Carnival Cruise Line, Texas’ number one cruise operator, will welcome Carnival Freedom to its new year-round homeport of Galveston, Texas, on Saturday, February 14, by hosting a celebration to honor U.S. military families. Through a partnership with Operation Homefront, a national non-profit organization dedicated to providing financial and other assistance to military families, Carnival will provide a day of onboard fun and exciting activities for service members and their families. Among the day’s festivities will be a special outdoor Carnival LIVE performance by country superstar Martina McBride.
“The arrival of Carnival Freedom to its new Galveston homeport is historic as it marks the first time a cruise line has based three year-round ships in Texas,” said Jim Berra, chief marketing officer for Carnival Cruise Line. “We’re thrilled to celebrate this occasion by giving back to the great state of Texas and welcoming aboard military families who make our freedom possible.”
As part of the festivities, 14-time GRAMMY® nominee Martina McBride will perform that afternoon outdoors on one of the ship’s top decks. The country singer has previously performed as part of the line’s breakthrough onboard concert series, Carnival LIVE, which offers guests the best live music at sea from some of the most popular and highly requested music acts.
“I am incredibly excited to have the opportunity to perform again on a Carnival ship and am thrilled that I was chosen to be part of this wonderful event that honors U.S. service members and their families,” said Martina McBride. “I’ve played for many audiences in my career, but it will truly be a privilege to salute these incredible families and partner with Carnival to bring them an extra special Valentine’s Day.”
Military families who have registered through Operation Homefront will enjoy a full day and evening of fun aboard the 110,000-ton Carnival Freedom while it is in port, including overnight accommodations, meals, entertainment and activities, all compliments of Carnival Cruise Line.
Prior to the concert, Carnival will conduct a special check presentation to Operation Homefront providing $100,000 to the organization.
“We are very excited to be partnering with Carnival to honor military families and celebrate the cruise line’s expansion in Texas,” said Tim Farrell, chief operating officer of Operation Homefront. “While we serve military families across the nation, we’re grateful for a partner like Carnival who wants to give back right here in our home state of Texas where we have the second largest active duty and veteran population in the country.”
Carnival Freedom recently underwent a $70 million makeover which added an array of Fun Ship 2.0 product enhancements. Event attendees will have access to the ship’s new family entertainment programming including Seuss at Sea, as well as the new Camp Ocean kids facilities. The latest updates also incorporated a number of bar, dining and entertainment innovations including complimentary eateries such as BlueIguana Cantina and Guy’s Burger Joint, developed in partnership with Food Network personality Guy Fieri, poolside bars serving up delicious frozen drinks and cocktails including BlueIguana Tequila Bar and RedFrog Rum Bar, as well as the pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar and the line’s Caribbean-inspired RedFrog Pub.
Carnival Freedom kicks off year-round sailings from Galveston February 15, 2015, with a special six-day voyage to Mexico followed by the launch of four- to seven-day cruises that visit beautiful ports throughout Mexico, the Caribbean, Bahamas and Florida. Together with Carnival Triumph and Carnival Magic, the line will carry more than 600,000 passengers annually from Texas – more than any other cruise line.