PHOTO: Carrie Underwood performs in the Liquid Lounge aboard the Carnival Vista. (all photos courtesy Carnival Cruise Lines)
Carnival Cruise Line welcomed their newest ship, the Carnival Vista, to the U.S. on Friday with an overnight event honoring military families and celebrating their yearlong Honor.Family.Fun initiative. Launched in January 2016 along with seven-time Grammy-award winner Carrie Underwood and nonprofit Operation Homefront, the program aims to raise funds to assist military families.
So far the initiative has managed to raise $105,000 for the organization, through donations as well as the sale of commemorative dog tags sold on board Carnival ships and at merchandise stands along Underwood’s Storyteller concert tour. During various stops on her tour, military family members were given the opportunity to meet Underwood and each were invited to attend the festivities aboard the Carnival Vista on Friday.
“Throughout my partnership with Carnival Cruise Line we have recognized the efforts of our dedicated military personnel while raising funds for Operation Homefront. It’s something I am very proud to be a part of,” said Underwood.
During Friday’s celebration, Carrie gave a special concert in the ship’s intimate Liquid Room for military family members before the official naming ceremony where Deshauna Barber, the first woman actively serving in the U.S. military to be named Miss USA, presided as godmother.
“Carnival Cruise Line carries more active and retired military personnel and I couldn’t think of a better way to introduce this spectacular vessel than by honoring and celebrating the sacrifices of our Armed Forces personnel,” said Carnival Cruise Line president Christine Duffy. “Deshauna is the ideal candidate to serve as Carnival Vista’s godmother, embodying the spirit of commitment and sacrifice to those who protect our freedom each and every day.”
Deshauna grew up knowing the sacrifices that military family members make and continue those sacrifices to this day. She is the daughter of a retired Army master sergeant who was a member of the Special Forces and she herself joined the Army Reserve as a quartermaster officer in 2011. Today Barber focuses efforts on PTSD treatment for soldiers returning from deployment and suicide prevention throughout the Armed Forces.
“I love that Carnival carries more families, including military families, than any other cruise line,” said Barber. “Today was extra special as I had the opportunity to meet several Operation Homefront families and hear their stories.”
PHOTO: Carrie Underwood with Carnival Cruise Line president Christine Duffy and Operation Homefront's John Pray.
The Vista is heralded as Carnival’s most innovative and family-friendly ship yet, featuring attractions like an IMAX theater at sea, onboard brewery and a bike-ride-in-the-sky attraction called SkyRide. Additionally, the new Family Harbor has specially designed staterooms for families, a family concierge, and more.
The Carnival Vista will be launching year-round six- and eight-day Caribbean service from Miami starting November 27th.
For more information and reservations on Carnival Cruise Line, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit www.carnival.com.
The six and eight-day Caribbean Service from Miami will begin at the end of November. More information and reservations could be made via the Carnival website or by calling 1-800-CARNIVAL. You can read more on Operation Homefront here.