Norwegian Cruise Line Surprises With a Free Cruise

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In a heartwarming gesture, Norwegian Cruise Line President offers free cruises to Gold Star Families attending Memorial Day Weekend NASCAR Race.

Memorial Day Weekend Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Race: Cruise Surprises

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) President David J. Herrera—who also happens to be a U.S. Veteran—recently honored Gold Star Families with a free cruise. He presented these free trips at the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Race, which roared into action this past Memorial Day Weekend.

For anyone living outside the United States, Memorial Day is a U.S. federal holiday that takes place on the last Monday of May. This holiday pays tribute to fallen military personnel who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Memorial Day weekend also (unofficially) kicks off the start of summer.

Norwegian Cruise Line Free Cruise
Norwegian Cruise Line Free Cruise

Norwegian Cruise Line and Coca-Cola, during the Coca-Cola 600 (held at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina) honored over 40 military families who’ve lost loved ones. 

As part of Teacher Appreciation Week, the cruise provider also recently announced that it will be gifting (through a contest) 20 inspirational teachers and educators with complimentary seven-day cruises aboard the 142,500-gross-ton Prima-class Norwegian Viva

Both of these initiatives showcase the company’s appreciation and commitment to people who have provided service to their country and local communities.

Showing Appreciation for Gold Star Families in the USA

In the USA, the “Gold Star” designation is reserved for families that have lost one or more loved ones to military service. During World War I, families displayed a service flag with a blue star for each serving member. If a service member died while on active duty, the blue star was replaced with a gold star.

Norwegian Cruise Line Free Cruise
Norwegian Cruise Line Free Cruise

“Military service members and their families are incredibly important to us at Norwegian Cruise Line,” Herrera remarked, commemorating this special event.

“It is a pleasure to demonstrate this support with our Military Appreciation Program and offer them an opportunity to reconnect on board our ships and create memories that will last a lifetime…These Gold Star Families have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country, and it is our privilege to recognize and provide them some respite aboard our ships,” Herrera added.

During Coca-Cola’s 600 Miles of Remembrance, Herrera offered each Gold Star Family in attendance a free seven-day cruise. The ceremony took place on Sunday, May 28, 2023, and featured an exclusive brunch for the Gold Star Families.

NCL’s Military Appreciation Program

In November 2022, Norwegian Cruise Line company introduced its inaugural Military Appreciation Program. The program was set up to recognize service members, veterans, and retired individuals from the U.S. military, along with their spouses.

The Military Appreciation Program—co-sponsored by NCL President David J. Herrera and former U.S. Navy SEAL Matthew Lewis (CSO for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd)—offers veterans an array of exclusive onboard experiences, unique amenities, and discounted cruise fares—available across NCL’s expansive fleet of 18 ships.

Crafted by and tailored for military veterans, the Military Appreciation Program initiative provides service members and their relatives with a generous 10% discount.

This program also comes with exclusive onboard privileges, a welcoming reception, plus other little perks like a commemorative military challenge coin, program participation pins, and unique NCL ship-specific collectible patches.

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