Carnival Sunrise Officially Named in New York After $200M Ship Transformation

Carnival Sunrise was officially welcomed to the Carnival Cruise Line fleet during its naming ceremony May 23 at Pier 90 at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal in New York City. 

More accurately, the festivities onboard the 2,984-passenger ship represented a re-naming for a ship that for two decades had been called Carnival Triumph. A $200 million transformation gives the vessel new life and represents another way in which cruise lines can give passengers a new experience without building a brand-new ship. 

Hundreds of media, travel partners and executives from the Carnival Corp. brand were on hand for a short but sweet ceremony to name Carnival Sunrise at its new homeport. The ship’s godmother is Kelly Arison, daughter of Carnival Corp. Chairman Mickey Arison and Madeleine Arison, who was godmother of Carnival Triumph, which first started sailing in 1999. 

Kelly Arison’s grandmother Lin Arison is godmother to Carnival Sunshine, another ship that underwent a full transformation and rebirth. Carnival Sunshine went into drydock as Carnival Destiny and emerged in 2013 as the first of the new Sunshine class of ships. Sunrise is the second, and Carnival Victory next year will become Carnival Radiance when it’s the final ship to get a makeover as part of a $2 billion fleetwide enhancement program. 

src=”” alt=”Carnival Sunrise with Kathie Lee Gifford, Kelly Arison, Madeleine Arison and artist Romero Britto” width=”864″ height=”691″ /> Kathie Lee Gifford, Kelly Arison, Madeleine Arison and artist Romero Britto gather on deck after the naming ceremony.

“To be a part of Carnival Sunrise’s official naming is more than I could have ever imagined and an experience I’ll never forget,” said Kelly Arison. “The ship is absolutely beautiful, and I’m so honored to not only carry on my family’s legacy as godmother but to also use this opportunity to raise awareness for a well-deserving organization, the Ehlers-Danlos Society.” 

Kelly Arison is using her platform as godmother to help the organization, which dedicated to serving people with joint hypermobility spectrum disorders. Carnival also made a $50,000 donation to the organization as part of the naming festivities. Longtime brand ambassador Kathie Lee Gifford also appeared during the ceremony, sharing funny anecdotes from her 35 years working and cruising with Carnival. Gifford helped bring cruising to the mainstream as part of the first national TV ad campaign that debuted in 1984. Gifford also served as godmother of two Carnival ships: Carnival Ecstasy and Carnival Celebration (now Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line’s Grand Celebration). 

Carnival Triumph launched in 1999, and in recent years sailed from its homeport of Galveston. The ship earned a share of ignominy is 2013 when an engine fire caused the ship to lose power and it was stranded in the Gulf of Mexico for several days, drawing worldwide media attention and scrutiny for the cruise industry. 

Now, with a new name and fresh look, Carnival Sunrise sails to Bermuda, New England and Canada and the Caribbean from New York.  

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With the transformation, passengers have many more options for food and activities. Carnival Sunrise features Guy’s Burger Joint and Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse (in collaboration with longtime partner and celebrity chef Guy Fieri), BlueIguana Cantina (Mexican fare); Alchemy Bar (creative cocktails), WaterWorks aquapark and SportSquare recreation area (ropes course, mini-golf, basketball court, pool tables and shuffleboard). 

The ship also has a Serenity adults-only retreat, RedFrog Pub, SkyBox Sports Bar, Cherry On Top candy shop and a Limelight Lounge (home to The Punchliner Comedy Club). Additional restaurants include Bonsai Sushi, Cucina del Capitano, Seafood Shack, Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse and Pizzeria del Capitano. 

After its season on New York, Carnival Sunrise heads to Fort Lauderdale for the winter cruise season.

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John Roberts
John Roberts
John Roberts is a freelance travel writer and operator of His writing aims to help travelers find the best ways to explore destinations in a fun, fit and adventurous way.

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