FCCA Brightens the Holidays for Under Privileged Children
Pembroke Pines, FL. (January, 2008) Over 7,000 children in 28 destinations were treated to a fun filled holiday celebration thanks to the Member Lines of the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association. The Holiday Gift Project, made possible through the FCCA Foundation, is in its 12th year of gift giving to children of all ages who normally would not receive gifts during the holiday season.
Each year the FCCA along with FCCA Member Lines takes pride in participating in this very special event. The children waited with anticipation for the crew to arrive with boxes filled with toys and games. Enthusiastic crew members, some dressed as Santa and his elves, mingled with the children joining in their excitement. Sometimes it was hard to tell who was having more fun! All this was made possible due to the strong partnership between the FCCA Member Lines and destination partners who worked together to achieve one goal...to put smiles on the faces of the children.
A heartfelt sentiment from Norwegian Cruise Line’s Marco Chicaiza, Crew Activities Coordinator, puts it in perspective: “Hello my name is Marco.I had the privilege to be part of the team that went on the Christmas gift giving in Honduras and Belize. I was an orphan, and it brought tears to my eyes to know that I was giving back to life what it give me when I was a boy. I know that we touched so many young hearts while we where signing, playing games, and sharing our love to them. Some day a ‘Marco’ will turn around and share with greater joy the love he got this Christmas Season. Thank you for letting me be part of this great experience, it was a blessing.”
Monique Lockhart of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Freeport, extended her gratitude: “On behalf of the Ministry of Tourism and the under privileged children from the schools, we wish to thank the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association for the generosity shown by the gifts given. The event was a success with the highlight being the arrival of Santa Claus, the children were very excited and happy to interact with Santa. The most memorable moment for the staff of the Sensation Cruise Ship, the children, teachers, invited guest and staff of the Ministry of Tourism was the Pantomime dance that was performed by the students of ‘Beacon School’ for special children. Once again, thanks to you and the staff of Sensation Cruise Ship for a job well done and we look forward to your continued support in the future.”
In its 15th year, the FCCA Foundation continues to improve the lives of citizens in the Caribbean, Mexico and Latin America through projects such as this. The Foundation has impacted lives of thousands providing $3 million in funding to a variety of organizations and causes.
The following Member Lines delivered Christmas cheer to over 7,000 children in these destinations:
Carnival Cruise Lines
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Montego Bay, Jamaica
Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Costa Cruise Lines
Disney Cruise Line
St. Thomas, USVI
Holland America Line
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Norwegian Cruise Line
Royal Caribbean International
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
The FCCA is a not-for-profit trade organization composed of 18 Member Lines operating nearly 200 vessels in Floridian, Caribbean and Latin American waters. Created in 1972, the FCCA’s mandate is to provide a forum for discussion on tourism development, ports, safety, security, and other cruise industry issue and to develop bilateral relationships with destinations’ private and public sectors. By fostering an understanding of the cruise industry and its operating practices, the FCCA works with governments, ports and private sector representatives to maximize cruise passenger, crew and cruise line spending, as well as enhance the destination experience and increase the amount of cruise passengers returning as stay-over visitors. For more information, visit F-CCA.com, the FCCA on Facebook, and @FCCAupdates on Twitter.