Carnival Cruise Lines is all about creating fun vacation experiences, but the cruise line believes in helping children and families as well. It’s part of their corporate DNA. This was so evident at their most recent event, the christening of the new Carnival Breeze.
The 130,000-ton Carnival Breeze is a superb ship – recently aptly named as the “Best New Cruise Ship of the Year” by Cruise Critic. It would have been very easy for Carnival to focus their event’s attention on the superlative innovations available on the Carnival Breeze, which recently arrived in its new home port of Miami after an inaugural season in Europe. The ship’s cool features, including its massive WaterWorks water park, Thrill Theater, SportSquare, and many specialty dining options make it a hit with guests.
Instead, however, Carnival focused the naming ceremony’s spotlight on the Carnival Breeze’s godmother, Tracy Wilson Mourning, founder of the Honey Shine mentoring program for young women. “Miami has been our home town since our company was founded 40 years ago and it’s truly an honor having a hometown hero like Tracy Wilson Mourning – who has made such a tremendous impact on the lives of young women in our community – serve as the godmother to our newest and largest Miami-based ship,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival President and CEO.
In an emotionally moving speech at the Breeze naming event, Tracy Wilson Mourning spoke about her background and her reasons for creating the Honey Shine mentoring program in 2002 to help make a difference in the lives of young girls. The program matches girls with women who can act as role models for them in their communities and provides a variety of educational, spiritual and experiential training. Many of the girls and mentors who participate in the South Florida program were in attendance at the Carnival Breeze ceremony.
Of course, fun was an integral part of the christening ceremony as well. The Carnival Breeze is, after all, a Fun Ship. Tracy Mourning and her team of two young Honey Shine program participants battled a distinguished competing lineup of players (Carnival Cruise Lines President Gerry Cahill, Carnival Corporation CEO Micky Arison and Tracy Mourning’s husband - NBA star Alonzo Mourning) in Hasbro’s Connect Four basketball game. As part of the event, Carnival presented a $25,000 check to further the goals of the Honey Shine program – to “Inspire Young Girls To Shine As Women.”
This isn’t the first time Carnival has made donations to help children and families. Several years ago, Carnival formed a partnership with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to raise funds and awareness of the fight against childhood cancer. The program, called Care to Play, offers cruisers the opportunity to participate in fun activities and raise funds for this worthwhile cause. To date, Carnival has raised over $2.3 million dollars to support the children of St. Jude, the nation’s top ranked children’s cancer hospital.
The Care to Play program includes a number of onboard activities including Groove for St. Jude, towel animal book sales, the Beary Cuddly Workshop for kids, and more. Carnival also raises money for St. Jude through a popular travel agent incentive program providing agents with tours and lunches on Carnival ships when they are in port. Local community and staff events are held as well. To learn more about how Carnival helps St. Jude, visit http://www.carnival.com/stjude.
It’s wonderful to see a cruise line so committed to making a difference and helping others. This cruise line not only caters to children and families – it supports them. For more information on Carnival Cruise Lines, visit http://www.carnival.com, call 1-800-784-7419 or contact your favorite travel agent.