On Thursday, May 23, we boarded Carnival Sunrise at Pier 88 in New York City to attend a re-naming ceremony. The ship had entered service in 1999 as Carnival Triumph, the second ship of the Destiny class after Carnival Destiny in 1996. We had previously sailed on the Carnival Triumph during its inaugural year.
[In morphing from Carnival Triumph to Carnival Sunrise, the ship underwent a similar transformation to that underwent by Carnival Destiny when it became Carnival Sunshine in 2013. The transformation was designed to give the ship decor and features in line with those of Carnival's most recent ships such as Carnival Horizon. - editor's note].
The Carnival Sunrise is 893 feet and four inches long with a beam of 116 feet and six inches. It has a gross tonnage of 101,509. The ship has a capacity to carry 2,984 passengers and has a crew of 1,108. It is powered by diesel engines turning two propellers and has a cruising speed of 21 knots.
Upon entering the ship on Deck 5, we walked into the Atrium, where there was a reception for those attending the re-naming ceremony. Stewards passed among the guests with trays of champagne and other stewards offered cups of fruit, pains aux chocolate and muffins. A string trio on the stage behind the bar played contemporary musical selections. Vance Gullickson, a Carnival representative, told us that the re-naming ceremony would take place in the Liquid Lounge, the main show lounge, at 11:00 AM.
After a few toasts with fellow guests, we took the opportunity to explore the ship and see the results of the $200,000,000 transformation the ship had just undergone at the Navantia shipyard in Cadiz, Spain. The ornate and multi-colored interiors created by Joseph Farcus for the Carnival Triumph have been replaced by refined furnishings and subdued interior color schemes. The makeover included the addition of 115 cabins.
Shortly before 11:00 AM, we entered the Liquid Lounge on Deck 4 and found a seat. In attendance for the ceremony were Mickey Arison, the Chairman of Carnival Corporation and plc, his wife Madeleine, their son Nick, the Chief Executive Officer of the Miami Heat basketball team, and their daughter Kelly, who was selected to be the godmother of the re-named ship. Her mother Madeleine had been the godmother of the Carnival Triumph. Also attending the ceremony were Arnold Donald, Chief Executive Officer of Carnival Corporation and plc, Kathie Lee Gifford, a television host who had served as a spokesperson for Carnival Cruise Line in the 1980s and 1990s, and Miami-based Romero Britto, who designed a custom-made four-foot high, confetti-filled champagne bottle for the re-naming ceremony.
The ceremony started with short introductory speeches by John Heald, Senior Cruise Director of Carnival Cruise Line, Christine Duffy, President of Carnival Cruise Line, Christopher Williams, cruise director aboard the Carnival Sunrise, and Kathie Lee Gifford. We were entertained by the Carnival singers and dancers, who presented a short version of the show “Soulbound”. There was also a short video showing former Miami Heat players Dwayne Wade, Alonzo Mourning and Shaquille O’Neal congratulating Kelly Arison. Shaquille O’Neal now serves as Carnival Cruise Line’s Chief Fun Officer.
As part of the naming ceremonies, Kelly presented an oversized check in the amount of $50,000 from Carnival Cruise Line to representatives of the Ehlers-Danlos Society, a group serving people with hypermobility spectrum disorders.
For the re-naming ceremony, John Heald joined Kelly Arison and Captain Isadoro Renda on the stage of the Liquid Lounge. Instead of conducting the ceremony on the pier and breaking a bottle of champagne against the bow, the custom-made champagne bottle designed by Romero Britto was on the center of the stage. Kelly officially re-named the ship as Carnival Sunrise. At this point the top of the champagne bottle exploded and released a shower of confetti on the stage. Simultaneously, streamers shot out from the stage over the audience.
Kelly was then joined on stage by Mickey and Madeleine Arison, Nick Arison, Arnold Donald, Christine Duffy, Captain Renda, Romero Britto and Kathie Lee Gifford for press photographs.
Following the ceremony, the invited guests went to the Radiance Restaurant on Deck 3, making their way through passengers who were now boarding for the cruise to Bermuda commencing later that afternoon. Mickey Arison sat at the captain’s table accompanied by his wife, son, daughter and Carnival dignitaries.
We were each given a souvenir menu which offered us four appetizers, four main courses and three desserts. I chose New England crab cake to start, followed by New York strip loin steak and chocolate pastry. The meal was accompanied by red or white GIFFT wine, a brand started by Kathie Lee Gifford.
Following lunch, we had another opportunity to explore the ship before leaving at 3:00 PM.
* David G. Hume is past chairman of the World Ship Society PONY Branch, Mr. Hume has been on more than 80 cruises and crossings as well as numerous ship visits. Except where otherwise noted, all photos on this page are courtesy of Mr. Hume.
Above: Christine Duffy, President of Carnival Cruise Line, Kelly Arison and Captain Isadoro Renda with a ceremonial bottle of champagne designed by artist Romero Britto.
Below: Confetti shoots out of the champagne bottle and Carnival Sunshine is officially named. (Photo by Marjorieann Matuszek).
Above: The Sunrise Atrium.
Below: The open decks of Carnival Sunrise.
Cruise ship feature - - Carnival Cruise Lines - - Carnival Sunrise - Naming Ceremony