Carnival Sunshine Launches Year-Round Service From Charleston

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Carnival Sunshine has launched a schedule of four- to 11-day voyages from the Port of Charleston, becoming the newest ship to operate year-round cruises from that port. 

Carnival Sunshine’s inaugural festivities on Saturday, May 18, included a luncheon for travel advisors, local officials and VIPs during which Carnival made a donation to One80 Place, a homeless assistance center supported by the cruise line for many years. Charleston-based ships have donated hundreds of mattresses, chairs, dishes and other items for use at the facility over the years. 

Carnival Sunshine’s schedule from Charleston includes four- and five-day sailings to the Bahamas, six- and seven-day voyages to Bermuda and the Caribbean, and the first-ever Cuba cruises from Charleston with a series of five-day sailings calling at Havana. Also offered are longer-length 10- and 11-day carnival journeys sailings to the Caribbean with day-long calls at tropical islands, opportunities to sample local cuisine and entertainment and activities like a retro Throwback Sea Day.

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In addition to including more than 500 balcony staterooms and nearly 50 suites, Carnival Sunshine offers a range of onboard amenities that include outdoor spaces like a three-level, adults-only retreat, a suspended ropes course and speedway splash and dual racing slides that are part of an expansive WaterWorks aqua park. For food and beverage options include Ji Ji Asian Kitchen; Cucina del Capitano, a family-style Italian restaurant; the Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse; the Caribbean-inspired RedFrog Pub; and the cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar.

Charleston is an important part of Carnival’s ship deployment strategy in which the line positions ships near large U.S. population bases along the East and West Coasts and the Gulf of Mexico, the cruise line said. Carnival sails from 20 different North American home ports.

Carnival launched Charleston’s first year-round cruise program in 2010 and the departures attract guests from across the Southeast and other regions. Carnival and other cruise operators generate $131 million in direct expenditures and account for nearly 2,400 jobs and $93 million in wages toward the South Carolina economy. 

With Carnival Sunshine repositioning to Charleston, Carnival Ecstasy was deployed to Jacksonville for year-round four- to seven-day cruises to the Bahamas and Caribbean. In turn, Carnival Elation, previously based in Jacksonville, shifted to Port Canaveral for a new four- and five-day Caribbean/Bahamas schedule from the Space Coast.

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