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There are not currently any cruises from Mobile available. However, there are cruises leaving from a couple of cities that are within driving distance of Mobile, Alabama (New Orleans, about a 2 hour and 20 minute drive; Jacksonville, about a 6 1/2 hour drive) Louisiana, from 1704 through 1722, when it was moved to New Orleans. Both cities developed bustling naval and industrial ports, though the port of New Orleans functioned on a larger scale as far as river-borne commerce went. That's because the navigable waters of its river, the Mississippi, extended much further north, touching far more states than did the Mobile River or its parent stream, the Alabama.
 
Though Mobile's antebellum ambience of colonnaded manses and grand sprawling plantations is still there to be found, don't expect to be awash in southern belles strolling in crinolines with parasols; that aspect of old Mobile takes a bit of effort to find, especially since the corridor from the airport to the cruise docks is largely industrial.
 
However, Mobile has recently made a major push for downtown revitalization, gentrifying the waterfront and funding museums, parks and a free trolley system.
Golf has become a major tourist draw, with a dozen top-flight courses in Mobile and its environs, and fishing charters from the downtown docks are also popular. Recently eco-tourism has gained a foothold, featuring exploration of the estuary of the Mobile River and airboat rides through the swamps, with great appeal for bird and gator watchers.
 
Weather is on the bottom edge of sub-tropical, with average midwinter highs in the high 50's/low 60's, rising to high 80's/low 90's in the summer.
 
Like the rest of the Gulf Coast, Mobile did not escape the wrath of Hurricane Katrina. However, winds in Mobile's environs were barely hurricane strength; Katrina, for them, was mostly a water, rather than a wind, event. Most of the damage came from the storm surge pushed ahead of the advancing hurricane, affecting mostly the immediate coastline. Inland areas were largely spared, and the city's tourism industry was fully up and running long before tourist sentiment brought visitors back to the Gulf Coast.
Carnival Cruise Lines was the most recent cruise line to offer cruises from Mobile. Among the cruise options that used to be offered by Carnival were 4-, 5- and 7-night Western Caribbean cruises aboard Carnival Elation. The 4-night Western Caribbean itinerary typically included a port of call in Cozumel, Mexico, while the 5-night itinerary usually featured ports of call in Cozumel and Calica, Mexico. The ports of call that were usually featured on Carnival's 7-night Western Caribbean cruises were Cozumel, Mexico; Roatan, Honduras; and Belize City, Belize.
 
Where You are Docked
Mobile Alabama Cruise Terminal located at 201 South Water Street Mobile, AL 36602. Distance to/from Airport roundend Regarding Mobile International Airport (MOB): Approximate Miles: 25 Estimated Driving Time: 45 minutes (depending on traffic). The failure of Alabama's lone cruise port has left the city of Mobile with a looming problem: How to pay for a more than $20 million passenger terminal that's now used for dances and weddings rather than tourist embarkations.
 
Things To See and Do
The various waterways, gulfs, and lakes are part of the attractions of Alabama. River ferries are available throughout the day. For nearby tourist attractions, historical sites such as Ft. Conde Museum, Cooper Riverside Park, and the Welcome Center are approximately one mile away from Mobile Port. Other notable attractions are USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park, Mobile museums, The Mobile Zoo, Estuarium at Dauphin Island Sea Lab, Wales West Light Railway, Kirk House and Gardens, and Windmill Market.
 
USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park
The USS Alabama, docked here in Mobile, was launched in 1942 and decommissioned in 1947. The decks, turrets, mess, berth compartments, bridge, wardroom and captain's cabin of the USS Alabama are open for tours. The park also contains an impressive collection of aircraft and military equipment from the Vietnam, Korean, and Cold War Eras, including a Boeing B-52 bomber. The Battleship Memorial Park is dedicated to Alabama veterans who served from WW II to Operation Desert Storm. Official site: http://www.ussalabama.com/

Mardi Gras
Mobile is home of the oldest Mardi Gras celebration in the United States. The event is lively and full of color with a traditional parade watched by onlookers who fill up the balconies of surrounding homes and businesses. Storefront windows are decorated and beads can be found all over the city streets, balconies, and park trees for days after the actual event. Some of the city's premier social events include Mardi Gras masquerade balls. Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is the day before Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent.
 
Fort Conde and the Museum of Mobile
The original Fort Conde was built in 1702 of wood and relocated in 1711 due to flooding. In 1723 a new fort was constructed, built of brick, stone, earthen dirt walls, and cedar wood. The fort which stands at this historic site today is a smaller size replica of this 1720s fort. The structure, which houses the Museum of Mobile, underwent renovations beginning in 2010 to do repairs, improve the safety, and upgrade exhibit space. Address: 150 South Royal Street, Mobile, AL 36602, United States --Official site: http://www.museumofmobile.com/

Mobile Historic Districts
Visitors can gain a sense of Mobile's history by walking through the city's lovely historic districts. There are seven designated Historic Districts in Mobile, each with its own unique character and architectural heritage. Self-guided driving or walking tours are available to explore these interesting areas.
 
One of the highlights is the De Tonti Square in downtown Mobile, with historic buildings in Federal, Greek Revival, Italianate, Queen Anne and Victorian architectural styles. The clay-brick townhouses and houses were built in the 1850s and 60s along brick sidewalks which still maintain the original gas lamps. The Oakley Garden District, which covers over 60 blocks, is home to a mix of mansions and cottages characterized by varying architectural details from the 1830's to the 1930's. The Old Dauphin Way District is west of Mobile. The older structures consist of simple frame cottages, while larger homes line Dauphin Street and Spring Hill Avenue. Church Street East is the most diverse of Mobile's historic districts. Many of the colonial French, Spanish and English structures were destroyed by fire and then rebuilt in the late 19th C. Lower Dauphin Street is Mobile's only predominantly 19th C commercial district with two and three story brick structures built in the Victorian, Federal, Italianate, and 20th C Revival styles.
 
Mobile Museum of Art
The Mobile Museum of Art is located in Langan Park. This large facility displays thousands of items which spans a period of 2,000 years. The permanent collection features decorative arts, African art, contemporary crafts and American art. Temporary exhibits complement the permanent collection with an ever changing program. Address: 4850 Museum Drive, Mobile, AL 36608, United States. Official site: http://www.mobilemuseumofart.com/

Oakleigh Period Museum House
the Oakleigh Historic Complex consists of three homes. Oakleigh, a Greek Revival mansion, was built in 1833 for James Roper, a prominent merchant. The house has been restored and furnished with antiques of the early Victorian, Empire and Regency periods. Next to the mansion is the Cox-Deasey House, a raised Creole cottage typical of Mobile's middle-class city dwellers in the 1850s. Built by a brick mason for his wife and 11 children, the displays cover the period up to and including WW II. The third home is Cook's House, built in 1850 as the slaves quarters. This three-room structure highlights everyday life for craftsmen, laborers and domestic servants. Interaction between the owners and servants is explained, along with the effect of urban slavery on this commercial city. Address: 300 Oakleigh Place, Mobile, AL 36604-2910, United States, Official site: http://www.historicmobile.org/oakleighHouse.html
 
Mobile Bay
Mobile Bay, on the Gulf of Mexico, has a number of lovely beaches, small towns, and historic sites to explore. At the southwest entrance to Mobile Bay lies the Dauphin Island bird sanctuary, with Fort Gaines, which played a part in the Civil War. From there visitors can take a ferry to the western point of Pleasure Island, home to Fort Morgan. In the southeastern corner of the bay are fine bathing beaches of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.
 
Dauphin Island is home to an Audubon bird sanctuary, an important site for bird migration. On the island is a freshwater lake with opportunities for swimming, fishing, and relaxing on the beaches. Also located on Dauphin Island is Fort Gaines, a location that changed control from France to Great Britain and then to Spain, eventually stopping with the United States seizing control in 1813. Fort Gaines was completed in 1861 and played a major role in the Battle of Mobile Bay. The fort was used in WWI as an artillery garrison and in WWII as a US Coast Guard station.
Another point of interest is Fairhope, located high on the bluffs of the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay. The town is ideal for outdoor activities such as biking, golfing, tennis, and fishing off the Fairhope Pier. The Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve near Fairhope is home to a diverse habitat with a variety of fish and crustaceans. This living laboratory educates visitors about estuaries. Guided walks or self-guided tours can be enjoyed on the elevated boardwalks as well as on over two miles of ground trails.
 
Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center
Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center is home to interactive science exhibits and an IMAX theater aimed at entertaining and educating young minds. There are a number of permanent displays which focus on physiology, biology, as well as a fun learning area for children up to five years of age. The IMAX theater shows science-based films daily. Address: 65 Government Street, Mobile, AL 36602, United States, Official site: http://www.exploreum.com/

Bragg-Mitchell Mansion
The Bragg-Mitchell Mansion is a combination of Greek Revival and Italianate architecture. The structure, built in 1855, is considered one of Mobile's finest antebellum mansions. During its heyday the home was the center of a lively social life in the thriving port of Mobile. The interior displays antiques and draperies, although only a few original items remain. Touring the home offers a glimpse of life in the Old South.Address: 1906 Springhill Avenue, Mobile, AL 36607-2304, United States
Official site: http://www.braggmitchellmansion.com/

Condé-Charlotte Museum House
The Condé-Charlotte Museum House was built in the 1840's to serve as the City's first official jail. Each room is furnished to reflect a period and a nationality including French Empire, 18th C English, American Federal, and the Confederate room. A walled Spanish garden, designed in an 18th C plan, complements the house. Address: 104 Theatre Street. Official site: http://www.condecharlottemuseum.com/
 
Eating Out
For travelers with sweet tooth, the Tiny Diny offers famous cream pie and other desserts. For seafood craving, travelers can check the Wintzell Restaurant. Other notable eateries are Quatorze and Shugah.
 
Shopping
I really hope that the cruise ships do sign on to depart from Mobile. The opportunities for small boutiques would explode on Dauphin Street. As it is now much of the store frontage is boarded up. However Dauphin Street is the place to find local artisans and there creations. The prices are very fair too.. For one-stop shopping, recommended sites are Cotton City Antique Mall and Bel Air Mall.


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