Carnival Sunrise emerges from $200m transformation

The first passenger embarks Carnival Sunrise at Norfolk on Monday The first passenger embarks Carnival Sunrise at Norfolk on Monday PHOTO: Carnival Cruise Line

Following a $200m renovation in Cadiz, Spain, the former Carnival Triumph made its debut Monday as Carnival Sunrise at Norfolk’s Decker Half Moone Cruise Center.

Part of a fleetwide $2bn ship enhancement program, the renovation added food, beverage and entertainment innovations and upgraded staterooms.

Norfolk rolls out the red carpet

Carnival Sunrise is kicking off an inaugural season of four- to 14-day voyages that visit the Caribbean, Bermuda, Bahamas, the Panama Canal, New England and Canada, with the first four cruises from Norfolk.

'To be the first port in the United States to welcome Carnival Sunrise makes this a very special event for Norfolk,' said Stephen Kirkland, executive director of Nautilus, which oversees the cruise center. He added: 'We’re eager to roll out the red carpet for these guests, and for the staff and crew of this beautiful ship.'

According to a study conducted by Cruise Lines International Association, Carnival and other operators account for $153m in direct expenditures, 2,800 jobs and $170m in wages for the state of Virginia each year.

Wider dining choices

New are Guy’s Burger Joint and Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse, in collaboration with Food Network star and longtime partner Guy Fieri, and BlueIguana Cantina & Tequila Bar and RedFrog Rum Bar. The Lido Marketplace was upgraded with an expanded ice cream station, the Java Blue coffee bar and 24-hour Pizzeria del Capitano.

The Chef’s Table fine dining experience, the cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar and Italian, sushi and seafood options are new.

A Cherry on Top candy shop, Pixels photo gallery and expanded retail outlets were installed.

Outdoor decks, youth areas

A new water park with slides and a kiddie splash zone, a Serenity adults-only retreat, and a SportSquare recreation area with ropes course and mini golf were created.

Carnival Sunrise also has a dedicated Camp Ocean, Circle 'C' and Club O2 facilities hosting supervised children’s programming for kids 2-17, as well as an arcade.

The Punchliner Comedy Club is housed in the new Limelight Lounge, and Playlist Productions shows are in the Liquid Lounge.

Two redesigned Captain’s Suites and updates to all staterooms rounded out the work.

Inaugural season

Beginning May 23, Carnival Sunrise will set sail from New York through mid-October on a series of four- to 14-day voyages. A naming ceremony will be held on board prior to the May 23 departure with Kelly Arison, daughter of Carnival Corp. & plc Chairman Micky Arison and his wife Madeleine, serving as the ship’s godmother.

Carnival Sunrise will return to Norfolk in October for two six-day cruises then reposition to Port Everglades for four- and five-day cruises beginning Oct. 28.

Posted 29 April 2019

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Anne Kalosh

Editor, Seatrade Cruise News & Senior Associate Editor Seatrade Cruise Review