Bermuda was certainly the charm, weather-wise. We wake today to gray skies but by 10:30 a.m., the pool deck is humming. Even the swimming pool is filled with children happily splashing and, no doubt, more than a few are soaring down the twisting labyrinth of blue and yellow waterslides that snake over the deck.
Many of these kids, no doubt, just had breakfast with a film star! This morning the lower level of The Radiance Restaurant was transformed into a whimsical Dr. Seuss wonderland with tables decked out in trademark red and white “Cat in the Hat” centerpieces and polka-dot runners for a dining experience custom made for the little ones: The Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast lived up to its name with the menu including—you guessed it: Green Eggs and Ham. But the eggs, green or not, were abandoned the moment The Cat in the Hat himself appeared, cheerfully waving to his fans, signing autographs and posing for pictures.
The sun disappears and rain peppers the decks on and off all morning, a weather condition that propels shoppers to the atrium shops, not just for cover but to take advantage of the big blow-out sale. Hundreds crowd the sale tables in search of t-shirts, baseball caps, tote bags and more while others seek shelter in a dry and covered location—like a bar.
The casino, meanwhile, is hopping with Jackpot BINGO beginning at 11:30 a.m. and a Texas Hold ‘Em tournament to follow. With a woman winning a $10,000 slot machine jackpot last night, I’m thinking lightning won’t strike twice and head off to one of the back-to-back seminars at the spa: Herbal and Natural Remedies and Burn Fat Fast.
What’s better than lunch after a Burn Fat Fast seminar? And today I’ve finally found the secret to an enjoyable lunch at the Lido Buffet: Be among the first to arrive.
It was a short queue at 11:55 a.m. and I breezed through the selections when the buffet opened at noon, choosing from Sunrise’s extensive salad bar and hot dishes that included barbecued chicken drumsticks, fish and chips and a whole roast turkey carved to order and accompanied by jalapeno mashed potatoes—yum. Tables were plentiful and I scored a premium ocean view …to watch the rain drops fall.
It’s a lazy afternoon and it’s even extended a bit thanks to the hour we gained as we sailed from Bermuda. Unlike many cruise ships which don’t adjust their time to the local one (quite a risky business when you’re relying on guests to return to the ship at a specified time), Carnival Sunrise advanced its time by an hour to match Bermuda’s and returned that hour to us in the wee hours of this morning.
This evening, I tell myself, will be an early one: An early dinner at Bonsai Sushi, the lovely a la carte dining spot on deck 5 that offers a tempting Bento Box that includes miso soup, side salad, California roll and three pieces of sushi (tuna, salmon and shrimp) for $10, and maybe a glass of wine before heading back to my cabin where I’ll read a bit before slipping between the sheets.
We make plans and God laughs.
Captivating conversation. Humor. Tons in common. I meet a group of people who feel like old friends. Our paths hadn’t crossed before and now it feels as though we have four days to catch up on. We just sit and talk for a couple of hours until one of my newfound friends wants to do…karaoke! We head for the Red Frog Rum Bar and watch guest after guest killing it! The guy who sang Me and Mrs. Jones should get a recording contract now! After seeing the level of talent our shipmates have, my friend decides against performing and, suddenly, it’s dinner at Bonsai Sushi that’s playing our song.
For years, two-, three- and four-day cruises were known as “party cruises” and they should still be known as that. For anyone—at any age–who is looking to party round the clock, a short cruise is, without question, the ultimate luxury.
But I disagree with those who claim that a short sailing is the perfect way to introduce a first timer to the joys of cruising. A short sailing simply isn’t representative of the relaxed elegance, sophisticated dining, interesting conversations and longer port stays that are hallmarks of a lengthier voyage.
Aboard Carnival Sunrise, I partied as I haven’t in years while, on that last night, experienced an evening that felt like cruising as I know it. I enjoyed both sides of Carnival Sunrise—but when it comes to real hardcore partying? Carnival Sunrise’s guests really made me feel like an amateur.
Story and photos courtesy of Judi Cuervo.