Carnival Cruise Line hosted a Dr. Seuss reading program on June 29, inviting more than 50 children from the Long Beach Boys & Girls Club aboard one of its ships in the Long Beach harbor.
Aboard the ship, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Kiké Hernández donned a red-striped Dr. Seuss hat to read “What Pet Should I Get” to the excited youth. Before launching into character, Hernández asked the kids a few questions: “Do you like the Dodgers?,” “Do you like to read?,” “How many of you speak Spanish?” He told them that he was born in Puerto Rico, that Spanish was his first language and that he loved reading as a kid. “Reading helped me learn English,” he said.
The festivities were sponsored by Carnival’s ’ “Seuss at Sea” program and its partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises. In addition to the festivities, Carnival Cruises presented a $10,000 check to the Long Beach Boy and Girls Club, which has 11 locations across Long Beach. “Carnival Cruises gave the kids from Long Beach a life changing experience,” Don Rodriguez, CEO of the Boys & Girls Club, said. “It was educational and fun. This was the first time the kids have been on a ship that big.”
Carnival prides itself as the most kid-friendly cruise ship. It carries more kids than any other cruise line each year, and the “Seuss at Sea” show is one of its most popular programs.
After Hernández read, the children were led into the adjacent dining room where an ice sculpture of Dr. Seuss stood. They chanted “Dr. Seuss! On the loose!” and enjoyed a “Green Eggs and Ham” breakfast with options such as “Fox in Socks Steak and Eggs,” “Horton’s Cereal-Crusted French Toast,” “Truffula Tree Pancakes” and “From There to Here, From Here to There, Funny Belgian Waffles are Everywhere.”
Halfway through the meal, a line of costumed characters, including The Cat in the Hat, Thing 1 and Thing 2, came out singing more Dr. Seuss songs. The children left the ship with their bellies full, gift bags of reading and writing materials from Carnival Cruises and reminders to keep reading at the top of their lists this summer.