Carnival Cruise Line Announces New Ship For Mobile
Carnival Cruise Lines’ 2,052-passenger Sensation is shown off the Bahamas.ANDY NEWMAN/CCL
Carnival Cruise Line announced updates to its fleet plan Thursday, including word that it will bring a newer ship, the Sensation, to Mobile
Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson shared the news on social media after asking Whos ready for some good news?
Indeed, the word from Carnival follows recent news that the Carnival Fantasy, the ship that previously operated out of Mobile, had been sold and apparently was on its way to a scrapyard. This didnt necessarily mean Mobile had lost its footing as a cruise port — Carnival had previously announced plans to replace the Fantasy with the Fascination in 2022 — but it did create some uncertainty.
While its still unclear when the COVID-19 epidemic will subside enough for the cruise industry to get back up to speed, Carnivals announcement does provide some assurance Mobile wont be left behind when that happens.
Its a big, big, big, deal, said David Clark, president and CEO of Visit Mobile. This is years of work to make it happen.
Clark said the effort to build a relationship with Carnival has been a team effort. Among those who deserve credit, he said, are Stimpson, the city council, Visit Mobile and Joe Snowden, Stimpsons executive director of maritime and transportation.
Clark said he sees Mobiles inclusion in the Carnival announcement as a signal that the city isnt an afterthought for the company.
Carnival Sensation Arrives In Mobile
Carnival Sensation in Mobile
MOBILE, Ala. The Carnival Sensation cruise ship is in Mobile this morning, and the crew will play a huge role in the efforts to resume cruises from U.S. ports.
The City of Mobile is assisting in vaccinating the ships crew against COVID-19.
As cruise lines work toward resuming operations out of U.S. ports, the city reached out to assist with vaccinating Carnival Sensations essential staff members.
Through the citys partnership with USA Health, officials have arranged for 110 crewmembers to receive their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination in Mobile.
Once cruises resume from American ports, Carnival Sensation is the ship that will have its homeport in Mobile. It replaces the Carnival Fantasy.
City officials say they want to do everything they can to help Carnival resume sailing quickly and safely.
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Mobile’s Cruise Ship Won’t Return Until At Least March 2022 The Delay Is Costing Mobile Taxpayers Money
MOBILE, Ala. — The dock at the Alabama Cruise Terminal remains boatless like it has been for more than 18 months.
Now Carnival is saying the earliest the Port City will hear that familiar wailing horn again is March 2022.
Carnival Sensation in Mobile
Its just so disappointing, said owner of CustomCruiseWear.com. You hold your breath every time they make an announcement.
CustomCruiseWear.com makes cruise shirts, banners and gifts. Grays company is based in Mobile and as the name implies, cruising is her livelihood. The slow restart of the industry is hurting her.
We really want all of the ships back in commission and get it back to where it was prior to the pandemic, she said.
This latest delay announced this week means Mobile will be without cruises for two years. It was in March 2020 when the industry grinded to a halt.
The worst-case scenario hasnt happened which is not returning to cruising at all, but we have a date and were going to shoot for that date, said Joe Snowden, City of Mobile Executive Director of Admin Services.
The City of Mobile really needs a cruise ship back.
Right now, taxpayers are on the hook for about $1.9 million in cruise terminal debt payments every year. The city says those payments are not an issue for now because they have a surplus of money.
Before COVID, the terminal generated nearly $6 million in revenue a year.
Snowden, who oversees maritime transportation for the city says they are hopeful for a March restart.
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More On Cruising From Mobile
Getting to the Mobile Cruise Terminal Transportation options from airports and the Mobile area to the cruise port. Everything you need to know to get to the port and start your vacation.
Mobile Cruise Parking Parking at the port? Weve got you covered with all your parking options, including costs and discounts.
Mobile Cruise Hotels Getting in late? Leaving early? Simply need a place to rest your head? Weve rounded up the options for places to stay near the port.
Carnival Cruises To Return To Mobile In October
MOBILE, Alabama — Carnival Cruise Line announced this week that cruises out of the Port of Mobile will resume in October, marking the first cruises from Mobile since the CDC first suspended passenger cruises in March 2020.
The Carnival Sensation will homeport at the Port of Mobile and guest operations will officially resume Oct. 21, Carnival announced. The Sensation will be the first cruise ship sailing out of Mobile since the No Sail Order was first implemented March 14, 2020.
Were excited to see a definitive date set for the resumption of cruises out of Mobile, said Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson. Weve been continuing to communicate with Carnival so that were ready to meet their needs as a home port city when cruising starts again in October. Carnival plays a critical role in the Citys economic strength, and we are pleased to continue this successful partnership with the return of the Carnival Sensation.
Cruising from Mobile is estimated to bring in 200,000 guests, creating more than 35,000 overnight stays in local hotels, and direct spending across multiple business segments.
Its Sensational to have Carnival Cruise Lines return to Mobile, and a new ship to boot, said David Clark, President & CEO of Visit Mobile. Carnivals partnership brings a tremendous boost to Mobiles hotels, restaurants, attractions, and the surrounding region. We are excited to have the Carnival Sensation as a part of our skyline and to welcome back more visitors into our city.
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Where Is The Mobile Cruise Port
The Port of Mobile is on the estuary of the Mobile Riverwhere it flows into Mobile Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Although it is mainly acommercial port for cargo and container ships, the specially built Mobilecruise terminal is currently used for Caribbean cruises by Carnival CruiseLines.
The port is located 59 miles west of Pensacola on theFlorida Panhandle and a similar distance east of Biloxi, Mississippi. It isconnected to both these major cities by the Interstate 10 highway. This makesMobile cruise terminal very convenient for cruisers who live in any of the GulfStates and nearby cities including New Orleans, LA Tallahassee Birmingham, AL and Atlanta, GA.
How Big Is Mobile Port Al
Mobile cruise terminal is part of the ports 4,000 acrecomplex which has 5 miles of waterfront and 41 berths. The port includes anupper and a lower harbor which is currently used by cruise ships. It is the onlydeep-water port in Alabama with a main channel depth of 45 feet which canaccommodate the largest post-Panamax ships.
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Customers Love Cruising With Us
A must do when visiting Mobile. Great views of the bay while watching the sunset. Live music, good catered food, great mixed drinks and friendly staff that makes sure youre being well taken care of. Thanks for offering this new outing in Mobile and well definitely be back!
If you like being on the water, this is a must do. Between the live music, great service, and beautifully lit skyline, it is a wonderfully unique experience. I am a sucker for photos and I loved the unique view it offered of the USS Alabama.
Cruised with friends celebrating their anniversary. In spite of the fog, we had an enjoyable evening. The crew was friendly and helpful. The food was delicious – buffet style. Cash bar was reasonably priced. The musicians were talented and engaging. Lots to see along the waterfront. I would go again.
We cruised during the week and it was very enjoyable, peaceful, and quite relaxing. Food was good. Drinks were awesome. Live music had us all dancing. The crew was super friendly!! Highly recommend. We’ll be back!!
Celebrate Any And All Occasions On Perdido Queen Cruises
Help us welcome the Perdido Queen Dinner Cruise to the Alabama Gulf Coast. This is the only dinner cruise in Mobile providing an entertaining and unique way to enjoy our beautiful, scenic waterway. Ideal for anniversaries and special occasions or just a night out with the family or that special person.
Take downtown Mobile dining to a new level! Enjoy dining on the water while cruising along the Mobile waterfront. Dinner is catered by Dauphins and served at your private table and includes two entrees with plenty of sides and salad to select from. During your cruise, the vessel is heated or cooled for your comfort. Perdido Queen dinner cruises feature live entertainment, providing space for dancing and dining.
Cruises operate rain or shine. Reservations are required and suggested to be made early to guarantee seating for the date you wish to attend. Avoid the lines and forget about a wait! Parking is available on the south side of the convention center. Covered parking is available under the convention center, after-hour parking requires cash. Train: In case of a train stopped on the tracks, please park on the south side free parking and use the stairway crossover by the convention center to avoid the railroad tracks.
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Carnival Leaves Mobile Again And Taxpayers Are Stuck With The Bills
The Carnival Fantasy cruise ship sits docked at the Alabama Cruise Terminal on Monday, March 30 2020, in downtown Mobile, Ala. .
Its been six weeks since passengers from Mobile last ordered pitchers at the Carnival Fantasys RedFrog Rum Bar. This was supposed to be the heyday for Mobiles cruising business. Last fall, the city signed its longest deal with Carnival since the cruise line first returned to Alabama waters in 2016.
The port is well positioned to draw customers from around the Southeast but, now, it’s unclear how long it will be before tourists flock to the city for their chance to eat one of Guy Fieri’s cheeseburgers at sea.
Mobile taxpayers could be on the hook for more than $3.4 million in annual expenses if its downtown terminal remains empty while Carnival Cruise Line works itself out of a coronavirus-era funk.
According to city figures provided to AL.com, Mobiles annual debt payments on the cruise terminal are around $1.9 million. The city had been paying off the debt by utilizing revenues from wharfage and parking fees by having the 2,056-passenger Carnival Fantasy docked in downtown Mobile. The cruise ship, which last sailed out of Mobile in mid-March, left Alabama last month and is now part of a fleet of vessels returning crew members to their home countries.
The ship is currently docked in Miami and is scheduled to sail to Panama. There is no timetable for its return to Mobile.
Mobiles pitch: Drive to us
Carnival Cruise Line To Resume Sailings From Mobile On October 21
For the first time since the coronavirus pandemic shut down the cruise industry in March, a cruise ship will sail out of Mobile with passengers on board.
But there is a catch for those cruises who are unvaccinated: You will pay $150 to be tested before and after the cruises. Also, on board youth programs will only be available to vaccinated children and youth ages 12 and older.
The Carnival Sensation, one of the Miami-based companys four upgraded Fantasy-class ships, will resume operations on October 21 from the Alabama Cruise Terminal in downtown Mobile. The cruise ships initial voyage will mark the first time one of the companys vessels has left Mobile with passengers on board since in early March 2020, during the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
It will also mark the first time the Carnival Sensation was in Mobile since mid-May, when the cruise ship arrived to vaccinate the crew members who were on board.
We are very excited about our restart and greatly appreciate the support of our guests, travel agents and port and destination partners, said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line in a news release that announced the companys plans on Monday.
Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson, in a statement, said the city and Carnival Cruise Line have been in communication so that were ready to meet their needs as a home port city when cruising starts in October.
Were excited to see a definitive date set for the resumption of cruises out of Mobile, Stimpson said.
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Mobile Cruise Terminal Past Present And Future
The first cruises sailed out of Mobile Port, AL in 2001.These cruises were with Carnival Cruise Lines who still operate out of thiscommercial deep-water port. These cruises from Mobile proved popular withtravelers from the southern states. In fact, they became the fastest selloutsin Carnivals cruise history.
The initial cruises proved to be a boost for the whole city of Mobile, bringing cruisers who dropped their dollars in hotels, cruise parking lots, restaurants and other local attractions before and after setting sail.
With this in mind, the city council invested $54,000 to develop the waterfront at the Arthur R. Outlaw Mobile Convention Center in readiness for a purpose-built cruise terminal. They had interest from Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Holland America cruise lines.
In 2004, the new cruise terminal was opened, costingsomewhere between $10 and $20 million. It was the home port of Carnivals Holidaycruise ship with itineraries mainly to Mexico showing 100% capacity.
In 2007, Mobile won the coveted Port of the Year awardfrom Carnival, based on excellent feedback from cruise passengers. In 2008,Carnival announced the Holiday would be replaced by the Fantasyin 2009. The city responded by promising a new gangway at Mobile cruiseterminal and 450 more parking spots on-site.
In 2010, despite the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf ofMexico from the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, the Mobile cruise industry had itsbest year ever
Carnival Pushes Restart Of Cruise Service From Mobile To January
Carnival Sensation is pictured in a file photo taken at the Port of Miami.
- Carnival Sensation’s Oct. 21 restart from Mobile has been moved to Jan. 2022
- Carnival Valor will follow Carnival Glory in New Orleans with four- and five-night sailings starting on Nov. 1
- Carnival Legend will restart Nov. 14 out of Baltimore, replacing Carnival Pride, which restarts guest operations from Baltimore Sept. 12 and then moves its homeport to Tampa following a Panama Canal repositioning cruise
- Carnival Radiance will have a new maiden voyage date of Dec. 13 out of Long Beach
- Carnival Pride’s new service from Tampa is scheduled to start on Nov. 14
- Carnival Conquest’s restart from Miami on Oct. 8 has been rescheduled to Dec. 13.
“We are very pleased with the progress of our restart which will grow to 15 ships sailing from seven U.S. homeports by mid-November,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “We are making slight adjustments to our timeline to take into account supply chain realities and ensure that our destination and shore excursion offerings can meet the strong demand we are seeing from our guests. Our teams, ship and shore, are prepared to continue delivering on our great guest experience and manage all health and safety protocols.”
With the extension of Carnival Sensation’s restart, five ships operating out of U.S. homeports will be moved to 2022: Carnival Liberty , Carnival Sunshine , Carnival Paradise Carnival Ecstasy and Carnival Sensation .
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Which Cruises Sail Out Of Mobile Al
Currently Mobile, AL is only used by Carnival Cruise Lines.Their ship, Carnival Fantasy, currently operates from Mobile during thewinter season. It offers shorter mini cruises of 4 and 5 days in the WesternCaribbean visiting Cozumel, Costa Maya and Yucatan in Mexico.
Longer 6-day cruises visit Cozumel, Grand Cayman andMahogany Bay while 7-day cruises head to Cozumel, Grand Cayman. GrandTurk, Amber Cove and San Juan beforereturning to Mobile Port.
Carnival also offers one-time adventure cruises from Mobile,AL including a 10-day Panama Canal cruise. This trip includes a partial transitthrough the amazing Panama Canal before visiting Limon , MahoganyBay , Cozumel and then returning home to Mobile.
Another popular 10-day Eastern Caribbean cruise from Mobilecalls in at Key West, Grand Turk, Amber Cove , Grand Caymanand Cozumel before arriving back in the Port of Mobile cruise terminal.
There are plans for the newer Carnival Fascination toreplace the Fantasy in 2022.
What Is The Closest Cruise Ship Port To Me
Many cruisers start our search based on closest port. In an ideal world, our cruise would depart from one of the U.S. cruise port within driving distance.
Once we get out of range, we have to start planning flights, ubers, and hotels. That adds a whole level of complexity and additional costs that we’d prefer to avoid.
Check out the map and list below to find your closest cruise port.
Make sure to pin that list to your “Cruise Search” board for easy reference!
Here’s a complete list below by state. Also provided are links to find more detail on each departure port as well as links to shore excursions for each.
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Facts About Mobile Cruise Terminal
The purpose-built cruise terminal in Mobile Port is spreadover two levels connected by four elevators, escalators and stairs. It covers66,000 square feet and has state-of-the-art security in place for checkingcruise passengers and their baggage before departing on a Caribbean cruise. Itis connected to a 4-story parking garage. An enclosed walkway/ramp leads fromsecurity and check-in directly onto the ship.
As the cruise terminal is on the edge of the downtown area,it has many hotels, restaurants, bars and attractions nearby. They are allwithin easy walking distance for cruisers with time to spare after parkingwhile waiting to board the ship.
Carnival Fascinations New Homeport
Carnival has an interesting history with the Mobile port. Back in 2011, Carnival unexpectedly pulled Elation, which had been homeported in Alabama, sending the ship to New Orleans.
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It wouldnt be until years later that Carnival returned to Mobile when the Fantasy began sailing out of the port in 2016. At the time, a spokesperson for the city told the local media, We worked hard to bring Carnival Cruise Line back to Mobile, and we are working even harder to keep them.
The resulting deal has proven to be a successful one, and will continue now that the Carnival Fascination will call the port home.
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