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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Cruise Fans Nationwide Gear Up For Night Of Carnival-Sponsored 'House Parties'

Know any die-hard Carnival fans? Ask them what they're doing on Sunday, March 29, and see if they mention anything about going to a Carnival-themed "house party."

More than 1,000 of the parties are in the works nationwide -- all scheduled to happen around the same time on the same day -- and more than 15,000 people are expected to participate.

"We know that the core Carnival guest is very spirited, very social, (and) very outgoing," says Carnival marketing chief Jim Berra, who has spearheaded planning for the massive, Carnival-sponsored event. "We thought that (a nationwide party) was a natural fit."

Berra says more than 8,000 Carnival fans applied to host one of the parties at their homes. In the last few weeks, each of the people selected to be hosts -- dubbed Fun Directors by the line -- has been mailed a Carnival Fun Kit of Carnival-themed party supplies that includes Carnival napkins, cups, balloons and streamers; a Fun Director t-shirt and button; an official "Get the Party Started" spinner game; crazy straws and temporary tattoos; a karaoke DVD; and prize medals.

For Carnival fans, the night of 1,000 parties will, no doubt, be a chance to catch up and kick back with friends and family. For fun-focused Carnival, the parties are a new way to spread the "Fun Ship" gospel.

Carnival fans "are the best ambassadors to explain what makes the Carnival experience so special and unique," says Berra.

Berra notes the evenings aren't going to be scripted. Each host can take the party supplies and do what they want with them. "We're letting our hosts have a lot of latitude," he says. Like the line's ships, "it's not a one-size-fits-all approach to fun."

Of course, adds Berra, "obviously, we're doing this to grow awareness and raise perception about the Carnival brand."


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