Update: Mississippi River Troubles Keep Carnival Fantasy in Mobile

August 2, 2008
Update: Due to continuing issues with the Mississippi River, Carnival Fantasy's current voyage has ended on August 4 in Mobile instead of its regular homeport of New Orleans. Disembarking passengers will be provided complimentary motorcoach transportation back to the Port of New Orleans or the New Orleans airport.

Fantasy's next cruise, a five-night voyage scheduled to depart on August 4, will leave from Mobile. Carnival will provide complimentary motorcoach transportation from New Orleans' Erato Street cruise terminal to Mobile.

At the conclusion of the cruise (August 9), the line expects Fantasy to return to New Orleans.

Last week's oil spill on the Mississippi is again altering plans for Carnival Cruise Lines' Carnival Fantasy. For the second week in a row, the New Orleans-based ship will be concluding its cruise, a five-night Western Caribbean sailing, in nearby Mobile.

Carnival will again be shuttling debarking cruise travelers via complimentary motor coach between Mobile and New Orleans, where many passengers had left their cars or needed to catch flights home.

Carnival Fantasy was first diverted to Mobile on July 26, after the initial spill on July 23. Carnival had asked passengers departing on July 26 to leave their cars in New Orleans and take the line's complimentary shuttle to Mobile, as the line intended to debark in New Orleans at the end of the cruise -- which was today.

But, according to spokesperson Vance Gulliksen, the river was closed again yesterday afternoon (the damaged barge began leaking more oil) and the line was not certain the Big Easy would be accessible in time for the Thursday turnaround.

Passengers departing today, who were told by the line to arrive in New Orleans as planned, are being bused the three hours to Mobile. There are about 2,600 guests on today's voyage.

Assuming the river is open and operational, Carnival plans on Fantasy returning to New Orleans on Monday as normal after the ship's four-night voyage.

Stay tuned.

--by Dan Askin, Assistant Editor

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