Cruise lines always keep their options open. They never say "never". RCI hasn't sailed out of West coast for a few years now, but they still review the option. The growth has been so strong for Europe over the past few years, but the cost of airfare has put a hurting on sales in the last year. With this crazy economy and crazy airfares the cruise lines have to be prepared to make changes.
The main reason they pulled out of Mobile was the ship wasn't bringing in the revenue. Everyone wants a $300 cruise and then they carry on roll bag suitcases and back packs full of water and sodas, and we all know the alcohol is being smuggled. A ship can't survive without revenues. If a ship ever comes back to Mobile I hope people will support it by not being so cheap. It amazes me how we go to sports games, concerts, and festivals, and pay the prices; but when it comes to a cruise they want to bring everything on the ship so they don't have to pay for anything.
I'm wondering if the Charleston mess may be 'the' thing Carnival is evaluating. I'd like to know what their sales figures are for those cruises. Of course, Charleston has an advantage over Mobile in that there are more ports that can be visited from Charleston. Mobile is stuck with Cozumel and the other two alternate Mexican ports. Now, if the U.S. would drop the stupid Cuban embargo then Mobile would have a great opportunity. How about a cruise that hits Key West, then Havana, and then Cozumel?
Mobile is a fabulous port city. One thing I noticed when sailing out of there a couple of summers ago was that just about all of the passengers lived within an 8-hour or so drive from the terminal. There was still a fabulous cross-section of fellow passengers, yet I do think that Mobile needs to do something to promote itself as a destination to build interest from cruisers who live further away. This might also enable them to offer cruises that also call on another Gulf Coast port, those that we in other parts would not visit otherwise. (To comply with the Passenger Services Act, a stop in Cozumel along with a requirement that all passengers embark and disembark in Mobile should do it.)
I agree Keith & Rita, they could alternate itineraries from Mobile. I'd love to see Havana, but I doubt that would happen. Still they could do Key West, Grand Cayman or Jamaica, and possibly another island, then come back with Cozumel and Costa Maya. Or maybe even Key West and a couple of Bahamian islands. I'd love to see Mobile get a ship again, even if it's not Carnival.
Pensacola would work for us! We met some folks from there on our Elation cruise and they said their city was working on it.
Since we been "free" trading with a communist country for many years now, why not Cuba? Maybe they could even loan us money like China does!
__________________ "Sea" You, Keith & Rita Ann
Fast dancing is the second best form of exercise, slow dancing leads to the first!
It is amazing that we established relations with Vietnam and China yet we still play this childish game over Cuba.
Norfolk does have a nice facility. I guess it's proximity to Baltimore might be a factor? However, Baltimore can only accomodate ships under a certain height because of the Francis Scott Key Bridge. I remember the big hubbub in New Orleans when Voyager Of The Seas first deployed there, and some Entergy transmission lines over the river were too low. They had to move the lines (underwater I think).