WHY IT RATES: Carnival’s extraordinary donations help ensure that the families of sick kids never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food while their child is in the hospital’s care. — Laurie Baratti, TravelPulse Associate Writer
Reaffirming its longstanding commitment to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Carnival Cruise Line has announced that it will raise its pledge to a total of $33 million by 2024.
The announcement was made yesterday at the St. Jude campus in Memphis, Tennessee, during Carnival’s seventh annual Day of Play where patient families enjoyed a variety of fun activities hosted by the line’s team members. The Day of Play was held in conjunction with the cruise line’s hotel directors conference, where the leaders responsible for the guest operations on Carnival’s 26 ships traveled to St. Jude for business meetings and a tour of the hospital.
At the event, Carnival announced an additional $15 million pledge to the hospital over the next five years after achieving its initial fundraising goal early. Since the partnership began in 2010, Carnival has raised more than $18 million in support of the lifesaving mission of St. Jude: Finding cures. Saving children.
“Because of the generosity of our guests and team members, we are able to increase our fundraising goal and look forward to continuing to support our friends at St. Jude,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line and member of the St. Jude Professional Advisory Board. “For the second year in a row, we have brought a group of shipboard leaders to St. Jude to see the work being done first-hand and to help incorporate the mission in meaningful ways with our guests, team members and travel agent partners. I know our hotel directors will leave Memphis inspired to do more for the kids and the health professionals who take care of them as we look for new ways to integrate our support into our shipboard and shoreside activities.”
“The Carnival Day of Play is always an unforgettable and fun event for our patient families, but today was especially meaningful as we celebrated an incredible milestone and Carnival’s expanded commitment to support our lifesaving mission to find cures for childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases,” said Richard Shadyac Jr., President and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “We’re so grateful for the wonderful partnership we’ve built with Carnival, their remarkable team members and their generous guests over the years, and we look forward to continuing our collective efforts to ensure that families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.”
As the Official Celebration Partner of St. Jude, Carnival hosts events at the hospital and raises money through a variety of fundraising initiatives, both onboard and ashore, including the Groove for St. Jude dance party and Build-A-Bear Workshop at Sea where kids can create their own St. Jude-themed keepsake bear. Carnival Horizon also boasts a stunning three-deck-high “Dreamscape” LED atrium sculpture that displays artwork from St. Jude patients while guests on Carnival Vista can satisfy their sweet tooth with a Brownie Buoy, a delicious ice cream concoction designed by the children of St. Jude with all profits donated to the hospital.
Duffy also announced that Carnival’s new ship arriving next year, Mardi Gras, will feature sculpture and other artwork designed by St. Jude patients. Mardi Gras is a highly anticipated ship that will boast a number of groundbreaking features and experiences, including BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea, the first seagoing restaurant from famed New Orleans chef Emeril Lagasse, and six themed zones offering a variety of food, beverage and entertainment choices. Mardi Gras will also be the first ship in North America powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), part of Carnival Corporation’s “green cruising” platform.
Currently under construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, Mardi Gras is slated to enter service in Europe on Aug. 31, 2020, before repositioning to New York for a series of voyages then shift to Port Canaveral for year-round seven-day Caribbean cruises beginning in October 2020.
For more information, visit Carnival.com.
SOURCE: Carnival Cruise Line press release.