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Carnival cruise gift cards come ashore

Carnival Cruise Line's ship Carnival Pride sails past the guns at Fort McHenry.
Carnival Cruise Line's ship Carnival Pride sails past the guns at Fort McHenry. (Jed Kirschbaum / Baltimore Sun)

Cruise fans, this may be your best gift yet. For the first time, Carnival Cruise Lines is making its gift cards available on land at over 9,000 retail outlets nationwide.

Carnival's partnership with Blackhawk Network marks the first time that a cruise line-specific gift card will be available in retail establishments on shore.

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Carnival's prepaid cards can be used as payment toward a "Fun Ship" vacation as well as for a variety of shipboard purchases. The gift cards can be loaded with funds from $25 to $1,000 and will be offered for sale at stores that include Giant Eagle, Kroger and Safeway.

Carnival is the world's largest cruise line with 24 ships in operation, including the Baltimore-based Carnival Pride. The Pride, a 2,124-passenger vessel, is currently under renovation and will return to the port of Baltimore by March 2015. In the past, the ship has contributed approximately $50 million a year to the Maryland economy.

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