Why Yes, and No? The Sunrise is a ship that is not new, but is new, a refurbished ship with many new amenities and also many new cabins which means more people. Unfortunately the cabins were put in at the expense of public areas. So, why Yes and No? It's not a great ship but not nearly as bad as some of the reviews are making it out to be.
We were supposed to embark in Manhattan, NY but were notified by Carnival a month before that the pier was being closed by Port Officials due to repairs, so we would embark in Brooklyn, NY after the ship disembarked passengers from the previous cruise in Manhattan and repositioned to Brooklyn. As we live on Long Island and Brooklyn is actually on Long Island, it was not a problem for us, but for others coming from out of the immediate area it posed somewhat of a logistical problem. But this was not Carnival's doing nor fault.
The repositioning also caused a two hour delay in boarding. Carnival gives a choice of boarding times and we had chosen 12:30 to 1:00 PM, now making it a boarding time of 2:30 - 3 PM with sailaway at 6 PM. After speaking to a Carnival agent we were told to stick to the original time of 12:30, then another agent told someone on our CruiseCritic forum to go with the two hour delay. At this point I figured it would be a free for all as people would be arriving at all different times, and I was right. We unloaded at the baggage area at 1:14 PM, and we were on the ship by 1:56 PM, less than 45 minutes. We are not Platinum or Diamond VIFP and did not have FTTF. It went pretty smoothly, very organized, all the staff was helpful and friendly.
The cabin seemed a little "tight", even for two people The beds were configured as a King size and were very comfortable, but was very close to the wall on the right side making it awkward to get out of. Sufficient storage. Bathroom was adequate. Only furniture in the room was the bed and a chair in front of the desk/make up area. One picture on the wall and the flat screen tv on the other. Several channels were offered, we watched either TCM or the ship channel.
This is the point of embarkation so no sightseeing. A little tricky to actually get to, but the embarkation process was very smooth and quck.
We had never been to Charleston, SC, so the ship being diverted from Bermuda was okay with us. Walked over the the market on Market St. very busy, lots of stuff to see and buy, both in the market and in the shops on either side of the market. We did not take a ship excursion but did take a one hour Carriage Tour of the Historic district with Old South Carriage Co., the ones with the red sash. The Tour was very pleasant, the guide very knowledgeable, engaging and entertaining. At the time the tour cost $28.00 per person.