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Carnival Sunshine brings special dining opportunities to the high seas

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The Carnival Sunshine is a newly revamped ship that used to be the Carnival Destiny, although you'd barely know it if you stepped on board today. The 1996 ship has been completely gutted and turned into a modern vessel on a par with Carnival Cruise Line's 2.0 ships.

One of the nice amenities on board the Sunshine is the variety of dining options. Yes, you have the Sunrise and Sunset dining rooms for your regularly assigned meals, and you'll eat quite well if you stick to them. You also have some nice buffet options and quick service like Guy's Burger Joint, named for Guy Fieri himself. However, there are many specialty dining options that might just convince you to part with a small surcharge in order to indulge.

Check out this list for a few of the options that I explored on my recent Carnival Sunshine cruise. I sailed on a media cruise that was only two days long, so I didn't get to try all of the dining venues. However, I had enough of a sample to make some recommendations.

To scratch the surface of the many on board activities, go to this article. Read about the Freeport beach excursion here.

Main Dining Rooms
Main Dining Rooms Barb Nefer

Main Dining Rooms

The Sunrise and Sunset dining rooms are quite lovely. Dinners here are included with your cruise fare, and you'll be well taken care of, with a different selection of appetizers, main courses, and desserts each night.

Delicious Dishes
Delicious Dishes Barb Nefer

Delicious Dishes

The main dining rooms have a nice mix of comfort foods and special items, including "didja" selections, as in "didja ever think you'd be trying this?" For example, on my cruise, I could have noshed on gator. As you can see, that perennial favorite lobster is an option.

Guy's Burger Joint
Guy's Burger Joint Barb Nefer

Guy's Burger Joint

Carnival Cruise Lines has quite a few branded venues and partnerships, including one with Guy Fieri. That means you can grab a hearty, greasy, oh so tasty burger at Guy's Burger Joint. It's included in your cruise fare.

Toppings Bar
Toppings Bar Barb Nefer

Toppings Bar

One thing I loved about Guy's Burger Joint is the toppings bar. Some of the premium toppings include sauteed onion, mushrooms, and bacon. Make your burger just as decadent as you wish, and top it with Guy's special sauce.

Buffet
Buffet Barb Nefer

Buffet

Want something fast and easy for lunch and dinner? There are many different buffet stations where you can get everything from salad to deli sandwiches to hot entrees to pizza throughout the afternoon and evening.

Pizza
Pizza Barb Nefer

Pizza

Speaking of pizza, it was SO delicious! This photo doesn't do it justice. It's freshly made in four varieties (my favorite was the cheese). I have to confess that I liked it even better than the burgers at Guy's.

Specialty DIning
Specialty DIning Barb Nefer

Specialty DIning

Although plenty of food is included in your cruise cost, you can pay an up charge to eat at one of three specialty restaurants. Here are the friendly chef's at Ji Ji's Asian Kitchen, handily my favorite dining experience on board.

Roast Duck
Roast Duck Barb Nefer

Roast Duck

The roast duck and pork dishes were my favorites at Ji Ji's, although I loved the whole meal. With multiple appetizers and main courses, you barely have room for dessert, but don't skip it! It costs $12 per head for adults to dine here. and it's a real value.

Cucina del Capitano
Cucina del Capitano Barb Nefer

Cucina del Capitano

Cucina del Capitano is another specialty restaurant on board, serving up Italian cuisine in a cute, homey atmosphere. The other is a steakhouse called Fahrenheit 555. All of these restaurants requre reservations, so make them ASAP or you might lose out.

Taste Bar
Taste Bar Barb Nefer

Taste Bar

Even though I didn't get to dine at the Italian restaurant, I tasted a bit of the cuisine at the Taste Bar. This handy little kiosk serves up samplings from the specialty menus each night. Grab some as you pass by. Your taste buds will thank you.

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