JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Jan. 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Carnival Cruise Line announced a new initiative designed to support U.S. military families alongside seven-time GRAMMY-award winning superstar Carrie Underwood and representatives of Operation Homefront, the national nonprofit that builds strong, stable, and secure military families. The year-long Honor. Family. Fun. program will help raise funds for Operation Homefront and culminate in a special private pierside concert for service men and women and their families starring Underwood aboard Carnival's newest and most family-friendly ship, the Carnival Vista, when the vessel makes its U.S. debut in New York City at the Port of New York on November 4, 2016.
"Military families represent a cornerstone of our country and we are honored by the opportunity to partner with Carrie and Operation Homefront to bring much needed awareness and aid to our troops and their loved ones," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "The partnership will bring to life many of the heartwarming stories our troops have to share while in turn bringing them some fun along the way."
In 10 cities along the course of Carrie Underwood's The Storyteller Tour, which kicks off in Jacksonville, Fla on January 30, select military families, chosen in partnership with Operation Homefront, will be treated to a personal meet-and-greet with Underwood before her concerts. A video series highlighting the meet and greets and the families' individual stories will be featured on carnival.com.
"I'm honored to be able to join Carnival Cruise Line and Operation Homefront to lift up these soldiers and their families," said Underwood. "I am really looking forward to meeting them on my tour and for the opportunity to personally thank them for all they do for our freedom."
Driving the effort to raise funds for the cause, fans of Underwood, and of the program, will have the opportunity to donate by clicking on the "Donate Now" button on carnival.com/HonorFamilyFun. Commemorative dog tags will also be available for purchase at merchandise stands at all Storyteller Tour stops as well as on board the fleet of Carnival ships with all proceeds going to Operation Homefront.
"Carnival Cruise Line really knows what it means to support our men and women in uniform and their families," said retired Brigadier General John I. Pray, Jr., president and CEO of Operation Homefront. "We are absolutely thrilled to be partnering with the Carnival team and superstar Carrie Underwood to focus on the challenges our military families face as they work tirelessly to protect the freedoms we enjoy daily."
The final stop in the cross-country Honor. Family. Fun. campaign will be New York City, where Carnival, Operation Homefront, and Underwood will treat hundreds of military families to a special concert aboard the new Carnival Vista at the Port of New York on November 4, 2016.
Carnival's most family-friendly ship, Carnival Vista, will set sail in Europe in May 2016 and make her stateside debut as host of the special private pierside concert for military families. Designed to connect guests to the ocean with sweeping views and plenty to do both outdoors and in, Carnival Vista will take cruising to new heights and introduce an exciting array of groundbreaking new features including: SkyRide, a breakthrough suspended open-air cycling experience; the world's first IMAX® Theatre on a ship; an expansive water park featuring the colorful Kaleid-O-Slide, the line's first raft-riding water tube slide; Seafood Shack, a delectable New England-inspired eatery; RedFrog Pub, including the first micro-brewery on a U.S.-based cruise ship, and other exciting dining, bar and entertainment options.
In the 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 Carrie Underwood.
Finally, it was also revealed that Carrie Underwood will join the Carnival LIVE! roster of artists in early 2017 with further details to be announced at a later date.
About Carnival Cruise Line
Carnival, a unit of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), is "The World's Most Popular Cruise Line®" with 24 ships operating three- to 16-day voyages to The Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, New England, Bermuda, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. The company currently has two new 133,500-ton ships on order--Carnival Vista, set to debut in 2016, and an as-yet-unnamed vessel scheduled to enter service in 2018.
About Operation Homefront A national nonprofit, Operation Homefront leads more than 2,500 volunteers with nationwide presence who provide emergency and other financial assistance to the families of service members and wounded warriors. Operation Homefront has provided assistance to thousands of military families since its inception in 2002. Recognized for superior performance by leading independent charity watchdog groups, nationally, 92 percent of Operation Homefront's expenditures go directly to programs that provide support to our military families. For more information, go to www.OperationHomefront.net.
About Carrie Underwood Carrie Underwood emerged from the promise of her 2005 American Idol win to become a true multi-format, multi-media superstar, spanning achievements in music, television, and film. A seven-time GRAMMY® Award winner, she has amassed nearly 100 major honors, sold 58 million records worldwide, and recorded 22 #1 singles, 12 of which she co-wrote, with a catalog of songs that have been streamed more than 1.5 billion times worldwide. The first female artist to be twice named the Academy of Country Music's Entertainer of the Year, Underwood was recognized as Pollstar's top female country touring artist for her headlining tours in 2008, 2010, and 2012. Her first four studio albums, Some Hearts, Carnival Ride, Play On, and Blown Away – each certified multi-Platinum or Platinum, and each an American Music Awards winner as Country Album of the Year – tallied an incredible 38 weeks at #1 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart. In 2013, Underwood starred as Maria von Trapp in NBC's three-hour holiday blockbuster, the Emmy®-winning The Sound of Music Live!, whose airings attracted 44 million viewers. In December of 2014, the Grand Ole Opry member released her first hits collection, Greatest Hits: Decade #1. Billboard's best-selling hits album of 2015, the chart-topping package was certified Platinum in January of 2016, making Underwood the only country artist – and one of only six all-genre artists – to launch an album to Platinum success since the time of its release in December of 2014. Celebrating her first 10 years of music, the collection's 25 songs included two new #1 hits co-written by Underwood: the Platinum-certified, GRAMMY-winning "Something in the Water," as well as the Gold-certified "Little Toy Guns." In 2015, she began her third season as the voice of primetime television's #1 program, Sunday Night Football, and returned for an eighth consecutive year as co-host of the CMA Awards. Underwood is at radio now with "Heartbeat," which follows the #1 success of "Smoke Break," both from her chart-topping, Gold-certified fifth studio album, Storyteller, released October 23, 2015.
SOURCE Carnival Cruise Line