Carnival Cruise Line has begun its special series of events to honor and celebrate military veterans with an appreciation lunch aboard Carnival Horizon in PortMiami, along with a unique donation to help veterans get the services they need.
This is the first of six such tributes planned at different Carnival homeports leading up to Veterans Day on November 11.
Honoring Veterans in Miami
Approximately 200 local Miami-Dade veterans were welcomed aboard Carnival Horizon on Sunday, November 5, 2023 for a special military tribute event that included an appreciation luncheon and special recognition. Carnival Cruise Line is hosting six such events this week in six different US homeports.
“As America’s cruise line, Carnival is privileged to have more active and retired military service members choosing to sail with us than any other cruise line for their much-deserved cruise vacations,” said Christine Duffy, Carnival Cruise Line president.
Part of the tribute event included donating a 15-passenger van to the Miami Veterans Affairs Healthcare System. The van will help with transporting veterans to different programs and services offered by the VA, including medical appointments.
“It is an honor for us to partner with the Miami Veterans Affairs Healthcare System to show our appreciation to these brave men and women and donate a passenger van to help the center provide convenient transportation to local resources and support services for our military heroes,” said Duffy.
In addition to medical services, the VA offers resources such as emergency preparedness assistance and other special programs.
“We are dedicated to improving the lives of our veterans and their families every day,” said Miami Veterans Affairs Healthcare System Executive Director Kalautie JangDhari. “I know our veterans appreciate this special event hosted by Carnival Cruise Line. And their generous donation of a passenger van is going to help us to ensure that they can get to their medical appointments easily.”
The hometown veterans tributes come just as Carnival Cruise Line is also introducing a special “Heroes American Pale Ale” on all ships with onboard breweries. A portion of the proceeds from sales of the ale will be donated to Operation Homefront for even more support of military members and their families.
More Tribute Events All Week Long
The Miami tribute event kicks off a full week of events, as the cruise line has organized five other events in other homeports that will feature onboard luncheons for local veterans as well as van donations to each homeport’s VA office.
On the same day as Miami’s tribute, veterans were also welcomed aboard the recently renovated Carnival Paradise in Tampa.
Carnival Breeze in Galveston, Texas is hosting a military tribute event on Monday, November 6, while Carnival Miracle will welcome veterans in Long Beach, California on Tuesday, November 7. Carnival Valor will do the same on Thursday, November 9 for veterans in New Orleans, Louisiana.
One of the cruise line’s largest ships, Mardi Gras, will host the final veterans’ tribute event at Port Canaveral, Florida on Veterans Day itself – Saturday, November 11.
In addition to the special homeport events that will host veterans from the local community, every Carnival ship in the fleet will host a Military Appreciation Day this week – as they do on every sailing, all year long.
Military Appreciation Day was introduced in July 2023 as an expansion of what were formerly Military Appreciation Gatherings. The events include shipwide announcements to thank military service members and veterans, special messages on the Seaside Theater screen, raising the US flag in the ship’s atrium (on sailings four nights or longer), commemorative pins for all veterans, and additional special activities.
All veterans who join in the Military Appreciation Day events can also be entered into a monthly drawing for a free Carnival cruise awarded to a service member.
In 2023, Carnival Cruise Line will host more than 1,500 military gatherings, honoring tens of thousands of veterans and active service members and their families.