Ahoy, ahoy, it’s time for some festive joy! Christmas came early this morning for families of Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation (SCHF) as they enjoyed a special Grinchmas Family Fun Day onboard Carnival Splendor in Sydney Harbor.

To celebrate the second year of Carnival’s Grinchmas in July sailings and longstanding partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises and SCHF, fifty patients and their families were invited to join The Grinch and his sidekick Max for a day of festive fun at sea. Dressed in their festive best, children and their families were treated to some of the highlights of a Grinchmas cruise, including the official giant Christmas tree lighting ceremony complete with ‘real’ snow falling, sing-a-long caroling, themed ‘Grinchmas family games’ and crafts, a How The Grinch Stole Christmas story time reading, appearances and family photo opportunities with Dr. Seuss characters including The Grinch, Max, Thing 1 & Thing 2 and The Cat in the Hat and delicious themed spread of dining and beverages.

The Grinch’s heart grew three sizes at the event when he met 13-year-old Matilda Jenkins. Matilda, the youngest of four siblings, has been a patient of Sydney Children’s Hospital Network since she transferred to The Children’s Hospital at Westmead at 24 hours old. Matilda was announced as the official Goddaughter of Carnival Splendor in 2018 when she was only 6 years old.

Carnival Splendor Cruise Director Simon London presented a check to Matilda and SCHF Chief Marketing Officer Kate Ferguson for $62,758, the total amount raised for Sydney Children’s Hospital’s Foundation onboard Carnival Splendor over the last year.

“For some kids, childhood is far from what it should be. Instead of playdates there are appointments. Instead of sleepovers there are stays. Instead of firsts there can be lasts,” said Kate Ferguson, Chief Marketing Officer of SCHF. “No child should have to go through this, but those who do deserve our all.

Thanks to the generosity of Carnival Cruise Line, we can continue making positive difference to the lives of the 159,000 children who come through the doors of our state’s children’s hospitals each year at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick and The Children’s Hospital at Westmead,” said Ferguson.

“As a partner of Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation for many years, the Carnival team loves being able to give back to patients and their families. Bringing them onboard for events like today’s Grinchmas Family Fun Day is always such a special experience,” said Carnival Cruise Line AU VP Kara Glamore. “Holiday memories are the best kind and Christmas is a whole different experience in the winter, so it’s amazing to be able to help create these fun and festive moments, especially for these deserving families.”

Carnival Cruise Line has been a proud supporter of Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation since 2016, hosting its recurring Conga for Kids initiative onboard and raising a collective total of over $375,000 to date. The funds raised help SCHF provide world-class healthcare to 159,000 kids each year across Sydney Children’s Hospital Network. Carnival’s recent fundraising efforts have helped to fund a Child Life Therapist for the cardiac ward, supporting patients going through heart surgery and related treatments. Contributions have also led to the funding of projects for the surgical ward, music therapy programming and new hospital resources.

Now in their second year, Carnival’s Grinchmas in July sailings see Carnival Splendor transformed into a magical winter wonderland for four sailings between June and July, bringing the best of ‘Christmas in July’ traditions to sea. This year’s new additions include the cruise ship debut of the Grinch's loyal sidekick Max as a special guest on board for the first time ever, a glittering Christmas tree, a festive theatre show, an exclusive new range of merch, themed activities and new festive movies. Guests can also indulge in specialty themed food and beverage delights while enjoying new entertainment options including a Grinchmas Deck Party, Grinchmas Scavenger Hunt, Grinchmas Family Games and the return of the much-loved ugly Christmas sweater night and competition.

Visit www.schf.org.au to make a donation or for more information on how you can support SCHF.

For more information on Carnival Cruise Line and bookings call 13 31 94, see your travel agent or visit https://www.carnival.com.au/