Mayoral Candidates Talk Cruise Ship Future

Mayoral Candidates Talk Cruise Ship Future

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The Port City never fails to roll out its red carpet of hospitality. This time, for the Carnival Conquest. It's something that's sort of becoming expected, leaving some Mobilians feeling bittersweet.

"I feel like we are a hip for them. They show up whenever they want to. Whenever they need some help," said Michael Clark.

"I'm excited about it. It brings people into Mobile, and Mobile has a lot to offer," said Violet Young.

Combine that with it being smack dab in the middle of the mayoral election year and you have a hot talking point.

"What we have is a 25 million dollar cruise terminal, and today it's being used as a 25 million dollar reception hall and that just doesn't work," said Sandy Stimpson.

Mayor Sam Jones' lead opponent Sandy Stimpson believes more can be done to get a cruise ship to Mobile.

"I think that the committee that was used to being the cruise ships to Mobile, I think that they need to be re-engaged. They have been completely left out of this process as far as trying to being Carnival back," said Stimpson.

But the mayor says that's not the case. What the cruise industries want to see is an attractive bottom line.

"Every cruise ship is in a port. In order for you to attract one, you've got to take it from that port and in order for you to do that, you've got to be able to show that you've got a better revenue stream than the port that you are taking it from," said Mobile Mayor Sam Jones.

Sitting dwarfed by the huge cruise ship, the multi-million dollar GulfQuest museum hopes to bring in big bucks for the city - while it's next door neighbor continues to await its fate.

"We've been at it almost two years trying to get a cruise ship here and it hasn't been done, again I say..Where's the plan B?" said Stimpson.

"It lessens our chances to get a ship when they see that somebody has made it a political football. So you don't help the situation. You hurt the situation, and what I would suggest is first learn what it takes to get one before you talk about how we get one," said Mayor Jones.

The next mayoral debate will take place tomorrow night at the Alabama School of Math and Science auditorium. That's located at 1255 Dauphin Street beginning at 5:30.

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