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View Full Version : Carnival Cruises and Mobile Alabama Future?


Checkmate1955
January 2nd, 2008, 03:23 PM
I understand that Mobile, Alabama has built a new cruise terminal for Carnival Cruise Lines... When if ever do you expect Carnival to use Mobile, Alabama for a home operation of one of their newer ships?

It seems to me that Mobile is an ideal location for Georgia, Mississippi Alabama and Tennessee residents to drive for a cruise and that a larger newer ship would work well for all.. The one ship that is now using the Mobile Terminal I believe is still the Holiday and it has been home ported there for several years... The Conquest would be nice but it is home ported in or near Houston...

mariemorgan
January 2nd, 2008, 03:27 PM
Holiday is going to be or already sold so a different ship will be placed there but nobody knows what ship or when.

Cruiser from MS
January 2nd, 2008, 03:29 PM
I have heard from someone I work with that the Holiday is leaving this coming June. I to hope Carnival will put one of their Conquest or Spirit class ships in Mobile. I have never cruised out of Mobile but it would be so easy for us to get there from north Mississippi. It also helps that we love the Alabama Gulf Coast. It would be soooooo nice to get off of the ship, spend the night in Gulf Shores and of course eat at LuLu's...

Checkmate1955
January 2nd, 2008, 03:39 PM
I have heard from someone I work with that the Holiday is leaving this coming June. I to hope Carnival will put one of their Conquest or Spirit class ships in Mobile. I have never cruised out of Mobile but it would be so easy for us to get there from north Mississippi. It also helps that we love the Alabama Gulf Coast. It would be soooooo nice to get off of the ship, spend the night in Gulf Shores and of course eat at LuLu's...

You are right... once you have visited Alabama's Gulf coast then everything else from Texas to Alabama is left wanting...:) Let us all hope that Carnival will dock a newer ship in Mobile... great location...

*Mach*
January 2nd, 2008, 04:10 PM
Last I heard Mobile was scheduled for a Fantasy class ship.

There seems to be some variety of difficulty getting the 950 foot ships turned about in the channel.

There have been a number of threads here about that. Let me see if I can dig one up.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=533172&highlight=mobile+alabama+fantasy

Cruiser from MS
January 2nd, 2008, 04:12 PM
I have read that they are enlarging the channel so a larger ship can turn around. I sure hope that is true....

lhaddon
January 2nd, 2008, 04:29 PM
I also live in Mississippi and would LOVE to have a larger ship in Mobile. We loved crusing on the Conquest when it was in New Orleans (only a 3 hour drive). We are crusing on the Holiday out of Mobile in March but would love the option of having a newer larger ship at a drive-to port.


Lora

xray
January 2nd, 2008, 10:10 PM
We live 90 miles NW of Mobile in Mississippi so putting a Spirit Class ship there would be ideal. My only problem is we have done the Western Caribbean and will not go back. I know...picky picky picky!!!!!! Now, if they were to do a 10 day to the Eastern or Southern..heck yes we would. I too have heard of expansion plans for the Port and Airport.

Cliff

mcfam5
January 3rd, 2008, 11:39 AM
We booked our summer cruise on the Holiday last week. Our PVP actually told us the Holiday is scheduled for a remodel. He didn't say anything about her pulling out of Mobile though!

*Mach*
January 3rd, 2008, 11:42 AM
We booked our summer cruise on the Holiday last week. Our PVP actually told us the Holiday is scheduled for a remodel. He didn't say anything about her pulling out of Mobile though!

Yeah... she's going into dry dock for an extensive renovation, along with the Celebration. They are both going to Ibero Cruise, a new Carnival 'partner' in Spain.

lhaddon
January 3rd, 2008, 11:43 AM
The Holiday got a remodel after FEMA borrowed it following Hurricane Katrina. I can't believe they are gonna remodel it again. Oh well....stranger things have happened. Maybe the company that is buying it wants it remodeled before it moves to Spain or wherever.

I'm so glad that we are gonna be able to cruise on Holiday once more before it's moved.

Lora

*Mach*
January 3rd, 2008, 12:11 PM
The Holiday got a remodel after FEMA borrowed it following Hurricane Katrina. I can't believe they are gonna remodel it again. Oh well....stranger things have happened. Maybe the company that is buying it wants it remodeled before it moves to Spain or wherever.

I'm so glad that we are gonna be able to cruise on Holiday once more before it's moved.

Lora

It's supposed to be a very extensive rework for both ships, far more than a run of the mill dry dock.

You can bet that the Farcus Funnel will be gone along with all of the typical Farcus interior touches.

mcfam5
January 3rd, 2008, 12:39 PM
If the future of the Holiday is uncertain, should I also look at my summer Holiday cruise as uncertain?? Would they sell tickets if they were uncertain if the ship was still to be in the Mobiile port in August?

I am reading some conflicting information on other threads and it's making me sweat!

:)

*Mach*
January 3rd, 2008, 12:43 PM
If the future of the Holiday is uncertain, should I also look at my summer Holiday cruise as uncertain?? Would they sell tickets if they were uncertain if the ship was still to be in the Mobiile port in August?

I am reading some conflicting information on other threads and it's making me sweat!

:)

I would expect that you'll be fine. We've had this discussion previously on the board. Celebration will be the first to go and there's no set date for that yet!

beccadoby
January 4th, 2008, 10:15 AM
I would expect that you'll be fine. We've had this discussion previously on the board. Celebration will be the first to go and there's no set date for that yet!

Well, I can help you out a little here. ;)
The last date I can book The Celebration is in April 2008.
Holiday on the other hand, I can book until April 30, 2009.

Checkmate1955
January 6th, 2008, 04:21 PM
With Carnival dragging it's foot on the new contract with the City of Mobile and the uncertain status of the Holiday.... I would like to see RCCL move in and move in quick... I do not wish to continue having only one choice in Mobile when it comes to cruising... We need RCCL:)

djm66
January 6th, 2008, 08:44 PM
We cruised on the Holiday in October and was told a Fantasy ship was going to Mobile... I live in North Florida and that would be great.......

Jabee
January 6th, 2008, 09:03 PM
I was just on the Holiday, with 1800 passengers (of course it is listed as a 1400 passenger ship.) We had about 500 children on board also.

The problem I see, is that the Parking Garage was PACKED. Every parking space was full. How would you even dream of putting a Fantasy size ship (2,000 passengers) when you barely have room for a Holiday size?

There are no public plans in place to retire the Holiday yet, and I do not see it happening until Mobile does something about the parking.

Look for that ship to remain. It is a CASH COW for Carnival. They own the ship, operate it at 120% capacity on Average, and it does simple four and five day trips where gambling is the biggest business on board. They provide few venues for entertainment to keep the Casino packed.

I know the plans are for two ships to go to Spain, and I have no doubt that the Holiday will be the second ship, but I would keep my ears to the wind, that they will instead send a Fantasy class ship instead so they can keep operating from Mobile.

*Mach*
January 6th, 2008, 09:39 PM
I was just on the Holiday, with 1800 passengers (of course it is listed as a 1400 passenger ship.) We had about 500 children on board also.

The problem I see, is that the Parking Garage was PACKED. Every parking space was full. How would you even dream of putting a Fantasy size ship (2,000 passengers) when you barely have room for a Holiday size?

There are no public plans in place to retire the Holiday yet, and I do not see it happening until Mobile does something about the parking.

Look for that ship to remain. It is a CASH COW for Carnival. They own the ship, operate it at 120% capacity on Average, and it does simple four and five day trips where gambling is the biggest business on board. They provide few venues for entertainment to keep the Casino packed.

I know the plans are for two ships to go to Spain, and I have no doubt that the Holiday will be the second ship, but I would keep my ears to the wind, that they will instead send a Fantasy class ship instead so they can keep operating from Mobile.

Carnival has been a tremendous partner for the ports from which they sail. They've invested millions in upgrades to manage the increasing numbers of passengers who flow through these cruise terminals yearly. I'd be surprised if Carnival didn't participate in upgrading parking and what ever facilities are necessary to accommodate as Fantasy class ship in Mobile.

You're correct, both the Celebration and the Holiday are destined for IberoCruise, Carnival's new partner in Spain. You're also correct that the Holiday will be the second to go. She probably has another two years in Mobile before heading out for an extensive refit. That should give Carnival and Mobile plenty of time to make whatever changes are necessary to manage the growth.

futaba951
January 6th, 2008, 10:13 PM
With Carnival dragging it's foot on the new contract with the City of Mobile and the uncertain status of the Holiday.... I would like to see RCCL move in and move in quick... I do not wish to continue having only one choice in Mobile when it comes to cruising... We need RCCL:)


I had heard last year that RCI was looking at Mobile for the Enchantment, but the issues with the turning basin upriver made it a non-starter. Enchantment is 990 feet and the turning basin is 1000 feet. Too tight a fit.

futaba951
January 6th, 2008, 10:21 PM
I was just on the Holiday, with 1800 passengers (of course it is listed as a 1400 passenger ship.) We had about 500 children on board also.

The problem I see, is that the Parking Garage was PACKED. Every parking space was full. How would you even dream of putting a Fantasy size ship (2,000 passengers) when you barely have room for a Holiday size?

There are no public plans in place to retire the Holiday yet, and I do not see it happening until Mobile does something about the parking.

Look for that ship to remain. It is a CASH COW for Carnival. They own the ship, operate it at 120% capacity on Average, and it does simple four and five day trips where gambling is the biggest business on board. They provide few venues for entertainment to keep the Casino packed.

I know the plans are for two ships to go to Spain, and I have no doubt that the Holiday will be the second ship, but I would keep my ears to the wind, that they will instead send a Fantasy class ship instead so they can keep operating from Mobile.

There are plans to build additional parking at the port, but they will not do it until they get a commitment from a cruise line for a larger or a second ship. Parking is the main source of revenue for the terminal, so they are very aware of the need and would love to enlarge the facility. The terminal was built and financed by an affiliated comapny owned by the Retirement Systems of Alabama and thus is not owned by the city anyway. Based on the fast track construction scheduled when they built the terminal originally, if they had a years lead time they could have an additional parking structure in place before a larger ship came to town anyway. Peersonally, I think they should have put the cruise port at the Middle Bay Port anyway and not downtown. But I think the city officials like looking out their office windows and seeing a cruise ship sitting in the middle of downtown.

Jabee
January 6th, 2008, 10:33 PM
Parking is the main source of revenue for the terminal, so they are very aware of the need and would love to enlarge the facility. The terminal was built and financed by an affiliated comapny owned by the Retirement Systems of Alabama and thus is not owned by the city anyway. Based on the fast track construction scheduled when they built the terminal originally, if they had a years lead time they could have an additional parking structure in place before a larger ship came to town anyway. But I think the city officials like looking out their office windows and seeing a cruise ship sitting in the middle of downtown.

If RSA is involved that answers a lot of questions.
My retirment money at work.

But my main point is I keep hearing people say "I heard they were moving Holiday out this summer, or moving the Fantasy to Mobile" etc...

At this point I feel any talk such as this is entirely premature.

Parking IS the issue and the only way to increase parking is to go UP (and it at least appears to me that is a possibility for a couple of more levels.)

But all the talk of the Mayor wanting second ship, and larger ships will not happen until an agreement is made and the parking is increased.

As another poster put it, it is probably a couple of years away. Thus, I quicky add, do not be surprised to see another ship join the Celebration in Spain instead of the Holiday. Carnival has committed to send two ships to Spain (that has been in a press release) but they will not lose the free money they have in Mobile until they are able to.

And Mobile and RSA need to get their acts together, because Gulfport is talking very seriously of adding a Passenger terminal and I know the folks over there. They could have it up and operating in six months.

Checkmate1955
January 7th, 2008, 03:22 PM
Mobile is a Port City located on Mobile bay... Many very large cargo ships come and go into Mobile... The bay is not deep I understand... As to the parking at the termial... Is it not a new terminal building and the parking is inside the same building? Did Carnival design the building and the parking and is it not all new?:confused:

I am sure that there is other parking nearby but consider this: why would Carnival have the City of Mobile build a new cruise terminal just for Carnival and that terminal sized only to handle the Holiday class ship? Can other cruise companies use the facility? if so then leave the Holiday in Mobile and let RCCL bring one of their 70,000 ton ships with approximately 2000 passengers....:) for seven day a week cruising...

*Mach*
January 7th, 2008, 03:32 PM
......

As another poster put it, it is probably a couple of years away. Thus, I quicky add, do not be surprised to see another ship join the Celebration in Spain instead of the Holiday. Carnival has committed to send two ships to Spain (that has been in a press release) but they will not lose the free money they have in Mobile until they are able to.

And Mobile and RSA need to get their acts together, because Gulfport is talking very seriously of adding a Passenger terminal and I know the folks over there. They could have it up and operating in six months.

Considering the age of the Holiday it would be highly doubtful that any other ship would be going. It would make all the sense in the world to start IberoCruise out with two ships of the same class.

All the Fantasy class ships are scheduled for the 'Evolutions of Fun' upgrade so they aren't likely candidates.

Regarding Gulfport, they might be able to build and open a passenger terminal in six months but they need cruise ships to make it viable. Learn from the lesson of Bayport in Houston. This is a brand new, state of the art facility that will open this year. They don't have any cruise ships committed and probably won't see a ship until 2009 or 2010. Cruise lines have relatively long term contracts with most ports allowing them to position whatever equipment and personnel the feel necessary. They don't go moving ships about willy nilly...

Montycruiser
January 7th, 2008, 03:56 PM
As for parking in the Mobile terminal, it has been stated from the terminal manager that they will be able to re-stripe the deck and will be able to accomadate the additional cars for a Fantasy Class ship. I'm really looking forward to getting a Fantasy Class ship in Mobile but we still enjoy the small Holiday we leave on her in 49 days:) :)

futaba951
January 7th, 2008, 10:09 PM
Gulfport has been making noise about a cruise ship ever since Carnival did trial cruises out of Mobile with the Holiday about 5 years ago. I think Gulfport or any other Gulf Coast city would be ill advised to spend money on terminals and such right about now with the state of Caribbean cruising. RCI has all but pulled out of the Gulf ports and only has a seasonal presence. X and Princess are both gone for the foreseeable future. Carnival is about the only game in town now when it comes to year around cruising from Gulf ports. Most of the fleets are going to Alaska, Europe and S. America. Carnival doesn't have enough ships right now to go around to every city that wants a ship. Also, Gulfport wants to market themselves as a destination port to the cruise lines and I don't think that is a real good approach. The cruise lines want you to board the ship with a full wallet and leave all your money behind when you disembark so they can send you home flat ass broke. They don't necessarily want you to blow your wad before you board the ship, or be holding back so you have money to blow in MS casinos after you get off the ship. Mobile was successful in negotiationg with Carnival because they had RSA backing them with a new state of the art terminal and parking garage and millions of dollars in incentives to Carnival such as reduced port fees and millions in free advertising on RSA radio, newspaper and television stations nationwide. Carnival is just like any other business, they will give it up to the one who shows them the money. Look how long Galveston and NOLA were stuck with all the small old ships. It takes time to prove yourself before you start to move up the food chain and I think in the next several years, if the Caribbean market improves, Mobile will start to see some larger, newer ships. And I'd bet that RSA will be back with a large financial commitment when that time comes. David Bronner has taken a liking to Mobile for some reason. He's buying Mobile building by building.

M&Scruisecraze
January 8th, 2008, 12:41 AM
I would expect that you'll be fine. We've had this discussion previously on the board. Celebration will be the first to go and there's no set date for that yet!

Oh yes there is a set date for that.. april of 2008 around the last of april is the last trip for celebration then its dry docked. It will be sometime in sept. before the Fantasy goes to Jacksonville for good. Go check the cruising dates for Jacksonville.

LHP
January 8th, 2008, 09:34 AM
Oh yes there is a set date for that.. april of 2008 around the last of april is the last trip for celebration then its dry docked. It will be sometime in sept. before the Fantasy goes to Jacksonville for good. Go check the cruising dates for Jacksonville.

??? I thought the Fascination was taking the Celebration's place????

Cruzman
January 8th, 2008, 10:20 AM
??? I thought the Fascination was taking the Celebration's place????

I think him made a booboo with his typing finger, lol. As to the parking issue; the mayor announced several months ago that plans were in place to build another parking garage just north of the current facility. He also stated that such plans would not be implemented until there was a firm commitment from Carnival or another cruise line to homeport a larger vessel there. I spoke with a number of ship's officers last summer while aboard the Holiday, and they all said that Carnival was bringing in a larger ship but there was no agreement on the timetable. I am confident that it will happen; just don't know when.

Checkmate1955
January 9th, 2008, 01:06 PM
I read that all of the Carnival ships that make the 3 to 5 day cruises are being upgraded with a lot of new water slides and pool upgrades... All of the ships were mentioned in this article in a Carnival corporation mail out... One ship was not mentioned and that was the Holiday... It seems that the Holiday is not being upgraded at least to the extent of the other ships... So that could mean that the Holiday is going, going.... gone!

Why is the Holiday mentioned in the same class as the 70,000 ton ships when she is only 50,000 ton approximately... ?