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May 2010
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Carnival Elation Begins Cruising From Mobile, Alabama

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May 14, 2010.  By Dave Beers.

It started with the venerable, much loved Holiday.  Then a brief flirtation with the Carnival Fantasy.  Now Mobile’s newest cruise ship, Carnival Cruise Lines’ 2,052-passenger Carnival Elation, will arrive at the Alabama Cruise Terminal on Saturday, May 15, to launch year-round four-, five- and seven-day western Caribbean cruises.   The Fantasy moves to Charleston.  I don’t know why Carnival didn’t simply move the Elation to Charleston instead of doing two relocations, but regardless those of us in the southeast still have a nice ship within driving distance.  For me, Mobile is 5 hours away.  I love the convenience.  I also am fond of the well-managed cruise facility in Mobile, which is staffed by wonderful people who are unfailingly polite and helpful.

The first voyage will be a seven-day western Caribbean cruise to Montego Bay, Grand Cayman and Cozumel – the same itinerary I’ll be doing on July 10.  Carnival Elation will have 74 annual departures from Mobile.   Carnival is the only cruise line to sail year-round from Mobile and Carnival Elation will carry an estimated 170,000 passengers annually from the port.

In addition to a handful of seven-day voyages taking place in July and October, Carnival Elation will mostly do four-day cruises to Cozumel departing Thursdays and five-day voyages to Cozumel and Calica or Progreso, Mexico, departing Mondays and Saturdays.

“Carnival pioneered year-round cruising from Mobile in 2004 and has since carried hundreds of thousands of satisfied guests, primarily residents of the southeastern U.S., who greatly value the ease and convenience of cruising from this charming southern port city,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival’s president and CEO.  “The modern Alabama Cruise Terminal combined with exceptional partnership from the local community, including area travel agents who have strongly supported our Mobile cruise program, have led to our ongoing growth and success in Mobile,” he added.

Commented Mobile Mayor Sam Jones, “We are excited about the arrival of the Carnival Elation into Mobile. Having this ship homeported here is going to be a tremendous asset to our waterfront and for tourism.”

Carnival Elation entered service in 1998 and offers a wide range of on-board facilities and features: 12 lounges and bars, including a 1,300-seat theater showcasing lavish revues, a 12,000-square-foot health spa, a conference center, a jogging track, and organized programs for children in three age groups – Camp Carnival (2-11), Circle “C” (12-14) and Club O2 (15-17).   Also featured is Serenity, a secluded adults-only retreat with teak-style decking, colorful umbrellas and comfortable chaise lounges and chairs.

Dining options include two main dining rooms, the 700-seat buffet restaurant featuring a 24-hour pizzeria and deli, a patisserie,  and complimentary 24-hour stateroom service.  Cell phone service and ship-wide Internet access are also available.   All of the Carnival Elation’s 1,026 staterooms feature the Carnival Comfort Bed sleep system with high quality mattresses,  duvets,  linens,  and pillows.

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