We chose this inaugural cruise of the Sunrise as we were travelling Virginia, D.C. and Outer Banks of North Carolina at the time so departure port was very convenient. This was going to be our first trip to the Caribbean and we hoped that Carnival would similar standards to Holland America as they are the same company. Although we are not big party animals or boozers, we got the impression from pre-cruise reviews that there were plenty of opportunities for quiet times to enjoy the hot tub and adult-only space called Serenity. We are obviously not Carnival’s target market.
We arrived at Norfolk port at 2 pm for 3pm boarding. As boarding was strictly scheduled, we figured we’d just walk aboard, have a coffee and snack, then unpack our bags. We had last eaten at 10am. We were told in the boarding line there would be snacks, sandwiches and pizza available when we got on board. Boarding took 3 1/2 hours! No snacks or water were available in line or when we boarded; snack bars were all closed. Our dinner was booked for 8:30. Bartenders gave preferential service to alcohol consumers over those of us who needed water.
Most of our luggage arrived in our cabin before we did, and the cabin was very nice. However, before we could unpack we had to do a thorough dusting with wet facecloths as all surfaces were covered in sawdust. A female cabin steward introduced herself shortly after our arrival and asked our preferences for cleaning, robes etc. We never saw her again, nor did we ever get our robes. Cleaning was hit and miss with dirty rags found behind lamps, on floor, etc. We didn’t get water glasses until day 4. I asked a male cabin attendant if there was hair conditioner or body lotion provided. No, you have to buy these. Hairdryer had a concealed plug connected in a drawer with a 1 foot cord. Would have to put your head in the drawer to use it!
Okay beach with lots of rocks and holes. Clear out the rum punch vendors blasting offensive music on beach.
Beautiful beach. Tenders very efficient. Outdoor lunch just okay. More attention to hygiene required to prevent people from getting sick. After lunch more beach umbrellas and/or shade trees needed on beach.