Erica Silverstein
Cruise Critic Senior Editor
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating: Entertainment

Carnival Sunrise Entertainment & Activities

Theaters 

At night, cruisers pack the Liquid Lounge to see the high-energy Playlist Productions musical shows with fun effects. Shows aren't much longer than 30 minutes and feature oldies-but-goodies as well as modern hits off today's radio.

Daily Fun

Carnival Sunrise lives up to Carnival Cruise Line's motto of "fun for all." Sea days are packed with all sorts of activities -- multiple trivia games, shopping and spa seminars (be careful, they're trying to sell you something), games, crafts and meetups. Many cruisers participate -- but just as many are relaxing in the sun, crowding the pool or enjoying the water slides, ropes course and basketball course up on the top deck.

If you'd like to see crew-only spaces, such as backstage and the bridge, and meet the captain, book the Behind the Fun Tour at the shore excursions deck. It takes place on the last sea day and can accommodate a maximum of 17 people, with only a few time slots, so book early. 

At Night

One of the most popular spots to be in the evening are the family-friendly and off-color comedy shows in the Limelight Lounge. Or enjoy the various bars around the ship, from the laid-back RedFrog Pub to the sing-along Piano Bar 88.

The casino is lively whenever it's open, and you're forced to walk through it to get across Deck 5. (If you don't like smoke, you'll need to cross on Deck 6 instead.) You'll find lots of slots and table games, plus daily tournaments and special prizes. Kids have their version at The Warehouse arcade next door.

Carnival Sunrise does not have a nightclub, though either the atrium lobby or Limelight Lounge serve that purpose for after-show music and dancing. 

Poolside movies and deck parties move the crowds to the open decks at night.

Carnival Sunrise Bars and Lounges

Carnival Sunrise passengers tend to keep the bars hopping and the action going late into the evening. Consider the Cheers! drinks package if you plan on drinking several beers, cocktails and glasses of wine daily.

Highlights include:

Limelight Lounge (Deck 4): This secondary show lounge is tucked away on Deck 4 midship. It's home to the Punchliner Comedy Club shows; a weeklong cruise will likely have two comedians onboard, performing family-friendly and R-rated shows. (If you're easily offended, you won't enjoy the adults-only, late-night shows.) Karaoke and after-hours DJ dancing also take place in this space.

SkyBox Sports Bar (Deck 5): Behind closed doors, SkyBox is the place to catch live sporting events on multiple TVs. It's easy to walk right by and not notice it's there.

Red Frog Pub (Deck 5): One of the bigger drinking venues onboard with a Caribbean vibe, Red Frog serves up Carnival's own brew, ThirstyFrog Red, in pints, four-beer flights (with other ThirstyFrog or ParchedPig brews) or 101-ounce tubes. It's got a stage, a large horseshoe-shaped bar and games like foosball in the back corner. Pre-dinner karaoke and live music draw a crowd.

Piano Bar 88 (Deck 5): Carnival is known for its sing-along piano bars, and each performer tends to draw a following of regulars. Tip the pianist, and he'll play your favorite song.

Alchemy Bar (Deck 5): This popular watering hole pretends to be an old-school pharmacy, where lab coat-wearing bartenders concoct elixirs to cure what ails you. The Cucumber Sunrise is a favorite prescription.

BlueIguana Tequila Bar (Deck 9): Margarita, anyone? This poolside bar serves all your tequila-based favorites, fresh or frozen, including pitchers of margaritas and spiked lemonade. You can get beer, soda and nonalcoholic cocktails here, too.

Red Frog Rum Bar (Deck 9): The yin to Iguana's yang, this bar doles out pina coladas, daiquiris, mojitos and other rum-based drinks to the thirsty pool crowd.

Carnival Sunrise Outside Recreation

Pools

Carnival Sunrise has two smallish pools and a handful of hot tubs. On Caribbean and warm-weather cruises, the main pool area is packed all day long, and silly games, like the Hairy Chest Contest, take place there. It has a fun, energetic vibe -- but if you're looking for space to yourself, you won't find it here.

Recreation

Carnival Sunrise is a great ship for outdoorsy types, if you aren't afraid of crowds and direct sunlight. Deck 10 is where you'll find the Carnival WaterWorks water park with the 203-foot-long AquaTunnel slide, 212-foot-long Twister Waterslide, a small slide for little kids and a spray area with a dumping bucket. 

For more active fun, head to Deck 11 and SportSquare, which offers a jogging track, shuffleboard, basketball court and a ropes course 150 feet above the sea. You'll also find alfresco foosball, pool tables, cornhole bean bag games and fitness equipment that sees more kids than fitness enthusiasts. A nine-hole mini-golf course is on Deck 12. 

Sun Decks

You'll find plenty of spots to sun yourself around the pool and on the deck right above.

If you need shade, you might find some on the aft deck behind the buffet, where there's a smaller pool and two more hot tubs. There are also some tables and chairs tucked under the overhang of the deck above, though they might be taken up by pizza and seafood eaters.

The most coveted sun deck space is in the two-deck adults-only Serenity sun deck on Decks 12 and 14. This area has padded lounge chairs, day beds and upright chairs, a hot tub and a bar. Though it's next to the water slide entrance and the kids club, noise and rug rats don't really carry over.

Carnival Sunrise Services

You'll find all the usual cruise ship services onboard Carnival Sunrise, including shore excursion and guest services desks; a photo gallery, camera shop and portrait studio; internet stations (find Carnival prices here) and shops selling fine jewelry and watches, perfume, designer bags, Carnival-branded items, clothing, toiletries, duty-free alcohol and cigarettes and more.

There are also DIY launderettes on every deck with cabins. You'll have to pay with your cruise card, but the iron and ironing board are free to use. 

If you need cash for your land-based fun, you'll find an ATM, and you can check your onboard account at the Sail & Sign kiosks.

There's a medical center onboard; you'll have to pay extra to see the doctor.

Carnival Sunrise Spa & Fitness

Spa

The Cloud 9 Spa on Deck 11 lures cruisers with the promise of relaxation and rejuvenation. It offers massages (Swedish, hot stone, herbal poultice) from $159 to $235 and from $145 to $185 for facials (price ranges are subject to change). It also offers body therapies (cellulite reduction and seaweed wraps), medi-spa therapies (Restylane and Dysport), men's treatments and shaves, acupuncture, teeth whitening and salon services (manicures, pedicures, hairstyling).

Embarkation day specials reduce rates for treatments done on Day One; depending on demand, you might find daily discounts, as well. If you book multiple treatments, you can access discounts of 10 percent on the first, 20 percent on the second and 30 percent on the third.

The spa's thermal suite is restricted access. Passengers in spa cabins get in for free; everyone else can pay $109 per cruise ($169 for couples). Day passes are available but aren't a great value. The facility offers two saunas, a steam room, heated loungers and an aromatherapy shower.

Fitness

The fitness center is spacious, but slanted windows create a lot of unusable space and a mirrored top half limits sea views while working out. The gym is stocked with LifeCycle equipment -- treadmills, elliptical trainers, stationary bikes -- a couple of rowing machines, resistance machines and free weights. A lot of room is dedicated to trainer offices, but the group class space is rather small. It's also used for footprint analysis sessions, limiting stretch space for gym-goers. (Use the space in front of treadmills if you don't need to stretch standing up.)

Complimentary fitness classes include stretching and abs; extra-fee classes include yoga, cycling, boot camp and Pilates. Classes are typically offered in the morning or late afternoon. An unlimited class pass is $79; personal training is also available for an extra fee.

SportSquare offers some outdoor fitness machines, but mostly kids fool around on them. There's a basketball court and jogging track (10 laps equal a mile), as well.

Carnival Sunrise For Kids

Kids

Carnival's kids club is named Camp Ocean, and it provides drop-off camp programing for kids ages 2 to 11 at its Deck 12 location. Children are divided into three age groups: Penguins (2- to 5-year-olds), Stingrays (6- to 8-year-olds) and Sharks (9- to 11-year-olds). Babies and toddlers younger than 2 can play at Camp Ocean during limited hours, either with a parent or relative for free, or dropped off for a fee. Youth staff will change diapers.

The two-room Camp Ocean facility has a play space for Penguins, with preschool toys like a play kitchen and toy car race track. The combined Stingrays and Sharks area is more of a multipurpose space, with plenty of video game stations. Underwater-theme decor and lots of light give the rooms a fun vibe.

Activities are age appropriate and often have an ocean theme. They include arts and crafts, Zumbini motor skills activities, games, science activities (like building a volcano), video games and scavenger hunts. Kids can pay to create stuffed friends at the Build-a-Bear Workshop and get their Seuss on at the Suess-a-palooza parade and story time.

Age groups are generally kept separate. When there are more kids than usual, the Sharks' activities might be moved to other locations around the ship.

On sea days, the club is open from 10 a.m. with a break in the late afternoon; on port days, the club opens 15 minutes before arrival, and parents can drop off children to take shore excursions without the rug rats underfoot. Kids can eat together at supervised meals with kid favorites like pizza, grilled cheese, chicken nuggets and hot dogs.

Kids ages 9 to 11 can sign themselves in and out of the club with parent's permission. Otherwise, parents need to drop off and pick up children.

Complimentary programming ends at 10 p.m. Camp Ocean offers group babysitting for all ages (babies through 11-year-olds) for $6.75 per hour, per child, plus a 15 percent gratuity, from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Parents can reserve Pack 'n Plays for babies, and find high chairs in all dining venues.

Teens

Tweens (ages 12 to 14) and teens (ages 13 to 15) each have their own hangouts on Deck 12. Circle C, is for tweens and Club O2 is for teens. These ages can come and go, and activities mainly start in the afternoon. Tweens and teens play games like dodgeball, make crafts, compete at video games, go see the Liquid Lounge shows together and have themed parties.

The tween and teen areas look like hip night clubs, with nooks for chatting and game play. Club O2 has foosball and a digital jukebox for playing music, singing karaoke and taking selfies.

Carnival Sunrise Ship Stats

  • Crew: 1,108
  • Launched: 1999 / 2019
  • Decks: 13
  • Passengers: 2,984
  • Registry: Bahamas

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