Carnival Cruise Lines is all about creating fun vacation experiences, but the cruise line also believes in giving back and helping others as well. Itís rooted in their corporate identity. This was evident at their most recent event, the naming of the Carnival Sunshine, as well as Carnivalís generous contributions to assist those affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
The 3,006-passenger Carnival Sunshine arrived in its new home port of New Orleans recently after its inaugural season in Europe. The ship is the result of a massive $155 million makeover of the Carnival Destiny Ė the largest transformation thatís ever been completed on a cruise ship to date. The ship has a wide array of cool features, including its three-tier adults-only Serenity area, a massive WaterWorks water park with the longest waterslide in the Carnival fleet, the outdoor SportSquare recreation area complete with an aerial ropes course, and a long list of included and specialty dining options make the ship a hit with its guests.
While Carnival president & CEO Gerry Cahill spent time highlighting the many features of the Carnival Sunshine and the overall transformational feat, much of the event was focused on the importance of young people and the arts. The Carnival Sunshine was officially named by godmother Lin Arison, wife of Carnival Cruise Lines founder Ted Arison and the original godmother of the Carnival Destiny. Lin Arison is a noted leading philanthropist who, together with her late husband, founded YoungArts and the New World Symphony to support young artists. A number of gifted YoungArts artists and local high school musicians performed at the Carnival Sunshine naming event. As part of the ceremony, Carnival donated $25,000 each to YoungArts and the New World Symphony.
But the giving didnít stop there. Carnival Corporation quickly responded to the massive devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Many crew members serving on the Carnival brand ships are from the Philippines region and the company rightly regards them as part of their extended family. As a result, Carnival Corporation & plc and its 10 cruise brands joined with the Miami HEAT, the Carnival Foundation and the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation to donate more than $1.5 million to charities and support organizations assisting with the Philippines relief effort. In addition, Carnival Corporationís individual brands are donating almost $350,000 to support Filipino employees and families whose lives have been impacted by Typhoon Haiyan.
This isnít the first time Carnival has made donations to help families and children. Several years ago, Carnival formed a partnership with St. Jude Childrenís Research Hospital, the nationís top ranked childrenís cancer 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. Carnival has already raised more than $4 million dollars to support St. Jude and its efforts.
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. Carnival hopes to raise a total of $8 million for St. Jude through its programs. To learn more about how Carnival helps St. Jude, visit http://www.carnival.com/stjude.
Itís wonderful to see a cruise line so committed to making a difference and helping others. Carnival not only caters to children and families Ė it supports them when help is needed. For more information on Carnival Cruise Lines, visit http://www.carnival.com or contact your favorite travel agent.