Make A Difference On Your Next Cruise

Make A Difference On Your Next Cruise
Cruise vacationers can have fun on their cruises and help support important charitable causes and non-profits as well. Programs like those offered by Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, and others make giving back on vacation easy and fun. By engaging in entertaining activities and purpose-driven shore excursions, cruise guests can raise money and provide a helping hand to important causes and children in need.

Here are a number of great ways to give back and make a difference on your next cruise:

Carnival Cruise Line. In March of 2010, Carnival entered into a partnership with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to raise funds and awareness of the fight against childhood cancer. Through their “Care to Play: Carnival for St. Jude Kids” activities and other events, Carnival Cruise Line has raised more than $16 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® and serves as the organization’s Official Celebration Partner. The cruise line’s goal is to raise another $2 million for a total of $18 million dollars raised. Guests can have fun and donate to St. Jude on their cruise vacation by participating in Carnival’s “Care to Play” program. Activities for guests include:

• Groove for St. Jude: Guests can “groove to the music” provided by a DJ at this dance event, plus get a complimentary T-shirt and wristband - all for a $10 donation. One-hundred percent of guests’ donations go directly to St. Jude.

• Build-A-Bear Workshop At Sea: Kids on Carnival cruises can visit their ship’s Build-A-Bear Workshop At Sea to create their own stuffed animal friends. A variety of options are available, including one that benefits St. Jude. Children can build their own special St. Jude keepsake bear for a fee with 100 percent of the profits benefiting St. Jude.

• Sweet Sales: Guests purchasing the Brownie Buoy ice cream flavor at Carnival Vista’s Cherry on Top shop will be donating funds to St. Jude. Carnival makes a donation to St. Jude for certain bakery items purchased by guests as well.

Carnival Cruise Line guests can also make a difference ashore by participating in the cruise line’s Give Back with Purpose shore excursions. These meaningful, fully-guided shore excursions are available in a number of ports of call in the Caribbean and Mexico including Amber Cove/Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic; Belize City, Belize; Cozumel, Mexico; Montego Bay, Jamaica; Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; and San Juan, Puerto Rico. A portion of each guest’s Give Back with Purpose shore excursion fees go to the non-profits involved in the tours including local organizations, children’s homes, schools and church programs.

There are additional ways for Carnival guests to give back on the cruise line's Give Back with Purpose excursions as well. A number of the organizations and non-profits provide wish lists of desired in-kind donations on their websites. These might include school supplies, personal care and children's items, over-the-counter medicines and other goods. If properly declared, these in-kind donations can often be brought along on Carnival's Give Back with Purpose shore excursions or guests may be able to purchase the items once ashore in ports such as Cozumel, Mexico. Check with the cruise line for more details on bringing and declaring donations on your cruise.

Holland America Line. Guests onboard Holland America ships can participate in the cruise line’s “On Deck for a Cause” activities, which have raised a total of $6 million for five international cancer non-profit organizations in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Australia. Non-competitive fundraising walks take place on every sailing on all of Holland America Line’s fifteen ships. Passengers pay $20 to take part in the 5K walk and receive an On Deck for a Cause t-shirt, wristband and access to a post-walk reception for participating.

Holland America Line also offers a number of Cruise with Purpose shore excursions at ports around the globe. In Nicaragua, for example, guests can visit with schoolchildren at the Betania Foundation. Activities in other ports of call include volunteering at a local women’s recycling micro-business in the Dominican Republic’s Amber Cove, serving as a marine scientist for a day on the cruise line’s “Discover Alaska’s Whales” tour in Juneau, and helping Iceland’s forestation program by planting a tree on a tour in Reykjavik.

Princess Cruises. Princess Cruises guests can participate in “On Deck for a Cure” non-competitive walks that take place onboard certain Princess Cruise ship. Guests who participate in this activity walk around a 5K course onboard the ship to support the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s research to fight breast cancer. Princess Cruises donates at least $11.25 to the Susan G. Komen Foundation from each guest participation fee received. In addition, guests can take part in an auction of a nautical chart signed by the ship’s captain and senior officers. All funds raised from the auction support the Princess Cruises Community Foundation, a non-profit organization aiding charitable causes worldwide.

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