Start putting in your vacation requests for next year. Carnival Cruise Line is making its much-anticipated return to Alabama after a long four-year wait for cruise-a-holics all across the state.
According to AL.com, the popular cruise line decided to bring a ship back to Mobile after the growing demand from Alabamians became too vocal to ignore.
The Mobile City Council recently announced that the Carnival Fantasy cruise ship will offer departures from the Alabama Cruise Terminal starting Nov. 9, 2016. Nashville residents Glen and Kay McKnight made the drive south to witness the exciting announcement in person.
“We heard the announcement would be today so we said, ‘let’s get to Mobile,'” said Glen McKnight. “We loved coming here. It’s nice and easy and it’s quick to be on a cruise ship.”
About 95% of the world’s cargo moves by ship, and Alabama residents have been asking the same question for over four years: why not us?
Upon hearing the news, Alabama residents immediately rushed to their computers to share the good news with fellow cruisers. The November 2016 return will mark the first cruise to sail out of Alabama since the Carnival Elation departed in October 2011.
“We’re just so excited,” said Angela Williams Gray, who started the popular Mobile Carnival Cruisers Facebook page. “It’s a good port. It’s an easy on and easy off terminal.”
According to local news affiliate WIAT, the 2,056-passenger Carnival Fantasy will offer four-day and five-day cruises to ports in Mexico. The agreement approved by the council will last for a little more than one year, which means cruises will run from early November 2016 to late November 2017.
Terry Thornton, senior VP of marketing planning with Carnival, adds that the deal calls for two options for renewal on what is initially a 13-month agreement.
“We’ll work hard with all of our constituents here,” Thornton said. “The most important thing is to drive demand and (have the cruise) hold a price level. Demand is the key. That’s what we’ll focus on and that’s what we hope to have here.”
Demand shouldn’t be a problem, and Thornton speaks to the improved economy of Mobile that enabled the deal to commence.
He added, “The mayor has shown his vision of making Mobile a destination. We are excited about being a part of that.”
It’s officially cruise time, folks. Let the party begin.