Mobile city officials sign contract extension with Carnival

Mobile County

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The Carnival Fantasy will keep on cruising out of Mobile, after city officials and cruise officials signed a new contract on board the ship Monday afternoon, marking a historic change.

“Why do another one year contract when we plan to stay,” said Terry Thornton, the Senior Vice President of Nautical and Port operations with Carnival.

Carnival Cruise Lines say they want to stay in Mobile.

“We wanted to do something more than the one year contract to really put in paper what our commitment to the city is. I meant what I said, we really need and want this port to work really successfully. And it is. And we wanted to show a commitment to that,” said Thornton.

For the first time, Carnival inked a three year deal with the city, meaning they will remain at the Port of Mobile through November 2022.

“We don’t do this in ports of similar sizes to Mobile. We wanted to demonstrate that this is not a short term situation and we’re really trying to be a good partner with the city,” said Thornton.

Since the cruise line resumed service in Mobile in 2016, Mayor Sandy Stimpson has been an advocate for the city’s relationship with Carnival.

“It has a huge economic impact on our city. There’s something like 25,000 room nights we experience because of Carnival,” said Mobile Mayor, Sandy Stimpson.

Both Carnival and the city say this new contract shows growth potential for the city and cruise line.

“The real opportunity with Carnival is not two ships. We’re not a Miami, we’re not a Galveston, it’s a bigger ship,” said Stimpson.

“We would like to grow in the market,” said Thornton.

This was a ceremonial signing, the council still has to approve the contract at Tuesday’s city council meeting.

The contract agreement also outlines the Carnival Fantasy’s schedule through December 2020.

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