Carnival Cruise Line marked its return to Mobile, Alabama, as the Carnival Spirit embarked from its new homeport today. The return of sailings from Mobile, Alabama, is long overdue, with cruises not sailing since Carnival Ecstasy was removed from the Carnival Cruise Line fleet.
Carnival Spirit will offer guests the opportunity to sail on various cruises to the western Caribbean and the Bahamas, including visits to Bimini, Half Moon Cay, and Mahogany Bay.
The last Carnival Cruise Line ship to sail from Mobile, Alabama, was Carnival Ecstasy. The Fantasy-class cruise ship returned from her last cruise on October 15, 2022.
On October 6, 2023, Carnival Spirit marked the return of cruises from Mobile as she set sail on her first cruise from her new homeport, continuing a partnership that has been in place for over two decades.
An onboard celebration marking the return to Mobile was hosted on Carnival Spirit, attended by City of Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson, Visit Mobile President and CEO David Clark, and Sarah Beth Reno.
Sarah Beth Reno, Carnival’s Senior Vice President of Guest Operations: “It’s great to see another Carnival funnel amid the Mobile skyline today. We are truly pleased to continue our strong partnership of more than 21 years with the city of Mobile.”
“Carnival Spirit is the perfect ship to carry out this new cruise program for Mobile, offering more accommodation options and all that our guests expect to find on a ‘Fun Ship,’ along with longer itineraries that offer guests a wider range of destinations to explore.”
The ship’s chefs paid homage to Mobile’s traditions by preparing an oversized version of the city’s renowned MoonPie dessert. A staple during Mardi Gras parades in Mobile, MoonPies are typically thrown to the crowd.
The large MoonPie, adorned with a design reminiscent of the Carnival funnel, was distributed to the ship’s guests following an inaugural slice by Mayor Stimpson.
Guests sailing from Mobile can look forward to a wide variety of cruises to the western Caribbean and the Bahamas.
Today’s Guests will embark on an eight-day Bahamas cruise, visiting Bimini, Freeport, Half Moon Cay, and Nassau. In the coming months, Carnival Spirit will sail a series of six- and eight-day sailings through March 2024. These include six-day Western Caribbean cruises to Cozumel, Belize, and Roatan, alternated with eight-day Bahamas cruises.
Carnival Spirit will homeport in Mobile through April 7, 2024, after which she will set sail on a 16-night repositioning to Seattle, visiting George Town, Grand Cayman; Cartagena, Colombia; the Panama Canal; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. From Seattle, Carnival Spirit will sail a summer season in Alaska.
Besides the festivities in Mobile, Carnival Cruise Line also announced it has opened up bookings for cruises in fall 2024 to spring 2025 from Mobile on the Carnival Spirit. Itineraries include five-, six- and eight-day cruises to the Caribbean and Bahamas and a 12-day Carnival Journeys Southern Caribbean cruise sailing January 18, 2025.
The return of Carnival Cruise Line to Mobile is significant for both the cruise line and the city. Each visit from the 88,500 gross tons, 2124-guest Carnival Spirit is expected to bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars for local businesses, spread between companies provisioning the ship to hotels, transportation, and shops.
Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson emphasized the economic and social benefits: “Having a cruise ship in Mobile has positive implications for our local retailers, restaurants, and hotels. Welcoming the first guests today sets the tone for what we anticipate being a productive cruise season.”
Carnival Cruise Line has operated cruises out of Mobile, Alabama, for over 20 years, starting in 2002. With Carnival absent from Mobile for close to a year after the departure of Carnival Ecstasy from the fleet, the arrival of Carnival Spirit brings fun back to the south for millions of people.
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