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This was the first cruise for my daughters, ages 16 and 8. My husband and I have cruised once before, on the Carnival Valor out of Galveston in October 2018. This trip was our "experience" Christmas gift for the girls and I got a GREAT deal on an Ocean Suite. When I booked the suite, the ship was still the Carnival Triumph so I was a bit nervous about what it would be like considering the reviews I had read about the Carnival Triumph. For the most part, I use the reviews as a guiding reference but I go into the cruise with an open mind. What I have noticed about CCL is that it is definitely a FUN cruise line and they market that so there are no surprises that you'll have all sorts of FUN on the ship. We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale the evening before sail away. After a full day of traveling, we just wanted to get to the hotel and relax. There was no opportunity to explore the city before sail away, so I can't speak to what Ft. Lauderdale is like. We had a pleasant experience at the hotel which was really close to the cruise terminal. Our hotel offered a private shuttle to the cruise terminal for $8/person but we opted to use UBER which cost us $9 with tip. That was a savings of $23 for us because we had four traveling in our party. Our UBER drive was prompt, arrived within 4 minutes of booking and he knew exactly where he was going. The cruise terminal is undergoing some construction which led to some traffic congestion getting to the terminal but we still arrived at the terminal within 15 minutes of departing the hotel. The porters at the Carnival terminal were TOP NOTCH. They were very respectful and kind. We knew that our luggage was in good hands. Embarkation: Our appointment time was 12-12:30. We arrived at the terminal at 11a. Being booked in the Ocean suite allowed us priority embarkation so we were processed and waiting to board by approximately 11:15, I think. We were seated in the waiting area with Platinum guests and only had to sit in the waiting area for about ten minutes before boarding. We boarded after the wedding guests. It was super smooth and easy! The only snag in the process is that our youngest hadn't been checked in previously because she was traveling on a birth certificate. It took about a minute to correct and we were able to board. On the next sailing, she will have a passport; hopefully this reduces the chances of that happening again. On board: Once on board, we went straight to the Lido deck. It was empty so we were able to snag a table and have some Guy's Burgers. After eating, we went to check out Camp Ocean and register our youngest. This was a smooth process and they were only open for registration and not for drop off which was not a big deal to us. We didn't choose Camp Ocean because we were looking for a babysitter, we chose Camp Ocean so that she would have some enrichment activities to do. The 16-yr-old checked out Club O2 which she didn't think was her vibe, but registered anyway. One regret that I have is taking the spa tour. Don't get me wrong, I love the spa, I just didn't like all the up-selling that it done on day one. It's not enough to make me not cruise on CCL again because I realize that many cruise lines do this. Our stateroom was ready before 1:30. It is a lovely stateroom, and more spacious than I was expecting. The only issue that we had was our bathroom light wouldn't turn on and we didn't figure out until a few hours later that we needed to stick our keycard in the slot by the door to turn on the lights. The key card needs to stay there for as long as you're in the room. It's meant to be an eco-friendly measure and once we knew what to do, we had no issues. Suite 7238: We are a family of four and found this suite to be adequate for space. It gets a little cramped when the sofa is made into a bed, but for the time that we spent in the room, it was fine. There were several outlets and USB ports and light switches above the headboard for the overhead light. We had a walk-in closet with vanity area, and the bathroom had a bathtub/shower combo. One major issue that we had was that the toilet would not flush at times, but, then would randomly flush after about 10-15 minutes. We did call about that and nobody ever came to check it out. Our steward was Daniel and he was pretty good. He brought us extra pillows and pillows which we appreciated. He was very attentive and always greeted us by name. The balcony was larger than I was expecting and had two chairs and a table as well as a lounge chair. I spent a lot of time out there doing homework. It was nice. My only complaint is that we had a smoker close by who would smoke in the morning and in the evening which was very unpleasant because it was thick. Security attempted to rectify the situation but I'm sure it was difficult to find the culprit because it was hard to pinpoint where it was coming from. Food: Guy's Burgers- Always a favorite for us. At lunch here twice, and had a Plain Jane both times. They also have breakfast burgers now and and I had the Plain Joe. It was good but a little too much sauce. Rarely ran into lines when we went but there were definitely high traffic times that we avoided. Lido buffet: had breakfast here every morning. It was pleasant enough and my kids always found something that they wanted. There were lines, but we never had to wait long. We seemed to go during "low traffic" times. Pizzeria del Capitano: always pretty busy when we went, but never had to wait more than half an hour. Keep in mind, they bake to order so that takes a bit of time. They were good at moving the line quickly and smoothly. Tasty pizza! My time dining: Always booked our table through the HUB app and never had to wait more than 15 minutes for a table, and that included the walk to the dining room. Phenomenal dinner service on day 1. Denmarc was very engaging and was sure to include my 8-yr-old and ask her if she wanted a kids menu to color on. She never ordered any of the kids meals and at what was on the menu every night that we went to the dining room. Some of the food was subpar: burnt calamari and "toothy" pasta on elegant night. Our worst service was on elegant night, but I will give them kudos for acknowledging my little one's upcoming birthday. We didn't mention it, so I'm not sure how they knew it was close to her birthday. Beyond that, the service was less than desirable as it seemed like they were overly busy and couldn't give the same personal touches that we had the night before. The food is nearly identical to what we had on the Valor, and it was okay but could be better. Pig and Anchor: good enough, somewhat cold when we ate it. It's definitely not Texas BBQ Drinks: We did not have the drink package and it was a cost saver from our previous cruise. We spent less than $100 for drinks. If you're not on the drink package, I highly recommend hitting the RedFrog Pub for happy hour when you can. We bought the "bowls" and those are half off as well. The bowl easily makes about four drinks and at half off, I didn't feel like I was wasting money if I didn't finish. We brought two bottles of wine on board as allotted and that was also sufficient. Entertainment: High Seas Karaoke- enjoyed this on day 1, but after about five songs it started to get a little less 'PG' than I was comfortable with my 8-yr-old hearing. I don't censor music that she listens to but some of the dancing they were doing on stage was a little raunchy. I don't fault the cruise line or passengers, they're there to have a good time and I don't mind removing myself if I'm uncomfortable. Looking at the time, it was after 8p and we headed back to the room to head to bed anyway. That being said, we always have a good time at High Seas Karaoke and this was no exception. The guy who does the High Seas Karaoke is the brother of the cruise director which we didn't find out until later in the cruise and it's awesome that got to be on the same ship. He's very nice and did a good job of keeping the songs/singers running smoothly. No awkward pauses. Trivia: we love doing this and there were several trivia opportunities! Three of my family members won a Ship on a Stick! Playlist Production SoulBound: Unfortunately, it was experiencing technical difficulties when we went so it was more of just a "live performance" than a production. It was still enjoyable. Violin trio: loved sitting at the Atrium bar and listening to them! Movies Under the Stars: watched Captain Marvel and had a huge selection of seats to choose from. Bingo: Fun enough. We played twice. Camp Ocean: use the HUB app to plan activities. Our kiddo went twice because they were doing activities that she wanted to do. All other times she was with us. Public areas: Spent little time at the pools. We went when it wasn't crowded. Girls loved the water works. Played mini golf. Did the ropes course. Elevators had a long wait most of the time so we used the stairs frequently. Being on deck 7 meant easy access to Lido (deck 9) or shops (deck 5) and lobby (deck 3). The bathroom off of the Blue Iguana Cantina was short and narrow and made a tight fit for people washing their hands. Lots of hand washing stations though. The sliding glass doors into the Lido buffet have a red button to push when entering/leaving to open the doors. Didn't figure that out until day 2 but we hadn't completely explored the ship until then. I tend to avoid the casino as it's too smokey for me so I'll go up a level to cross that area. Shore Excursion: We booked on the morning of our Port Day in Grand Turk. For $24.99/person we got a tram tour of the island. Very informative and enjoyable. It was a good bargain. We did some shopping. Ate at Margaritaville. Grand Turk is still pretty devastated from Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017. Debarkation: This is where it becomes a mess. We had priority debarkation but the process was never clearly explained to us. We were told to wait in a designated area for priority status passengers which was the Liquid Lounge. Upon arriving at the Liquid Lounge, all the passengers who were carrying their luggage off were sent there as well. When we were finally able to get off the ship, we were in the fray of passengers who had been waiting an hour to get off the ship. Our luggage was blocked in by the line of people in the customs line so we had to exit the line to get our luggage and then try to zipper back in after getting out of the line to get our luggage and people felt that we were "cutting." After standing in line for 45 minutes, we realized that there is a separate line for priority status. We had a line jumper who managed to make her way to the front in about five minutes which angered those of us who had been waiting. Getting through customs was easy but getting your transportation FROM the terminal was a nightmare. It was congested and those using UBER or LYFT were to go to the end of where pick up was. We ordered three UBER and two of our drivers picked up other people and canceled our ride. Third attempt, and an hour later, we finally got one and that's because we informed the guy directing traffic what type of vehicle we were looking for. The construction in the terminal has created mass confusion on pick up areas. You have to give a specific address or your ride won't get there. Overall, we had a great time and we will definitely be cruising again. Given the opportunity we would sail on the Sunrise again. It's a nice ship and we enjoyed the decor and ambience more so than the Valor.

Family FUN trip

Carnival Sunrise Cruise Review by GLiTTeR_NiNjA

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
This was the first cruise for my daughters, ages 16 and 8. My husband and I have cruised once before, on the Carnival Valor out of Galveston in October 2018. This trip was our "experience" Christmas gift for the girls and I got a GREAT deal on an Ocean Suite. When I booked the suite, the ship was still the Carnival Triumph so I was a bit nervous about what it would be like considering the reviews I had read about the Carnival Triumph. For the most part, I use the reviews as a guiding reference but I go into the cruise with an open mind. What I have noticed about CCL is that it is definitely a FUN cruise line and they market that so there are no surprises that you'll have all sorts of FUN on the ship.

We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale the evening before sail away. After a full day of traveling, we just wanted to get to the hotel and relax. There was no opportunity to explore the city before sail away, so I can't speak to what Ft. Lauderdale is like. We had a pleasant experience at the hotel which was really close to the cruise terminal. Our hotel offered a private shuttle to the cruise terminal for $8/person but we opted to use UBER which cost us $9 with tip. That was a savings of $23 for us because we had four traveling in our party. Our UBER drive was prompt, arrived within 4 minutes of booking and he knew exactly where he was going.

The cruise terminal is undergoing some construction which led to some traffic congestion getting to the terminal but we still arrived at the terminal within 15 minutes of departing the hotel. The porters at the Carnival terminal were TOP NOTCH. They were very respectful and kind. We knew that our luggage was in good hands.

Embarkation: Our appointment time was 12-12:30. We arrived at the terminal at 11a. Being booked in the Ocean suite allowed us priority embarkation so we were processed and waiting to board by approximately 11:15, I think. We were seated in the waiting area with Platinum guests and only had to sit in the waiting area for about ten minutes before boarding. We boarded after the wedding guests. It was super smooth and easy! The only snag in the process is that our youngest hadn't been checked in previously because she was traveling on a birth certificate. It took about a minute to correct and we were able to board. On the next sailing, she will have a passport; hopefully this reduces the chances of that happening again.

On board: Once on board, we went straight to the Lido deck. It was empty so we were able to snag a table and have some Guy's Burgers. After eating, we went to check out Camp Ocean and register our youngest. This was a smooth process and they were only open for registration and not for drop off which was not a big deal to us. We didn't choose Camp Ocean because we were looking for a babysitter, we chose Camp Ocean so that she would have some enrichment activities to do. The 16-yr-old checked out Club O2 which she didn't think was her vibe, but registered anyway.

One regret that I have is taking the spa tour. Don't get me wrong, I love the spa, I just didn't like all the up-selling that it done on day one. It's not enough to make me not cruise on CCL again because I realize that many cruise lines do this.

Our stateroom was ready before 1:30. It is a lovely stateroom, and more spacious than I was expecting. The only issue that we had was our bathroom light wouldn't turn on and we didn't figure out until a few hours later that we needed to stick our keycard in the slot by the door to turn on the lights. The key card needs to stay there for as long as you're in the room. It's meant to be an eco-friendly measure and once we knew what to do, we had no issues.

Suite 7238: We are a family of four and found this suite to be adequate for space. It gets a little cramped when the sofa is made into a bed, but for the time that we spent in the room, it was fine. There were several outlets and USB ports and light switches above the headboard for the overhead light. We had a walk-in closet with vanity area, and the bathroom had a bathtub/shower combo. One major issue that we had was that the toilet would not flush at times, but, then would randomly flush after about 10-15 minutes. We did call about that and nobody ever came to check it out.

Our steward was Daniel and he was pretty good. He brought us extra pillows and pillows which we appreciated. He was very attentive and always greeted us by name.

The balcony was larger than I was expecting and had two chairs and a table as well as a lounge chair. I spent a lot of time out there doing homework. It was nice. My only complaint is that we had a smoker close by who would smoke in the morning and in the evening which was very unpleasant because it was thick. Security attempted to rectify the situation but I'm sure it was difficult to find the culprit because it was hard to pinpoint where it was coming from.

Food:

Guy's Burgers- Always a favorite for us. At lunch here twice, and had a Plain Jane both times. They also have breakfast burgers now and and I had the Plain Joe. It was good but a little too much sauce. Rarely ran into lines when we went but there were definitely high traffic times that we avoided.

Lido buffet: had breakfast here every morning. It was pleasant enough and my kids always found something that they wanted. There were lines, but we never had to wait long. We seemed to go during "low traffic" times.

Pizzeria del Capitano: always pretty busy when we went, but never had to wait more than half an hour. Keep in mind, they bake to order so that takes a bit of time. They were good at moving the line quickly and smoothly. Tasty pizza!

My time dining: Always booked our table through the HUB app and never had to wait more than 15 minutes for a table, and that included the walk to the dining room. Phenomenal dinner service on day 1. Denmarc was very engaging and was sure to include my 8-yr-old and ask her if she wanted a kids menu to color on. She never ordered any of the kids meals and at what was on the menu every night that we went to the dining room. Some of the food was subpar: burnt calamari and "toothy" pasta on elegant night. Our worst service was on elegant night, but I will give them kudos for acknowledging my little one's upcoming birthday. We didn't mention it, so I'm not sure how they knew it was close to her birthday. Beyond that, the service was less than desirable as it seemed like they were overly busy and couldn't give the same personal touches that we had the night before. The food is nearly identical to what we had on the Valor, and it was okay but could be better.

Pig and Anchor: good enough, somewhat cold when we ate it. It's definitely not Texas BBQ

Drinks: We did not have the drink package and it was a cost saver from our previous cruise. We spent less than $100 for drinks. If you're not on the drink package, I highly recommend hitting the RedFrog Pub for happy hour when you can. We bought the "bowls" and those are half off as well. The bowl easily makes about four drinks and at half off, I didn't feel like I was wasting money if I didn't finish. We brought two bottles of wine on board as allotted and that was also sufficient.

Entertainment:

High Seas Karaoke- enjoyed this on day 1, but after about five songs it started to get a little less 'PG' than I was comfortable with my 8-yr-old hearing. I don't censor music that she listens to but some of the dancing they were doing on stage was a little raunchy. I don't fault the cruise line or passengers, they're there to have a good time and I don't mind removing myself if I'm uncomfortable. Looking at the time, it was after 8p and we headed back to the room to head to bed anyway. That being said, we always have a good time at High Seas Karaoke and this was no exception. The guy who does the High Seas Karaoke is the brother of the cruise director which we didn't find out until later in the cruise and it's awesome that got to be on the same ship. He's very nice and did a good job of keeping the songs/singers running smoothly. No awkward pauses.

Trivia: we love doing this and there were several trivia opportunities! Three of my family members won a Ship on a Stick!

Playlist Production SoulBound: Unfortunately, it was experiencing technical difficulties when we went so it was more of just a "live performance" than a production. It was still enjoyable.

Violin trio: loved sitting at the Atrium bar and listening to them!

Movies Under the Stars: watched Captain Marvel and had a huge selection of seats to choose from.

Bingo: Fun enough. We played twice.

Camp Ocean: use the HUB app to plan activities. Our kiddo went twice because they were doing activities that she wanted to do. All other times she was with us.

Public areas: Spent little time at the pools. We went when it wasn't crowded. Girls loved the water works. Played mini golf. Did the ropes course. Elevators had a long wait most of the time so we used the stairs frequently. Being on deck 7 meant easy access to Lido (deck 9) or shops (deck 5) and lobby (deck 3). The bathroom off of the Blue Iguana Cantina was short and narrow and made a tight fit for people washing their hands. Lots of hand washing stations though. The sliding glass doors into the Lido buffet have a red button to push when entering/leaving to open the doors. Didn't figure that out until day 2 but we hadn't completely explored the ship until then. I tend to avoid the casino as it's too smokey for me so I'll go up a level to cross that area.

Shore Excursion: We booked on the morning of our Port Day in Grand Turk. For $24.99/person we got a tram tour of the island. Very informative and enjoyable. It was a good bargain. We did some shopping. Ate at Margaritaville. Grand Turk is still pretty devastated from Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017.

Debarkation: This is where it becomes a mess. We had priority debarkation but the process was never clearly explained to us. We were told to wait in a designated area for priority status passengers which was the Liquid Lounge. Upon arriving at the Liquid Lounge, all the passengers who were carrying their luggage off were sent there as well. When we were finally able to get off the ship, we were in the fray of passengers who had been waiting an hour to get off the ship. Our luggage was blocked in by the line of people in the customs line so we had to exit the line to get our luggage and then try to zipper back in after getting out of the line to get our luggage and people felt that we were "cutting." After standing in line for 45 minutes, we realized that there is a separate line for priority status. We had a line jumper who managed to make her way to the front in about five minutes which angered those of us who had been waiting. Getting through customs was easy but getting your transportation FROM the terminal was a nightmare. It was congested and those using UBER or LYFT were to go to the end of where pick up was. We ordered three UBER and two of our drivers picked up other people and canceled our ride. Third attempt, and an hour later, we finally got one and that's because we informed the guy directing traffic what type of vehicle we were looking for. The construction in the terminal has created mass confusion on pick up areas. You have to give a specific address or your ride won't get there.

Overall, we had a great time and we will definitely be cruising again. Given the opportunity we would sail on the Sunrise again. It's a nice ship and we enjoyed the decor and ambience more so than the Valor.
GLiTTeR_NiNjA’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
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Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
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Cabin Review

Ocean Suite
Cabin OS
We are a family of four and found this suite to be adequate for space. It gets a little cramped when the sofa is made into a bed, but for the time that we spent in the room, it was fine. There were several outlets and USB ports and light switches above the headboard for the overhead light. We had a walk-in closet with vanity area, and the bathroom had a bathtub/shower combo. One major issue that we had was that the toilet would not flush at times, but, then would randomly flush after about 10-15 minutes. We did call about that and nobody ever came to check it out.

Our steward was Daniel and he was pretty good. He brought us extra pillows and pillows which we appreciated. He was very attentive and always greeted us by name.

The balcony was larger than I was expecting and had two chairs and a table as well as a lounge chair. I spent a lot of time out there doing homework. It was nice. My only complaint is that we had a smoker close by who would smoke in the morning and in the evening which was very unpleasant because it was thick. Security attempted to rectify the situation but I'm sure it was difficult to find the culprit because it was hard to pinpoint where it was coming from
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