste aside, Norwegian Cruise Line saved one of the most beautiful liners of her day, and sailed her and had given new found ship lovers a taste of what a real classic liner was. Each time I sail into Charlotte Amalie I see the ghost of the NORWAY at anchor.

  8. John Cant

    September 17, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    Kenneth: I remember being aboard the SS UNITED STATES at anchor outside the port of Charlotte Amalie in the 1960’s and being tendered ashore. We also anchored outside Hamilton in Bermuda, as at that time she was too large to dock in both ports. Glad to see that she is still alive, but in such a sad condition. I have many happy memories working for US Lines in the 50’s and 60’s and not so many happy memories of having to close down the Canadian operation in 1969. I also had to close down the French Line office in Toronto at the same time, as US Lines were the General Agent for French Line in Toronto We also represented Moore McCormack Lines, American Export Lines,and Messagerie Maritimes, so we had quite a large number of ships to book Canadian passengers aboard. United States Lines also had a number of freighters carrying 12 passengers that ran from New York to Australia via Tahiti and we used to book a number of Australian students that were returning to Australia after traveling through Europe on their way home.

  9. Kenneth Eden

    September 18, 2012 at 4:23 am

    John Cant

    You certainly had an enviable career, “sailing” with the best of them, on land and at sea. Your experiences would make a fine book for ship buffs to read.

    About two weeks ago our local, The Daily Press, featured an article on the SS UNITED STATES, stating that by sometime this November if more money is not raised the ship will go to the breakers. I have seeen nothing of this any place since. I looked at the SS UNITED STATES Conservancy site and nothing of note was there.

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