Thursday, February 19, 2015

Carnival Freedom’s Arrival In Galveston Honors Military Families

Carnival Cruise Line marked the arrival of Carnival Freedom at its new year-round homeport of Galveston on Valentine's Day in a big way. The celebration honored U.S. military personnel and their families. In partnership with Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit organization that supports military families, service members and their families were treated to an overnight event featuring a variety of activities. Included was an exclusive outdoor Carnival LIVE performance by country music superstar Martina McBride, along with dinner and a full evening of entertainment, all compliments of Carnival. Prior to McBride’s concert, Carnival presented a check in the amount of $100,000 to Operation Homefront.

“We’re excited to kick off Carnival Freedom’s year-round deployment from Galveston with a donation to an organization that touches so many lives and a special event for the brave men and women who serve our country,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

McBride, a 14-time GRAMMY® nominee, performed on Carnival Freedom’s upper deck in the first Carnival LIVE show staged outdoors. It was her second time participating in the Carnival LIVE concert series that offers guests the best live music at sea from popular acts spanning a variety of musical genres.

“Performing for these military families was an incredible honor. And everyone really enjoyed the outdoor setting on the ship’s deck,” said McBride. “I hope that everyone who was there had a special Valentine’s Day experience; I’m so glad I was asked to be part of it.”

Carnival Freedom then kicked off year-round departures from Galveston the next day with a special 6-day voyage to Mexico and will launch 4- to 7-day cruises calling at ports throughout Mexico, the Caribbean, Bahamas and Florida beginning Feb. 21. Carnival Freedom joins Carnival Triumph and Carnival Magic in Galveston. Together these three ships will carry more than 600,000 passengers annually from Texas—more than any other cruise line.

Carnival Freedom recently underwent a $70 million makeover that added an array of Fun Ship 2.0 product enhancements, and attendees at Saturday’s event had full access to the ship’s many on-board innovations, including new family entertainment programming such as Seuss at Sea and Camp Ocean featuring 200 marine-themed activities. The renovation also included complimentary eateries such as BlueIguana Cantina, and Guy’s Burger Joint, developed in partnership with Food Network personality Guy Fieri, along with exciting new bar concepts BlueIguana Tequila Bar, RedFrog Rum Bar, the cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar and the Caribbean-inspired RedFrog Pub. Four new high-tech Playlist Productions shows were added, as well.

Image: Carnival Freedom in Key West ©

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