JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Good news cruisers: Carnival Cruise Lines is staying in Jacksonville for a while.
The company that brought the Fascination to Jacksonville has just renewed its contract with JAXPORT. They signed on for one more year, which translates to $2.3 million in guaranteed city revenue.
JAXPORT Spokeswoman Nancy Rubin calls it good news. "It's good news to the community because it means jobs and opportunity," she said.
She says the cruise industry generates thousands of jobs for Jacksonville. It supplies a steady stream of customers to everyone from cab drivers to retailers. It makes Jacksonville a tourist destination.
"We've had visitors from every state in the union," said Rubin. "They get to know what Jacksonville's about. Maybe they drive here. They drive through our beautiful Downtown. They say we ought to come back here and spend a few days."
There's been talk for years about expanding the cruise industry in Jacksonville. That, however, is contingent on JAXPORT building a larger terminal on the other side of the Dames Point Bridge.
Action News asked Rubin, "Where does that stand right now?" She replied, "Well, the crux of the situation is where our terminal is currently located. Eventually, it will be a cargo terminal. We will have to make some decisions as to where cruise will operate."
She says building a new terminal is under review. For now, JAXPORT and Carnival are happy where they are, and they look forward to years of smooth sailing together.
Rubin said, "For the time being, we're fine where we are. We are sending that ship out full every turn. Carnival is obviously happy and successful here. And we hope to continue that for a long time to come."
Last year, Carnival Cruise Lines served its one millionth customer in Jacksonville.