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Our 5th cruise. 1st with Carnival (3 NCL, 1 RCCL). 1st with kids (ages 11 and 13). We chose the cruise because the length was good for the kids, we hadn't been to Bermuda, leaving from NY was easier than flying to FL, and the Sunrise had recently undergone a $200M refurbishment. Embarkation: Cruise port was relatively easy to get to. Parking was right next to the ship. Definitely older than port facilities in Miami; less high tech experience, but lines weren't bad. View of the city on the way out was a really nice highlight. Statue of Liberty, Empire State, 1 WTC, etc. Room: Standard balcony room. Just like others we have had on other ships. Standard bathroom. USB outlets on headboard were a nice touch. Good storage space. Tasteful decor. Bathroom standard; not used to shower curtain vs shower door but no issues. Crew: Friendly but not outgoing. Were hardly greeted entering the ship. No one greeted us when we entered the buffet. No "washy, washy!" In fact, no one on the ship offered us hand sanitizer; not once. This is a real surprise and something that concerned us a bit. Bartenders were a bit slow, but not unacceptably so. We saw our cabin steward several hours after boarding. He had us sign a paper stating when we wanted the room cleaned. We didn't see him again until the obligatory goodbye around tip time. Room was made up once a day. If we took an afternoon nap, the bed wasn't remade in the evening. That said, several staff members were very kind to us. Our waiter quickly learned the kids' names and remembered them when he saw them at a different time in a different part of the ship. I saw another crew member assisting a mom whose child was seasick, which was nice. Food: Buffet was average; not as much selection as we are used to. Main Dining Room fare was also standard; nothing to rave about, but no complaints. Other free restaurants - Guy's Burgers, Guy's BBQ, Blue Iguana, deli, and pizza place were all quite good. We didn't eat in any of the specialty restaurants. Crowds: Crowd flow was poor. In trying to update the ship and add more stuff, they've created a number of bottlenecks. There was always a line for food. They couldn't make pizzas fast enough. All of the buffet items are in a row, so you have to get in a line and go through everything just to get one item. Individual stations would be much more efficient. In addition, there are so many food places on the Lido deck that it seems like one continuous line, particularly when combined with crowded pool and bar areas. Entertainment: Pretty good. We went to see a band play rock/pop hits a few times and they were quite good. Kids liked Hasbro Game Night. PG rated comedy acts were both funny. We liked the vibe at Red Frog Pub, including the little game room in the back. Disembarkation: Terrible. Not enough to ruin the cruise, but it does end it on a down note. They ask you to wait in your state room until they call your deck. I don't think people listened. We did but even then, we got our bags down from Deck 7 to Deck 5 and then had to wait in a mass of people to get down the stairs to Deck 3 for at least an hour if not more. Balancing heavy bags on narrow stairs with hundreds of irritated people and restless kids was not fun. They need to fix this ASAP. Thankfully we didn't have a flight to catch. Overall: A good time, but don't let the $200M in upgrades fool you into thinking the Sunrise is the equivalent of one of the newer megaships. It's solid and standard but by no means spectacular. I don't see us taking the Sunrise again unless the itinerary and the price were too good to pass up. We're even a little skeptical of Carnival. Again, no major negatives, but we felt other cruiselines did it better.

Trying to Cram Big Ship Amenities into a Small Space

Carnival Sunrise Cruise Review by john1024

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2019
  • Destination: Bermuda
Our 5th cruise. 1st with Carnival (3 NCL, 1 RCCL). 1st with kids (ages 11 and 13). We chose the cruise because the length was good for the kids, we hadn't been to Bermuda, leaving from NY was easier than flying to FL, and the Sunrise had recently undergone a $200M refurbishment.

Embarkation: Cruise port was relatively easy to get to. Parking was right next to the ship. Definitely older than port facilities in Miami; less high tech experience, but lines weren't bad. View of the city on the way out was a really nice highlight. Statue of Liberty, Empire State, 1 WTC, etc.

Room: Standard balcony room. Just like others we have had on other ships. Standard bathroom. USB outlets on headboard were a nice touch. Good storage space. Tasteful decor. Bathroom standard; not used to shower curtain vs shower door but no issues.

Crew: Friendly but not outgoing. Were hardly greeted entering the ship. No one greeted us when we entered the buffet. No "washy, washy!" In fact, no one on the ship offered us hand sanitizer; not once. This is a real surprise and something that concerned us a bit. Bartenders were a bit slow, but not unacceptably so. We saw our cabin steward several hours after boarding. He had us sign a paper stating when we wanted the room cleaned. We didn't see him again until the obligatory goodbye around tip time. Room was made up once a day. If we took an afternoon nap, the bed wasn't remade in the evening. That said, several staff members were very kind to us. Our waiter quickly learned the kids' names and remembered them when he saw them at a different time in a different part of the ship. I saw another crew member assisting a mom whose child was seasick, which was nice.

Food: Buffet was average; not as much selection as we are used to. Main Dining Room fare was also standard; nothing to rave about, but no complaints. Other free restaurants - Guy's Burgers, Guy's BBQ, Blue Iguana, deli, and pizza place were all quite good. We didn't eat in any of the specialty restaurants.

Crowds: Crowd flow was poor. In trying to update the ship and add more stuff, they've created a number of bottlenecks. There was always a line for food. They couldn't make pizzas fast enough. All of the buffet items are in a row, so you have to get in a line and go through everything just to get one item. Individual stations would be much more efficient. In addition, there are so many food places on the Lido deck that it seems like one continuous line, particularly when combined with crowded pool and bar areas.

Entertainment: Pretty good. We went to see a band play rock/pop hits a few times and they were quite good. Kids liked Hasbro Game Night. PG rated comedy acts were both funny. We liked the vibe at Red Frog Pub, including the little game room in the back.

Disembarkation: Terrible. Not enough to ruin the cruise, but it does end it on a down note. They ask you to wait in your state room until they call your deck. I don't think people listened. We did but even then, we got our bags down from Deck 7 to Deck 5 and then had to wait in a mass of people to get down the stairs to Deck 3 for at least an hour if not more. Balancing heavy bags on narrow stairs with hundreds of irritated people and restless kids was not fun. They need to fix this ASAP. Thankfully we didn't have a flight to catch.

Overall: A good time, but don't let the $200M in upgrades fool you into thinking the Sunrise is the equivalent of one of the newer megaships. It's solid and standard but by no means spectacular. I don't see us taking the Sunrise again unless the itinerary and the price were too good to pass up. We're even a little skeptical of Carnival. Again, no major negatives, but we felt other cruiselines did it better.
john1024’s Full Rating Summary
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