Carnival Cruise Line is hosting a week-long series of tributes to military veterans in six different homeports in early November, leading up to Veterans Day on November 11, 2023. The events will happen on six different Carnival ships and will honor hundreds of veterans in each port community.
Carnival Offering Homeport Veteran Tributes
When six different Carnival cruise ships spend the day in their homeports in early November, each vessel will host a special onboard tribute for local veterans. The events will include recognition of the veterans’ service with a special ceremony, and a delicious luncheon for attendees to enjoy.
“We’re so proud to carry more active and retired military service members than any other cruise line, so we wanted to honor our hometown heroes in some of our port communities for Veterans Day this year,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “These tribute events serve as our thanks for the sacrifices made by local veterans, active military personnel and their families.”
The onboard events will begin aboard Carnival Horizon in Miami and the newly renovated Carnival Paradise in Tampa on Sunday, November 5, and continue throughout the week.
Carnival Breeze will host veterans in Galveston on Monday, November 6; Carnival Miracle will host her tribute event in Long Beach on Tuesday, November 7; and Carnival Valor will welcome veterans aboard in New Orleans on Thursday, November 9.
The final event will be aboard Mardi Gras at the world’s busiest cruise port, Port Canaveral, on Saturday, November 11 – the actual date of Veterans Day.
Special Community Donations
In addition to the special onboard tribute events, Carnival Cruise Line is seeking to make a difference for veterans in these homeport communities by donating a passenger van to each local VA office to help provide transportation to local veterans to reach VA programs and services, including health care.
Carnival Cruise Line has long been a supporter of Operation Homefront, a nationally recognized nonprofit that supports America’s military families with financial assistance for housing, providing holiday meals and holiday toy drives, helping with transitional housing, and much more.
Onboard Carnival cruises, guests can easily donate to Operation Homefront. A portion of the proceeds from special group photos purchased from onboard military appreciation events as well as purchases of the exclusive “Heroes American Pale Ale” brewed aboard ships equipped with breweries are donated to the charity organization.
Onboard Events Across the Fleet
While only six ships will host special events for veterans in the community, every Carnival cruise ship hosts a Military Appreciation Gathering on every sailing, including during the week of Veterans Day.
These onboard events welcome all military veterans and active service members and their families, and offer an opportunity not only for well-deserved recognition, but for camaraderie and sharing experiences.
Special recognition is paid to the longest-serving military member in the room with the presentation of a special hero coin, and all veterans in attendance receive a commemorative pin. Even better – all service members are entered into a drawing for a free Carnival cruise, which is given to one entrant each month!
“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,” said John Heald, Carnival Cruise Line brand ambassador.
Carnival Cruise Line began the Military Appreciation Gatherings in 2016, and now hosts more than 1,500 such events each year that are attended by tens of thousands of guests. Many of these events are held in the Heroes Tribute Bar & Lounge on ships that feature that specially-themed venue.
In July, the cruise line announced that the single events are being expanded to full-day tributes, and each Military Appreciation Day will include special messages on ships’ Seaside Theater screens, raising the U.S. flag in the atrium (on sailings of four nights and longer), and other special activities throughout the day.
This ensures that Carnival Cruise Line, which carries the most service members of any cruise line in the world, continues to honor veterans not just on Veterans Day, but on every sailing year-round.