After a $70 million makeover, Carnival Freedom has become the third Carnival ship placed in year-round deployment from Galveston, Texas.

The 3,000-passenger ship kicked off service with a special six-day itinerary to Mexico. After that, the Freedom will do four- and seven-day cruises to Mexico, the Caribbean and the Bahamas.

Freedom joins the Carnival Triumph and Magic in Galveston. Together they are expected to carry more than 600,000 passengers a year. 

New Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy was on hand for the launch to present a $100,000 check to Operation Homefront, a nonprofit that supports military families. Country singer Martina McBride was the featured attraction in a Carnival Live show prior to departure.

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