LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Carnival Cruise Lines began operations at its new cruise terminal here by homeporting the Ecstasy there.

Parent company Carnival Corp. spent $40 million to transform the terminal's geodesic dome into a modern cruise facility and to construct a new docking pier and a multilevel parking garage.

The facility, with its 300-foot- long, 35-foot-high passenger gangway, also will be the home port for the Elation and, later, the Carnival Pride.

Among the terminal's features is an outdoor plaza leading to the Carnival Lounge in the Queen Mary hotel, formerly the seagoing Cunard liner, where guests can check in for their cruises prior to departure or enjoy pre- or post-cruise stays.

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