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Cruise Through Mobile

The gateway to southern Alabama's pristine beaches on the Gulf of Mexico is the bayside city of Mobile. Since 2004 (with a temporary interruption following Hurricane Katrina), Mobile became a cruise port, when Carnival Cruise Lines' Holiday began launching 4- and 5-day cruises to Cozumel and the Yucat√°n out of the city's harbor. Pre- and post-cruise hotel options include the Battle House Hotel: A Renaissance Hotel Home, 26 N. Royal St. (tel. 866/316-5957 or 251/338-2000; www.marriott.com), which opened in May 2007 following a $200-million renovation. The historic 1852 property has a rich roster of past guests, including Ulysses S. Grant and Babe Ruth. Rates range from $170 to $194 double. A luxury spa was slated to open in fall 2008.

Attractions close to the port include the Museum of Mobile, 111 S. Royal St. (tel. 251/208-7569; www.museumofmobile.com), an interesting spot detailing the city's 300-year-history. Admission is $5 adults, $4 seniors, and $3 students. When you've worked up an appetite, great seafood awaits you at Wintzell's Oyster House, 605 Dauphin St. (tel. 251/432-4605; www.wintzellsoysterhouse.com). For more information on the city, contact the Mobile Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau, 1 S. Water St. (tel. 800/5-MOBILE [566-2453] or 251/208-2000; www.mobile.org).

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.