Carnival Sunshine Begins Year-Round Service From Charleston

May 20, 2019.

Carnival Sunrise has launched a schedule of 4 to 11 night voyages from the Port of Charleston, becoming the newest ship to operate year-round cruises from that port.

Carnival Sunshine 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 features the 334-foot-long Twister water slide, the longest in the fleet. (Andy Newman/Carnival Cruise Lines)

Carnival Sunshine’s schedule from Charleston includes 4 and 5 night sailings to the Bahamas, 6 and 7 night voyages to Bermuda and the Caribbean, and the first-ever Cuba cruises from Charleston with a series of 5 night sailings calling at Havana.  Also offered are 10 and 11 night Carnival Journeys sailings to the Caribbean with special activities like a retro Throwback Sea Day.

In addition to featuring more than 500 balcony staterooms and nearly 50 suites, Carnival Sunshine has newly added venues such as a three-level Serenity adults-only retreat, a suspended ropes course and Speedway Splash, a dual racing slides that are part of an expansive WaterWorks aqua ark.  Also, a variety of food and beverage options such as Ji Ji Asian Kitchen, Cucina del Capitano family-style Italian restaurant, 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. Carnival sails from 20 different North American homeports providing a convenient and cost-effective means for its guests to get to and from their cruise. It’s estimated that roughly half of the U.S. population is within a day’s drive of a Carnival homeport

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 moved to Jacksonville for year-round 4 to 7 night cruises to the Bahamas and Caribbean.  In turn, Carnival Elation, previously based in Jacksonville, shifted to Port Canaveral for a new 4 and 5 night Caribbean/Bahamas schedule from the Space Coast.