Last updated: 01:24 PM ET, Thu January 28 2016

Carnival Partners with Carrie Underwood

Cruise Line & Cruise Ship | Carnival Cruise Line | Theresa Norton | January 28, 2016

Carnival Partners with Carrie Underwood

PHOTO: Pictured from left, Carnival President Christine Duffy, Operation Homefront CEO John Pray Jr., and country superstar Carrie Underwood. (Photo by Theresa Norton Masek)

Carnival Cruise Line announced today that it had entered into a partnership with country music superstar Carrie Underwood to raise money for Operation Homefront, an organization that helps military families.

Underwood attended a press conference Thursday in Jacksonville, Fla., to announce the year-long Honor.Family.Fun program with Carnival President Christine Duffy and retired Brigadier General John Pray Jr., president and CEO of Operation Homefront. The singer kicks off her Storyteller Tour Saturday night in Jacksonville.

The tour will conclude Nov. 4 with a concert aboard the new Carnival Vista at the Port of New York for hundreds of military families. Underwood also will perform onboard an as-yet unnamed Carnival ship in early 2017 as part of the Carnival LIVE! concert program.

“Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your family,” Underwood said. “As far as Operation Homefront, all of the things you guys do just blows my mind. Country music definitely has always been extremely supportive of military members and their families. I’m honored just to be working with you guys. Very excited.”

In 10 cities during The Storyteller Tour, select military families, chosen with Operation Homefront, will be treated to a meet-and-greet with Underwood before her concerts. A video series highlighting the meet-and-greets and the families’ stories will be featured on Carnival’s website.

Carnival will invite contributions to Operation Homefront with a “Donate Now” button on the company website. Also, commemorative dog tags will be available for purchase at merchandise stands at the during Storyteller Tour concerts and in shops on all Carnival fleets. All proceeds will go to Operation Homefront.

Underwood said she hasn’t been able to take a Carnival cruise yet, but that she has toured the Carnival Breeze.

“I was just so impressed. People were getting on the boat and they were just very, very excited to be there. We got to see all of the restaurants, and all the activities and all the kid-friendly things. I was just blown away by just how much love and effort is put into making the family experience one to remember, and so that they can bond and just have fun and relax. I look forward to going on a cruise really soon.”

To which Duffy quipped “She has a standing invitation!” and Carnival Brand Ambassador John Heald wondered out loud if she’d hog the karaoke machine.

In coming weeks, Carnival will launch a new shipboard military appreciation program. Each ship will host a special event on board to recognize active and retired military personnel and their families and will kick off with a welcome video featuring Underwood.

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