The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce awarded Port Everglades the International Business Leadership Award in the Joint Venture category at an awards ceremony on November 19, 2009.

Port Everglades in Broward County and Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. headquartered in Miami-Dade County formed a joint venture that benefits businesses throughout the tri-county area and beyond. The two organizations developed a strategic alliance that resulted in the world’s largest cruise ship, Oasis of the Seas, homeporting at Port Everglades year-round in a new $75 million cruise terminal.

“Homeporting Royal Caribbean's revolutionary Oasis class of ships at Port Everglades benefits our entire region with an increase in the numbers of jobs created, increases on bottom lines as well as national and international recognition of what our communities offer in the way of travel and lifestyle,” said Port Everglades Director Phil Allen. “The two top cruise ports in the world are right here in our own backyard. This is something that we can all be proud of. More jobs, more visitors, and best of all more great vacation deals for those of us who live here,” said Allen.

Not only do cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean bring jobs and revenue to ports and their surrounding communities, but they also bring guests who visit area airports, hotels and resorts, and support the small businesses and local attractions that are the lifeblood of the regional economy.

“Business opportunities do not stop at Countyline Road,” Allen said. Miami-Dade suppliers bring produce, meats, and paper products to serve cruise line customers at both ports. There is a nursery in Palm Beach County that is planting the trees and shrubbery in Central Park aboard Oasis of the Seas. A rehearsal studio in Hollywood, Florida, hosts performers from all over the United States as they train before going out to sea. These are just some examples of how our seaports cross city and county lines and serve as the main economic engines of our communities.

“Thank you for highlighting the Port Everglades and Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. Joint Venture,” said Juan Trescastro, Royal Caribbean Vice President of Land Operations and Guest Port Services. “We commend the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce for reaching across county lines with their International Business Leadership Award to applaud a regional initiative which benefits the entire South Florida community.”

Port Everglades initiated a joint venture with Miami headquartered Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL) via a unique 10-year agreement providing for Royal Caribbean International to homeport its two new 5,400-passenger Oasis class of cruise ships in Broward County. Each Oasis class ship is projected to generate approximately 584,000 passenger movements annually at Port Everglades. The first of the 220,000-gross-registered-ton ships, Oasis of the Seas, is scheduled to begin sailing year-round from Port Everglades in December 2009, with the second sister-ship, Allure of the Seas, to begin year-round sailings next year.

To accommodate these passenger movements, Port Everglades Cruise Terminal 18 was expanded from 67,500 square feet to a total of 240,000 square feet, which makes it the largest cruise terminal in the world built to serve a single ship at a time. Cruise Terminal 18 opened on November 6, 2009 ahead of schedule and under budget.

This strategic alliance provides both Port Everglades and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. with an outstanding opportunity to provide first class services to their customers, which could not be accomplished if these organizations tried to provide the goods/services independently.

Revenue will be generated primarily by an increase in the number of passengers that Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. guarantees will sail to and from Port Everglades over a 10-year period. This guaranteed number of passengers increases five-fold within the first five years of the Agreement. This includes passengers sailing on all of RCL’s ships, including Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity, and Azamara. In the first year, their passenger guarantees increase to 750,240 or 59 percent higher than the guarantees in their previous contract. By the fifth year, their 2,290,815 guaranteed passenger movement will be 385 percent higher than their previous agreement.

An economic impact study conducted by Martin and Associates as part of the Port Everglades Master/Vision Plan, projects that by the fifth year of this 10-year agreement (2012) an estimated 8,012 jobs will be supported. These jobs are anticipated to generate $356.5 million in personal income and $32.8 million in state and local taxes. The result of this partnership is that South Florida will continue to be the cruise capital for the world.

Revenue will also be produced for Florida Airports as 83 percent of all cruise guests arrive via air, and revenue will be produced for the Florida hospitality industry as 43 percent of cruise passengers stay at least one night in a local hotel. Plus, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau calculates that an average visitor spends approximately $125 per person per day on food/beverage and entertainment/transportation when they visit.