(1:55 p.m. EDT) -- Cruise fans lined the waterfront Friday in Mobile, Alabama, to greet the 2,052-passenger Carnival Sensation. The ship came into port so that 100 crew members could get their COVID-19 vaccinations, which were delivered by representatives of USA Health.
"I'm sure I speak for everyone on board when I say It was quite emotional seeing all the people who came out to welcome us today. Mobile certainly misses cruising -- and we miss our guests, too!" Carnival Sensation Captain Giuseppe Strano said. "It's great to see how excited our guests are for the return of cruising. We can't wait to start sailing again."
Once U.S. cruises resume, the ship will homeport in Mobile, with new-to-the-port features such as Bonsai Sushi Express and the Cherry on Top sweet shop.
"Today's events represent the strong partnership we have forged with Carnival Cruise Line and their commitment to the city of Mobile," Mayor Sandy Stimpson said. "We are excited to be a part of this first step towards bringing cruising back to Mobile and look forward to the near future when we can welcome thousands of people to our city as they embark on a great cruise aboard Carnival Sensation."
In addition to getting jabbed, crew were treated to gumbo from Mobile's legendary seafood restaurant, Wintzell's Oyster House, delivered to the ship.
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"We appreciate the support of Mobile officials in our efforts to vaccinate Carnival Sensation crew members," Carnival President Christine Duffy said. We value the partnership of the port and city of Mobile and look forward to resuming sailing from the Alabama Cruise Terminal as soon as we can."