The city of Mobile has yet to sign a contract with Carnival, but the announcement is coming soon.
Cape Travel Predictions
At Cape Travel, Steve Cape is busy answering calls and questions about when cruises will start sailing out of Mobile.
He said the inquiries started pouring in even before Mayor Stimpson’s announcement two weeks ago, and he’s still getting several calls a day.
“We’re getting calls like crazy from people wanting to know what ship it is and when it’s going to be. So, it’s really exciting for us here,” Cape said.
Cape made some predictions of his own for what type of ship Mobile will house. He anticipates the Carnival Fantasy, the namesake of the Fantasy class ships, will call the Port City home because it is the only ship without a home port to sail from in October 2016.
Of course his prediction is simply that; an educated guess.
“That’s not to say Carnival doesn’t do a little ship shuffle. There’s going to be actually three ships in Miami during that October time frame of 2016, so maybe they substitute the Carnival Fantasy for the Sensation or the Fascination,” Cape speculated.
Cape said regardless of what ship deploys to Mobile, it will be an upgrade to the last time the city was under contract with Carnival.
“Whatever ship they put in, it’s going to be a slight upgrade to what we had last on the Elation out of Mobile. The big difference for the Fantasy is that it has the bigger slide and the bigger pool on the veranda deck,” Cape said.
Cape added that he expects the ship to start sailing in the Fall of 2016 because he said cruise lines typically need a year to make reservations.
Negotiations with the City
Mobile spokesperson George Talbot said the city is getting close to finalizing a contract with Carnival.
“It would be bad form to talk about the details of the contract until it’s signed, except to say there are a lot of moving parts on an agreement like this. Our interest is to get the very best deal we can get for our citizens to make sure we’ve got a great deal,” Talbot said.
Talbot said they’re optimistic about making an announcement next week. He said at this point they are getting down to the minor details of the contract, and it takes time for the attorneys with the city and attorneys with Carnival to hammer out the appropriate wording.
“We just need to finish out strong and hopefully we’ll have an agreement soon,” Talbot said.
Renaming the Cruise Terminal
As of Friday afternoon, there was no mention of the Carnival contract on the Mobile City Council’s agenda for September 22.
There is, however, a resolution being introduced by Councilman Fred Richardson to rename the Alabama Cruise Terminal as “The City of Mobile, Alabama Cruise Terminal.”