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Mobile (Photo:Sean Pavone/Shutterstock)
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating

By Cruise Critic Staff

Port of Mobile

Mobile's tourism industry received a shot in the arm in late 2016, when 2,052-passenger Carnival Fantasy began offering jaunts to Cozumel, Costa Maya and Progreso, Mexico. It was the cruise industry's first return to Mobile after pulling out in 2011.

The late writer Eugene Walter called Mobile "sweet lunacy's county seat." Walter's grave, which can be found in the historic Church Street Graveyard only a mile west of the Mobile cruise terminal on oak-canopied Government Street, is marked by a tombstone etched with the words, "When all else fails, throw a party." Mobilians are certainly good at that. They have been doing it since the city was founded as the first capital of French Colonial Louisiana in 1702. This predilection for an active nightlife has often given rise to comparisons with New Orleans, as have the city's French street names (some of which are identical to those in New Orleans' French Quarter), architecture, Cajun and Creole cuisine (fresh seafood is always on the menu), and an economy centered around a bustling seaport. But Mobile has a spirit all its own.

Situated on Mobile Bay with Gulf beaches only a short drive away (it's the largest coastal city between New Orleans and St. Petersburg, Florida), beach culture runs deep in Mobile. Singer-songwriter -- and beach life aficionado -- Jimmy Buffet spent part of his childhood here and played some of his first gigs in the city. Bring your seersuckers and flip-flops, and you'll fit right in.

Also known as the Azalea City, for the vivid flowering bushes that blanket yards and parks in the spring, Mobile boasts a mild subtropical climate with high temperatures in the 90s during the summers and 60s in the winters. Be sure to bring an umbrella: Mobile is wetter than Seattle with approximately five feet of rain each year.

About Mobile


Pro

Dauphin Street is often compared with Bourbon Street, but more calm and family friendly

Con

Some might not realize that Mobile gets more rain than Seattle with 5 feet per year

Bottom Line

The birthplace of Mardi Gras might surprise with plenty of spirit and a penchant for partying


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Where You're Docked

The Mobile Cruise Terminal is a two-story, 66,000 square-foot facility with an attached 500-space parking garage. The garage has six covered pick-up/drop-off lanes and is accessible via four elevators, an escalator and stairs. The terminal is within minutes of numerous banks and ATMS, hotels, restaurants and other attractions. It is a half-mile from Interstate 10, and six miles from the junction of I-65 and I-10. To herald the return of Carnival, the terminal is working with the city's architectural department to unveil a new look featuring artwork and a new color scheme. Wi-Fi is available.

Good to Know

Name pronunciation: Just as New Orleans natives scoff when out-of-towners say "New OrLEENs," Mobilians prefer you pronounce their city's name properly: "MOH-beel," rather than "moh-BILE."

Currency & Best Way to Get Money

The United States dollar is the only currency accepted in Mobile. You'll need to find a nearby ATM if you need to withdraw cash.

Language

English is the language spoken.

Shopping

Look for Mardi Grad beads, doubloons, cups and masks from the Mobile Carnival Museum gift shop, or Wintzell's "Fried, Stewed and Nude" (a reference to ways you can eat their oysters) T-shirts or koozies from the restaurant.