Carnival Cruise Ship Air Conditioning Issues Lead to Refunds

Guests aboard Carnival Sunrise are receiving partial refunds based on stateroom temperatures, but why is the ship so hot?

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Guests aboard Carnival Sunrise are receiving partial refunds of their cruise fare due to a failure of the air conditioning system onboard that has created excessive temperatures far above expected levels. Onboard technicians have been working on the issue, and refunds will vary based on temperatures recorded in guests’ staterooms.

Carnival Sunrise Air Conditioning Issues

While sailing in the Caribbean at the end of July, the 101,509-gross ton Carnival Sunrise has suffered repeated air conditioning issues that have created excessively hot areas of the ship, including in some guest staterooms.

The ship’s onboard technicians have worked around the clock to correct the issue, but only with limited success. Because of this, Carnival Cruise Line is offering partial refunds to guests in impacted cabins.

“While our shipboard and shoreside technical teams were able to complete the work and the overall temperature on board has lowered, we recognize that the temperature in your stateroom has not been at the desired level,” a letter given to impacted guests reads.

“We understand the impact this has had on your vacation. So, along with our apologies, for each day your stateroom temperature was above the ideal range, we are extending a 50% refund of your cruise fare.”

Carnival Sunrise Deck
Photo Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line

Refunds are being issued as onboard credits to guests’ Sail & Sign accounts, and are based on the base cruise fare only, not port taxes, fees, or onboard purchases such as drink packages, Wi-Fi, or specialty dining.

Furthermore, refunds are only calculated based on the days where the measured stateroom temperature was too high and may be different for guests in different staterooms.

Carnival Cruise Line provided Cruise Hive with the following statement on the situation:

The extreme heat and record-setting ocean temperatures have put added stress on air conditioning systems on land and sea, and our technical teams are keeping a close eye on our ships to make sure our guests are comfortable.

Carnival Sunrise has experienced an air conditioning issue that has affected a limited number of staterooms and some of the public areas of the ship. Our shipboard and shoreside teams have worked as quickly as possible to resolve the issue and have been able to address the higher temperatures in most of the affected areas. We have been in direct communication with the guests affected to address the impact on their cruise.

Carnival Cruise Line brand ambassador John Heald has also commented on the air conditioning issues experienced not just by Carnival Sunrise, but on several ships.

“I have seen and answered many questions and concerns about the air conditioning on board some of our vessels,” Heald said. “Extreme heat and record-setting ocean temperatures have placed added stress on our air conditioning system which is affecting the temperature in some areas of some of our ships. I promise that our engineering teams and shoreside beards are doing all they can to rectify this.”

Carnival Sunrise Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Eric Glenn / Shutterstock

The most recent sailing of Carnival Sunrise where refunds have been confirmed is a 5-night Western Caribbean voyage that departed Miami on Monday, July 24, 2023. The ship visited Jamaica and Grand Cayman before returning to Miami on Saturday, July 29.

Water temperatures in that sailing region are recorded from 75-86 degrees Fahrenheit (24-30 Celsius). While the ship was visiting both Ocho Rios, Jamaica on July 26, and Georgetown, Grand Cayman on July 27, the air temperatures were in the low 90s Fahrenheit (32-33 Celsius).

At this time of year, average high temperatures in both Jamaica and Grand Cayman are typically in the mid- to upper-80s, making this summer hotter than normal.

Keeping Cool Onboard

It is not unusual for different areas of a large cruise ship to have temperature fluctuations based on ventilation, air flow, outside doors, whether that part of the ship may be shaded, and other factors.

Many cruise guests bring small fans onboard to promote better air circulation in staterooms, and opening balcony doors can also provide a cooling breeze under the right conditions. If guests do not bring a fan onboard, a limited number of fans may be available to request from stateroom attendants.

Carnival Cruise Line Balcony Stateroom
Carnival Cruise Line Balcony Stateroom

On the sunny side of a ship, closing curtains can help cut the sun’s rays and prevent excess overheating.

Staying hydrated, enjoying an ice cream cone, taking advantage of the ship’s pools, or finding public areas with stronger air conditioning are all options for remaining cool and relaxed.

Carnival Sunrise History

It is important to note that Carnival Sunrise has a history of technical challenges. The ship is the former Carnival Triumph, which became notorious in 2013 after an engine room fire resulted in a loss of power and propulsion, stranding the ship at sea for several days.

Carnival Triumph also reported power loss issues in 2010, 2014, and 2017.

The ship underwent a $200 million refurbishment in 2019 in Cadiz, Spain. The renovations were so extensive that the vessel was renamed Carnival Sunrise and became the second ship of the Sunshine class, after Carnival Sunshine (formerly Carnival Destiny). In 2021, Carnival Victory was similarly refit to become Carnival Radiance.


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