1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 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
1 Helpful Vote
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: 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
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
6 Helpful Votes
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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 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 $7 per person and was about 15 minutes away. The beach was absolutely beautiful. The front gets crowded, but the back and side of the beach have lots of coves that are much more secluded and great for spending a day at the beach. But, definitely decide to return to the ship early as the line to get a taxi/ shuttle back to the ship was extremely long and people were scrambling to get back to the ship. Overall this was a great getaway cruise, we would definitely go on this ship and route again! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
after getting off to a rocky start getting on the ship, cruise was great. I was on 2nd floor, thought room was nice. Food was good, many places to eat. I ate at burrito bar, guys burgers, the buffet, sit down dinners, pizza...and lots ... Read More
after getting off to a rocky start getting on the ship, cruise was great. I was on 2nd floor, thought room was nice. Food was good, many places to eat. I ate at burrito bar, guys burgers, the buffet, sit down dinners, pizza...and lots of ice cream !! Liked the shows, band was great, singers and dancers, just ok. comedians were very funny. Had the usual on board, trivia, bingo etc. Played in the casino, actually one a cruise on my last day !! so excited. went to St Thomas...loved it...grab a cab right off the ship, theres a whole list and lots of cabs. good shopping right near ship. Went to St Maartin...been there before..did the beach near the airport excursion (planes fly over you head). this time got off and walked around to beach ( first guy was 25$ 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
6 Helpful Votes
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
12 Helpful Votes
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
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
Chose this cruise because it left from NY. Short hour drive from our home state of RI. Prior to leaving for the trip I was concerned due to all the bad reviews. I knew going in what my expectations were and was not going to let other ... Read More
Chose this cruise because it left from NY. Short hour drive from our home state of RI. Prior to leaving for the trip I was concerned due to all the bad reviews. I knew going in what my expectations were and was not going to let other people's experiences ruin my good time. The cruise overall was very good, even better than expected. Embarkation was quick in NY. We were at the port about 15 minutes before our embarkation time and got on the vessel vey quickly. I would guess from the time we arrived to the port to the time we were on the ship was no more than 45 minutes. Due to the pending hurricane forming in the Bahamas they rerouted our port of calls. The captain did a wonderful job of getting us to all the ports just in a different order. Ports of call were nice. Worst part of all of it was the late people getting on when last call was called to board AT EVERY PORT. I mean come people, you have to plan better. My 8 year old and I would sit on our balcony at every port to see the late people running to the ship. We ate 90% of our meals in the restaurants. Breakfast served in the main dining was average. Dinners served there were very good. Not sure why the food reviews were so bad. Had pizza and burgers for lunch most days. Burgers on board from Guy's were VERY good. Tasted like a 5 guys burger. Pizza was passable. Onboard entertainment was good. The shows were excellent, just not enough of them. Piano bar with Eden was awesome. That guy is an excellent performer. One issue was one of the Fun Crew was a young lady from Jamaica. They put her in charge of a lot of the trivia, but she has a really hard time reading. Why would you make her do that job? Most people could not understand what the heck she was saying and then she would get mad when the crowd corrected her. Main dining room service was excellent for dinner every night. Room steward was great as well. Overall great cruise and would sail on the Sunrise again Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Hubby and I on our first cruise which was also our honeymoon. With a swollen ankle, this by far was heaven in paradise. The food was great with a big variety of different tastes. Alot of activities like Bingo, Dress up Attire for ... Read More
Hubby and I on our first cruise which was also our honeymoon. With a swollen ankle, this by far was heaven in paradise. The food was great with a big variety of different tastes. Alot of activities like Bingo, Dress up Attire for Dinner, art auctions and galore of different shops. It was great and I cant wait for the next one. The water was beautiful, the people where friendly and the drinks never ran out. The sunrise and sunsets were beautiful, and the clouds were so close it felt you could reach out and touch one. The stars were bright and we were able to see the big dipper. But what surprise me the most was how dark it was at night The whole experience was amazing, I will alawys dwell on this trip, and in my heart of hearts this trip will alawys remind me that I am finally living my best life. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Overall had a great time! Family of 4 (kids 5 and 9). 4 night cruise to Bermuda on August 15th. The crowd was very diverse, but very friendly. Met a lot of people from NY and CT, even a few from England. We are from Philly, we ... Read More
Overall had a great time! Family of 4 (kids 5 and 9). 4 night cruise to Bermuda on August 15th. The crowd was very diverse, but very friendly. Met a lot of people from NY and CT, even a few from England. We are from Philly, we vacation in OC NJ, this crowd was more from Wildwood. We chose this cruise since we could drive to the port, overall it was a simple process. We parked and off loaded our luggage; and it took less than 10 minutes to get through security and onto the ship. The buffet lines were long for lunch on embarkation day, Guy's burger joint and the mexican place had long lines too (hint: go upstairs above the mexican place and eat at the Pig and Anchor, decent BBQ food and there was no line). You can also get a pizza delivered to you anywhere on the ship, this would be another idea on embarkation day, just use the app the pizza delivery guy will come to you, cost is $5 for delivery but it beats standing in line for 20 minutes. The pizza was awesome! Many other reviews complained really bad about the buffet lines and the 2 choke points...these reviews are accurate but just do you best to avoid those areas and you will be fine. The choke points were crowded but they encompass 10 feet of the entire ship, not the end of the world! Avoid the breakfast buffet line by going to the restaurant for breakfast, no lines! Kids loved the water slides and water splash area! We never really had an issue getting a lounge chair, maybe we were lucky but it was fine for us. We used Anytime dining: perfect with the kids since they wanted to stay outside for a while. I made reservations on the app 5 minutes before we wanted to eat every night and it was not an issue. You have to walk around the casino bar (yes, I agree with everyone else that it is a stupid design to walk through a smoky casino bar right after you grab a shower so I can get to dinner!). Drinks were a bit hard to come by in the restaurant, the waiters are all running around but the service is a bit below average. We grabbed drinks at the Alchemy Bar which is on the way to the dining room. I even ran out to grab drink #2 because it was easier than waiting. **You are allowed to bring 2 bottles of wine on the boat on embarkation day and you are allowed to carry it to your room. Read the alcohol rules, it is permitted. We each brought a bottle. Some night she filled a glass and carried it with her to dinner, it saved about $12/drink. My wife had the salmon and loved it, I had the flank steak (it was more of a sirloin as opposed to a thin flank but it was really good). I ordered multiple meals every night, and usually had the flank steak too. She had the salmon several times and like it. Avoid the seafood medley, seafood was overcooked and it was kind of bland. Several of the mushroom apps were good and there was a mushroom veg entree that my wife really liked. Kids menu was simple, spaghetti, burgers, hotdog, chicken fingers. They like ordering a few desserts each night. The Carnival Hot Lava cake is great every time! On Bermuda day: Get to the buffet early. Everyone is going to the buffet, it was really crowded, I would try to get there by 8am. We arrived around 9:15 and it was jammed. We went to horseshoe beach, take a taxi, it costs about $32. The shuttle bus costs $7/person which is $28. Don't bother renting an umbrella, there was another ship in port with our ship and the beach was jammed. By noon you can grab a vacated umbrella before the staff packs them up. The line for getting back was really long, I stood in line for about 20 minutes while my wife and kids played on the beach. We took a taxi back, same cost of $32. Shuttle bus line was 3x as long. We got our photos taken all of the time on the way to/from dinner. Usually this is annoying, but the kids thought it was a special thing. And honestly, the photos really came out great, my wife ended up buying a few of them. The photographers normally harass you, but these photographers were very friendly and really enjoyed their job. After dinner, we would hang in the Red Frog pub, foosball and shuffle board and board games are hidden in the back and kept he kids busy while we drank beer! The Flying Scotsman was worth the price by himself! Be sure to attend the R&B Night in the lobby bar. There was no lie probably 1,000 people in the bar, stairs, mezzanine, and upper floors looking over the rail. The whole place was singing and he was dancing and singing on the bar. Simply awesome! He does a 1 man show that was pretty good as well, not as crowded as the R&B show, but he sang opera which was pretty neat to see (I like Classic Rock and he did a lot of that too). Our kids did not do Camp Ocean, they wanted to stay on the water slides so I cannot rate the children's activities. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We live in NY and chose this cruise as a nice family get away since it left from NY and we would not have to fly to get on the ship. Embarkation was a breeze. We got to port and walked right on to the ship. We ate at Lido deck any by ... Read More
We live in NY and chose this cruise as a nice family get away since it left from NY and we would not have to fly to get on the ship. Embarkation was a breeze. We got to port and walked right on to the ship. We ate at Lido deck any by the time we were done our rooms were ready. We had a Spa balcony on the 10th floor. The room was clean, ample space, great light. The temperature was perfect. Our room steward Constantine was terrific! The spa amenities were amazing! I will admit, I got really nervous prior to the cruise as I was reading all the reviews, but quite honestly, it really isn't that bad. I agree that they redesign of the ship made the Lido marketplace smaller and led to very long lines during peak times. The air conditioning can was hit or miss in different areas. However, there are lots of places to eat on lido or nearby, all quick with no lines. Also, if you altered when you went, even the buffet had short lines. Deck chair availability is the same as I have seen on every ship! You have to be there early to get a pool side seat. I typically came to Lido around 7:30 and never had a problem, even on sea days. The pools were small but not all that much smaller than other ships of this size. I was able to enjoy less crowded pool before lunch time. I never saw dirty dishes. The crew were quick to constantly clean and pick up dishes. Entertainment was great. We went to the shows in the Liquid Lounge most nights. We never had an issue getting a seat. We typically got there about 10-15 minutes before the show. You really can't show up at 7:29 for a 7:30 show an expect prime seating.. and that is on any ship! Chris (the Flying Scotsman), our cruise director was fabulous! This is our second time sailing with him (previously on the Vista) and he always makes it a fun time. We were wait listed for late dining and it did not go through so when we got on the ship, we were given any time dining. After a quick chat with the hostess on the first night, we were given a late dining table for the remainder of the cruise. Our wait staff were terrific, going above and beyond. One member of our party was not feeling well and our waiter took the food from Deck 3 aft to Deck 10 forward (all the way forward!!) for 2 nights so she would not have to wait until we finished our meal! The food was good.. same as on other Carnival ships we've been on. My husband asked for "more authentic" flavored Indian vegetarian and the chefs delivered! They even special prepared some dishes for him. We ate breakfast in the MDR on port days. Always quick and delicious! Other places we ate at were Guys & Blue Cantina, both really good! Service throughout the ship was terrific! Everywhere from Lido, to MDR, to liquid lounge, casino, bars, cabin crew, spa, fun squad... not a single complaint. Always smiling, always helpful. In addition to enjoying the thermal suite ( which was included with our balcony) we went for a few different services in the spa. The massages were amazing!! And all of the spa staff are lovely. We participated in a lot of the activities around the ship, from games to trivia to shows. There is plenty going on around the ship. You can choose to do as much or as little as you want. Ports: Grand Turk: We love this port. We took a quick cab ride to Pillory beach.. one of best beaches on the island San Juan: We've been before so I decided not to disembark and enjoyed having the ship to myself. Amber Cove: Went to the pool for a while but wasn't really crazy about this port. Overall - yes the ship is smaller and older and could have been designed better, but it was clean, great crew and we had a fun and relaxing vacation. Would I go on this shop again? Maybe not, but I would not rule it out if it fit my schedule. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
I choose Carnival because I have always had a great experience, I am a third time cruiser and I enjoy the activities that are set in place, the way Carnival has you feeling like family, the restaurants are great, there is so much to do, ... Read More
I choose Carnival because I have always had a great experience, I am a third time cruiser and I enjoy the activities that are set in place, the way Carnival has you feeling like family, the restaurants are great, there is so much to do, the shows are amazing, the dancing and singing, it is sooo much to do one can never get bored, and I half to say, the cruise director Christopher Williams is such a phenomenal individual, knowledgeable, smart, kool, nice, happy and he keeps everyone going... he’s just the best at what he does, he keeps people entertained and makes everyone life happy regardless of what is going on in they personal lives... I am literally crying as I write this review, I will never cruse another cruise line but Carnival, to see is to believe, experience the love for yourself, it is the best feeling in the world.. thank you Carnival for making my wife and I experiences with your cruse lone the absolute best... Christopher Williams, thank you for all the great memories, videos and photos we have.. when I get down and need a pick me up.. I play a video and feel really good, until I can book again... Happy Sailing ⛵️ Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Booked this cruise for my grandson's 16th birthday celebration. As we live in NJ, a NYC departure was a no-brainer for convenience and, as repeat Carnival cruisers, my wife and I were looking forward to a typical Carnival cruise ... Read More
Booked this cruise for my grandson's 16th birthday celebration. As we live in NJ, a NYC departure was a no-brainer for convenience and, as repeat Carnival cruisers, my wife and I were looking forward to a typical Carnival cruise experience. My daughter and son-in-law and our three grandchildren had a less than satisfactory cruise with NCL last year and we assured them that Carnival would provide a much more satisfying and fun experience. Carnival did not disappoint with anything but the ship itself. Having heard about the expensive renovations being done to the ship, we expected to sail upon a relatively pristine cruise ship. While one can understand that companies need to maximize profits, it was apparent the "renovations" were not to the ship's systems for additional passenger's comfort. Rather, they were simply for additional passengers. The ship clearly shows it's age. More rust shows on her than I've ever seen on a cruise ship. Our cabin door had a damaged balcony door handle which physically needed to be positioned properly to latch. Our shower head fell onto my head while showering, requiring a maintenance visit. Closet motion-activated lights did not work. None of this was a deal breaker but one expects a Grand Suite to be, at the very least, grand. We worked around it. Not sure what the problems were with the air conditioning, but it was sweltering throughout most of the ship for the first day and a half and marginal after that. There was no relief from the heat sailing out of New York. Throughout the entire cruise, we got not one drop of cold water from our sink and water pressure was sufficient but not what we are used to aboard other ships. It is impossible to overstate the crowded conditions on board and the apparent lack of thought given to the design with which the movement of that number of people would be handled. Navigating most Carnival ships is fairly straightforward for passengers. Not on this ship. Two major choke points exist on the Lido deck between the interior tables and the pool area. To make things worse in these areas, coffee and drink dispensers are located therein. So, in an area through which two people might barely pass, lines formed for drinks, making it almost impossible to get through. As experienced cruisers, we know to avoid the Lido during peak times and that was especially important aboard the Sunrise. Seating seemed very difficult to find. We chose to avoid the buffet most days due to it's limited size and the resultant incredibly long lines. The dining room for breakfast was our preference and the specialty fast food venues like Guy's Burgers, the Deli and Lucky bowl were lunchtime choices. Everyone in our group was more than happy with the selection and quality of food served in the dining room. My grandson has a deadly food allergy and he was given special consideration in that he was able to see the following day's menu and select those dishes which interested him. The chefs then prepared his meals separately and he had a very enjoyable dining experience throughout the cruise. The seating in the Limelight and Liquid lounges seemed adequate for the numbers of folks we observed attending the shows. Bar areas had plenty of seating and the Red Frog's size was a pleasant surprise. You might think by now that we didn't enjoy our cruise. Nothing could be further from the truth. My wife and I had a wonderful time and my daughter's family swear they will cruise Carnival again. My grandchildren said it was one of the best vacations they have ever taken. Carnival's secret weapon is their people. Folks like Chris Williams, the cruise director and his fun squad, the dining room personnel and bar staff, room stewards and other ships personnel make Carnival our choice. We find the vast majority of ship's complement with whom we interact to be welcoming, smiling and friendly. I have read some reviews in which ship's personnel are described as rude and unresponsive. We have had absolutely zero experiences like that. However, there might be an explanation for some crew frustration: Pat and I normally cruise in late spring (April-May). Young people are still in school at that time of year. By necessity, we cruised in July this year. Never again. During this cruise, we were witness to some of the most arrogant and disrespectful behavior we have ever seen. Teenagers running down hallways and pounding on stateroom doors as they went, wrestling and throwing things at each other in elevator waiting areas, verbally abusing ship's personnel, sitting and blocking stairwells while eating and refusing to move to let people by, leaving their plates of unfinished food on the stairs, screaming obscenities, etc. I don't think we would ever cruise the Sunrise again but we would certainly cruise Carnival without hesitation. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
First, some personal background. I am a 63 year old widower cruising with my 34 year old son. This was my 6th cruise with Carnival to go with 2 on Royal Caribbean, 1 on Princess, and 1 on Norweigian. This was his 4th with Carnival to go ... Read More
First, some personal background. I am a 63 year old widower cruising with my 34 year old son. This was my 6th cruise with Carnival to go with 2 on Royal Caribbean, 1 on Princess, and 1 on Norweigian. This was his 4th with Carnival to go with 2 on Royal Caribbean and 1 on Princess.We try to go on a cruise together once a year as he lives in another state and we only see each other a few times a year. Here is my review: The Sunrise is the new name for the refurbished Triumph (which I sailed on in 2007). There were only a few things I noticed different from the Triumph, a main difference was a very poorly designed Marketplace Grand Buffet. The design created very long and slow lines, a problem that I spoke to an officer about several days into the cruise (he informed me that Carnival was aware of the problem and was looking at their options). Otherwise, the other food venues and the main dining room were quite good, with many options and delicious food.. There were a couple of problems with the layout of some of the public areas. Some of the "routes" through the ship were confusing, requiring some roundabout travels to get to some of the public places.Nothing that would constitute a crisis, but annoying anyway. The entertainment aboard ship was terrific. Oh sure, it had the usual Carnival stuff like trivia, bingo, multiple comedians, stage productions, etc., but it had an absolutely AMAZING cruise director, Chris Williams AKA The Flying Scotsman (and yes he wears a kilt all day every day). This man may very well be the BEST cruise director on any ship today. He is an electric bundle of energy and talent and it is obvious he loves his job.He keeps the crowd rocking every day, leads parties and activities, lingers and interacts with the passengers all day long. He sings, dances,and even has his own show 1 night in the big showroom.(sometimes I wondered if there was more than 1 of him on the ship as he seems to be everywhere at once). You can see some of him on his Facebook site. I have nothing but great things to say about the ENTIRE crew, staff, entertainment people, etc. on this cruise. Without exception, they were all terrific. A special call out to our room steward Javier, waitstaff Ferdinand/Dennis/Landomar, and bartender Neenee for their wonderful and attentive efforts to make us happy...they were nothing less than perfect. Now to the ports and excursions: San Juan: Just walked the Old City area, we had been there the year before and did the same thing. Shops, restaurants, nothing noteworthy. Tortola: We went on a Jost Van Dyke beach excursion consisting of a 20 minute boat ride from the port to a very beautiful and picturesque beach for a couple of hours of swimming, sunning, etc. that included a light lunch (burger or hot dog, bag of chips, and a beer/soda/or water). Very enjoyable, highly recommend. St. Maarten: We went on a "Beach Break With Lunch" excursion. A 45 minute bus ride to a pleasant enough beach for a couple of hours sunning and swimming and watching small lizards scamper across the sand. Lunch consisted of fish, chicken, or bbq ribs with rice, and included unlimited fruit or rum punch during the entire stay at the beach. Also a nice excursion. St. Thomas: We went on the "Kon Tiki" beach excursion which consisted of a 30 minute boat ride (with a live steel band) to another beautiful beach and also unlimited fruit or rum punch.(no lunch though). This boat also stops over a reef for a few minutes and opens up to multiple glass bottom sections of the deck to observe the reef life (some fish, nothing shocking). What makes this excursion unique is that on the return trip, it becomes sorta a party boat - dancing and a limbo contest to go along with the steel band and punch.Highly recommend. Grand Turk: We took a 15 minute walk down the beach from the port to " Jack's Shack", a family owned bar with a limited food menu and enjoyed the ambiance of the non-cruise environment. (even some of the cruise staff go here to avoid the hustle and bustle of the overcrowded port).(note: $10 gets an umbrella and 2 lounge chairs) There even are a couple of friendly pooches that are part of "the family" that roam and interact with the visitors. (Jack's Shack has a website if you want to look at it). Summary: a great staff and crew led by an amazing cruise director made this trip a rousing success, with only a flawed buffet set up and some weird routes required to navigate the ship keeping me from giving it 5 stars. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
My wife and I have traveled many times with Carnival and like the upbeat atmosphere. Although the cruise started off rough due to the port fiasco (arrived at 11:00 a.m., got onboard at 3:00 p.m.), we ended up having a great time. Dinner ... Read More
My wife and I have traveled many times with Carnival and like the upbeat atmosphere. Although the cruise started off rough due to the port fiasco (arrived at 11:00 a.m., got onboard at 3:00 p.m.), we ended up having a great time. Dinner seating (early with friends) was not correct but Maitre D fixed it first night for us. This was a Journey cruise with an 80's theme. The Flying Scotsman was excellent as far as entertaining everyone (and a great singer too!). Food at the restaurant seemed to have fewer choices than normal. Looks like Carnival is trying to cut back as a way to save money. Food was decent just the choices were much less than it has been over the years. Cabin was nice (room 2340) and has been recently redone. Stewards did a good job cleaning although took till late morning on some days to get done. Guys Pig and Anchor good but not as good as on Horizon. Guys burgers was excellent. Breakfast/lunch on lido was average. Serenity lounge is in front of ship and was quite windy. No pool, 2 Jacuzzis and had a prevalent garbage smell on one side. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Arrived at the port around 11 and only weddings and media were being checked in. So we waited maybe 15 minutes and then we were able to get to the check-in scanner-holding people who scanned your passport and check marked your boarding ... Read More
Arrived at the port around 11 and only weddings and media were being checked in. So we waited maybe 15 minutes and then we were able to get to the check-in scanner-holding people who scanned your passport and check marked your boarding pass. On through Security and then a short wait in the lounge with the other platinum guests; boarding started around 11:45. Went to our 9C aft wrap cabin to drop off our carry-ons. Cabin decor is nice with blue and beige. Closet space could be larger, or have drawers somewhere. There just one shelf high above where hangers go in both closets. Nightstand has a little storage; prior occupant left some lotion in the cabinet. Bathroom decor updated but not the toilet as it had a black ring in it that would not come off. Shampoo and body wash were good. Mattress was very comfy. Empty fridge which promptly received our bottle of wine we brought onboard. The balcony itself has not been re-done. The flooring had holes in it and whoever mopped it got wads of mop rope in it. Also the black rubber rings around the windows were in bad shape and missing on the inside in some places. This is where Carnival lacks attention to detail. And the tvs are blaring when you enter the cabin. This is an issue with their tvs---every time you turn it on the volume is blasting. Also, I noticed there was only one lounger on our huge balcony and asked the cabin steward to get another. He had some excuse like "this is how they're doing it now" however, once I was able to reach Guest Services on the phone, (on hold way too long hearing how important my call is) that person called the floor manager and shortly after that, another lounge chair showed up. So to those who get our cabin next: you're welcome! Headed to Guy's Pig and Anchor and enjoyed an outdoor lunch there. Wandered forward to Serenity area which was very nice. Huge hot tub; its own bar area. We liked this area a lot (and it helped that we were the only ones there at that time) but since our balcony had loungers, we spent most of our lounging time there. We came across brand ambassador John Heald while in NYC port and reminisced about our 2 day Carnival Dream cruise years ago--in a nor'easter. It was an adventure on a brand new ship. He was there for the ship-naming ceremony and was soon off to catch Legend in Alaska. It's odd on this class of ship to see cabins on deck 5 aft where the piano bar, comedy club and one other club used to be. The Comedy club is now in Limelight lounge which worked out just fine although people had difficulty finding the mid-ship entrance to Limelight. The night club that used to be across from Alchemy is gone and the piano bar is now there along with Red Frog which was host to many events. Nice, open space. Didn't like walking through the casino to get mid-ship. The shops are the shops, and the Java Coffee bar that also used to be on deck 5 is now in the atrium area of deck 4. Had very interesting and delicious-looking donuts and muffins there. Game room (with board games) is gone and a few games are in the corner of the coffee bar. There is also a coffee bar in the buffet and we got cappuccinos there. The ropes course looked cool. There is a pool table up there too that we tried to use on a sea day. Can't do it when there is any ship movement. There is outdoor exercise equipment there, as well as the basketball court, and up one deck is mini golf. Water slides looked fun but we didn't get to them this cruise. Spa pass in a non-spa cabin was $69+ for the 4 days. Gave you access to the saunas, steam rooms, infrared room and heated loungers.  Liked the outdoor movie screen and we caught the end of the newer Mamma Mia movie. 2 movies showed every evening. Muster still takes too long. Carnival must be the only line that still makes you line up outside vs. sitting in a theater or restaurant. We had YourTime dining option, and the one night we went for dinner in the dining room we went to the check-in desk on deck 5, waited in a very short line, got our table assignment and took the paper to the aft dining room and we were seated right away. Worked out nicely, and has pretty much every time we've done this since Carnival introduced the option a few years ago. Forgot we could have used the HUB app to secure our table. Got a reservation at Fahrenheit 555 on board. Food and service was very good. It's a smaller restaurant since it is part of what used to be the upper area of the mid-ship dining room. Tried a few times but we were not able to get a reservation at the Italian restaurant. We were waitlisted and they did call us the last night for an 8:30 reservation which we declined. Also tried out Bonsai, and the appetizer and roll we had were both very good. Guy's burgers are consistently good. I did miss the Mongolian Grill as that was my favorite restaurant on Carnival ships. Buffet is a madhouse at breakfast time so we went to Blue Iguana where hardly anyone else was. Check the Fun Times to see where omelet stations are--there are several at various locations, as well as other breakfast options. Sea Day brunch was very nice and there is a new menu. I missed chicken diavolo and the froot loop crusted french toast, yet there were other good things to have. Pastas, burgers, breakfast items, etc. Everything we had was good at the brunch and I used my platinum drink coupon here for a mojito. I took a pic of the menu but I have to try to remember how to post it! Chocolate Extravaganza is now just a few cakes and a fondue station. The dark chocolate cake was very good. The new map channel is useless. Bring back the old one! I still do like the bridge cam to see what's ahead of us since our view was side and behind the ship. I liked CD Chris from Scotland and his never-ending selection of kilts. I loved when his announcement ended with something like "whatever you do, put FUN in it." Thought that was great. Welcome Aboard show in the Liquid Lounge. I expected to see previews of cruise entertainment, but it was Chris the CD talking to the audience and having a contest which would determine VIPs for the cruise. Just took longer than I expected. Then there was a 10 minute performance of the singers/dancers which was just ok. We didn't go to any of the shows except both comedians. The guy was very funny. Musicians around the ship were quite good. We have OBC from our TA and Carnival gives me a hard time when I want to split it among the people in our cabin. Why can't they just split it between the people sharing the cabin like other lines do. Becomes a pain to have to figure out who gets what or what to pay for on my account to cover their OBC. Also, on the tv (and Carnival Hub app) your account seems to get higher and higher $ but they don't show the OBC being deducted. You have to go to Guest Services to get that (or a kiosk to print out your statement). All things I wish worked simpler on Carnival. Platinum gift was the lanyard with the cheapest, junkiest plastic to hold your cruise card. Nothing else onboard to trade it for I was told. Believe me, I asked. First sea day was quite rough but not our first rough seas to Bermuda. During the cruise we had wind, rain, sun, more rain, more sun. Quite a variety. We arrived in Bermuda just after the beautiful Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Seas. It was windy in Bermuda, so we got to Horseshoe via the $7 shuttle, and no umbrellas were being rented due to wind. We did see one go flying, so we understood. Nothing here is cheap--the 2 lounge chairs we got were $44. It really is a beautiful beach and it does, in the right light, look pink. In summary, I was overdue for a cruise and it hit the spot. I love being at sea on the balcony; it's my bliss. However, I do wish Carnival had done a real overhaul everywhere bow to stern since there was rust all over the stern, the window rubber I mentioned already, etc. There was also a foul smell mid-ship on the lower decks near the lobby occasionally. I was glad we were staying at the stern. A short cruise is better than no cruise! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
First run fresh from the yards, Norfolk was easy on, just don't get there before your boarding time because you will wait. We had the aft balcony stateroom, nice large balcony. The ship looks great for a 20 yr old vessel. Food was ... Read More
First run fresh from the yards, Norfolk was easy on, just don't get there before your boarding time because you will wait. We had the aft balcony stateroom, nice large balcony. The ship looks great for a 20 yr old vessel. Food was better than we expected, steak house knocked it out of the park. Seafood shack was very good as was the Bbq and of course the burgers, deli and pizza also good.Service was a little confused in the dining room the first few nights but did come together, We do not eat sushi on cruise ships so we passed on this and we did enjoy thr italian restaurant. All in all the ship did seem a little crowded at times, 3008 on our 7 day run to Grand Turk, Half Moon and Freeport, we have visited these ports before and feel you only need to see these ports once so we stayed aboard and we enjoyed the ship on these days. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
There were 5 of us on this cruise, all of us in our 60's, 2 first time cruisers and 3 experienced cruisers. My husband and I and been on 6 Carnival cruises - 4 Royal Caribbean and 5 Norwegian cruises. Traveling with us was my sister ... Read More
There were 5 of us on this cruise, all of us in our 60's, 2 first time cruisers and 3 experienced cruisers. My husband and I and been on 6 Carnival cruises - 4 Royal Caribbean and 5 Norwegian cruises. Traveling with us was my sister in one cabin and (first time cruisers), long time friends in another. We parked at the pier, $320 for 8 nights, split 3 ways isn't bad-we traveled together in one vehicle. Embarkation took maybe an hour from start to finish. Relatively simple. On board by noon, headed to Lido for our first Guy's Burger. After lunch I noticed that we had 3 separate tables for the 8:15 dinner service! Our reservations were linked together online and I assumed our dinner seating would automatically be linked like it has in the past when we traveled with others. I immediately went to the dining room and the maitre 'd was not there so we spoke with the girl there who said it was impossible to change for the first night and they might be able to change it the next day. She said the maitre 'd would be available around 6PM so we went back down and saw him then. He was very condescending and outright rude and said he had very few requests to change and it would be impossible to get us a table for 5 for the late seating. He could give us anytime dining which we ended up agreeing to. It worked out, but we had first time cruisers with us and I wanted them to experience the set dining experience with the same wait staff every night and the shows they perform at the end of the dinner service. We liked our servers the first night and tried to get the same wait staff the 2nd night and they said they weren't available. It was disappointing. We had different wait staff every night and different tables every night. I will say, the staff was excellent and the food was the best we've had on a ship. We all had balcony cabins on deck 8, very close to the glass elevators. Very convenient location but we could hear a lot of noise from the lobby at night when the parties were going on. The noise did not bother us, I actually enjoyed listening to it but others might find it annoying. The cabins were fine, standard Carnival. Our room steward was excellent. Always present, always pleasant. We asked for twice a day service, with ice please! I think twice a day is what differentiates a cruise from a hotel. It feels special. Really nice, big, flat screen TVs with on demand movies (some have a fee, most do not), one news channel, HGTV, Food Network, Discovery, History Channel (?), Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and a bunch of Carnival channels including a Map Channel. The Lido deck is an absolute disaster. Pools were mobbed all the time, I'm talking a sea of heads. Loud music, too loud. The pathways to the buffet were the absolute worse designed areas I have ever seen! You have Guy's Burgers on one side and Blue Iguana on the other so there are lines of people at each place, then there are drink stations in this tiny passageway AND hand washing stations! It was ridiculous! Once inside the buffet area you have the deli on the Blue Iguana side and Lucky Bowl on Guy's side. Proceed to the buffet which was ALWAYS crowded and s-l-o-w moving people. We always managed to find a table but one of us had to stay with it while the rest attempted to get food. The pizza place was in the way back and the Seafood Shack was back there too. Food - Breakfast/Brunch/Dinner in the Sunshine Restaurant was always very good. We ate most meals here because everything else was very noisy, crowded and the food was just not as good. As stated before, we ended up with Any Time Dining. We always ate around 8:00 and getting a table took less than 10 minutes with the exception of elegant night, which took 30 minutes. Checking in at the desk was easy and using the HUB app was even easier. We believe the food in the main dining room was the best we've ever had on a ship. Hot, tasty and good portions. One in our little group has Celiac Disease and has to be gluten free. The wait staff was aware as she let them know before boarding and they went above and beyond to make sure she was well taken care of. Guys' Burgers were very good. The lines move very fast. Guys' Pig and Anchor - never saw a line. Ate there only once and it was just okay. No desire to go back. Blue Iguana - Always a line but they moved along. Always enjoy the burrito. Pizza place - Always a line, a very slow moving line. I really enjoyed the pizza on the Sunshine and Pride but not this one as much. It wasn't worth the wait. Deli - OMG.....the line might be small, but....we came back from port early and seeing how the line was short, decided on sandwiches for lunch. 5 people in line ahead of us, 5 people working inside. 25 minutes later we had 2 hot dogs and half a turkey wrap. 25 minutes! I really enjoyed that wrap but didn't want to wait in that long again. Buffet - yuck. Long lines ALL the time. People said, oh on go off times and you'll be fine. We tended to eat lunch around 2:00. That's kind of late for lunch and besides, it closes at 2:30. Forget about it! Long lines with the slowest moving people ever. Poorly designed, everything in one long display. One of the port days we got back late and decided to skip the dining room and try the buffet. It wasn't really too crowded. The food sucked. Little variety. Roast beef or what was supposed to be roast beef was inedible. My husband absolutely loves the buffet and wants to eat there most of the time. This night was our one and only dinner there. I ended up waiting in line for pizza after I attempted to eat that beef or whatever. Very disappointing. Makes me wonder how the food in the dining rooms can be so good and the food in the buffet so bad. We did not eat in any specialty restaurants, although we did have breakfast one morning in the Italian restaurant above the buffet area. They have a small breakfast buffet, all the food was ice cold, but they did have made to order omelets and eggs. It was not crowded at all but it was hot in there. Bars - We like to have a few drinks before dinner every night. There were 5 of us and we wanted to sit and chat over cocktails. It's hard to find a "quiet" bar! The Electric Violins played almost every night and they are very good but a bit loud and somber. The Red Frog Pub had karaoke almost every night at that time and that was very loud and carried out to the Alchemy Bar which was our favorite. We ended up sitting in a pretty empty Sports Bar every night because we could hear each other. When there was no karaoke, we went to Alchemy which had the best bartenders and best drinks. We did not do the drink package. Public areas - The ship's layout is very choppy but I had read up on this before hand and knew what to do. I lead my little troop around - elevator down to deck 5 - walk all the way through the shops, casino, Sushi restaurant, bars to the aft elevators to get to the Sunshine Restaurant where we ate twice a day. It really isn't that difficult to get around once you understand the layout. We found pockets of uneven air conditioning all around. The elevators were extremely warm. The buffet was downright uncomfortable. The Italian restaurant was very warm during breakfast. The Liquid Lounge (main theater) is small and uncomfortable. My legs were cramped when we sat in the chairs, they were fine if we were lucky enough to get a bench type seat. There were nights that it was absolutely freezing in there. Casino was comfortable but smoky - I do not understand why they can't do something about that - better smoke eaters - half smoking, half non-smoking...something! We always saw someone cleaning and the ship was pretty darn clean even though people left food and drinks everywhere! An entire bowl of noodles on staircase, smashed cupcakes on the floor near the elevator, a full drink right outside our cabin door that I almost tripped over! Which leads to my next topic - Guests - 95% of the guests we encountered were very friendly and talkative. Then there are those who walked around with their own music blaring, gangs of teenagers running wild (where are the parents?!). Twice someone banged on our cabin door, hard, like startling loud! Once in the afternoon when the snooze sign was out and once at 2AM. Lots of yelling going on. Crew - Fantastic. Everyone was personable, friendly and polite. We did have once exception at brunch - our waiter was obviously very sick. He looked miserable, was sniffling and didn't have any patience with our questions. He took our order and disappeared, we figured he was relived of his duty. Our meals never came and we ended up walking out. Entertainment - CD Chris "The Flying Scotsman" was excellent. Always visible, very high energy and entertaining. His one man show was surprisingly good. That's about it. The 2 "big" production shows of singing and dancing were just okay. One night they had a guest singer - Marcus Anthony, singing Motown. He was excellent, quite the entertainer. I thought the entertainment was sorely lacking on this cruise. Pretty boring. Unfortunately we never made it to the comedy club as the times were always the same with dinner and the shows in the main theater. HUB App is excellent! Kept daily tabs on our on board expenses, selected activities and put them into "My Planner" which reminds you 15 minutes before it starts, put in our request for a table in the My Time Dining part. The weather report was very accurate! I used it constantly! We used the Chat part - for $5 per person for the entire cruise we could communicate with each other via text message. Very convenient! Ports - We had not booked any excursions through Carnival as we had been to 2 out of 3 ports before. Didn't feel a need to. San Juan - we were planning to just walk around old downtown but it was so hot that we ended up taking a tour from the many, many locals trying to get you when you get off the ship. It was $15 per person and lasted almost 2 hours. We thought it was worth it. They drop you off at the top of the shopping area. Amber Cove - Basically an outdoor shopping mall with pools. Next time I would book an excursion. Grand Turk - We've been there several times and sad to say but I think it's going down hill fast. It used to be a relaxing beach day but now the locals have taken over and are aggressively trying to "sell" you beach chairs and umbrellas. There was trash all over and a lot of the buildings were boarded up. We walked as far down the beach as we could to get away from them and the crowds but again the heat got to us and we ended up negotiating 4 chairs and 2 umbrellas for $25. Luckily there was a little snack bar with bathrooms right behind us. I wanted to walk to Jack's Shack but it was just too far for us old timers. The water was beautiful and where we were, the trash wasn't as bad. Two dogs ended up staying with us under our lounge chairs so they brightened up the day! When we left NYC, hurricane Dorian looked like it might cause us some problems. We did receive a paper upon boarding explaining that our ports have been changed around and that they would keep us a safe distance from the storm at all times. Two days later we received another paper update with the arrival times changed but in our opinion, for the better! Slightly less time in San Juan but longer time in Amber Cove and Grand Turk. Carnival did an excellent job of keeping us safe. We had beautiful weather and nearly calm seas the entire trip. I think it might of rained at night once or twice but never saw a raindrop during the day. Even though it sounds like I did a lot of complaining above, all in all it was a great trip. I believe in honest reviews. Not sure if we will sail on the Sunrise again due to overcrowding and the Lido deck setup. Most of our cruises are out of NYC because it is a 2-1/2 hour drive for us. Hopefully Carnival will have a different ship sailing out of there soon. We normally sail in late September/October when kids are back in school. I thought sailing the week of Labor Day would cut back on the amount of kids onboard as most schools start right before Labor Day or that week. Don't get me wrong, I love kids but for some reason they (mostly teenagers) are wild on ships and I do not enjoy that. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We choose this cruise because of convenience. Leaving from New York City was our attraction. There were so many issues I had with the cruise. I can write a book.. Let me start with the housekeeping staff! My room had an smell. The toliet ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of convenience. Leaving from New York City was our attraction. There were so many issues I had with the cruise. I can write a book.. Let me start with the housekeeping staff! My room had an smell. The toliet smelled like bowel and urine. Under the beds had dirt left over from previous guest. I loudly complained. Totally disgusted. They recleaned room. The lady who cleaned our room did not clean the room. She only gave us towels and made up beds. There was gum on sheet and she made up bed to hide gum on sheet. And the list goes on and on. My mother diabete testing stripes were stolen from her room. When she complained was told maybe someone you're with took them. Smoking cigarettes in casino very upset about that so I didn't go there. How about having 2 casinos one being smoke free? So guest like me can enjoy the casino as well. RUDE STAFF. I noticed the Philippines workers were much nicer to non-black guest!!! I personally had 2 encounter's with staff and was given such mean attitude look as if to say did I have permission to speak to this man! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Cruise on Carnival Sunrise 8/7/2019 thru 8/15/2019 Booked a Suite on Deck 7, Family of 2 Adults and 2 Children. We had 11:30/ 12:00 am Boarding time. When we got to the cruise port it was easy to get into the terminal. First of ... Read More
Cruise on Carnival Sunrise 8/7/2019 thru 8/15/2019 Booked a Suite on Deck 7, Family of 2 Adults and 2 Children. We had 11:30/ 12:00 am Boarding time. When we got to the cruise port it was easy to get into the terminal. First of all, I expected to see a Gorgeous ship after a 200-million-dollar refurbishment. Since we had a Suite, we had priority boarding, which I was told that we would get on the ship as soon as we got there. Then we could proceed to our room once we boarded and it would be ready and that our luggage would be there waiting for us. The room was ready at 1:30 pm and our luggage didn’t arrive until 4:15 PM. We’ve been on numerous cruises and this didn’t surprise me at all. I don’t sweat the small things. Room was nicely decorated, and we had plenty of room for the 4 of us. Bathroom was nice but there was mold around edges of outside of tub. Our Room Stewards name was I Putu, who was always there when you had a question and always Greeting you with a Smile and a Hello. He was the best room steward anyone could ask for. He always had our room spotless and made up and turned down the room very quickly. These stewards always are working very hard throughout the day. Then there’s the Breakfast Buffet in the Lido Deck. I HIGHLY recommend that you stay away from the Lido Deck breakfast lines, it was chaotic any time after 7:30am and for lunch. At lunch It took more than 45 minutes just to get a grilled cheese sandwich from the deli line with only 10 people in front of you. The lido deck buffet is seriously understaffed. These people work their tails off and have people being rude to them, which they don’t deserve. I highly recommend you go to the Sunrise Restaurant for your Breakfast every day. It was nice to sit down for breakfast and not wait in line for 30 minutes or longer. Lunch was the same way, it was like a feeding frenzy every day. We would wait for it to calm down and then go to lunch which wasn’t that bad. Food was good in the Lido Deck every day during lunch time. Guy’s Burgers was the Best, followed by the Blue Iguana Restaurant which had Taco Bowls and other fine Mexican Food, then the Pizza Restaurant. The Guy’s Bar B Queue was also Tasty on Sea Day’s. For Dinner we were in the Sunshine Restaurant at table 617. At first it seemed the workers were overwhelmed and over worked. We had 3 of the best waiters we could of asked for. The head waiters name was Henry C. from the Philippines, Team waiter Jerry Boy Gomez also from the Philippines( JERRY also worked the Italian Restaurant during lunch time) and team waiter Ihram from Indonesia. Once they got stuff together, they were outstanding. Like I said before, this ship is understaffed, and these workers are overworked. The entertainment of the Flying Scotsman was the best I’ve seen. He had so much energy and never stopped working. The guy was unbelievable. I don’t know how someone could do that day in and out with so much enthusiasm. He was just fantastic. The problem with this boat is that they added more passengers and the boat was not originally built for that many people. Forget trying to get into the Lido buffet at lunch time because you had a line from Guys’ Burgers and a line from the Blue Iguana restaurant in the way of getting access to the Lido Restaurant. You actually had to go through the seating areas of these 2 restaurants to get into the Lido restaurant. One last thing, If anyone tells you when you are booking a cruise on Carnival that you have PRIORITY over the other passengers because you booked a Suite OR HIGHER ROOM, DON” T BELIEVE THEM, they are not giving you the correct information. I went down to customer service desk and they said you stand in line with everyone else. The special line is only for the Diamond and Platinum guest only. ONE LAST THING, PRIORITY DISEMBARKATION, DON’T BELIEVE THEM, IT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!!!! We had Priority Disembarkation, on the sheet we received the Morning before we were Disembarking, it stated and I quote: arrive at 9 AM in the Liquid Lounge and you will be escorted off the ship by a Carnival Representative, IT DIDN’T HAPPEN. We ended up getting off the ship at 10:30 AM and we had a Van waiting for us to get back home. Overall, we had a good time on the cruise, but the ship has a lot to be desired with, the ship was not what I expected. I thought with a 200 million Dollar makeover it would be newer and cleaner. But all they did was add more rooms and 500 more. It’s like taking 100 lbs. of garbage and trying to stuff it in a 10 lb. bag. After all, said and done, you must make the best of what you dealt with. First port of call was Turks and Caicos. Rented a Cabana, (Never did this before) at Margaritaville, what a Waste of time and money. She gave us a buzzer to ask for things that we would like from restaurant. Tried using the buzzer on 4 different occasions, she never bothered to come over, went and ordered from the restaurant ourselves. Finally, when we were ready to leave, (Guess since we weren’t ordering drinks, she didn’t care about us) she came over. She noticed that we had food and sodas and asked why we didn’t buzz her. I replied that we tried to buzz her 4 times. She picked up the buzzer and pushed it and she replied, and I Quote, it works fine when I push it and proceeded to throw the buzzer down on the counter and just walked away from us, continually stating that it worked fine for her. Guess I was lying that we pushed the button 4 times. She had a really bad attitude. I approached the Management from Margaritaville, and they said that they would take care of it. I filled out a survey card that the management asked me to fill out and I guess I won’t hear from them anytime soon. Next port was Puerto Rico: We walked off the boat and took a Taxi for $21.00 for 6 of us to Isla Verde Beach. It took about 20 Minutes or less. The beach was Beautiful, and umbrellas and chairs were very reasonable. Chairs were $4.00 apiece and Umbrellas were $10.00 apiece. Great Beach day, water was beautiful. Last port was Dominica Republic, We stayed at the cruise port and the kids enjoyed the pools and water slides that were available at the pool. We originally booked a resort for the day but with all the issues with the drinks and deaths, we didn’t want to chance anything. Well, that’s about it and we did have a Good Time on our cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
So we chose this cruise because I liked the idea that it was refurbished and it looked beautiful with lots to do. We are 5 people in an oceanview room. First, embarkation was fantastic! We parked in the manhattan terminal parking and from ... Read More
So we chose this cruise because I liked the idea that it was refurbished and it looked beautiful with lots to do. We are 5 people in an oceanview room. First, embarkation was fantastic! We parked in the manhattan terminal parking and from the time we parked to the time we got on the ship was maybe 20 minutes all together. Easy! Our room wasn’t ready yet since it was only around 12:15 so they tell you to go hang out near the buffet they are serving lunch. First of all I’m glad we check our luggage and didn’t bring it with us while we waited because the buffet area was PACKED! I mean really bad and my first thought was this is going to be a miserable 8 days with all these people here. We finally found a seat but didn’t bother getting food because the lines were outrageous. Finally our room was done around 1:30. We get to our room after waiting for the excruciatingly slow elevators and we are on deck 2 aft. First thing I notice is our room is very very warm! I like a nice cool/cold room in the summer and this wasn’t even close. We met our room steward and immediately tell him about it thinking he would see if I didn’t have the ac on the proper setting (we did, it was as cool as the ac would go). Ok so I’m thinking once the ship actually starts and we leave it will get cooler in the room and the ac will actually kick in. So we decide to go exploring. The ship is beautiful. But yes extremely crowded. The pool area is WAYYYY too small for the amount of people, that the only times we were able to go and enjoy it was after dinner (we had early 6pm dining) so it wasn’t too crowded at that point. I guess most people were at the later dining or your time dining or at shows. Our youngest loves the pool and was what she looked forward to the most and we didn’t want to disappoint by not going so it was the only time we could really go. Any earlier and there were no seats at all and no room in the pool. The dining room was great our wait staff was fabulous, we thought the food most of the time was wonderful and the chocolate melting cake was insane!! We looked forward to going there every night. Guys pig and anchor located on deck 10 was fabulous as well and barely ever a line. Also guys burgers was great and the line moved fast, the deli always had a long line but worth the wait and also moved pretty fast. Never had too long of a wait. Overall we were pretty happy with most of the food even the room service which always said 45 minutes to an hour wait but it never took that long. We never ate at the buffet the lines were just ridiculous. I mean really bad except for one afternoon right after we got back on the ship from one of the ports we went right up to get lunch and there was hardly a line. The entertainment was great, the casino was fun, the kids enjoyed the game room although expensive and they spent too much money in there. The Dr Suess breakfast was adorable and worth the extra $5 a person. If you have little ones with you def take them to it. Back to the two worst parts of this cruise for us...the ac in the room never got better. It was always warm in the room. They came in twice to to check, had some little device that checked the temp of the room. The first guy just said he will fix it but never did so we complained again. The second time a woman came and said that the device was reading higher than 74 degrees and that she herself felt warm just standing there so she was going to have maintenance fix it and she was going to come Back the next day to check again. She never did. The ac never worked properly the whole cruise. She gave us a fan which I can’t stand but had no choice and used it anyway. After a long hot day of sitting on the beach at the ports or walking around shopping or just about anything, we like to come back to a nice cool comfortable room to unwind and relax before dinner but we couldn’t even do that since it was too warm. My next complaint is the rocking of the ship. I’m sure this is not the fault of carnival since there’s not much they can do if it’s rough waters but man oh man did I feel every single movement on this ship. Constantly feeling like I was swaying or rocking all day and night no matter which deck we were on. Those were the two worst parts for us on this cruise otherwise we had a great time and I would’ve given it a higher rating. We would sail it again if they could guarantee the rooms were cooler and there was less lines especially by the pool areas. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
THE GOOD: I can't stress enough how having a great, caring, and helpful staff can make or break your experience, and this staff shined as bright as the sun! The bartenders and servers were all so very quick to provide any ... Read More
THE GOOD: I can't stress enough how having a great, caring, and helpful staff can make or break your experience, and this staff shined as bright as the sun! The bartenders and servers were all so very quick to provide any assistance and did so with a friendly smile. The events staff was exceptionally amazing. Shauna started the cruise off wonderfully doing the thankless job of giving the safety lecture in the Liquid Lounge, which was our muster station. She also was joyfully the KJ for many of the karaoke events in the Red Frog Pub. Adam and Diego were a joy to bounce back-and-forth with at Bingo, Pablo (hola!) was surprisingly a funny opener to the comics at the dual lineup of standup comedy in the Liquid Lounge (he also made a fun trivia host), and Tyler was by and far my favorite trivia host (lo siento Pablo) and ran the last night of karaoke. Of all the talent performing throughout the cruise, Scott at the Piano Bar was so enjoyable. He was funny, accommodating (especially when he didn't have the requested song), and supremely talented. We found ourselves spending the remaining hours of three different nights relaxing and singing along in the bar. For those reading this, he has three-month contracts on these cruises and our last night on the Sunrise was his too, as he now is performing on the Carnival Magic. When the service is universally this amazing, you can tell that it stems from great management, because a truly successful leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. Chris (aka The Flying Scotsman) was the cruise director, and boy was he a delight. He devised great activities and events throughout our time on the ship, and also was a great host and performer. One highlight regarding his hosting skills was at the Love & Marriage event on the last day at sea. This is basically the Newlywed Game on a stage. I've seen it done on different ships (including Royal Caribbean) before, but Chris was by and far the funniest host, and really worked great on the spot with the contestants who were chosen at random as the show started. I laughed harder at him than I did even the hilarious raunchy comedians the night before. I purchased this vacation to celebrate the 3rd anniversary with my girlfriend, and to propose to her (she said yes by the way). Part of the advanced planning involved ordering the Happy Anniversary Celebration Package provided by The Fun Shops. It included a small cake (I chose chocolate), a 5" x 7" photo frame, 30" x 60" beach towel, and four dangling banners with romantic words on them that were hung on the ceiling via magnetic ends. When ordering, they ask what day of the cruise you would like this to be set up in the cabin. I chose the first day, hoping that the cabin would have everything ready to go before we stepped foot in it after embarkation. My whole idea of getting the package as a surprise to my then-girlfriend was to propose to her in the cabin at the very start of the cruise. After purchasing the package online months before we set sail, I called the Fun Shops to confirm that, if I chose to have the room decorated on the first day if the cabin, would the cabin be decorated before we set sail at 4pm? They could not confirm this, because the only guarantee they make is the decorations will be set up before the "end of the day" (i.e. as late as 9pm as I recall them saying). Given we had dinner reservations for 7pm, and I wanted to propose before dinner, this was a small concern. They suggested I talk with someone in the Retail Cares department (as they're the ones responsible for delivering the packages in the cabins) via the Guest Services desk on the day I embark to confirm if it was set up yet. We embarked at around 1:30pm, so I went solo to the Guest Services desk and a helpful agent (I really wish I remembered her name because she was so sweet and helpful) made the call to confirm if it was set up yet. She wasn't able to reach the person who could confirm that, so she stepped away from the desk for about 3 minutes and physically went to my cabin to check and confirmed it was! The way they decorated the room around the bed with the banners was lovely (and the chocolate cake we had later that night was DELICIOUS). It really made for a memorable proposal. My only gripe was I filled out a personal, meaningfully romantic message to be printed (like the small ones you can get printed with a flower delivery) when I ordered the package online many months before, and it was never printed. Depending on where and what you ate, the food ranged from nearly flawless to cheap hospital/institutional-tasting. The best restaurant food we ate was the steak and sides at Fahrenheit 555. It was an extra $38 per person, but well worth it for food that compares to what prices you normally find at a nice steakhouse. Our filet mignons were huge (the menu said 9oz, but I swear they were bigger), perfectly trimmed, and flawlessly cooked to medium-rare. This is not as much of a surprise to me if they're a great steakhouse because many I've been to in NYC can provide this too. The best surprise for me was the side of sautéed medley of fresh mushrooms. I'm not even a fan of many mushroom dishes, but this was one not to be missed; I only wish I ordered two of them instead of wasting a side on the decent mac and cheese. The best room service by far was a small thin-crust pie we ordered through the Pizzeria del Capitano for only $5 (you order through the helpful HUB app mentioned below). They deliver these pies to nearly every area on the ship. I'm a pizza snob and have had most all of the best pizza places in NYC. This pizza definitely wasn't in the upper-echelon, but man was it better than so many NYC slice joints. Seriously, do yourself a favor and try one of these pies. Also, on a whim, we were going to have the buffet for brunch on Deck 9 around 12pm, but the line was so damn long (something I've read in nearly every review on this website), so instead we opted for some burgers and fries at Guy's Burger's Joint. These burgers compare to the best you'll get at Five Guys (the fresh cut-style fries are pretty much the same) and other fast-casual restaurants. The burger patties are loosely formed and well seasoned, which lends itself to why they taste so damned good. The donkey sauce is a perfect burger topping. Oh, and do yourself a favor and dip those fries in a side of Guy’s bar-b-que sauce on the topping station. I thought it was going to taste cheap and just be nothing but sweet like bottled Kraft sauce. It was on the sweeter side, but it was really well spiced and finished with a nice little kick of heat. Finally, I haven't been on a cruise in over 5 years (my last one being with Royal Carribean), and so I've never seen an app quite like Carnival HUB. This app is amazing, and I hope all cruise liners copy its format and make some small common-sense improvements. Once you're on the ship, it immediately provides a listing of all events happening on the ship each day, from early morning to late at night, as well as every dining option available, based on the time of day, and allows you to create a daily planner well in advance to set your customized itinerary. What's more is you will get helpful push notifications on your phone ahead of time, reminding you of the next event or dining reservation you have. Without going on endlessly though just about the app, here's more info on it: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/carnival-hub/id925117977 . My only gripe with it is that it lists some rooms as being on a specific deck, but the entrance to that room is on an entirely different deck. For example, the Sunshine Dining Room (the main dining room on the ship) is listed on the app as being on Deck 5, but the entrance is on Deck 3. This is so frustrating and makes me wonder why the app doesn't list that specific info, to make it easier to navigate on the ship. Also, as far as improvements with technology, it would be great if the ship had a WiFi-centric GPS on each deck, so you can navigate your way to each location. That might be wishful thinking, but it would be such a helpful tool on a ship with difficult to find entrances for various rooms. THE BAD: The ship was cramped in all public spaces and the bars sprinkled throughout. These caused inconveniences galore just walking around the ship. For instance, the beautiful lobby on Deck 3 had a ceiling, which extended many floors above, and each floor overlooking the lobby walkways around this, but those walkways were so small in width, it would always be congested from people just standing around and looking towards that beautiful space. And when there were events or musicians performing in the lobby, that made things even more congested. Having to constantly bump into people when you're just trying to walk by on a huge cruise ship feels really inconvenient. And the orientation of the pools, whirlpools, and deck chairs on the Lido deck (9) was almost impossibly to walk through without bumping into people. On my last cruise (Royal Caribbean), the main public walking spaces were so nicely spread out this kind of congestion almost never occurred. Not only were the walkway widths small, but also so was the seating in many event rooms. Given the Sunshine is a renovation from the Triumph, and that it added more cabins, they didn't do a good job in making the event rooms more accommodating for the higher passenger count. The Limelight Lounge (where the comedians were most every night) was so cramped and small, you could never get a seat and the body heat from the room made it uncomfortably hot. The congestion trying to get around and the small rooms, given the number of people on the ship also had the unfortunate effect of making life difficult for the servers delivering drinks to guests who weren't sitting at the bar. For example, the cramped quarters of the Liquid Lounge made it nearly impossible for the servers to get guests their drinks, especially when they didn't have any space to walk through the aisles. It felt like being served a drink in the stands at a baseball or football game. And bless the patience of those drink servers on the Lido deck. The entrees at Cucina Del Capitano (Italian restaurant), some of the lunch items for room service, and all of the dinner in the Sunshine Dining Room were just way off the mark. At Cucina Del Capitano (which has a $15 per person charge), the appetizers we got (Nonna’s Meatball) were tastefully seasoned and had a wonderful crumbly, tender texture, and the red sauce accompanied it well. The three-component desserts we got (Agrumi/Torta Al Miele e Polenta/Sorbetto di Limone) were very tasty too. But the entrees (Cavatelli with pork Bolognese and the Pappardelle with shrimp and pancetta) were so disappointing. Like, no joke, we've both had better food (regrettably) at an Olive Garden. The free room service items we ordered for lunch were hit-and-miss. We both got sandwiches. The grilled cheese with was had nice Panini-style grill marks on the bread, but it was dry and tasted like they used zero butter or any other kind of cooking fat on the bread to give it the taste we all are used to with grilled cheese. The accompanying potato salad chosen was just a couple of red potatoes, cut in half and slathered in mayo, and tasted as plain as you would expect. This was not what anyone would want if they were expecting potato salad. The BLT was a nice surprise with bacon galore and a good smattering of mayo to lubricate the whole sandwich and I got it with a handful of (what I think were) Wise-brand potato chips. The chocolate cake was delicious but the cheesecake didn't have any tang you want from cream cheese and the crust was weird in taste and texture. On a side note, we had the "Bottomless Bubbles" drink package that includes free soda and juices, yet we were told we had to pay for soda delivered via room service. That makes zero sense. We decided we would dine in the Sunshine Dining Room on the elegant evening attire night (second night). From the cheaply made appetizer (a pathetic 5-piece arrangement of tiny rubbery shrimp cocktail with a watery-thin cocktail sauce) to the lack of seasoning on the entire snapper entree (despite this, the snapper was really perfectly cooked) to the misworded dessert (hazelnut malted chocolate cake that, to me, would taste something close to Nutella, but because it had no hazelnut flavor to be found, just tasted like an overly-rich chocolate cake). The dessert was so disappointing, I simply asked for the vanilla ice cream, just to clear the overkill of chocolate, and the ice cream had a gummy texture similar to low-quality supermarket ice cream and (worse) contained unappetizing ice crystals throughout. But, this was part of the free food on the ship, so my expectations were already low. To top it all off, the steeping water that accompanied my order of black tea was not even close to boiling temperature. Finally, when Chris would cheerfully make his non-emergent announcements at 8 in the morning, almost always just to provide an extra promotion for some various events throughout the day, it would be nice to NOT have the hallway speakers blaring in the cabins at 8 in the morning, so the (sometimes) hung-over and (always) tired guests like us at 8 in the morning could be able to sleep in a little. After all, we were enjoying our nights in the public spaces until at least midnight or later. THE UGLY: The servers and bartenders throughout the various locations on the ship were all courteous and helpful, but there was one exception, and that was at the Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse restaurant. As I mentioned above, the food at this restaurant was the best on the ship, but the service, from the hostess, to the drink server, to the bread server, to our main server, was just rude; the kind of rude service some snooty French restaurants are stereotyped as having. The hostess basically chided us for arriving 15 minutes early before our reservation time and said we would have to wait (which we didn't mind), but her rude tone was one that would have been somewhat appropriate if we just walked in without a reservation and insisted we get sat immediately. The drink server took forever to return with our drinks (just soda), didn't return our cards after serving the soda and gave an attitude when I simply asked for the cards back, and the sodas were both flat for some reason, which we hadn't experienced in any other bar or restaurant the entire cruise. The bread server’s frown looked like he was serving prison time. The main server had a snippy tone that seemed bothered with any question I had about the menu items. Plus, when I ordered the steak, I forgot to mention the sauce I would like to accompany it on the side. When I was finally able to hail down the waitress to ask, she read me the list of three different sauces, and I asked if they also maybe had a simple house sauce (which many steakhouses of this ilk have). Based on the tone of her answer (which was no, by the way) you would think I asked her "how much do you weigh?" The only bright spot of service was the chef (can't remember his name) who came to the table asking about how the food was. Speaking of food service, other than the room service mentioned above, also ordered it twice for breakfast. Both breakfasts’ were awful experiences. First off, the pre-order room service door hangs you get to fill out in the cabins offer 1/2 hour windows for delivery. I would imagine many people, such as myself, set your alarm to wake you up very shortly before you expect the room service. With a 1/2-hour window chosen, I understand if it doesn't get delivered until the very end of that time, but both mornings, the room service attendant delivered them between 5-10 minutes early. So, not to be petty, but it woke us up that much earlier before our alarms went off, and we didn’t like losing any minutes of sleep. The really terrible thing though (and why it's in the "ugly" section of my review) is the quality of the food was just reprehensible. The first morning we only ordered fruit. I don't know about you but I like my fruit to be ripe and our fruit was both under and overly ripe. Unless you're baking or making smoothies, bananas should be perfectly yellow, not overwhelmingly covered in "liver spots" like ours were. And melon should be soft and juicy, not crunchy and flavorless like ours were. Even more abhorrent was the second morning (July 20) we got breakfast. We ordered cereal and the little 8oz containers of skim milk were all spoiled upon arrival, and they weren't even past the printed sell-by date of July 22. Like, I know it's the summer, but keeping milk cold and far from spoiling is food service 101 for a dining operation. Also spoiled, by the way, was the little 8oz container of low-fat chocolate milk, which had the same sell-by date. Finally, the orientation of entrances to various different public spaces in this cruise was just confusing. As I mentioned in the “good” part of the review above, the Sunshine Dining Room is listed as being on Deck 5, but the entrance is on Deck 3. The Limelight Lounge on Deck 4 was so difficult to find (go off the walkway, into the middle of the casino on Deck 5 towards an unseen staircase and then walk down to Deck 4). It was so meandering and confusing, they had to put signs on a stand just to give passengers a hint. I'm convinced it was easier for Harry Potter to find the entrance for the Hogwarts Express train on Platform 9 & 3/4 than it was for passengers like me to find the entrance to the Limelight Lounge. Overall, given the great staff and fun activities, I would highly consider cruising with Carnival again, just not on the Sunrise. Read Less
Carnival Sunrise Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.6
Dining 4.0 3.2
Entertainment 4.5 3.4
Public Rooms 4.0 2.9
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.3
Family 5.0 3.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.1
Enrichment 2.0 2.8
Service 3.5 3.6
Value For Money 4.5 2.9

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