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herb

Back from Carnival Sunrise ... very disappointed

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Last year family and friends ( approx. 40) made the decision to take a cruise out of NYC. I was definitely looking forward to this and enjoyed spending quality time with them, especially since this was my first vacation without my wife who passed away last year.

 

Carnival Sunrise was marketed as a newly refurbished ship costing millions of dollars. What they did was get rid of the old Vegas glitz as well as remove 2 lounges in the back of the ship to add many more cabins = many more people!

 

Check in, (as well as disembarkation) in NYC was quick and efficient. Upon entering ship you immediately noticed that all the previous "Carnival Look" was changed to muted colors. My cabin was fine and kept neat and clean. Our dining room waiter was very pleasant and cordial. The lounges were all very eye pleasing.Yes, they still do the waiter shows at every dinner. Pretty much wear for dinner what you want. No one at door that stopped anyone, they just said hello.  We had opted for early seating.

Ports: Grand Turk: we walked to Jack's Shack to enjoy the water … great day

           Puerto Rico: we waked around Old San Juan … fun exploring and doing some shopping

           Amber Cove: a duplicate of Margaritaville in Grand Turk with different signage … pool was refreshing

We had beautiful weather all week … sunny and hot.

 

What I didn't like …

1. The unbelievable crowds everywhere. The lido buffet where the food didn't look very appealing as well as the pool food options, which were good, always had very long lines. Never even bothered trying to get on the Deli line. I basically didn't eat what I wanted, I opted to eat wherever I found the shortest line. For breakfast we decided to eat in the dining room, lunch was a "free for all", dinner in dining room.

2. The only indoor area where smoking is permitted on the whole ship was the casino. I smoke, but I felt bad for the people who had no choice but to pass through the casino (it was a blue cloud) to get to the other venues, … unless you wanted to climb up and down staircases.

3. The lounge where they had the Punchliner comedy shows at night was stifling throughout entire cruise. I only went once, couldn't wait for show to be over. When my cousin found an officer who happened to be in the lounge and complained, she looked at her as if she was making it up. No response.

4. Lido Deck area … PACKED is an understatement! On the 4 sea days I never saw the water in either of the 2 pools, only bobbing heads. Never saw such a crowded pool area in my life. The bussing staff was overwhelmed by the amount of plates, glasses etc. they had to remove. It was very hard for them to keep up.

5. Guest behavior - I love having a good time and laughing; and our group did do that, but the amount of screaming vulgar language used by adults as well as unsupervised children running rampant was appalling. It wasn't uncommon to be woken up way after midnight by kids running up and down the cabin hallways as well as adults having loud screaming arguments right outside cabin doors as guests were trying to sleep.

6. Thankfully I was not one of many who had toilet plumbing issues in their cabins, thank God!

 

We've cruised many times on many different cruiselines including Carnival … but unfortunately this cruise has left a very bad taste in my mouth regarding the Carnival product.

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What are your thoughts on the ships redesign/refurb?? Could you tell theses areas were redone?? 

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Hey Herb! Having known you as long as I have I certainly respect your views and opinions about the Sunrise, and mirrors what quite a few others have said. I know that you and your group made the best of it, and will return to Carnival on one of their newer ships in the future. We will be doing a B2B on the Sunrise in September to Bermuda, then New England and Canada. The demographic will certainly be different on these cruises versus the summer Caribbean runs, so hopefully we won't encounter what you did in tht area. Of course we'll be sharing our experiences when we get back. Be well my friend, and again we are so sorry for your loss.

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12 hours ago, herb said:

Last time we sailed Carnival was Splendor out of NYC 6 years ago.

I will keep my fingers crossed that your Sunrise cruise will be just the opposite of ours. When do you sail?

I was on Splendor out of NYC around this time and the behavior of some of the passengers was terrible.  They were way too demanding and treated the waiters in the MDR and other eateries terribly and left a mess at their tables.  Cutting in line was the norm.  A large family near my cabin would block the hallway with their daily gatherings with their babies in dirty diapers crawling all over the clean hallway carpet.  In the disco, a family ganging up on other passengers and fighting and throwing drinks and actually picking up and throwing other passengers on the dance floor with security unable to control the situation.  Kids using fowl language with their terrible behavior.  I don't know if this was a New York issue and I am from New York but this was awful behavior.  I have never experienced this type of behavior on any other Carnival cruise from their other ports.  I have also cruises on RCL out of Bayonne, NJ and the passengers were great.  After 7 years, I will try Carnival out of NYC again next year and I am expecting to have a great cruise with nice passengers.  Hopefully my Splendor experience was just a bad exception.

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9 minutes ago, JohnSpo said:

I was on Splendor out of NYC around this time and the behavior of some of the passengers was terrible.  They were way too demanding and treated the waiters in the MDR and other eateries terribly and left a mess at their tables.  Cutting in line was the norm.  A large family near my cabin would block the hallway with their daily gatherings with their babies in dirty diapers crawling all over the clean hallway carpet.  In the disco, a family ganging up on other passengers and fighting and throwing drinks and actually picking up and throwing other passengers on the dance floor with security unable to control the situation.  Kids using fowl language with their terrible behavior.  I don't know if this was a New York issue and I am from New York but this was awful behavior.  I have never experienced this type of behavior on any other Carnival cruise from their other ports.  I have also cruises on RCL out of Bayonne, NJ and the passengers were great.  After 7 years, I will try Carnival out of NYC again next year and I am expecting to have a great cruise with nice passengers.  Hopefully my Splendor experience was just a bad exception.

 

Unfortunately, a lot of the behavior stems from crew members not enforcing rules or sternly confronting passengers to stop some of the unwanted behavior. I've never seen things get a wild as some of what you described, but it always seems to be a combination of bad behavior of some kind throughout a cruise. I don't know if these lower-level crew members are afraid to say anything to people. Whether they're afraid they'll be reprimanded for being "mean" to the passengers or what, I don't know. We all know there are plenty of people out there who will act terribly, then when told to stop, they'll blame the cruise line, threaten never to sail Carnival again, what have you. I would love to see Carnival back up each & every crew member who tries to stop the bad behavior of passengers young & old and make sure their crew are comfortable enforcing rules & policies. When you have people who are selfish, rude, inconsiderate, you name it...and you let those people behave badly without consequences, people like that will not only continue behaving badly, they'll get worse.

 

13 hours ago, herb said:

Last year family and friends ( approx. 40) made the decision to take a cruise out of NYC. I was definitely looking forward to this and enjoyed spending quality time with them, especially since this was my first vacation without my wife who passed away last year.

 

Carnival Sunrise was marketed as a newly refurbished ship costing millions of dollars. What they did was get rid of the old Vegas glitz as well as remove 2 lounges in the back of the ship to add many more cabins = many more people!

 

 

What I didn't like …

1. The unbelievable crowds everywhere. The lido buffet where the food didn't look very appealing as well as the pool food options, which were good, always had very long lines. Never even bothered trying to get on the Deli line. I basically didn't eat what I wanted, I opted to eat wherever I found the shortest line. For breakfast we decided to eat in the dining room, lunch was a "free for all", dinner in dining room.

2. The only indoor area where smoking is permitted on the whole ship was the casino. I smoke, but I felt bad for the people who had no choice but to pass through the casino (it was a blue cloud) to get to the other venues, … unless you wanted to climb up and down staircases.

 

Your first two points are the most complained about things I've read about the Sunrise. We haven't sailed on it yet, or the Sunshine, but I am not a fan of this concept of cramming in more cabins/people onto older, smaller ships that were never designed for it. Yeah, passengers are the bread and butter of every cruise line. More cabins = more people = more revenue. But it's not like Carnival (and Carnival Corp. as a whole) is hurting for money. In my opinion, sacrificing passenger comfort with crowded common areas isn't worth it. I'd like to think they listen to all of the complaints that have come from this concept of shrinking popular venues to add more cabins, but realistically, the only thing they'll respond to is the bottom line. As long as these ships keep filling up, they'll keep squeezing in more cabins.

 

I've always said that the complaints about the Sunrise wouldn't keep me from trying it because I'd rather experience a ship for myself and come to my own conclusion. But I must admit, if the reports of bad overcrowding keep flowing in, it might change my mind. That's the one thing I don't want out of a ship that will keep me from sailing it again.

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In terms of behavior, from our experience, New York is by far the worst embarkation port.  I am not sure if it is a by product of a huge city, the clientele that sail Carnival from there or what.  It extends to embarkation, activity on the ship and for what ever reason debarkation is the worst we have seen at any port. Tipping on cruises from New York have the worst ratio any Carnival port in the US.  I doubt crew enforcement could affect these, and Carnival training is not specific to any home port.

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While there will definitely be a large number of passengers from NYC on sailings orignating from NY,  large numbers of passengers from NJ and Connecticut will tend to book as well for the convience of not having to fly to board the ship.

 

Sailing while kids are out of school also makes a big difference in that there will tend to be larger family/extended family groups on board.  At all costs, try to avoid sailing during school breaks since you can be assured to have very large numbers of kids, teens on board.

 

Canada sailings tend to have less children on board with more seasoned passengers want to see the sights more so than to just party on board.

 

Where you sail to and when you sail make a difference.

 

MARAPRINCE

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Been hearing some negative thing about the Sunshine and Sunrise. I think one problem/mistake that Carnival made was adding more cabins resulting  230 more passengers. IMO Carnival should just done the upgrades not more cabins. 

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2 minutes ago, idraconis said:

Been hearing some negative thing about the Sunshine and Sunrise. I think one problem/mistake that Carnival made was adding more cabins resulting  230 more passengers. IMO Carnival should just done the upgrades not more cabins. 

carnival is doing the same thing next year with the victory when it becomes the radiance

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3 hours ago, jimbo5544 said:

In terms of behavior, from our experience, New York is by far the worst embarkation port.  I am not sure if it is a by product of a huge city, the clientele that sail Carnival from there or what.  It extends to embarkation, activity on the ship and for what ever reason debarkation is the worst we have seen at any port. Tipping on cruises from New York have the worst ratio any Carnival port in the US.  I doubt crew enforcement could affect these, and Carnival training is not specific to any home port.

Are you saying people do not tip on top of their gratuities or it’s the highest number of people removing their gratuities?? 

 

I have left from other ports and found behavior similar to NY. What I find about NY is that people are more vocal about what they don’t like. 

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2 hours ago, shof515 said:

carnival is doing the same thing next year with the victory when it becomes the radiance

Wait... they have the whole next class of ships that they can cram more people into. It may not end with the victory/radiance. 

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4 hours ago, idraconis said:

Been hearing some negative thing about the Sunshine and Sunrise. I think one problem/mistake that Carnival made was adding more cabins resulting  230 more passengers. IMO Carnival should just done the upgrades not more cabins. 

 

To be fair, you hear negatives about every aspect of every ship.

 

I haven't sailed the Sunrise yet to know for sure. I have been on the Victory, and it wasn't that packed. I find it hard to believe adding 8% more passengers has pushed it over the tipping point.

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1 hour ago, Stick93 said:

Are you saying people do not tip on top of their gratuities or it’s the highest number of people removing their gratuities?? 

 

I have left from other ports and found behavior similar to NY. What I find about NY is that people are more vocal about what they don’t like. 

 

I doubt anyone outside of Carnival would know the figures of Carnival tipping ratios when comparing one port to all others. Not even a TA. That's a pretty strong accusation, or a whopper of an assumption.

 

9 minutes ago, Joebucks said:

I find it hard to believe adding 8% more passengers has pushed it over the tipping point.

 

The problem is more strongly felt/seen in common areas. When people complain about the feeling of being overcrowded, it's always in the Lido buffet, around the pool, or in the main theater or lounges. Things like that. Despite what seems like a relatively small increase in the number of passengers, when you break it down into these smaller common areas that always collect more people at once, it amplifies the issue. Especially on these refitted ships that weren't originally designed for increased numbers.

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21 hours ago, herb said:

What I didn't like …

1. The unbelievable crowds everywhere. The lido buffet where the food didn't look very appealing as well as the pool food options, which were good, always had very long lines. Never even bothered trying to get on the Deli line. I basically didn't eat what I wanted, I opted to eat wherever I found the shortest line. For breakfast we decided to eat in the dining room, lunch was a "free for all", dinner in dining room.

2. The only indoor area where smoking is permitted on the whole ship was the casino. I smoke, but I felt bad for the people who had no choice but to pass through the casino (it was a blue cloud) to get to the other venues, … unless you wanted to climb up and down staircases.

3. The lounge where they had the Punchliner comedy shows at night was stifling throughout entire cruise. I only went once, couldn't wait for show to be over. When my cousin found an officer who happened to be in the lounge and complained, she looked at her as if she was making it up. No response.

4. Lido Deck area … PACKED is an understatement! On the 4 sea days I never saw the water in either of the 2 pools, only bobbing heads. Never saw such a crowded pool area in my life. The bussing staff was overwhelmed by the amount of plates, glasses etc. they had to remove. It was very hard for them to keep up.

5. Guest behavior - I love having a good time and laughing; and our group did do that, but the amount of screaming vulgar language used by adults as well as unsupervised children running rampant was appalling. It wasn't uncommon to be woken up way after midnight by kids running up and down the cabin hallways as well as adults having loud screaming arguments right outside cabin doors as guests were trying to sleep.

6. Thankfully I was not one of many who had toilet plumbing issues in their cabins, thank God!

 

We've cruised many times on many different cruiselines including Carnival … but unfortunately this cruise has left a very bad taste in my mouth regarding the Carnival product.

 

 

Thanks for the feedback. I've never cruised with Carnival (just Holland America). This is an eye opener. 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnival_Sunrise

 

I'm told that the economic life of a cruise ship is 15 years, before being passed on to a second tier brand. Costs escalate rapidly after that 15-year mark.

 

Apparently, Carnival chose to spend a lot of money on the renovation. Felt that they had to recoup their investment with >10% more passengers. Must have been a lot of families stuffed into the cabins.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Stick93 said:

Are you saying people do not tip on top of their gratuities or it’s the highest number of people removing their gratuities?? 

 

I have left from other ports and found behavior similar to NY. What I find about NY is that people are more vocal about what they don’t like. 

I am saying removing of tips, I had a conversations with land based management who confirmed my suspicions, I do agree theya re also mor vocal....

 

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4 hours ago, Stick93 said:

Wait... they have the whole next class of ships that they can cram more people into. It may not end with the victory/radiance. 

The Radiance is the last planned ship to get this upgrade.  I will not comment on the cramming comment.

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2 hours ago, HappyInVan said:

 

 

Thanks for the feedback. I've never cruised with Carnival (just Holland America). This is an eye opener. 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnival_Sunrise

 

I'm told that the economic life of a cruise ship is 15 years, before being passed on to a second tier brand. Costs escalate rapidly after that 15-year mark.

 

Apparently, Carnival chose to spend a lot of money on the renovation. Felt that they had to recoup their investment with >10% more passengers. Must have been a lot of families stuffed into the cabins.

 

 

I do not know who told you 15 year life and how old this data was, but I can tell you ALL the major cruise lines have ships over that old and Carnival, Royal NCL and (your own cruise line HAL) have about half of their fleet being over 15 years old.   How many extra people do you think they were “stuffing” in the retrofits (which again all cruise lines are doing not just Carnival)?  Carnival has come out with new ships as well as revitalize 3 of their ships with major makeovers (Sunshine, Sunrise, Radiance).  Carnival has launched new builds in 2016 Vista, 2018 Horizon, and soon to come out Panorama 2019 and a totally new class of ship Mardi Gras (the first cruise ship to run on LNG) in 2020 and an unnamed sister ship in 2022.  Just wanted to give you facts on your comment about just choosing relaunches....

Edited by jimbo5544

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3 hours ago, Organized Chaos said:

 

I doubt anyone outside of Carnival would know the figures of Carnival tipping ratios when comparing one port to all others. Not even a TA. That's a pretty strong accusation, or a whopper of an assumption.

 

 

The problem is more strongly felt/seen in common areas. When people complain about the feeling of being overcrowded, it's always in the Lido buffet, around the pool, or in the main theater or lounges. Things like that. Despite what seems like a relatively small increase in the number of passengers, when you break it down into these smaller common areas that always collect more people at once, it amplifies the issue. Especially on these refitted ships that weren't originally designed for increased numbers.

No assumptions...or accusations, you can believe it or not... I talked with management on the ship and land based.

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We were on the Sunshine in January last year and we thoroughly enjoyed the ship and our cruise.  A few observation from our cruise...

 

- There was not a lot of kids on board. 

- The crew did a great job spreading people out. Different activities and venues    highlighted in the fun times at similar times...more so than on other ships.

 

I’m quite positive the Sunrise and Radiance will be very much the same as the Sunshine in terms of crowds, venues, and overall experience.  To my first point, I would try to cruise on one of these ships when the kids are in school.  To the second point, the crew and entertainment staff will learn how and when to spread the crowds out.  I remember when the Sunshine first launched the complaints were very similar about crowds.  I’m sure they will improve.

 

I’m very close to booking a cruise on the Sunrise, not concerned in the least.

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3 hours ago, HappyInVan said:

I'm told that the economic life of a cruise ship is 15 years, before being passed on to a second tier brand. Costs escalate rapidly after that 15-year mark.

 

This is not accurate.  I was told by one of the engineers a typical cruise ship has a potential life of about 50 years, give or take. The lines would generally keep the ship for up to 25 years, then sell it off (his off the cuff opinion).  I think the major lines will be keeping the ships longer due to the cost of new builds and they also look after small markets quite well if they are maintained.  Carnivals older Fantasy Class ships are gravy for Carnival. Holland America is a good example as well...they have a lot of ships older than 15.

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42 minutes ago, coffeeboy77 said:

 

This is not accurate.  I was told by one of the engineers a typical cruise ship has a potential life of about 50 years, give or take. The lines would generally keep the ship for up to 25 years, then sell it off (his off the cuff opinion).  I think the major lines will be keeping the ships longer due to the cost of new builds and they also look after small markets quite well if they are maintained.  Carnivals older Fantasy Class ships are gravy for Carnival. Holland America is a good example as well...they have a lot of ships older than 15.

The difference is... those sailing on Holland America don’t need any gimmicks or to be kept entertained. The passengers are happy to watch the ocean and read a book.

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12 minutes ago, xDisconnections said:

The difference is... those sailing on Holland America don’t need any gimmicks or to be kept entertained. The passengers are happy to watch the ocean and read a book.

I thought you were talking about economics and the age of ships? 

 

I will say I like HAL. They are the very best at Alaska, and maybe even Panama Canal as well. However, they have their programs too.  BBC nature shows are fine, but I too would rather read a book on the balcony if I was on the ship. Yes, Carnival has programs that aren’t for everyone, but every cruise line could probably say that.

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1 hour ago, coffeeboy77 said:

 

This is not accurate.  I was told by one of the engineers a typical cruise ship has a potential life of about 50 years, give or take. The lines would generally keep the ship for up to 25 years, then sell it off (his off the cuff opinion).  I think the major lines will be keeping the ships longer due to the cost of new builds and they also look after small markets quite well if they are maintained.  Carnivals older Fantasy Class ships are gravy for Carnival. Holland America is a good example as well...they have a lot of ships older than 15.

Hmmm. 25 years? So, they seem to have done a very major refit for the 20-year ship. $200m 2 month “bow-to-stern makeover”

 

https://cruiseradio.net/carnival-sunrise-deck-plans/

 

The typical dry dock takes about 20 days and cost a lot less.

 

https://www.cruisemapper.com/wiki/767-cruise-ship-refurbishment-dry-dock-schedule

 

Gravy? I suspect that there is a lot more wear-tear on family-friendly ships?

 

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