Carnival Cruise Line is bringing back a giveaway for military veterans that sail aboard any Carnival cruise ship – the chance to win a free cruise.
Veterans who set sail and attend the veterans gathering held during every Carnival cruise will be able to enter a raffle drawing for a free cruise to be given away once per month.
Free Monthly Cruise Raffle for Veterans
Carnival Cruise Line brand ambassador John Heald has announced that the cruise line is bringing back the free cruise raffle for veterans. Eligible guests will be able to enter the giveaway during the Military Appreciation Gathering held on each and every sailing, and of all collected entries each month, one winner will be drawn for a free cruise.
“This is just another way to say thank you to those whose courage and bravery allow all of us the freedom to cruise and to have fun,” Heald said.
The exact terms and conditions of the monthly giveaways are yet to be announced, but Heald did indicate that the giveaway was also held pre-pandemic.
It is likely the entry requirements and restrictions will remain the same as previous giveaways, though some terms may be adapted to new cruising guidelines in the post-pandemic travel industry.
Interested guests should note that all raffle entries from all 25 ships in the Carnival fleet are pooled together for each month’s giveaway, and only one free cruise will be awarded per month.
As new ships join the fleet – Carnival Venezia will debut in May 2023, Carnival Jubilee in December 2023, and Carnival Firenze in May 2024 – more veterans gatherings will be held, and more entries will be accepted for each month’s giveaway.
Actual odds of winning a free cruise drawing will depend on the total number of entries received each month.
About the Military Appreciation Gathering
Every Carnival cruise ship hosts a Military Appreciation Gathering on every cruise. This free event is open for all service members, active, reserve, and retired, from all military branches. The meet-and-greet includes light refreshments and is a great opportunity for veterans to meet and exchange stories and camaraderie.
The time and location of the Military Appreciation Gathering will vary based on individual ships’ itineraries and activity schedules, but every attempt is made to ensure it is at a time and place where all interested veterans will be able to attend.
On newer Carnival ships the Heroes Tribute Bar & Lounge is a popular venue for the event, but other lounges may also be used depending on the expected number of attendees and how different lounges and gathering spaces are used for other onboard activities.
The Heroes Tribute Bar & Lounge is available on Carnival Celebration, Mardi Gras, Carnival Panorama, and Carnival Radiance, and will also be a fixture aboard all three upcoming Carnival ships – Carnival Venezia, Carnival Jubilee, and Carnival Firenze.
No announcement has been made about whether other, older Carnival ships may covert existing venues into new Heroes Tribute Bar & Lounges, though that may be a consideration as ships go into significant refurbishments in the coming years.
Other Ways Carnival Honors Veterans
Carnival Cruise Line has a long history of honoring veterans, and in fact offers special “Military Cruise Deals” with exclusive reduced rates for active and retired U.S Military and Canadian National Defense members. Veterans applying for these discount rates much provide proof of eligibility via appropriate military documentation, such as retirement papers, leave and earning statements, or proof of honorable discharge.
The cruise line also supports Operation Homefront, an organization that provides military families with rent-free housing and helps wounded veterans adjust to their new lives, as well as organizes events for military families, such as holiday toy drives, back-to-school supply drives, and more.
Military members and service families are also often recognized at welcome aboard shows, and on certain sailings – such as over Veteran’s Day in November or the Fourth of July – additional special appreciation events may be held.