Thursday, September 24, 2015

Carnival Plans Return to Mobile

They’re back in the Deep South! Carnival Cruise Line and Mobile, Alabama have come together and the result is that Carnival Fantasy will operate a year-long schedule of 4- and 5-day cruises to Mexico from the Mobile Cruise Terminal beginning in fall 2016. Prior to its deployment to Mobile, the 2,056-passenger Carnival Fantasy—the “granddaddy” of the Carnival fleet—will undergo a multi-million-dollar refurbishment to add several elements of the cruise line’s popular Fun Ship 2.0 product enhancement program.

“Carnival Fantasy’s 4- and 5-day cruises from Mobile provide consumers with an affordable way to visit stunning Mexican ports from a convenient homeport while offering our valued travel agent partners an exciting new short vacation option to market to their clients,” said Christine Duffy, Carnival’s president. “We’ve been working very closely with the port and city officials to make these cruises a reality and wish to thank Mayor Stimpson and his team for not only all their hard work but also for creating a welcoming and positive environment that makes these cruises an attractive option for today’s consumers,” she said.

Carnival Fantasy’s Mobile-based program kicks off Nov. 9, 2016 and will run through Nov. 27, 2017. On this route, the ship departs the Mobile Cruise Terminal Thursdays on 4-day “long weekend” cruises to Cozumel and on Mondays and Saturdays on 5-day voyages to Costa Maya or Progreso. Each of these destinations are popular for their white sand beaches, interesting historical sites and attractions, and excellent snorkeling, scuba diving, and water sports. During the day-long call in Progreso, guests have the opportunity to visit Chichen Itza, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and while in Cozumel guests can visit ancient Mayan ruins or enjoy the destination’s wide range of shopping and dining experiences. At Costa Maya guests can explore the centuries-old Chacchoben ruins or visit the Lost Mayan Kingdom, a multi-million-dollar water-themed attraction currently under construction that will feature spectacular slides, an elaborate lazy river, a suspended ropes course that spans the property and more.

Wide Variety of On-Board Choices
Carnival Fantasy will undergo a multi-million-dollar refurbishment in early 2016 that will add a number of onboard options only found on newer and larger fleetmates. These include Guy’s Burger Joint, a complimentary poolside dining venue serving handcrafted burgers and fries created by chef and restaurateur Guy Fieri amidst lively interiors that celebrate his California roots and love of car culture.

Located adjacent to Guy’s Burger Joint, the BlueIguana Cantina offers authentic handmade burritos and tacos along with an elaborate toppings and salsa bar. Also located poolside is the Caribbean-inspired RedFrog Rum Bar offering the region’s top rums and beers as well as the BlueIguana Tequila Bar with margaritas, Mexican beers, and other frosty libations.

Carnival Fantasy also features a 12,000-square-foot spa, a WaterWorks aqua park featuring a 300-foot-long slide and a kiddie splash area, and a Serenity adults-only retreat, as well as fun, supervised programs for kids ages 2-17, full casino gambling, and a wide array of dining options, including a 24-hour pizzeria.

Reservations are currently being accepted for Carnival Fantasy’s departures from Mobile... but for how long? Note that the announcement is for a year-long schedule of departures. Will Mobile’s heart be broken at the end of 2017? Or has the city’s cruising “fantasy” come true for the long term? Stay tuned, y’all.

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