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Carnival Sunrise Review

4.0 / 5.0
165 reviews

Carnival Fell Short Of Even Our Very Low Expectations

Review for the Western Caribbean Cruise on Carnival Sunrise
10+ Cruises • Age 50s

Rating by category

Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Jun 2022

This was our 26th cruise and first on Carnival. We had never sailed Carnival before because of its reputation of being a low-end cruise line where everyone just wants to get drunk and party. We found the reputation to be true, unfortunately. The worst part were the cattle calls for meals at the buffet. Lines were regularly 20+ minutes everywhere. Usually, I walk around the buffet and have a hard time deciding what I really want to eat. On Carnival, most of my meal decisions were made based on how long the lines were. The food was uninspired and repetitive. Very few healthy or plant-based options (although the whole wheat tortillas at the excellent Blue Cantina Mexican restaurant were a welcome surprise). The pizza was pretty good but they would bring out these little pizzas they would cut into four pieces, so the line to get pizza was usually 30 minutes or longer. There was the dreaded sewage smell on Deck 1 (welcome to Carnival!) but I guess we got used to it after a while. The staff really tried hard and were excellent, but the ship was short staffed everywhere. Nobody to fill water or offer coffee. The deli had 1-2 people working there instead of 3-4. The pizza guy often was alone trying to make pizzas to feed the long lines of people. I felt like the staff was constantly trying to keep up but was not able. The deck parties were just a crush of drunk people and loud music. It was hard to go anywhere without bumping into people it was so crowded. I hear Carnival is working on getting to 110% capacity on its ships. This felt like 110% already. Some positives: embarkatation and disembarkation were organized and ran smoothly; the entertainment was good: the production shows were not great but the talent was there; Jake the cruise director is hilarious and not over the top like so many cruise directors; Adam at the piano bar is grounded and makes sure everyone has a good time; the sit down dining experience was good (heavenly compared to the buffets and other take out food venues). The ship itself was clean and had some fun features (waterslides; ropes course; pool and foosball tables; mini golf). Not as good as RCL ships, but a pretty good ship for kids. The rooms were pretty big compared to many new ships. But we will not be back sailing with Carnival. I feel sad for all of the people who sail Carnival for their first cruise, who think this is what cruising is about. If only they could experience Celebrity or Princess I think their opinion of cruising would be better. It's a shame so many people try Carnival for their first cruise and then decide cruising is not for them. Carnival is definitely not for us.

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