AT&T, Samsung send customers on virtual Carnival cruise

(Image courtesy AT&T.)
(Image courtesy AT&T.)

Press release: AT&T, Samsung and Carnival Corporation Launch Virtual Reality Cruise Vacation Experience

National Initiative Debuts Feb. 19 in 133 AT&T Stores in 37 States, Highlighted by Experiential Event Feb. 27 at the AT&T Flagship Store on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile

For most, tropical breezes and beaches are out of reach during the peak of winter – but AT&T, Samsung Electronics America, Inc. and Carnival Corporation & plc are making it easier to access sun and fun on the high seas. Starting on Friday, customers can walk in select AT&T stores and experience a fully immersive virtual reality cruise experience.

Kicking off in in 133 AT&T stores across 37 states, customers can trial a unique experience on the Samsung Gear VR, powered by Oculus.  Store visitors can walk up to the Gear VR demo, put on the headset and be surrounded by the sights and sounds of a warm and sunny cruise vacation. The virtual reality content is first-of-its-kind and exclusively developed by Carnival Corporation and its 10 global cruise line brands.

Samsung Gear VR – designed to accelerate virtual reality into the mainstream – provides an untethered, fully-immersive experience with 360-degree content for an extremely high quality mobile VR experience. Built to work with Samsung’s Galaxy S6, S6 edge, S6 edge+ and Note5, the Gear VR headset lets people enjoy an ever-growing library of premium and entertaining games, apps, photos and videos.

Consumers will also be able to enter a sweepstakes to win one of 10 seven-day cruises on Carnival Corporation’s Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Carnival Cruise Line brands by checking the virtual reality experience and sign up via an in-store tablet or by visiting The sweepstakes is available Feb. 19 to Mar. 11.

“Our customers know they can come to an AT&T store to experience the future of a connected life.  The Samsung Gear VR is awesome, especially with this great content from Carnival.  We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to show it off,” said Brian Shay, president, Retail Sales and Distribution, AT&T.

“Samsung Gear VR delivers an innovative way for people to transport themselves to far-away locations from around the world,” said Tim Baxter, president of Samsung Electronics America. “Now, people can immerse themselves into a one-of-a-kind cruise line adventure, powered by virtual reality. We are excited to work with the premier brand in leisure travel to bring the complete cruise line experience to AT&T’s stores across the U.S.”

“Globally, the growing popularity of cruising vacations is far outpacing land-based vacations, by a 23 percent margin,” said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest leisure travel company. “But there are still many people who have not had a chance to enjoy the one-of-a-kind experience we provide with one of our 10 cruise line brands. With most of the U.S. dealing with winter weather, the timing for this launch is designed to give people a fully immersive look at why cruising is a great vacation – and helps remind them to think about going on a cruise when planning their next vacation.”

AT&T In-Store Experience

The in-store virtual reality display uses the Samsung Gear VR headset. The headset has a wide field of view and precise head tracking for a great VR experience. The VR content, developed by Carnival Corporation, highlights decks, staterooms, entertainment venues and other exciting features. It showcases ships from the company’s Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Carnival Cruise Line brands and beach and excursion offerings in Barcelona, Mexico and other popular destinations. The experience and Carnival promotion will be in 133 AT&T stores – a full list of participating AT&T locations is available here: About 1100 more will have the content available on a Gear VR headset for demo by customers.

Chicago Activation with Glass Bodied Truck & Street Team to Spread the Word

On February 27 at AT&T’s flagship store, located at 600 N. Michigan Avenue in Chicago’s renowned Magnificent Mile. Customers will be treated to a variety of exciting offerings to transport them to warm cruise vacation in the middle of their day, including a mocktail bar, caricature station, hand massages, a photo booth and even a live DJ.

Additionally, visitors to the store will be able to step into a state-of-the-art “VR Lounge,” a simulation of the deck of a luxury cruise ship at sea featuring lounge chairs and palm trees that complete the virtual reality adventure. Sensory inflection points will add to the experience, including heat and ocean breezes specially timed to match the unique VR program.

Chicagoans may also see a Carnival Corporation glass-bodied truck driving around the local streets from Feb. 21 to Feb. 27, featuring models and brand ambassadors on a “traveling cruise ship deck” complete with lounge chairs, bartenders and palm trees amid the winter cold. A street team of brand ambassadors sporting captain’s jackets and cruise attire will also hit the streets of Chicago to engage people about finding warmer weather on a cruise vacation. The campaign is part of the initiative to introduce to potential cruisers that “your perfect vacation awaits.”

Details on Sweepstakes for 10 Free Cruise Vacations & In-Store Discounts

As part of the ongoing promotion, consumers can enter a Carnival complementary sweepstakes via an in-store tablet or on online at Participants will be eligible to win one of 10 seven-day cruises onboard Carnival Corporation’s Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Carnival Cruise Line brands. Contest rules are available at

If a customer purchases Samsung’s GS6, GS6 Edge, GS6 Edge+ and Note 5 smartphones at one of the key 133 AT&T locations during the promotion, they will be eligible for onboard credit for a future cruise. It’s valid within the next year on select Carnival Corporation brands – Carnival Cruise Line: $25 toward a 3-5 day cruise or $100 toward a 6+ day cruise; Holland America Line: $100; Princess Cruises: $100.

Offer ends March 24, 2016.