To say that Florida ports are popular with cruisers is a complete understatement. In fact, Fort Lauderdale and Miami have the busiest cruise ports in the country. The biggest challenge for Florida ports is how to grow responsibly to meet an ever-increasing demand of cruisers.
The Tampa Bay Business Journal wrote that $3.7 billion will be spent by state, local and private funds over the course of the next few years. This will be done to support growth.
There’s a lot to get excited about for Florida ports in 2017 and beyond. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what’s going on at South Florida’s top ports. When you’re ready for a fun and relaxing cruise, these are the best ports to begin with.
Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale
During 2017 there are 38 ships sailing from Port Everglades. This crosses over 11 different cruise lines.
This last summer, there were 4 ships sailing on a regular basis from Port Everglades instead of 3. That’s because Carnival added a second ship called “Carnival Splendor” (joining “Carnival Conquest”) on May 7.
One of the most exciting events was when Pearl Seas Cruises announced they would be operating the first cruises to Cuba since the 1950’s.
This began in April of 2017 when the 210 passenger “Pearl Mist” began sailing on 9-night voyages to Havana and many other ports in Cuba.
They have since expanded to 11-night voyages. More Cuban cruises are planned for the remainder of 2017 and into the 2018 cruise season.
The cruise season at PortMiami launched with the arrival of “Seven Seas Explorer” from Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Carnival also launched its largest ship, “Carnival Vista”.
PortMiami has 34 ships setting sail in 2017, across 12 cruise lines. One cruise line you won’t be seeing anymore, however, is Fathom. They closed their doors in June.
In planning for “Carnival Vista”, PortMiami made large-scale renovations to Terminals D and E. They now include amenities like auto-baggage claims and provide tons of natural light within the facility.
“Carnival Horizon”, the cruise line’s newest gem, is scheduled to launch from PortMiami sometime in 2018.
You can also expect the brand new “Norwegian Bliss” to be in Miami in the winter of 2018. Exciting stuff.
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Port Canaveral near Orlando
Port Canaveral has invested over $85 million in new upgrades and on-site activities. Because of this, they’re expecting their best cruise season of all time.
Terminals 1, 5 and 10 have all been renovated and expanded. Some of these renovations include:
- Increased capacity for passengers
- Addition of a new 1,044-space parking garage directly across from Terminal 5
- New furnishings, paint, and carpeting
In order to enhance customer experience, Port Canaveral put in new signage and passenger flow operations. These vastly improve overall efficiency. Carnival, Disney, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian all have ships homeporting at Port Canaveral throughout 2017, with a total of 9 cruise ships.
Florida Ports Will Lead You to the Cruise of Your Dreams
When it’s time to sail away into the sunset, there is no better place to do it than at these top Florida ports.
For a vacation you’ll remember the rest of your life, get in touch with us and book a cruise from one of these beautiful ports. You’ll be happy you did.