State and local public officials joined executives from Carnival Corporation and the six Carnival brands that sail from Port Everglades to celebrate the Grand Re-Opening of four fully renovated, expanded and modernized cruise terminals that opened in time for this year’s busy cruise season at the South Florida cruise port.
Cruise Terminals 2, 19, 21 and 26 are part of a $54 million renovation project that transformed existing facilities into modern, world-class, guest-friendly cruise terminals, capable of processing both debarking and embarking cruise passengers simultaneously.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott issued a press release saying that he applauded the Florida Department of Transportation’s (FDOT) investment of $9 million to reconstruct and modernize four cruise terminals at Port Everglades. Richard Biter, FDOT Assistant Secretary for Intermodal Systems Development, represented Gov. Scott at the ceremony on December 12 and told the crowd of about 200 people: “Florida is the cruise capital of the U.S. and ranked first in the nation for cruise industry expenditures with $6.7 billion in direct spending, accounting for 35 percent of total industry direct expenditures.”
During the ceremony, Carnival Corporation’s Giora Israel, Senior Vice President of Global Ports Development, presented a monetary donation to Pastor Paul Schweinler to purchase items for the Port Everglades Seafarers’ House Shoebox Christmas gift drive.
Port Everglades committed to modernizing the terminals as part of an agreement, finalized in April 2010, between Carnival Corporation and the Broward County Board of County Commissioners, the governing body for Port Everglades. The landmark agreement, one of the largest in Carnival's history, calls for a minimum of 25.5 million cruise guests from multiple Carnival Corporation brands to sail to and from Port Everglades over the initial 15-year term, which will potentially produce almost half-a-billion dollars in Port revenue.
“Carnival Corporation and its cruise lines that are here at Port Everglades – Carnival Cruise Lines, Cunard, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Seabourn – account for nearly half (43%) of the cruise business at Port Everglades. Carnival is an important business partner for Broward County and we are happy to celebrate your success,” said Broward County Vice Mayor Barbara Sharief. “The cruise industry is a major contributor to the economic health of our tourism-based community in Broward County. Not only do cruise companies such as Carnival Corporation bring jobs and revenue to our Port, 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. In Broward County alone, the cruise industry accounts for nearly 12,000 jobs and contributes $1.8 billion in local economic activity each year.”
Port Everglades Chief Executive & Port Director Steven Cernak, told the audience that the goal for the cruise terminal renovations was, “to deliver an expeditious and seamless curbside to ship guest experience.”
“Cruise ports today are challenged with the task of providing state-of-the-art facilities that can keep pace with and support their customers’ needs, and the cruise lines, as we know, are always on the cutting edge of the hospitality industry. Our cruise terminals must be efficient inside for quick embarkation and debarkation. Outside there must be an organized system for taxi, shuttles, buses and private vehicles to safely pick up and drop off cruise guests. We need state-of-the-art security facilities for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, enough room to lay down 2.5 pieces of luggage per person during debarkation, Wi-Fi for waiting cruise guests, clear directional signs and aesthetics that warmly welcome the more than 3.6 million people who start and finish their cruise vacations at Port Everglades annually.”
Broward County's Public Works Department, Seaport Engineering & Construction Division oversaw the renovations. Moss & Associates was the general contractor, and Bermello Ajamil & Partners, Inc. was the terminal architect and project construction administrator.
Construction work for the cruise terminal created an estimated 1,000 construction jobs, equating to $40.7 million in personal income and $3.7 million in state and local taxes, according to an economic impact study by nationally recognized maritime research firm Martin Associates.