Watch video from the “Spirit of Carnival” award's announcement here.

MIAMI, Nov. 20, 2023 – During the 72nd annual MISS UNIVERSE competition, Miss Universe Philippines Michelle Dee received the “Spirit of Carnival” award for embodying the company’s values of fun, friendship, diversity and inclusion. In a videotaped message, Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy announced Dee as this year’s award recipient during the live finale, held in El Salvador and broadcast internationally on Saturday, Nov. 18.

“Inspired by her two siblings with autism, Michelle has made autism acceptance, inclusivity and education her mission. At Carnival, we want everyone on our ships to feel welcome, and we were the first and only cruise line to be certified as sensory inclusive,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “I know our 13,000 Filipino crew members are going to be very excited by her selection.”

Dee grew up with two siblings who have autism and says her siblings inspired her to work closely with autism advocacy groups nationwide. She has been Autism Society Philippines’ Goodwill Ambassador since 2019. Dee graduated with a degree in psychology from De La Salle University in Manila and completed a certificate course in entrepreneurship through Harvard University online, all while opening a series of businesses that focus on health and technology. She also serves as the president of the Inner Peace Foundation, a group started by her grandmother that promotes spiritual enlightenment.

Dee joins an inspiring group of women as the fourth Miss Universe delegate to receive the “Spirit of Carnival” award, including: Miss Universe Ukraine Viktoriia Apanasenko, Miss Universe Bahamas Chantel O’Brian and Miss Universe Dominican Republic Kimberly Jimenez, who is also godmother to Carnival’s first Excel-class ship, Mardi Gras.

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