MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — Carnival Corp. has presented its top Port of the Year customer service award to Mobile while negotiating a new contract with the Alabama port that has been home for the Holiday cruise ship since 2004.

The award is based on feedback from customer comment cards.

Carnival spokesman Vance Gulliksen in Miami said Mobile's embarkation team "gives new meaning to the term 'Southern hospitality."'

Cruise Services USA Inc., a shore services company, has 35 to 50 employees at the Alabama Cruise Terminal downtown.

The Charleston, S.C.-based company has been under contract with Miami-based Carnival for almost two years, Walter Thorn, president of Cruise Services, said. Thorn said he's proud of reaching the top during the company's first full year in Mobile.

Carnival is the world's largest cruise operator, with 11 brands and 85 ships in its portfolio. Carnival has 22 new ships scheduled to enter service between April 2008 and May 2012.