Carnival brands support Caribbean schools, training, emergency response

Meetings with Caribbean leaders determined support was needed for children, education and future emergency preparedness, according to Carnival Corp.'s Marie McKenzie Meetings with Caribbean leaders determined support was needed for children, education and future emergency preparedness, according to Carnival Corp.'s Marie McKenzie

Carnival Corp. and several of its brands—AIDA Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises—have been working on a number of community projects to support Caribbean destinations. These include rebuilding schools, youth training, emergency response, beach cleanups, literacy and more.

The efforts follow last year's hurricanes and are taking place in Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the US Virgin Islands.

$10m in support

The projects are in partnership with local and international nongovernmental organizations, including UNICEF and United Way of Miami-Dade and of Puerto Rico. This is part of a significant donation from Carnival Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Carnival Corp.; the Miami Heat Charitable Fund and the Micky and Madeleine Arison Foundation to provide up to $10m in funding and in-kind support.

Sustained ship calls

In addition to the community projects, Carnival Corp. brands continue sailing to these islands as part of the company's leading Caribbean presence, delivering vacations to millions of passengers while also providing sustained tourism activity that helps the region's economic growth and prosperity.

In total, the company has eight brands sailing regularly to these destinations, including 46 ships scheduled to make more than 1,000 calls to 12 ports, totaling an estimated 2.9m passenger movements expected during 2018. And, overall in the Caribbean, Carnival Corp. brands are expected to make more than 5,000 port calls across the region this year, visiting 58 ports in 28 countries and territories.

'We met with local leaders to determine specific ways we could be most helpful, and we saw common themes emerge—support was needed for children, education and future emergency preparedness,' said Marie McKenzie, VP global ports and Caribbean government relations. 'We collaborated with several of our leading cruise brands that have a significant presence in the Caribbean to develop programs that would address common areas of need.'

Dominica school and orphanage

AIDA Cruises is working with UNICEF and the United Nations Office for Project Services to rebuild Dominica's main primary school, Mahaut Primary School. Additionally, Carnival Cruise Line, in partnership with UNICEF, is helping fund the Chances orphanage, which provides a nurturing home environment for kids in need of care and protection.

Puerto Rico school and playgrounds

Carnival Cruise Line is working with United Way of Puerto Rico to rebuild a school that was damaged during last year's storm season, and helping to restore playgrounds across San Juan, a homeport for Carnival Fascination.

St. Maarten youth training, emergency preparedness

Holland America Line is working with the K1 Britannia Foundation to support its Maritime Training and Boat Building Program for Youth, created in partnership with St. Maarten Sailing School, Kidz at Sea and the International Boatbuilding Training College. This will provide young people maritime training and certification, and courses in boat building, leading to the opportunity for jobs in the maritime industry.

Carnival Cruise Line is the founding partner and sponsor in the creation of K1 Britannia Foundation's Disaster Relief Program to help ensure the island is fully equipped and prepared for future storms, including adequate emergency supplies, education programs and training for volunteer-response teams, and partnerships with strategic organizations to provide logistical assistance such as transportation, expertise in specialized fields, security and distribution.

Additionally, Holland America Line has partnered with K1's Disaster Relief & Crisis Team, K1 Direct. As a key sponsor, HAL has adopted the search and rescue and shelter management aspects of K1 DIRECT, enabling them to train volunteers and secure the necessary equipment for CPR, AED usage, first aid, basic fire safety, and more. Volunteers will also undergo training in search and rescue, psychological first aid and various humanitarian courses regionally and internationally.

Princess Cruises and Fathom Travel guests participated in a cleanup of Guana Bay, a beach important to three species of local sea turtles. More than 1.5 tons of trash were collected. Travelers also donated $1,500 to Art Heals, a local program run by the National Institute of Arts to provide free art classes to the community.

Turks and Caicos recreation center/shelter

Carnival Cruise Line is working with United Way of Miami-Dade and the government to build a recreation center for children on the capital island of Grand Turk, the home of its cruise facilty. The recreation center will also double as an emergency shelter designed to withstand a Category 5 hurricane.

US Virgin Islands museum, musical instruments

Princess Cruises Community Foundation is working with the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands to help rebuild the Virgin Islands Children's Museum in St. Thomas and is sponsoring a key water table exhibit. Princess Cruises is also sponsoring little lending libraries around the island to support literacy. Over summer the partnership started a program to enable low-income families to visit the museum for a minimal fee.

Carnival Cruise Line is working to bring back a playground and has partnered with the Ministry of Education to support its entertainment programs, which lost millions of dollars in musical equipment. The brand's entertainment team is working with a local high school through the Ministry of Education to donate musical equipment and develop an ongoing program to inform kids about entertainment opportunities aboard Carnival ships.

Also in St. Thomas, Princess Cruises and Fathom Travel distributed nearly $14,000 worth of baby items to more than 200 young families as part of the inaugural Travel Deep sailing in January. Participants also took a trip to a local Boys & Girls Club where they built game tables, repainted facilities and met local children.

In addition to all these efforts, Carnival Corp. is directing funding to general UNICEF social programs in Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, and the British Virgin Islands that support education in the region.

Posted 09 October 2018

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Anne Kalosh

US editor of Seatrade Cruise Review and Seatrade Cruise News

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