Carnival Cruise Ship Returning to the U.S. After Completing Dry Dock

Carnival Sunrise is returning to service after her month-long dry dock in Spain, ready to sail from Miami and sporting the line's new livery.

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Carnival Sunrise is on her way back to service, having now completed a maintenance dry dock. Tracking data shows the ship en route back to Florida ahead of schedule, and she’s undoubtedly ready to welcome guests with a new, refreshed look after spending almost a month in Cadiz, Spain, for maintenance and repairs.

Carnival Sunrise Returning to Service

The Sunshine-class Carnival Sunrise is ready to resume service after her recent dry dock. While Carnival Cruise Line did not release details on the extent of the work the ship was to undergo, the dry dock was announced in November 2021 and resulted in several canceled cruises due to the maintenance schedule.

It is likely the work included general maintenance, refreshment of public areas, and behind-the-scenes upgrades to ensure smooth and efficient operation. The ship has also received the new red, white, and blue livery that first rolled out with the new flagship, Mardi Gras, and has gradually been expanded across the fleet.

Carnival Sunrise‘s last major renovation was in 2019, when the then-Carnival Triumph was completely updated and expanded, an overhaul so extensive that the ship was renamed and assigned to her new Sunshine class.

Carnival Sunrise Dry Dock
Photo Credit: Alexey Bobrov

The $200 million refurbishment included adding new dining venues, the adults-only Serenity retreat, SportSquare facilities, and more to the ship, turning her into Carnival Sunrise.

Read Also: Reasons to Take a Carnival Sunrise Cruise

Similar renovations have been done to other Carnival vessels. Carnival Destiny was the first to be refit into Carnival Sunshine in 2013, and Carnival Victory was refurbished into Carnival Radiance in 2021.

Many guests have questioned why Carnival Sunrise needed to be removed from service and have cruises canceled for this renovation – which began April 23, 2022 – when the ship was out of service for more than 17 months during the pandemic shutdown.

Couldn’t the maintenance have been completed then, before the ship returned to post-pandemic service in August 2021? After all, the ship has now only seen guests for eight months before entering this maintenance dry dock.

During the height of the pandemic, however, many shipyards became backlogged with work due to local shutdowns, supply chain stoppages, worker shortages, and other restrictions that slowed maintenance schedules and postponed many operations.

Carnival Sunrise Deck
Photo Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line

As Carnival Sunrise was not scheduled for maintenance during that period, it wouldn’t have been possible to perform this work while the ship was removed from passenger service during the global shutdown.

This drydock, which was slated to last from April 23 through May 25, appears to have been completed a day or two early, as the ship is already more than two-thirds of the way to Florida in crossing the Atlantic Ocean from Spain.

This is an encouraging sign for the cruise and shipbuilding industry, indicating that workflow is returning to pre-pandemic levels and schedules can be more easily maintained.

Welcoming Guests Again

The newly refreshed Carnival Sunrise will now be offering 4-5 night roundtrip Western Caribbean, Eastern Caribbean, and Bahamas sailings from her homeport in Miami.

Carnival Sunrise Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: photos with me / Shutterstock.com

The first cruise, departing May 26, is a 4-night itinerary that will visit Half Moon Cay, the cruise line’s private island in The Bahamas, as well as Nassau, with a day at sea for guests to enjoy the updated ship.

Future cruises include visits to Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Grand Turk, Key West, and Cozumel, depending on the departure date and itinerary.

The 101,509-gross-ton ship can accommodate 2,984 guests at double occupancy, and up to 3,873 guests when fully booked. A crew of 1,108 international members, including officers, are present when the ship is fully staffed to provide the fun service all Carnival ships are known for.

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