Princess President and CEO Alan Buckelew, a Vietnam veteran himself, will be on board to host the cruise. He will be joined by special guests Admiral Mullen, former Army Chief of Staff General George Casey (Ret.), former Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz (Ret.), and former Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Gary Roughead (Ret.), who will each host military branch gatherings throughout the voyage. The senior officers' wives, Deborah Mullen, Sheila Casey, Suzie Schwartz and Ellen Roughead will take part in a panel discussion centered on the lives of military families and the changing roles and challenges of spouses before, during and after deployment.
In addition, guest lecturers on the cruise will include:
• Joe Galloway – Decorated War Correspondent and Co-Author of We Were Soldiers Once…and YoungPrincess Cruises has been designated a commemorative partner with the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration, a national program organized to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. Princess Cruises will conduct activities to recognize Vietnam Veterans and their families for their service, valor, and sacrifice throughout the sailing.
• Justin Constantine – Lt. Colonel, USMC Reserve, speaker and veteran's advocate
• Gregory Melikian – Former Army sergeant selected to announce the unconditional surrender of Germany and the end of WWII in Europe
The Western Caribbean cruise will sail Nov 5-9, 2013 roundtrip from Houston aboard Caribbean Princess, with a call at Progreso, Mexico. The 4-day cruise will offer passengers the opportunity to honor those who have served in the military as well as active duty military personnel. In addition to the line-up of military guests and speakers, there will be special performers, celebrities, unique topic panels, and a military film festival. Princess will custom-design onboard activities such as a Stars and Stripes Sailaway, a military themed show, a Red, White and Blue Gala, game shows, trivia quizzes and more to celebrate US veterans.
A portion of each passenger's cruise fare, which is expected to total approximately $500,000 will be matched by Princess Cruises for a total of $1 million earmarked for the two veterans' organizations to share equally. As part of Princess' ongoing Military Cruise Benefit Program, active and retired military personnel choosing to book this cruise will receive a $50 onboard credit.
The cruise launches Princess Cruises' new "Cruising for a Cause" initiative where the company will dedicate entire sailings to support select charitable causes. This new, industry-leading program will provide the line's passengers, many of whom are looking for opportunities to make positive contributions to their communities and the world, a way to make a difference even as they vacation. Additional information about the special "Cruising for a Cause" sailing supporting U.S. veterans can be found at princess.com/cruisingforacause.