Carnival Sunrise Cruise Ship: Overview and Things to Do

We've covered a complete overview of the transformed Carnival Sunrise cruise ship, including things to do onboard and itineraries.

While Carnival Sunrise is one of the older ships in Carnival’s fleet, thanks to a massive overhaul in 2019, this ship is hardly outdated. If you’re a long-time fan of all things Carnival but have yet to cruise on Sunrise, you can expect to find favorite venues, restaurants and more, all on board.

Carnival Sunrise — previously Carnival Triumph — offers a little bit of something for everyone, despite its small-ish size and, true to the Carnival brand, fun is always on the menu. Here’s what to expect if you book this ship for your next cruising vacation, from staterooms to suites, dining to daily activities.

Carnival Sunrise Stats

Currently, the revamped Carnival Sunrise measures in at: 

  • Gross tonnage: 101,509
  • Length: 893 feet
  • Passenger Capacity: 2,984
  • Full Passenger Capacity: 3,873
  • Passenger Decks: 13
  • Cabin: 1,492
  • Crew Capacity: 1,108

Carnival Sunrise Construction and History  

Carnival Sunrise was originally built as Carnival Triumph, setting sail on an inaugural cruise on Oct. 23, 1999, after being built at Fincantieri Cantieri Navali Italiani shipyard in Italy for $410 million. The ship’s original godmother was Madeleine Arison, wife of a Carnival chairman at the time. 

The ship was part of Carnival’s Destiny class, which also included ships Carnival Destiny and Carnival Victory. While the Destiny class is no more, all of the ships are still around. 

The Destiny class was given new life as Carnival’s Sunshine class, and all of the ship’s were overhauled and renamed. Carnival Triumph turned into Carnival Sunrise, while Carnival Destiny became Carnival Sunshine and Carnival Victory became Carnival Radiance.

Carnival Triumph
Carnival Triumph (Photo Credit: William A. Morgan / Shutterstock)

As Carnival Triumph, this ship made the headlines in one slightly interesting way — it was the ship on which Carnival’s notorious “poop cruise” took place. In 2013, a fire caused the cruise ship to lose power during one of its sailings, leaving more than 4,000 people stranded on the ship until it could be towed to Mobile, Alabama.

Over the multiple days that the ship was adrift, passengers were forced to live without basic facilities such as running water and lights. Raw sewage and biohazard bags began to back up onto the decks and the ship earned its infamous name.

As Carnival Triumph, the ship underwent a variety of changes and updates, with dry docks taking place in 2000, 2002, 2005, 2008, 2011, 2013 and 2016. However, in 2018, Carnival announced that it would be making the biggest changes to the ship to date. 

Transformation from Carnival Triumph into Carnival Sunrise 

In 2018, Carnival announced it would take Carnival Triumph to Cadiz, Spain, for a two-month dry dock period that would take place over the spring of 2019.

The refurbishments replaced all of the ship’s staterooms and suites, and also updated all of the dining options to include Carnival favorites. The 2019 dry dock added or updated the following venues and experiences to the ship:

  • Cucina del Capitano
  • JavaBlue Café
  • Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse
  • Bonsai Express
  • The Chef’s Table
  • Cherry on Top
  • Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse
  • Lido Marketplace
  • RedFrog Pub
  • Piano Bar 88
  • Limelight Lounge
  • Liquid Lounge
  • SportSquare
  • WaterWorks
  • Serenity Adult-Only Retreat
  • Cloud 9 Spa
  • Camp Ocean
  • Club 02
  • Circle C
  • The Warehouse

As you can see, this transformation was a big one, touching just about every area of the ship. In addition to the above, the transformation likewise included new retail space and added 115 new guest suites and staterooms.

Carnival Triumph Cruise Ship
Photo: Copyright Cruise Hive

In total, the transformation and makeover cost about $200 million. After the updates were completed, the new ship, with its new name, was christened by godmother Kelly Arison (daughter of the same chairman whose wife was the ship’s godmother previously), and launched on April 29, 2019. 

Since 2019, the ship has undergone a dry dock one other time, in 2022, in Spain, when Carnival made some minor changes, including cosmetic enhancements and updating the hull paint scheme to reflect the brand’s new red, white and blue design. 

Carnival Sunrise Deck
Photo Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line

Today, this ship offers a modern, updated, fresh experience that belies its age. (However, more enhancements are on the horizon, with an additional dry dock slated for 2024.)

Staterooms

Carnival Sunrise’s staterooms are spread across the following categories:

  • 612 interior staterooms
  • 304 ocean view window staterooms
  • 6 scenic ocean view staterooms
  • 502 balcony staterooms
  • 15 ocean view and interior upper/lower and twin/sofa bed staterooms
  • 46 accessible staterooms 

Beyond the above categories, Carnival Sunrise’s staterooms can also be broken down even further. For example, among the interior staterooms, you also have other, more specific interior staterooms, including…

  • Cloud 9 interior staterooms
  • Interior with picture window staterooms (both walkway and obstructed)
  • Porthole interior staterooms
  • Interior upper/lower staterooms

Throughout all of the interior staterooms, you can really see the updates that were made in 2019, thanks to the lighter, brighter color palette and clean, sleek furnishings, which include a lot of warm wood details and blue notes befitting the ship’s frequent trips to the Caribbean.

So, which of the interior staterooms should you pick? 

If you want spa-related amenities, pick a Cloud 9 interior stateroom, which will come with exclusive perks such as priority spa reservations, unlimited use of the thermal suites, and some complimentary spa and fitness services. 

Carnival Sunrise Stateroom
Photo: Copyright Cruise Hive

If you don’t like the idea of a boxy interior stateroom with no windows, but you don’t want to pay for an ocean view stateroom, go with either a picture window or porthole interior stateroom. Both of these feature small windows for extra natural light, but do note that the views aren’t great and may even be obstructed.

Read Also: Carnival Onboard Credit – Ways to Use It

Similar to interior staterooms, ocean view staterooms likewise can be categorized further, into scenic ocean view, traditional ocean view and obstructed view ocean view rooms. 

While they’re not abundant, if you can snag one of the scenic ocean view rooms, you won’t regret it. With wall-to-wall windows, it’s the best view you can get without a balcony. Otherwise, if you do want a view, make sure that the ocean view isn’t obstructed in your particular stateroom.

Carnival Sunrise Stateroom
Photo: Copyright Cruise Hive

Both balcony and ocean view staterooms offer aesthetics and décor schemes similar to those of the interior staterooms, but with more space and extra seating, in most instances.

Balcony staterooms differ in size, amenities and scenery, depending on which you pick. There’s, for example, a Cloud 9 Spa balcony stateroom available that comes with those same spa amenities that you’d enjoy in a Cloud 9 Spa interior stateroom.

Suites 

You have a few different suite options aboard Carnival Sunrise. Suites can be broken down into the following categories:

  • 2 Captain Suites
  • 10 Grand Suites
  • 41 Ocean Suites

Regardless of which of these suites you book, you’ll also get some great perks exclusive to suite guests, including:

  • Priority check-in and boarding
  • Priority Main Dining Room time assignment
  • Priority debarkation at homeport, and ports of call requiring a water shuttle or with arrival times later than 9:30 Am
  • Two large bottles of water
  • Pillow-top mattress
  • Bathrobes
Carnival Cruise Line Suite
Carnival Cruise Line Suite (Photo Copyright: Cruise Hive)

Ocean suites are slightly smaller and come with a walk-in closet and bathtub in the bathroom. Grand suites offer even more space, including more outdoor space on your large balcony.

However, it’s the Captain suite that’s the real winner here, with everything you could need for a truly luxurious cruising experience. There are several different, separate sleeping spaces; two full bathrooms, one with a tub; lots of space on the balcony, with extra furnishings; and more. 

Free Dining

That 2019 refurbishment added a lot of Carnival’s most recognizable restaurants to Carnival Sunrise. Free dining options aboard the ship are varied and plentiful, and include… 

Guy's Burger Joint, Carnival Cruise Line
Guy’s Burger Joint, Carnival Cruise Line
  • Guy’s Burger Joint, for casual bites from Guy Fieri
  • Lucky Bowl, an option you won’t see on a lot of Carnival ships, offering casual yet healthful eats
  • BlueIguana Cantina, for Mexican favorites
  • Radiance Restaurant, the main dining room, serving three courses each night
  • Lido Marketplace, the classic cruise ship buffet
  • Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que, for nothing but all your BBQ favs 
  • Swirls, for frozen treats
  • Pizzeria del Capitano, for 24-hour pizza
  • Sweet Spot, for more sugary goodness

Specialty Restaurants

If you want to splurge a little and treat yourself to one of the ship’s specialty restaurants, you’ll have plenty of options for that, too. Specialty restaurants on Carnival Sunrise include…

Bonsai Sushi
  • Cucina del Capitano, Carnival’s Italian restaurant
  • Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse, for classic steakhouse favorites
  • The Seafood Shack, for fried fish and more
  • Bonsai Sushi, for fresh fish plus other accompaniments
  • JavaBlue Cafe, for your daily cup of joe
  • RedFrog Pub, for brews and pub bites 

Bars and Lounges

Just like there are plenty of spots to grab a bite during your Carnival Sunrise cruise, there are also plenty of places to grab a quick drink. Make plans to stop by…

Carnival Cruise Line Alchemy Bar
Photo Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line
  • Alchemy Bar, for mixed drinks
  • BlueIguana Tequila Bar, for tequila-based drinks
  • RedFrog Rum Bar, for rum-based beverages
  • Piano Bar 88, for live music and tunes 
  • SkyBox Sports Bar, for brews and the big game
  • The Casino Bar, for drinks while you test your luck

Activities and Entertainment

This ship brings the fun, with plenty to do for anyone in your cruising crew. Try…

Outdoor Adventure

The sporting and outdoor activity facilities aboard Carnival Sunrise received an upgrade during the 2019 dry dock. What can you expect now? There’s Carnival’s family-friendly, totally fun onboard waterpark, with slides, rides, pools and more. WaterWorks is a true playground for the swimmers in your family.

Carnival Sunrise WaterWorks
Photo: Carnival Cruise Line

If you’d rather stay all dry, though, you can head on over to SportSquare for loads of fun getting competitive with a round of mini golf, basketball game or other activity. Then, take to the skies with the SkyCourse ropes course, for a thrilling challenge. 

A New Way to Relax

Of course, you might be on this cruise just to relax and only relax, and we definitely feel you if that’s the case. Luckily, there’s a new way to relax onboard the Carnival Sunrise ship, and it’s an adults-only retreat known as Serenity.

Reserved for those over the age of 21, it’s the perfect spot for you to completely get away from it all — no screaming or splashing kids as far as the eye can see.

Adults-Only Serenity Area
Adults-Only Serenity Area (Photo Credit: Ihor Koptilin / Shutterstock)

There’s a bar, so you can get your drink on with a fruity cocktail; plenty of sun loungers so you can read the latest best-seller in peace; and a pool and hot tub, in case you want to take a dip with your favorite person. 

Classic Carnival Entertainment

One of the newest venues on Carnival Sunrise is the Punchliner Comedy Club. The great thing about this club is that it goes from kid-friendly to adults-only all overnight.

Worth Reading: Are Carnival Cruises All Inclusive?

If you want some good, clean fun, then visit during the daylight hours with the kiddos, for a family experience. If, though, you like to laugh to a raunchier brand of comedy, come after dark for some totally side-splitting acts.

Theater
Carnival Sunrise Theater

However, maybe you want to be the one up on the stage, rather than watching from the sidelines. If that’s the case, head to the new Piano Bar 88, where you can channel your inner Beyonce and belt out your favorite tunes at this karaoke haven. 

A Treatment at the Spa

The ship’s updated Cloud 9 Spa is THE place to say goodbye to all your stresses and cares, as you indulge in the many relaxing spa treatments available in the new space. From classic massages to refreshing facials to smoothing body wraps, whatever your favorite spa treatment, you’ll find it. 

There are also many spots within the spa to relax for a while before or after your treatments, so you can easily spend an entire day here (and we won’t blame you if you do!)! 

Daily Workout

You don’t have to leave your fitness regimen behind just because you’re on vacation. Carnival Sunrise cruises make it easy, for every age!

An outdoor jogging track gives you access to the perfect spot for your daily run — only with an unbeatable view that you definitely don’t have at home! And, of course, the onboard fitness center is a great way to enjoy views of the water and top-tier exercise equipment. 

Trying Your Luck

Don’t miss the chance to try your hand at a rousing game of blackjack, poker, roulette or at the slots. The state-of-the-art casino aboard the cruise ship gives guests a fun opportunity to try their luck, place their bets and see if they can win some extra cash while they’re at it. 

Casino

Not a fan of table games? You can also have a drink at the casino bar, or play for prizes, rather than cash. 

Retail Therapy 

Have you ever done a little shopping at sea? Well, now you can! The ship’s shops include vendors selling fine jewelry, cosmetics, skincare, fragrances, luxury watches, spirits, accessories, apparel and more. Whatever your favorite item to shop for, you’re more than likely to find it in the Carnival Sunrise shops.

Carnival Sunrise Kids Venues 

If your family wants to go their separate ways for a bit during your cruise (and no harm in that!), Carnival Sunrise offers various kid venues packed with age-appropriate programming and fun. 

Camp Ocean is for children ages 2 to 11. The Circle C Lounge is for ages 12 to 14. Club O2 is for teenagers, up to 17. 

Carnival Sunrise Itineraries

Just because this ship is on the older side, that doesn’t make it old. Make it your new favorite Carnival cruise ship, when you head out on one of the ship’s upcoming itineraries. 

Carnival Sunrise Cruise Ship FAQ

When was Carnival Sunrise Refurbished?

The cruise ship underwent a huge $200 million transformation at the shipyard in Cadiz, Spain. The vessel which was previously named as Carnival Triumph completed the full makeover on April 28, 2019.

What was added during Carnival Sunrise dry dock?

When the Carnival Sunrise cruise ship underwent a huge dry dock transformation in 2019, a number of spaces were added, including 115 new guest suites and staterooms. You can check the full list here.

How large is the Carnival Sunrise cruise ship?

The Carnival Sunrise is a Sunshine-class cruise ship very similar to Carnival Sunshine. The ship is 101,509 gross tons and is 893 feet long. There are also 13 passenger decks.

How to book a Carnival Sunrise cruise?

There a number of ways to book a cruise vacation on the Carnival Sunrise and the best way to start is by checking the top 10 deals for the ship right here.

Carnival Sunrise Final Thoughts

With Carnival Sunrise, the Carnival brand does it again — transforming an older ship and bringing it up to modern-day standards, providing family fun in spades all the while. For cruisers who want a mid-size ship experience, all the Carnival brands cruisers know and love, and plenty to keep them occupied during their itinerary, there’s no better choice.

Holly Riddle
Holly Riddle
Holly Riddle is a travel and food freelance writer whose work can be found in print and digital publications all around the world. She is additionally an entrepreneur specializing in content and marketing services. Beyond frequent travel, Riddle enjoys cooking, reading, camping and spending time with her husband and two dogs. Her favorite travel destinations include Chicago, Amsterdam, Edinburgh and just about anywhere in the Caribbean. Find out more about us here.

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