Norwegian Cruise Line has honored its 100 “Giving Joy” teacher contest winners with a special concert and exclusive cruise aboard Norwegian Prima.
The award ceremony and concert were held on Thursday, October 27, 2022, and the ship is now underway for the five-night sailing, the cruise line’s first-ever departure from Galveston, Texas.
The awards ceremony, which highlighted the grand prize winners, was the culmination of the “Giving Joy” contest held in May and early June, having kicked off during the 2022 National Teacher Appreciation Week (May 2-6).
Teachers were nominated for their dedication to education and how they “give joy” and inspiration to their students and school communities. The contest’s 100 finalists, who came from 27 different U.S. states, Puerto Rico, and two Canadian provinces, were announced in June.
Those finalists, plus their guests, are being treated to an exclusive getaway aboard Norwegian Prima. The free cruise also includes airfare, a one-night pre-cruise hotel stay, transfers to and from the ship, and other onboard amenities.
One of the top amenities has been an exclusive concert from award-winning artist Kelly Clarkson, godmother to another Norwegian Cruise Line ship, Norwegian Encore, and Texas native.
“It was such an honor to celebrate the 100 deserving winners of Norwegian’s Giving Joy program at Norwegian Prima’s inaugural sailing, which embarked from my home state of Texas!” said Clarkson.
“Teachers are our true everyday unsung heroes, and they play an integral role in our society, not only shaping the future of their students, but the future of their communities as well. I couldn’t miss the opportunity to participate in this program and give a special performance before they set sail on the trip of a lifetime!”
Grand Prize Winners Announced
The highlight of the onboard awards ceremony was the announcement of the contest’s grand prize winners, who, in addition to the free cruise, win substantial prize money for their schools.
The grand prize winners were announced by Norwegian Cruise Line President and CEO Harry Sommer.
“Norwegian’s Giving Joy campaign is very special to us as we see an undeniable connection between travel and education,” Sommer said.
“Both broaden our perspectives, make us more understanding and aware of other points of view, and brings people together. Teachers bring the world to their students and in a smaller way, we bring the world to our guests.”
The three grand prize winners are: Science teacher Patricia Hosmer from Bayonne High School in Bayonne, New Jersey, who has taught for 35 years; Theresa Schrager from Falcon Cove Middle School in Weston, Florida, who teaches film and creative writing to help students discover their creativity; and English teacher Anthony Stirpe from New Rochelle High School in New Rochelle, New York, who teaches in non-traditional ways to help students learn their own methods of expression.
Hosmer, Schrager, and Stirpe received $25,000, $15,000, and $10,000 donations respectively for their schools. In addition, they were awarded with nearly $40,000 in surprise prize money from more than 30 generous partners of Norwegian Cruise Line.
Celebrating Aboard Norwegian Prima
For the next few days, all 100 finalists, including the grand prize winners, and their guests will celebrate aboard Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest vessel on the exclusive 5-night sailing, visiting Merida, Mexico. This is also the first time the NCL cruise ship has sailed from the Port of Galveston.
After this celebratory sailing, Norwegian Prima will embark on an 11-night one-way sailing from Galveston to Miami, where she will stay for several sailings as part of her inaugural tour.
From mid-December to mid-March, the new ship will be homeported from Port Canaveral, offering primarily 7-night itineraries visiting Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios, and Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian Cruise Line’s private island in The Bahamas.
After the winter season in the Caribbean, the ship will move to spend several weeks sailing Bermuda itineraries from New York, before heading to Europe for the 2023 summer season.
Norwegian Prima will return to Galveston in December 2023, to remain homeported there for the winter.