Does Carnival Have Its Eye on Mobile Again?

July 25, 2012 | By | 37 Comments

The Cruise Critic boards are abuzz over hearsay that Carnival Cruise Lines is considering a return to its longtime Mobile, Alabama, homeport, which it abandoned suddenly last year. The rumors surfaced after local Mobile TV stations and Cruise Critic members began reporting they’d received surveys about their interest level in sailing out of the Gulf port.

Carnival Elation‘s last departure from Mobile was in October 2011 after a seven-year stint offering Caribbean cruises. Carnival cited an inability “to generate favorable financial results” and the “high fuel costs required for the itineraries” as reasons for the pullout.
At the time the decision came as quite a shock to Al St. Clair, director of the Mobile cruise terminal, who said Elation, which carries 2,056 passengers at double occupancy, typically sailed full, averaging more than 2,450 passengers. The port and terminal have remained mostly empty since Elation last sailed way.
As to the rumored return, Carnival spokesman Vance Gulliksen was coy. “We frequently do guest surveys to gauge consumer interest in various product features and itineraries,” he said. “This particular survey referenced several different departure ports.”
But Cruise Critic members indicated the survey put an emphasis on Mobile.
Member lucigo, for instance wrote on the message boards: “I got an e-mail survey today, which seemed to target whether or not I would sail out of Mobile, AL. And if so, why would I choose Mobile over New Orleans.”
“Carnival sent the survey to me today also,” posted alabamaprincess. “I definitely would prefer cruising out of Mobile.”
Alabamaprincess is very much not alone in hoping Carnival brings a ship back to Mobile.
“We have not gotten a survey, but would love to get one to let Carnival know we would love to have a ship here,” LUV CRUSIN wrote. “Love Carnival but very disappointed when they took our ship away.”
And bonniemari said, ” I loved cruising out of Mobile. If I were to have a choice of Mobile or NOLA, Mobile would win every time.”
Cruise Critic members aren’t the only ones imagining a future where Carnival sails from Mobile again. Even the local Mobile news station is discussing the possibility, even going so far as to call it “today’s big story.”
Should Carnival come back to Mobile? Weigh in below.
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    37 Responses to “Does Carnival Have Its Eye on Mobile Again?”

    1. william
      July 25th, 2012 @ 6:09 pm

      yes it should come back to mobile will it probably notI wonder if it was just an previous years survey they just sent out again without proofreading it first

    2. patti & bo
      July 25th, 2012 @ 6:20 pm

      We just recently booked our 10th cruise and would definitely prefer Mobile as our favorite departure port. Please Carnival reconsider Mobile. They would have to make more money than Jacksonville does. We also like Charleston but their port charges are double to New Orleans

      We would definitely book more cruises in Mobile

    3. Kaye
      July 25th, 2012 @ 7:53 pm

      On Gulf cruises, we usually leave out of Galveston (closest port to our home) but we have gone of Mobile, just for something different. Our experience in Mobile was just terrific! We would certainly love to cruise from there again.

    4. Marilyn
      July 25th, 2012 @ 11:39 pm

      My very 1st cruise was out of mobile. Great experience. I live 3 1/2 hours from Mobile. Would cruise from there again. I think people like to cruise from ports close to home. Also live 3 hours from New Orleans also great.

    5. LaRose D.
      July 26th, 2012 @ 7:58 am

      Absolutely, I would cruise from Mobile. It’s a beautiful facility and it’s the closest driveable port for me from Nashville, TN area. I would love to have Mobile as my home port and would probably be booking more frequently. I realize it can only accomodate the smaller ships, because of the ship channel size, but I love the smaller ships (well, love them all!!) and they need a port somewhere. I’d just prefer that it be Mobile!

      Please, Carnival, come back to Mobile.

    6. Lynn & Charles
      July 26th, 2012 @ 11:40 am

      We have taken 5 cruises and are booked on another one in November and looking to book a “quickie” in September. I love going out of Mobile, have taken my oldest son with us on one trip. My dream would be to have the ship come back to Mobile and take my whole family on a cruise from Mobile. That would be 11 people for me. I was planning that when they took the ship in 2011. please consider bringing it back to Mobile, I am 4 hours away. Thanks,

    7. Mollie
      July 26th, 2012 @ 4:06 pm

      Would love to have another Carnival ship in Mobile. It is an easy port for us in middle GA to get to for same day sailing. Maybe they could do seven and five day cruises like they do in Charleston.

    8. Dan & Deb
      July 26th, 2012 @ 4:28 pm

      My wife and I have taken Carnival cruises in the past year with another one coming up in November. Each time we have had to travel long distances to get to the departure ports, but Mobile is convenient. Return to Mobile, Carnival!

    9. C
      July 26th, 2012 @ 5:56 pm

      People – if Carnival does come back – YOU HAVE TO QUIT ALWAYS WANTING CHEAP RATES AND NOT SPENDING ANYTHING ONBOARD! If you don’t pay higher prices and don’t have a $1000.00 onboard account EVERYTIME YOU SAIL – Carnival isn’t making any money and they won’t stay! Wake up! How would you ever expect Carnival to make money off cruises that you book for only $300.00 for five days!!! and you don’t buy anything onboard but eat your weight x 2 in food each day???? Come on folks! If you want them back, then you need to support them with your wallet, not by pleading!

    10. Mike
      August 9th, 2012 @ 2:35 am

      I would love to see Carvinal come back to Mobile. I hat the drive to N O and also I hate it takes 8 hours to get out of the Mississippi river into the gulf . It just seams it would be better for Carvinal also .

    11. Claudiu
      August 28th, 2012 @ 8:55 am

      It`s nice to hear Carnival offers cruises from New Orleans. I`m thinking to take one in October as well.

    12. Dan
      August 31st, 2012 @ 2:57 am

      I was just getting ready to book a cruise with six of my friends when you pulled out of Mobile. I wish the ship would return to Mobile, I won’t drive to another city to depart…sad loss for everyone

    13. David Herbert
      September 13th, 2012 @ 10:07 am

      I would like to take our entire family on a cruise. Total of 12. Would love to leave from Mobile.

    14. choicie
      November 6th, 2012 @ 11:39 am

      I guess it’s better late than never… I love cruising on Carnival and would love to book a cruise out of Mobile. Living in the south, Mobile would be closer than NOLA. I hope Carnival (and other cruise lines) will decide favorably to investigate going back to Mobile. I would cruise more if I had access to a port that is closer than Florida – Miami especially.

      December 3rd, 2012 @ 7:24 pm

      I would love to see Carnival Cruise line come back to Mobile,it would be closer to drive there from Milton FL then driving Orlando FL…So excited to hear talks of a possible cruise ship making Mobile FL there home again..hope everything work out for the good…

    16. Jim
      December 4th, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

      We sailed the holiday four times and loved it. Living in Phenix city al, we can drive to mobile in four hours. I have been cruising for 30 years and have been on 30 plus cruises and discovered mobile having the best terminal and employees. Always excited about mobile being a cruise port. I am a VIP carnival customer, but never received a survey.

    17. Sharon
      December 6th, 2012 @ 12:42 am

      I have sailed out of Mobile, AL a few times and loved it! Sailed out of Jacksonville, FL once but the experience just wasn’t the same. Mobile is a short drive for me which makes the vacation a whole lot more enjoyable. Please consider returning to Mobile port. It just isn’t the same without you!

    18. cog
      December 12th, 2012 @ 11:48 am

      I have cruised out of Mobile, New York, Hawaii, and Florida. I found Mobile to be the most convienient, friendliest, and cleanest. I would make Mobile my home port for cruising. Please bring Carnival back.

    19. Roland
      December 21st, 2012 @ 7:23 pm

      I have driven from Pittsburgh to cruise out of Mobile. Several folks on that cruise were from Indiana and Ohio. Mobile was clean and efficient with great parking. The fare and the ease of the port was the draw. Yes you do have to make purchases on board in order to make it worth the companies while to serve the port.

    20. Keisha Copeland
      January 5th, 2013 @ 5:41 pm

      I really hope by 2014 Mobile will be open again to cruise lines. I will be getting married that summer and was thinking of doing a cruise wedding. My grandparents are getting older tho, and i just dont know if they could ride the distance to another port :( ! We live in northern Alabama and Mobile was so convenient last time we left from there.

    21. Jennifer
      January 6th, 2013 @ 4:14 pm

      I really hope that Carnival reopens in Mobile. I didn’t take a cruise last year because Mobile wasn’t available. It was so much closer from Missouri. Mobile offered an affordable vacation option for this Midwest family.

    22. Amy
      January 9th, 2013 @ 11:19 pm

      Please Please Bring it back to Mobile!!! It would be sooo much closer for us and we would be able to go more often than we do since we have to travel much farther to get to LA

    23. Kathi
      January 11th, 2013 @ 4:18 pm

      I would love for Carnival or another cruise lines to sail,out of Mobile. I live in the panhandle of Florida and driving would be so much shorter. Carnival s my favorite but would be happy with any line.

    24. Loren
      January 12th, 2013 @ 8:08 am

      We sailed out of Mobile twice. Love Carnival cruising and miss the convenience of Mobile. Both times we had a good experience there. I really wish Carnival would bring another cruise out of our great state!

    25. Debi
      January 18th, 2013 @ 8:01 am

      PLEASE!!!! I would be on board in a ‘New York Minture!!!’

    26. Debi
      January 18th, 2013 @ 8:02 am

      I mean minute!!! LOL

    27. deanna
      January 23rd, 2013 @ 4:33 pm

      my husband and i live in huntsville, and we cruised on the holiday from mobile before it was ‘retired’ from carnival. since then we have also cruised from NOLA, and twice from port canaveral. i would LOVE for carnival to bring it’s ships back to mobile. that is such a shorter drive for us!

    28. kim
      February 9th, 2013 @ 5:34 pm

      I would LOVE for Carnival to come back to Mobile, I miss it sooo bad!!! we cruised twice a year as long as they were there..PLEASE come back.

    29. Shannon
      February 15th, 2013 @ 7:34 pm

      We live in Texas, so Galveston is closest. We went on our 1st cruise last June…on the Triumph. We loved it. We are scheduled on the Magic in August. Would love to see Carnival go to Mobile also….maybe mix up the destinations. New Orleans and Mobile are within driving distance. All the other ports are too far to drive and flying for a family of 5 can be expensive. Adding another port would be awesome!

    30. Christine
      February 17th, 2013 @ 1:42 pm

      I really miss being able to leave out of Mobile! We are frequent Carnival cruisers, but I’m getting sick of leaving out of NOLA. In my opinion, I think Mobile is such a nicer and more convenient location than some other ports. Please come back to Mobile, Carnival!!!

    31. Mike
      March 1st, 2013 @ 4:47 pm

      My first cruise was out of Mobile and it was great. Cruise out of New Orleans now, Would cruise more often if Mobile opened back up.

    32. Tonya
      March 1st, 2013 @ 11:09 pm

      We really miss the Mobile port. So much nicer than the others that we have been out of.

    33. Maddie
      April 6th, 2013 @ 4:58 pm

      Our family would definitely take frequent weekend trips if a cruise ship departed from Mobile again.

    34. Seablu
      May 9th, 2013 @ 10:42 pm

      We live in Pensacola and we would LOVE to be able to sail out of Mobile port. But only for minimum of 7 day cruises. Would also love longer cruises. Please, please, please!

    35. Teresa
      July 8th, 2013 @ 4:44 pm

      We have sailed out of Mobile several times and loved the convenience and easiness of boarding.

      Such a nice terminal. It’s a shame to go to waste!

      Planning a 7 day cruise again in 2014 and 2015 and would much prefer to leave out of Mobile than New Orleans. PLEASE CARNIVAL, bring us a ship back soon!

    36. mc
      July 12th, 2013 @ 5:12 pm

      Absolutely I’d much prefer to sail out of Mobile. I havent taken a cruise since they pulled out but i guess I’m going to have to make the drive to Florida to catch one this year and i dread that.

    37. Phee
      September 5th, 2015 @ 9:03 am

      Yes, please come back, this is one port I can drive to, instead of flying. It’s really a nice terminal going to waste if cruises don’t come back. It would be great for Mobile & Alabama residence. Hurry back!!

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