Not sure when the Voyager first sailed out of New Orleans. I was on the Carnival Conquest in 2002 and I thought it was the first big ship where they had the problem with the electrical lines. It was a big issue who was going to pay to move them.
I sailed out of Mobile, in order to sail on the final cruise of the Holiday.
It is a very nice city, with a nice terminal. It was so much nicer than the glorified warehouse that Jacksonville uses for the Fascination. Mobile seems to be ideal for a drive to port, but not so convenient to fly into.
My biggest complaints about Mobile are its airport and airport services.
1.) The airport is about a 45 minute drive from downtown. That would not be an issue in itself, but there is no major highway connecting it. You have about 25-30 minutes of stop and go city traffic to get from the airport to the Interstate highway. Once on the Interstate it is smooth sailing (no pun intended).
2) Secondly for those of us who wished to fly in the day before and rent a car, They would have charged a $40.00 drop charge to rent at the airport and drop downtown. Maybe I am spoiled from a bygone era, but I always thought that you could rent and drop a car in the same geographic area (city) with no drop charges. I once rented a car in FLL and dropped in MIA, and there was no drop charge.
3) All of the taxi cabs seem to be based downtown (see point #1 above). I rented a car and returned it to the airport. It took 45 minutes for a cab to come from downtown to the airport (in hindsight, I should have paid the drop charge for the rental car). If you arrive on a scheduled flight, then there will be taxis waiting, if not then you may be waiting for a while.
Point #1 might be wishful thinking, but if Carnival does negotiate a return to Mobile, they may want to ask the city to work on points 2 and 3 (at least when the ships are in town).
I agree with you PC Guy. We drove down, so we didn't have the problems fly-in passengers had. Our problem was parking, but we did the night before and bought a cruise package that included free parking. Alabama roads are NOT the greatest. They've been thinking about building a road from Huntsville to Atlanta, but it's never going to happen. In major cities here, you're lucky to find 4 lane roads.
While killing time in Montgomery last week I toured the Alabama Archives, which is housed in an impressive marble building across from the State Capitol Building. One of the exhibits explained the geology of Alabama and how it varies significantly from north to south with 3 distinct geologic provinces. The bottom half of the state is mostly soft sedimentary rock while the area north of the fall line (just a little north of Montgomery) is hard rock.
I know for sure, when we don't have any rain our soil is hard as a rock Driving through Atlanta anytime day or night is miserable. Even though I'm a native Floridian, driving through Florida is absolutely boring!
For our Sept cruise out of NOLA we could drive to Carbondale, IL (about 2 hrs from home) and take the Amtrak City of New Orleans train to NOLA. The only problem is the time, around 1:30 AM. It's a 14 hour trip from there. The return is about the same. The round trip fare is less than $100/ea. The train has a lounge and dining car. The parking at the Carbondale train station is $2/day. We've never taken an Amtrak train so it could be a good experience.
__________________ "Sea" You, Keith & Rita Ann
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Parking $2/day, not bad, 14 hours on a train....probably not too much fun unless you get a sleeper. But, the scenery might be nice and it would be a new experience. I used to travel by train a lot when I was young. My mom and I would go from Ft. Lauderdale to Nashville to visit my mom's family. It was exciting when I was little, but thinking back on it now, I don't know how we did it. We never had a sleeper and there were wooden benches back then. Mom would pack sandwiches and buy milk on board. I remember sleeping with my head in her lap, I doubt she ever had any sleep.