Written by dcowling on 05 Aug, 2007
Our trip to Ft. Morgan/Gulf Shores started in Arkansas, and several travel sites recommended using the ferry to avoid having to drive around Mobile Bay. I thought that at the very worst it wouldn't cost me any time and the kids would have fun doing…Read More
Our trip to Ft. Morgan/Gulf Shores started in Arkansas, and several travel sites recommended using the ferry to avoid having to drive around Mobile Bay. I thought that at the very worst it wouldn't cost me any time and the kids would have fun doing it. I arrived to the ferry 30 minutes early as suggested....then had to wait over an hour and a half because of "mechanical problems". Keep in mind that the ferry is supposed to be running with with ships in the first place, but is currently only running with one. A few days later I though we'd try our luck again, as we wanted to get from Ft. Morgan to the Estuarium. We arrived a few minutes early for the first ferry to leave Ft. Morgan and had no problems. This time we were foot traffic though, instead of a vehicle, since the Estuarium is within walking distance of the Ferry port on the Dauphin Island side. Big mistake. If you have to use this ferry always take you car or you can be left stranded.
We arrived a few minutes before the 11am ferry from Dauphin back to Ft. Morgan. It arrived, unloaded, and waited...eventually an employee came over and explained that again they were having mechanical problems and they weren't making this run. So, 5 adults and 7 children had to sit out in the 90+ weather for another hour and a half, not even knowing if they were actually going to make another run or not. At 12:30 they did allow us to board, but any other passengers that needed a return trip were turned away (again after waiting for over an hour and half), because the ferry was going to make one more round and close for the day. Now I realize that safety is an issue, and the captain has to keep that in mind when he makes his runs, but my experience with this ferry shows that it is very unreliable, and could easily strand you on the opposite side of the bay with no way for you to get back to where you were staying.
The ferry is supposed to run with two ships, not one, in the summer months. The one they do have seems to have constant mechanical problems. I do not recommend that you rely on this ferry for anything other than entertainment, and that you always have an alternative means of transportation at hand.