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We are veteran cruisers and this was our return to Carnival after only cruising Royal and Celebrity for the last ten years. We chose this ship because it was a family vacation including grandchildren; it left out of Manhattan so no flying was involved and the length and ports were desirable. Embarkation was the worst of all our 30+ cruises. It took us 3 hours waiting in line in a hot terminal before boarding. It was pandemonium and no one would tell us what the problem was. Carnival personnel were not very helpful. We were on the ship by 3:00 pm and it was supposed to sail at 4:00. Muster was postponed until 5:00 and we never left the pier until at least 7:00. No explanations given. Perhaps it was the rainy weather, but don't know why. Our dining arrangements were supposed to be the same as the other family members, but Carnival gave us all different seating times. It was straightened out by the following night but it resulted in waiting in line yet again to correct it. The food in the main dining room was just okay. I am not a fussy eater and enjoy not having to cook, serve and clean up but the selections were not to my taste and the food was just barely warm most of the time. We avoided the Lido buffet most days because the lines were tremendously long. The other eateries (and there were plenty of choices) were more to our liking and we made it a point to eat during off times to avoid those lines. The cruise director was probably the best I have ever experienced. The Flying Dutchman (Chris Matthews) was everywhere on the ship and was absolutely fantastic. I don't think he ever slept. He was a definite asset to Carnival and must have a sweet future with them. I cannot say enough good things about him. He is the best thing I will remember about this cruise. Having been to all of the ports previously, except for Grand Turk, we choose to do beach days rather than excursions. All the beaches we visited were gorgeous, especially Cane Garden Bay Beach in Tortola. We had so looked forward to Grand Turk but were very disappointed in it. We were the only ship in port yet it was still overcrowded. We could not find free beach chairs, and the pool was very crowded as well. The beach was full of seaweed, rocks and looked dirty. Not your typical Caribbean beach. We stayed 1/2 hour and returned to the ship. Our biggest gripe was the extreme overcrowding on this ship. They supposedly added many cabins when it was in dry dock, and there were just too many passengers. Common areas on the ship were few and far between and everywhere you went there were hoards of people. The two pools were inadequate for the number of swimmers; all you could do was just stand there shoulder to shoulder with everyone. We did find that the number of lounge chairs was adequate and we never had a problem finding them poolside. Carnival pool attendants did make it a point to patrol chair hogs and left stickers on chairs warning them their possessions would be taken after 45 minutes if left unattended. Nice touch! We chose to walk off with our luggage and that went pretty seamlessly. We were off the ship and in a taxi by 8:32. All in all, any cruise is better than no cruise, and we had a good time being with family. However, I doubt I would choose to cruise with with Carnival again.

Way too crowded!

Carnival Sunrise Cruise Review by Deenkid

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We are veteran cruisers and this was our return to Carnival after only cruising Royal and Celebrity for the last ten years. We chose this ship because it was a family vacation including grandchildren; it left out of Manhattan so no flying was involved and the length and ports were desirable.

Embarkation was the worst of all our 30+ cruises. It took us 3 hours waiting in line in a hot terminal before boarding. It was pandemonium and no one would tell us what the problem was. Carnival personnel were not very helpful. We were on the ship by 3:00 pm and it was supposed to sail at 4:00. Muster was postponed until 5:00 and we never left the pier until at least 7:00. No explanations given. Perhaps it was the rainy weather, but don't know why.

Our dining arrangements were supposed to be the same as the other family members, but Carnival gave us all different seating times. It was straightened out by the following night but it resulted in waiting in line yet again to correct it.

The food in the main dining room was just okay. I am not a fussy eater and enjoy not having to cook, serve and clean up but the selections were not to my taste and the food was just barely warm most of the time. We avoided the Lido buffet most days because the lines were tremendously long. The other eateries (and there were plenty of choices) were more to our liking and we made it a point to eat during off times to avoid those lines.

The cruise director was probably the best I have ever experienced. The Flying Dutchman (Chris Matthews) was everywhere on the ship and was absolutely fantastic. I don't think he ever slept. He was a definite asset to Carnival and must have a sweet future with them. I cannot say enough good things about him. He is the best thing I will remember about this cruise.

Having been to all of the ports previously, except for Grand Turk, we choose to do beach days rather than excursions. All the beaches we visited were gorgeous, especially Cane Garden Bay Beach in Tortola. We had so looked forward to Grand Turk but were very disappointed in it. We were the only ship in port yet it was still overcrowded. We could not find free beach chairs, and the pool was very crowded as well. The beach was full of seaweed, rocks and looked dirty. Not your typical Caribbean beach. We stayed 1/2 hour and returned to the ship.

Our biggest gripe was the extreme overcrowding on this ship. They supposedly added many cabins when it was in dry dock, and there were just too many passengers. Common areas on the ship were few and far between and everywhere you went there were hoards of people. The two pools were inadequate for the number of swimmers; all you could do was just stand there shoulder to shoulder with everyone. We did find that the number of lounge chairs was adequate and we never had a problem finding them poolside. Carnival pool attendants did make it a point to patrol chair hogs and left stickers on chairs warning them their possessions would be taken after 45 minutes if left unattended. Nice touch!

We chose to walk off with our luggage and that went pretty seamlessly. We were off the ship and in a taxi by 8:32.

All in all, any cruise is better than no cruise, and we had a good time being with family. However, I doubt I would choose to cruise with with Carnival again.
Deenkid’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin 8B 7373
The cabin looked new and roomy and had plenty of storage. If was designed well and in fact, we had extra shelves we did not use. Can't say that about many cabins we have been in. Our cabin steward, Slam, kept it spotless and always made sure we had the ice we requested.
Empress Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews