Hayden Panettiere and Bill Pullman star in "Tiger Cruise," a poignant movie about a young girl who, tired of the military life that takes her father away from her, boards his ship with the intention of persuading him to come home, until tragic events help her understand what her dad's commitment really means.
"Tiger Cruise" focuses on teenager Maddie Dolan who, tired of being labeled a "Navy brat," decides for the first time in her dad's Naval career, to participate in Operation Tiger. Every year, sailors' families embark on a weeklong tour of naval operations aboard ship, designed to help them gain a better understanding of what their loved ones do in the military. Maddie has never before asked to join her father, Commander Gary Dolan, the executive officer of the USS Constellation, but this time she has a mission: to persuade her father to give up his military career and come home where he belongs.
While aboard the ship, Maddie befriends other Tigers on the cruise, including rebellious Anthony who is more interested in testing limits than visiting his brother Kenny, a jet mechanic; and enthusiastic Tina, who worships her pilot sister Grace. Maddie also meets retired U.S. Marine Chuck Horner who is disappointed that his son Danny, a mess hall cook, hasn't taken advantage of his uncle's influential military position at the Pentagon to get a promotion.
Maddie has no reason to believe her plan won't work, but on September 11, 2001, two days into Operation Tiger, the world tilts dramatically, and it is no longer just about Maddie. She sees firsthand her father's courage, honor and commitment to the sailors and the civilians on board and realizes exactly what kind of sacrifice he has made for her and her country.
As the Constellation is re-armed for deployment, with no communication to or from the ship allowed, the Tigers are ordered below deck. Maddie steps forward to help her father as he has asked - to keep the Tiger "family members" calm during the crisis, while he keeps them all safe until the Constellation can slip into port so they can disembark... whenever and wherever that may be.
"Tiger Cruise" is a fictional story inspired by actual events aboard the aircraft carrier USS Constellation when, in the aftermath of the events of September 11, the ship went into full combat alert with civilians on board -- for the first time in modern naval history.
Dr. Michael Cohen, PhD, worked as a consultant on the development of the movie and also served on Mayor Giuliani's crisis response team for the City of New York.
"Tiger Cruise" also stars Bianca Collins as Tina, Nathaniel Lee, Jr. as Anthony, Mercedes Colon as Grace, Mehcad Brooks as Kenny, Troy Evans as Chuck Horner, Ty O'Neal as Danny Horner, Jansen Panettiere as Joey, Lisa Dean Ryan as Diane Coleman, Gary Weeks as Lt. Tom Hillman, and Chris Ellis as Captain Anderson.
Production on "Tiger Cruise" took place aboard the USS John C. Stennis, a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier in San Diego. Additional filming took place on the USS Nimitz.