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Mobile Alabama Cruise Port Tips

USS Alabama. Credit: Pixabay Creative Commons license
USS Alabama. Credit: Pixabay Creative Commons license
Mobile Alabama has a small but active role as a Caribbean cruise port in partnership with Carnival Cruise Lines.

Mobile Cruise Terminal, 201 S. Water St., is in downtown Mobile a half mile from I-10 and six miles from the junction of I-10 and I-65. More than a half dozen hotels are within a short drive of the terminal.

Cruise passengers who fly into Mobile for their cruise will land at Mobile Regional Airport. It is about 13 miles west of the terminal.

All cruises out of Mobile go to the western Caribbean on Carnival Fantasy. They are mostly four and five day cruises to Cozumel and Yucatan throughout the year (at the time of this writing).

Because these cruises are shorter than most, Mobile is more likely a port with appeal to passengers who live in the region and drive there.

Attractions and Shore Excursions


Walking Around Attractions


Anyone who gets to the cruise terminal early or is staying in a hotel near it has several attractions within walking distance.

Cooper Riverside Park is right next to the terminal. The park is home to GulfQuest National Maritime Museum of the Gulf of Mexico. The museum has 90 interactive exhibits and theaters in a building designed like a container ship. It offers displays about marine archeology, shipwrecks, hurricanes, shipbuilding and other maritime topics.

Tickets are $18 for adults 18 and older, $16 for teens and $14 for children 5-12. The museum is open from Tuesday through Sunday and closed on Mondays.

The Exploreum Science Center, 65 Government St., is a family-oriented interactive science museum. It is less than a half mile north of the cruise terminal and close to Cooper Riverside Park.

Anyone with a limited budget, limited time and an interest in history will find that the Fort of Colonial Mobile, also known as Fort Conde, 150 South Royal Street, will serve all three goals. This re-creation of the original fort built in the early 18th century is within walking distance of both the terminal and the GulfQuest museum.

Visitors will see interactive exhibits and artifacts of the original settlers of Mobile. The museum is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily.

Shore Excursions


Some Mobile attractions require transportation, more time and more cost.

The USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park, 2703 Battleship Parkway, is three miles east of the cruise terminal off I-10. Cruise passengers coming to the terminal from the east will find that visiting the park will be convenient before or after the cruise.

Visitors will be able to explore the battleship along with the submarine USS Drum as well as an aircraft collection. Tickets are $15 for anyone 12 and older, $6 for children 6-11 and free for children under 6. Discounts are available for senior citizens and military personnel.

Parking


To reach the Alabama Cruise Terminal parking lot, turn right on Eslava Street and follow directions by an attendant or police officer into the garage.

A terminal employee will unload, tag and transfer luggage. Passengers should go to the garage ramp to pay for parking. The fee for regular-sized cars is $19 a day. The fee for RVs and campers if $144 for four days, $180 for five days and $252 for seven days. Fees are subject to change without notice.

Visitors should park the car and walk to the glass doors at the garage’s north end. Take the stairs or elevator to the lobby and show documentation to the terminal employees, who will show where to go to the check-in and screening areas.

If the parking lot is full, attendants will direct passengers to off-site parking and will return on a terminal shuttle.
Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas.

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February 17, 2020
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