Defender Collins will line up for his new club on Saturday against Wolves and his old boss McCarthy at the Britannia Stadium.
The Wales international, 29, worked under McCarthy when the former Republic of Ireland boss was manager at the Stadium of Light.
He said: "Wolves were interested in me, I understand, when I was leaving Sunderland. Mick was the manager at Sunderland who gave me my chance when he signed me from Chester in 2004.
"He's a top manager. He wants to work with the players on the training ground - much like Tony (Pulis).
"Mick is a top manager, a pleasure to work with.
"I hope he does well with Wolves - his side are capable of unsettling anyone with their energy and organisation.
"I enjoyed my time working with him - but I feel it was the right decision to come to Stoke. I already knew a few of the lads here, who were with me at Sunderland.
"It has been a good choice, and I feel I have been playing okay. It will be nice to see Mick again. I'll have a chat beforehand with him - but I'm not sure whether we'll talk after the game!"
Collins is satisfied with his and his club's fortunes together so far.
"I've been here seven weeks now - and apart from the Manchester United and Chelsea games that we lost, we have done okay," he added.
"We have got two draws and a couple of wins - and one of those was at Spurs, which is pleasing because season Stoke did not do too well on their travels.
"We are sitting ninth in the league with a derby against Wolves next, so we are really looking forward to building on that victory at Spurs.
"I hear (Spurs boss) Harry Redknapp was saying they could have been four up before we scored. Maybe he is right. But in the end we scored and took the points, and that will do for us."
Pulis insists there have been no long-term after-effects from the Stoke squad's emergency landing at Gatwick this week, on their flight back from the Carling Cup defeat at Portsmouth.
Players on their private jet smelled burning, and the plane was diverted to Gatwick from its course back to East Midlands Airport.
An investigation revealed the problem as a minor oil leak.
Pulis missed the drama, because he stayed overnight at his Bournemouth home.
He said: "I wasn't on the plane - I missed it all.
"The first I heard about it was when someone rang me when they'd landed at Gatwick. The lads were okay - they were more bothered about having to take a long coach ride home instead.
"The lads who were on the trip have not done much training since, but 10 of the players at Portsmouth will not be involved against Wolves. Only Steve Simonsen from the team that won at Spurs went down to Portsmouth.
"I'm told that it was a small oil leak that caused the problem - clearly nothing too serious - and it's over now."