Shaq, Miami Heat legends, blimp welcome Carnival Horizon to PortMiami home

The Carnival AirShip welcomes Carnival Horizon to its new PortMiami home The Carnival AirShip welcomes Carnival Horizon to its new PortMiami home PHOTO: Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Horizon’s arrival at PortMiami, its new year-round home, was marked with a celebration on Thursday highlighted by a basketball-themed event featuring the company’s chief fun officer—NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal—along with Miami Heat legends Alonzo Mourning, Shane Battier and Glen Rice.

The festivities, which took place prior to Carnival Horizon’s inaugural two-day cruise, included the unveiling of a large 'Choose Fun' bumper sticker on the ship’s stern, as well as a flyover from the Carnival AirShip, a massive 128-foot-long red, white and blue blimp that has been traveling the Southeast to bring awareness of new ship deployments in several key markets as part of the line’s monthlong Homeport Advantage campaign.

Donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

During the event, Carnival presented a $25,000 donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, representing funds from an online promotion in which consumers who posted a photo of the AirShip in social media with the hashtag #ChooseFun triggered a donation to the hospital and entered them in a drawing for free cruises and other prizes.

'In my role as CFO, I get to tell everyone just how much fun you can have on a Carnival cruise and I was absolutely thrilled to be a part of the festivities for the new Carnival Horizon, which takes the concept of choosing fun to an entirely new level, with so much to see and do for guests of all ages,' O'Neal said.

Also on hand for the festivities were Carnival president Christine Duffy and Carnival Corp. & plc president and CEO Arnold Donald.

Plus, welcoming 'Vista's sista,' as Duffy has humorously called Carnival Horizon, was Carnival Vista, sporting its own 'Choose Fun' giant bumper sticker.

Posted 21 September 2018

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Anne Kalosh

Editor, Seatrade Cruise News & Senior Associate Editor Seatrade Cruise Review