Courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line
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SportsSquare on Carnival Sunrise
SportsSquare on Carnival Sunrise / Photo courtesy of the cruise line
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WaterWorks on Carnival Sunrise
WaterWorks on Carnival Sunrise / Photo courtesy of the cruise line
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Carnival Seaside Theater on Carnival Sunrise
Carnival Seaside Theater on Carnival Sunrise / Photo courtesy of the cruise line
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Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse on Carnival Sunrise
Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse on Carnival Sunrise / Photo courtesy of the cruise line
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Carnival Sunrise

Our Ship Review
Deal Expert / Travel Blogger

As part of a recent industry trend to reimagine its aging ships, Carnival Cruise Line completely transformed its 1999-era Triumph in March 2019, investing $200 million in a two-month stem-to-stern refurbishment. Re-branded as Carnival Sunrise, the 2,984-guest vessel has added new restaurants, lounges, and 100 more staterooms, among other renovations. 

The cruise line maximized previously underused space on Sunrise's top decks by adding a SportSquare complex, as well as the popular WaterWorks slides and splash areas. Additionally, the retrofit introduced upscale specialty eateries like Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse, Java Blue Cafe, Seafood Shack, Bonsai Sushi Express, and a new intimate dining experience called The Chef's Table. You'll also find Pizzeria del Capitano, a complimentary pizza restaurant, along with newly expanded Swirls ice cream areas. Piano Bar 88 features by-request sing-alongs, while the RedFrog Pub serves up Carnival's signature ThirstyFrog Red ale. The pub also offers fun bar games and trivia competitions.

What We Love

Dive-in Movies: Grab a bucket of popcorn and throw on a warm blanket for movie nights under the stars on the ship's tiered deck. Most nights, two movies are screened, and they're often tied to themes that are appropriate for all ages. 

Expanded Kids and Teens Club: Sunrise’s refit added another space so each age group has its own turf. (There's Camp Ocean for kids ages 2 to 11, Circle C for 12-to-14-year-olds, and Club O2 for teens.) You'll also find an arcade, The Warehouse, along with Carnival’s Seuss at Sea, which offers special programs like character breakfasts (for a small extra fee), parades, and story time.  

Best Known For

Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Guy’s Burger Joint: Create your own meat festival at these popular complimentary eateries, which are a partnership with Food Network star Guy Fieri. Piles of pulled pork, sausage, and chicken can be seen everywhere on board, especially on sea days. 

The Punchliner Comedy Club: Sunrise features a lineup of several comedians. The lineup rotates throughout the sailing, and Punchliner offers both family-friendly and adults-only shows (two per night).

Who It's Best For

All Ages: With its “fun ship” vibe apparent throughout, everyone can find something to do from early morning until the wee hours. Adults can escape to the two-level Serenity area and upgraded thermal suite in the Cloud 9 Spa and Fitness Center. Kids (and their parents) will love the two twisty waterslides and water park area. Active cruisers will enjoy the SportSquare on the top decks, which includes a ropes course, a 9-hole mini-golf course, a basketball court, an outdoor pool, ping-pong, and foosball tables.

Cruisers on a Budget: Sunrise’s four to six-night sailings from Miami offer a fun and affordable escape to the Bahamas and the Caribbean — with plenty of fast-and-casual dining options that won’t bust your budget

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

There are Several Bottleneck Areas: During peak meal times, you can really see what adding 100 staterooms to a ship can do: The flow of passengers on the Lido Deck is impeded by long lines at various eateries and buffet stations, and there's not enough pass-through space between one area and another. Avoid eating at peak times to get around this crowded jam.

You Now Have to Walk Through the Casino on Deck 5: One downside to the refurbishment? The walkway on the Promenade Deck now leads you straight through the super smoky casino (players can smoke while seated). If you’re heading to Punchliner Comedy Club or a dining venue, go up to Deck 6 and walk through the ship via the stateroom hallways instead.

Donna Heiderstadt
Deal Expert / Travel Blogger
Cruise Expert