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Carnival Cruise Lines was a big winner at the annual Cruise International Awards, taking top honors in three categories – Best Cruise Line, Best Innovation (Thrill Theater) and Best Cruise Blogger (Senior Cruise Director John Heald).

Sponsored by Cruise International Magazine in the UK, the awards were based on the results of thousands of respondents who were asked to cast their votes in a wide range of cruise-related categories.

Carnival was up for Best Cruise Line award against several of the industry’s most successful and recognizable cruise operators.  Carnival has recently intensified its efforts in promoting “Fun Ship” cruising in the UK, developing a comprehensive marketing and advertising strategy and deploying two ships in Europe next year.  Carnival Legend will operate a series of 12-day voyages from Dover and other European ports beginning next spring, while the soon-to-be renovated Carnival Sunshine (currently sailing as the Carnival Destiny) will offer 12-day Mediterranean voyages from Barcelona and Venice beginning in spring 2013.

Carnival received the Best Innovation award for its Thrill Theater, which debuted on Carnival Breeze earlier this year and offers an immersive, interactive experience that makes guests feel as if they are part of the movie.

Heald was recognized with the Best Cruise Blogger award for his popular blog (www.johnhealdsblog.com) which has garnered nearly 15 million page views since its launch in 2007 and offers a fun, lighthearted look at the cruise industry and day-to-day life on board as a senior cruise director.