15 Carnival Sunrise Cruise Reviews

We chose to sail on the Sunrise for the Bahamas trip due to the price and the convenience of sailing out of Norfolk. We were also thrilled to be on the Sunrise as we had previously sailed on the ship when it was the Triumph. The ... Read More
We chose to sail on the Sunrise for the Bahamas trip due to the price and the convenience of sailing out of Norfolk. We were also thrilled to be on the Sunrise as we had previously sailed on the ship when it was the Triumph. The embarkation in Norfolk was rocky, to say the least. Once on board there wasn’t much direction, but we assumed it was because they were still working out kinks in the new service. We were only the 2nd group to sail on her. The food was great. Drinks were great. Service was great. Show was great. We even enjoyed the casino, even though it was SUPER smoky. We highly recommend checking out the speciality restaurants or even have a visit to the spa. We got engaged on this trip, which was made magical by the photo team - We even bought one of the quite pricey photo packages, but it was absolutely worth it. Getting off the ship was a nightmare and that’s not just because our vacation was coming to an end. 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
after getting off to a rocky start getting on the ship, cruise was great. I was on 2nd floor, thought room was nice. Food was good, many places to eat. I ate at burrito bar, guys burgers, the buffet, sit down dinners, pizza...and lots ... Read More
after getting off to a rocky start getting on the ship, cruise was great. I was on 2nd floor, thought room was nice. Food was good, many places to eat. I ate at burrito bar, guys burgers, the buffet, sit down dinners, pizza...and lots of ice cream !! Liked the shows, band was great, singers and dancers, just ok. comedians were very funny. Had the usual on board, trivia, bingo etc. Played in the casino, actually one a cruise on my last day !! so excited. went to St Thomas...loved it...grab a cab right off the ship, theres a whole list and lots of cabs. good shopping right near ship. Went to St Maartin...been there before..did the beach near the airport excursion (planes fly over you head). this time got off and walked around to beach ( first guy was 25$ for chair and umbrella...2nd guy 20 feet away was $20 for chairs and umbrella...and another 20 feet was 10$ chairs and umbrella) and did shopping. Puerto Rico we did rainforest last time. this time got off and walked around...In Tortola we did the Gorda Rock excursion..could of been much longer, felt rushed ..35 minutes on first beach. then climbed through the Gorda rocks, and then I think around 1 hour on next beach. Margaritaville. we love, but there was another cruise ship there for 6 hours before ours, so pool was very dirty. walk down the beach a little further for less rocks and people. Employees are very kind. A lot of people using scooters. Hey listen i'm not knocking the people that really need them, but some we saw strolling all around the excursions, all around town without them. I don't know..just so many of them. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I am a male in my mid-30s and this was my fourth cruise with Carnival (I've also been on the Splendor, Pride, and Horizon), along with two from Royal Caribbean and one from Princess. I will be providing an extensive review below, in ... Read More
I am a male in my mid-30s and this was my fourth cruise with Carnival (I've also been on the Splendor, Pride, and Horizon), along with two from Royal Caribbean and one from Princess. I will be providing an extensive review below, in the hopes it proves helpful to those reading (I know I appreciate detailed specifics of positives and negatives others give in their reviews, so I like to be equally thorough). While I'll be providing some slight criticisms, mainly related to the ship's layout of certain things, I gave this cruise a full five stars, because for all ten days of this trip, I witnessed what I felt to be virtually-perfect execution of all things within the control of the personnel on board, from dining, to entertainment, to service, to fostering an unrivaled fun atmosphere. Embarkation in Manhattan: Despite going through the same terminal last year at about the same arrival time and boarding the larger Horizon very quickly, this seemed to take a bit longer to get through security this time around. It appeared the line formed on a first come, first served basis, like an airport. No big deal, but it seemed not to make a difference what boarding time/group was arranged beforehand, despite Carnival asking passengers to indicate in advance such arrival times/preferences. Ship Layout: The Sunrise certainly looks nice enough following the refurbishment; however, in transforming the eateries and public spaces from its dry dock as the Triumph, two key issues seemed to have developed. One, the lines at the main buffet itself, regardless of if it's during breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even during the Midnight Buffet this itinerary had, were way too long to be considered normal (the lines at all the other surrounding lunch stations were at least reasonable and moved plenty quickly, like on other ships Carnival has). Two, the placement of the Limelight Lounge (an important venue to get to, since it hosts not only the nightly popular comedy shows and the nightclub it converts to after hours, but also random activities during the day), sandwiched between the two main dining rooms on deck 4, was problematic and even crew members admitted it's hard to find when you're looking for it. You're expected to take one specific set of elevators/stairwell to get to it from a different deck, but no one will blame you if you feel like walking right through the restaurant before, during, or after dinner to avoid the maze. Those two things aside, the ship in general is easy to navigate and they did a good job adding/subtracting venues based on current demands. It's much better that the Promenade Deck has a large RedFrog Pub for popular trivia and games/live music performances instead of separate smaller lounges and library space other ships have had that aren't a good use of real estate, and it's smart that the higher decks now have the Serenity areas, sport square, ropes course, and sizable water park replacing skylights and glass domes that offer less benefit. This helps manage the crowds and keeps adults and kids alike further entertained. Entertainment/Activities: This itinerary was unique in that it is considered a "Journeys" cruise, which means it's nine days or longer, and as a result includes some activities and entertainment options not normally found on shorter cruises Carnival does. Some examples of what this means is a designated 80's-themed day (they played throwback lido deck games that were popular back then, showed 80's movie classics on the poolside movie screen, and featured a lot of live 80's rock and pop music at the various venues at night, also encouraging people to wear costumes), more enrichment-type classes (including ones featuring different kinds of dance lessons for couples and larger groups), a quick walk-through of the galley for those interested in how the dining rooms run their operation, a Captain's Cocktail Party that included drinks and finger foods, and additional opportunities for guests to interact with cast and crew (there was an open Q&A with reps from different departments, a separate Q&A focused specifically on the Broadway-style performers, and most interactive of all, a special one-performance-only show in the main theatre that allows guests to sing and dance with the cast on stage). Without exception, the entertainment offerings were top-notch, not just what I mentioned above, but also each and every one of the musicians on board, all of whom were exceptional and versatile in their respective styles: the Black Diamonds electric violin trio, the Hip Stars and Have Mercy Horns bands, Piano Bar performer Scott, acoustic guitarist Tim, and Steel Drum player Keith. The music playlists were not tired and cliched; they were innovative, varied, and included something for everyone, regardless of age or preferred genre. I was actually having trouble deciding who I wanted to listen to each night, because they were all so good. Dining/Bars: The rebranding as the Sunrise resulted in some upgrades here, including getting the popular Alchemy Bar, RedFrog Pub, and newer eateries such as Guy's BBQ (not to be confused with Guy's Burgers, which it already had as part of the previous Fun Ships 2.0 upgrade that saw the cruise line uniformly put it in along with the build-your-burrito/taco bar, rum bar, and tequila bar across most of the company's main pool decks), Bonsai Sushi, and Cucina Del Capitano (free create-your-own pasta lunch by day, fee-based Italian dinner by night). The one surprise worth pointing out that didn't seem to be talked about much is that there's a new free asian bowl lunch option on the Lido Deck the opposite side of the deli, and it's really good. It's not as customizable as Mongolian Wok, so the line moves faster than ships with the Wok, but it's good quality and fresh. Dining room food was excellent each night, as I usually find it to be, and my lunches mainly consisted of the taco/burrito bar, Guy's BBQ, Guy's Burger's, the deli for hot dogs, and the pasta at Cucina on Embarkation Day (hard for me to pick a favorite). As far as the bars, I went to where the action was at a given moment, but I often found myself at the lobby bar (especially when the electric violins and atrium parties were happening) and the piano bar (the aforementioned Scott was brilliant and kept the room lively enough where I constantly chose him over the nightclub for my late-night destination). Staff/Service: This was, without a doubt, the best I've ever seen on any cruise I've ever been on. Every person, without exception, was fantastic, and it was like the stars aligned to bring this group of MVP-caliber cast and crew together. Here are just some of the things I witnessed during the time onboard: a member of the photography team volunteering to help a family of five complete a six-person "cheerleader pyramid" by getting on all fours herself for a photo op, a random crew member amusing a young kid on the elevator to keep him happy during the ride up, a bartender at Alchemy going all the way to the sous chef just to get more basil for a joke drink one passenger wanted to give someone, and the Playlist Productions cast singing "happy birthday" to a young boy during their Q&A. As far as how else the cast and crew went above and beyond: the electric violin players performed my dad's request (even though they had been sticking to a set playlist throughout), the Playlist Performers were constantly setting aside as much time as requested for passengers to speak to them, practice with them, and learn from them both randomly after performances in the atrium and related to the show that featured guest participation (shoutout to Jeremy and Paige for their work in teaching the singing and choreography to the larger group for the show, and especially to Jeremy for gladly arranging an impromptu backstage tour for me to see behind-the-scenes when he learned of my interest in such production details), and Scott at the piano bar was always up for chatting at the end of the night, no matter how late it was. I would be remiss if I didn't mention how great the dining room staff was, particularly my waiters Ferdinand, Landomar, and Dennis, as well as the personable and hardworking bar staff throughout the ship (though I want to specifically mention Neenee at the lobby bar, and Miguel at the piano bar, both of whom stood out to me, and in the case of Miguel, also doubled as a first-class Elvis impersonator for a contest during one of the shows and joined in sing-alongs at the piano bar). I cannot say enough about how great everyone was, and how much I wish I have the opportunity to see at least some of them again. *I'm giving a separate note here for the cruise director, Chris "The Flying Scotsman" Williams, who as far as I'm concerned, has revolutionized the concept of what a CD can, and should, be. Not only was he the best cruise director I've ever seen, he falls into a category all his own. He didn't simply "make appearances" at events or "hype up" an act before they came on, Chris WAS the event and WAS the act (coming from a strong musical performance background, he even headlined his own main theatre show one night, singing everything from rock hits from bands like Whitesnake to the operatic Nessun Dorma to a heartfelt rendition of a Scottish song to share his roots). He was always around, he always stopped to talk with guests and take pictures, and he brought a level of energy and passion to his work that made you wish Carnival execs were present to see what all their other cruise directors fleetwide should be doing to truly capture the "Fun Ships" experience. Ports: San Juan - Went here last year, and did the same thing: walked around the city and the nearby shops a bit, without doing an excursion. The port time was a bit odd, in that it got in late and left late, so I got some nice pics of the ship from the pier around sunset and after it got dark. Tortola - Did a beach/lunch excursion at nearby Jost Van Dyke. The beach over there was beautiful, somewhat secluded, and had a few bars nearby, including the Soggy Dollar (supposedly the place that created the Painkiller cocktail). Lunch was basic hot dog or hamburger and chips, but it is noteworthy that unlike other places that might give you one ticket or voucher to redeem, they didn't have any issue if you wanted a second hot dog or hamburger or more chips; they weren't being cheap or strict about that. St. Maarten - Did a beach/lunch excursion at a beach on the Dutch side near the airport (not the famous beach directly under where planes lanes, but adjacent). The beach was nice enough too, though I had hoped Orient Beach had recovered sooner from the hurricane so I could have also experienced the French side of the island (Carnival had apparently just started offering a similar excursion there again, but didn't really promote it leading up the cruise, and only a few passengers found out about it in time to book that one instead). Lunch was a little nicer than hot dogs/hamburgers (ex: ribs was an option) St. Thomas - Did the Kon Tiki beach excursion, which was the most fun during the trip to the beach, as they offered unlimited rum punch both to and from the beach, and the vessel included a glass bottom to briefly see marine life (plus they fed yellow snapper off the side to get them to surface). Additionally, they had a steel drum band, a dance lesson, and a limbo contest. The beach they took us to was Honeymoon Beach, very secluded, and even better than Magen's Bay. Grand Turk - Stayed at Margaritaville last year, went down the beach to Jack's Shack this year. The owner's daughter was cool and thanked us for adding a license plate to their collection. Had a couple drinks, some wings, and rented an umbrella for the free chairs out front. The dogs roaming the area were adorable and were living the dream. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We just got back from a 4 day Bermuda on the Sunrise. We chose this cruise because of the length as we did not have the time to book the 8 day to the Caribbean. Regardless, we had so much fun. The ship is in great condition and I thought ... Read More
We just got back from a 4 day Bermuda on the Sunrise. We chose this cruise because of the length as we did not have the time to book the 8 day to the Caribbean. Regardless, we had so much fun. The ship is in great condition and I thought they did a great job with the refurbishment. You are able to tell that the ship is older, however the cabins and guest areas have been quite modernized and are definitely a big step up from the older carnival ships. Our cruise director Chris (the Flying Scotsman) was fantastic! is is always full of energy and he seems to make an appearance at every event around the ship. The fun squad and DJ were good. But we wish they had a few more deck parties as those are usually our favorite on Carnival. We enjoyed our cabins very much as well. We had the interior with walkway views on deck 7 at the front of the ship. It was great having a full size window just like an Oceanview cabin. both embarkation and disembarkation were very easy. During embarkation it was only about 20 minutes from curbside to on the ship. during disembarkation we waited in a short line in the atrium to get off and had very minimal lines at customs. Another reason we chose this ship was for all of the dining options. We are big fans of the new restaurants added such as guys burger joint, the blue iguana cantina, and the pig and anchor smokehouse which was delicious. The service in the dining room was great, we had your time dining and we were always seated in the Sunshine restaurant at the aft of the ship. In Bermuda we decided to take a taxi to Horseshoe bay beach, as we heard it was a great beach. The ride cost $7 per person and was about 15 minutes away. The beach was absolutely beautiful. The front gets crowded, but the back and side of the beach have lots of coves that are much more secluded and great for spending a day at the beach. But, definitely decide to return to the ship early as the line to get a taxi/ shuttle back to the ship was extremely long and people were scrambling to get back to the ship. Overall this was a great getaway cruise, we would definitely go on this ship and route again! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We cruised out of NY since it wasn't too far from home. We had an interior room on deck 2 (2295). We were mid ship close to the elevators, when things were happening in the lobby it got pretty loud in our room. My mom was also on ... Read More
We cruised out of NY since it wasn't too far from home. We had an interior room on deck 2 (2295). We were mid ship close to the elevators, when things were happening in the lobby it got pretty loud in our room. My mom was also on deck 2 but at the front and didn't hear anything. The first night we hit rough waters which lasted into the 2nd day. After that we were fine. I was nervous reading all the bad reviews. Areas can get crowded at peak times (lunch, dinner, shows and certain activities) nothing more than normal. You do have the deck seat savers that get out at the crack of dawn to save seats for them and their party. I had to get up early if my kids wanted to go to the Water Works just so we could get a seat near so I could watch them. Buffet was average, we went to the dining room most nights. The cruise director, Chris Williams (Flying Scotsman) was the BEST! He was awesome, very entertaining and funny. Go see his show, The Flying Scotsman, so good. Entertainment was good. We saw Vintage Pop and Latin Nights, We participated in some games and had an amazing time. The Playlist Performers are great! Don't let the negative reviews scare you away. This ship is great and we had an amazing time on it. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I truly cannot believe some of the negative reviews. Maybe they had bad luck, or you cannot make them happy no matter what. If i see one more comment about long food lines. What the hell do you expect with 3000 passengers? Short lines? Be ... Read More
I truly cannot believe some of the negative reviews. Maybe they had bad luck, or you cannot make them happy no matter what. If i see one more comment about long food lines. What the hell do you expect with 3000 passengers? Short lines? Be patient. You'll get your food. If the buffet was packed(which it was) then I literally walked up to to Guy's burger joint or the blue Iguana and never waited more than minute yes not a misprint . I waited less than a minute a number of times. I know the buffet has more choices. The staff was fantastic. Friendly. Helpful. By the third day at Red Frog Rum bar by the pool I didn't have to ask for my drink. They knew what I wanted. By the way this my first cruise on Carnival. My 5th cruise overall. I had so much. Thats why they call it the fun ships. Keep in mind you decide how much fun you want. Get involved. Enter games and contests. Play trivia. Go to the comedy club. We went four times with four different comedians. Whats great is its not redundant. Your not there for two or three hours. You watch a half hour set and then go do something else. And theres a lot to do. If you don't have fun on this ship your not breathing. It was a big party with strangers that became friends for a little part of their lives. It didn't matter what color, age, sex,religon or where you were from. It was a bunch of people with the same goal, just to have a good time and forget about life for a while (thank you Billy Joel) Too bad that wasn't everywhere. Chris the flying Scottsman made this trip so much better. The energy. The laughs. The guy is hilarious and a sweetheart to boot. Nice man. By the way. The main dining room was fantastic. Always a great meal. We celebrated my daughters sweet 16 at Farenheight steakhouse. I thought $38 extra was ridiculous but the meal and service was awesome. Pizzeria del Capitano was the only food that was open 24 hours besides room service which was dissappointing, but the prosciutto pizza was one of the best pizzas I ever had in my life, and I live in New York and went to Italy. The pool area was set up great. I love they had two bars. Red frog on one side and BluE Iguane on the other. There was plenty of room at both. They basically brought indoor bars outside. Just to sum this up. Each cruise I have been on brought something different to the table NCL Breakaway was great. But so was Sunrise.Just be positive. If you want to just relax, do not go Sunrise, actually don't bother cruising just chill out at a resort. By the way I shared a balcony with three teenage boys. My wife shared with two teenage girls. I never felt cramped. And plenty of room in the closets and drawers One last thing download the app. We never and me never waited for our table at the main dining just let them what time you would like to eat.the app also had all the things to do on the ship whether it was pool games, trivia piano bar bingo etc etc Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise as a first vacation for our blended family of 4 kids. With interior and balcony rooms on deck 6 aft we had plenty of space for her 2 girls and my 2 boys (ages 10, 10, 13, and 14.) Speaking of aft, the back of the ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a first vacation for our blended family of 4 kids. With interior and balcony rooms on deck 6 aft we had plenty of space for her 2 girls and my 2 boys (ages 10, 10, 13, and 14.) Speaking of aft, the back of the ship was like a hidden gem that rarely got crowded and had plenty to offer. It was right up the stairs and the kids had plenty of time in the hot tubs and pool as well as the ropes course and Foosball at all hours of the day/night. Not a single meal disappointed but the lido buffet does get packed during prime hours. We avoided it during the breakfast and lunch rush and had no issues getting food other places. Kids said the hot dogs were the best they ever had. This was my 2nd cruise on the Sunshine class of ships and this sailing was more fun and less stressful than the Sunshine to the Bahamas a few years back. For the girlfriend and her 2 girls it was their first cruise and they loved it. Our only complaints were getting stuck on an elevator for 5 minutes. I'll go into some detail below but overall we had an amazing time going to Bermuda and would definitely sail again on the Sunrise! Now for some specifics: Embarkation and debarkation in New York was incredibility easy. I had faster to the fun, she did not, but we all got to board at the same time. It took 15 minutes from walking into the port to walking on the ship, and leaving was just as easy. We spent probably 20 minutes from when we left our room to walking through customs. Her interior room was small, but the 3 of them didn't do much but sleep in it. We spent a lot of time on my balcony enjoying drinks and the waves. Both rooms were always kept clean and our attendant Chai was awesome. Main dining room (your time dining) was always a blast and the kids had some amazing food. The lobster was a huge hit. Some of the small specialty places to eat were also good. This cruise lacked some of the fun shows in the liquid lounge but we were surprisingly entertained with a jazz program and always have a blast at Hasbro Game Night. I got to go up on the state for my 2nd time and we won. Chris (The Flying Scotsman) is a little over rated in my opinion. I didn't enjoy his company as much as Mason from the Sunshine and his one man show was the only thing we walked out on, the kids were not feeling it. But we did see 3 different shows in the comedy club, 2 of which were kid friendly and they loved it. Pools and hottubs were awesome and never that packed. The water was 80 degrees and felt great. Even the water slides were fun. Again, back on the Sunshine in April a couple years back the water was freezing so this was a pleasant treat. There were of course plenty of people not having a good time, mostly because they were upset with some of the language barriers or slower drink service on the busy days. The beauty of things like Cheers is that you just order another drink before you current one is gone! Bermuda was BEAUTIFUL. I've never had so much fun swimming in the ocean, i'm used to it being a little on the cold side but this trip was perfect. The bus ride to the beach was way too hot and the kids didn't enjoy that part so much. The beach was also packed, but it's a big ocean. Overall, the 6 of us had an amazing trip and only have a handful of complaints but not enough to review this vacation as anything short of perfect. I booked the Sunrise based on the fact that it was recently refurbished and leaving for Bermuda out of New York. I didn't want something as touristy as the Bahamas again. I also knew full well of the "poop cruise" and the negative ratings that the Triumph and some of the newly named Sunrise was getting but didn't let that deter me because you can often tell that some reviews are negative because of someone specific attitude or that they didn't really know what they wanted out of a vacation. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Mikey is awesome he is full of energy keeping everyone interacted with lots partying dancing and Making your vacation at sea very memorable I’ve been on many carnival cruises and out of all this director is the best...he is funny and ... Read More
Mikey is awesome he is full of energy keeping everyone interacted with lots partying dancing and Making your vacation at sea very memorable I’ve been on many carnival cruises and out of all this director is the best...he is funny and makes everyone feel special. The Boat is awesome newly renovated many things to do so plan daily your activities. Kids have a great time leaving the adults to some alone time. The staff are great people always asking you if your okay or need anything extremely polite. The shows are live and you feel like your watching g a broadway show. FOOD FOOD FOOD GALORE...you are never left hungry 24 hr food stations...all you can eat ice cream and much much more...I recommend this cruise lune to all you want to have a great time...if your looking to be left alone and not bothered Carnival is not for you...Try NCL for that...Mikey keep up the awesome work...Vicky V. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I never write reviews but felt inclined to after seeing so many negative reviews. This is my 4th cruise. I just came back from the 8 day Eastern Caribbean cruise - a cruise which I was a little concerned about because of so many poor ... Read More
I never write reviews but felt inclined to after seeing so many negative reviews. This is my 4th cruise. I just came back from the 8 day Eastern Caribbean cruise - a cruise which I was a little concerned about because of so many poor reviews. I'm glad I don't always believe what I read. First, the ship is beautiful. Yes it's a smaller ship but at no time did I feel crowded. Never had a problem getting food - Pig n Anchor, grill, Mexican, raw bar etc.- never more than a few minute wait. Your Time Dining for dinner is great - download the app and request a table. The wait was never more than 10 minutes. Menu changed every night. We were very happy with all our choices. Yes the buffet could get busy but again it was never more than 10 minutes in line. The drink area does bottleneck and it was the only area that annoyed me but it was no big deal. Entertainment was varied and very good. The Acoustic Trio in the Red Frog Pub was our favorite. Mike the cruise director was hysterical and really got people involved but wasn't pushy. All ports of call were beautif - Amber Cove was our favorite. We didn't do any excursions because we just wanted sun sand and water. All in all you get a lot for your money. Embarkation was a breeze - disembarking is still a chore. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Introduction: This cruise was booked 16 months prior to sailing. While it is not our first cruise, it is the first with my daughter and her husband who had no previous cruise experience. I sprang the invitation to my daughter just 6 ... Read More
Introduction: This cruise was booked 16 months prior to sailing. While it is not our first cruise, it is the first with my daughter and her husband who had no previous cruise experience. I sprang the invitation to my daughter just 6 months before the cruise. To say they were excited is an understatement. We traveled to NYC by train the day before sailing, my wife and I from Boston and my daughter and son-n-law from Philadelphia. Embarkation: I have become quite disappointed with the embarkation and debarkation process on Carnival in Manhattan and this cruise was not an exception. Up until 2016 Priority Boarding for Platinum, Diamond and Suite guests we always had a VIP lounge and a separate boarding area. The process was fast, efficient and comfortable. No longer is this the case. The Platinum, Diamond and Suite guests no longer have a lounge, and are grouped together with Faster to the Fun and persons with disabilities. The Ship: When I was looking for a cruise for September it was exciting to see a different ship was coming to New York. For reasons some who have read my previous reviews are aware my wife and I limit our cruises to those out of New York and Boston. We had not sailed on the Triumph before its transformation to the Sunrise this year. I had actually booked the cruise before the change was even publicized. I prefer the ships under 110,000 so this met my entire criterion. The ship was clean which given it just went through a $200 million refurbishment should not come as a surprise. While it never, even breakfast at the Lido, seemed crowded it always felt compressed like they want to be all things to all people. Each venue seemed shrunk to fit. The two exceptions were Pixels and Serenity. Way too much space taken up with this money grabbing venue of which my wife took full advantage. We unfortunately were unable to find any seating at Serenity on the three times we attempted. Simply stated we are not early risers so we just went back to our wonderful balcony which I discuss next under Stateroom. I was a bit disappointed with the layout of the ship. Getting to the Limelight Lounge on Deck 4 with the Punch Liner Comedy is a bit complicated. You have to traverse the Radiance Dining Room or walk partially through the Casino on Deck 5 then take the elevator or stairs down to Deck 4. Rarely will you be able to enter through the back side next to the Sunshine Dining Room. Stateroom: I originally booked Grand Suites but about a month before the cruise when we were “visiting” the ship on-line my wife saw the Captain’s Suite. As the saying goes “Happy Wife, Happy Life” so I checked and miraculously there was one of the two Captain’s Suites available. My daughter and her husband were pleased with the Grand Suite but I can not give any details given I did not ever see the suite. As for the Captain’s Suite, it is a bit more than two people need, separate bathrooms…? really now! Lots of storage space, large televisions in the sitting room and bedroom, lots of electric outlets and USB outlets, huge balcony with a table and four chairs and two lounge chairs and a spectacular view out the front of the ship. The room is directly above the ship’s bridge so the view is as good as the Captain’s. My wife did find the bathtub while jetted was smaller than previous suites. Food: The food was fine in all the venues we visited with the exception of the lobster in the MDR and the Seafood Shack. My wife, who is a Maine lobster fanatic found them to be, in her words “slimy”. She did find the shrimp and chowder to be very good and I have the tab to prove it. Also we are not Sushi lovers, did not find time for the tacos at the Blue Iguana Cantina or Guy’s Pig and Anchor Smokehouse. I would be remiss to not mention Guy’s Burger Joint. My two previous experiences of biting into a piece of charcoal and then a leather belt will never be forgotten. Being the forgiving type and always giving a second chance, in this case third chance, I went for it. And glad I did. THIS was what I had wanted all along. Even though it was well done, it was still juicy and delicious. I really enjoyed this burger immensely. We did dine at Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse and Cucina del Capitano and both are well worth the additional fee. More of an observation rather than a criticism or complaint we have always left the dining room after eating satisfied. This time we felt stuffed. My daughter, who is not afraid of food, was unable to empty her plate on several occasions. It seems Carnival, possibly just this chef, has increased the portion sizes. Previously, we would order another entrée, go to another venue and get something more to eat, get a soft serve ice cream or simply wait till the late night dining at the Lido. None of that occurred on this cruise. Staff: The staff throughout the ship was wonderful. The bar/ lounge staff, the dining staff, room steward guest services, etc. If they ever knew our name, they would always greet us using our names. I’m not sure how they do it, sometimes I do not remember my own. Entertainment: Al Ernst is one of the funniest if not THE funniest guys I have seen on a cruise ship. Yeah, he doesn’t swear up a storm or look for ways to insult the audience or have a bunch of filthy stories to tell but he is one heck of a great comedian. Thank you, Al for two wonderful evenings of humor. The shows in the Liquid Lounge were enjoyable with very talented performers. We did find the Electric Violins in the Sunrise Lobby played a louder than we prefer thus did our drinking and socializing elsewhere. Ports/Excursions: We only left the ship at Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic. We missed this Carnival private port on the Vista in 2016 due to strong winds. We rented an Ocean View Cabana which was very enjoyable. My daughter and son-in-law rode the zip line once and decided as much fun as it was, the trek back to the top really wasn’t worth it. The pool looked very inviting and there were plenty of chairs but I really enjoyed sitting and relaxing in the Cabana with an occasional hop into the water. Getting up the ladder out of the water is quite an ordeal. I suggest a couple more rungs on the ladder deeper in the water. Pretty tough on us older folk (I’m 72) and those who may be a bit on the hefty side. On the other port days we took advantage of the pool as the ship was vacated of passengers. Ah, maybe this is when we should have visited Serenity! No pool though. Debarkation: We were told to be in the Liquid Lounge at 8:15 A.M. to take advantage of Priority Debarkation. Not sure why we had to be there when we weren't allowed off until 9:30 A.M. No coffee, juice and pastry were available as has been the case on previous cruises. Had I known, we would have had a relaxing breakfast in the MDR and been the last people off the ship at 10:30. Conclusion: This certainly wasn’t our first rodeo with Carnival and God willing not our last. Overall the cruise was great with the exceptions of embarkation and debarkation. I hope to sail the Sunrise again and take advantage of the some of the other things it has to offer. While we have been on prettier ships, enjoyed better pampering and sailed for more days we are thankful the lord gave us the physical and financial ability to go on this cruise and will have memories that will stay with us the rest of our lives. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise as it suited our time frame and the price was extremely fair. I was however nervous a couple of days prior to departure after reading some terrible reviews. Embarking went fantastic very quick and efficient the ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it suited our time frame and the price was extremely fair. I was however nervous a couple of days prior to departure after reading some terrible reviews. Embarking went fantastic very quick and efficient the appointment times work so there is no wait to get onboard and begin the vacation. First impressions were staff very friendly and welcoming love the new designs in the lobby atrium very welcoming and feels very roomy. Straight up onto the lido deck we went to check it out. It was extremely busy as you can imagine as everyone was enjoying the bar and ample types of foods. Mikey from the entertainment was absolutely phenomenal I’ve never laughed so hard and right from the beginning I knew this was going to be a good one. We were able to access our cabins at 1:30pm which was awesome so we could get ourselves situated before we set sail. We stay in cabin aft 6439 balcony the room design was awesome and more than enough closets 3 in total full length mirror on inside of one of the doors. In the bureau there was ample drawers 6 in total. With a built in desk and another great mirror. And shelves built around it. The cabin was fabulous no complaints whatsoever about the cleanliness and the bathroom is actually bigger with a decent amount of counter space on the vanity along with 6 shelves. Love the water temperature adjuster huge thumbs up on this. Deck party phenomenal all the Entertainment was fabulous there was so much to do never a minute to become bored. Serenity was amazing we even found ourselves falling asleep with the tranquil music that was being played and the chaises made for 2 so comfortable. Dining room very efficient we were welcomed each evening no problems with service or food all excellent. I would highly recommend a night at the Fahrenheit steakhouse the food was amazing. All in all no complaints at all only praise. We enjoyed ourselves so much that we already booked for next year but this time instead of the 4 day we are doing 8 loved it Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Why Yes, and No? The Sunrise is a ship that is not new, but is new, a refurbished ship with many new amenities and also many new cabins which means more people. Unfortunately the cabins were put in at the expense of public areas. So, ... Read More
Why Yes, and No? The Sunrise is a ship that is not new, but is new, a refurbished ship with many new amenities and also many new cabins which means more people. Unfortunately the cabins were put in at the expense of public areas. So, why Yes and No? It's not a great ship but not nearly as bad as some of the reviews are making it out to be. We were supposed to embark in Manhattan, NY but were notified by Carnival a month before that the pier was being closed by Port Officials due to repairs, so we would embark in Brooklyn, NY after the ship disembarked passengers from the previous cruise in Manhattan and repositioned to Brooklyn. As we live on Long Island and Brooklyn is actually on Long Island, it was not a problem for us, but for others coming from out of the immediate area it posed somewhat of a logistical problem. But this was not Carnival's doing nor fault. The repositioning also caused a two hour delay in boarding. Carnival gives a choice of boarding times and we had chosen 12:30 to 1:00 PM, now making it a boarding time of 2:30 - 3 PM with sailaway at 6 PM. After speaking to a Carnival agent we were told to stick to the original time of 12:30, then another agent told someone on our CruiseCritic forum to go with the two hour delay. At this point I figured it would be a free for all as people would be arriving at all different times, and I was right. We unloaded at the baggage area at 1:14 PM, and we were on the ship by 1:56 PM, less than 45 minutes. We are not Platinum or Diamond VIFP and did not have FTTF. It went pretty smoothly, very organized, all the staff was helpful and friendly. Sailing out of Brooklyn you get to see the Statue of Liberty but do not sail by her. So the captain brought the ship out of the channel between the dock and Governor's Island and then turned UP river, just past the Statue and then back down again giving everyone on both sides of the ship some great views of her and great pictures too. My wife and I enjoyed the ship and enjoyed being on the ship. I can honestly say this was a strange cruise. We were supposed to go to Bermuda for two nights but due to rough seas and a hurricane we were diverted to Charleston, SC , then supposed to go on to Bermuda for one day. So a 25% future cruise credit because of the missed night in port. Then when the ship could not continue on to Bermuda due to rough seas, a 100% future cruise credit and a slooooooow (approximately 8 knots or around 10 mph) cruise home to Brooklyn. A total of five sea days, which we love, and a visit to a port we've never been to. We had some rocky seas and it seemed as if the ship was less stable than others I've been on. People were getting sick and I was queasy, but I had developed a problem in my abdomen just prior to the cruise so not sure how much that played into it. And we did not notice any foul odors or smells nor did we hear of a complaints of any. The Carnival Sunrise is a nice enough ship, but not too sure about the renovation. Carnival used to boast the biggest cabins on the sea, but it sure didn't feel like that at all. The room was sparse, one picture on the wall, a large screen tv, and that's it, fairly stark, but we didn't go to stay in our cabin. Plenty of food areas, the outside areas are nice, but getting to and from the Lido buffet was cramped, though not as bad as some of the reviews have said. I question that if they would have to close the outside decks due to weather if they would be able to accommodate all the passengers in the inside spaces. Guy's Burgers and Pig and Anchor were very good, as was the pizza and Blue Iguana Cantina. I only ate breakfast there, but it was a bit different and very good. The Lucky Bowl was good, I enjoyed the Asian "soup" bowls, but didn't eat at the Deli, nor the Seafood Shack. We always eat at the Steakhouse, and this was no disappointment, very good food, excellent service, and we took advantage of the free wine for the first night. We are not big drinkers, I don't drink at all and my wife lightly, so the bottle lasted the whole trip for her. Sushi bar was adequate, not great, but very nice over all. We did not eat at Cucina Del Capitano. Moving forward and aft on some of the decks was impossible causing diversions to other decks by going up or down and then reversing direction on the other side. This was on Decks 4 and 5. (We've cruised on the Carnival Splendor and didn't like it there either). The problem is that you use the elevator to get to a deck, only to find that you need to go to another deck to go through the ship. Also, some of the venues i.e., sushi bar, red frog pub, alchemy and the piano bar on the 5th deck are accessed either by the aft elevator or by walking through the casino, a smoking allowed area. Not good, but not really a deal breaker either. The entertainment was good, the shows very nice, and the shipboard musicians very good. The cruise director, Mikey, was very good, very high energy, funny and not intrusive. He and his team did a great job keeping things going, especially being as there were extra sea days to cover. We did not go to the comedy shows. The musicians found in the various venues were generally good, some not to our liking, and some were excellent. The staff; room stewards, main dining rooms, Lido food venues, Farenheit 555, and general cleaning crew, were excellent. They were friendly and very efficient. In Charleston we walked the Market to the right of the pier on, well, Market St. Nice, it seemed expensive to me, but I'm not a shopper. We also took a one hour carriage ride, with the company with the red sashes, through part of the historic area which was very nice, relaxing and informative. Guide was engaging, knowledgeable and humorous. Fee for the one hour was $28.00 per person. Disembarkation was very smooth and quick. We chose to have our baggage taken off and we also chose the late disembarkation. Finding our baggage was easy as it was the last set left in our zone and moving through the Customs line was pretty quick too. We were off the ship and waiting for about 10 minutes for our ride to pick us up. Good timing on my daughter's part. We go on a cruise to have a good time, and plan on it to be a good time. I've never had a bad time on a cruise, and we don't drink or gamble, I figure if you plan on it being good, it will be. Is this our favorite ship? No, but we would definitely sail on her again. At least the next time we'd be way more used to the through ship travelling. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I can’t begin to understand how any one can complain about the ship. Although I was one of the unfortunate ones to have their ports cancelled due to hurricane Humberto, I still can’t say a bad thing. They’re giving us a free cruise ... Read More
I can’t begin to understand how any one can complain about the ship. Although I was one of the unfortunate ones to have their ports cancelled due to hurricane Humberto, I still can’t say a bad thing. They’re giving us a free cruise for the inconvenience and the staff did amazing! Yes being stuck on a port for 6 out of 7 days during bad seas was rough but the staff did everything they can to make us feel safe and welcomed. EVERY STAFF MEMBER on that ship is AMAZING ! The entertainment is top notch.. food is the best I’ve ever had and I’m sorry there was no waiting , ship was clean and never felt crowded. The entertainment went on even though it was hard to stand on the stage , trust me I know I was on it as well. You can’t predict bad weather and we we’re u lucky but As I said the staff did everything they could to make it a fun cruise . All our excursions were refunded immediately . I would highly recommend guys burgers and the blue cantina, food was amazing . The alchemy bar was hands down the best drinks and most talented bartenders I’ve ever seen and that’s coming from a bartender myself, I learned a lot of tricks from them. I highly Recommend ignoring the bad reviews and booking this cruise! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was a great ship...the service...the staff...the food...not over crowded at all...yes breakfast buffet lines were long...but they were typical buffet lines...and we avoided them daily by going to the mini buffet stations and the ... Read More
This was a great ship...the service...the staff...the food...not over crowded at all...yes breakfast buffet lines were long...but they were typical buffet lines...and we avoided them daily by going to the mini buffet stations and the omelette stations...omelette station at the seafood shack, never a wait...cruise director mikey was the best...sorry for you new guys...mikey was shipped off to the sunshine at the end of this cruise...big shout out to yulia and sonya and ivana at alchemy, best martini makers on the seas...playlist dancers were good...previous reviews had me nervous, but kept an open mind and had a great cruise...we did our own shore excursions except in halifax, where we did the hop on and hop off on the big pink bus...didn't see any problems occur on the ship...no fights...no drunks...and 8 days of beautiful seas...a little chilly in the outdoors bur this was a new england/ canada cruise...thank you carnival... Read Less
Sail Date September 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 2.9
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.4
Family 5.0 3.4
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.1
Enrichment 2.0 2.9
Service 3.5 3.7
Value For Money 4.5 3.0

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