So, my Carnival Sunrise Review. I’ve just spent 5 nights on board the Carnival Sunrise, going from Fort Lauderdale to Princess Cays and Nassau in the Bahamas, and Grand Turk in Turks and Caicos.
– I was invited by Cruise118.com to review the Carnival Sunrise, and the ports of call for my cruise.
For a quick review of the Carnival Sunrise, and a look around the ship, you can check out my cruise video below. But to read all about it, carry on.
Watch my review of the Carnival Sunrise Cruise to the Bahamas and Turks & Caicos
The Carnival Sunrise has just had a $200 million transformation with all-new staterooms, dining venues and entertainment innovations.
So, I’ll take my Carnival Sunrise review topic by topic.
First up, most importantly, the food…
Restaurants on the Carnival Sunrise
There are 11 restaurants on the Carnival Sunrise cruise ship.
– Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que*
– Guy’s Burger Joint*
– Sunshine Restaurant
– Radiance Restaurant*
– Pizzeria del Capitano*
– Cucina del Capitano
– The Steakhouse
– Seafood Shack
– BlueIguana Cantina
– the Deli*
– Bonsai Sushi
I ate at all the ones with stars. It was the Guy’s Burger Join that stood out to me though – the fries they served were just incredible.
In the evenings we went to the Radiance Restaurant twice, for a sit down meal. They got up and danced to Uptown Funk both nights, really getting the diners going. Each night you’d order your table through the Carnival app (download before embarking). The two times we ordered, we pretty much got a table straight away.
It was nice to sit down and have the food bought to you, rather than a buffet, but I felt the food was better at the other restaurants we tried.
Totally worth an extra mention, was the BBQ Smokehouse. Vegetarians avoid – the meat was just incredible. So much choice as well, from all the greats – chicken, beef, pork and some tasty sides too.
There was also 24/7 ice cream for you to enjoy anytime you wanted. Oh, and popcorn for the films. On our day in Princess Cays, they also put on a BBQ on the beach.
You are NOT going to go hungry on the Carnival Sunrise!
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Rooms on the Carnival Sunrise
Our room was on level 2, in an outside room with a window, but no balcony. I’ve been on two cruises before and this totally showed me the importance of having a balcony – if you can afford it, it really does add to the experience.
We didn’t actually spend that much time in the room though, obviously to sleep but apart from that, we were out and about.
In our room we had a good sized bathroom, plenty of wardrobe and drawer space to hang things, a sofa which could be a bed, a double bed (two singles together) and a TV with access to on demand films.
We also had a maid who was there for anything we needed.
Evening entertainment on the Carnival Sunrise
The evening entertainment on the Carnival Sunrise was a choice of a comedian, a show, a party or a film on the top deck.
We went to see the Flying Scotsman show, featuring the ship’s Scottish captain Christopher Williams, doing his stand up and musical routine. We went on the last night and he was really funny, and the room was packed. A testament to his friendship with as many people as possible on board.
Unfortunately thanks to the jetlag we were never awake long enough for the evening parties – but they were neon / 80s themed and white themed and we saw people having fun getting ready for them.
We went to watch two of the Carnival Sunrise shows. We saw a 20s themed pop music show and a Halloween style one. It was a great way to end the day in the theatre and you could order drinks to your seat.
Each day a ship’s itinerary would be posted under the door, letting you know all about what was going on that day on the ship. If you’re going on the Carnival Sunrise keep an eye out for that as it will help you plan your day.
Excursions on the Carnival Sunrise Cruise
In each port there were excursions to choose from, which could be booked before the cruise, on the cruise, or on the day. Obviously the popular ones sell out first.
We found the excursions to be pretty expensive, and so only ended up doing one.
On Princess Cays we joined the bike excursion for $29.99 (no tax was added). After a late start we cycled about a mile in total, and stopped at the entrance to Princess Cays, at an old church, and at a beach. Our guide told us a little about the area, and then we cycled back again.
Other excursions on Grand Turk, Princess Cays and Nassau include catamaran trips, beach parties, animal encounters and walking tours. There are so many excursions to choose from so I’d advise you to plan before you go.
You can find the list of activities on the Carnival cruise website.
Boarding and disembarking the Carnival Cruise
Compared to the other two cruises I’ve done I was pretty impressed with the boarding and disembarking process on the Carnival Sunrise. It took us about 20 minutes to board, and 10 to disembark.
We actually turned up to the cruise earlier than our time and were still allowed on the ship, but had to wait to get in our room. This was totally fine as we just hit the burger bar and went for a wander around.
Day activities on the Carnival Sunrise
Obviously you want to know what’s on board for your days at sea on the Carnival Sunrise. There’s a whole plan of activities, from bingo (we tried, we failed), to trivia quizzes (we got 17/20) and pool parties. There’s also a casino, an amusement arcade, shops and a coffee shop with cakes too.
You can buy access to the Cloud 9 Spa adults only retreat. We were given a tour on the first day and told passes were very limited. In here you’ll have an amazing view out the front of the ship from heated seats, steam rooms, saunas, and a range of access to treatment rooms (at extra cost).
There’s also the adults only area at the back of the ship. There’s a pool here, a bar, more towels and loads of nice cushty loungers to sun bathe on. It was always busy though, so you need to be up early to bag yourself a seat.
There’s a whole adventure sports area upstairs, with a ropes course, a crazy golf course, a fusball table and a running track too.
You won’t be bored!
READ MORE: My Review of the Scarlet Lady Cruise Ship, from Virgin Voyages
Extra expenses on the Carnival Sunrise
The price you pay on the Carnival Sunrise is for your room and the six included restaurants – there are lots of other opportunities to spend money though!
When you get on lanyards are $12.99 (bring your own), the excursions start from $29.99, and some of the a la carte restaurants cost extra.
You can buy a drinks package for $56.95 per day. This must be bought for the whole cruise, you can’t just buy a day.
Obviously to play bingo ($30+), the arcade machines ($2+) and at the casinos cost extra too.
Remember, as an American organisation, these prices also have tax added on top.
Tips are $12.95 per day per person, which go to the behind the scenes staff. Then with every drink you’ll also be charged an 18% gratuity, which will be added to your account, and then there’s the option for an additional gratuity on top.
That money goes to the service staff.
Bear in mind that this can all add up.
Top tips for the Carnival Sunrise
1. Avoid going to guest services on day one, as you’d expect queues can be very long – I queued for over an hour.
2. Go to the front of the ship for your fresh eggs and omelette for breakfast – queues are crazy in the centre. Then you can eat outside and by the pool too.
3. Make sure you take the allotted 12 cans of coke you’re allowed, and bottle of wine per person, on the ship, yourself. I made the mistake of putting them in my luggage and had them taken off me (I talked to guest services and got them back 48 hours later).
4. Get up for the sunrise, it’s incredible. Don’t waste your jet lag in bed. It’s not called the Carnival Sunrise for nothing!
5. Relax and watch the band at the bar on Princess Cays, it was free and one of my favourite experiences on the cruise.
6. You need to keep your Carnival Sunrise card on you at all times so it’s a good idea to bring a lanyard to keep the card safe and accessible, so you don’t have to buy one.
7. Always take your passport off the ship – just in case.
8. Take a reusable water bottle so you can fill up from the free water and juice machines as you like.
Carnival Sunrise Review
We had a great time on the Carnival Sunrise. I’m glad we did our own thing on the shore days, it meant we got to explore more of the islands, and made it more relaxing. I really enjoyed the restaurants and there was a nice atmosphere on the ship. I loved just sitting in the hot tubs chatting with the other holidaymakers.
If you have any questions about this Carnival Sunrise review, just let me know in the comments below!
I was on the Carnival Sunrise thanks to Cruise118.com. They paid for my flight and cruise room and food in return for a review. All drinks and excursions paid for by me.