Benfold Hosts Family Day Cruise
Have you ever been underway on your Sailor’s ship? Prior to deployments Navy ships often plan family day cruises, allowing crew members to bring their families aboard to give them a taste of life at sea.
USS Benfold (DDG 65) recently held a family day cruise, inviting over 250 guests on board who were promised it would be a “yes day” for requests made during exploration of the ship. Many rushed to sit in the Captain’s chair, explore the bridge, and hold rifles (unloaded, of course).
While transiting the San Diego Bay, Benfold had a special commentator from Hornblower Cruises & Events aboard to highlight destinations as they approached.
Benfold Sailors proudly showed off their departments and associated equipment/technology, and explained what their jobs on the ship entail—giving family members a sense of what their Sailor does while at their “home away from home.” The ship’s commanding officer, CDR David Oden also held a frocking ceremony to let family members share in the recognition of their Sailor’s accomplishments.
Family day cruises also serve as an opportunity for Sailors’ spouses to forge relationships with other spouses, as well as the ship’s leadership and ombudsman before their Sailor leaves on deployment.
To showcase the ship’s capabilities, the cruise included ship tours, high speed maneuvers, various gunnery shoots, a VBSS and damage control demonstration, visits to the ship’s store, and a steel beach picnic on the flight deck. After a full day on the high seas, many family members decided being on a ship was both thrilling and exhausting!