|Carnival Cruise Line President Gerry Cahill at a press conference discussing the preparations|
While the Port of Mobile hasn't been a year-round port for Carnival Cruise Lines in some time, the city and port say they're ready to accommodate the passengers and crew of the Carnival Triumph, now being towed to Mobile by three tugs.
Carnival Cruise Lines Spokesman Vance Gulliksen says the ship will arrive at the Alabama Cruise Terminal in Mobile between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. Thursday; earlier it had been expected Thursday afternoon.
In preparation of the ship's arrival, the city has cleared the ship channel of Navy ships. In addition, Mobile Infirmary Health System's staff will be on hand to triage passengers and crew. Mobile's Fire/Rescue emergency medical technicians will also be on site if their services are needed.
The port said in a statement that Sheila Gurganus, the Alabama Cruise Terminal's general manager, has been in constant contact with Carnival Cruise lines in preparation of the ship's arrival.
"Carnival has asked us to strategically set up the terminal with appropriate clearance counters and chairs," she said. "The safety of the passengers and crew of this ship are of the utmost importance to Mobile, so we are doing everything we can to assist the cruise line."
Mobile's Mayor Sam Jones said. "It is our goal to make sure all passengers' and crew are afforded the city's hospitality and arrive safely home."
Mobile is the former homeport of Carnival Holiday, Carnival Fantasy and, most recently, Carnival Elation. Carnival's last embarkations at the Alabama port were in October 2011.