Carnival Cruise Line is extending their contract with the City of Mobile through December 2018. This is good news for Atlanta cruisers and those that love to catch a cruise after a short drive. Mobile is five hours or less from most points in Georgia. Based off of surveys from passengers, the Carnival Fantasy is ranked number one in friendliness and hospitality within the Carnival fleet. On a normal day, 150 employees assist 5,200 passengers disembarking and embarking the ship handling luggage, parking vehicles and receiving trailer loads of food and supplies.
“We are excited and proud that Carnival Cruise Line has extended their contract for another year with Mobile – it shows their commitment to our city and to over 190,000 cruisers choosing Mobile as their port of preference,” says David Clark, President/CEO, Visit Mobile. “Carnival Cruise Line has ten brands and accounts for almost 50% of the global cruise market. We are excited to continue celebrating the Carnival Fantasy cruising from Mobile!”
Cruisers have seen a significant growth in Downtown Mobile with over a dozen new restaurants, shops and entertainment options that are open daily for them to enjoy before or after their cruise.
Visit Mobile continues to spearhead initiatives that improve the overall visitor experience. In partnership with area hotels who are offering Park and Cruise Packages, Visit Mobile has created a ‘Very Important Cruiser’ (VIC) program which includes welcome packets for hotel guests staying on the package and additional discounts to almost twenty attractions throughout Mobile, redeemable by showing their boarding passes.
Visit Mobile continues to manage a Facebook page that serves as a direct communication tool to incoming cruisers. With a steadily growing audience, “Cruising From Mobile” has become a resource for cruisers to get local information and learn all about the activities they can do while they are in Mobile.
As an alternative way to encourage cruisers to spend some time in Mobile, Visit Mobile has a team in place at the Alabama Cruise Terminal each time the cruise ship is docked. The team is there to answer any questions cruisers have and to hand out goody bags that has Mardi Gras beads, coupons and Visit Mobile’s Destination Guides.
In addition to all of the above, Visit Mobile has assigned a sales manager to strengthen travel agent relationships in key markets to continue to promote before and post cruise packages.
It helps the ecomomy. Since the Fantasy’s first cruise departed last year, the City of Mobile Cruise Terminal has generated over $4.7 M in gross revenue. Over the course of the full calendar year, the terminal’s gross revenue is expected to exceed $6.4 M, over 190,000 cruisers will spend more than $18 M in Mobile and the overall direct impact is expected to exceed $35 M.