Cruise & Ferry Review - Autumn/Winter 2023

194 INTERVIEW Cruise travellers will be able to experience the magic of a Disney cruise from Florida’s Port Everglades in November 2023 when Terminal 4 reopens as a dedicated homeport for Disney Cruise Line following a themed makeover. Terminal 4’s transformation is being carried out by Bermello Ajamil & Partners. “One of the most exciting changes happening at Port Everglades is the reimagining of Terminal 4, the new homeport of Disney Cruise Line,” says Jonathan Daniels, CEO and port director. “We have a long-term agreement with the line that’s estimated to bring in 1,111 direct local jobs, generating $31.6 million in wages and $12.3 million in the state of Florida over 15 years. The agreement includes the addition of a second seasonal ship in 2025, and the opportunity for three five-year extensions.” In summer 2024, the port will also become a homeport for Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Beyond and Celebrity Reflection, Princess Cruises’ Enchanted Princess and Royal Caribbean International’s Freedom of the Seas. It is already the homeport for three other cruise ships from these operators. “At the start of the 2023 cruise season, we expected to welcome 1.9 million passengers, but it looks like it’ll be closer to three million,” says Daniels. “While that’s not back to pre-pandemic levels, we do expect to hit the four million passenger milestone in the next couple of years. We’re expecting to welcome 1.6 million passengers annually from Disney’s cruise ships alone!” Due to this significant increase in both expected passenger traffic and the number of ships making port calls, Terminal 29 will be refurbished in 2024. “Terminal 29 is being expanded to accommodate an Oasis- or Iconclass ship from Royal Caribbean and higher-end Celebrity and Silversea Cruises ships,” says Daniels. “We are in the preliminary stages of redeveloping the look and feel of this well-loved cruise terminal. There will be dedicated parking, a VIP lounge and many other special amenities.” According to Port Everglades, all this investment, coupled with the port’s planned phased installation of shoreside power infrastructure at all eight terminals by the end of 2027, strengthens its position as one of the busiest cruise ports in the world. “ We expect to hit the four million passenger milestone in the next couple of years” A magical future for Port Everglades Jonathan Daniels tells Laura Hyde how Florida’s Port Everglades is preparing to become the second home of Disney Cruise Line when Terminal 4 reopens in November