Historic Hanger To Serve 600,000 Passengers Annually
With champagne flowing – mango mimosas! – and a confetti-filled reception, Carnival Cruise Lines opened its new passenger terminal in Long Beach, CA, in February, 2018.
Travel agents, tour operators and the press were the first to enter through the doors, followed by passengers of the newly-arrived Carnival Splendor, one of three ships that will use the terminal.
Carnival also announced that, beginning in 2019, the new and larger Carnival Panorama – currently being built – will also call Long Beach home. When this happens, Splendor will be relocated to Sydney, Australia.
The new terminal is really a revision of the old one. Previously only half of this space was utilized and the big advantage here is that when passengers arrive, they are processed in here while exiting passengers depart adjacent to the building, streamlining the process for people getting on and off the ships.
The facility is spacious and decorated with trees and benches to resemble a park. There are “woodsy” trees and palm trees (both artificial) to help create this atmosphere.
“Your vacation starts the minute you walk through that door,” said Long Beach Covention & Visitor’s Bureau President Steve Goodling.
Several check-in and airport-type screening areas are just inside the entrance, so the wait for most passengers to get from the door to inside the terminal is only somewhere around 10 minutes.
Carnival said 600,000 passengers on the three current ships will annually use the terminal.
The location is next to the Queen Mary across the water from downtown Long Beach. The building has a bit of history to it – it was built to house Howard Huge’s huge Spruce Goose airplane, which made a historic flight of one mile on Nov. 2, 1947. The flight began adjacent to the hanger.
This hanger, along with the Queen Mary when that retired cruise ship took up permanent berth here, became the scenic icons for this seaside city, Long Beach’s version of the Hollywood sign.
After the Spruce Goose was removed – it’s now in Oregon – the building became, among other things, a Hollywood sound set. Parts of the movies Batman and Pirates of the Caribbean were filmed. here.
One thing the terminal does not have is a refreshment stand (food, cocktails). But the cruise ship itself has those things in abundance, of course.
Address: 231 Windsor Place. Long Beach, CA