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As the Mexican Riviera begins to regain its popularity as a destination, Carnival Cruise Line is dedicating more resources and ship capacity to its California homeport of Long Beach. Already, it has the Carnival Imagination and Carnival Inspiration year-round and Carnival Miracle seasonally deployed from the Los Angeles area port.

Since 2003, Carnival has operated from a pier attached to the geodesic dome that once showcased Howard Hughes’ “Spruce Goose” aircraft as a museum and adjacent to the permanently-moored classic Queen Mary ocean liner. Until now, Carnival has only utilized a portion of the dome for embarking and disembarking passengers, but come 2017, the brand will utilize the entire facility to accommodate larger vessels.

Carnival has signed an agreement with landlord Urban Commons and the City of Long Beach in order to up its 66,000 square feet of usable terminal space to 142,000 square feet. Most helpful will be the ability to handle two-way operations, simultaneously accepting new guests while previous ones depart. In the past, embarking passengers have had to wait outside to be processed only after the others have left. The construction necessary to make the alterations is scheduled to be completed in late 2017.

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