6 Carnival Sunrise Panama Canal & Central America Cruise Reviews

We have taken 21 cruises in the past 6 years. This was our first and probably our last on Carnival. First I will discuss the positive features of our cruise. We were on the 14 day cruise out of NY going to the Panama Canal. The food was ... Read More
We have taken 21 cruises in the past 6 years. This was our first and probably our last on Carnival. First I will discuss the positive features of our cruise. We were on the 14 day cruise out of NY going to the Panama Canal. The food was excellent. We had lobster tails 2 nights and filet mignon on 1 night. The dinner choices were excellent! The had a brunch several mornings where Filet Mignon was also offered! The buffet had many choices. Good burgers, Tacos, Burittos and Pizza and Delli sandwiches. Pizza was offered 24 hours a day which was a plus. As far as entertainment goes the shows were good. We also saw a couple comedy shows which were average. The plus on this cruise were the DJ Xtreme and The Flying Scotsman the cruise director. They were amazing! They were by far the best DJ and the best cruise director we ever experienced on a cruise! As far as the cabin goes we were in 7335 an inside cabin. It was spacious for an inside cabin. Plenty of closet and storage space! Great lighting. Those are our positives regarding the cruise. Now for the negatives. The room was warm. We like to always cool down the room as soon as we arrive. After a day we knew that would not be possible. The thermostat was on the coldest setting yet it was warm and stuffy. We called customer service many times. By the way most times they do not answer their phones and you need to go to from desk. They checked the room and left us a note that the temperature was in the normal range set by Carnival. (74 is normal). To us its warm! Other cruises we can get it down to 68-70. about 5 days into the cruise we complained again about the heat to a night person at the desk. She said she will send someone. Miraculously they did an adjustment and we were happy for several day as the temperature was a constant 68.2! That didnt last for too many days! The temperature rose again to 74 and of course we complained and Carnival said its normal! We then gave up. The temperature around the ship is very uneven. For example, the dining room was cool yet the comedy club would be stifling hot. Even the comedian made a joke about the heat! Obviously the ship has not corrected their air conditioning problem! . The next issue was the plumbing. Its still in bad shape. Our toilet would make loud gurgling sounds at any time of the day for no apparent reason! Once it sounded like it was going to explode! We taped the noise on our phone and showed it to customer service and they just shrugged. A few times the toilet did not flush at all for an hour or 2 nd they start working again. We heard an entire line of toilets were not working for a good part of the day one day. As for the public bathrooms, they were dirty. Carnival cut corners not cleaning bathrooms as often as needed. Locks on bathroom stalls were broken. toilets didnt flush, many times paper towels was missing to hold the door open when leaving. I wish i had a list of all the times there was no soap in the soap dispenser in the mens room! The next problem was the condtion of the ship. Its obvious they fixed the atrium and updated many areas of the ship. But many areas were left in poor condition. There was rust in many areas of the ship. On deck 9 near the pool the floor was all rusted out, there were plastic buckets collecting the water dripping from deck 10 and the grating near the bathrooms was loose and people were constantly tripping on it! On deck 11 we sat by the pool and after a rain the water was running down the rusted stairway in buckets. On deck 9 the metal moulding was being held together with masking tape! Service in the dining room was bad. We had a "senior waiter" for most of the cruise for dinner. He would forget a dish here and there til we finally gave up asking... butter was not given even though we requested it twice. I asked for a club soda with desert every night. I received it maybe 5 out of 14 nights! Courses would be served fairly fast until dessert,.Then came the lull... we would wait maybe 30 minutes for dessert. Teaspoons were not to be had. They were not in our place setting and we had to ask every night. No one ever came to clean up the crumbs on our table after the main course. We would just do it ourselves. Breakfast service was no better. you had to ask many times to receive the items ordered. The condition of the ship as bad as previously described. The entrance to the limelight club had this red carpet that curled. Trip hazard but no one cared! There were broken ice machines in the buffet, electronic door out of order to name a few other problems. Guest services was clueless. For the most part they all were pleasant and courteous. But they did NOT answer phones when you called from the room! we asked them several questions at the front desk and they rarely had the answers. Obviously they were poorly trained about the ship features and events. Norovirus. This ship is an accident waiting to happen. There is a severe lack of hand sanitizers. Soap dispensers in the bathrooms are empty many times. Lack of paper towels to open bathroom doors. The crew is NOT proactive to prevent norovirus. Also the choice of tv stations was bad. We did not have CNBC or Bloomberg. We did not have CNN or any equivalent news station. The tv did not function properly. One station you could barely hear and another station would be blasting! To sum up, the food and dj and cruise director were great. The ship was in bad shape and crew was not properly trained. The ship probably need another week or two in drydock and was taken out too soon for the sake of profits. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this cruise because it was a newly renovated ship going on a 14 day cruise, I was very upset by some extremely negative reviews right before going on this cruise and i wish to put everyone else at ease, we have been on 3 other ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was a newly renovated ship going on a 14 day cruise, I was very upset by some extremely negative reviews right before going on this cruise and i wish to put everyone else at ease, we have been on 3 other cruises and so far, 5 days in this one is the best so far. I realize that there was a few bugs they needed to work out the first few cruises out of the renovation but things are running very smoothly on this 4th cruise of this ship, i have not seen any construction or finishing that is still not complete, so far no sewer issues. The buffet is very crowded during peak times but we knew this in advance and just worked around it. We have been eating at other venues or during non peak times. Love the blue iguana cantina, guys burger joint and the pig and anchor bbq, the bbq we did on embarkation day, it was like no one even knew it was there!! No lines, i recommend the beef, super tender!! Everything is so new and beautiful, everyone has been super helpful. Our room steward gave us a box fan for my hubby, it's been a life saver!! My advice is to ask for something, you never know if they might have it. Love the ropes course and water slides, never any lines, loving the comedy and entertainment, cruise director Chris is a blast. My daughter has trouble making friends but the youth crew has made things super fun and she had friends by the second day. I can't say enough about the great time we are having on this beautiful ship. It makes me sad that people only leave reviews when they want to complain, life is too short to be negative!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
In the past, two of my favorite things about Carnival cruises were the Deli, where I looked forward to having a great pastrami sandwich every day for lunch, and the adult entertainment, which always made us laugh out loud. On Carnival ... Read More
In the past, two of my favorite things about Carnival cruises were the Deli, where I looked forward to having a great pastrami sandwich every day for lunch, and the adult entertainment, which always made us laugh out loud. On Carnival Sunrise, the deli was average at best - went there on the first day for my pastrami sandwich but never went back. The sandwich was dry, the bread was dry, the service was blah. We did get to go to the adult entertainment, which was very good, but not because we always wanted to. Sometimes it was our only choice. The redesign of the ship, which made room for more cabins, took away a significant amount of public spaces. There is very little space in the theatre – no way it can accommodate even ¼ of the people on the ship. And despite what it says in the marketing materials, there is no internet café so you better bring your own tablet or laptop. There is no library, which is truly sad because on a 14-day cruise you will most likely read one book and head to the library for another. And there is really only one area on the ship where you can sit and read – it has about 25 seats. During our 14-day cruise, we got to see the crew talent show only once. Why? Because our late seating dinner got us to the theatre too late -- all of the seats were taken -- all of the time. And it wasn't just because of our choice of late dinner. Scheduling activities on the ship was horrendous. Often there was something (like a game show) in the theatre right before the crew show - so folks from earlier dinners went to see it and just never left. When we realized that the only way we would get to see the show was to sit on the stairs, we would rush to the Limelight Lounge to try to catch the adult comedy show. And sometimes that too was filled to capacity – no seats. Another issue with the Limelight Lounge was finding it/getting to it. If you came out of the restaurant you could walk 25 feet right into the lounge. But for some dumb reason, they would rope off the area and make you go up a flight of stairs and through the casino to get on line for the Lounge. The smoke from the casino permeated way passed the casino – you could smell smoke in the elevators and for quite a distance on the adjacent floors. They also did not offer even one night of non-smoking in the casino. On the topic of activities, there were many days when the entire afternoon was trivia after trivia after trivia. Really? That's the best you can offer? While searching in the first days for what I soon learned was the non-existent internet café, I had the chance to speak with a woman who had been on the Carnival Triumph 8 times. She hated what they did to “her” ship and agreed with me on many issues about the lack of space overall. Food: most evenings we sat with our family for the late seating dinner. Our servers were great – funny and attentive. But the service overall was erratic. Some nights everything went smoothly; other nights things were not hot or the wrong dish was served. Don’t know if that was a kitchen issue or if it was our servers.... Food in the buffet area was mediocre and the lines really, really long at just about any time of day. The bakery section needs a real overhaul. Every day they put out cookies that literally fell apart when you tried to pick them up with the serving spoon. How difficult is it to realize that the bowl is filled with broken cookies and crumbs everyday – so change the recipe!!!! Also, there were usually four or five different cakes to choose from – they all tasted the same. We would recommend going upstairs to the Italian restaurant for lunch. They don’t really advertise it, so we stumbled upon it. When you get upstairs (from the buffet area), you will be given a seat number and a form to fill out. On the form you can request specific items in your pasta and it will come to you fresh and hot. That was great. Not so great is that you had to ask for something to drink – ice tea or lemonade. And that would put the server out – “Ok, I’ll try to find some for you!” Why not include space on the form for a beverage – too logical perhaps? The Captain’s party, which was held toward the end of the cruise, was in the theatre. If you are seated anywhere other than the main floor, good luck getting a drink or any hors d’oeuvres. There is no way the servers are going to be able to get to you or climb through groups of people to do so. That’s my take on the Carnival Sunrise. I usually pick a destination and then see which cruise line will get me there within my timeframe for travel and within my budget. I definitely wanted to see the Panama Canal, and the price was right for this cruise. However, I will not take another cruise on the Carnival Sunrise. And sadly, if this ship’s redesign is the wave of the future for cruise ships, I guess I will be cruising less. 25 nights on Carnival 127 nights on Princess 60 nights on Holland America 32 nights on Norwegian Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this cruise because it went to Costa Rica where neither of us have been, The Panama Canal which neither of us have been to either. We haven't been to Half Moon Cay either. My wife once went to Grand Cayman more than 30 ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it went to Costa Rica where neither of us have been, The Panama Canal which neither of us have been to either. We haven't been to Half Moon Cay either. My wife once went to Grand Cayman more than 30 years ago though. My wife has mobility problems and the many sea days appealed to us. We have been on this ship before, as the Carnival Triumph three times. So this was our fourth time on this vessel although it has been remade since. The embarkation process went smoothly. Did notice that keys to staterooms are no longer given out at embarkation. Stateroom attendant leaves key at stateroom. Can be bad if wrong person gets it. They no longer take picture and use picture on passport for identification. Staterooms weren't ready so we dropped off carry on luggage and went to Lido Deck for refreshment. You will find things about our stateroom in the stateroom section below. The food in the dining room isn't as good as it used to be. The Carnival Sunrise has a new Executive Chef. He likes to cook with spices. We, wife included, do not like spicy food. Ate Salmon most nights. The Beef Wellington, had on one of the three formal nights was good. Most desserts were good. Ate two at times. My wife spread out what she had to other things. Many things were good, service didn't meet former Carnival standards although most times was acceptable. The pizzeria was very good and ate there most days after got finished playing in the casino. The food on the Lido Deck was pretty good too. Had a few burritos that were very good, some of the food at the buffett was good as was the Deli. The Deli had long lines and most times didn't want to wait on them. About Entertainment and Activities: The shows were okay. My wife liked them. We had seem them before. Missed two shows due to doing other things. The enrichment talks were good. As a veteran liked the veteran meeting, and enjoyed the veteran's table at the high tea. Like playing in the casino. Played there every night. Most times played at the craps table and at times played slot machines. My wife likes to play slot machines. Met some people that were known from other cruises. Even made a few new acquaintances, a rarity for me, in the casino. The staff at the craps table was pretty good. They were for the most part, very competent dealers, box men, and pit bosses. Hope they are there when I next go on the Carnival Sunrise in the fall. The Cruise Director was Chris "The Flying Scotsman" Williams. He is a very good Cruise Director. It is no mistake that many of his people are getting promoted. Also of note, although many passengers didn't seem to like Adam, he is very competent and will one day make a fine Cruise Director himself. Houston is a very funny guy. One day he will be a very fine comedian. However, he does many things well on the activities staff. He should be given a night at the comedy club. One day, he might even make a fine Cruise Director. Disembarkation was a complete disaster. They were slow in getting luggage set up in the terminal and that was why we had long waiting times. Had to explain to car service why it took us so long to get off the ship. Next time bring fewer clothes and use laundry room more. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I stayed on Riviera Deck Midship. No balcony but spacious except for the shower. There was a lack of storage space and Small tiny nightstands. We moved the life vests and placed them under the bed so we could use the closet space. It ... Read More
I stayed on Riviera Deck Midship. No balcony but spacious except for the shower. There was a lack of storage space and Small tiny nightstands. We moved the life vests and placed them under the bed so we could use the closet space. It had a nice size tv, we just watched ship cameras or ship location channels. Only used one electrical outlet to plug in our multiport gadget to charge our electronics. The toilet made an unusual sound of a long foghorn after flushing and since I use the toilet 4 times during the night, I thought would wake everyone on my side of the ship. There were no complaints, thankfully. And of course our stewards were courteous and friendly. There was garbage odor on some elevators and smoke throughout the Casino. Deck 3 and 4 were were a pain since at one point or another, a restaurant blocked the front to aft part of the deck. Our Time Dining we requested same waiter Camilo. He is GREAT. Sang songs and danced on some nights. Really great and funny individual. Request for a table he manages and you wont be disappointed. I selected foods I knew I liked so To me, the food was good. Im not a sun worshipper so I wont comment on the pools and chairs. The jogging track is a bit small but I enjoyed the Rope Course. It was complicated at first due to my big gut, but once I got the know how, it was a piece of cake with a bit of sweat of course. Guys Burgers are delicious, the pizza is so-so. Breakfast is same each day with no variety. Had to skip the Midnight Buffet with the Ice And food sculptures due to the mob trying to take pix and the LINE seeming endless. But Im sure it was delicious. ( I didnt gain any weight that night) Bartenders and staff introduced me to some delicious drinks. There were a couple good shows with the singing and dancers but wasnt interested in hypnotism and card tricks. The good seating area in the Liquid Lounge is small. There are poles blocking the way, lighting fixtures if youre too high up, and cant see the stage at all if youre anywhere to the side of the stage. Remodeled and all, from 1 to 5, I rate the ship a 3. Fun Factor I rate the ship a 3 as well. Friendliness I rate it a 5 There were not enough sanitizers and people were hardly using the ones available. I rate cleanliness a 4. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We got disable-room , hard to get ,we like 14 days cruise. And was done over. Our balcony was not for wheelchair or scooters ,very narrow ,and doors were old ,we also got locked out .The room was very nice ,clean,great handicap-room . ... Read More
We got disable-room , hard to get ,we like 14 days cruise. And was done over. Our balcony was not for wheelchair or scooters ,very narrow ,and doors were old ,we also got locked out .The room was very nice ,clean,great handicap-room . Spa was disappointing ,thermal loungers were in a small room ,only 6 ,no other chairs. Would not give us a refund ,waste of our money. The Flying scotsman was the Best ,the shows were great ,food was good. Room service was good. Embarking was confusing ,the staff did not know how to help. We went to the Musterstaion and were told it was on 3 deck ,not there ,hard to get back on the elevators ,when we got there ,it was over. They were bringing luggage to the rooms ,so most of the elevators were closed. Disembarking was a nightmare , we waiting over 3 hours before we got somebody to take us out with the wheelchair. Was so disorganized ,they did not have the staff to help the handicap . Everybody was so upset. SO the cruise was disappointing ,because the staff was not trained to do their job. Not going back on the Carnival . Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Carnival Sunrise Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.6
Dining 4.0 3.3
Entertainment 4.5 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 3.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.4
Family 5.0 3.4
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.2
Enrichment 2.0 3.0
Service 3.5 3.8
Value For Money 4.5 3.1

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