Port Report: Cruise Terminals Across the U.S.

Think getting on a cruise is tough? These five drive-up ports make it easy.

Mobile, Ala.
Mobile Alabama Cruise Terminal, in downtown, operating year-round (251/338-7447,

Google Map

Cruise Lines: Carnival Cruise Lines.
Regular Departures to: The western Caribbean.
Upcoming Departures: Three- and four-night sailings to Cozumel, Mexico, leave in September and October on the Carnival Holiday with a nine-hole golf course on deck.
Parking: The 500-space parking deck is adjacent to the terminal; cost is $15 per night, including taxes.
Latest News: Carnival will offer new six-night cruises to Mexico with stops in Jamaica and Grand Cayman in 2010 on the Carnival Fantasy . The 10-deck ship just got a multimillion dollar renovation, including a brand-new water park.

New Orleans
Port of New Orleans, less than two miles from the French Quarter on the Mississippi River, operating year-round (504/522-2551,

Google Map

Cruise Lines: Carnival Cruise Lines, Norwegian Cruise Line, American Canadian Caribbean Line.
Regular Departures to: Mexico and the Caribbean.
Sample Itinerary: Seven-nights on Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Spirit, with stops in Costa Maya, Mexico, and Belize City, leaving January through April 2010. The 13-deck ship has a walloping 11 restaurants and 10 bars and lounges.
Parking: There are two parking structures with more than 1,000 spots, including a structure by the Riverwalk Marketplace shopping area; parking costs $16 per night, including taxes.
Latest News: This November, Carnival inaugurates the newer, larger Carnival Triumph with a weeklong Caribbean itinerary. The Triumph has a 22-foot LED screen on an upper deck.

And one to watch...
The Port of San Diego, already a huge power in the cruise industry (almost 300 ships docked there in 2008), will open a new $21 million cruise terminal in late 2010. The 52,000-square-foot structure has a glass façade and is designed to use less water and energy, which will likely gain it LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification—the standard bearers in sustainable design.

With cruise lines like Carnival and Disney in service at drive-up ports across the country, a cruise may be easier than you think.

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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