Port Everglades and public officials welcomed Princess Cruises’ new Royal Princess to the South Florida cruise port today and presented Captain Tony Draper with traditional plaques and keys to Broward County and the Cities of Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood.

“We are honored that Princess Cruises has once again selected Port Everglades to homeport the line’s newest and most sophisticated cruise ship, Royal Princess,” Port Everglades Chief Executive & Port Director Steven Cernak told Captain Draper; Anthony Kaufman, Princess Cruises Senior Vice President of Commercial Affairs; and Steve Nielsen, Princess Cruises Vice President of Caribbean & Atlantic Shore Operations. “Princess has a long, successful history at Port Everglades and we look forward to welcoming Royal Princess in grand style.”

The new 141,000-ton, 3,600-passenger Royal Princess, the first of two new-generation ships for Princess built by Italy’s Fincantieri shipyard, made her U.S. debut this week at Port Everglades. Royal Princess will sail to the Eastern Caribbean every Sunday from Port Everglades through the end of April 2014.

Broward County Vice Mayor Barbara Sharief and Broward County Commissioners Chip LaMarca and Stacy Ritter presented Captain Draper with a key to Broward County along with City of Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler and City of Hollywood Vice Mayor Richard Blattner who presented keys to their cities. In addition, Port Everglades Deputy Director Glenn Wiltshire presented the captain with the Port’s “challenge coin,” a customized medallion bearing emblems that represent the Port’s three main business lines – cruise, cargo and petroleum – and the Port’s landmark Harbormaster Tower.

“As we are all aware, the cruise industry is a major contributor to the economic health of our tourism-based community. Not only do cruise lines such as Princess bring jobs and revenue to our area, but they also bring guests who visit our hotels and resorts, and support the small businesses and attractions that are the lifeblood of our economy,” said Vice Mayor Sharief.
Other presenters included U.S. Coast Guard Captain Austin Gould, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Port Director Jorge Roig, Broward Sheriff’s Office Lt. Wally Haywood, Broward Sheriff’s Office Fire Rescue Chief Greg Holness, and Fernando Harb of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau.