Carnival Cruise Line, which carries more active and retired military personnel than any other cruise operator, joined forces with Operation Homefront Sunday, April 29, 2018, to host a “day date” event for 100 military couples aboard Carnival Miracle at Port Tampa Bay in Florida.
“We’re always looking for meaningful ways to show our troops how much we appreciate everything they do for our country, and inviting these couples on board for a day of fun is just one small way we can say thank you,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “We hope that for the few hours they were on board, everyone felt our admiration and enjoyed a great lunch and a day of FUN, which is our specialty.”
The red carpet was rolled out for the couples who came on board for a day-long escape that included lunch and a comedy show with sets by Carnival Cruise Line comedians Jim Brick and Chase Elstner. To honor the attendees for their service to our country, Carnival also presented their Military Appreciation Salute, a tribute that is held for active and retired military personnel and their families who sail on every cruise. The salute features the showing of the colors (flags), the branch songs and National Anthem, concluding with all members of the military being invited on stage for a group photo.
This event is part of a continuing partnership between Carnival and Operation Homefront, a national non-profit organization that builds strong, stable and secure military families. During its Honor.Family.Fun. program, Carnival focused on the importance of deployed military moms and dads re-learning how to play with their families once they’re back home. Since 2017, these programs have helped raise awareness and funds for Operation Homefront. Carnival will be hosting a series of these events at different home ports this year with locally based military personnel.
“We are thrilled to partner with an amazing team at Carnival Cruise Lines and be able to give these military couples a fun and memorable experience aboard the Carnival Miracle,” said Brig Gen (ret) John I. Pray, Jr., president and CEO of Operation Homefront. “All at Carnival share our unwavering commitment to helping military families thrive, not simply struggle to get by, in the communities they have worked so hard to protect.”
Tampa is an important homeport for Carnival Cruise Line and home to Macdill Air Force Base. Carnival operates two year-round ships out of Port Tampa Bay — Carnival Miracle and Carnival Paradise — carrying an estimated 280,000 passengers annually from Tampa, the most of any cruise operator.