Written by 1:49 pm Caribbean

Cruise lines played Santa to underprivileged Caribbean and Latin American children

By Steven Skelley and Thomas Routzong

Fourteen cruise lines teamed up with the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association to bring a merrier Christmas to underprivileged children in the Caribbean and Latin America. For the 15th year, The Holiday Gift Project treated underprivileged children with gifts delivered by crew members from the FCCA member cruise lines.

The participating FCCA member cruise lines were Aida Cruises, Azamara Cruises, Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruise Lines, Cunard Line, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises (USA) Inc., Norwegian Cruise Line, P & O Cruises, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean International and Seabourn Cruise Line.

Underprivileged children in the following communities received holiday gifts through The Holiday Gift Project program:
Acapulco, Mexico
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Cartagena, Colombia
Colon, Panama
Costa Maya, Mexico
Cozumel, Mexico
Eluthera, Bahamas
Ensenada, Mexico
Freeport, Bahamas
Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos Islands
Mazatlan, Mexico
Montego Bay, Jamaica
Nassau, Bahamas
Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Progreso, Mexico
Rotan, Honduras
Samana, Dominican Republic
San Juan, Puerto Rico
St. Kitts
St. Lucia
St. Maarten
St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands
St. Vincent
Tortola, British Virgin Islands

Underprivileged children from Caribbean and Latin American foster homes and other care institutions were invited onboard the participating cruise ships for a holiday party in their honor.

More than 7,000 children were expected to receive gifts through The Holiday Gift Project, but gifts are not all that was offered to help underpriviliged kids – in 2008, Captain Hempstead of Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas presented checks valued at $2,000 each to the Rainbow Children’s Home, Youth Empowerment Foundation Project, and the Eslyn Henley Richez Learning Centre in Tortla, B.V.I.

Steven Skelley and Thomas Routzong can be reached at of FloridaCruiseAndTravelersMagazine.com

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