Marking the introduction of Carnival Freedom to Galveston, Carnival Cruise Line welcomed its third ship sailing year-round from the southern port in a very big Texas way. Driving home the “Celebrate Freedom” theme, military families were serenaded by country superstar Martina McBride, after a sizeable donation was made to Operation Homefront, the national nonprofit organization that supports service members and their families . At the same time, Funship 2.0 features added to the ship during a $70million remodeling were rocking right along well into the night. In the process of all that, Carnival Cruise Line made a subtle but dynamic statement: We claim our solid position as a top choice for families of all ages.
We did not get into the details of what Carnival Cruise Line has to offer families at the Valentine’s Day event; that will come later as we spend the next six days on board Carnival Freedom. We’ll take a look at the new youth program that features an unexpected partnership with edutaining Dr Seuss. On days in port we’ll put the destinations visited under a microscope examining a number of factors of interest when planning a cruise vacation. Are they good for every member of the family? Some? A few? Answers are forthcoming. All around the ship we plan on taking a new look at Carnival and what they have to offer, today, right now; ignoring our deep-seeded positive history with The FunShip line. That’s coming up.
On this Valentine’s Day celebration of freedom we watched as our military members were honored for their service in the way entertainers do best with a CarnivalLIVE performance by Martina McBride.
During a 17-song set, McBride performed nearly all her hit, songs off her new album and some old standards, all to the delight of an audience that shared a firm belief in freedom as verified by their service and sacrifice.
Veterans of past wars, currently enlisted military personnel from all branches of the Armed Forces were on hand, along with their families; some a multi-generational representation very much reflective of what Carnival offers for families on vacation.
McBride performed on Carnival Freedom’s upper deck in the first CarnivalLIVE show staged outdoors. The Carnival LIVE concert series offers guests the best live music at sea from popular acts spanning a variety of musical genres.
“Last year, I was able to perform as well and had such a great experience; I was so happy they asked me to come back—it’s a very special day,” said McBride.
Big ship cruise lines are bending over backwards to attract families with more than an outstanding travel value. When we traveled with our now-grown children, the fact that we could sail for far less than the price of a land vacation was reason enough to make cruising our vacation of choice. Now, that’s not enough. Sowing a deep seed into the Texas landscape, Carnival Cruise Line solidified its position as the state’s number one cruise operator.
“It’s really wonderful to be in this setting on a cruise ship: Everyone’s in vacation mode, they are enjoying themselves, ” added McBride. “And as a performer, it’s fun for us to get to share in that as well because everybody’s excited to be here.’
Interestingly, during the entire event, the term “family travel” was not mentioned once. Instead, Carnival gave us a deep look inside the motivation behind their family focus that extends far beyond the lucrative family travel market.
Carnival’s partnership with Operation Homefront included an exclusive outdoor Carnival LIVE performance by McBride, along with dinner and a full evening of entertainment, all compliments of Carnival.
Stay tuned as we continue to Celebrate Freedom, adjusting our focus to the ship itself, the Port of Galveston where round-trip sailings will be happening year-round, starting today.
Chris is not a paid spokesperson or brand ambassador. Not compensated by cruise lines, what you read here are his observations, thoughts and interpretations, biased only by a positive outlook and appreciation for what cruise vacations have to offer travelers.