Carnival Cruise Line and the Houston Veterans Administration honored more than 100 local veterans for Veterans Day on Monday, November 6, hosting a reception and luncheon onboard Carnival Breeze, as well as offering these national heroes a memorial coin in thanks for their service.

On November 6, 2023, Carnival Cruise Line collaborated with the Houston Veterans Administration to honor over 150 local veterans on the company’s 130,000-gross-ton Carnival Breeze. This special event was held to express gratitude to the veterans and their families for their dedication and service to the country for Veterans Day (officially observed each year on November 11). 

“Veterans and active armed forces members have sacrificed in service of their country, and so this is our way of showing them the gratitude they so deserve,” said Christine Duffy, Carnival Cruise Line President. “It is an honor to partner with the local VA and welcome these brave men and women aboard Carnival Breeze, just as it is an honor to carry more active and retired military than other cruise line.”

This Carnival Breeze event saw military veterans from Texas enjoy a heartfelt reception and luncheon. As a special gesture of gratitude, each veteran also received a commemorative coin, acknowledging their service. Carnival also donated a 15-passenger van to the VA to aid in transporting veterans not only to this shipboard event, but to help reach medical appointments and other VA services.

Carnival Cruise Line VA Van Donation in Houston (Photo Credit: Carnival Cruise Line)

A total of six commemorative veteran’s events are being held to honor veterans and military members during the first week of November 2023. Each event, taking place on Carnival ships in their respective homeports, will feature special onboard veteran tributes.

This tribute series kicked off on Sunday, November 5, aboard the 133,596-gross-ton Carnival Horizon in Miami, as well as on the recently refurbished 70,367-gross-ton Carnival Paradise in Tampa. 

The culminating tribute to the nation’s military personnel is set to take place on Saturday, November 11, aboard the 180,000-gross-ton Mardi Gras at Port Canaveral, the world’s busiest cruise port, coinciding with the official observance of Veterans Day. 

This series of commemorative events underscores Carnival’s dedication to honoring and appreciating veterans and their local communities.

Across its North American sailings, Carnival has expanded its highly regarded veterans gathering into a comprehensive Military Appreciation Day. In July 2023, the cruise company made the decision—and revealed plans—to create these day-long commemorations. 

During each Military Appreciation Day, the ships’ Seaside Theater screens display unique messages related to military service. Furthermore, the US flag is ceremoniously raised in the atrium (on voyages of at least four nights), while other veteran-related activities unfold throughout the day.

Veterans Tribute Event on Carnival Breeze (Photo Credit: Carnival Cruise Line)

Additionally, many ships in the Carnival fleet now proudly showcase the Heroes Tribute Bar & Lounge, a popular venue that also stands as a perpetual tribute to the sacrifices made by America’s Armed Services personnel and their families.

Carnival Cruise Line has also maintained a longstanding partnership with Operation Homefront, a non-profit organization that provides assistance and support to military families in the United States.

Since 2016, the cruise line has hosted a Military Appreciation Gathering (now Military Appreciation Day) on every Carnival cruise. Together, the fleet is poised to organize over 1,500 military gatherings in 2023, hosting many active and retired military service members, plus their families.

Heroes American Pale Ale (Photo Credit: Carnival Cruise Line)

During Carnival cruises, passengers also have the opportunity to contribute to Operation Homefront. Part of the earnings from group photos taken at military appreciation events — as well as sales of the new, exclusive “Heroes American Pale Ale” brewed onboard select vessels — will go to Operation Homefront, helping veterans and their families, which is always a worthy cause.

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