Last week, Carnival Cruise Line announced that Carnival Ecstasy would be leaving the fleet following a series of voyages from Mobile, Alabama from March through mid-October 2022.
Now, Mobile has learned that once Ecstasy completes its final cruise in October, the city won’t see another Carnival ship sail from its downtown terminal for at least 11 months.
Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson said in a statement on Friday, “Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy contacted me yesterday evening to share that they will be halting cruises out of Mobile from October 15, 2022, through September of 2023. In her message, she relayed that Carnival is planning on returning to Mobile after adjusting its operations in 2023.”
“We are obviously very disappointed with this news. However, we are confident in our relationship with Carnival and its leadership moving forward. Christine Duffy is planning to be in Mobile to personally welcome guests and celebrate the company’s 50th Anniversary with us when cruises resume on March 5, 2022 — further signaling their commitment to the City of Mobile and our port.”
According to AL.com, the cruise industry brings around $6 million in annual gross revenues to Mobile from docking fees and parking alone.
President and CEO of Visit Mobile, David Clark, said that the city’s hotel businesses experiences a big boost from cruise visitors, with about 35,000 room nights attributed to the cruising industry each year.
Carnival Ecstasy is Carnival’s oldest Fantasy-class ship that remains in service; it was built in 1991. The vessel already has some history with Mobile, as it went into dry dock in the city for repairs in 2011 amid a difficult time for the cruise industry in Alabama.
At the time, Carnival Elation was removed from Mobile and relocated to New Orleans so that Ecstasy could move from New Orleans to Port Canaveral in Florida.
Cruising didn’t happen for another five years in Alabama until 2016 with the arrival of Carnival Fantasy. Fantasy has since been scrapped.