Rendering of Royal Caribbean Cruises’ new terminal at PortMiami.

For Full Story: CruiseandFerry

Article By: Lindsay James

Rendering of Royal Caribbean Cruises’ new terminal at PortMiami.
Rendering of Royal Caribbean Cruises’ new terminal at PortMiami.
Credit: Royal Caribbean Cruises

 

As one of South Florida’s major economic engines, PortMiami has earned itself an enviable reputation in the cruise industry, focused on its mission of ensuring that “the port you set sail from should be as enticing as the ports you cruise to.”

“We are proud to homeport 22 cruise lines and 54 of the industry’s most innovative cruise ships,” says Kuryla, the long-standing director who began his career with Miami-Dade County in the Parks and Recreation Department in 1987. “Our goal is to maintain our position as the ‘cruise capital of the world’. Every member of the PortMiami team is always hard at work, from safety and security, operations, to customer service – every employee collaborates with port partners, ready to welcome travelers from all over the world.”

The port’s partners are as diverse as its customer base. “PortMiami takes the opportunity to collaborate with a really wide range of partners, from cruise lines to the Biscayne Bay pilots – the sole providers of pilot service to ships calling in Miami – and everyone in between,” Kuryla explains. “For example, we have fantastic relationships with Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Miami-Dade Police, among many others. It’s this effective collaboration that is testament to our success.”

While there are many different cogs in the machine, there’s one thing for certain: at PortMiami, it’s all about the customer. To better understand cruise customer preferences, the port surveys its passengers about their experiences when they return to PortMiami at the end of their cruise. The latest results showed that 93% rated customer service at PortMiami as “good or very good.” The port’s goal, of course, is to reach the 100% mark. “The port team is committed to exceeding its customers’ expectations,” Kuryla says. “For us, effective customer service means making sure that every passenger is processed quickly, effectively, and they are safe.”

With these key elements of the customer experience done right, the destination is then able to speak for itself. “Location is key for PortMiami,” Kuryla says. “Our location as the closest Florida port to the Caribbean is a great advantage. PortMiami is located in the heart one of the most beautiful cities in the world, offering a breathtaking view of downtown Miami’s skyline and the sparkling waters of Biscayne Bay. The port delivers to its cruise passengers a tropical vacation experience like no other port in the world.”

This unique experience keeps customers coming back for more. Last year, 5.3 million cruise passengers travelled through PortMiami – setting a new world record. “The port kicked off the new 2017-2018 cruise season strong, welcoming two new cruise lines and one newbuild ship,” Kuryla says. “Seabourn arrived with Seabourn Odyssey, Seabourn Quest and Seabourn Sojourn. Viking Ocean Cruises celebrated the kick-off of its inaugural world cruise on its newest ocean ships, Viking Sun and Viking Sky. In addition, MSC Cruises’ newbuild ship, MSC Seaside, set sail on her first cruise from Miami on 23 December 2017.”

The expansion continues for 2018 with the arrival of Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Horizon and Carnival Magic; Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Bliss; and Royal Caribbean International’s Allure of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas, and Symphony of the Seas. MSC Cruises’ MSC Meraviglia will also be joining the Miami fleet in 2019 and Virgin Voyages will be making waves in spring 2020. “There’s a lot to look forward to,” Kuryla concludes.