Mobile's only year-round resident, Holiday, is staying put through 2007 -- Carnival Cruise Lines just extended its contract with the city and will homeport the 46,050-ton, 1,452-passenger ship there for another year.
This is good news for the cruise port, which like much of the Gulf Coast did not escape the wrath of Hurricane Katrina. Last fall, Carnival took Holiday out of service (as well as Sensation and Ecstasy) to serve as a floating shelter for evacuees -- leaving Mobile with no ship to speak of until Holiday resumed sailing this March after an extensive renovation.
According to an official statement from the cruise line, the voyages have been "a tremendous success," consistently operating in excess of 100 percent occupancy (based on two per cabin) and accounting for approximately 125,000 passengers annually from the port.
Carnival is the first and currently only line to operate a perennial program in the Alabama port city (the first voyage set sail in 2004). Whether the line's commitment to Mobile will spur other lines to homeport ships there remains to be seen; port representatives did not immediately fulfill Cruise Critic's request for additional information.