This article was first published in the Autumn/Winter 2016 issue of International Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.
At PortMiami, the cruise passenger’s vacation starts the minute they arrive. Travellers are greeted by friendly porters, gracious safety and security personnel and enthusiastic cruise line staff ready to assist from check-in to departure.
PortMiami’s cruise facilities are the most modern in the world, providing fast and easy passenger processing and boarding. Port administration is continuously looking at ways to enhance customers’ experience by investing in innovative technology and facility improvements. Currently on the drawing board are plans to expand the cruise footprint, including options for new cruise berths and terminals as well as associated intermodal and parking facilities for the next generation of cruise ships.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. recently announced that it will build, operate, and maintain a new cruise terminal at PortMiami, which will serve as a homeport for Royal Caribbean International ships including its 5,400-passenger Oasis-class ships. The 170,000sqft terminal, which was nicknamed ‘Crown of Miami’, is expected to open in 2018.
“Our passengers are of the utmost importance,” says port director and CEO Juan Kuryla. “PortMiami offers its cruise partners and passengers top customer service. We want every cruise passenger to begin their vacation experience the minute they arrive at our port.”
Last year, PortMiami set another world record in cruise passengers: nearly 4.9 million cruise vacationers sailed through the port and the cruise capital is poised for yet another exceptionally strong cruise season.
New for the season is a host of new cruise brands and newbuild ships that rank among the most innovative vessels on the seas today. The cruise season kicked off with the arrival of Norwegian Cruise Line’s newbuild ship, Norwegian Escape.
Many current cruise partners are expanding their Miami fleets. AIDA Cruises added two cruise ships to its PortMiami line-up, AIDAmar and AIDAvita; PortMiami is also the homeport for Royal Caribbean’s Empress of the Seas.
Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Splendor recently started sailing from Miami, and its largest ship to date, Carnival Vista, is scheduled to launch starting in fall 2016. Additionally, Carnival Corporation named PortMiami as the homeport for its new social impact travel brand – Fathom, which began sailing in spring 2016, and offers seven-day voyages onboard Adonia.
Miami will also be home for the first of MSC Cruises’ Seaside-class ships, MSC Seaside, with year-round sailings in winter 2017. The port is working on the expansion of cruise terminal F to accommodate this new generation of cruise ships. Another exciting development is the announcement from Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Cruises, that PortMiami will be the homeport for the first of the new cruise line’s ships starting in 2020.
With 18 cruise brands berthing 42 ships, PortMiami is clearly the departure destination of choice for cruises to the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Mexico and beyond, offering travellers vacations for every budget, taste, and style – from family fun to luxury cruising. PortMiami’s ships have amenities from rock climbing walls to five-star meals onboard. Additionally, passengers can start or end their vacations by extending their stay in Miami.
PortMiami is home to the world’s leading cruise lines: AIDA Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Fathom, Fred. Olsen Cruise Line, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises, P&O Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean International and The World.