The 2,984-passenger Carnival Sunrise is NOT a quiet ship. It bustles day and night, with constant activity. If you like group activities, you can bounce from trivia to bingo to crafts to a bean bag toss competition all in the course of a few hours. If you prefer a few thrills, you can race down a water slide, traverse a ropes course or challenge a friend to a basketball game. If you're into sunning and swimming, you can join the crowds on the pool deck, or find a comfy day bed on the adults-only Serenity Deck.
The fun doesn't stop at night. There are musical shows and guest performers, a lively casino, outdoor movies, deck parties, bars with live music and comedy that ranges from family-friendly to R-rated.
The downside of all the bustle is that it's hard to find quiet. Book a balcony cabin or suite if you need to escape the crowds; breakfast and lunch in the dining room or specialty restaurant is much more relaxing than braving the buffet. The ship's design creates bottlenecks, especially around the pool deck dining venues and forces passengers to walk through the smoky casino to access the major midship dining and entertainment areas.
Carnival Sunrise has a wide range of restaurants, including barbecue, sushi, Mexican and seafood. Food ranges from adequate to good in the free venues; you'll need to pay for a more memorable dining experience in the steakhouse or Italian restaurant. (The free pizza is excellent, however.) Be aware of constant opportunities for upcharges, whether that be waiters continuously asking if you want a drink or extra-fee menu items in otherwise complimentary venues.
Cabins are basic but spacious, with plenty of options for families and groups wanting to be together. Suites give more space but don't come with tons of perks or fancy decor.
Sunrise is kid-friendly, with complimentary drop-off kid activities, general family activities and kids' menus in nearly every restaurant. It can carry close to 1,000 under-18s during school breaks; kid-avoiding couples should watch out.
The crew is friendly and helpful, and the entertainment staff is tireless in their efforts to show everyone a good time. Whether you have one depends on whether you're energized or fatigued from the nonstop people and activity.
Daytime: Casual dress for the weather, with shorts, jeans and tees are the norm.
Evening: Most nights are casual; jeans and dress shorts are OK, but some prefer khakis, sundresses or pants with cute tops. One or two elegant evenings (depending on how long your sailing is) are an opportunity to dress up (especially for photos) in dress slacks and dress shirt or suit and tie for men, and cocktail dresses or dressy separates for women. (And people do get all dolled up unless they plan to eat in the buffet.)
Not permitted: Cutoff jeans, sleeveless or T-shirts, gym shorts and swimwear are not permitted in the main dining room and Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse.
For more information, visit What Should I Wear on a Cruise? A Guide to Cruise Line Dress Codes.
Elation is the seventh of Carnival's eight Fantasy-class vessels (debuting in 1998), and went through a significant upgrade in 2009.
Smaller ship with a fun and family-friendly atmosphere: highlights include short warm-weather itineraries, a waterslide and mini-golf; carries about 2,500 people.
Fun, friendly vibe with a packed lineup of daily activities, nightly comedy, energetic stage shows, silly pool deck fun, and a multi-slide waterpark.
Family-friendly, 2,100-passenger ship, based full-time in Sydney, has the Green Thunder water slide, great dining, free poolside food, lively entertainment and fun crew.
Lively and fun with a dizzying art-through-the-centuries decor, nightly standup comedy, two waterslides, four pools, and lots of bars and lounges; can carry about 2,500.
More than 2,600 passengers can enjoy the Green Thunder slide, Serenity Retreat for adults, Playlist Production music shows and excellent kids activities.
Unpretentious vibe with pool-centric fun and water slide, plus Hairy Chest and Mr. and Mrs. Conquest contests; also 11 bars and 9 eateries; carries about 3,500.
Lively entertainment and activities include nightly stand-up comedy, high-energy Playlist Production stage shows, twister water slide, and a nonstop schedule of daily activities.
Fun, family-friendly ship focused on Carnival signatures like the high-energy Playlist Production shows, nightly comedy, RedFrog Pub and line dancing deck parties.
Fun, laid-back and friendly; highlights include nightly comedy, high-energy stage shows, twister water slide and the popular RedFrog Pub; holds about 3,500.
Can hold upward of 4,000 passengers; features indoor/outdoor pool with retractable dome, Twister water slide, mini-golf and just one extra-fee restaurant.
Fun, friendly vibe; features Guy Fieri's Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse, family-friendly and adult stand-up comedy, nightly karaoke, water park and mini-golf.
Holds about 4,000; highlights include water slides, the RedFrog Pub, two-bathroom family cabins that hold up to five, a ropes course and Carnival's signature fun.
Nonstop activities and attractions include top deck water park and ropes course, 4D Thrill Theater and nightly standup comedy; can hold up to 4,700 cruisers.
Fun and friendly with nightly stand-up comedy and short, energetic stage shows, plus a calorie-packed burger joint from celeb chef Guy Fieri; holds about 3,500.
Holds a bit more than 4,000 passengers; offers a waterpark, suspended-in-midair recumbent bike thrill ride, ropes course and the first IMAX cinema at sea.
Carnival's newest megaship, holding some 4,000 passengers, launches April 2018; highlights include new barbeque/brewery and Teppanyaki restaurants, an IMAX movie theater, waterpark, beer brewery and ropes course.
A completely reimagined ship, Carnival Sunrise is Carnival Triumph transformed with new venues, entertainment options, and a whole new Fun Ship look.